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Old 01-19-2010, 09:34 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Brad, a quick question: you didn't use the cruise control because of the high-revving engine noise, right? I assume that it would have held the speed. Having driven a lot of CVT-equipped cars, I know their noise characteristics.

With "responsible" speed management, I can get 15 out of our Odyssey towing the Minuet. I'm also surprised (and impressed) the HiHy could do that towing a heavier 25'.

Tom
Tom,
We had a Prius for a couple years before this, and had the Highlander for about 9 months before doing this trip so I too knew what to expect as far as freeflowing revving. But it was really off the charts on even the slightest grades... like the gentle Missouri hills on the first day, for example. The CVT seems to be programmed to respond to the weight of the vehicle, and it reacted as if I'd really thrown it off by adding the trailer behind it. I decided not to stress the engine and my nerves, by listening to a high-pitched whine for the following 5 weeks.

As for the Lexus and the 25'er yeah, I'm impressed as well. As I say - after doing our trip through some mountainous areas, I felt we were approaching our max with the 3000 lbs we already had.

But I wouldn't hesitate to pair a Highlander and a 25-footer if we were traveling closer to home: Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana or Michigan.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:23 AM   #22
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Ok.. so here's the update (I started the thread).. We ended up buying another TT..A fiberglass 17ft and towed it for about 6 mos. We liked it, but it had a wet bath and we just didn't think it was going to fit our longer goals.. So I always looked on the internet for Bambi's - I found a 2008 19ft and just went for it.. We picked it up in Vegas with the Highlander and drove it to Florida and back to SF (bay area)..Took it out a couple of times to Yosemite and So Cal.. To be honest the Highlander performed well, but the white knuckle experience going up & down hills we're a tad stressful. We had plans for a Colorado trip and I just knew the Highlander wouldn't be the best choice..would it have made the trip, probably would I have fun towing it..definitely not. We ended up getting F150 (short bed) and really love it, towing is a breeze and I never feel like there's a possible safety issue..

If I had to do all over again.. I would just get the truck!
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:38 AM   #23
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Sounds like you found the right solution for you guys, Zimode. I certainly had Tahoe-envy during our trip, knowing how much harder our V6 was working on our behalf. But given the small amount of time we currently spend towing, plus the fact we don't have the space to keep a dedicated tow vehicle, I think we'll stick with the Hi-Hy for a while.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:57 AM   #24
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Brad, what sort of hitch do you use on the rig? I am looking for a smaller vehicle than our E150, which can go offroad if needed - like up onto forest roads - and safely tow our Caravel in a pinch.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:59 AM   #25
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Brad.. we ended up getting rid of our RX300, it had 140K mi on it and got the truck.. so it wasn't just a dedicated vehicle.. What I found out so far is that with a Tonneau cover, I get pretty much the same highway gas mileage as I get with the Highlander, 24-25mpg.. and towing is just a uptick better on the F150..around 16.5.. The other upside was the larger gas tank..

I still love my Highlander!! It's an amazing vehicle and has served us extremely well.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:29 PM   #26
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Stef: Reese hitch with 800 lb. bars. I'd prefer lighter-rated bars... but that's what I've got so that's what we're using. I believe the receiver is a Hidden Hitch, and it was modified by Andy Thompson of Can/AM RV this summer to be bolted and welded in several places, to add additional points of contact with the Highlander.

Zimode: Good deal - I may look into a pickup next time around. I'd definitely want some kind of top on the back for the dogs, but we'd use the cargo space constantly.

I've followed Rich Luhr's experiences with his diesel Mercedes SUV over at his Man in the Maze blog too - he's getting some good results from his all-in-one choice.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:59 PM   #27
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Tom,As for the Lexus and the 25'er yeah, I'm impressed as well. As I say - after doing our trip through some mountainous areas, I felt we were approaching our max with the 3000 lbs we already had.

But I wouldn't hesitate to pair a Highlander and a 25-footer if we were traveling closer to home: Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana or Michigan.
I know what you mean. We towed our T@B cross-country last summer with the Odyssey before buying the Argosy. Driving up over some of the mountain passes, I kinda wanted the Yukon Denali that was following me.

But I get the feeling that that was all in my head. The van kept up 45-50 mph (this is at 7000-9000 feet) just fine. Even with the Argosy in the hills of Vermont, the van can maintain the speed limit in the steep stuff just fine. It works some, but it's not going to blow up from it.

Never had a worry going DOWNhill with either trailer - in fact, the Minuet tows better than the T@B thanks to the sway control and weight distribution. Like you, I'm running heavier weight bars (set up by CanAm) than expected, but I can't complain about the ride or, better yet, the van's steering feel and stability.

Having said all of that, we just looked at a 25FB at the big RV show here in Tampa (we're on vacation) and love that trailer. Someday we'll upgrade. I know Andy has clients that happily tow longer trailers with their Odysseys - but I would rather have some more torque myself in front of a 7000 lb loaded trailer...

But that probably means a new Focus or Prius for my wife to commute with and a dedicated tow vehicle that sits most of the time...

