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disneydoc 07-31-2015 12:01 PM

Which tow vehicle to buy ???????
Please help me choose a tow vehicle.

Some Back Ground Info to work with -

- Reserved a Escape 17B with Feb 16 Completion date.

- Will be- April, May 2016 due to weather issues in Chilliwack, Ca before I may be able to travel to pick it up.

- Never towed anything in my life.

- Honestly speaking a little apprehensive about the steep learning curve of towing driving the Trailer back home to Central Florida from Chilliwack. But paying the $7000+ delivery fee is prompting me to take my chances at towing it home.

- Recently retired 60 & DW 55, kids have left home & reading the RV Travel Forums want to take it up at least for the initial few years. Initially start on Weekends and then plan camping for longer trips as we feel comfortable.

- Presently 1) DW drives a 2010 Lexus RV 350 AWD with Towing package of upto 3500 lbs 2) I drive a 2003 Avalon XLS with 115 k miles, which needs to be replaced (Bothersome Check Engine Light )

- Although some on the Forum & at the Escape Trailer Office feel the Rx 350(3500 lb capacity) should be fine/adequate towing 17B, but some feel a V8 would be better.
I have never driven a V8, and as this is my first time towing I want to prepare my self as well as possible & this started my hunt & research for the V8s & is driving me crazy.

- The BUDGET is $30000 for the probable V8 Tow vehicle, we have been lucky with buying late model Toyotas so far.

- The V8 4runners stopped getting made in 2009 & all I find in the resales are the ones with around 100k miles which makes me a little uncomfortable.
- The V8 Sequioa are a little huge for DW(Thinks) to park, in the event she had to drive it in a pinch.

- The Highlander V6 has 5000 lb towing capacity & would be fine for a 17B, but I was trying to cover the possibility of if I upgrade the Trailer later to a 19 or a 21, I may need a V8 engine.

- The Grand Cherokee would have been an ideal mid size vehicle with a V8, but the quality problems on their owner forums, leave a lot to be desired.

- I looked at late model V8 Yokon/Tahoe & the V8 Expedition, but am not able to pull the trigger due to the quality problems(Probably perceived now as I read the quality has improved much lately).

- I may have to increase my budget to $35k (Could be done) & start looking at a late model Lexus GX 460 which has a V8 (4runner cousin). We save first & then pay cash for our vehicles.

I need some pointers, as I am sure other Forum members have passed this route & want to know what they decided (Or would decide) & why.

I read of some people on the Forum towing 17B comfortably with a V6 Sienna 3500 lb capacity + WDH, & with what they said at the Escape Office, a part of me says just try the RX 350 first & see how it goes before I go & buy a V8. It may be just a case of needing some reassurance.

But the cold & snow driving being foreign to us in Central Florida is probably making it seem harder than it really is.

I am going crazzzzyyyyy, helppppp !!!!!

Glenn Baglo 07-31-2015 01:03 PM

I wouldn't worry about cold and snow up here. Your Lexus will do fine with a WDH.

Go to:

to find historical weather for Chilliwack - February 2014.
You will see no snow and average temps well above freezing.

honda03842 07-31-2015 02:06 PM


I would stick with your Lexus.

It's known to you, a decent wheel base, plenty of power, AWD and built by Toyota. It will provide a great driving vehicle out to BC and should easily tow your trailer home. After the trip home you'll know if it's the one for you. My recollection is that Escape will help you set up the WD hitch.

When you're traveling about you spend more time not towing then towing and it's nice to have a useful, comfortable tow vehicle.

rbryan 07-31-2015 02:37 PM

Raj, I would only add, you're going to love your Escape, and the trip to pick it up will be packed with memories that last a lifetime. Ours was.

Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV

MC1 07-31-2015 02:56 PM

Save your money
1 Attachment(s)
The Lexus is more than you need and will work fine. As Glenn said get a WDH and have it set up right.

There is a great story on the net about this older, smaller, 1st gen 3.0V6 Lexus that towed this 22' trailer all over North America, and Alaska. No Problem.

disneydoc 07-31-2015 09:11 PM

Thanks Norm, Robert & Wayne, I appreciate your input.

I am waiting for a return call from Reese at Escape Trailers for his opinion, he has sent off many towed 17B trailers from their factory.

