Right SUV for towing 2016 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 12-07-2015, 09:50 AM   #1
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Vukora's Avatar
Name: Modesta
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Posts: 6
Right SUV for towing 2016

Hi lads,
need some help choosing the right SUV or truck for touring and camping in 2016.

Jon in AZ here suggested me to start a new thread.

Me and my hasbend are now on the market searching to buy a small RV for two of us and a car or truck. All the buget is about $3-5k for RV and a $25-30k for a new car (meaning traiding in our Honda accord)

We are not really into off-roading, so my options are 2016 Subaru Outback - Crossover SUV | Subaru

some reviews here 2016 Subaru Outback Wagon Review & Ratings | Edmunds and here 2016 Subaru Outback review, release date, specs

and a Honda Pilot

officail page - 2016 Honda Pilot Overview - Official Site more info if needed - here and review: carsintrend.com

Subaru starts from $25k and a Pilot starts from $29k - but I like Pilot more.
Jason says i've just used to Honda :-)
He likes trucks more and thinking of Tacoma or something.
What about 2 and 4wd - is it really matters?

Think about it ..every time we look back at ourselves five years ago we think we were an idiot.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:21 AM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
In the world of towing those are two entirely different vehicles:

The Subaru, a very popular vehicle hereabouts, "seems" to have a tow rating of 2700-3000 lbs BUT, still has the usual Subaru reduced hitch capacity of only 200 lbs which, for practical purposes, limits towing weight to about 2000 lbs. or about 10% of the total weight. These numbers pretty much limit you to the 13' FGRV's. One member pulled a 16' FGRV with a Subaru and experienced higher than expected maintenance costs.

The Honda Pilot is a much more robust vehicle for towing with towing limits of 3500-5000 lbs depending on model and options selected. I could not find a hitch weight limit, you will have to look in an owners manual or contact Honda customer service (not a service or sales rep) for that information. Just those specifications will give you a much wider selection now, and well in the future should you want to get something a bit bigger.

In both cases mentioned, always read the owners manual for the specific vehicle you are interested in buying. Not all versions of a specific model may be the same and many will specify mandatory trailer brakes for towing over a specific limit, sometimes as low as 1000 lbs.

And... DO NOT use aftermarket hitch specifications to determine towing capacities. Those specs apply only to the hitch, not to the vehicle to which it is attached. The mfgs. specifications are considered a fixed value.

Good Luck and, remember, see it (specifications, prices etc) in writing, before you sign anything......

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Old 12-07-2015, 10:51 AM   #3
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,560
Right SUV for towing 2016

A Pilot gives you lots more options in trailers, as it can tow up to 5000/500 pounds (AWD with auxiliary ATF cooler) or 3500/350 pounds (all others) for the 2016 models. Your budget, however, will limit you to an entry-level FWD model. And your trailer budget limits you to a very basic 13'er. A Pilot could certainly handle that, but it may be more vehicle than you need. We tow a basic 13' Scamp with a 2011 FWD Pilot, but other uses of the vehicle influenced our choice, not just towing. Here's an excerpt from the 2016 Owners Manual:
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The Outback can tow 2700/200 pounds. That 200 pound tongue weight limit is the kicker, since, if you follow the generally recommended guideline of 10% of total trailer weight on the tongue, you are practically limited to a 2000 pound trailer. That would be adequate for a basic 13'er without a bathroom, but not much more. There are quite a few threads on the subject, which a Google site search on "Subaru Outback towing" should turn up.

Highlanders and RAV4s (V6 with tow package) also make excellent and reliable tow vehicles (if you can find one, that is!). The RAV4 no longer offers the V6 option, but used ones are out there.

Some additional information about what kind of trailer- size, features, etc.- would help narrow things down a bit.

If it were me, I would consider reallocating my budget a bit. I'd put $10K toward a trailer and $20-25K toward a vehicle. If necessary I'd consider a low-mileage used vehicle to make it work. Since vehicles depreciate a lot faster than molded fiberglass trailers, it makes some financial sense to approach it that way.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:57 AM   #4
Name: Pierre
Trailer: Sidekick 1500 2014
Posts: 52
I have a 2014 Subaru Outback and i tow a 15 foot Trillium of 2200 pounds. Great combination. Small is beautyfull!
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:45 PM   #5
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
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Living in Florida, you're unlikely to encounter much snow or ice. But 4WD can be handy if you need to move the trailer up a wet-grass hill, or if you get into soft sand. If you think those situations will be pretty rare considering your camping/traveling style, you probably won't have much use for 4WD.

BTW, all of my vehicles are 4WD/AWD. I do see some ice and snow, and I tow constantly (for work as well as play). I like to boondock off the beaten path sometimes. And I think the full time 4WD enhances handling a bit in less-than-optimal driving conditions (like wet or loose surfaces). So I wouldn't be without it.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... --Ecclesiastes 3
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:19 AM   #6
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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We've towed 16 foot trailers, a Scamp 16 for the longest period, all over the places on all kinds of roads, for the last 8 years.

Initially we towed with a 2004, manual transmission Honda CRV, considered by many to be too light, however we went every where with out any repair or towing issues. It did require us to keep the tongue weight at or below 220 lbs.

IN 2014 we bought a Honda Odyssey, with a much higher tow rating than the CRV, 3500/350. It tows very well and has power to spare. We find it more comfortable than the CRV and definitely more spacious. Like the CRV it tows the Scamp 16 easily.

The CRV was mechanically flawless. We really had very little in repair costs. THe Odyssey is only in it's second year, time will tell.

Our plan is for the tow vehicle to last 10 years. It is our only vehicle during that period, We seek reliability and good operating costs.

Personally we are into buying a good used trailer, recognizing that it will require some repair. As well recognizing that any trailer, new or old will require modification to meet our personal needs.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:28 PM   #7
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Name: James
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 5
Right vehicle for towing 2016

We tow with a 2014 jeep cherokee latitude v6 with 9 speed trans. We recently towed 17 foot casita freedom deluxe, florida to Alaska and got 20 mpg. Jeep will tow 4500 pounds and you can accelerate uphill. I would never tow with anything else, great vehicle. Good luck on your tow.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:40 PM   #8
Name: Peg
Trailer: 2016 -13' Scamp
Posts: 55
Check out the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T (turbo). Rated to 3,500 lbs., comes with standard tow prep package, and is a modest size for an SUV.

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