Ascent vs explorer

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Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
1
We are planning on purchasing a travel trailer and mid-sized suv in the next year. Runners up for the trailer are Jayco 19h or Forrest River 296. Both have dry weights < 4000 lbs and GWVR < 5000 lbs.

Leading vehicles are Subaru Ascent and Ford Explorer. Ascent has towing capacity of 5,000 and explorer 5,600. Both options work on paper. Does anyone have experience Towing similar loads with these vehicles?
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
56
Location
Texas
RV Year
2015
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana
RV Length
44
TOW/TOAD
2013 Ford Explorer
@Edalius I have a 2013 Explorer with the 3.5L V6. I don't recall the spec on towing however I believe it was 5,000. In any case I have an enclosed motorcycle trailer and Harley Roadking. Total towing weight around 3,000-3,500. Will it do it yes, BUT it's working hard at highway speeds. As expected the gas mileage drops. In my case from ~ 22 mpg to 11 mpg. In the Tow mode the transmission does not go into overdrive which keeps it from overheating but als keeps the engine rpm up. With the drop in mpg my range drops to less than 200 miles or about 2 hours or so of highway driving then your looking for fuel. Since I rarely tow it works for me. My thought is you would be better served to look at a vehicle with more towing capacity.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
2,109
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
I think @Someday Came gave you some very good advice. Both of the tow vehicles you asked about will be marginal, at best. There is more to successful (and, safe) towing than just getting some numbers to match. Running right at the limits of towing capacity is a recipe for problems. I would look for a tow vehicle that would provide at least 1,500 pounds of excess rated towing capacity; 2,000 pounds would be even better.

The other concern is that towing a 5,000-pound GVWR trailer with a short-wheelbase mid-sized SUV is not optimum. The short wheel-base frequently results in a choppy ride and potential handling issues. When towing a trailer, you want a very stable towing base. The right combination will be a dream to tow; one with less-than-optimum handling will be more work than fun.

We towed travel trailers and a 5th wheel for more than 25 years before moving to a motorhome. That experience tells me that having reserve towing capacity is much more important than it might appear.

I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but I'd much rather see you fully informed up front and be "a happy camper."

Best of luck in finding the right trailer/tow vehicle combination.

TJ
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
270
I agree with @Someday Came and @TJ&LadyDi . I will add any vehicle pushed close to it's limits will suffer with a shorter life. Any time you tow don't think you will save money by not using your tow haul button, overdrive is the weak link in a transmission. my ZF transmission locks out the two overdrive gears leaving 6, gas mileage goes from close to 20mpg for me to 12 mpg because of this lockout and added friction(added tires and bearings). the 5.7l engine never works hard no matter what.

These are not the old days, heavy metal gets surprising mileage when not towing and is not stressed when it is towing, if you don't push the numbers. If the manufacturer uses a turbo or two to get the numbers up they are already shortening the life of the engine, we are talking gas guzzler here, not diesel that is a dog without one. Because of the EPA gas vs. diesel have become close to a match for life expectancy, and complexity, but check them both out. The big outlay here is the tow vehicle not the tow trailer. One more point, the transmission is the weak link in any vehicle, get the best you can get, read the reviews online about trans problems, and once you get the tow vehicle use the tow haul button to save the transmission when towing, or the rig is heavily loaded.
 
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