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Old 08-11-2014, 02:55 PM   #1
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1997 Lexus ES300

Is this car strong enough to tow something like the 16 foot Bambi? I sold my 1987 Classic motorhome and want to get back in to a trailer.

If this car is not strong enough, can it be reinforced in some way so it could tow a heavier trailer?

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:59 PM   #2
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Exclamation

It can tow it, but PLEASE don't. However, it is NOT strong enough to tow the Bambi legally nor safely. Yes it can be reinforced, but it still won't be able to tow this load legally nor safely.

Some forum members will argue that they've been doing it for years, and will even try to get you to do it too. Don't. The safety of you, your passengers, and every other person on the road around you is jeopardized when you tow with a stock or modified vehicle that is not designed for the job. Your Lexus is definitely NOT designed for the job. Also consider that any accident that you might get into will not be covered by your insurance company. If you seriously injure or kill someone you will be criminally and civilly liable surely impacting your financial situation gravely even if you're lucky enough to stay out of jail.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:26 PM   #3
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So What?

Is there, I hate to say it, but, a non airstream trailer that would be safe for thus car to tow?
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:38 PM   #4
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small

Well you could get you a small Palomino pop-up. 'Small', it maybe ok,

I have an IS350, and would not even think about 'towing' something with it.
(and it's rear-wheel drive) its what makes it fun

Get you a truck
have a good one
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:42 PM   #5
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1997 Lexus ES300

Wow! Airrogant....look up the word conjecture. I'm not saying this particular vehicle is suitable but let the OP gather some real information rather than feeding him your opinion and incorrect legal advice.

OP, TV advise is a hot topic and will go around and around. Some will say you will need a 3/4 diesel behemoth with a Mac truck chassis and some will be more realistic. Which ever way they sway, some speak from experience and some certainly don't.

I'll leave it at that and good luck.

P.S.....be careful avoiding the constant carnage all over the roads from everyone not using a dually to tow any type of trailer. [rolleyes]
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:19 PM   #6
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Some people would say the best car to tow a 30 footer is a 1991 Festiva, some will say you need a F250 to tow a 16'. I personnaly like to stay within the manufacturer's specification for technical and safety reason.

Your lexus could probably tow the bambi without any issue, you just need to think about all possible scenarios and if you are at ease with each (emergency breaking, going up long mountain pass, etc.)

If you change your mind about the bambi and don't want to buy another tv, you can look into popups, teardrops and small fiberglass trailers. There are plenty of options around.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cory_can View Post
Wow! Airrogant....look up the word conjecture. I'm not saying this particular vehicle is suitable but let the OP gather some real information rather than feeding him your opinion and incorrect legal advice.

OP, TV advise is a hot topic and will go around and around. Some will say you will need a 3/4 diesel behemoth with a Mac truck chassis and some will be more realistic. Which ever way they sway, some speak from experience and some certainly don't.

I'll leave it at that and good luck.

P.S.....be careful avoiding the constant carnage all over the roads from everyone not using a dually to tow any type of trailer. [rolleyes]
I believe when people warn against using an underrated tow vehicle, they are not implying you need a 1 ton diesel dually to tow a 16 ft Airstream. They just think you need to use the right tool for the task at hand. I don't think Airrogant's concerns are pure conjecture. He brought up several good points, which adds value to the discussion in this thread.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:18 AM   #8
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"the right tool for the task at hand" .....I agree, but the correct tool doesn't mean a large tool. The best tool to hammer a nail isn't a sledge hammer. I'm not condoning using a Fiat for a 30' and those that advocate using "under rated" vehicles wouldn't either. They would be the first to tell you that your combo isn't suitable for the job. However, they are more realistic about the tow vehicles and trailer combination while still staying SAFE and LEGAL. They run the numbers that matter.

The rant about being "criminally and civilly liable", insurance not covering damages and avoiding jail ....that is pure conjecture and a fear tactic.

I haven't been on this site very long but I'm sick of reading comments about (what is thought as traditionally) small combinations jeopardizing everyone on the road with mass carnage. 40' long 14Klbs 5th wheels being towed by 7000lbs pickup trucks scare me.....even if they are within the specs.....as do long-haul truckers that float all over the road from lack of sleep.

