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Old 04-15-2015, 07:30 PM   #1
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What TV would you buy with these considerations?

Well, I just took our new-to-us 2006 28' International CCD to the scales today to see what our weight was and came back a little surprised. The tongue weight was 1,340# (the previous owner had four batteries installed on the A frame plus I have a Hensley attached) and the trailer weighed 6,860# fairly loaded with the exception being that all tanks were almost empty.

I currently have an '05 4.7 Toyota Sequoia and am pretty sure that it would not be the best tow vehicle to take my wife and two young kids from Memphis, TN out to Glacier National Park in this summer Too bad, because I really like the vehicle and would love to keep it.

I had a feeling that the weights were going to be pretty rough before I took it to the scale so I've been looking around the past few weeks trying to see what's out there. I found a 2013 Yukon XL 2500 4wd that's loaded and I could get it for a little under $32K but I don't have the cash to pay for it outright and would prefer not to have to pay a note for 3-4 years. So, my other thought is to try to get something around 8-10 years old that would be reliable and work well towing our trailer (and it's heavy tongue).

If I find the right vehicle that could double as a tow vehicle and my normal driving around town and pick up the kids vehicle then I could probably spend up to around 14-16K on it and sell or trade my sequoia. But I'd want it to have reasonably low miles. (Between 65K-100K if possible.) I've found a few 2003 - 2006 Suburban 2500's that fall into this price and mileage range.

Another option is that I could try to find an older vehicle with a 150K-200K miles for around 7K or less and keep it and the Sequoia. But I'm a little concerned about the reliability of a vehicle like that. I can't help but think that I could easily have to spend a few thousand more on it if things don't go well and it has problems right after purchasing. Plus should I be worried about breaking down while I'm 2,000 miles from home in that type of vehicle? So I'm not sure if going this route is a good idea or not.

Whatever I get, I need it to be 4wd and would prefer a gas engine since I'm not familiar with diesel engine upkeep (and the potential expense of said upkeep). I'm open to either SUV or 4door truck, but I lean toward SUV. I want enough payload capacity to handle me and the family plus four bikes on the roof or bed (about 100#) and probably up to another 250-300# of miscellaneous things I might bring on trips. But the biggest caveat is that whatever I get must fit into my normal sized garage. So that limits me to an overall length of around 245".

So, what would ya'll do? Any recommendations on what I should look for that may suit my needs and should be reliable without having to pour tons of money into? My brain is getting fried looking at different options and I need some help on this
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:45 PM   #2
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Although your suv is technically 7000#-7400# towing, and hensley should take care of the tongue weight, I believe what most people dont take into account is the brakes and drive trane. I'm a believer in 3/4 or 1 ton pickup for that reason. I know the trailer has brakes, but I want to know my TV can handle any situation. My truck has heavy everything, and can easily pull two of my trailers.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:23 PM   #3
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well Jami20, you are asking for the moon and you are unlikely to get there.

i am of the mind that i don't want to undershoot on the TV so at minimum, a 3/4 ton PU with a crew cab. don't be too surprised if you have to add rear air bags to the suspension. there is nothing mysterious about a diesel engine so i would not let that get in the way of a decision. lots of folks use 1/2 ton PUs but you put yourself right at the weight limits in most cases as its not only the trailer but what you take along in the truck as well.

PUs are designed for this task so start searching, who knows, you may actually find a great used deal of the century.

i now tow with a 1 ton diesel and it is a world of difference i can tell you.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:17 AM   #4
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Thank you for both of your thoughts.

Lahrfarm, I know what you're talking about when you mention brakes and drivetrain. That's my biggest concern. Plus the stated tow capacity for my Sequoia is 6,500#. So I'm already overloaded. And yes, I'm heavily leaning toward a 3/4 ton of some type whatever I do.

Got, I don't know if I'm asking for the moon. Of course in a perfect world we would all get everything we want without having to pay for it, but I know that's unrealistic

There are tradeoff's with positives and negatives for each option I'm considering. I could pay $30K or more and get a great newer vehicle (either truck or suv) with all the options I could desire plus a warranty and peace of mind, but I'd be paying on it longer and the extra expense could cut into my "fun money" funds. Compare that to spending less but getting less in return. I understand the dynamics. I'm just looking for thoughts and input from others that may help me come to well-educated decision.

And I'm not completely ruling out a diesel. But I am leaning heavily against it considering how I'll use the vehicle daily coupled with my complete unfamiliarity with them.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:55 AM   #5
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I would talk to a towing expert. There are people here that will tell you to buy a newer larger truck for everything and as you've noticed then you don't end up with enough money for travel or your trailer sometimes and generally not safer. There are higher output cars like a 300C, panel vans and even minivans or some SUV with the right equip even that can do this and you won't have to go to 10 years used on your budget. Diesel is up to you.

Maybe a starting point is getting some of the weight off the front ! Do you need all those batteries ?
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:56 AM   #6
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We currently have a similar tongue weight that will be reduced by moving to a single LithiumIron Phosphate battery mounted under the front sofa. The existing four Lifeline model 6CT batteries are wired to create 12Vdc at 600 amp hours and weigh about 93 pounds each for a total 372 pounds.

The AM Solar replacement battery will have the same voltage and amp hours but weigh 168 pounds. While about 50% of the power is available with the Lifeline batteries, 85% to 90% of the power is available with the new battery.

