How old is TOO old for a towing vehicle? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-08-2008, 07:16 PM   #15
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We have a '94 Rodeo with a V6 and over 202000 miles on it ...It still has the origional clutch and we pull a 16 ft Fiber Stream without any probs......going up the 15 to the meet in Apple White a few mos ago I was doing over 70mph and didn't realise it ...
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:31 PM   #16
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I used to tow a 13' Boler with a standard 5-speed transmission '97 Rav4, so a very similar set up as to what you are thinking of doing.

The Boler was within the towing capacity of the Rav, and towed very well in general. However, this rig was really maxed out when towing through the mountains. If you are planning on mostly flat driving you will be happy, if you have some hilly driving some of the time, it will be okay, but if you are doing any major mountain driving you might be happier with a more powerful tow vehicle.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:15 PM   #17
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Hi,

I'm new to fiberglassrv.com, but have been coming here recently because I'm thinking about buying a 13' foot Scamp. I camped as a kid with my family, but I have never towed anything before. One of the reasons I'm interested in a Scamp is because it can be towed by most 4-cylinder vehicles.

So, I'm wondering if I can tow a Scamp with my Toyota Rav4, which is 10 years old with 110,000 miles on it. It has a standard transmission (stickshift), and it's in good regular driving shape with regular maintenance, etc. The owner's manual indicates that a RAV4 can tow up to 2000 lbs., so I'm not concerned about wet weight. But I am wondering, am I expecting too much from a 10-year-old vehicle?

Thanks!

--Karen
I tow a Trillium 13ft with a 1991 Toyota extra cab 4x4 3L v6 auto overdrive two kids and a wife . the bed loaded with bikes and coolers 313,000 kms just broken in by Toyota standards "Never Quit"
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:48 AM   #18
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Pair of vintage tow vehicles from our club ( 2 of 5 boler / old tv in our city )
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:34 AM   #19
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I don't think you should make a horse pull anything if he's over 15 years old. Oh wait, you mean motor vehicles!

I still tow sometimes with our 2000 Mercury Mountaineer, with 157K miles. Age is not a big deal.

Auto vs manual: autos are made to allow 'slippage' inside them when under strain. That's ok, except when under strains for prolonged periods (like towing) it's important to reduce the slippage to a level that won't produce enough heat to damage the transmission. If I try towing in overdrive, I can see my tachometer rise about 400-500 rpm when I hit the least bit of uphill slant, or when I press the gas pedal down slightly on the flat. The tranny has not shifted out of OD but it is letting slippage take place to raise torque. If I let that go on, it will get the tranny too hot. Thus I always lock out overdrive when towing. A manual transmission does not slip like that (as far as I know... I'm not a mechanic) but the potential slip point is the clutch instead (mainly slipping when you first start out, not really while driving AFAIK). Clutches are cheaper to fix than transmissions.

Are you sure you don't want to use a horse, though? Burns no gas, has low slippage (but only a single gear), low emissions, and easy to park in the back yard.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:17 PM   #20
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The RAV4 has mixed reviews for towing. Many of the web sites state the 1999 model is not suited for towing, others state the the inline 4 cyl model is not rated for any towing. I do not think age has anything to do with your issue. You need to determine if your RAV4 is capable of towing in a safe manner. Owners manual or Toyota dealer is the best answer.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #21
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Are you sure you don't want to use a horse, though? Burns no gas, has low slippage (but only a single gear), low emissions, and easy to park in the back yard.
Horses are NOT low emission. If you ever marched in a parade behind a mounted contingent, you would know.

