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Old 05-25-2016, 11:31 AM   #1
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A Little Worried

Have been reading the forums and have gotten really confused about what tow vehicle I need for a 19' Escape with lots of options added including reinforced walls and 2 batteries. It sounds like a weight distribution hitch is a good idea, but only vehicles with truck bodies can use them because of the frames. All of the trucks are so big. I can only have one vehicle, so I guess I am looking at a car that has a truck body. I don't want to risk not having enough towing capacity causing the car to have a shorter life or risking safety. (I want to be able to explore the US and Canada--mountains and all.) If possible, I would like to get a used tow vehicle from 2012 or 2013 up. I thought about a 4 Runner, but the posts talk about a soft back-end and adding air shocks. I can't do any of that. Are Explorers an option? I have not towed before, so this is a pretty big deal for me. Please let me know your suggestions. Thank you.
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Old 05-25-2016, 11:42 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Julie View Post
It sounds like a weight distribution hitch is a good idea, but only vehicles with truck bodies can use them because of the frames.
Not true.
Some manufacturers say WDH is "not recommended". That's what my RAV4 says. I asked Toyota and they said they don't have a relationship with a WDH company so don't have a recommendation.
My WDH was installed at the Toyota shop by a aftermarket installer that they brought in. It's been 8 years since and last service I asked them to look at the installation. They reported it was in very good condition.
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File Type: jpg With WDH2.jpg (118.1 KB, 51 views)
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Old 05-25-2016, 11:43 AM   #3
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Hi Julie,

it looks like you have lots of research in front of you - and you are about to hear all kinds of opinions

we went with a Nissan Frontier but not the big cab - the kind of truck with the little wee seats in the cab. in our retirement the Frontier may become our primary vehicle but for now we run with two vehicles.

our decision making matrix was similar to ours - we were new to towing also - we want to be able to explore regardless of mountains and hills - there are only two of us - we went conservative and found a tug with a capacity of 6000 pounds and are very very happy we did.

the last thing we wanted was to be pushed down a steep mountain
some forum members appear quite satisfied with a tug without as much safety spread.

good luck talk to lots of people - don't believe what salespeople tell you without doing your own independent research.

