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Old 10-19-2015, 06:27 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle size and power.

Hello All,


My wife and I are new to the world of trailer camping. We’ve been reading through this forum and others extensively. There’s a tremendous amount of information available. We have an Escape 17B on order but not surprisingly it won’t be ready for pick-up for another year. In the mean time, we are looking to buy a new pick-up truck. The proverbial dilemma really applies to us since we’ve never towed a trailer. The big question: how big and/or powerful does the truck need to be in order to comfortably tow our new rig and carry other miscellaneous items in the back of the truck?? By comfortable we mean being able to climb Rocky Mountain roads without slowing below 50mph and running at 5000rpm. Living in New Mexico, we’re always driving in mountains. We spend a lot of time in the western national parks (both US and Canadian). Our home is at 7000 ft. elevation and accessed on a steep gravel road.


Our two potential choices are the Toyota Tacoma and Tundra. I’m sure most of you are familiar with these two trucks and their capabilities. The vast majority of the information on this topic would indicate that for a 17 ft. fiberglass trailer, pretty much any 6 cylinder vehicle will be adequate. I don’t doubt this info. But “adequate” has different definitions for different people.


It appears to me that the folks that chime in on this topic (with a few exceptions) are those that are towing with the smaller vehicles and engines. Perhaps they are in the majority. I wish I knew. But I’m thinking that there could also be a lot of folks towing fiberglass trailers with large vehicles and engines. It would be equally valuable to hear what they have to say.


Thanks very much for any input I receive.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:41 PM   #2
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Of the two trucks you list, I would pick the Taco over the Tundra.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:54 PM   #3
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I agree with Robert, the Tacoma would be plenty of truck for your needs. That would be my choice for towing the 17.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:11 PM   #4
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I'd also go with the Tacoma, and I would, if my wife would let me.
She says I'd be too old and decrepit to climb into the cab.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:22 PM   #5
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I apprenticed with a 2006 4 cyl Subaru Outback 5 speed towing a 16 Scamp and had no problems. Then as a journyman I moved up to a 17 foot Casita towed by a 2011 Toyota Tacoma auto 4 wheel drive and again had no issues. Now I have graduated to the master class of the Escape 21 and tow it with the same Tacoma. We picked it up in late April this year and towed it up and down and all around back to NY. It is not a fire ball with the 21 behind it, but it works fine. So you should not have an issue with a Escape 17 IMHO.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:49 PM   #6
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Patrol - good to hear as we are considering a 21' and I'm planning on towing with our Tacoma.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:13 PM   #7
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We tow a 19 Escape with a 2010 Tacoma 4.0L 4X4 Double Cab with the six foot box. Tows well even in the mountains. We have done Rogers Pass a couple of times. Although I do not tow in overdrive. We even outrove my brother in law with a 2015 Ford with EcoBoost pulling a pop up.

My vote would be the Taco
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:53 PM   #8
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6 cylinder would have lots of ability, I would go with the longer wheelbase- I towed my 17 with a 6cyl RAV4 - I drove many miles and long distances, would have liked to have had a longer wheelbase. There are others who tow the 17 with a RAV4 and appear to be quite satisfied with it.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:57 PM   #9
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I'd go with the Taco long bed. I towed my 19 from the factory to NJ with a 4Runner. The Taco has great resale and trade in value.
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:02 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=kmk7580;115158]Hello All,


...... Living in New Mexico, we’re always driving in mountains. We spend a lot of time in the western national parks (both US and Canadian). Our home is at 7000 ft. elevation and accessed on a steep gravel road.
QUOTE]

By our count you will be Escape #5 in the state. There is a 19 in Edgewood, our 5.0 Classic in Sandia Park, a 17 in Corrales and another - I forget which size - in Santa Fe!
If there is anything we can do to help you get ready for being an Escape owner, let us know. We are also in Sandia Park! Welcome!
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:08 PM   #11
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I towed an Escape 19 with the FJ Cruiser, so the Toyota 6 cyl is a nice match for the 19 and 17 Escapes.The 21' may be close to the limit though, The tongue weight is probably another 100 lbs more than the 19 and you would need air shocks for leveling.
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Old 10-19-2015, 10:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmk7580 View Post
...
By comfortable we mean being able to climb Rocky Mountain roads without slowing below 50mph and running at 5000rpm. Living in New Mexico, we’re always driving in mountains. We spend a lot of time in the western national parks (both US and Canadian). Our home is at 7000 ft. elevation and accessed on a steep gravel road.
...
Thanks very much for any input I receive.
I'm towing a '21 with my manual transmission, 2014 Tacoma V6, long bed, 4X4.

