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Old 03-10-2017, 11:13 PM   #1
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Towing vehicle for the Airstream Sport 16?

I'm in the market for a fuel efficient SUV to tow a 2017 Airstream Sport 16. I currently have a 2007 Toyota Highlander hybrid and want to replace it with a newer model (non hybrid perhaps?) with a tow package. I believe the 2016 & 2017 Highlander comes with the tow package as standard equipment. It will be able to tow 5000 lbs so it should be able to tow the Sport 16. Has anyone had any experience with the Highlander towing the Sport 16 or with a similar type of SUV? I plan on traveling to national parks with the Airstream and do most of my camping at RV campgrounds, but will be going over mountain passes. My wife is considering the purchase of a 2013 Lexus 450h and it has a tow prep package that can tow 5000 lbs, so that might work too. Your thoughts on the Highlander or Lexus are appreciated. Thx.
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:45 AM   #2
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Ho doubt your choice to get another Toyota is a good one. My mechanic recently admitted they are the most reliable vehicle one can own. As a 2nd vehicle we own a 2009 Sienna and it has been very reliable.
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Old 03-11-2017, 05:29 AM   #3
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You might consider the Ford Explorer in either the Limited or Platinum edition with the ecoboost motor the larger one. We have a 2016 Limited with the optional 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 motor pulling our 2016 22FB Bambi Sport. Tow rating is 5000 lbs and it does a beautiful job. The car in the 29000 miles we driven it has been flawless. The Highlander and the Explorer are very similar and are rated so but the Explorer interior layout gives you more useable room behind the 3rd row seating which is "stow and go". Were I to buy again I would step it up to the Platinum edition get the larger ecoboost motor which is amazing.. We have two explorers in our family including one Platinum model that my daughter owns..
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:02 AM   #4
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I towed my sport 16' Bambi with a 2015 Nissan Pathfinder. Towed just fine throughout the Rocky Mountains, mpg varied from flat to inclines, but not too bad on worse inclines.
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:13 PM   #5
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We have the 19' and have been towing it with a 2010 V6 Highlander and it remains most suitable and very reliable.
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:17 PM   #6
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Either will work. I tow the 16 with a Tacoma
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:50 AM   #7
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If you like Toyota products as I do you have a couple of other choices... 4Runner, Sequoia and Landcruiser. I tow our 16 with the later and it is a breeze. Inclines...downhill and just crusin it's great. You can get a pretty good deal on a new Sequoia now if you look around. Good luck and enjoy the Toyota Airstream combo both great quality.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:43 AM   #8
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my audi 3L q5 works fine for a 2017 sport 22FB
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:52 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone! Your feedback has been helpful. I have gone ahead and purchased the 2017 Airstream Sport 16 and have plans to purchase either a 2016 or 2017 Toyota Highlander V6 AWD XLE that has a 5000 towing capacity. This model seems to be in high demand in my area and I may need to order it, since it's unlikely that it will be available at my local Toyota dealer in time for my trip in the next couple of weeks. Again, my thanks to those of you who responded to my inquiry.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:15 PM   #10
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I have the 2013 Lexus r450 hybrid and tow my 2015 16' sport with ease, keeping in mind my weight limits. Love the setup. My MPG while towing is about 23 compared to 40-45 without the weight.
My ONLY problem came when adding the trailer brake controller to the dash of Lexi. It continuously shorted the system and lost all ability to move, all three times without being hitched to the trailer -thank heavens. Lexus Roadside assistance is phenomenal. The gang at Tacoma Lexus figured it out and gave me the info on how to correct it but since it's a non-Lexus part, further road side assistance would be void.
I feel safe and the Lexus handles it like a champ. I have a blue ox anti sway bar system that adds a bit of weight but really does a fine job. Worth it.
I don't push it going up hills. And while there is that little bit of extra weight with the trailer the Lexus stops well, which is what you want. Many vehicles can tow but can they stop your trailer?
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:54 AM   #11
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Cocomo , California
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I tow my 2015 sport 16 with a 2013 Mini Cooper. No towing package was available but my understanding is that in Germany it's not uncommon to see 27 footers and better pulled by Minis. So I thought pulling a 16 would be conservative. I had the rig set up in a well known shop South of the Border. Enricho and his family have been testing and installing hitches for years. I've included a picture of some of their hitch work. I will post photos of my rig when I can.

P.S. do you think I should have opted for the turbo?
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:16 AM   #12
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Cocomo , California
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I will soon return to old Mexico to meet with Enricos cousin Jesus. Jesus is a air conditioning and refrigeration expert. He will install a device that allows my 16 sport to be cooled with a magnet and a spool of copper wire. Luckily the sport only has one AC because it would not run two at the same time.
I hope to make an appointment soon before the wall goes up.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:17 AM   #13
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My, my, Bob. I do believe one must have a turbo, but, only if one plans to journey to the Rocky Mountains. You will find that the "horse power" will suffer upon ascent and may lose control during descent. Were I to advise, I should suggest adding additional "horse power"!
Have a safe journey.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:23 AM   #14
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Enrich suggested this but I'm not quite sure how we would install the brake controller.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:25 AM   #15
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Some folks think that the size of the TV is inconsequential. That could not be further from the truth.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:39 PM   #16
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Love a good sense of humor in my fellow travelers!
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Evelyn & Mikki,(chihuahua) or Nikko (Pomeranian mix) Near Denver, Colorado
2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
TV: 2015 Nissan Pathfinder 2015 BAMBI 16' Sport
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoLady View Post
I towed my sport 16' Bambi with a 2015 Nissan Pathfinder. Towed just fine throughout the Rocky Mountains, mpg varied from flat to inclines, but not too bad on worse inclines.
ColoradoLady,
I am new to towing and my combo is a 2014 Pathfinder (tow pkg) and Bambi Sport 16?Do you get sag in the rear of your Pathfinder? Did you change anything to correct that?
I recently put Michelin Light Truck tires on with a min of 44 psi vs previous tires of 34 psi.
Helped a little. but still....
thanks
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Old 08-20-2020, 02:38 PM   #18
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Breckenridge , Colorado
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I tow my AS 16' Sport Bambi with a 2017 G2 Honda Ridgeline. It's rated to 5000 lbs. and I have driven all over the Colorado Rockies this summer with 21 nights in our AS. The Ridgeline has done very well and I have always gotten 15-16 mpg (sometimes more) while towing. I'm most comfortable driving around 65 miles per hour.
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Old 08-20-2020, 03:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbob View Post
I tow my 2015 sport 16 with a 2013 Mini Cooper. No towing package was available but my understanding is that in Germany it's not uncommon to see 27 footers and better pulled by Minis. So I thought pulling a 16 would be conservative. I had the rig set up in a well known shop South of the Border. Enricho and his family have been testing and installing hitches for years. I've included a picture of some of their hitch work. I will post photos of my rig when I can.

P.S. do you think I should have opted for the turbo?
The Mini makes a great tow vehicle but would use the New Beetle TDI because the brakes are bigger
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:57 PM   #20
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My 2014 Ford Explorer XLT tows 2017 Bambi 16' easily. The Explorer has Trailer Sway Control system build in and is slated to tow up to 5,000 lbs plus 500 tongue weight. It has factory installed tow package that include necessary equipment for towing. I would buy it again.
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