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Old 02-19-2016, 10:26 PM   #1
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Go big on your tow vehicle...seriously folks

Hi Everyone,
Since I just returned to Los Angeles from picking up our new 21 in Chilliwack, I thought I would share my opinions on tow vehicles for those who may be in the market. First off my tow vehicle is a 2002 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4x4 long bed crew cab with the 6.6 ltr Duramax diesel and 192,000 mile on the odometer. I also have a 2005 Nissan Frontier LX 4x4 with a 4 liter V-6 and the thought of towing our 21 with the Nissan is disturbing.

I know plenty of people are comfortable doing so but you are riding a fine line between safety and practicality towing with a smaller T.V. My Nissan is rated to tow 6,000+ lbs so the 21 is well within the tow limits but I don't for a second think that it can safely match my GMC in stability under heavy braking, high winds or evasive maneuvers. Not to mention uphill performance and downhill braking. Fuel economy with the diesel (15 mpg over 1,300 miles from Chilliwack) is easily double the Nissan towing the same rig.

In my humble opinion the safe bet is a larger T.V. with excess capacity vs. a small T.V. with marginal capacity. Let's start the discussion, what do you folks think?
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:00 PM   #2
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Depends if you have to park it at Safeway.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:16 PM   #3
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Big M, you and I are on the same page. We have towed our 5.0 TA twice on the Cassiar Highway with numerous trips here in Alaska and the Yukon. Our pin weight is usually only 750 - 800ish pounds but I know that the trailer is behind us, especially on steep twisting grades. I too, like having more truck than trailer. I know that the 5.0 TA is made for half ton trucks, but if my beloved RAM 3500 ever gets rear ended, a silver GMC 2500 Duramax is on my shortlist. (I try to ride my bike to the grocery) Scott

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Old 02-19-2016, 11:31 PM   #4
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This idea has been covered numerous times between here and the Fiberglassrv forum.

We towed back through the Canadian Rockies. We went very slowly up hills and mountains --- on purpose. My idea of going any faster uphill is that it just wastes gas. Anybody wants to pass, go right ahead. There are other lanes for that. In four years of many thousands of miles with two Escapes, no problem using a V6. Doesn't mean we won't ever get something more powerful but we certainly do not have to have it.

Many point out that the big benefit of a small trailer is that it can be towed with less gas and a daily driver. If someone meets the weight requirements, the next most important factor, IMHO, is not your tow vehicle but how and where you drive.

We all do not do the same kind of traveling. We are rarely going to be on Interstates running across the country. And probably won't be in mountains a lot but we can manage just fine if we are.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:35 PM   #5
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I don't think it's about big or small, but finding the happy medium between capability, towing capacity, and mileage. If someone has found the holy grail when it comes to tow vehicles, I'd like to see it. But, that said, we are very happy with our tow vehicle.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:40 PM   #6
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Everyone thinks his TV is best and he or she is probably right --- for that owner's situation.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:09 AM   #7
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This was a big decision for us and we went back and forth.....what pushed us over the edge was the awesome information provided by experience trailer towers on this forum...we haven't towed yet...and i feel confident...to me that is worth the $$ we spent on our TV.....
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:19 AM   #8
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Had the big 1 ton truck with stretched cab. Absolute pain in the rear to park in any shopping area and was actually not allowed in many parking lots in Portland Oregon due to size. Taco is rated 6500 lbs and tows my 21 just fine, easy to park anywhere. In my engineer opinion, the best solution for an issue is one that works adequately and within budget.
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Old 02-20-2016, 02:18 AM   #9
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Here's a visual: Cowboys on Shetland ponies, that's adequate right? And no, not everybody is right on this issue. It's about safety and ultimately what is your budget for that? I've seen countless vehicles with trailers crawling up steep grades posing a significant hazard to others who had to maneuver around them. We do have a responsibility to others who share the road, indifference to them is dangerous. Hey "just go around" is plain bad manners.
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Old 02-20-2016, 02:24 AM   #10
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Go big on your tow vehicle...seriously folks

We talked of upgrading our 2005 Tundra to a new larger Tundra recently when our radiator blew in Yellowstone, but decided to stick work the current one. It fits in our garage, still only has a little over 100,000 km, parks easier and tows the Escape 21 very easily, far easier and more stable than our 1996 Ford F-150 did (better brakes too). The Tacomas are just a tad smaller than our Tundra. If we didn't carry so much boat, canopy and gear as well a Tacoma would be a fine TV. If I lived in the country a bigger truck would suit me fine.

