What to tow my Burro with??? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-08-2016, 12:22 AM   #1
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What to tow my Burro with???

Hello, I have a Burro that I have made some upgrades too, but can't imagine it ways more than a 1000 pounds. I typically bring lots of bikes and gear on my camping trips so maybe 300-600 pounds including dog and passenger. I used to have a 2011 Subaru Forester, and it did ok. But I am in the market for a new tow vehicle. I am interested in the 2.0 Ford Escapes, Rav 4 and Jeep Renegade and Cherokee. All of these have tow ratings in the 1500 to 2000lbsrange. The only one that has a V6 is the Cherokee. DO I NEED A V6? Or can I pull a 1000lbs plus trailer and gear with a turbocharged 2.0-liter crossover? (like escape or rav4) I live in Colorado and trips over 10,000ft passes are common. Also looking at a RAV4 Hybrid because I am a dirty hippy and care. I just wonder if I need the power of a V6? (oh and the Burro has no brakes)

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:04 AM   #2
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Tom, you should do a site check of "Trailer Weights In The Real World" to see what MOST people do, that is underestimate their trailers weigh. Since you live and travel over 10,000 ft. passes, and every NON turbo or supercharged engine will lose horsepower and torque for every 1,000 ft., I would go for the turbocharged crossover AND add brakes to the trailer. If I were not to add trailer brakes, I would go for the V6 Cherokee for better engine compression braking, heavier vehicle, and larger brakes. Stopping will be more important than gas mileage.
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:21 AM   #3
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Tom, I presume that your Burro is a 13' original body rather than the 13' or 17' widebody?

David gives you good advice. You've likely underestimated the weight of your trailer by at least 300-400 lbs. "Towing" isn't about moving the trailer, it's about safely stopping it and/or maneuvering it under reduced traction and stressful conditions... sometimes occurring simultaneously. Driving at 10k' elevation and through mountains, especially with a light tow vehicle, you most definitely should have brakes on your trailer to ease the stress on your vehicle's brakes.

To be brutally honest, gas saving and towing are two very different, competing, and mutually-exclusive uses for a vehicle. You can get a competent tow vehicle that gets ok mileage towing, or you can get a high-mileage commuter, but I can't think of any vehicles that are competent to do both; and the better mileage the car gets commuting, the poorer its ability to be a competent tow vehicle.

Over the past thirty years, and probably a couple of hundred thousand miles of towing travel trailers from 13' to 34', I've tried repeatedly to find a vehicle that can do both well... and failed. I hauled a '76 Scamp 13' with a Jeep Scrambler. i hauled the same Scamp with an '80 Dodge Omni. I hauled a Scamp 16' with a Honda Element. I hauled various other fiberglass trailers with Toyota compact trucks. And then there was twenty years of towing Airstreams of various sizes with various vehicles. I learned a lot about hitches, towing, and the competence of tow vehicles.

My solution (while I was still towing trailers) evolved into buying a newer solid commuter to put a ton of miles on, and an older used, but good condition competent tow vehicle for occasional use towing and hauling. It sounds like you're pretty demanding of your tow vehicle. I'd look for something with a 3500 lb tow rating. That will easily stand up to the rigors of hauling a 2,000 lb trailer and cargo with a large margin of safety. There are a lot of ten year old, low mileage SUVs that fit that bill perfectly that can be had reasonably that are up to the task when properly equipped.

Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:50 AM   #4
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I pull my UHaul 13 with a 6 cylinder Ford Escape. I had a smaller 4cyl tow vehicle but it feel like it was straining just going up a hill. And forget about emergency stopping or any type of acceleration. I totally agree with Roger. There are those that pull with 4 cyl and are comfortable doing so. But I am not. And my Escape gets 25mpg when not towing, so that is good enough for me.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:09 AM   #5
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I did what Roger suggests. We have a car for daily use and a double cab mid size pick up for towing. I tried the one car solution (also a Forester) and went back to the pick up for towing. The double cab provides the passenger room and the stuff is in the back bed. I get 18 mpg towing on the highway. With the Subaru I got about 20. Raz
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:09 AM   #6
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You don't need the power of a V6. But it will make life a lot easier. So long as you have a realistic estimate of your trailers weight, or better yet actually weigh it, and it's within the tow limits of whatever vehicle you look at, you're OK.

