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Best Towing Vehicles For 17' Spirit Deluxe

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#1 Clayton215

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 10:45 AM

Please help with making a good informed choice on a ample tow vehicle. We're flexible on the type just want a good reliable and hopefully efficient vehicle to travel out west to some national parks. Thanks, Clayton 215

#2 clairemr1

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 12:00 PM

you'll find a ton of suitable tow vehicles. most folks recommend a tow capacity of 5000 lbs, that will keep you safe and you should have plenty of wiggle room on things you can pack and how much weight you can carry in your tanks.

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claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

2015 white toyota tacoma

rally host

#3 C.flynn

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 01:47 PM

We have a 2008 Ford Escape which we have used to tow our Casita for a few years and it has been great! It is a V6 and averages 18 mpg while easily towing the 17' Casita--no sway bar needed. It also has a large cargo area in the back. Great mileage and looks great pulling the Casita!

#4 Wally Z

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 08:48 PM

I use a Toyota Tundra with their largest V8.  I use to have a V6 and ended up slapping myself on the forehead and say, "I could of had a V8!" :lol:

I don't have experience towing the Casita with anything but the Tundra so really can't make a comparison. I do know I like having that power available when I need it. There are those times when you have to accelerate quickly and or pull up hills without causing traffic jams. In some ways it's common sense. It's like the small guy trying to lift 200lbs. and the big muscle bound guy comes up and gives him a hand. They lifts the weight much easier and it saves on wear and tear. As far as miles per gallon I think it all works out in the end and any difference is negligible. You'll get a zillion opinions on this subject.  I think bigger is better for towing safely.

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2014 17' Casita SD

#5 Joe Z

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 10:37 PM

I've towed with many different vehicles over the years but my personal favorite for no "White Knuckles" is any full size four door pickup with a V-8 and a cap on the back to store the extra's and a Stabilizer bar to reduce the effects of the trailer wagging the tail.

   Many of the midsize work good also but try to stay at the 5000k tow capacity like was mentioned above.... you won't be sorry

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Joe & Linda
Dodge Ram 4x4


#6 clover

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 05:03 AM

we tow with a F350 long bed crew cab diesel 18 mpg with our without the Casita and truck bed loaded to the gills for long term stays. I'm not suggesting a one ton truck is needed, this is what we use for our non-vacationing life. With smaller vehicles you can be under powered and thus have greatly reduced gas mileage and borderline on tow capacity. In view of the fact that you get a 20-30% reduction in gas mileage with the hoax called ethanol the size of the engine should be a consideration. 


IMHO it is unwise to skip having the anti-sway bar even if a WDH is not needed for a larger tow vehicle. You will have situations pop up unexpectedly and wish you had the anti sway bar. We have had experiences in heavy winds where the truck was doing fine holding it's path on the highway but the Casita was getting whipped to death. The inside looked like a tornado came thru. 

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Happy Trails!
2003 17' SD
2002 F350 Diesel Crew Cab
(I know it is overkill but we live on a real ranch it takes a vacation with the Casita)

#7 MN/Camper

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 06:22 AM

Any tow capacity of 5000 lbs or more also look at the TORQUE of the tow vehicle 250 or more.

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#8 Jerrybob

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 09:05 AM

I agree with several above.....bigger is better if you can afford it.  I tow with a Chevy HD 2500 4x4 6.0 liter V8  4.10 rear end crew cab with a shell on back.......it doesn't know the trailer is back there.  I get 13 to 15 mph without the trailer and 13 to 14 with the trailer. I have towed with smaller trucks in the past with other trailers........nothing like having the power when you need it.  I also pull a 10,000 lb. car trailer around for carriages, tractors and cars.  The trade off between the power vs the gas mileage is not important to me.  Good luck with whatever you end up with.  Safe travels.   

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#9 Tom Haberski

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 06:58 PM

My 2 cents worth are use the biggest (tow capacity) vehicle you can accommodate and afford.  Fret free towing, even in mountains. 

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#10 Zimm

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 01:40 PM

Bigger the better.


For my own tow vehicle, it's the opposite of what people say is good, but for me it tows awesome.  I have a 4 door Jeep wrangler, only limited to 3500#'s.  But, I have a lift with stiffer springs, stiffer shocks, it has solid axles front and rear and the same wheelbase as a Chevy Tahoe.  I can pull it over crap roads in a crosswind at 65mph with no issues- it's rock solid.


But... I've owned lots of other vehicles, a V8 4runner, 2 different F250's, and many others.  A vehicle with a body on frame and solid rear axle will tow better than a unibody SUV/car.  Think Jeep Cherokee (before the FIAT made one that's front wheel drive came out), Jeep Grand Cherokee, 4runner, Sequoia, Tahoe, Expedition, any pickup truck, etc.



Edited by Zimm, 08 November 2016 - 01:41 PM.

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#11 Hot Toddy

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 03:58 AM

We tow a 2013 17' SD with a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac V6 4.0L with a cross-over box across the bed and a generator chained to the bed. It has served us well but then we live in Texas and life is pretty flat here. We average about 15 mpg unless we are driving into a strong headwind. We have about 10 years before retirement, so we would like to keep what we have running until then. WHEN we upgrade, I would probably jump to a Ford F-150 pickup or something comparable and hope it is the last tow vehicle we buy. I know lots of people that tow with the V6 with EcoBoost and say they are never without power. We have a friend with a V8 and he says the MPG between the V6 and V8 is negligible. I guess I would error on the side of more power than less.



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#12 Meadowlark

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 08:47 AM

Like Wally Z, we tow with our Toyota Tundra. Unlike Wally Z we got the V8 and are very glad to have it. It will pull our 17' SD through the mountains without a problem. Like Joe Z, we put a contractor's cap over the bed and stow everything in the bed.

If you are going to be driving 'out west'  (where I live, 'out west' is 'back east) you are going to be driving in mountains and snow country, and a big truck will make life so much easier doing so.

I agree with Jerrybob...we don't worry about the mileage. We bought the Casita to have FUN, to travel and see things. Yes, the  Beast doesn't get the greatest gas mileage...but I save money in the long run by towing my Little House behind me rather than staying in a motel room.(which these days can go 90 bucks a night), and cooking our own meals rather than eating at a horrid Cracker Barrel.


I suppose you could tow without a sway bar, but its weight is negligible in the grand scheme of things and it's added insurance for a safe tow. Somewhere on this forum is a link to an Australian YouTube video showing a driver passing a big rig and his camper started whiplashing. It was dreadful to watch, and even more so when the whole kit and kaboodle went rolling and rolling....

I'm sure someone will say oh heck, I've towed for miles without a sway bar. Good for them, they've got some heavy duty good luck. Me, I'm not so brave.

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These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"


"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."

#13 Sherritini

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 03:36 AM

I am towing with a Kia Sorento AWD V6 that has 252 torque and a 5,000 gross weight capability.

#14 Glassbydesign

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 04:39 PM

2016 GMC Canyon Duramax Diesel. 32mpg and about 22 mpg towing. 7750 lbs tow capacity with built-in exhaust breaks plus built-in Trailer connection. Tows like a charm.
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#15 Meadowlark

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 07:26 PM

That's pretty good gas mileage...better than I get with my Tundra.

These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"


"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."