Best Towing Vehicles for a 17B or 19' Escape - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-01-2016, 10:47 PM   #1
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Best Towing Vehicles for a 17B or 19' Escape

HI,

I'm interested in knowing what would be the most efficient towing vehicle for towing an Escape 17B hauling a couple of bikes. Interested in travelling the mountains out west and may be loaded for full time RVing?

What kind of gas mileage can I expect with the vehicles you suggest?

How much larger of a vehicle would I need for a 19' Escape? and what might the gas mileage average?

Thanks much,
Betsy
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:57 PM   #2
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Hi Betsy.

The subject of tow vehicles and which is "best" or "most efficient" comes up periodically on all the trailer forums. You will find many different opinions.

Rather than recommend a specific vehicle, I'll just give you a couple of basics. First, your vehicle has a towing capacity, a maximum tongue weight (usually 10% of the rated towing capacity), a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR, and along with the trailer, a Gross Combined Weight Rating or GCWR. There are other numbers specific to the trailer. It has a GVWR as well, along with a Gross Axle Weight Rating or GAWR.

What do all these numbers mean? The Web is a vast resource on each of these, and you can get educated in short order if you do a search. But, the bottom line is that a tow vehicle is suitable if the numbers are not exceeded.

As far as which is most efficient to tow a 17 or 19, a good starting point for calculating mileage would be to take the MPG rating of the proposed vehicle and reduce it by about a third when towing. This can vary greatly depending on the terrain, the wind, and your driving style.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:30 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.
First off, not sure I would recommend a 17' for fulltiming. Then again, you don't sound as if you have made up your mind on that. There are people out there who use that size and I guess it is what you are used to and expect.

Second, on the tow vehicle, there are plenty of choices depending upon how you want your numbers. When you become familiar with the numbers, then you will be able to narrow the choices down to what you think is right for you.

If you can possibly go to a rally to see some trailers and tow combinations, that would help quite a bit. Pretty soon, you will know what you want.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:19 AM   #4
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A small, or not, suv might work well. Personally I'd want something that maximizes space over mpg if I were thinking of full timing in one of our very small trailers.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BetsyRose View Post
HI,

I'm interested in knowing what would be the most efficient towing vehicle for towing an Escape 17B hauling a couple of bikes. Interested in travelling the mountains out west and may be loaded for full time RVing?

What kind of gas mileage can I expect with the vehicles you suggest?

How much larger of a vehicle would I need for a 19' Escape? and what might the gas mileage average?

Thanks much,
Betsy
Hi: Betsy Rose... Well at least you didn't include mileage and towing in the same sentence!!! An efficient vehicle... not towing, is usually not efficient towing and some times vice versa!!!
Full timing might indicate a lot of towing so I would err on that side.
Torque is needed to tow. The higher the torque number the better at towing the vehicle will be. Our tug is a 4 ltr. V6 Nissan Crew Cab Pickup. 265 Hp and 281 Lb. Ft. of torque. Not the best for mileage but it can tow up to 6100 Lbs. Suits us just fine. Alf
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:13 AM   #6
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Towing and good gas mileage or efficiency is like the military saying "Army Intelligence", it does not exist. You make trade offs in order to haul your house around, getting 12-14 mpg is real good while towing, 10-12 is average. So you may want 20 mpg unhitched, but when you add that house weight and your bikes/toys it drops. Get the trailer you want and an adequate tow vehicle and enjoy the experience, not worry about efficiency, if you do worry you will end up sitting somewhere and staying put. It is better to have too much capacity for safety margin than to not have enough.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:08 AM   #7
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I think that a lot depends on where you will tow. I purchased a Gmc Acadia to tow our 19. On the east coast it is more than enough with low to mid 20's highway and 13 -15 towing. Looks like most car makers have a six cylinder Suv that will handle 5000 lbs or so. For towing in the West, I would want more oomph. The challenge I see is that car makers compute more power with more luxurious. If any one knows where to get more power without leather heated seats and every other expensive option, I'd like to know which model it is, other than a truck.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:11 AM   #8
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You can get 16-17 mpg with a 19' depending upon what vehicle and how you travel. If you avoid interstates and drive more slowly, you will get much better mileage. Your mpgs have much to do with whether you mostly travel at 45 or at 65.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:26 AM   #9
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tow car

