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Old 10-28-2014, 12:57 AM   #1
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Diesel SUV for 23' or 25' FC

Hi friends...a newbie, working on the tow vehicle issue before I purchase my AS. Looking at the Mercedes Benz GL series, Volkswagen, or? It looks like the top weight for any of these is around #7000. to #8000.# Are the earlier Flying Clouds lighter than the new ones? Any thoughts on this would be great. Don't want a truck as it won't fit my current lifestyle. Initially, it looks like diesel is the way to go for mileage and engine wear. Do the luxury SUV's have the proper necessities to tow efficiently? Not even sure what ??? to ask. Thanks in advance. This is a great forum and I have learned so much from all of you!
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:43 AM   #2
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I have a 2014 GL350 BlueTEC with a 2015 Airstream 19', no problems towing at all. You feel the trailer, but it doesn't struggle at all with about 4500 lbs. I've heard on the Mercedes forums that 7500 lbs is still an easy tow with the BlueTEC GL. Hope it helps, and check out the Mercedes forums.

David
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:47 AM   #3
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This vid will give you a good idea of what they are capable of. Also think about the connection hardware and adjustments. Most rigs on the roads today are not properly attached.

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Old 10-28-2014, 06:05 AM   #4
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I agree, having enough power is one thing, but a proper hitch system is very important. Jim
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:00 PM   #5
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Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 Diesel

I have a 2015 23FB, I am using a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel tow vehicle. What a great vehicle. Quiet, powerful, very comfortable and best of all Made in America. Check one out a dealer your are going to love it.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:36 PM   #6
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FYI, Mercedes Benz GL is made in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:10 PM   #7
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We saw a diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee towing a 23' Airstream in the mountains above Los Angeles two weeks ago.

Great looking setup.. Seemed a well matched pair.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:46 PM   #8
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Sometimes they tow 30's to Saint George Island. Jim


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Old 10-28-2014, 01:58 PM   #9
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I tow my 30' Flying Cloud with my VW TDI. I have same objectives that you have -- compact, efficiency, and lifestyle. No problem, plenty of torque, and with right WDH and reinforced hitch setup. ProPride for anti-sway and WD. Tekonsha RF for brake control. I used Can-Am to reinforce VW hitch.

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Old 10-28-2014, 02:20 PM   #10
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List of all diesel SUVs that fits your description, and not in order of preference:

1) VW Touareg TDI
2) Audi Q7 TDI (this one, although inherits same 3.0L V6 diesel from VW/Porsche, it got different tranny and transfer case - an older version and is heavier as well as longer body) - has lowest towing capability due to less available carry capacity. If Audi has copied the underpinnings and drivetrain from it's siblings, I would have gone with Audi instead of VW based on the appearance.
3) Porsche Cayenne Diesel <-- if you have a deep pocket
4) Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel <-- most affordable. Be wary of the videos "Moose Test", at first it fails the test miserably, but Chrysler took action on it and tweaked Jeep and is fine now.
5) Mercedes Benz GL350 BlueTec (same underpinnings as Dodge Durango)
6) Mercedes Benz ML350 BlueTec (same underpinnings as Jeep GC)

Jeep GC and MB ML350 has slightly less towing capability than VW Touareg/Porsche Cayenne and may not be good for 27' and 30'. I'm really pushing it with my VW Touareg with my 30'. I would not even consider towing a Classic.

Non-diesel SUVs, you will open door for more choices:
1) Porsche Cayenne S <-- it got a new turbocharged V6 which puts out 400+hp and 400+lb-ft and have slightly more carrying capacity than it's diesel siblings.
2) Dodge Durango <-- go with Hemi 5.7. Penstar V6 may be ok, but has low torque at 260 lb-ft.
3) Jeep GC V8 (same as above)
4) MB GL450/ML550

I'm sure there are more to list, but from here, it goes off from your set of objectives.
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Old 10-28-2014, 03:04 PM   #11
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I was thinking over the same things you were this summer.....and chose not to go diesel.

I needed 7 or 8 passenger space, so that rules out the Touareg, Porsche and Jeep. The Audi can carry 7, but it's tight and there's no storage space when carrying 7. Audi's out.

All that was left was MB. And I don't need to be seen driving a MB. Wrong image. Also, I've had German cars, and have loved driving them. I have not loved repairing them.

Furthermore, I computed that the benefits of the diesel were only going to kick in if I was towing A LOT each year. Maybe a fulltimer would see significant savings, I was not.

So I got a used 2012 Nissan Armada for reasonable money. I do pine for a diesel in a full-sized non-german SUV, though......I'm excited to hear that Nissan has a diesel ready to go in the next Titan truck, which is like an Armada. We'll see. Oddly enough, if I could get a diesel in an Escalade, I might do it.
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Old 10-28-2014, 03:09 PM   #12
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Also - Great to see these pics of Touaregs and Jeep GC's towing 30' Airstreams. This gives me confidence that my Armada (heavier, longer wheelbase) will handle it just fine, when the time comes. (Don't worry, I am a card-carrying member of the WD and SC Fan Club)
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Old 10-28-2014, 03:46 PM   #13
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eric' do you plan to carry 7 or 8 passengers and the Airstream as well? I doubt the Armada has the payload capacity for both at the same time, but maybe that's not what you need.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericpeltier View Post
I was thinking over the same things you were this summer.....and chose not to go diesel.

I needed 7 or 8 passenger space, so that rules out the Touareg, Porsche and Jeep. The Audi can carry 7, but it's tight and there's no storage space when carrying 7. Audi's out.

All that was left was MB. And I don't need to be seen driving a MB. Wrong image. Also, I've had German cars, and have loved driving them. I have not loved repairing them.

Furthermore, I computed that the benefits of the diesel were only going to kick in if I was towing A LOT each year. Maybe a fulltimer would see significant savings, I was not.

So I got a used 2012 Nissan Armada for reasonable money. I do pine for a diesel in a full-sized non-german SUV, though......I'm excited to hear that Nissan has a diesel ready to go in the next Titan truck, which is like an Armada. We'll see. Oddly enough, if I could get a diesel in an Escalade, I might do it.
Out of curiosity, what do you mean by "I don't need to be seen driving a MB. Wrong image." I think MB are pretty but would not own one for myself -- my wife has one though. Also, when it comes to repairing cars, I think it varies. I think VW Touareg (and Cayenne), the current generation, is pretty solid and I hope that they last for a long time - to back up the value of these SUVs.

I forgot about BMW X5 diesel, add that to the list. I think BMW has very sharp styling, but I don't trust reliability of these cars.
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