Thoughts on a Tug? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-20-2015, 08:34 AM   #29
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Thoughts on a Tug?

Dean,

You might try using one of these:

http://www.searchtempest.com
or
http://www.autotempest.com/

Those will search all Craigslist and EBay listings within a specified radius of a location /zip code.

Using those, I found a 2013 Honda Pilot in Hutchinson (Ks) for $9,000.
(Lawrence, Ks Craigslist)

http://lawrence.craigslist.org/cto/5278765536.html

Good luck on your search! 😊

Ray



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Old 11-20-2015, 09:55 AM   #30
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Dean, no one has mentioned the Honda Ridgeline, which we ended up with for our tow vehicle and are very happy with. It has a great tow rating, is super comfortable, has a real back seat, and a very useful "hidden" cargo area under the back bed. It's kind of the truck version of the Pilot. To us it seems as useful as a small truck and as comfortable as an SUV. We bought a 2007 model with about 70,000 miles on it, but we did have to spend more than what you've budgeted. Like you, we started out with a smaller budget, but after having many issues with high-mileage used vehicles, we finally decided to spend a little more and get something not quite so used! Just food for thought. Sounds like you're really doing your homework, which I wish we'd done right from the start!
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:04 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Evergreengirl View Post
Dean, no one has mentioned the Honda Ridgeline, which we ended up with for our tow vehicle and are very happy with. It has a great tow rating, is super comfortable, has a real back seat, and a very useful "hidden" cargo area under the back bed. It's kind of the truck version of the Pilot. To us it seems as useful as a small truck and as comfortable as an SUV.
Dean,

I know 15+ people who have Honda Ridgeline trucks. Most have 4WD. EVERYONE of them has nothing but GREAT THINGS to say about the vehicle. Comfortable, fair fuel mileage, hauls people and cargo safely. 5 of those 15+ people pull a loaded car trailer with ease, safely & comfort. That's MUCH more weight than any fiberglass trailer!

Still a little pricey on the used market however with $10K you have a LOT of em to look at.

Buy a 4WD Ridgeline versus a 2WD front wheel Ridgeline truck. A new Honda Ridgeline will be introduced very soon. First redo since the truck was introduced back in 2005. Should make the older ones a little more affordable used.

Then again it's a HONDA!!!!
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:25 AM   #32
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Hi Ray, Kathy and Mike,

I was just perusing the 2009 Honda Pilot Owners Manual. Jon has been very helpful in pointing out that the 2009 to 2015 Pilots came with the tow package standard. VERY NICE. I just confirmed in the owner's manual that you can tow up to 4,500 lbs with the Pilot IF it is 4WD. VERY NICE. I am open to lots of options, but have been looking at Toyota FJ Cruisers, Tacos, Tundras, and 4 Runners. I am also looking at 2009 Kia Borregos. My DW prefers an SUV, but I am open to a PU. The 4 Runners are at the top of our tentative list. They are pricey used, but VERY reliable. Given we are also Honda fans, I am pleased to find out the 2009-15 Pilots are so capable. At the moment, I am going to assume the Ridgelines are rated the same as the Pilots. I will confirm. In any case, would love to have a creampuff 2009 or later Pilot or Ridgeline (Laura will prefer the Pilot) AWD. Let the research continue!!!

As always, I appreciate the expertise and your thoughts!

Dean
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:34 PM   #33
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<Oops, posted to wrong thread, so deleted.>
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:29 PM   #34
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I'm going to resurrect this thread just to see if you ended up finding something.
We bought a Bigfoot 17 which I believe is rated at around 2,000 lbs. I towed it home with my 96 Ford Explorer I use as a snowplow no problem, but the year says it all so we need something newer. I'm of the exact frame of mind as Dean the OP.

