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New to RVing and looking at purchasing a new suv to flat tow.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

We have the towing guide list but are also looking for recommendations or warnings on what tow not to tow.

thanks

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Jeep Grand Cherokee!  Built to be towed by the factory.  Comfy, 4WD, 1 touch to tow, 1 touch to drive.  The Cherokee has some issues but if you want a cheaper car it's OK as well but needs a special wiring harness.  If you want a used car, the 2012 Jeep Liberty is an awesome towed (the one I have) and requires nothing special.

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 You have already narrowed the search to SUV's.  Are you thinking 4WD or do you have another reason to specify SUV?  Do you want a 4/5 passenger vehicle or would you prefer a 6/7 seat SUV?  Do you plan to haul any equipment in or on your SUV? 

We tow an SUV that meets our needs but may not be exactly what you would want.  Ours has 7 seats, a 2" receiver and roof racks.  All things that I wanted.  I would have preferred a 4WD but we don't use it that often so it is front wheel drive.  With most toads (towed vehicles) there are things that you have to do to tow the vehicle.  Permanent things like hitch connections and supplementary brakes are a given.  We have to pull a couple of fuses. and run the engine for a short time periodically to circulate the transmission fluid.  Our vehicle also has a 65 MPH speed limit when being towed so I have to keep our speed below that while towing.

I suggest you continue to narrow your search by considering what else you want in a vehicle and then ask about recommendations on a specific list of vehicles.   

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1 hour ago, T1herman said:

New to RVing and looking at purchasing a new suv to flat tow. Does anyone have any recommendations? We have the towing guide list but are also looking for recommendations or warnings on what tow not to tow.

thanks

I think it would be better if you decide which of the ones in the guide fit your needs. Then ask if someone has experience with that one. What I like may not match up with what you like. I like the Honda CR-V but 2014 was the last year you could tow one.:angry:

Bill

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Another vote for the CRV.  Light, reliable, seats four, fold down rear seats, good economy, FWD or AWD, etc.  We are on CRV number two.

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37 minutes ago, hermanmullins said:

Five, didn't I res d somewhere that the current CRVs are not towable 4 down?

Herman 

Just like I posted above. 2014 is the last year you can tow a CR-V.

Bill

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Bill is correct.  In Nov 14, we went to Honda to get a 15 CRV, that's when we found out they now use a CVT transmission and they can't be towed four down.  I sent Honda a snail mail letter with a copy of Motor Home magazine's article saying the CRV was the favorite tow vehicle for MH drivers.  Got a letter back and a number to call.  I called the number but the guy didn't really seen too concerned....we ended up with a 14 CRV.

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I keep advocating for a "towable option package" Where you could special order one with a towable transmission and base plate, lights ready to tow.B)

Bill

 

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I just completed going thru this.  We traded in our 2012 Jeep Wrangler and went with a 2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport.  I did a bunch of research on the internet.  The best guide I found was from the FMCA January 2017 magazine. https://www.fmcmagazine.com/back-issues/244-2017-back-issues/january-2017/4270-the-2017-towing-lineup.html 

I also recommend that you check the owners manual for the vehicle you choose.  Most of them are available online or when you are at the dealership, make them get the manual and show you.  The manual in my case had the same information as the FMCA article.

The other research I just finished that might help you was which braking system for the towed vehicle.  We have a Blue Ox tow bar on the RV and had a Unifed Tow Brake system on the Jeep.  I wanted to replace the Unified system because this was its 3rd vehicle and from what I found the company is out of business and parts are limited.  Since we will be towing either the 2017 Explorer or a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited I decided to go with a RVibrake3 system over a permanently installed system.  Now I just need to do the brake light wiring (installing diodes).  I found a plug & play system for the Jeep (Hopkins 56200), but for the Explorer it looks there isn't a plug & play model available so cutting the wiring will be necessary and I have to install the Blue Ox base plate. 

 

 

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When I setup my (new then) CR-V  I ran a separate wiring harness for the lights. I had them install led lights so I was not in the stock wiring system. I had concerns about warranty issues. This way I was not tied into any part of the system. Look at the Blue Ox web site.

Bill

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Thanks for the post. We have studied the FMCA guide and consumer reports, not much out there if you want reliability too. We like the Jeep Grand Cherokee but it has a lousy score. We want 7 passenger as well which kind of leaves a GMC Arcadia, Buick Enclave and the Ford Explorer. The Ford is rated low but the Buick and GMC have good ratings. The Lincoln MKX isn't too bad with rating but with 5 seats. We want to use the car as a main vehicle as well so we want reliability.

Another question the tow rating is 5000 lbs all of the cars we have looked at are 6000lbs. Any comments?

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1 hour ago, T1herman said:

Another question the tow rating is 5000 lbs all of the cars we have looked at are 6000lbs. Any comments?

Yes either find something that will tow more or find something lighter to tow.:D

Sometimes you have to make compromises.

Bill

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I don't know anything about score card.  I do know that if you want a big SUV, you need a DP!  So, as Bill wrote, you got a big choice to make.  That only you can answer!  I guess the cheapest way to go, is leave the SUV at home and get a light weight for a tow! 

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T1herman --

It would be helpful if you would develop your forum "signature block" and share the type of motorhome you have.  With this info I've found the forum can respond much more effectively to questions asked. 

