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Old 01-29-2019, 05:41 PM   #21
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I have towed an A122 and now a T21TBHW (same as A213) with a Hyundai Entourage minivan (3.5L 250HP V6 with 5 speed auto).

The 2014 A122 towed like a dream both on the interstates (Westlake tires limited me to 65MPH) and in the Colorado Rockies - after the selling dealer added an E2 600/6000 WDH. Fuel economy for the minivan is 21-23mpg without trailer, 17-19 with. Fuel economy goes up with altitude and air temp on normally aspirated fuel injected engines.

With the 2019 T21TBHW about 400lbs heavier, and 8" higher, I'm a little less comfortable. Part of it is the increased windage of the high wall, part is the WDH hasn't been dialed in for the increased load, and part is towing speed is up to 72MPH (tires can do 78). The increased windage means the tranny drops down a gear more often, and I can't see over the top of the camper.

But it's still far better than my experiences with a 93 Ford Explorer and a Coleman Westlake PUP with no WDH. That was a white knuckler due to sway starting at 62 MPH, and the Explorer being way under-powered.

We bought a 2018 Kia Sorento this summer to replace the minivan when it dies (just hit 205K miles) with a tow rating of 5K. But no hitch installed until the minivan dies.

With 6 cylinder SUVs, wind resistance is far more noticeable than weight (assumes WDH to tow reasonable level). I would not tow anything higher than a HW pop-up with a mid-size SUV.

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Old 01-29-2019, 05:44 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by JArry View Post
I don't have much need for hauling materials (in bed), so if there is an SUV that gets significantly better gas mileage than a pickup and can handle my trailer, that is what I prefer. I acknowledge that all else being equal, a pickup is the ideal vehicle for towing, which is why I referred to a "compromise."

Also, considering the ridiculous (IMO) prices of pickups these days, I would probably buy one quite a few years old when they may have had worse gas mileages compared to SUVs of that time.

These are some of the factors I'm thinking about.
I can answer this too!

my previous tow vehicle was a 1998 expedition XLT 2WD with 5.4L, 3.55 axle. towing my very large and heavy popup (close to 4000 lbs) it would get 16-17 MPG all day long at 60 MPH, 19 mpg hwy not towing. I then upgraded to a 2009 F150 max tow Crew Cab 6.5 foot box (over 21 feet) king ranch, 5.4L and 3.73 axles. same camper got a respectable 17-18 MPG at 60 MPH, and 21 mpg hwy not towing. you will be surprised at how well a big vehicle tows your "little" camper. the engine is able to stay in its power band better, which in turn means its not working nearly as hard, shifting as much, and your mileage increases! "older" tow vehicles work great and can still get respectable mileage.

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Old 01-29-2019, 06:28 PM   #23
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I have a 2016 Mazda CX-9, it has 4 cylinder turbo engine. I have towed our T19QBHW from NC to Florida and up the hills (mountains) in NC, TN and VA. I have never needed more power, get around 19 mpg towing and 28mpg not towing. I do not have a WDH, nor do I think I need one, however I do use a anti sway bar when towing longer distances on the highway though.

When not towing the car drives like a dream (sporty).

It is a very nice car and I am rather happy with it.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:50 PM   #24
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Slim Potato Head pulls his A-Liner with a 4-cyl Jeep.
OK, I'll cross that one off my list, then.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:54 PM   #25
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I can answer this too!

my previous tow vehicle was a 1998 expedition XLT 2WD with 5.4L, 3.55 axle. towing my very large and heavy popup (close to 4000 lbs) it would get 16-17 MPG all day long at 60 MPH, 19 mpg hwy not towing. I then upgraded to a 2009 F150 max tow Crew Cab 6.5 foot box (over 21 feet) king ranch, 5.4L and 3.73 axles. same camper got a respectable 17-18 MPG at 60 MPH, and 21 mpg hwy not towing. you will be surprised at how well a big vehicle tows your "little" camper. the engine is able to stay in its power band better, which in turn means its not working nearly as hard, shifting as much, and your mileage increases! "older" tow vehicles work great and can still get respectable mileage.
Good points. I have to remind myself that relatively good overall MPG does not necessarily mean the same when not towing (and sometimes means quite the opposite).
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:56 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by adarklake View Post
I used to have a regular 2015 Jeep Cherokee KL (not Grand) with a 3.2L V6 and it pulled everything from a PUP to a light TT just fine. The Cherokee has best-in-class towing for a compact SUV and got great gas mileage. 4500# max towing. I loved that car....
Sounds great... terrible Consumer Reports ratings have always turned me off from Jeep, but I know there are a lot of people who don't take CR seriously.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:57 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Midnight Rider View Post
I have a 2016 Mazda CX-9, it has 4 cylinder turbo engine. I have towed our T19QBHW from NC to Florida and up the hills (mountains) in NC, TN and VA. I have never needed more power, get around 19 mpg towing and 28mpg not towing. I do not have a WDH, nor do I think I need one, however I do use a anti sway bar when towing longer distances on the highway though.

