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Old 10-25-2014, 02:23 PM   #1
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Finding the right tow vehicle

We are about to buy an AS in the 19' to 23' range, and are trying to figure out what to tow it with. We want safety plus fuel economy. Also, I want this vehicle to be my everyday transportation. So far, it seems that the best options are the Ram1500 crew cab diesel or the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel. And maybe the 2-wheel drive version for increased mileage. We are total neophytes and would appreciate any and all advice.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:28 PM   #2
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We strongly considered the Jeep GC also. But felt the seats were a bit too firm and uncushy.

Test drove a Toyota Tundra, and bought that instead. Better price, great ride, L-O-V-E the roll-down rear window. I am getting 15.3 around town. Previous vehicle was a Honda Pilot that got around 17, so not (IMHO) a significant change.

The Tundra is a lot of truck for the money, in my opinion.

We got the 5.8 L with the big cab.

Oh, and it's not my husband's truck, it's mine, and is my daily driver.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:30 PM   #3
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I just bought 2015 FC 28 and plan to tow with my new 2015 Tahoe with max towing pkg.


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Old 10-26-2014, 07:15 AM   #4
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Dodge or jeep will work great, you pick. The size and combo of what you're looking at is a smart choice. Not all start with such common sense choice and find out later .


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Old 10-26-2014, 07:32 AM   #5
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Consider putting some thought to what you want to take with you for gear or toys. Some folks pack light, fits their style. Some pack heavier, cooking equipment, maybe a mid size grill, pop up shelter, bikes etc. The vehicles tow capacity should also match your style of camping. I'm using a short bed quad cab and just added a cap to protect and add a bit of security.
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:47 AM   #6
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A common disease on this thread is the "another 2 feet would br great" syndrome. A little more capacity in the initial tow vehicle allows for the trailer upgrade possibility without the double whammy of also needing a tow vehicle upgrade.

I initially thought my existing 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel would work for our 2013 25FB International Serenity. It was okay to tow the unit home, but loaded for camping it was overloaded on the axles and payload. I had to upgrade and acquired a 2012 Dodge 2500HD with Cummins diesel. Then we upgraded to a 31' Classic and all was well with the tow vehicle and trailer combination.

Spend lots of time looking and lying on beds, sitting on the benches and toilets before writing the checks. Consider if you plan camping off the grid. If so, then are you going to use generator(s) and or solar panels for power? Planning on a propane grill to cook on? Gasoline and propane should not be carried inside the passenger compartment of a vehicle...

Welcome to the forums. Lots of information and opinions. After a while, you will be able to discern fact from fiction.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:15 AM   #7
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My vote is for the Tundra, 5.7 Ltr V8 with tow package. 2 wheel drive.
Plenty of truck for your coach selection.


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Old 10-26-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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You might continue to consider the Ram 1500. We purchased the 1500 Eco Diesel. It pulls our 28 International with no problem and gets 18-20 mpg when doing so. Driving at 55 mph without trailer, we get 38-40 mpg and at 65-70 we get 30 mpg.
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Old 10-27-2014, 12:16 AM   #9
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Thanks. The Ram 1500 Diesel is at the top of the list. I still have not heard much about the Grand Cherokee diesel (same engine as the Ram), but the local dealer told me all of those Diesel engines are going to the Ram and Jeep is not receiving them, so I won't be able to purchase a diesel Grand Cherokee for some time to come. Does anyone have any info,about this?
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny Day View Post
We are about to buy an AS in the 19' to 23' range, and are trying to figure out what to tow it with. We want safety plus fuel economy. Also, I want this vehicle to be my everyday transportation. So far, it seems that the best options are the Ram1500 crew cab diesel or the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel. And maybe the 2-wheel drive version for increased mileage. We are total neophytes and would appreciate any and all advice.

Sunny, there are a couple of threads on the 2014 GC Diesel. Search my posts. While those two vehicles will share the same engine and technologies, they better serve different purposes. If you will haul lots of stuff, especially a generator, the pickup may be the better choice. If you disconnect and go adventuring off road, or live in snow country, the 4WD GC is awesome. With a Thule box on top for gear, my 4WD GC Overland Diesel suits us very well as our only, do it all, vehicle.

Safe Travels,
JamuJoe


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Old 10-30-2014, 11:35 PM   #11
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Thanks. Do you have a generator? If so, where do you carry it? Are fumes an issue? I ask because one of the folks who replied to me said that a pickup is better for that reason.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:29 PM   #12
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Sunny,
I do own a Yamaha 2400is that was an impulse purchase down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast three years ago. Very nice machine, but I haven't used it with the Airstream since. My solar installation negated the need for the generator, except for aircon, which we very rarely feel the desire for in our boondocking. Ditto the microwave. I have carried the generator in the Grand Cherokee and the smell of gasoline is present but very slight if you run the carb dry, which is easy with the fuel shutoff switch. Still, I do not like carrying any gasoline in the passenger compartment. A pickup would solve the generator transport safety issue, but a pickup isn't our style. With careful packing and a Thule cargo box on the roof, we manage to take along two grandkids with full camping kit including their double Cabellas Tent Cot. The GC Overland Diesel has pleased us in all respects. We chose the 4WD with Off-road package for our adventuring (awesome off road capability) and the Technology package for enhanced safety on the road. A very comfortable ride at 18.6mpg overall towing.

There are many vehicles that can tow an Airstream. Choosing the right one for YOUR lifestyle deserves careful consideration. Good luck!

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Old 11-01-2014, 03:12 PM   #13
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I've towed my 23' with a Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel as well as the gasoline V6/8spd. No problems towing at all with either engine, but the short wheelbase means you should spend time to get the hitch dialed in right. (That goes for any tow vehicle, to be fair.) The Dodge Durango Hemi that I own handles better when towing, thanks to the longer wheelbase and firmer on-road-only suspension.

While a truck gives you more toy-hauling options, I like having the shorter SUV when it comes time to back into a campsite. Things are usually pretty tight here, especially in the state park campgrounds, and I prefer the maneuverability.

Grand Cherokee diesel sales have been below expectations, while Ram EcoDiesel sales have been strong. That's why the engine supply has been diverted to Ram. Pretty sure a good/willing dealer can find you a Jeep diesel at another dealer or order one for you.

Note that the seats are softer if you don't get the cooled seat option. That doesn't make them "soft" but rather "softer."

Tom
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Old 11-01-2014, 05:22 PM   #14
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Another new bee in search of

We currently have a 2012 Honda Pilot that we plan on trading in for a new TV sometime next year.
I have been hearing that Toyota is coming out with a diesel for the Tundra sometime "soon"....Our TT plans are for a 30' Classic..and as another poster wrote "to make money disappear quickly" buy both at the same time. The Tundra gas 5.7 should tow a 30' Classic alright...I assume. If we went with a Ford PU would the best be a 150 or the 250...
We are both retired and plan on Florida in winter and then travel some the rest of the year. Been learning a lot from the forums and have clipped a lot of information for reference. Thanks to all.
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