Thoughts on a Tug? - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-14-2015, 10:43 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
DeanCHS1980's Avatar
 
Name: Dean
Trailer: Casita
Kentucky
Posts: 573
Registry
Thoughts on a Tug?

Hi All,

I have taken some time over the last couple of weeks to research tugs assuming a real world trailer weight of 3,500 lbs. Given a real world trailer weight of 3,500 lbs., I am eliminating all tugs rated at 3,500 lbs or less. On the other hand, I don't really want to do hardcore overkill in terms of a tug since it will be used as a daily driver, so no long bed quad cab F350 dually!

I figure a tug rated at around 5,000 lbs would suffice. I have been a Motor Trend subscriber for about 35 years and I researched all truck/SUVs with a tow capacity of around 5,000 lbs to preferably no more than about 7,000 lbs with the goal of staying closer to 5,000 lbs. I have researched both SUVs and Pick Ups. My DW prefers an SUV. I prefer a quad cab PU, but given a smaller trailer (16' or 17'), I am fine with an SUV.

Tow capacity is a primary issue, but other important issues include:
1. Reliability
2. Safety
3. MPGs

I think the above are my ranked ordered priorities (assuming the tow capacity issues has been met).

I have no brand loyalty and have tended to drive small cars during my adult life, including 1 old Datsun, 2 Mazdas (including a minivan), 1 Subaru, an old Saab, an old Volvo 240, 1 Toyota, three Hondas, and a Ford Taurus.

OH, let me make this decision even tougher. The tug has to be used. Cannot afford a new tug. In fact, here are the parameters I have established given my research and my budget:

1. Try to stay as close to $10,000 as possible.
2. Try to stay under 120,000 miles.
3. Try to stay no older than 10 years old.

Yes, I know. I just made this tougher.

Over the last couple of weeks and most of the day today, I have read and reviewed used Audi Q7s, Buick Enclaves (as well as GMC Acadias and Chevy Traverses), Ford Explorers, Ford Expeditions, Ford Flexs, GMC Yukons (Chevy Tahoes), Jeep Grand Cherokees, Land Rovers, Lexus GXs, Mercedes Benz ML 350s, Nissan Pathfinders, Nissan Xterras, Porsche Cayennes, Toyota 4 Runners, Toyota Sequoias, and VW Tourareg as well as the following 4 door pickups: Nissan Frontiers, Toyota Tacomas, and Toyota Tundras (the older ones are not quiet as big as the current ones).

Based on my research, there are several tugs that would do well, but factoring in reliability as a priority, it appears that one would be hard pressed to beat a Toyota product:
1. 4 Runner
2. Sequoia (too big)
3. Tacoma
4. Tundra

Given my limited parameters, it is not easy to find these cream puffs due to their popularity. I am not wedded to a Toyota product, but I think I would be happy with a 2004 to 2007ish Toyota 4 Runner or Tacoma (Quad Cab).

What are your thoughts? What I am missing, overlooking, or overthinking!

I always enjoy your expertise.

Thanks,

Dean
__________________

__________________
DeanCHS1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2015, 11:03 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
 
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
Posts: 6,309
Registry
I would suggest that you look at "Trailer Weights in the Real World" before you assume a weight. It's part of this site.
__________________

__________________
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
Byron Kinnaman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2015, 11:44 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
DeanCHS1980's Avatar
 
Name: Dean
Trailer: Casita
Kentucky
Posts: 573
Registry
Hi Byron,

Trailer Weights in the Real World has been a great resource. I have printed it and have several rows highlighted in pink, blue, and yellow!!!

Thanks,

Dean
__________________
DeanCHS1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 12:04 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 4,369
I shall just await your conclusion after your exhaustive research.
Not sure about that Motor Trend subscription though. It was said that MT Truck of the Year, was whichever was most heavily advertised in the magazine. I was partial to Car and Driver and Sports Car Illustrated.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 12:20 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
DeanCHS1980's Avatar
 
Name: Dean
Trailer: Casita
Kentucky
Posts: 573
Registry
Hi Glenn,

Love your Escape 17B and RAV4 Sport V6. I assume that combo is working well for you. I have read Motor Trend, Road & Track, Car and Driver, and Automobile over the years. Sometimes three subscriptions at once!!! For whatever reason, I have always stayed with Motor Trend!!! It is the only one I have read for the last 20 years, I am guessing. But, my RV research has even trumped my MT reading. I am currently about 14 months behind reading it. Heck, it ain't a trend when I am reading it 14 months late!!! I am more interested these days in surfing the net for everying RV!

Have a good night,

Dean
__________________
DeanCHS1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 12:27 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 4,369
Don't forget Car Craft magazine.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 12:46 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Cathi's Avatar
 
Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
POBox 1267, Denison, Texas
Posts: 795
The 4runner changed significantly in the last five years with the fifth generation. Doubt it can make your budget, however, you might want to compare the newer ones to older.
__________________
Cathi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 06:48 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 4,333
A year ago I was looking for a truck to tow a Casita 17 we had just bought. Started out in the $10,000 range with no acceptable results. Kept bumping up my price until I got to $20,000 and found a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 with only 17,000 miles on it and bought it for just over that 20 figure. It has the 5.7 engine and tow/haul mode transmission feature and pulls the Casita really good. Pulls into gas stations good too, LOL, but it works for me. Don't use it as a daily driver but it can get close to 20 mpg not towing and in ECO mode where it cuts out cylinders if you're cruising along under no load. Low mileage Tundras were out of my price range and a Chevy got sold while I was thinking about it, but it was $25,000 and had 24,000 miles on it.
__________________
mary and bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 07:01 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Dean,

The choice of a Tow Vehicle is dependent on so many factors, few discussed by auto magazines. Personally I don't think you begin by selecting a tow vehicle capacity. You mentioned a RAV 4 (V-6, 3500 lb capacity) and an Escape 17, Jon's very successful setup that has been all over the country. I think one needs to figure out what trailer and how you'll use it.

