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  1. #1
    Left The Driveway
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    I knowwww. More questions about how to choose a tow vehicle.

    I’m going to jump out there & ask for some help. We have just a few days to purchase a new vehicle that will be our everyday auto, & our tow vehicle… we are clueless. We happen to hate trucks. We are SUV people, & it seems to be a hard process to know which one will handle our towing needs. All the years we have towed every sort & size of camper, I am afraid we were often an accident waiting to happen. It had to have been the Lord’s Grace that kept us from tearing up campers, tow vehicles, & hitch equipment. Not to mention the huge possibility of accidents affecting people on the road. We know now that there are many different issues to consider. I’ve read dozens of detailed explanations… only to hit a dead end.

    We not only want to choose an SUV that’s not so huge for the comfort issues. But we also would like to stay with a V-6 so we won’t have to purchase such expensive gas. I have access to the annual Trailer Life Towing Guides. I just know don’t know what “numbers” to apply to the list.

    We intend to get a weight-distribution hitch, sway bar, and whatever else necessary to get us on the road safely. Although being quoted $700 from one RV place to $850 from another, we almost croaked. Additional advice there is also needed! Do we really need that much budgeted?

    Here’s what we were told years ago… & what we followed. We were only shown the GVWR number on the side of the camper and told that we had to stay “close” to that number on the tow vehicle. However, not even that number was arbitrary. The other numbers like payload, hitch weight, tongue weight, etc., were never mentioned. To make it worse, there seems to be no industry standards on the names of the critical measures… so we do are lost again at how to calculate them into the big picture. I will write all we know about the 2021 2250 RK RV, and hope someone can point me to the right figures to choose a vehicle from the Towing Guides. To go with our new Imagine purchase, we intended to look for a Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, we were just told it can’t do the job. UGH.

    Any help you can offer, know we will heed what you say. I hope those who answer agree with one another. Ha haaaa. Any help you can give us will be appreciated. I hope you will say to just find a car that will tow 7,495 lbs. But I know it won’t be that easy. 😊

    This is our info:
    GD 2021 Imagine 2250RK We will be traveling – 2 adults+ sometimes a 16-yr-old grandchild.
    5546 lbs UVW1
    1949 lbs Payload Capacity
    515 lbs Hitch Weight
    7495 lbs GVWR
    1 Based on average weight of the standard build
    2 Hitch to rear

    Thanks,
    Angie

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    I knowwww. More questions about how to choose a tow vehicle.

    Really not sure what you are asking but I will give you some thoughts of mine

    Rear kitchen and rear living trailers imo tow poorly. Most of the weight is behind the axles. They require lots of tongue weight to compensate for this
    I would guess a proper tongue weight would be above 900 lbs
    The posted weight of 505 will be 640 sitting on the dealers lot btw

    Hitches are not cheap You could always buy your own and install it yourself but the prices being quoted are fairly reasonable for a “quality” hitch with installation

    As far as a tow vehicle if an SUV is the only way you will go is to buy a Tahoe/Yukon or Expedition. Or imported versions of Sequoia or Armada
    I wouldn’t worry about a v6. Do you really drive that much for it to make a difference?
    But of course these vehicles are not cheap
    For what I paid for my bare bones Sierra Crew cab and our VW Golf is less than one of the above vehicles

    But IMO and Cherokee type suv (pathfinder,4 runner) is not a good fit for the trailer you want


    Plus I am a bit confused
    Do you already own this trailer?

    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    Last edited by NB Canada; 05-25-2021 at 03:34 AM.
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

  3. #3
    Setting Up Camp
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    I had a new F150 and picked up a new Imagine trailer - about 32 ft as I recall. It had a equalizer hitch set up professionally. The truck had the small V8 (2019). I tell you this because...I immediately felt that the truck was not enough vehicle for this trailer and I was not at all comfortable. Went immediately to a F250 and was much more comfortable. I would advise you to bite the bullet and get a truck, put a topper on it if you must, it will look and seem like an SUV but will put you in a safe zone for towing. With a topper you will lower your cargo weight capacity, so look at numbers. JMO. (by the way, I would also recommend 4x4- better trade and when you need it there is no alternative).

