Help me find the best tow vehicle please - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-01-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
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Name: Karen
Trailer: currently shopping
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Help me find the best tow vehicle please

My husband and I have decided to look for another casita or scamp (had a 13' previously and now would like a 16'-17' one) My husband is retiring next year and we want to enjoy it. 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. In reading the posts it looks like a vehicle like the Ford Escape, Toyota Rav-4 or Honda Crv would be good. Does anyone have experience with any of these or can suggest another one? We are starting our search today so any and all help is appreciated. Thanks bunches, Karen
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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Name: Donna D
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Hi Karen (and husband) to FiberglassRV... we're glad you're here.

I own a truck, so I'll leave you tow vehicles question to those that drive that type. Just wanted to welcome you to a forum of kind, friendly and helpful people!

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Old 12-01-2012, 09:36 AM   #3
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My suggestion would be to start here to get a realistic loaded weight:
Trailer Weights in the Real World

Then look at the manufacturer's web sites to get the maximum trailer weight and tongue weight for the TV that you are interested in. The Sienna minivan is also a popular tow vehicle, if you can see yourself in a minivan.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #4
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There is a current thread here about the new Rav-4
2013 Rav4 - What Were They Thinking???
I just acquired a Toyota FJ cruiser, it has the highest resale value and a built in back up camera- makes hitching a breeze!!
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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We pull a 13' with a 2009 CRV and it's right at it's maximum limit of 1500 lbs. A 16' would be out of the question. For that matter, I wouldn't buy another CRV for a TV, (Others will disagree) but the CRV came first.

Anything that gets really good MPG's without towing is right at it's limit already and will take up to a 50% hit when towing.

If you want to pull a loaded 16-17 foot you need to look for about a 4000 lb towing capacity, and that rules out all "Small" SUV's and almost anything else that gets decent MPG's.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdingo View Post
My husband and I have decided to look for another casita or scamp (had a 13' previously and now would like a 16'-17' one) My husband is retiring next year and we want to enjoy it. 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. In reading the posts it looks like a vehicle like the Ford Escape, Toyota Rav-4 or Honda Crv would be good. Does anyone have experience with any of these or can suggest another one? We are starting our search today so any and all help is appreciated. Thanks bunches, Karen
I ponder this question all the time. My current vehicle gets 25+mpg highway when not towing, but drops to 17 mpg while towing. I really like my current tug, but know it won't last forever as it is already 12 years old. Choices are slim if you are anticipating more than 20 mpg while towing a 16 footer.
For me, I don't need or want all wheel or 4 wheel drive. Just an extra cost if you don't need it. Now many smaller SUVs are front wheel drive, making all wheel or 4 wheel drive a necessity. Try pulling a 2400# trailer up a gravel hill with front wheel drive and you will be doing a lot of spinning. I think they took the U out of SUVs. But a car salesman may disagree with that.
Nothing really out there in a fuel efficient SUV. Some trucks may do if you can see your self driving a truck (A lot of people do). If I didn't need a tug, I couldn't see myself driving a SUV or a truck. However, that is just me as a Miata is more to my liking.
I think the best hope for a fuel efficient SUV that will tow a 16 footer is still on the horizon in the 3.0 liter diesel Grand Cherokee which is reported to get 30+ mpg in Europe. I hope Fiat sees fit to get it to our shores soon.
Good luck with this as I, too, am on the hunt.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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Hi Karen,

I believe that towing a trailer close to the maximum weight rating of your tow vehicle carries greater risk. I know that doing so is more stressful and tiring on longer trips.

Ford F-150 pickups have a seating posture, visibility, and comfortable solid "road command" safe feel that women really like. Their highest fuel economy rated engine, the "ecoboost" V-6, is rated at 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. They come in 4-door with five or six passenger seating arrangements. They offer a "max trailer tow package" that factory equips the vehicle with computerized built in trailer brake controller plus other features including computerized trailer sway control. I see it as an excellent "retirement" vehicle. I have a 2010 model now and I am getting ready to order a new 2013 model. I believe if you test drive one you will be hooked.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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I know people are not happy that I tow with our CRV.

