TV which is safer.

EdwardandMayEdwardandMay Member Posts: 2
My wife and I are excited about travel and using a 2021 320 clamp shell trailer.   It took no time to decide on the 320.  It is an amazing invention.  
However the decision on the correct tow vehicle has consumed a lot of time.   My question comes down to this;  Is a  medium size truck, ie a Tacoma a safer  vehicle than an SUV, ie Highlander.  This question has likely been debated.   Please direct me to those discussions, or give a comment.  Thanks so much.  Looking forward to discovering the world of [email protected]


  • webers3webers3 Member Posts: 153
    Safer in what respect? Towing safety? Passenger safety? A correct towing vehicle is one that has a towing capacity+ to tow your trailer, many SUVs are quite capable of towing a 320, as far as passenger safety I'll take SUV over a truck. It really is not that difficult decision  :)
    2017 [email protected] 320S   2019 Jeep Cherokee - Southern Connecticut
  • trimtabtrimtab Member Posts: 142
    Our Audi Q5 has a towing capacity of 4400 lbs. Tongue wt. cap of 440. The 320 is about half of that.  Many SUV's will do the job. mpg average 14
    What do you have as a TV now?
    2020 320-S, solar, etc.2016 Audi Q5
  • GatorEggGatorEgg Member Posts: 242
    Many “safe” choices out there.  I prefer a truck to keep sometimes questionable camping stuff in bed of truck vice inside my vehicle.  Spare propane, firewood, etc.
    2018 [email protected] Boondock 320S, 2019 Toyota Tacoma Sport 4x4
    Odessa, Fl.  

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 5,463
    Something to think about - I suppose if you have a cap on a truck you can prevent theft of gear.  I think an open bed may be an easy target for thieves.
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • GatorEggGatorEgg Member Posts: 242
    Yes, always a cap.  Also for aerodynamics.
    2018 [email protected] Boondock 320S, 2019 Toyota Tacoma Sport 4x4
    Odessa, Fl.  

  • cmaccmac Member Posts: 84
    We have a Chevy Colorado with the V-6 engine and tow package rated to pull 8,000 pounds to drag our [email protected]  Based out of central Oklahoma, we've been to Prince Edward Island, CN; Washington, DC; Duluth, MN; Thunder Bay, ON; and Wawa, ON, a total of over 9,000 miles with absolutely no problems.
    Really like our Colorado.  By the way, we have an ARE hard cover on the bed for our extra gear - has a lock and has been watertight so far.
    John & Cheryl
    2007 [email protected] ClamShell by Dutchman "[email protected]"
    2018 Chevy Colorado V-6
    Edmond, OK
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 500
    Given that we’re discussing a 320 as opposed to the heavier and taller 400, I’m going to say that any vehicle that tows 5000 lbs is equally “safe” towing that size trailer. Lots of Tab 320 owners tow with both vehicles you’ve cited.

    For me, at that point, the argument comes down to other factors. If you’ll never be carrying adult passengers (while camping or otherwise), a truck with some sort of bed cover is the way to go, for exactly the reason @GatorEgg suggests. But in my case, I routinely carry multiple adult passengers to non camping events. A truck would severely limit my ability to do so, as even crew cab back seats are not particularly comfortable for grownups. I find loading and unloading gear into the pickup bed to be more difficult than an SUV with my particular physical limitations when I’ve helped others with their trucks. And my home parking situation also lends itself better to a mid size SUV, as the covered area is not long enough for a truck. You might also look at mileage, both while towing and without a trailer.

    Unless you plan on full timing or having a vehicle that only serves for camping, it’s worth thinking through the non-towing uses and considerations of your tow vehicle. A truck may or may not be the best fit for your purposes.

    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (being replaced, not recommended!)
    Pacific NW
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,274
    @EdwardandMay, welcome to the forum and congratulations on your trailer. Enjoy every part of your adventure, including even the choice of a capable, comfortable tow vehicle. There will always be a variety of opinions regarding those choices. As long as your TV can adequately/safely tow your trailer based on it's specs, control the weight of trailer and cargo in an emergency, and suit your needs, trailering and otherwise, it's a good TV. Good luck with this. Happy [email protected]! -Denise 
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • MouseketabMouseketab Member Posts: 909
    I will echo what others say about a truck. I love having the truck bed (with a shell cap) to put dirty/wet stuff in. But other than that, the engine size and towing capacity are the most important. 5,000 lb at least.
    [email protected]
    2007 Dutchmen [email protected] Clamshell, 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
    Harvest, AL
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 2,642
    edited June 7
    Our Tacoma is rated at 3500#, and I've never felt that it was undersized, (other than the 4cyl - it would help if it was a little better on the hills).