I've been on the net for a few hours here doing research of recommended tow vehicles for small trailers. My conclusions agree with all posted here so far. Like the : Don't go by what the vehicles specs say. You can almost cut some of those in half, like the Ford Escape most will say is only safe at under 1,500 lbs.
It's real tough to narrow down the search to my goal which is
Under $10,000, lower miles, V6 Auto, and from what I'm reading, it must have a real frame!
I wasn't overly worried about gas mileage, but after seeing how really BAD some vehicles are, I've added that to my "pay attention" list.
Funny thing is older Explorers with respectable mileage can be got for around $3,000 around here, they seem to have a bad rep so are half the price of Rangers. Mines been no problems ever other than standard maintenance. Also Nissan Pathfinders go for around $7,000. Both these have frames,
Only one person has mentioned an important factor for us, and that is COMFORT! There are a lot of vehicles I won't own because they will kill my back after 300K.
Anyhow I will keep an eye out and if I find any useful stuff I'll post links.

Top 15 Light-Duty Tow Vehicles - The Lighter Side - RV Magazine

This one has a PDF for each year going back to 1998 if your looking for specs.

Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:31 PM   #35
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Hi John!

Hey, thanks for reviving my thread for a post or two!!! I am surprised that I did not follow up on this thread. I posted elsewhere, but did not give an update on this thread. Given Laura's preference for a mid-size SUV, our budget of trying to stay close to $10,000, and a desire for the tug to tow a minimum of 5,000 lbs and wanting something that was as reliable as possible, we narrowed our search down to primarily Toyota 4 Runners (2005 to 2007 for price reasons) and Kia Borregos (2009 - only year made in the U.S.). The problem with the 4 Runners is that they are so ding-dang popular!!! However, we did find a 4 Runner 2007 SR5 Limited V8 4X4 the next town over with all the options we wanted other than leather. The asking price was $13,999 with a negotiated price of $11,700. We liked everything about it other than it had 167,000 miles. I know there are 4 Runners out there with 300,000 miles, but I was concerned about the mileage since they were not my miles.

We ended making a 980 mile round trip in 36 hours to southern GA on December 11th and 12th to buy a 2009 Kia Borrego Limited V8 2WD. It is a beauty. Black with black leather interior. Since it is a V8, it is rated to tow 7,500 lbs. It has a 4.6L V8 with 337 hp and 323 lb ft of torque. The EPA MPG is 15 city and 22 hwy. It is the same engine as in the Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan. Actually, since it has a 6 speed transmission rather than the V6's 5 speed, it gets better hwy mileage than in the V6 but not quite as good city MPGs. The V6 is rated to tow 5,000 lbs. I could have gotten a V6, but decided that the lack of real mileage difference between the two, we would go with the V8 for the extra towing grunt. Plus, it had sunroof that Laura wanted along with features that we have never had on a vehicle: power adjusted front seats, power adjustable pedals and steering wheel, navigation, satellite, heat seats front and back, dual-auto HVAC, rear HVAC, DVD player, and security system. Oh, it also has a 3rd row, so it will seat 7. It originally listed for $14,600, but I watched price drops and negotiated $11,750, plus $389 dealer fee. It only had 83,500 miles. Plus, new tires, oil change/filter, air filter, etc. We got 23.5 mpg driving it home. We have not driven it enough to know the city mileage yet.

The Casita is winterized and has the cover on it, so we have not towed yet. I did hookup the Borrego and Casita one day just to say that I have. Pulled it into the street and practiced backing up several times!

Looking forward to using the Borrego to tow the Casita. We have an egg rally in the Smokys in April. Camping with friends in late April. A rally in early June in PA and another June egg rally in KY.

Thanks again for checking in!!!

Take care,

Dean

P.S. - Wishing you the best with your tug search!
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:33 AM   #36
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an glad your efforts resulted in finding the perfect vehicle. I've got all winter as I doubt we'll go anywhere until May. Now you got me looking for the Kia's too
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:47 PM   #37
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Hi John,

I see you are in BC. Kia sold the Borrego in the United States for only one year (2009). . .economy tanked, gas very expensive, and truck based SUVs were falling out of favor for new crossovers. But, Kia sold the Borrego (Mohave) elsewhere for several additional years, including in Canada. We bought an '08 Kia Rondo brand new several years ago that we have liked, so I had no problem considering the Borrego. Both the V6 and V8 make solid options for used tugs. There are mostly V6s on the market ranging in price from $7,000 to $14,000. The V8s were running from around $10,000 to $14,000. Depending on your interest, they are a "truck" based SUV. They are not a crossover. For this reason, they make easy work of towing, but don't ride as smoothly as some crossovers in terms of daily driver use. Not a problem for me. It rides just fine around town, but has plenty of grunt to tow our Casita. They were Kia's answer to Toyota's 4 Runner. I am very pleased with it.

