Best Hybrid Tow Vehicle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-25-2020, 02:28 PM   #1
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Name: Bill and Kate
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Best Hybrid Tow Vehicle

We have been pulling our 79 Trillium 4500 with a 2002 Ford Explorer. We are interested in purchasing a hybrid tow vehicle. We are looking at the Kia Niro. Would like something that is under 16 feet in length so we aren't charged double when taking ferries from Whidbey Island.
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Old 09-25-2020, 03:16 PM   #2
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The Ford Escape is probably a better tow vehicle and overall vehicle compared to the Niro. The Niro has about 139hp versus as much as 221 for the Escape.

What do you like about the Niro?
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:19 PM   #3
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Smile Is a Ford Escape rated as a tow vehicle?

Thanks for answering. I haven't read an article yet that recommends Ford Escape hybrids as a tow vehicle.
But now I'll look again! Thanks. Kate
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by billandkate View Post
Thanks for answering. I haven't read an article yet that recommends Ford Escape hybrids as a tow vehicle.
But now I'll look again! Thanks. Kate
I haven't read one that recommends the Niro? You specifically mentioned a hybrid.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/autos...608-story.html

Apparently the Niro has a dual-clutch transmission. This will make backing a trailer up a hill impossible.
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:43 AM   #5
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Hybrid TV?

Don't know of a hybrid car under 16 ft long. But we were very pleased with our Toyota Highlander Hybrid towing a 16 ft deluxe Scamp.
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Old 09-26-2020, 02:41 PM   #6
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Name: Lisle
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Have been all over the US with my Highlander Hybrid and 16' Casita. It pulls great and I love it. Not sure about the length, but the car and camper fit well within two parking spaces.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:10 PM   #7
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We use a 06’ Lexus RX400h to tow a Escape 15a and it works wonderfully. You have to find one with AWD, as that has the tow package giving you a 3500# tow rating. We bought ours from a doctor who was stepping up to a Tesla. We paid $7500. The window sticker we $65k. Very comfortable and quiet. Will run all electric under 30 mph, so you can sneak into campgrounds without waking everyone up. Has a CVT transmission so you don’t hear any shifting. It had 90k miles on it when we bought it, and we’ve put close to 30k on it. When I was searching, I saw lots of them with over 200k miles. It’s like a deluxe Prius, but with a v6. Faster than the gas version.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lisle View Post
Have been all over the US with my Highlander Hybrid and 16' Casita. It pulls great and I love it. Not sure about the length, but the car and camper fit well within two parking spaces.
We had the same wonderful experience towing a 17 ft Escape with the Highlander Hybrid. One thing we especially liked was the extra power of the electric on big climbs.
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:23 PM   #9
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Name: Amar
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Toyota Highlander

We tow a T@b 320 (about 2100 lbs dry weight) with a Toyota Highlander Hybrid which is rated for 3500lbs. It works well, thought a little slow getting up to speed (From stop) on a super-steep hill.

I probably wouldn't try towing anything much heavier. Seems most mainstream Hybrid SUVs max out at 3500lbs - again, which means you probably want to be well under that limit for safe towing.
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Old 10-02-2020, 03:50 PM   #10
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Forget the Niro

I do own a '17 Niro. The only thing we tow is a Fibco Pop-up camper. It's a fiberglass pop-up camper designed for motorcycle that weight around 400 pounds. I would not tow really much more, as the Niro is not rated for any towing at all. Even if towing is not recommanded, with this trailer, I do respect the GVWR of the vehicule. Better than nothing....

Braking is an issue with the regenerative brake. I keep looooong distance between me and the next vehicule. Had to make an emergency stop last august, and honnestly was scared.... Trailer does not have brake.

Good point : I get 52.5Mpg WITH the trailer

Overall : Forget the Niro if you plan to tow anything weighting more than 500 pounds. And since most of FG trailers are 1000+, I guess this rules the Kia out.
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Old 01-28-2021, 04:45 PM   #11
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Those towing with Highlander Hybrid:

Glad to hear that Highlander Hybrid's are towing well. Do you have the 2.5 4 cylinder engine? That's what the new ones have. They changed from 3.5/V-6 for the 4th generation 2020 model. I'm hoping they still tow like yours do.
Also, I read somewhere that the CVT transmission is not ideal for towing. Have you found any troubles with that?