However we do not take a 50% hit on mileage when towing, averaging about 22.5 mpg on our 315 day loop of the USA this pass year.

As well we have driven many dirt roads including the 1,000 mile dirt road across Labrador and northern Quebec and did not experience spinning front wheels on the innumerable 10% grade and few 18% grades.

We have had only two experience where the rear wheels kicked in and that was because I forced them two foreseeing a possible problem, both times in water situations.

All in all our Honda, now at 180,000 miles on ts way to FL has been near perfect. The only thing I hope for is the diesel version offered in Europe.

For me the Scamp 16 is about as big as I would go though I have easily towed a Casita 16.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I know people are not happy that I tow with our CRV............
Mostly just Carol.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:22 PM   #10
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The operative words on economy losses were "up to 50%. With our 4 cylinder, 2wd CRV we usually see about 30 on hiway trips. With the 13' Scamp in tow the best I have ever done is about 18, mostly, I suspect because it can almost never get into overdrive.

BTW: I was only counting towing miles in my MPG figures.

And I think inside the box. A 1500 lb tow limit means a 1500 lb tow limit and a 16' anything will not come in under 1500 lbs short of empty.

Last week I towed the 4000 lb Coleman with a huge 4WD GMC Yukon (Like a Suburban) and that is one sweet TV, it only lost 2 mpg towing, from about 10 to 8 mpg! Such a thrill.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:39 PM   #11
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There are a lot of vehicles out there that would suit your needs

We just went throught that process and it takes a lot of time

We pull our Surfside with a Ranger and a 3 liter engine which has been an excellent pairing

With the smaller suvs you will be limited to 3500 pound towing which means you are limited to a 16 or 17 foot trailer like the Escape 17

I didnt like the Ford Escapes but i did like the f150's as it gave you the option of a fifth wheel.

Anyway we ended up with the 2012 Rav 4 with a 3.5 liter engine

Havent pulled pearl with her yet but she seems to have a lot more power than the ranger and should be able to handle the Escape 17 that hopefully is in our future. .....
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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Karen, its important to realize that if you were to decide to pull a 16' trailer with a CRV you would be putting it at more than 1000lbs over the manufactures stated tow limit. Not a good thing if you are at all concerned about future liability issues in the event of an accident. As you can see we only have a couple of folks here who have the stomach for that.

As others have mentioned the new RAV4's have also had their tow cap downgraded taking them out of the picture for pulling at 16' as well.

I tow one of the lightest 16' Scamps (side bath) with an Outback and although the trailer weight falls well within in its tow cap I wouldnt recommend going out and buying one for pulling a 16' with it. Its better suited due to its low max tongue weight to pulling a 13'. I will be going for more tow & tongue cap rating on my next tug. In regards to wheels spinning on gravel road hills while towing - not had that problem but Subaru is known for outstanding All wheel drive performance.

As a result of my personal experience of towing with a smaller cross over type suv I am with the others look at the real world weights of the trailers and choose a tug that has the ratings to cover it plus a little. A few other smaller cross over type tugs you might want to take a look at are the Toyota Highlander, Acura MDX, some models of the Ford Flex, Mazda's CX-9, Nissan Murano, GMC Terrain, Mitsubishi Outlander. KIA Sorrento also have tow ratings in the 3500lb or over range.

Have fun with your search.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Mostly just Carol.
LOL I wouldnt assume that! There is the possiblitly that it may just be that I'm amongest the few that have the guts to say it!
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:11 PM   #14
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Bob, I have a manual transmission. I usually tow in 4th and except for interstates drive at 55 mph. I do use an ultragauge to max mileage. My typical non towing highway mileage is also 28-30 mpg

I do have the 4 wheel drive version but it almost never comes on. It seems that not trying to accelerate too rapidly keeps the wheels from spinning

In a comparative since most 4 cylinder cars have a lot of power compared to the typical 8 cylindar car of the recent past.
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