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 > favorite tow vehicle for small trailer??

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bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 10/19/20 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Toyota 4Runner or Toyota TAcoma.
The 4Runner is a very dependable suv and delivers good fuel mileage. Both can be had new with some shopping.

albireo13

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Posted: 10/19/20 01:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would consider a lightly used car, maybe 1yr old.
My pilot has 242K miles on it and is running like a top.
It has no tow package and I am reluctant to invest in it to bring it
up to towing snuff. Originally, my plan was to go to 300K miles
before looking for a car. However, recent close calls due to
the blind spots has me rethinking that. Also, I really like the
safety features on new cars.


just me

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IL

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Posted: 10/19/20 02:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bgum wrote:

Toyota 4Runner or Toyota TAcoma.
The 4Runner is a very dependable suv and delivers good fuel mileage. Both can be had new with some shopping.


The 4Runner delivers less than mediocre fuel mileage but will be more torquey than the highlander or the passport.

OP, maybe check out a couple year old Ford Explorer sport with the 3.5 eco boost? This all assumes you want an SUV and not a pickup.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 10/19/20 02:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bgum wrote:

Toyota 4Runner or Toyota TAcoma.
The 4Runner is a very dependable suv and delivers good fuel mileage. Both can be had new with some shopping.


Aren't they basically the same vehicle. 1 with a bed, 1 SUV?


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Geo*Boy

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Posted: 10/19/20 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bob, I would stay away from any vehicle with a CVT for towing. The Toyota 4 Runner is rear wheel drive with a 4 liter V6 engine, but the mileage is under 20 mpg. The Highlander has an 8 speed real automatic transmission, is front wheel drive and gets decent fuel mileage when not towing. Both Toyota’s can be had, with aggressive negotiation for your $35k price cap.
I had a 2013 Honda Pilot, got terrible fuel mileage, the multi cylinder engine system was terrible. I couldn’t stand it and took a loss after only 5 months of ownership.

bgum

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Posted: 10/19/20 03:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why buy used when you can buy new and have at least a 3 year warranty? For $35000 you can buy a very good new TV/daily driver.

* This post was edited 10/19/20 04:02pm by bgum *

Desert Captain

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Posted: 10/19/20 06:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Methinks the OP is overlooking the obvious choice... The Honda Ridgeline will do everything he seeks and do it better than just about any other mid sized truck. I bought my 2019 Ridgeline a year and 15K miles ago and could not be more pleased.

I typically tow my 6 X 10" {8' high} cargo trailer loaded to around 2,600# with the Ridgeline and it is awesome. When you are not towing you are basically driving a a Honda Accord. My RL gets 20 - 23 mpg around town/24 on the highway and 15-16 towing. Bought it for $39 OTD with lots of bells and whistles {figure around $4K of that was in taxes and registration}.

For the record the Ridgeline was the Car and Driver mid sized truck of the year for 2017, 2018 and 2019... not sure about 2020 but the 2021 looks like it has been upgraded nicely as well. A lightly used, low mileage 17 - 19 would be a good choice as well.

The bed is the largest in class, it accepts 4 X 8' sheets of plywood stacked as high as you like and beneath it there lies a 8.5 cubic foot trunk. Seriously, take a look at the Ridgeline's out there 2017 - 2021, you will be hard pressed to do better.


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rexlion

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Posted: 10/19/20 07:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I put 140,000 towing miles (out of 185k) on a 2008 Highlander. Mostly a cargo trailer about 3000 lbs and 6’ wide, but on vacation I towed a 7’ wide, 2700 lb travel trailer. Mostly drove about 60-62 mph when towing. On long, steep grades I took it easy and slowed to maybe 35-45 mph. Good ride, good handling, good brakes. If my wife hadn’t despised the seat, I would still own it.

With a 500 lb hitch weight you’ll never have to give much thought to how heavy your trailer tongue is; when loaded for camping and with battery & full LP tanks, even a small, light trailer can be pretty nose-heavy. I’ve known 17’ front bath Casitas to have 550 lb tongue weight. With only a 350 lb hitch weight limit, you’ll be checking it with a bathroom scale on every trip. (The notable exception is the 16’ Scamp which is actually a challenge to load the tongue to more than 250 lbs or so.)

Do the newer Pilots still get lousy mileage? I’ve never looked. They and the Ridgelines would do the job, though. So will the Highlander. Turbocharged engines will let you charge up the grades at full speed and with less engine noise, but they’re not absolutely necessary... and you still have to slow down on the curves and when descending.


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. --Benjamin Franklin
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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 10/19/20 09:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stick with a Honda.

I doubt that those CUV/SUV have electric brake controllers. I also doubt that any of those small trailers come with electric brakes.

You really want electric brakes !

rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 10/20/20 04:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

Stick with a Honda.

I doubt that those CUV/SUV have electric brake controllers. I also doubt that any of those small trailers come with electric brakes.

You really want electric brakes !
+1, I wouldn't want to be without trailer brakes. They are so valuable when descending grades, slowing or stopping for the crazy and unexpected thing that just happened on the road ahead. And if the trailer were ever to begin oscillating (dangerous sway, usually due to insufficient hitch weight), activating just the trailer brakes via the controller's slider may be what's needed to straighten the trailer out again. Definitely choose a trailer that is equipped with brakes.

A few of the new SUV models have gotten difficult to wire for a brake controller due to all the new electronics (I've read that Ford Escapes have given some people fits). For these, it might be easiest to use one of the new Prodigy RF radio wave transmitting brake controllers.

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