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Old 10-25-2016, 10:52 PM   #1
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New here, Looking for Tow Vehicle Advice

Hi everyone!
I am new here and have been reading through some great information. I figured I'd throw out a couple questions about a couple vehicles I'm considering to make the best companions to the my future airstream.

My wife and I are considering either the 22' sport or the 23' international.

I have come across some conflicting info here on Range Rovers, but the 2004-2006 RR seems to be in my price range and the tow capacity seems more than enough. But wondering if these two would be a good match?

Other considerations are a VW Touareg, Grand Cherokee, Nissan Xterra etc. but open to suggestions.

Ultimately, I'd love to know if the RR is a good fit for that size air stream and if not, what are some suggestions for the best possible combinations for the 22' or 23' airstreams?

We are trying to get prepared and want the best possible set up (within our means : ) come this summer!

I've also read that towing with an equalizer is ideal and not all vehicles allow for this so I'm also open to considering which vehicles would permit for this type of arrangement.

Thanks in advance for everyone's input.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:55 PM   #2
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Almost forgot, also considering something around a 2005-2006 Nissan Armada. Just throwing that out as well.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:05 AM   #3
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:16 AM   #4
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I towed a 19' with a 2011 Grand Cherokee 6-cyl with 295 hp. This had the Overland Summit option, heated and cooled leather, adaptive cruise etc etc. I'd put it up against other premium brand like Mercedes and RR. It towed the 19' (heavier than a 22') very well and handled like a sports car for commuting as well, delivering 21 mpg.

I wasn't comfortable towing much over 60 mph however, and aceleration with the trailer was too anemic for merging with Detroit's terrible drivers. (Around here people who merge on at 40 mph cause others to move over, which clogs the passing lanes with people who belong in the right lane.) Tow mirrors had to be added as they would be for most SUVs in that size class and that was a pain. Regular mirrors had to be carefully adjusted for the huge blind spots on this vehicle.

If you get an SUV get as much engine as you can. You need acceleration to merge properly. The six was a mistake; I should've opted for a Hemi.

I ended up getting a one-ton pickup, much too large for what I'm towing but I can hit 70 in the length of even the shortest on ramps in Detroit even with the trailer and the truck is large enough that I don't worry as much about the idiot drivers around here. My wife and I agree that the new truck is "ridiculous" but we love it.

The SUV was OK, but get the V8.
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:09 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. Researching some Grand Cherokee v8's.

Is it safe to say for the trailer size I'm looking for that any v8 will do...?

Or does is the tongue wait still something to be concerned about?
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:13 AM   #6
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Well, you should find out the tongue weight and trailer weight of the trailer you want, and compare that to the payload capacity and towing capacity of the trucks you're interested in. No amount of internet wisdom is going to save you from that exercise.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:09 AM   #7
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Hi Roadtrippin,

If you decide on the Armada I suggest getting a 2007 or newer, the older models had a common problem, which I can't recall now.

I was fortunate to find a low mileage 2007 Armada LE fully loaded w/Tow package using Carfax alerts. Built in backup cam makes hitching easy. Max hitch weight 900lbs, towing 8,500lbs.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:30 AM   #8
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Opinions vary...

Picking a tow vehicle is more complicated than deciding on a V8.

Some folks compromise and look for a tow vehicle that is also a good daily vehicle.

Personally, I wouldn't choose an SUV. I like a heavier tow vehicle with a longer wheel base.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrippin View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Researching some Grand Cherokee v8's.

Is it safe to say for the trailer size I'm looking for that any v8 will do...?

Or does is the tongue wait still something to be concerned about?
The newer GC Hemi V8 can tow 7200 lb. the tongue weight limit is 500 lbs. I'm sure my 19' was a little over the tongue weight limit. The 6 cyl can tow 5000lb. This is according to specs. The dealer set up my WD hitch and my 6 cyl towed very well at 60 mph. I didn't go much over that.

Look under that GC at what the hitch is bolted to. Then look under a truck at what the hitch is bolted to. The V8 provides the horsepower to pull the trailer, but the frame or lack thereof supports the hitch. Both are important.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:53 PM   #10
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Stop wandering in the woods!