I have time on my side, so for now I have stopped looking the classifieds for Tow vehicles.

Seeing the RAV4 & Sienna towing Escape 17B on the Forum reassures me some

Thanks again

Mike Magee 07-31-2015 09:21 PM

I think you'd be in good shape with the RX350 and 17B. If after a trip or two you feel dissatisfaction with the engine power, a pre-owned Lexus GX might be a good one to watch for. Just this month I picked up a 2008 with about 85k miles for $22,500. It has the 4.7L V8 and I do feel the difference with the added torque, versus the 3.5L in my Highlander (which is now for sale, only $9k ;) ;) ).

Glenn Baglo 07-31-2015 09:27 PM

My RAV4 is Sport model with tow package and 269hp V6. It goes.

floyd 07-31-2015 09:42 PM

My advice is buy a Toyota, maybe a Tundra, of course Lexus is a Toyota. (with lock washers.)^_^

From your post, it is obvious that you believe them to be the best vehicles on the road. Believing that will make it much easier to stand the expense of ownership.

Please don't misunderstand, that is not an endorsement. In fact, Toyota doesn't produce anything which would make my list for personal use.

I have counseled many people on buying the right car and I have found that the worst investment is to buy something you don't like or trust from the beginning.
The result of that choice is usually an early trade-in at a great loss... or the neglect of the vehicle, leading to a self fulfilling prophecy of its unreliability.
In short, disappointment.:u

You want to be happy with your choices in TV and trailer... It will make every trip more fun and more comfortable.;)

Lee Senn 08-01-2015 01:05 PM

P.S. to the Rav4 post above. We bought a 2012 Rav4 in 2012 and it tows our Trails West Campster and Bigfoot 17 very well, but and there seems to always be a but, Toyota quit making the Rav4 with the V6 in 2012. Lee

Uplander 08-03-2015 02:17 PM

Another vote for the will get the job done.
Glad to hear you know about the many quality problems with the Jeep products....avoid them as well as many other GM products.
Toyota/Lexus quality is well known and they run forever with few if any issues.
The 4.0 Ltr V6 engines by Toyota are plenty powerful. I checked the tow rating for the V6 Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck line the other day and it is now up to
6,400 lbs.
I tow a 26 foot trailer with a V6 Toyota FJ Landcruiser, 5 speed automatic.
I added a high quality transmission cooler to it to insure that it will have a long and happy towing life!
You do not need a Toyota Tundra or the Sequoia SUV (built on the Tundra platform and drive train) as that and a V8 would be overkill for a FGRV.

Your trip out and back with your new trailer will have you driving like a pro in no time. Allow plenty of following distance and you will be fine!

Happy Camping!

MC1 08-03-2015 02:22 PM


Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo (Post 538858)
My RAV4 is Sport model with tow package and 269hp V6. It goes.

I can believe it. That is a lot of power in a small pkg. Our local Toy dealer has one on the lot right now. On the windshield it says (Rare V6 Model). The 0 to 60MPH times must be under 7 sec I would think.B)


Originally Posted by Uplander (Post 539381)
Another vote for the will get the job done.

You do not need a Toyota Tundra or the Sequoia SUV (built on the Tundra platform and drive train) as that and a V8 would be overkill for a FGRV.

Yes, there is a good online article that for towing purposes, compares the Sequoia with a Sienna. The Sienna came out ahead overall.

Uplander 08-03-2015 02:49 PM

I was a Toyota salesman many years ago. The one comment most folks made after a test drive in a V6 RAV 4 was..."way too much power!". Most buyers opted for the 4 cylinder model!....if memory is correct both the V6 and the 4 cyl RAV 4 models got 26 MPG! Back then they were the fastest selling vehicle in the line!

If you want to drive a real suprise rocket ship try a V6/Hybrid automatic very fast vehicle "off-the-line" at full power both the gas engine and the electric motor power the vehicle at the same time....MUCHO POWER!!!

MC1 08-03-2015 03:31 PM


Originally Posted by Uplander (Post 539387)
If you want to drive a real suprise rocket ship try a V6/Hybrid automatic very fast vehicle "off-the-line" at full power both the gas engine and the electric motor power the vehicle at the same time....MUCHO POWER!!!

Almost seems like the perfect TV. The reserve power of the electric motor is there when you need it like passing or climbing a grade.:cool:

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