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Old 10-19-2015, 05:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Sandia Park, New Mexico
Trailer: 2017 Escape 17B
Posts: 8
Tow Vehicle size and power.

Hello All,

My wife and I are new to the world of trailer camping. We’ve been reading through this forum and others extensively. There’s a tremendous amount of information available. We have an Escape 17B on order but not surprisingly it won’t be ready for pick-up for another year. In the mean time, we are looking to buy a new pick-up truck. The proverbial dilemma really applies to us since we’ve never towed a trailer. The big question: how big and/or powerful does the truck need to be in order to comfortably tow our new rig and carry other miscellaneous items in the back of the truck?? By comfortable we mean being able to climb Rocky Mountain roads without slowing below 50mph and running at 5000rpm. Living in New Mexico, we’re always driving in mountains. We spend a lot of time in the western national parks (both US and Canadian). Our home is at 7000 ft. elevation and accessed on a steep gravel road.

Our two potential choices are the Toyota Tacoma and Tundra. I’m sure most of you are familiar with these two trucks and their capabilities. The vast majority of the information on this topic would indicate that for a 17 ft. fiberglass trailer, pretty much any 6 cylinder vehicle will be adequate. I don’t doubt this info. But “adequate” has different definitions for different people.

It appears to me that the folks that chime in on this topic (with a few exceptions) are those that are towing with the smaller vehicles and engines. Perhaps they are in the majority. I wish I knew. But I’m thinking that there could also be a lot of folks towing fiberglass trailers with large vehicles and engines. It would be equally valuable to hear what they have to say.

Thanks very much for any input I receive.

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Old 10-19-2015, 05:41 PM   #2
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 2013 19' & 2013 15B
Posts: 2,259
Of the two trucks you list, I would pick the Taco over the Tundra.

2013 19' \ 2013 15B, 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser

"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it." - 1907, Maurice Switzer
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:54 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,074
I agree with Robert, the Tacoma would be plenty of truck for your needs. That would be my choice for towing the 17.
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:11 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,499
I'd also go with the Tacoma, and I would, if my wife would let me.
She says I'd be too old and decrepit to climb into the cab.
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

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Old 10-19-2015, 06:22 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: N. River, New York
Trailer: April 2015, 21 classic
Posts: 29
I apprenticed with a 2006 4 cyl Subaru Outback 5 speed towing a 16 Scamp and had no problems. Then as a journyman I moved up to a 17 foot Casita towed by a 2011 Toyota Tacoma auto 4 wheel drive and again had no issues. Now I have graduated to the master class of the Escape 21 and tow it with the same Tacoma. We picked it up in late April this year and towed it up and down and all around back to NY. It is not a fire ball with the 21 behind it, but it works fine. So you should not have an issue with a Escape 17 IMHO.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I think I ended up where I needed to be.”
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:49 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 4,205
Patrol - good to hear as we are considering a 21' and I'm planning on towing with our Tacoma.
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:13 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Trailer: 2010 Escape 19', 2010 Toyota Tacoma TRD DCLB 4X4
Posts: 43
We tow a 19 Escape with a 2010 Tacoma 4.0L 4X4 Double Cab with the six foot box. Tows well even in the mountains. We have done Rogers Pass a couple of times. Although I do not tow in overdrive. We even outrove my brother in law with a 2015 Ford with EcoBoost pulling a pop up.

My vote would be the Taco
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:53 PM   #8
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Trailer: 2014 5TA/ *012 17B (previous)
Posts: 442
6 cylinder would have lots of ability, I would go with the longer wheelbase- I towed my 17 with a 6cyl RAV4 - I drove many miles and long distances, would have liked to have had a longer wheelbase. There are others who tow the 17 with a RAV4 and appear to be quite satisfied with it.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:57 PM   #9
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Location: Allendale, New Jersey
Trailer: 19' towed by a 4Runner
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I'd go with the Taco long bed. I towed my 19 from the factory to NJ with a 4Runner. The Taco has great resale and trade in value.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:02 PM   #10
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Trailer: 2008 Escape 5.0
Posts: 707
[QUOTE=kmk7580;115158]Hello All,

...... Living in New Mexico, we’re always driving in mountains. We spend a lot of time in the western national parks (both US and Canadian). Our home is at 7000 ft. elevation and accessed on a steep gravel road.

By our count you will be Escape #5 in the state. There is a 19 in Edgewood, our 5.0 Classic in Sandia Park, a 17 in Corrales and another - I forget which size - in Santa Fe!
If there is anything we can do to help you get ready for being an Escape owner, let us know. We are also in Sandia Park! Welcome!

Fran & Dave
2008 Escape 5.0
2011 Frontier Crew Cab Short Bed Pro4x
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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