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Old 09-13-2003, 07:57 AM   #15
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Originally posted by stellablu
Very interesting that most use American vehicles to tow with.

But my husband absolutely hates American vehicles due to all the breakdowns he's had in the past.

Interesting observations. I am a died-in-the-wool Toyota truck fan. I've had three small pickups, a T-100, two FJ-40 Land Cruisers, and two FJ-60 Landcruisers.

The only one of the bunch I bought new was an '82 FJ-60, the then-heavyweight in the Toyota lineup. It was absolutely THE most miserable experience I've ever had with a car. It broke. It ate up tires (in less than 12k miles). The radio didn't work when I took delivery and Toyota was terrible about it. They finally told me, "Sorry, we can't get the front end to align properly. Have a nice life." Talk about crummy customer service!

We've since had a number of Hondas, Mitsubishis (currently have a '92 3000GT VR-4, our second 3000GT) sedans and SUVs over the years.

As you can tell, I really enjoy the foreign cars and trucks too, but...

I can tell you that in my experience the domestics are built to haul; they're not SUVs that are built for bad weather driving that happen to have a tow weight rating. That's why you'll find that most folks haul with domestics, me included. To borrow a phrase from the late '60s muscle car era, "there's no substitute for cubic inches" and it's absolutely the truth. You can wring every cc's worth of power out of a puffer six, but it's still a small-block six. When you need power, there's nothing like a domestic V-8 with LOTS of cubic inches. I'm not talking twist-curvy canyon-charging handling like with the foreigns, but practical, SAFE trailer hauling power.

Best of luck with your choice!


AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 09-13-2003, 09:07 AM   #16
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I do think a lot of it (domestic vs. import) has to do with the price of comparable tow vehicles. The Toureg is $50,000, the Sequoia (sp?) is 45,000, and on and on. I too would love an import (87 CRX is going strong after all these years), but even used, I can't afford any of the imports that are strong enough to tow anything. So I make do with my Astro, which, I could buy 4-5 used ones for the price of a new SUV........ THAT makes it much more bearable in my book.
Marc - wishing for a Porsche Cayenne in my future

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Old 09-13-2003, 10:57 AM   #17
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Ahh, thanks guys. We did have a Blazer at one point that was the best truck until the Chevy dealer screwed it up and charged us like tons of $$ to "fix" it. Never did fix it.

I like the prices on used american vehicles also and will just put my foot down on it at some point. I've seen another new Trailblazer today and really liked it.

Ahh, the quest will continue - right after the 2004 Chicago Auto Show!!!! I just can't wait. - drag around the husband and the
kid(s) is fun - sort of. I've always been a car nut and my husband tolerates me for it. Bless him! HA!

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Old 09-13-2003, 11:25 AM   #18
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Another foreign option

Stellablu, since you like foreign cars, consider the Honda Pilot. Tow rating is 3500-4500 depending on the aerodynamics of the trailer (Honda is one of the first to acknowledge this important factor), with 450 lb tongue weight.

We get 20 MPG in mixed driving, 23 hwy, and 13 towing. It drives like a car and so we like it for daily driving, which absolutely would not be the case with any pickup truck. The third-row seats that fold down flat are a bonus (seating for 8 like a minivan).

Best of all, the LX version is well equipped at about $27k.

- RL
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Old 09-20-2003, 10:19 AM   #19
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Foreign vs. Domestic Vehicles

Another consideration when figuring out whether to buy American or not is where you'll be traveling most of the time. I am a devoted German car fan, but for trailering I'll stick with an American vehicle since we spend most of our time camping in remote locations.

The Toyota Tundra is a wonderful truck and the VW Touareg is classy as all get out, but peace of mind comes from knowing that if my Chevy gives up the ghost in Canyonlands National Park, there's a dealer in Moab who can fix the problem. That's not true of foreign brands.

If you spend most of your time in or near urban areas, then any brand of vehicle will do. However, if you like getting away from it all then trading off some build quality for dealer availability might be worth it.
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:56 PM   #20
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VW ad campaign pulled.

I had actually purchased a VW Touareg with the intention of purchasing a vehicle to begin my trailer life (never owned one, but was looking forward to it!).

