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Last Post 12 Sep 2011 02:44 PM by  Ryno
One Vehicle to: tow + haul 2 kids + Daily Drive ?
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GlennAustin
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18 Aug 2011 01:51 AM
When we towed my 350Z on a steel trailer (approx. 6000 lbs) we still got 13-14 MPG at 70MPH in our 2005 Nissan Armada LE 4WD. We even got better gas mileage when using premium -- so much better that over 1000 miles, the improved mileage was enough to save 1 tank of gas.

Unfortunately, our 2005 gave its life to save my wife's (other driver crossed the center line at over 60MPH in a 30MPH zone). We got a 2008 to replace it. 20+ MPG on the highway while not towing, 13+MPG in town.

sjfehr
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19 Aug 2011 03:45 PM
Z28Lt1AutoXer wrote:

I'm looking to get a tow vehicle and an enclosed trailer for my C5Z. Is there a vehicle out there with enough towing capacity, that is also family friendly to use with a couple of kids on weekend trips to Grandma's? I'm not a big fan of trucks, but that is what most tow with. My daily driver is just about dead too so I would like to have one vehicle cover all of my needs. Any thoughts? Am I asking too much, and should I just get a dedicated tow vehicle?

Some things suggested to me so far are a van, and a trail blazer SS (with a LS2 motor).

Chris Shay

I know it's not really what you were asking, but if you're open to other options, there are a number of STU/STX cars that would meet all your requirements.

Z28Lt1AutoXer
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11 Sep 2011 05:25 PM
Still thinking about tow vehicles...

What are the bennefits of larger truck frames? Meaning F250 vs F150 or Dodge 2500 vs 1500. Can a new F150 handle an enclosed trailer?
jdchristianson
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11 Sep 2011 08:13 PM

This is where you run into the GCVWR combined trailer and truck weight ratings. I pull an enclosed trailer with a 1/2ton GMC but it is only an 18ft trailer with a 1650lb car. Total with extras in the trailer probably only 5000 lbs. If I had a bigger trailer and heavier car I don't think my truck would like it very well.

The 2500 or 250 vs a 150 have considerably heavier suspension, axles, hubs, brakes, etc etc. They are meant for heavier hauling and the manufactures know the farmers are going to pull grain wagons and livestock trailers full of steaks. (code for beat the crap out of their trucks and expect them to take it)

vreihen16
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11 Sep 2011 08:44 PM

The biggest difference is in the weight-carrying capacity, with 1500 series being 1/2 ton, 2500 series being 3/4 ton, and 3500 series being 1 ton.

The big confusion when sizing a tow vehicle is that people frequently forget about to add the tongue weight to the truck's axles. A happy trailer that follows your truck without wagging all over the road has 10-15% of its total weight on the tongue. If you're looking at a 24' steel enclosed trailer (4,000 pounds) with a 3,200 pound car and 300 pounds of gear, that's 750-1125 pounds on the tongue...which on a bumper-pull trailer means mostly on the rear axle unless you have a weight-distributing hitch setup. I chose these numbers for two reasons - (1) because many loss-leader enclosed car haulers are sold with dual 3,500 pound axles and this is their max load, and (2) this is about half a ton of tongue weight, plus or minus. If you were planning to carry passengers, a cooler, or 200 pounds of spare rims in the bed for someone, you'll be over your maximum load! Even more important is to check the gross axle weight rating (GAWR) on your possible trucks, because a bumper-pull's tongue weight can quickly overload the rear axle's ratings.

If you ignore the ratings, a 1500 series truck probably won't have a problem moving a 7,500 pound trailer. We have a guy locally that drags what I'm guessing is a 6,000 pound loaded enclosed trailer behind a Dodge Dakota V8. The problem comes if you get in an accident. Your insurance company won't be happy to find out that you were towing overloaded, and heaven forbid the attorneys from the other party in the accident find out that you were overloaded and push to find you negligent and at fault. Buy enough truck to tow your planned load, and make sure to run load range E tires on it to be safe in the tire capacity department. For your weight-budgeting purposes, towing a trailer that's more than 10,000 pounds in many states requires a commercial CDL license. Unless you have one, you'll want to keep your trailer lighter than 10,000 pounds maximum GVWR, and your total combination weight of truck and trailer under 26,000 pounds.

The only pitfall to going with a 2500 over a 1500 is the harsher ride when empty. The 2500/3500's will make you wish for a "soft" BMW M3 ride when running empty on bumpy roads, but smooth out nicely when loaded up. Also, if you're in the NYC area, NY State has a silly law about pickup trucks over 5,500 pounds (which kicks in at the 2500 series on Dodges) having to be registered with commercial plates, which precludes driving them on about half of the roads (all parkways) in the NYC/Long Island area. Other than parking, I still think that my Ram 2500 Cummins diesel is a good daily driver.....


Z28Lt1AutoXer
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12 Sep 2011 11:57 AM
Good point about the toung weight. I didn't think about that. Thanks
Alex Tziortzis
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12 Sep 2011 01:40 PM

If you go open trailer, you can save money by going with a gas truck.....in the older days, diesel was a fair amount cheaper than gas, now its roughly the same. A similarly equipped truck costs quite a bit more in diesel form......my 2007 Silverado 2500HD (2WD) crew cab short bed, can easily handle 1700 lb open wheel trailer (steel), and C5) and still get 13-14 mpg on the highway (as long as you stay below 65mph), above that, mileage drops off a bit. my truck also has a 6spd automatic tranny.

Alex

Mhyrr
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12 Sep 2011 02:18 PM

I've been towing this year with an 08 Nissan Pathfinder V8. At first I thought it might be a risk, but I'm extremely pleased with the choice now. The Pathfinder is the midsize cousin to the Nissan Armada, built on a Frontier frame. The V8 is straight from the Titan/Armada (315hp, 387tq), and in a midsize, it's got some scoot.

There is a slight size sacrifice compared to a Titan or Armada, but for everyday driving I'll take it. I previously owned an 04 Titan and the Pathfinder is much more pleasant every day. It has a third row for kids and good storage. Used, they can be had for low-mid $20s.

With a load leveling hitch, we towed out to Lincoln from Maryland a ~5500 lb load plus luggage, wheels and 3 people in the SUV comfortably. Averaged something like 13 mpg at 80 mph.

Couldn't be happier.

Ryno
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12 Sep 2011 02:44 PM
I ended up buying an 2011 Diesel F350 because I wanted the flexibility to tow larger loads when needed. However if I was only towing my enclosed car hauler I would have hands down gone with the F150 with the ecoboost as it more than adequately will handle what you are after plus the fuel economy isn't any worse than a full size sport utility unless you drive it like I did on the test drive :-) I love the comfort of the truck and daily drive mine.
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