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Old 06-17-2006, 01:10 PM   #15
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Revisit..

I ended up as the "chosen one" to bring some friends to LAX this morning in a very late model ( last US production year) Eurovan with barely 30k on the Odometer. I am now convinced that this is a very marginal tow vehicle at best, especially with the automatic. It is a low torque/high rpm engine, that seems taxed just moving the van itself at any brisk pace, let alone a trailer of the size of a Bambi.
I am not sure if California emissions have anything to do with it, but this one is definitely underpowered.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:31 AM   #16
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Again, this is not for everyone. And given the choice, a bigger vehicle would be preferable.

BTW- We just got back from 10 days and 1200 miles from Chicago to Porcupine Mt. SP in beautiful UP of Michigan. The Euro towed like a champ, but we took it real easy....

When the time comes, it's gonna be hard to part from this vehicle. maybe if I win the lottery or something, I can moth-ball it and give it an occasional waxxing and kiss.

Jonathan
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:44 AM   #17
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One thing on the 16' Bambi - the 3500# quoted in this thread is the loaded weight, not the dry weight.

With all of our stuff and full tank of H2O, we weigh in at just about 3450. Our max tow weight with our Honda Ridgeline is 5000, not that much higher than yours, Jane. We successfully towed in the Rockies, even up to 9000 feet, with this combo.

So, while those who say your van is not the ideal tow vehicle are undoubtedly correct, the combination isn't IMO as bad as you may think, and may in fact be acceptable depending on just how much towing you plan to do, where you plan to do it, and at what speeds.

Many of us who have to use our TV's as daily transportation are forced to forgo the "ideal" part of "ideal TV."

jon
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:39 PM   #18
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I now tow with a 1998 2500 Chevrolet 454 4.10 with factory tow package so I do not have to be defensive about tow vehicles. The best and most enjoyable trip we have ever made was a 6000 mile tour of Western states with 4 cyl. 1997 Nissan Frontier towing 17 foot SOB travel trailer. The Frontiers GCWR was 7000 lbs. and we weighed 7100 lbs. fully loaded and on the road. We traveled mostly secondary mountain roads crossed continental divide numerous times, survived Marathon and many other passes and had a great time. On the scenic mountain roads the big rigs were nowhere to be found but drop down on the hectic Interstates and they were sometimes lined up like ants,
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Old 06-19-2006, 08:02 PM   #19
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A little Taureg Music?

Jane-

If you are still loyal to VW and economy, you might search threads here for Taureg owners who tow Bambi's with them.. You might get away with V-6 version for that weight, and get good mileage. They are much smaller and easier to drive than a big American SUV...

John McG
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Old 06-19-2006, 08:04 PM   #20
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We just got back from a weekend trip north with our 19' Bambi and my "marginal" tow vehicle. All was perfect with a full load, the trailer towed at 65mph without a problem, even on the steep climbs.

The point missing with many of these discussions, mine (early in the year) inculded, is that opinions are given without first-hand knowledge or experience behind the wheel of the tow vehicle in question. We had ourselves starting to look at new tow vehicles after posting here. I gave my head a shake and decided to try it and see how it goes. It turns out that stress was competely unnecessary.

Opinions like Jonathan's, who has towed a bambi with his Eurovan, are valuable. Opinions by others are hypothetically valuable. There's a difference. I can see cautioning people based on the numbers in an effort to keep unsafe combos off the road. IMHO though, if someone has the humility to ask if they're ok, chances are they have plans on being cautious.

We wouldn't consider the expense of changing our vehicle now, as it tows my trailer as well as anything else could. A grain of salt must be kept handy for the recommendation that a hensley and a diesel would be "safest for your combo". If by the books you are within your limits, tow it, make sure you're comfortable. Then you know.

my 0.02 on the subject.
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Old 06-19-2006, 08:07 PM   #21
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Norsim.

Yeah. You pretty much have it covered with the Chevy.

Do you have any picturtes of the old set-up. Amazing trip!!!

Jonathan
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