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scott12180

Can you recommend a tow vehicle

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I prefer a Ford. Dual rear wheels for stability. Manual transmission. Gas or diesel, your preference. Now; what I have, is a 2008 Ford F-450 6.4 diesel twin turbo dually. I know this is overkill to the max but its my money I'll buy what I want. Now for the truth. I tell everyone looking for a tow vehicle to buy at least a 250 - 2500 series vehicle and this will pull anything you'll ever want to pull. you may buy a heavier trailer some day or even a camper who knows? With a 250 - 2500 series you are prepared.

Not overkill when you have to STOP .... SUDDENLY ....

My choice too is Ford - Ford F350 Dually - 7.3 direct injection - 4:10 rear end

A million mile motor ....

Jim

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I totally agree with TrulyVintage. Nobody talks about stopping. Your most important factor regardless of what you are towing. Almost anything will pull, most SUV's, 150 series pick up's and the current offering of import trucks will NOT stop you when the time is urgent and necessary for a life or death situation. Sorry guys, American iron of 250/2500 or larger gets the job done. Motor is entirely up to preference and 4x4 is dependent on your home terrain. Brakes should be your first concern, drw next, 2 or 4wd depending on your location and needs and cab size. Any normal size tall or average enclosed and all tag along open trailers fit in this planning. Age of the truck depends on your needs, comfort arrived in the 90's. Earlier stuff works well but is more truck like in ride and appointments. Rob

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I totally agree with TrulyVintage. Nobody talks about stopping. Your most important factor regardless of what you are towing. Almost anything will pull, most SUV's, 150 series pick up's and the current offering of import trucks will NOT stop you when the time is urgent and necessary for a life or death situation. Sorry guys, American iron of 250/2500 or larger gets the job done. Motor is entirely up to preference and 4x4 is dependent on your home terrain. Brakes should be your first concern, drw next, 2 or 4wd depending on your location and needs and cab size. Any normal size tall or average enclosed and all tag along open trailers fit in this planning. Age of the truck depends on your needs, comfort arrived in the 90's. Earlier stuff works well but is more truck like in ride and appointments. Rob

Rob,

You summed it up nicely ....

Jim

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What are you guys getting for gas mileage out of the newer diesels? I have an 02 F-350 dually 2WD with the 7.3. Pulling a 5000lb Cadillac on a 20' open trailer that weighs another 2000lb, I'm pulling off 13mpg on flat surfaces, dipping down in to about 11.5 when I head down to PA and get into the hills along I87.

Truck is about to turn 250,000mi, has a 4" turbo back exhaust and an 80hp towing tune. Other than that, it's pretty much stock. Debating getting something newer, but if I'm not gaining anything but a lighter wallet, I may as well leave well enough alone.

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TORQUE !!! That is what you need in an engine, NOT 4500rpm horsepower. I've towed with all forms of gas and diesel engines, in pickups, vans, SUV's and the old suburbans.

I will never by choice tow with a gas engine!! The turbo diesel's torque makes towing a breeze..

As for the brakes.. most trucks prior to 2000 did not have very good brakes.. the later trucks have good brakes for a full load.

There is nothing worse than having to scream up every hill with a gas engine, and scream and sweat down every hill with lousy brakes..

BUY MORE truck than you think you need..

Towing 5-6000# with a 1/2 ton truck is foolish and dangerous.. regardless of what the truck is 'rated' for. Buy more, not less truck than you think you need.

Greg L

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Our 2000 Ford Excursion SUV tow vehicle has the 7.3L Turbo-Diesel.

When pulling the big Cadillac on an open 2,000 lb. trailer we get 13-13.5 mpg.

When pulling the same car in the 3,800 lb. enclosed trailer we only get 8.5 - 10.0 mpg.

