is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

A forum for discussing issues relating to trailers and towing MacGregor sailboats.

Moderators: kmclemore, Hamin' X, NiceAft, beene, Catigale

User avatar
dlandersson
Admiral
Posts: 3492
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:00 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Chicago metro, USA

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by dlandersson » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:43 am

They are also very safe. And pretty comfortable for trips. My next tow beast will likely be a Highlander or an ML350 (has coil suspension). 8)
Russ wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:11 am
Mercedes is a double edge sword. Fantastic vehicle, super reliable, but when stuff breaks it's expensive.

Sales guy told me the Highlander is the largest model built on a "car" frame. Larger Toyota SUVs are on "truck" frame and drive like it.
I didn't test drive them.

I'd love to buy an American brand, but the Japanese/German cars have such great reliability ratings.

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5264
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by Tomfoolery » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:57 am

dlandersson wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:43 am
They are also very safe. And pretty comfortable for trips. My next tow beast will likely be a Highlander or an ML350 (has coil suspension).
So does the Highlander, doesn’t it?

And yes, it is a very comfortable ride on long trips, but for my back at least, I’ve found the Grand Cherokee even more comfortable, even with a little bit stiffer ride.

User avatar
BOAT
Admiral
Posts: 4368
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:12 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oceanside, CA MACMJ213 2013 ETEC60

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by BOAT » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:26 am

The frame was a big deal in the old days because a lot of people used torsion bars thingys on the hitch for the trailer. My dad had a travel trailer and he used those big torsion bars thingys on the hitch * I remember using a big crowbar to lift the chain up. They were popular back in the old days because big cars back then tended to be low in a ass:

Image

I don't know if they are still used a lot today but if you use them it's best to have a frame. They move a lot of weight to the front tires.

When we got the Jeep they told me there was a partial frame making the hitch and rear axles one "box" for a hitch like that but I have never seen the need to have one - the boat is just not heavy enough to make the rear of Jeep or the Van go down. I have had 6 people in the back of the van and that did not make the rear go down so there is no way the boat is going to move it. On the Jeep - the dang hitch is just too close to the rear axle - the silly thing is more like a fifth wheel than a hitch. That's the problem with the Jeep - it's SOO short - There is an exit over here with a nasty bump and a curve and if I hit it too fast the rear of the Jeep will go up in the air! That's the thing about the Jeeps - there is nothing back there. That's why they do so well off road. The Highlander and Suburban are longer and make things a bit more comfortable towing a freeway speeds in high winds.

As far as my back is concerned I feel the Jeep is better on rough roads. It's not the bumps that kill my back - it's the sudden jerking of the car heeling from port to starboard throwing me from one side of the car to the other. My brothers Highlanger seemed to take the angle of the road wherever we went - I assume it had sway bars that made the wheels stay flatter cornering - that's great for freeways but it's hull in the dirt. The jeep seemed to stay mor level in the twisting roads that leaned from left to right and back again. I assume the sway bars in the jeep are probably pretty light (and would explain why the car is going airborne when I hit that big bump at 55MPH).

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5264
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:36 am

BOAT wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:26 am
The frame was a big deal in the old days because a lot of people used torsion bars thingys on the hitch for the trailer. My dad had a travel trailer and he used those big torsion bars thingys on the hitch * I remember using a big crowbar to lift the chain up. They were popular back in the old days because big cars back then tended to be low in a ass:

I don't know if they are still used a lot today but if you use them it's best to have a frame. They move a lot of weight to the front tires.
Weight (or Load) Distributing Hitches. Used all the time on heavier trailers.

But if you want to talk about "the old days", before WDH's folks used a dolly. Like the Slimp Wheel. For real.


Image

Image

Image

C Buchs
First Officer
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:49 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Camas, WA; 2001 26X w/ 2000 Honda 50

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by C Buchs » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:25 pm

dlandersson wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:30 am
I'm looking at the Highlanders, 4Runners, and Sequoias. Don't get me wrong, I like my GL450 a lot, but at 153,000 miles, I'm not sure how much I trust it. Just replaced the front airmatic shocks (can the rear be far behind? And when they go, you basically can't drive the vehicle over 25 mph). Even using a 3rd party mech and parts, it was expensive. :(
The previous owner of my ML500 always took it to the dealer. I took it to the dealer to have them check out the front air shocks when we had about 120k miles on it. They said that the previous owner had replaced one of the front struts. Of course the other one was leaking. I replaced it myself. That was a few hour job. I've also replaced the airbags in the back. They are super easy. The hardest part is jacking the car up and taking the wheel off. It takes like 25 minutes, tops.

Jeff

User avatar
BOAT
Admiral
Posts: 4368
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:12 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oceanside, CA MACMJ213 2013 ETEC60

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by BOAT » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:05 pm

If money is no object and you still want your 4WD SUV to be capable in dirt the Mercedes is the best if you want total comfort.
If money is important and you still want your 4WD SUV to be capable in dirt the Jeep is the best if you can give up some comfort.

The Highlander costs more than the jeep so that just plain disqualifies the Highlander in my book as a 4WD SUV - from my point of view 4WD is a waste of money if your buying a Highlander to tow. If it's just for towing and your NOT going off road then the 4WD is a waste of money.

In the end that was why I did not go for the long, low to the ground, low profile tire SUV like the Highlander and the Infinity and the Navigator and the Aviator - they are all great but not capable off road so are a waste of the 4WD option. We needed off road ability.

If I did get one of those long SUV's I would have gotten it in 2WD.

