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Old 01-19-2016, 09:55 AM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Decision

We are trying to decide between a 2016 Lexus GX460 and a 2016 Touareg 3.7L V6 (gas) to tow our new FC 23d. Both have tow ratings that support the 23d.

I have searched hundreds of threads and need some current advice. Unfortunately the Touareg TDI is not available which would have been my first choice. Also, only these two options so please refrain from any truck discussions.

I know how emotional this topic can get and we need to make a relatively quick decision.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:20 AM   #2
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Call Can AM Andy and ask his advice. It would be a heck of a long haul - and of course you cannot buy any vehicle that isn't California smog Okayed, but you still might want to buy a reinforced hitch from Andy.

I recently went on a trip to Northern California and between I-70 and I-80 I suddenly understood why those "crazy" people talked about towing 70 to 80 mph.... It's not safe, but it's also not safe to get run off the road by people who are whizzing past you at those speeds. I quickly adjusted my towing to stay the heck off of those roads when the traffic was heavy.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:22 AM   #3
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I just spoke with Can Am and they recommended the Lexus over the Touareg but also said either one would be okay.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:34 AM   #4
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I think it now comes down to a personal choice. Which car do you enjoy driving more?
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:36 AM   #5
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Towing at the California mandated 55 mph when towing will allow the smaller engined gasoline powered vehicles to operate okay with a 23D.

We tow our 2015 23D with an older 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI V6 3.0 Liter diesel. It maintains 55 even in the mountains, but may drop back from 7th grew to 5th gear at 2,200 rpm. We are using a Hensley Arrow hitch. We still have wiggle room on the front axle load and nearly 400 pounds of payload on the rear axle when towing with the 23D fully loaded for camping. However, our unit has been extensively modified and our numbers are probably not typical.

Take a test drive in your target tow vehicle and cross the nearest CAT scales with a full fuel tank at a truck stop with the usual passengers you plan to have with you. The scale numbers will reflect the front and rear axle weights. Now compare those numbers to those posted on the driver's door post. No axle should be overloaded. The rear axle would need between 750 pounds and 1,000 pounds of payload availability.

The Airstream literature tongue weight of 720 pounds for a 23D will be lower than the real world number.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:41 AM   #6
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I was first concerned about engine torque with the Lexus 329 ft-lbs compared to the Touareg at 266 ft-lbs.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:46 AM   #7
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It's hard to have a tow vehicle discussion without knowing number of passengers and loads you plan to carry in it.

Puzzling that Can-Am would favor the Lexus. Isn't this Lexus based on the Toyota 4-Runner chassis, one that has not been a favorite of Can-Am in the past because of its higher center of gravity, solid axle rear suspension, and body-on-frame construction?

Unless you are carrying several passengers and some load? The Lexus has a greater payload capability and larger V8 gas engine.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:48 AM   #8
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Yes - based on 4-Runner. Normally will be driver and one passenger.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:00 AM   #9
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It is unlikely the Lexus would be as stable or handle as well as the Touareg but can be set up with a good hitch and adjustment to tow very nicely. The V8 engine torque and higher load capacity favor the Lexus.
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:05 PM   #10
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The 460 has a "Trailer Sway Control" feature that taps into the ABS. Not a replacement for a WD hitch but something the Touareg doesn't have. I get the CG on the Lexus is a little higher and it is a little narrower than the Touareg.
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:07 PM   #11
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The Lexus is a nice ride. We moved away from it for two reasons....not tow related. The rear door opens to the curb side and has a wide swing. Not impossible to live with and for some may be an advantage. The other complaint was the blind spot warning system. It was slow to respond and we felt it was not the safety feature we wanted. The running boards are quite functional and the hand holds are well placed. There is a considerable lead time on special orders so you have to find what you want on the lot.

No experience with the VW, but they get good reviews from folks. Not sure if the gasser is as good as the CDI, since almost exclusively the recommendations reference the diesel. Understand the scandal about the tune and that may make it a poor choice, but I would expect a better offering in the near future and if it is really your first choice, you might want to wait.

The VW hitch is reported to be rugged and may not need a CanAm upgrade for a 23. The tongue weight would be the issue and may require a bit of careful loading if you do not upgrade. The dedicated threads on the 23D and the Toureg, Porsche, and Audi should offer real world experience on this.

The Lexus hitch should either be strong enough to tow the 23 or simpler to upgrade since there is a frame that should allow simpler reinforcement. Certainly a point to verify as there can be a lot going on under the vehicle what with exhaust and suspension attachment.

I'll leave you with one more thought. The Porsche is reported to be a similar price as compared to a loaded Toureg. Worth looking at both to verify what works best for you.

Good Luck, Pat
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:16 PM   #12
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Great observations. Sounds like you live close. We have seen a FC 23 near Sutcliffe Place in WC.

What TV do you have?
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusjk View Post
-- snip -- What TV do you have?
We have a BMW X5 35i. See avatar.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:09 PM   #14
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I think we have decided we like the Touareg 3.6L. It is just a lot more fun to drive and should pair well with our FC 23D.
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