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Old 07-18-2015, 11:02 AM   #1
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SUVs towing 4200# TT

We are considering purchase of a travel trailer with dry wt range of 4000-4300#. Looking at V6 SUVs (Pathfinder, Acadia, Durango, Explorer,etc) with tow pkg rated at 5000# or better capacity. Would welcome any experience or knowledge/opinion on this kind of a matchup. Have towed before but not with a FWD vehicle. thanks
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:41 PM   #2
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I have never seen a fwd that was a very good tow vehicle. The rear suspension on a fwd is to weak. You really need a rwd and a longer wheelbase to make a good tow vehicle. A v6 will also be marginal especially is you plan to tow in the mountains unless it is turbocharged.
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:04 PM   #3
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To be happy with the TV such as a SUV with a short wheelbase and weak suspension it would be better to keep the trailer (Pop-up, T@B, A-liner type, maybe a HiLo) in the 2500lb. range.

I was not happy with a Honda Ridgeline towing a 4,500lb trailer as it took two hands on the steering wheel and deep gas pedal. I had to keep my speed under 60 mph to feel comfortable. I ended up after 1 trip buying a F-150. The way they make nice trucks with 4 doors not sure why anyone would want a SUV to tow a camping trailer.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by justafordguy View Post
The rear suspension on a fwd is to weak.
On what do you base this sweeping assertion? You have knowledge of all FWD vehicles? And what about those that have payloads over 1200 pounds, such as Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees? You think such vehicles have rear suspensions that are too weak? Just how would that be?

Note that Can-Am, a heretical Airstream dealer in Canada, reports good results in setting up Ford Edges, Flexes, Tauruses and other FWD vehicles to pull large Airstreams. Note too that modern normally aspirated V6s in SUVs routinely put 280-300 HP, more horsepower than many V-8s did.

http://www.canamrv.ca/towing/

http://www.canamrv.ca/hitch-hints/
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:04 PM   #5
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How many camping trailers are as aerodynamic as an Airstream trailer? Airstream trailers are built much lower and more tube like than SOB boxy trailers.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:32 PM   #6
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Our Nash 17K is 4190 dry. IMO this is WDH country and I would think you most probably want a tow vehicle with a full frame under it not a unibody. YRMV .
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:41 PM   #7
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How many camping trailers are as aerodynamic as an Airstream trailer? Airstream trailers are built much lower and more tube like than SOB boxy trailers.
Airstreams appear to be more aerodynamic than most trailers. But note that CanAm reports excellent results with unit body cars and SUVs and long, heavy Airstreams--ones that "common knowledge" would have are too heavy for unit body cars and SUVs.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by oedamer View Post
We are considering purchase of a travel trailer with dry wt range of 4000-4300#.
Dry weight is meaningless. What does it way when wet and loaded for the road? The best estimate of trailer weight is the GVWR or combined GAWR of the trailer. Use 15% of the GVWR of the trailer as your estimated tongue weight.


Quote:
Looking at V6 SUVs (Pathfinder, Acadia, Durango, Explorer,etc) with tow pkg rated at 5000# or better capacity.
The big problem with SUVs is lack of payload to haul both tongue weight of a camper trailer plus people and stuff of a family on a camping trip. You can either haul a carload of folks or the tongue weight of a small TT, but not both at the same time without exceeding the payload capacity of the SUV.

The tow rating is almost useless info. It tells you the max weight you can PULL up the hill with an empty SUV with no options other than those required to meet the tow rating specs, but ignores the hitch weight plus the weight of people and stuff (and options) you can HAUL in the SUV.

I outfitted a Honda Odyssey V6 (same drivetrain as the Honda Ridgeline so-called pickup) with class IV hitch, trailer brake controller and tranny cooler to tow trailers. But after towing my 7x14 cargo trailer when loaded to about 5,000 pounds gross trailer weight, I was not satisfied with the Odyssey as a tow vehicle. I now have an F-150 SuperCrew (6-pax crewcab) with the 3.5L EcoBoost engine that is a towing wonder. Yep, it's a 3.5L V6, but man what a V6! Twin turbos make all the difference in the world.

