Searching for best tow vehicle for Casita 17' - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-20-2003, 04:50 PM   #1
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Searching for best tow vehicle for Casita 17'

We finally got our Casita 17' Freedom Deluxe. We are very happy with it but next step is to find a good tow vehicle. We are planning to sell or trade in our 95 Dodge Caravan. We believe towing with an old minivan might create problems. Can you recommend us a suitable tow vehicle. We prefer standard transmission and good MPG.

Thanks again for your help and any recommendations.

Bibi
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Old 04-20-2003, 05:21 PM   #2
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Hi
To recomend what is a good tow vehical is a very hard thing to do.I tow my 78-17FT boler with my GMC Sonoma 4.3 Liter.Rough weight of boler when loaded 3500lbs.It works good for me.:)
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Old 04-20-2003, 06:56 PM   #3
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Tow vehicle

Bibi,

A good choice in an SUV is the Chevy Tahoe or similar. Michael Sanders, the webguy, drives a Tahoe. Stay away from the Jeep Grand Cherokee, though.

A good choice in pickups is the Ford F-150 or similar. That's what I drive.

I'm sure you'll get lots of opinions about the two vehicle.

Glad to see you made it safely back to Bandera.

Best wishes,
Morgan
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Old 04-20-2003, 09:15 PM   #4
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tow vehicle

We tow our FD17 with a Ford ranger 4.0 V6 with manual transmission. Everyone advises against stick shift but I prefer it. Tow ratings are lower for stick shift than auto. I think this is because people burn up clutches maneuvering a trailer.

The Ranger tows beautifully. We spent afew days in Death Valley early this month and had no trouble pulling the two mighty summits west to the Owens Valley.

Good luck with your decision.

Jim
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Old 04-20-2003, 09:41 PM   #5
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Morgan:
I have a Grand Cherokee and am aiming for a freedom delux 17 this summer. I was planning on trading my streight 6 Grand for a V8 Grand Cherokee, in the next couple of months to have the reserve power. Why do you and/or others think it is unwise? I may have to rethink my auto situation if it's a poor choice.
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Old 04-20-2003, 10:55 PM   #6
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Tow vehicle

Charlie,

I towed a 16 ft Scamp with a Grand Cherokee straight 6 and it would run hot on hills. I didn't care for the vehicle for other reasons. IMHO something with a frame under it would be a better choice. A V8 would be nice but I get by with a V6. I would have got a V8 if it had been offered in the Ford Sport Trac, but it has done a good job for me. I will get a better test of it when I go to the national Rally in Kentucky.

Good Luck
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Old 04-21-2003, 06:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Charlie Crouchet

Morgan:
I have a Grand Cherokee and am aiming for a freedom delux 17 this summer. I was planning on trading my streight 6 Grand for a V8 Grand Cherokee, in the next couple of months to have the reserve power. Why do you and/or others think it is unwise? I may have to rethink my auto situation if it's a poor choice.
Charlie,

I had a Grand Cherokee V-8 Quadratrac when I first bought my Casita 17 FD. It was a poor tow vehicle for many reasons. The suspension was too soft and I had to add air shocks. The gearing was off so that it seemed not to have enough power. There was less cargo space than in the trunk of a car. The radiator fan sounded like a 747 on take-off roll. In all fairness, this was a 1997 with the old Dodge 318ci engine, maybe they've made some improvements.

Others on this forum have reported chronic overheating problems while towing. Michael Sanders had one that overheated on hills while towing his 17'FD. The Jeep dealer was never able to fix it.

Your straight six might be a better choice than the V-8. It may have a better torque curve for towing.
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:14 AM   #8
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that's an easy one.

Agree with Morgan- best tow is a half ton pickup(and topper) with a small V8 hands down, end of discussion. Mileage is comparable to many large V6-suvs and the suspension, safety, brakes and room far outweigh any miniscule advantage to pulling with a minivan or small SUV. I consider my beefed up 4.0 Ranger bare minimum for towing my 16 footer and would do a V8 if I could afford it!!
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Old 04-21-2003, 11:19 AM   #9
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Faster then a speeding train, able to leep tall mountains...

We tow with a '98 Tahoe 5.7 liter Fuel injected V-8, auto trans, 3.73 axle ratio.

We used to tow with a '73 Dodge van 5.2 liter 4 bbl carb V-8, auto trans, 3.23 axle ratio.

They both weigh about the same, but what a differance the Tahoe made. ':steer'
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:58 PM   #10
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I tow with A toyota tundra automatic trans. Does A very good job. Gets 17-20 mpg. You can get it all set up to tow from dealer. Will handle up to 7400lbs.
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:49 PM   #11
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My headache is I must have a vehicle I can put clients in and show propertys. Then turn around and tow my rig. So a SUV is at this time the only way I can go. I run 40K to 50K miles every year so gas is also a consideration. Thats why the Cherokee was the leader until I started hearing overheating stories. Given my personal choice I would opt for my brothers truck a F250 Duley Diesel 6 speed 4X4. But Clients , at least in town want a little quieter smoother ride.
Thanks Morgan for the advice. I plan to continue the research until I wake up one morning with a new vehicle.
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Old 04-22-2003, 06:51 AM   #12
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Towing a 17

Charlie, If you don't want to go the 'whole hog' with an Expedition, Sequoia,Tahoe, Yukon, Suburban or such, you might consider an Envoy or Trail Blazer. They are totally different from the old Sonoma/S-10s and you can get them as decked out as you want to provide comfort for clients. They have a straight six and (depending on the trans-axle ratio) will tow from 5,000 to 6,400 (?) lbs. They come from the factory ready to tow. Just add your brake controller (pre-wired).

Just another suggestion. Nicely appointed without the price tag of much larger units.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:04 AM   #13
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Nissan family

Don't overlook the Nissan SUV's. We tow with an Infiniti QX4, which is much the same as the Nissan Pathfinder. Has great power and lots of creature comforts. We live and tow in the mountains (7000'+) where it really performs well. Has better riding qualities than the Toyota 4-Runner, which is otherwise an excellent vehicle. I added an auxilliary trans cooler, even though the manufacturer swore it was unnecessary--inexpensive insurance for any automatic tranny, INMNSHO!

We considered the outstanding Toyota Highlander, but the towing capacity was only 3500#, and was not considered adequate for high-altitude towing of our rig. We simply didn't want one of the other, larger SUV's. Nissan has added some new models (Murano and FX35), but their cargo capacity seems to be diminished from the Pathfinder and QX4. Nissan is scheduled to add full size pickups and SUV's to their 2004 lineup.

As you can tell, we have a preference for Japanese-badged vehicles. Years of personal experience with them has validated this, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:14 AM   #14
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Bibi!

:wave Yo, Bibi! We didn't mean to forget about you! Seems we went from the best to the best that would still be nice for clients.

Do you have any more questions?

I do think that a lot depends on your wants and needs. Nothing ever beats a good ol' truck, but that might not work for you.

You do want something that is comfortable and capable so you will enjoy your trips. Beyond that, it is mostly personal preference (as is evidenced here).
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