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Old 07-17-2012, 01:00 AM   #1
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Advice on a tow vehicle for a Palomino popup?

My wife and I just bought a 2011 Palomino model 4127 popup and we need to buy a vehicle to tow it. If all goes well I'd like to roam without restrictions - long trips, up mountains etc. The "total dry weight" is 2404 lbs and the dealer said a vehicle with 3500 lb capacity should do it but others have said I should look for something larger.
Can anyone offer first hand advice on what towing capacity is adequate and any suggestions for a suitable vehicle. I'd prefer an SUV over a truck.
Thank you.
Bob
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
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Your pop up has a GVWR of 3000#. Even though you might not reach that maximum limit, many recommend using that spec as a towing guide. You will have to also consider all the "stuff" inside the tow vehicle. That being said, an SUV the size of a Toyota Highlander V-6 WITH the towing package would work or a 4Runner V-6 or FJ Cruiser for something bigger...or an equivalent size SUV from another manufacturer. They have a towing capacity of 5000#.
Go bigger now so you always have an option to get a bigger trailer in the future, been there done that. A larger tow vehicle will also make it a more comfortable travel companion.
I have a RAM 2500 but I wish I'd have bought a 3500!
Good luck.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:48 AM   #3
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What about a Grand Cherokee, Wrangler Unlimited or Liberty (lower side with only 3500 max tow)? I liked my Trailblazer (AKA GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, and Oldsmobile Bravada) , but they don't make those anymore, so you would have to go used for that style. Not a fan of the Traverse personally, but it would be up to the task at 5200 max tow. If I had the cash, though, it would be the new Durango. Up to 7400lbs max tow if properly equipped. Whatever you get, check to make sure that if there is a tow package, you get that one.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:08 PM   #4
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I'd suggest a used Kia sedona 2005 or earlier. They are cheap to acquire as well. I use one for my Rockwood 2514G which is a large pop up with a slide out. Weighs about the same as your new rig. My tongue weight is about 300 lbs and when attached the van's back end only drops about 1.5 inches.

The transmission has an overdrive switch. The vehcle weighs almost 4,800 lbs (unibody on full frame) and is basically a truck. Barely breaks a sweat towing, engine never ever heats up and the motor and gearing is really set up for lots of torque at low rpms. It's a 3.5 litre and I can tell you that having towed with all american minivans previously, they just stink at towing. Even if their power ratings are there the suspension rarely is. The kia has beefy suspension and it also holds a gear when travelling uphill until you level out - hated the fact that my montana would continuously shift to a higher gear while going uphill and then shift back to a lower gear because it couldn't make it up a hill in the higher gear.

The sedona is an excellent tow vehicle. Has been trouble free as well. Stick with a 2005
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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No matter what you get, make sure that you have adequate transmission and power steering fluid cooling, even if it means adding some aftermarket coolers.

The engines may have enough power, and the transmissions can usually handle the torque, but heat is a killer for trannys, and will be the weak link in the chain. There's a lot of heat developed in a torque converter that's "unlocked" (not cruising along in fifth gear).

Accordingly, because of the tendency to use lower gears, and thus higher RPMs, the power steering fluid gets more energy "pumped into it" than design engineers anticipate, so some additional cooling is also needed in that system to prevent pump failures.

You don't HAVE to do this, but you can save yourself some grief if you do.

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Old 07-19-2012, 09:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyguy View Post
I'd suggest a used Kia sedona 2005 or earlier. They are cheap to acquire as well. I use one for my Rockwood 2514G which is a large pop up with a slide out. Weighs about the same as your new rig. My tongue weight is about 300 lbs and when attached the van's back end only drops about 1.5 inches.

The transmission has an overdrive switch. The vehcle weighs almost 4,800 lbs (unibody on full frame) and is basically a truck. Barely breaks a sweat towing, engine never ever heats up and the motor and gearing is really set up for lots of torque at low rpms. It's a 3.5 litre and I can tell you that having towed with all american minivans previously, they just stink at towing. Even if their power ratings are there the suspension rarely is. The kia has beefy suspension and it also holds a gear when travelling uphill until you level out - hated the fact that my montana would continuously shift to a higher gear while going uphill and then shift back to a lower gear because it couldn't make it up a hill in the higher gear.

The sedona is an excellent tow vehicle. Has been trouble free as well. Stick with a 2005
Two other items i forget to mention. A tranny and power steering cooler are standard equipment with these vans.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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How 'bout this...can never have too much truck!
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by grumpyguy View Post
Two other items i forget to mention. A tranny and power steering cooler are standard equipment with these vans.
Most all vehicles have these coolers as standard equipment.

I am suggesting that additional (aftermarket) coolers be also used.

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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Most all vehicles have these coolers as standard equipment.

I am suggesting that additional (aftermarket) coolers be also used.

Pop
Actually those additional coolers may be standard on some vehicles but are a rarity on minivans.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by grumpyguy View Post
Actually those additional coolers may be standard on some vehicles but are a rarity on minivans.
I believe you are misunderstanding what I am suggesting.

Most vehicles have transmission coolers. They are designed to do an adequate job in day-to-day driving.

The same is true for power steering fluid coolers.

Many times, the coolers are just some steel tubing that runs somewhere near the front of the vehicle in the air flow. In the case of trans coolers, it can be a tube that runs through the coolant in the lower radiator tank.

So yes, vehicles have coolers, installed standard.

However, the stock coolers are inadequate when you begin to use the vehicle to tow something. That's when ADDITIONAL cooling becomes necessary.

The heavier you tow, the more serious you should be about adding aftermarket cooling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyguy View Post
Two other items i forget to mention. A tranny and power steering cooler are standard equipment with these vans.
Are you saying that "additional" or "heavy duty" coolers are standard, or just "coolers" are standard?

Pop
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