That's all I'm going to say on the topic.

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Originally Posted by rostam View Post
I believe when people warn against using an underrated tow vehicle, they are not implying you need a 1 ton diesel dually to tow a 16 ft Airstream. They just think you need to use the right tool for the task at hand. I don't think Airrogant's concerns are pure conjecture. He brought up several good points, which adds value to the discussion in this thread.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cory_can View Post
"the right tool for the task at hand" .....I agree, but the correct tool doesn't mean a large tool. The best tool to hammer a nail isn't a sledge hammer. I'm not condoning using a Fiat for a 30' and those that advocate using "under rated" vehicles wouldn't either. They would be the first to tell you that your combo isn't suitable for the job. However, they are more realistic about the tow vehicles and trailer combination while still staying SAFE and LEGAL. They run the numbers that matter.

The rant about being "criminally and civilly liable", insurance not covering damages and avoiding jail ....that is pure conjecture and a fear tactic.

I haven't been on this site very long but I'm sick of reading comments about (what is thought as traditionally) small combinations jeopardizing everyone on the road with mass carnage. 40' long 14Klbs 5th wheels being towed by 7000lbs pickup trucks scare me.....even if they are within the specs.....as do long-haul truckers that float all over the road from lack of sleep.

That's all I'm going to say on the topic.
I think we agree on several points and disagree on a few

Airogants point on insurance not covering the damages is not conjecture at all. A call to your insurance company will verify this.

That's all I have to say on this topic as well
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cory_can View Post
Wow! Airrogant....look up the word conjecture. I'm not saying this particular vehicle is suitable but let the OP gather some real information rather than feeding him your opinion and incorrect legal advice.
Well put Cory.

Karen and Jay, when it comes to cars towing Airstreams there is no better source for information than Can AM. They have successfully set up 100's over 40 years. 10 years ago they set up our Infiniti G35 to tow our 23' Safari. Very pleased how well it handles, stops, and the overall performance.

You can also so some searches on this forum as forum member, "Andrew T" from Can Am has talked about towing with cars many times. Here is their site if you are interested. Can-Am RV Centre | Your Towing Experts
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:06 PM   #11
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I too was keen not to have to upgrade my vehicle just because I was acquiring a trailer. I bought a '73 Globetrotter which should have been around 4500 lbs loaded with about a 500 lb tongue weight. I was driving a 2001 Infiniti QX4 (essentially a Nissan Pathfinder). The manufacturer gave it a 5000 lb towing capacity with a 500 lb tongue weight, so I was close to the max specs of the vehicle. When pulling the trailer, I could feel the "tail wagging the dog," so to speak, and every time we hit a good solid bump in the highway, the rear suspension would bottom out with a resounding crash. The vehicle struggled to keep the trailer moving at reasonable highway speeds (at sea level). It also made only 10 MPG towing.

Having read the many arguments on these forums, I could imagine that with the right amount of structural improvements, and sophistication in weight distribution hitches, I could make the vehicle tow better. But then, the QX4 had 180,000 miles on it, and had a Kbb value of about $3000, which isn't going to change regardless of how much improvement I dump into it. Eventually made the decision to get a new-to-me suv with a diesel engine, greater weight, and higher towing capacity, and am now a much happier camper. Still not a 3/4 ton truck, in fact not even a pickup, but I am confident that I am towing safely, and even if there is a mishap, I shouldn't be accused of knowingly exceeding mfg's specs and willfully endangering the populace at large.

good luck with your decision!
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:23 PM   #12
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I was driving a 2001 Infiniti QX4 (essentially a Nissan Pathfinder).
Bel.... glad to hear you are enjoying your new vehicle.

Friends of ours, and forum members are towing a newish 25' Airstream with an 03 Pathfinder. It is a pro set up and they reported it tows great. Set up is so important. Sounds like you may have had a set up or worn parts issue with your QX4 combo.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:45 PM   #13
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.....
Airogants point on insurance not covering the damages is not conjecture at all. A call to your insurance company will verify this.



I did and I'm fine.
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