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Old 02-28-2017, 10:56 AM   #1
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New and Tow Vehicle Shopping

Hi All -
After renting a 19' last Thanksgiving my wife and I are getting close to going for a 20' Flying Cloud to haul up to Alaska. In the interim we're looking at potential tow vehicles. What are folks actually using with their 20' FCs? Can we get away with a V-6 4Runner or Grand Cherokee, or is a 5.7 Tundra a better choice? And what about a 5.7 Durango or Grand Cherokee? Any experience with any of there vehicles would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks -
David
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:54 AM   #2
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The Tundra is a fantastic choice, roomy, drives well, comfortable on long trips. But don't expect to get better than 14mpg UNLOADED.

The FCA products you mentioned are both good towing platforms for the smaller trailers, and should get better MPG than the Tundra.

All depends on whether you want a truck or SUV.
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:12 PM   #3
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We towed our 2007 Safari SE 20 with a 2006 Tundra 4.7 V8 (rear drum brakes). It was okay, took us everywhere we wanted to go but I was not really happy with the stability in crosswind and semi's passing. We got a Ram 1500 Hemi and loved the engine.

Looking at your examples I would avoid the 4-Runner V6 (solid axle rear suspension) in favor of the Durango 5.7 Hemi for it's power and great fuel economy, and the superior stability of it's low center of gravity and full independent suspension. The new Tundra would be a distant second if you needed more cargo space.

A lot of the choice would have to do with your other uses of the vehicle, that you don't mention. SUV's are nice daily drivers, pickups are nice for hauling chores around the home.
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. Is there a place here that compiles statistics on what tow vehicles folks are actually using?
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:30 AM   #5
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Not that I am aware of. There are lots of very enthusiastic big diesel pickup folks that consider anything less to be dangerous and/or uncomfortable. They do get to bring all their toys with them wherever they go, however.

There are folks with minivans and smaller SUV's that seem to tow themselves happily around the country but a lot of them are pretty shy about posting as they get a lot of condescending abuse.

Me, I towed my 31' Sovereign around for 12 years and 70000 miles with a half-ton pickup. It never let me down but I did have to be mindful of payload. I traded that in on a Nissan Titan XD which is more or less a 5/8ths ton pickup. Too soon to have a useful opinion on it as I have only towed on the flat terrain of Florida.

Bottom line is you really are on your own, decision wise. Opinions (including mine) are like belly buttons -- everybody has one. Read as many towing threads as you can stomach, then get out a pencil and a legal pad and do plus/minus for anything that catches your fancy.

Good luck
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:41 PM   #6
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Give Andy Thompson at CanAm RV a shout: andy@canamrv.ca
He's one of the best for walking you through the pros/cons of various tow vehicles matched to AS trailers.
FWIW, if you can get away with the small payload and carrying capacity of a Cherokee, give the EcoDiesel option serious consideration. You'll probably get close to 20 mpg towing a 20'. The ED is a fantastic engine.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:56 PM   #7
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Airstream Towing

I tow a 16'Babi w a VW Tourareg Diesel with a 8 speed trans , twin turbos , 4 wheel traction control and 406 lb-ft of torque I get over 20 mpg at 70 MPH !
It has a 7700 lb tow capacity . I found this combination to be superior to any pick up!
The traction control system has got me out of many situations and 8 speed w turbos get me over any mountain !
A real tug boat !!
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:56 PM   #8
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It has a 7700 lb tow capacity . I found this combination to be superior to any pick up!

