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Old 07-17-2009, 05:54 PM   #1
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Softest riding tow vehicle for 4500 lb AS?

We have an '05 8.1 Avalanche that tows our '07 25' FB AS. It is a beautiful set-up and is very comfortable. But,

My husband has hurt his back. We have been to several doctors and due to his injury and age, he is going to have to just live with his discomfort.

We just returned from a 3000 mile trip and he was truly miserable. The rough roads (interstates) tore him up.

Is there a family vehicle that is smooth riding and will pull 4500 lbs? We won't be taking any long trips, but would still like to travel to see relatives, if we can find the tow vehicle for us. Then we would get a smaller AS.

Thanks.

Pat
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starflyte1 View Post
We have an '05 8.1 Avalanche that tows our '07 25' FB AS. It is a beautiful set-up and is very comfortable. But,

My husband has hurt his back. We have been to several doctors and due to his injury and age, he is going to have to just live with his discomfort.

We just returned from a 3000 mile trip and he was truly miserable. The rough roads (interstates) tore him up.

Is there a family vehicle that is smooth riding and will pull 4500 lbs? We won't be taking any long trips, but would still like to travel to see relatives, if we can find the tow vehicle for us. Then we would get a smaller AS.

Thanks.

Pat
Pat,

Any 1970's full size sedan or some 1980's, Ford Crown Vic and some GM.

Bill
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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Been There Too!

Pat, I feel for your husband driving with a bad back, nothing is more aggrevating than watching a love one in pain. Both my husband and I have had serious back problems off and on, and thankfully not at the same time. It seemed at times the only alternative was surgery or something drastic. But then we took a more holistic approach, acupuncture, chiropractor, massage therapist, flat ice packs to lay on. Oh, and the dreaded exercises. Glad to report that the backs are in good shape now, and we watch how we use them.

I don't know if a new TV will give you any different ride than the Avalanche. I test drove one a few months ago, and it was definitely a truck suspension. We ended up with a Chrysler Aspen to tow our 23'. The suspension is definitely more "car" like than the Avalanche. Have you considered if there is anything that can be done the Avalanche suspension to make it a softer ride?

Hope you find the right solution, would hate to see you both grounded. And if you are looking for a new TV, this forum will surely give you the litany of suggestions I am sure!

Nancy
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:23 PM   #4
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Chevy Traverse, 5200 lbs. The Buick Enclave is rated at around 4500 due to a smaller grill, IIRC. Longish wheelbases, independent suspensions, should be better than many things.

Chrysler's 300 undergoes a mysterious form of magic when it crosses the Atlantic and is rated there at 4450 lbs, IIRC.

Audi's Q7 looks promising, as it is nearly the same size as the Traverse/Enclave/Acadia (i.e. bigger than the VW Touareg) and available as an oil burner. There's a TDI version that parks in the lot at work. It looks very nice.

One of our list members uses or used a BMW X-5 for a 23' - ish Airstream. 6k pounds rating maybe?

Volvo's XC-90 is also in that range, and also seem very nice.

All of these have independent front and rear suspensions, and should all ride better than the truck based Avalanche.

For that matter, a recent Expedition might be a step up. I know the older ones weren't great, but the later generations had an independent rear suspension (yes, I do think that's important for comfort).
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:35 PM   #5
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Chevys always seem to have the softest suspensions for trucks.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:36 PM   #6
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If your Avalanche does not have the Ltz option it will not have the Autoride suspension. They do have a more "truck like" ride without it. The Surburban, which is on the same wheelbase, has a much smoother ride. Our 06 is head and sholders above our old 95 Burb.

If you like/need the room give a 3/4 Burb a test drive, it will have the Autoride, without auto leveling. The 1500 burb may also be a good choice for your needs, very comfortable. You should be able to talk a dealer into giving you a "weekend" roadtest. A very slow mover these days, I know we have several in stock. Try it, you may like it.

We LOVE ours....
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:13 PM   #7
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The Buick Enclave comes to mind. There are certainly a number of possibilities. Another vehicle that hasn't been mentioned is the Mercedes-Benz ML320 with the diesel.

The newer SUVs and crossovers are attractive because they seem to tow well, and tend to have higher payload capacities than cars. This is helpful in my view because in my experience ride quality can deteriorate on rough roads as the vehicle is loaded closer to its GVWR. I tow with a car, and just came back from a 5,000 mile trip. Any concrete highway becomes nasty as it ages. Rough, and very noisy. Asphalt seems much more resilient, even when it starts breaking up, and in my view is the superior paving material.
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:19 PM   #8
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Its not the truck or car that hurts a back, its the seats,seat ergonamics lacks in most US car manuf. until lately, I like my newer F150 seats, IMHO VW has best seats. Always Try some custom after market seats
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:33 PM   #9
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oop's wasnt done yet, anyway always had a back ache after driving Dodge Caravan, got rid of it, my 04 F150 is far more comfortable on trips, our VW even better, you could possibly get different seats for your T.V. proper back support is what is needed not different riding vehicle, not as much difference in vehicle ride as there is in seat design, always thought Dodge and GM had worst seats.
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:21 AM   #10
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Softest riding tow vehicle for 4500 lb AS?