  4. #4
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    I’ll offer an observation on your V6 preference. A V6 will only be strong enough to confidently tow the trailer weight you want if it’s turbocharged. Many (most?) V6 turbos will run higher compression ratios, requiring higher octane.
    Last edited by dkayak; 05-25-2021 at 07:11 AM.
    Dave and Cathy
    2017 Porsche Cayenne S
    2021 Imagine 17MKE

  5. #5
    Site Team Second Chance's Avatar
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    This is a handy place to plug in all your numbers and see the outcomes:

    http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml

    Some rules of thumb: loaded tongue weight on a travel trailer will be about 12 - 13% of the trailer's GVWR (published numbers are just for marketing). You'll need enough payload on your tow vehicle to handle the fully-loaded tongue weight of the trailer plus the weight of all passengers and gear in the TV and the hitch (a good WD hitch may weigh 100 lbs. or more). Until you get into the 1-ton truck class, most tow vehicles will hit their payload limit before they reach the max tow limit.

    Rob
    U.S. Army Retired
    Full-timed for 9 years in a Reflection 337RLS and Solitude 310GK-R

  6. #6
    Seasoned Camper zadiemay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASHLittle View Post

    We not only want to choose an SUV that’s not so huge for the comfort issues. But we also would like to stay with a V-6 so we won’t have to purchase such expensive gas. I have access to the annual Trailer Life Towing Guides. I just know don’t know what “numbers” to apply to the list.

    We intend to get a weight-distribution hitch, sway bar, and whatever else necessary to get us on the road safely. Although being quoted $700 from one RV place to $850 from another, we almost croaked. Additional advice there is also needed! Do we really need that much budgeted?

    I hope you will say to just find a car that will tow 7,495 lbs. But I know it won’t be that easy. ��

    This is our info:
    GD 2021 Imagine 2250RK We will be traveling – 2 adults+ sometimes a 16-yr-old grandchild.
    5546 lbs UVW1
    1949 lbs Payload Capacity
    515 lbs Hitch Weight
    7495 lbs GVWR
    1 Based on average weight of the standard build
    2 Hitch to rear

    Thanks,
    Angie
    Angie,
    Here is my experience - We wanted to get an RV & had no experience with towing a trailer. We had a Dodge Dakota & found a trailer that was 4k in weight - we should be able to tow way more than that, so we got it. It was 22' long. Hubby & I went on our first adventure. We were driving on non hilly roads. We went about 40 miles. With the Dakota it could tow it, but it was NOT comfortable to do so. The things that were issues - 1- couldn't see around the trailer (it was wider than the truck) 2-we got blown around on the road every time a truck would go by. We did that only a couple of times. We then got a Ram 1500 that would tow 10,200# trailer. It made the experience so much better! Hubby wasn't white knuckling it, we didn't get pushed around. We then thought (after having a trailer that had no slides) we needed a bigger trailer - one with slides so that when weather was really crappy we could actually move around without the other person moving to get by. So we got the GD 2970 a much bigger trailer, but still it was less than 9k in weight and figured we were golden with the 1500. We were NOT ok. We had the same problems we did when we had the smaller trailer with the Dakota. Blowing around on the road by everything that went by. Then after looking around on this forum we decided to go to the CAT scales and see. We were overloaded, not by a lot (only 400 lbs) on the rear axles. I talked my husband into getting the 2500, and he is SO MUCH happier now towing. YOU NEED a vehicle that EXCEEDS the tow weight and hitch(pin) weight. IMHO I feel that not ANY smaller SUV is going to be a good match for towing that trailer. If you must have a non-truck you could get a ¾ ton van.

    I saw recently a post on FB of a Porsche Cheyenne towing a trailer about the same as what you have/want? and it wrecked- I looked up the qualifications for the vehicle thinking it was overweight for the vehicle, but no, it looked like on paper it should have been ok - but You could see it was not a good fit for towing. (so they wrecked both! that is a lot of $ to throw away).

