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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To all,

We are just about to sign up for a brand new Outback 21RS but before I do I want to secure my choice for the TV. I have the leisure to select to TV as I do not own one at the present time. I want to purchase a used unit (99 or 2000) as my budget does not allow me for two big items in the same year. After a lot of readings and research I have narrowed it down to the following 2 vehicules: Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4.7L V8 engine (with appropriate tow package and axel ratio) or Ford Expedition with 5.4L V8 engine again with tow package. Please remember that us here in the northern country (Canada) we pay our gas 3$ a gallon. So I think that both trucks are meeting the requirements (math wise) but I am looking for experience, how does it behave, how does it feel. The Cherokee has a couple of points ahead of the game as my wife's prefers the style
.

Thanks for your advice.
 

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What is the wheel base of the Jeep? Usually, the longer the WB of the TV, the better it will handle when towing a TT. I think I read a formula somewhere that for the first 25' of TT, you should have 110" of WB on the TV. For each additional foot on the TT, add 5" of WB for the TV. If I have misquoted this, then perhaps someone else could chime in. It has been a while since I've seen it.

I personally would be more at ease with the longer WB of the Ford, but I have a friend who tows a 23' Sunline with an S10 Blazer, and claims it does great.

If the towing capacity's are able to meet your TT needs, then get yourself a good WD hitch, with sway control, like either the Equal-i-zer or a Reese Dual Cam, and head for the open road.

Either way, good luck with your purchase.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the comments, the wheel base is 105 inchs for the Jeep and an outrageous 119 inch ford the expedition.

My impression was that 105 inch of WB was a minimum for the first 25ft.

Any other comments?
 

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Have you done the math on the weights? There are several good posts in the towing section on how to check and make sure your weights are okay. In your calculations do not forget to count your passengers and other stuff inside the TV. What are the two TV's capable of towing? What type of rear end do they have (gear ratios)? Is one better then the other or are the ratio's the same. If the Jeep does not have a good gear ratio you may be looking at a new transmission sometime down the road. Also, do not under estimate how much stuff you will be putting inside the TT and make sure to account for it. If you plan to tow with a full tank of fresh water add 8lbs per gallon to your figures.

You are doing the right thing by asking these questions before you buy a TV. My gut reaction is that the Expy is going to make a better TV.

Just my thougths.
 

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My impression was that 105 inch of WB was a minimum for the first 25ft.
That may be. I never wrote it down, and was going purely from memory. Perhaps someone else on the forum knows where to find the formula.


Don't forget, your fuel mileage will go down with either vehicle, and the one that is working harder will have a bigger drop. You may find that the smaller engine will be working harder, and your towing mpg will come out about the same as with the bigger motor.

CamperDC brings up many good points on the gear ratio's. On my Chevy Avalanche, the difference between 3.73 and 4.10 gears is 1000 pounds towing capacity. Don't forget to look at the Gross Combined Wgt. Rating for the TV. This is the total of the actual wgts of the TV and the TT.

And you thought this was going to be easy.
 

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110" wheelbase for a 20' trailer and 4" of additional wheelbase for each foot over 20'.

So a 119" wheelbase expy could handle a 22' trailer according to the guidelines. Our yukon with 116" handles the 21RS with no problem. We towed 28'er with the same truck and it was squirrely to say the least.

If you go with the Jeep, a good sway control will help to offset the shorter wheelbase. I would recommend the equal-i-zer as I feel the tongue weight of the 21RS is not enough to let the dual cam work as well as it could. The dual cam requires at least 400lbs. of tongue weight to work, the more tongue weight the better. The 21RS has just over 400lbs. maybe 500-550 when you are loaded depending on how you load up. The equal-i-zer works with friction so it doesn't rely on tongue weight to work to it's maximum ability.

Good luck with your decision.

Mike
 

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Food for thought-

My 2003 Chevy Trailblazer tows great. Others may tell you otherwise. It all depends on what you think good towing should be. Maybe a GM isn't a choice for you. I don't know what your preferences are.

Yes wheelbase length does help for really long rigs but good weight dist hitch and sway control make a huge difference.

