I don't think you should be dissapointed with 10's. Or maybe I should....
My towing should be very comparable to yours, YJ based rig, 350, tons, etc. My tow rig is a 2015 CC LB Ram/Cummins. I do have a leveling kit and 35's. My milage down and back is 10, with or without camper. Now I can do that at any speed (and I'm usually a speed limit + 5 guy) and the truck is very in control of what it's towing, but it's a little discouraging to me. However, it's only 2 less than I was averaging in my 2001 and I'll take the trade-off in comfort and quiet.
All I all, I say you're towing experience is not too bad.
it can actually be a hindrance sometimes when not in 4wd. While climbing Cougar pass heading for Stateline from the WahWahs (I think it's cougar, DAA chime in here) with maybe 6-8% grades and gravel road I thought I was having engine problems. When I'd give it some gas the engine would build boost and then fall flat on it's face, just bam, boost gone, no power. It took a few cycles of this to realize the boost was causing the rear wheels to start to spin which got all the lawyer-driven nanny systems in a tizzy (traction control) which told the engine to cut back power. Turning off traction control helped as did engaging 4wd.
It's a really weird feeling to give this engine the gas at 1500 rpm and not feel the power surge.
Specifically about low range though, this engine is ideal for climbing ledges. I ease the front wheels up to the ledge and barely ease into the throttle. As the boost starts to build the torque comes up but the engine rpm remains the same. The increased torque let's the front wheels climb the ledge then back off throttle, boost vents, torque drops, and you're not left with 3000 rpm to wind down. That said, it's still a long wide pig with lousy approach, breakover, and departure angles
Marc, I saw your post on another thread about the rental and was wondering how much bigger the Lincoln is than the Acadia?
I'm still happy with our Expedition. Not as cool as a truck, but we have the Expo, it's paid off, and it isn't worth much to sell, so it just doesn't make sense to sell it when it does so well. It is the 5.4, and lots of people spit upon that motor, but I can't believe how impressive it has done towing my LJ around. My friend has an older Yukon XL with the 6.0 that followed me down to St George a month ago (similar load), and he said he was embarrassed how poorly his towed compared to mine. I expect that was a gearing thing? I really didn't think his sucked that bad. I did have an episode a few months ago where I hit some debris and thought I had totaled the motor (due to some bad diagnostics). Several of you chimed in with some helpful info about some possible budget minded tow rigs. I later took the Expo to our favored mechanic (he was out of town during the episode), and it is back running tip-top. He had lots of bad things to say about the chain shop that looked at it originally. I have had 4 towing trips since he worked on it. I do understand the challenge of changing spark plugs on this model when that time comes. I average 10.1 when towing the jeep, and I drive it 80-82mph on every trip. There are 2 hills that I slow down to about 60 on my way to St George. My only complaint about my older model is it has no tow mode, so I have to stay on the overdrive button to manage my downshifting going up and down hills. I also need to add a weight distribution hitch. It is slightly bouncy over the large dips. I am envious of your 2015 though Marc. It would be nice to have some of those modern luxuries.
New Ranger has solid rear axle, factory rear locker available and the 2.3 I4 ecoboost. Wheel wells are pretty big, pretty sure you could clear 33's with minimal effortIf you want something to cut into both tacoma and jeep sales, a solid axle ranger with 2.7l ecoboost, lockers, and factory 35's
I am liking the tire straps. I went that route because I have brake lines that get in the way of using traditional axle straps. All they are is 10,000lb tow straps cut in the middle, making one end open, and one end looped. I use them on traditional 2" 3500lb ratchet straps.I quite like those tire straps you have. I'm a fan of chains but the tire straps would be my next best thing. Where'd you snag those? Do you like those more than the "loop" type you throw ever the top of the tire?