4WD SUV towing a 21 Escape - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-16-2015, 01:24 AM   #1
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Question 4WD SUV towing a 21 Escape

We currently own a 17' Casita and tow it with a 4 wheel drive (2011) Acura MDX with tow package. It is rated for 5,000 lbs tow weight, and 500 lb tongue weight.
We use a Prodigy P2 proportional brake controller, Kurt 17,000 WDH and a sway bar.

Our current rig is rock solid. We easily cruise up over mountains at 55 mph (or maybe 50 mph for the very steepest grades) without high RPMs.

On the interstate when an 18 wheeler blows past us at 75 mph there isn't even a shudder.

The dry weight of our Casita is 2,480 lbs. My research of threads on the Casita forum indicates that the average wet weight is 3,230 lbs with a
hitch weight of 420 lbs. (average of numerous actual wet weights of similar 17' Casitas)

No I have never weighed our rig wet, but we tend to travel light.... And we don't tow long distances with full clean, grey or black tanks.

We are hoping to upgrade to a 21′ Escape.

It has a dry weight of 3,050lbs plus the approximately 300 lbs of options and accessories we will add.

We will travel fully loaded (for how we travel) more likely just slightly above 4,000 lbs wet.

We do NOT want to upgrade our tug. It is not an option.

We have are sadly far from retirement age, so we make two trips a year with a total of about 2 weeks out, and 4 days of driving total.

I know the Escape 21' has a larger, flatter front and so it is less aerodynamic than our 17' Casita.

I would buy an appropriate hitch scale to make sure we never got over 500 lbs.

I know that it is best to have a safety margin (and to not tow at capacity)

My question is - considering all our variables - are we crazy to follow thru with this upgrade?

I know there will be varying opinions, but I am all ears. :-)

Thanks.

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Old 09-16-2015, 03:04 AM   #2
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Bike racks and tongue weight Might be of interest to you.

Personally, I have a 8000lb tow cap and there are days I am happy to be far far under my capacity. Other days, yes its overkill.
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:06 AM   #3
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It appears you are familiar with Fredericks RV weights in the real world? Have you averaged out the 21's he has weighed? When I first started reading the forum they always talked about giving yourself 10% under the manufacturers recommendations. I don't read that here much more, rather many posters have an opinion based on their personal observations, sometimes those opinions, observations and comments are way off. Why not follow what the company who built your car thinks?
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:48 AM   #4
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I did the same move 17LD->Escape 21, you're closer to capacity than I like, but the tow will wear out LONG before the trailer does, so you can upsize that later. Mileage is 1 mpg less towing the 21 compared to the Casita 17LD using the same tow (Tacoma.)
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:14 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 -- The Skylark. Towed by a 2014 Highlander
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For whatever it is worth, we tow our 21 with a Toyota Highlander -- 5000 lbs towing capacity. We have about 15,000 miles towing and 5000 non-towing miles on the car. We picked up the trailer in Chilliwack, and came home through Lake Louise, Banff and Glacier. Then spring we went to Big Bend National Park, returning via Raton Pass. Last spring it was back to Chilliwack via the Kootenay mountains and then home via Lolo Pass.

We never felt underpowered, nor did we ever feel any sway or lack of control. We went up all the hills as fast as I wanted to go. When we returned we took the car in for its 15000 mile checkup. Brake wear was normal and everything else looked good.

I know that lots of people believe that we should have more power, or that the Highlander will wear out prematurely. They may be right, but so far I am happy with our choice of tow vehicle (except for the Highlander's inability to carry two bikes inside the vehicle).

Leon
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
For whatever it is worth, we tow our 21 with a Toyota Highlander -- 5000 lbs towing capacity. We have about 15,000 miles towing and 5000 non-towing miles on the car. We picked up the trailer in Chilliwack, and came home through Lake Louise, Banff and Glacier. Then spring we went to Big Bend National Park, returning via Raton Pass. Last spring it was back to Chilliwack via the Kootenay mountains and then home via Lolo Pass.

We never felt underpowered, nor did we ever feel any sway or lack of control. We went up all the hills as fast as I wanted to go. When we returned we took the car in for its 15000 mile checkup. Brake wear was normal and everything else looked good.

I know that lots of people believe that we should have more power, or that the Highlander will wear out prematurely. They may be right, but so far I am happy with our choice of tow vehicle (except for the Highlander's inability to carry two bikes inside the vehicle).

Leon
Thanks Leon for the great info.

a quick glance on the internet indicates that you probably have 270 HP... about the same as our 300 HP.

do you have the 4WD model?

did you get a WDH?

if yes - what WDH?

do you have a sway bar?

thanks!
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:27 PM   #7
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For what it's worth, my Toyota RAV4 V6 has 269HP.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:36 PM   #8
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For what it's worth, I used up nearly all the horses that my FJ could produce towing my 19' on some of the long steep grades of the Coquihalla a couple weeks ago. My Scangage topped out at about 265HP on one particular steep section, which is pretty close to the maximum HP spec's provided by Toyota. But of course, that was trying to keep up with all of the traffic that was blowing by at greater than 120km/hr on that roadway.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:38 PM   #9
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We don't have 4WD. We chose not to simply because the fuel economy and the reliability of the FWD model is slightly better. We rarely drive on roads with a bad surface so we didn't feel like we needed it. But if I was to do it over again, I would probably get the All wheel drive model.

We have 270 HP. One of the great mysteries of towing ratings (at least for me) is why the Highlander has a 5000 lb towing capacity and the Sienna mini-van only has 3500 lb towing capacity. both of them have the same engine and transmission. Maybe it has to do with the softer suspension in the minivan.

We have an Andersen WDH -- even though the Toyota Manual says we don't need a WDH. It is also an anti-sway device. My towing experience has been good. The trailer and the car seem to be a single unit, and I think there is less bounce on rough roads than we had with our previous trailer and a conventional WDH. But it is really hard to compare since we have only used the Andersen Hitch with this trailer.

Hope that helps.

Leon
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
For what it's worth, I used up nearly all the horses that my FJ could produce towing my 19' on some of the long steep grades of the Coquihalla a couple weeks ago. My Scangage topped out at about 265HP on one particular steep section, which is pretty close to the maximum HP spec's provided by Toyota. But of course, that was trying to keep up with all of the traffic that was blowing by at greater than 120km/hr on that roadway.
We never drive faster than 55 mph (88 kph) when towing. It is california state law, and also, to us, a good idea.

:-)
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