My Highlander just had the spiral cable (in steering column, going to the air bags) replaced for a second time, this time under recall warranty; first time cost me $700 3 years ago. And they did the brake/accelerator update as well; this will kill the fuel supply if both pedals are pressed simultaneously, they told me. While it was in there, the (Jim Norton Toyota, Tulsa) service adviser gave me a cockamamie story about my CV boot leaking lubricant and the timing chain cover having a serious oil leak. Funny, there are zero oil spots on my driveway, and I crawled under the thing and couldn't find any fresh grease anywhere around the boots. I hope I never have another recall to deal with, because I never want to go back to the local dealerships... don't trust 'em one bit.
I do get a bit of noise in the unibody from the trailer towing... mostly an occasional loud clank!
at highway speeds, which seems to be the flexing of underbody sheet metal.
Somewhat unnerving, but I can't see any deleterious effects underneath so I just keep on truckin'. For now. Would like to buy something else soon, though....
Del Gue, my Highlander has 270 HP and 240 lb-ft torque. It has towed a 17' Burro
in the Rockies as well as a 16' KZ Escape
E14RB which was nearly identical floor plan to that Idea trailer. The Highlander had no problem towing the Burro
up the long grades at high altitude. But it did struggle sometimes with the KZ. The extra wind resistance of a squared-off, conventional build 'stickie' trailer is very noticeable. I got 14 mpg towing the Burro
, but 12 mpg towing the KZ.
I would like to go with more horses under the hood with my next vehicle, so I agree with your thinking... get "more than enough" and never have to worry. The Ford 5L V8 is a nice engine. So is the 5.7L Hemi in the Ram, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. Even if you changed your mind and someday bought a trailer in the 20'-25' range, these would still do the job. Or you could go turbo with the Ford 3.5L Ecoboost or the Ram/Jeep 3L Ecodiesel; the turbo has less engine braking, true, but it will hardly lose any power in thinner mountain air (a normally aspirated engine loses about 2% of HP per 1000' of altitude, I've heard). Any of these will tow a Scamp
like a bat out of... the bat-cave.
If you want to buy stuff for long term use, I'd recommend the Scamp
and one of the Ram/GC/Durango family. Here's why. The stick built TTs are built to last a short while; the sun's UV rays and low-hanging branches take their toll on the seams, and the beating the TT takes on the roads will work to loosen up everything that is attached with fasteners (which is pretty much everything!). But the Scamp's body is like having a one piece unit which includes the interior cabinet bodies and stuff. It's all molded and FG-bonded together. Lots less to maintain, much more durable, and loads better resale value. As for why to get a Chrysler product for long term, I say that because you can buy a lifetime max care
extended service contract from Chrysler that will cover just about everything but the obvious wear items, for as long as you own it or until the repair costs more than the vehicle's value (at which time they pay you the vehicle's value, and they're done). This is not available on the diesel vehicles, regrettably, but you can get it on just about any other new vehicle they make. Unless you enjoy doing all of your own repairs, this deal could save you a ton.