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Old 02-23-2012, 11:58 AM   #141
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The proof is in the pudding.

If it's good, it's good. If it works, it works.

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Old 02-23-2012, 12:39 PM   #142
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I'd like to see those EU vs. US RV stats. Not just per capita, but reflective of comparable masses, speeds, distance traveled, etc. That sounds like a pretty obtuse factoid tossed out to pacify US consumers. Mind you I'm a Europhile if ever there was one, down to my TV & even begging AS Corporate to buy a Germanybound AS (no luck, unless one had $$$ out wazoo to re-import & fight DOT/CHP for clearance.) I've also traveled in European RV's in Europe & with European RV'ers here in those Cruise America beasts. I find the notion of comparing the too silly as they are categorically different machines, roads, speeds, driving laws, not to mention graduated licenses, cultural mentalities, etc.

At some point we have to accept that we are in the US & have a certain pool of equipment to pick from & regulations to comply with. I think Can-Am is capable of doing their custom set-ups with their own calculations (& some iota of deniability based on informed consumer decisions if there is a crash or major mechanical wear on that VW bug towing an AS). But few consumers know of Can-Am (or Canada-haha!) or see those cute atypical rigs & think I should consult an expert & make certain major adjustments. No they'll just buy-hitch&go using that very cursory "experimental proof" of well I saw someone else do it-or a picture on the Internet. Most dealers & private parties will sell whatever to whomever and that's SCARY!
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:14 PM   #143
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We are in the position of looking for a TV and an AS. We will be buying new and read these posts with great interest. We have settled on the 23' FC w/forward sofa as our AS pick. Purchase to be made in a couple of years as we are nearing retirement but not there yet.

We have debated TV's from 4Runner,ML305BT,Jeep GC but have pretty much settled on a new Chevy Avalanche LTZ ordered specifically for towing but with all the goodies.

I take interest in the fact that, according to some, any of the above could be set up to handle our AS pick. But, with that said, which would be the safest? We do not want a straight P/U (better halfs and my decision) but the Avalanche seems to be the best of both worlds.
Comments PLEASE!
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:01 PM   #144
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Smartrsounds, only the MB350BT has a modern independent suspension and diesel engine, and a relatively low center of gravity, of your group. These are important and overlooked points in this thread when considering safe handling and economy.

BTW take a look at 25' Airstreams. We moved up to one, its a world of difference inside but you won't notice the difference towing.

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Old 02-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #145
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We have debated TV's from 4Runner,ML305BT,Jeep GC but have pretty much settled on a new Chevy Avalanche LTZ ordered specifically for towing but with all the goodies.

Comments PLEASE!
Agree with Doug. From what we have read and understand about towing the ML350BT is Creme de Creme. If money was no object it would be on my top 3 short list. For stability, also take note of the desireable, very short rear overhang compared with something like the Avalanche. Also the Mercedes high performance braking system and sticky performance tires. It all adds up to icing.

