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Old 12-24-2014, 01:12 PM   #1
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Searching for the perfect tow vehicle that is NOT a truck or mom van/SUV!

I know in Europe they frequently tow with cars so who does it best on this side of the pond?



Just two fun gals from New Jersey...the garden state!
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Old 12-24-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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What do you want to tow?
What do you want to bring?

Tongue Weight and Payload are the variables you need to determine so you can compare to vehicle specs.

It's all really just high school physics.
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Old 12-24-2014, 01:40 PM   #3
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Just FYI, European spec'ed trailers are very different than North American (NA) trailers. They are narrower (less wind resistance) and have significantly less tongue weight due to axles being more forward (normal to have a 28 ft trailer with 300# of tongue weight; In NA its more like 1000#, which overloads most cars). Also, the speed limit for towing is lower in Europe, and they do not have the blistering heat of the southwest or the Rocky mountain terrain. Long story short, what works in Europe may not work in NA.
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Old 12-24-2014, 01:50 PM   #4
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yup, different cars, different trailers. You'll find a lot of discussion of this topic, but number one is what do you want to tow, and where do you want to go?

I always say you should pick out the trailer you want, then get the tow vehicle to fit it, because your trailer may go through many tow vehicles while you own it. And if you go with the tiniest trailer that will max out your tiny tow vehicle, you might not be happy with the tiny trailer once you use it. So figure out the trailer first, then you'll know the weight you will need your tow vehicle to handle.
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:32 PM   #5
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I want to tow the Airstream Sport 22fb and want to have a tow vehicle that is also my daily driver. The Sport's GVWR is 4500 pounds.


Just two fun gals from New Jersey...the garden state!
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:02 PM   #6
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I currently have a BMW 328i x drive sedan which has a v6 inline with 230 hp. It weighs about 4000 lbs. One option is to have a custom class III hitch made for it. That requires a trip to Canada to have CanAm do the job. Another option is to sell the Bimmer and buy a tow vehicle with more power and able to use a standard hitch. Everyone seems to talk only about trucks as a tow vehicle and I am just not a truck kind of gal. (Not that I have ever owned one but as a passenger they seem to be a stiff ride.)
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:51 PM   #7
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I currently have a BMW 328i x drive sedan which has a v6 inline with 230 hp. It weighs about 4000 lbs. One option is to have a custom class III hitch made for it. That requires a trip to Canada to have CanAm do the job.
We have been where you are talking about going. Our car is similar to yours and Can Am did a great job of putting it all together. Luvin the drive.



PS, IMHO going with a Euro set up (car and trailer) would be a step down in handling and performance.
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:30 PM   #8
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Reboot

You've posted here before on this topic megster. Despite what I said about BMWs, if you don't mind the german electricals and pricey oil changes the BMW small I6/V6 has plenty of power and torque to pull the 22 based on my internet expertise on torque and horsepower figures.

The 22 is narrower and reportedly pulls more gracefully than the 16 because of the reduced cross section or tongue weight distribution or something i don't fully understand. CANAM can set it all up as described.

Posting on here just threatens a new religious TV war, best thing would be just to do it and post the pictures here for the naysayers. Likely they will run us both off like the guy who is towing his 16 all over north America with a VW Golf. Can't be done, but there are the pictures.

Winter seems to have been cancelled up here in Canada, so you don't even have to wait to spring if you have time. (weather permitting).

Merry Christmas to All.

Little Tim

Please post pictures.
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:55 PM   #9
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The last time I talked to Andy at Cam-Am I asked him what he would recommend in a TV. He likes a lot of SUVs since they have great suspensions and very stiff unibody construction. The European SUVs are especially good. Perhaps an SUV would work good for you since you are only towing a 22'.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:23 AM   #10
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Love my Mercedes GL320 (diesel). Absolutely no complaints. Without one of the trailers, drives like a sporty SUV (as it should) and gets about 25 mpg. With the trailer, which is lighter than the one you want, cannot tell anything is there much of the time. Mileage drops to 17 mpg, but lots of power. I use an Equal-i-zer hitch with the Tradewind, but know some who use a Hensley with the Mercedes and heavier trailers and love it.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:45 AM   #11
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Go Diesel engine

