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  #11  
Old 04-11-2017, 09:03 AM
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Padgett Padgett is offline
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If concerned about reliability, Chrysler offers a "Maxcare Lifetime" service plan. This is a factory backed warranty, no third party involved, good at any Jeep-Chrysler-Ram dealer.

I have the $100 deductible option and the service plan expires at 999,999 miles or in 2099.
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2017, 09:15 AM
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Well just a suggestion but if confused about towing capacity, check the hitch receiver size with the factory towing package. a 1 1/4" is generally limited to 3500 lbs. A 2" is "more".

I have a 2" class III/IV receiver on mine so the limiting factor is not the hitch.
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2017, 08:17 PM
dombrows dombrows is offline
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Thank you, all. These additional posts have been very helpful. It seems that we should maybe add a Jeep Grand Cherokee (diesel?) to our list of vehicles to consider. I'm also now looking into the Highlander Hybrid (I didn't know they had a hybrid option). My dad owned a Highlander and said it was incredibly reliable... he's a meticulous researcher, so I know he got it for good reasons (although not the same reasons that I'm considering one).

We are debating on whether or not to sell the Prius to make this all happen. It definitely makes a lot of sense to just keep it and use it as our day-to-day car around town, but we have a small driveway and rather not have to store the second vehicle on it or the street (assuming the trailer fits into our garage, which might be an issue because our garage is not exactly standard). Selling the Prius would also give us more money to put towards the TV/trailer combo.

We're currently out of the country, but return in May and hope to be looking for TrailManor and TV options in both the Dallas and Denver areas then. Thank you... everyone's suggestions are very helpful!
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  #14  
Old 04-12-2017, 08:25 AM
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Padgett Padgett is offline
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If you can afford the upfront costs (and if available) then by all means a diesel is a good choice.

If not, the Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x2 with factory towing package (and the "E" group) has a much lower entry cost. The question is: "do you need a 4x4 ?" If not the 4x2 has better MPG, costs less, and is less complicated.
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  #15  
Old 04-13-2017, 06:09 AM
stormpeakco stormpeakco is offline
 
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Default In a nutshell, what a terrific review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
Let me suggest that you start from a different direction. MPG is important - but first you have to have enough vehicle to pull - and steer - and stop - your trailer.

So start with your trailer weight, meaning its weight when it is loaded up and ready to camp. Don't be fooled by the "dry weight" in the specs - your Trailmanor will probably weigh 3700-3800 pounds when it is set up and stocked for camping So you need to select a vehicle that can handle that much weight.

Every vehicle has a tow rating - the largest trailer weight it can handle. A few of our members tow with a vehicle rated at 3500 pounds and they say it works well. Most of us select a vehicle that is rated at 5000 pounds (or more), especially if we plan to tow in hilly country or mountains. Now you have a starting point.

Next step - take a close look at the tow rating specs for any vehicle. The manufacturers, especially of smaller vehicles, are usually a little coy about this number, but it is there. When you find the spec, it almost always says "Properly equipped." There is no standard definition for this phrase, but as you would expect, it means that the spec does not apply to the base vehicle - you need to equip it with some "stuff". The manufacturer often does not clearly define exactly what equipment is needed, but it commonly means a factory-installed trailer towing package. The towing package usually consists of an oversize transmission cooler in addition to the standard cooler, maybe an added engine oil cooler, and a beefed-up rear suspension. Sometimes it requires a certain engine, or a certain rear-end gearing ratio. It always requires a Class 3 or Class 4 hitch receiver and a 7-pin electrical connector and an electric brake controller. Since you are aiming at a small vehicle, you will also need a weight-distributing trailer hitch. The point is, you have to have this stuff, or the tow rating is meaningless. You can install most of it as aftermarket if you must, but factory is better if you can.

When you get to this point, you have shrunk the world of possible vehicles quite a bit. Now you can start thinking about MPG.

