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Old 09-11-2003, 02:04 PM   #1
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What needed for pulling , 19' to 21' AS ?

My wife and I are looking into buying a 19' to 21' A/S. We currently own a 1998 Jeep Cherokee , 4.0 L , 6 cyl. Auto. with towing package. It is suppose to be able to pull 5,000 lbs according to owner's manual. We intend to travel across country. Any experience will be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2003, 02:31 PM   #2
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Your Jeep will do the job. Personally I like towing with a V-8, more torque. This will come in handy when you start encountering any hills and mountains. I had a 1/2 ton Dodge with the 318 and according to the owners manual it was rated for 8100 pounds but it had problems when I started getting above 5000. My current tow vehicle is a F-250 with the powerstroke and I don't have any problems with my 31 footer.
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Old 09-11-2003, 03:21 PM   #3
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I am pulling mine with a 95 Grand with the six - It handles the job with the '04 Safari (25') so you should be fine. Definately though get the weight distribution set-up for it - it will make a sgnificant difference in how the Jeep handles and offloading the weight on the rear.
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Old 09-11-2003, 04:05 PM   #4
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Thumbs down Not in the mountains...

It didn't work for us! We had a Jeep (6cyl. 4.0L) and it overheated everytime we took it out with our 19-footer at altitude.

Here are links to a couple or earlier threads discussing Jeeps as tow vehicles. You may also want to search the archives for lots of other discussions...

Consequnces of an overloaded tow vehicle
and
New Owner

Good luck in whatever you decide to do...

Shari
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Old 09-11-2003, 07:14 PM   #5
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Ditto Shari

I just returned from a trip to New Mexico. I have a 2003 Tahoe with tow package. I was pulling a 17' Caravel . I would not have made it with anything less. It did do well but I sure could feel that little trailer. If you were staying on flat terrain I would think a Jeep 6 cyl. would be OK. For mountain driving I think
bigger is better. Don't cross the country in a marginal tow vehicle. It's a good investment in your safety to upgrade. You will be glad you did. Good luck and have fun!

Heidi
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Old 09-12-2003, 04:42 AM   #6
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Although I have a great respect for the 6 cyl that is inside those Jeeps, I don't condone using it for more than 19-22' with 22' being the max. Can you connect larger? Sure. Is it wise? Prob not. Will you run into issues? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Shari hit the nail right on the head. Apple1 posted some time ago that the GC has poor air circulation under the hood and with almost any version will either run hotter or overheat. If I recall, if you had the V8 in the GC or the same in the Dodge, the Dodge ran better since it was designed a bit differently.

My brother has a Wrangler and made the off comment that he might get a hitch if I lent him my Airstream....needless to say, he didn't waste his time getting a hitch because the answer was an outright no, not with the wheelbase and engine..not a chance in h.e. double hockey sticks!

Eric
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Old 09-12-2003, 04:58 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. Really appreciate the response from this community. Helped a lot.
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:57 AM   #8
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What about a Toyota 4Runner or the new VW Toaureg?
I'm dying for the 4Runner and have had great success with Toyota cars and a Tacoma - but now need the SUV room.

I have a 22ft '66 and don't really want more than a V6, but need the SUV with 2 kids and pets - and then the vehicle gets driven to/from work everyday also.

Thanks,
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Old 09-12-2003, 01:08 PM   #9
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stellablu,

My daughter drives a Nissan Exterra. She gets 14-19 mpg. ( 3.0? V6)
we use a Suburban, (5.7 V8) it gets 14-18mpg.
The Suburban can tow well, uses only a little more gas, and has lots more room.
Given the choice, I'd rather use the V8 to tow.
Just a real world example of V6 vs. V8.
Good Luck!
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Old 09-12-2003, 01:26 PM   #10
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Stella-
I got rid of my 3rd 4-Runner in a row for the trailer. I did not want too + I had to put out more money. I'm not in the least sorry. The ride is much smoother in a larger wheelbase SUV. New Orleans is a bumpy city and I have the chance every day to appreciate the Tahoe. 4-runners have a much narrower
wheelbase side to side which increases their tendency to flip over.
Not a chance you want to take with a trailer behind you.
I can tell you that a too small tow vehicle is just not going to be fun. It is much more than just the engine size that determines the suitability for towing.Those Touregs look pretty cool and if I didnt have a brand new Tahoe I would at least check them out.