What trailer are you considering? The frontal area and weight are both important. The trailer you buy is partially dependent upon whether you buy new or used.

What kind of traveling do you intend to do? Local where you're doing weekend camping not driving too far, basically traveling a single class of roads or long distance where you're driving thru deserts and mountains in extreme weather. Possibly you're considering extended travel where you're all over the place driving all kinds of roads. There's really a very broad range of RVers on this site. SOme require 4 wheel drive because they really are off roaders, some really off road. Others a 2wd is enough, more affordable and reliable.

Is the tow vehicle used as your every day vehicle? As a every day vehicle the cost of operation comes into play since most of your driving is to work or around time with towing a minor portion of your driving. We travel most of the time, when we travel tow miles are less than half the miles we drive, exploring miles make up about 60% of all miles driven.

Is the cost of operation important? To me the cost of operation has purchase price, operational cost (mpg) and reliability as factors. Some are more talented than others and able to take care of tow vehicle issues, others every little issues is an out of pocket cost. We only own one vehicle making our vehicle choice even more important.

What kind of load will you carry with your tow vehicle? The bulk of us are traveling with only one or two people in the tow vehicle. How many in yours? Some carry a lot in their tow vehicle, kayaks, a generator, a screen room, a cooler, ... Some carry very little.

Is driving comfort important? We started with a CRV and recently moved onto an Odyssey. We always thought the CRV was comfortable, the Odyssey is really comfortable.

In our extended travel ability to tow the trailer is first. Second is reliability, when you're no where and know no one it's nice to have a vehicle that just works. Third is cost of operation, mpg and cost of maintenance.

There are similar considerations when choosing a trailer.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 07:28 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Paul O.'s Avatar
 
Name: Paul
Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
ex VT, now CO
Posts: 1,269
If you choose a pickup as your TV you can include the Scamp 5th wheel or one like that in your considerations. I am happy with this: Scamp 19D with Tacoma 4 door, V6.
__________________
Paul O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 08:36 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Good point Paul. something I missed in my post. There was a Scamp 19 for sale at the Scamp Camp our first year. If I had owned a truck I would have bought a Scamp 19. It is certainly a low cost volume solution. It's unfortunate that Scamp has not chosen to make some up dates to a good concept and shell.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 09:11 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Alan
Trailer: 2000 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe...Tow vehicle 2015 Toyota Tacoma Dble Cab V6 Prerunner
California
Posts: 831
My tow of choice is a tacoma pickup w/shell
The truck is v6 4.0 and with the truck bed i can carry many of those larger items ( ice chest /folding chairs/firewood etc )
They normally end up on floor of trailer.... This makes life much easier in case we want a quick snack/ nap etc..... No more climbing over stuff to get into our 13' scamp..... And with the v6 and tow pkg i can easily tow a larger trailer if we decide to upgrade




Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
__________________
alan H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 10:13 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
vintageracer's Avatar
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Uhaul
Tennessee
Posts: 337
As is always the case finding a vehicle capable of "pulling" a trailer is not hard at all. A bigger consideration for you should be a vehicle capable of STOPPING your pull vehicle AND the trailer. STOPPING NEVER seems to be a part of the discussion when people are considering a "pull" vehicle for puchase.

Since you did not mention the type/brand of trailer you pull it is a good chance your trailer may not have upgraded to have trailer brakes as most fiberglass trailers particularly older trailers do not have trailer brakes.

I suggest you budget a trailer brake upgrade to your trailer if it does not have trailer brakes. You should make this a key part of your "new to you" tow vehicle budget, upgrade & purchase. As light as these fiberglass trailers are and in many cases the tow vehicle trailer brakes for stopping the trailer and sway control of the trailer can be the difference between safely towing and an accident!

Since you stated you like and have always driven "smaller" vehicles trailer brakes may also help you to find that "smaller" tow vehicle you desire withing your budget that will allow you to travel, tow and STOP your trailer SAFELY!
__________________
vintageracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2015, 10:34 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
Posts: 410
If DW prefers an SUV that would move SUVs to the top of my list and in that regard the Toyota Highlander would be one I would consider. Have owned a Rav4 V6 and am pulling a Bigfoot 17 quite successfully with it but it is only rated at 3500 lbs whereas the Highlander is rated at 5000 lbs ( at least the newer ones not sure as to the used ones in your parameters ). lee
__________________

__________________
Lee Senn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any thoughts on the Serro Scotty? Liz Kissell General Chat 19 02-20-2007 09:00 AM
Thoughts on living Jackie Jokes, Stories & Tall Tales 1 01-05-2006 08:23 PM
Random Thoughts Legacy Posts Jokes, Stories & Tall Tales 0 10-07-2002 12:47 AM
Lightweights in the wind and other thoughts General Chat 0 12-31-1969 07:00 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.