Sunoco 468x60 Banner
PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 15 Aug 2008 12:04 AM by  Phillip S. Osborne
Looking for a tow vehicle
 8 Replies
Sort:
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages
ratt_finkel
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts:1650


--
13 Aug 2008 07:11 PM

    SO, I've been looking for a new daily driver. I must be getting old because the Evo is just not as fun to drive everyday.

    I figured I might as well get something that can tow as well. And it should be fairly easy to get a tow vehicle that gets better than the 16MPG of my Evo.

    Looking for some help and advice for some of you veteran towers. I've never owned a truck or suv in my 12+ years of driving. Though I have driven a handfull of each.

    Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD -This is my 1st pick. I can get a great deal on one of these. And it gets decent mileage all around. Plenty of towing capacity. Smallish on the inside, questionable reliability. But it is new.

    Ford Explorer V-8 - I've driven a V-6 version, and I loved it. Can get an 06-08 for a much cheaper than the new Jeep. Similar towing capacity. Gas mileage sucks.

    Navigator/Expedition - I love the look of the navigator, but would consider the Expedition as well. Used models are very cheap. Beyond that I'm clueless. And it's a big vehicle.

    F-250/350 Turbo D. - Same as above.

    Trailblazer SS - Love this truck. Towing is a little on the light side. Would be pushing it if I ever purchased a heavier autocross car. But probably one of the best DD's out there. I've driven a normal version. And while it wasn't bad. The interior was just blah.

    At this point I really don't know which way to go.

    David Lehman
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:2160


    --
    13 Aug 2008 08:35 PM

    Denali w/ Quadrasteer------ I have 140,000 miles and it's amazing

    Parks like a Honda Civic

    11.5 mpg towing

    Phillip S. Osborne
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:648


    --
    13 Aug 2008 10:31 PM

    Jeremy, the best kept secret in towing is the hemi Durango, 05 or newer...I say 05 and newer because the 04 Hemi did not have the cylinder deactivation electronics. I can tow my Corvette between KY and Texas and still get 17.5 to 18.5 mpg. Daily local driving, city highway combined is 19/20, and highway trips between KY and TX without towing have been as high as 25, with an average of 22.8. Can't beat it for the power, and reliability on mine has been excellent...

    The upside is, low mileage used examples are relatively cheap compared to a Tahoe, Explorer, or Expedition... Bought my 05 Hemi Adventurer a year and a half ago and paid 17K for it, relatively loaded and AWD...it has been a workhorse for me since selling the Duramax Quad Cab to buy the Corvette...

    Mugenlude
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:1174


    --
    14 Aug 2008 02:28 PM
    Phillip S. Osborne wrote:

    Jeremy, the best kept secret in towing is the hemi Durango, 05 or newer...I say 05 and newer because the 04 Hemi did not have the cylinder deactivation electronics. I can tow my Corvette between KY and Texas and still get 17.5 to 18.5 mpg. Daily local driving, city highway combined is 19/20, and highway trips between KY and TX without towing have been as high as 25, with an average of 22.8. Can't beat it for the power, and reliability on mine has been excellent...

    The upside is, low mileage used examples are relatively cheap compared to a Tahoe, Explorer, or Expedition... Bought my 05 Hemi Adventurer a year and a half ago and paid 17K for it, relatively loaded and AWD...it has been a workhorse for me since selling the Duramax Quad Cab to buy the Corvette...

    WOW, that is crazy!!! I don't know what is different between the Durango and the Jeep GC power train-wise, but with my 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi (with the cylinder deactivation) I cannot even get 15 mpg on the highway. My wife gets 12 mpg around town everyday. I've seen 16 mpg on the highway once NOT towing. My annual trip to Topeka ever of the last 2 years averaged me 9.9 mph from WI to KS (doing 8 mph over the limit). I did test drive the Durango when we picked up the GC and I wasn't exactly thrilled with the interior of the Durango compared to the GC. The interior of the GC really isn't very big btw, and it's dwarfed compared to the Excursion I have now (understandable).

    The number you are seeing with your Hemi are higher than I have ever heard, are you doing like 45 mph?

    Mugenlude
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:1174


    --
    14 Aug 2008 02:47 PM
    ratt_finkel wrote:

    Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD -This is my 1st pick. I can get a great deal on one of these. And it gets decent mileage all around. Plenty of towing capacity. Smallish on the inside, questionable reliability. But it is new.