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Old 09-12-2003, 01:49 PM   #11
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That 1/2 ton dodge I had got approx 15-16 on the highway.
Now this F-250 diesel gets 15-16 in town and 18-20 on the highway, or 14 towing a 31' airstream. Only problem is the $40,000 price tag.

Oh well what is money, You can't take it with you.
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Old 09-12-2003, 02:09 PM   #12
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If you stay with the smaller units...

We have an '02 19' Bambi LS and tow with an '02 Ford Sport Trac. This is not exactly what many would consider a tow vehicle, but with the 4:10 rear end, it works well. It is rated to tow 5700# and the Bambi is 4500# max, so again a nice fit. The 4L V6 (210HP/237ft lbs) in the Sport Trac loves to run at the high end of the RPM range and between the 5 speed automatic and the optional 4:10 rear end, it can stay in its power band as needed. On the straight and level, it drops into 5th and cruises 70MPH@12MPG, no problem. In the hills, you just have to get used to it dropping into 4th or 3rd gear as it pulls uphill. We have had it in the mountains once, and again, no problems. It has NEVER shown ANY indication of heating the least bit above normal, even in 110degree weather. It comes standard with external transmission, engine oil and power steering fluid coolers. The Sport Trac runs on a 125" wheel base, so that is not a concern as with some more standard SUVs. BTW, if we drop to 55 MPH the mileage jumps to 15MPG. Although it is rated to run 89 octane, we use 91 when towing. We love the utility of the Sport Trac as it is a great city hauler with a nice, quiet, comfortable interior for 4 adults (5 if only a short trip). Of course, if we ever want to move to a larger A/S, then a larger tow vehicle will be in order as well, but the Sport Trac and the Bambi make a GREAT combination.
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Old 09-12-2003, 02:36 PM   #13
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We have friends that tow their Bambi with the Ford Sport Trac.
They easily keep up and are quite happy with the combination for the same reasons as dtbw. Trading rpm ( where most smaller engines make good power) for grunt ( where large displacement engines and diesels make power) is perfectly ok in my book.
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Old 09-13-2003, 05:43 AM   #14
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Very interesting that most use American vehicles to tow with.

Now what about maintenance and breakdowns with them?? I do like the Chevy Trailblazer and Explorers and similar to the 4Runner - sufficient to pull the Safari?

But my husband absolutely hates American vehicles due to all the breakdowns he's had in the past. (Can't trade him in - yet! HA!)- And my family is from the lovely Midwest - home of Delco and Borg-Warner transmissions!!! so all worked for them. Still have a cousin at Borg. We've all switched to foreign cars because they run forever. Currently drive a 92 Corolla w/ 248,500
I digress - -----

Will be checking out the Toaureg come spring and check out those wheelbases on the 4Runner now you mention tip-ability - but geez they run forever.......

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Old 09-13-2003, 07:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by stellablu
Very interesting that most use American vehicles to tow with.


But my husband absolutely hates American vehicles due to all the breakdowns he's had in the past.
Stellablu
Stellablu...

Interesting observations. I am a died-in-the-wool Toyota truck fan. I've had three small pickups, a T-100, two FJ-40 Land Cruisers, and two FJ-60 Landcruisers.

The only one of the bunch I bought new was an '82 FJ-60, the then-heavyweight in the Toyota lineup. It was absolutely THE most miserable experience I've ever had with a car. It broke. It ate up tires (in less than 12k miles). The radio didn't work when I took delivery and Toyota was terrible about it. They finally told me, "Sorry, we can't get the front end to align properly. Have a nice life." Talk about crummy customer service!

