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Old 07-10-2010, 04:00 PM   #1
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truck for towing

I own a 2005 sunline solaris T2499 travel trailer. I have never towed a trailer before and I am currently looking to buy a truck that will tow this trailer. Some people tell me a 6 cylinder will do but I find this hard to believe . I don't understand the weight ratios of this trailer but if the GVWR is 7000 lbs then this is not a light weight trailer. My question is if I go with a ford f150 can a 4.6L pull the trailer or would it be wiser with a 5.4L . Perhaps there is someone on the forums that have this particular model that can give me some advice. I suppose the bigger the engine the better .

GVWR---3175 kg (7000lbs)

GAWR---front (1588kg)
(3500kg)

rear (1588kg)
(3500kg)
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by guss View Post
I own a 2005 sunline solaris T2499 travel trailer. I have never towed a trailer before and I am currently looking to buy a truck that will tow this trailer. Some people tell me a 6 cylinder will do but I find this hard to believe . I don't understand the weight ratios of this trailer but if the GVWR is 7000 lbs then this is not a light weight trailer. My question is if I go with a ford f150 can a 4.6L pull the trailer or would it be wiser with a 5.4L . Perhaps there is someone on the forums that have this particular model that can give me some advice. I suppose the bigger the engine the better .

GVWR---3175 kg (7000lbs)

GAWR---front (1588kg)
(3500kg)

rear (1588kg)
(3500kg)
Welcome to the club........

Just a short answer Forget about a 6cyl. A 5.4 would be good but you have to ck. the trucks pulling cap.
Example my 2008 4x4 Tahoe 5.3L is rated for 7,200lbs. (3.73 axel) but with the optional 4.10 axel it is 8,200lbs.
So mine would be OK but with 4.10 axel it would be better (that would be my choice for a T2499)
I always like to be on the safe side, by 10% or more...

YES the bigger the better.........
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:24 AM   #3
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I have a Solaris T-2370 that has a GVWR of 5500 lbs. and I pull it with an F-150 that has a 4.6L and 3.73 rear. This truck pulls my trailer OK on flat ground. Even the slightest hill will bog it down pretty badly. Given that your trailers GVWR is 7000 lbs., I would advise against the 4.6L. The 5.4L should do fine but I agree that the bigger the engine the better. Of course, the compromise is that you will probably pay for the easier pulling in gas mileage. My next tow vehicle will be at least a 5.4 or 6.0L.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:00 AM   #4
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Posted most of this in the newbie section before I noticed your post here in the towing portion of the forum...

We've owned a 2004 model T2499 for about 2 years now. It's a great floorplan for 2 people.

We pull ours with a 3/4-ton pickup. Ours is not an HD model, nor does it have a diesel engine. Our LD (light duty) 2500 Chevy has the 5.3 liter gas engine and a 3.73 limited slip rear axle ratio.

You can tow the 2499 with a properly equipped 1/2-ton truck.
You MIGHT could move this trailer with a 6-cylinder engine, but I would not want to do it often... unless we're talking about a 6-cylinder DIESEL.

The heavy tongue weight the 2499 has puts some serious load on the rear suspension... a 3/4-ton (or even a 1-ton) rated vehicle is better equipped to handle that payload AND whatever else you may carry in your tow vehicle much better than a 1/2-ton rated vehicle.

I would also recommend a longer wheelbase tow vehicle. Ours is an extended cab short bed model with the same wheelbase as a Suburban. I like the additional interior space the extended cab provides... we do sometimes have my daughter along on trips OR other campers hitching a ride to the store or restaurant. I think longer wheelbase vehicles are a more stable platform for towing, especially a relatively large camper like the 2499.

Our truck has a combined gross vehicle rating of 13K pounds... and we're very close to that weight when heading down the road. The rating would be HIGHER if we had a different engine in the truck, say the 6.0 liter gas or the Duramax diesel. I am one of these people that doesn't like to push the hardware to it's rated limits very often... it makes things wear out faster. I'd like to have a heavier-duty tow vehicle than I have now.

We manage OK with our little 5.3 on the fairly flat lands around south Georgia and north Florida where we do most of our camping. But when we venture north to the Georgia mountains or even western North Carolina (as we did in June 2010), the small gas engine is hard pressed to handle the steeper grades. It is these situations that make me wish for a bigger motor.

