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Old 10-22-2018, 02:23 PM   #1
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2018 Basecamp
San Diego , California
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Basecamp tow vehicle question

We just bought an Airstream Basecamp, and now we need to buy a car to pull it. We plan on getting a mid-sized SUV that can pull 5000 lbs either a Toyota Highlander LE+ or a Honda Pilot EX. One of the significant differences is that the Honda has a lighter suspension, and thus less bumpiness but more sway of the car itself on rough roads and going around corners. So any of you have experience with a lighter vs. a tighter suspension, or directly with either of these cars? We are wondering which level of suspension is better for towing, and also which suspension is better for avoiding passenger carsickness.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:43 PM   #2
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No experience with those vehicles, but we find that of the three suspension settings we have available, the stiffest, Sport Mode is the best for towing.

On the flat and level Interstate with no tight curves, it really does not make much difference. However, when the wind picks up, the road is not flat, or there are tight twisty curves, the tighter suspension helps a lot.

Car/motion sickness - if you are used to automobile travel, be aware that the motion in an SUV is increased. It is not very noticeable on a flat road, but if the surface is variable from side to side, the higher seating position in an SUV moves your head from side to side more that if you are in a vehicle with a lower sitting position.

There was/is a recent thread discussion on towing with the Pilot chassis platform. It's not applicable to your question, but Andy at CanAm offered his experience in the discussion. Suggest you give him a call before you commit.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:47 PM   #3
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Congratulations on your new Airstream Basecamp. As for tow vehicles, I have owned both the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Loved the Honda Pilot for just about everything...but towing. The Highlander is a bit more rugged vehicle for towing. Recommend installing the TRD sway bars on the Highlander. These are mainly for offroad use, but the antisway capabilities for the open road is incredible. These will provide absolute positive tracking, while towing anything up to your tow weight limit. Have your Toyota dealer install the TRD equipment before taking delivery of the vehicle....if you choose the Highlander.
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:48 PM   #4
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Ok, we have two identical threads, each with the same title, each headed by the exact same question. Which one should we be replying in or do you want all the replies duplicated in both threads? I know I'm confused already ......

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Old 10-22-2018, 05:31 PM   #5
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Bob, your right! Two threads by same OP in different sections of the Airstream Forums. 1. Airstream Knowledge Base and 2. Airstream Renovations.

Best to combine them both into one thead.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:57 PM   #6
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On the whole, these two unibody based vehicles are likely similar enough that it comes down to tastes and preferences. I don't believe either will have a particular ride advantage, unless one is notably sportier or has a sport package. That may help better control the laden weight and sag when under tow as it will have higher rate springs. But there's also other variable such as tires, wheel diameter, and such.

I say just get the one that appeals to you. Can't really go wrong with either IMO.
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:02 PM   #7
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And post pics when you decide!
2018 International Serenity 27' FB
Michelin 16 tires
Hensley Arrow hitch

Tow Vehicle: 2020 F-350 6.7L Diesel
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:42 AM   #8
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Spokane , Washington
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Have had excellent results puliing my BC with this TV.

Have and strongly recommend anti-sway bars.

Wife has a Highlander and confident it would do just as well. Had Car Toys do a back up cam with a small screen monitor. Very pleased.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:10 PM   #9
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Our MDX just got done towing our 25 Safari 6000 miles. Did great! See Acura MDX towing thread.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:40 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the great advice!

I want to thank all of you for your advice. After some consideration, my wife and I have ordered a 2019 Toyota Highlander AWD V6 with the factory-installed tow package (parts of the tow package apparently need to be installed at the factory when the car is being built). Our car is scheduled to be built December 4, and we hope to have delivery by the end of the year!

Thanks for your help!

Steve S.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:37 AM   #11
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Will be buying a Basecamp, and plan to get a used Tacoma to tow it. Any recommendations for Tacoma specifications? V-6? Four-wheel-drive? Model year? (Consumer Reports suggests that model years 2013-14-15 are the most reliable.)
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