Going up from Denver to the tunnels (11,000') under Loveland Pass, I can maintain 55-60 mph at around 4000 rpm, except for the 6% grade at Georgetown where I slow to 40-45. Would I like more power? Sure, but it's not going to happen. But to make up for it, going down hill on the same road, I keep it in 3rd gear and rarely have to touch the brakes.

I would think the 17B would be significantly easier to pull.

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Old 10-19-2015, 10:17 PM   #13
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Tow Vehicle size and power

I'm very grateful for all your responses. This being my first post, I had no clue what to expect. Your knowledge base is amazing, especially for a novice like me. So far, your overwhelming choice is the Tacoma. Not surprising considering everything else I've read on this topic. I've not heard of anyone being unhappy towing with a Tacoma. Neither have I heard of anyone towing with a Tundra (or any other V8) say it's an overkill.

Also, I now know that I have a neighbor (almost) in Sandia Park with an Escape. Fran and Dave, thanks for the welcoming message.

Thanks again to all of you.
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Old 10-20-2015, 02:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmk7580 View Post
I'm very grateful for all your responses. This being my first post, I had no clue what to expect. Your knowledge base is amazing, especially for a novice like me. So far, your overwhelming choice is the Tacoma. Not surprising considering everything else I've read on this topic. I've not heard of anyone being unhappy towing with a Tacoma. Neither have I heard of anyone towing with a Tundra (or any other V8) say it's an overkill.

Also, I now know that I have a neighbor (almost) in Sandia Park with an Escape. Fran and Dave, thanks for the welcoming message.

Thanks again to all of you.
I tow my 19 with a 5.8 Ford F-250 . It is what I have and it is paid for . No payments , that is a lot of gas . Pat
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:31 AM   #15
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I just read in the November issue of Trailer Life about what is new in some tow vehicles. Seems GM has reintroduced the Colorado and the Canyon. They offer a 4-cylinder diesel that puts out 369# of torque, a hundred more than the Taco! Now that amount is what I would love to have. A friend of mine has a VW Touareg diesel that he tows his 25 foot Airstream which I am sure is much heavier than my 21 and he seems satisfied with the engine’s towing performance. As I recall the VW puts out somewhere around 400#s. But of course with VW's issues on performance programming, who knows what it was really putting out. And I have not seen the Canyon, ever, so I can’t pass judgment on its performance, reliability and comfort etc. Good luck with these thoughts to ponder.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:43 AM   #16
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According to Escape, the 17b requires a 3500lb tow capacity for its tow vehicle. The Tacoma with a 6 cyl. is rated at that 3500 and gets 19-24 mpg. The Tundra carries a 6400lb tow capacity rating but only gets 15-19 mpg. Before looking at any model tug, you should research their tow capacities. Donno about those GM cars but GM hasn't been building very reliable trucks of late.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:03 AM   #17
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The 2016 Tacoma with tow package is rated at 6500 - 6800 lbs (depending on model) according to the Toyota website. http://www.toyota.com/tacoma/feature...7128/7150/7182

I think tow packages are always a good idea if they are available.
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Old 10-20-2015, 02:01 PM   #18
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It is going to depend very much on what else you may use your truck for.

The Tundra is the roomier of the two so could be potentially more comfortable long distance, it has potentially more payload and as close to a full size box as you can get in a 1/2 ton. Steep grades and high elevation even out somewhat the fuel penalty you may pay with a bigger truck, particularly hauling & towing.

I tend to use my F150 as my daily driver so it sees plenty of different duties and when I've needed the ability to "get the heck out of the way" - such as this past summer when I was getting squeezed near the end of a passing lane and running out of room - I have it in spades.

I chose an Escape trailer because I was interested in something more than simply adequate and it's great to be able to exercise those choices.
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Old 10-20-2015, 02:46 PM   #19
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lancenadine.............Yours is the first post that gives a different point of view. You make some very good points. Thanks much. It seems like every day I flip-flop back and forth between the two trucks.
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Old 10-20-2015, 02:59 PM   #20
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Kmk - I assume you have test driven them both? A lot is determined by how you and your wife like the driving feel of each truck. Another factor is how much you will be driving the truck, not towing. The Tacoma will get better everyday MPG which could be a factor if you will be using it a lot besides towing.
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