Newer SUV with 3500lbs Towing Capacity Recommendations - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-12-2020, 03:27 PM   #1
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Name: Leon
Trailer: 1974 Trillium 1300
Ontario
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Newer SUV with 3500lbs Towing Capacity Recommendations

We have a 1974 Trillium 1300 that weighs in around 1500lbs more or less (no brakes). Currently driving a 2008 Sante Fe with 3.3l V6 and never had any towing problems but it needs to be replaced soon. Retiring this year and plan on doing much more exploring with our trailer. Also carrying a canoe and bikes from time to time. Want to get something used but newer (like a 2018), dependable and like with the Sante Fe give us that extra cushion of towing capacity. Something that tows 3500lbs would do us fine. We live in Ontario, Canada so something with AWD is preferred. Though people speak highly of Outbacks, someone in the trailer business suggested we avoid them. Would appreciate suggestions. Also, do we look for something with a tow package? If adding new hitch to vehicle, should I get a Class III to be safe?

Thanks for your responses.

Leon
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:56 PM   #2
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Name: Steve
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Ford Expedition with tow package
Chevy Traverse with tow package
Dodge Durango with tow package
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:11 PM   #3
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Since you like the Santa Fe, have you looked at a new one or its corporate cousin the Kia Sorento? I think the V6 is still offered in some versions.
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:28 PM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
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Tow rigs

We’ve had very good results towing both an Escape 19 and an Escape 21 with a 2012 and now a 2018 Toyota Highlander.
My daughter tows her Boler with a Nissan Pathfinder and it serves her well. If you are sold on the body on Frame concept I’d look at a Toyota Forerunner or the big boy the Toyota Sequoia. The Dodge Durango with the Hemi is very nice rig too.
If a Pickup is your desire, a Toyota Tacoma or Tundra. I like Honda branded vehicles and several folks I know have used the Honda Ridgeline and the Honda Pilot. I wouldn’t be afraid of either one of those. Lots of good machines out there.
YMMV
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:48 PM   #5
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Name: Justus
Trailer: Hymer Touring GT
Illinois
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What type of vehicle are you looking for? Another midsize SUV? We are very pleased with our Highlander, and the smaller RAV4 (which can be rated as high as 3500 lbs with the Adventure trim) also comes with high praise. Toyotas have a reputation for reliability, though this comes at a premium. I thought the current generation of Mazda CX-9s were very nice, but they top out at 3,500 lbs towing and we wanted 5,000 lbs. It's a larger SUV and is priced accordingly. For it's size and not being a hybrid, it gets good mileage.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:05 AM   #6
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Name: sven
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add brakes

I would add electric brakes regardless. Subaru outback flat 6 engine. 2018-19 . don't think they offered the 6 in 2020
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:32 AM   #7
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Name: Gib
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Kia Sorento

We tow our 2000 lb T@B with a 2018 Kia Sorento V-6 AWD and are very happy with the choice. Whatever you get, electric brakes are HIGHLY recommended.

I would avoid Subaru Outback. Either the 2.5 4 cylinder or the 3.6 6 cylinder will pull the trailer okay. But with a 200 lbs tongue weight limitation you will likely run into problems. We towed for a season with an Outback and at times it felt like the tail was wagging the dog. Too much weight on the rear of the vehicle for safe operation.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:06 AM   #8
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I highly recommend the Honda Pilot V6 AWD, which tows up to 4,500 lbs with the optional tow package. It is an ideal tow vehicle for smaller trailer. The steering is amazingly responsive, the interior and suspension are super-comfortable and it gets very decent mileage (about 24 mpg on the highway).

We have a 2WD V6 Honda Pilot and LOVE it - the 2WD version tows a max of 2,000 lbs., so we have used it to tow a T@B (which we eventually sold) and a utility trailer (which we still have). Its handling and gas mileage while towing have been superb.

We are currently shopping for a SECOND SUV with a higher tow capacity to replace my Nissan Frontier (great truck, but we want another SUV). A Honda Pilot AWD which could tow our 1988 Bigfoot B19 (so about a 7,000 lb tow capacity) would be our ideal dream car. Hello, Honda, are you reading these forums! Come on and give Ford and Chevy a run for their money!
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:30 AM   #9
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Newer SUV with 3500lbs Towing Capacity Recommendations

Pilot 2WD tow rating varies from 2000# to 3500# depending on year. My 2011 is 3500#; it dropped to 2000# in 2012. I think they dropped the auxiliary ATF cooler from 2WD trims. Must have caught some flak, because the 2WD tow rating went back up with the 2015 redesign.

Pilot 4WD is 4500 or 5000#, again depending on year.

One thing I like about the Pilot is Honda supplies integrated 7-pin trailer wiring from the factory, including a brake line and port to connect a controller. Highlander does not.

