Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh
I think a point many of us are missing here is that the original question asked for an adequate (I assume) tug that will return DECENT fuel mileage while towing a 16' Casita.
I didnt think I misunderstood the original question. The OP wants suggestions of an "adequate" tug for towing a 16' trailer with and stated "Problem is we need a small SUV that gets pretty good gas mileage to pull it with. The vehicle will be my car for everyday so decent mileage is a plus."
Unfortunately for all of us, as you have noted there isn't anything out there that gets 20 mpg or more with while towing a 16' trailer that would be classed as "adequate" by most people. The suggestion of a Touareg which you will pay dearly for up front was made but I am not so sure about that one either
Wish it was as I had been eyeing it up myself. If you read this Review of the 2011 Touareg
it only got 16.5 mpg while towing 4000lbs - you might get a bit better if towing a 16' in the 2700 lb range but I would not expect it to jump up to the 20's or over either.
With the rest of tugs rated to pull the weight
of a 16' IMO the best you can expect to get is in the mid/high teens while towing and low 20's when not. My Outback gets between 17/19 mpg while towing a 2500lb trailer depending on the speed and terrain I travel on but as I mentioned its low tongue weight
spec doesnt make it in MHO a real "adiquate" good choose for towing a 16' trailer either, its better suited to a 13' trailer. It actually gets about the same mpg while driving in the city and not towing, so not outstanding MPG for a daily drive either.
In regards to the one you sighted as the only one returning 22 mpg while towing a 16' fiberglass trailer all be it 1000lbs over the manufactures recommendations, well what can one say about that? Other than "adequate" is a very subjective term. As you also know the MPG one actually gets while towing is also very subjective. Note another party here towing a 13' with the same tug isnt reporting 22 mpg but instead claims to be getting down in the teens as well. I also know of another party pulling a 13' with the same tug and they claim to be only getting in the teens as well and they dont even feel comfortable/safe pulling a 13' with the tug - so again its all very subjective.
If an adequate tow tug means to you that you are not risking your tugs warranty or being sued in the future for towing more than the manufactures specs and not having to worry about every little thing you put in the trailer every time you pack up. Or having to add additional equipment to the tug to keep it from wagging the tug then the reality is you just aren't going to get better than the mid to high teens while towing with whats currently offered.
Not so many years ago it was actually hard to find anything that was rated to safely tow 3000lbs or more and return MPG in the mid to high teen range while towing and low 20's when not. Fortunately things have improved on that front somewhat. Hopefully with a bit more time we will start to see more improvement but we are sadly not there yet. Wish we were as I am getting close to needing a new tug myself.