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Old 10-31-2019, 10:12 AM   #1
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Question Newbie here need info on tow vehicle

I will be buying my first travel trailer soon ( Palomino 20 ft. ) dry weight is approximate 3900 lbs. so I need advice on a tow vehicle preferably an suv that won't break the bank. A pick up is not out the question just want something my wife can get in fairly easy since she has limited mobility. We were thinking traverse or grand cherokee. Thanks!
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:36 AM   #2
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Loaded, you're likely up around 5k.

I'd look for something above 7000 tow capacity and maybe higher. A truck frame would be better than a unibody bit there are probably several out there that would do it on a pinch.

Longer wheelbase vehicles are going to tow better.
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pineyguy View Post
I will be buying my first travel trailer soon ( Palomino 20 ft. ) dry weight is approximate 3900 lbs. so I need advice on a tow vehicle preferably an suv that won't break the bank. A pick up is not out the question just want something my wife can get in fairly easy since she has limited mobility. We were thinking traverse or grand cherokee. Thanks!

A nice 1/2 ton 4 door pick up equipped with running boards/steps would be your best bet. They won't be much higher that a Traverse or Cherokee if at all. I agree with 007matman below. Higher tow rating can't hurt in case you feel the need to upgrade the TT in the future.

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Originally Posted by 007matman View Post
Loaded, you're likely up around 5k.

I'd look for something above 7000 tow capacity and maybe higher. A truck frame would be better than a unibody bit there are probably several out there that would do it on a pinch.

Longer wheelbase vehicles are going to tow better.

X2
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:38 AM   #4
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If you must have a SUV, get the GC over the Traverse.
SUVs have lower payloads and softer suspensions compared to their truck cousins.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:48 AM   #5
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Totally ignore the dry weight of your trailer. Base your calculations on the trailer GVW. If you don't have a specific GVW use Dry Weight + Cargo Capacity.


TW should be 10-15% of GVW. Biggest number you will probably have to worry about is the Cargo Capacity of your tow vehicle (TV). This will be listed on a yellow sticker that should be on the drivers door frame. TW + people + stuff in your TV should less than the cargo capacity.


If your trailer GVW is under 5000 lbs, you probably won't need a weight distribution hitch (some TVs are not designed to support their use, typically uni-body construction vehicles). You should have some kind of sway control. Note that anti-sway on some hitches require WD to function - so really check what you can use.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:09 PM   #6
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Any thing above 3000 lbs I would use a torsional hitch it puts weight back on front wheel for steering .
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:17 PM   #7
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Pulled my Roo 19 (about 4200 lbs loaded) with my 2011 Traverse (5000 lb towing capacity) for one season. That was more than enough. Got a Silverado 1500. MUCH better towing.

Make sure you understand payload, which will run out before towing capacity. Assume your tongue weight will be about 12% of the trailers GVWR, then add 75 lb for a WDH. Subtract that amount from the payload number on the sticker on the TV's door jamb. Whatever is left has to cover you, wife, kids, and "stuff" in the TV.

There's a calcuator here:

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...do=file&id=110
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:32 PM   #8
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GMC Canyon or Chevy Colorado may be worth looking into. They tow in the 7000+ range, Vehicle height is comparable to an SUV. I own a 2019 Colorado Crew cab and it's a nice truck.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxwell D Pratt View Post
Any thing above 3000 lbs I would use a torsional hitch it puts weight back on front wheel for steering .
I think you are talking about a Weight Distribution hitch or WDH.
Get one with integrated sway control, like the 4pt Equal-i-zer.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheWolfPaq82 View Post
GMC Canyon or Chevy Colorado may be worth looking into. They tow in the 7000+ range, Vehicle height is comparable to an SUV. I own a 2019 Colorado Crew cab and it's a nice truck.
X2. I had a GMC Canyon that towed a MicroLite 21DS just fine. My fiancť is tall and after a year asked if we could look for something with more room. We ended up with a Sierra 4wd, 3.4L crew cab short bed. Much roomier, and even though a heavier truck than the Canyon, with the same engine, actually get better mileage and handling because of the tow package and integrated brake controller. Also rides like a dream!
I got a 2016 coming off lease > 30k miles, for only $30k for a $68k initial price (in 2016). Iíve got a great dealer!
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:43 PM   #11
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I have a Silverado 2500 with 4wd. My wife absolutely could not get in it. I purchased electronic running boards that drop down when you open the door. They make it very easy to get in and out of the truck. They are from a company called
“Amp-Research”.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:36 PM   #12
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Why does nearly everyone under the age of 60 think smaller is better? I have towed for over 45 years now and have always wanted the biggest, strongest and heaviest tow vehicle I could afford. However, I put myself partially through college driving long haul, flat-bedding with semi tractors and trailers. I have always had confidence in my driving ability but always wanted to minimize risk by having as much as I could afford in both tow vehicles and TTs.

