Tow Vehicles - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-21-2008, 09:47 AM   #29
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Harry, I am somewhat curious about your hybrid Vue. How did you endup installing the bargman 7 way connector socket? The saturn dealer I checked would not install a bargman connector on a hybrid stating that it shouldn't be done...... where did you take it to get it installed...any input will be great. Thanks
Anyone towing with an Xterra? They're rated at 5000 lbs. (And Nissan is discounting them like crazy right now!) Wondering how it will do on a 17' Casita?
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:20 PM   #30
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With the spiraling gas prices, the 14 mpg we got from our Ranger Edge wasn't cutting it. We're downsizing to a smaller tow vehicle. The only problem is how much weight to put in the trunk up front to counter the 450 pound tongue weight and the weight of the engine. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:26 PM   #31
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Harry, I am somewhat curious about your hybrid Vue. How did you endup installing the bargman 7 way connector socket? The saturn dealer I checked would not install a bargman connector on a hybrid stating that it shouldn't be done...... where did you take it to get it installed...any input will be great. Thanks

I'm so sorry that I didn't keep all of you informed. I guess I got caught up in the Casita forum discussion.

I had to give up the idea of the Saturn Vue Hybrid. It can only tow 1500 lbs and I never even considered that it could not use a bargan 7 way. I guess all hybrids and soon to be plug ins are off the table. I'm looking for another TV as we speak.
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:33 PM   #32
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I'm so sorry that I didn't keep all of you informed. I guess I got caught up in the Casita forum discussion.

I had to give up the idea of the Saturn Vue Hybrid. It can only tow 1500 lbs and I never even considered that it could not use a bargan 7 way. I guess all hybrids and soon to be plug ins are off the table. I'm looking for another TV as we speak.

Keep us posted...I'm in the same boat, trying to find a TV. I haven't found anything that seems to get better then 15 city/20 hwy mpg while regular towing, that can handle a 16' Casita. (Not interested in a diesel)
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:11 PM   #33
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BTW, someone else commented about the value of a V8. I used to think that way too. But my V6 Highlander far outperforms my V8-equipped 2000 Mercury Mountaineer. The Highlander rides like a luxury car, tows like a truck, and gets 25mpg highway when not towing.
I agree - Don't get too hung up on counting cylinders -- It's the whole package that counts.

My V6 (4.0L) Ford Ranger is rated to tow almost 6K lbs not only because of the engine, but also because it has the big transmission, the big differential housing, extra cooling for transmission and power steering, low differential gear ratios and low first/reverse gear for starting. that package of stuf only comes on the big V6 in my model year.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:54 AM   #34
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Hi all - I"ve been skimming through the towing info - we just upgraded from a 13ft Boler to a 17ft - it is causing a bit of stress with towing concerns. We do have a truck, but upgraded b/c of our expanding family and the carseat and two adults in the cab of a conventional truck is a bit tight of a squeeze (ok for shorter hauls, but no good for mom to have her knees up around her ears for longer hauls). Anyhow we towed the 13 footer with a Toyota Sienna with no problems (obviously). We are considering gearing up the van for the 17 footer too. Talked to a hitch shop and got advice that we need a brake controller (obviously), sway bars, and should also put a transmission cooler on the van. All that plus a new hitch (the van only has class 2 and can't accomodate the sway bars) was close to $2000 - almost half what we paid for the trailer!!!! So, before we go with all that stuff, I thought I'd post and see what people's experience has been with towing the 17 footers and what people with some experience think about towing with a tow vehicle that is rated for 3500lbs. The trailer (on the specs) weighs about 2900lbs dry, so I suspect we'd be coming close to the 3500lbs full of all our stuff. We like to go into K country, so not completely flat towing. Don't want to wreck the van or do anything dangerous to ourselves or others.

Also would like to know if any of you have added any of these components yourself and how hard it is - obviously avoiding some of the install charges would make the mods to the van a easier fix.

Any thoughts out there would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-29-2008, 10:54 PM   #35
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Hi Sandra - no factory tow package - only the Class 2 hitch...still haven't decided what to do - hoping for some replies from the more experienced folks regarding best options.

Cheers!
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:02 AM   #36
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Installing a bigger receiver can be done at home easily, a transmission cooler is a bit more technical but is not rocket science and a brake controller is a bit more challenging, wiring-wise. Depends on the expertise and tools available.

Parts alone will not cost anywhere near the price quoted.

ETrailer.com is a good place to browse for hitches; note installation times and degree of difficulty -- The dividing line is whether holes need to be drilled because they are typically larger than the usual home toolbox.

