Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tow Vehicles

Any Jeep with 4WD can be towed without any restrictions. Unless you want to do off-roading, I would not opt for a Jeep. They get terrible gas mileage.

Perhaps the most popular toad is the CRV. It has enough ground clearance to do limited off-roading. It gets good mileage and it's a Honda. It has some minor tow restrictions, like not over 55 and the need to run the engine every 200 miles for a few minutes.

The Forester is another good toad choice for a Class C. It also has enough ground clearance to do more off-roading than the CRV. And goes like a rocket ship. For towing, you need the manual shift version.

We started out full timing about 4 years ago with a 2008 Chevy HHR. We came from the east and now spend all of our time out west. We thought we probably wouldn't have the need to drive on rough gravel and/or dirt roads. Boy were we wrong.

I spent a lot of time researching vehicles this summer. My criteria was high ground clearance, reasonably light weight, reliable and decent gas mileage and flat towable.

Most of the vehicles we considered were manual with the exception of the Honda CRV. The problem with the CRV was that they lowered the vehicle in 2007 from 8.1 to 7.5".

The Subaru Outback and Forester have 8.7". Mileage with the manual can get around 30 mpg although it is rated for 21-27. Weight is 3,250.

We purchased a 2011 Forester with 14,000 miles and have been thrilled. MPG has met or exceeded my expectations. The ride off road is very good and it is comfortable.

What I didn't research was all wheel drive. I assumed that they were all the same. After buying I found that the Subaru AWD is quite surprising in its ability to handle rougher terrain. If you are interested in that sort of thing check out Youtube for videos.

You might also look at this which is a comparison of AWD for various vehicles. Again there are others.

Finally, if you care about this sort of thing as of 2011 they changed the engine to a horizontally opposed 4 cylinder which eliminates transverse mounting of the engine.

Finally, there are no limitations per the manual for flat towing. You hook it up, place in neutral, turn the key to acc and go. No limit on speed, no requirement to run the engine and no limit on distance.

Jim C

The Fit is light weight toad choice for paved roads.

"I have heard it is very difficult to install certain types of aux. braking systems in the Fit vs. the Jeep."

I originally thought that a Ready Brake couldn't be installed in a Fit, but I understand that it is indeed possible. My 2009 Fit has the US Gear Unified braking system, and that works just fine. (The solenoid is mounted way up on the firewall on the passenger side, so you can't see it and it doesn't affect foot room.)

Connecting to the vacuum booster didn't seem to be a problem for Mike Sylvester, who installed the US Gear setup. I do remember that the installation required removing a trim panel below the windshield. The way to do this is explained in Honda's service manual, which I had acquired from Helm before the work was done. not cheap at $125.00, but worth every penny! It's extremely detailed, unlike the Chilton and other third-party manuals. - Andy Baird

There is one couple here that tows a Model A.

Like most Class C, 27 foot V10 LD’s get about 9.5 miles per gallon. The tow penalty is about 1mpg.