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Old 07-31-2015, 12:01 PM   #1
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Name: Raj
Trailer: Escape Trailer - SOLD
Florida
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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 !!!!!
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:03 PM   #2
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
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I wouldn't worry about cold and snow up here. Your Lexus will do fine with a WDH.

Go to: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/climate...th=2&cmdB1=Go#

to find historical weather for Chilliwack - February 2014.
You will see no snow and average temps well above freezing.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:06 PM   #3
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Raj,

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.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:37 PM   #4
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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.


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Old 07-31-2015, 02:56 PM   #5
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Save your money

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.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:11 PM   #6
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Name: Raj
Trailer: Escape Trailer - SOLD
Florida
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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
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:21 PM   #7
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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 ).
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:27 PM   #8
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My RAV4 is Sport model with tow package and 269hp V6. It goes.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:42 PM   #9
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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.

You want to be happy with your choices in TV and trailer... It will make every trip more fun and more comfortable.
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:05 PM   #10
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Name: lee
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towing

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
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:17 PM   #11
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Another vote for the Lexus...it 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!
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
Another vote for the Lexus...it 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.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:49 PM   #13
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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 Highlander...one 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!!!
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
If you want to drive a real suprise rocket ship try a V6/Hybrid automatic Highlander...one 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.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:10 AM   #15
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I do not have the towing spec on the Hybrid Highlander...the standard Highlander with a V6 automatic can tow 5,000 pounds...no info on the Hybrid.
My only test drive of the Hybrid Highlander was in 2007 and my test involved an "off the line" full power start on the entrance ramp of an expressway...got up to over 80 MPH at the top of the ramp! I was both suprised and impressed!
You do not equate fast with the normal Hybrid vehicle but the combination of the very powerful electric motor engaged with a 269 HP V6 engine at the same time with the petal-to-the-metal was very impressive! Interesting combination....a very knowledgable Toyota service technician had warned me of the powerful off the line surge I would get if I hit the accelerator in the manner I did (that prompted my "test" on the expressway ramp)....burned a little rubber of the tires!
In theory the electric motor does not engage with the V6 gasoline engine....in slow traffic only the electric motor powers the vehicle...the gasoline engine powers the vehicle in a "demand situation" or when the battery system needs charging...the change over is seamless and you almost never hear the gasoline engine start to supply more power or run the alternator to charge the battery. Great system overall for both gasoline economy and power! I did note the Highlander Hybrid had the smallest improvement in overall gas mileage of the available Hybrids...but it is a full time four wheel drive vehicle.
I did own a regular Highlander for a time and it was a very nice vehicle...lots of interior space and plenty of power....when a chance to grab a FJ Landcruiser presented itself I sold the Highlander and now drive the FJ Cruiser and it is a great tow vehicle with plenty of power and weight (4,700 Lbs dry)....fantastic off road 4X4 abilities!

Happy Camping!
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:26 AM   #16
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Wow congrats on your brand new Escape. Gonna be an epic trip there to pick it up. Happy Camping! A lot of folks say make sure you have a tranny cooler (for summer time) on whatever vehicle you decide on.

2012 Escape 19 towed by 2012 Ford Flex
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:35 AM   #17
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We have the Highlander with tow package. Will tow the 19 Escape at highway speeds all day long. Have to watch it in flat country or the next thing you know, it's running 75 mph. No ticket yet but it won't surprise me when it happens. I'd set the Lexus up and not worry about it, it will do the job. Then when you're ready to get your next vehicle you'll have a really good idea of your wants and needs.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:39 PM   #18
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As I understand it, the 2008+ HL hybrid is rated for 3500 lb towing (but the 500 lb hitch rating should still apply). It has a different 4wd system than the regular HL, though... the hybrid's rear wheels are powered by electric motors that kick in only when slippage is detected at the front wheels. Whereas the regular HL splits its power full-time between the axles.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:58 PM   #19
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Chilliwack is on THE main highway across Canada (Route 1 I think) and is a freeway. Not likely to have winter road issues on that.
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:10 PM   #20
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Name: Stuart
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Which tow vehicle to buy

To Norm, I was interested in your comments on RAV 4 and Honda CRV. I had a 'o4 CRV, v-4v which was a very good car, but I was a bit disappointed in the mpg & it wasn't rated to tow my 3500# Casita 17'. I now have a 2008 Merc Mountaineer 4L v6. Power of ok, tho torque a bit low, and towing mpg sucks at around 14. So I'm curious how RAV4 stacks up, also Highlander. Have always been impressed by Toyota products...have you any info on 4Runner as a TV?

My Merc has the advantage that I own it, and it's under 70k miles, but tho I like it ok I'm not truly fond of it!

Thanks, Stu
Ps o3842 if your zip, means we are close by; we're in Concord/Loudon.
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