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Old 06-27-2014, 07:34 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle advice

Folks,

Tons of great information on this forum. Extremely helpful.

My wife and I have been talking about getting an Airstream forever.

Well, enough talk. The time is here, we're doing it!

And you know what that means? A bunch of questions you've all heard before. Don't worry, I've done a lot of reading on the boards already, so I'll try to avoid being that guy who doesn't search at all before asking.

We're debating on getting a 25 or 27, the International Sterling is the front runner.

None of our cars are big enough/ are suitable for hauling a trailer, so we have to buy a tow vehicle

I have access to a newer F150 through one of my companies. I bring it home every once in a while to haul stuff. I have to be honest with you, it doesn't handle well and is not very comfortable. (It's a 2012 FX4 V8). And if we got a pick up truck, it would never be used when we're at home, so a big waste. So if I can avoid getting a pick up truck to haul the Airstream, great. But if you folks with experience think we need one, I'd love to get a recommendation what the best one is as my only experience is with this particular F150.

But I see that some forum members use X5, ML, RDX, Cayenne and Touareg. All of them are fine vehicles, some even have Diesel now for better torque and mpg. But I feel I need a little more room in the trunk than what these cars offer.

So I've narrowed it down to the following vehicles

The GL -- I've owned an ML before and the quality was questionable. I was glad the day we traded it in, so one of those cars. But things improve and we could have been unlucky with that particular vehicle. What engine would you guys recommend? They have the GL350 diesel, the GL450 with a smaller V8, the GL550 with the same cylinder volume V8, but about 65 more horses and better torque and the GL63 AMG with 550 ponies. All of them have the same towing capacity. Which one would you recommend?

--

The 2014 Range Rover. It has a V8 5.0 and a supercharged V8 5.0, both has the same towing capacity. They seem to be offering a good towing package with transmission cooling etc. and some good advice on their website. I have read some threads here that the Sport is not a good option, but that thread was from 2008. The supercharged V6 is not an option, I understand that. How do you feel about this truck?

--

The Q7. We're big Audi people. We've got two in our garage, an S6 and a Q5, both fantastic cars. But the Q7 is not very good looking and I haven't found anyone in there that uses it as a towing vehicle, there must be a reason why.

--

Ford Expedition. The only big American truck I have driven that handles well. We've rented an Expedition a couple of times the last few months and it was actually OK, much better than a Suburban or Tahoe. What are your thoughts on that?

--

Any other vehicles I have overlooked?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experiences and giving us advice.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:26 PM   #2
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Just went through that exercise.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...3d-120003.html
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:36 PM   #3
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Thanks. Did you look into the GL at all?
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:43 PM   #4
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I did not. We traded a minivan to get the truck. My wife hated the minivan (I loved it). She would have thought the GL was too much like a minivan so I never considered it much.

From what I've seen I believe it does have a greater weight capacity than the ML. The ML that I seriously looked at was low. Under 1000 lbs low.

Please do keep in mind that I've never even towed an Airstream yet. But I do think I have my senses in the right place...
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:28 PM   #5
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Anyone else? Appreciate the help
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:02 PM   #6
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For about 10 years I towed AS, SOB, boats, rubbish trailers, et al with an 02 Suburban Z-71. Can truly state that it was my favorite vehicle. It was starting to wear our one bearing at a time at about 175K miles, and now I'm running a short bed version - Tahoe Z-71. Don't like it quite as well, short wheelbase doesn't give as good a ride. Maybe the 22 ft AS will damp it out some.

You seem pleased with Expedition. Why go farther? My basic rule is 50% extra towing capacity above trailer weight - leaves plenty of extra suds for when the unexpected becomes reality.

I've had pick-em-up trucks forever, but prefer an SUV for trailer service because the interior is just that, and not super compartmentalized. Primary objection is packing fuel cans and propane bottles, they should stay outdoors.


Install a front receiver hitch for a couple of reasons - one it will be a good place to hang bicycles, and second - it makes for exceptional maneuverability of the trailer into tight storage spaces. Not generally needed, but when it is, you could put the trailer in the hall closet if the door were wide enough.

Stay away from Range Rover - they're fine by themselves, but not up to trailer service..

I see you'r on the air now, Tommy. Feel free to PM me and I'll give you a phone number and cut directly to the chase. Best of luck. jim
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:40 PM   #7
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Thumbs up

You remind me of myself and sound like a car guy. I sold my S4 back in 2012 after I got tired of wonderful German over-engineering. If I was down with car payments I'd go for the GL350 diesel personally. As awesome as the AMG is, I bet the GL65 would perform worse as a tow vehicle. The springs and shocks are going to be softer and setup more for sport. Yes, More Power in the words of Jeremy Clarkson but probably less payload.

Land Rover the most unreliable truck in the world. And you know what, doesn't matter. Walk into a dealership and there is a waiting list. If you're a fan of Top Gear UK, you'd know better.

Trucks however don't handle like cars, nor do SUV's although some better than others. I've been a long time GM guy. And we are shopping for very near identical trailers. And a TV right now. GM disappoints me, and I have been considering Ford long and hard, but the F-150 handles like a boat, IMO. Just feels squirrelly.

So I actually did what I thought I wouldn't and checked out a Dodge Ram, and after driving one for a weekend, I was convinced, truck all the way.

I should mention, we're car & SUV people. I've never owned a truck. But I am convinced this will be the option for us.

Good luck with your decision. I know it's not an easy one.
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:59 PM   #8
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FWIW the Cayenne is nothing short of a badge engineered Touareg at its finest. And lots of folks singing the praises of the Touareg.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:44 PM   #9
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I tow a 27FB with a Ford Expedition. I've weighed the rig at Cat Scales loaded for camping and full or water. It all comes in just under spec. The new Expedition's are selling with the ecoboost engine, which have a lot more HP and torque than my 11 year old V8. Unlike pickups it has independent rear suspension which makes for better handling. The kayaks go on top of the SUV and bikes rear of the trailer.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:22 AM   #10
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i tow my 25' Flying Cloud with a 2011 Ford F250 and i wouldn't have anything else. A truck will never ride like a car, it's not intended to. With the 250's 6.2 v8 i never have to even think about not having enough power for uphill mountain roads, or anything else. Just my opinion
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:34 AM   #11
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As you know and you will find out everyone has an opinion - mine is truck all the way. I have an F250 Diesel to tow a 30' Flying Cloud. Changed to 16" wheels, have Sat dish on and on. Also, everything I own is always for sale, always.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:18 AM   #12
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Be sure that whatever you select can handle the tongue load prior to engaging your wdh. The local VW dealer wasn't sure that they would cover any potential damage under warranty on a Touareg.

Some folks will tell you that an SUV is an adequate TV; we all have an opinion on that. LSA are not used in military operations now are they? Vehicles are purpose designed - few are all purpose.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:54 AM   #13
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I use a 2012 E-350 Econoline passenger van. Not the sexiest vehicle on the road but it does the job extremely well. If you can find a diesel version of it, then it would be even better. Plenty of room for all your stuff as well as kiddos (or grand-kiddos). Have fun with your soon to be new purchase!!
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:00 AM   #14
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For years I towed our 20' with an ML500 and loved it.

Now I tow our 25' with a Dodge Durango Hemi, which also works very well for us. It's the same platform as the GL but I saved a pile on the purchase and I can get an oil filter for $5.
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