Upgrade the Tow Vehicle to 5000 lbs now or keep our present SUV?? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-25-2017, 09:13 AM   #1
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Location: Central Florida, Florida
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Upgrade the Tow Vehicle to 5000 lbs now or keep our present SUV??

Which way to go, would you suggest & why.

Let me explain, our 17B is due in May 2017

We both are retired, live in Florida, we have two vehicles, the second vehicle does gets used but hardly, we are first time Towers. -

1) A 2010 Lexus RX350 (V6, 3500 lbs Towing Capacity) which we had a 5000 lb Tow hitch & a Tekonsha Brake Controller installed by U-Haul and were planning to tow with. We already had this vehicle when we decided to buy the Trailer

We plan to go to Chilliwack (Mountain Passes) & get our 17B back to Florida.

2) A 2003 Avalon XLS, a few weeks back got dented bad and this situation of replacing that vehicle came about.

OPTIONS

A) Tow back the 17B with RX 3500 over the mountain passes back to Florida, -

-If RX350 did not tow well - Replace the Avalon for a Vehicle with 5000 lbs --Towing Capacity soon after after reaching Florida.

_ If RX350 towed well, replace Avalon with a smaller car & be done with it.


B) Replace Avalon now for a 5000 lb Towing capacity SUV, before starting for Chilliwack.

I will appreciate any & all input,
-Specially from people who tow or who know some body who tow a 17B with a 3500 lb capacity vehicle.

Thanks & with regards
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Old 03-25-2017, 09:40 AM   #2
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towing

The 17B weighs in at about 2200 lb maybe a little more with the new models . Then you have water tanks also grey and black tanks (which can be dumped at Rv camps ) You might end up towing 3000 lb. I would not hesitate to tow with the Lexus .When we sold our Lil Snoozy the buyers had a Lexus with 3500 lb tow package and it towed the 2600 lb plus trailer with no problems . The tongue weight is 250 lb that should not be a problem at all .
When you get home then figure out what you want to do with the Avalon just my 2 cents Jim
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Old 03-25-2017, 10:16 AM   #3
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A couple of months ago, we picked up our 17B, which we tow with a 2005 Honda Pilot, rated for 3,500 lbs. Basically no issues with towing, even with a full load of water, full propane tanks etc as we had some dry camping planned. However, we deliberately took it easy on long hills (lots of these where we travelled) and didn't try and push it too hard up the longer hills. Sure it took a few more minutes, but we didn't want to drive the fuel consumption too high, and being retired, who cares about the time. Secondly, we noted that in some states, the octane rating on the lowest grade of gasoline was lower (85) than the regular grade (87) that we normally put in and I deliberately filled the tank with a higher grade of gasoline where we knew there were lots of hilly sections. This improved performance and consumption.

Would it tow better up hills with a bigger tow vehicle, certainly, but I wouldn't go out of your way to upgrade until you have tried it. I believe that based on our experience, your vehicle should be adequate for getting your trailer home to Florida from ETI in Chilliwack.

I would also make sure that going down those same hills. make sure that you gear down and let the engine do much of the braking. Sure the trailer has its own brakes, but it helps when the vehicle is in a lower gear to reduce brake wear.
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Old 03-25-2017, 11:10 AM   #4
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I towed a 17B weighing 3010 lbs and 340 lbs hitch weigh (measured weights packed for a long trip)t around 75,000 miles with a 2010 RAV4 (V6 & tow package) rated at 3500/350. This includes many east & west coast mountain passes, a trip to Alaska, etc. I did avoid interstates as much as possible, rarely towed faster than 57 MPH, and accepted the fact that on long steep grades, I'd be joining the trucks, doing 40 MPH in 2nd gear.

My biggest complaint was the small gas tank & low ground clearance, and not having a place to store "messy" stuff. On the good side, the RAV4 got great mileage unhooked, was easy to park & because the distance between the hitch & rear wheels was short, very maneuverable when backing.

I've now spent a year and 7,500 miles towing the 17 with a Tacoma Off Road. The truck is more stable than the RAV4, although the RAV4 never felt unstable & I never had problems with sway from passing trucks & busses. I don't need a weight distribution hitch with the truck, and I can get further between gas stations, but the gas mileage is not as good (RAV4 15 MPG towing, 24 MPG unhooked, the truck 13 MPG towing, 19 - 21 unhooked).