Note that the enclosed all-aluminum trailer is somewhat more than normal, in that it is built extra tall, sitting higher than normal above its 12,000lb. (2x6,000lb) axles so that the interior wheel boxes are only 5" high so I can open the door of a 1950s car over the wheel box and the driver's side access door. The roof is raised an additional 18" so that a Brass-Era car can go in without having to lower the top. The trailer has an overall length of 30-1/2 ft. - 24' box plus a 4-1/2 ft. wedged & tapered nose holding extra spare tires/tools/jack/jack-stands-etc., plus 2ft. exterior tongue which holds the electric tongue jack.

The open trailer adds almost no frontal-area when behind a tow vehicle, but the closed trailer is about 2-1/2 ft. wider, 5 ft. taller, and has a flat rear surface which creates substantial drag, and has Maxx-Aire boxes on the roof which cover the two roof vents.

Towing the same trailers with the 2002 Suburban 3/4-ton and 8.1L gas engine:

Open trailer -- 11.5-12.5 mpg

Closed trailer -- 7.25 - 8.5 mpg

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For occasional driving/towing it doesn't make sense to have a diesel, unless you just happen to have the money.

The OP indicated this was not a vehicle that he would use often, and his budget was $5000.

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I am looking at getting a new truck. I want a 2wheel drive. Towing a 40' enclosed trailer and heavy car. I have had a 2001 Chev. 2500 with the 501 cu. in. engine since new. I am concerned the new trucks with 6.0 and 6.2 liter gas engines may not have enough power to tow comfortably going up hills without excessive downshifting. I hate to spend the money (initially and for fuel) for a diesel. The truck is used about 10,000 miles/year and of that perhaps 3000 miles is for towing the car and trailer. Anyone have any experience with one of the newer smaller gas engines pulling a load like this? Al

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The new gas trucks shift constantly due to the higher RPM powerband and the sheer number of gears, but they are supposed to. It does seem odd when you are not used to it, but they are designed that way.

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Try to borrow a diesel truck to take a short 'pull' with your 40' trailer. You will not go back to gas. It's that simple. I've had dozens of friends borrow my diesel to tow a car/trailer they normally pull with a gas engine truck, and virtually all of the borrowers bought a diesel truck within a year.

The diesel's torque will sell itself.

The diesel trucks usually have a much higher towing capacity, which means heavier axles and much stronger brakes. Both of which add up to a much safer towing vehicle.

Greg L

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I have had a Chevy Silverado, and currently have a GMC Yukon with the same 5.3L gas engine. I tow heavy Buicks and get about 10 mpg towing, and just under 20 mpg on the highway not towing. I have had no issues with either, but with the Yukon (SUV) I can take another couple or my grand kids to share the fun. The Yukon also rides much better than a PU truck. You really cannot go wrong with a used Tahoe or a Yukon unless you need a PU bed to haul dirty or tall stuff...

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Mark's comments are right on the mark (pun intended).

While very similar to the Tahoe/Yukon, my preference for the Suburban/Yukon-XL is this:

1. These models have approximately 20" extra length, so when you need more carrying capacity, or load a long part, it still fits inside

2. Much longer wheelbase gives much better stability when towing, or when just driving

3. can be had in 2500 Series - much heavier construction / chassis / steering / braking - all built for a 3/4 ton vehicle as opposed to a "grocery-getter"

4. can be ordered with "bigger" engine - mine has the (no longer available) 8.1 Litre Big Block (old ones had 454ci)

5. When all three seats are in use - all the luggage for 8 people still fits inside -- my cousins (3 couples) left from New Orleans after visiting with us. They were in a Ford Expedition 3-seat. ALL OF THE SUITCASES WERE ON THE ROOF - After 2 days of serious storms on the road back to the area of Raleigh, NC, much of their stuff was damaged. My "stuff" fits inside where it is safe from theft and weather.

Most of these comments also apply to our Excursion 7.3L Turbo-Diesel (but that one has softer rear springs).