If I was to have the ability to choose a tow vehicle for THIS camper, I'd aim for a 3/4-ton or 1-ton diesel pickup with either an extended cab or quad-cab. If you are a Ford man, aim at the Super Duty models.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:18 AM   #5
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you can get a F150 equipped to have a max tow of around 11K
If you do want the 4.6 make sure you get the 4.6 3v engine
but I would get the 5.4
also get the factory tailor brake controller its works awesome!
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:23 AM   #6
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or if you can wait till the 2011 models come out there will be more engine options
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:55 AM   #7
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Hi Guss

1st off Welcome to Sunline Oweners Club!!! Glad to have you with us.

You have a 05 T2499. Nice camper!!! We had a 2004 T2499 up until this last spring so I am familiar with the unique things of that floor plan. And we liked the rear living room area so much we went out and bought it’s big brother, a 2004 T310SR which is a all grown up T2499…. And a lot heavier…

We need a little more info about your camping/towing situation to help better. See this post it may help explain some.

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f72/towing-a-tt-info-for-those-new-to-towing-10775.html

There are 2 aspects of towing a TT. Being able to control the TT while towing it within the ratings of the tow vehicle and then there is the pulling performance. Both of these need to be in line.

Can you tell us a little about your towing plans with the T2499 and your visions of where you go or may go this year and say 2 years from now?

Will you tow 100 miles 3 times a year or tow 2,500 miles plus a year?

Where will you be towing at? The mountains of western PA, the mountains of western US or the flat lands of western Ohio/eastern IN.

Stuff in the truck (camping gear, must haves, pets, people, truck cap etc) can you give us an estimate on how many pounds of “stuff” will be in the truck?

Oh and you mentioned the F150. That is a nice truck. And Ford made many of them in every configuration known to man I think…. Is there a particular year range of truck you are looking at? A good used 1997 to year 2000, A year 2000 to 2005, or better a 2010 or 2011? The newer ones have much more ability then the older ones. So this does make a difference.

Give us some insight to your visions of towing the T2499 and we can help better give you things to think thru as you make your decision.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:08 AM   #8
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Some general tips and thoughts to help pick a tow vehicle:

Rear axle ratio: Bigger is better. 3.53's are low on torque. 3.73's are OK, 3.93's are even better, and 4.10's are the best for torque. However, gas mileage is the reverse, at least when not towing. When towing, lower gears make the engine and transmission work a lot hard. Higher gears demand less of both. On my truck, the difference between 3.53 and 4.10 gears is two thousand pounds of additional capacity in both GCWR and max. trailer weight.

GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of the tow vehicle MUST be larger than the GVWR of the trailer and the tow vehicle fully loaded, including people and gear. Example, my '99 T-2453 is GVWR'd at 5,500#. My truck is GVWR'd at 10,5000#. The GCWR is 19,000# and the truck is rated for a max. trailer weight of 12,450. *If* the trailer and truck were fully loaded to max. GVWR, I would still have a 3,500# safety margin.

The truck is rated to carry about 4,700# in the bed, but the Class IV hitch is only rated for a max trailer weight of 5,000# and max tongue weight of 500# under weight carrying conditions. It is rated for 10,000/1,000 weight distributing. Factory receivers vary widely in capacity. We've seen them with much lower ratings on 1/2 ton pickups and many SUV's.

It's arguable that I am swatting flies with a sledge hammer, but we bought this truck to someday upgrade to a much larger TT or 5'er. In the meantime, we pull the 2453 around without much concern for weight issues.

There are a lot more complex ways of figuring out tow vehicle/trailer combinations, but if the basic numbers of GCWR and GVWRs don't fall in line, at least in my 40 years of towing experience, the combination is probably not going to work very well at best.

If you read signatures here, you'll quickly see that many of us are using at least 3/4 ton trucks to pull TT's that fall in the 7,000# GVWR and higher category. Most of us with the larger trucks tried using some form of 1/2 ton tow vehicles and found them to be inadequate in some ways.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:23 PM   #9
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or if you can wait till the 2011 models come out there will be more engine options
Nothing to do with pulling a T2499 but I just looked at some of the 2011 Models, and all I can say is WOW.......That's some Torque !

