Tacoma or F150 for a 21? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-13-2019, 12:25 AM   #1
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Tacoma or F150 for a 21?

Hi all,
My husband and I are happily anticipating ordering a 21-foot Escape, but we're looking for input on the best tow vehicle (a controversial subject, I realize!). We've owned Hondas and Toyotas for years, so are interested in the 3.5L V6 4WD Tacoma, but we hear good things about the F150 V6 Eco-Boost, too. The Tundra sounds like a great tow vehicle, but we gasped when a friend said he gets 8 mpg towing his 21-foot (non-Escape) trailer. It would be nice to do a little better than that, if possible.

We live in coastal California but anticipate spending time in the mountains and basically want to be able to go anywhere without feeling underpowered. So, our question to all of you who have experience (we've never owned an RV nor towed anything... are we nuts?!): What do you tow your 21 with? Are you happy with it? What do you recommend?

Thanks so much,
Jennifer
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:53 AM   #2
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A lot of people may say an F-150 is overkill, and there may be some truth to that, more so for some folk and their camping and packing style than for other folk. However, it is a superb tow vehicle that will never leave you worried that you’re underpowered or short on cargo capacity.

Other vehicles may be better choices for some, but I wouldn’t trade our F-150 for many other things. Maybe a Raptor. Or a Porsche Cayenne. If someone else is paying for the gas, as long as I’m dreaming.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:00 AM   #3
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I would rather be over- than under-powered, so thank you! What's your mileage like, if I may ask?
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:07 AM   #4
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I would rather be over- than under-powered, so thank you! What's your mileage like, if I may ask?


We have the first gen 3.5L ecoboost with the six speed tranny, and get about 14mpg with our trailer and Super Crew Cab truck fully loaded for travel. We have a bunch of stuff on top of our rig as well that likely impacts aerodynamics, so can’t say our figures would translate to anyone else’s setup.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:01 AM   #5
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I know of at least one E21 owner who traded in their Tacoma for another tow vehicle....experience helps.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:12 AM   #6
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The 3.5 Tacoma is a super nice truck, but could struggle with a 21. We moved from a Tacoma to a Tundra and am super happy we did. While our towing mileage averages around 11, the Tundra (and an F150 and others) provides a better ride and we feel safer. Is it overkill, maybe, but I don't have to watch payload weights as much and the extra room while traveling is helpful. We travel far distances and this is when the larger vehicle and gas tank (36 gallons) is helpful. If your intent is to stay close to home, then the Tacoma will work great. Best of luck in your decision.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:58 AM   #7
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I bought a 2018 F150 supercrew with the 5.0 engine. Put a top on it so I can haul stuff under cover. It's one of the best riding autos I've ever owned.
On interstates it gets around 10 to 12 mpg towing my 21.
I looked at the 3.5 ecoboost but figured that if the Mustang drivers can't destroy a 5.0 I'll be fine.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:07 AM   #8
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Towing

We went from a Toyota Sequoia to Expedition 2018 with a 2nd generation 3.5ecoboost with 10speed tranny we get 14-15 mpg traveling at 65-70mph with a E21 The major differences is the IRS on Expedition instead of leaf springs. Go with the 2.7 eco boost and get better mpg
Tell the dealer you want to experience the feel of trailer towing
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:16 AM   #9
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I bought a 2018 F150 supercrew with the 5.0 engine. Put a top on it so I can haul stuff under cover. It's one of the best riding autos I've ever owned.
On interstates it gets around 10 to 12 mpg towing my 21.
I looked at the 3.5 ecoboost but figured that if the Mustang drivers can't destroy a 5.0 I'll be fine.
Here is my 5.0...
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:23 AM   #10
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I'm one of those that went from a Tacoma (3.5 engine) to a F 150 (3.5 EcoBoost). I loved the Tacoma, and really wanted it to work, but after towing the 21 for a year I switched. 10 - 11 MPG with the Tacoma, with lots of time in 2nd & 3rd gear at 4000 RPM. The F 150 is getting between 12 - 13 MPG, and loafs along at 1600 RPM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:32 AM   #11
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With my F150 on the last 12,000 km trip I averaged 17.5 litre/100km (or 16.14 mpg UK and 13,44 mpg US) with around 90% of the distance towing. I did keep speeds at a reasonable rate doing not much over 100 kph towing. Last year going faster towing up to 120 kph where speed limits allowed, I burned 25% more fuel which is quite substantial on a long trip.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:38 AM   #12
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Here is my 5.0...
Nice!
But where's the supercharger?
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:51 AM   #13
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(we've never owned an RV nor towed anything... are we nuts?!)
Nah, you're not nuts. Don't worry about your inexperience. I had no RV or towing experience when I bought my Escape in 2014. Since then I've put 40,000 miles on it and have really enjoyed it. So don't worry about that part.

