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Old 01-24-2017, 07:15 PM   #1
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First tow vehicle decision, then R-Pod 179 purchase

Hi Everyone,

We are soon going to enjoy retirement and have been looking at the R-Pods.

We are interested in the 179 model, but we first must buy our tow vehicle. We have limited parking and can't buy too big of an SUV nor can we buy a pickup truck.

Do you think an SUV with a tow rating of 5,000 lbs (Hyandai Sante Fe, Kia Sorrento, etc.), V-6 engine, will be good enough? We would like to travel the country.

We appreciate your responses and any other words of wisdom you wish to share.


Linda and John
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:27 PM   #2
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Just my opinion, but i would suggest going an SUV that has a tow package. 6500lbs minimum tow capacity. We tried towing a 182G with a Trailblazer (5200lb tow cap) and it was a miserable tow experience. After three tows, we upgraded to a Nissan Armada.
Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:42 AM   #3
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KDH Fan, can you share what made your towing experience so unpleasant, and what your setup was? I am also looking at the 179, and my tow vehicle will be a Nissan Xterra. It has a 5,000# tow rating and a 500# tow capacity. While the rear springs are light, I have added air bags and plan on using my Equilizer hitch from my last rig with the 600# bars. I would appreciate any feedback, because if this is not sufficient I need to go in a different direction.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:05 AM   #4
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Here's my SUV experience, as another data point: I pulled a Rockwood Roo 19 (GVWR about 4,700 lbs, but ours was about 4,300 lbs loaded) with a Chevy Traverse (5,200 lb tow rating - see signature below). Just wife and I.

I did it one season. I wasn't a happy camper. It really wasn't the weight so much as the drag. Engine ran in 4th gear at ~3100 rpm at 60 mph on the flat and level interstate. Any slight increase in incline would drop it into 3rd and it would go up to 3500 rpm. It would go into 5th IF you were on a decent decline, but almost never went into 6th. There are people on the Traverse forum who don't seem to mind running at those kinds of rpms, but not me. I got a 2009 Silverado 1500 (see sig below), 7,500 lb towing.

Your R-pod will be a 400-500 lbs lighter, and the aerodynamics are certainly "better," but I don't know how much better. So if I'd had an R-pod, I might still be pulling it with the Traverse, but I don't know.

Personally, I would not go with a V-6, except maybe if it was the Ford Ecoboost.

I think you can get the Jeep Grand Cherokee with a diesel, but I'm not keen on the reliability of any FCA product (I'm gonna hear about this one - but I've had 4 and they all had issues!).

I think VW makes (or maybe "made") a diesel in an SUV, can't recall which model, though.

Also, one of two things happens to most of us RV'ers: We find we hate RV'ing and get out of it, OR we end up suffering from a disease that boaters also get. It's called "two-foot-itis." After a year or two, you feel the need to get a bigger trailer. So you might want to buy a TV that can support your NEXT trailer.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:25 AM   #5
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Second the diesel Jeep recommendations - decent mileage and having enough power won't be an issue. Stay away from the gas V6, they are designed for horsepower not torque.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:45 PM   #6
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First tow vehicle decision, then R-Pod 179 purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by backin15 View Post
KDH Fan, can you share what made your towing experience so unpleasant, and what your setup was? I am also looking at the 179, and my tow vehicle will be a Nissan Xterra. It has a 5,000# tow rating and a 500# tow capacity. While the rear springs are light, I have added air bags and plan on using my Equilizer hitch from my last rig with the 600# bars. I would appreciate any feedback, because if this is not sufficient I need to go in a different direction.


Sorry... just saw this. The Trailblazer just wasnt meant to tow with. The suspension was just too soft. The bounce was always too much to make the experience anything other than white knuckle. Didnt matter what i did with the weight dist hitch, or how i loaded the camper, it just never towed well. I upgraded to an Armada, and the tow experience was much improved.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:01 PM   #7
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Thanks - I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:36 PM   #8
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Went to our local Rpod dealer today and took a 179 for a tow. There was a fairly strong and gusty wind, and we did experience a bit of sway with the Xterra. I run the airbags at about 10 psi for a good ride, and I pulled over and pumped them up to 30 to level the rear. The added stiffness made all the difference, and the sway was almost nonexistent after that.
We took it on a windy road, then on the interstate. The 'Pod was the easiest camper I have ever towed. It towed even easier than my old 3/4 ton pickup pulling my lightweight Flagstaff. The Xterra performed very well, with no problems getting to freeway speed. I even took it to 80 briefly and it did so without any drama.
We liked it so much, we put money down on a new 179 and got the dealer to throw in a Reese sway control.
We look forward to joining the R Pod community!
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:09 PM   #9
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Don't forget to factor in the max payload capacity of your Xterra. Take the tongue weight of your R-Pod, add the weight of full propane tanks and batteries. Then add the weight of the driver, passenger(s), contents (pets, food, luggage, etc), full tank of gas.... you get the picture. Sometimes a vehicles towing capacity exceeds the max payload capacity for a given TT/TV combo. Even with air shocks, you're limited by the load on the axle.

Rich J.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:12 PM   #10
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Get a later model Tahoe to tow the largest RPod. You wont be disappoinyed.
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