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Old 06-07-2018, 02:50 PM   #21
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Last I looked there was a $10,000 premium for the 4Runner.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:54 PM   #22
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Just a thought to throw out there. A 4Runner gets 17/21 MPG and 5,000lb tow capacity; whereas a GMC/Chevy 1500 will get 18/24 MPG and a tow capacity of a lot more than 5,000. I'm sure a full size Ford or Ram will get similar. I took the back seat out of my GMC Sierra and there is alot of room for storage. My guess is while towing with a full size you will get much better MPG than the 4Runner. You also need to take into consideration the total GVWR. There are discussions regarding GVWR on this forum somewhere. But a full size is obviously much bigger but on the highway it will tow much better than a mid size SUV. You have a lot of time to think about this and will probably change your mind many times but its all part of the fun. Oh and BTW an Escape trailer is the way to go.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:58 PM   #23
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it was hard to find a 4runner in my price point. So i chose a Highlander i really liked it towed my 17 very easily up many mountains. I think either would work -more about price- i bought used so looked at both. To get the 4runner at a price i could afford i needed to buy one with a lot of miles on it. but then moved up to a 5.0 and bought a new F150 so i guess $$$ was spent anyway!
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:04 PM   #24
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I tow w a 2012 4x4 4Runner. Excellent vehicle but mileage is about 14-15 towing. Looked at highlander but that 3rd row seating is off putting. Even w seats down there is a slope & some gaps. For those suggesting a permanent bed or mattress in the 17b, how do u access the pump, water heater etc easily?
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:59 PM   #25
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17b living

We use a RX 350 to tow with and using a WDH we have no problems pulling. The Highlander can be set up for towing 5000lbs. and would be a great choice. Our RX has 3500lbs. rating. We just retired, sold the house and now we’re Wanderlusting around.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:13 PM   #26
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Update on a few decisions and Thank you for all the Help and Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by indysafe317 View Post
OK, here goes been researching and considering this for some time and getting close to decision time so wanted to seek advise. If this should be in a different area of the forum, let me know.

I'm about 2 years from retirement and plan on spending about 5-7, maybe more living out of the Escape. Retiring from 30 years as a Firefighter and it's just me. I also plan on care taking houses and animal rescues across the country from time to time. I'm sure I will be in housing some but also want to have my home with me for some remote areas that I would like to visit. Will have access to electric some and other times not.

I am aloting 35000 - 40000 USD for Trailer. I think the 17 will be more than enough space for me, I'm a minimalist. Just a comfortable bed and computer access keeps me happy. I will probably get one loaded, every option offered, including a quiet generator and full solar array for off grid times.

My main question is Tow vehicle, I am leaning towards a New Highlander. I have budgeted 35000 - 40000 for the vehicle. I would love to use a minivan. I like them and I will probably leave the trailer at times and live in the vehicle for a few days at a time. My favorite is the Town and Country / Pacifica but I just don't think it's gonna be good enough for Tow Capacity which is why I'm leaning towards a Highlander

I am open to all opinions and comments on both the tow vehicle and ANY advise you can give. I will be living on these forums over the next year to learn what I can. I would like to make up my mind by Summer of next year on Trailer and Vehicle, order the trailer allowing for another year for build out and then I'm off.

I don't like cold weather so I will probably only be in the Northern States in Summer time and Southern States in the Winter.

Let me have it.

First, let me say thank you for the awesome posts, advice and even Private emails. This is exactly what I'm looking for. It is also just simply a lot of fun going over my options. It is going to be a work in progress and I know I can change my mind. Who knows what options will come out over the next year. With that said, this is my updated opinion.

Many of you have touched on things I've thought about and your nudging me in a slightly different path which is exactly what I wanted. I know there is no perfect answer but good advice is always welcome and put to use.

I have been in each size new floor model 17 , 19, 21. I was originally thinking 19, talked myself into the 17 which was my original post and after reading so many comments and blogs, I'm back to the 19. I am still gonna visit a few outings and visit some more lived in models.

I started with a tow vehicle of a highlander and am now leaning towards a 4runner. I have also added a Sprinter to the list but have no experience with it as a tow vehicle. I am not out completely on the idea of a pickup truck with a topper but I'm not convinced that is the way I want to go. It would definitely meet my needs of an away from trailer temp home and am handy so I could build it out pretty nice I think.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:27 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Walter View Post
As a career firefighter, you have a reputation and an image that you are going to have to carry with you even after you retire. Although the Highlander is a nice car, it does not carry the same adventurous image as the 4Runner, which is a go anywhere fully 4-wheel drive capable sport utility vehicle. I would say go for the 4Runner!
Quote:
Originally Posted by indysafe317 View Post
It's funny you said that, it was actually a fellow firefighter who said it was the "Cooler" way to go.
When I purchased a Honda Pilot to tow our 17A, I got thumbs ups from the engineers, and also my captain & my BC, and just OK's from the firefighters (who commented most that at least I got white to match the trailer-- (always testing how thick the skin is!!!) ). The Pilot is about the same HP and torque as the Highlander, and since retirement we have towed up and down mts. up to 9000 ft. throughout the Western US. We're at just under 3000 lbs. with all our gear and tanks full. IMHO, the Highlander is a great choice.