    Ford Explorer V-8 - I've driven a V-6 version, and I loved it. Can get an 06-08 for a much cheaper than the new Jeep. Similar towing capacity. Gas mileage sucks.

    Navigator/Expedition - I love the look of the navigator, but would consider the Expedition as well. Used models are very cheap. Beyond that I'm clueless. And it's a big vehicle.

    F-250/350 Turbo D. - Same as above.

    As you can see from my above post, I came from the Jeep GC (still have it actually). I've had several issues with our GC, luckily it's still under warranty... I would not be purchasing one out of warranty though. Granted they aren't major mechanical issues, however, they are issue with most of the gadgets in the car (which is what make the Jeep attractive to most people). I've had it in 5 (yes, five) times for the reverse sensor now, driver side window has fallen out of the track twice not allowing the window to be rolled/motored up, been in twice for a major electrical issue somewhere in regards to the dash (every light on the dash lights up like a Christmas tree probably once per day, usually happens when taking right hand turn and accelerating away like you do at each right hand turn at a stop light), and the sunroof rattles A LOT (not a little noise)... It has plenty of power though, pulling was never an issue with our trailer, I was always more concerned with brakes really.

    I purchased a 2000 Excursion PSD 2WD to replace the GC (lease is up in October) as the tow vehicle. I've driven it daily for about 10 months now, and I get about 15 mpg around town with it (and I have a very short drive to work, less than 2 miles), I average 17-18 mpg on the highway not towing. Towing our STS Civic and all of the gear (about 5000 lbs) I get between 14-15 mpg doing 8mpg over the limit. I was worried about it in the snow, but it has proven to be better than my Honda Prelude in the snow, without a doubt (and I have snow tires)!!!!

    I considered purchasing the V10 Excursion but the gas mileage number everyone on the Ford forum were giving me were 8-12 mpg around town, and less on the highway. I don't know about the V8 models though, that wasn't even a consideration when I was looking. The F250/350 is basically the same platform as the Excursion, just with less weight. The PSD (I would look for a 7.3L TD) gives you more options in the future as far as trailers and weight go to. Yeah, diesel costs more right now, but it is still cheaper than the GC per gallon.

    Those are my experiences with the GC and the Ford PSD. Are you looking at new vehicles for all of the options?

    Tanj!
    New Member
    New Member
    Posts:


    --
    14 Aug 2008 04:14 PM

    You probably already have made these decisions but didn't post them but what type of towing do you plan on doing? How much of it? Plans in the future for an enclosed trailer? Two car hauler? More a daily driver or more a tow vehicle? Length of ownership? Number of DD miles driven a year? Number of towing miles driven a year?

    The first thing you should think about it a diesel truck/SUV versus a gas burner. The advantage the diesel has is towing power, fuel economy (towing and daily driver), and long term maintenance. The disadvantages are price premium for the diesel engine and fuel price. Another thing to think about is all the diesel options will either be a 3/4 ton or 1 ton chassis by default and the towing advantages that gives. For a gas burner the advantages are cheaper fuel and lower entry price. Disadvantages are poor fuel economy towing and lack of power. Short term owner ship costs on a fuel burner will probably be lower but to be honest that number game is almost directly related to the mileage driven/towed.

    If you are going to be doing alot of towing I'd put some serious thought into getting at least a 3/4 ton vehicle regardless of power plant. The most dangerous aspect of towing is stopping and a 3/4 or 1 ton vehicle with it's heavier duty brakes and larger mass is far more resiliant to being pushed around by the trailer in an emergency situation.

    Personally I'm looking for a '94 to '98 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel with a manual transmission. Still available with 150 to 200k and 1 owner. Prices is about 7 to 13k depending on mileage/condition. 18-20 city/ 20 to 22 highway with people hitting upwards of 24. Engine operation is essentially mechanical with no computer for extra simplicity. But I also plan to be towing an enclosed trailer at some point and I see ownership of said truck to be upwards of 10 years. (Realistically the diesel motor has a 400k lifespan.)

    ratt_finkel
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:1650


    --
    14 Aug 2008 06:48 PM

    David Lehman wrote:

    Denali w/ Quadrasteer------ I have 140,000 miles and it's amazing

    Parks like a Honda Civic

    11.5 mpg towing

    David, is that the truck or suv? What year? What kind of mileage do you get daily driving?

