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Old 10-04-2014, 05:37 PM   #1
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Where have all the good Tow Vehicles gone?

I just bought a 30' Airstream Bunkhouse, I have 4 kids and lots of stuff. They stopped making Excursions in 2005 and stopped making the 3/4 ton Suburban in 2013. What's a family guy like me to do? Ever drive with 4 kids jammed in a pickup? I have a diesel Excursion now but it won't last forever. I know there are conversion companies but that's seems a bit extreme. It's surprising there are no big SUVs left up for the task. 3/4 ton with diesel that is.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:42 PM   #2
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I hear ya. It's all about demand. As I remember the demand for 3/4 ton suburbans was down to 2500 per year. If GM can't make any profit then it's history.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:44 PM   #3
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I think I''ll have my 96 Suburban forever. I dont want a pickup. Its easier to load stuff with the barn doors.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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There's two kinds of SUV owners in this world.

Those who love Barn Doors, and those who haven't had them yet.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:01 PM   #5
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Loved the barn 1/3-2/3 doors on my Toyota Landcruiser.

If you need a sweet tow vehicle with room for the chiclets.....

2014 Mercedes Benz Unimog U 5023 Crew Cab Photo #17 - #394076 - Automobile Magazine

Will pull 1000 metric tonnes.

Cheers
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:04 PM   #6
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I would also include the heavy duty vans like the Ford E-350. There was a time when it was available with the diesel. It pulled our Airstream nicely, and had lots and lots of interior room. It had short overhangs and a 138" wheelbase. It had a nice towing package. And it had barn doors!

On the down side was the foot room in the front seats. The dog house and wheel wells encroached significantly on foot room.

David
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:36 PM   #7
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Agree. I'll keep my 1999 c2500 "barn door" as long as it will let me.

I do wish for a little smother ride when it's not loaded down but I'll put up with it.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:40 PM   #8
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4 door pickup trucks are just SUVs chopped off without the 3rd seat which are useless away.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:50 PM   #9
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You are obviously in the majority thus the demise of the 3/4 ton SUV. But some of us don't see the advantage of a pickup truck.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:37 PM   #10
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How about a Sprinter?
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:41 PM   #11
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You know, we used to tow with some pretty marginal stuff, like 1970 station wagons.

I hear over and over again that we are towing with vehicles way to big and stiff, like one ton pick ups in my case. This can damage the fragile and flexible Airstream. CanAm in London, OT sure has me wondering why we need these big tow vehicles. Andy T likes the Jaguar sedans.

So is a Ford Flex an option? It would have the room for a big family.

David
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:49 PM   #12
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There's a reason why the owners of the old diesel Suburbans and Excursions love there vehicles so dearly.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:58 PM   #13
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Probably a full size van is the way to go. Problem is they don't make very many for passenger use because you really need and want a crossover, at least that is what they are forcing on us. I guess I will worry about this in 10-20 yrs when my Excursion wears out.

The Expedition with the tow package is about 9000 lbs towing capacity.

Perry
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:04 PM   #14
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Consider remanufacturing your EX should that become necessary.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcopps View Post
I hear ya. It's all about demand. As I remember the demand for 3/4 ton suburbans was down to 2500 per year. If GM can't make any profit then it's history.
Pretty sure CAFE had something to do with it as well.
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:52 AM   #16
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The problem is large SUV's are considered a car instead of a truck and they are in a different category as far as EPA regs. I guess this is why the CAFE standards hit the SUV's harder than trucks. This is also why vehicles like the Excursion are considered worst in class. You are compared to sportscar like crossovers etc.

Perry
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:41 AM   #17
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I think they are including pickups in CAFE now The TV situation is gonna get worse. I think that is part of the reason for the big jump in prices of trucks.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:10 AM   #18
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In this regard with CAFE, Ford is the ahead of other US manufacturers with the introduction of turbo charged small displacement engines that can also put out the power when needed but deliver better mileage solo. Dodge is attempting the same with their EcoDiesel. GM, Toyota and Nissan will have to catch up. RV manufacturers will have to adapt to the change in tow vehicles and trailers will probably have to be more "Europeanized" to save weight and be more aerodynamic. I'm not sure what will happen to the state of Class A, B and C RVs with their Ford V10s. Watching the Tour de France and seeing all the smaller trailers and Class A/C on the side of the road tells me it can be technically done its just whether the US RV market will accept that style of RV. I can imagine Airstream will have to develop lighter trailers too going back to the earlier days when they were lighter than current models. Many SOBs with similar lengths in the 26 to 32 foot range even with slides are lighter than similar Airstream model lengths but SOB aerodynamics and their high profiles override that advantage.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:21 AM   #19
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Deja Vue. Remember the Airstream Caravelle of the 1980s? It was shown behind a 4 cyl Ford Fairmont. God help us! Maybe its time again for Airstream to return to its roots of light weight, low drag trailers. Maybe there is a market for V6 towables. Many RV manufactures are advertising "lite". My 24' Trade Wind twin has a full bath, sleeps three, reasonable galley and weighs about 4100 lbs with about 500 lbs tongue weight (my estimates.) I can tow it with our 06 MDX V6.

So as our favorite tow vehicles fall by the wayside, the towable RV industry will have to take that into account.

David

KJRichie We were thinking the same thing at the same time!
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:17 AM   #20
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It would seem to me the lack of a 3/4 ton SUV would be a fatal flaw in the large bunkhouse travel trailer business plan. So what if it sleeps 8 if you can only seat 5. I can get 7 in my Supercrew, but not leagaly. Those things are built for work, not for play.

I'm just a newbe, but I tow regularly with F series trucks, backhoes, skid steer, cargo trailer. I'm a diesel guy, towed a camper with a Honda Pilot and didn't like that at all. I can't see how I'm going to tear apart my Airstream with a truck. If you drive responsibly and respect your load, what's the difference between a diesel truck and a gas car?

If it's going to tear apart an Airstream, there should be SOBs spewed down the highway.

I belive the task of finding and rebuilding 10-15 year old Excursions has just begun. It just seems silly to be towing a 2015 trailer with an old truck.
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