I agree with justafordguy that you really should consider a CrewCab pickup instead of an SUV for your tow vehicle. Or if you just gotta have an SUV, then move up to the ones that still have body-on-frame constructions such as the Ford Expedition or Chevy Suburban. Even with the stronger truck-based SUVs, you still have the problem of any SUV - not enough payload capacity to haul a car full of people and stuff and the hitch weight of a decent-size TT at the same time without being overloaded.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:11 PM   #9
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On what do you base this sweeping assertion? You have knowledge of all FWD vehicles? And what about those that have payloads over 1200 pounds, such as Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees? You think such vehicles have rear suspensions that are too weak?
Well I'm sure I haven't worked on every type of fwd vehicle but I have been a mechanic for the last 40 years and have worked on many, many of them and most have a car like rear suspension.

Also the jeep grand Cherokee and Durango are both rear wheel or all wheel drive not fwd so are much more truck like as far as suspension goes and have a higher towing capacity and both are offered with a v8 option and you can get a diesel in the jeep.
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:11 AM   #10
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Even with the stronger truck-based SUVs, you still have the problem of any SUV - not enough payload capacity to haul a car full of people and stuff and the hitch weight of a decent-size TT at the same time without being overloaded.
I've been shopping for such an SUV and seen Ford Expeditions and GMC Yukons with payloads in the 1500-1700 pound range. My 2013 F150 XLT crewcab has a payload of 1319 pounds.
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:21 AM   #11
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LOL Haven't seen a lot of "experience" of towing with the type of vehicle listed in the original post. Several opinions of what is right by those using other vehicles. So be it, everyone has the right to post an opinion!

I have a 2015 Jeep Cherokee with OEM tow package and V6 with 271 hp. I also have a 2015 Winnebago 2101FBS travel trailer. It is a bit smaller than the SUV's listed, and the trailer a few hundred pounds less in dry weight, but at least the same ballpark! That being said, I have taken it out for six trips, three in temps exceeding 90 degrees, one of them in 106 degree temperatures. I have plenty of power, fluid temperatures have never gotten high, I have had no fishtailing, I just had a ****-puckering emergency braking situation just today (and stopped safely), and I think my choices in tow vehicle/trailer was just fine!

Feel free to personal message me (original poster) for further info.

Love the forum! Have gotten lots of useful info here myself!!!!
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:30 AM   #12
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Consider the fuel capacity on these little SUVs when pushing them to their tow rating limit. They can get real thirsty.
On my bigger TV I am finding it impossible to add a gas aux fuel tank on my Quadvan with a 33 gal tank. At least for a pickup they make a gas/diesel fuel transfer tank to put in the bed. I miss my class C with the 60 gal tank.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:33 PM   #13
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I noticed that the OP hasn't been back since he asked the question. Probably out looking at SUVs. We did a lot of looking at TVs and TTs when we bought our combo. I have to say that it is all a perfect fit. The truck is a V6 rated at 305 hp and that is coupled to a great 8 speed transmission. The trailer loaded is between 4500 and 4800#. Depends on the trip we are taking.

I would highly recommend a truck with a towing package and a good weight distribution hitch and sway control.
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ampmtnbkr2 View Post
LOL Haven't seen a lot of "experience" of towing with the type of vehicle listed in the original post. Several opinions of what is right by those using other vehicles. So be it, everyone has the right to post an opinion!

I have a 2015 Jeep Cherokee with OEM tow package and V6 with 271 hp. I also have a 2015 Winnebago 2101FBS travel trailer. It is a bit smaller than the SUV's listed, and the trailer a few hundred pounds less in dry weight, but at least the same ballpark! That being said, I have taken it out for six trips, three in temps exceeding 90 degrees, one of them in 106 degree temperatures. I have plenty of power, fluid temperatures have never gotten high, I have had no fishtailing, I just had a ****-puckering emergency braking situation just today (and stopped safely), and I think my choices in tow vehicle/trailer was just fine!

Feel free to personal message me (original poster) for further info.

Love the forum! Have gotten lots of useful info here myself!!!!
The Cherokee is high on the list. We are also looking at slightly lighter 3800+# and shorter 22ft like your 2101. Looking at TT with the TV beside the sofa. Isn't that a bit of a neck strain? Appreciate your comments. We're not new at this so recognize the difference in opinion and experience.
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