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Old 10-19-2018, 10:43 PM   #1
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KZ or Apex or Winnebago???

I'm looking at a few factors maybe someone can give me some advice to help me choose my first rv


1)I read every brand has there issues and you probably will never find a 100% working rv during the first year?

2)Which brand is the most reputable that will hold true to there warranty??

3)I have a toyota highlander tow cap at 5000lb hooking up a blue ox distribution weight control, do i still have a sway bar???

4)Winniebago micro minnine is 4250 dry weight
Apex is 3800 dry weight
kz escape 3600 dry weight
Would the winnebago be too heavy for what I have to tow it?

5)winnebago and apex both have double axles
kz has single axles
I read online that double axles are safer as they don't get you sway at highway speed compared to single is this true??
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:33 AM   #2
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How are you going to use the trailer? Local state parks or travel 1,000's of miles? If 1000's of miles I think 4,000lbs should be your max weight. Your Highlander will know you are towing. MPG's will be cut in half.

Going to local parks you can tow more since it will be a different kind of towing. I was able to tow 5,000 lbs with a Honda Ridgeline locally just fine. With speeds up to 55 mph on back roads.

It was when on the highway trying to tow at 72mph that the Ridgeline did not have enough power and control over the 5,000lb trailer. Semi-Trucks passing would 1st push the rig to the right, then suck the rig to the right as it whizzed by. Lots of steering corrections was tiring.

But for 3 years I towed locally with the Ridgeline just fine. I traded the Ridgeline in on a F-150 which was a much better match for my 5,000lb trailer.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:46 AM   #3
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With the caveat that most highlander owners buy them because they have kids... The 5000lb tow rating on your highlander assumes no more weight in the highlander than a 150lb driver and a full tank of gas. You should really consider weighing your Highlander and then looking for a travel trailer. Hint: we have four kids, and a 5400lb travel trailer and a tow vehicle rated for 9000lbs. But once we put kids, car seats, bicycles etc, in the truck and hitch up the trailer, we’re within a hundred pounds or so of overloading our rear axle.

Also, don’t use dry weight to figure out how much a trailer weighs; use trailer GVWR. Dry weight is no battery, no propane tanks, and not so much as a paper napkin.
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:37 PM   #4
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Correction - semi trucks 1st pushed the Ridgeline and 5,000lb trailer to the right the sucked the rig to the left....not right again.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:01 PM   #5
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KZ or Apex or Winnebago???

You should download a few towing calculators from the “stickie” at the beginning of the Towing forum. Play around with them, learn the towing terms and your weights of both tow vehicle (TV) and your prospective travel trailer (TT). Paramount is learning that you cannot tow a TT that is the same weight as your so-called towing capacity. You will overload your TV payload rating and overload your rear axle. Plus, actual weight of your TT will be its “dry weight”, plus options, plus option packages, plus water and propane, plus all the cargo you put into it. For this reason, for smaller trailers it is best to work with its rated GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). Then, take about 12.5% of that load and that is what the tongue/hitch weight should be for stable towing. (Dry tongue weight is meaningless). Add that weight plus your weight-distributing reciever hitch (about 75-100 lbs), plus all the people and cargo weight onto your Highlander, and compare your total weights to your maximum allowables (GVWR, GAWR-front, GAWR-rear, GCWR). You will find that you can not even come close to a 4,000-4,500 lb “dry” TT.

As an example, I did this calculation for my family of 4 in my ‘06 Ford Explorer, which is body-on-frame which is better than unit-bodies like your Highlander and most midsize so-called SUVs out there today. Our Explorer has a 5,400 lb towing capacity but only a 1,262 lb payload capacity (yellow sticker on driver door jamb). What I found is that my trailer choice is limited to about 3,200-3,500 lbs “dry” due to that payload capacity and rear axle GAWR. Unfortunately, SUVs are heavy in the back due to that extra body work, interior, and glass and eat into the axle capacity. This is a common thread with SUVs, even large ones, and that is why trucks are generally better for towing. I am coming to the realization that I can tow only the smallest of TT, or teardrops, or popups and if I want larger then I am going to have to upgrade my TV. Best of luck to you and BE SAFE.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:38 PM   #6
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Just curious what is the occupant/cargo capacity of your Highlander. That will be a yellow sticker on the drivers side door jam.