I have never wanted to see how little I could use and get away with it. If that made sense, all commercial drivers would be pulling their 54 foot boxes with Subarus or Hondas or Camrys and it would be legal to do so. I wanted the towing experience to be as comfortable and worry free as possible. For me that meant the most capable two vehicle I could swing and not the very least.

Fuel mileage is always a concern but safety was more of a concern. A pain in the wallet was more endurable than a pain in the hospital or at the car dealers replacing an inadequate tow vehicle or the pain of an unenjoyable towing experience .

Unless it also has to be your daily driver, can't you plan ahead and budget for fuel costs of the most capable tow vehicle you can afford?
One illustrative experience was when a friend and I, in our medium duty truck/tow vehicles, were stopped at Brothers, Oregon. A Dodge half ton pulled in and the wife got out and literally kissed the ground. Her husband asked us where we got our trucks. He also said it would be his first and last experience towing his 5'ver with a half ton truck. He was coming off several mountain grades where the 5ver nearly pushed the little truck off the road and scared the daylights out of him and his wife. He just couldn't stop the load, with both trailer brakes and truck brakes on the steep grades. They did not enjoy their trip and did not plan on making another the same way. He also expressed dislike going up the grades at 30 MPH with the Dodge nearly red lining the temperature gauge. The Dodge was new and the owners were more than ready to trade at presumably a sizeable loss.

But, do whatever your want. I did. It is a free country and all about choices. However, while we may not leave as much money to our kids as we spent at the fuel pumps, we had over 45 years of safety and enjoyment towing all over the country. The only times we experienced fear was due to hazardous road conditions or other drivers who did crazy things. We never felt out of control otherwise because our combination was always more than adequate to the situation.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:45 PM   #13
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With all the incentives Chevy throws at the Silverado, your final purchase price will probably pretty close to that of an SUV, and you have the capability.

I just got a Geo Pro, one of the ratings its weight because I'm towing with a '06 Trailblazer (Truck chassis, 5700lb tow capacity/900lb WDH hitch capacity [500lb w/o], but I6). It tows good, but I wish I had a V8.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MacII View Post
Why does nearly everyone under the age of 60 think smaller is better? I have towed for over 45 years now and have always wanted the biggest, strongest and heaviest tow vehicle I could afford. However, I put myself partially through college driving long haul, flat-bedding with semi tractors and trailers. I have always had confidence in my driving ability but always wanted to minimize risk by having as much as I could afford in both tow vehicles and TTs.

I have never wanted to see how little I could use and get away with it. If that made sense, all commercial drivers would be pulling their 54 foot boxes with Subarus or Hondas or Camrys and it would be legal to do so. I wanted the towing experience to be as comfortable and worry free as possible. For me that meant the most capable two vehicle I could swing and not the very least.

Fuel mileage is always a concern but safety was more of a concern. A pain in the wallet was more endurable than a pain in the hospital or at the car dealers replacing an inadequate tow vehicle or the pain of an unenjoyable towing experience .

Unless it also has to be your daily driver, can't you plan ahead and budget for fuel costs of the most capable tow vehicle you can afford?
One illustrative experience was when a friend and I, in our medium duty truck/tow vehicles, were stopped at Brothers, Oregon. A Dodge half ton pulled in and the wife got out and literally kissed the ground. Her husband asked us where we got our trucks. He also said it would be his first and last experience towing his 5'ver with a half ton truck. He was coming off several mountain grades where the 5ver nearly pushed the little truck off the road and scared the daylights out of him and his wife. He just couldn't stop the load, with both trailer brakes and truck brakes on the steep grades. They did not enjoy their trip and did not plan on making another the same way. He also expressed dislike going up the grades at 30 MPH with the Dodge nearly red lining the temperature gauge. The Dodge was new and the owners were more than ready to trade at presumably a sizeable loss.

But, do whatever your want. I did. It is a free country and all about choices. However, while we may not leave as much money to our kids as we spent at the fuel pumps, we had over 45 years of safety and enjoyment towing all over the country. The only times we experienced fear was due to hazardous road conditions or other drivers who did crazy things. We never felt out of control otherwise because our combination was always more than adequate to the situation.
I like the way you think.

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Old 10-31-2019, 02:58 PM   #15
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Comparable to the Grand Cherokee, our TV is my wifes daily driver- 2011 Durango w/ 5.7L and tow package. It makes a great tow vehicle. Ours has 1284 Payload, but it's a loaded AWD Crew, so you can probably find one with a little more if you look.
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MacII View Post
Why does nearly everyone under the age of 60 think smaller is better? I have towed for over 45 years now and have always wanted the biggest, strongest and heaviest tow vehicle I could afford. However, I put myself partially through college driving long haul, flat-bedding with semi tractors and trailers. I have always had confidence in my driving ability but always wanted to minimize risk by having as much as I could afford in both tow vehicles and TTs.