I had contacted my local airstream dealer and explained my intentions when he pointed out that VW has since pulled their ad campaign and was even going as far as refunding money for the vehicle for folks like me that were duped by their ad campaign with the towing capacity.

Tonight's news confirmed it for me! Here is a link to a full stream of the newscast from CBS news.

Go to to check this
video clip.

I love the vehicle, but the bad news is that the hitch and car can't support the tongue weight of a vehicle as large as in the ad!

Looks like I will start smaller and work my way up!
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Old 10-31-2003, 05:43 AM   #21
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Pretty funny. I recall somewhere on this forum, I posted where I just could not see where they were going to mount a substantial hitch to the back of that thing let alone support a large hitch weight from the looks of the rear of the vehicle......looks now if that link was correct, it was a bunch of smoke and mirrors?

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Old 10-31-2003, 08:01 AM   #22
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suspicions confirmed, I guess.

the other blatantly false thing they claim in their ads is that the toureg is way cheaper than comparable american luxury suv's. totally false, at can buy a very nice 'burban for that price. and hardly "comparable". much bigger, much more capable.

Current Dodge Durangos will tow 7500lbs (5.9L/3.92 gears). I know a guy that tow's his 25 footer and says its like "buddah". 2004, they're adding the option of a 5.7 hemi . tow rating: 8900lbs.

The Durango will actually DO what they claim....and its about 40K. VW ought to be ashamed for making such claims.
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Old 10-31-2003, 10:12 AM   #23
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I'm currently towing a 19' Bambi with a 5.7L LT1 powered Chevy Impala SS (modified). Total cost for car and mods--less than $15k.

Also I plan on towing a 25' Safari SS starting next month with the same vehicle. At that point however, the car will have 3.73 gears compared to the current 2.93 which currently rates the car at 5000lbs towing capacity. I would assume with the mods and the gear swaps that the 5000lbs may increase to about 6300? Hopefully!

Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 10-31-2003, 10:18 AM   #24
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What a bummer, I was wanting to see how well the diesel model pulled a trailer. I would never buy a new one, but a good used one would have interested me.
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:40 AM   #25
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2004 Toyota 4Runner V8?

I was just wondering if any of you would reconsider the 4Runner as a tow vehicle for a smaller (Bambi) trailer with the changes Toyota has made in the 2004 model. The V8 model is rated to tow 7000/7300 lbs., depending on whether it's a 2WD or 4WD model. I have read that the new 4Runner is slightly largely than the older models, but I can't find specs on the older ones to be able to tell how much bigger it is.

Any opinions would be appreciated. We are considering the new 4Runner V8 for an '03 or '04 Bambi.
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Old 01-06-2004, 08:57 AM   #26
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It sound good to me. The Bambi, fully loaded I believe was 4600lbs, so you would be well under the trucks limits.
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Old 01-06-2004, 09:14 AM   #27
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4 Runner

A friend of mine has a new 4 Runner with the 8 cylinder and tows a 6000 lb trailer like a breeze. He recently made a trip over the Rockies to BC and said he could accellerate uphill like the trailer was not there. He said the fuel consumption was excellent. He recommended me to get one to tow my 86 Sovereign 25'er.
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Old 01-06-2004, 02:24 PM   #28
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My only concern with the Bambi/4-Runner combination would be how well the 4-Runner's relatively short wheelbase would handle the single-axle Bambi. We have pulled a 17' single-axle Caravel, a 24-foot single-axle Tradewind, and a 31' double-axle Sovereign with our F250 crew cab long bed diesel. Despite the greater weight of the Sovereign, it is in some respects an easier tow than the others because of the stability of the dual axles.

Even though we pull with a full weight distributing/sway control hitch combo with all the trailers, it seems as though the single-axle trailers (especially the shorter ones) bounce a little more and sometimes make even our long-wheelbase truck work a little harder. I thought it was only me until a service rep from our local Airstream dealer told me he'd rather pull a 34-foot triple-axle Limited over a Bambi for the same reason. However, I would imagine that a really good hitch system (Equal-i-zer, Pull-Rite, Hensley, etc.) would greatly minimize the bouncing.


Both Alex, my Argosy, and I are kids from Versailles, Ohio!
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