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Old 09-15-2017, 06:45 PM   #1
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Plano , Texas
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Tow vehicle for 2017 sport 16'

I am considering buying a new sport 16' (3500 weight) and have gotten some conflicting advice about Appropriate size SUVs for TV. I want the smallest SUV that still does a great job. Would something like a Ford Escape or the new RAV4 adventure both having tow capacity of 3500 work? Also Jeep Cherokee with 4500 capacity. One airstream rep advised at least 4500 or a 5000 capacity while another said the 3500 was fine. He said any vehicle using regular gas is going to tow about the same regardless of size if the tow capacity of the vehicle if it has at least 3500. He said Any difference in power would be gained by a vehicle using diesel. Please advise! Thanks.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:17 PM   #2
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2017 16' Sport
Vernon , Arizona
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Not sure if this will help, but here are my thoughts:

Porsche Macan S pulling 2017 16' Airstream:
Macan 4409 lb towing capacity
Macan Hitch capacity 441 lbs
Airstream: 3500 lbs
Airstream Hitch: 350 lbs

- Pulls like a dream
- amazing power
- excellent stopping power
- Pulls like a dream

Lessons learned: The Airstream doesn't have the hitch weight that is advertised once it is loaded :-) Was 500 lbs!

Pulling the 16' Airstream with a 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Truck (7700 lb tow capacity)

- Lacks power
- You feel the Airstream behind you
- Not a great driving experience

So, my opinion of the person who says it will tow the same regardless of the vehicle...

- I would not want to pull with only a 3500 lb tow capacity. Your mileage may vary and I was told a LOT of stories about what I could pull/not pull with my vehicle. Most of them were telling me that my capacity didn't matter.

- The tow capacity is the same unless you go to a diesel. I also disagree. I am not saying a diesel wouldn't be a nice pull, but you definitely want to look at the power of the vehicle. I have driven a Rav 4 (never towed with one) and I can't even imagine pulling a trailer with one. I don't think I would have enough power to get out of trouble and THAT is why you go with greater capability. Not for the standard towing, but getting out of trouble (which I hope you never get into).

One other element in regards to my rig: I regularly tow at 8k elevation as well as going from 1k elevation and mountain driving up to the 8k elevation. Your "needs" may be different based upon what you are requesting your vehicle to go through.

Please note, this is just anecdotal based upon my own experience. I am not saying you need to get a Macan S, just that you want to seriously consider the power of your vehicle as well as not being on the "edge" of your vehicle's capability
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:45 AM   #3
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Thank you for your reply and yes it does help. I think you are correct that 3500 capacity is too close to the "edge" of what is needed. I can't believe your little Macan can tow your Sport so nicely. Impressive! Given the fact that your truck doesn't tow so well does make me a bit nervous in that you really don't know totally how it's going to "feel" till you try your vehicle. So any info I can gather ahead of time may help in the process.

I am seriously looking at the Jeep Cherokee because it is the only small SUV in this price range that can tow 4500. All the others are 3500. It has kind of a jittery ride though when test driven so am still hesitant. (Any Cherokee owners out there?). Regarding the RAV4 the Adventure is supposed to be more equipped for towing and is coming with tow package standard, although it is still 3500 capacity.

Thanks again to you any any help from others to this novice!!
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalayton View Post
Thank you for your reply and yes it does help. I think you are correct that 3500 capacity is too close to the "edge" of what is needed. I can't believe your little Macan can tow your Sport so nicely. Impressive! Given the fact that your truck doesn't tow so well does make me a bit nervous in that you really don't know totally how it's going to "feel" till you try your vehicle. So any info I can gather ahead of time may help in the process.

I am seriously looking at the Jeep Cherokee because it is the only small SUV in this price range that can tow 4500. All the others are 3500. It has kind of a jittery ride though when test driven so am still hesitant. (Any Cherokee owners out there?). Regarding the RAV4 the Adventure is supposed to be more equipped for towing and is coming with tow package standard, although it is still 3500 capacity.

Thanks again to you any any help from others to this novice!!
Go up a size to the Grand Cherokee.

I have an Escape and wouldn't use the hitch receiver for anything but a bike rack. I did talk to a guy who towed a light SOB with one and he said it was great. They call it an SUV, but I don't care what they call it. The Escape is a compact car.