We towed a Lil snoozy around with a Toyota Sequoia (6500 lb)overkill yes but we need to tow 5000 lb for a boat we still own and service .We got 12-14 mpg towing .It gets 18-19 mpg hwy non towing .
If we didn't have the boat I would look at probably in that order also
1-Honda pilot
2-Nissan pathfinder/frontier
3-Toyota highlander/tacoma
4-GMC Acadia/chevy transverse
5-Ford Explorer
6-Dodge Durango
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:36 AM   #10
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Have to say I'm really happy towing my 17 with a AWD Highlander. I got that with a lot of the new fangled bells and whistles just for safety's sake and really like them. (Lane assist, blind spot monitor, etc.) But I have to share a caution. Last month I was towing down a long slightly descending straightaway and suddenly the car and the trailer were rocking a bit. I was alone on the road at that time and wondered if there was an earthquake or what was wrong. Then I glanced down at the speedometer and I was doing over 90MPH! Don't think I have done much over the speed limit since I was a teenager and don't recommend it.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:29 AM   #11
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Betsy,
I'd recommend driving lots of potential vehicles mentioned on this list and see what you prefer to drive. I'll throw in a thumbs up for our 2016 Highlander XLE. We love the way it drives with and without our 17B in tow. We plan to tow our upcoming 21 with it also.

Sally,
I'm glad you noticed your speed soon enough. At that speed one of those 65mph rated trailer tires could have torn itself apart.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:37 AM   #12
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I think that a lot depends on where you will tow. I purchased a Gmc Acadia to tow our 19. On the east coast it is more than enough with low to mid 20's highway and 13 -15 towing. Looks like most car makers have a six cylinder Suv that will handle 5000 lbs or so. For towing in the West, I would want more oomph. The challenge I see is that car makers compute more power with more luxurious. If any one knows where to get more power without leather heated seats and every other expensive option, I'd like to know which model it is, other than a truck.
I agree. When looking for a tow vehicle for our "on order" Escape 19, we wanted an SUV with 2 rows of seats and excellent towing ability to handle mountain driving. The only options were luxury models. I looked for a slightly used Jeep Grand Cherokee with the factory tow package. I finally found one which was a year old with 27,000 km, and a purchase price of $42,000 CDN. This was $27,000 CDN less than the original invoice to the previous owner (I bought from the same dealer and they showed me the paperwork). It has the luxury features (heated and vented leather seats, etc) that we did not really need.

We have been very pleased with the Grand Cherokee as a tow vehicle and have spent over 130 days in the trailer in the 14 months that we have owned it. It handles the "ups and downs" of mountainous areas very well. And we have discovered that vented seats are great in the summer heat!

So getting back to the initial post - when considering a tow vehicle, consider a slightly used vehicle to get the tow features you want at an affordable price.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:48 AM   #13
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We have over 30,000 miles towing with the Highlander. Has worked well. Day in day out, mountains, plains sea level to 10,000 feet 14 mpg Ave towing, 23 mpg without trailer. I never knock another man's choice of equipment, lots of vehicles will do the job. Your alternative uses of the vehicle when not towing figure into the decision too. Get plenty of towing capacity and tongue weight capacity, weight distributing hitch, and vehicle cargo capacity and you'll be good. My opinion.
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:21 PM   #14
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So getting back to the initial post - when considering a tow vehicle, consider a slightly used vehicle to get the tow features you want at an affordable price.
I second that. We picked up a 4 year old 4Runner at a significant discount to new. It came with leather, nav, etc that we didn't really want but the price was right. It had higher mileage than I initially started looking for but these vehicles are known for their reliability and longevity so I felt comfortable with that.
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:26 PM   #15
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Is a v6 with 3500 towing capacity pushing the limit with a 17B? Or is it wiser to go with a 5000.

