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Old 09-01-2006, 05:17 PM   #1
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Patrick M.'s Avatar
Trailer: 2007 Casita Liberty Deluxe 17 ft / Honda Odyssey
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The Wall Street Journal had an article today on hybrid SUVs and the towing amounts caught my attention. Shown here is their list with price, towing capacity and mileage city/hwy.

Anyone towing with a Highlander, hybrid or not?

Saturn Vue Green Line
$22,370 - 1,500 - 27/32

Ford Escape
$25,600 - 1,000 - 36/31

Mercury Mariner
$29,225 - 1,000 - 33/29

Toyota Highlander
$33,030 - 3,500 - 33/28

Lexus RX 400h
$44,660 - 3,500 - 33/28
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:51 PM   #2
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Trailer: 76 13 ft Scamp (fits in my Garage...Yeah)
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I looked at the escape and asked if they could tow a small a burro
they said No...the electric engine is not meant for towing and would not be covered
under warranty...The Ford guy said there was a write up about the hybrids and towing somewhere
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:06 AM   #3
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Trailer: 94 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 11

... and it's the first hybrid rated by its manufacturer for towing, with a capacity of 1,000 lbs,
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:40 PM   #4
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16 ft
Posts: 97
And I believe a standard Escape pulls 3,500 lbs. Why would you pay more to get less, towing wise? Hybrids have their place on the city streets, but not the open roads, pulling weight. (except for locomotives, which I guess you could call "hybrids," except they use their diesel-generated current directly, without battery storage).

My Subaru Forester gets 18 mpg with trailer and 25+ mpg without. That will do for me until I can buy a similar small SUV with a turbodiesel and a manual transmission. For me, that's a necessity in a tow vehicle (though VW's DSG 'box shows promise- you get automated or manual operation- but maintain a direct, fluid-free, metal-to-metal power train that avoids the usual 10-15% penalty claimed by the typical slushbox.)

I appreciate your curiosity about hybrids, whether you're coming from an economical or ecological slant. Consider alternatives beyond the hybrids. I lay on the big workday miles, over 100 a day, in a VW TDI. It's so quiet and clean you won't notice it's a diesel, coming or going or behind the wheel. I had the gas engine in the same car, and this is superior in every way (except for quietness at idle, though it's not bad, and much quieter at speed). I've saved thousands of bucks over four years. I get 35 mpg +, up 10 mpg from the gasser, but diesel does cost more. The bigger payoff comes in residual value-- these cars are in high demand and depreciate very slowly. Typically, there's not an 8-year-old TDI on sale anywhere on the net below $6,000, and they have over 200,000 miles on them.

Planetary-wise, I'm happy to say I haven't bought any petroleum-based fuels for that car in six months or so. Running B100 processed soy biodiesel, I'm carbon-neutral and totally renewable. I think it's a greener choice to burn 30 gallons of bio, every 1,000 miles, than 20 gallons of gas in some hybrid.

What does that have to do with trailers? My Golf doesn't have a trailer hitch. It doesn't even have enough ground clearance to negiatiate forest campground roads. But most of us tahe two cars, or more. The gas I save with my TDI helps make up for the pleasure trips with the "Scamparu".
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:46 AM   #5
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John and others, you might like to see what counts as a good towcar elsewhere:
Practical Caravanning Towcars of the Year 2005

Relevantly for John, the Golf TDi gets runner-up satus in the 'small family car' class while the Forester wins the 'compact 4x4' and overall classes - the Forrester is the only winner with a petrol (gas) engine, although here it has a 2.0litre turbo which has loads of torque but poor economy.

If looking at the numbers, one needs to remember that a British gallon is 20% bigger than a US one, so the mpg figures look better to you than they are. And if you want a scare, multiply those kilogram tow weights by 2.2 to get pounds, but note that permitted nose (hitch) weights are as low as 4% of the tow capacity.

For comparison, here petrol (gas) is $6.80 per USgal and diesel is $7.00.

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Old 04-07-2007, 10:17 PM   #6
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Trailer: Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
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Today I got a chance to tow a friends 13 foot Scamp with our 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The trailer only weighs about 1000 pounds with 120 pound tongue weight. The Hybrid Highlander pulled it just fine - hardly knew it was behind us.

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My wife and I are looking at getting a Casita 17 foot SD. Carla at Casita has got to be the most patient sales person in the world. She got me in touch with two owners who have 17 foot Casitas and Highlanders. One person has a regular V-6 Highlander and uses a WDH and sway bar and has no trouble towing. The other owner lives in Colorado and has the Highlander Hybrid and again, has no trouble towing the 17 foot Casita.
Now we just have to get our trailer ordered.
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