Tow Vehicles - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-10-2008, 08:09 AM   #1
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To all of you: I certainly want to say thanks for the wonderful information on the trailers. Now I know where to start. And, since Oliver is only 4 hours from me, a visit there will be important, unless I can find someone who is showing them locally.

My next big info-quest is to gather information aboout the best (quality and gas consumption) vehicle to use to pull a no more than 17' trailer. F150 has been suggested as a great tow vehicle. I have a '06 Honda Civic EX. I doubt if it has towing abilities since it's body is a sort of wrap-around configuration with no bumper.

Any input here will be greatly appreciated. I know nothing of tow vehicles. FrancesM

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Old 06-10-2008, 01:15 PM   #2
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Hondas and Toyotas, even their full sized model car lines are only rated to tow around 1000 lbs. Most front wheel drive vehicles do not have the capacity to haul a 16 or 17 foot trailer that very well could be around the 3000 lb mark. This means, generally, that you're now looking at a rear wheel drive vehicle and that most likely means a pick-up truck. I don't need a full sized truck so I purchased a mid-sized Dodge Dakota and I now have the ability to tow just about any sized Fiber Glass RV that's made. With a full sized truck, I know that I would only take along more unnecessary gear. We are currently thinking of going to one vehicle and are thinking that mabee a Toyo Highlander might be the way to go. For utility , a pick-up and for added comfort and conven ience , a SUV. But that's just one persons thinking. Your options could be endless. Go on line and check out your own favorite vehicle and look at the tow ratings, then make your decission.

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Old 06-10-2008, 01:42 PM   #3
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To my way of thinking there are three choices - Good, Better, Best.

Honda Odyssey -
240 hp
Rated to tow 3500 lbs. Gets great mileage and has lots of comfort.

Ford F150 pickup -
Rated to tow arond 7500 lbs. Great comfort, strong proven work horse.

Dodge 3500 4X4 Turbodiesel w/Jake Brake -
350 hp, 650 foot pounds torque
Rated to tow 16,350 lbs. Gets 23 mpg hwy empty, 4 or 5 less towing. Extremely comfortable.

Guess which one I bought.

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(Your mileage may very)
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:43 PM   #4
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We have been searching for a TV for our 13' Trillium and we have settled on a Subaru Outback. During this research I looked at a LOT of potential TV's.

For a 16' trailer you are moving into small truck and SUV land. The large V6 smaller SUV's have 3500lb tow ratings (RAV4, Santa FE). All the V6 import midsize trucks will also pull a 16' or 17'.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #5
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Our Odyssey has proven to be a good tow vehicle, with the benefit of generally very good gas mileage when not towing. That is a critical factor if you wish to own only one car.

I suspect some of the more brawny tow vehicles have mostly poor gas mileage, comparatively. Front wheel drive has never been an issue for us, and our Burro tows at over 3000lbs total.

A minivan has exceptional utility and long wheelbase, critical for stability. The "soccer mom" stigma is just bunk, I pay no attention to it.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:03 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

Not that long ago the GM/Chev rear wheel drive/all wheel drive Astros and Safari mini vans with the 4.3 cu. in. Vortec engines were being touted as a decent tow vehicle.....surprised that there wasn`t any mention this go round of those vans.....Benny
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:05 PM   #7
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British Columbia
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I'm with Per. Even though I have a Ford Ranger 4X4 that I need for work, when that part of my life is over, it will be an Odyssey or a Sienna for us, for the 40-plus weeks ,of the year we're not towing something.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:19 PM   #8
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Hi: I always thought a great combo would be a 17' Escape straight trailer (1900 lb. dry wt.) tugged by a white Ford Escape V6 (3500 lb. tow rate)... but there is my bias showing again!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:43 PM   #9
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A minivan has exceptional utility and long wheelbase, critical for stability. The "soccer mom" stigma is just bunk, I pay no attention to it.
I like the new Honda Odyssy TV ad. It plays on a time when vans were cool!

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Old 06-11-2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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I tow my Oliver with a 4 door 2wd 2008 Tacoma with the factory tow package. I've had the trailer about 2 1/2 months and towed it about 2000 miles so far. (No mountainous trips yet, all flat or rolling hills) Here are my mpg results:

60 mph - no overdrive - cruise control - 25 to 30mph headwind - 14mpg

55 mph - no overdrive - cruise control - no wind - 16mpg

62 mph - overdrive - no cruise control (allowing decelleration on hills) - 20mph tailwind - 19.5mpg

I anticipate getting 17-18 mpg at 62mph using overdrive and no cruise control in zero wind conditions. I'll allow for a modest slowdown on hills to stop the tranny from working too hard.

The 2008 Tacoma has the same body and engine as the 2005 model. There may be some '05 to '07 models out there with low mileage. Its a Toyota and should go forever if maintained properly. If you are not going a long distance, and can stand driving at 60mph, non-towing, you'll see 25mpg.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:24 PM   #11
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If you are thinking of spending thousands of dollars for a tow vehicle, it would be worth your while to spend thirty dollars or so to get an online subscription to Consumer Reports. They will tell you about the problems the various brands have, and tell you which ones are nearly trouble free.

You will also want to have a look at Trailer Life's towing guide. It will tell you just how much trailer a car or truck is supposed to be able to handle. (Many people, however, think the official figures are too high and prefer to derate them to 75%) You may also be able to get this info, for new cars, from the manufacturers web site.

Generally speaking, little fiberglass trailers can be pulled by a vehicle with a separate frame (i.e. not a unit-body) and a six cylinder engine. That would include most trucks and SUVs, but not most cross-overs or mini-vans.

A trailer supply shop, or U-haul, can outfit you with a hitch. They are available for most popular models with signifigant towing capacity. (I.E. new Dodge Dakota, yes; 1965 Facel-Vega, no.) Trucks can often be ordered with hitches straight from the factory.

In the old days, the best advise was to buy more towing capacity than you thought you needed. Now with fuel costs so high, that might have changed a bit.

Do not expect to get the same high mileage other people say they get. Go with Consumer Reports or even EPA to estimate that.
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Old 06-15-2008, 03:33 PM   #12
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Do not expect to get the same high mileage other people say they get. Go with Consumer Reports or even EPA to estimate that.
Always keeping in mind that the EPA was the originator of the phrase "Your Mileage May Vary" aka YMMV!
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:04 PM   #13
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We have a Honda Ridgeline which we use to tow our 17' Trillium. Tows it no problem, as it is rated to tow 5000 lbs. We have been very happy with it, as it has lots of power when we need to tow, but gets reasonable gas mileage when we are not using it for towing.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:40 PM   #14
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I thought it might be of interest to show the poll percentages for 17' Casita tow vehicles from Casita Travel Trailer Forum.

sedan - 1.32%

wagon & crossover - .99%

SUV small - 5.6%

SUV medium - 25.17%

SUV large - 3.97%

minivan - 8.9%

van, full size - 3.3%

truck, 1/2 ton & smaller - 39.7%

truck, 3/4 ton & larger - 8.9%

other - 1.9%

1980 Bigfoot 17' & former owner of 1973 Compact Jr
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