My family and I, we're... well, nontraditional. I work from "home", my wife is a musician, we get a high when we get rid of stuff, we're downsizing from a 6 bedroom house to a 31' Airstream. By my parent's accounts, we've got it all wrong, but that hasn't deterred us from living more simply, intentionally and adventurously.
This mentality extends to our tow-vehicle selection for our resto'modded '79 Excella. We knew that our Tow Vehicle would be our only vehicle and that whatever we got it'd be towing about 1/4 of the time and driving our family around without the AS 3/4 of the time. We wanted a vehicle that was optimized for family, but could also tow if properly equipped.
Turns out there's a vehicle out that fits the bill perfectly... The Mercedes R320 CDI
On the family considerations side, it's a 3-row 6 passenger vehicle. Lots of room for the kiddos and dog.
On the towing side, it's an turbo diesel V6 that makes 400 ft-lb of torque! For reference, that's more than some 3/4 ton trucks out there. It's all-wheel drive, 7 speed manually shift-able (tap up/down) transmission, has a looooooong wheel base, looooooow center of gravity, wide stance, short rear overhang, built on a truck chasis, big brakes and stiff frame.
We're going to Andy at CanAm to get a weight distribution system installed and any other modifications needed.
We found a R320 for sale used near us (turns out they're pretty ratre, only 32 listed in the whole USA for sale on autotrader). It needed a little TLC (even a little TLC in the Mercedes world equates to big $$$) but we haven't looked back.
I plan to update this thread with our experience with this vehicle since I only found one other post that even mentions this model as a tow vehicle.
Oh, and some eye-candy of a R320 pulling a 34'' AS through Vermont (courtesy of Andy at CanAm)!