We are towing with a heavily modified 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD diesel and use a ProPride hitch head. We have all the going power we need and the engine exhaust break is sufficient enough that we hardly need to touch the brakes going down mountain grades. The Kelderman level ride air suspension system handles the load with never any sagging of the rear of the truck. With the Curt 15049 hitch assembly (we cut off the factory under rated factory receiver) rated 2,550 pounds of tongue weight and a 17,000 pound trailer weight, we have no issues with any Airstream.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
We currently have a similar tongue weight that will be reduced by moving to a single LithiumIron Phosphate battery mounted under the front sofa. The existing four Lifeline model 6CT batteries are wired to create 12Vdc at 600 amp hours and weigh about 93 pounds each for a total 372 pounds.

The AM Solar replacement battery will have the same voltage and amp hours but weigh 168 pounds. While about 50% of the power is available with the Lifeline batteries, 85% to 90% of the power is available with the new battery.

We are towing with a heavily modified 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD diesel and use a ProPride hitch head. We have all the going power we need and the engine exhaust break is sufficient enough that we hardly need to touch the brakes going down mountain grades. The Kelderman level ride air suspension system handles the load with never any sagging of the rear of the truck. With the Curt 15049 hitch assembly (we cut off the factory under rated factory receiver) rated 2,550 pounds of tongue weight and a 17,000 pound trailer weight, we have no issues with any Airstream.
> heavily modified 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD diesel, rated 2,550 pounds of tongue weight and a 17,000 pound trailer weight

that should be enough !
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:08 PM   #8
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Timhortons, I'm not sure exactly where to start with finding a towing expert to talk to around my area. Is this something you do local or is the guy at CanAm the person to call. For some reason I just hate the idea of bothering someone that's so far away that I couldn't use his services.

Regarding the batteries, I'm thinking the same thing. I'm sure that they are helpful but I don't know if I really have the need for all four. This is especially true since I plan to pick up a couple of Honda generators (very hot here in the summer), although that would probably just be an equal switch in weight.

Switz, I'm just starting to dive into the world of Airstreams and am still learning when it comes to the electrical system and batteries. The lithium phosphate sounds interesting and like something I need to look into. What kind of cost would I be looking at and would I have to rework the electrical for it?

And it definitely looks like you have a vehicle that could handle any possible Airstream tow So you did the battery switch for increased power availability?
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:11 PM   #9
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A set of sealed batteries, relocated off of the A-frame and under a set or closet closer to the axle, would be cheaper than a new TV.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:06 PM   #10
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I towed a Casita (3500lbs) with a 2005 4Runner with the 4.7L (5 speed transmission), 2x4 and thought it needed a little more oomph going up grades in the West. I usually drive 55 to 60mph and was in 3rd gear maintaining 55mph on the climbs from Sheridan, Wy to Billings, MT. With 7000lbs I'm not sure what it would do, maybe have to go to 2nd to maintain 50 or 55. This was on trips to Glacier from Texas. I got about 13 to 14mpg towing 60mph with the Casita.

I now have a 2010 Tundra 5.7L SR5 with the 6 speed transmission, double cab, 2x4. The only issue is the posted 1465lbs payload but my hitch weight is about 1150lbs. So the time I add two people and some chairs, portable solar panel, BBQ, 5lb propane tank, folding table etc in the back under my tonneau cover I'm probably over payload by several hundred pounds but the Tundra doesn't seem to complain.

Look at a Sequoia with the 5.7L. Check the payload sticker on the door. I'm not sure the payload will be any better than a Tundra. Also the higher trim levels reduce payload. Settle for an SR5 as a compromise.

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Old 04-17-2015, 12:00 AM   #11
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>I currently have an '05 4.7 Toyota Sequoia and am pretty sure that it would not be the best tow vehicle to take my wife and two young kids from Memphis, TN out to Glacier National Park in this summer

why not ? glancing at the specs with 300HP/300lbsft and the sheer size of the beast you should be fine if you can get your hitch "dialed in" right. Fuel economy will be horrific, but I assume the truck is paid for and toyota reliability is good.

Andy seems to enjoy talking to people about these issues. Worst he can do is say he's busy. Could be worth the drive to set up if it actually saves/postpones you a new truck. Go see the falls or something.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:39 AM   #12
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Paid for is always good. I would try towing it with the Sequioa, but that is some serious tongue weight. Maybe you can reduce tongue weight by having less batteries or relocating the batteries. Good weight distribution will help, but I don't know if weight distribution will transfer all that weight.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:28 PM   #13
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TW is too high for that TT. 19% and should be around 12-13%. Fix that first.
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:20 PM   #14
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Hmmm

I'm with slow mover. First & foremost, you gotta get that tongue weight corrected. That's a "bit much" shall we say.

Get that issue resolved, and then look for a newer 3/4T Yukon XL. GMC was pretty stupid IMHO to stop makin that rig. I have owned two of them. Both were 6.0L gas, 4x4's with the 4.10 rear end. If you can find one with the 3.73, snatch it up. The 4.10 is a BEAST for power, but you pay @ the fuel pump. The newer ones have the 6 speed tranny too, and along with a 3.73 rear end, they are not that bad on your wallet. You can throw anything in there & still be comfortable.
Just try & keep it under 70mph. Above that, and you might as well be spilling the fuel onto the ground.
Loved my two. They are absolute workhorses. That 6.0 is one proven block. They do burn about a quart of oil every 5-8k miles, and then you have the "piston slap" issue, but it's NBD. Go on git u one!
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