Author Topic: Great Trucks/SUV For Towing  (Read 2282 times)

Totemic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Great Trucks/SUV For Towing
« on: November 13, 2015, 11:00:53 AM »
Hey all, my question is regarding towing vehicles.

We're planning to move across the country next summer, when my partner is finished with her school...Toronto to Vancouver. Also included in this plan is 4 months (beginning of June - end of September) of touring around to various music festivals as well as other shows around western Canada and US. I am a musician and she does live painting, and we are aiming to make enough income from performances and grants to break even on the trip....although I will have a big enough emergency fund to cover the whole 4 months if need be.

So our idea here is to buy a truck or SUV, and a 6x12 trailer, use the trailer to cart our (fairly minimal) stuff across the country, stick it in storage in Vancouver except for the futon, and use the trailer to sleep in at festivals and otherwise to save money on accomodations. This seems like the best option to me because buying an even lightly used trailer costs only slightly more than renting one and carting it across the country, plus we can sell it after the summer if we decide we won't need it anymore. And also I want access to a vehicle for driving out to snowboard mountains, climbing spots, etc when we are living in Vancouver.

So, given that that is our plan...I have no idea about what kind of vehicle to buy! I've never towed before, and don't want to buy something way too big that will guzzle all of our money in gas costs...

I'm looking for recommendations for great, reliable vehicles that are rated to tow up to 3500lbs, have not too bad gas mileage, and that I can find used for under $10k. I've done some research on cars.com and this price range seems doable, but I would love some recommendations from anyone who has towed a trailer this size personally or has experience with this kind of thing.

Thanks all!

bobertsen

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Great Trucks/SUV For Towing
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2015, 11:37:22 AM »
I'd check into the 2011-up Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country. They come equipped standard with transmission cooling for towing, and even if you find one without a towing package, the hitch sells for $150 on Amazon and installs in minutes. The wiring harness is about $50 and has a bit more of an involved installation process.

Anyway, the 2011+ DGC/T&C with the 3.6L gets 25 MPG freeway and a 3600lb towing capacity.

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Great Trucks/SUV For Towing
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2015, 11:52:52 AM »
Kind of depends upon how much weight is in the trailer, but I'd want a 1/2 ton pickup or equivalent SUV with a small V8 engine.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Great Trucks/SUV For Towing
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2015, 12:00:55 PM »
Maybe "what to avoid" is helpful as well... They may have fixed them since late 90s/early 2000s but... Ford Trucks in that era seem to have really weak transmissions.  This is based totally on anecdotal evidence, but I've known 10+ people (myself included) that had to have transmissions rebuilt on that era truck.  All of us had pulled trailers.

Totemic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Great Trucks/SUV For Towing
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2015, 01:10:40 PM »
Awesome help so far, thanks! I'll definitely look into the Grand Caravan and/or Town & Country.

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1773
Re: Great Trucks/SUV For Towing
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2015, 01:19:13 PM »
You need to find out the weight first. You cannot legally or safely tow 5000lbs with a truck designated for 3500lbs, especially for any kind of distance.


Totemic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Great Trucks/SUV For Towing
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2015, 01:27:31 PM »
The weight will be under 3500lbs. The trailer size I am looking at comes to around 1950-2000lbs empty, and we really don't have much stuff. I would say 800lbs at most, plus 300lbs or so for our bodies.

Mikila

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
Re: Great Trucks/SUV For Towing
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2015, 12:36:17 AM »
Check out Consumer Reports.