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Old 06-03-2012, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
169 posts, read 202,637 times
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Default 6 seater vehicle to tow travel trailer. Ideas.

Advice on best vehicles that can seat at least 6 that can tow a travel trailer appreciated. We do not want a truck, and need the vehicle for daily use, driving the kids about etc when not towing, so the more economical to run the better. Budget is approx. $10,000 for vehicle.
Not decided on travel trailer yet, but want one with a double bed area, small kitchen, toilet (shower not essential), and another 3 or 4 beds, we are a family of 2 adults and 3 children (8, 6 and newborn), the older 2 kids could sleep in a tent sometimes.
thanks
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Oregon
1,326 posts, read 1,056,290 times
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We bought a Ford Expedition in 2003. We had a business, at that time, and I needed it for an occasional delivery, plus we had kids that we hauled around, too. A pick-up just wouldn't work for us. So...we got the bigger v-8 with the tow package and hoped that one day we would be able to tow a travel trailer with it. We had another car, so we tried to keep the mileage low on the Expedition.
We finally have a TT, and are relieved that the Ford tows it quite easily. I know that this is not the recommended tow vehicle, but our situation was a bit like yours.
It works out great for us. Our LARGE dog rides in the back and has lots of room for herself and her bed etc.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:18 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,081 posts, read 20,967,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jukes View Post
Advice on best vehicles that can seat at least 6 that can tow a travel trailer appreciated. We do not want a truck, and need the vehicle for daily use, driving the kids about etc when not towing, so the more economical to run the better.
Like the old joke with the traveling folks in the country asking for directions: you can't get there from here.

Something like a Yukon or other big SUV is the closest you'll get.
Which (Ford, GM, etc) won't matter much.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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I agree -- the BIG Yukons, Suburbans or Escalades. Not the small ones. I'd get the biggest engine you can get with the biggest frame. I think they're built on a 2500 pickup chassis. I seem to recall seeing some built on a 1-ton chassis too. You'll be stuck with an older one for $10,000, but that sounds like what you need.

Those are all GM, of course. I don't know what Ford has that size, if anything. My son has an Escalade and my daughter a Yukon. They've been happy with them.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:20 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,790 posts, read 17,551,869 times
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There are plenty of light weight TT / popups that can be towed with a minivan. That way you will have a 25 mpg vehicle for commute / errands. Minivans can go 200k - 300k miles and a DIRT cheap to buy and insure. You will be hard pressed to find a large SUV that will get 20 mpg, unless one of the Diesel Excursions. They cost a fortune to maintain / buy tires / brakes...

Get a Minivan model with 'sport' suspension and towing package (bigger brakes, tires, cooling system & sway bars).

Add an auxiliary tranny cooler ($100) and change fluid annually (and use SYNTHETIC fluid for high heat applications). Be sure to have a trailer with independent brakes, AND don't expect to tow on steep gravel roads or snow (w/ front wheel drive vans).
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,870 posts, read 4,811,048 times
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For the size of your family and your TT needs you will need a 3/4 ton tow vehicle like a suburban.

Don't even try a minnevan you will be way over the weight rating of such a small vehicle.

If you want to tow it safely and comfortably get more vehicle than you will need, not one that may get you by.

Remember it's the lives of your family that is at stake.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:16 AM
 
47,586 posts, read 33,766,826 times
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You might want to go to an RV show or dealer and look around and check out some of the light-weight hybrids that have everything a normal trailer has plus pop-out beds on one or both ends that would be very easy to set up. Then find out what kind of vehicle you'd need to two it -- they're coming out with travel trailers that are very light weight.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:03 AM
 
Location: on the road again
1,265 posts, read 2,506,457 times
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Since you do not have the tow vehicle yet, I would first look at the different travel trailers and find the one you like, get the weight of the trailer and then you will know what type of tow vehicle that will be required to tow it. It sounds like you want a bunk bed type floor plan, that offers 3-4 bunk beds along with the normal double or queen for you and your better half. These type of models can have a wide range of dry weights based on the quality of the build and overall size of the trailer. Anywhere from 6-10 thousand pounds is normal so until you decide which model fits you best, suggesting what is best to pull it with is almost impossible at this time.
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:31 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,790 posts, read 17,551,869 times
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My Minivan is rated at tow capacity of 3500# and has done so SAFELY off and on for 200k miles. I have a 1T cummins dually 4x4 for heavier towing, and a Mack for the REALLY big stuff.

(There are plenty of smaller RV trailers under 3500#, OP is NOT likely to be a 'full-timer' / frequent camper anytime soon). !!! Can RENT an RV if using infrequently, also a GOOD idea to see if you like it. I remember the fateful trip where my folks rented an RV camping trailer... THAT was a first and a LAST

The OP mentioned tenting for older kids (A GREAT idea) + primary use of vehicle was for family toting (of which Minivans are far more safe to occupants than 'rigid' SUV / truck frame based vehicles (which transfer kinetic 'crash' energy to passengers).

Another choice for economy is the popular Suburban w/ Cummins transplant. but still only 20 mpg. (and pretty unlikely to get for $10k)
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
6,649 posts, read 8,522,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jukes View Post
Advice on best vehicles.... Not decided on travel trailer yet, but want one with a double bed area, small kitchen, toilet (shower not essential), and another 3 or 4 beds, we are a family of 2 adults and 3 children....
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
... (There are plenty of smaller RV trailers under 3500#....
No, there aren't plenty of TTs which meet the OP's needs that only weight 3500 pounds -- not when equipped and loaded for camping.

Some of us here frequent RV boards and see the problems countless people get themselves into by purchasing a small tow vehicle before selecting the camper, and then wanting a camper much bigger than what their vehicle will safely tow. And that's exactly what's going to happen if the OP gets a minivan or other smallish tow vehicle.

Looking at RVs at a dealer and/or RV show is a good idea, but don't just look at the RV's dry weight when considering the towing weight. That likely doesn't include little incidentals like an A/C, propane and batteries, jacks and tools, and it certainly doesn't include any water (fresh nor black/gray), camping gear, food, drinks, bedding, towels, clothing, etc. That stuff can easily total well over a thousand pounds for a family. And DON'T just take the salesman's word that "sure, you can tow that with a minivan."
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