    Phillip S. Osborne wrote:

    Jeremy, the best kept secret in towing is the hemi Durango, 05 or newer...I say 05 and newer because the 04 Hemi did not have the cylinder deactivation electronics. I can tow my Corvette between KY and Texas and still get 17.5 to 18.5 mpg. Daily local driving, city highway combined is 19/20, and highway trips between KY and TX without towing have been as high as 25, with an average of 22.8. Can't beat it for the power, and reliability on mine has been excellent...

    The upside is, low mileage used examples are relatively cheap compared to a Tahoe, Explorer, or Expedition... Bought my 05 Hemi Adventurer a year and a half ago and paid 17K for it, relatively loaded and AWD...it has been a workhorse for me since selling the Duramax Quad Cab to buy the Corvette...

    Phil, I knew you were really liking the durango. And it impressed me considering you came from the Duramax rig. But the Durangos are soooooo ugly. The interior looks like something out of an 80's K-car. I'll have to test drive one. Thanks for the input though.

    Mugenlude wrote:
    ratt_finkel wrote:

    Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD -This is my 1st pick. I can get a great deal on one of these. And it gets decent mileage all around. Plenty of towing capacity. Smallish on the inside, questionable reliability. But it is new.

    Ford Explorer V-8 - I've driven a V-6 version, and I loved it. Can get an 06-08 for a much cheaper than the new Jeep. Similar towing capacity. Gas mileage sucks.

    Navigator/Expedition - I love the look of the navigator, but would consider the Expedition as well. Used models are very cheap. Beyond that I'm clueless. And it's a big vehicle.

    F-250/350 Turbo D. - Same as above.

    As you can see from my above post, I came from the Jeep GC (still have it actually). I've had several issues with our GC, luckily it's still under warranty... I would not be purchasing one out of warranty though. Granted they aren't major mechanical issues, however, they are issue with most of the gadgets in the car (which is what make the Jeep attractive to most people). I've had it in 5 (yes, five) times for the reverse sensor now, driver side window has fallen out of the track twice not allowing the window to be rolled/motored up, been in twice for a major electrical issue somewhere in regards to the dash (every light on the dash lights up like a Christmas tree probably once per day, usually happens when taking right hand turn and accelerating away like you do at each right hand turn at a stop light), and the sunroof rattles A LOT (not a little noise)... It has plenty of power though, pulling was never an issue with our trailer, I was always more concerned with brakes really.

    I purchased a 2000 Excursion PSD 2WD to replace the GC (lease is up in October) as the tow vehicle. I've driven it daily for about 10 months now, and I get about 15 mpg around town with it (and I have a very short drive to work, less than 2 miles), I average 17-18 mpg on the highway not towing. Towing our STS Civic and all of the gear (about 5000 lbs) I get between 14-15 mpg doing 8mpg over the limit. I was worried about it in the snow, but it has proven to be better than my Honda Prelude in the snow, without a doubt (and I have snow tires)!!!!

    I considered purchasing the V10 Excursion but the gas mileage number everyone on the Ford forum were giving me were 8-12 mpg around town, and less on the highway. I don't know about the V8 models though, that wasn't even a consideration when I was looking. The F250/350 is basically the same platform as the Excursion, just with less weight. The PSD (I would look for a 7.3L TD) gives you more options in the future as far as trailers and weight go to. Yeah, diesel costs more right now, but it is still cheaper than the GC per gallon.

    Those are my experiences with the GC and the Ford PSD. Are you looking at new vehicles for all of the options?

    Jason, thanks for the headsup on the GC. The one I'm looking at has the Benz Turbo Diesel in it. So towing performance should be much better than your hemi exp. But comments about the reliability are much appreciated. This is the one "new" vehicle I'm looking at. They are practicalyl giving these things away. And on top of that, I qualify for a chrsyler discount through my gpa.

    I had considered the Fords because of their impressive towing capability. I feel it would probably be overkill though.

    Tanj! wrote:

    You probably already have made these decisions but didn't post them but what type of towing do you plan on doing? How much of it? Plans in the future for an enclosed trailer? Two car hauler? More a daily driver or more a tow vehicle? Length of ownership? Number of DD miles driven a year? Number of towing miles driven a year?