Glad it works well for you - but superior? Under what criteria? I have more interior room in my Ram Mega, way more payload, and I got 18mpg on my last trip pulling our 30'.
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Old 03-02-2017, 02:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlackey View Post
Hi All -
After renting a 19' last Thanksgiving my wife and I are getting close to going for a 20' Flying Cloud to haul up to Alaska. In the interim we're looking at potential tow vehicles. What are folks actually using with their 20' FCs? Can we get away with a V-6 4Runner or Grand Cherokee, or is a 5.7 Tundra a better choice? And what about a 5.7 Durango or Grand Cherokee? Any experience with any of there vehicles would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks -
David
Do you have a budget? I notice you didn't mention pickups. I would suggest looking at the F-150 or my choice of trucks is the F-250 diesel. The payload is great, comfy ride plus the stuff you can put in the back. I run my generator from the back of the truck all I have to do is plug in my power cord. I leave the generator locked up near my tailgate. Both trucks are great it just depends on how you want to utilize the TV for everyday running around.
Good luck with your Airstream and my future trip to Alaska.
Thomas
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:45 PM   #10
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For a 20' FC, a Ford F150 would fill the bill quite nicely. Plenty of power and built to tow. Very hard to beat.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abone View Post
Give Andy Thompson at CanAm RV a shout: andy@canamrv.ca
He's one of the best for walking you through the pros/cons of various tow vehicles matched to AS trailers.
FWIW, if you can get away with the small payload and carrying capacity of a Cherokee, give the EcoDiesel option serious consideration. You'll probably get close to 20 mpg towing a 20'. The ED is a fantastic engine.
+1 with calling Andrew; however getting an Eco diesel anything could be tough as FCA is under investigation for its own dieselgate. My friend with an Eco Ram got a call from his local dealer wanting him to trade in his truck; he asked if he could get another diesel and the dealer said no, all FCA Eco diesels are under stop sale.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:34 PM   #12
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I tow with a 2008 Tundra 5.7L and love it except for the size. It and all the other 1/2 ton trucks are HUGE. I believe that there are lots of suv's, trucks and minivans that will do a fine job for you. Figure out the vehicles that you like and work best for you then talk to Andy to get his input to help you make your decision.

Good luck and welcome to airforums, Dan
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:44 PM   #13
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Glad it works well for you - but superior? Under what criteria? I have more interior room in my Ram Mega, way more payload, and I got 18mpg on my last trip pulling our 30'.
+1 with our 2014 Touareg TDI pulling a 23D and very happy. Although I will agree its not superior to "any" truck since it's not an apple to orange conparison. As much as we love the VW and as soon the kids get older, toys starts to add up, then its time to upgrade to the more superior trucks :P
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
+1 with calling Andrew; however getting an Eco diesel anything could be tough as FCA is under investigation for its own dieselgate. My friend with an Eco Ram got a call from his local dealer wanting him to trade in his truck; he asked if he could get another diesel and the dealer said no, all FCA Eco diesels are under stop sale.

Cheers
Tony
I agree, contact Can-Am RV in Ontario for the best Airstream towing advice.

We also have been asked by the dealer to sell or trade our EcoDiesel, they have a long list of customers and little supply. The "stop-sale" is only on new 2017 models which EPA has not certified. There may be a few new 2016 EcoDiesels on some lots somewhere which are all certified for sale, as well as any previously owned EcoD's. It's a wonderfully smooth, capable and remarkably economical drivetrain, and also used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:35 AM   #15
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tow vehicle

I tow a 23FB with a 2016 Crew Cab Colorado diesel. Previous TV was a Chevrolet 1500 Crew Cab. The Colorado yields around 16 mph verses 8 to 10 from the Chevrolet. It has around the same fuel capacity. The Colorado pulls the hills better than the 1500 did. Also it is rated at 7700 towing capacity. Google "towing with Colorado" and find site that tests pulling trailers up the Ike. It also comes with a trailer brake and engine compression brake.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:56 AM   #16
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We are impressed with the 3.0 turbodiesel in our Ram 1500 and also found in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. If ambulance-chasing law firms and EPA don't kill them all, these smaller diesels are a great choice for most Airstreams. The Colorado has a powerful little turbodiesel, Ford will soon offer a 3.0 turbodiesel, and Nissan has a little larger Cummins already on the market.

The low-RPM torque is great for towing and economy, in vehicles that are decent daily drivers. There is extra expense in purchase, maintenance and repairs. One has to decide if this is offset by the diesel performance, fuel economy, longetivity and probably resale value. We really enjoy towing and driving with ours.
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