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Old 07-20-2015, 07:29 PM   #1
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Towing Vehicle for Freedom Express 192RBS

Hi All,
I'm targeting those who pull a Coachmen Freedom Express 192RBS.

Hubby and I will be trading up in the next year or two from our 8 ft Rockwood pop-up to the FE 192RBS. We currently have a Toyota Corolla and for our tiny pop-up this is fine, but for the move-up to the TT, we need to upgrade our horsepower! We are starting our research on towing vehicles and are wondering what others use to tow their FE 192RBS. We don't want to go the route of a pick-up truck, as we are a 1 car family. We need our vehicle to do double-duty and accommodate people when not towing the trailer. But when we are towing, it will very likely just be the hubby and I since our kids (for the most part) are grown-up, have jobs, don't want to join us.

We are interested in an SUV of some sort. The SUVs that have caught our eye as having a roughly 5,000 lb tow capacity and aren't "huge" SUVs are the Ford Explorer, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Any thoughts about those vehicles? What do you use to pull your FE192RBS? (besides a pick-up truck!). Do you use any sort of sway control? Or anything else to assist?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, feedback and advice as we start the fun research on the towing vehicle! (the Trailer was almost the easy part!)
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:31 PM   #2
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Check the payload or cargo capacity on the SUVs you are considering, then do the math to add up you, your husband, anything you would have in the vehicle with you, and the hitch, then add 12% of the max weight of the TT. If all that fits within the payload/CC limits, then on paper you are ok.

The specs on the 192RBS state that the GVWR is 5992. 12% of that is 719. This is the max tongue weight that needs to be supported by your SUV in addition to the hitch itself, and all people and things inside the vehicle.

By limitting yourself to a 5000 lb limit you are giving up 1000 lounds in cargo capacity right off the bat.

Dry weight of your trailer is advertized at 3852 lbs. You really need to check the yellow stickers on the unit you are actually considering to get the actual weight of the trailer. I'm unable to tell from the Coachmen site if the 3852 lbs includes battery, propane, awning, or other upgrades like microwave, AC unit, oven, etc. it likely does not include options like outdoor kitchens. You could easily eat up 500 lbs in those options, leaving you very little left for your gear, cookware, food, etc. Less than i would be comfortable with.

I would highly recommend you have a WDH with sway control. For any full height TT you will want sway control. For an SUV pulling a full height TT, I would suggest at least a mid-level sway control WDH such as a Blue Ox or Equilizer that does not use friction sway control.

SUV's like what you are describing don't make the "best" tow vehicles, so you will want to help it out as much as possible with a sway PREVENTION WDH raher than a friction say CONTROL hitch.

Friction sway bars attempt to control SWAY already in progress. Sway prevention hitches attempt to prevent sway from starting.

Lastly, most SUV's like those you are describing are a V6. In my experience, even towing a 2750 dry hybrid TT a V6 will struggle and rev high going up hills in 3rd or even 2nd gear. A V8 makes a big difference. We had a V6 F150 and I would not have upgraded to a heavier camper had we kept it.

I believe Toyota makes a V8 Land Cruiser, however, they are pricey. Much pricier than a super crew pick up.

What is it about a super crew pick up that makes it unacceptable for a daily driver?
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:09 PM   #3
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Many thanks for all the information Loraura. I'll share all that with hubby as well.

We are a one car family, which means that this vehicle is the one we also need to transport people (not camping, as that will mainly be just the hubby and I). The biggest use for this vehicle is day to day - I will drive this vehicle to my train station for my commute to work; use it transport my (young) adult children and their respective partners if we go somewhere as a family; go grocery shopping and so on and so on. My preference is to have a vehicle that can seat 6 or 7, plus have decent cargo space in the back. A pick-up certainly offers lots of cargo space, but not the people seating capacity that I need. That's why we were leaning towards an SUV that has good seating capacity and good towing capacity.

Hope that makes sense.
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:38 PM   #4
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So it sounds like you're wanting 3rd row seating for people when not towing.

That means you're looking at Suburbans, Durangos, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Nissan Rogue, Dodge Journey, GMC Acadia...

If I were you (and I've basically been you in the past!) I'd go for an SUV that offers a V8 and a max towing package. They will stand a better chance at having the available payload to support the tongue weight of a TT, enough engine power to pull a barn door down a freeway (TT fronts are like a huge wind sail once they are taller than your vehicle, it's very different from a popup), and enough overall vehicle weight to control a full-height TT.

I never hear anyone saying they bought too much tow vehicle, but I see post after post of people getting bigger tow vehicles after they white knuckle it through some wind or mountains, or passing semi-trucks on the highways.

Gas mileage continues to improve on these newer V8s.

I saw a Dodge Durango towing a 29'' TT with mom, dad, and 3 kids in the car, and I had to google it to believe they had any chance at being under their numbers. From the looks of it, they just squeaked by.

Keep in mind you may have to do some upgrades to the suspension on an SUV. They are built more for comfort than working, and once you add 500 lbs of tongue weight to the back, the rear suspension is sometimes too soft.


Or get a truck and tell your adult kids to drive their own car to meet you for dinner!

Edit: I just saw your signature, and I started out in the SAME EXACT Rockwood 1640 LTD model you have!
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:08 PM   #5
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I will echo Loaura. SUVs are basically comfort first, utility second. To tow a full height tt requires a lot of power and a suspension designed for the job. Payload of suvs is usually their shortcoming. The tongue weight of the tt plus everything else packed inside the tv will put them at or over their limit. Check the numbers carefully. Safety must be your first priority. Sermon over. If you must have the third row seating, check out the bigger suvs. Tahoe, Suburban, Durango, Explorer. All can have v8.power, towing packages, and hd brakes. Without checking their individual specs, I would think they would be able to handle a 4000 lb tt. Good luck and be safe.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses and the information. Have shared that with hubby as well. I hear you about the pick-up truck versus SUV, and it's a really decision. We are trying to find the "perfect" vehicle that will suit all needs. Might just have to "suck it up" and become a 2 car family! A pick-up for towing and keep the car for the every day use.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:50 PM   #7
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I towed for two years 192ltz with a V 6 Toyota 4 Runner. No real problems but had weight distr hitch and I sway bar. I also watch my load to not push it to much.


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Old 07-22-2015, 10:51 PM   #8
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Here's my experience: I pulled a Rockwood Roo 19 for 1 season with my 2011 Chevy Traverse. TT was about 4100 lbs (just DW and I). I wasn't a happy camper. It ran on the flat interstates in 4th gear around 3100 rpm. Any slight incline would drop it into 3rd. Once in a great while it would go up into 5th. Never saw 6th. Couldn't manually force it into 5th, either. The Traverse is rated for 5200 lbs, but the problem isn't the weight, it's the drag. I bought a Silverado and I'm a lot happier now. (Even got a bigger TT!!)
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:52 PM   #9
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I used to have a 19SQX and I towed with a 2005 Tacoma 4x2 prerunner. It was a four door and really good on gas. Lots of horse power to tow that trailer.
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