Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-20-2019, 09:08 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
2019 22' Sport
Quartzsite , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 259
The Ideal Tow Vehicle Would Be....


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.



Rounder44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2019, 09:20 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Moflash's Avatar
2007 28' International CCD
Springfield , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,336
This has been discussed many times on this forum.Just do a search

Moflash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2019, 09:33 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
2019 28' Flying Cloud
2014 22' FB Sport
Davie , FL
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 149
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.
out of sight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2019, 10:26 AM   #4
3 Rivet Member
Kanusport's Avatar
2019 22' Sport
Missoula , Montana
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 136
Would be one that starts every time and fits your needs best.
Kanusport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2019, 10:50 AM   #5
Home of Vortex tuning
CDONA's Avatar
2013 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Spearfish , South Dakota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 569
Images: 9
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.
"Chip Tank" is in Lake Havasu Az.
CDONA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2019, 11:06 AM   #6
2020 Classic 33 on order
Box Elder , South Dakota
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,294
Images: 1
If a C130 can't handle the length there are a large number C5's out in the Arizona desert that might be available....
2020 Classic 33 Twin on order
ghaynes755 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2019, 11:43 AM   #7
Rivet Master

2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,407
Warms my Overkill Engineering heart to hear these ultimate tow vehicle ideas....
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
2012 shortbed CrewMax 4x4 Toyota Tacoma TV with more antennae on it.
rmkrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2019, 11:45 AM   #8
Rivet Master
PKI's Avatar
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,259
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
PKI is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2019, 11:47 AM   #9
Overkill Specialist
GMFL's Avatar

2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,508
Images: 4
Blog Entries: 36
The one that is capable and paid for!
Dept of “OverKill”
GMFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2019, 02:40 PM   #10
Rivet Master
gklott's Avatar

2004 30' Classic
Johnson City , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 538
Images: 86
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.

Gus - KR4K : Mary - K5MCL
2004 30ft. Classic
2017 Infiniti QX80 Limited
ProPride 3P/Prodigy P3
gklott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2019, 04:03 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
2005 25' Safari
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 49
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..."
Airhead59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2019, 04:50 PM   #12
Rivet Master
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 9,934
Thumbs up

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 . . .

OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2019, 05:08 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
2019 30' International
Pennsylvania , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 306
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.
If you ain't havin' fun you ain't doin' it right

2017 Ford CCSB F250 XLT 6.2L Gas 4x4 Ruby
2019 International Serenity 30 Rear Twin
majorairhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2019, 06:23 PM   #14
Rivet Master
1994 34' Excella
Warren , Manitoba
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 517
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!!

WBCCI #7394
2012 GMC 2500 HD Duramax Denali
1976 31' Gone but fondly remembered
CBWELL is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ideal tow vehicle for 16 AI GT twin riverdweller Sprinter and B-van Forum 21 01-03-2019 09:01 AM
Ideal tow vehicle? e5earley Our Community 2 07-04-2014 02:21 PM
Would these work on a tow vehicle? Silver Threads Tow Vehicles 5 10-07-2006 03:00 PM
What tow vehicle would you suggest? Kistler Tow Vehicles 63 09-27-2005 04:24 PM
What would the least expensive tow vehicle be? RVNUTTY Tow Vehicles 13 03-10-2004 09:48 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.