    Properly loaded, it handles with confidence, doesn't sag, and feels safe.

    The transmission is manual vs automatic, so it's less of a concern with any overheating question.

    Our bed is not covered, though we do have two large plastic utility boxes that fill up half of the bed, and carry most of our camping stuff. What ends up being visible isn't very interesting, old antique folding lawn chairs, a spare propane bottle, our junky old cooler, etc. We've never had a problem with theft.
    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • tabiphiletabiphile Member Posts: 198
    The question asked was which is safer, a Tacoma or a Highlander? Is the question what is safer for the passengers or for towing? Both vehicles are Toyotas and both have excellent NHTSA safety ratings. Depending upon the model year they share nearly identical ratings with the Highlander coming out marginally better. The Highlander is rated 4.3 out of 5 by KBB and the Tacoma is regarded as a best in class mid-size truck and has been for many years. The  4 cylinder models of each will not tow as comfortably as the 6 cylinders. The six with a tow package would be well suited for pulling the [email protected] What separates the two is that one is essentially a passenger car on steroids and the other is a truck The Highlander is built on a Camry frame. It's roomy and designed for passenger comfort...with three rows of seating available. The Tacoma on the other hand is a rugged but small truck that will be just as comfortable 4 wheeling on BLM land as it is driving down the freeway. If you subscribe to the idea that an ideal TV should be a rear wheel drive vehicle with optional 4 Wheel drive, that it should have lot's of good ground clearance and oomph the Tacoma is the obvious choice. If you want a car that is at home in the suburbs that you can use to haul your [email protected], maybe the Highlander is the one. The one thing that you would take some time to learn about is the new 8 speed transmission that is making it's way into the 2020 V6 models. Has Toyota gone down the same path as Subaru? Let's hope not.
  • EdwardandMayEdwardandMay Member Posts: 2
    THANKS  so much for everyones insights.  I will keep folks updated.  One draw back,(expense) for the Highlander is I would need to get a full size spare, the wiring for the alternator/electric brake etc. (7-pin), and 
    the controls for the brake would need to be added to the driver seat area.  All correctable issues.  Again
    thanks, for the comments.  Edward and May

  • mntrailsmntrails Member Posts: 45
    EdwardandMay, you mentioned the Toyota options... I have a 2018 4Runner and looked hard at all 3 when I bought mine 2 years ago.  I'll say up front that I was a bit biased having a 2005 4Runner with 180K miles when I sold it - it was extremely reliable and I did a lot of towing with it - all 3500lbs and less.  
    I stayed away from the Highlander since I wanted the body on frame for other utility uses.  Toyota changed the Tacoma to a different 3.5L V6 and a 6 speed automatic in 2016.  I drove one several times and found that on hills, the transmission had a tendancy to hunt between gears a lot.  There was also some forum discussions at the time that claimed the same thing happened in strong headwinds at interstate speeds.  It seemed to me that Toyota engineers programmed the transmission shifting to try and get every ounce of fuel economy they could. I would suggest a careful search of user forums to sample towing experiences with the current model year.

    In the end, I stayed with the somewhat old fashioned but tried and true 4.0L and 5 speed auto in the 4Runner.  Its towed to the east coast and back a couple times and done a lot of regional towing all with the same consistency and reliability the 2005 did.  4Runners (at least in 2018) all came fully equiped for towing as well so no extras to add.  Best of luck with your search.
    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock - 2018 Toyota 4Runner
  • schoutschout Member Posts: 13
    We are picking up a [email protected] 320 S in a couple of weeks, and just went through nearly the same discussion.  We ended up buying a Highlander.  We considered getting a truck as a third vehicle, basically a dedicated tow vehicle.  But, it made more sense for us to sell our Subaru and upgrade to the Highlander.  This made financial sense for us.  Because the Highlander will be used for day-to-day driving and for multi-hour trips towing, the ride comfort was a factor.  Also, we decided that having a SUV made more sense for our camping style than a pick-up.  
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock
    2020 Toyota Highlander
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