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Old 08-14-2010, 02:14 PM   #11
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Just to add my 2 cents worth, the Toyota Highlander has a higher towing capacity than the Pilot at 5,000 pounds. Our '08 Highlander pulls our 19' Escape with no problems at all.

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Old 08-15-2010, 11:46 AM   #12
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Thanks Rick, I must admit that I questioned this, but you are right! I checked it out, and the Pilot is rated at 4500 lbs. If anyone else has any thoughts on this, I would appreciate it. My main concern is decent towing, with the best possible fuel efficiency. I'm not overly concerned with the power, as I don't mind taking it easy, but I am more concerned with the suspension. Does anyone else have experience with the Odyssey? Perhaps I just need to work on my suspension so that I do not sit so low in the rear and to put more weight on the front wheels. The cargo capacity of the van is amazing. If I switch to a smaller SUV, I will need to use a cargo box, as our German Shepherd needs her spot in the rear!
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:53 AM   #13
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddevin
Thanks, the Pilot is one vehicle that we are considering. The odyssey is great is most ways, but coming back from the coast the front wheels spun when heading up a hill in the rain! Thanks for the advice!
Do you have a WDH? I know that Odyssey's pull Casita trailers with ease IF the Odyssey is equipped with a WDH.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:09 PM   #14
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Yes I do. Perhaps I need to adjust it. I don't know a lot about how these work, perhaps I need to adjust it by taking more links in. Do these not transfer more weight to the vehicle? The problem is that the rear of the vehicle is already sitting too low. The issue is not control at all. The trailer never sways, even in a wind. It pulls like a dream in that regard.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:39 PM   #15
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

When you say the rear is sitting too low do you mean before you hook up the trailer? If so, could the rear springs be getting weak? Or is that when you have all your camping gear loaded too?

Some folks use air shocks in the rear of their tow vehicle to adjust the rear height. They are essentially strong rubber bags that can be pressurized to higher or lower pressure to help raise the rear of the tow vehicle. As far as adjusting the WDH, did yours come with an instruction sheet? The one that Reace put on for us had pretty detailed instructions on how to install and adjust it. Basically, when I helped Reace install ours, he made sure that the rear end of our Tacoma stayed at the same height it is before hooking up the trailer when the WDH is used. So the rear of our Tacoma is the same height with or without the Escape hooked up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddevin
Yes I do. Perhaps I need to adjust it. I don't know a lot about how these work, perhaps I need to adjust it by taking more links in. Do these not transfer more weight to the vehicle? The problem is that the rear of the vehicle is already sitting too low. The issue is not control at all. The trailer never sways, even in a wind. It pulls like a dream in that regard.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:50 PM   #16
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddevin
Yes I do. Perhaps I need to adjust it. I don't know a lot about how these work, perhaps I need to adjust it by taking more links in. Do these not transfer more weight to the vehicle? The problem is that the rear of the vehicle is already sitting too low. The issue is not control at all. The trailer never sways, even in a wind. It pulls like a dream in that regard.
On ours, I think that the actual bars on the WDH should be parallel with the ground when viewed from the side and of course the trailer will be pretty level as well.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:25 AM   #17
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddevin
Thanks Rick, I must admit that I questioned this, but you are right! I checked it out, and the Pilot is rated at 4500 lbs. If anyone else has any thoughts on this, I would appreciate it. My main concern is decent towing, with the best possible fuel efficiency. I'm not overly concerned with the power, as I don't mind taking it easy, but I am more concerned with the suspension. Does anyone else have experience with the Odyssey? Perhaps I just need to work on my suspension so that I do not sit so low in the rear and to put more weight on the front wheels. The cargo capacity of the van is amazing. If I switch to a smaller SUV, I will need to use a cargo box, as our German Shepherd needs her spot in the rear!
My pilot tows the 19 all loaded up just great. In fact, I don't haven't even been using a weight distribution hitch for doing so. In one article I read comparing these SUV's, they said that the Pilot had power comparative to the competition, but just set their rating a bit lower. Only on steep hills does it pull down below 100 km/hr. I have done lots of passing on 2 lane highways pulling the trailer too. One other thing that was nice, is that all I had to do was put a hitch in the receiver and plug in a brake controller, and in 10 minutes I was towing.

Ever notice in lots of ads that the others tend to compare to the Honda?....just sayin'.

Bottom line, just pick the vehicle you like best out of the bunch of 6 cylinder engines, and you will be fine. Despite their latest problems, I believe the Toyota is a fine vehicle too.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:38 PM   #18
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Just to toss in my 2 cents.. We needed a WDH on our 2008 Highlander- I think the Pilot might have a stiffer/beefier rear suspension.. it also looks to ride a tad higher.. having said that we love our Highlander and had no problems at all with it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:24 PM   #19
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Just to add another 2 cents... Several of us tow our Escapes with 4Runners too. We use a WDH when towing our 19 (we use a roof cargo carrier to have room for our two kiddos & 2 labs). I believe the Eddys don't use a WDH when towing their 19 with a 4Runner though. In comparison, the Highlander would get better gas mileage than a 4Runner as far as the Toyotas go.

Overall, I agree with Jim, there's lots of good & capable tow vehicles so I'd the best thing to do is check out several of them & see which one feels right for you.
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:17 AM   #20
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

It sits ok without the trailer. I will spend some time playing with the WDH and see if I can level things out a bit. If that does not work, the air shocks are a great idea. Thanks for your input.
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