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Old 02-01-2023, 10:59 AM   #1
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Signs of the Times

I won't insult your intelligence by posting the actual link, but I just had to screenshot this one. Is $80,000 the new affordability benchmark for tow vehicles, or is this part of a greater conspiracy to normalize insanity?
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Old 02-01-2023, 11:26 AM   #2
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Name: You can't call me Al
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People like GIGANTIC vehicles. Manufacturers make what people buy.

Just look at the weight-gain in pickup trucks over the last 50 years. Some of them are 18-wheelers without the trailer and get 10 MPG.

There are plenty of SUV-style vehicles you can tow a "reasonable-sized" trailer for half that.

Now, US$40,000 is not small change, but it's certainly better than US$80,000

Things that can tow starting at US$30,000

https://fourwheeltrends.com/small-su...wing-capacity/
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Old 02-01-2023, 12:17 PM   #3
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Jon,

Interesting. My pandemic and current hobby is to truck shop on Sundays when the dealerships are closed. However, the mighty 2009 Kia Borrego with 152,000 miles is still going strong. Camped 64 nights and towed 5,000 miles in 8 different states in 2022.

Laura and I will both turn 62 in October/November of 2024. We are talking about getting a pickup truck (mid-size or 1/2 ton) at that point. Truck prices have gone up considerably and accelerated since 2019. As we all know, everything has inflated in price, including campers. I have teased my financial planner about wanting a new truck and new camper at the end of 2024. I informally budgeted $50K for a truck and $70K for a camper. I just recently noticed that Oliver had posted a brand Oliver for sale due to unfortunate medical/health reasons for the buyer who was yet to pick it up. The Oliver was listed at $96K!!!

Currently, mid-size trucks are running $40K to $50K. I see that the new 2023 GMC Canyon AT4-X loaded out will run nearly $70K!!!

Currently, 1/2 ton trucks are selling for $45K to $80K. I could probably still spec the type of 1/2 ton truck I would want for low to mid 50s.

We have probably decided to keep the Casita past 2024. We still love it. We could sell it for more than we purchased it for in 2015. However, the sales price would only be 20% of the cost of a new higher end egg camper. Plus, we really like the nimbleness of only towing 17í.

SUVs are even more expensive than pickup trucks in general.

I guess we will see how much the market cools on trucks/SUVs and campers over the next 18 to 24 months. No new camper? No problem. No new truck? Maybe, maybe not. If need be, we can buy late model used. No problem. Or, keep the Borg for another year or two.

I am more concerned about the travel, camping, and adventure than the camper and the tow vehicle. The Casita is a wonderful little camper that has everything we need. It is small enough that there are lots of options new and used for towing it.

I hope all is well with you and the family.

Take care,

Dean

P.S. - What do you think about the new 2023 Honda Pilots? I think they are sharp. I really like the Trail Edition that Honda has introduced. We are Ridgeline fans. I am hoping they will offer the Trail Edition on the 2024 Ridgeline.
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Old 02-01-2023, 12:26 PM   #4
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Cars and trucks are expensive these days......especially if you get upgraded packages with tons of bells and whistles that you might not ever use. I bought my truck in Nov 2019......they had trucks on the lot for $70 to $80K at the time......didn't need all their crap.....my truck has the big engine I wanted.....tow package....big rear end....4x4....crew cab and a few other things......but pretty basic overall......it rides and tows great.....sticker price was $49K.......I paid $41K......love the truck.......a lot of them bells and whistles are just more things that will eventually go wrong. I keep my vehicles a long time. My two cents.
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Old 02-01-2023, 12:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jerrybob View Post
Cars and trucks are expensive these days......especially if you get upgraded packages with tons of bells and whistles that you might not ever use. I bought my truck in Nov 2019......they had trucks on the lot for $70 to $80K at the time......didn't need all their crap.....my truck has the big engine I wanted.....tow package....big rear end....4x4....crew cab and a few other things......but pretty basic overall......it rides and tows great.....sticker price was $49K.......I paid $41K......love the truck.......a lot of them bells and whistles are just more things that will eventually go wrong. I keep my vehicles a long time. My two cents.

Agreed. High-end trucks are actually less capable due to having less payload/cargo carrying capacity. All the bells & whistles add up in terms of weight.
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Old 02-01-2023, 12:33 PM   #6
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Small is beautiful: that's the point

Let's remember the original sales pitch for our Scamps, Bolers and Casitas, back in the early days. These were trailers for the common man, driving the ordinary family car. There were always other "long, long trailers" that were lovely to live in and terrible to tow (just ask Lucy and Desi). Casita's website still posts a brochure claiming their trailer can be towed by any vehicle rated at 3500 lbs, though they specify a 5,000 lb. rating for all their current products, which is confusing if not downright deceptive.