When not towing the car drives like a dream (sporty).

It is a very nice car and I am rather happy with it.
Ahh a vote for 4-cyl! Good to know.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:18 PM   #28
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Wow, comparisons to the 2006 Ridgeline don't go very far... I only get 20 MPG max highway not towing and 14-15 towing, which is typical for them. Seems even stepping up to a 2nd gen Ridge or one of the similar SUVs would be a vast improvement in this regard.
Our "Old" MDX (2005 with 4wd and about the same J35 engine as your Ridgeline got a bit better than your MPG numbers because it was higher compression/premium fuel tuned. The new Direct Injection J35 used in MDX, Ridgeline, and Pilot does much better.

Another consideration for us in picking the 3 row SUV design is that it has a lot of interior storage space. I usually camp for two months in the summer, and the somewhat limited space inside the T-12 of easily offset by the extra volume inside the MDX.
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:20 PM   #29
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I am starting to think about my next vehicle purchase.

I would probably end up with a mid-size SUV, and I believe most of those have a 3,500-lb towing capacity. My T12RBST has a dry weight of 2,100 lbs.

I am seeking opinions and reports from any A-frame owners towing with a vehicle in that specific category. Just as an example, I was looking at a Hyundai Santa Fe, which is rated for 3,500 capacity (haven't checked GVWR or other specs). But it has a 4-cyl engine, as I think many in this class do, and I can't really get my head around towing with that.

Also, I understand with this switch I would probably need to use a WDH, which currently I do not, and I am not excited about that.

I'd appreciate any input!
The 4 cylinder issue is real. With a turbo and a wide torque band it might be OK. But a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder won't cut it with a 2500lb+ load in the Rockies or Sierras.

Although my 93 Ford Explorer had a 6 cylinder (170 HP), it was inadequate to tow the PUP up the grades in the mountains. I always wound up at 45 MPH in 2nd gear climbing east on I-80 over the 6K ft Emigrant Pass. Going up to the 11K ft high Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 in Colorado was a crawl at 25MPH.

On the other hand. the V-6 Hyundai minivan towing the A-frame does 65MPH on I-70 upgrades all day in 4th gear (5th gear of 5 on level ground).

Because of our experiences, we chose the Kia Sorento V-6 (Hyundai and Kia use the same drive trains) as a replacement tow vehicle if and when the minivan ever gives up. In the meantime, DW loves the Sorento as a daily driver.

Towing with a V-6 really depends on the torque band of the engine and how well the gearing matches. From all I have read, Nissan Frontiers and mid-size SUVs tend to struggle as tow vehicles compared to other brands. And SUVs with CV transmissions (newer Subarus and some Nissans and Hondas) don't tow Forest River A-frames well either.

Compared to an A-liner, FR A-frames are heavier and have higher tongue weights (375+ lbs). So a WDH does make a difference with an SUV with a soft rear suspension. I couldn't believe the difference the WDH makes with my minivan - restores to a stock ride when hitched up. I will gladly sacrifice the 4 minutes hooking up the WDH adds to setup time for the comfort and safety of towing well with the minivan.

My wife and I don't want to be truck owners at this point in our lives. And we love the comfortable ride of the minivan while towing and while not towing.

just my experiences
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:02 PM   #30
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An alternative is to look for a nice, used, full-size SUV. Something like a Tahoe, Yukon, Denali, etc with the heavy-duty tow package. Most of these have 5.3L with the 6-speed tranny and 3.42 rear-end. Ask for full repair and maintenance records. One like this will tow your trailer all day with good mileage and easy driving. It won't cost as much as a new one (which have outrageous prices) and if well cared for should give you years of excellent service. And if you get a 4WD, you will have a good winter driver there in Hancock with all the hills in that area.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:29 AM   #31
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We have just finished our second season with our T21TBHW. The first year we went from DFW to Acadia NP in Maine. The second season we went to Calgary Canada.
They were both absolutely wonderful trips without incident in our 2007 Toyota 4 Runner with 100k+ miles. It is the 6 cylinder. It has all the power you need and a massive amount of space inside out of the weather. (5000# capacity)
Highly recommended!
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:59 AM   #32
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I am starting to think about my next vehicle purchase.