    The first thing you should think about it a diesel truck/SUV versus a gas burner. The advantage the diesel has is towing power, fuel economy (towing and daily driver), and long term maintenance. The disadvantages are price premium for the diesel engine and fuel price. Another thing to think about is all the diesel options will either be a 3/4 ton or 1 ton chassis by default and the towing advantages that gives. For a gas burner the advantages are cheaper fuel and lower entry price. Disadvantages are poor fuel economy towing and lack of power. Short term owner ship costs on a fuel burner will probably be lower but to be honest that number game is almost directly related to the mileage driven/towed.

    If you are going to be doing alot of towing I'd put some serious thought into getting at least a 3/4 ton vehicle regardless of power plant. The most dangerous aspect of towing is stopping and a 3/4 or 1 ton vehicle with it's heavier duty brakes and larger mass is far more resiliant to being pushed around by the trailer in an emergency situation.

    Personally I'm looking for a '94 to '98 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel with a manual transmission. Still available with 150 to 200k and 1 owner. Prices is about 7 to 13k depending on mileage/condition. 18-20 city/ 20 to 22 highway with people hitting upwards of 24. Engine operation is essentially mechanical with no computer for extra simplicity. But I also plan to be towing an enclosed trailer at some point and I see ownership of said truck to be upwards of 10 years. (Realistically the diesel motor has a 400k lifespan.)

    Shane. My towing will be really limited. Strictly autocross duty. The rest of the time it will be a daily driver. As you know, I'm a small guy so I don't need a giant vehicle. But comfort is very important. As is having an auto. I don't plan on ever doing any serious hauling. Nor do I plan to tow an enclosed trailer. Though anything is possible!

    David Lehman
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:2160


    --
    14 Aug 2008 07:17 PM

    My tow vehicle is a Sierra Denali 03--------The 03 and 04 came standard with Quadrasteer---

    It's an extended cab model. You could probably pick up a good condition one for 12,000-15,000, maybe a lot less.

    TOWING IS amazing as the rear wheels of the truck act as the front wheels of the trailer. Lets say you get one---since whatever you pay for it ----it will be fully depreciated, and maybe with the price of gas even cheaper now. What I espically like is the crazy turning radius-------kinda like a Honda Accord.

    I would almost get another one if mine died, the only thing is you can obviously only get them used now.

    Phillip S. Osborne
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:648


    --
    15 Aug 2008 12:04 AM

    True, the Durango, especially the Adventurer model with it's utilitarian leather type seats and massive amounts of plastic is indeed plain, and can be described by some as plain ugly. My Duramax LT with it's soft leather and premium interior was indeed a much better looking truck. In fact, it was overkill for a truck imo... just as Dave's Denali is overkill in terms of amenities for a truck. I view the Durango as strictly a utilitarian vehicle, and when looking out the windshield while driving, the plastic doesn't really bother me. It's really a smooth riding, great handling SUV. The external appearance of the Durango looks as good as any SUV in my opinion, but we all know that looks of anything, even women, are subjective...you either like it or you don't.

    Dave, I am very familiar with the AWS of the Denali PU of a couple or few years ago, having worked with GM car and truck engineers in max lat driving exercises. The steering is indeed phenominal, and we had awesome driving experiences with those trucks...

    Jason, unless the Jeep has different gearing, tranny, diff, or both, I'm not sure why your Jeep GC could not produce better mpg results. I hauled my C 6 Corvette to Mid Ohio a few months ago from Lexington, KY and back, and received 17.7 mpg average for the round trip, running 70/75 mph, mostly interstate. This included 3 days of local driving while there, without the trailer and car attached of course. I was traveling with a friend driving his 1500 series late model Chev Silverado with 5.3 engine, hauling his C6, both of us using 18 ft. open aluminum trailers. His average was 15.6 for the round trip. We were both driving the same, or nearly the same speed most of the time.

    You are not authorized to post a reply.


    G-Loc Button Vorshlag 88x31 Button
    Leroy Engineering Micro Button Sunoco 88x31 Button
    Woodhouse Motorsports
    SPS 88x31 Button

    Advertise on SCCAForums.com and reach thousands of visitors per day!

    SafeRacer FREE SHIPPING over $99

    Shop for Pirelli tires at Tire Rack. blank



    Sunoco Bottom 468x60 Banner