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Old 10-22-2018, 03:21 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2018 Basecamp
San Diego , California
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
Basecamp tow vehicle question

We just bought an Airstream Basecamp, and now we need to buy a car to pull it. We plan on getting a mid-sized SUV that can pull 5000 lbs either a Toyota Highlander LE+ or a Honda Pilot EX. One of the significant differences is that the Honda has a lighter suspension, and thus less bumpiness but more sway of the car itself on rough roads and going around corners. So any of you have experience with a lighter vs. a tighter suspension, or directly with either of these cars? We are wondering which level of suspension is better for towing, and also which suspension is better for avoiding passenger carsickness.

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Old 10-22-2018, 04:38 PM   #2
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 6,219

Generally a stiff(er) suspension is better when towing. The real question is always - what is the suspension like under load? There are a lot of tricks that get played these days in suspension design. Indeed showing up at the dealer with three kegs of beer to load down the demo vehicle may or may not work out quite as you planned......

One thing to consider with *any* tow vehicle is what you will have with you on your camping expeditions. The tongue weight of the trailer and the weight of the hitch do impact your tow vehicle. The weight of your passengers and gear in the vehicle also get into the act. Often people find that part of it is more significant than they first thought .... ( = there are multiple ways to overload a vehicle).


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Old 10-22-2018, 04:43 PM   #3
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,845
If you are prone to motion sickness, I'd avoid the Honda.

DW is very sensitive to sway, and has no issue with the tighter suspension in our Tundra. The softer Camry also swayed a lot before I got the suspension redone with better, stiffer shocks.

She's wanting a new Tundra with all the goodies for the next tow vehicle--since she bought (and paid for) our first Tacoma TV in '08, she can certainly have exactly whatever she wants...and since she is the negotiator, I can bet it will be at the price she wants as well...
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
2012 shortbed CrewMax 4x4 Toyota Tacoma TV with more antennae on it.
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Old 10-30-2018, 05:13 AM   #4
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2017 Basecamp
Beaufort , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 1
tow vehicles questions also

we also recently bought a basecamp. i have a 2008 toyota highlander hybrid and used it one weekend, and was thrilled that i would not need another vehicle to pull it. now my hybrid has gone bad - the hybrid inverter and inverter system - to the tune of $9500. i have to get a different car. i want the smallest possible option - would love to have a subaru outback, but that may be dicey. also considering a used audi q5. has anyone had experience with either of these?
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:51 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
2017 Basecamp
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9
I towed my 2017 Basecamp for 1 year with a BMW X3 (no weight distribution or sway control). This was a fantastic combination. My Basecamp does tend to develop some light sway at highway speeds above 70mph. This was not a problem but may un-nerve some people not experienced with towing. I usually loaded any cargo over or rear of the Basecamp axle to keep tongue weight down. Sometimes the suspension would bottom out on big bumps, but overall suspension of X3 was pretty well matched to that of the Basecamp. Biggest struggle and one of the reasons I moved to a different TV was the wear of the rear tires. Most rear independent suspensions introduce negative camber as they take load which results in inside tire wear when running constantly loaded. I went 1/2 way through tires in a year ~5000miles of towing. This is something you'll probably want to mitigate if this is your long term TV.
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