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Best vehicle for pulling a travel trailer?

gadadgadad Posts: 7,748Super Moderator Senior Member
edited January 2012 in Parent Cafe
If all goes as planned, I may retire in four years and take up RVing. That's when I'd hope to buy a new SUV or truck. But the Toyota van that I currently drive has > 190,000 miles, so I'm feeling that I ought to have a plan for what to get if the van doesn't make it four more years. What I get would dictate the type of RV that I'd be able to tow.

Here are the priorities:

Needs to carry five passengers
Needs to tow at least 5000 pounds, preferably more like 7000
4WD or AWD
Cost is a moderate factor
Gas mileage is also a factor - I know it won't be good, but I'd never get my wife to agree to 12/18.
It must be a comfortable passenger vehicle when unhitched from the trailer.

I'm anticipating a medium-sized travel trailer. I'm not opposed to fifth-wheels, but I don't know much about them.

Any ideas or RV advice?
Post edited by gadad on

Replies to: Best vehicle for pulling a travel trailer?

  • LongPrimeLongPrime Posts: 5,208- Senior Member
    Get a camper. It will be cheaper, easier to drop and tour.
  • gadadgadad Posts: 7,748Super Moderator Senior Member
    I didn't know you could easily remove and reattach a truck camper. I had the impression that if you had it on a truck for a trip it needed to stay there?
  • collegeshoppingcollegeshopping Posts: 1,922Registered User Senior Member
    We have an expedition that we love and it tows our 9,000 pound with ease.
  • GladGradDadGladGradDad Posts: 2,794Registered User Senior Member
    The problem with a camper or fifth wheel is you're talking about a pickup truck yet you say you want to carry 5 passengers. You could do that in one of the double cab pickups, although I don't know how good the back seat would be for long trips, but then you have a tremendously long vehicle that'll be difficult to park, etc.

    Have you checked out the new Jeep Grand Cherokee?
  • SplashMomSplashMom Posts: 1,913Registered User Senior Member
    We had a 2007 Toyota Tundra Crew Cab with a towing package that was very spacious (seats five easily) and rode very comfortably. We took friends with us on a couple of road trips and they all commented on how nice the ride was and how much room they had in the back seat. My husband absolutely loved his truck, but, he didn't love the frequency with which he was purchasing gas. He traded it in for a new Hyundai Elantra. I got a call a few weeks after the trade from an older gentleman who was considering buying the truck and had found our contact info in the glove box. His plan was to purchase to tow his fifth wheel. He asked several questions about the truck and I told him to call me if he bought it because I realized we still had the keys for the bike locks that we'd installed in the truck bed. We've since received a thank you note and a Christmas card, both with rave reviews about the truck ... he says he couldn't be happier. It's a nice ride, for sure.
  • gadadgadad Posts: 7,748Super Moderator Senior Member
    ^ Interesting - the Grand Cherokee is the SUV I've been researching and the Tundra is the pick-up I've been looking at.
  • zeebamomzeebamom Posts: 391Registered User Member
    Bigger is better when it comes to a tow vehicle. Do not listen to the salesmen (either truck or RV) when it comes to towing capacity. Do your homework first on what trailer you want to tow, see what the specs are - remember, you will add stuff to the trailer (supplies, etc) that will increase its weight - and then look for the right size vehicle. For tow vehicle, remember to add in estimated weights for the people riding along.

    Too many people try to tow with something horribly underpowered and right at the max of towing capacity. It's a big thing behind you and overloading is dangerous. There are lots of RV forums out there that can help in your research.

    We tow our 23ft lightweight trailer with a Chevy Avalanche equipped with a towing package. We have a weight-distributing hitch as well - mandatory, IMO. The truck holds 5 people, but the person in the middle isn't all that comfortable.
  • gadadgadad Posts: 7,748Super Moderator Senior Member
  • wis75wis75 Posts: 8,553Registered User Senior Member
    Definitely consider a car like ride instead of a truck if you can. Makes a difference when you spend hours and days in the car. I appreciate my luxury car over the luxury SUV- downsized when kid finished college. A "regular" car ride will be nicer than any truck based SUV. You want to enjoy the ride, not suffer until you get there.
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