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Best mid size tow vehicle, 2000 pound trailer?


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This is slightly off topic, but what would be the best mid size tow vehicle for a very light trailer? 


Requirements are that it's capable of towing in mountains with no problem (i.e. bigger than a 3.0 engine), large tires (minimum 16 inch, prefer 17 inch), prefer an SUV type vehicle over a truck. 


Should be comfortable but not luxurious, and reasonably priced, although I realize "reasonable" is a very unusual word to apply to new cars these days.  Oh yeah, should be a 2019 or 2020 vehicle.


All opinions welcome!  Thanks David C.

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I pull a 2,000 Pound trailer but the question is how heavy is your load.  My old car is 3,000 pounds, about 400 pounds of miscellaneous stuff plus my wife & I as a minimum.  With too light a tow vehicle, you will have less control & you will be pushed by your load.


I pull with a 1500 Dodge Ram, model Laramie crew cab, 6’3” box with 5.7 hemi, 8 speed trans & I use an equalizer trailer hitch.  I have been told it’s over kill.  It drives through W Virginia on I-77 down to I-81 & back with no problems other than gas millage. The Ram has coil springs both front & back giving a loaded ride almost as good as our Buick LaCrosse.  

The Laramie model interior Is plusher than our Buick and is cream color, not for construction or farm.  We installed a bed liner & color matching cap. The wife likes the appointments and comfort.  A new Ram is pricey but mine was a couple years old with less than 10,000 miles.  

I like the security of a large tow vehicle but last year were passed on western NY I-90 by a VW pulling a open trailer with a 1931 car.  My belief is you can pull with an under powered & under sized vehicle, it’s the stopping when you get in trouble. When you pull with an under powered vehicle you will slow down 10 to 30 miles  less on big hills.  I-77 in W Virginia has 7% hills 8 to 9 miles long.


you could look at the new small truck called a Colorado with a 5.3 engine.  For every rule I have been told, someone will successfully break it.  Best of luck.






Edited by huptoy
Truck size clarification (see edit history)
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Today’s cars are lighter construction  and underpowered for towing.......a F150 is NOT a tow vehicle.......it’s a car that looks like a truck, and while they are rated to tow things...........I wouldn’t use it. 2000 pounds probably isn’t dangerous if the trailer has brakes, but the truck itself is so light that the tail wagging the dog is a distinct possibility. Trailering is one of the most dangerous things people do on a semi often basis, and almost no one really does it safely. Also, today’s multi speed transmissions burn up very easy under load......some of the cars on the road are eight speeds automatic transmissions...........too much downside regardless of what the company says. Need to tow, buy a real truck. Worried about fuel mileage while towing? , then no matter what I say, you won’t get it. 

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I have a real truck, 2001 3/4 ton Suburban with 490 some odd cubic inches, as a period review stated “ suitable for towing small planets”.


My brother tows a 2000 pound Aliner trailer, has a Grand Cherokee.  He camps 3 months of the year in Colorado/Utah/Idaho area.  I spend 10 days or so a year with him camping.

Cherokee is fine on flat highway, high elevations and hills/mountains and it bogs down.  I’m trying to help him find an alternative,

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Towing on a flat grade with no vehicles in front or behind you is ideal - but that is not the real world.


Unanticipated emergency stops - adverse weather conditions - inattentive drivers ....


The Real World


” Best “ is Subjective.




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I would submit that a 3/4 ton vehicle is NOT a tow vehicle..........but that’s just me. The new campers are very light, and if not overloaded are not very taxing on a tow vehicle.....if they have good aerodynamics.............often they are overloaded with cargo/water. Any Jeep product is NOT a truck, just a car that looks like it use to be a truck. Hauling a 1910 Buick is different than hauling a 1937 Packard twelve, and there is an in between...............excess to capacity is safety.............and for me, dual real wheels is a must for serious towing...........take a trailer over the Rocky Mountains, then let me know what is and isn’t a tow vehicle.

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On 2/11/2020 at 12:58 AM, alsancle said:

Ed,  you say that, but your HUGE trailer is a bumper pull.   Wouldn’t a 3/4 ton with a gooseneck be better than a 1 ton with a bumper pull?

Ok, let’s get something straight, buying a light truck and trailer to haul you Camero, Corvette, Corvair, Musting, ect is NOT car hauling. Most people want prime rib at hamburger price. A tow rig is something that can safely move any collector car safely and securely without any issues. That makes a one ton dually diesel only marginal for towing. Today’s road conditions are faster and much more crowded than it the past. A 2500 series heavy duty truck pulling a cheap 24 foot box and a light car is doable at 60 mph with  no hills. For sake of argument, let’s use 7000 pounds as a “heavy car” as most large classics tip the scale at 6200 to 6700 pounds, and very few go over that number. Thus the 10,000 pound trailer is already over capacity before you place anything else inside the box. Never mind that it’s a cheap piece of crap in 99 percent of all cases. Another observation.............there is NO difference in trailer length. I have a 20, 34, and 48 foot unit. Anything over about 35 feet is a “truck stop only” type of vehicle to refuel. Size really doesn’t come into play unless you have very little experience hauling. Weight and “wind load” are what matters. A good tow rig is very, very expensive. What you can use and get away with is much different than what you should use for safety. Since I haul more miles than 99 percent of the people here, and I like to avoid emergency room visits, I practice what I preach and use the best equipment that a I can justify for the amount of work I am doing. I would much prefer a 4500 or 5500 series truck.......but that makes me commercial and I don’t want to go there. Cost of the rig and insurance on that league of equipment is huge. People with several cars should have a rig that is only “loaded at 70 percent capacity” for a margin of safety. And trust me, that isn’t much of a margin. I could go on for pages about hauling. Here is a ultimate “basic” rig that would safely cover 99 percent of the people hauling, without being ridiculous.


3500 Series Desiel (notice no comment on auto or stick)

28 Foot trailer with triple axles for safety and stability 

I prefer bumper pull over fifth or gooseneck.......in the event of a breakdown it’s fifty times easier to deal with bumper pull.


The above rig will be reasonably safe and easy to handle. It will haul anything in the 98 percentile of car collecting world with decent safety margin.


An ideal rig? Here we go:


3500 Series Crew Cab with dually wheels and an 8 foot bed.
A 32 foot triple axel spread unit with 8k axles, 16 inch wheels, 12 inch brakes, and “G” rated all steel casement tires, which ends up being a 21k or 24k rated trailer. Yup, with tools and other stuff, I figure a 10k load at all times, and a 21k trailer is very comfortable to haul with at 50 percent capacity. Also, less issues with maintenance on a 21k unit, as it’s much better built.


Above rig is decent and reasonably safe for most uses. I tow comfortably at 75 mph with this type rig, and feel safe doing so.


Most collectors here have post war lighter cars........and can use a lighter rig, but even then,  most people just don’t get that a Toyota Tacoma hauling a mid size car on a middle of the road trailer is just not safe........most companies up their numbers for hauling stuff beyond what the vehicle really should pull. Trailers are DANGEROUS at ALL times. It’s one of the most dangerous things people regularly do in their life.......and 99 percent of the people doing it have no clue as to set up a rig, load it, and maintain it safely. People insure their cars, and worry about damage from belt buckles and handbags at the show, and they hauled it there in a tiny POS rig that is not safe. I see it ALL the time. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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