After doing a lot of reading on towing, it seems to me that the engine size is a major factor. Two liter engines are usually rated for 1000 pounds. Two and a half liters yields 2000 pounds. Of course the FINAL WORD is the owner's manual.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:34 PM   #22
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Hi: All... I really don't think in terms of "how old is Too old", but more in how appropriate is the "Tug". Our tug is a 2002 GMC 4.3ltr. V6 w/ 4spd. OD.+tranny cooler + tow/haul option. This last item allows longer shift patterns to get things rolling. Max. tow cap. is 6100lbs and max. GCVW. rate is 9500lbs. I tow in 3rd. most of the time as OD. seems to taxing on the power train. I try to keep the speed down to 60mph. and this summer we towed 4000mi. at 18.5 mpg( Imperial). Here's a pic of our rig at lunch break in Maine. Aero dynamics also plays a big part in the whole equation.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:28 PM   #23
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Hi: All... I really don't think in terms of "how old is Too old", but more in how appropriate is the "Tug". Our tug is a 2002 GMC 4.3ltr. V6 w/ 4spd. OD.+tranny cooler + tow/haul option. This last item allows longer shift patterns to get things rolling. Max. tow cap. is 6100lbs and max. GCVW. rate is 9500lbs. I tow in 3rd. most of the time as OD. seems to taxing on the power train. I try to keep the speed down to 60mph. and this summer we towed 4000mi. at 18.5 mpg( Imperial). Here's a pic of our rig at lunch break in Maine. Aero dynamics also plays a big part in the whole equation.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Your GMC has the same engine/transmission as my Chev S-10 pickup. They both have the same transmission as my Escalade (4L60E).

I too discovered that the transmission keeps shifting in and out of OD when going over overpasses. Correction, this transmission has no OD, it is correctly called a Torque Converter Clutch (TCC). When shifting manually to 3rd gear, the TCC is forced to the disengaged mode. It does no harm to the Transmission to run in 3rd gear 100% of the time.

As I indicate in my signature below, I have modified the 4L60E transmission controls so I can command the TCC to engage 100% of the time whether its in 3rd or 4th gear. This increased the Escalade MPG by about 1.5 MPG when towing at 60 MPH.

If I were you I wouldn't be concerned about running in 3rd gear as the 4L60E/4L65E transmission is the most reliable transmission in the automobile industry.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:37 AM   #24
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Hi: CDSmith... My only problem with this transmission towing in OD. is it causes the rev's to drop so low. Then the slightest movement of the excellerator pedal makes it shift, uncomfortably, from OD. to passing gear. Even when not towing the truck seems to have little enough power, and shifts on every slight incline. I have the transmission fluid checked at every oil change and it always reports as good. The truck has just under 140,000km's on it.
I realize this is a fuel economy thing; but the gas mileage isn't that good either. IMHO.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:12 AM   #25
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Hi: CDSmith... My only problem with this transmission towing in OD. is it causes the rev's to drop so low. Then the slightest movement of the excellerator pedal makes it shift, uncomfortably, from OD. to passing gear. Even when not towing the truck seems to have little enough power, and shifts on every slight incline. I have the transmission fluid checked at every oil change and it always reports as good. The truck has just under 140,000km's on it.
I realize this is a fuel economy thing; but the gas mileage isn't that good either. IMHO.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
The only permanent cure for the problem you are experiencing is to install a lower (higer number) differential gear set. If your GMC is like my S-10 they installed a ratio for milage not for trucking.

Even my Escalade has a 3.73 rear end and only turns 1760 RPM at 60 MPH. Fortunately the V-8 provides enough power at that low a RPM. At least with my manual controls I can drive many, many miles in 'OD' without the constant downshifting and also in the mountains I can engage 'OD' in third gear which improves MPG a little.




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Old 11-23-2009, 09:53 AM   #26
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Do not tow in Overdrive.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:49 AM   #27
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In 2007 we towed Burrito with our 1992 Ford Explorer XLT, over the Rockies and back to Jersey (did 5,000-Plus miles in 15 days). At the time the Black Bat had around 140K on it. 6 cyl 4.0L engine. After we got home I counted eleven cracks in the plastic radiator fan and replaced it, and then the tranny went south.

But, home safely, zero tow issues along the way. So, by driving a 15-year old clunker did I dodge a bullet doing that trip? Since then we've done several more but none for more than a couple thousand miles. Again, no issues in transit.

You pays yer money and you takes yer chances.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:55 PM   #28
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To Old is when it burns a Quart of oil per 1000 miles.

The book on new vehicles state to not use overdrive when pulling and in some cases to lock it in 3rd when you have a 4 speed automatic.
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