Looking for Tow Vehicle recommendations - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-26-2014, 12:44 PM   #29
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Nope, sorry. No minivans. If it has a sliding door I'm not interested. Married with no kids in our 30s. SUVs are still "sporty" and covey an outdoorsy lifestyle (which we have). Minivans convey the exact opposite. I don't need cup holders for juice boxes, rear seat entertainment, and cargo compartments for toys and soccer balls.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:31 PM   #30
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Ok, to each his own but chrysler mini vans with stow-n-go seats are very well set up for our type of campers up to the 16' size. It's just the wife and I and we leave the seats stowed down in the floor. That creates a ton of wide open cargo space. I haven't seen anything mentioned on this thread short of a suburban or pickup that will beat it. Of course if one needs some 4X4 time it wouldn't do.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:32 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
Ford Escape: I did some more research on the 2013+ escape. Couldn't find any on dealer lots with the tow package but it appears any 2.0T comes with the transmission cooler. The tow package only adds the hitch (which I can get aftermarket), the 4-pin harness (I'll be using a 7-pin anyway), and some ECU modifications that use ABS to combat sway. There are no upgrades to suspension or cooling. So having one with a tow package is a nice-to-have but think I'd be fine choosing from dealer stock of non-tow package 2.0Ts.
I'm a born skeptic when it comes to add-ons that jack up the price of a vehicle...I'd laugh out loud if someone tried to sell me "undercoating", for example. But sometimes such options really are more appropriate when factory installed and I think that this may be one of those cases.

Assuming we're talking about current models, Ford's towing guide for the Escape at this link indicates that the factory-installed tow package is required for the upper tow limit of 3500 pounds- unless so equipped, maximum capacity is 2,000 pounds regardless of engine size/type. I think this limitation is likely due to the package's included anti-sway system similar to Chrysler's above that can't be installed later.

It's interesting to note at that page that the frontal area "limitations" on the car also increase by a whopping 50% with the factory tow package, from 20 to 30 sq. feet. To my mind this is no small consideration since even our little trailers present quite a bit more frontal area than that, average being more in the 45 sq. foot range. (It should be noted that the seeming "lowness" of those factory numbers is due to the primary market for these small towers being those folks pulling boats, utility trailers, and perhaps popups, which present far less frontal area to the wind. )

Increased frontal area greatly affects performance- the car's efficiency declines as the area increases over mfr. numbers. For many vehicles, the most "felt" decline is power and gas mileage, but stability is also affected. That anti-sway system (which can't be installed after the Escape leaves the factory) helps with that and may well be the primary reason for the tow limit differences stated at that page.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:50 PM   #32
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If you like the outdoors, look for something in 4wd/AWD, opens a lot of territory for boon docking and hitting backroads from camp. Can't imagine towing much of anything with an Escape. We have a V6 Edge and it has a really low towing capacity (2500 lbs). They newer Explorers would probably have enough tow capacity. Few complain about having too much towing capacity but a lot of complainers about too little.

I also have an X-terra with a 6 speed manual trans. It would have little problem towing that trailer. It is a good daily driver and goes anywhere after the trailer is parked. The manual transmission in these is the same as the Z car, it has a tall reverse gear and I have to use 4 low when backing to keep from frying the clutch. It will do 30 mph in reverse but it won't back up much of a trailer, especially if there is a hill involved.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:30 PM   #33
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I understand it is certainly more desirable to find an Escape with the package...but if it turns out to be a very rare option I'm not going to pay an $8k premium to special order a 2014 if I can get a 2013 without it and install aftermarket sway control. I'm not too concerned about frontal area. I'm not expecting great gas mileage while towing and if road conditions (wind, rain, etc) dictate I drive slower, I will. I towed all last summer with the itty bitty truck in my signature. No frontal area or horsepower issues that weren't solved by simply driving slow. However this summer we plan to venture further from home and I don't want to be hunting down a rotary mechanic when something goes wrong 1,000 miles from home.

I guess I didn't mention 4WD/AWD in my original post. That's a given for someone living year round in New Hampshire. We got hit hard with snow this year and a few times the only way I got out of my driveway was with AWD.

