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Old 02-06-2014, 07:32 PM   #1
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Towing

Folks we purchased as new AI Ext Cab. In October of this year. Considering purchasing and trailering a 19 foot AS trailer for long trips to establish a home base. We travel with animals and have been on the road for the past six weeks and due to return after Alumaflamingo in late Febuary. The van has performed better than expected with zero problems to report. That said traveling with a big dog (Lab) after such a long period on the road it can become crowded. The towing capacity of the van is 5000 lbs but was wondering if it is possible to haul a trailer slightly over that limit (20 foot Flying Cloud).

As usual all info is greatly appreciated

Joe
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:20 AM   #2
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Folks we purchased as new AI Ext Cab. In October of this year. Considering purchasing and trailering a 19 foot AS trailer for long trips to establish a home base. We travel with animals and have been on the road for the past six weeks and due to return after Alumaflamingo in late Febuary. The van has performed better than expected with zero problems to report. That said traveling with a big dog (Lab) after such a long period on the road it can become crowded. The towing capacity of the van is 5000 lbs but was wondering if it is possible to haul a trailer slightly over that limit (20 foot Flying Cloud).

As usual all info is greatly appreciated

Joe
That's what weight-distributing hitches are for. But my experience with WD hitches is miniscule, so I'll defer to the more experienced on that score.

But another option to consider is to get another vehicle instead, and use it as a toad. That's what I do. Then the Interstate becomes the base camp, and the toad is used to go exploring around the destination. In transit, all of the outdoor gear (barbecue grill, patio mat, lawn chairs, inflatable kayak, etc.) is stored in the toad. My theory is that stuff that's only used outside the Interstate should be stored outside the Interstate.

Then, once I set up camp, all that stuff has been unloaded from the toad and set up in the campsite, and the toad is ready to go exploring.

Because the toad is self-supporting on its own wheels, there is no trailer tongue weight to speak of, just half the weight of the towbar. Thus there is no sag at the rear end of the Interstate under the load as you would have with a trailer's tongue weight pressing down.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:56 AM   #3
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We towed a 19 foot AS with our 5 cyl Interstate. It was no rocketship but it was fine. Be careful some campgrounds may try to charge for 2 rvs. Just tell them you will only plug one in. We stopped doing it because we thought it was redundant and an unnecessary hassle for the way we traveled. Jim
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:59 AM   #4
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We found it easy to break camp for day trips, just make sure no one moves into your site while you are gone. Jim
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:27 AM   #5
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zigzagguzzi, did you take everything or can you leave chairs, carpet, carrier, etc. and expect them to still be there when you return from a day trip?
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:47 AM   #6
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If I leave anything I put a lock and chain on them. Attach to a picnic table or tree. A bicycle chain is usually good enough. Most thefts in CG are grab and run. Jim
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:50 AM   #7
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If I leave anything I put a lock and chain on them. Attach to a picnic table or tree. A bicycle chain is usually good enough. Most thefts in CG are grab and run. Jim
I've never had anything go missing, without it being locked up. Where do you camp that you have to do that, so I know to avoid those places?
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:04 AM   #8
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Protagonist,
What is you experience on gas mileage towing the toad?
I am considering it too but don't want to pay extra on to pump as I travel a lot with my AI.
Thanks
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:33 AM   #9
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Protagonist,
What is you experience on gas mileage towing the toad?
I am considering it too but don't want to pay extra on to pump as I travel a lot with my AI.
Thanks
I get approximately the same fuel economy towing at 60mph as I get NOT towing at 70mph. Before the RennTech ECU tune, that was typically between 17 and 18 mpg depending on road conditions. After the RennTech ECU tune, my towing fuel economy last weekend hit 19mpg for the first time. Just barely 19mpg, but still reason to celebrate… I'll have to take my Interstate on the road without the toad sometime to see how my non-towing fuel economy has changed since the RennTech ECU tune.

I limit my towing speed to 60mph because the Honda owner's manual says "do not exceed 65 mph while towing." That gives me a few mph buffer just in case. Obviously if I towed at 70mph, I wouldn't get the same fuel economy as if I'm not towing at 70mph. Maybe a 2mpg hit, but I'm just guessing.

My Honda Fit has a curb weight of 2700 pounds, a GVWR of 3500 pounds, and an actual weight of about 3000 pounds with the gear I load up in it while towing (inflatable kayak, Coleman canopy, barbecue grill, etc. depending on where I'm going and how long I'll be gone). There are heavier toads out there, but very few lighter ones. So your results may not be the same if you get a heavier toad.

Besides, the way I saw it when I first got the toad and before I had any numbers to work with, any small hit I might have taken on the fuel economy while pulling a toad would have been made up by being able to use the 37mpg gasoline toad for local driving at my destination, instead of using the 18mpg diesel Interstate for local driving at my destination.

Does that help at all with your decision?
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:46 AM   #10
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Post #2 pics look like Foley RV...
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:48 AM   #11
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Yes it does thanks. My mileage is a little different I am getting around 17mpg on a resent trip to Florida with 4 people but driving speed limit or 5+. I have a 8.5"x18" trailer which when I tow empty with 65mph I get 9mpg. Looks like towing a toad makes a lot if sense for me. Thanks
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:54 AM   #12
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Post #2 pics look like Foley RV...
Yes. Foley RV did the conversion on my toad.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:17 PM   #13
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Protagonist,

I read above that you have the Renntech tune. How do you like it and more importantly to what degree did it change the performance characteristics of the engine?

Thank you.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:53 PM   #14
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Protagonist,

I read above that you have the Renntech tune. How do you like it and more importantly to what degree did it change the performance characteristics of the engine?

Thank you.
I haven't actually measured the horsepower or torque increases, so my answer can only be subjective. I have noticed that my Interstate seems to accelerate with a bit more authority, getting up to highway speeds from a standing start more quickly. I also noticed that on the up-slopes I've encountered since, I haven't had to downshift even once to maintain my speed, and the ECU hasn't automatically shifted into passing gear to climb a slope, either. It seems to climb as well in "D" as it used to do in "4." Mind you, since getting the RennTech tune the most up-and-down has been rolling hills and a few high steep bridges, not real mountains or anything of the sort, so take that with a grain of salt for now.

But the biggest difference I've noticed was while towing my Honda, I got 19mpg. 19! I hardly ever used to get that when I wasn't towing! Okay, granted there was probably a tailwind, but still, an increase of almost 2mpg while towing means that the RennTech ECU tune is no toy, but the real deal.
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