Bill
that is terrific review of the topic (margin of safety)!
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  #16  
Old 04-13-2017, 08:30 AM
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Great analysis but just a minor quibble: a good factory towing package (5,000 lbs or so) will include a class III or IV (at least 2") receiver but my '92 TranSport had the "factory towing package" that was rated at 3500 lbs and came with a class II (1 1/4") receiver so make sure.
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  #17  
Old 04-13-2017, 10:51 AM
gonzo628 gonzo628 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
Great analysis but just a minor quibble: a good factory towing package (5,000 lbs or so) will include a class III or IV (at least 2") receiver but my '92 TranSport had the "factory towing package" that was rated at 3500 lbs and came with a class II (1 1/4") receiver so make sure.
A Class 2 can do 3500lb, with a 1 1/4, but that is at the limits of it's stated capacity:

https://www.reese-hitches.com/learni...towing-classes
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  #18  
Old 04-13-2017, 12:07 PM
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Padgett Padgett is offline
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Thought I said that. Bottom line you want a factory towing package with a 2" receiver.

BTW one way to find out the capacity is to go to Uhaul.com and see if it will tow a tandem axle (think 6x12) enclosed cargo trailer.
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  #19  
Old 05-08-2017, 12:08 PM
Pele2048 Pele2048 is offline
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Everyone's suggesting SUVs and trucks...

If you're looking to go old school, the Buick Roadmaster wagon was available with a towing package that made it capable of pulling 5000 lbs.

It's lower and therefore on its own (unladen/not towing) should get good highway MPG where wind resistance is a factor.



Other than that, for fuel efficiency while towing, Diesel is the way to go.
I had a Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel that got 18-20 MPG towing or not. And I have a lead foot.

I never put it a full capacity, but it didn't seem to notice a 1500 lb tandem axle with 2500 lbs of car on it and another several hundred pounds of car parts in the bed.
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  #20  
Old 05-31-2017, 08:39 AM
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rickst29 rickst29 is offline
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Cool Notes WRT a 4Runner; and MEASURE your garage.

I have owned and towed my heavily-loaded 2619 with both the V8 and the V6.(Our V8 was rear-ended and totaled at a stop light, by a heavy van traveling at high speed. The van driver had a medical problem and slumped onto the gas pedal as he died.)

For the replacement, I did not and would not buy a V8 version again, because the mileage is almost 25% worse, and the performance is not much better for TM towing in Mountains. On steep grades, you can simply downshift the V6 by one gear, and let the RPMs rev up a little higher. The V6 makes more noise than the V8, but responds beatifully. (BTW, I live in the Sierra Mountain foothills, and exceed 10% going to and from my house.) With the V6, we average about 19 MPG; with the V8, we got around 15 MPG. Towing the TM gets about 17 MPG, but we typically drive a lot of highway miles in towing - along with a few miles of really drastic grades.

For safety and control, they're generally excellent - but be aware that they have some rollover risk if you take corners too fast. Slow down for switchbacks and turns, because the presence of the trailer (which "wants to go straight") increases that risk.

For a family, the back seats are pretty comfortable - which might not be true in other vehicles. But you get only two rows of seats, the rear is strictly storage space.

The only BIG problem with the 4R is the prices: Both new and used, everybody wants them, and you pay a BIG premium to acquire this vehicle.
- - - - -
For garage storage: Measure both your garage depth and the height at the open door, to assure that the top of the air conditioner won't hit the garage door or door frame top joist when backing it in or puling it out. Most garage doors can fit the TM, but some can't - and others need to have the lift motor adjusted to raise the door higher.
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TM='06 2619 w/5K axle, 15" Maxxis "E" tires, swing hitch, Solar Panels (330W) with 'Rogue' MPPT (max out 300w).
CR-1110 E-F/S fridge (compressor). and 24V auto-switching "TV-to-Trailer Power Option", using the MPPT.
TV= 2007 4Runner ("Sport" v6 w/XREAS, Prodigy, 'Robin' WDH, Dashboard Switch for 24V Trailer Power. ). Our TM Travels in the West:
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