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Old 03-20-2019, 09:08 AM   #1
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The Ideal Tow Vehicle Would Be....

Howdy!

In the market for new truck and my 4x4 back ground has me biased for well... 4x4's! May not be the best type of truck but probably what I'll end up with.

That said what are some of the basics a tow vehicle should have?

Things such as:

Wheel size; small or large

Lift: low or high

High profile or low? Is it better to be blocking for AS of slipping under...

Drivetrain: 4x4, 2x4

Suspension: off road or street performance. Stiff or stiffer!

Automatic vs. manual. I found a model I like with manual and it has a higher tow capacity! I thought a clutch would lower it..

How much over tow weight is ideal? For instance towing a 5000 lb Airstream would you notice a difference with a truck with a 6500 rating vs a 12000 tow rating?

Not worried about brands or reliability or deals per se just the basics as a shopping tool.

Thanks,

Rounder44
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:20 AM   #2
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This has been discussed many times on this forum.Just do a search
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:33 AM   #3
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Definitely 4 wheel drive. Otherwise you will get stuck in the mud at a lot of campgrounds.

Some of the European diesel SUV's make better tow vehicles than half ton pickups. If that doesn't do it then you'll have to step up to a 3/4 ton.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:26 AM   #4
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Would be one that starts every time and fits your needs best.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:50 AM   #5
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With a title like that, "the ultimate" I've wondered if a C130 would do it?
Enough capacity to carry, although it may be too short for both TV and TT.
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:06 AM   #6
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If a C130 can't handle the length there are a large number C5's out in the Arizona desert that might be available....
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:43 AM   #7
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Warms my Overkill Engineering heart to hear these ultimate tow vehicle ideas....
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:45 AM   #8
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Ideal and available, unfortunately are different animals, because your prejudice and those of the market are influenced by the preferance of the OEMs, which is to make money.

Manual vs automatic - In the past, manual, hands down. You pick the gear and manage the change. They often had more gears available. However, the new autos (six speed to ten-speed) are very capable. Shifting on a curve was a very bad practice, but with multiple gears available, the shift change is less upsetting to stability and more effective at torque multiplication for best performance. So, if you are one of those folks who must be in control, get the manual. You will replace a clutch now and then if you are not an excellent driver, but the package is viable. If you are knowledgable enough to out think the computer, an auto will be a great solution. Some are even programmed to correctly chose the right gear before you think it's needed. Being a manual guy, I am amazed at the performance of today's autos. Try one, you may like it. I really do.

Blocking - simple answer. The lower the better, from both a profile and a center of gravity perspective. Unless you plan to spend a lot of time off road, lower ground clearance is better. Do not lift, lower the vehicle. Older designs are lower center of gravity and could be considered. TVs that meet, but do not significantly exceed, the required capacity are often lower profile and should be considered. Adjustable height suspensions are available on some vehicles and of value for dual use.

Capacity - only what you need.

Wheel size - smaller, but that is small sidewall. Tire size needs to be matched to load. Beyond that, the stiffer the sidewall can be, the better stability you will have. From a practical perspective, there is a limit to how low a profile is viable to keep pot holes at bay. A 50 series profile might be the line not to cross. The punt is simply the smaller rim and light truck 70 series tires.

Suspension - independent front and rear with wide track and rack and pinion steering. Stiff as to roll, but maybe not bounce and jounce. Assume stiff and not stiffer. Adjustable is even better.

4x2 or 4x4 - this gets more problematic. Best is 4x2 because it is more efficient and effective on paved roads. You may go to 4x4 if your use profile moves you to that decision, but understand that giving up best suspension to get 4x4 is a bad compromise. If you are getting stuck in a campground, you are staying at the wrong CGs. Disclaimer - we went with all wheel drive with torque vectoring to address bad weather travel issues. All a compromise as to best.

Brakes - best you can get. Upgrade over OEM is not a bad tactic. Exhaust brake is a consideration. Many find it saves the trailer and TV brakes. Note that trailer brakes must be applied to control sway. If you do not regularly practice that, an emergency event will not end well. Application of TV brakes in such an event is less helpful than some acceleration with trailer brake application. Bad weather TV only braking is not good either as the coach trying to pass the TV can result. So if exhaust brake use is contemplated, practice emergency actions until they are automatic rote.

Wheelbase - whatever will make a u-turn without backing and filling. Consider 120" to be the bottom of that range. Whatever length you chose, go for less overhangs and remove hitch shanks when not in use.

The ideal tow vehicle is one you own and use daily. The worst is one you have to buy and store until you tow your coach with it.

Good luck with your research. Go low and slow. Pat
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:47 AM   #9
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rounder44 View Post
In the market for new truck
To us, the "best" tow vehicle is a versatile vehicle. Do you want a TV that's good for everyday use around town?

Everyday use was in our top three criteria when replacing our 15 year old TV. The other two top-three criteria were adequate, stable towing capacity and a luxurious, quiet ride.

For a 5000 lb. Airstream, there are lots of non-truck options. Recommend searching for threads on Infiniti QX80, Nissan Armada, Mercedes ML350 or GL450, Porsche Cayenne, etc. if these might be your best TV.

73/gus
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:03 PM   #11
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The Ideal Tow Vehicle would be...

...capable and comfortable.

Factory tow package (integrated brake controller, transmission cooler, tow/haul mode, mirrors, etc.) preferred. 4x4 has helped me avoid being stuck in muddy CGs and while boondocking.

Tow rating is important, but pay particular attention to payload for the specific vehicle (on the driver's door pillar) to ensure that you have enough capacity for your loaded AS tongue weight, driver, passenger(s), dog, and all the gear you might want to haul.

There are hundreds of choices, each with own ardent advocates. Almost as contentious a question as "The Ideal Wife would be..."
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
This has been discussed many times on this forum.Just do a search
. . . another generic best tow vehicle thread . . .

Yawn
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:08 PM   #13
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hmmm, a 500,000 mile reliable diesel that gets 30 mpg towing, never breaks down, fitted to a 4x4 sprinter van, with the cockpit, electronics, and comfort level of a mercedes or bmw that is rated to haul 5k pounds and tow around 12 thousand pounds would get close to ideal for me.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:23 PM   #14
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The perfect tow vehicle:
Pulls like a Peterbuilt!
Fuel economy of a VW Golf TDI!
Ride of a Rolls Royce!
Handles like a Porsche 911!
Off road like a Polaris RZR!
Easy to park like a Smart Car!
Priced like a Nissan Versa sedan!
Room for people like a Suburban!
That about sums it up for me!! Think I'll just keep my GMC Denali Duramax!!
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