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Old 06-22-2016, 02:54 AM   #1
LJY
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New SUV tow vehicle for 21ft?

Possibilities:

Latest Honda Pilot - Does anyone tow with 2016 Honda Pilot ?
vs
2017 Acura MDX - debuting today
vs
2017 Toyota Highlander - coming in Fall
vs
? ? ?
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:18 AM   #2
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I would suggest driving each one to see how you like them, and compare the tow ratings. If you think you will load the 21 and tow vehicle up with a lot of stuff, a 5,000 lb tow rating might be near the limit, but if you pack lightly any of them should work.

Aside from towing, all of them are great vehicles.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:18 AM   #3
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All three vehicles mentioned are going to drive fantastic, however the more important question is how will you feel towing a fully loaded 21-(likely 4200+ #'s) and are your a true minimalist or do you like to bring an extra Kitchen sink The '17 will be heavier than Classic too.

The Dodge Durango with the Hemi would be on my list if shopping for another SUV tow vehicle. It is fairly unique in its segment with a rear wheel drive platform (preferred for towing) and 120" wheelbase.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:09 AM   #4
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For what ever it is worth, we tow our 2014 Escape 21 with a 2014 Toyota Highlander, and have no complaints about the towing performance. We have close to 20,000 towing miles on the car, and so far so good. I have always been able to go as fast as I feel comfortable going up hill, and always had no problems going down hill. Almost all of this travel has been west of the Mississippi, and much of it has been in the mountains. The hardest towing has been going across various plains states into big (40-50 mph) head/side winds. But maybe I just think that is the case because no matter what you have to pay a lot of attention when you have a big wind. On long trips the dashboard says we average about 14.5 mpg, but that usually includes some driving without the trailer, and I don't keep exact numbers.

But the 2017 models will be heavier than our 2014 trailer is. I don't know how much heavier, but you should probably think about that. I haven't weighed our trailer, but I did look at the discussion of what other 21s weigh, and given the numbers there decided that a 5000 lb towing capacity would provide me with a reasonable margin of safety.

Also, I think a lot of towing discussions come down to personal preference. We really didn't want a truck, we wanted something that drives more like a car. We wanted a Toyota because we have had very good luck with Toyotas over the past 40 years. We tend to drive 60-65 on the freeway, about 55-60 on the two lane roads. We choose the higher fuel economy and lower price of the Highlander over the greater capacity of the Sequoia. We liked the Lexus GX460, but didn't like the requirement for premium gas, and the side hinges on the rear door. We preferred the interior of the Highlander to the 4Runner. We choose the 2wd drive version of the Highlander because it was less expensive and got better mileage. If I had to do it over again, I would get the AWD drive version, but only because it would probably work a bit better on winter roads. If I recall correctly, the Highlander red lines at something around 6000 rpm, but peak power is just below 5000 rpm. I don't have any problems going up steep hills with the engine revving 4500-5000 rpm. Lindy says it sounds strange. That is all the stuff that runs through my head when I think about tow vehicle decisions.

That is my $.02 worth, but only you can make the decision that is right for you.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:53 AM   #5
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I'm old school and wouldn't want to rely on a front wheel drive vehicle of any variety to tow that much weight.

Take a look at the 4Runner?
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:08 AM   #6
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We tow a 15 foot (soon to be a 2017 19") with a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 with a 6200# towing capacity.

For a 21" I would chose the Jeep Grand Cheroke V8 with 7200# capacity.

The 8 speed transmission is an important advantage over the 6 speed transmissions when towing

The auto leveling rear suspension and trailer sway control feature is also valuable
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:14 AM   #7
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Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit

It is similar to the Durango although with a somewhat shorter wheelbase.

Nominal tow capacity is 6800 pounds if you get the air suspension, 7200 without. Assuming the proper engine.

You have a choice of a V8 or a V6 turbo diesel to tow with. The diesel gets much better mileage (~25 mpg ) in town. We found it to have plenty of power on steep grades. It is also a great vehicle to take off road once you get to the camp and drop the trailer. You can get every creature comfort that you have thought of and some you didn't to enjoy on those long drives.

The only downside is that you have to use a weight distributing hitch with a 21. Oh yeah, and the price!
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
We really didn't want a truck, we wanted something that drives more like a car.
That is my $.02 worth, but only you can make the decision that is right for you.
My vehicle is a truck , my wife's vehicle is a car. Both vehicles drive exactly the same to me , both get me from point A to point B safely. The only difference is the size. Her car is no easier to drive than my truck and my truck rides and handles as well as her car. Both vehicles have the same level of luxury options. I guess your statement confuses me. If we were comparing a 2016 auto with a 1950's truck , then it would make sense to me. I am not criticizing your choice of vehicles but I often see this sentiment expressed and wonder why.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
My vehicle is a truck , my wife's vehicle is a car. Both vehicles drive exactly the same to me , both get me from point A to point B safely. The only difference is the size. Her car is no easier to drive than my truck and my truck rides and handles as well as her car. Both vehicles have the same level of luxury options. I guess your statement confuses me. If we were comparing a 2016 auto with a 1950's truck , then it would make sense to me. I am not criticizing your choice of vehicles but I often see this sentiment expressed and wonder why.
Steve, my truck does have a different driving feel and ride quality than my wife's car: the truck is better.