Have you considered the possibility of upgrading one or both front seats in your current Suburban to a premium air-suspension seat system? They aren't cheap, but would be less costly than trading both tow vehicle and trailer. What I am thinking of is something like the low profile series air suspension seats from National Truck Seats or AirChief Lowrider or Recaro Ergonomic Seats.

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:52 AM   #11
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Travel-Back problems ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by starflyte1 View Post
We have an '05 8.1 Avalanche that tows our '07 25' FB AS. It is a beautiful set-up and is very comfortable. But, My husband has hurt his back. We have been to several doctors and due to his injury and age, he is going to have to just live with his discomfort.
We just returned from a 3000 mile trip and he was truly miserable. The rough roads (interstates) tore him up.
Is there a family vehicle that is smooth riding and will pull 4500 lbs? We won't be taking any long trips, but would still like to travel to see relatives, if we can find the tow vehicle for us. Then we would get a smaller AS.
Thanks. Pat
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX
Pat
I am a person who is currently disabled and has to live with a serious neck/ 2 separate back conditions and will have to live with it for the rest of my life including the fact that it worsens every year and there is nothing currently on the horizon for help due to the fact that mine involves the spinal column, disk, nerves, so I can identify with your problem.
If you are happy with your vehicle DO NOT CHANGE! it is the seats that you need to look at changing as Overlander64 indicated, and will be much much cheaper.
Now about the seat in detail, there are several things that need to taken into consideration because no 2 back conditions are the same on everyone even when they have the same problem it effects everyone different.
1st thing I would suggest to go to different dealers and look at all the different types of seats (and there are many) and look for one that is most comfortable this will give you a beginning,
NOTE; stick with bucket seats because these are the easiest, most options for modifications without effecting the passenger, and cost effective.
Look at outer edge lumbar supports both in the back of the seat and in the bottom, heat, back cushion air bag because it can be decreased/increased depending on condition. Might look at a racing type.
Now after you have done the above, you can look first at junk yards and such for a used bucket then take it to a vehicle upolstery shop and they can make the necessary changes to it. Another thing is to look at custom seat manufacturers and purchase new with all the options you need.
Then install to your vehicle.
1 more thing, you are going to have to make rest stops more often at least every 2 hours, and walk when you do.
By the way I have a 2005 Ford Excursion (same as a F250, but like a suburban) with bucket seats, heat, lumbar adjustments, leather. It rides as close to a car as possible for a truck as far as suspension, this vehicle gives me a better ride than my GMC. Both have the same type of seat except the GMC is cloth, The Ford seat is much more comfortable for my conditions.

Sarge
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:22 AM   #12
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Ditto on changing the seats. Instead of looking at Bostrom air ride seats, pick up some 4x4 magazines and check put seating ads. A Baja race seat can be installed in your Chevy with matching upholstery for a mere pittance compare to tricking out an '80's wagon to pull an AS. I went so far as to install race seats in a Jeep with 5 point harnesses and a "horse collar" neck restraint so that my wife could enjoy off roading in SW Colorado.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:42 AM   #13
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Thank you

Wow! I knew that I would get responses to my post, but this is wonderful. Changing out the seat is something to look into, and then into the different suggested vehicles. I will reread oll of the replies and start from there. THANKS again!

Pat
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:52 AM   #14
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Yes, seats.

I injured my back 25 years ago and was told I was 20% disabled. Aggressive physical therapy plus exercising on my own have helped tremendously. Chronic pain is something I have gotten more or less used to, but I refuse to stop doing things—I spent 4 hours cutting up trees with a chain saw yesterday. So long as my wife picks up the wood, I do pretty well (a lot of bending is agony). I hope this can encourage you to hope for better days. It isn't easy and maybe you're not seeing the right doctors. Some of them are totally ignorant about back injuries. A chiropractor kept me going for quite a while, but it was physical therapy and exercise, and a lot of it, that made the difference. I know insurance companies don't want to pay for much therapy, but I was lucky and had therapy for a couple of years and it was paid for.

We had a 2002 Toyota Sequoia and it had the best seats I ever experienced. After driving thousands of miles, we were not nearly as tired and my back hurt a lot less. Now we tow with an '07 Tundra and the seats are barely adequate. We've added after market seat cushions to help. Now I wish I wasn't so cheap and got the leather seats because I think they would have been more comfortable. But our '06 4Runner has leather and they aren't comfortable either. So, you have to check out the seats carefully. SUV's generally have more plush seats for the butt, but good back support. Also, stop frequently (I'm about as bad at this as I am spending more money on better seats). My back stiffens when either a passenger or driver, so getting out and walking around is important. That my wife does a lot of the towing helps tremendously.

And, avoid speed bumps. No matter how slow I go over them, they hurt. It makes me want to run over the people who put those things on the roads.

So, Pat, there's a lot of good advice on this thread for your husband. Make him read it. There are plenty of possible solutions—custom made seats, aftermarket seats, an SUV, exercise, etc. Good luck and it's a good wife who is helping her husband with a serious health issue.

Gene
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