So, it just depends.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:59 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indysafe317 View Post

I started with a tow vehicle of a highlander and am now leaning towards a 4runner. I have also added a Sprinter to the list but have no experience with it as a tow vehicle. I am not out completely on the idea of a pickup truck with a topper but I'm not convinced that is the way I want to go. It would definitely meet my needs of an away from trailer temp home and am handy so I could build it out pretty nice I think.
Funny reading this. We have a jeep rubicon unlimited that is my vehicle. It has been pulling the 19 since we picked up the trailer. Now my hubby bought a Ford 150 truck this past winter, and was only going to the Osoyoos rally with his truck in front. Otherwise he wasn't coming... Anyway, we are in the mountains and his comment: "doesn't even have more power then the rubicon". At the campground in Osoyoos, him unloading chairs, table, barbecue, dog kennel, etc. from the truck box, his comment: "this is b.s., next time we bring the rubicon".
That sure made my day!!
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:30 AM   #29
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We have an Escape 19 fully loaded and it would be very liveable. The queen bed they install is very comfortable.

Our tow vehicle is an Acura MDX 3.7 L 6 spd auto. It is perfect for towing this. Cruises at 2-3000 rpm most of the time, goes up to 4000 on hills. 5000 lb tow capacity. I feel the vehicle matches the trailer well.

The 2007-2013 MDX has this motor and capacity.

I think it ties better than our 2005 Tacoma 4.0 L 5 spd auto did. That thing was always revving to 5000 rpm and used way more gas.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:45 AM   #30
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Calypso

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marry View Post
Funny reading this. We have a jeep rubicon unlimited that is my vehicle. It has been pulling the 19 since we picked up the trailer. Now my hubby bought a Ford 150 truck this past winter, and was only going to the Osoyoos rally with his truck in front. Otherwise he wasn't coming... Anyway, we are in the mountains and his comment: "doesn't even have more power then the rubicon". At the campground in Osoyoos, him unloading chairs, table, barbecue, dog kennel, etc. from the truck box, his comment: "this is b.s., next time we bring the rubicon".
That sure made my day!!
Your post reminded me of Ral Donner in 1961 doing his hit song “You don’t know what you’ve got” and those 14 year old young ladies dancing the calypso to it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:26 AM   #31
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Kia Sorento

I have a 17B and have so far only traveled 6,000 miles towing it with my Honda Odyssey but so far so good. I also like the option of sleeping in the van occasionallly. I am not likely to replace the van for a few years but I was impressed with the reviews for the Kia Sorento which has 5,000 lb towing capacity in the AWD model. It is also considerably lower priced than comparable Toyotas and Hondas. Just thought I would throw that out there.

Love your plan - makes me antsy reading about it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:37 AM   #32
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Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with standard transmission

I am now on my third yellow Jeep and tow a 2007 17B Escape. My poor old trailer has about 200,000 miles on it but is holding up amazingly well. My 2015 Jeep hardly notices the trailer, and the longer length and four doors are very convenient. I find that my stick shift gives me more control on steep hills and dirt roads like the Dempster Highway from Dawson City Yukon to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. Also, the stick shift makes the Jeep much more fun off road when I unhitch the trailer. I live in my 17B in Arizona for four months every winter, and it is just perfect for one person. Take a look at the new Jeep Unlimited and you may like it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:19 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rb5511 View Post
Take a look at the new Jeep Unlimited and you may like it.
and you may like it.......
He might fall in love... I truly love my jeep rubicon unlimited. We installed a class 3 hitch, and "Tinker" (that's her name) pulls like a charm. Even with the automatic shifting, no problem.
That said, the second generation Escape's are a little heavier then the classic Escapes.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:46 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rb5511 View Post
I am now on my third yellow Jeep and tow a 2007 17B Escape. My poor old trailer has about 200,000 miles on it but is holding up amazingly well. My 2015 Jeep hardly notices the trailer, and the longer length and four doors are very convenient. I find that my stick shift gives me more control on steep hills and dirt roads like the Dempster Highway from Dawson City Yukon to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. Also, the stick shift makes the Jeep much more fun off road when I unhitch the trailer. I live in my 17B in Arizona for four months every winter, and it is just perfect for one person. Take a look at the new Jeep Unlimited and you may like it.
Hi rb5511,
Is that your vehicle and trailer in the Escape banner photos on their website? Got any Dempster stories? Would love to read them!

