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Old 04-22-2015, 09:33 PM   #1
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Hybrid tow vehicle?

Is anyone using a hybrid to tow their Airstream? We are looking at purchasing a tow vehicle and considering one of these hybrids: Yukon, Ford F150, OR Chevy Silverado. Any experience out there? Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:35 PM   #2
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you aren't going to see much advantage to the hybrid when you're towing. That's why the prius et al aren't great for long road trip vehicles. You won't be using the electric drive when you're towing, you won't get any MPG difference around town when towing, certainly not on the highway, so it will never offset the increased cost and it certainly isn't any better for the environment unless you do a lot of stop and start traffic on a daily basis.
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:27 PM   #3
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If you tow much I don't think a hybrid is your calling. However, if limited towing and a lot of around down driving then go for it. Their tow ratings are ok, and they can certainly do it, but the only time the engine will shut down is when you stop at traffic lights etc.
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:45 PM   #4
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I don't think Ford has a hybrid in the F-150 model.

As for the others, the large truck hybrids that GM sells don't really get sufficiently better mileage than the all-gas versions to justify the cost. But do check the torque ratings. It may be that the hybrids have a lot more torque which could be useful in towing. Also, make sure that GM approves towing with a hybrid (I have no idea if they do.)
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:59 PM   #5
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Typically the significant extra battery weight for a hybrid will chew up big chunks of your payload when comparing hybrid and non hybrid models of the same vehicle. Something to watch out for if you will be using most of the payload with your setup. As with any other TV selection, check the load ratings, payload etc so you can make an informed decision. If it all checks out and you want a hybrid - go for it.
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:56 AM   #6
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Thanks!

All you all make sense. I appreciate the hive mind. Time to rethink.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:04 AM   #7
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If budget allows, and if an SUV is an option, the Mercedes GL class has a high payload capacity, about the same as a body on frame full size SUV, and can tow most any trailer. They also come with the fantastic BluTec diesel engine that will deliver exceptional mileage.

From what I am reading, those who tow with it like it a lot.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:50 PM   #8
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As AnnArborBob points out, torque is important for towing and hybrids generally do have a LOT more of that. Plus, they may be able to harness a lot more energy from stopping all that weight and use regenerative breaking to put it back in the batteries. I'm very intrigued by the possibilities. Another thing I would like to accomplish is using the hybrid as a generator! If it could be setup to deliver high voltage DC back to the trailer and then step it down once it gets back there. In theory, you could have unlimited power if you could set it up so the engine starts up to recharge the batteries when low. I believe the GMC Yukon/Chevy Tahoe can tow an airstream no problem. I have also been considering the Mercedes GL diesel because that is just a lot more my style.

But what I'm really trying to say is that I disagree with those who write off hybrids as tow vehicles. Sadly, however, large enough hybrid vehicles for towing are becoming less common now that GM has discontinued their large hybrids.
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