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Old 11-23-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
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Touareg/Land Cruiser/Sequoia

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.

Chris
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:42 PM   #2
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Have you looked at Consumer Reports ratings? They don't seem to be crazy about the Touareg...
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response-

I have not, but will do so. Thought I'd ask around and see if anyone loves any of these for towing.

Interesting you're from Ft. Collins...we're in Boulder and plan to do most of our initial traveling throughout the west, so having a TV that handles mountain passes going up and coming down are a big concern of mine. Any advice?


Thanks again.
Chris
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:33 PM   #4
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I have 2012 Touareg TDI as a TV for my 23 ft and I love it! Had a 2007 V8 and love it also. Never have a single problem with either. I am a nut about maintenance.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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I've been mulling over some of these same models as a potential new TV. I'm surprised that you eliminate the Suburban as being too big, but are considering a Sequoia, which is pretty darned close. The Sequoia is well like by Consumer Reports, and is considered a good value overall (but it feels like driving a bus to me).

I have a hard time justifying the Land Cruiser, as it is ridiculously expensive (though I have wanted one for a long time).

I was keen to go diesel but avoid buying a 3/4 ton pickup, which leaves me with only the Tuareg, the Mercedes GL320, and a couple other midsize SUVs that are limited to 5000 lb towing capacity.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:14 PM   #6
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I love my Sequoia... In the land of big trucks around here, it doesn't feel big. Turns as sharp as my 4runner did... loads of room... decent mileage for a 6,000lb vehicle. Lots of features. Pricey new, but lots of great used ones to pick from.

Land Cruiser you aren't getting more in the way of drivetrain... more luxury features that aren't much ahead of the Sequoia. Toureg is a nice rig in the diesel. Not as bulletproof as the Toyota, but that is what warranty is for.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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I understand not wanting a pick up truck for a TV. I have a 2008 Tundra with the 5.7L and 6 speed and I love it. My only complaint is that it is HUGE! But no worse than the other full size trucks. The Sequoia has the same drivetrain as the Tundra, so if you get the 5.7L I think you will be very happy. I would go for a used one too. They really have not changed since 2008. Fuel economy is decent for a large vehicle- thanks to the 5.7L motor with lots of torque and the 6 speed tranny.

Welcome to the Airstream forum. You life will be forever changed. Happy shopping for a TV and for your Airstream.

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Old 11-23-2012, 11:28 PM   #8
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Thanks Everyone.

I wouldn't be after a new LC...I agree, those are incredibly pricey. We're not looking for all the extras...just a great TV. If we went with a LC, it'd probably be a 4-5 years old. Thanks again- please keep the comments coming, I really appreciate it.

Chris
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:19 AM   #9
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Tow Vehicles

I do not have experience with any of the vehicles other than test driving a Tourareg and considering it myself last year. I do want to mention though my alteration of thought during my purchase process. I wanted something that was going to be a good TV and something that I could use potentially as an everyday vehicle. I too believed a pickup was not an option and shopped for everything else that could haul around 7K. The choices were slim. It forced me to consider a pickup. I shopped used after looking at new and bought the Ford supercrew. It is a fantastic vehicle Muskeypicker. The truck is not what I thought it would be. It is refined and quiet and roomy. As a matter of fact, I sold my 2010 VW TDI sportwagen three weeks ago and made the truck my only vehicle. Granted I am getting 14-15 mpg in town and 22 mpg hwy at best (not towing) so far this past year but any of the vehicles you mentioned would not fare any better really cept the TDI. The TDI will get mid to upper 20s on the hwy (not towing) but it will have to get 2-3 mpg more just to pay for the added cost of diesel not to mention the adblue cost associated with a used larger tdi if used and past 36K-not under warranty. A 2.5 gal bottle is about $12 and the 3.0 tdi averages abut 48 oz per 1000 miles/about $2 every 1000 miles in regular driving. So, consider that you may save around $11 per $1000 miles in fuel and additive NOT towing @28mpg but you have also less storage, less payload capacity, a shorter wheelbase and less power too. Towing changes everything. A 23' is really the most weight you should consider I would think especially in mountain driving- 240hp/406ftlb versus 360hp/380ftlb 5.0L pickup (example). These type of considerations made be rethink my plan and also changed my perception of a pickup. I know you will end up with a great setup as you are asking the right questions.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:51 AM   #10
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I wouldn't rule out pickups. There are advantages when hauling some accessories (generator and gas, for instance) where you wouldn't want the fumes in the passenger compartment, or which might not be kind to upholstery. We've been generally pleased with the F150 supercrew. It's sure not fast going up the high passes -- but no problems maintaining reasonable speed on the downgrades without excessive braking. When the time comes in a couple of years that we may be able travel more, I'll be interested to see how the Ecoboosts are holding up and will give a hard look at the Tundra, or might consider a diesel.

Right now, just based on what I've read and what you're leaning toward, I think the dice are coming up Toyota. The LC seems overpriced, though, so I'd probably be looking at Sequoias -- but would really check out the Tundra too for the reason above.

Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:21 AM   #11
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This 2011 Touareg TDI tows both our trailers with ease. Rated at 7,700 lbs. towing capacity it provides a nice safety margin over our 7,000 lb. 25 FB. The great horse power and torque add to that margin. But it is not the TV for someone looking to go on the cheap.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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Towing a 2013 25FB Int'l with 2007 Mercedes ML 320 CDI with factory installed hitch reinforced by CanAm. The torque value exceeds that of the V8 gas option and maxes out in the towing speed range I use. 55 mph is 1650 rpm in 7th, 1850 rpm in 6th and 2150 rpm in 5th. Got around 17 mpg towing from Los Angeles to Phoenix through low mountains on trip home from dealership.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan and Liz View Post
Have you looked at Consumer Reports ratings? They don't seem to be crazy about the Touareg...
I have had Touaregs since 2004 and towed airstreams with them since 2007 and they are an excellent vehicle, especially the first and second generations with air suspension. I'm not a believer in anything Consumer Reports has to say as they only seem to like Prius and Volts.

Also use a F150 Ecobboost which is a great TV that can carry more stuff than the Touareg. Both are very refined when not towing. Get out and drive'em as opposed to taking opinions from those who haven't.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz
Towing a 2013 25FB Int'l with 2007 Mercedes ML 320 CDI with factory installed hitch reinforced by CanAm. The torque value exceeds that of the V8 gas option and maxes out in the towing speed range I use. 55 mph is 1650 rpm in 7th, 1850 rpm in 6th and 2150 rpm in 5th. Got around 17 mpg towing from Los Angeles to Phoenix through low mountains on trip home from dealership.
We're going the MB direction; the new ML350 is great and packs 455 ft lbs of torque. Owners are reporting fantastic mileage and they drive/ ride like a dream.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:26 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, 06:30 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, 07:36 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:48 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, 10:45 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, 09:05 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.

Chris
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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