I have never wanted to see how little I could use and get away with it. If that made sense, all commercial drivers would be pulling their 54 foot boxes with Subarus or Hondas or Camrys and it would be legal to do so. I wanted the towing experience to be as comfortable and worry free as possible. For me that meant the most capable two vehicle I could swing and not the very least.

Fuel mileage is always a concern but safety was more of a concern. A pain in the wallet was more endurable than a pain in the hospital or at the car dealers replacing an inadequate tow vehicle or the pain of an unenjoyable towing experience .

Unless it also has to be your daily driver, can't you plan ahead and budget for fuel costs of the most capable tow vehicle you can afford?
One illustrative experience was when a friend and I, in our medium duty truck/tow vehicles, were stopped at Brothers, Oregon. A Dodge half ton pulled in and the wife got out and literally kissed the ground. Her husband asked us where we got our trucks. He also said it would be his first and last experience towing his 5'ver with a half ton truck. He was coming off several mountain grades where the 5ver nearly pushed the little truck off the road and scared the daylights out of him and his wife. He just couldn't stop the load, with both trailer brakes and truck brakes on the steep grades. They did not enjoy their trip and did not plan on making another the same way. He also expressed dislike going up the grades at 30 MPH with the Dodge nearly red lining the temperature gauge. The Dodge was new and the owners were more than ready to trade at presumably a sizeable loss.

But, do whatever your want. I did. It is a free country and all about choices. However, while we may not leave as much money to our kids as we spent at the fuel pumps, we had over 45 years of safety and enjoyment towing all over the country. The only times we experienced fear was due to hazardous road conditions or other drivers who did crazy things. We never felt out of control otherwise because our combination was always more than adequate to the situation.
Don't look at me.. I learned my lesson.. I'm even under 60!

I drive a 1-ton dually truck pulling a 7400lb camper..


LOL
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:28 PM   #17
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I'm over 65, and I prefer a tow vehicle at the smaller end. I've used minivans and SUVs - biggest being a Suburban for a 6Klb sailboat - to tow boats and pop-up campers. A decently set-up WDH can make an SUV ride very comfortably while towing, and when not towing you have a great daily driver or touring vehicle when camping.

When you are looking at a V6 tow vehicle, effective frontal area of the trailer is every bit as important as tongue weight. A reasonable tongue weight can be compensated for with a good WDH and anti-sway (I like the E2 series). But a V6 tow vehicle trying to pull a full height camper at 65-70-75 mph needs 2600hp+ and good low end torque, along with good gearing to avoid towing at 5K RPM (miserable experience). Boats and pop-ups do much better with V6 tow vehicles because it's not such a big barn door into the wind.

just my experiences
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:34 PM   #18
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Towing

You will be happier, safer and have the ability to upgrade later w/o buying another truck in the future w/ 1/2 ton truck. Many of us learned this lesson @ some expense. The trucks have a actual "ladder frame" VS unibody. There is also the softer weight suspension and reduced towing capacity from the covered rear area. Also nice to have the space to put totes and wet stuff in the back of the truck VS back of SUV. I went from a Tahoe, to Tundra (loved it but not enough cargo capacity w/ new trailer), to F-350 diesel. Go w/ running boards or power running boards. Have your DW try both before purchase to see if that works for her. I like the power running boards, except when I am not paying attention and get cracked in the shins when they come out. Usually when I am holding packages or mail. LOL
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:03 PM   #19
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Tow vehicle

We live in South Texas and bought a 2002 Lincoln Navigator with the 5.4 ltr engine with 75,000 miles on it for $5,000. We towed at 6600 lbs with a WDH. It was smooth as silk. We dropped down from 17 mpg to 15 mpg but has pretty of power through the mountains around Joplin, MO. You'd be hard pressed to find an SUV that has heated seats, ac seats, power everything better than this vehicle. In the last seven years we've put $2500 into it for repairs but besides our regular driving we have driven our camper 22,000 miles. Not that bad in regards to maintenance. Good luck with your search.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:37 PM   #20
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Some of the best advice I ever got on towing was "Buy enough truck for the NEXT trailer" because you will very likely trade up at some point. We bought our 1st fifth wheel five years ago and we already had a 1998 Dodge 2500 gas burner. Although our rig was supposed to be 1/2 ton towable, we were never comfortable with the lack of power we had when towing. The truck only got 12-13 mpg around town but when towing, it dropped to about 4 1/2 mpg. Plus,we struggled on hills. We got lucky and found a 1999 F350 dually with 218,000 miles on a 7.3 Powerstroke diesel. I still get around 13 mpg around town but I get about 11mpg when pulling my 2017 Cedar Creek 36CK2, which is about 4,000 pounds heavier than that original 5th wheel. You don't have to buy new to get a good tow vehicle, just be sure you buy a strong enough vehicle to last you a while.
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