Tow vehicle / wheelbase - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-26-2008, 11:43 PM   #1
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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A friend warned me to consider the wheelbase when choosing a tow vehicle. I'm planning on buying a RAV4 V6 to tow my new 17' Escape ( 1,900 lbs. dry axle ). I gather the longer wheelbase makes for more stable towing.

I would rather get a Toyota Tacoma crew cab, but the Old Bag points out that is is hard to get up into and we are getting older. I like the ground clearance, but not the reduced mileage and higher price. I guess, I'm looking for a good argument.

I could reduce my cost and increase mileage if I got the extended cab. After all, the Baguette ( the kid ) isn't likely to travel with us and I can't remember when we last needed more than two seats.

The option I gather is the addition of an anti-sway bar.

I could really use some good advice, and if that advice was to get the Tacoma instead, well, what can I say, dear?

And for those offended by "the Old Bag", I'm "Bags", "LowBags", "Baggers" or "Bagpipes".

If you need to use it, the first name is Glenn, with two n's, but the second one is silent and I probably won't respond.

baglo
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:00 AM   #2
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Hi: Glenn... I thought that Reace recomends a W.D.H. for the 17' trailer. If it was me I'd go for the Rav4 and you could possibly add a sway bar later if you feel you need it. My brother had his Tacoma pickup in for a recall/frame inspection and it was condemed on the lot he couldn't even take it home to unload his stuff from the box. 3" hole in the frame rail and several cracks to boot!!! Seems not only Bolers n Trilliums have frame issues.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:00 AM   #3
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I only have experience with Detroit Iron, Generous Motors, to be precise.

I have two tow rigs -- a '78 Chev K10 half-ton 4WD pickup and an '83 Jimmy diesel. Both are set up the same with "Tow Rite" hitches.

The shorter WB Jimmy was very squirrly with a standard equalizing hitch (before installing the Tow Rite) when towing our 25 ft Avion. It was totally unacceptable to the point of being dangerous, in my opinion. The pickup was acceptable.

After installing the more advanced hitch there is no tendency to sway with either rig. However the ride is considerably more choppy with the Jimmy. The other difference is the camber of the road seems to cause to cause the Jimmy to drift a bit more. This could be due to front-end alignment, tire type or suspension softness -- but I would say wheel base is the main contributor here.

What I like about towing with the Jimmy is the ability to turn sharp. With the Tow Rite hitch it is unbelievable some of the places I've been able to get into and out of.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:04 AM   #4
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What I like about towing with the Jimmy is the ability to turn sharp. With the Tow Rite hitch it is unbelievable some of the places I've been able to get into and out of.
I cant find "tow rite" hitch.

Did you mean "pull rite" hitch?
http://www.pullrite.com/

I am new to this and am trying to learn all I can
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:11 AM   #5
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I cant find "tow rite" hitch.
This is the only reference I could find to the Tow Rite hitch, and it's on Craigslist:
Valley Tow Right Equalizer Hitch
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:40 PM   #6
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I looked at a RAV4 in a parking lot the other day and because of the short wheelbase, I personally wouldn't even tow a 13' with one, much less a 17' -- There just isn't enough WB to resist a serious sway input from a trailer. Perhaps a good WDH could make up for that, but a friction sway bar would be a waste of money.

The way tow geometry works (has nothing to do with engine, trans or driveline, btw), it's a series of seesaws laid on its side.

1. A long WB is a good lever to have
2. A short overhang (rear axle to ball) is a good thing to have
3. A Long tongue (ball to trailer axle) is a good thing to have
4. A short trailer overhang (axle to rear bumper) is a good thing to have.

Obviously, the opposites of these are bad.

Hitches like the PullRite or Hensely effectively reduce to the TV overhang to almost zero, like a 5W does.
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:46 AM   #7
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Glenn, I'd suggest the Tacoma with a Reese Dual-Cam. That combination provides stable towing. The RAV4 is cute, but I wouldn't tow with it. Wheelbase is king. The longer the wheelbase, the harder it is for the trailer leverage the hitch to drag the tow vehicle around. I tow with an '02 Tundra 6 cyl, essentially the same truck specs as the new Tacomas and love it.

Roger
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Old 09-02-2008, 02:03 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure that Glenn bought and has been using the Rav 4 for towing his escape.

The wheelbase on our Subaru Forester is pretty short (maybe shorter then the Rav) and I have had no issues with sway pulling our Trillium and we went through Pincher Creek Alberta which has some of the craziest wind I have ever been in.

Wikipedia Quote:
"Strong Chinook winds often blow off the mountains and Pincher Creek can be very windy. The strongest recorded wind was 177 kilometers per hour. The strong winds have given rise to a significant amount of wind farm development in the area, with the towers and blades of wind turbines being a characteristic of the scenery."

My two bits.

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Old 09-02-2008, 02:43 PM   #9
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Brian B-P informs me that Rav4 originally had a very short WB (likely the one I saw), but have gradually been increasing the WB up to about 104", which is not very long, but not all that short either.

This serves to further illustrate that sometimes generalizations like SUV or 6 cyl are not enough detail to describe a tow vehicle.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
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Brian B-P informs me that Rav4 originally had a very short WB (likely the one I saw),
The original Rav4 was more like a Jeep CJ, about the same size too.

Here's a picture of a 1995 Rav4... tiny little thing!
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:00 PM   #11
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Just DON'T DO THIS:

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Old 09-03-2008, 06:29 PM   #12
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Just DON'T DO THIS:

That is one funny video.I was not laughing however when much the same thing happened to me. I was towing a utility trailer with a Volkswagen Bug. The trailer was twice as long as the car and was loaded with household paraphernalia (SP) during a move. The trailer started to sway, I could not control it.Being longer and heavier than the car it swung the car around facing the opposite direction and both units crossed into oncoming traffic.An oncoming car crashed into the trailer the trailer broke away from the car and the car rolled down an embankment. Thankfully no one was injured, but believe me, if your going to tow make sure your tug is up to towing the length and weight of the unit you attach to it. After the accident is to late to wish you had done so..... Pat.
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