Example.........2011 Chevy Silverado HD towing cap. up to 16,000 lbs.towing with ball hitch or 20,000 lbs.with a fifth-wheel hitch.
With the 6.6 liter turbo-diesel with an Allison trans. you get 765 pound-ft. of Torque, to me that is an amazing amount of torque........
They also added the exhaust brake system to the turbo-diesel. So when coasting, compressed exhaust gasses are contained inside the cylinders, forcing it to turn more slowly, which slows down the truck without touching the brakes.
So today any TT or fifth-wheel of any size can be pulled Very Easy with a WIDE margin of extra power.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:33 PM   #10
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There's already lots of good info in this thread. If you don't need ultimate comfort in a daily driver take a good look at the 2011 Ford F250. It has some really nice towing features, but check the options carefully that you don't miss something. If you must have a 1/2 ton you'll need to check options even more carefully to get the maximum towing packages like GM's VortecMax. The ads brag about inflated tow ratings, but those 10,000 lb numbers are only on a very carefully optioned model. By the time you're done with the 1/2 ton, and with factory incentives, you may find the 3/4 ton is a better deal.

Buying used is a bit more dicey. If you buy GM from a GM dealer etc. they will be able to use the serial number to print out the equivalent of the original window sticker. That way you can see exactly what is on the truck. Also, ask for the owner's manual. All the towing info you need is in there.

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Old 07-11-2010, 03:27 PM   #11
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Guss.

I have a 2006 T-2499 which I pull with a Chevy 1/2 ton. A 4.8 motor with a 3.42 RA. Bought when we were pulling a pop up. In my opinion, you can get away with a 1/2 ton if it's properly eqipped to do so. My pick would be the Ford with the HD tralering package (5.4 motor, 3:73 RA, HD springs and all the coolers). Personally , I want to upgrade to the F-250. More power, torque and better stability with the heavier springs.

I have been a GM man all my life but with the rate of electrical repairs I have been doing is getting expensive, hence the transition toward Ford. Their options and set ups for towing are impressive.

If you decide to go with a 1/2 ton, I have found that installing a K&N high airflow filter and using a full synthetic motor oil helps while towing with power and milage. If you are towing within a 500 mile radius, I say a half ton will do. Over the road, go for the 3/4 ton. Then your also covered if you upgrade to a larger camper.

Nice choice of the 2499. It's perfect for Amy and I.

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Old 07-11-2010, 04:22 PM   #12
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I would not (well I couldn't) have towed my '06 2499 with a half ton truck. It would never have moved, :mrgr een:

The 2499 has "huge" storage across the front of the rig, which often translates into heavy tongue weight (I had like 1175 lbs, but I did have an Onan 3600LP genny up there).

Thru all my years of having Sunlines, I have come to realize that it is better to purchase a TV that is overkill for the current/intended RV. NEVER know when the need/desire to upgrade the rig will strike and that often translates into another TV to boot. Especially with our Sunlines, accidents happen, and "if' I choose to stick with Sunline, that means I have to find a replacement Sunline, and I might have to change models which in turn changes the weights.

Just my thoughts, but I always want more power than needed.(HUM, am I related to "Tim the Toolman" ??? )

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Old 07-11-2010, 05:10 PM   #13
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I have the truck that Bobo described for towing, F150, 5.4, 3.73, Towing package. In addition, I got the FX4 package for the slightly heavier springs and much stiffer shocks and I ordered the LT tires for their HD qualities.

I've towed the Sunline to Maine and to Massachusetts from NY over the Mass Pike with its many heavy grades. I can say that I have NEVER had the need for more power. A surprising statement, for sure, but it's a fact. With a large grade approaching, I give the throttle about 1/2-3/4" more and I top the grade at the same speed I started it at. I had hoped that the truck, so optioned, would be satisfactory but I can say that it well exceeded my hopes.

