Tow vehicles - choices, choices! - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-24-2013, 05:45 PM   #57
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There is no direct correlation between the general type of suspension design - independent or non-independent - and capacity or capability. Many large military vehicles have fully independent suspensions with capacity far beyond that of any pickup truck.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:46 PM   #58
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IMO, a "truck" has a frame, has a solid rear axle, etc.
I agree. But neither of those attributes are related to being a top rated TV.

The TV's that are really outstanding performers have a Unibody and IRS.

ie... Mercedes SUV's, VW Touareg, Ford Expedition, to name a few.


Note... For those who have heavy payload demands then a full framed vehicle is required but realize the shortcomings.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:46 PM   #59
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Had a 1987 Subaru wagon that I used to tow a boat. You put it into 4x4 manually. The problem was that with all the wheels locked, it didn't have enough power to turn on pavement. So, the boat ramp led up to a busy street. I had the momentum to get up the rise, but when I had to turn onto the street, I couldn't, because the engine would die. To get it out of 4x4 you often had to back up several feet. Was a bit of a circus, ending with me in two wheel ( front wheel drive ) and the tires smoking as I inched my way up to the street and made the turn.
The other problem with it was its brakes, the size of the lid from a tin of Campbell's soup. Good for a couple of scares and glazed brakes.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:05 PM   #60
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I agree. But neither of those attributes are related to being a top rated TV.

The TV's that are really outstanding performers have a Unibody and IRS.

ie... Mercedes SUV's, VW Touareg, Ford Expedition, to name a few.


Note... For those who have heavy payload demands then a full framed vehicle is required but realize the shortcomings.
Well, as a general view of all of this, I come back to what I think needs to be the "first" consideration when choosing a tow vehicle. And that is, are you a user that wishes to remain within the stated load limits of the OEM ( original equipment manufacturer ), or are you willing to tow with a setup that sometimes goes way, far beyond the car or truck manufacturers limits ? Once that question is answered, then you can start making TV ( tow vehicle ) choices. If a person is willing to operate beyond stated limits, and more specifically, if you are willing to spend the money and hire a certain, specific, well known RV dealer company in Canada ( who is often referred to as "a professional setup" ), then you actually have a very wide choice of vehicles from which to choose building out as a tow vehicle.

On the other hand, if you wish to remain within stated limits, then you may in fact be pretty much limited to a full framed truck type vehicle, that most likely will not be an IRS ( independant rear suspension ) design.

I'm not here to pass judgement on either method. Compelling arguements with supporting data can be presented on both sides of that aisle. So that is how I always try to state it......make that determination first, then start researching what will work for your individual comfort zone.

This is one of the "advantages" of you all being in the FGRV ( that would be the acronym for FiberGlassRecreationalVehicle........chuckle, chuckle......sorry just messin' with sasquatch here.......)
....many of these units are so danged light anyway, y'all could tow 'em with a Fiat 500, and still be within limits !
Get into the heavier stuff though, and we see all manner of setups that may or may not be shall we say.......ideal.....
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #61
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IMO, a "truck" has a frame, has a solid rear axle, etc.
I guess that means that a Hummer H1 (or the original HMMWV military version) and the Oshkosh LVSR (which has a 22.5 ton payload) are not "trucks".

Why would't the front need to be a beam axle as well? Why allow some newfangled Mickey Mouse independent stuff there?

Just kidding... I know many people consider only the "conventional" design to be a "true" example of anything... trucks, sports cars, whatever.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:12 PM   #62
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Note: The Mercedes SUV's, VW Touareg, and Ford Expedition all have tow ratings from 7,500 to 9,000lbs.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #63
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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.
I think all of the trail rated Jeep offerings use one of the "locking" systems to meet the traction requirements. As opposed to the more dynamic auto 4WD systems which are better suited to street use.

Jeep - 4x4 Basics - 4x4 Systems by Vehicle - 4WD SUVs

It's been a few years since I shopped for one but at the time I was told by the dealer that any Jeep that was trail rated would have ability to lock into 4WD Lo which is what I wanted.

Never got the Jeep, new car would always be primarily driven by DW and she always found something she liked more. Each and every one of the three attempts I made. Sigh.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:31 PM   #64
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I guess that means that a Hummer H1 (or the original HMMWV military version) and the Oshkosh LVSR (which has a 22.5 ton payload) are not "trucks".