User avatar
Todd
Chief Steward
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:43 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: New Mexico

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by Todd » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:18 pm

I have always had a 4WD. My Dad was a land surveyor in Colorado and had Scouts as company rigs. Most of them no tops or doors so I think it's ingrained in me. The boat ramps we have are largely slime-free so I don't think you need it as a must have however if you want to stray off the main roads and beach camp and beach launch then you better have either 4WD, good friends with 4WD, $100 for the guy with 6x6, or a bunch of pizza and beer for the show.

User avatar
BOAT
Admiral
Posts: 4368
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:12 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oceanside, CA MACMJ213 2013 ETEC60

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by BOAT » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:25 pm

Todd wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:18 pm
I have always had a 4WD. My Dad was a land surveyor in Colorado and had Scouts as company rigs. Most of them no tops or doors so I think it's ingrained in me. The boat ramps we have are largely slime-free so I don't think you need it as a must have however if you want to stray off the main roads and beach camp and beach launch then you better have either 4WD, good friends with 4WD, $100 for the guy with 6x6, or a bunch of pizza and beer for the show.
Agreed - all true.

User avatar
Russ
Admiral
Posts: 5637
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:01 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Bozeman, Montana "Luna Azul" 2008 M 70hp Suzi

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by Russ » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:27 pm

For many 4WD isn't necessary.

In our climate (snow) it's great. I have used it on the slimy ramp. Both in my truck and Highlander.

kurz
Captain
Posts: 809
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:07 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Zürich, Switzerland, Europe

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by kurz » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:01 am

4WD I never had. First I startet with a 30 years old Mercedes w124... worked well. Never problems at ramps.

Actually I have a 2016 VW Sharan (basically a small van). Just front wheel drive. Rides PERFECTELLY long distances. No probs on ramps either. When I have snow I put the snow chains on (ok last time I forgot them at home... )

If I need a front coupler I install a front coupler ball that goes in the thread from towing eye.

Starscream
Captain
Posts: 631
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:08 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Montreal, Quebec. 2002 26X - Etec90

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by Starscream » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:06 am

Here is what Canada does to vehicles. Our '88 pathfinder with 400,000km on the clock. She was tired. We replaced her with a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer that was a total POS, then the Durango in 2006 which was the most reliable vehicle I ever owned (weird, I know, Dodge & Reliability?), and then the Pathfinder last year.

The engine in our '18 pathfinder is the modern evolution of the one in the '88.

Image

We salt on our roads, in huge quantities, so much so that the salt rocks can actually chip the paint off the vehicle. There are very few 10 year+ old vehicles to be seen up here.

Tesla has a major problem on its hands with the model 3 vehicles they sold here: after the first year, the paint on the wheel wells and frame behind the front wheels is peeling up on a LOT of cars. Going to be a class-action lawsuit, I'm sure. They are shipping a free "cold weather" kit that includes mudguards and some other protection for those areas, but sadly it's too little too late. Can't wait to own one, but they're gonna have to fix that problem first.

User avatar
BOAT
Admiral
Posts: 4368
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:12 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oceanside, CA MACMJ213 2013 ETEC60

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by BOAT » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:36 am

Hmmmmmm - Lithium batteries and salt water - hmmm - I think there are going to be some Tesla bonfires up north.

One thing I noticed during travel between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island is that everyone drove American cars. To me it seemed that Canadians drove American cars more than Americans do - I saw fewer Japanese cars in Canada than I see in the US. And a LOT of the cars I saw in Canada were Chrysler cars like Dodges and Pacificas and stuff like that.

User avatar
kmclemore
Site Admin
Posts: 5628
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:24 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Ambler, PA -- MACX2018A898 w/ Tohatsu 50D -- 78 BW Harpoon 4.6 -- 2018 Tahoe 550TF w/ 150 Merc

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by kmclemore » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:22 am

BOAT wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:36 am
One thing I noticed during travel between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island is that everyone drove American cars. To me it seemed that Canadians drove American cars more than Americans do - I saw fewer Japanese cars in Canada than I see in the US. And a LOT of the cars I saw in Canada were Chrysler cars like Dodges and Pacificas and stuff like that.
Actually, a lot of “American” cars are made, in whole or in part, in Canada.

User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 4115
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by NiceAft » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:46 am

I've been reading this thread, and I believe everyone is going a little too nuts over deciding their choice of tow vehicle.

In the original MacGregor brochure I read way back in 2003 ( I think), it showed a Mac being towed by a Ford Taurus* :o ; I believe Catagail towed with a Volkswagen bus. Kevin can probably correct me if wrong.

My first tow beast was anything but; a 2002 GMC Envoy. Six cylinders, and 4wheel drive. Next, a 2011 GMC Acadia. That's what I am still using. Neither of those vehicles are rated at over 4,000 pound (1,814 KL) towing capacity.

If I may, lighten up :!: :)

Ray

* I had asked a dealer how did MacGregor get a Taurus to tow a Mac. The dealer told me he had asked Roger MacGregor the same question. The response was "I didn't tell the Taurus."

Starscream
Captain
Posts: 631
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:08 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Montreal, Quebec. 2002 26X - Etec90

Re: is this forum for "trailers & towing" only or can we talk about tow vehicles?

Post by Starscream » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:43 am

Respectfully disagree on the lighten up...I love listening to other owners' opinions of their vehicles, and of others.

Vehicles are kind of like a projection of the self, so people take them very seriously. And that's OK, according to me. :D

There is no better complement than people buying the same tow beast (or boat) as you. It's OK to love Sprinter vans. Or undersized towbeasts. :D


I'm one of the very few engineers that I know in my field who has no problem showing up to a big meeting or a job site driving my wife's 70HP Mitsubishi Mirage econobox, while everyone else shows off their Audi or BMW.

Post Reply