As I have posted elsewhere, Laura and I purchased a 2005 Casita
17' FD in early November. Since this time, I have been deep in Tug Research Mode. Here are excerpts from my mid November post regarding my Tug Research Process. . .
Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980
I have taken some time over the last couple of weeks to research tugs assuming a real world trailer weight
of 3,500 lbs. Given a real world trailer weight
of 3,500 lbs., I am eliminating all tugs rated at 3,500 lbs or less. On the other hand, I don't really want to do hardcore overkill in terms of a tug since it will be used as a daily driver, so no long bed quad cab F350 dually!
Tow capacity is a primary issue, but other important issues include:
I think the above are my ranked ordered priorities (assuming the tow capacity issues has been met).
I have no brand loyalty and have tended to drive small cars during my adult life, including 1 old Datsun, 2 Mazdas (including a minivan), 1 Subaru, an old Saab, an old Volvo 240, 1 Toyota, three Hondas, and a Ford Taurus.
OH, let me make this decision even tougher. The tug has to be used. Cannot afford a new tug. In fact, here are the parameters I have established given my research and my budget:
1. Try to stay as close to $10,000 as possible.
2. Try to stay under 120,000 miles.
3. Try to stay no older than 10 years old.
Yes, I know. I just made this tougher.
Based on my research, there are several tugs that would do well, but factoring in reliability as a priority, it appears that one would be hard pressed to beat a Toyota product:
1. 4 Runner
2. Sequoia (too big)
[I also ended up researching Lexus GX470s (upscale Toyota 4 Runner) and Kia Borregos (very nice, but only made in 2009 due to "truck-like" SUVs taking a nose-dive in the market place right when the Borrego came out).]
Given my limited parameters, it is not easy to find these cream puffs due to their popularity. I am not wedded to a Toyota product, but I think I would be happy with a 2004 to 2007ish Toyota 4 Runner or Tacoma (Quad Cab).
As of the last week or so, it was still all about Toyota 4 Runners, Lexus GX 470s, and Kia Borregos. We also test drove a 2004 VW Touareg V8 AWD with about 120,000 miles. Nice, but I was a bit worried about the age and the upkeep, maintenance on a 12 y/o VW Touareg. Also, we test drove a very nice 2006 Lexus GX 470, but with a 167,000 miles and a price of $14,900, I walked away even though the dealer would have come off the price considerably, I believe. Plus, Laura hated the burled "look" wood trim that had kinda faded to orange. We really liked a 2006 Toyota 4 Runner SR5 Sport Edition with V8 and 4WD. Asking price was $13,900, but the final price was going to be $11,700. It was located the next town over from our home. Drove great, but I decided against it due to 153,000 miles. The 4 Runners were our favorite tug that we DID NOT buy.
As of yesterday, we are the new owners of 2009 Kia Borrego Limited. It has the V8 and has 2WD. The V8 is rated to tow 7,500 lbs with a WDH. The V6s are rated to tow 5,000 lbs. The V8 has a 6 speed transmission while the V6 only has a 5 speed. So, the V8 2WD actually gets better mileage than the V6 on the hwy, but the V8 will get a little less around town. The V8 2WD is rated at 22 hwy and 15 city. I have read in the Kia Borrego forums that the V8 will actually get better mileage towing than the V6.
The 2009 Borrego Limited only came in black with black leather interior. It only had 83,500 miles. It had a clean CarFax and the dealership just changed the oil, air filter, and put on a new set of Yokohama tires
in addition to their inspection. It was originally priced around $15,000. I watched it on the internet drop to $12,000 (well under book value). I purchased it for $11,750 before taxes, etc. A downside, Laura and I did a 1,000 mile round trip in 36 hours to drive to southern Georgia to buy it!!! I did all the leg work via the internet, put down a $500 deposit, and arranged a test drive with the intention of buying it pending a successful test drive. It all went well!!!
In addition to leather, it has navigation, DVD player, power windows/locks, heated seats front and 2nd row, 3rd row seating for two, chrome wheels, security system, power moonroof, power driver and passenger seat, Infinity sound system, power adjustable steering wheel and pedals, backup camera that displays in the rearview mirror, etc. Of course it has the tow package!
So, I stayed well under 120,000 miles and stayed well under 10 years old, but did spend more than my goal of $10,000 or so, but we will give our college aged daughter our 2008 Kia Rondo and sell her 2002 Toyota Celica GT. I am guessing we can sell it for around $3,000, so this will more than offset the extra we spent on the Borrego.
It is a midsize truck based SUV much like the 4 Runner, so Laura will be very comfortable driving it. She drove it 500 miles yesterday when we brought it home. I drove our '09 Honda Fit. I got better mileage at 40.2 mpgs compared to 22.9 in the Borrego running 75 mph when we could!
OK. . .
17' FD. Got it! Check!
2009 Kia Borrego V8 2WD. Got it! Check!
Starting to register for Egg Rallies in the Spring/early Summer.
Keep in mind, that Laura and I have never RVed or towed. The next steps will be to learn how to hitch it up, practice parking in empty church parking lots and backing up in our driveway!!!
Will worry about the black tank later!
As always, thanks to all on this forum for your expertise and passion!
P.S. - 74 degrees in south central KY today! I played in the driveway all afternoon with the Borrego. At the end of the day, we put the cover on the Casita
. We had left it off in order to play in the driveway with the Casita and to show it off, but time to put the cover on.