Prodigy controllers are available on EBay for less than $100.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:29 AM   #37
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Installing a bigger receiver can be done at home easily, a transmission cooler is a bit more technical but is not rocket science and a brake controller is a bit more challenging, wiring-wise. Depends on the expertise and tools available.

Parts alone will not cost anywhere near the price quoted.

ETrailer.com is a good place to browse for hitches; note installation times and degree of difficulty -- The dividing line is whether holes need to be drilled because they are typically larger than the usual home toolbox.

Prodigy controllers are available on EBay for less than $100.

Thanks Pete - we thought that maybe we could at least do some of the work - my husband is hopeful that the bolt holes for the class 2 hitch will match up with the bolt holes for the class 3 (probably too good to be true). Will check out the site you mentioned for parts. Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:05 PM   #38
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Paul - be careful about the X-terra. I really like the look of them, but have found they did poorly in crash & rollover tests, so no go. Still looking. I'm leaning toward a full-size van (Ford or Chev) for many of the reasons Roger stated ... still have to convince the money-guy the lower fuel economy is worth the extra muscle (and space). L 'n D
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:59 PM   #39
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Paul - be careful about the X-terra. I really like the look of them, but have found they did poorly in crash & rollover tests, so no go. Still looking. I'm leaning toward a full-size van (Ford or Chev) for many of the reasons Roger stated ... still have to convince the money-guy the lower fuel economy is worth the extra muscle (and space). L 'n D
Sam Tremblay is a very knowlegeable owner of a shop that fixes all kinds of cars and trucks. He handles our fleet, for one. He appears regularly on CBC here in Vancouver to answer mechanical questions.
I've rarely heard him tell a listener to stay away from a certain vehicle, but the X-terra is one that he advised was nothing but trouble.

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Old 07-30-2008, 09:14 PM   #40
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Thanks Pete - we thought that maybe we could at least do some of the work - my husband is hopeful that the bolt holes for the class 2 hitch will match up with the bolt holes for the class 3 (probably too good to be true). Will check out the site you mentioned for parts. Thanks!
If you dig into the details on the ETrailer site it will tell you whether drilling is required or not. I've gotten one rear and one front receiver hitch from them and found everything to be as described.

There are a number of threads in the archives on installing a brake controller, plus the documentation with the controller is good and the Tekonsha tech support people are very knowledgeable and helpful. Likely you would want to install the wiring to charge the trailer battery at the same time.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:02 PM   #41
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I have experience with 3 newer ¨midsize¨ V6 tow vehicles. I have personally towed a 2200 LB boat and a 21´ hybrid travel trailer with all 3. The first is a 2006 RAV4 with the 3.5L V6 and AWD. It handled the boat just fine even though the boat does not have brakes. But the Rav4 is a little short on wheelbase and weight and was pushed around a lot by the travel trailer. I have a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe with the 3.3 and AWD. It towed everything better than the Rav4 but I did not like towing the boat without brakes with this vehicle however itś wheelbase is longer and the vehicle is heavier and it was almost bearable to tow the hybrid with. The hybridś empty weight is almost the max for these 2 vehicles at around 3200 lbs. Both had more than enough power but the rav4 was a little light and was pushed around a bit more. The 3rd vehicle was a 2007 Honda Ridgeline. That thing was a beauty. It towed like a much bigger truck while riding like an excelent suv. All of these vehicles come stock in Canada with what the American dealers call a tow package. I think the auto makers do that because of our ¨severe climate¨ even though i live south of most of the northern midwest and all of them had at least a class 3 hitch. Hope this helps some. I am partial to the Santa Fe (2007 and newer) for anything over 2500 lbs but a much more expensive Toyota Highlander should perform similar (same weight and size prior to 2008 model year) or even a Honda Pilot. In most of the US these vehicles all need the tow package option wich usually has a bigger rad, tranny cooler and sometime an oil cooler and steering pump cooler (Honda Ridgeline has these)
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:48 AM   #42
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I was just looking today at a Rav4 in a parking lot and the short wheelbase jumped right out at me as a potential sway and control problem. Not that it couldn't be adapted with extra suspension stuf, WDH, etc., but I wouldn't expect one to be a good TV right off the lot.

BTW, other things that come in tow packages are separate relays for trailer lights, sometimes brake controllers and trailer battery charging. Also, my Ranger truck with the high rating not only has the larger engine, but it has a beefier transmission and the differential housings are physically larger. Some tow packages include sway bars (not anti-sway friction bars) fore and aft, as well as lower differential ratios. The Ranger tow package also has a trans and power steering cooler.

I really wish the manufacturers did a better job of ID'ing what's in a tow package or even if the vehicle has one.
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