Tow vehicle for Escape 19 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-19-2014, 11:35 PM   #1
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Location: Kamloops, British Columbia
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Tow vehicle for Escape 19

We are looking at buying an Escape 19 and our current vehicle is up for replacement (2005 Highlander).
I am considering either a Jeep Grand Cherokee (6 cal with towing package) or a Toyota 4 Runner.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a towing capacity of 6200 lbs while the 4 Runner has a towing capacity of 4700 lbs. The wheelbase is 12 cm longer on the 4 Runner.

Any recommendations on what you think would be the best tow vehicle? (we will use the trailer for trips to Utah and Arizona)

We only need one family vehicle and a pickup truck is not an option as a daily driver. And I really want to avoid a 7 passenger vehicle with three rows of seats
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:39 AM   #2
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New or newer Highlander? Tows 5,000 pounds with the tow package.
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:06 AM   #3
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Suggest you Google reliability of the Jeep, and 4-Runner. Can't remember where I read that the Jeep GC has some problems in that area.
When it comes to the 4-Runner, I read that it rides like a truck. That could become an issue as a every-day family vehicle.
I've been amusing myself by thinking what vehicle I would get to replace my RAV4. Reluctantly, I think it would be the Highlander. If I had to.
My buddy has the same issue replacing his Hyundai Santa Fe. He doesn't want or need 7 seats, but has to take it to get the tow capacity.
Maybe run the Highlander for another couple years? Save some money, and hope that somebody comes up with a vehicle that you want to buy.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:26 AM   #4
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Location: Tucson, AZ, Arizona
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Tow vehicles

When we bought our 19 in 2010 we felt we needed more than our Honda Ridgeline, did not want to go back to the full size pickup so we went with the Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Dodge hemi engine. We now tow the 21 with it and could not be more satisfied. It is not complicated in the drivers seat as the BMW and a lot cheaper than the Porsche or Mercedes SUV even though it has the under carriage designed by Mercedes when they owned Chrysler/jeep. We have the nice ride, short turn radius, and all of the power and good gas mileage. After 60,000 miles, half towing, the upkeep has been minimal although a 30,000 mile spark plug change cost $260 at the dealer because of 16 plugs and a couple of hours work. I'm getting too old to reach over a fender to do that work. This is my first Jeep and I may replace it with another when the time comes. Mine is a 2011 model and the new ones probably are a little different even though they look the same.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:45 AM   #5
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Jack,

I've been looking at the 2014 Jeep GC (diesel engine). What do you use for towing mirrors? Are the standard/stock mirrors adequate? I have not been able to find an after market match for the 2014 Jeep (yet).
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:30 AM   #6
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After towing our 19 with a Chevy Traverse, I'm going to put in a plug for the 3 row SUV anyway. For a number of reasons, including a pending order for a new 5.0 TA, we now have a new Silverado 1500 that drives like a truck (but I am getting 22-24 mpg on the highway). Despite it's size, the Traverse drove like a car. The AWD version tows 5200 lbs and we didn't need the equalizer hitch...virtually no sag when the trailer was connected. More than enough power and reserve capacity. With the back seats down, we had abundant extra storage for all of the items that just didn't fit in the 19 or were used infrequently (golf clubs). It was extremely comfortable for the longer days. Highway mileage was 20-22 mpg without the trailer and 15-16 mpg with. We also have a Santa Fe Sport (the 5 seater). Even as light as the 19 is, it's too much trailer for the Santa Fe in my opinion. If we weren't looking at the 5.0 TA, I would go back to the Traverse in a heartbeat (same as GMC Acadia or Buick Enclave (minus $10K worth of chrome) ).
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:37 AM   #7
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One thing I cannot understand about the Jeeps is why they make them with such cramped interior seating. Being 6'7" knee room is the first thing I notice. That's a big reason why I went for a Ford Explorer and now a Chevy Tahoe. If the seat don't fit, you must acquit.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:00 PM   #8
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read some posts recently stating such and such vehicle has such and such tow capacity. remember that max tow capacity generally means 1 skinny driver with no cargo on tug. there are other ratings to keep in mind such as payload, GCWR.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:06 PM   #9
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Dave, if you need a 5000# tow capacity but don't need 4WD and off-road capabilities, gbaglo's suggestion of evaluating the redesigned Highlander with a tow package is a good one.

If you do need off-road abilities, it would be worth comparing Consumer Reports' reliability ratings for the 4Runner vs. the JGC. The difference in owners' reports on reliability is dramatic. All 4Runners are still made in Japan and my 1998 SR5, and now my 2011 Trail Edition, have been highly reliable.

If you don't go off-road, but would still like AWD for slippery conditions, the Highlander offers that option. Both the 4Runner and the Highlander transmissions allow you to upshift and downshift with a tap on the shift lever. This is a big advantage when towing, or any time you want to be in charge of shift points.

Have fun test-driving!
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Whiting View Post
We only need one family vehicle and a pickup truck is not an option as a daily driver. And I really want to avoid a 7 passenger vehicle with three rows of seats
I had the same thing in mind, not wanting third row seating, but with many vehicles I found it wasn't an option to not have them. We ended up getting the Pilot that has them, and have actually used the third row a lot more than I thought we would. In most cases it just saved us from travelling with a second vehicle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cargofool View Post
read some posts recently stating such and such vehicle has such and such tow capacity. remember that max tow capacity generally means 1 skinny driver with no cargo on tug. there are other ratings to keep in mind such as payload, GCWR.
While this is definitely something to keep in mind, and many do not bother to consider cargo weight when towing, you still do have some wiggle room with many vehicles. I know with my Pilot I can carry 1,322 lbs (600 kg). of weight. Things that are almost always included, are me, my wife, our dog, the trailer hitch weight, and fuel. A quick guess is that that might be about 900 lbs, leaving us to carry an additional 400 lbs. We are lucky if we ever exceed 200 lbs. Now, if we started adding a couple more people, we would have to be more careful of the cargo weight.

Also with adding people, and cargo weight, it reduces the maximum hitch weight allowed. A chart in my owners manual suggest if I have 4 occupants of 150 lbs, my max tongue weight should be 330 lbs.
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