Quite frankly, google maps/navigation makes all these in-dash nav systems look like amateurs. Probably the most up to date source for POI's, construction, new roadways, and traffic data. The issue becomes even more apparent if you live in an area experiencing tremendous growth like I do.
Another newbie here. My TV is a 2014 Acadia that I installed the factory towing package on that gives it a max towing capacity of 5,200 lbs. My camper is a 2001 19' Aerolite Cub Hybrid that is around 3,000 lbs. I can tell you that GM may say I can tow another 2,000 lbs. but I seriously doubt the 'car' could do it.
My question is why is wind drag rarely discussed? There has to be a huge difference between towing a 3,000 lb 10' high camper behind the car vs a flat trailer with 3,000 lbs of cinder blocks. I'm not talking about cross winds and stability just straight road towing at 60 MPH. How much more 'weight' does the TV experience due to the wind drag of the camper that is almost 3' higher than the car?
It's called frontal area, and it is discussed, but typically only in towing guides that most people ignore. Ford specifically has ratings listed for each model. I'd think other manufacturers have something similar.Ford Towing Guide PDFs
But you've hit the nail on the head, typically RV's are the most difficult type of trailer to pull because of frontal area, and special consideration should be taken to ensure the TV is sufficient to tow the TT.
First off, I'm a newbie here and something of a newbie at RVing so apologies in advance for any transgressions.
A brief history: We started with a used 2004 Caravan Micro-Lite and a 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. We were told by the RV dealer that the Pathfinder was ok for the trailer but being totally ignorant discovered only later that this was totally not true. We did manage a few trips within 30 minutes or so using an Equalizer hitch but it was nervous at best. We later bought a 2010 Pathfinder and life became easier with 4 hour trips to the Gulf over flatland not too much of an issue.
We sold the Caravan a couple of years ago but my wife is selling the business and retiring soon and so recently bought a "used" 27' 2015 Jayco Whitehawk. The trailer had been new and then traded almost immediately for a motorhome. It had been titled for just three weeks and included upgrades and even a $500 cover that was still in the box unused. It was a deal we just couldn't pass up saving about 10 grand off of new. Again we were assured by the dealer that our current Pathfinder was up to the job. We've taken one trip to the Gulf and although there were no incidents, other than someone stealing the hitch pin causing some big time drama, it was obvious the Pathfinder was close to it's limit and we needed something better.
We very recently began looking at a 2012 Tahoe LTZ which we were told by the dealer had a rating of 8500lbs. I'd seen reviews etc. which gave conflicting rating fro, 5500 to 8500lbs but figured the guy knew what he was talking about. I discovered there is an HD Trailering Package option which does give the Tahoe an 8500lbs rating. I asked the salesman specifically about this and he told me the HD package was standard on the LTZ. I discovered last night it is NOT. On this particular vehicle it may or may not have been purchased at as an option but I'm waiting to see the build sheet to confirm or deny. We were down to the last bits of price negotiation and I may well have dodged a serious bullet. Lesson learned.
My question to y'all is some advise on what we should be looking at. There will just be the two of us and our Border Collie. We want to be able to take the trailer anywhere in the country without hesitation. It's suitability to the trailer is paramount. Our dog is sweet as the come but being a BC she runs back and forth in the way back trying to organize the passing cars. Consequently we're not too keen on a crew cab truck with the dog right behind us and would much prefer an SUV. I'd like not to have to go with something as big as a Suburban as our trips will be only occasional in the near future but we may end up going full time at some point.
I've had great luck with forums in the past giving access to good folks with much knowledge and experience. I'm hoping y'all might offer some suggestion that I can create a short list out of.
Thanks in advance.
The majority of salesmen will tell you what they think you want to hear to close the deal. To be fair, many don't have an understanding of towing requirements and towing equipment, or the implications of towing with an inadequate towing vehicle. They are salesman, and dealerships aren't in the habit of employing a 'trailer towing expert' to ensure that every vehicle sold is appropriate for the intended use.
This is where 'caveat emptor' comes into play.
