What's a Good Vehicle Choice to Tow ? - Fiberglass RV



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Old 03-20-2019, 07:02 PM   #1
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What's a Good Vehicle Choice to Tow ?

Our Ford Escapes transmission went out for the 3rd time & at this time we don't have a vehicle that's able to tow our 13' Scamp.

What is a good vehicle choice that's not a gas guzzler & not to spendy? I'd prefer buying used.

Thank you
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:07 PM   #2
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Subaru has a nice package with excellent mileage with the full size Outback wagon - It should be plenty for the 13 Scamp and nice manners when not towing
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:09 PM   #3
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How many people and how much gear when towing? I'll second the Outback for 1 or 2 traveling fairly lightly. If you can find one, a used Toyota RAV4 Adventure model is tow rated for 3500# and very reliable (Adventure trim has towing upgrades including HD transmission cooling, which you should appreciate; other trims are only rated for 1500#). New ones are pretty pricey.

We are 4 and bring bikes and other gear, so a larger V6 Honda Pilot was a logical choice for us. Our lightly used 2011 came with full towing equipment (hitch and 7-pin wiring) standard on all trims. Our 2WD is rated to tow 3500#. Not hard to find a clean, low mileage used one. We get 24-26 mpg highway, 17-19 mpg city and towing.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bsedwebt View Post
Subaru has a nice package with excellent mileage with the full size Outback wagon - It should be plenty for the 13 Scamp and nice manners when not towing
If going with a Subaru, it might be a good idea to select a manual transmission for towing, instead of the seemingly more delicate CV trans. I would.

I second what Jon said. The Pilots are very well made, reliable vehicles.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:11 PM   #5
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A tow rig at minimum that is twice the weight of your trailer.
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:12 AM   #6
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A tow rig at minimum that is twice the weight of your trailer.
So if I fill the back of my vehicle with bricks I can tow more?

Seriously, though, while I agree that some margin in the tow rating is a good thing- most people carry extra gear in the tug- blanket statements like that ignore many real differences in vehicles. Some passenger vehicles with seemingly strong drivetrains arenít even rated to tow half their weight (Iíd love to tow my Scamp with a V8 convertible Mustang, but Ford only rates it for 1000#). Other vehicles are strengthened and upgraded to tow more than their own weight.

Simple answers rarely fit every situation. When you research any potential tow vehicle, download and read everything the manual says about towing. There are often many caveats in the fine print.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:46 AM   #7
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Tow vehicle

Avoid short-wheelbase vehicles.

I had a 2000 Wrangler, and while towing my 13' U-Haul on a wet road, had to apply the brakes vigorously. The weight of the trailer unloaded the front wheels sufficiently to induce a front-wheel skid.

Hairy, but fortunately accident-free. Scared the living blazes out of me, though. Now I'm driving a Chevy Silverado. No worries there.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Pete Hein View Post
Avoid short-wheelbase vehicles.

I had a 2000 Wrangler, and while towing my 13' U-Haul on a wet road, had to apply the brakes vigorously. The weight of the trailer unloaded the front wheels sufficiently to induce a front-wheel skid.

Hairy, but fortunately accident-free. Scared the living blazes out of me, though. Now I'm driving a Chevy Silverado. No worries there.
Were electric trailer brakes installed and working on the Wrangler combination?
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:11 AM   #9
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Tow vehicle

"Were electric trailer brakes installed and working on the Wrangler combination?"

No. I wouldn't have expected them to be necessary on a 1300-pound trailer.

I guess I was wrong....At least for that tow vehicle.

I've since towed the trailer about 500 miles behind my Silverado, in all conditions except snow, and have had no repetition of the skid.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:12 AM   #10
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A tow rig at minimum that is twice the weight of your trailer.
Based on that notion, I would not be able to tow my Oliver with my one ton Ram diesel. Ridiculous.

This is a good example of advice being worth what was paid for it.

My trailer weighs 2/3 of what the Ram weighs, and the truck is rated, by Ram, to tow 1 1/2 times it's own weight. It hardly notices the Oliver following along behind.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:20 AM   #11
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"Were electric trailer brakes installed and working on the Wrangler combination?"

No. I wouldn't have expected them to be necessary on a 1300-pound trailer.
There's your answer. Brakes are very important on trailers! Now, just imagine the same scene on a blind curve. Yikes! Under the right conditions, braking hard on a turn in the rain with no trailer brakes, the trailer could jackknife the Silverado.

A Wrangler 2 door is only rated to tow 2,500 lbs and it's not a good idea to do even that in marginal conditions or without traction control.

It's a bit hard to imagine how a "1300 lb trailer" can have enough tongue weight to lighten the front end that much.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:37 AM   #12
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Were electric trailer brakes installed and working on the Wrangler combination?
The design of the axle and sealed bearing hubs on the CT Uhauls does not allow installation of electric brakes without machining special parts or replacing the axle. The larger VT Uhaul camper had surge brakes which can be fitted to the CT using original Uhaul parts. There are very few Uhaul CT's that have had brakes installed.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:51 AM   #13
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What's a Good Vehicle Choice to Tow ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Hein View Post
"Were electric trailer brakes installed and working on the Wrangler combination?"

No. I wouldn't have expected them to be necessary on a 1300-pound trailer.

I guess I was wrong....At least for that tow vehicle.

I've since towed the trailer about 500 miles behind my Silverado, in all conditions except snow, and have had no repetition of the skid.
The smaller the tow vehicle, the more important trailer brakes are. I don't know what Jeep says; my Pilot says trailer brakes are required over 1000#. I don't know if that would have made a difference, but I think it might have.

Wranglers are not ideal tow vehicles, but lots of folks use them for 13' trailers anyway for the off-road capability once the trailer is unhitched. In general, the characteristics that make a good off-road vehicle- short wheelbase, solid axles, high center of mass, soft suspension, deeply treaded all-terrains- are opposite what makes a good highway tow vehicle.

Long wheelbase vehicles are stable, but they are also cumbersome to maneuver and back with a trailer, especially a very short trailer. There's a happy medium, I think. Our Pilot is just about ideal for me. It has a shorter wheelbase than our old Sienna, so it's easy to back and get around a parking lot, but it's the same width as the Scamp, so I don't need mirror extensions. The independent suspension makes for better highway manners, including emergency handling.

We recently sort-of-inherited a Class B motorhome on a long wheelbase Chevy Express van. For a while I though we might tow with it- plenty of power and has the bathroom our Scamp lacks. But it has turned out to be so big and cumbersome by itself, I can't imagine towing a trailer, too. We've abandoned that plan.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:55 AM   #14
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"It's a bit hard to imagine how a "1300 lb trailer" can have enough tongue weight to lighten the front end that much."

I said it in my first post: Short wheelbase. The car brakes but the trailer doesn't; the trailer tips forward, increasing the down-load on the tongue; that lifts the front of the car. Doesn't have to get the wheels clear of the ground to go into a skid.

If I had been driving a 4-door Jeep, it might have been fine. As it was, I was much surprised - after all, I was towing a trailer only slightly more than 50% of the rated tow load, and about half the weight of the tow vehicle as well.
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