Simply contact Andy at CanAm RV in London, Ontario, CAN. He's the owner and expert on RV towing. On the AS Forum, you'll be bombarded with well intentioned advice. Andy is so good, he's often a speaker at events hosted by the Alumapalooza held at the factory. He personally handled the hitch setup on my PanAmerica and 2010 Tundra Crew Cab 5.7L (4x2). It's about towing AND stopping!
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:22 PM   #11
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Sorry, I can't recommend someone that insists that passenger cars make better tow vehicles than trucks and SUV's. Most folks would recommend a good used 1/2 ton pickup, designed to tow your anticipated AS weight. Don't get conned into buying a marginal vehicle for towing, you won't be happy and it could well become a safety issue.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:40 PM   #12
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The 22 is a nice configuration. The 23 comes in a rear and front bed configuration. They are quite different. There is also the 20 that is worth considering. These coaches are a good solution if the space is acceptable. Toilet, bed, appliances, dual axle vs single, storage, living space and physical size are the considerations. There are also issues with respect to new vs old that include ducted air and furniture configuration.

We feel the 23 FB is a perfect solution for two. Others find the 20 to be ideal. Still others like the 23 but can't pass up the smaller footprint and price of the 22. You will figure out what is best for you.

Now - TV...... First decision is, get an 8 speed transmission (if not available in your price range, get a 6 speed). The more gears, the bigger the repair cost, but the better the towing capability and the efficiency. Next look into gas and diesel. Default to gas if you can't decide that diesel is better for you. Next, start looking at the newer Jeep GC hemi. Now that you have a baseline, you can look at the competitors. While the VW has had a lot of bad press, it's the company and not the vehicles that deserve the hit. You may find a good deal if you look, but do ALL the research first. Rental companies pair the 23 with a Tahoe, so at least they think it is a cost effective solution. CanAM recently suggested the Lexus RX was a viable tow vehicle. They also have recommended minivans, which are reported to work well and are worth a look. Mercedes has several options with which folks are happy. It might be my choice if I started over. The older ones may fall in your price range, but you do need a maintenance and repair approach for all used vehicles. Third party shops can be cost effective if DIY is not within your capability.

If you find that the SUVs do not work for you, a 1/2 ton truck is the default, although we have seen folks using a 3/4. Older will be less capable, but still quite functional. Spend some time with the TV threads for the experience of others. Brother tows an SOB with a Chev 1/2 V-8 and is happy. A box to store stuff offsets the short fall of small trailer storage. Investigate this consideration.

What ever you buy, make sure you are happy with the compromises and feel safe with the rig. You don't need a Semi, but the older SUVs and trucks suffer from less sophisticated suspensions and need some upgrades which may add cost. Driving slower is certainly another alternative and in general is highly recommend.

We like our SUV/23. It will turn around in a tight space, meets our needs, gets reasonable millage (13 ... 6 up and 99 down), handles well, is matched to the trailer, and best of all we like it.

I'll leave you with one final thought. It was asked above what you have now. Read the hitch articles linked to the CanAm web site. The right car may have all the capability you need and if it's in your driveway, you may have your initial solution. Again, do your research.

Good luck with your investigation.

Edit - there were 22s in early 2000s that had a frame which was not strong enough. some have been upgraded, but take care. Not all the repair solutions have been successful.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
Picking a tow vehicle is more complicated than deciding on a V8.

Some folks compromise and look for a tow vehicle that is also a good daily vehicle.

Personally, I wouldn't choose an SUV. I like a heavier tow vehicle with a longer wheel base.
Yep; +1...
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:50 PM   #14
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To the original poster: Save yourself time and money and use the search tool to lookup folks who had previously used a modified under-rated tow vehicle (sedan/minivan/small SUV) to tow a large trailer. In most cases, a near identical scenario repeats itself:

1) They rave about the performance of their tow vehicle, how there is more to towing than tow ratings, and how their tow vehicle handles/brakes better than a big truck (I call this the "honeymoon" phase),

2) They go offline for a while. Usually because something breaks in their TV, tow vehicles struggles up/down a steep hill, or they were in a near accident situation (I call this the "reality check" phase), and

3) They switch to a properly rated tow vehicle for seemingly unrelated reasons. Only a handful admit their initial choice of TV was probably a mistake (I call this the "denial" phase).

