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Old 12-17-2014, 01:44 PM   #1
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Towing 17B

Hi, I've been searching the files and apologies if this has been answered many times but --
I will be getting my 17B mid-October, 2015. Can you recommend the best towing vehicle? (used, as small as possible, decent gas mileage).
Thanks a lot!!!
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:17 PM   #2
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Ellen, you’ll get as many opinions as answers to your question. In my case I traded my Subaru Outback for a low mileage Toyota 4Runner AWD 4X4, it’s not small and the gas mileage won’t be the best but it’ll do the job.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
Hi, I've been searching the files and apologies if this has been answered many times but --
I will be getting my 17B mid-October, 2015. Can you recommend the best towing vehicle? (used, as small as possible, decent gas mileage).
Thanks a lot!!!
Ellen,
I've been researching the same question for our 17A. You'll be towing about 200 lbs. more.
17B: 2100 lb. dry+800-1000 lb. of gear, water, propane, etc.,
so figure 3000 lbs.+; you need a 3500 lb. tow rating.

I started with a list of about 2 dozen SUV's and small pick-ups.
My requirements included the ability to have 4 adults in the tow vehicle ( TV ), + their gear. So, that left out two-door pick-ups, and the 4-doors took them out of my price range.
I looked at vehicle tow and weight capacity, power, reliability, mileage. Also, what I had to add, i.e. hitch receiver, trans. cooler, wiring for lights and/or brakes, alternator capacity.

Top choice by far: 2009-2011 Honda Pilot. super reliable, those years come standard with the complete tow pkg., good mileage, V6 w/lots of HP and torque, 2WD has 3500 lb. rating.

2nd choice: 2009-2012 Toyota Highlander, V6. Tow package was an option, so not all have it. Look for holes in lower front, can see the trans cooler in there.

3rd choice: if it was just me and maybe one passenger, I would consider a 2009-2012 Toyota RAV4 Sport V6. Trans. cooling is an issue; must have adequate cooling pkg.

Hope this helps. If you find a super deal on an extra Honda Pilot, let me know!
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:23 PM   #4
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I agree with Pat, we all have opinions, none of which may be the right vehicle for you. We have a Tacoma, and only get 16 mpg towing. I keep wishing for a better solution, that got a lot better mpg. My only advice would be to be sure that whatever you get is rated at both towing weight and gross vehicle weight safe for itself and the trailer.
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Old 12-17-2014, 03:06 PM   #5
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I wished I got 16 mpg towing.......maybe one day........
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:37 PM   #6
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Pat, Don & Theresa, Eric & Mary and Jim --

Thank you so much for responding. I'm really liking the Honda Pilot. I know a guy who has a Honda/Toyota dealership about an hour from here--I will contact him and see what he has in stock. And Don & Teresa, if I find two deals, will absolutely let you know!!!
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:56 PM   #7
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I wished I got 16 mpg towing.......maybe one day........
Yah but soon you'll be ordering the 23' Escape
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
Hi, I've been searching the files and apologies if this has been answered many times but --
I will be getting my 17B mid-October, 2015. Can you recommend the best towing vehicle? (used, as small as possible, decent gas mileage).
Thanks a lot!!!
There really is no one answer to that question. You could break it down into several questions because "best" could mean best towing capacity, best performance, best handling, best mileage or whatever "best" is important to you. I would say that generally, a full body on frame vehicle will always do a "better" job towing than a unibody, but it may not give the best overall balance between capacity, performance and mileage.

Get what you LIKE, as long as the capacities exceed what you intend to tow. NEVER exceed the manufacturer published capacities. You'll be fine.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:28 PM   #9
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ummmmm, best of ALL of those.
If only, huh?
Well, if I had to pick two, they would be best handling and best mileage.
Hey, this is all new to me--I've never even been IN a trailer, let alone towed one , so trying to figure this all out.
Could you please tell me what a "full body on frame vehicle" is compared to a "unibody."
And thanks for the info--really appreciate it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
There really is no one answer to that question. You could break it down into several questions because "best" could mean best towing capacity, best performance, best handling, best mileage or whatever "best" is important to you. I would say that generally, a full body on frame vehicle will always do a "better" job towing than a unibody, but it may not give the best overall balance between capacity, performance and mileage.

Get what you LIKE, as long as the capacities exceed what you intend to tow. NEVER exceed the manufacturer published capacities. You'll be fine.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
ummmmm, best of ALL of those.
If only, huh?
Well, if I had to pick two, they would be best handling and best mileage.
Hey, this is all new to me--I've never even been IN a trailer, let alone towed one , so trying to figure this all out.
Could you please tell me what a "full body on frame vehicle" is compared to a "unibody."
And thanks for the info--really appreciate it!
Its not a big deal, unless you're towing something heavy -- which a 17 is not. The basic difference is that a body-on-frame vehicle has a frame and a body attached to the frame. A unibody vehicle (most vehicles today are unibody) gains its structural strength by the body components rather than a frame underneath. Usually a body-on-frame vehicle has a higher towing capacity, because its harder to overload it -- the frame takes the stress instead of the body. While it may be "best" strictly in terms of how much it can tow, it may not be best when it comes to gas mileage or some other factor.

A mid-size SUV (all pretty much unibody except the 4-Runner) will do a fine job towing a 17, and there are TONS of folks who do so. Others prefer a pickup, or a larger vehicle because it gives them excess capacity - a safety margin, if you will.

I'll repeat what I said earlier -- get what appeals to you in terms of styling, interior room, payload capacity, towing capacity and gas mileage. Every vehicle is a trade off or compromise in at least one of these areas. The Honda Pilot recommended earlier is a fine tow vehicle for a 17. A 4-runner is also outstanding. There are just too many variables for me to conclude one is best.

Your tongue weight will be around 300 lbs, and more if you add the storage box. Your loaded weight for the 17 will probably be in the 3000 to 3200 lb range. So what does that mean? It means get a tow vehicle with at LEAST 3500 lbs of towing capacity and 350 lbs max tongue weight. The rest is personal preference.

Also remember that you'll be driving with it, not just towing -- so get something that makes a good driver as well as a tow.
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