YOUR MILEAGE MAY DIFFER
The tow vehicle death match will never end. Get what works for you in your life. We offer "thinking points" - you sift and choose freely. One size does NOT fit all.
I went out and bought a great tow vehicle - cost not a concern. Chevy Silverado 2500 diesel, long bed quad cab (full size back seats). Five years later....
- The 2500 Silverado diesel is an awesome motor!
- The six speed transmission is amazingly smooth and responsive.
- The long bed will carry two coffins with fat guys in them.
- The full 4 door cab does carry 6 adult sized adults in comfort when it isn't full of camping crap.
If it burned to a cinder and I got a big check from someone else's insurance company because it was their fault, I'd replace it with:
- a 3/4 ton gasser
- full 4 door cab
- four whell drive
- backup camera
- short bed OR a utility truck bed (+5-10K)
- I'd even consider going back to a 2500 Suburban
- I normally don't subscribe to conspiracy theories, but diesel is less refined than gas, and until 10 years ago or so, it was always cheaper than gas. Now it's priced up there with premium gas - and it isn't always all that easy to find if you get off the interstates. The much touted "fuel economy" of a diesel is a now a non-starter unless you're making backyard biodiesel.
etc, etc, etc - much more expensive with a diesel.
Diesels last forever
, but I'll probably die of old age before I put 400K-500K miles on the diesel, which is where the initial cost starts paying you back. Gas engines are a lot better than they used to be so why not?
Full 4 door cab
- your family or friends can't ride in the Airstream, and then there's the dog, etc. "sedan seating" comes in very handy sometimes. This is also one of those good arguments for a Suburban vs a pickup truck. Consider how you'll use the vehicle when you're NOT towing.
Short bed or Utility Body
- The one thing I really hate about mine is the turning radius - about the same as an aircraft carrier. Seriously cannot U-Turn with less than 3 lanes in the opposite direction - 4 when towing (Dont ask, happened in metro DC late at night with zero traffic but caused me to make noises like a pressure cooker getting ready to explode.) I'd only get the long bed, quad cab combo again if I owned a plumbing company or painting company and had to transport ladders or long pipes all the time. Finding a parking spot has sometimes been funny, is almost always inconvenient, and generally frustrates any unlucky person who happens to also be trying to park, leave or pull into the same one I'm negotiating. If you always like to park WOT (way out there) at the edge of the lot, then it's less of an issue. I've also gotten dinged in the long bed 4 times (twice when it was parked and I found damage when I returned, twice when people decided to change lanes into the right side of my huge truck!) - and I've dinged it twice myself - NEVER had that problem with the Burb or any short bed truck I've had.
I just started thinking about a utility bed like the power trucks and plumbers have - nice storage for the hitch, weight bars, trunnion, torque wrench, cordless drill, many many tools, etc. could probably carry a Keg in there too (Now you're interested aren't you?) and have a cabinet for the generator, with of course an ice maker for the keg! And a swingout shelf for the Volcano grill! Well that's another $5K+ but the idea still lingers.
Four Wheel Drive
- NEVER used it when I had it, but got stuck 2 times with my current two wheel truck. I've now adapted to making an "orange brick" road with my levelers - and have unstuck myself a couple of times, but 4 WD is simpler!
- you caught the part where I backed into two objects right? Cheap insurance!
- I'm 5'6" and shrinking. The 2500 requires a ladder to get into the bed comfortably. The 2500 Burb isn't low, but it's five inches lower than the truck. If you ever had to put the Airstream in for service, you could sleep in the back of the Burb. (Fulltimer so this counts!) Basically, with a truck you have to buy a lot of stuff like a bed cover, Rhino liner or other product, running boards, etc. that a Suburban comes with. Now a suburban is carpeted and civilized inside so you need to think carefully about transporting generators, tires, tools and other dirty stuff inside... but overall it's not a bad choice. And if you choose a Suburban you've got to consider the lift gate vs. the barn door. The lift gate might allow you to hitch in the rain, but do you have enough clearance to close it afterwards? It depends.
- very much a short burb half ton
- Even comes in a Hybrid. I'd like that for a smaller Airstream, but probably way outside of comfort level for a 28.
Saw a guy towing an Airstream with a white Lincoln Navigator - OMG, just oozed money, status, and Cary Grant glamour. Sad they don't make them any more. Sadly the driver didn't ooze Cary Grant - more like Lou Grant.
Oh well, I rambled on but I hope I've given you some things to think about.