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Old 06-18-2013, 09:20 PM   #1
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SUV - Stupid Useless Vehicle?

Starting Over - Well insurance helps, but... when you go from an 2006 Safari 25FB to a 2012 Eddie Bauer 25FB... well a payment book comes with that choice.

So my choice of Tow vehicle will also change. I won't be moving up to anything bigger, and I probably won't be doing a whole lot of mountain towing. The first time I was "foiled" I got a 2500 Suburban. The mileage difference between towing and non-towing was almost not noticeable so I went to a truck. This time around, after having the monster 2008 Silverado 2500 quad cab long bed diesel, I am ready to consider half ton vehicles as better all-around vehicles, and adequate to tow at 55 mph tow vehicles. I'm also only going to consider used vehicles of recent vintage.

I also don't like the following things about trucks:
  • have to pay for bed liner
  • have to pay for a locking tailgate
  • have to pay for a tonneau topper
  • or a regular topper
  • the bed is too high for someone who is vertically challenged.
Things that I DO like about SUV's
  • access from the side doors as well as back barn door/tail gate
  • lower access to interior and lower center of gravity
  • some have styling that puts wheels very close to corners - lower center of gravity - better control, less likely to roll?
  • more secure - lockable doors
  • choice between lift gate and barn door
  • hopefully better gas mileage as a daily driver

Help me consider the possibilities and strengths and weaknesses (and any SUV's that I've neglected to consider. Time is short.

1. Chevy Suburban
2. Chevy Tahoe
3. Nissan Titan
4. Toyota Tundra
5. Ford Expedition
6. Ford Flex?
7. Mercedes? (cost is prohibitive?)

Input please. Paula
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:29 PM   #2
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While I went the pickup route, I am intrigued with the Mercedes GL 350 SUV. Healthy tow and payload capacity. Payload is what I see limiting with many SUVs.

There are a number of forum members who have this vehicle and pull 30 footers.

It will be more on the expensive side however.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:43 PM   #3
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SUVs are awesome for traveling

I have a 2500 suburban with 8.1 gas motor and a GL350 (diesel). So much space inside for dry out of sight storage. No worries of someone ripping stuff out of the bed of the truck.

I actually think a suv is a little better with aerodynamics flow to the trailer than a pickup.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:18 PM   #4
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Paula

I would go the SUV route because it is smaller, and I believe it will be easier for you to handle.

I love my Tundra; the 2008 and later Sequia has the same great 5.7L motor and the 6 speed tranny. I would go for a used one and get a 2wd. It will be cheaper to buy and less expensive to maintain plus it will get better gas mileage. Also, you do not need 4wd for where you live and camp (I suspect).

I would also look at the new Dodge Durango. They redesigned it starting in 2012. Again, I would go for 2wd. The v6 may have enough power. I believe it may have an 8 speed tranny starting in 2013. This helps towing the trailer and also helps fuel economy.

I would also touch base with the expert Andy at CanAm to see what he recommends.

Once you narrow down the type of TV you want, I can help you find one. I have had experience doing this and would be glad to help you out.

Dan
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
Paula

I would go the SUV route because it is smaller, and I believe it will be easier for you to handle.

I love my Tundra; the 2008 and later Sequia has the same great 5.7L motor and the 6 speed tranny. I would go for a used one and get a 2wd. It will be cheaper to buy and less expensive to maintain plus it will get better gas mileage. Also, you do not need 4wd for where you live and camp (I suspect).

I would also look at the new Dodge Durango. They redesigned it starting in 2012. Again, I would go for 2wd. The v6 may have enough power. I believe it may have an 8 speed tranny starting in 2013. This helps towing the trailer and also helps fuel economy.

I would also touch base with the expert Andy at CanAm to see what he recommends.

Once you narrow down the type of TV you want, I can help you find one. I have had experience doing this and would be glad to help you out.

Dan
Thanks Dan, good info, but I'm definitely going 4WD - the mother truck was 2WD and I got stuck three or four times in it. The orange "lego blocks" did get me out of most trouble without calling for help. Once was in Overlander63's driveway. (Don't go behind the house!)