With the little I know of your trailer, I'd not consider the Tahoe, and go directly to the Suburban or Expedition.
It is our provincial licensing body Manitoba Public Insurance that is the issue. Not a HOA.
The truck has a GVWR of 11000 lbs. That places it locally in the same licensing category of highway tractor trailers.
Current requirements beyond normal vehicle licensing:
- Yearly government inspections.
- Need to carry special fire extinguisher, flares, road markers, etc. (not a bad idea)
- special insurance categories with additional insurance riders and policies to travel out of province.
- Special plates, more regulations coming this fall.
- yearly government medical exams at owners cost.
All this just to tow a travel trailer a few times per year...
Do they also come into your bedroom at night and give you play by play tips on how to keep the wife happy? good grief.
Researching tow vehicle for first camper. Likely 3/4 ton longbed and 6.5-7k lb camper. We need good off road Performance for interests aside from camping so I researched this and talked with folks. Many had jacked up trucks with 37's and such.
But still, report good towing performance based on their feedback. I won't go to that extreme, but splitting middle of two vantage points if you will. Many say stock tires, and if you use off road tire or a lift kit, you will die. Which is ridiculous. The folks saying that are folks that have never towed with a lifted truck and bigger tires in my opinion.
Then again, I don't believe all that the young bucks propose either, jacked up 4-8" trucks with huge nobbies. They as a whole are buying this stuff for looks. I'm trying to factor in all opinions. That has me wanting custom wheels for wider rims, not just looks, to support 35x12.5x18 Cooper ST MAXX tires. Very good tow ratings on this tire as I can tell, but I'm new to this so research for yourself. Would value any feedback. Specs are on Cooper site.
A 2-4" suspension lift kit, and more commonly just a leveling kit is required to prevent any rubbing at full turn. I'm comfortable with either, but won't go beyond that due to possible handling issues, excessive raising of truck center of gravity, steering stabilizers often needed, compensatory stuff. But a mild suspension high quality lift or basic leveling kit with 35's I am feeling good about. This is based on a 3/4 ton truck. What's needed for clearance varies by make/model. Some get by with heavy duty front suspension or snow plow prep options.
The folks using ST MAXX I heard from are getting 40-50k per set, report low road noise, and good handling solo or towing. And great offroad performance of course, which is what motivates this compromise. I conceed it won't tow as well as a stock truck with highway tires. I just feel the degree to which this impacts towing is vastly overstated here, and elsewhere. We all have different needs, and highway tires won't be adequate for some of my interest.
18x9 or 18x10 wheels will avoid the marshmallo effect that many get when stuffing big tires on factory rims. This is a safety issue and would adversely effect towing performance in my opinion. I have no first hand knowledge and this could be a costly experiment. But I think that's unlikely. I'm willing to give the 35x12.5x18 a chance.
Would appreciate any feedback from folks actually towing with lifted trucks with bigger tires. I've read all the criticisms from folks about this from folks that only use stock ride height and tire sizes. If you have not towed with a lifted truck with bigger tires, you can't answer my question. Doesn't mean I don't appreciate and factor in that vantage point. But I'm in need of input from people actually towing with my intended lift and tire combo.
The fact is, features that make a vehicle superior off-road directly fly in the face of features that make a vehicle an ideal stable towing vehicle on-road.
I think the trick is, as you are doing, consider your modifications carefully.
This coming from someone who had an (old) truck lifted 6", on Super Swamper tires, front and rear locked differentials, and no swaybars front or rear. Yes I would drive it on the street, but towing even a small trailer (all I ever did) with it was not a relaxing experience. Mine was not done for looks, but strictly for aggressive off-road driving.
As you say, if you measured a stock truck, vs. a lifted truck with taller tires, there aren't many (any?) on-road performance tests that the modified truck will improve upon the stock vehicle. I don't feel comfortable recommending you reduce the handling/stability of a tow vehicle, only you can determine your acceptable comfort level.
the vast majority of the motoring public will always lose money on vehicles. So I wouldn't worry about the retail value of the vehicle vs routine maintenance expenses. And I'd consider these routine maintenance expenses @ 165K miles.
