RAV4 problems, need new TV - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-28-2015, 11:35 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
That is just about the worst thing you can do to a kayak or canoe. On rough roads the bed of the truck twists in one direction and the cab in another. Great way to destroy your boat.
You need to mount both racks on either the cab roof, or on the canopy.
Another method is to have a rack supported by a pole from the front bumper and the other rack on the cab roof.
The guy is a professional who monitors water quality of lakes, rivers and streams throughout the state of Alabama for a living. He's on the water a lot - year round. And all I know is that he has a set-up that he says works for him without destroying the kayaks that he depends on every day for his livelihood. Chances are his kayaks are a bit more rugged than the average weekender, too. I have photos of the pickup and rack system (sans kayaks) somewhere, if I can find them. Dale
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:59 PM   #44
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I've been paddling for 40 years. Had a couple pickups. Maybe he doesn't pay for his own boats, but I suspect the racks are either both on the cab or both on the canopy.

Just have a look on Youtube at any off roading pickup truck and watch how the bed of the truck flexes in one direction as the cab flexes in another. If one end of your boat is tied down to a rack on the bed and the other end to a rack on the cab it is getting repeatedly twisted.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:05 AM   #45
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Not at all to take way from vicCT's personal experience.

I get a lot of rental vehicles at work, everything from Econo-boxes to f-550's towing max capacity. And most times I'm pleasantly surprised by what I drive. And I'll drive anything built by anybody.

That being said over the years I have had some bad experiences.

I'm not a fan of GM's drivers ergonomics. Especially in the truck lineup, I find the steering wheel is pretty far to the right of my center. It sits above my right knee and on long trips I get a stiff back from a slight twist. And in all there vehicles I can never get the seat and steering wheel adjusted perfect.

Toyota who I do really like their truck lineup. I am not a fan of the pedal placement in the car lineup including the RAV4. (Again not to paint a picture of the OP's issues )

I find that they cramp the pedals together and have them very close to the center console wall. I often rub my foot on the carpet to the right when pressing the accelerator. They also unlike other manufacturers place the brake and accelerator pedal in the same plane, this causes my foot to catch both pedals equally and a few times I have come to a stop at a light with the engine pushing only to find out I'm pushing the accelerator pedal with the edge of my foot.

And once in an f-150 I was merging very fast in a place with an extremely short ramp, I had placed the pedal to the floor, and the winter floor mat had grabbed the bottom edge of the pedal in the slush grooves. I can tell you a brand new rental with a turbo charged engine can be just like a six flags roller coaster when your redlining in a blink of an eye and breaking traction faster then you can figure out something is wrong.

I don't know what causes your RAV4 issue but after that f-150 incident, I fully understand your concern.


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Old 01-29-2015, 06:20 AM   #46
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The Chevy Traverse you mentioned, while a good choice, is even bigger.
Jon is right on here. The Traverse is a large vehicle compared to the rest being talked about here. On the bright side it has proven to be a really stout TV for all sizes of trailers. Reliability is a question.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:18 AM   #47
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... I suspect the racks are either both on the cab or both on the canopy.
My Bad (as the kids today say)! I found the photos, and both racks are mounted on the camper shell (see photo and envision my embarrassed red face). But it seems a mid-sized pickup with camper shell could still be an option worth exploring for Vicki. I've also thrown in a photo of our own diminutive kayak shuttle rig - just can't tow much with the little thing!
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:37 AM   #48
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Hi all,
We purchased a Scamp 13 last spring and, shortly thereafter, a 2008 RAV4 V6 with tow package. Had hitch and electric brake controller installed, and bought new Yakima feet for my roof rack rails to fit the installed rack. Used it a lot over the summer and loved it as far as our outdoor adventures are concerned.

However, we are having what I now know is called an "unintended acceleration" problem with the RAV, which really makes me sad. I love the car and it has made a great TV. But four times now, twice while I was driving over the summer and then twice in one trip while my boyfriend was driving last week, it started revving uncontrollably while we were stopped at intersections. It has had all recall work done, including the floor mats brake override that would supposedly prevent this from happening. And we both know we were not pressing the gas and brake at the same time.

I am bringing the car in Thursday to be evaluated at the dealership, but Toyota seems disinclined to own up to this being a problem beyond the recalls I have already had done, which, according to them, should prevent what we are experiencing.