The off road suspension, LT tires and Reese Dual Cam WD hitch give the combo superb stability. I can say with complete confidence that a F150 outfitted with these options, that is pulling a T2499, will do the job VERY well.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:36 PM   #14
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Thankyou all for your advice !
I plan to drive about 600 miles per year total . My wife and I go on a few one week vacations, in the summer months, not to far from home.
We basically take enough clothes and food for a week so were not loaded down to much.
The roads are a little windy and steep in places. No mountains. Also, this will be the last trailer for us so we need a truck that will suit this trailer only.
I have been thinking about a 2008 or 2009 Ford F150 regular cab instead of a extended cab to save a few bucks . Does the design of the cabs have any bearing on better towing ? I was thinking of a 4x2, 8' box, 145" wheel base, rear axle ratio 3.93 or better,5.4L 3v triton V8 .
I was wondering about the 5.4L with the HD package. Would spending the extra money for this be worth it in my case .
From reading all your replies I Know I have a lot to learn about TV's . Please give me your advice on the truck I've mentioned above . The big issue for me is safety on the road and at the same time not spending more money than I need to.Thanks again !

Best Regards,
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:19 PM   #15
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Regular Cab is OK but, like you indicate, the 8 foot box is a must. The wheelbase definitely IS important.
The HD package does give a higher tow rating but that package is pretty hard to find used. Also,in my area any 2wd truck is extremely hard to find used.
If you are buying used, your choice will be dictated by what is available. The basics that you need are approx 145" or longer WB, the 5.4 engine, the 3.73 axle and the tow package. Just so you know, there is a VAST difference in towing ability between a 3.55 axle and a 3.73 axle so don't listen to anyone tell you that a 3.55 is just as good, it's not.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:44 PM   #16
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Hi Guss

Thanks for the info this now helps. Here are some thoughts to your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guss View Post

I plan to drive about 600 miles per year total . My wife and I go on a few one week vacations, in the summer months, not to far from home.
We basically take enough clothes and food for a week so were not loaded down to much. The roads are a little windy and steep in places. No mountains. Also, this will be the last trailer for us so we need a truck that will suit this trailer only.
600 miles a year is not a lot but may very well be in your case so OK your not a long distance tower. But maybe you really find you like it and say double the mileage, say 1,200. There is really not a lot of difference in that range. The point is it seems your not planning long trips, cross country or in areas of 2,500 or higher elevation. If I have that elevation wrong and you are going higher please let us know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guss View Post

I have been thinking about a 2008 or 2009 Ford F150 regular cab instead of a extended cab to save a few bucks . Does the design of the cabs have any bearing on better towing ? I was thinking of a 4x2, 8' box, 145" wheel base, rear axle ratio 3.93 or better,5.4L 3v triton V8 .
Ok your looking at a newer one. Cab configuration by itself does not affect stability but wheel base does. Longer is better. If you are looking at a 145” wheelbase, that is a very good number in relation to a T2499. If you drill into the spec, the standard cab PU actually can pull more weight of camper and hold up more weight of camper then a ext cab or crew cab. Why might one ask? The amount of weight in the base truck. The extra steel, glass etc of a crew cab eats up available payload. The GVWR of the truck does not normally change with cab sizes but the unloaded weight of the truck does. So std can allows more gear to be added if needed and still be under the truck ratings. However the crew cabs/ext cabs are nice for internal room. It’s a trade off.

The 5.4 and 3.93 or higher real end is good for towing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guss View Post

I was wondering about the 5.4L with the HD package. Would spending the extra money for this be worth it in my case. From reading all your replies I Know I have a lot to learn about TV's . Please give me your advice on the truck I've mentioned above . The big issue for me is safety on the road and at the same time not spending more money than I need to.Thanks again !
Now that we know some about your situation the F150 you talked about can pull it. However the one thing that will limit you is camper tongue weight. The F150 pending year use to have like a 950# to 980# I think rated receiver in WD mode. That partly is due to the fact of the rear axle rating of the ˝ ton truck. Ford does not put more rating in there as with some small amount of weight in the bed and a 900# tongue weight you can be over the rear axle limit. So this is one area you need to watch.

See this post. http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f72/sunline-camper-actual-loaded-tongue-pin-weights-10765.html

At Sunline Meet and Greets I offer to weigh folks loaded camper tongue weights. They are show there. The T2499 is popular as you can see. Tongue weigth range from 850# to 1,200#. The 1,200# one will be a problem on the F150. If you are in the area just under 1,000# that is about all you can take and be in the limits of your receiver. Since you are looking at the std cab you might still have some capacity in the truck left to add some items in the truck bed.