There are also typically expenses with car swapping, (sales tax, title fees, registration, etc.) that only benefit the government, so something else to keep in mind.
my sorta 'near miss' wasn't while towing my RV, but rather while I was pulling a car on a car hauler. The car was too far back on the trailer, creating insufficient tongue weight, and made the trailer a little squirly.
After pulling the car forward about two feet on the trailer, the trip from Houston to Chicago and back was completely uneventful. Lesson learned.
My wife and I are gonna get back into owning a Travel Trailer and I am unsure of which would make a better tow vehicle. Either a mid 2000's Suburban 1500 or a Expedition. I would like to find a trailer in the 7500 pound area... but that is just a reference. I still have my Prodigy brake controller(and would be easy to wire in either vehicle).
Which would you go with if it was you? I think the Suburban is longer which would help tow a longer trailer right?But, I think an expedition for last longer... I would say the towing capacity of each is very similar(I cant find a tow rating guide). I dont want a debate of GM vs Ford... just trying to see what you use to tow with and what you tow...
Years ago we had a 97 Expedition with a Jayco 29FBS TT with a Reese hitch and my Prodigy controller and it worked good, just think that a bigger truck would be needed if I was to tow in the mountains or big hills... I know that a newer truck would tow better, at least I think?
I'd find whatever year Expedition that Ford changed the heads so the spark plugs will come out in one piece, and shop for those. I think it was 2008..
Our setup is in the signature. I've got the less powerful version of the 4.6 V8, but with about 15K miles of towing the RV, I've never experienced a white-knuckle tail-wagging-dog experience. It's done everything I've asked of it, including towing thru the Ozarks and to the East coast without a single issue. I see similar fuel economy, and also wish the tank was larger.
Bottom line, I'm very pleased with our Explorer coupled to our 19ft (23ft overall) camper.
Know the feeling and issue. Was doing the D when I started muderating this forum.......now look at me, still broke, kids are out of college, 2008/1929 crash broke me worst than the D did......
I'm still here, just with a different RV......
Need to head to be, long day at work tomorrow....
Sorry Marty, but I got a good chuckle out of that!
I just remembered my wife's 2013 Explorer has the same problem. I called a local dealer and they said it is covered under the corrosion warranty based on how I described the bubbling. If the corrosion is the result of rock chips, it's not covered but this problem is under the paint. A magnet will tell you it's a steel hood.
I'm surprised, the hood on my 2002 explorer is aluminum, and I believe the fenders are as well.
No corrosion on my hood.
You mean no trouble? I tow over 9k and have no trouble maintaining 65mph up hill and bucking winds.
They have hills in Texas? Come on out to Oregon. I think my driveway is steeper than the hills in Texas. :)
Hills ... what stinking hills in Texas & Oregon.... DW & I pull our little 5er up, over & around a few little hills out here in the Rockies of Southern Colorado with our little Ecoboost and it doesn't flinch a bit.
May not be the Tetons or the Rockies, but I spent a week hiking/camping the Davis Mountains, and at >8,000ft above sea level I respect them. You can look down on the mile high city from up there :B
19 foot campers have a way of growing to 23 feet and then to even 27 feet. I would not buy something that is the minimum for what you need. The new Ford expedition is an impressive vehicle.
I couldn't have said it better than this previous poster did.
Our first trailer was a 23' lite that we towed with an Explorer - trailer lbs. we're within Ford's specs. But that Explorer worked really hard all the time. It wore out. We TT'd up to our present 27' and towed it for 10 years with well-maintained '03 Ford F-150...1/2 ton with 5.4 L V-8. Trailer was well within lbs. specs for that truck. A great truck but pulling those miles wore it out. Upgraded to the 3/4 ton diesel listed below. This trailer is way below this trucks's pay grade, but what a dream for towing compared to everything else I've been blessed to tow with.
For what it's worth, my advice: (1) buy a tow vehicle substantial enough to tow the trailer you really want...once you get into TT camping you will eventually look to upgrade to something longer and ultimately heavier. (2) When towing ALWAYS have the trailer tow button pushed in so the transmission is in tow mode.
