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Old 06-21-2015, 12:35 PM   #15
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I cast my biased vote for a used Toureg, Q7 or Cayenne Diesel if you can find one. These aren't cheap vehicles by any means but the 3.0 is a workhorse, IMO despite what Isuzu says his boss experiences were. You save money by having a vehicle rightsized for your needs. If you don't like audi I say get the merc diesel ML or GL or GLK newer, just check the recall and consumer reports to make sure the transmission woes are past on your model.

Resale is not spelled Jeep anywhere in my world. People who want a Jeep will get a Jeep. It has a certain personality and Buy American off road cred. Then again the Mercs are made in Alabama. The GC diesel engine is very new here and I assume the same as the ram 1500 which is some sort of Fiat/GM/Venturi(sp) heritage that I do not know. I'd like to see it succeed, but I wouldn't like to own anything from this line for at least 3 years in.

If your turbo cracks open it's going to cost 4k, If your Cat converter goes you'll be out 1.5k, this is true of any vehicle in this class these days, but by and large this VAG engine has hundreds of thousands of examples putting down hundreds of thousands of miles.
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Old 06-21-2015, 12:36 PM   #16
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I'd recommend the Mercedes 350 ML (or even GL if you want monster size). BUT . . . Buy a Certified Pre-Owned model (CPO). If you go the CPO way, first you save about 30-40%, second, you get the full 3.5 liter V6 twin turbo diesel model, and third, only very gently used models get the CPO designation. Most importantly (and also why I went with Mercedes) they add 1 extra year on to the warranty and it is UNLIMITED mileage! In my case, this gave me 3-years no mileage restrictions, I then forked over another $2,500 for 2 additional years of FACTORY warranty so I'm good to 2019 regardless of how many miles I put on the Beast. Yes, regular maintenance is a pain (averages about $300 every 10K) but hey, you're driving a Mercedes and if you've ever driven one you'll know that there is no other vehicle out there the 'feels' like a Mercedes does (the Porsche comes very close but is a tad stiffer, some like that, I didn't as my every day driver).
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:32 PM   #17
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I think the Jeep is the only one of the three vehicles that can support a weight distribution hitch without modification by Can-Am in Canada? If so, the Jeep offers flexibility if you ever decide to tow a different trailer.

I agree with your choice to go diesel. The towing MPGs combined with pulling power when faced with a steep hill make it a good choice. I have two diesel vehicles, one German, one U.S. built; much longer intervals between oil changes is worth having to add DEF fluid from time to time IMO. Have had zero problems with either one.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:42 PM   #18
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Consider a Dodge Durango. I's the same platform as the GL (MB owned Chrysler when it was designed).
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:44 PM   #19
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I believe Touareg/Q7/Cayenne manual says not to use WDH. ML/GL does not, so WDH is supported.

Also, I believe GL/ML hitch is one of the best in any unibody vehicle. Besides 8 bolts (4 on each side), there are 2 large support arms that are bolted to a recess in the hitch at one end, and are bolted to a recess in unibody at the other end. The hitch connection to unibody is very stout. Other unibody hitches are just bolted to unibody. Maybe that's why WDH is banned (just a guess).
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Old 06-21-2015, 02:19 PM   #20
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Touareg towing AS 23FB

I currently pull my 2013FB International with a 2014 Touareg TDI. 7000 miles of experience towing with no issues at all. I use an Equalizer distribution hitch which works well for me as I have never experienced any sway or control issues. Lot's of power/torque. In principle I could tow without the Equalizer but never tried. VW indicate 7700ib tow capacity with 616lb max tongue weight.

It was a real headache selecting this vehicle as VW give inconsistent towing guidance. I decided to go for the Treg as it competes very well with the more expensive diesel versions of ML350, Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne. I didn't go for the Jeep as the diesel is Italian. These Euro manufacturers have been making diesels for many years and as a Brit, having owned a number of small diesels in the UK, I am confident with their performance and reliability.

