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Old 12-15-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
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1969 21' Globetrotter
Springfield , Oregon
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Posts: 18
Environmentally friendly TV???

We've finally finished the renovation of our 1969 Globetrotter (except for the polish). Hooray! But the next problem is replacing our TV. We have been happily using our cargo van, but it's days are numbered and my husband wants to replace it with another of the same. We like the convenience of interior space for our bikes, dog, and other gear - and we use the van for business, but I feel uncomfortable with the poor gas mileage. Seems like we have a global responsibility to at least look for better options.

Our trailier is 21", and loaded weighs in at 3150 pounds. Has anyone found a planet friendly vehicle that does the job? Thanks.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:08 PM   #2
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a tahoe or suberban might be a good choice. My dad 01 yukon XL gets 23 hwy, and tows very well.

Life's a dance, you learn as you go....
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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1972 25' Tradewind
North Vancouver , British Columbia
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For such a light trailer, I would think you have a ton of options. Ford Flex w/ ecoboost, any of the new diesel sedans or wagons, such as the VW Jetta, etc. Similar posts have raised the question here:
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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1954 22' Safari
Deerfield , Illinois
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We just towed our '62 GlobeTrotter 5,000 miles in September with a Hybrid Highlander. Chicago to New Mexico... to southern and twisty northern California... through snowy Utah and Wyoming... and finally the plains and back home again.

Underpowered in some regions (twisty Highway 1) and the mileage didn't deliver much better than 15 MPG! But when not towing, we're averaging around 28 MPG city and highway, so there's a manageable tradeoff for a single-vehicle solution.

So... maybe something to consider. Yours and our trailers weigh about the same loaded, but whether or not our solution would make sense for you would depend on many factors, including; our smallish cargo area vs. your van, the type of geography you frequently tow in, and the percentage of time it would be used for towing.

More opinions on this (admittedly more extreme) solution by searching the forums for "HY-HI".
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:54 PM   #5
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think VANS people...

no SUV will do what a van does...

hi trotter...

in the van a world nearly new honda od' would work OK

and has a somewhat thrifty 6 banger...

or a merc'/dodge/sprinter van.

these are diesel and get good mpg. either the newer 6 cylinder or the discontinued 5 banger...

also the chry/dodge caravan has payload, space and modest mpg and would handle your trailer.

ford is 'importing a new small van this year, i've not seen one yet.

hard to beat the space/payload/loading deck of a VAN if vans are your thing...

but determine IF the tow mule is gonna be a daily driver or MOSTLY for towing...

then estimate HOW MANY MILES will be driven each year towing vs daily use...

while poor mpg HURTS at the pump,

IF you aren't towing that much, it might make $$ sense to keep the old van just for towing...

then get some REALLY eco-car for daily travel.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:15 PM   #6
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You know, I totally agree with the merits of a VAN. I've driven a lot of nice big tow vehicles, but nothing matches the sheer utility of a van. We use ours to throw our whitewater kayaks (our sea kayaks are sadly too long) and mountain bikes inside. Even with that, there is still room for all of the camping junk (no outside storage on the vintage trailer.)

Our 2005 Honda Odyssey pulls along our Argosy Minuet very, very well. I'm also impressed by its stability and manners - I did a rather quick lane change the first time I towed the trailer home and the friction sway control and a quick blast from the Honda's stability control system kept everything in line.

We've been averaging from 13 mpg (towing through the hills of Vermont, cranking uphill at the speed limit) to 15 (NYS Thruway at 70, flat and easy cruising, loafing along in 5th gear). It gets around 21-23 in normal driving, 25-26 solo on the highway if I behave. Curiously, I get better fuel economy towing my Argosy (around 3200 lbs loaded) than my T@B teardrop (2000 lbs loaded.)

You would need to reinforce the hitch though - I had my van set up by CanAm RV Centre in Ontario - and install transmission and power steering coolers. Honda also recommends premium fuel when towing.