In any case, I now feel like I am driving around in a loaded weapon. We both had a hard time keeping the car from surging ahead while this was happening. I am now shifting into neutral every time I stop the car at an intersection. I can't live with the possibility that the car will cause an accident.

So, I likely need a new tow vehicle. It took so long to choose this one, and it was perfect for our specific needs. I don't even know where to start. I don't want something huge, but I want it to have a large tow capacity, at least 3000 pounds, and enough cargo capacity to handle the tow weight and cargo, including kayaks on roof. It has to have a roof rack capacity and width for two sea kayaks (Outback is out). I need it to be relatively fuel efficient. I live in the northeast and need 4wd or AWD. And I don't have lots of money to spend.

I might have to move quickly on this. I know there are lots of posts on tow vehicles, but not all are applicable to my needs. Just trying to get my thoughts together. I am thinking of the following, and would appreciate pros/cons, input on reliability and personal experiences:

Jeep Grand Cherokee
Hyundai Santa Fe
Ford Escape
GMC Terrain
Nissan Pathfinder

Also, the expense of having a new/used car outfitted with hitch/controller/roof racks really bums me out. Do you think I should have the brake controller removed from the RAV4? Is it possible to reuse it? I am guessing the hitch will not fit a new make/model.

Any help and input much appreciated. I am so, so disappointed that this is happening, and I feel like I am being put in a position where I have to make choices very quickly so that I can get out of this car and into a safer one.
As an eight year owner of an identical Rav4 (07) I am sorry to hear you are having this problem. My only thought is the possibility of taking a video while this is happening - showing the tach and brake/accelerator. Of course it will be very difficult during an adrenaline moment. I have found Toyota willing to be very generous when they have evidence of a significant malfunction but with all the publicity they are probably very gun shy of your particular situation. They recently paid for a new rack & pinion on my car but did require dealer verification first. I have used my RAV for towing a utility trailer but never with a brake controller.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:17 PM   #49
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Referring to post #45

I can only guess that different peeps need different seats. LOL


I personally haven't found any vehicles with the off-center seating position mentioned and, as shown in my earlier post #32, my decision to stay with the GM truck family stems not only with the reliability I received, but also from the driving comfort I enjoyed for over 150,000 miles in my Sonoma, and now another almost 10,000 miles in a nearly identical Blazer. They were/are both like putting on a nice soft glove each time I drive.


I too have driven a lot of rental vehicles and, what I have noticed, is that somewhat like a pair of shoes, seats get worn-in by different peeps, perhaps a seat designed to fit everyone, no longer fits anyone. I have also noticed that some rental cars, especially now that they keep them in service for so long, have different seats than the usual production models, which may also alter the comfort level in exchange for durability & ease of cleaning etc.


Again, trying before buying is always a good bet.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:52 PM   #50
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Jon is right on here. The Traverse is a large vehicle compared to the rest being talked about here. On the bright side it has proven to be a really stout TV for all sizes of trailers. Reliability is a question.

Vicki, I actually wondered if you meant the Chevy Equinox, which is built on the same platform as the GMC Terrain and has the same 3500# rating in V6 form. I looked at reliability data yesterday, and was surprised. The Terrain and the latest Equinox redesign appear promising. But long-term remains iffy in my mind, judging by Equinox data from previous generations. And General Motors has its own recent issues with hiding a major safety defect (ignition switches). Neither of those models was implicated, but (having been burned once) only you can decide if you are willing to trust the company.

Same for Honda, if you are still considering a Pilot. We are dealing with the Takata airbag recall in my wife's CR-V right now. A single documented incident outside the "high absolute humidity" states finally forced the recall to go national. We're waiting for parts.

I guess, at the end of the day, you pays your money and takes your chances. I agree with Bob's earlier comment. I really don't trust any large corporation to act consistently in an ethical manner. They're too well shielded, both internally and externally, from the consequences of bad decisions.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:22 PM   #51
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Another Option

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Originally Posted by VicCT View Post
Norm and Ginny, I would love an AWD Honda Odyssey, but it is simply not in my price range. I need the AWD here in the northeast, especially where we live in particular. I don't want to test the towing limits of the CRV, and the Pilot is simply bigger than I want, and also has a very high price on the used market around here. Love Hondas, loved my Element, but they don't seem to have a model that suits my needs unfortunately.
Vic,

Unfortunately Honda does not sell an all wheel drive Odyssey. Our Honda CRV was an on 'need' 4 wheel drive. In 10 years/250,000 miles it only activated a few times and worked fine. Many of our relatives live in New England and most own CRVs. They seem to work fine in that climate.