Currently I own a compact car and my TV (Ridgeline). As both are quite high-mileage, I am considering selling both of them and purchasing a single newer "compromise" vehicle (high gas mileage + sufficient towing ability). Much as I'd like to continue owning a car and truck, as a single guy it doesn't really make sense.

I would probably end up with a mid-size SUV, and I believe most of those have a 3,500-lb towing capacity. My T12RBST has a dry weight of 2,100 lbs.

I am seeking opinions and reports from any A-frame owners towing with a vehicle in that specific category. Just as an example, I was looking at a Hyundai Santa Fe, which is rated for 3,500 capacity (haven't checked GVWR or other specs). But it has a 4-cyl engine, as I think many in this class do, and I can't really get my head around towing with that.

Also, I understand with this switch I would probably need to use a WDH, which currently I do not, and I am not excited about that.

I'd appreciate any input!
Try a popup. Less expensive and lighter than a frame
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:23 AM   #33
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Try a popup. Less expensive and lighter than a frame
Most Forest River pop-ups are as heavy or heavier than their A-frame brethren.

I don't think any of the Forest River A-frames have surpassed the 3,500lb Max Gross Weight point (most models range from 3100 to 3400 max gross), but some of their pop-ups have.

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Old 01-31-2019, 03:23 PM   #34
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Try a popup. Less expensive and lighter than a frame
Many buy an A-frame to avoid dealing with canvas.
And many Popups are heavier than a comparable A-frame.
And I haven't seen much of a price difference.
And I've owned two popups.
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:52 PM   #35
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Many buy an A-frame to avoid dealing with canvas.
And many Popups are heavier than a comparable A-frame.
And I haven't seen much of a price difference.
And I've owned two popups.
Our first camper was a small canvas sided popup, weight wasn't an issue at around 1500. What I hated and got tired of was cranking it up and all the mess setting up and taking down. I always felt like I needed another vacation to get over the one I had just had, lol. It was the glorified tent I wanted (and it had a door, I was sick of tent flaps) but the hassle of set up and take down got old reeeallly fast. And that freaking door never did want to fit right.
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:18 PM   #36
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^ Pretty sure I wouldn't save a whole lot of money at this point, either, by selling my A-frame (still being financed) and buying a comparable pop-up ^

Thanks for the good suggestions and productive thread, everyone.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:04 PM   #37
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I am seeking opinions and reports from any A-frame owners towing with a vehicle in that specific category. Just as an example, I was looking at a Hyundai Santa Fe, which is rated for 3,500 capacity (haven't checked GVWR or other specs). But it has a 4-cyl engine, as I think many in this class do, and I can't really get my head around towing with that.
I tow a ALiner Ranger 15 weighting 2500 lbs (real, measured on a scale during a trip) with a Toyota Venza 2009 AWD 2.7l 4cyl engine rated to tow 2500 lbs. Works great. Since the Venza also comes in V6 rated for 3500 lbs, the hitch is rated for 3500 lbs (4000 lbs with a WDH) We have a E2 WDH and the handling and stability is perfect on the highway. The measured tongue weight is around 280 lbs.

Since the Venza is no longer available, my next truck would be a Rav4 Trail edition which is rated for 3500 lbs.

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Old 01-31-2019, 09:28 PM   #38
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I tow a ALiner Ranger 15 weighting 2500 lbs (real, measured on a scale during a trip) with a Toyota Venza 2009 AWD 2.7l 4cyl engine rated to tow 2500 lbs. Works great. Since the Venza also comes in V6 rated for 3500 lbs, the hitch is rated for 3500 lbs (4000 lbs with a WDH) We have a E2 WDH and the handling and stability is perfect on the highway. The measured tongue weight is around 280 lbs.
What kind of MPGs do you get with that (and what type of terrain)?
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:53 PM   #39
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Towing A Frame

I have been towing my 128S a frame with my Honda Odyssey. I have a 150 lb generator on a rack on rear of trailer and I barely know I am pulling anything. Just bought a Toyota Highlander to pull my new a214HW. I would never think of pulling this aframe with a 4 cylinder car.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:18 PM   #40
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What kind of MPGs do you get with that (and what type of terrain)?
If I am thinking about my last 2 trips, I'd say about 13l/100km (18 MPG US according to Google) The terrain is from Montréal, Québec around the Huron Lake and back., so mostly moderate hills. I tend to ask my GPS to find the cheap route (as opposed to the fastest or shortest route). It is usually shorter but at 90 km/h instead of the 100 km of th highway.

Previous trip was about the same milleage, but going from Montreal, QC to Nova Scotia. So once again, some hills, some long distance on flat terrain. Really a mix.

I did not go in the plains or Rockies of the West with that trailer (yet).

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