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Old 11-24-2012, 04:26 PM   #15
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Reliability is important to us, so we have bought Toyotas for a number of years. VW does not have a reputation for reliability. CR isn't perfect, but is more accurate than one or two people's impressions. I agree CR loves Prii and doesn't care for pickups, but the reliability ratings are based on owners' opinions, not CR's staff.

The 2nd generation Tundra began in 2007; the 2nd generation Sequoia in 2008. Before those model years, they did not have the 5.7 L engine. The Sequoia is a Tundra with an SUV body, possibly softer suspension and plush interior. It does not have the payload of a Tundra because of the heavier body, so you have to decide what you want to take inside it. To me the Land Cruiser is a stretch 4Runner with a bigger engine and lots of fancy things, but not close to being worth the price. Not a lot of them are sold in the US, so used ones are hard to find. A friend has one and I can't understand why, but he spends money vehicles as if he was super rich (he's not, but that's another story).

There are dirty things that have to come along—sewer stuff, generator, extra gasoline, hitch parts, tools, and more. Modern gas cans are very good at sealing out fumes, but I wouldn't like to chance having gas things inside an SUV. In an accident, there's less chance of fuel splashing around the passenger compartment. You would have to carefully cover carpets, seats and or parts of the interior to prevent damage; that is not a problem with a pickup.

It is a good idea to research these vehicles, but decide on a trailer first and then buy one. You can borrow or rent a truck to bring it home. Then look for the truck/SUV to fit the trailer. You'll probably keep the trailer a lot longer than you keep the tow vehicle, and you don't want to get a motor vehicle that is more or less than you need for the trailer you haven't decided on yet and certainly haven't bought. It is easier to find the right used tow vehicle than a trailer—millions of tow vehicles have been made in the past 5 years, thousands of Airstreams.

Try the Forums page and look for the subforum on tow vehicles for endless discussions of tow vehicles. The only thing everyone agrees on is that they own the best tow vehicle ever made. Funny how most of them are wrong. I own that one.


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Old 11-24-2012, 05:30 PM   #16
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I wasn't on your list, but you might want to look at the 3rd generation Dodge Durango (2011 - 2013). I'm pulling our 20' with it and am very happy with it.

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Old 11-24-2012, 06:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
CR isn't perfect, but is more accurate than one or two people's impressions. I agree CR loves Prii and doesn't care for pickups, but the reliability ratings are based on owners' opinions, not CR's staff.
Correct, but for those who own vehicles with a poor CR rating the magazine gets bashed. It's a human nature thing.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:48 PM   #18
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Just remember that while something may tow the weight, it also needs to handle the payload - tongue weight + people and TV cargo. That safety rule doesn't only apply to pickups. I looked up the payload capacity of the Tourareg. A new one with the trailer package tops out at 1155 lbs. For example, my 25' has 980 lbs of tongue weight. Since tongue wgt is subtracted from payload that would leave 175 pounds for people and cargo in the Tourareg. The ML350 payload capacity is around 1635 (varies with model year as I found) and only the diesel has the higher tow. The gas model is listed at 4900lbs towing in the MB chart I found. It sounds like a better choice for you.

My next TV will probably be the F150 planned for 2015. I don't know if you have read about the trial data yet but it is already at 30mpg hwy and now they are working on a 10 speed tranny jointly with GM to even increase it more. They knocked off 700 lbs so far and claim to not have affected tow capacity or payload negatively. It uses regular gasoline. My current baby uses regular but I just learned that if I use mid-grade and pump the tires to 50psi (door says 35 while the tire sidewall says 65) I get 3 mpg better in city driving- at least that is what the computer is telling me that always hovered that much lower before the changes. I hope so. The pump will tell in a week or so.

