Need a new tug - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-05-2018, 09:08 AM   #1
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Name: Hazel
Trailer: Trillium
Saskatchewan
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Need a new tug

Last week we totally destroyed our vehicle. Smashed beyond repair. The good news is the driver and passengers weren't hurt beyond some sore muscles and colourful bruises.

The challenge is deciding on the best replacement. We operate with one vehicle so adaptable, reliable and affordable is important. It also needs to tow our Trillium. We are thinking it might be worthwile to view some Honda CRV's. Can anyone offer some thoughts - and suggestions for other possibilities?
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:11 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your accident, but glad there were no serious injuries.

As to a CR-V, the tow rating- 1500 pounds- is really marginal for a 13'er. If you add much in the way of extra people or cargo to trailer or vehicle, you can easily end up overloaded.

You might want to check out a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T (or its mechanical twin, a Kia Sorento EX 2.0T). Both models- with the 2.0T turbo engine- are rated to tow 3500 pounds (last time I checked, anyway). Decent reliability, long powertrain warranty, and about the same size as the CR-V, maybe a tad larger.

I drove a rented Santa Fe (regular 4cyl, not turbo) for 6 weeks and 3000 miles when our Pilot got crunched in a rear-ender. Seemed like a competent vehicle- great mileage (low 30's highway with AWD), peppy, good handling and braking. Didn't care for the swoopy style and small rear windows, but most of the compact SUV's look like that. The Sorento looks better to my eye, but I haven't driven one.

For a much better AWD system, don't forget the Subaru Outback. The 200 pound hitch limit is a bit more restrictive, but it should still be enough for a 13'er as long as you don't plan to load up the cargo area too much. Not sure about the tow rating these days, but I believe it is north of 2500 pounds, plenty for a 13'er with some margin to spare.

Among domestics, the Ford Escape is a CR-V-sized vehicle rated to tow up to 3500 pounds with the 2.0L Ecoboost engine and tow package. If you're going to shop used, older V6 Escapes are plentiful.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:41 AM   #3
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Name: Dave W
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My nephew bought an Intrepid and towed a Trillium 4500, for me, from Ontario to Calgary. While he felt that the trailer did slow him down, it towed flawlessly. A combination of wheels that are near the corners of the vehicle, and an oversized transmission, for the engine, make this a fairly good tow vehicle.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Intrepid
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:59 AM   #4
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
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tug

Look at tow rating . As for me i look at the wet weight of trailer lets say 1500 lbs so i look for at least 3500 and up in a tow rating.In the past i have used leser tow values .It is the kitten carying the cat .also make sure that it has factory tow package .and not an add on. this alone will save in repairs and greaf.Towing at the max value is lots of stress on the tug and your bank acount. PS i have that t shrit . Happy Trails
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:59 AM   #5
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Interesting conversation, I've been towing my 17' Casita LD with a 2001 Jeep Cherokee, which I love. But the gas mileage sucks. Was wondering what was out there that had the power, but better mileage, seen the 13' pulled by a Subaru, had wondered if a Subaru would pull the 17'.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:02 AM   #6
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The new 2018 Subaru Ascent might... haven't heard what the tow ratings will be yet, but speculation is they will be comparable to the rest of the 3-row crossover crowd.

The rest of Subaru's line-up limits hitch weight to 200 pounds or less, so nothing bigger than 13'.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:04 AM   #7
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Name: MURRAY
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Smile accident

Glad to here only the pride is hurt.
Better days ahead.
Go and enjoy
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:15 PM   #8
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What were you driving? Did you like it?
What are your prejudices?
You seem predisposed to like Honda.
Buy what you like enough to maintain without complaint.
People who seek advice on a new car purchase almost always know what they want and are just seeking confirmation.
The CRV has a CVT transmission and 185 hp, it is cute and competitively priced. I like the blue for a color choice so you can find it in the parking lot amongst all the gray and silver ones.
There are plenty of other cars in direct competition, some more capable.
Problem is you must trust the maker and enjoy the image in what you drive.

For the money I would buy a new 2017 Escape 2.0L with a factory tow package. Great discounts right now! But then I have never sought outside advice for a vehicle purchase and I don't know how you feel about being seen in a Ford.

Truly glad to hear that everybody is ok and I hope your insurance company cooperates well and quickly, so that you can put this all behind you by the time the bruises clear up.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:21 PM   #9
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Name: Steve
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For a used SUV in the CRV size range I suggest a V6 RAV4, 269 hp, made 2006-2012. Rated at 3500 lbs if I recall correctly. I had one before my current FJ Cruiser and loved it.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:41 PM   #10
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I have s 2015 Honda CR-V. I like it alot. The car is quite comfortable for daily chores. The CVT is very smooth, the car has plenty of power and I've yet to fill it up (with stuff, not gas). Its a great grocery getter, but I would not want to tow with it, at least not for long distance. For the occasional going to the lake, maybe but for seeing the country I prefer something with a V6 and atleast a 3500 lb tow limit.

