Which tow vehicle to buy ??????? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-23-2015, 12:07 PM   #29
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Glad to see you are going to use the Lexus Raj. I believe you will be more than pleased. We have a very similar engine in our car and it easily handles our 23' dual axle trailer with power to spare.

IMHO the Avalon would overall, be a better tow vehicle than a 4 runner.

Save your money.
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Old 08-23-2015, 02:12 PM   #30
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News Alert!.....Most 4 Runners are powered by a V6, 4.0 Ltr developing in the neighborhood of 269 HP....tow rating 5,000lbs to 6,000lbs depending on year.
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Old 08-23-2015, 02:47 PM   #31
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News Alert!.....Most 4 Runners are powered by a V6, 4.0 Ltr developing in the neighborhood of 269 HP....tow rating 5,000lbs to 6,000lbs depending on year.
Fore sure, that's what they say. But realize the old Ford Aerostars had a 5,000lb tow rating, and some Hyundai Elantras had a 3,000lb tow rating which in either case made lame tow vehicles. The Toy 4 Runners fit right in with that group. "Lame"
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Old 08-23-2015, 02:57 PM   #32
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Reponse to Stu-ru re towing with a Rav4. Obviously I'm not Norm but I have towed with a Rav for 3 years now first with a 5500 Trillium now with a 17 Bigfoot and a Trailswest Campster. The Trillium certified scale loaded weight was 2480 lbs the Bigfoot slightly less at 2400 even. The bad news is that Toyota quit making the v6 in the Rav in 2012 in an obvious move to push you up to the more expensive Highlander ( didn't work with me as I will be moving on not up ). You won't be impressed with gas mileage, best ever for me is 16mpg ( I tow at 60 mph) Nebraska and Kansas perfectly flat, no wind. In my real world, we live in Idaho and travel mostly in Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Oregon all subject to mountains and high elevations, average 12mpg not what you are looking for but I am well pleased with that mileage, not towing 17mpg around town and up to 28/29 hwy. The Rav is an excellent tow vehicle and I would recommend it as a tow vehicle up to maybe 3000 lbs. Now to the downsides, vehicle is structured such that any hitch is low to the ground, will drag on the least little dip. Tongue weight on the Bigfoot is approaching 300 lbs and makes this even worse ( I will be adding airbags in the off season ) Toyota has a strange definition of tow package ( I think they may even call it tow prep and it doesn't even live up to that designation ) Their " tow package " does not include the hitch or wiring, doesn't even have a "plug and play setup" for wiring. Your RV guy, or yourself, if you are electrically savvy, will have to wire from scratch. Hope this helps. Lee
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:01 PM   #33
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I picked up my Escape 19 in June of this year. They would not deliver it to me in Chilliwack, I guess due to the import into the U.S. They towed it over the border and I took possession in Sumas, Washington. I guess they could set up your hitch at the factory, though. I didn't go to the factory at all.
The practise of Escape looking after exporting the trailer and del'v the trailer to a US buyer on the US side of the border if I am not mistaken came about due to concerns from the Canadian Tax department. Concerns as to whether or not they were being paid the taxes owning on any trailers that remained in Canada and not actually exported to the US as the sales documentation indicated they were .... or I seem to recall that was the story behind why Escape changed their practise from letting US buyers pick up right at the factory & handle the export of the trailer themselves.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:00 PM   #34
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To Norm, I was interested in your comments on RAV 4 and Honda CRV. I had a 'o4 CRV, v-4v which was a very good car, but I was a bit disappointed in the mpg & it wasn't rated to tow my 3500# Casita 17'. I now have a 2008 Merc Mountaineer 4L v6. Power of ok, tho torque a bit low, and towing mpg sucks at around 14. So I'm curious how RAV4 stacks up, also Highlander. Have always been impressed by Toyota products...have you any info on 4Runner as a TV?

My Merc has the advantage that I own it, and it's under 70k miles, but tho I like it ok I'm not truly fond of it!

Thanks, Stu
Ps o3842 if your zip, means we are close by; we're in Concord/Loudon.
The 17' Casita can be very heavy on the hitch. Have you weighed your tongue? The Rav is no good over 350 lbs hitch weight. Highlander is fine, 5000/500 lb rating; I towed with my '08 for about 140k miles and it handled very well.

I recently picked up a used '08 Lexus GX470 and am now towing with it. Power is great, and I really like the air suspension with auto leveling. But I have to say, it does not handle as securely on the highway as the Highlander. The GX is not inadequate, but it just doesn't feel glued to the road the way the HL does. That truck frame and higher center of gravity, and whatever else, makes me feel like I need to drive a little slower.

