Tow vehicles - choices, choices! - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-24-2013, 03:21 AM   #43
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The Ridgeline has also been discontinued, so buying a new one isn't going to happen ( unless you found a new leftover sitting somewhere ).
Dealers here in San Diego have 2013 Ridgelines in stock. I took one for a spin today. Pretty impressive ride and feel. I have not found any official word of discontinuation, just rumors. I also drove a Honda Pilot which was also a very nice driving car. The Pilot had the 7 pin trailer plug, power steering cooler, trans cooler, factory installed. The Ridgline in the RTSL trim also had the towing goodies. The power should be fine for towing a 16' FGRV in flat country, but in the mountains the tranny will downshift and have the engine singing to stay in the torque band. The V6 Toyotas will do the same. The trailering mileage will not be that impressive either. The advantage of these marginal tow vehicles will come into play when used for other non towing purposes where they will get better mileage than larger V8 powered trucks. The V8 trucks towing mileage is not that different, and they can climb mountains maybe a gear higher. It would probably be a good idea to install a transmision temp gauge on any of the small V6 powered tow vehicles so you could monitor your driving style to keep temps under control. The Hondas require premium fuel for towing. (some big V8's also drink premium though)
Decisions.....
Russ
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:38 AM   #44
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Dealers here in San Diego have 2013 Ridgelines in stock. I took one for a spin today. Pretty impressive ride and feel. I have not found any official word of discontinuation, just rumors. I also drove a Honda Pilot which was also a very nice driving car. The Pilot had the 7 pin trailer plug, power steering cooler, trans cooler, factory installed. The Ridgline in the RTSL trim also had the towing goodies. The power should be fine for towing a 16' FGRV in flat country, but in the mountains the tranny will downshift and have the engine singing to stay in the torque band. The V6 Toyotas will do the same. The trailering mileage will not be that impressive either. The advantage of these marginal tow vehicles will come into play when used for other non towing purposes where they will get better mileage than larger V8 powered trucks. The V8 trucks towing mileage is not that different, and they can climb mountains maybe a gear higher. It would probably be a good idea to install a transmision temp gauge on any of the small V6 powered tow vehicles so you could monitor your driving style to keep temps under control. The Hondas require premium fuel for towing. (some big V8's also drink premium though)
Decisions.....
Russ
The thing about Ridgelines are they have independent rear suspension. Not sure how that holds up to towing as opposed to a live solid rear axle.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #45
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The thing about Ridgelines are they have independent rear suspension. Not sure how that holds up to towing as opposed to a live solid rear axle.
[soap box]
What vehicle from any manufacture has been equipped with a live axle in the last 60 or 70 years?! Mustang had a solid axle as recent as a couple years ago and trucks still have them. But a solid axle and live axle are not the same! Live axle has no differential ability to allow the inner wheel to turn slower than the outer wheel in a turn.
[/soap box]

Sorry, but that is one of my pet peeves and I had to vent.

IRS does fine for towing. Some people may chime in with their experiences with Subaru, Toyota, Kia, Honda.

Jason
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:46 PM   #46
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I thought the limiting thing about Ridgelines had to do with a CVT, or something about the tranny.

I've towed lots of stuff behind my hot rod that has IRS. Doesn't make any difference that I can see. The hitch is built off the dogbone that connects the lower control arms, so it is integral with the center section. There are lots of vehicles nowadays with IRS!

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Old 06-24-2013, 03:46 PM   #47
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My only complaint about towing with IRS is that in some cases, the rear of the vehicles settles enough to change the camber of the rear wheels as you drive. This can and likely will wear the inside edges of the tires prematurely. So if I were going to consider a IRS car to tow with, I would want to answer a couple of questions.

1. can it set up so the rear wheels have the correct alignment when ready to tow ?

2. if not, how quickly is it going to wear the tires, and how many miles am I going to be towing vs non-towing miles ?
2a. am I willing to eat that extra cost of reduced tire life ?

I think if you look around this forum you will see many members towing FGRV's with IRS tugs. The Rav4 folks, the Honda CRV, probably all of the scooby-do cars, etc.....many are IRS. And most all of them are reporting they work acceptably for them.

