if you were gonna buy a new tow veichle, what would you buy? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-09-2009, 12:59 PM   #1
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Hello, been a while since I have been around. My computer bit the dust just before the Holidays so not only was I dealing with the hectic holiday season, I had to buy a new computer, which thank goodness came yesterday! I am back! LOL............ Anyway I have been thinking of buying a new tow veichle. Currently have a 2000 Chevy Z71 1/2 ton that I tow our 17 foot Casita with. Remember it's just me towing so I want a vehicle that has control, yet I want to downsize a little. Truck is fine yet a suv-ish isn't out of the question. It's not that my truck is fading, it's just it's 8 years old and due to Dh's health issues I want something that is newer with less chance of eventually having issues. I know newer doesn't always mean better. I just know chances are things are going to start becomeing issue with my truck and since I am sooooooooo not mechanical, I think having a newer vehicle is probabaly a smart thing for me. So anyone have suggestion of what vehicles to start looking at? That have the strengh/towability that will ease my nerves? I don't want something that the Casita out weights out controls. Honestly my current truck has always been a comfortable puller. Have yet to feel that the tow was in control versus the truck. But the truck is big and gas'y. So if you have a few suggestion for me, let me know. Thanks Robin



Would love another veichle with leather, heated seats. One thing I would really like is onstar. Help!
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:31 PM   #2
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Robin, it sounds like you already have exactly the tow vehicle you want. The question is: which is better, the devil you know or the devil you don't? With reasonable maintenance and care, your truck will likely last you as long as you care to own it. Anything downsized from your 1/2 ton will the propensity to exhibit control issues for your Casita when you least want them. Anything over 4 years old is more likely to have mechanical issues. New trucks, however, run $30k and up (even AFTER $10k rebates!) If you have a truck that doesn't have issues, you maintain regularly, is paid for, and tows your trailer... why look elsewhere?

I looked at Frontiers, Tacomas, Chevy Colorados, and all of the variations of them for small trucks. Then I looked at Tundras, Silverados, and Titans.

I ended up with a year-old '07 Titan with the Big Tow package (9500 lbs tow rating) with 12,500 miles on it for $18k. The same truck in the '09 model is $38,000 and neither have leather. Now, I'll grant you my Bigfoot is a little heavier than your Casita, but that Casita has a pretty durn heavy tongue weight.

If you want new, buy what you want to tow safely. If you're looking for a gas-sipper, don't tow.

I'm a proponent for small cars for commuting, but when you're towing, bigger is better.

Roger
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:42 PM   #3
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Robin, IMHO it's not the year of the vehicle, it's the quality to begin with+how well you've kept it up+mileage on it+way you drive it+________. I drive a 2001 F-150. Some would say, it's so OLD, you need something newer and with less chance of mechanical problems. But if you look at the truck you'd see it has only 60,000ish miles on it, has been well-maintained, I drive it easy and don't make a lot of demands on it (except for towing my 17' Casita). In addition, 2001 was supposed to be a good year for F-150's for a number of reasons, including mechanical reliability. Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm not mechanical, so you might want to listen to Roger and the others who know far more than I do.

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Hello, been a while since I have been around. My computer bit the dust just before the Holidays so not only was I dealing with the hectic holiday season, I had to buy a new computer, which thank goodness came yesterday! I am back! LOL............ Anyway I have been thinking of buying a new tow veichle. Currently have a 2000 Chevy Z71 1/2 ton that I tow our 17 foot Casita with. Remember it's just me towing so I want a vehicle that has control, yet I want to downsize a little. Truck is fine yet a suv-ish isn't out of the question. It's not that my truck is fading, it's just it's 8 years old and due to Dh's health issues I want something that is newer with less chance of eventually having issues. I know newer doesn't always mean better. I just know chances are things are going to start becomeing issue with my truck and since I am sooooooooo not mechanical, I think having a newer vehicle is probabaly a smart thing for me. So anyone have suggestion of what vehicles to start looking at? That have the strengh/towability that will ease my nerves? I don't want something that the Casita out weights out controls. Honestly my current truck has always been a comfortable puller. Have yet to feel that the tow was in control versus the truck. But the truck is big and gas'y. So if you have a few suggestion for me, let me know. Thanks Robin