My Honda Ridgeline was 1,505.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:23 PM   #7
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Thanks Everyone for the quick response!

Tuffr2- we are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 small children total weight for us is around 340lb plus another 200lbs for extra weight and tools I will be putting on my suv so total I would say 550lb approx.

Kz is a single axle and i'm planning on driving around the US in the spring time with my family as we live in Canada.

My payload for my highlander is 1280lb
TT - GVWR is 4000lb

Also i will be putting on a ox blue weight distribution, power tongue jack, and thinking of a sway control as well or is this even necessary?


Am I safe to say i'm around that ballpark?
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:39 PM   #8
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Sounds like you will pick the best WD sway control available. I know the Highlander used to come with a towing package. The package included a reinforced uni-body section, a wiring harness with an auxiliary transmission cooler.

Only one way to find out is to try it. If you get the WD dialed in I think you will be ok with a 4,000lb GVWR camper.

On YouTube there is a pleasant guy with a SUV 'Traveling Robert' that does a lot of travelling. He is fun to watch.

I just pulled up 'Travelling Robert' on YouTube...ugh. He now has a F-150 towing his little travel trailer.

It is still worth watching a few of his videos.
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Old 10-24-2018, 08:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Sounds like you will pick the best WD sway control available. I know the Highlander used to come with a towing package. The package included a reinforced uni-body section, a wiring harness with an auxiliary transmission cooler.

Only one way to find out is to try it. If you get the WD dialed in I think you will be ok with a 4,000lb GVWR camper.

On YouTube there is a pleasant guy with a SUV 'Traveling Robert' that does a lot of travelling. He is fun to watch.

I just pulled up 'Travelling Robert' on YouTube...ugh. He now has a F-150 towing his little travel trailer.

It is still worth watching a few of his videos.
Traveling Robert's - Kia SUV TV blew up in a previous episode. The F-150 is a rental. He eventually bought a Chevy Colorado - stated towing capacity 7000 lbs. He should be ok towing the Winni.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:29 AM   #10
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You state that the trailer GVWR is 4000lbs. The trailers you're considering have dry weights of 4250lbs, 3800lbs and 3600lbs. Throw out the Winnie, it's already over the 4k. That leaves you with either 200 or 400lbs of cargo carrying capacity. Dry weights typically don't include propane or battery, so now you have 100 - 300lbs cargo capacity. Something doesn't seem right here. A family of 4 loaded for a couple of weeks on the road will add several hundred lbs to the trailer for food, drinking water, soda, clothes, outdoor chairs, grill,etc.
Don't forget the weight of the Blue Ox hitch is 100+ lbs right on the tongue. I know because I have one, great hitch btw.
I bring these things up because I own a Highlander. Don't underestimate your weights. I've towed a 2000lb motorcycle trailer a few thousand miles with it. 14 mpg hwy. The Highlander also has pretty wimpy rear springs, squat can be a real issue. Be prepared to change transmission fluid at accelerated intervals, towing really works the tranny especially if encountering hills.
Load your car as if you are going to be traveling and weigh it. Get front axle, rear axle, total. Take 14% of the trailer's actual GVWR, add the weight of the hitch and consider that your tongue weight.
We all want to tow as much as possible, but white knuckling is no fun.
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:49 AM   #11
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Ive had several rv's. I had a KZ that was horrible. Fiberglass wall de-laminated everywhere. No, it had no leaks. They would de-laminate in spots in the middle of the wall not near a opening or the roof or a seam. On a sunny day/week, I'd drive in and see a new bubble had formed. I sold it to someone who looked at it close and knew it was doing that, just for the payoff. He said he didn't care. I will never have another KZ ever.


Yes they all have issues but nothing like this mess. Yes, I kept the caulking at all roof seams and windows and hatches new and fresh.
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Old 10-26-2018, 01:51 PM   #12
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The only Apex I would consider with a Highlander is a Apex Nano 185BH. It is 3800 max loaded weight a 2850 dry with a tongue weight empty of 350 pounds. I know the Highlander max tongue weight is 500 pounds.

I towed a 5x8 cargo trailer converted to gear hauler and bedroom for about 10 years with a Highlander. My loaded weight was under 1500 pounds. The Highlander did well but it was obvious I was towing when going uphill or looking at fuel consumption.

I bought a GMC 2500HD to tow my Arctic Fox 22G.
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