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We have a 17' Casita (~2500#dry weight). We towed it last year with our 2007 Toyota Sienna. This year we bought an Ascent Touring and towed the Casita from Chicago to FL keys. Now we are heading home.

Last year we didn't bring out bikes along, but this year we added a hitch for a bike rack and loaded our two bikes onto it. Total weight behind the rear axle (and most of it behind the trailer's bumper) is about 160 pounds. The Casita starts out with about 365# tongue wt, so the added weight wasn't a huge concern though I was careful to load the trailer more heavily forward than I would have last year.

Most of the drive down was very uneventful. We just set the ACC to 65 and it took every hill without a problem. It's a very comfortable tow vehicle in this weight range. On the other hand, there were several "What was THAT?" moments in gusts when the car seemed to momentarily lose control, notwithstanding its built-in sway control stuff. It only happened briefly a few times. Now coming home I'm paying closer attention and it seems the lane keeping assist is fighting with the wind gusts and not doing a good job of it. It starts swaying the trailer. It's not just wind, but if for example there are repetitive dips in one side of the pavement, that can start the trailer bouncing and the steering system amplifies the problem. I can disable it and the steering calms down instantly. So I've convinced myself this is not a stability or sway problem caused by low tongue weight. What I haven't found is any warning about not using the lane keeping feature when towing.

Also, I haven't found anything that says there is a warning light or other indication if the anti-sway braking kicks in. We haven't seen anything on our journey.

Thanks for any info.
 

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I always turn off the lane assist when towing. The "little bump" gets magnified with the trailer and it wobbles more than you'd want.

There isn't any indication for the anti-sway working, but braking hard downhill I could feel it working!
 

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I believe I read somewhere in this forum that one should not use the lane assist when towing. As such, I just picked up an Extreme Outdoors Little Guy Mini Max and towed it home easily without any issues (with lane assist off) except for the fact that my mpg went WAY down! (But then, I will admit it was more "city" type driving with stop/go traffic...).
 

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Dear Road Runner Puller: We have a 2019 Little Guy Mini Max which we picked up in 2020. We bought a 21 Ascent premium a few months ago and have just started to tow the Mini Max. Driving conservatively, (60 MPH), we were getting just over 15 MPG. Raising the MPH to 65 on the top end lowered it to just under 14 MPG. Our previous tow vehicle was a MB GLK 250 diesel that would have logged 18 plus and 16 mpg. Driving conservatively with the Ascent without towing, I get 28 MPG plus. The MB would get 38 MPG plus . So far, we are really pleased with the extra room of the Ascent and not having to hunt for stations that sell diesel in remote areas.
 

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Hi Steppenwolf; Thanks for the information on your MPGs. I am curious, do you tow with water in the fresh water tank, or go dry? I have a long trip planned for July and will be curious to see what kind of mileage I will get. I usually keep my mileage between 55 to 60 mph when I tow. It not only gives me better gas mileage, but I find that all the semi trucks and others "leave me be" in the right hand land as they speed on their merry way and fly pass me. I think towing at that speed is also safer as we know that it takes longer to stop when towing a trailer. Curious as to how you are enjoying both your Ascent and Mini Max. My Ascent is also a 2021 Premium (bought it a month ago) and my Mini Max is 2021 too. I feel lucky to even get a new trailer these days! Dealers don't have much in stock!
 

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Hi Roadrunner. I am also planning a long trip at the end of June going cross country. We will keep a small amount of water in the fresh tank to run the toilet to minimize weight. Remember that if you use hot water you are putting another 5 gallons in the heater. It is pretty easy to drain. I am paying more attention to water weight these days.
We did a fair amount of camping in the Little Guy up until Thanksgiving last year. I had winterized the camper and just used jugs of water to flush the toilet. It worked fine. I was really pleased how warm you could keep the camper with nights in the thirties. Between cooking and heating at night, I think that you could get 3-4 days on the 20 lb propane tank. We have enjoyed our Mini Max. There is a facebook forum for Little Guy that my partner has gotten quite a few good ideas from to improve some items. (Windows are great but you need to do small mod to keep the bugs out)
Overall, the Ascent does a good job of towing but I am still getting used to it. I was originally taken back by the steep rise in RPM's going up hills but this forum has assured me that this normal operating for the CVT. I am very comfortable that our our travel trailer is well within the capabilities of the Ascent. I will take it easy going up longer steep grades. I might push the MPH a bit in the lowlands of the midwest on our trip.
 

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Can I ask what your RPMs get to while climbing even gentle hills? I did my first tow as a trial run for a trip across the country - just a uHaul. Mine hit around 3500 and the car sounds like it’s battling hard. I’m concerned because we have some significant hills in NC I’ll need to climb. I guess I just didn’t anticipate the loud protest from the engine while towing. Does this sound normal? I’m also getting a lot of surging from the trailer at times - usually when crossing an overpass and I hit the seams in the road. I have the OEM hitch with a 6” drop.
 

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@Gatorbait77 ,

I certainly hit low 3000's towing a rental that was 4000 lbs fully loaded. Not sure if I reached 3500 regularly though. What's your trailer weigh?

As for surging, I did tow the larger uhaul trailer, and those intersection crossing were extra bouncy with the surge brakes triggering when we hit the ripples. I just took them more slowly and it was fine. What's your tongue weight, and is the trailer sitting level or a little nose-down with that hitch height?

F.S.
 

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@Gatorbait77 ,

I certainly hit low 3000's towing a rental that was 4000 lbs fully loaded. Not sure if I reached 3500 regularly though. What's your trailer weigh?

As for surging, I did tow the larger uhaul trailer, and those intersection crossing were extra bouncy with the surge brakes triggering when we hit the ripples. I just took them more slowly and it was fine. What's your tongue weight, and is the trailer sitting level or a little nose-down with that hitch height?

F.S.
I’m not sure of the weight. It’s the 6x12 trailer and it’s about ½ full - with most of the contents in the front (near the hitch). The tongue weight it about 140lbs. - based on a scale I bought off Amazon- I hope it’s accurate. I’m guessing it may be a little nose down - hard to say based on my sloping driveway.

Yep, the intersection crossings is where most of the surging happens - no matter the speed. I’m hoping it’s ok for the car. I can feel it in my feet (under the car) sometimes. Odd sensation.
 

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Of course level is best but a little nose down is preferable to nose up. Nose up is going to have more tendency to unweight nose in wind resistance.
Thanks for this honest answer. I swear that any time I've seen someone ask this question, the answer is always "it must be level...if it's not perfectly level the trailer will just light itself on fire and flip over on top of a bus full of preschoolers".
 

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While level is certainly ideal, it's nearly impossible to pull off, especially since the towed weight and balance can be slightly variable in the real word. So level or slightly nose down goes hand and hand in that context.
 
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