Which tow vehicle to buy ??????? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-25-2015, 12:52 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
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).
I have to agree with Mike. I have no problem towing an Escape 17B (3010 lbs loaded & 340 lbs tongue weight) with my RAV4 Sport (V6 & tow package) and a weight distribution hitch. I've towed it 68,701.5 miles since April 2011 all around the US & Canada; just came back from a trip to Alaska.

I wouldn't attempt to work around the tongue weight of a Casita 17. The "trailer weights in the real world" spreadsheet I keep at LakeshoreImages (with Frederick's permission) can be filtered by trailer type (as well as many other sorts) and the Casita 17 tongue weight averages 422 lbs, well over the limit of the RAV4. Plenty of power, but I'd go for something designed for at least 500 lbs of tongue weight.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:16 PM   #44
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
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My info doesn't come for personal experience but from reading on the web, and a few friends. Some of the info can be found by pulling up " cvt problems" on google and finding pages of problems also refered on google to " Audi ditching CVT transmission ". I actually have no experience with CVT Trannies but do know that all the auto/truck magazines have nothing good to say about them. What I am seeing may well be the growing pains with any new mechanical device but there is enough bad news out there to make me cautious about jumping on board. Lee
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:06 PM   #45
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Please help me choose a tow vehicle.


- Never towed anything in my life.


I am going crazzzzyyyyy, helppppp !!!!!
This problem is easily solved. Go to U-Haul and rent a small box trailer for a day and just drive around. Go in and out of large parking lots. Practice parking maybe even borrow a couple of plastic cones. Just a day working out the jitters of never towed anything will help. A small box trailer blocks enough view to simulate your camping trailer. You'll still have a big learning curve but the I've never towed anything panic should subside some.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:46 PM   #46
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Name: Stuart
Trailer: Casita spirit 17
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Which tow vehicle to buy

Norm, thanks for your reply. About being Mayor, I'm reading from context that was in CT not NH. If you've been in Hampton for so many years, did you ever run across a guy named John Stimson, who I think was on the police force out there some years back.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:43 AM   #47
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Stuart,
It was in CT. I don't know John Stimson. When we moved to NH my goal was to not get involved in anything. For the first 5 years it was a weekend and summer retreat.

We then moved here and I only slipped up once on my isolationist vow. We went to a church auction to bid on a sail boat, bought an Icelandic sweater to be knitted and became CFO of the church in a blink. A great experience because he was a great minister. I still have all his sermons.

Ginny's God son is a Lt. on the Fire Department, I'll see if he knows John... testing the 6 degrees of separation rule.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:47 PM   #48
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This problem is easily solved. Go to U-Haul and rent a small box trailer for a day and just drive around. Go in and out of large parking lots. Practice parking maybe even borrow a couple of plastic cones. Just a day working out the jitters of never towed anything will help. A small box trailer blocks enough view to simulate your camping trailer. You'll still have a big learning curve but the I've never towed anything panic should subside some.
This is actually a really good idea. If you want to simulate something close to your FGRV experience, pick out the biggest single axle trailer, which is about ten feet box length. Just tow the thing around empty for a few hours including lunch break, etc.

Nothing succeeds like success, and doing all of this in a controlled environment with a simple trailer will boost your confidence level and get you used to the mechanics of towing.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:14 PM   #49
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Great Advice, thanks a lot !!! I am going to do that

Thanks
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:05 AM   #50
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I normally agree with MC1 about most subjects but I must say that the Toyota 4.0Ltr V6 engine that is in my FJ Landcruiser (the same as found in the 4 Runner) is a very capable towing engine. I tow a 26 ft. Travel Trailer that is very near the 5,000Lb mark and often forget it is back there! Just returned from a camping trip to the High-Peaks area of the Adirondack Wilderness and that combo ate us those mountains at the posted speed limits of 55MPH with no problems. My FJ Cruiser is a heavier SUV than the 4 Runner with the same engine. Toyota recently upgraded the tow rating of this engine when in the Tacoma pickup to 6,300 Lbs. the engine is anything but "lame" when it comes to towing.

Happy Camping!
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:44 AM   #51
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Name: Stuart
Trailer: Casita spirit 17
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Patrick, thanks for your input. Tho the Casita is lighter, it has a 400+# tongue weight with full propane tanks.
What typically do you get for MPG? Did you do a comparison between the 4Runner and FJ & why did you choose the FJ.
(I have some incredible memories of the short wheelbase land cruiser from my overseas days. Straight 4, probably about 1.6L, and unstoppable in the African backcountry. But no off road for me these days, so I probably don't need the capacity of the FJ)
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:01 PM   #52
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Toyota recently upgraded the tow rating of this engine when in the Tacoma pickup to 6,300 Lbs. the engine is anything but "lame" when it comes to towing.
Happy Camping!
I agree Pat. The engine is very good. It is the handling and stability issues that plague the 4 runners, especially the early gen ones.

There are many accounts of 4 runner owners who have made a number of mods that help over come the issues. Better shocks, better tires, hitch receiver reinforcements, quality WDH/sway control, etc.
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:55 PM   #53
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Stuart, The FJ Cruiser gets 21 MPG average when not towing. Towing that drops to 12-13 MPG in hill and mountain terrain which is all we have here in the Vermont Green Mountains and the Adirondack Mountain region of upstate New York where I live and do most of my camping. Don't know how I'd do on a flat road like down in sunny Florida.

I picked the FJ Landcruiser when looking at new Tacoma trucks at my local Toyota dealer...saw a FJ on his lot used with only 17,000 miles...like new...certified with a 100,000 mile warranty...the rest is history!
Now 85,000 miles later I am a happy camper....perfect vehicle on and off road.
Dependable...change oil every 5,000 miles and rotate tires...still drives like new.
My daughter drove a 4 Runner forever and loved it...now drives a Lexus RX350 Hybrid and loves that too. Stay with Toyota is my advise!

Wayne, You are correct about first generation 4 Runners however the current issue 4 Runners are much improved in the ride and handling department. The early issues were designed more for off road than highway and rode like buckboard wagons than motor vehicles. They did make the off road macho guys happy!
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:01 AM   #54
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Hey there, I tow my 16 foot scamp with a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. It does the job pretty good for us here in San Diego. I haven't taken it on too many big trips but do frequent our Laguna Mnts at about 5k elevation. I absolutely need my sway bar (cranked tight on freeway) and I did put 15" tires and now it feels way more safe for us! My truck has 140k and the transmission seems to be handling. My favorite thing is when the truck goes into silent electric when I am traveling at low speeds. It is rated for 3500 but my scamp is pretty light; around 2K fully loaded because it is the 7 model with no bath or AC. Sleeps 5 of us : ). Ok now I am bragging ; ). How this helps! Cheers! Aaron
Also, tow package came on my used truck purchase (6 yrs ago)but I did the electrical myself with YouTube help...


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Old 08-31-2015, 03:05 AM   #55
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Oops I meant 14" tire upgrade on my previous post. The 16 foot scamp came with tiny 13" tires. Aaron


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Old 10-22-2015, 01:27 AM   #56
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Wonder if anyone noticed that I said "how this helps" when I meant "hope this helps". Lol cuz it cost so much (20k) to buy new lol. Love my scamp tho!!!!!!!!!! But if you buy a 16 be prepared to put 14" tires and get sway bar for safe tow on little truck for sure!!! Pls let me know if you feel the same cuz I was scared out of my head when it was swaying with 13ths....


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