I've had underpowered 4 cylinder vehicles all my life, until now, and going over mountain passes sometimes in 3rd gear going 45mph is ok with me. If it's ok with you, you're fine without a V6.

I agree on getting trailer brakes.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:24 AM   #7
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I agree- start by weighing the trailer. Load up all the stuff you plan to bring and take it to a public scale.

I also have to agree with the general trend of the advice. We live in a high-altitude, mountainous area and own a Honda CRV, a Honda Pilot, and a very basic Scamp 13. Either vehicle could pull the Scamp, but with four people, bicycles for all, and all our food, clothes, and camping gear, we tow with the Pilot exclusively. I still take it easy going up long grades. I expect my vehicles to last a long time.

Personally, I consider reliability at least as important as fuel economy in any vehicle I purchase. In my mind the jury is still out on the long-term durability of the new crop of turbo fours. I'm sure they'll do much better than the ones I remember from the 70's and 80's thanks to computer-assisted design, better materials, and sophisticated electronic engine management software. In eight or ten years we'll know for sure.

Other options include the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Kia Sorrento. Both offer turbo fours with 3500 pounds of towing capacity. Don't know how you feel about the Korean makes, but quality seems to be improving. We put 3600 miles on an AWD Santa Fe rental recently while our Pilot was in the shop after being rear-ended. The base 2.4L four was peppy and got great fuel mileage. The Sorrento got a top rating from Consumer Reports this year.

BTW- The current-generation RAV4 offers neither a turbo four nor a V6 option. It used to be one of the favorites hereabouts, but now, not so much.
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:28 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input everyone.
So it sounds like even the turbos found on the EcoBoost Escapes are not enough to pull a 1100lbs trailer and gear?

Sounds like the consensus is to find a V6?

Although a 2.0L Ford Ecoboost Escape with a tow package will pull 3500lbs
That sounds pretty promising no?

Thanks, Tom!
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:24 PM   #9
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Yes, Roger my Burro is the 13 foot. Likely 900 to 1100 pounds
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:27 PM   #10
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I drove an Escape 2.0 ecoboost today and it definitely has some power. I would think it would do fine. Also, drove a fun 2.4 (non turbo) Jeep Renegade which may do the job as well. But I will certainly have no problems with Jeep's V6 Cherokee...
Going to look into what getting electric brakes added to the Burro might cost.

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:27 AM   #11
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Tom, my uncle is Ford Dealer. I just ordered a 2016 Escape SE 201 w/ 2.0 liter turbo engine and factory tow package BECAUSE it will tow up to 3500. It is a v4. They don't make the Escape in a V6 anymore. The Escapes with the 1.6L turbo engine and the 2.5s with no turbo, will only tow up to 2,000. If u go that way, get your trailer weighed and add everything going with you. My 16' Casita is 1600 empty so I am towing with the more powerful Escape. My first pull is 3/23 so I will tell u how it goes.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:28 AM   #12
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Direct link: Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:59 AM   #13
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What to tow my Burro with???

Tommy, I perhaps came off too down on the turbo fours. Performance-wise, any of the turbo four options will pull your rig just fine (assuming it's in a vehicle with an adequate tow rating, and many are rated to tow 3500 pounds).

The two manufacturers I personally trust most for reliability do not offer turbo fours, so for me, a V6.

All I really meant to say was that a non-turbo four (RAV4, CRV, CX-5, Forester, Renegade) is going to be marginal for the kind of high altitude, toy-laden towing you plan to do.
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
WOW so much variation from one Burro to the next. I guess it pays to weigh.
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