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Old 02-20-2016, 03:39 AM   #11
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19' Escape and 2015 Colorado here. Had some guts climbing some of the steepest grades we encountered last summer. Is it overkill? Not even close. But I am confident behind the wheel when towing and it was within my budget. Plus my wife uses it as her daily and its been great for urban driving. I just couldn't do a giant truck for the sake of "going big".
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Old 02-20-2016, 05:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.W.Deters View Post
Here's a visual: Cowboys on Shetland ponies, that's adequate right? And no, not everybody is right on this issue. It's about safety and ultimately what is your budget for that? I've seen countless vehicles with trailers crawling up steep grades posing a significant hazard to others who had to maneuver around them. We do have a responsibility to others who share the road, indifference to them is dangerous. Hey "just go around" is plain bad manners.
I guess if I was to follow your logic to it's completion I would be pulling my 17B with my 500 HP Mack truck.
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by float5 View Post
This idea has been covered numerous times between here and the Fiberglassrv forum.
I think we can all agree on this.
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:35 AM   #14
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I think Mark is so happy with his new Escape and the way it tows that he feels he has, like many of us feel, the perfect combo. Being new to both Escape and the forum he may not be aware of past discussions. Let him bask in the afterglow we all have experienced and perhaps later others will report their own towing experiences also. Happiness is contagious....
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:57 AM   #15
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Go big on your tow vehicle...seriously folks

Jim that's not "afterglow"
That's a cloud of diesel and Mark going up a hill passing everyone.

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Old 02-20-2016, 10:11 AM   #16
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How the heck is towing with a vehicle rated for what you are towing, often with some capacity to spare, any less safe than towing with a vehicle that is way overrated for this use? If the tow vehicle is in good shape, and the brakes and brake controller are all set up properly, there is not safety issue.

Performance IS NOT safety!

Sure, there can be extreme cases, but those are very rare, and if we protected ourselves to the nth degree to live life as safe as possible, it would certainly get boring holed away in our bubbles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
I don't think it's about big or small, but finding the happy medium between capability, towing capacity, and mileage.
All those things plus usability.

A lot depends on the overall usage of the vehicle. If you are exclusively towing with it, then I fully agree a larger vehicle is fine. The mileage when towing is often comparable between larger and smaller tow vehicles. But often, the vehicles intended purpose is more than just towing.

Often the vehicle is used if side trips while camping, and having the trailer set up for a long period of time. Having a smaller mid-sized SUV can be a way more practical run around vehicle than a large pickup. As well, many use the same vehicle at home a lot too, often more than the time spent travelling with a trailer. Again, the smaller vehicle wins hands down.
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Originally Posted by float5 View Post
Everyone thinks his TV is best and he or she is probably right --- for that owner's situation.
This is a BIG factor in one's opinions on what tow vehicle is best. Folks make a decision based on what works best for their situation, both in cost, safety, comfort, and desire.

I will use my tow vehicle for way more than towing, and have outfitted it to work with, and as a general use vehicle too. I tried to get the smallest vehicle possible to do this with. It was the necessary payload capacity that was the key element in vehicle choice with the 5.0TA, not towing capacity, that I had to meet.

If I was still towing a 19, or even a 21, I would look for the most suitable mid-sized SUV. And I love pickups for what they can do, I have owned one pretty much my whole adult life.

As long as it works for you, and meets manufacturer specs, it is a good choice.

What is disrespectful to others, is to put down their choice in tow vehicles, just because it differs from your's.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:26 AM   #17
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Hey Jim- was enjoying a nice civilized discussion, now you come with your full flailing defense mode and end it pointing fingers. Disrepectful? You're just trying to shut Mark down when there was some respectful back & forth. Just because you are a moderator doesn't give you like license to slam and ridicule people. How about backing off for a change?
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:39 AM   #18
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Jims post makes sense and seemed well thought out.

I have talked to many people towing 21's with Tacomas and Nissan trucks with no issues. A couple of them had been "on the road" for the better part of a year, non stop. The weight of the 21 is well within the tow rating on those small trucks.

I will pick up my 21 soon with a F-150 but really dont like the huge size of the truck and when I replace it as a tv, I will likely get a Tacoma. Like someone else said, if you are operating in the rated tow range of the vehicle, it is pretty much just pesonal preference.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:43 AM   #19
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Go big on your tow vehicle...seriously folks

I don't see anything disrespectful in Jim's post he was just stating his opinion on a subject that's has already been discussed to death ten times over already.

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Old 02-20-2016, 10:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Hey Jim- was enjoying a nice civilized discussion, now you come with your full flailing defense mode and end it pointing fingers. Disrepectful? You're just trying to shut Mark down when there was some respectful back & forth. Just because you are a moderator doesn't give you like license to slam and ridicule people. How about backing off for a change?
You're kidding, right? Everyone else should have their say on a topic that has already been discussed dozens of times, but my opinion should be withheld?

I am not, nor have ever been a moderator here. Slam and ridicule? Not my way of doing things at all. Just stating an opinion.
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