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Old 12-21-2016, 07:22 AM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
Little River , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 26
need vehicle advice for 2 big dogs...

Hey guys, looking for a little advice on a tow vehicle. Currently we have a 1986 31' Excella, which we tow with my 2007 Chevy 2500 Duramax Crew Cab Diesel. It is myself, my wife, my 11 year old daughter and my 9 year old daughter, and currently our 4 year old english lab, Daisy. She's around 100lbs now that we've got her on a diet. We decided the other day that it's time to add to our family and get another english lab. We are getting from the same breeder as Daisy, with same parents, thus assume that we'll be looking at least at another 100lb dog. We always bring Daisy camping with us, and will continue to bring both dogs now. What I'm trying to decide is what to do about the vehicle space. It was plenty cramped with the dog in the back seat with the two girls, but manageable. Two dogs won't be. Right now my Duramax will pull my camper anywhere I want to go, with great fuel economy to boot. I need a larger vehicle that will accommodate the extra passenger, but still give me ample towing power. Any suggestions? What are you folks using? We often camp in the TN mountains, and to get there, we have to go up a 7% grade for a stretch. My buddy tried pulling his camper up that grade with his 2500 Silverado 6.0 Gas truck and had to pull over due to overheating the trans and stress on the engine. I pulled right on up at 70mph and my temps never climbed 1 degree. I will be purchasing the different tow vehicle SOLELY for camper pulling, and nothing else, thus it doesn't have to be new or nice. I'm a car builder hobbiest, so I am not afraid to make modifications or repairs on whatever I buy. I'm sure it'll get a new interior regardless. I'm keeping my truck, as I need it for other uses, so this will just be a special purpose vehicle, thus I don't want to spend an arm and a leg...
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:33 AM   #2
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2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
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'96 Suburban 2500 gas or diesel, or Excursion gas or diesel
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:10 AM   #3
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Why not put a topper on the pickup you already have?
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:40 AM   #4
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
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How about a much smaller second dog, like a Miniature Schnauzer?

Smart as all get out, and very loyal to children . . .

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Old 12-21-2016, 10:47 AM   #5
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
OlyPen , Washington
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How about a 3/4 ton van? Lots of seating, highly customisable (adding windows, etc) tows and a lightly used one will have a decent price point.

https://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/express-cargo/
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:56 AM   #6
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
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Topper with windows that open and a fan-
Dogs ride in the bed-
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:57 AM   #7
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Stowe , Vermont
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A cap on a pickup would not be a good idea in the south to have your dogs in - too hot. Something like a "jacked-up" Suburban would be good if you can be sure about the towing capacity, shocks, etc. We live in northern VT and only go short distances in the warm months with our 165 pound Newfie with the back of the pick-up's cap open.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:06 AM   #8
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1966 24' Tradewind
Burnaby , British Columbia
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I second the Van option

I was in a similar position when I bought my airstream. 120 lb dog and a large grumpy cat. I went with a Ford Cargo Van 350, with a tow mode. It was well priced ( a lease return) well maintained and,low miles!

I have tons of room for storing dogs, gear and coolers, and you could easily buy a couple seats for your kids and still have tons of room. I have done lots of 6 and 7 grades and it pulls beautifully!

Best of luck!
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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2005 25' Safari
palm beach gardens , Florida
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The ideal tow vehicle for you, me and a lot of people would be the 2500 or 3500 Chevy or GMC Suburban with Duramax diesel. They do make them for fleets and they do conversions. I understand you can contact the company that make the ones for fleets and they may have extras they will sell. I am attaching a couple of links that may help or Google it. Get your wallet ready for a hard hit, but what a great vehicle.
duramaxsuburbans.com/DuramaxYukon.html

gmauthority.com Or check with the Secret Service.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:51 AM   #10
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1977 Argosy 28
Fallon , Nevada
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Smile Sliding rear window, cap, insulation

1. Put a cap on the bed.
2. Replace the rear window with sliding glass and web or net to keep dogs in bed.
3. Create secure padded area around window so dogs don't get overrun by loose stuff in a quick stop or collision. (You appear plenty creative for this!)
4. Insulate cap: more padding.

Result:
A. two happy daughters who can reach back into cap to pet dogs
B. two secure and happy dogs that can reach through the net to lick daughters' ears
C. two happy parents, secure that their children are belted in and secure and not subject to being clobbered by unsecured dogs in an accident and secure that dogs don't cause accident.
D. less breakage due to stuff shifting in pickup bed or getting rained on.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:51 AM   #11
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1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Eagle River , Wisconsin
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Ram MegaCab 2500

A Ram mega cab is awesome with a cap on the bed. We have three very large dogs and it works great. Previously used a Yukon XL.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:11 PM   #12
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Somewhere , South Carolina
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You need to hear from Seemore and their Great Dane ponies they travel with.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:17 PM   #13
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gainesville , Virginia
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VT Wanderer SEZ: ".... We ... go short distances in the warm months with our 165 pound Newfie with the back of the pick-up's cap open."

Humans can get a very bad headache (or worse) when riding thusly, from carbon monoxide poisoning. I don't know if dogs get headaches, but they can suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning.


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Old 12-21-2016, 01:32 PM   #14
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
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How about a 7.3 diesel Excursion.
Find a nice one and spend just a little to make it a forever vehicle.
We love ours!
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