Paula
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:33 PM   #6
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Look at the Dodge Durango 4x4 and 5.7 L. My Dodge Truck is about the same and does a great job.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:47 PM   #7
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Touareg diesel

I frankly wouldn't consider the Titan unless it was a SMOKING deal, it's the oldest full-size truck on the market and kinda thirsty.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:05 PM   #8
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Congrat's again - can't wait to see you out on the road, now for the 25FB, as a former owner of a 25FB Classic who towed with a TDI Touareg, do yourself a favor and get a 3/4 ton truck.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:17 PM   #9
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I like trucks for towing and transporting gear.

The list of things "one will never do" is easy to make on the front end, but a bitter pill when one is limited by blanket choices.

Where to stow those dirty and smelling items like gasoline, grills and supplies, and the like seems quite problematic. I realize folks find work-arounds, but aren't they always just that, a work-around?

Those who won't tow with propane on for the refer, but will carry generators and gas cans or propane cylinders inside the trailer or SUV seem to be splitting very thin hair.

One can make a truck more like a SUV than the other way around.

Just my opinion, and obviously a strong one.

I am sorry for your misfortune, and best of luck with whatever rig you choose.


Regards,

JD
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:35 PM   #10
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If you are considering an SUV, take a look at the Yukon Denali. It has the benefits (and limitations) of a half-ton, but a lot more power than most others (including the Suburban). From '01 thru '06 they have the 6.0 motor with 320 hp and 365 torque. The newer ones have the more powerful 6.2 motor with a little over 400 hp and torque, plus a six-speed transmission. Plenty of power for all but the most demanding situations. Nice interiors, too.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:53 PM   #11
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I have a 2007 Chevy Tahoe 5.3 and tow my 1973 29' Ambassador no problems. Not great mileage while towing. Ottawa to Oshawa Ont. 420km. Was exactly a full tank. But pretty good mileage daily driver. around 700kms a tank.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:52 AM   #12
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I love my 2010, F-150! Smooth, quiet, reliable (just 80,000 now but extraordinarily good so far) and a pleasure to own. I have the last of the 5.4's and it is very capable although we only pull a 16' Bambi.
Plenty of power for our use.

Bruce
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:33 AM   #13
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I love my Ford Flex EcoBoost as a daily driver. I have not towed with it yet, I'm told the hitch should be upgraded for use with weight distribution (per Andy at Can-Am).

The Ecoboost has great power, and gets decent mileage around town for a larger, powerful vehicle.
it's easy to see out of, rides very smooth and sofar has been very reliable.
Plus it's really Cool to look at!

Good luck in your choice!
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:35 AM   #14
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I've driven a lot of the stuff on the list. Here's some disjointed thoughts:

I love my 2011 Dodge Durango with the Hemi. Based on a Mercedes platform but with a stout hitch and good ole Hemi power. Check that payload matches your wants, but dynamically this drives better than a Tahoe or Expedition or Sequoia. If it was me, I'd wait for the 2014 with the 8-speed automatic (probably August) - but I'm not living in Extended Stay America. They're also wheeling and dealing on them - little sister bought one for $8000 off sticker.

The Expedition has a few advantages over the Suburban/Tahoe - independent rear suspension helps handling, and the third row seat folds neatly and flushly away. (You have to yank it out of the others, so you need a place to stash it.) But the Expedition feels underpowered by comparsion, especially compared to the Yukon Denali with its 6.2-liter V8. GM is giving big discounts on their Silverado now to make room for the new redesigned 2014, which is due out any day now.

Nissan has a SUV version of their Titan called the Armada. Great engine but the rest of the truck feels old. You can usually wheel and deal aggressively on this low demand SUV.

The highpoint of the Tundra and Sequoia is the fantastic 5.7-liter engine. But to me, an Expedition or Tahoe actually feels smaller to drive than the Sequoia.

As others have said, give Andy Thomson a call. He'd be very happy to help.

Glad you hear you're getting back on the road. The EB looks beautiful! And I thank you - your crash prompted my purchase of a cargo net to go over stuff back in the cargo bay.

Tom
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