I'd be suspicious of too light of a hitch weight. Make sure nothing's misloaded. If you sway with one of those small vehicles you're done.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:27 AM   #5
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Just a thought...
IMHO get the smallest trailer you can enjoy and the biggest TV you can afford. Too much trailer for the TV is dangerous, too much TV for the trailer is security

Just my rule of thumb.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:43 AM   #6
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My Personal opinion is that the first airstream dealer you spoke to was correct..You want to be in the 4500, to 5000lb. Class... I have a 2016 bambi 16'... My TV is a 2011 Toyota 4Runner...500# tongue weight... 5000#tow capacity It tows very easily..But I wouldn't want to tow with anything smaller...The two you mentioned are too small...The Rav and the escape are not gonna give you enough of a cushion... Too close to the limits of the vehicles
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:44 AM   #7
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Good advice from mrdfred. Never push the limits of your tv. You will not be satisfied with the result.
Grand Cherokee is probably a good choice. If you don't mind trucks take a look at the GMC Canyon with the 2.8L Duramax diesel.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:51 AM   #8
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2013 Lexus 450h & 2015 Dodge 1500

I've towed my 2015 16' sport with both my 2013 Lexus r450h and our 2015 Dodge diesel 1500. No problems with either but I feel more comfortable in the Dodge. I have an unnatural love affair with my Lexus and while it's only rated for 3500# and the dealer said I could go up to 4800#, after seeing a sway with another rig and eventual roll over, I moved to the Dodge. I wholeheartedly agree - get more than you need. You can't have fun with your trailer if you're dead.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:57 AM   #9
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2017 16' Sport
Vernon , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalayton View Post

I am seriously looking at the Jeep Cherokee because it is the only small SUV in this price range that can tow 4500. All the others are 3500. It has kind of a jittery ride though when test driven so am still hesitant. (Any Cherokee owners out there?). Regarding the RAV4 the Adventure is supposed to be more equipped for towing and is coming with tow package standard, although it is still 3500 capacity.
If it isn't a "nice" drive without a Trailer, then it is going to be worse with a trailer.

Also, your WD/Sway package does make a difference. I love my Blue Ox, but once again I don't use my package to stretch my vehicle's capability.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:08 AM   #10
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Toyota 4Runner

You might want to look at a Toyota 4Runner with a towing capacity of 5000 lbs. The 4x4 version is very capable off road as well. You get the Toyota reliability which I believe is much better than the Jeep.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:49 AM   #11
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For what it's worth...I am pulling a 2018 Sport 22 with a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee LTD. We have about 800 miles on it so far and it ties very well. No issues thus far. We lose about 9 mpg when towing.

The only thing I cannot get used to is the screeching from the equalizer. Drive me nuts.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:50 AM   #12
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Here is my story. Had a brand new 19 ft airstream flying cloud which i pulled with a jeep grand cherokee. My unit had only been on 4 short trips. It was only 6 months old when (while not moving and waiting for traffic to move) i was rear-ended by a big truck which totaled by beautiful 2015 airstream.... I am now also wanting to buy a 16 foot airstream and drive a lexus rx350. I am wanting the same info on the ability of the lexus to tow that size. Note. My grand cherokee pulled the 19 foot like a "dream", didnt even know it was behind me.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:04 PM   #13
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Tow vehicle for 2017 ASBC 16'

Earlier this year, I purchased a 3.3 L V6 2016 Kia Sorento to pull my 2016 AS BaseCamp and on all my various adventures to date (even to Missouri and back), it's worked out great, with all the towing power and then some needed to get it up some pretty steep hills and on busy highways and streets. It has a rating of 5,000 lbs. of towing capacity which gives me a cushion of 1,500 lbs. over the GVW listing for the BC of 3,500 lbs. I wouldn't go with anything less then at least a 5,000 lbs towing capacity for a similar GVW AS.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:35 PM   #14
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I had a Jeep Cherokee. I didn't like the transmission. It did not shift well. It was good on power with the V-6. But I'm not sure I would want to pull a trailer loaded with stuff. Consider a Ford F-150 with the new 2.7 Liter Ecoboost? Probably about the same price as a well equipped Jeep Cherokee. And you have a truck bed and better payload. If you want to take bikes etc. you have more options.
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