Before we owned the CRV we owned a number of different Hondas, all 2 wheel drive. We never had any trouble driving in the snow.

You might consider a CRV, it should easily tow a Scamp 13. We towed a bigger, heavier Scamp 16 (or equivalent) with our CRV for 7 years all over the USA and Canada. It was very reliable and got good mileage. Our son tows a Scamp 13 with the same engine in a four cylinder Accord, same engine as our CRV. We have brakes on our Scamp 16, he does not have brakes on his 1977 Scamp 13. We hada manual transmission, he has an automatic with transmission cooler.

Another option is the 4 cylinder Subaru, excellent in the snow and should easily be able to handle a Scamp 13.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:42 PM   #52
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Good points and suggestions Norm.
But one should keep in mind that the CRV you received such excellent towing service from was not only equipped with the no longer offered standard transmission, but it was also two(?) generations back from current CRV's

We towed both a Scamp 13 and a Lil'Bigfoot 13' with a 2011CRV (I think, it was one generation back) and I would only rate it as being "Adequate" for towing, as compared to the then 10 year old Sonoma 4 cylinder we traded off towing with 1/2 of the time. This isn't to promote the GM products, but to suggest that what worked with an earlier generation might not carry over to current generations.

Just as the Sonoma became the Canyon pick up, and lost a lot of towing capacity (and wasn't well thought of as a TV or I would have bought one) I can't suggest that there is any carry-over from the well proven S-10/Sonoma series to current production.

But, but all means, the CRV's were and are quality vehicles but, because of their somewhat limited towing capacity (1500 lbs) I would suggest exploring other options as well.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:52 PM   #53
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Another model I would be at least considering in your situation is a Mazda CX-5. The 2.5L versions can tow 2000#, which means it should handle your 13' Scamp (though not with the extra margin you are looking for), and it has good safety and reliability ratings. It's a pity they don't offer the stick shift with the larger engine…

The unknown with any of these smaller alternatives (CR-V, Forester, Outback, CX-5) is how much your cargo might tip the equation. You've already mentioned two sea kayaks on top. Too many toys could tip the balance from adequate to overweight.
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:09 PM   #54
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Before you go car shopping contact Consumer's Reports and get a copy of their car buyers guide. Many vehicles get poor ratings as "used cars" and since you might be looking for a used unit it is best to be aware of the makes and models that have poor track records.

I was sorry to hear about your Toyota problems. I and all members of my family have always owned Toyota vehicles and never had any problems. I currently live in snow country and drive and tow with a Toyota FJ Landcruiser, V6, automatic.
It gets 21 MPG when not towing...tows 5,000 lbs with ease.

Because you are going to tow be sure to do your homework before you buy another tow vehicle. Towing puts a lot of stress on whatever you use. Gas mileage should not be your first concern.

Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:20 PM   #55
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Before you go car shopping contact Consumer's Reports and get a copy of their car buyers guide. Many vehicles get poor ratings as "used cars" and since you might be looking for a used unit it is best to be aware of the makes and models that have poor track records.
Amen to that. Buying a vehicle which is on the CR recommended list is no guarantee of getting a good vehicle but it sure does reduce the risk of getting a bad one. I had the latest CR mag in my hand today. It is amazing how many HD pickups are rated so poorly, considering they are in most cases basic lower tech vehicles.

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Towing puts a lot of stress on whatever you use.
Good luck.
Sometime yes and sometimes not so much. It all depends on the makeup of the vehicle. Both our V6 Nissan Van and V6 G35 sedan have had very minimal mechanical issues even thought they are relatively older vehicles with high mileage and have done lots of towing the 23' trailer.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:32 PM   #56
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  • Consumer Reports would be the second to last place I would look for advice on a vehicle.
The last would be anyone quoting them as a source!
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