Noob: MiniVan or Crossover Tug for Egg? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-07-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
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Noob: MiniVan or Crossover Tug for Egg?

I am pretty sure my Camry (#2000 tow cap) is too light for something like a 16-footer that I would like. I really do not like trucks and do not want to drive around in one when not towing. I can only afford one car.

After some looking, I see that MiniVans usually have a #3500 tow cap. Sweet. Sienna and Odessey being the premium ones, with the Kia Sedona being cheaper and rated very highly by the motor press. Ok, those seems like a good idea. But then I stumble into the Nissan Murano - a so-called "crossover SUV" with a #3500 tow cap too. Prices for used are not much different than the Sedona, so I add it to my list. BUT...the older Muranos have a CVT, and here and there I pick up the vibe that CVT + Towing = No Joy.

My questions:
These MiniVans look awfully low at the rear already. Do they need any special suspension junk to add a trailer? Sag?

Is CVT really bad? Why?

The MVs have a wheel base about 110". Is that considered good?
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Only had experience with one Mini-van, but the factory rear suspension was way to soft for any hitch weight and towing. But that was only one Mini V. YMMV
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
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I recall a thread a while back were someone mentioned the CVT in the Murano as being problematic. Might try a search of the forum. Raz
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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I recall a thread a while back were someone mentioned the CVT in the Murano as being problematic. Might try a search of the forum. Raz
We've got an '09 Murano bought specifically for it's ability to tow our '77 Boler. From what I found on the Murano forum, any issues were limited to the first few years and not with the later ones. We've done a few small trips pulling the trailer and it pulls beautifully. Fuel economy is on par with our '03 3.8L minivan and the ride comfort blows it away.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:51 PM   #5
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At some point when I'm ready to move my Forester along, I'll probably get the Subaru Outback, but the Murano would be near the top of my list of alternative TVs.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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Name: Bob Ruggles
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We tow our Egg Camper with a Chrysler minivan. 3500 # tow capacity. Drops the rear of the minivan about 1 1/4 inch. MPG low of 15 (hills) and 17-18 (no or few hills). Our van is a 2010 so has a 6 speed automatic.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:54 PM   #7
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We tow our EggCamper with a Toyota Sienna. I briefly towed with a 4Runner, but went back to the Sienna for several reasons: the sienna was equally capable for the size of the EggCamper, the Sienna's lower entry was easier for our aging dog to get in and out, the interior capacity and access to cargo was much better with the Sienna. I also think that the longer wheel base of the Sienna makes for better handling. The Sienna does ride low to the ground, but with a tongue weight of between 200- 250#, I don't see a need for air lifts or an weight distributing hitch.

Now, here's the down side: 2011 Toyota Sienna XLE comes standard with a "so-called" tow package, but it's nothing more than an engine oil cooler. I had to install a receiver, add a transmission oil cooler, and wire for brakes and lights. After adding the transmission cooler, I learned that the transmission on this model is a sealed unit (no dipstick or fill tube) and had to be returned to the dealer to top off the fluid. Cost $99 to add a pint of the precious liquid.

Overall, I'm still happy with the Sienna.

Ron
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:58 PM   #8
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I tow with a 3.8 L Kia Sedona and have no problems. I use a hidden hitch and have a few inches of rise for the ball to get the camper level. There is enough room to open the hatch and the turning radius is just as good as it is without the trailer.

Cheers,
Bill
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:49 PM   #9
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We have towed our Burro (about 3200lbs loaded) with a 1999 Odyssey with no problem for 11 years. Extra tranny cooler and use 3rd gear almost all the time. Also have a transmission temp gauge to keep tabs on things.

The things that I value most with this combination is the long wheelbase for great stability without using an anti-sway bar. I installed a set of rear airbags to get the rear suspension to ride at the original height. Helps a lot on the confidence scale and keeps the headlights level too.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:57 PM   #10
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We have used two different minivans as tow vehicles and they have been flawless for that duty. Our first trailer was a 1973 Compact Jr which we towed with a 2002 Toyota Sienna. I added a transmission cooler, class III hitch, and wiring for trailer lights. We used this combination for several years and approximately 20,000 miles with no issues. When we needed a newer tow vehicle and larger trailer, we bought a 2006 Toyota Sienna and a 1980 Bigfoot 15B17G. I have installed a Curt class III hitch, Prodigy brake controller, Airlift 1000 rear spring helper air bags, McKish towing mirrors, and Draw-Tite single bar weight distributing hitch. With this combination, we rarely scrape the pavement but it does happen. Gas mileage takes a big drop with the 8 ft wide trailer, but we can camp with 3 granddaughters at once. And, when not camping, we can haul all 5 in our minivan.
1980 Bigfoot :: NW New Mexico picture by tomNjo - Photobucket
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:02 PM   #11
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Here is a photo of our 2002 Sienna and 1973 Compact Jr

Tom Trostel - U.S. 101, Oregon
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:01 AM   #12
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Once my 52 chev is painted and "done" i'll be starting my next project which will be a 16' egg and the original mini van a '65 Ford Econo line.something like thison air trailer and van.
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