As far as Consumer Reports goes, all of the full-sized pickups are recommended. I knew nothing about them other than two guys at church told me to buy a Chevy and one told me not to buy a Dodge. The two Chevy guys told me that Fords were noisy and not as good riding. Well, I came to my own conclusions after shopping. I guess I am a Ford guy for now. The towing features were just too cool. I am sure that it is all preference. I like the Ram's looks. I did not like the Chevy. Anyway, I am glad that you found a vehicle that will tow your trailer choice (up to 25') safely.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:45 PM   #19
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Straight performance the T-reg is the choice. Too many other details need fleshing out (nights on road, distance, terrain, climate, payload, etc) for a clearer picture.

The OP might read all the other threads/posts which ask about the same vehicles and link the ones which need clarification in his mind. There is no end to what a search will bring up. And knowledgeable owners who otherwise may not read this thread will be alerted that an older thread on which they contributed is now back in play.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:05 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by muskypicker View Post
Hi Everyone-

We're entering the market for our first Airstream/Tow Vehicle combination...specifically working on the TV portion now. We aren't going any bigger than a 25' trailer, preferably smaller. We have narrowed down our choices to the three in the topic line, are not interested in a pickup truck, and would really prefer some feedback from you seasoned towers. My family grew up towing Airstreams with Suburbans, and we've determined those are just a little too big for us. I know towing performance dependent on trailer weight and size, but we haven't really decided on that yet other than the approximate size, and my old Subaru is about ready to die so we're focusing on the vehicle portion now.

We'd be buying used, and we looked at some gasoline and TDI Touaregs today. Anyone have any advice on...say...2007-2011 models of Touraeg, Sequoias or Land Cruisers? I read a few posts in this forum, but would prefer any recommendations based on these three in particular. Thanks for any advice you can offer...I appreciate your time.

We bought a 2008 Land Cruiser a year ago to tow our 2011 23FB. We're totally happy with it. It's my wife's vehicle and she didn't want a BIG SUV or a pickup truck. It's a hefty vehicle (5700 lbs), GVWR of 7275 lbs, but it doesn't have the bulky feel of my 2010 Yukon. 2008 and later LCs have the 5.7L V8. It has an 8500 lb tow capacity, GCWR of 15,775 lbs and plenty of torque. They come equipped with a transmission oil cooler, receiver hitch and 7-pin connector. We use a Curt WD hitch and sway bar. My experience with VWs consists of a '99 Passat wagon we bought new and kept for about 12 years; as well as an '83 GTI back in the mid eighties. Both extremely fun cars but reliability nowhere near Toyota in general and the Land Cruiser in particular. Mileage not great while towing, about 11 mpg. Also wish the fold-up rear jump seats were removable. Good luck with your quest!
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:30 PM   #21
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We just bought our TV this year, and while I would have loved the choices you're looking at we ended up with a 2004 Tahoe and are happy with it. It's not that much bigger than the 5 series BMW wagon it replaced, has an amazing turning radius, and has been reliable so far with 120k miles on it. I'm a Consumer Reports fan and they gave it decent ratings. The price difference for a similar Toyota was enough for me to pay for dealer maintenance and repairs and still be ahead.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:32 PM   #22
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Thanks everyone.

I looked at the Suburbans and Tahoes around here, but there didn't seem to be much of a price difference between those and the Sequoias but I'll keep looking.

There's a guy at work selling his 2007 (with the 4.7L engine) for a really reasonable price, but I'm guessing I wouldn't get too many recommendations for using that as a TV, rather than the 2008 and newer 5.7L Toyota engine.

Reading through this section makes me realize I've got a ton left to learn about the TV, but am on the right track. I'd love to consider a pickup, but we're not much for the wall between the back and the second row.

Thanks again for all the replies; this has helped a ton.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:33 AM   #23
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Interesting that in the most recent Consumer Reports states 79% of Touareg owners "Definitely Would Buy Again" with only the Dodge Durango and Porsche Cayenne higher at 81%.

I'm definitely in the buy again group. I love our Touareg and it's 28 MPG when not towing.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:33 AM   #24

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"The only thing everyone agrees on is that they own the best tow vehicle ever made. Funny how most of them are wrong. I own that one."

Funny but true....ours is the best!!