Although I kick around the idea of a Buick Enclave or a Chevy Avalanche for my next tow vehicle, I just can't escape the utility and everyday pleasantness of my Odyssey. Plus it's actually fun and comfortable to drive. I'll probably be using an Odyssey to tow my next heavier trailer (dreams of a 20' Flying Cloud or a restored late-50s Caravanner)...

One more thing: if you use the van for business, and can really use the space, a Sprinter diesel would make a whole lot of sense here. (Ford's new Transit Connect is much smaller, and its four-cylinder doesn't have much reserve power.)

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Old 12-15-2009, 05:31 PM   #7
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St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
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Our experience is similar to Toms. Although we use the car now for towing duties for many years we used a Nissan mini Van to tow our 23'.

Very good fuel mileage solo and 16 MPG average (Imp gals) towing.

Anyway, what are your preferences and how much do you want to spend?

Import or domestic?
New or used?
Van or other?
4 wheel or 2 wheel drive

So many green choices for your size and weight of trailer.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:19 AM   #8
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Durango , Colorado
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I currently have a number of vehicles for single purpose usage. While not everyone can afford to insure and register cars/trucks for a single purpose, duel purpose vehicles are usually an unsatisfactory compromise. I have a beater S-10 that gets 22 MPG to use for errands and to tow a small utility trailer and my pontoon boat. Then there's a GMC 2500 that's used almost exclusively to haul the Safari 25FB. ! also have some other vehicles for pure selfish pleasures.

Quite frankly, I'd look at "recycling" a vintage van as a TV as being more "eco-friendly" then buying a hybrid built overseas. Ford has a line of duel fuel F-150's that can be run on gas or LNG. Since we have an abundance of natural gas right here in the US of A, I'd look in that direction rather than at a diesel that will still depend on imported oil.

With all due respect, I find that most people gloss over common sense and practical solutions when they are attempting to save the planet.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:22 AM   #9
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Enviromentally Friendly Tow Vehicle

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2004 22' CCD
1997 F-150
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:49 AM   #10
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Dearborn , Michigan
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I gotta wonder if the real intention of these ‘enviro-conscious’ threads is really to spark up the politically charged, ‘save the planet’, quit driving cars debate.

With that said, I’ll play along…

At 3150 pounds, there are an awful lot of vehicles that can handle that. Like other posters have already said- it’s about proper application. How many passengers? How much cargo? How much vehicle bling do you need?

I can’t imagine ‘camping’ in anything that small, but if, for arguments sake it was my setup, I don’t think a full sized 1500 series van, transporting a pair of carbon footprints (and carbon pawprint), is at all irresponsible from a ‘green’ point of view.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:10 AM   #11
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Malakoff , Texas
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Real Friendly!!!

Maybe too "Environmentally friendly"
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:14 PM   #12
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1969 21' Globetrotter
Springfield , Oregon
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Thanks for all your input. I may have lost this argument at home already. As you can see from my photo, we now own a full sized GMC cargo van that has worked beautifully for us for the past 10 years. It has 145K miles on it and is starting to have little problems. My husband likes to avoid problems and sees buying a new van as the solution.

We have two other cars - one of which is an 18 year old Miata that gets fabulous mileage - we also ride our bikes around town, so we're not into a big carbon footprint anyway. I just can't see dropping a wad of money for a new van that we'll use mostly to tow with, when it reportedly gets worse miles/gallon than our old one. Just thought it would be worth checking out all the options. My vote goes for putting the money into our existing van until some great fuel efficient rig comes along.

As for the size of our trailer, it's really perfect. We like each other, and have previously done most of our traveling/camping in our van. That includes a month in Baja and 6 weeks in Alaska (although that got a little old with 17 days of rain and a big wet dog). We're pretty outdoorsy, but like the advantages of light and heat.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:19 PM   #13
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1975 Argosy 24
Malakoff , Texas
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One more attempt

Maybe this model:
Consumer notice*TowVehicle has been reported to wander off
and not return****CruiseControl issues have been reported
involving "Chimp stuck in tree" refusing to come down and work.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:33 PM   #14
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1969 21' Globetrotter
Springfield , Oregon
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My husband has a bad knee, cruise control is always a plus.

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