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Old 01-16-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
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Recommend towing vehicles

I purchased an RPod trailer last year and planned to tow it with my Honda Odyssey and it does work OK, but I feel that it may be somewhat underpowered especially in hilly country. Also, I can only achieve 10 miles per gallon and was hoping to get a little better mileage with the RPod. I'm thinking about changing to a SUV or a pickup for more power also hoping that the mileage may improve with some additional engine power. Any suggestions on this? What are others experiencing in gas mileage, anything better than 10 mpg? Thanks for your suggestions
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
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Going to something with a little more "oomf" might actually get you better gas mileage........but don't expect much over 11-12 mpg, unless you go all out with a diesel.....and that is really not needed with an R-Pod.

With those trailers, you will need at least a 5000 lb. tow rated vehicle to be on the safe side. Some of those trailers may weigh in under 3500 lbs. ready to camp, but I think a 3500 lb. tow rating is a little light. Plus, you have to look at the overall GCWR (gross combined weight rating). I am not familiar with the Odessey, but if you want to stay with the Honda line, maybe a Ridgeline or Pilot might serve you better.

Of course bigger is usually better when towing, but you should be able to get by nicely with a mid-sized truck or SUV. Get the lowest gear ratio (highest number) that you can, and also the most powerful engine in whatever model you choose.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:05 PM   #3
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Looking at the Honda website, I am not sure that the Pilot or Ridgeline would get you better fuel mileage.....looks like they both use the same engine as the Oddessey. That combined with the increased weight might even get you less fuel mileage. It looks like the Ridgeline has a lower final drive ratio, which might help.

When looking at engine power, don't go solely on the horse power.....torque at a reasonably low RPM is probably more important.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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As Chap said, I don't really think you're going to see a great increase in mileage going to a bigger or more powerful vehicle. You will have a better towing experience, but the bigger more powerful vehicles use more gas by nature, making it easier to pull a trailer, but it's all pretty much a was in the end.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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I'm with mtnguy that more capacity would help. We have a ETC 181 which is about the same as an R-Pod (within a few hundred pounds) and pull it with a Tahoe. Yes it is a little overkill, but does not strain the truck at all. In California I get 12-13 mpg in Tow Mode.

If you do get a new TV make sure to insist on a "Factory Installed Tow Package". On our Tahoe this changed the transmission to HD, rear end gearing, added oil & trans coolers and was only a $230.00 option. It is unreal how many car sales people there are that have no knowledge about towing and will tell you “we can install a hitch”…
Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:06 PM   #6
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you should look at the newer v-8 GM or Dodge trucks/SUVs or the new F-150 ecoboost truck.

they all get over 20mpg on the highway. the GM and Dodge engines have the v-4 feature, which allows for higher mpg while highway driving(not towing).
you should be better towing mpg than the Odyssey. i get 10-12mpg towing a full height HTT with my Avalanche, so towing your Rpod with a newer v-8 should get you better mpg.

i was going to buy a Ridgeline, Tacoma or Frontier until i realized that the newer v-8's get almost the same mpg as the v-6 trucks and haul way more and have way more interior room.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:21 PM   #7
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6 cylinder vehicles will get better mileage when unloaded, but pulling a full load they will be no better than a V 8. I get about 12 to 14 with my 4 door Silverado towing and it is a very comfortable. A half ton may be overkill but you will be able to take more toys and firewood.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celicabob View Post
I'm with mtnguy that more capacity would help. We have a ETC 181 which is about the same as an R-Pod (within a few hundred pounds) and pull it with a Tahoe. Yes it is a little overkill, but does not strain the truck at all. In California I get 12-13 mpg in Tow Mode.

If you do get a new TV make sure to insist on a "Factory Installed Tow Package". On our Tahoe this changed the transmission to HD, rear end gearing, added oil & trans coolers and was only a $230.00 option. It is unreal how many car sales people there are that have no knowledge about towing and will tell you “we can install a hitch”…
Good luck!
Hey - that's what my saleman said about the Rav4 before I brought it.

I found out there's more to being able to tow than installing a hitch. A year later I found myself at the auto dealership buying another new vehicle to tow with. For the first 10 months I was able to borrow my sister's Yukon to tow my trailer.

Now I do my homework first and I don't listen to sales staff.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Terier View Post
Hey - that's what my saleman said about the Rav4 before I brought it.

I found out there's more to being able to tow than installing a hitch. A year later I found myself at the auto dealership buying another new vehicle to tow with. For the first 10 months I was able to borrow my sister's Yukon to tow my trailer.

Now I do my homework first and I don't listen to sales staff.
Isn't it amazing how sales people are so clueless...

As bikendan stated the new V-8's get great MPG when not towing. Our Tahoe when not towing on a trip north during the holidays managed 20+ MPG combined highway & hills.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:16 PM   #10
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I have a 2011 F150 5.0 4dr with tow package, and we get good gas milage when not towing. I can get up to 20 mpg on the road. I tow a 26' Surveyor and we got around 14 mph with the TT.
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