Tow vehicle options - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-13-2006, 06:14 PM   #15
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Name: It depends on who is asking..
Trailer: Actively seeking Escape 19/21
British Columbia
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Thanks Brian

And the new 2007 Tundra - due out in Feb or March is rated @ 10,000 lbs. It's also wider (4 inches) longer (10 inches), etc.

I originally was going to wait for the Tundra but not @ 50k - tyvm.
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:52 PM   #16
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Trailer: 17 ft Escape
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'Smaller is better when you're buying a commuter car. Bigger is better buying a tow vehicle' In the famous words of our moderator (and others)

Ah, the dilemma, I appreciate all the comments and hope they will assist others as well.

I am taking delivery on the Escape tomorrow. I will be picking Reace's brains as well as digesting every-ones comments and the info on the Casita and other RV forums.

I would love to own a new Tundra or even a 95 Tundra extra cab with the big V-6 but in trying to arrive at a multipurpose vehicle it gets ruled out as too big and I am not in line for a huge inheritance in the next while.

I am tending to look to a late series Nissan Pathfinder 4x4, the smaller 04 models, drove a friends 02 for some distance a few years ago on a ski trip and an 04 around the block last week. My wife sat in an 05 x-Terra and fell in love so it does pass the wife test. But in my mind it is a tad too tall to load a canoe with my old age creeping up on me.

I noted many are towing with the Ford Explorer and there are always good buys on those vehicles. So "old Troop" is going into service as a TV and the quest for a new vehicle will continue once the financial shock of the purchase wears off.
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Old 10-14-2006, 07:46 AM   #17
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
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Yes, Gerry, it's always a challenge finding the "right" tow vehicle for you. What's even more difficult and absolutely unpredictable is how stable a specific tow vehicle/trailer pairing will be until you're able to try them. Folks who have called a trailer all sorts of names and blamed it because it's difficult to tow find that it behaves like a completely different trailer behind a different tow vehicle. Unfortunately, that's entirely trial and error stuff as it has to do with a combination of wheelbase of the tow vehicle, tow vehicle suspension quirks, tires on the tow vehicle, type of hitch, and weight and center of gravity, and the way it deals with a load hanging off the rear of the vehicle.

BTW, used Tundras are getting less expensive as they get more plentiful. I bought my '02 3.4l auto/air/tilt/cruise/windows/locks/tow package etc. etc. etc. 4WD access cab Tundra a year ago with 45k miles on it in near showroom condition and Toyota Certified with brand new tires under it from a dealer for $17k. A new loaded Limited crew cab V8 runs $39k (I just looked at them too, and decided to keep my '02!)
There are deals out there to be had if you look for them!

Roger
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:18 PM   #18
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Trailer: 2005 Escape
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Bigger is better?? I have towed my 05 Escape for 1.5yrs. with my 1998 Tacoma 3.4 V6. Trailer and truck full of gear and had an average of 18MPG. Last time I checked if you travel across British Columbia from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mtns, you cross over at least 4 different mountain ranges.My mileage has not wavered. Let's get things in perspective.We are towing a trailer under 3500lbs.! I have a good hoot when I see a full size ,Truck/SUV,towing a small FG. trailer.What's the point,mileage? Full size has its place.Yes ,I can't carry or tow as much, but I get better mileage and get in and out of places better than a full size can. I looked at a new 17ft. Bigfoot before I bought my Escape.The Bigfoot has porked out at 4000lbs. Dry! It was my Dream trailer but Iwas not about to upgrade my tug,to tow it. I have looked at many FG trailers and the Escape had the highest ride height of any of them. Ihave been down gravel logging roads and my Escape followed me without a problem. I am as they say,"A Happy Camper."
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Old 10-16-2006, 12:57 AM   #19
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Trailer: 17 ft Escape
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Arrived back home this evening with my new 17' Escape Trailer.

Not without incident. It rained in Southern BC overnight and today and on highway 10 in Surrey on new temporary pavement doing 60 kph (40 mph) I locked up the truck and trailer brakes and skidded part way into an intersection. Fortunately there was no incident, but I did roll through on a very "stale" yellow light. A lesson in weight transfer and inertia.

Reace was very patient in explaining and showing us the full working details of the unit, a lot more technology than my truck and camper of 25 years ago.

My "Old Troop" a 1989 Trooper, 4 cyl automatic with almost 300Km on it pulled the new trailer like a champion, no equalizer or sway bar and the large semi trucks moved by with little effect. On level freeway I could maintain 100 kph at 2300 rpm in overdrive, going out of overdrive and slowing to 85-90 kph on the hills. In the rain the unit performed admirably and we even passed a few older RV rigs as conditions permitted.

We drove East from Chilliwack to Hope and spent the night hooked up in a campground. Sure beats camping in a small mountain tent in the rain. This morning we drove a few miles and walked into th Othello railway tunnels on the Coquahalla river.

Yes, we did ask Reace about his recommendation for a tow rig. Interestingly, as a small
manufacturer, his only complaint about towability came from a purchaser who was sold an Escape by a dealer and was towing it with an older small domestic sedan. This thoughts " Pulling with too large a vehicle defeats the purpose of a lightweight trailer".

Yes, my vehicle is underpowered, but it towed well and we will use it locally over the winter and purchase a new vehicle next year. My quest for an economical 4x4 ski and tow vehicle continues, stay tuned.
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:01 AM   #20
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
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Yes, we did ask Reace about his recommendation for a tow rig. Interestingly, as a small
manufacturer, his only complaint about towability came from a purchaser who was sold an Escape by a dealer and was towing it with an older small domestic sedan. This thoughts " Pulling with too large a vehicle defeats the purpose of a lightweight trailer".