Definitely not Grandpa's truck.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:55 PM   #10
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I think like so many discussions here it all comes down to personal preferences. Speaking only for myself, there is a world of difference in ride comfort, especially for long distances, between the 2008 Tacoma we traded in and the 2016 Highlander we now have. But, I still greatly prefer the driving feel of a lower center of gravity sedan over an SUV, and an even lower CG sports car over a sedan. Best of all was the fast go-kart I had as a kid!

As the Wise Donna says YMMV.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I would suggest driving each one to see how you like them, and compare the tow ratings. If you think you will load the 21 and tow vehicle up with a lot of stuff, a 5,000 lb tow rating might be near the limit, but if you pack lightly any of them should work.

Aside from towing, all of them are great vehicles.
Jim: my lucky day. I am planning on ordering a 5.0T and am looking at F-150s, either an XLT or Lariat (this week as a matter of fact). It would seem to me that a 2 wheel drive (4x2) should be sufficient except in extremely rare conditions. Is that reasonable? We rarely have snow here and I would stay off the road then, anyway.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:27 PM   #12
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Hi Lee and welcome...

Re 2wd vs 4wd. We just traded in a 2010 F150 4.6l 2wd on a 2015 F150 2.7EB 4wd to tow our 5.0. I initially had no qualms about 2wd but a couple of instances last winter made me realize that despite the extra weight, cost, etc of 4wd, this time we should have one. First was an awful drive Jan. 19 from Sioux Falls SD to Leavenworth KS in snow. I know you likely won't tow in snow. But the other two times, once with trailer and once without, on rough gravel roads in AZ I was hoping not to get stuck with having only 2wd.

I don't yet know how the towing is with the new truck, just got the fifth wheel in and took it around the block with trailer but will find out more tomorrow when I take my grandsons camping.

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Old 06-22-2016, 01:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Steve, my truck does have a different driving feel and ride quality than my wife's car: the truck is better.

Definitely not Grandpa's truck.
My wife puts about 2000 miles a year on her car . She would rather ride in / drive the,truck .Come to think of it our chocolate lab would rather ride in the truck than the car
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lee.Artman View Post
Jim: my lucky day. I am planning on ordering a 5.0T and am looking at F-150s, either an XLT or Lariat (this week as a matter of fact). It would seem to me that a 2 wheel drive (4x2) should be sufficient except in extremely rare conditions. Is that reasonable? We rarely have snow here and I would stay off the road then, anyway.
Around here a 2WD has to be special ordered, as almost every truck is 4WD. In the snow without 4WD you do a heck of a lot of spinning. Heck, even on dry pavement with little payload, I can easily spin the tires if I step on it from a stop. That said, if I rarely ever needed the 4WD, the 2WD will save you money on purchase and perhaps maintenance too.

I only reason I got the 3.5L Ecoboost over the 2.7L only because it is the only way to get a 6.5' box with a full crew cab, and I wanted both.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
My wife puts about 2000 miles a year on her car . She would rather ride in / drive the,truck .Come to think of it our chocolate lab would rather ride in the truck than the car
I hope she knows that she may be able to save on insurance.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:36 PM   #16
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If I was getting a 19 or 21, I would be inclined to go for an SUV. While new trucks like mine are nice to drive, the slightly smaller size of the SUV, along with it's great interior space for cargo, would make it better for me.

The Doge Durango would be a lot better if they would put their small diesel in it, rather than the fuel guzzling hemi.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:38 PM   #17
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJY View Post
Latest Honda Pilot - Does anyone tow with 2016 Honda Pilot ?
vs
2017 Acura MDX - debuting today...
Although the 2017 Acura MDX is just coming out, it is only a "facelift", or minor revision. This is the same underlying vehicle of the same generation as the 2014 and later MDX, and the 2016 Honda Pilot, other than the addition of a hybrid option.

If you are interested in a hybrid, both Toyota and now Honda (Acura) now offer this, but at least the Highlander Hybrid has lower (and insufficient for a 21') towing capacity compared to the regular version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJY View Post
... vs
2017 Toyota Highlander - coming in Fall
The change in the Highlander for 2017 has also been described as a facelift of the 2013 design, but has a powertrain change which may be significant.
Quote:
In V6 powered models, an eight-speed automatic replaced the six-speeder and the revised V6 engine—now designated 2GR-FKS—which added Toyota's D4-S direct injection fuel system.
Experience with the 2013-2016 Highlander would still be relevant regarding the body and chassis (suspension), and the engine change is a refinement rather than a completely different engine. By the way, the new version is the same engine as used in the 2016 Tacoma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkirk View Post
The 8 speed transmission is an important advantage over the 6 speed transmissions when towing

The auto leveling rear suspension and trailer sway control feature is also valuable
I agree that these are good features. The 2017 Highlander also has an 8-speed transmission, and the current Pilot and MDX have a 9-speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain_gal View Post
It is similar to the Durango although with a somewhat shorter wheelbase.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are essentially identical other than styling and wheelbase - they are mechanically the same. The Durango's unusually long wheelbase seems like an advantage to me, although the rear overhang may a little long as well.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:45 PM   #19
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The Doge Durango would be a lot better if they would put their small diesel in it, rather than the fuel guzzling hemi.
The diesel Durango is the Grand Cherokee with the 3.0 L turbodiesel - you have to give up the longer wheelbase to get the diesel.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:46 PM   #20
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Buy a pick up and you're on call for every time a relative moves or a friend needs to haul to the dump.
Doesn't happen to me Glenn. My son lives across town and has a pickup, so people call on him not me since I have a fifth wheel sitting in the middle of the bed
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