    If you are worried about getting bad mileage you just shouldn't tow.... you will not get good mileage. Get a daily driver & get a truck -(either used). It will be much safer and you will have a better camping experience getting to and from your camp sites & won't be stressed out on the road as much. I hope you don't have to join the 2x truck club...it gets expensive too...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zadiemay View Post
    Angie,
    I saw recently a post on FB of a Porsche Cheyenne towing a trailer about the same as what you have/want? and it wrecked- I looked up the qualifications for the vehicle thinking it was overweight for the vehicle, but no, it looked like on paper it should have been ok - but You could see it was not a good fit for towing. (so they wrecked both! that is a lot of $ to throw away).
    .
    Of course there’s no way to know why that Cayenne crashed. The Touareg-Q7-Cayenne platform is highly regarded and sought after specifically for its towing capability. Check out the airstream Forum and you’ll find a dedicated crowd using them very successfully. Having said that, I’d aim to be under 80% of any TV’s rated towing capacity, but that’s just my conservative approach as a “belt & suspenders” engineer. Your targeted trailer probably pushes you into a truck if you’re going to be similarly conservative. Good luck.
    Dave and Cathy
    2017 Porsche Cayenne S
    2021 Imagine 17MKE

  8. #8
    Left The Driveway
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCJones View Post
    I had a new F150 and picked up a new Imagine trailer - about 32 ft as I recall. It had a equalizer hitch set up professionally. The truck had the small V8 (2019). I tell you this because...I immediately felt that the truck was not enough vehicle for this trailer and I was not at all comfortable. Went immediately to a F250 and was much more comfortable. I would advise you to bite the bullet and get a truck, put a topper on it if you must, it will look and seem like an SUV but will put you in a safe zone for towing. With a topper you will lower your cargo weight capacity, so look at numbers. JMO. (by the way, I would also recommend 4x4- better trade and when you need it there is no alternative).
    FYI.... It's not all related to biting the bullet and spending more. But it certainly isn't because I want a certain "look.". We don't like the way a truck rides... Not comfortable. Nor do we like the way it drives. Just saying.'

    Thanks for the info... I need all the elements to make a decision. But wanted to clear up that one thing.

  9. #9
    Left The Driveway
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkayak View Post
    I’ll offer an observation on your V6 preference. A V6 will only be strong enough to confidently tow the trailer weight you want if it’s turbocharged. Many (most?) V6 turbos will run higher compression ratios, requiring higher octane.
    Wow. So the turbo 6's won't run on regular gas?
    Thanks for telling me that!!!

  10. #10
    Left The Driveway
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    Quote Originally Posted by NB Canada View Post
    Really not sure what you are asking but I will give you some thoughts of mine

    Rear kitchen and rear living trailers imo tow poorly. Most of the weight is behind the axles. They require lots of tongue weight to compensate for this
    I would guess a proper tongue weight would be above 900 lbs
    The posted weight of 505 will be 640 sitting on the dealers lot btw

    Hitches are not cheap You could always buy your own and install it yourself but the prices being quoted are fairly reasonable for a “quality” hitch with installation

    As far as a tow vehicle if an SUV is the only way you will go is to buy a Tahoe/Yukon or Expedition. Or imported versions of Sequoia or Armada
    I wouldn’t worry about a v6. Do you really drive that much for it to make a difference?
    But of course these vehicles are not cheap
    For what I paid for my bare bones Sierra Crew cab and our VW Golf is less than one of the above vehicles

    But IMO and Cherokee type suv (pathfinder,4 runner) is not a good fit for the trailer you want


    Plus I am a bit confused
    Do you already own this trailer?

    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    NB... THANK YOU. Geezzz, I've never heard anyone say that about a rear kitchen! More education for me. I absolutely LOVE the RK. Probably an obvious conclusion to make, but do we need to pack the front bedroom heavier than the we normally would to offset the rear wt?

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