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Old 02-23-2012, 02:25 PM   #146
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I agree about the ML350BT and it was our 1st choice but I am a little worried about their transmision cold shifting problem that MB has yet to find a fix for.....I really don't want to shell out that kind of money for a vehicle with a known problem and so many complaints which are yet to be resolved. The MB dealership in Tampa had a strange "No Comment" about the issue.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:29 PM   #147
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I agree about the ML350BT and it was our 1st choice but I am a little worried about their transmision cold shifting problem that MB has yet to find a fix for.....I really don't want to shell out that kind of money for a vehicle with a known problem and so many complaints which are yet to be resolved. The MB dealership in Tampa had a strange "No Comment" about the issue.
Also the hitch weight exceeds the specs.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:30 PM   #148
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I hear you Smartsound. I too would not buy a vehicle with a serious known problem. Anything I have been buying for the last 30 years has gotten the thumbs up from Consumers Reports and it has worked for me. No lemons and no high problem vehicles even considering the weight we are towing with 6cyl vehicles.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:32 PM   #149
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I agree with the above votes for the Benz, can't speak for the possible shifting problems... But if that's in your price range you may want to consider the other Euro SUV/UHV dopplegangers & frequent best towing winners of the Audi Q7 or VW Touareg Tdi. The stance, feeling & safety of towing with this class of auto is leagues different from that Avalanche or others on your list!
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:55 PM   #150
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Thanks for the replies. We really want the MB so we are in a holding pattern for a few months until they get things sorted out. What about the hitch weight? The Avalanche lists 600 lbs but 1100 lbs with a WD hitch which we will definatly be getting when we but the TT. Any WD numbers for the MB. I haven't been able to find any. Call me stupid but I will not knowingly exceed Mfg spec's. My towing experience is a little but not a lot.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:40 PM   #151
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Thanks for the replies. We really want the MB so we are in a holding pattern for a few months until they get things sorted out. What about the hitch weight? The Avalanche lists 600 lbs but 1100 lbs with a WD hitch which we will definatly be getting when we but the TT. Any WD numbers for the MB. I haven't been able to find any. Call me stupid but I will not knowingly exceed Mfg spec's. My towing experience is a little but not a lot.
Unfortunately, Mercedes does not publish WD numbers for the ML350, or any of their vehicles, as far as I know. When we bought ours, we escalated all the way to an engineer in Germany, and they just do not have any understanding of a WD hitch.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:48 PM   #152
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3/4 ton 4wD V10 will handle most needs pretty well, even a slippery when wet campsite. I tow a 34' w/o any issue and average 10-12 mpg at highway speeds
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:53 PM   #153
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The 2011-2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a Mercedes ML under the skin as they were designed alongside each other as the last bastard child of the MB/Chrysler marriage.

As we search for the "right" trailer, we have towed a 16 DWR through Big Sur with our 2011 GC Overland 4x4 with the Hemi V8, didn't know it was there. We have also towed a 19 Bambi over 600 miles in the Sierras, didn't know it was there. Pulling the 19 we drove 65mph at 1800 RPM and were getting 15.3 MPG. BTW, the tow/haul mode, air suspension and the active cruise control were dynamite on hills both up and down. I tried a 25 from a dealer, only pulled it about 30 miles in town and on the freeway without a WD hitch and it felt great and stopped great. The GC is rated at just over 7000lb with 4x4. The unloaded 25 is about 5200. We don't want a big trailer, but we do want a big bed!
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:37 PM   #154
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And I have recently read this Grand Cherokee will soon be offered with a small diesel engine.

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:06 PM   #155
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Diesel Jeep

The diesel is being sold overseas, V6 turbo, new 7 speed transmission. Mid to high 20's on the highway and more torque than the 5.7 Hemi. My dealer said there were "no plans" to sell them here.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:17 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by Smatrsounds View Post
debated TV's from 4Runner,ML305BT,Jeep GC but have pretty much settled on a new Chevy Avalanche LTZ ordered specifically for towing but with all the goodies.

I take interest in the fact that, according to some, any of the above could be set up to handle our AS pick. But, with that said, which would be the safest? We do not want a straight P/U (better halfs and my decision) but the Avalanche seems to be the best of both worlds.
Comments PLEASE!
I am a big Toyota fan, but we owned a 2011 4Runner for just long enough to find something else to buy (a Sequoia). I've had a few Tacoma's, and after we were expecting our first baby we traded into a 4Runner. I've always dreamed of a 4Runner. It was disappointing in several ways. The most annoying was the square spokes on the steering wheel that made it very uncomfortable on long drives. (they've since changed the Tacoma interior to match, so yikes!)

I complained to Toyota about handling quirks... we live in an area with lots of winding mountain roads, and it required 100% attention all the time to keep it on line. It was just very twitchy. At first I thought it was because I was moving from a longer wheelbase to a shorter one... but it was just too weird for me.

The Avalanche is the biggest, by far, of those vehicles. Unless you are really hooked on the pass-through end gate (or the styling I guess), you might get more for the buck in a 1/2 ton crew cab. I don't know if I'd call the Avalanche the 'best of both worlds'... as I've never, ever seen one used in truck mode. (I'm sure people do - I've just never seen it in person).