Yes, my vehicle is underpowered, but it towed well and we will use it locally over the winter and purchase a new vehicle next year. My quest for an economical 4x4 ski and tow vehicle continues, stay tuned.
Congrats Gerry! It sounds like you had a great trip!

Reace is right... but the problem usually isn't having too much tow vehicle, the question is usually "how much is enough without being too much?" As you've found out, as soon as any one of us discovers that answer, we'll be wealthy! There's an old adage in physics that says you can move a train with a sewing machine motor if it's geared right. As my avatar shows, my 18hp diesel lawn tractor is perfectly capable of moving my trailer. Just because it will, does that translate to either that it's a reasonable, appropriate and desireable tow vehicle? Is it safe on the highway? Who else am I jeopardizing by towing with it?

As I alluded to in an earlier post "how much" tow vehicle is a personal choice. What I try to address in posts about "how much vehicle is enough" is how much to vehicle is needed to tow safely under all conditions, not what you can "get by with" in optimal conditions. There is a point for me (at my age) in which comfort plays a role, and I've found that towing mileage is so similar among current offerings that it's almost a wash, seeing typically less than 5mpg variance among all tow vehicles with our trailers (from roughly 12 mpg to 17 mpg towing plus or minus).

Frankly, my Excursion or a Suburban is NOT too much vehicle for a fiberglass egg, still get reasonable highway mileage (I average 15.5 mpg with the 3/4 ton Excursion unladen, my folks get 17 mpg unladen with their '03 Suburban 1/2 ton) and have all of the towing and stopping power you could ask for with a fiberglass trailer. Both fall squarely in the 12-17 mpg range towing. My V6 Tundra can only get me 18 mpg unladen and does the same mileage as the V10 Excursion towing. Frankly, my '92 Toyota 4cyl 5 spd 4WD standard cab short bed pickup with a 13' UHaul, and my '94 extended cab long bed Toyota 4WD 3.0l V6 auto pickup with a 17' Burro widebody didn't give mileages significantly different from the Excursion, Suburban or Tundra when towing!

If your tow vehicle is reliable and comfortable and has a tow rating high enough to cover your combined gross vehicle weight rating; if you're satisfied with your tow vehicle for your daily driving needs (95% of the mileage that gets put on our tow vehicles); if your tow vehicle is heavy and long enough not to be flung around by the trailer under panic stops; and if you have adequate sway control to keep the tail from wagging the dog, then it's probably adequate. If the engine is big enough not to tear itself apart while taking an average hill while maintaining traffic speed, but still gives decent mileage during your daily driving, then it's probably adequate to tow your trailer.

It's the folks who want to move the train with the sewing machine motor (or a 9,000 lb 34' Airstream tri-axle with a 6 cyl Intrepid)... that should give us pause. We have to share the road with them!


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Old 10-24-2006, 09:16 PM   #21
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This is a little off, but I thought I'd add it FWIW. I recently rented a Jayco Jay Feather (sic) for a week's travel just to see if I was a match for trailering. Have years of travelling in several VW Vanagons for comparison. The Jay Feather is a 17' stick built, weighing in at a little over 3000 lb dry. (Thus the (sic).) My tow is a 2002 Dodge Dakota 3.9l 6 cyl 4X4. Tow rating is 4500+. Handling, ride, acceleration and light hill pulling were OK, but the auto trans wouldn't hold OD at any speed over 45 or so, and one stretch of concrete freeway, with me overdue for a pit stop was torture. OD issue more a factor of frontal area than weight I think. MPG dropped from my usual road of 18 or so to 10-11. Ouch!
I liked the trailering enough that I'm still considering a Casita 17', and I'm hoping the lighter weight and more aero shape will make a difference.
Best park of the trip was Tongue Point County Park, just west of Port Angeles, WA.
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:08 PM   #22
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Just to add a comment about tow vehicles. We've put about 30k on our 13' boler towing with a ford crown vic. Averaged around 16 mpg, and was very comfortable. But I messed around with the rear end to lower the gears a little (not a good idea), and eventually had to trade it in.

Our replacement is a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder, 2wd, which we used for a trip to the Utah national parks - a really good trip. The trip was a good indicator of a vehicle's abilities -- lots of 8% grades, and a lot of hills to climb. This is also a well-equipped vehicle, but not as cushy as the vic. The bonus is 17-20 mpg, and a really smooth transmission that helps tow the vehicle very well. It has an overdrive on/off button that helps for steep climbs and descents, and the most stable cruise control I've ever had.

Don't know if you consider used vehicles, but if you find a good one, you can save the out-the-door depreciation of a new vehicle. Two years old with low mileage is our guideline, and has served us well.

All of this just to validate your choice of a Pathfinder, and let you know that so far, its been a pretty good choice.
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:43 AM   #23
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Trailer: 1980 Boler 1750 (FG)
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We are presently driving an ancient 89 Trooper 2.6 litre 4 banger 4x 4 automatic, which will pull it to the ferry on level roads and probably not too much further, we live near Victoria.
I tow a 1980 1750 boler with a 2006 toyota tacoma xcab 2x4 4cyl 2.7L manual.

it's ok to tow and brake the trailer but it will not hold 100km/h in the upper New Brunwick mountains unless I use the third gear and let it rev to 4500-5000rpm.

Let's say it can do 27mpg 7L/100km with no trailer and 15L/100km with the boler behind it.

My choice is to save on fuel 48 weeks a year and be a little harder on the engine the remaining 4 weeks. no carbon deposits in that engine.... the truck got a good waranty and I don't plan to buy it after the 4 years lease.
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