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tow vehicle question

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two and a half dogs View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote two and a half dogs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: tow vehicle question
    Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 5:52pm
I am about to purchase an R Pod 180, but my current vehicle isn't sufficient to tow it.  I used to own a Toyota 4 runner and loved it, was thinking about getting another.  Its a 5000 pound tow capacity, but I want to have more capacity than I need given that I'll be dealing with mountains a lot.  Does anyone out there use a 4 runner and does it work ok?  I'm also considering a Dodge Durango, which has a 6200 tow capacity, but I haven't owned an American car in awhile.  Does anyone out there have one, if so does it tow well and is it dependable?   The vehicle will be my daily drive as well, so I want an SUV as opposed to a truck.  Any other suggestions?
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CharlieM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CharlieM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 6:24pm
Dealing with mountain grades and elevations you need horsepower. No substitute for cubic inches (liters). Remember all naturally aspirated (non super charged) engines lose 2% per 1000 feet altitude. That plus grades means you need HP to maintain speed. To that end the Durango R/T with the 5.7L engine is the best bet. The 3.6L Durango is rated at 293HP, BUT AT 6400 RPM. Way to fast!. The SR5 with the 4.0 would be somewhat better. Either will handle control and braking for the 180. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote johnmaci Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 6:30pm
Is money an object? :)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Leo B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 6:49pm
Welcome. I agree with Charlie, if you are going to head to big mountains you need Horsepower.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 7:53pm
However, one needs torque also. That horsepower needs to be applied. Diesels are strong on torque, which is why they work so well.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/towing/towing-capacity/information/horsepower-versus-torque.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CharlieM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 8:39pm
Not to re-litigate the issue, but engine torque is only a minor contributor to towing. Torque at the wheels is a function of gearing. ANY engine can move ANY trailer up ANY grade given enough time. To quote the referenced article: "It comes down to this: torque measures how much work is being done and horsepower measures how fast that work is being done [source: Polk]." Work is simply moving something from one place to another, regardless of how long it takes. If you want to accelerate from one speed, including zero, to some other speed within a reasonable time you need horsepower. If you want to get a rig from a low elevation to a higher elevation at a reasonable speed you need horsepower. If you don't want to be the slow vehicle at the head of a long traffic line you need horsepower. Think mountain driving. Given two engines of a given horsepower, by all means chose the one with higher low end torque, but don't be wowed by high torque values at the expense of horsepower. All that said, the RPM at which the HP is rated is also important. Today's smaller engines are in a race to see how fast they can run before destroying themselves or wearing out prematurely. This is in pursuit of mandated fuel economy standards. The mandators will be nowhere around when these engines wear out from running at 6000+ RPM.

I rest my case and wonder off in search of a cold brew. Approve
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GLBCamper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 10:20pm
So...I am towing my 177, moderately loaded with a Toyota Tacoma 4L V6 with factory tow package spec 236 HP @ 5200 rpm torque 266 ft lbs @ 4000 RPM tow rated at 6300lbs. 

All of that means nothing to me. How does it sound? Plenty? Just OK?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 10:24pm
However, the same article used this illustration:  The Honda, with high horsepower and low torque is a vehicle unsuitable for towing.

"In other words, torque lets you do the work, but horsepower lets you do the work quickly."

"In the end, all the evidence points to torque as being more important than horsepower when it comes to towing. Why? The power at low-end rpm provided by high levels of torque lets you move huge loads without much effort. As stated before, some diesel trucks produce twice as much torque as they do horsepower at near-idle RPM levels -- meaning that they can start pulling something like a trailer or a boat with ease.

Horsepower is important because it allows a car to move faster on the highway and at high rpm. However, if you can't get that trailer off the line, all the horsepower in the world won't help you."

The full article would differ. My point was not to say horsepower isn't important. However, it is not enough to have a lot of horsepower if there is insufficient torque available to apply it. One needs both.

Looking up some quick specs for your Tacoma but not knowing the exact model, it looks like the figures for the supercharged engine horsepower are 296@5400 rpm and torque are 318@3600 rpm. The specs for my Escape with 2L Ecoboost engine are horsepower: 240* @ 5500 rpm, torque: 270 @ 3000 rpm. In both cases, the torque specs are higher than the horsepower as opposed to non-supercharged or non-turbocharged where the horsepower specs are usually higher than torque, and which vehicles have a harder time towing. It is the reason I traded from my old Escape, which had a larger engine, but less horsepower and torque, and would not have been suitable to tow the R-Pod 179.

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ouR escaPOD mods
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 10:30pm
Originally posted by GLBCamper

So...I am towing my 177, moderately loaded with a Toyota Tacoma 4L V6 with factory tow package spec 236 HP @ 5200 rpm torque 266 ft lbs @ 4000 RPM tow rated at 6300lbs. 

All of that means nothing to me. How does it sound? Plenty? Just OK?


How does it feel when you are towing? That is the more important question. Does it feel like it is towing adequately, both on hills and on level ground? If so, then it is likely adequate. If it feels like it is really straining and can't maintain speeds on an upgrade, then it is probably inadequate.
StephenH
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ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GLBCamper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2016 at 11:22pm
Originally posted by StephenH

Originally posted by GLBCamper

So...I am towing my 177, moderately loaded with a Toyota Tacoma 4L V6 with factory tow package spec 236 HP @ 5200 rpm torque 266 ft lbs @ 4000 RPM tow rated at 6300lbs. 

All of that means nothing to me. How does it sound? Plenty? Just OK?


How does it feel when you are towing? That is the more important question. Does it feel like it is towing adequately, both on hills and on level ground? If so, then it is likely adequate. If it feels like it is really straining and can't maintain speeds on an upgrade, then it is probably inadequate.

I'm new to towing, so I'm not sure how it "feels." That's actually why I ask the question. I worry when I tow up hills, but I wonder if it's unnecessary to worry. If the specs say I have nothing to worry about I would feel much better. But maybe it's not as simple as that. I read the article referenced above and get more confused than ever. 
Old: 2014 177 HRE
2015 Tacoma V6 4x4 Double Cab
New: 2016 EVO ATS 200rd
2016 F150 4x4 Sport
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