Get the AS first, the horse goes in front, you may not need a Percheron.

I definitely have more than I need, but better than needing more than I have, but thats just me. Your tolerance for inadequacy may vary.

It's a wonder I made it thru the first 18 Seasons, before getting smart here on the TV threads.

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Old 11-28-2012, 09:17 AM   #25
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Bob, you do not have the best TV, we do. I do agree the trailer comes first, though you do have to think about what you can afford for both trailer and TV.

Musky, the Sequoia with the 4.7 L. engine is a big, comfy vehicle with enough engine to drive around all day, but attach a mid-range trailer (25-28') to it, I think it will be somewhat sluggish at times. The Sequoia is substantially heavier than the 1st generation Tundra and thus slower—we've had both.

The Tundra with the 5.7 L. is very fast if you put the hammer down, but attach a recent model 25' trailer and while still pretty fast, it is very different. With the 4.7 L in a heavy SUV like the Sequoia, you may get by, but don't try to pass anyone on a two lane road—I can do that at 60 or 65 with the 5.7 L. Tundra, but that maxs out the engine. The 4.7 L. would take too long to pass.

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Old 11-28-2012, 10:06 AM   #26
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Make sure that you can easily get service on whatever you decide for a TV...
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #27
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A few thoughts on why I prefer the SUV to the PU

Almost everyone I see at AS events has a PU. A few have vans, a few have miscellaneous other vehicles.

In my Suburban, I removed the third row seating. I replaced it with 3 tubs semi-permanently mounted to a plywood skiff. The first tub with low sides holds my hitch, and all the large hitching tools and our gloves. My WD bars are mounted to the floor on a little plywood skiff. The second and third tubs are high sided and hold ALL of my hookup gear from door mat to sanitary hose to cable tv cords and whatever I need for basic hookup. My small toolbox fits between the tubs.

The hitch tub is heavy and it is bolted to the skiff and stays in the car at all times. The other tubs are light and can be grabbed from the truck to the garage floor in a second and back again when ready to go. I never have to worry I forgot a hose or something, because I never take stuff out of the tubs.

When we hitch, I back in, lift the rear hatch, and everything we need is "at hand." When done, close the hatch and go. When unhitching it is just the reverse. Take stuff off, put it in the tubs. Having all this at hand, in a dry, secure place makes travel very easy. I can use all my auto door locks, auto lifts and the like.

I have watched the guys with PU trucks. They have insanely high (to me) beds, that are hard to store all this stuff in and harder to access. Usually, they have some hard cover for the bed, or they have a camp shell and sort of climb in and out. Just to my eye, it looks like a PITA. And, I know my wife who is a 50-50 partner in hitching and hooking, ain't going to clamber into a PU bed.

We don't use genny's so I don't need to carry gas in the Sub. And the room inside is huge for other things we carry. Easy to get at them.

This all falls under the category of personal style. But that's why I think the SUV is my choice.

I might have gotten a Toureg, but at the time I needed to buy the TV, the Sub came up and was "perfect fit" so we bought it (used). I doubt I could afford a Merc, but I bet they are nice. I had never owned a GM car before. I was stunned at the high quality of the Suburban. I have nearly zero complaints about it. We got a the high line LTZ model and it has a million features, and they all work. Some of them are even cool and useful!
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:37 PM   #28
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We recently sold our class B+ motorhome and purchased a 25' International. We sold our Honda Ridgeline and bought a 2010 Tundra. Made our first short trip last week returning from SC to IL, and are thrilled with how much more enjoyable a TV and TT is compared to a motor home and toad. The Tundra with the 5.7 V8 pulled the TT with ease. Mileage averaged 11.5. - 12.
We've now batted for the cycle: started with a class C Born Free 11 years ago, sold that and bought a class A Trek, sold that and bought a class B+ Phoenix Cruiser, sold that and now own a beautiful International Serenity. I think we've finally got it right.
Anybody weighing the pros and cons of which way to travel feel free ask.

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