All in all, I have to say I prefer the truck, but was more than happy towing with the RAV4.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:01 PM   #5
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I am currently trying to decide if I should replace my 2008 low-mileage RAV4 V6. It needs new tires and I'd like some bells and whistles, like a back-up camera.
It's kind of hard to justify replacing it, given it tows my 17B just fine, over the coast mountains and the rockies.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:15 PM   #6
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Two thoughts OP in addition to the posts above.


Towing lessons locally. Get some confidence up is never a bad thing.




Rent a U Haul trailer and load up at the Home Depot to approximate a 3000lb Escape.


Have fun.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I am currently trying to decide if I should replace my 2008 low-mileage RAV4 V6. It needs new tires and I'd like some bells and whistles, like a back-up camera.
It's kind of hard to justify replacing it, given it tows my 17B just fine, over the coast mountains and the rockies.
We did the deed , Wolf couldn't resist all the " bells and whistles " .....after a lot of test drives decided after all on the 2017 Cherokee ( with tow package of coarse - 4500 lb ) ...... we don't like being too close to the assigned tow limit because 99% of the time we are heading to the hills .
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BCnomad View Post
Two thoughts OP in addition to the posts above.


Towing lessons locally. Get some confidence up is never a bad thing.




Rent a U Haul trailer and load up at the Home Depot to approximate a 3000lb Escape.


Have fun.
That's a good idea !
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gabeck View Post
We did the deed , Wolf couldn't resist all the " bells and whistles " .....after a lot of test drives decided after all on the 2017 Cherokee ( with tow package of coarse - 4500 lb ) ...... we don't like being too close to the assigned tow limit because 99% of the time we are heading to the hills .


Tea for everybody!! That's great Gabby. You two will love it.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:41 PM   #10
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I'd do like Jim (jennykatz) suggests, use the Lexus, it's already setup, and should do okay. If you don't care for the ride, trade in the Toyota when you get home on something bigger.

I've found less issue with going up then coming down. If you are new to mountain driving like I was, get some pointers from the folks that do it all the time. I warped the rotors in the Black Hills, before I even got to the Rockies.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:43 PM   #11
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Tea for everybody!! That's great Gabby. You two will love it.
Still getting used to the " bells and whistles " .....loved my Liberty .....questionable if it is smart to get rid of a very good vehicle with low mileage ......but hopefully after a little more time I'll appreciate the Cherokee more .
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I am currently trying to decide if I should replace my 2008 low-mileage RAV4 V6. It needs new tires and I'd like some bells and whistles, like a back-up camera.
It's kind of hard to justify replacing it, given it tows my 17B just fine, over the coast mountains and the rockies.
I might be interested if you do.

Though my take is still try what you have and then decide- so far I'm okay with mine and haven't found the right thing to replace it with. But the bells and whistles are nice on the new vehicles- on the other hand, they are likely only to get better over the next few years.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:36 PM   #13
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Here's an aside- I was looking at Outback towing capacity in real life so googled it. Found someone asking about it so went to that forum. Well, no- this guy wanted to take an Outback with a 2700 lb towing capacity and tow the family's second car on a car trailer across the country.
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:24 PM   #14
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For 8 years we towed with a 3,500 capacity vehicle.. No issues--- lots of mountain passes---Yosemite/Yellowstone-Canadian Rockies, but because that one is getting tired and has close to 250,000 km on it--we bought a 5,000 towing capacity vehicle....We have not towed with it yet--May will be our first trip...

If the Ford had fewer miles we would not have bought a new vehicle right now----just that Doug is set to retire this year and you get these things out of the way before then.

I am hoping my Ford carries me through the four years I have left to work!
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Old 03-25-2017, 05:36 PM   #15
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Thanks every one for your posts, the feed back is very helpful.

Keep the suggestions coming
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:24 PM   #16
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Thanks every one for your valuable feedback, I have decided to initially see how our Lexus Rx500 tows & upgrade it later if needed.

Thanks again
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:27 AM   #17
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Changed my mind

We went ahead & bought a new Highlander V6 AWD XLE and the 5000 lb Tow Prep comes standard .

I could not stand Avalon anymore, so traded it in for the new Vehicle.

Thanks every body for your opinions.

Best regards
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