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Old 09-01-2014, 11:56 AM   #15
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Smallest towing vehicle

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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel would be an excellent choice to tow a 25 or smaller trailer.
Thanks.
Why do you say the new one? what about older versions?
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:57 AM   #16
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Where and how far...

A big part of the answer is how do you plan to use your Airstream. Are you going 100 miles from home for weekend camping trips or cross country? Are you in mountainous terrain or flatland. Daily towing around the country will be most satisfactory and comfortable in a big towing vehicle.

I am towing my 1968 26' Overlander (~4100 lbs) with a 2014 Mercedes-Benz ML350 SUV that has a towing capacity of 7200 lbs. The vehicle has computer controlled stability that is capable of correcting trailer sway and is available with optional air suspension (On/Off road package) that has a trailer mode that will level the vehicle when towing a trailer.

This is not a "car" but rather a mid-sized SUV but is is relatively compact and tows the trailer quite capably on the short trips we take. It is also a very nice daily driver for me.

You asked about "cars" but also mentioned Jeep so I assume SUV's are an option as Jeep does not make sedans or coupes? The only Jeep that works for a 25' plus is the Grand Cherokee.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Which of these cars is rated for a 25' Airstream?
"I want to buy a small trailer, not more than 25 .".

That was the upper bound. Many of the cars can tow 16/19/20/22 Ft Airstreams.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cory_can View Post
I wish these threads could just be closed...so frustrating to read. OP, there are plenty of vehicles that make great tow vehicles that are significantly underrated from the manufacturer. Do some searching through the site and you'll see people that are very successful (AND SAFE) with vehicles that aren't pickup trucks.

With all due respect, if it bothers you for people to ask these questions and get updated feedback, then just pass the thread on by. It's how we learn.


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Old 09-01-2014, 12:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cory_can View Post
I wish these threads could just be closed...so frustrating to read. OP, there are plenty of vehicles that make great tow vehicles that are significantly underrated from the manufacturer. Do some searching through the site and you'll see people that are very successful (AND SAFE) with vehicles that aren't pickup trucks.
If it's so frustrating for you to read them, why do you torture yourself?
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:00 PM   #20
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Smallest Towing car

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Originally Posted by Goal15 View Post
With all due respect, if it bothers you for people to ask these questions and get updated feedback, then just pass the thread on by. It's how we learn.


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I'm not sure you're getting the most updated feedback because from what I've read, the people being successful with towing smaller vehicles tend to pass these threads due to the same frustration I'm feeling. Why give your input if you always get into the same disagreements? I've heard it through PM from numerous people in my small time being here. At this point the feedback loop is closed and missing half the information. What is left is people recommending large pickup trucks that seem to think smaller vehicles are only capable of pulling Bambi sized and lower weight "classics". This information is perpetuated and nobody is learning anything...other than "must have long wheelbase", "must have 1/2 tonne pickup", "must obey manufacturer tow ratings" etc etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by terryV View Post
If it's so frustrating for you to read them, why do you torture yourself?
...mostly because of the above, trying to keep people's mind open to what the real options are......but, you're right, maybe I should just disregard the "timeline" feature and just stick with the safe categories so I'm oblivious