As for the op who started this thread …. I have a 17A and travel solo. After a 4500 mile drive to Baja and back, I find that my 17A has plenty of room, a very comfy almost queen sized bed, and I too spend a lot of time on my computer - so a good sized table has been a pleasure. Without the bathroom ("A" floor plan), I find I have as much usable space as the 19. I realize that this floor plan may not be ideal for everyone but I'm very happy with mine … so much depends on your style of camping and where you dream of taking your trailer. Hard decisions to make until you get 'out there … doing it".


Good Luck indysafe317- another minimalist - until I meet someone traveling in a Teardrop.


Tom

17A, '09 Tacoma, 4wd, V6 4 liter w/auto, topper, get average mpg in the mid 13's mpg, using mid grade or premium gets me another mile per gallon, a lighter gas foot even more, generally travel empty tanks and am always sorting to get things I'm not using off the trailer to save weight. I like my trailer!
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:14 PM   #35
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You might also consider the Tacoma pickup with full cab & long bed. I’m on my second one and have towed our 17b for 13 years! Pre-runner (2-wheel drive) or 4x4 is your call but get the larger V-6 engine & full tow package. I use Snugtop canopies with factory-installed rack rails so we can add our kayak racks. The canopy is great for extra stuff or a pet and you can still have passengers with the full cab.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:54 PM   #36
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Might want to check the Escape warranty terms for full timing.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:31 PM   #37
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2010 17A + 1999 Toyota Sienna experience so far

Hey. Thought I'd share my impressions with you, as I've been living the life you describe out of a 2010 17A for the last couple of years.

The 17A is sufficient, and I have generally been very pleased with it. However, if I was to go back in time with my present knowledge, I'd get a 19. This is almost exclusively about headroom - unless you get the underside spray foam (mine doesn't have it), the floor gets quite cold, and I'm doing 3-4 season in Montana. I added a layer of 1" XPS and some neoprene mats on top of that. Barefoot I can comfortably move about, but if I have my Sorels on and stand up straight, my head scrapes the ceiling, and I'm 5'10". The 19 is a good bit taller inside. I also like the idea of the side dinette as a laptop and writing work area - getting in and out of the main dinette area requires sometimes youthful contortions, and the headroom at that end is several inches less than in the kitchen and bed areas of the 17A.

I run dry and hand-carry whatever water I need. I do a pee bottle and a low-tech composting toilet, so lack of a bathroom is not an issue. Total weight loaded is around 2400, and the Sienna with tow package is rated at 3500.

Your biggest problem environmentally is going to be keeping the storage area under the bed from becoming a cold-sink (essentially no air circulation - I added a 200mm Noctua case fan to pull air through, and it helps A LOT), and controlling humidity in the spring and fall. Even if you don't cook or wash, humidity will climb to 60-70% in these months, and airing out the trailer to dry it out while it's raining isn't really an option.

The Sienna has been a capable tow vehicle, and I've never had any transmission or cooling problems while towing. However, a 3.0L V6 producing 200HP is not a powerhouse. Bear this in mind, as the Highlander is basically the Sienna in SUV form. I get 19.5mpg, which drops to 14-15mpg towing at 65mph, and doing mountain passes at 45-50mph. I could be a leadfoot, but then I drop to 12-13mpg.

The van also has the merit of being sleepable (though sitting up is more of a lean to the side and curl forward motion) just by folding down the seats on one side and sliding in a plywood platform and an air mattress. Or you can just remove the seats on one or both sides. The Highlander is likely too short to do the same, so sans trailer you may be relying on a tent or fixed structure for sleeping.

Consider too if you'll be dealing with mountainous areas or any kind of marginal roads. A front-wheel drive vehicle has significant caveats in this area, as you'll spin out on almost any loose gravel or dirt at any more than about a 6-7% grade. I have gradually worked to the best possible traction setup: equalizer hitch plus the awesome Yokohama Geolander AT tires they recently introduced at minivan-friendly sizes. All this said, my next tow vehicle is most likely going to be an older 4Runner, as front-wheel drive will never work off-road in 90% of Montana I want to explore.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:35 PM   #38
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Milage and tow

Just got back from Wells Gray Park lots of 11% long hills avg. 17 MPG with our 2014 Ram with the 3 liter eco diesel pulling our 21 Escape No Problems.

Driving empty we avg. 29 MPG.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:47 PM   #39
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I ran Yokohama Geolander tires on my '94 Ford Explorer. As they wore road noise became incredibly loud. I replaced them with Michelin ( I think ) and I could actually hear the engine again.

My mechanic told me municipal ambulance and police had also complained of road noise.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:57 PM   #40
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when I ran Yokohama 'grand touring' tires on my cars, I found that as soon as they started to wear, they got both noisy and lower traction. This was never a problem with the Michelin Primacy/Premier tires, so I reverted to them, and went back to happiness. The BFG A/T KO2 truck tires also rode quite nicely with good traction til they were way worn out (of course, off road traction goes away with the tread wear, thats unavoidable).
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