My older Tacoma has the 4.0L engine so it isn't really relevant to your question. It works fine for me, but it would strain quite a bit if I were to spend lots of time in the mountains as you say you are going to do. When I wear my truck out I think I'm going to go for a Tundra.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:59 AM   #14
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We travel far distances and this is when the larger vehicle and gas tank (36 gallons) is helpful.
If you know, what is your range with that large gas tank? For comparison, my 2013 4.0L Tacoma with its 21 gallon tank will go about 350 miles between fill-ups, 220 miles when towing. It gets about 20 mpg, 13 when towing. The mileage issue is the only thing that makes me skittish about the Tundra, but I don't think it would stop me from buying one. Thanks.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:31 AM   #15
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If you know, what is your range with that large gas tank? For comparison, my 2013 4.0L Tacoma with its 21 gallon tank will go about 350 miles between fill-ups, 220 miles when towing. It gets about 20 mpg, 13 when towing. The mileage issue is the only thing that makes me skittish about the Tundra, but I don't think it would stop me from buying one. Thanks.
With no trailer, a full tank in the 3.5EB F 150 shows 700 miles on the truck readout. With the trailer it is usually around 450.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:39 AM   #16
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We have the first gen 3.5L ecoboost with the six speed tranny, and get about 14mpg with our trailer and Super Crew Cab truck fully loaded for travel. We have a bunch of stuff on top of our rig as well that likely impacts aerodynamics, so can’t say our figures would translate to anyone else’s setup.
Oh, helpful! Thanks so much!
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:43 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
If you know, what is your range with that large gas tank? For comparison, my 2013 4.0L Tacoma with its 21 gallon tank will go about 350 miles between fill-ups, 220 miles when towing. It gets about 20 mpg, 13 when towing. The mileage issue is the only thing that makes me skittish about the Tundra, but I don't think it would stop me from buying one. Thanks.


The furthest I've gone is 330. While the tank is 36 gallons, the most I've ever put in while towing is ~30 gallons. I don't like to run too low and usually look to fill around 250/275. Toyota wants to keep a reserve, so the light comes on when you have about 6-7 gallons left.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:43 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rotateclockwise View Post
The 3.5 Tacoma is a super nice truck, but could struggle with a 21. We moved from a Tacoma to a Tundra and am super happy we did. While our towing mileage averages around 11, the Tundra (and an F150 and others) provides a better ride and we feel safer. Is it overkill, maybe, but I don't have to watch payload weights as much and the extra room while traveling is helpful. We travel far distances and this is when the larger vehicle and gas tank (36 gallons) is helpful. If your intent is to stay close to home, then the Tacoma will work great. Best of luck in your decision.
Thank you! Feeling safe is paramount. Our 2006 Pilot saved us six months ago when we were T-boned at high speed. So much to consider. Which Tundra did you get, 4.6 or 5.7L?
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Northcoaster View Post
Hi all,
My husband and I are happily anticipating ordering a 21-foot Escape, but we're looking for input on the best tow vehicle (a controversial subject, I realize!). We've owned Hondas and Toyotas for years, so are interested in the 3.5L V6 4WD Tacoma, but we hear good things about the F150 V6 Eco-Boost, too. The Tundra sounds like a great tow vehicle, but we gasped when a friend said he gets 8 mpg towing his 21-foot (non-Escape) trailer. It would be nice to do a little better than that, if possible.

We live in coastal California but anticipate spending time in the mountains and basically want to be able to go anywhere without feeling underpowered. So, our question to all of you who have experience (we've never owned an RV nor towed anything... are we nuts?!): What do you tow your 21 with? Are you happy with it? What do you recommend?

Thanks so much,
Jennifer
I tow with a 4x4 Tundra with the 5.7L and get 11-12 mpg unless I'm in the mountains. The extra power from the big v8 means I don't struggle going up grades - just the gas mileage suffers.

If your friend is getting 8 mpg towing, they must have a really heavy trailer!
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:48 AM   #20
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Nah, you're not nuts. Don't worry about your inexperience. I had no RV or towing experience when I bought my Escape in 2014. Since then I've put 40,000 miles on it and have really enjoyed it. So don't worry about that part.

My older Tacoma has the 4.0L engine so it isn't really relevant to your question. It works fine for me, but it would strain quite a bit if I were to spend lots of time in the mountains as you say you are going to do. When I wear my truck out I think I'm going to go for a Tundra.
Thank you! Everyone we know who has a Tundra loves it. After seeing an intriguing note on Facebook last night, now we're wondering what this new E21 model next year is going to be!
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