From now on I'll let you guys/gals to it
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:17 PM   #21
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Since you are shopping for both a trailer AND a tow vehicle, perhaps you should look at the tow rating specs of vehicles first to find what you will be happiest with as far as what you consider a small tow vehicle. After you see the tow ratings, you can then determine what your limitations would be on a particular length trailer. A 25' trailer leans more to the larger and heavier load so it becomes a marginal compromise finding an SUV over a truck. I tow a 25' with a VW Touareg with a 7700 lb. tow rating but am at the max with the hitch weight. That's why I also have a pickup truck. Check these ratings. Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:24 PM   #22
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Yes, this is definitely an interesting topic, one I don't want closed because how else are the newbies going to learn without using trial and error.
I drove semi trucks (PIE) in mountains years before the big fleets used engine compression brakes. White knuckle descents, applying and then letting the brakes cool, taught me how to come down those passes as safe as possible in those days.
Buy what you want to tow your trailer, but please read all the posts here with an open mind, and get advice before you come off a mountain pass in a vehicle with "car" brakes pulling a trailer that weights over 5,000 pounds.
I pull my 23FB with a 6.7 diesel because of the engine compression brake. I can descend a 12,000 foot pass without touching the brakes. I still grin, and remember my truck driving days every time. I also like that it will take me up the mountain going the speed limit.
Not saying what's right for me is right for you, but get advice before you drive in mountains with a small tow vehicle. Learn how to conserve those brakes.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:34 PM   #23
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Whatever you do please use the factory ratings to determine what TV best meets your needs. Those numbers should be treated as the gospel. Other forum members may try to convince you that you can safely and legally tow a large trailer with a grossly-undersized TV if it has been "massaged" properly. Ultimately you'll have to decide whether you want to do the job the "right way" or the "other way."

Even if you find a TV that is capable of handling the GVWR of your trailer, you really need to check your payload ratings. Most smaller vehicles just can't carry the massive tongue weights of AS trailers, plus passengers, plus cargo without exceeding the factory's payload rating.

There are a number of vehicles that aren't pickup trucks that have the capability to pull the larger trailers safely and legally.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:41 PM   #24
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Gospel? The right way and the other way? Ha ha ha.My point exactly.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:57 PM   #25
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I tow my airstream when my 2006 4 runner 4x4. It had the 4.0L V6. The airstream weighs about 4500 lbs. I normally set the Cruise control at 55 to 60 mph. I sometimes get passed by semi trucks but that's ok. I picked the 4runner up for $15,000. Being a young guy (29). I couldn't afford a 3/4 ton diesel. Without the trailer it's gets about 22 mpg. With trailer it's about 12 mpg. It has a good sized fuel tank so I still have good range with trailer. I have towed trailers for work with the 3/4 diesels from the big three (Chevy, Ford, and dodge). And they all do a great job. However in I really enjoy the 4runner. The short wheel base allows us to back into tight spots. It's easier to pull up to the gas stations. And does not come with the heavy price tag of bigger trucks. Plus makes a great practical daily driver. Of course a diesel would be great, but a lot can be done with a smaller budget and vehicle. If you would like some more advise PM me I would be happy to help.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:35 PM   #26
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Factory tow ratings Gospel?

I don't think so. That's been discussed to death and proven wrong daily. But it's a starting point.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:44 PM   #27
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Most advice given on the forum will be slanted towards caution. Yes, you can tow a trailer with a much smaller vehicle than it is rated for. But, should you do that?

When I had the boat store, I towed boats as big as 13,000 lbs. (with surge brakes) with a short WB 1/2 ton Chevy PU with a 5 speed manual transmission.

Was that enough truck? Absolutely not. Why did I do it, then?

It was the truck I had, and I was delivering the boat to the lake 7 miles away. No big hills, very little traffic, and I knew what I was doing. Many years of truck driving under my belt. Did I ever have a problem? No, not once.

I would never advise anyone else to do that because I don't know what skills they have, how far they want to go, and what the terrain and traffic will be.

If you are not planning to tow your AS farther than the campground a few miles away, you could, conceivably, get by with an undersized TV. However, I would never recommend it.
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:19 PM   #28
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I guess somebody has to trot out the liability post, and this time it might as well be me. CANADA has much different liability laws than the UNITED STATES, since they are, in fact, different countries. So, while some advice, and some attitudes, and posts, are coming from a different country with different laws, you should give careful consideration to the advice given by those persons that live in, and are subject to, the laws of the country you reside in. Even if a car could safely tow a larger trailer than it is officially rated for, if you get into any kind of accident, a sharp lawyer will take you to the cleaners, and you will end up spending many times more than the price of a properly rated tow vehicle, even if you end up winning in court.
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