I bought the Treg new and it comes with free servicing for 2 years or 20000 miles, so now extra costs so far. My wife loves it and she uses it a her main mode of transport when we are not towing.

Good luck with your TV selection
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Old 06-21-2015, 03:09 PM   #21
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Let me thank everyone for their input so far. There are other non towing related factors that will come into play when the final decision comes. The main one being that we will probably need to put a kennel in the back of the TV to transport a canine back and forth, this is related to my wife's work. So when I do more diligent research rear end space in each vehicle will be a major factor.
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Old 06-21-2015, 03:23 PM   #22
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btw. After reading some posts i am curious about the non diesel option. Nothing is set in stone at this point except that we don't want to get just "get by". right now our TV is a 2004 Nissan Frontier that is equipped to tow up to 5,00lbs. We are just getting by with this truck and don;t want to do that anymore. We want to be sure we can go anywhere without hesitation which is probably why we lean diesel at this time, but if a GC with a Hemi can do the trick and not be a gas guzzler than that would work as well.

Remember though that this TV will be driven in NYC every day so we don't want a monster sized vehicle, the Durango looks to big to us. Smaller in size but powerful.

This isn't something I am buying right now so the more options the better.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:47 PM   #23
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With 2nd and 3rd row seats down, we travel with two bicycles and two dog crates in the Durango.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by dcorona View Post
btw. After reading some posts i am curious about the non diesel option.
We towed our 23' for many years with a Nissan Mini Van. Worked great. IMHO a modern mini van (most have 300HP now) would be a very versatile option.

Have a look here at the possibilities. Can-Am RV Centre | Your Towing Experts
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:31 PM   #25
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We towed our 23' for many years with a Nissan Mini Van. Worked great. IMHO a modern mini van (most have 300HP now) would be a very versatile option.

Have a look here at the possibilities. Can-Am RV Centre | Your Towing Experts
Yes it most definitely would; lots of room, great power, reasonable mpg for their size and a whole lot cheaper to buy and maintain than a diesel SUV, especially if only towing 3,500 lbs.

How about a 2010 Volvo XC90 V8......bloody nice SUV's

Cheers
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:43 PM   #26
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Ultimately, a question to raise is whether 3,500 lbs will be the end of it. We thought we are happy and set for a decade with the 20ft FC, but it appears that trading up after 1-2 years is much more common than I previously thought. Or perhaps I am still in "justification mode"

Also, driving in and out of NYC is no fun with a brand new car, but heck, it is just a car... Good point about it being rather compact, so back to the original 3 options, which seem to be all compact and well suited. Going smaller and with a gasser, the Toyota FJ Cruiser comes to mind as well, but it probably needs a good hitch shop to hook this one up.

As for the tongue weight ratings, yes, the GC has the highest rating, but reinforcing the receiver on the VW/Cayenne/Audi is not rocket science and can be done by any good hitch shop. As for WD, search the forums. There is no issue with using WD on any of the Westfalia build receivers on the German SUVs. This is rather a historic and trade-politics inspired relic of the 50s and 60s.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:05 PM   #27
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2015 Grand Cheeokee Diesel

I just finished a 2800 mile trip in the eastern states. I towed a 23ft international FB with the GC diesel with an 8 speed trans getting 17.3 mpg average. About 800 miles was tooling around the Alleghany mountains in which the GC performed beyond my expectations. I kept looing in the review mirror to see if it was still there. Seriously the vehicle is an outstanding tow vehicle, smooth transmission that is hardly felt, no overheating and with the paddle shifters on the steering wheel I could coast the down grads without braking. And don't forget the world class comfort and space of the interior. A fully loaded GC ltd less than 50K. Find a Chrysler employee and you can get a discount.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:12 PM   #28
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Thanks Rcloud9. I appreciate the feedback. First hand knowledge is important. I did read some unfortunate stories about the 2014 GC diesels having some issues.
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