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Old 06-22-2011, 11:11 AM   #1
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Good Tow Vehicle for 3,500 lbs

We are looking for a 2 to 4 year old tow vehicle to replace our aging 1996 Suburban. Our Avion weighs around 3500 pounds loaded. I am looking for suggestions for a smaller/better gas mileage tow vehicle then a Suburban that due to our budget needs to be 2 to 4 years old. So lets here your suggestions.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:15 AM   #2
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There are so many choices for that size/weight of trailer.

What are your needs or wants in a TV.... SUV, Pickup, Mini Van, Car???

Are you partial to an import or domestic?
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:41 AM   #3
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I would get a crew-cab truck because of the longer wheel base. I went from a Suburban to a truck and I like the way the truck tows the trailer.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:22 PM   #4
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We need something that will carry 4 people, domestic, not a mini van, an SUV or pickup would be fine.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:36 PM   #5
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There is a reason that the Ford F-150 is the most popular vehicle in the US and that's due to it's dependability and versatility. I would recommend you look for a nice used F-150 crew cab. I think you will find alot to choose from in the 2-4 year old range. If you can find a recent lease return with low miles and warranty still there, then I think you will be in fine shape.

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Old 06-22-2011, 02:19 PM   #6
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I recently chose a 2007 F150 SuperCrew to tow a trailer about 50% heavier loaded up than your Avion. I chose SuperCrew over SuperCab mainly because the big dog's travel crate was a very tight fit in the SuperCab, but once we inspected and drove the SuperCrews we were impressed by the room and comfort in the rear seat, and in fact have used it as much for its people-hauling capacity as for its towing capacity thus far (we're changing that this weekend!) So far nothing has made me regret the choice either of the F150 or of our particular truck.

We overdid it a bit, as it happened the best overall truck that turned up in my search was a Lariat so it's fancy with leather seats and steering-wheel controls for audio and AC, etc. Ford's tow package is a must, IMHO. In addition to better cooling, it provides a plug-and-play hookup for the brake controller and a receiver designed for the vehicle by Ford's engineers.

I'm sure that much of this is the same for competitive trucks from GM and Dodge, but I happen to like a lot of qualities of the Ford and feel that they've been producing a good product in recent years. I'm not sure what MPG your Suburban was returning, but so far the F150's mileage has been nothing to get excited about, 14ish around town from the 5.4l with a 3.73 limited-slip diff. (I'll know more about what it's going to give us for towing after this weekend.)
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:04 PM   #7
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I just bought a VW Touareg V8 and love it. We tow a 19' Bambi and it's more than enough power for the job, 7700 lb capacity and 750+ hitch weight. I won't win in the mpg but it serves as my daily driver as well and I didn't want a truck yet. They make a v6 diesel that's amazing but so is the price. Good luck on your search.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventport View Post
We need something that will carry 4 people, domestic, not a mini van, an SUV or pickup would be fine.
Two great choices come to mind. Ford Flex - very roomy rear seat, distinctive looks, drives well. 4500 lb tow capacity.

Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia/Buick Enclave/Saturn Outlook - drive even better than the Flex, roomy, quiet, comfortable, about the size of a Tahoe but better fuel economy and handling. 5200 lb tow capacity for most (4500 for Enclave).

Both are easy to set up for towing - get one with the towing package and all you need to do is plug in a brake controller into a plug in the footwell.

Tom
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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If you need and want a pick up then there are many choices but Tom made some great suggestions that are a better drive and a smaller, easier vehicle for every day use.
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:40 PM   #10
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You might also look towards the larger 4 door Jeeps, like the Cherokee (or what ever they call the newer ones now). The small V8's get great mileage (for something able to tow things) and have the weight not to get pulled around by a trailer. My better half has a 97 and I've used it to tow my 18' flat bed with a '65 Dodge Polara on it with no issues.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:46 PM   #11
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Just watch out with too much on those Jeeps.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:47 PM   #12
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:50 AM   #13
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Honda Ridgeline, made right here in the USA.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:45 AM   #14
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Thank you all for the replies, we now have a direction and some looking to do. Brian
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