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Old 05-21-2020, 02:37 AM   #1
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Truck vs SUV for family of 6 and Roo 233s

We have 4 young children (all in carseats or booster seats). We need a vehicle that will comfortably hold our family and safely tow a Roo 233s. Debating the pros and cons of a 6 passenger truck vs. an SUV. Which would you choose and why? Specific makes/models? Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:52 AM   #2
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I owned a Roo 23SS, which is a similar sized trailer. Although a truck would be a better tow vehicle, a Suburban or Expedition would work well, if seating for 6 is important.
I pilled my Roo with an Avalanche, which is a Suburban with a truck bed and worked great.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:08 AM   #3
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An SUV offers a third row seat for more comfortable spacing. A truck offers a bed to store larger items ie bikes, walkers, toys, grills ect. Donít forget the amount of use when not towing.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:49 AM   #4
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You are going to need even more space with 6. I have had a Ford one ton van in the past and it was a perfect tow vehicle without the SUV cost. It is a pretty big box though, just barely fit in the garage.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:37 AM   #5
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No animals now or in the future? If dog, get the SUV.
Kids fight in the car. A third seat SUV will separate them some. But you have to be able to load most items in the TT. A truck would provide you more versatility but at close quarters.
Keep in mind the luxury items in either will eat up Payload capacity which also lessens leftover Payload for TT tongue weight and counts against overall towing capacity and GCWR.
I've gone through 3 Explorers and an Expedition. Bought my first new truck last year. Haven't had a full size truck for 20 years. More I think about it, a full size SUV with 3/4 ton suspension and 3 rows of seats would be better with 4 kids.
A full size van can also be had in 1/2, 3/4, & 1 ton chassis and a used passenger van might be easier to find and cheaper.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:13 AM   #6
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Own a 2009 23SS. Started towing with a Suburban 1/2 ton. Worked great with one kid, and typically a guest and two dogs. Third seat was for the kids and the middle was flat for the dogs. Now no kids, one dog at 12#. Pulling with an Armada V8. Just be sure you get the WDH as well. And if you decide to add bikes, add correctly to the tongue or install a frame hitch to the back.

Good luck and enjoy!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crispicritters View Post
We have 4 young children (all in carseats or booster seats). We need a vehicle that will comfortably hold our family and safely tow a Roo 233s. Debating the pros and cons of a 6 passenger truck vs. an SUV. Which would you choose and why? Specific makes/models? Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lswartz View Post
You are going to need even more space with 6. I have had a Ford one ton van in the past and it was a perfect tow vehicle without the SUV cost. It is a pretty big box though, just barely fit in the garage.
I agree, go with a passenger based E250 Econoline van. 6 kids means you need to think 12 kids when it comes to the stuff that comes along with them on a camping trip. You wont have enough room in a SUV for all the beach balls.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:02 AM   #8
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Ford Expedition will handle this trailer without breathing hard. With four children in car seats I recommend the Limited model as it comes (came?) with "captains" seats in row 2 allowing walk thru to the 3d row of seats. Also recommend the EL extended wheelbase version which has luggage space behind the 3d row of seats.

I'm on my 2d Expedition (2007 and 2017) and purchased the first specifically to tow my similar size/weight Roo 23SS. No kids in car seats so the standard XLT model is what both were/are. Recommend the Equalizer (brand) WDH and can provide some preliminary setup information -- Ford receivers are sloppy and the WDH needs a lot of washers to fill up the area.

Higher trim models come standard with the HD Tow package and the very competent brake controller.

2018 and later trucks have the 3.5L EcoBoost engine with both port and direct fuel injection and 10 speed transmission, all highly desirable features although all model years are competent tow vehicles if they have HD tow. 3.5 EcoBoost tows much better than the 5.4V8 in my personal towing experience.

-- Chuck
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:21 AM   #9
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I would also lean toward recommending an SUV. Truck seating will be maxed out and will be no fun over any distance, esp as the kids grow. The larger SUVs will let you spread out a little. Keep an eye on the max payload of the vehicle you choose.



If you need to go with a truck for some reason, you may be driving 2 cars in the not too distant future.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:26 AM   #10
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And remember: In 2 or 3 years, those kids will weigh twice as much.

AND you may want a bigger trailer by then. (If you're not already a canvas bunk fan, you may find you don't like it.)

So I would suggest you get something big enough now OR be prepared to need something bigger in the future. This forum is full of people who didn't buy big enough the first time and then are disappointed that they need to buy a larger tow vehicle the next time.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crispicritters View Post
We have 4 young children (all in carseats or booster seats). We need a vehicle that will comfortably hold our family and safely tow a Roo 233s. Debating the pros and cons of a 6 passenger truck vs. an SUV. Which would you choose and why? Specific makes/models? Thanks!
Check the towing capacity of the vehicles you are looking at. In doing research, I have found that just because the vehicle is big, doesn't mean it has big towing capacity. For example, a 3/4 to 1 ton (250/350) Ford Transit van has max towing of 7500 pounds, properly equipped. Standard equipped could be 5500 to 6500. Many large SUV's are similar.

I am seeing that a Roo 233 has a dry weight (unloaded nothing in it) of just over 5000 pounds and a max loaded weight of 6700 pounds. As you can see, that can be over the max tow of SUV's.

I am not a GM fan, but I would look for a 2500 Chevrolet Suburban or GMC Yukon XL. We have 4 kids and at the time we found that to be the best for us. Lots of room and if you can get second row captains chairs that helps a lot with access to the 3rd row and gives the kids in the second row their own space which can eliminate traveling arguments.