I love my Sequoia... luckily found a super used 2008 and the dealer gave me my money back on the 4Runner (I had to throw in my winter tires/wheels)...
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:27 AM   #157
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I really like the Avalanche...one of my favorite vehicles for a number of reasons. I happened to be driving one at the time I traded my 5500# SOB for my 30' Classic. I did pull the Classic with it on a few trips. Although overloaded, it handled the AS very well.
It is on the Suburban chassis so it rides better than a PU. If GM still built a 3/4 ton Avalanche, it would be high on my consideration list.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:13 AM   #158
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Smatrsounds

It is good that you have some time before you make your big decision. If you really want to go diesel then the MB is your vehicle and you have to deal with the transmission issue and gross rating issues with a wd hitch (talk to Can-Am). The safest bet appears to be to go gas and I would look at the Jeep GC with the 5.7L motor and the Toyata Sequoia 5.7L. I have a Tundra with the 5.7L and the six speed and I am quite happy. I would go for a well cared for used one since they have not changed them since 08. This way if you don't like it or something else comes along that seems better you won't loose very much when you sell it.

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Old 02-24-2012, 10:40 AM   #159
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The expert of experts is Andy Thomson of CanAmRV.ca in Canada! I'm working with Andy and John right now and they are super helpful and knowledgable. No hard sell with these guys, just honesty and expertise! Good luck.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:30 AM   #160
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Specifications are important in lawsuits. The specs may be wrong, but they are black and white and juries respond to that. But most people don't sue because the risks of loss are high enough when combined with expense to deter taking a chance. Insurance companies are in the risk business. They will look at what it costs them to fight a customer over specs. First they have to investigate specs and try to understand them in a towing context, look at the risk they will be sued or a complaint sent to the insurance commission, and then decide whether it is worth it to not pay a claim. But if you sue them over their payments (or go to arbitration as it is likely you will be forced to do), then they surely will look at towing specs.

You may want to sue the truck manufacturer, Airstream, the dealer and a few others. The more defendants the merrier because the defendants tend to blame each other and may prove your case for you. This is expensive and a lawyer may do it on contingency, but only if the work involved is not so much the lawyer loses money or makes very little. Lawyers can't afford to take bad or weak cases on contingency. There are costs to a lawsuit besides fees and the client may not be able to afford them and the lawyer may not want to lend the client money for the costs (the ability for a lawyer to lend a client money for this is different in different jurisdictions; my understanding is it is generally frowned upon). Product liability lawsuits are very expensive. If you want to sue CanAm, you will probably have to do it in Ontario.

Given the concern with potential accidents that if often expressed on the Forum, there are really very few of them reported. The ones that do get reported here have few or no injuries (I recognize dead drivers don't post here, so the numbers may be skewed). That kind of surprises me. Maybe we are all so fearful we drive pretty well. Accidents are one part, of course; vehicle wear and tear is the other and goes mostly unreported. We had to replace the rotors at around 67,000 miles on our Tundra—I haven't had to replace a rotor for 30 years, so that surprised me. I know another Tundra owner has to replace his though I don't recall how many miles he has on his. I expect the added weight of towing plus the poor drum brakes on Airstreams has caused this. Everything else works fine, but I can't see inside things to see what the wear is. I know if I were to buy a used truck for towing, I'd avoid one that has been used for towing if I knew it had been.

I don't understand how CanAm does it. I am not an engineer. It seems to work and I think we have to respect that. I've read Andy's articles in Airstream life and they look well thought out although I don't always understand what he is talking about. But I really wonder how the various components (transmission, differentials, etc.) will hold up over time. I don't know if there has been an objective look at that. I thought Canadians pulled their Airstreams with snowmobiles anyway.

I find interesting the statement that for one vehicle at least, payload was in part determined by the tires. Our Tundra came with crappy Load Range C "P" tires. We replaced them after 18,000 miles with Load Range E LT tires. I wonder if that would make a difference in payload ratings? There were in 2007 a variety of tires and wheel packages plus various truck models, but looking at them, I couldn't see any obvious differences in payload caused by tires and wheels. One of the footnotes says that "payload is not the Vehicle Capacity Weight as defined by FMVSS 110." This is a federal rule regarding tire and wheel selection for trucks under 10,000 lbs. GVWR, but I have no interest in researching it. Maybe someone else understands it.

Payload doesn't seem to be defined well. Toyota figures payload with a full gas tank, but it has been stated that some manufacturers don't and may also figure it with no coolant. I have read that some Class A and C motorhomes have negative payload. There may not be a rule for payload.

Gene
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