Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-02-2016, 11:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 45
Unibody Tow Vehicles

Anyone interested in seeing how others have towed with their "non-truck" tow vehicles? Maybe sharing numbers if you want, pictures if nothing else.

There are many examples of vehicles that are capable towers when staying in the numbers .. like the grand cherokee, even though the close cousin M class mercedes states that you should not use WD. And BMW going the 8% tongue limit like VW and Porsche.

Then you have the limited but usable ford explorer that IS unibody but states that WD MUST be used to get to the 5000Lb max. While the Honda ridgeline is going the European route of saying no.

I would love to see what people are towing without pickups as the pickup people have had the run of the industry so far..

no flames intended or wanted ..

ricksterv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2016, 12:04 AM   #2
Senior Member
coupevillefish's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Coupeville, WA
Posts: 387
We towed over 25,000 mikes with a Ridgeline. TT was molded fiberglass, 3300 pounds loaded with a tongue weight of about 315. We never felt the need for a WDH or sway control but we were comfortably under the rated tow capacity.

coupevillefish is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2016, 08:56 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 45
sounds perfect, just needed more space?
ricksterv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2016, 12:14 PM   #4
Senior Member
coupevillefish's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Coupeville, WA
Posts: 387
Originally Posted by ricksterv View Post
sounds perfect, just needed more space?
Yes, the Casita became too tight, so we went big time. Still have the Ridgeline but tow a CRV.
coupevillefish is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2016, 01:02 PM   #5
Dad of 2 teenagers...
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Montreal
Posts: 27
I know this one will put the weight police on my tail...
Nothing in the SUV except the wife and kids. Everything else is packed in the trailer. I'm stretching all limits to the max but at least using a ProPride 3P to eliminate all risks of sway. Breaking is not an issue as compression on the diesel helps a lot and I never go over 62MPH - usually cruise at 55-57 and I do keep my distances just in case. Knowing what this setup can and can't do is what keep us safe.

I had the hitch reinforced since it's rated at 680# and I am at 750# tongue weight with the PP3P. Also have extra load tires (XL) on the SUV to add to the comfort of the ride.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20150624_160613.jpg
Views:	144
Size:	351.8 KB
ID:	103762   Click image for larger version

Name:	20150515_195828.jpg
Views:	135
Size:	315.3 KB
ID:	103763  
Bob the frog from Montreal
2009 Flagstaff 227 pup (Sold in 2014)
2015 Wildwood 261BHXL
2010 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Bluetec
ProPride 3P Hitch
BobBaron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2016, 10:24 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Idaho
Posts: 3
2010 Honda Pilot. We tow 2016 MicroLite 19FD. Dealer installed WDH. First trip was from Boise area to Sandpoint thru Oregon and Washington. Mountains, 4 lane, 2 lane, rain, wind, even some snow over the Blues in Oregon. Stayed between 55-60 mph. MPG average about 10. Really no big issues....went just fine. Trip was great confidence builder....ready to go again!
2016 MicroLite 19DD
2010 Honda Pilot WDH
marknuthut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2016, 11:14 PM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 75
2010 BMW X5 diesel. SP220 about 5000#s. Tows well get about 12.5-13.5mpg don't go over 65 and usually tow off freeway at 55mph. Not supposed to use wdh, but I do anyway just don't tighten the bars down very much Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByForest River Forums1459743246.362640.jpg
Views:	254
Size:	82.1 KB
ID:	103831

Sent from my iPhone using Forest River Forums
wickedwyrm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 12:47 AM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 45
nice to hear about and see some fine combo's. Funny how in three post you covered ideas I had considered b4 the touareg although the MB was going to be stretching the limits. The latest x5 seems to have been crippled by a bad choice of hitch choice by BMWNA. Limited to a 2 inch ball on the factory setup i think.. My only other idea would have been a grand cherokee. The Honda is just a great design all around. Nice storage below the bed.
ricksterv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 01:06 PM   #9
Senior Member
thebrakeman's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canton, Michigan
Posts: 1,225
As long as the OEM gives it enough rating, and you use the right equipment as specified (brake controller, WDH, etc), use it.
I towed a 3000 lbs loaded popup camper with 2 Chrysler minivans for 7 seasons. That's about as unibody as it gets (rolling jelly bean). Used a Prodigy brake controller (same one I have now), and a 400 lbs Single Bar WDH kit.

A unibody will be very stiff and a good vehicle. The question comes when you see how the trailer hitch is attached. On a true truck, you are bolting/welding the hitch to big beefy frames directly. This allows big tow ratings that are likely only limited by the drivetrain.

On my minivan, the hitch bolted to some lighter frame-members, which were welded to the unibody. Not as strong. But then again, it only had a 3800 lbs rating (2000 without the WDH). The drivetrains in today's minivan's can probably handle more, but the structure isn't designed for more.

Enter the modern crossover (Grand Cherokee, Acadia, Explorer, etc). These have higher ratings (5000+) certainly because they have beefed up that connection point. An Acadia does not have more engine than a minivan. It has more structure.
thebrakeman ('70), DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2004 Surveyor SV261T (UltraLite Bunkhouse Hybrid)
2006 Mercury Mountaineer V8 AWD Premier
Equal-i-zer WDH (10k), Prodigy Brake Controller
thebrakeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 01:14 PM   #10
Senior Member
JustB_Rad's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 674
The biggest issue trying to pull a hard sided camper with a unibody SUV is that the wind profile KILLS you.

Whether its 16ft long or 23ft long really makes no difference.

I had a 23ft R-Vision Crossover that we bought specifically because it only weighted 3300 lbs dry and was "SUV Towable". It was only 90" wide and it was under 9' off the ground in height. I tried towing it with a 2011 Ford Explorer with the 3.5L V6 (5K towing capacity). We bought an Equal-I-Zer 4 point hitch. We took it on 2 trips and I traded the Explorer in. Honestly, I was afraid I would have ended up blowing up the motor at some point. Trying to stay at 60-65MPH was a chore for it....and then add a 20MPH head wind, and on our longest trip with it, it never dropped under 3500 RPM on a 4 hour drive. 2 weeks later, my wife agreed to getting a new truck. Unfortunately, we purchased an "SUV Towable" Camper....not the size camper we REALLY after 1 year of camping in that, and after getting a bigger truck, we had to take a 15% hit on our camper to get what we really wanted.

Ultimately, I think it depends how far from home you are planning on going as well. If they're shorter trips, you can make it work. You might not enjoy the ride, but you can make it work. If longer trips are what you're will be highly disappointed.

2016 Grey Wolf 26DBH following a 2014 RAM 1500 Outdoorsman

Life is good...Live it!
Nights Camped - (2014) - 16 in 6 trips (2015) - 20 in 6 trips
(2016) - 21 in 7 trips
(2017) - 12 in 3 and going seasonal for at least the rest of the year!
JustB_Rad is offline   Reply With Quote

tow vehicle

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:35 PM.