When I first bought my Trillium it weighed 1680 lbs. It's now over 1800lbs. Much like it's owners, things change.
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:13 PM   #11
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Name: bill
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+10 Need to step up a bit if you want to tow. V6 RAV4 is a good choice, typical Toyota quality and decent tow rating. CRV is not up to it IMHO.
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Old 01-05-2018, 03:05 PM   #12
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+10 Need to step up a bit if you want to tow. V6 RAV4 is a good choice, typical Toyota quality and decent tow rating. CRV is not up to it IMHO.
2008 to 2012 RAV4 V6, with 'tow prep' package. In Canada, the RAV4 comes with larger alternator, radiator, transmission fluid cooler.
Fuel economy sucks compared to many other vehicles though.
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Old 01-05-2018, 03:27 PM   #13
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My V6 RAV4 got upper 20s on the highway...not while towing though! I was happy with that.
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Old 01-05-2018, 03:36 PM   #14
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I get 15 MPG towing.
For Canadians, I use 10 litres / 100 kilometers not towing, and, 15 litres / 100 km towing (mountains here in BC ).
It's around town, not towing, where I'd like considerable improvement over what I'm getting.
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:57 PM   #15
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Name: Hazel
Trailer: Trillium
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Great responses. I'll be passing them on to my partner who is the final decision maker on this topic.

Our trailer is on the light side. We camp much like we did when we had a pup tent! The trailer is REALLY basic - it only has what is designed in minus the water supply. We don't carry water - we fill a portable container on site. We add some bedding and personal items plus a light, folding chair each. The food that isn't in the fridge lives in the car. Cooking implements also fit in the car.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:58 AM   #16
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Parting shots... Consider transmission type as you shop. Honda and Subaru now use CVT automatics, while Kia, Hyundai, and Ford use conventional geared automatics. CVT's have come a long way, but I would be leery of towing extensively near the max rating with one. Subaru cuts the tow rating in half when climbing long grades in high ambient temperatures, and I've heard it's to protect the transmission. Honda's CVT is a fairly recent change in the CR-V, so it's relatively untested in towing duty. When test driving a CVT vehicle make sure it can be manually "geared down" when descending a grade.

Speaking of testing, under the new J2807 towing standards, tow ratings are tested using a low profile box trailer with a frontal area of only 20 sf (<2000#) and 30sf (<3500#). A Trillium is more like 40 sf, so that's another reason to have some extra margin in the tow rating. A stiff headwind can make a 1500# egg-type trailer feel like much more. Been there...

Have fun shopping! Don't put too much stock in what salespeople tell you about towing. When you get close to a decision, remember you can download the owner's manual for just about any vehicle by googling something like "2017 Honda CR-V Owner's Manual." Read everything it says about towing. That's the only way you'll know about little caveats like Subaru's "reduce the rating by 50% when climbing long grades in high temperatures."
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:55 AM   #17
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
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tug

My tug is a little over kill hor eggs a dodge 3500 .with a camper in the box and my big foot on the back .easy towing lots of power in the mountians.MPG is about 17 to20 l per 100. thats the same as my jeep 4.7 running with just me in it.The truck gets 10 to 12, l per 100 by it self. Up side i can pull up to 26000 lbs with the tow package . When it comes to tugs biger is beter .Jon has good info as well .Honda has som random air bag deployment problems .driving down graval roads set them off.In Canada they wont waranty them . Big money as much as 10k + Have a safe and good summer .Happy Trails
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:09 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Parting shot... Consider transmission type as you shop. Honda and Subaru now use CVT automatics, while Kia, Hyundai, and Ford use conventional geared automatics. CVT's have come a long way, but I would be leery of towing extensively near the max rating with one. Subaru cuts the tow rating in half when climbing long grades in high ambient temperatures, and I've heard it's to protect the transmission. Honda's CVT is a fairly recent change in the CR-V, so it's relatively untested in towing duty. When test driving a CVT vehicle make sure it can be manually "geared down" when descending a grade.

Speaking of testing, under the new J2807 towing standards, tow ratings are tested using a low profile box trailer with a frontal area of only 20 sf (<2000#) and 30sf (<3500#). A Trillium is more like 40 sf, so that's another reason to have some extra margin in the tow rating. A stiff headwind can make a 1500# egg-type trailer feel like much more. Been there...

Have fun shopping!
My daughter tows her LIGHTWEIGHT , pop-up trailer with a van with a CVT transmission. ( It's some foreign brand which I can't remember, ) What I do know is that they've had the transmission replaced once under warranty and now it needs to be repaired / released again . The transmission shop recommended that they avoid towing with the CVT transmission.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:08 AM   #19
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There was a show on PBS this morning showcasing the new Ford Explorer. The Explorer got high grades and looks like a great tow vehicle to me and to the shows producers. Floyd may have more factual information.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:54 AM   #20
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My neighbor (and I) were owners of V6 RAV4's that we used for towing. When they dropped the V6, my replacement was a Tacoma, but his wife was not comfortable with a truck. He purchased a V6 Kia Sorento with tow package, rated at 5000 lbs, 500 lbs tongue. So far he (and his wife) have been happy with it.
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