Would love another veichle with leather, heated seats. One thing I would really like is onstar. Help!
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
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Hi: Robin... Glad to hear you survived "The Crash". You really are asking a loaded question about trucks. The only thing I can add here is I wish I had a small V8 than a big V6. I think fuel mileage would be slightly better and more OOMPH with the V8. My prol. is $$$$'s so I really have to like what I got!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:07 PM   #5
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I guess you'll get a lot of different answers for this question. It depends a lot on personal preferences. We bought a new to us 16-foot Casita about 6 months ago, and immediately began researching what would be best for our situation. We settled on and bought a Toyota Tacoma just a few days ago. With the 4.0 V-6 and 5speed automatic tranny and factory class 4 tow package it is rated to tow 6500 lbs.(650 lb tongue weight). It comes with the 7pin connector, under dash plug for the brake controller, extra trans. and oil coolers, 130 amp alternater and bigger battery.
My thoughts were, we needed a T.V. adequate for towing, and a nimble one while not towing, with resonable gas mileage for either.
This was just our choice, and there are a lot of other good vehicles available.
Good luck on your search

Harvey
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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Loaded question................................... LOL...................... I knew that before I even posted, Alf...........


but I am so confused as what to buy. It's not that my truck is even starting to have issues. But you never know and our situation is that Dh can not help with any of it anymore. So I am on my own. My truck (it's mine, I bought it when new) we have sold off Dh's trucks over the years and kept mine cause it really is a nice truck. But I know as time goes by it's getting older and older. I have always maintained it. regular oil changes etc. I certainly know that even a new vehicle could break down but less likely due to the age. Even this last summer on a trip to Montana, we had a 2 inch little hosey filter thingy crack and getting the darn little part to West Glacier Mt was no easy task. The guy who worked on it was great, (we know him from when we lived there) But the darn little part was really expensive, he Even gasped at the cost. It was only $30 to have it put on but several hundred for a swear a 2 inch plastic/rubber thing. But we had to have it, so I know these little quirky things are gonna start happening so think it's time to start looking for a new one. I haven't had a car payment since 6 months after buying my truck, Dh paid it off for me. So that thought isn't pleasant but am also considering paying cash just so I don't have a payment. I just see the pretty colors and think, ewwwww that's cute! (my shopping theory, cute is better!) So that's why I asked. Because I know cute won't always be good for towing. LOL.....



Roger, I agree about the Casita weight! My weighed in at 2800 pounds empty. Shocked me!

Harvey, Thanks I will look into that! Like I said I am open, I have looked at a new Chevy Z71. The ones I saw were 40 and over. I am going to check into the dealerships in Denver rather than the little ones here in Greeley.

Thanks everyone for your opinions! Robin
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:01 PM   #7
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Hey Robin - I've been wondering how you all are doing - as an update, we sold the Pacer and was so impressed with your Casita, that we bought a brandy new one - picking it up in early Feb...

I would stick with a good ol American 1/2 ton pickup, reliable, cheap to fix and parts are everywhere - seem to last a long time - not to mention this is a great time to buy. Stay firm on a price - I've found these dealers are trying to get as much as then can at a time when they are not selling anything - its a buyers market.

Having said that, your truck looked great when I saw it and won't think you have major breakdowns to worry about - cars tend to give you warning when things go wrong, they rarely just quit...

Ken J.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:21 PM   #8
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Robin - we have 2 pickup trucks. One's a 4.0L Ford Ranger (6 cyl.) with tow package; the other's a Ford F-150 (6 cyl.) without tow package. (Both have brake controllers and are wired for the 7-pin Bargman plug.) We like the Ranger fine for towing in the flat lands, but really prefer the full-size for the mountains. (Actually, the bigger truck has a smoother ride in the flat lands, too, because of its weight and longer wheelbase.) Since you live in Colorado, I'd advise sticking with a full size truck (and agree with the advice to just try to get as good a deal as you can on a new-er one).

I know some people also tow with the likes of a Toyota 4-runner, but honestly, I don't think their gas mileage is much (or any) better than the pickups, towing or not.

With all you have to be responsible for, I'm thinking having a full size truck (and the peace of mind that goes with it) would be quite desirable.

Good luck with your decision!! I know it's tricky to figure out the best thing to do...