I started with a 16' Bambi and traded up to a 23' International that weighs 6000 lbs. thankful I chose the BMW X5 Diesel engine because the car could handle the weight AND I get 17 mpg towing the larger trailer and 28-30 mpg when not in tow. Was in the mountains, towing, and that diesel was a little workhorse. Pricey car, but functional for my needs and I can get 400,000 miles at least out of the engine. Good luck with your decision. Oh, and I'm a solo girl out on the road. No worries with this set up.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:27 AM   #12
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I have pulled 5th wheels & travel trailers 40,000+ miles per year since 1992. One year, I had a brand new F-350 Crewcab diesel and put 48,000 miles on in only 9 months. I have seen it all in the past 22 years, literally. I started out with an old Aljo 35' and pulled it with a 1990 F-350. Pokey it was, but no problem stopping it. And that is my point, here. You can pull an Airstream with anything. But try stopping it in an emergency with some of your toy cars and SUV's? As a highway patrolman once told me, "if people would only think about protecting themselves in the worst situation possible, they would never, ever consider pulling their trailers with what they do." I pull a 25' Airstream with a F-350 Ford Crew-cab diesel 4 wheel drive with a 8' box, topper, a hand-built slide-in tool box with 2 slide out 6 to 7' drawers, a 4 piece platform cover cut to fit the box, carpeted. I carry a Honda EU3000is fastened at the rear of the platform, but inside the rear topper door. I have never had an accident in over 800,000 miles, but have had incidents where I had to stop really quickly! I cannot imagine keeping that trailer under control pulling it with an SUV. Sorry, my two cents. Would a F-250 work? Sure. Would a F-150 work? Sure. It's your choice. I can only tell you what my expectations are. If my wife and I have our 5 grandkids with us and an emergency stop comes up, I know our protection level is more with what I use. What if we rolled over? What if? What if? Prepare for the worst - expect the best! Merry Christmas. Iowa Bumpa
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megster View Post
I want to tow the Airstream Sport 22fb and want to have a tow vehicle that is also my daily driver. The Sport's GVWR is 4500 pounds.


Just two fun gals from New Jersey...the garden state!
I have been towing for 5-6 years a 23 Ft. Safari with a Mercedes ML350-Blue Tec Diesel. It gets 15 or so highway with the trailer in tow, 30 highway without, and 22-25 running around town. Those are real numbers from the years of owning. Relatively trouble free, plenty of power, etc etc. Lots of folks will tell you it is too small, but the new European Diesels, all very similar in torque and HP, with 7-8 speed transmissions are great for the smaller airstreams. You may want to have someone with good experience set up the hitch, but other than that, it runs great. Gone to Alaska and back, all over the West mountains, heading to Tx and AZ this week, not a worry with it. Often don't feel the trailer behind, get a good set a mirrors and you can see well too. We have only room for one vehicle, and this works great, and rides like a Mercedes also.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:42 AM   #14
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Wink The perfect tow vehicle is an engine.

I tow a 25' FC. THE PERFECT TOW VEHICLE is an engine and that is a diesel engine for power and economy nothing else comes close. if you rule out trucks then there are few choices left. I do hear that Nissan and Toyota are coming out with diesel engines next year and at least that will be a smaller truck. I have talked to towers using gas engine and they were getting 6 MPG and with diesel I get 12-14. With that you can calculate how fast the diesel engine will pay for it self, not long. good luck.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:25 PM   #15
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There is no such thing as a "perfect tow vehicle".
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I tow a 25' FC. THE PERFECT TOW VEHICLE is an engine and that is a diesel engine for power and economy nothing else comes close. if you rule out trucks then there are few choices left. I do hear that Nissan and Toyota are coming out with diesel engines next year and at least that will be a smaller truck. I have talked to towers using gas engine and they were getting 6 MPG and with diesel I get 12-14. With that you can calculate how fast the diesel engine will pay for it self, not long. good luck.
you do have to figure in that the diesel costs you $5 to 10 thousand dollars more to begin with and the fuel is more expensive so it may not pay for itself as quick as you think!
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:57 PM   #17
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VW Touareg TDI

We tow our 25' International with a 2014 VW Touareg TDI (Turbo Diesel & 8 speed automatic transmission). The WD hitch was setup by Can Am. The Touareg is a great day-to-day vehicle and tows like a tank! We are very pleased.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:42 PM   #18
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BMW X5d

if you like bmw then get a bmx x5d.
we bought a used 2011 to tow our 1965 caravel and it works great.
the reason we did is just what you are stating. we wanted a car that we would enjoy driving when not towing, and this fits the bill perfectly. it is a fabulous vehicle.
the diesel tows really well with lots of torque.

the only caveat would be if you think that you may have some size creep and will eventually want a bigger trailer. if thats the case then just go for the truck.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:47 PM   #19
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Lots of factors.

The SUVs and the Pickup Trucks have a higher center of gravity than Cars. Fact. This is less safe from roll, yaw, stability standpoint . -1 Pickups and SUVs

The SUVs generally have better independent suspension than the pickup trucks, this is safer as the wheels are more likely to stay on the ground which is good for traction. -1 Pickups

The Pickups have longer wheelbases however which is more stable than the SUVs from a rollover standpoint. Pickups +1

The Pickups and the SUVs weigh more which is an advantage from an inertial standpoint with respect to sway initiation. +1 pickups and SUVs

Pickup trucks have a box to carry stuff in. SUVs are generally hatchback for loading stuff. Cars often have a trunk to hide stuff in.

A heavier vehicle takes longer to stop for the same braking and tire contact power. -1 Pickups and SUVs

Diesel engines have a theoretical advantage over gas, but your choice of makers is limited in the "small" car and SUV space, the truck engines have a host of unproven and potentially costly technologies going in. +-?

Unibody is more rigid than frame.

If the original poster enjoys towing with a German 6 cylinder lux car, MB, VW/Audi, and Mercedes all have options if she wants to swap for a diesel vehicle before she puts on 800000 miles.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:49 PM   #20
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forgot to mention overhang,frame stiffness and clearance but whatever
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