Thanks for the positive marks about the XTerra Arlon. I'd certainly be looking at a stick shift if I selected the XTerra. I would have never thought to use 4-low while reversing. Issues I have with the xterra are no auto climate controls, keyless access/ignition, heated seats, and gas mileage. Furthermore, its nearly impossible to find a manual transmission one. I found 3 within 100 miles and none looked promising.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:51 PM   #34
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I understand it is certainly more desirable to find an Escape with the package...but if it turns out to be a very rare option I'm not going to pay an $8k premium to special order a 2014 if I can get a 2013 without it and install aftermarket sway control. .
One more consideration you may want to keep in mind when shopping for new/near new vehicles is warranty coverage. Many folks don't care about such things, but if you do here's a heads up that overtowing without specifically required equipment can result in warranty voidance.

I'm not promoting the Escape, but since that's the vehicle we're talking about I'll quote Ford on that subject, from the link I posted earlier:
Quote:
Required Equipment
Includes items that must be installed.* Your New Vehicle Limited Warranty (see your dealer for a copy) may be voided if you tow without them.
Other manufacturers will often impose similar language, so do read the fine print if this is something you care about.


Best of luck in your search!
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:52 PM   #35
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I guess I didn't mention 4WD/AWD in my original post. That's a given for someone living year round in New Hampshire. We got hit hard with snow this year and a few times the only way I got out of my driveway was with AWD.
Did you take the Subaru Outback 2800lbs or 3000lb tow cap depending on model for a spin yet?
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:03 PM   #36
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I haven't driven the Outback yet. My friend just bought an Impreza Sport. It rides nice and the interior is OK. I'll see if I can find one with the right options in my price range.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:14 PM   #37
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There's nothing wrong with the 2012 and earlier Escapes, either. Some FGRV members tow with the previous model Escape and like it.

The electronic anti-sway thing is not worth any money to me either. I towed for years without it, don't see the need for it, and would never miss it.

The Highlander and the Santa Fe are pretty much the same size. Maybe the HL just looks bigger? But anyway, yes the resale prices are pretty high. Now if you didn't mind one with 160,000 miles on it, I could be persuaded to sell mine. Planning to replace it with a Jeep Grand Cherokee this summer. Yes, yes, reliability and repair costs and all that... but I will get a lifetime max care contract, which should absorb much of the sting.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:17 PM   #38
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Our 09 Mariner pulled our Bigfoot with no problems. AW Drive, after market hitch.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:51 PM   #39
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Planning to replace it with a Jeep Grand Cherokee this summer. Yes, yes, reliability and repair costs and all that... but I will get a lifetime max care contract, which should absorb much of the sting.
I've heard the Grand Cherokee is the diamond in the ruff when it comes to Jeeps. I rode in one last summer and was very surprised by it. Our last Jeep was a Dodge Nitro R/T (aka Liberty). Very quick and sporty in a straight line but had a dead zone while turning. Had seals in the rear diff replaced twice. When the A/C stopped working with less than 50k and they wouldn't repair it we topped off the refrigerant one last time and traded it in. I don't think we even went through a set of tires on it actually.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:29 PM   #40
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If you like the outdoors, look for something in 4wd/AWD, opens a lot of territory for boon docking and hitting backroads from camp. Can't imagine towing much of anything with an Escape. We have a V6 Edge and it has a really low towing capacity (2500 lbs). They newer Explorers would probably have enough tow capacity. Few complain about having too much towing capacity but a lot of complainers about too little.

I also have an X-terra with a 6 speed manual trans. It would have little problem towing that trailer. It is a good daily driver and goes anywhere after the trailer is parked. The manual transmission in these is the same as the Z car, it has a tall reverse gear and I have to use 4 low when backing to keep from frying the clutch. It will do 30 mph in reverse but it won't back up much of a trailer, especially if there is a hill involved.
I don't really have to imagine towing with an Escape since we have been doing so for eight years now with excellent results and no unscheduled maintenance.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:53 AM   #41
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Name: daniel
Trailer: 13 Ford Escape SE 2.0 tow package 3500 lb.travel lite i17
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2013 ford escape 2.0 4wd 3500# no problems.Fiberglass RV - ONEFORD's Album: 2013 ford Escape Travel Lite I17
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:50 AM   #42
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That's the ticket if you can find the 2.0 eco boost engine with towing package. The other 90% of Escapes on the lots are rated at 1500lbs. Our Edge is rated at 2000 lbs. I would not tow my Casita across the street with it. Probably millions of people tow more than their vehicle is rated to tow and most had no problem. I personally prefer a little cushion when it comes to towing capacities. Just makes for a more relaxed trip in my way of thinking.
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