I've been looking for a lightweight SUV to pull behind a motorhome. I currently have a Ford Explorer which I LOVE but of course it's much too heavy, so I'll be trading it in for something much smaller. I don't want to haul a regular car because I want to be able to go some places that cars can't go. I realize that the small SUVs can't go everywhere my Explorer can, but I'd be able to do a lot of the exploring I want to on our travels around the country.
One that I'm looking into is the RAV4 which is pushing it weight-wise but would still work. Any other ideas for small, lightweight SUVs?
This according to a report on Utah vehicle ownership my car insurance agent saw last week. He was a bit surprised, as was I, but there are a boatload of Subarus in Utah, including mine. It is a very "sensible shoes" kind of vehicle in this state.
It even has an extra inch of ground clearance over a Forester, though it does have a longer overhang in front of the front wheels, which would limit its ability to climb over big rocks compared to a Forester.
For towing behind an RV, you need a vehicle that can be dinghy towed. Most SUVs can not be towed this way. Some can but you need to be a little handy about removing and installing drive shafts. Some few can be towed in neutral. The manual transmission Samurai and Jeep CJs/Wranglers fit this as I recall.
..gas mileage? 15-17 mpg city, ain't too good. However, switching to part time or full time 4-wheel drive is awesome. The Horsepower in the jeep is amazing too..I have pulled some mother loads with this thing. Never had a vehicle handle the snow, mud, rough terrain like my Jeep GrandCL.
full time AWD or quadratrac is hard on the driveline in two mode. Many SUV use that system.
Older jeeps Grand Cherokees were great to be towed because the had the part time transfer case instead of full time. Less wear and less headache for you towing. IIRC they were 2003 and earlier ... Jeep is a proven platform
I've continued researching and have learned a lot. On another website I found a place with an application chart where you put in the info about the car and can find out if it's towable as-is and if there are other things that need to be done to make a car towable. The RAV4 needs a lube pump which costs over $900 so that's out. It looks like a CR-V might work since those are made to be towable. Some of the jeeps could also work.
Again, thanks! I'll be making a decision in the next few weeks.
I currently drive a Range Rover. I've had various four wheel drives my whole life. My first car was a Jeep CJ 7. I collect cars and build custom cars as a hobby.
Last year I built a Baja Bug out of a 1973 VW Beatle that needed some TLC. I'm amazed at where it will go. These things will go where a four wheel drive will get stuck and if you have enough people, you can pick them up and carry them. Lot's of fun and lot's of available parts and accessories.
My oldest daughter is driving it in the snow to school.
Every Land Rover I have owned has the typical British electrical problems. What they have going for them, it they are easy to see out of and the short wheel radius makes them wonderful in town. They also cruise at 75 nicely. The best vehicles I've ever driven off road period. They just roll over everything.
A Land Rover is great if it runs.
Some problems: The heater cores corrode and break sending hot engine coolant all over the floor of the passenger compartment.
Constant quirky electrical problems.
The electrical system tends to drain batteries when the car sits for a few days.
Harder to find parts on the road than a more common brand.
Overpriced. Land Rovers are way overprices for what they are.
The electrical system will "wake up" while it's parked and drain the battery. It's a known "feature". We bought it used for a very good price, so it was a great value in a luxury vehicle which is also one of the BEST off-road vehicles made. At least the older ones were...
The suspension, ease to work on, and the locking differential in the transfer case is what made Rovers great. Also the aluminum Buick V8 the Brits bought off of GM was a reliable power plant. The British Lucas electronics and poor build quality ruined it all.
This is my second Suzuki...I have a 2008 SX4, which has SUV style and shape, but is much smaller. Comes with lots of nice standard features, has 4 doors and a back hatch door, has a 2.0 liter engine and in such a small car it makes it very quick and fast. Drives/handles great too.
You can get a roof rack which is great for a canoe or other stuff, and it has a surprizingly large interior and really good head room. I'm 6 ft. and have several inches of space over my head.
It also has all wheel drive (standard I think), locked in up to about 45 mph, then it goes to auto....great for snow. Great sound system too, no need to upgrade. Gets about 28 - 30 mpg on the hiway.
I use mine for camping, hauling around my PA and musical instruments and lots more....it holds a lot of stuff. Its one of the best cars I've ever owned and I would buy it again.
Its also much cheaper than other imports and with all the stock features....AC, CD stereo, power side view mirrors, electric windows, side view mirror defrost (I love this feature), etc, it makes it very good value. I paid around $15K for mine brand new and it has a very good waranty.
The dealership is Spreen Honda in Loma Linda, CA www.spreenhonda.com
The guy you want to get a hold of is Vu Tonthat. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will email you a special internet quote. Or call him at (909) 799 - 7070 ext. 417 and he will take your info and help you over the phone.
Spreen Honda is a volume dealership. Most buyers are not aware that dealers get a kickback from the manufacturer for every car sold. Most dealerships try to get as much out of you AND take the kickback. They'll haggle with you over price, the whole time laughing all the way to the bank knowing they will get cash back per car sold. Spreen Honda is happy to lower their pricing and make their money on the kickbacks from the volume of sales they do. I had THREE Honda dealerships tell me I would NEVER get the price I offered them for a new CR-V. Then I found Vu. The price he gave me was BETTER than what I was looking for. We worked our deal out over the phone and I drove 120 miles to pick up my new car. The drive was worth it, I saved nearly $2000 over what the other dealers were proposing. As I was driving back home, I actually got a follow-up call from one of the other dealers. They were asking if I would consider coming back in to work a deal out. I said "I would...but I am busy driving my new CR-V home." The guy asked where I bought it. I said "Spreen Honda. Did you know they are a volume dealership?" He said "Uggghhhh....I wish they hadn't told you that." Haaaa haaaa haaaa.
Give Vu a call. He's "da man". Good luck. My CR-V is "Glacier Blue" and absolutely beautiful.
I actually can't buy new right now so it will be a trade-in with my Explorer. I found a place in my area that has a used CR-V that's already set up for towing behind an RV - that might work for me although it's still a little heavier than I should tow. We'll see.