I presume from your note above that your motorhome has a tow rating of 5,000 lbs.  To protect the transmission, the towing "rule of thumb" I learned from others is not to exceed 90% of the tow rating.  Thus for a 5,000 lbs. tow rating, the tow vehicle rate should be <4,500 pounds.   I have the same 5,000 lbs. tow rating for my motorhome thus I purchased a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with the Sahara trim package.  The four door Wrangler Unlimited Sahara has a curb weight of ~4,100 lbs. (which includes a full tank of gasoline).   The Wrangler comfortably holds four adults and has a surprising amount of space for "stuff".   The Wrangler is very versatile and fun to drive for city and especially off-road adventures.   Towing the Wrangler has been trouble free.  I have to check the rear view camera to see if the Jeep is still behind me as I can't "feel it" when I drive the motorhome.

You may have difficulty finding a seven passenger SUV that has a curb weight <4,500 lbs.  I know Carl, Bill and other motorhome owners with much, much more experience than I have can provide guidance on the size (weight) of tow vehicle versus motorhome tow rating and if exceeding the tow rating is acceptable.  I like to play on the safe side and thus I followed the <90% of tow rating "rule of thumb" when I looked for a tow vehicle.  Hope this helps!

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T1herman,

In my way of thinking your best bet would be either a Tahoe, Yukon, Suburban or a Yukon LX. You would need one with a middle bench and a third row bench seat. Each of these will hold up to 8 people comfortably.Two in the front and 3 each on the 2nd and 3rd row seats.

Might I suggest that you look of a pre-owned unit with four wheel drive. You may never use the four wheel drive to drive but they can all be put into neutral and towed 4 down.

Herman

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Herman --

T1heman's Holiday Rambler Vacationer has a max tow rating of 5,000 lbs. --> http://www.holidayrambler.com/resources/media/user/1487166921_brc_pdf.pdf 

While your Tahoe/Yukon suggestions are great for accommodating 7+ passengers, the curb weight of Tahoes/Yukons per this year FMCA Towing Guide is 5,600+ lbs. which exceeds the Vacationer's tow rating.   I wouldn't think you'd recommend exceeding the tow rating of the Vacationer.   The Chevrolet Traverse / GMC Acadia / Buick Enclave all have curb weights of 4,700 - 4,900 lbs. which is near the max towing weight of the Vacationer and can be flat towed.

T1herman --

The FMCA Towing Guide is a very useful reference to help select a tow vehicle that is not too heavy for your Vacationer  ->  https://www.fmca.com/images/stories/pdf/towing_2017.pdf    There are very few 7+ passenger vehicles that with a curb weight < 5,000 lbs.

My oldest son has a GMC Acadia for his family which includes three children all under the age of 5, the youngest being two weeks old !!   For everyday family use, his Acadia with three row seating is not practical.  It's tough to get a child into a car seat in the third row and there is limited cargo space with the third row in the "sitting" position.  My son is now considering a Tahoe/Yukon to provide the extra everyday space his family needs.

To meet your flat-towing / 7 passenger capacity needs, the Chevy Tahoe / GMC Acadia / Buick Enclave may be the only choice to be within (barely) the max tow rating of your Vacationer.

If you'd consider using a tow dolly, the vehicle selection options expand to include a Nissan Pathfinder (very nice), Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot, and Hyundai Santa Fe.  These front-drive vehicles have a curb weight of 4200-4200 lbs. which when combined with a 500 lbs. tow dolly would be within your Vacationer's max tow rating.

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On 5/30/2017 at 2:03 PM, hermanmullins said:

Might I suggest that you look of a pre-owned unit with four wheel drive. You may never use the four wheel drive to drive but they can all be put into neutral and towed 4 down.

Certainly not ALL 4 wheel drive cars can be towed 4 wheels down but with the correct setup, many can be.

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Well, you could rent a car, or buy one of the models Herman suggested and one of you drive it while the other drives the coach...a lot of folks do that.

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Carl, Bill, Herman --

What is your guidance for tow vehicle curb weight?  Should the vehicle curb weight be less than a motohome's tow rating?  And if so, by how much?  The teaching I received a few years ago when I owned a travel trailer was to assure the weight of the fully loaded travel trailer was no more than 90% of my Silverado's tow rating.

Mike

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Two things to remember do not exceed the GVWR of your coach or rating of your receiver hitch.

Have not heard of the 90% suggestion but it would be a good rule of thumb to go by. Always good to have a safety margin. 

Herman 

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To clarify:

Tongue weight (weight on the coach) is applied to GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) as well as GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating).

Toad weight (carried on the toad's 4 wheels is applied to GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating).

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On 5/25/2017 at 4:14 PM, T1herman said:

New to RVing and looking at purchasing a new suv to flat tow.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

We have the towing guide list but are also looking for recommendations or warnings on what tow not to tow.

thanks

Hi T1,

Our recommendation would be the 2017 Subaru Forester, manual transmission. We have owned four Forester's ( this is our 2nd toad one). The last tow car was a 2006 Forester.

The 2017 is not on any tow car list, however the 2016 is.  More on that later. The Forester is always rated number one (the last five or six years, safety, reliability, i.e.). 3,200 lbs.

plenty of room for your stuff, your dog (part of the culture) and we get 31 to 32 mpg. all day long. The owners manual and Subaru itself ( have a e-mail from them) says nothing about NOT being able to flat tow these cars. The manual tranny cars get a little less m.p.g. than their automatic's, so we believe ( there are five of us with Foresters) that Subaru doesn't want to promote a car that gets less m.p.g. ( you know, the EPA and all of that) as a car manufacturer. So it pulled it's recommendation for this year. We all plan to tow these cars until the wheels fall off. Hope this helps. 

Edited by debbie100
word choice

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