Most people get tired of an under-powered, under-braked, under-chassis'ed vehicle quickly.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:54 PM   #15
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Man...some really awesome input here. Very grateful for the thoughtful responses. I have lots to research now. Eager to get the car sorted so I can move on to the AS, but understand it's likely the more important component so will spend some real time on it.

In terms of what kind of car I have, it's a fair question. I actually thought I might be able to tow with what I have, but the dealer advised against. I currently have a 2016 Mazda CX-5. Which is only rated for up to towing 2,000 pounds. So don't think I'm anywhere near where I need to be with it.
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Old 10-26-2016, 02:13 PM   #16
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Roadtrippin
Also look up yesterday's AS forum...there were a couple of pages of discussion re SUV vs. other TVs.
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Old 10-26-2016, 02:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenXair View Post
Hi Roadtrippin,

If you decide on the Armada I suggest getting a 2007 or newer, the older models had a common problem, which I can't recall now.

I was fortunate to find a low mileage 2007 Armada LE fully loaded w/Tow package using Carfax alerts. Built in backup cam makes hitching easy. Max hitch weight 900lbs, towing 8,500lbs.
GenXair - the 2007 and before Armadas had a bad habit of wrecking differentials, I think.

I can speak to your choice of Nissans:
I owned a 2000 Xterra. Fun, indestructible, but wowzers I would not tow with it. Very high center of gravity.

I owned a 2006 Pathfinder, and towed with it. It got squirrely above 60 mph. I think it was too narrow and high center of gravity.

I now own a 2012 Armada. VERY solid towing. I've never had any pucker-moments. Even while towing a 33' Streamline that didn't have working brakes or WD or SC, over Raton Pass in a windstorm. The independent rear suspension works very well in that vehicle.

Eric
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Old 10-26-2016, 03:47 PM   #18
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If you are trying to compare various makes and models from various years, you might want to take a look at the Trailer Life (TL) towing guides for those years. The webpage below provides two types of lookups:
(1) Specific by year, make, model and towing weight, or
(2) A listing of TL documents by year. Each document contains sections for most makes of tow vehicles, with data on each model, engines, and corresponding tow limits.

Although the guides don't include all the data you might want about a particular TV (eg, axle and payload limits), I found it a good tool for initial screening by towing weight limits.

Here's the webpage to start with. Scroll down a ways to see the year by year publications.

http://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-towing-guides/

For example, this is the 2006 guide that is available from the webpage above:

http://www.trailerlife.com/wp-conten...Guide-2006.pdf
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
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-- snip -- Most people get tired of an under-powered, under-braked, under-chassis'ed vehicle quickly.
Rostam - You may not have a clear perspective of the folks who pair with a smaller trailer as the OP is considering. As one example, we have 30K on the clock, regularly post, and have no intention to move to a truck. We do not seem to have problems with brakes, power or chassis stiffness. In fact the experience with our rig is quite satisfying.

We do note your comments with respect to folks who opt for the larger and heavier trailers.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:47 PM   #20
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Rostam - You may not have a clear perspective of the folks who pair with a smaller trailer as the OP is considering. As one example, we have 30K on the clock, regularly post, and have no intention to move to a truck. We do not seem to have problems with brakes, power or chassis stiffness. In fact the experience with our rig is quite satisfying.

We do note your comments with respect to folks who opt for the larger and heavier trailers.

Travel safe. Pat
My comment is not applicable to your case as you have an SUV rated to tow 6000# and a trailer that weighs less (I believe the curb weight of a 23' is 4600# and its GVWR is 6000#). I tow with a German diesel SUV myself. Within their ratings, they are excellent TVs.
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