I've had all versions, and appreciate each for what they are intended to do, but for hauling a closed trailer cross-country I've come to respect the stability, feel, strength, and durability of the Suburban 2500 Big Block

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Marty's comments about a long wheelbase vehicle are also 'on the mark'.

My previous tow-vehicle, a 3/4+ ton diesel club-cab pickup had the longest wheelbase available at that time for that truck: 155"

My latest tow-vehicle, a 1 ton [not a dually] diesel crewcab pickup has a 170" wheelbase. The difference in towing stability is noticeable.

I hardly know the trailer and car are behind me. Even when stopping..

I picked up a 5500# car with a friend a few weeks ago. Since it was his car, I 'made' him do part of the driving. He was just amazed that

the truck and trailer pulled, steered and stopped so well. His gasser pickup with a similar load would have been shifting up and down all the way back home. The diesel never came out of top gear on the freeway. Just loafing along at 70mph. He's looking for a diesel truck now.

And the fuel ?? We got 14mpg unloaded at 75mph, and 12mpg loaded at 70mph. His gasser would have been 9-10 empty, maybe, and 6-7mpg loaded. Even with the higher price of diesel fuel, it's either a wash or cheaper to burn diesel..

My truck did 19.2 going, and 20.3 returning from Hershey this year.. 70-75mph or so each way, no trailer.

I've had too many hair-raising towing experiences with trucks loaded and towing to the limits.. I really prefer having more truck and engine than i 'need'.

Up until I bought this latest truck, I was seriously considering buying a FL90, or similar light semi tractor or small Freightliner based motorcoach. But this latest pickup is a keeper. It will probably outlast me.

Greg L

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Hey just saw an advertisement for the new 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 6 cylinder diesel. Looks like it will be the perfect tow vehicle and not as pricey as the Ram2500. Good torque and towing capacity. Diesel ads about $4,000 to the basic Ram price tag. But like I've said before if your gonna tow the way to do it is with a diesel. Haven't seen anything on fuel mileage for this yet, but I know when I towed a full size pickup truck behind my son's 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 we got 24 miles empty going up on our trip and 17 miles per gallon back towing on the Interstate. Don't know if this is a Cummings or the Fiat answer since they own part of Chrysler now. Also don't know about the transmission as Dodge has always had weak transmissions. I'm gonna check this one out further.

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I just got back from a 9-day jaunt from the frozen north down to the chilly state of Florida. I took a '26 car to a buddy's place to have him redo the wood in the body.

The truck did 11.8-12.4 mpg towing at 70-75mph. I had to use the cruise control most of the time because i'd just not notice that the speed was creeping up over 80mph. What a great tow vehicle.

Even loaded with the flat front trailer, pushing a strong 20mph+ headwind through Kentucky, Tennessee and northern Georgia, the truck never came out of 2nd overdrive [6 speed 68RFE Dodge Trans]. The only time it would drop into 5th was when I used the right foot hard enough to get around someone or get out of someone's way.

The truck's rpm at 70 is about 1700rpm, in 5th it is about 2100.

Mike L. I'll look and see what I can find about the new 1500's engine and trans.. The later dodge automatics behind the Cummins engines are pretty good. Prior to '03 they were NOT up to the job.. I upgraded over 60 earlier transmissions in Dodge pickup trucks to make them reliable tow vehicles. The 47RH, 47RE transmissions were when stock [unmodified] just not reliable behind the torque at low rpm from the Diesel engine.

With upgrades, they were very reliable.

Greg L

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I pull a 22ft Dovetail with a '05 Chevrolet 3/4 ton Van. The 6.o liter has the b$lls and the 4 wheel discs stops it when and if an emergency situation arrises. The van has room to sleep and carry extra stuff that is secured in a locked area. I never thought about a van until my neighbor sold me his 130k mile van for $200.00. Its not pretty but its a towing machine. I'd buy another 3/4 ton Chevy/GMC 6.0 van in a second.

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