Having said all that, back to the Ridgeline in particular, I tend to think of it more as a "car that is dressed up as a truck", than a real truck. That's just my opinion though, so take it for what it's worth.
IMO, a "truck" has a frame, has a solid rear axle, etc.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:16 PM   #48
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[/soap box

Sorry, but that is one of my pet peeves and I had to vent.

IRS does fine for towing. Some people may chime in with their experiences with Subaru, Toyota, Kia, Honda.

Jason
Yup Subaru has IRS and *lots* of folks here have happily towed thousands of miles with them over various terrains with no complaints. Including myself.

Lots of folks here are also towing with the Toyota Highlander (more & more showing up at trailer meets) & its also IRS. The owners I have talked to all seem pretty happy with it. .
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:21 PM   #49
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My pet peeve is acronym's that haven't been spelled out at least once at the beginning.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:37 PM   #50
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Hah hah, I was just thinking the same thing but context clues leads me to believe this last page is discussing vehicles with Independent Rear Suspension, am I right?

I was having this discussion with my wife a month or so ago when she was afraid my mini pickup wasn't going to handle the 16' Scamp. I had one additional requirement though, stick shift. Boy does that narrow the options. A vehicle with 2,000+ towing capacity that comes in stick? If I want an SUV there are basically 3...

1) Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2) Toyota FJ Cruiser
3) Nissan Xterra

I told the wife absolutely no to any Jeep product. We can have another discussion about it but I like my vehicles to last 150k with minimal maintenance and she's gone through 2 that we sold because the repairs started stacking up. Every owner of an FJ I spoke to complained about the suicide doors so that one was out too. That left the Xterra. We heard a few complaints from owners but after a test drive it seemed like a decent vehicle. I don't think we necessarily need the off-road capabilities of any of these selections but I really don't enjoy driving automatic. It bores me to death. I will revisit the Xterra in a few years when my daily driver is ready to trade in.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:47 PM   #51
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I suppose it was a little presumptuous of me to believe we were not talking about the Internal Revenue Service ;-)
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:13 PM   #52
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That left the Xterra. We heard a few complaints from owners but after a test drive it seemed like a decent vehicle. I don't think we necessarily need the off-road capabilities of any of these selections but I really don't enjoy driving automatic. It bores me to death. I will revisit the Xterra in a few years when my daily driver is ready to trade in.
I looked at the Xterra. I like my crew cab Frontier better. Same engine, same gas mileage, a lot more cargo space and cheaper. The manuals are hard to find so I "settled" for an automatic. I've found for towing I like it better. I don't think the Frontier will climb rocks as well as the Xterra but some more adventurous Frontier owners may disagree. Raz

P.S. If you want a manual in any of these, I suggest you buy it sooner rather than later. The pattern seems that as the current generation of any of these vehicles is discontinued so goes the manual transmission.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:20 PM   #53
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Just a note on something. AWD can be twitchy about tire wear, even a little difference in tire diam. from wear can fool the AWD brain into engaging the other axle. Had that on a Honda CRV and rear end started to "howl" right after a pair of tires was replaced. Three different places (including dealer) said we needed new rear end. Rotated tires from front to back and it was all good again.

I like the manually controlled 4WD lock, especially one with a low setting. I think Jeep designates it as Trail Rated. Some situations such as boat launch or pulling up hill out of a rain soaked campsite if the second axle does not engage until tires start to slip on primary axle it's already too late.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:30 PM   #54
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Some situations such as boat launch or pulling up hill out of a rain soaked campsite if the second axle does not engage until tires start to slip on primary axle it's already too late.
or you could get a vehicle such as a Subaru that has real full time AWD.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #55
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The thing about Ridgelines are they have independent rear suspension. Not sure how that holds up to towing as opposed to a live solid rear axle.
The IRS is a bonus which smooths out the ride and make for a more stable TV.
We have friends that are towing a good sized Airstream with a Ridge and they really like the way it all works. Note it was a pro set up.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:40 PM   #56
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I like the manually controlled 4WD lock, especially one with a low setting. I think Jeep designates it as Trail Rated.
No, Jeep's Trail Rated designation means that the vehicle is deemed to meet a set of standards for off-road (but apparently on-trail) performance; it is not tied to a specific drive system feature.
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