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Old 10-04-2014, 04:53 PM   #29
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Having a heavy hitch weight and front wheel drive in cold weather (ice and or snow) don't mix, if you want to spin around quickly you'll do it in that configuration.
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:39 PM   #30
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I really just don't know what to say. I fear you are headed down a bad path. 5 people and gear plus a fully self contained TT with room for everyone and everything, all going down the highway pulled by the Honda, really? If you could, just put everyone in the Honda and then add about 4000 pounds in the back somehow, then head for the mountains. I know it's not the same as towing it. Good luck with your choices.
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Old 10-05-2014, 01:54 AM   #31
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Thank you for your additional input, forum friends. Yup, we're back to looking at pop-ups. But maybe we'll trade up the Honda, too. We have to think. How can you really know what you want until you actually live in something for many weeks, really. Honestly I don't know how all you good people aren't completely crazy! I thought buying cold cereal was a difficult decision...
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:37 AM   #32
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Hi Amy. I don't know much but I DO know it's not about the hitch. Anyone who says you can pull an Airstream with an Odyssey is crazy. I had an Odyssey & I really wouldn't even want to pull a pop-up with one.

And Oh. My. God. I would walk away from someone who told me I was being "raped" by a salesman. VERY inappropriate choice of words.

I've found so much information on the blogs of folks who are actually out there living the RV life. My guess is that there are bloggers camping & maybe even living in a pop-up. Check online, find/read some blogs, clarify how you want to RV/camp/live in an RV. Consider what will be best for you & your family given your wants/needs/financial resources. Take your time. Do your research. If you've done your research, you won't need to live in something for a few weeks to figure out if it's right for you. Make your list of what's important to you & go with the RV that ticks the most boxes. Enjoy this process--you'll be happy when you finally make a decision knowing that you've chosen the best options for you & your family. And hey. Have fun!!
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:44 AM   #33
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amybronwed said:
"Honestly I don't know how all you good people aren't completely crazy! I thought buying cold cereal was a difficult decision..."


I thought you had noticed.....we ARE crazy!
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:06 PM   #34
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But not completely...
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:28 PM   #35
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I don't believe there is a solution to towing a trailer that is practical for a family of 5 with a vehicle limited to 3500/350 lbs tow rating.

Some of the lightest trailers for their size are fiberglass "eggs", trailers built from 2 piece molds much like a boat.

I tow an Escape 17B, one of the lightest 17' fiberglass trailer made, with a dry weight of 2100 lbs. Dry weight means little - the actual weight of the trailer with options & loaded for a trip is 3010 lbs. While I have no problem towing it with a RAV4 V6 with tow package (rated the same as your Odyessy at 3500/350 lbs), I have the advantage that I travel solo, keeping the weight in the RAV4 pretty light. If I added 4 passengers and their gear, I'd be well over the capacity of the tow vehicle. Because of the size, minivan is even easier to overload.

While the combination works well for me, I rarely drive the interstates and limit my top speed to 57MPH.

Even the lightweight fiberglass trailers won't solve your problem. When outfitted with a upper bunk bed, the 17B can sleep 4, but finding a place for one more would be tough. It has no bathtub, instead a wet bath (combined toilet/shower). While there are larger lightweight fiberglass trailers, they are all too heavy for your tow vehicle limits.
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:15 AM   #36
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You gotta consider, not only if you can tow, but can you control the rig on the road and can you stop it. You may also face a $3000 transmission job a lot sooner than you want. Back up and take a deep breath. You want too much for too little. My ultra light (se sig) tows with my F150 with tow package. Any chance of moving up to a truck then get the rig you want. ALSO consider the huge savings buying pre-owned.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:19 PM   #37
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Our New Plan...

Now my spouse is saying we should just get a tow vehicle that can drag more weight. We're considering a highlander or some other similar vehicle that can tow five-thousand pounds. Any recommendations on vehicles? Although honestly i don't know how we are going to afford this now that we have to buy both trailer and tow vehicle. I know some of you are saying pre-owned, but I tell ya, with no trailer experience, a pre-owned makes us mighty nervous.

Keep talking, friends! We read everything you say…

Thanks and all best...
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:15 AM   #38
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For a growing family like that, I would look for a good used full size van with a big v8 and factory tow package. A 3/4 ton or one ton full size van will be rated for up to 10,000 lbs. towing capacity, and will have plenty of room for everybody and their gear. They are also very handy for ferrying the soccer team and cub scout den around when that time comes.

The Chevys and Fords are both good, reliable trucks that are meant to work, and there are plenty on the market for a fair price. Some people think they are too big, but if you test drive one you will find out they offer a great driving position, great visibility, and due to the wheels being near the corners, good maneuverability for a big vehicle.

We have owned 4 different ones over the last 35 years, and towed all kinds of boats and trailers .....
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:50 AM   #39
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Amy, the Highlander is also front wheel drive. You would be no better off, as they are based on the Camry, a car, just with different body panels, and a very low payload rating. A 5,000 lb. tow capacity will still not be adequate or safe for a trailer that your family will be comfortable in. Full size vans are a great idea. if you are not interested in supporting the American economy by purchasing an American vehicle, a Toyota Tundra would be an option for you. A trailer that would be suitable for your large family will require a vehicle with a 7,000 lb. plus towing capacity, and ideally a 1,500 lb. plus payload capacity. If you choose a vehicle that meets or exceeds those two capacities, you will be in good shape.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:03 AM   #40
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Highlander Can't Do It Either

Hi Amy. I owned a Highlander too & I wouldn't tow anything with that vehicle either. A full-sized van is a great idea--you have room for all your kiddos & storage in the room left over.

Please consider a used trailer. There are some great deals on lightly-used rigs that would suit your family & someone else has taken the hit on the upfront depreciation. A trailer that's been lightly used for 2-3 years would be a great deal for you & your family. Just check the outside for damage (large amounts of caulk will be the give-away--don't ask me how I know that). Open cabinets & look for water damage. Check out web sites & You-Tube for videos on what to look for when buying used. Take your time--don't let anyone rush you. I read many blogs of folks who bought used. In fact, most people buy used. Something to think about...
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:16 PM   #41
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Highlander is not a tow vehicle because it has a passenger soft suspension. You need some stiffness to control things in all situations. If you are nervous about used, buy a new truck. There are some great zero percent deals out there now on the 2014 models. But do not fear buying a used trailer. If you get one just a few years old, unless it has been wrecked (you will know by looking) it will be little to go wrong. In fact it may be BETTER than getting a new one from a dealer. All the little niggley things have been taken back to the dealer. Plus you will probably get some improvements by the first owner -- like a second battery perhaps, or some canopy rugs or other stuff. Actually there is little to go wrong with trailer if it is working when you buy it. If you don't know how to check the function of the fridge, hw heaters, furnace and AC then get someone that knows RV's to go with you. Or when you find a unit, ask here for help.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:55 PM   #42
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Seriously, buy used, and used. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with a used anything. My tow vehicle is used, a 2004 and strong as a bull and was in perfect condition when we bought it last year. Look at it this way, right now we all have used vehicles and trailers. Why should you be any different?

I'm going to put some strong words here but you both need to get your priorities in shape. You are all over the place and making decisions emotionally and not logically. Get over yourselves and think right.

Sorry, I know that hurt but you need a strong reality check or someone will get hurt.
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