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Old 02-05-2012, 09:58 AM   #15
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Go TOUAREG or GO HOME!

+1,000,000(!) for the Touareg. All models are great tow vehicles, but some models have better milage than others. You should be able to pick up a gently used 2006 V8 for around $15,000. The 2007 model year brought a larger 3.6L V6 FSI that is fantastic for light towing and balances out with decent in-town milage. 2008 brings the facelift models and the V8 FSI (more HP/torque). 2009 brings the first 3L V6 TDI (diesel) which brings 28mpg hwy.

Touareg interior is top notch and has aged well (in my opinion). Ride quality and handling is fantastic for the biggest SMALL SUV. The Touareg is TOP NOTCH in the snow and off road, even if off road means a gravel parking lot to you.

PM Janet and see how she like hers.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:37 AM   #16
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Can not beat jeep

Towing with subaru must be some sort joke right? 4dr wrangler is rated at 3500 pounds and has lots accessories to purchase. Liberty or Comander would work great. I am scratching my head at subaru towing post have you seen the thin gauge metal for attaching hitch. My bambi frame would tear a rustarube appart like tin can.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:43 AM   #17
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I rented a newer RAV4 last year. Lots if room inside, surprisenly fun to drive, and lots (really!) power. 3500 # rating.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:51 AM   #18
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my advice would be to check out the ford freestyle wagon, good gas milage and plenty of room. you should be able to get one for pretty cheap.

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Old 02-05-2012, 10:53 AM   #19
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I'll be checking these out. I have to admit I know nothing about Volvos - I don't even see many around here. I do tend to think vehicles that are more car/wagon-like are probably going to make pretty stable tow platforms, compared to some of the high center-of-gravity SUVs.
Volvos, although now owned by Ford, have no towing capacity for anything more than a jet ski. Google for a towing capacity chart to find the limits of the vehicles that you are interested in.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:02 AM   #20
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Towing with subaru must be some sort joke right?
We have an '09 Outback and I'd never tow anything bigger than a jet ski with it. But they are rated for much more weight in Europe and on the Subaru forums I see them towing huge trailers; which seems really scarey stupid to me. Don't get the variable drive transmission for towing. They only put it behind the smallest engine because the don't believe it will take the abuse of a turbo or the 6 cyl.

I'd stick with something that is designed as a rear wheel drive vehicle (rules out Ford Freestar and Flex, Aerostar was rear wheel drive) even if you are getting AWD and look for a full frame rather than a uni-body. That unfortunately really limits choices in the small TV market. Especially since GM discontinued the Astro/Safari models. The Dodge Magnum looks interesting but I bet gas mileage would be terrible.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:31 AM   #21
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I think we probably prefer something wagon or SUV like just because we'll need a little cargo capacity still. Not like we did with the van, but probably more than a car will comfortably hold.
Hello Stephanie,

you should look at the Toyota Sienna AWD. Great cargo capacity for a minivan!
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #22
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Toureg would be cool...but they are very spendy.

(seems that most of the "unconventional" smaller tv's tend to be that way, but...).

Another one that Andrew T recommends often is the GMC Acadia/Chevy Traverse.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:10 PM   #23
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I'm not really anticipating ending up with a car I 'like' - more like one I can 'tolerate'. If I was going to tow with something I would enjoy driving the rest of the time, I would live in a magical world where Mustangs or Miatas could tow a trailer

Thanks for all the great suggestions, I'm digging up info and putting it all together so we can go out and maybe get a few test drives and see what they feel like. There's so many choices right now, it's crazy!
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:24 PM   #24
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well, heck--an old mustang could tow that Caravel, no sweat!

And AndyT has posted pics of towing with a modern-day one. much bigger trailer, too.

~problem solved~


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Old 02-05-2012, 12:51 PM   #25
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I'm not really anticipating ending up with a car I 'like' - more like one I can 'tolerate'.
Wrong attitude Stef. With so many choice no doubt you will find one that puts a smile on your face.

Chuck... Good luck with your team today. We are watching the game here today too. Sure wish Joe Montana and the 49'rs were playing the Pats. Then we would really have a...... "Super Bowl".
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:38 PM   #26
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The Tribeca is a little bigger than an Outback. I would not tow anything over 2000lb with an Outback.

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We have an '09 Outback and I'd never tow anything bigger than a jet ski with it. But they are rated for much more weight in Europe and on the Subaru forums I see them towing huge trailers; which seems really scarey stupid to me. Don't get the variable drive transmission for towing. They only put it behind the smallest engine because the don't believe it will take the abuse of a turbo or the 6 cyl.

I'd stick with something that is designed as a rear wheel drive vehicle (rules out Ford Freestar and Flex, Aerostar was rear wheel drive) even if you are getting AWD and look for a full frame rather than a uni-body. That unfortunately really limits choices in the small TV market. Especially since GM discontinued the Astro/Safari models. The Dodge Magnum looks interesting but I bet gas mileage would be terrible.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #27
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So what I would like is suggestions for a smaller tow vehicle (almost anything would be smaller than the van) that would have AWD or 4WD, and still have the capacity to tow the Caravel - 2800# and 250# tongue weight.

For a vehicle that also has business deductible miles [?] I know I would want a great, not just good, relationship with a servicing dealer. So this is where I would start as a Z-turn lawnmower can pull a Caravel: what car dealer has a great reputation among your acquaintances and friends at their service department?

Other than that, to narrow it waaay down, my choice would also be a turbodiesel first for daily driver/tow vehicle. Plenty of vehicle-specific enthusiast forums out there to i.d. problems which could be of concern. Buying used hopefully means paying cash, so a budget to bring it up to par (plus a bit more) is one I have used with success a few times. Lowered initial cost coupled to a well-chosen economical op cost makes any other problems less of a concern to deal with if that servicing dealer can be found (and factory parts used as needed).

I would rate all of this as higher than Brand A versus Brand B. My pickup truck seems "too large" but with a calendar average fuel mileage of 22-mpg and a total of $400 in repairs in 180,000-miles (plus good luck with the Chrysler dealer system overall) the results of paying careful attention to commercial operators of pickup trucks as well as private individuals is paying off well.

To illustrate this, there are plenty of Camry and Accord owners (the majority I suspect) not seeing fuel or repair or maintenance costs this low, overall or on a per mile basis. As but two sets of tires and brakes will have lasted on this 7,500-lb truck out to a quarter-million miles at the present wear rate it's more of a slam dunk. I am suggesting, then, that examination below the surface of personal assumptions as well as specific vehicles be undertaken. If this kind of economy is required (where longevity & reliability are part and parcel) one might come up surprising choices.

What I did not need was a temperamental or foreign make with expensive or hard-to-obtain parts despite magazine-trumpeted "superior performance". In a giant metro area such as Dallas (fourth largest in nation) this was never a concern, everything was/is in stock. 500-miles south of there out amongst county-sized ranches is quite another story for a vehicle whose primary purpose is still income-related.

In truth there aren't any limitations to what can be hooked up to that trailer short of your AWD requirement. Of course a change to a sway-eliminating hitch even on a small trailer is worthwhile, IMO. (The economy of my truck "pays" for all sorts of upgrades or changes of this nature I'm happy to self-justify, ha!).

Good luck.

.
Great considerations!
From our personal experience, a Jeep Wrangler in either TJ or JK model with standard factory suspension is out of consideration for towing anything of any mass larger than a trailered jet ski.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #28
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Wrong attitude Stef. With so many choice no doubt you will find one that puts a smile on your face.
Well, I'm sure whatever we come up with will be more fun to drive than the van, so I can be positive about that
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