Good luck, just make sure you know the towing specs for the specific vehicle you are looking at. Vehicles of the same model don't tow the same depending on how they are equipped.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:43 AM   #12
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And don't forget: You'll run out of payload before you run out of towing capacity.

Look at the payload sticker on the drivers door frame of any truck you look at (it's the sticker with the tire pressures on it). It will say something like "The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed XX kgs or YY lbs." You'll be surprised that SUV's often have pretty low payloads.

So you need to subtract the weight of you, wife, kids, any "stuff" you put in it, and the tongue weight of the Roo from this payload number. Also the weight of a Weight Distributing Hitch (which you should have). If there's anything left, you're OK. (But don't forget that those kids are growing - you may look OK today, but maybe not in a year or two!)
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by joeuncool View Post
Check the towing capacity of the vehicles you are looking at. In doing research, I have found that just because the vehicle is big, doesn't mean it has big towing capacity. For example, a 3/4 to 1 ton (250/350) Ford Transit van has max towing of 7500 pounds, properly equipped. Standard equipped could be 5500 to 6500. Many large SUV's are similar.
I just tried to build the Ford Transit van and I could build one on the Ford web page with a max towing of just over 10,000 lbs.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:50 AM   #14
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I just tried to build the Ford Transit van and I could build one on the Ford web page with a max towing of just over 10,000 lbs.
Read my post 12 regarding payload. And be aware - You will not know the actual payload of any vehicle until you can see the actual sticker on the door frame. Internet and brochures will only give you maximums in most cases. Lots of threads here where people found out to their chagrin that their actual payload wasn't what they found on the internet.

And the more bling (i.e., fancier model) the less payload.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:30 AM   #15
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Back when we were a camping family of 7 we had a 21 foot toy hauler and a Suburban. It worked for us for 3 years then moved up to a truck with seating for 6 and a fifth wheel toy hauler. Now it's typically 2-3 of us going camping.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:33 AM   #16
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We have a 2015 Yukon XL 4x4 with the 5.3 and max towing package to drag a 2019 23BDS around. The trailers dry weight is 5200# and our Yukon can theoretically tow 8500# with a max combined weight of 14K#. We don't typically run light but I was surprised the last time we ran the scales in SC at 13.4k# total combined.

We had 2 adults and 2 teens and a weeks worth of stuff heading for FL from NC.

The new GM SUVs are a capable towing machine. We like ours. I would consider an Expedition as well for the extra capacity but I'm not an Ecoboost fan.

With any vehicle you need to watch the rear axle capacity. The loaded weight, even with a WDH, will still come up fast. Even with our crew of 4 and the back seat folded down, we were 200# over the rear axle capacity with a cooler and cornhole board in the back among other things.

I would love a 3/4 ton but no one makes a new SUV in 3/4 ton any longer. Our 1/2 ton is capable. We just need to be careful.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
Read my post 12 regarding payload. And be aware - You will not know the actual payload of any vehicle until you can see the actual sticker on the door frame. Internet and brochures will only give you maximums in most cases. Lots of threads here where people found out to their chagrin that their actual payload wasn't what they found on the internet.

And the more bling (i.e., fancier model) the less payload.
I absolutely agree with you. I was just surprised at the low towing capability so I looked on Fordís web page. I would have to look at their manual to see payload. To be accurate, as you said, the sticker on that particular vehicle tells the truth.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:19 PM   #18
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Don't know about your state but in Florida I don't think a car seat in the front seat is legal. That would eliminate the pickup truck as the tow vehicle.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:55 PM   #19
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I tow my Shasta with a '05 Mercury Mountaineer that came with a towing package. It has second row captains chairs and 3rd row seating. It can carry 7 adults comfortably. I've never had a problem with the weight or how the SUV towed. Between our 4 grown children, over the years they have blessed us with 10 grandchildren. On any given camping trip, we will usually have at least 2 of the grandkids. The most we've had camping with us at one time was a 10 day trip with 5 of the grandkids. 2 of them were 14 yr olds and the other 3 were 10 yr olds. They each were allowed 1 medium size duffel bag for clothes. I had 3 kids bikes and 2 adult bikes (and 2 skateboards) in the TT, along with food, toiletries, 2 coolers, and a tent (for the 14 yr olds).
We didn't feel cramped in the SUV, it was only a 2 hr ride to the campsite, the TV towed the TT fine.
I've had different tires, shocks and springs put on my TV and different tires put on the TT. I've weighed the TV and TT several times (different camping trips) and have never been over weight.
I chose the SUV over a truck because of the seating arrangements and it is multi functional. Besides passengers and everyday items, I've hauled many things in the SUV - mulch, bricks, concrete, etc. And I've towed other things besides the camper - car hauler, U haul trailer. I also have factory installed racks on top of the SUV which carry our kayaks.
My TT is much lighter then yours, so my set up works fine with us.
I think a SUV would do good for you if you can find one that will handle the weight of your TT plus the weight inside your SUV.
If something ever happens to my SUV, I would by another one. A truck just doesn't fit our lifestyle.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:08 PM   #20
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Towing

I would recommend any of the 3/4 ton-2500 based SUV or Vans. Look at cargo capacity 1 st. All of the SUVs will have a lower cargo capacity than like truck. A 1/2 ton will do it, but the 3/4 ton will make it much more relaxing and give you the ability to trade up in the future. Most of us have done this trade up down the road.
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