Lastly, what kind of mileage have you been getting (compared to non-towing mpg's?)
Thanks! I'm trying to decide between gas model and hybrid and it's hard finding people with experience with the 2020 or 2021 models.
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Old 01-28-2021, 04:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by AlohaVicki View Post
Those towing with Highlander Hybrid:

Glad to hear that Highlander Hybrid's are towing well. Do you have the 2.5 4 cylinder engine? That's what the new ones have. They changed from 3.5/V-6 for the 4th generation 2020 model. I'm hoping they still tow like yours do.
Also, I read somewhere that the CVT transmission is not ideal for towing. Have you found any troubles with that?

Lastly, what kind of mileage have you been getting (compared to non-towing mpg's?)
Thanks! I'm trying to decide between gas model and hybrid and it's hard finding people with experience with the 2020 or 2021 models.
It all comes down to the factory tow rating. The number of cylinders doesn't really matter. But generally a 6 cylinder has more power tham a 4.
My highlanders have both had 6 cylinders, both the hybrid with CVT, and this 5
speed.
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Old 01-28-2021, 05:05 PM   #13
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Thanks, Wayne
The 2021 HH remains with a 3500# tow rating, so that's good.
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Old 01-28-2021, 05:12 PM   #14
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I recommend the Toyota Hitch, as it fits into the rear bumper, and sits higher than an after market hitch. Downside is the 7 pin electric connector hangs too low and is vulnerable to damage when not towing, if you back into a snow drift, or something.
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Old 01-28-2021, 05:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlohaVicki View Post
Those towing with Highlander Hybrid:

Glad to hear that Highlander Hybrid's are towing well. Do you have the 2.5 4 cylinder engine? That's what the new ones have. They changed from 3.5/V-6 for the 4th generation 2020 model. I'm hoping they still tow like yours do.
Also, I read somewhere that the CVT transmission is not ideal for towing. Have you found any troubles with that?

Lastly, what kind of mileage have you been getting (compared to non-towing mpg's?)
Thanks! I'm trying to decide between gas model and hybrid and it's hard finding people with experience with the 2020 or 2021 models.
If you prefer the 6 cylinder version, consider a factory certified used unit. We’ve bought most of our vehicles that way, 2-3 years old, with around 20K miles, practically indistinguishable from new, and thousands less. It takes a little more patience to find one with the equipment & color you want, well-cared for, etc.

Hybrid or not, I’d personally prefer the V6 for towing. The 3.5L is a great engine, quiet and smooth. Based on my experience with the 2.5L in my wife's RAV4, it's capable, but harsh when pushed. Fine for local errands, but it could get tiresome in all-day towing.

Toyota’s hybrid CVT is different than the belt-and-pulley CVT used in non-hybrid models by other manufacturers. Seems to handle towing okay.
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:08 PM   #16
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Thanks for the tip on the hitch, Wayne.

Jon....how do you go about finding these certified used vehicles? Are they at dealers?
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlohaVicki View Post
Thanks for the tip on the hitch, Wayne.

Jon....how do you go about finding these certified used vehicles? Are they at dealers?
Factory certified vehicles are sold through the respective dealers, and they typically come with a longer factory-supported warranty (check the details; some are better than others). I have a few preferred dealers and I check their inventory regularly online. I also set up a search on cars.com with the vehicle, price and mileage range, and check often for new listings.

Sometimes it takes several months, and we are never in a hurry. I might visit a dealer to test drive vehicles on my short list early in the process, but I mostly stay away until I'm pretty sure I've found "the one." I hate all the phone calls, e-mails, and pressure.

I'm always open to a non-certified unit, too, but only if it's a really good deal. Our last purchase was a non-certified, 2-year-old RAV4 with 30K miles and $10K less than MSRP.
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Old 01-28-2021, 07:04 PM   #18
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F150 Hybrid

Ford now has a 3.5L F150 hybrid. Should tow almost any FGRV other than a big Bigfoot or an Oliver. One cool feature is the "Pro Power Onboard" which they advertise as a generator but seems to be a Lithium battery, inverter, etc that recharges when the engine is running. You could plug your trailer in.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:11 PM   #19
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My HH is a 3.5L. The CVT is actually an advantage because there is no transmission fluid to overheat -- it changes gear electronically I think.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Lisle View Post
My HH is a 3.5L. The CVT is actually an advantage because there is no transmission fluid to overheat -- it changes gear electronically I think.
CVT is a belt drive design, it doesn't have 'gears', it has pulleys with a belt between them, and the pulleys are each made from a pair of cones that can be slid closer or farther apart, which makes their effective diameter larger or smaller.

they aren't very good for delivering a large amount of torque, and they are very prone to premature failure and expensive repairs when abused.
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