Keep us posted!

Take care,

Dean
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:27 AM   #38
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Thanks for the history,, I was going to see if I could find that info so that was great. I only found one in BC
2009 Kia Borrego EX Luxury
They are asking $19,000!!??

I've narrowed it down to looking for that body style and if possible a 2 WD.
The other option is to replace one of our s Subaru's and purchase a tow vehicle that does have 4x4 or all wheel drive. We live at 2,600 up in the mountains. Frount wheel drive only makes it home on a good day. The subarus are unstoppable in snow. My 98 Outback is only rated for 2,000Lb so not a safe option.
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:09 AM   #39
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I see three Bigfoot 17.5's listed on the manufacturer's website ranging from 3,018 to 3,275 pounds dry weight. It appears that older models were somewhat lighter. Some folks note a distrust of manufacturer's published weights, saying that they tend to run lower than actual. Weighing at a scale would resolve any questions in that area.

From the dry weight, you need to add an allowance for the gear you put in the trailer. Byron posted a link to the "real world" weights in post #2 of this thread. The linked data has two Bigfoot 17.5's noted at 2,980 and 4,400 pounds total weight. Some folks use 1,000 pounds as an allowance for fluids and gear, but that will vary in accordance with your personal habits and circumstances. We currently tend to pack light as we don't travel with kids or much in the way of hobby or sports gear. Others carry more, from bikes to barbeques to mercy-knows what.

I don't know that a frame is essential. Opinions vary on that, as you will find that they do on most matters here.

Good luck on your quest John.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:11 PM   #40
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Hi John,

The prices I listed were in U.S. dollars. Loaded EXs are nice. I assume $19,000 in Canadian currency, not U.S. dollars? Does it have the V6 or V8? Make sure it has the tow package (hitch receiver). Borregos have a nice cover for the hitch, so you don't always know if there is actually hitch receiver or not back there! How many miles?

The dealer had our Borrego originally listed at $14,600. After being marked down a few times, we eventually purchased it for $11,750 with a $389 dealer fee.

I am a Subaru fan, but I have only owned one. Great car. Had to trade it in on a minivan when the girls were little.

Keep us posted on your search!

Take care,

Dean
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:00 AM   #41
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My Bigfoot 17 is around 2,000 lbs. It has that on the info sheet inside. 4,000 is probably with an air conditioner etc.
I can tell it is around that weight as my first 2 trailers ( old Vanguards) where the same. I would not have bought a 4,000 lb trailer.

Yes the price is in Can dollars and probably about right for a dealer. Of course you pay much less with a little haggling. From the pictures I don't think it has the tow pagage. This is something I think I will take my time and make sure the vehicle I purchase does come with the tow pack.

I've narrowed things down to an SUV with frame, 3.5 -4-5 V6 or 8. Tow Package 2WD oe All WD. ( not 4x4)
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:45 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
I see three Bigfoot 17.5's listed on the manufacturer's website ranging from 3,018 to 3,275 pounds dry weight. It appears that older models were somewhat lighter...The linked data has two Bigfoot 17.5's noted at 2,980 and 4,400 pounds total weight...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOCK MONKEY View Post
My Bigfoot 17 is around 2,000 lbs. It has that on the info sheet inside. 4,000 is probably with an air conditioner etc.
I can tell it is around that weight as my first 2 trailers ( old Vanguards) where the same. I would not have bought a 4,000 lb trailer...
Older Bigfoot 17s (1500 series) are different from the newer Bigfoot 17.5s (2500 series). Same size, but cold weather upgrades and other changes add a fair bit of weight.

From the trailer weights database, the average loaded weight of a 15B17 is 3200 pounds. The three listed units were within a fairly narrow range, so I'm fairly confident that number is reasonable.

The average loaded weight of a 25B17.5 is harder to determine from the data, since one is listed at 2980 pounds loaded (less than the current dry weight), and the other is listed at 4400 pounds (more than the current GVWR). One empty and one overloaded??? But with current dry weights ranging from 3000-3300 pounds, I'd guess about 4000 pounds loaded is typical.
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