Larry
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie View Post
Have been reading the forums and have gotten really confused about what tow vehicle I need for a 19' Escape with lots of options added including reinforced walls and 2 batteries. It sounds like a weight distribution hitch is a good idea, but only vehicles with truck bodies can use them because of the frames. All of the trucks are so big. I can only have one vehicle, so I guess I am looking at a car that has a truck body. I don't want to risk not having enough towing capacity causing the car to have a shorter life or risking safety. (I want to be able to explore the US and Canada--mountains and all.) If possible, I would like to get a used tow vehicle from 2012 or 2013 up. I thought about a 4 Runner, but the posts talk about a soft back-end and adding air shocks. I can't do any of that. Are Explorers an option? I have not towed before, so this is a pretty big deal for me. Please let me know your suggestions. Thank you.
Julie,
We are not too far from you, but will be on the road for a while. We have an older 4Runner that we towed our 21' with for 20,000 miles or so. We have the Andersen WDH, and would be glad to discuss all of this by phone or together some time. It can get confusing to evaluate Toyota's guidance on the types of actual receivers that mount on the tow vehicle and the hitches themselves.
To make it more exciting, we originally thought we'd be getting a 19' but ended up with our 21'.
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:50 PM   #5
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I tow a 17 with my highlander and I use weight distribution bars. I would also tow a 19 with it many tow the 21 with the Highlander it tows great and drives like a car I have not added any extra shocks.
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Old 05-25-2016, 01:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie View Post
Have been reading the forums and have gotten really confused about what tow vehicle I need for a 19' Escape with lots of options added including reinforced walls and 2 batteries. It sounds like a weight distribution hitch is a good idea, but only vehicles with truck bodies can use them because of the frames. All of the trucks are so big. I can only have one vehicle, so I guess I am looking at a car that has a truck body. I don't want to risk not having enough towing capacity causing the car to have a shorter life or risking safety. (I want to be able to explore the US and Canada--mountains and all.) If possible, I would like to get a used tow vehicle from 2012 or 2013 up. I thought about a 4 Runner, but the posts talk about a soft back-end and adding air shocks. I can't do any of that. Are Explorers an option? I have not towed before, so this is a pretty big deal for me. Please let me know your suggestions. Thank you.
been the same place as you last year trying to decide on the tug, although not completely sure of the trailer at the time...wanted an SUV but they don't seem to make them for a reasonable price anymore especially if you want one built on a truck chassis instead of the more common less rugged "city" frame...in the end the desire to spend more time traveling than squatting in a house, came down to buying a truck for the long haul...offering more versatility and choices later with whatever trailer and an Escape 19 footer being a minimum...and there ain't nothing aerodynamic about many of the trailers including an Escape...you're pulling a kite about the size of a barn door down the highway......so do you do it with a real horse or a wore out mule...as far as spending more time traveling, gas prices will have a lot to do with that travel bug too....a friend who has been in the RV business for some time said yesterday...just wait, when gas hits 3 to 4 dollars a gal...this whole industry will contract again and the mfgs will be dumping trailers at cheaper prices....good luck with the decision and the trailer.
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Old 05-25-2016, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie View Post
Have been reading the forums and have gotten really confused about what tow vehicle I need for a 19' Escape with lots of options added including reinforced walls and 2 batteries. It sounds like a weight distribution hitch is a good idea, but only vehicles with truck bodies can use them because of the frames. All of the trucks are so big. I can only have one vehicle, so I guess I am looking at a car that has a truck body. I don't want to risk not having enough towing capacity causing the car to have a shorter life or risking safety. (I want to be able to explore the US and Canada--mountains and all.) If possible, I would like to get a used tow vehicle from 2012 or 2013 up. I thought about a 4 Runner, but the posts talk about a soft back-end and adding air shocks. I can't do any of that. Are Explorers an option? I have not towed before, so this is a pretty big deal for me. Please let me know your suggestions. Thank you.
Julie, We just brought our 21 home from Chilliwack to California. The 21 was fairly loaded and probably weighed 4200 lbs. We used our 2015 Explorer with a 5000 lb. Tow Capacity and had no problems. As Alf would say, "It Towed With Aplomb".
We had many steep grades and passes, but handled them fine. Of course, this was only 1500 miles and a small sample size. We have the factory Tow Package and are hoping for a good long term experience.
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Old 05-25-2016, 01:19 PM   #8
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By the way......Alf say aplomb weigh about what a Steinway...........
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Old 05-25-2016, 01:49 PM   #9
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Julie:

#1 tip: you/me/everyone gets used to whatever we have, with practice.

#2 tip: a full size truck can be had with "parking radar" and a single cab, though somewhat harder to find at least locally here.

#3 tip: the Frontier/Tacomas have been joined by the GM Canyon/Colorado in the lightweight category.

#3b tip: SUV/truck debate boils down to what "stuff" you are bringing with you. imho.

#4 tip: go rent the biggest moving van you feel like you can't handle. drive straight to the nearest empty parking lot and get a feel for 'staying in the lines'. backwards and forwards.

#4b tip: now go rent a van/truck AND a moving trailer. bonus points if you arrange RV lessons with a truck driving school same day (2 hours?).

#5 tip: go to several rallys and see the trailers and rigs people use. ask what they like and don't like. here's one list: Rallies, Get-togethers, Molded Meets (Upcoming) - Fiberglass RV

#6 tip: https://www.sistersonthefly.com may/may not be a good resource for you at this stage. They are paywalled, but its fair to say they will have some excellent advice.

#7 tip: my intro post and thoughts may help: 60+ day maiden voyage in a 21, newbie thoughts and tips others have posted theirs.

#8 tip: I use my Andersen sway control on windy days and excessively twisty roads. thats it.


If I may Julie, you sounded like me when I started. Personally, I'm glad I have the full size truck (with parking assist) but I pick my battles when it comes to dense urban parking lots.



Welcome to the "nomad" ranks, even if just kicking tires. HAVE FUN!
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BCnomad View Post
Julie:

#1 tip: you/me/everyone gets used to whatever we have, with practice.

"I'm glad I have the full size truck (with parking assist) but I pick my battles when it comes to dense urban parking lots."
so true especially that last part...welcome to the outer limits of a walmart parking lot..of course the additional exercise walking to the entrance is actually good for you!
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