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Old 08-08-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
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Bambi tow options - Ridgeline vs. Avalanche

Hi!

My wife and I are brand new to your world - - after years of fantasizing, we pulled the trigger and just bought (but have yet to pick up) a 2009 16' International Bambi. Now we need to buy something to yank it around with. We've gotten a ton of advice (most of it conflicting), and I was amused to see an earlier post on this site indicating the easiest way to start World War III is to ask what T.V. makes the most sense for a Bambi.

At this point we have two options - a Honda Ridgeline (5000# towing capacity), and a Chevy Avalanche with considerably more capacity.

I realize the obvious things in this choice, such as more power for hills with the AV, and greater fuel efficiency with the Ridgeline. My real questions are two: (1) everything else being equal, is it just a fact that the smaller Honda will get "beat up" faster and require significantly more repair and maintenance than the Avalanche, and (2) our being "newbies" at trailering, does the greater weight of the Avalanche significantly increase the overall safety factor?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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Get you a Toyota Tundra or F150. From a reliability standpoint I would go with the Honda although I don't consider the Ridgeline a real truck you don't need a real truck to pull what you have. I would go Japanese or Ford. So if you only have two choices, go with the Honda. It really depends on what you are going to do with it. If you are just going to make short weekend trips you could pull it with a minivan. If you are going to be gone for weeks at a time and cover lots of miliage I would at least go with a 1/2 ton truck. My choices would be an F150 or Toyota Tundra.

Perry
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
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"We've gotten a ton of advice (most of it conflicting),"
and that will continue here.☺

I am currently a 2012 F150 Ecoboost SuperCrewCab fan. Very happy with mine in pretty much all respects.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:12 AM   #4
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"We've gotten a ton of advice (most of it conflicting),"
and that will continue here.☺

Isn't that the truth....LOL

The Ridge will give you more power/towing capacity then you will ever need.

It will use less fuel and have a more comfortable ride than any 1/2 ton.

With the IRS it will probably handle the trailer better and be more stable than any 1/2 ton.

Reliabilty???... no contest again. Not much of a debate here. Should be a quiet topic.... :7)
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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The Ridgeline is a better fit to the 16' Airstream, and more stable with or without the trailer attached as 'Ruler pointed out above. I don't see any safety benefit with greater weight. More mass to stop and maneuver when you have to do so quickly would not be useful.

Choice of tow vehicles should include how you would use it when not towing. Some need a truck for heavier hauling and some would do fine with the Ridgeline.

doug k
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:41 PM   #6
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If your tow vehicle will also double as a daily driver, the Honda will probably work fine. No experience with the Avalanche.

You might also take a look at the Toyota Tacoma, which is similar in size, or perhaps slightly larger (it has grown to be about the size of the older Tundra). A friend tows a Casita with a Ridgeline and is very satisfied with the setup.

Having owned both a Chevy crew cab and the newer Toyota Tundra CrewMax pickups, I'd go with either the Honda or Toyota trucks; because they seem to be a little more refined (car-like ride for in town and highway cruising) and for better reliability.

As part of your research, don't forget to check the Consumer Reports reliability ratings for all potential selections.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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Have you given any though to a Jeep Grand Cherokee? They are rated for 5000 with the 6 up to 7500 with the 8. I was looking at the same options. Then walked into the Jeep show room and purchased the Grand Cherokee Larado.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jim from SB View Post
Hi!

At this point we have two options - a Honda Ridgeline (5000# towing capacity), and a Chevy Avalanche with considerably more capacity.

I realize the obvious things in this choice, such as more power for hills with the AV, greater weight of the Avalanche= significant increase in overall safety factor

Seems you have answered your own questions...
Last year for the AV...better move quick!
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:13 PM   #9
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"greater weight of the Avalanche=significant increase in overall safety factor"

I learn something new here every day.

doug k
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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“The tow vehicle should always outweigh the trailer”
Wally Byam
C 1958
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:54 PM   #11
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That's cute, Bill. But this is 2012.

doug k
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:55 PM   #12
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Have towed our 20 ft. 2007 Safari with a 2007 Avalanche for 5 years. NO problems. Prev. had a 2002 Avalanche NO Problems.(over 100K) I think 2012 is the LAST Avalanche being Made. Will miss the 8/4 motor,Mid Gate Wall and 3 panels over truck bed.
I don't think you would go wrong on Honda ,get the bed panel covers.Roof Racks if avail. Have driven the Honda (not Towing) and it was beautiful.It should do a good job.
If the Av ever gives up i'll get a Ford.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:36 PM   #13
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That's cute, Bill. But this is 2012.

doug k
Yes...I suppose the laws of physics have been revised lately...

My bad.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:53 PM   #14
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Yes...I suppose the laws of physics have been revised lately...My bad.
Nope the laws of physics haven't changed but the technology of the TV's have. Now where is that link I had of the new Malibu VS the 59 chevy in a crash test??
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