We've since had a number of Hondas, Mitsubishis (currently have a '92 3000GT VR-4, our second 3000GT) sedans and SUVs over the years.

As you can tell, I really enjoy the foreign cars and trucks too, but...

I can tell you that in my experience the domestics are built to haul; they're not SUVs that are built for bad weather driving that happen to have a tow weight rating. That's why you'll find that most folks haul with domestics, me included. To borrow a phrase from the late '60s muscle car era, "there's no substitute for cubic inches" and it's absolutely the truth. You can wring every cc's worth of power out of a puffer six, but it's still a small-block six. When you need power, there's nothing like a domestic V-8 with LOTS of cubic inches. I'm not talking twist-curvy canyon-charging handling like with the foreigns, but practical, SAFE trailer hauling power.

Best of luck with your choice!

Roger
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Old 09-13-2003, 09:07 AM   #16
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Price?

I do think a lot of it (domestic vs. import) has to do with the price of comparable tow vehicles. The Toureg is $50,000, the Sequoia (sp?) is 45,000, and on and on. I too would love an import (87 CRX is going strong after all these years), but even used, I can't afford any of the imports that are strong enough to tow anything. So I make do with my Astro, which, I could buy 4-5 used ones for the price of a new SUV........ THAT makes it much more bearable in my book.
Marc - wishing for a Porsche Cayenne in my future
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Old 09-13-2003, 10:57 AM   #17
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Wink

Ahh, thanks guys. We did have a Blazer at one point that was the best truck until the Chevy dealer screwed it up and charged us like tons of $$ to "fix" it. Never did fix it.

I like the prices on used american vehicles also and will just put my foot down on it at some point. I've seen another new Trailblazer today and really liked it.

Ahh, the quest will continue - right after the 2004 Chicago Auto Show!!!! I just can't wait. - drag around the husband and the
kid(s) is fun - sort of. I've always been a car nut and my husband tolerates me for it. Bless him! HA!

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Old 09-13-2003, 11:25 AM   #18
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Another foreign option

Stellablu, since you like foreign cars, consider the Honda Pilot. Tow rating is 3500-4500 depending on the aerodynamics of the trailer (Honda is one of the first to acknowledge this important factor), with 450 lb tongue weight.

We get 20 MPG in mixed driving, 23 hwy, and 13 towing. It drives like a car and so we like it for daily driving, which absolutely would not be the case with any pickup truck. The third-row seats that fold down flat are a bonus (seating for 8 like a minivan).

Best of all, the LX version is well equipped at about $27k.

- RL
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Old 09-20-2003, 10:19 AM   #19
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Foreign vs. Domestic Vehicles

Another consideration when figuring out whether to buy American or not is where you'll be traveling most of the time. I am a devoted German car fan, but for trailering I'll stick with an American vehicle since we spend most of our time camping in remote locations.

The Toyota Tundra is a wonderful truck and the VW Touareg is classy as all get out, but peace of mind comes from knowing that if my Chevy gives up the ghost in Canyonlands National Park, there's a dealer in Moab who can fix the problem. That's not true of foreign brands.

If you spend most of your time in or near urban areas, then any brand of vehicle will do. However, if you like getting away from it all then trading off some build quality for dealer availability might be worth it.
Don
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:56 PM   #20
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VW ad campaign pulled.

I had actually purchased a VW Touareg with the intention of purchasing a vehicle to begin my trailer life (never owned one, but was looking forward to it!).

I had contacted my local airstream dealer and explained my intentions when he pointed out that VW has since pulled their ad campaign and was even going as far as refunding money for the vehicle for folks like me that were duped by their ad campaign with the towing capacity.

Tonight's news confirmed it for me! Here is a link to a full stream of the newscast from CBS news.

Go to http://wcbs.dayport.com/launcher/642...topsviewer.tpl to check this
video clip.

I love the vehicle, but the bad news is that the hitch and car can't support the tongue weight of a vehicle as large as in the ad!

Looks like I will start smaller and work my way up!
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