If you get 14 mpg now with the Casita, chances are you will get 14 or maybe 15 when towing it with some other gas engine vehicle. If you want to get closer to 20 mpg, IMO either start driving very conservatively (maybe Norm will give lessons? lol) or buy a small diesel (like the Jeep Grand Cherokee).
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:15 PM   #35
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I don't think not selling the RAV4 V6 was a plot by Toyota to get you to move up. The 4 cylinder was much more popular ( buddy who sold them said the power in the V6 scared a lot of people ) and by eliminating the V6, Toyota could lower their Corporate Average Fuel Economy ( CAFE ) which the government mandates.
Another buddy traded his Hyundai Santa Fe on a Highlander and is extremely happy with his tow.

As for Escape and exporting, taking the trailers down across the border made the process of importing easier on everybody and ETI didn't have to spend weeks chasing down paper-work that buyers didn't send in to government as required.
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:16 PM   #36
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If you want to fully evaluate tow vehicles, be sure to check GVWR. I know with my pickup truck, I run out of GVWR long before I come close to the tow rating. Tow vehicle empty weights don't include any options. Who buys a vehicle with no options?? Add to the GVW the driver, all passengers, gear, and the tongue weight.

My other vehicle, Honda Element, has a really low weight capacity, limited to 675 pounds, which includes the weight of all passengers and driver, tongue weight, gear, etc. A lot of people are at or above the limit BEFORE any tongue weight.

The Element has the Honda CRV drive train.

I've towed in the past with marginally rated tow vehicles. I didn't like pulling mountain grades at 30 MPH. I would rather have a little too much tow vehicle than a marginally rated one. I ended up upgrading after one season of towing. Up to you of course.
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:38 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post

I recently picked up a used '08 Lexus GX470 and am now towing with it. Power is great, and I really like the air suspension with auto leveling. But I have to say, it does not handle as securely on the highway as the Highlander. The GX is not inadequate, but it just doesn't feel glued to the road the way the HL does. That truck frame and higher center of gravity, and whatever else, makes me feel like I need to drive a little slower.
Hi Mike. Your GX470 is a really nice vehicle. A few years ago we parked beside one towing a 27' Airstream. It was a pro set up so it had the fine tuning. I'm sure it handled very well coming out of Cam Am.

Anyway I know that many times changing tires can make huge difference in how the rig feels when on the road.

I know the feeling and difference. On our car I went from High performance V rated Yokohama performance tires to a V rated Goodyear "comfort tread" performance tire. The Goodyears were a slightly lighter tire yet had the same ratings as the Yoko's. I suspect a softer sidewall in the Goodyears and I could feel the difference in the highway drive when towing.

Point is tire types and brands can make a huge difference on a TV. In your case more research needs to be done to determine the right tire for your application. Something to think about.


PS.... I read all the time about folks on another forum that when they change tires on Suv's they drop down one level of profile and sometimes go one size larger in tire size.
So what you end up with is a tire that has a wider tread/profile, but a slightly smaller diameter. The smaller sidewall keeps the side to side motion to a minimum and also "in effect" increases the drive ratio which gives the vehicle more get up and go. It's all goodness especially when towing.
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:29 PM   #38
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Note to Glen Highlander is wayyy above my pay grade and ( and I hope this is incorrect ) I read today that the 2016 Highlander will have a CVT transmission. I have heard very little good about them , better mileage seems to be their claim to fame. Most of the problems I read about are in vehicles that are just used for transportation and if they have problems there I cringe at the thought of towing with one. Lee
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:55 PM   #39
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The CVT technology has been around since DAF built cars in Europe from 1958. Very proven technology, used on many brands (Subaru and Volvo, I owned both) which I have owned for decades and have never had an issue with. I have had to have a Ford torque converter replaced and did a few Chevy clutch & pressure plates.
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:23 PM   #40
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The CVT technology has been around since DAF built cars in Europe from 1958. Very proven technology, used on many brands (Subaru and Volvo, I owned both) which I have owned for decades and have never had an issue with. I have had to have a Ford torque converter replaced and did a few Chevy clutch & pressure plates.
The only DAF I've seen had exposed V-belts and levers, seemed more like a riding lawn mower. One look at that contraption might sour most folks to the point you are trying to make.
They have certainly progressed in viability.
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:35 PM   #41
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The only DAF I've seen had exposed V-belts and levers, seemed more like a lawn mower than a snowmobile. One look at that contraption might sour most folks to the point you are trying to make.
Not trying to make a point, just a bit of history behind the technology. Used quite a bit:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._transmissions
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:27 AM   #42
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Not trying to make a point, just a bit of history behind the technology. Used quite a bit:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._transmissions
Oh... I kinda figgered your point was that a CVT is a viable transmission for towing, if not superior.
A point of which many are still skeptical,with or without justification.

We live with a market of ever narrowing choices so its nice to add one.
I prefer manual transmissions,which I have owned for decades without issues... so I pretty much have to keep what I have or buy used.
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