Tom
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:26 PM   #28
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I know Andy has clients that happily tow longer trailers with their Odysseys - but I would rather have some more torque myself in front of a 7000 lb loaded trailer...
There certainly is a wider range of functional combos than a quick browse of the threads on this site would have one think. Not every trailer necessitates running out for the latest F-350--dually-Hemi-Allison-positraction-3.23-rearend-gear-quadcab with a Hensley hitch.

I would say that the bigger your tow vehicle, the less you're likely to even think about your trailer as you head towards that next mountain pass - that's a peace of mind worth the money for many people. I spent about 1% of our trip with whitish-knuckles on the steep sections of Highway 1... but found was worth it for the benefits the rest of the time. Besides, who's to say I'm not overly cautious due to the limited time I've spent towing?

But I admit: I'd consider a different tow vehicle if we found ourselves towing more and more every year, and especially if we chose to full-time. Bottom line: the Highlander is a great sometimes tow vehicle.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:55 PM   #29
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Brad, a quick question: you didn't use the cruise control because of the high-revving engine noise, right? I assume that it would have held the speed. Having driven a lot of CVT-equipped cars, I know their noise characteristics.

With "responsible" speed management, I can get 15 out of our Odyssey towing the Minuet. I'm also surprised (and impressed) the HiHy could do that towing a heavier 25'.

Tom
If someone sold him a 25 footer with a Highlander as a TV they need to be brought up on charges because that's dangerous if not suicidal.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:00 PM   #30
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Ok.. so here's the update (I started the thread).. We ended up buying another TT..A fiberglass 17ft and towed it for about 6 mos. We liked it, but it had a wet bath and we just didn't think it was going to fit our longer goals.. So I always looked on the internet for Bambi's - I found a 2008 19ft and just went for it.. We picked it up in Vegas with the Highlander and drove it to Florida and back to SF (bay area)..Took it out a couple of times to Yosemite and So Cal.. To be honest the Highlander performed well, but the white knuckle experience going up & down hills we're a tad stressful. We had plans for a Colorado trip and I just knew the Highlander wouldn't be the best choice..would it have made the trip, probably would I have fun towing it..definitely not. We ended up getting F150 (short bed) and really love it, towing is a breeze and I never feel like there's a possible safety issue..

If I had to do all over again.. I would just get the truck!
Now imagine what it would have been like towing a 25 footer with almost twice the GVW. Do you think your Highlander could have cut it?
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:19 PM   #31
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If someone sold him a 25 footer with a Highlander as a TV they need to be brought up on charges because that's dangerous if not suicidal.
That sounds a tad alarmist, don't you think? I mean, think of the horsepower, braking power and superior handling of a Highlander compared with many cars of the 60's that were routinely pulling 27' and longer trailers.

I'm not saying there aren't some less-than-responsible towing combos out there, but suicidal? I dunno.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:59 AM   #32
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That sounds a tad alarmist, don't you think? I mean, think of the horsepower, braking power and superior handling of a Highlander compared with many cars of the 60's that were routinely pulling 27' and longer trailers.

I'm not saying there aren't some less-than-responsible towing combos out there, but suicidal? I dunno.
Actually I do know a couple that have even 50's car that tow Airstream's. The horse power on most (V8's) exceed the Highlander's horsepower also most have had disk brakes installed which are bigger and have more stopping power then the Highlander. One other thing to consider is all of those cars have frames much beefier then most Toyota's. Also most have longer wheel bases then the Highlander.

I believe the towing weight of the 25 is around 7500 lbs. I have a crew cab 2006 Tacoma and it cannot tow that rig safely. I was told that by Toyota and my AS dealer. The reason I know this is because the 25 was my first choice rather then the 19.The tow rating on my Tacoma I believe is about 1100 lbs more then the Highlander. My truck is also 21 ft long and has truck suspension, the Highlander doesn't. I live in So California and have been through the dreaded Grapevine many times with my current TV and trailer configuration and I can say that it wasn't dangerous in anyway but if it were a 25 footer behind me I can say with confidence that if in fact I did make it up and down that hill in one piece, I would have either sold the trailer or bought a new TV.

Sorry I don't mean to be disrespectful but I am sticking to my guns and say that towing a 25 ft Airstream with a Highlander is asking for huge problems. I wish someone else who is in either car or the RV business chime in and confirm to you what I have been saying.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:14 AM   #33
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The guy who posted the original comment (Andrew T) is a second-generation Airstream dealer with decades of experience at hitching up unusual tow vehicles.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:50 PM   #34
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I know a guy that tows a 914/6 race car with a Jetta.

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Old 05-09-2017, 05:57 PM   #35
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2016 Honda Pilot Elite AWD tow Bambi 16ft & 19ft ok?

I'm new so any feedback would be great. Currently it tows a small vintage Shasta fine. Reading that Airstream will be easier to tow...
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:26 PM   #36
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What an entertaining read this post has been. Right now I'm thinking about getting a cooler of beer and a lawn chair positioned at the turn at the bottom of the hill and waiting for the Highlanders towing a 25' AS to drive by. Should be as entertaining as a boat launch on the first summer holiday weekend.
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