This must be a very personal thing. We bought our camper new in 07, and still don't have plans to upgrade, and we've added two kids and a small dog to our family since we purchased. When we upgrade TV's in the future, it will be with a larger TT in mind, but I'm really glad I didn't buy a 50K dollar 1 ton 8 years ago, by the time we upgrade trailers, it'd be worn out and ready for replacement.
Ford explorer with the tow package. I towed around 4000lbs and loaded full .i even had bikes on the roof of the explorer. It squat maybe an inch. 2 yrs later it was retired when we got a 31 foot TT.it just hit 90k and still runs like new.original front brakes even after all the towing. I usually need a new set 40k. Mjne is pre ecoboost.I know someone who is from mass but retired and live in Florida who tow there hybrid in the summer to visit friends .
Glad to see someone else experience the same success we have experienced with our explorer. At 95K I finally did the brakes all the way around, and they could have gone another 10K easily. And that is with >20K towing miles.
The one with 2.7 EcoBoost has 8,500 pound for towing and 2,250 pounds for payload. More than what I need since my TT has GVWR of 7650 pounds and about 800 pounds of tongue weight. That leaves 1,450 pounds for passengers, bicycles, etc.
Not really, you'll be hard pressed to find a truck with the listed max brochure payload of 2,250. The payload will be more like 1,200 to 1,800. XL and XLT models will be nearer the 1,800 # and the Lariat/platinum/etc. models will be nearer the lower number.
Technology does some pretty amazing things. An easy comparison is top-of-the-line computer from 6 years ago simply pales against a mid-level unit from today.
Wow never knew they had a speed limiter :@ knew about the rev limiter but not a speed limiter. Is this a fed mandate? I know my 2015 does not have a speed limiter and can go over 100 mph. Wounder if this is a GM thing?
GM's had a speed limiter @ 98 or 99 MPH since the 1999 models. Ford seems to set theirs at 107, as on my truck. The Infiniti doesn't have a limiter and I assume it's drag limited north of 140+
if you give it throttle while starting will it run? Mom's mountaineer wouldn't idle when the Idle Air Bypass went bad, but ran fine as long as you were giving it gas. After replacing, it idled fine, no codes before or after though.
What year and miles on the Expy? The Expedition has had the 5.4 from 1997 through 2014 Model year.
Usually a shaft breaks when the wheel is spinning and comes to a sudden stop. Only times I've seen it were in an accident or offroading. I've seen trailer bearing burn up...but never on a vehicle.
If you want to believe that $1700 gets you shocks, springs, wheels, e rated tires AND a thicker frame, better cooling system, a hd transmission and a beefed up axle shaft designed in area 51 using alien intelligence, more power to you.
I only disagree with your position that the 7 lug axle existed for marketing only. Marketing doesn't get to spec parts on a truck, it's simply a NPD/R&D/Engineering role. I agree with the fact that the 9.75 axle is a tough lil bugger, and Ford (nor any other manufacturer) is suffering from more than a very rare axle failure. And some of these trucks get extremely overloaded and still don't experience failures.
A little history may help:
97-99 Light Duty F-250 (which became the 00-03 7700 F-150, which then became the HD payload pkg w/8,200 GVWR) the 10.25 7-lug Sterling axle came standard. In 2005, the 9.75 axle was rated at 4200 lbs., the 10.25 was rated at 5300 lbs. In 2009, the 10.25 axle was dropped and the 9.75 axle became the standard, albeit with 7 lugs for the HD package. After discontinuing the 10.25 axle, Ford spec'd a 9.75 axle with 7 lugs, rather than fitting the 6-lug 9.75 axle they already had off the shelf. I doubt this was to sell trucks, for an option that had less than a 1% 'take' rate. Just simply wouldn't pay for itself with those extremely low production numbers.
I saw this one on the road and took the picture when they pulled into WalMart. I found out later than had towed it a little over 200 miles in this condition. You can't see it in this picture, but there was no WDH.
Just put it on the bumper, that 2" ball should do'er. :S