Towing an Escape 21: 4Runner or Tacoma? - Page 8 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-06-2014, 01:36 PM   #71
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Tapping into the expertise on this thread: I am towing a 17B with a 98 4runner. The V6 produces horsepower and torque under 200. It has no apparent transmission cooler or transmission temp gauge. The owner's manual recommends towing uphill in Drive; cautions against doing it in 2nd or 1st. On steeper grades, to avoid continuous automatic shifting back and forth between 3rd and 2nd, I manually go to 2nd. This produces a steady climb at 40mph and mid-range RPM, with no apparent change in engine temp and never any warning lights. My transmission fluid looks good. My question: is this possibly doing harm that is not otherwise apparent, and would I really be better off letting it continuously shift back and forth in Drive? Thanks for any insight…Glenn.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:39 PM   #72
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Towing with a Honda Ridgeline

We towed our 17í Casita (loaded to near 3,500 lbs) for many years with our Honda Ridgeline. The Ridgelineís owners manual gives many towing specifications, like GVWR, GAWR, GCWR, etc, which Iíll touch on here. It also gives more specific specs I havenít seen in other brands manuals or on-site data source.
The Ridgeline is rated for a max of 5,000 lbs towing and 600 lb tongue weight. This max is with two occupants, sitting in the front, each passenger weighing 150lbs, and each having 15 lbs of personal effects. The 15 lbs can be carried in the cabin, in the bed, or in the trunk. Any additional passengers and/or equipment will reduce the towing capacity by an equivalent amount. It also states that the GCWR is to be reduced by 2% for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

We traveled from Washington State to Yosemite California through the Siskiyou and Shasta area. That area delays and defeats many vehicles with its long steep grades. The Ridgeline did great with its bed, trunk, and back seat fully loaded (generator, fuel, ice chests, etc, all packed to the rim) towing the fully loaded Casita. We maintained 60mph without a problem. Even after being slowed down by the big trucks we were able to attain that 60mph. We did, however, need to keep the Ridgeline between 4,000 and 5,000 rpm to maintain that speed. A side note; I warp my brakes going down those same mountains too fast relying solely on the brakes. Lesson learned, and I hope remembered!

Last year we traveled from Washington State to Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore. We traveled over some 11,000 foot passes which, according to Honda, would reduce the towing capacity to 3900 lbs. We were loaded as before and again did fine. The difference was that we kept the rpm below 3,500. Because of the self imposed rpm limit, we did slow to 40mph in many places, but it really didnít bother me. My fuel consumption for the trip averaged 16mpg. The NEW and improved brakes did fine because I started each downhill slower and used the engine to help with the speed.

Now we own an Escape 21í. So far weíve only towed it from pick-up to our home in Auburn Washington, no real hills, so I canít report on its climbing ability. I can tell you that the 21í, seemed to be better balanced than the Casita, possibly due to the dual axel, and probably due to my loading. I didnít use a distribution hitch with either trailer and Honda doesnít recommend using one. The Casita would squat the Ridgeline whereas the Escape remained level. Iím going to test the new combination soon because weíre planning another trip. Weíre going from Washington State, to San Francisco, up the coast to the Redwoods, inland to the Bend area, back out to the coast to the Tillamook area, up to Mt. Rainier, and over to Sequim. If my testing doesnít give me some good vibes, Iíll have a decision to make. I love the Ridgeline because, among other things, it fits in my garage without revamping. Itís only 1.4Ē narrower than a Ĺ ton Ford but itís a lot shorter. Another side note; I will be using a Anderson WDH, mainly for the sway control Ė just in case.

I donít know if this is any help for anyone, or just taking up a lot of space, but take if for what itís worth.
Tom
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:01 PM   #73
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Manual for my RAV4 V6 warns to not tow in lower gears for protracted time. It doesn't say what that is. It says to tow in 4, not in Drive ( which I believe is overdrive ). My Ford Explorer said the same.
Ignoring the instruction, I decided to show off going up the Coquihalla at 90 kph ( 55 mph ) and dropped down into 3 for the steepest section above the snow shed. I almost got to the top when the transmission warning light came on. I immediately placed it in 4 and let off on the gas. Had transmission fluid changed shortly after and Toyota made no comment on its condition, so I guess it looked OK.
I have tow-prep package, which includes transmission cooler.

Towing my tent trailer with the Explorer, I forgot that it said to use D, not OD when towing.
Close to destination I heard a loud clicking sound, like a pebble in a tire tread. Pulling into the campground with an even louder clicking, everybody turned to watch me coming in.
Next day I took it to mechanic who advised me that I very nearly blew up my torque converter ( about $4,000 ).
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:12 PM   #74
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Your Ridgeline will get a good workout on that trip Tom.
I'll get a chance to see how our TrailBlazer performs in a couple weeks when we take delivery, but I have been looking at 8 cylinder options .
It looks like there will be 4 or 5 21s at the Spring NOG in April - we can all compare notes then.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:22 PM   #75
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Can't wait Paul,
Tom
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:34 PM   #76
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I am not disputing what the toyota manual says but that does seem strange. My only eperience is in the GM world. I have always been told that selecting a gear at the bottom of he hill that will keep the rpm in a good part of the torque curve and alow the truck to go up over the hill comfortably. Shifting while under load going up a big hill is not ushaully the best. I know we don't always have a choice but leaving the trans to do this itself can often lead to exsessive and un needed shifting which causes heat which is what kills automatic transmissions. I know I have the luxery of having my laptop hooked up to the truck while driving with a fully operational gm tech2 scanner so I can see whats going on. I certainly don't always have it hooked up but I have done it enough to see whats going on.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:47 PM   #77
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I'm using 4, but if I'm slowing too much, I stomp on the gas and it downshifts itself, going back to 4 when ready. I haven't experienced a lot of searching.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:43 PM   #78
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I also tow with a Honda Ridgleline and will be picking up my 21' on the 24th. Over 2000 miles to Texas and home. Will be interesting to see how it tows. I don't use a WDH just a sway control bar.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:21 PM   #79
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floorpanel, I'll look forward to hearing how your trip goes back to Texas using the Ridgeline. I'll be taking mine out soon for a test run through some mountain passes around Seattle, at which time I'll report. One question, do your friends call your truck a CHICK-UP? The lab guys that I worked with named mine that because they figured only girls would drive a Ridgeline.

Paul, I may not make the spring NOG in April. My daughter is due with her first on April 25. Very rude of her isn't it?
Tom
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:53 PM   #80
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Tom, machismo seems slow to die in these parts, too. In a spirit of fun (I think), some of the full-sized pickup-driving guys in our walk-and-coffee group pass judgement on everyone's new vehicle acquisitions, with the bottom of the food chain being designated a "girlie truck".

All of these posts about pulling an Escape 21 with an SUV with 5000 pounds tow capacity are gold to those of us waiting for our trailers to hatch. Thanks, folks, and please keep 'em coming.
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