^^^does that question even make sense? This "towing stuff" is so confusing! Dry weigh curb weight, torque engine ratio.....
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:32 PM   #16
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I'm happy with my RAV4 V6 and 17B.
I'd be happier with an even larger margin with the Highlander, but I'm not buying one.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:02 PM   #17
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Your alternative uses of the vehicle when not towing figure into the decision too. Get plenty of towing capacity and tongue weight capacity, weight distributing hitch, and vehicle cargo capacity and you'll be good. My opinion.
Dave.'
I think the above sums it up well. Many people have tow vehicles that they are very happy with for various reasons, and many of those reasons come down to their personal preferences and requirements, and how the vehicle is used when not towing a trailer.

My situation is as follows; I tow a 19' with a 2007 Toyota 4Runner with 4.7L V8. My factors were:
-I like Toyota reliability
-It fit my budget
-It has power/towing capacity to spare
-It is a moderately sized SUV that still fits in my garage
-Accomodates my 2 kids, dog, and gear in relative comfort
-It has the optional 3rd row to fit additional passengers uncomfortably
-4WD for winter, mild offroading
-Easily modified, because that's the kinda guy I am

Some folks might buy a 19' and have zero of the above listed items as a factor in their tow vehicle selection. I'd like to have a pickup truck with a 5.0TA, but it doesn't jive with a few of the bullet points above (some of which were wife acceptance factors to be fair).

Also, for me fuel economy isn't a major concern - 90% of my mileage is on long trips, and most anything towing a 19' gets around 10-15mpg (generalization here). In short, towing fuel economy is abysmal, deal with it. I am bothered by my vehicle's effective range. I need to fill up every 200 miles (on average). In some situations, that could be problematic (Alaskan or Canadian trips, or across sparsely populated parts of the US, or backcountry exploring). I'm looking to remedy that though.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:46 PM   #18
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Cruising range

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Originally Posted by smeagol View Post
I think the above sums it up well. Many people have tow vehicles that they are very happy with for various reasons, and many of those reasons come down to their personal preferences and requirements, and how the vehicle is used when not towing a trailer.

I am bothered by my vehicle's effective range. I need to fill up every 200 miles (on average). In some situations, that could be problematic (Alaskan or Canadian trips, or across sparsely populated parts of the US, or backcountry exploring). I'm looking to remedy that though.
Wait till you're 68 years old, your cruising range will not be how much your gas tank can hold.
See you in September, take care of those kids.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:02 PM   #19
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Wait till you're 68 years old, your cruising range will not be how much your gas tank can hold.
See you in September, take care of those kids.
Dave
Taking a break to rest, eat, or take care of other issues are easily accommodated. Finding a gas station.. not so much.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:10 PM   #20
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I am bothered by my vehicle's effective range. I need to fill up every 200 miles (on average). In some situations, that could be problematic (Alaskan or Canadian trips, or across sparsely populated parts of the US, or backcountry exploring). I'm looking to remedy that though.
Quote:
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Wait till you're 68 years old, your cruising range will not be how much your gas tank can hold.
Even though there are other factors affecting uninterrupted driving time, fuel range is still an issue. You can stop for a washroom break in many places - including just using the trailer since you're dragging it along - but that doesn't mean that fuel is available there... especially at a reasonable price.

200 mile (300 km) range would drive me crazy. Our van can pull our trailer about 500 kilometres (including mountain terrain) on a fill, and that's short enough to be annoying - I'm used to 800 km in the van when not towing, and 700 km in my car. The motorhome's range is unknown - I don't want to test it - but it's at least 800 km.

On almost any highway in Canada gas stations are much less than 300 km apart, but there are those stretches which are longer, and even if gas stations are reasonably frequent it's annoying evaluating range versus distance to the next station every time a station goes by. Imagine running out a few kilometres short of the next station, having passed one less than an hour ago...
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