The T2499 floor plans loads toward the tongue very easy. There is a lot of upfront storage space. My 2004 T2499 with full propane, battery and Reese DC hitch on it weighed 800# with not one stick of camping in it. It will go up from there pending how much weight you put in the front bed room cabinets, under the bed and in that big pass thru cargo hole. Each of us has out own camping “stuff” Some have more, some less. It fun to go camping with stuff… so we bring it. You can see there is one camper who has a 850# tongue weight. I asked him, what do you have in the front bedroom and cargo hole. He said not a lot… he puts the BBQ and other thing in the truck. And on the other hand, I was the one with the 1,200# tongue weight on the T2499…. So somewhere in the 1,000 # range is to be expected. Less is better if you can lean down that far.

See this post if you want to see how that floor plan loads. Travel Trailer Tongue Weight Aid - T2499

Tires. If you can find the LT option like Hematite did, that will be a bonus. Tires pending brand can make or break a TV when towing a TT. If the HD package gives you the higher rated rear axle that too is a plus.

If your staying the in 1500 class PU truck, it all comes down to weights with the T2499. You have to watch where they land or you can be over on the rear axle rating or GVWR of the truck. The engine and rear axle need to be in line as well. It is doable and if you plan to never go with a larger trailer and only tow 600 miles a year, it can be done.

A good WD hitch with antisway controls and a good brake controller are also must haves. That will be your next research project. If you end up with the Ford integrated controller, that is a good one. If not there are several good aftermarket ones.

Hope this helps and let us know if you need more.

Happy camping

John
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:41 PM   #17
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To add to what Rick & John have said, somehow I just see a regular cab with the 5.4 being a hard combo to find in the used market. Sort of like how John had when looking for a one ton V10 with a 4.10 rear...

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Old 07-12-2010, 06:03 AM   #18
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The 5.4L and HD package on a used truck would probably not affect the price that much. If you can find one so equipped, I would urge urge to to get it.

On the regular cab, I've owned both. I would never to go back to a regular cab after having two different trucks with the extended cab. The extra space seems to get used a lot. My personal choice would be the extended cab and the short bed. You end up with a vehicle that is pretty much the same length as a regular cab, long bed, but IMHO is much more flexible for everyday use. My current combination of extended cab, long bed is great when towing the Sunline and for camping in general, but can be a bit of a pain when it comes to finding a parking spot at the mall. It also seems to need a lot more room for making tight turns.

Length of the tow vehicle matters. The shorter the TV, the easier it is for the tail to wag the dog when it comes to sway. The regular cab, long bed and the extended cab, short bed are about equal in that regard and are a good compromise.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:41 AM   #19
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Hematite
JohnB brought up an important point, the F150 and other half tons have a hitch that is limited to 990lbs with WD. As long as you are loading the T2499 in regards to that limit you will have no problem. I may be the person that reported the 850lb loaded tongue weight that JohnB mentioned. I don't load the front compartment with anything heavy and only put a few lightweight items in there. I do load the bedroom closets full of clothes and bath towels, though.
There are HD receivers that can be put on the truck if you must have a higher tongue weight. My feeling is that it's just as easy to put weight into the truck bed as it is to put it in the front storage compartment. If necessary, the weight can be transferred back and forth between the truck and storage compartment, once the Sunline is set up on site. I've had no problem whatever using the factory receiver.

Also, the LT tires do bring a great deal of stability and some additional carrying capacity to the truck. The high pressure capability and HD sidewalls are the key. The downside to LT tires is that they do cut fuel mileage because of the HD sidewalls. There is no free lunch
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2007 Ford F150 FX4 Supercab 4x4, 5.4 FFV engine, 3.73LS.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:17 PM   #20
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Honda03842 is an unknown quantity at this point
I'm not a truck person but I enjoy this topic.

It seems you do not plan to do a lot of towing. I would personally go for a used truck that minimally met our needs for reliability and safe towing unless the truck is a normally a primary vehicle. When towing if you have to go a little slower on hills another half hour on week long trips should not bother you.

As well I would go for the highest ratio axle what ever engine you get since on relatively short drives the difference in mileage is not really too critical.

Enjoy your Sunline as well since you seem to be new to RVing and towing, I would atttempt to see if their's a Sunline owner near you that could guide you thru initial set uo. When we first began RVing an old pro heard about us and stopped by and gave years worth of valuable advice.

Norm
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2004 Honda CRV 4 cyl, manual
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