Why would't the front need to be a beam axle as well? Why allow some newfangled Mickey Mouse independent stuff there?

Just kidding... I know many people consider only the "conventional" design to be a "true" example of anything... trucks, sports cars, whatever.
You make a valid point, so I should have qualified my statement with the caveat that I define "trucks" in this case to be what I would call normal mainstream consumer type vehicles, that are in a price range that that most folks can afford. That would be trucks between what I would loosely define as the four cylinder small trucks like recent Rangers, S-10's etc, up through the various 1/2 ton and maybe 3/4 or even one ton offerings from the majors.

It's true that some large military vehicles have fully independant suspension systems. You may not like the driving experience though running down the interstate in the right lane at 45 to 50 mph tops......

In my opinion, the major car companies still like these solid rear axles in light duty trucks because they are a simple, strong design that maintains control of geometry throughout the travel. And they are so well established, they are also likely the least expensive to manufacture, which is no small consideration.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:34 PM   #65
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Why would't the front need to be a beam axle as well? Why allow some newfangled Mickey Mouse independent stuff there?
.....and hey, I grew up driving a '59 Ford truck with a solid beam front axle. Six banger, three on the tree........PLEASE DON'T make me go back to that ! ! !
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #66
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I thought the limiting thing about Ridgelines had to do with a CVT, or something about the tranny.
I don't think it would be a CVT... I don't think the Ridgeline ever had one. It does share some components - or at least design features - with the Odyssey, and the Odyssey had transmission problems about a decade ago, but I don't know if the Ridgeline, which is obviously more robust in various features than the Odyssey, ever shared the Odyssey transmission. If it shares exactly the same transmission with anything, it would be the first-generation Pilot.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:32 PM   #67
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What a fascinating thread this is, with a wide variety of comments and opinions on all this technical stuff. But great for vehicle specific suggestions and reasons why. Great group of people here, thanks!

I'm still trying to figure this out. I can keep or trade a '08 Outback with 80,000 miles, or keep or trade a '09 low end 4wd Canyon with 74,000 miles, but not both. (We also have specific reasons to keep or get rid of each!) Could do one or the other this fall, or maybe both next year, but need two vehicles. I'm almost convinced a Titanium Escape with ecoboost and the tow package would do it for the little amount of camping we do, and provide decent mpg for commuting and long trips to visit kids and our grandson.

In a way, I'd like to get the egg 1st, then the "right" TV. Choices, choices...

Frank
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:06 AM   #68
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Just to give you another one, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee (not the Grand Cherokee) will be available this fall. It's an in between size, a few inches longer than Escape, CRV, etc and will,have a mfr tow rating of 4500 lbs. probably with the 3.2 V6 and tow package. Ought to get nearly the same mpg as a 2.0 turbo escape, ie mid to high twenties.

JGC is bigger, heavier and has an EPA rating of 24 with 4wd, 25 with 2 wd. Actually, a 2wd JGC Laredo V6 can be had pretty nicely equipped for $30k, gets decent mileage and is rated to tow 6200 lbs, even includes load leveling rear shocks, hitch receiver, wiring, hd cooling, etc. Probably the best combo of compact size, non towing gas mileage, high tow rating and price. I researched this segment for many months before buying a JGC.

Regarding mpg, it is interesting to look up cars on fuelly.com to see what real people are reporting in their own real world driving. If its not a common vehicle there may not be enough data to make the info valuable but some models have mpg reports from many hundreds of drivers. Auto mfrs are getting better at tuning the car to do its best on the EPA test so can advertise higher mpg. For example epa's highest speed in the highway test is 62 mph. Not many people drive that slow (thank goodness) on the freeway.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:02 AM   #69
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Good to know, and thanks! One of my best friends has owned a repair garage for decades, and is not a fan of Jeeps. He says they are problem vehicles. While that will not completely shade my perspective on Jeeps, it makes an impact. I'd like to hear from long time Jeep owners about their experiences. Hmm, maybe some Jeep forums?

Thanks again!

Frank
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:35 AM   #70
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Jeep/Dodge builds vehicles with all the right specs for what people want. They are attractive and come with the right options. Owner satisfaction and loyalty keeps people coming back. However, buy one new and get rid of it at the first sign of problems (usually they start to appear right when the warranty is up). If you're the type of person that expects your vehicles to last from new to 200k with minimal maintenance then look elsewhere...or get an extended warranty.
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