I bought my Trailblazer specifically for my needs and towing the 25RSS.

Mine has the 4.10 gears which I specifically ordered and a locking rear axle. The I6 engine is very smooth and can really pull a trailer without lugging the engine.

I would choose the Expedition of the two vehicles you mentioned however.

He's some reviews if you're interested (particularly mentioning the Jeep):

"Towing was a high priority with the TrailBlazer, which is rated at 6400 pounds on 2WD models, 6200 pounds on 4WD models. In Baja, the engineers couldn't stop raving about its capability. With genuine excitement (and glee), they boasted that during their own comparison testing, a TrailBlazer "ran away and hid" from a Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 in a trailer-pulling race up a mountain. They added that it ran way cooler (thanks in part to that big seven-quart oil pan) and used 20-percent less gas."

http://www.auto-linker.com/2002_chevrolet_trailblazer.html

http://www.carsdirect.com/research/chevrol...2003/ls/reviews

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your comments, one my issues is trying to find the used vehicule with all the right coponents, I would love the trailBlazer but most of them out there have the regular axel ratio. It is very difficult also to clearly identify what equipement the car has as most people don't even know themselves. I end up calling GM or Ford to verify the VIN for factory installed equipment.

The nice thing with the Expedition is that most of the "Eddie Bower" eddition with tow package have the 3.73 axel, not the best but better that 3.55 or even lower. The one that I am watching has the tow package giving it a 8600lbs rating.

I would like to exchange with the member that has a 21RS with the Durango, this model came back on my list recently.

Thanks again, we are signing our contract this coming weekend
 

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Sylbarr,

There is a stiker somewhere on the vehicle that will tell you the gear ration for the back axle. On Fords it is on the dirver door. On my Dodge it is in the glove box. Not sure on the Chevys.

Also, there is a decent tow giude on the Trailer Life web site that may help out. Check out http://www.trailerlife.com/

Good luck and
 

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sylbarr,

Also consider the Suburban / Yukon XL. 4.10 gears come with the heavy duty towing package (at least on our 2001). The 5.3 liter V8, the towing package, and the LONG wheelbase of the Suburban / Yukon XL prevents sway mostly by default. You'll tow the 21 RS like a you were towing a tin can.

Our 26 RS tows nicely in the Colorado foot hills. Mountain towing is coming soon! It will be 70 by Friday! Woo Hoo!



Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lucky you, here in the Montreal (Canada) we have to wait until end of May before thinking of camping. W really have 3 to 4 months to do camping, so when comes the summer we go out on almost every single weekend.

Any how, thanks for the advise on the Yukon, they are a bit out of reach for me ($$) I would have to get a 1998 model.

Again the Durango (5.9) with 3.92 axel got back on my list, a 2001 model is very afordable.

Good luck with your hills!
 

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I have a 99 expedition with the small v8, I believe 4.6. It also has the heavy duty towing package on it from the factory. We use a weight distribution package to pull with . We are pulling our 2004 21RS w/o any problems. I was a little concerned as we were used to pulling a Jayco popup. But it has done well for us. In fact we will be heading out next week for spring break in the Smokies. There is no sway at all.

I would feel more comfortable with the expedition than the Jeep. Although my mom and dad use their jeep to pull their 24' Hi-Lo.

Good luck sunny
 

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We also use a Durango to tow our 21RS, it is a 2000 4.7l FT4x4. We use a standard Reese weight distribution hitch (necessary) with friction anti-sway (not really necessary). I did change the axle ratio to 3.92 from 3.55 which did not pull well. Gas mileage is about 7 mpg at 65 mph in the flatlands (GA to FL).
I do have the tow package. The 5.9 L may be a better engine for towing, but the 4.7 is fine. The rear axle ratio is more important, as is all of the HD components (trans cooler, aux fan, etc.) The wheelbase of the Durango is slightly longer than the Jeep, which is a plus. The Durango seats 8, so we use the back for the dogs with the seat folded flat. The rear A/C really helps down south.

Outbackgeorgia
 
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