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:39 PM   #9
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You mentioned an SUV wasn't out of the question, I towed my 17'SD for about 32,000 miles with a Toyota Tundra and it towed flawlessly then decided to go with something with more mileage while not towing. We got a Honda Odyssey which does both very well but never gave a thought to some of the differences. My wife has a natural fear of bugs and the like and when I load up now I have to make sure everything is bug, ant, snake etc free before it goes into the TV. If you break camp after or during a rain you have to dry everything off so it doesn't get sand dirt and water all over the interior. I love the Ody but for a good tow vehicle you can't beat a PU truck, throw everything in the back and worry about cleaning at home when you have time and my wife having peace of mind without having to be constantly looking around to see if a sugar ant 1/16 of an inch long is going to attack and devour her. An SUV would be equivalent to the van from that standpoint. If your a 2 car family keep the truck for a tow vehicle and if you are 1 car consider spending the money on a nice family car and still keep the truck. You'll know when it starts to go and deal with it then it may be in another 100,000 miles. On retrospect that is what I should have done. I miss my Tundra and it had 155,000 trouble free miles on it
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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We tow the same trailer with an 05 Tundra and an 05 4Runner, the v-8 in the Tundra is only slightly bigger than the v-6 in the 4Runner. Both handle our trailer fine. The mpg is better on the Tundra than the 4runner while towing.

Toyota makes great vehicles. I have 4 sons, all have Toyota's, our drive way looks like a used Toyota lot on holidays. I can not say enough good about this brand. ONe son has 235,000 miles on a tacoma, knock on wood, he has only replaced an alternator.

Yes it is a personal choice. And anyone can have problems with any vehicle. Buy one that has a dealer close by for service and repairs. But with Toyota you won't need one for repairs.

You might do a search on Autotrader.com. Look for a certified used truck of what ever breed in your area. I found one that I wanted on autotrader, did all the hagleing on the phone and emails, I bought a one way plane ticket from northern Wy. to Boulder, sight unseen, the dealer picked my up at the airport, I went in, he did the usual trying to sell extended warranty and all, I didn't bite, sighned the check and drove home in the same day!
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:55 PM   #11
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Until today, we pulled our 17-foot Casita with a 1999 Nissan Frontier. But after 153K miles we felt it was time to get a new truck. So we traded it in on a newer 2007 Nissan Frontier. V6, 4 liter engine. Four-wheel drive. My old Nissan was, by far, the best motor vehicle I've ever owned--and I've owned Toyotas, Chevys, Fords. I look forward to towing the trailer for many tens of thousands of miles with my new Frontier.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:53 PM   #12
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Robin,

I'm kinda in the same situation.

We've been towing our 16'er with a 2006 Jeep Liberty and it's been fine (so we thought) but after a trip to the Hocking Hills area of Ohio, we ended up having to replace ALL the brake rotors as the mechanic said they were warped. Now we don't know if it was the trip thru the hills pulling the trailer that did it, but after 2 years and 60,000, it shouldn't have happened so quickly.

Gas mileage ranges between 13-16mpg when towing and I don't think that's great but it is what it is. SO we too have been looking for another tow vehicle, something bigger, roomy and that wouldn't even know the trailer was back there - therefore the mileage wouldn't differ much.

We've narrowed our search down between a 2006 Chevy Tahoe and a 2006 Ford Expedition. Neither gets any worse gas mpg than our Jeep Liberty, and both have more room. We have 2 prospects, both from southern states so they're not already eaten by road salt when we make the first truck payment, so we'll see how it goes...

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:20 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the great shopping idea's. I love to shop so it shouldn't be sooooooo hard, it's just I want a vehicle that will be good for my towing capabilities. I guess I want more veichle than trailer. And yes in Colorado we have the mountains to deal with. With the Z71 I rarely loose speed going up vail pass unless I get stuck behind some idiot that doesn't know how to drive. Which is nice. Gas mileage runs about 18 mile per gallon. There's a million reasons not to get rid of this truck, but I know they won't last. One blessing is I don't have to buy so I can take my time to find just the right one. Thanks again for the suggestions I will check out more possiabilities.

Ken, Ahhhhhhh, I loved your little pacer. It was soooooo cute. But I know you said you and your wife were really liking the fiberglass trailers but wanted a bathroom. (you guys are still into the airstreams too aren't you?) Congrats on your new baby! Hope you get to bring it to Colorado, along with your wife so we can all meet her. Enjoy your trip to Texas and post pic's of it.

Mary, I am with you on the peace of mind thing. I am probably overly cautious but would rather be safe than sorry. The only time I have been really scared was coming out of Yellowstone into Cody Wy. Can't remember the name of that pass, but I don't care what I was driving, I didn't like that pass (period!) A semi in first gear would have not been enough for me. I still get butterfly's when I think about that adventure. LOL.........
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:32 AM   #14
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Robyn

Oh yes still have the money pit - ala Airstream - thats my hobby trailer that is beautiful and great for vintage rallies, but there is always something to do on it + it keeps my upper body in great shape from all the polishing work :-)

Ken J>
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