For tow ratings in the 7000# range, you need a large RWD chassis, something Honda has shown no inclination to develop.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:02 PM   #10
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
We’ve had very good results towing both an Escape 19 and an Escape 21 with a 2012 and now a 2018 Toyota Highlander.
My daughter tows her Boler with a Nissan Pathfinder and it serves her well. If you are sold on the body on Frame concept I’d look at a Toyota Forerunner or the big boy the Toyota Sequoia. The Dodge Durango with the Hemi is very nice rig too.
If a Pickup is your desire, a Toyota Tacoma or Tundra. I like Honda branded vehicles and several folks I know have used the Honda Ridgeline and the Honda Pilot. I wouldn’t be afraid of either one of those. Lots of good machines out there.
YMMV
Iowa Dave
That would be a 4Runner, Dave
I will be picking up a 2017 Highlander today. has 5000 lb tow capacity./wc
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:48 PM   #11
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Name: Rick
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I would also suggest considering the Honda Ridgeline. We replaced our 4runner with one and I've never been happier with a vehicle. Great if you are taking bikes on your trips.

I also have an Outback and a friend had a Forester. Base on our experience, the Honda is a much more reliable vehicle. Toyota too.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:43 PM   #12
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Leon,
I'd agree with @threepine on the Ridgeline.
It meets all your specs. I believe all the CDN models are AWD.

The AWD switches to FWD at travelling speeds.
Most comfortable vehicle I've ever owned.
You are welcome to take a look at mine & take it for a spin. But it is not for sale. I plan on keeping this one for a while.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:32 AM   #13
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Third on the Ridgeline. I bought one this fall and it is great for towing (though my trailer is just about 2100 lbs tongue included). At least some come ready to tow with a hitch and 7-way wiring so it is just a matter of plugging in the brake controller and adding a receiver bar. I can and have towed my trailer with a 2012 Forester (2400 lb capacity) but the ride is better with the Ridgeline.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:33 AM   #14
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Pilot 2WD tow rating varies from 2000# to 3500# depending on year. My 2011 is 3500#; it dropped to 2000# in 2012. I think they dropped the auxiliary ATF cooler from 2WD trims. Must have caught some flak, because the 2WD tow rating went back up with the 2015 redesign.

Pilot 4WD is 4500 or 5000#, again depending on year.

One thing I like about the Pilot is Honda supplies integrated 7-pin trailer wiring from the factory, including a brake line and port to connect a controller. Highlander does not.

For tow ratings in the 7000# range, you need a large RWD chassis, something Honda has shown no inclination to develop.
I second the suggestion of a Pilot. Test drive one and you will be sold. Quiet, smooth and capable power with their V-6. We drive a 2018 Ridgeline and love it as a TV and just a daily driver, which is essentially a lengthened Pilot. Our Ridgeline capably tows our 17SD Casita.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:17 PM   #15
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We have towed a 1977 Trillium 4500 with 3 different Subaru Outbacks over 14 years. We live in hilly Montana and have never had any problem. Steep passes get a bit slow but we always feel very safe towing it. All but steep or very rutted dirt roads are a breeze. Have also towed it more recently with a 2013 Toyota Highlander with the same results.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:39 PM   #16
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Looks like the consensus is Pacific Rim vehicles.
That's OK since anything can tow a Trillium 1300.



I think that the Trillium needs a friction anti-sway device to tone down its "Odie" complex though.
I had one and it is a really well made trailer, but it responds well to a friction bar.
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
"Also, do we look for something with a tow package?"

I would always seek out a vehicle with a factory tow package. Some are quite inclusive, others not so much. Recreating what is included in a factory tow package can be a PITA. Better to get the factory's version instead.

In the case of my F150, there are THREE separate optional tow packages. One is very basic, the middle is OK, and the best is very complete. SUVs tend to not have three different tow packages. But an investigation up front is a good idea.

We will be shopping here shortly to replace my wife's car. Its her turn! Step 1 is get some brochures. Step 2 is lots of reading.
As a point of reference, with a FACTORY tow package my Durango can tow 6200#. With anything after-market, even dealer-installed, its only 3500#.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:50 PM   #18
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Name: James
Trailer: 17' Boler
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Smile Santa Fe

We have a 17ft Boler and we tow it with a 2014 Santa Fe 2Litre Turbo which tows better then our previous 2007 3.3V6 santa Fe.We gone coast to coast and as far as south as New Mexico.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:42 AM   #19
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Name: Pierre
Trailer: Trillium Legend 1500
Quebec
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I have a 15 feet Trillium weighting 1 700 pounds and a 2.5 l 2018 Subaru Outback. Never experienced problems. It's my second Subaru. I would strongly recommend to install electric brakes on your trailer. Having a 4 engine could you save a lot on gasoline.
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