Several current trends conflict with that concept. There's the truckification of the family car, with large sedans fading away from the marketplace. There's the weakening of SUV drivetrains, too. Ten years ago, V6 engines were commonplace in these cars, but now many mid-sized, three-row SUVs have turbo engines under 2.0 liters, meant to meet fuel economy standards. That leaves trucks as the obvious tow choices.

In the long run, I believe, this reduces the desirability of smaller fiberglass trailers. If I must buy a truck rated to tow 5,000 pounds, how long will I be satisfied staying in a cramped 16-foot trailer? I could buy something 50% longer for half the price.
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Old 02-01-2023, 01:02 PM   #7
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I agree. These reviews seem to use high trim models that are not the "best" chooice for towing or taking the less beaten path. That said, prices on all trims are high, but people are still buying, though the recession is starting to put a damper on that.
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Old 02-01-2023, 01:46 PM   #8
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I was really lucky in timing.
My 2019 Ranger XLT was only 25K after rebates and discounts, and when I ordered my 2020 Escape 19, it was before the COVID camper envy spike and only cost 30K.
So, 55k for both is not bad compared to today's prices.
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Old 02-01-2023, 02:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980 View Post
Jon,
...
I guess we will see how much the market cools on trucks/SUVs and campers over the next 18 to 24 months. No new camper? No problem. No new truck? Maybe, maybe not. If need be, we can buy late model used. No problem. Or, keep the Borg for another year or two.

I am more concerned about the travel, camping, and adventure than the camper and the tow vehicle. The Casita is a wonderful little camper that has everything we need. It is small enough that there are lots of options new and used for towing it.

I hope all is well with you and the family.

Take care,

Dean

P.S. - What do you think about the new 2023 Honda Pilots? I think they are sharp. I really like the Trail Edition that Honda has introduced. We are Ridgeline fans. I am hoping they will offer the Trail Edition on the 2024 Ridgeline.
Thanks! We are well, not camping much as our kids are transitioning to college. Planning a trip to Korea in the fall, just the two of us. Our Pilot is still going strong at 230K. It may have a minor leak in one of the fuel injectors, first real issue of any kind, but it has not yet required a fix. Eventually I'd like to downsize for empty nest travel, especially now that we've decided a 16' is not in our future. But I'd like to watch the Pilot turn over 300K first.

What do I think of the new Honda products? I agree the new Pilot definitely looks much better, and the new DOHC V6 sounds good on paper. I assume the Ridgeline has it, too. I got to try the current 10-speed tranny with push-button selector in a rental MDX last year, and well... it works fine, but couldn't they at least pretend it's connected to something? It all seems very complicated compared to my SOHC, port injected, 5-speed dinosaur. I'll watch to see how it plays out.

Unless something happens to our Pilot, I'm not in the market. Looking further ahead, maybe a Passport, maybe a RAV4 Adventure, maybe a CX-50, maybe even a Maverick hybrid, who knows? I'm not seeing anything out there right now that gets me really excited, and the high prices are like a bucket of cold water on my desires.

Best wishes to you and Laura!
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Old 02-01-2023, 03:59 PM   #10
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Radar1, it looks to me like you paid half what it would be today! What a difference 3 or 4 years made.
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Old 02-01-2023, 04:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by John McMillin View Post
Several current trends conflict with that concept. There's the truckification of the family car, with large sedans fading away from the marketplace. There's the weakening of SUV drivetrains, too. Ten years ago, V6 engines were commonplace in these cars, but now many mid-sized, three-row SUVs have turbo engines under 2.0 liters, meant to meet fuel economy standards. That leaves trucks as the obvious tow choices..
A 3-row SUV with a turbo-4 under 2.0L? I'm racking my brain...

Honda Pilot 3.5L V6
Toyota Highlander 2.4L I4 turbo
Ford Explorer 2.3L I4 turbo
Subaru Ascent 2.4L H4 turbo
Nissan Pathfinder 3.5L V6
Mazda CX-90 3.3L I6 turbo
Chevy Traverse 3.6L V6
Dodge Durango 3.6L V6
Kia Telluride/Hyundai Palisade 3.8L V6
VW Atlas base 2.0L I4 turbo or 3.6L V6 for most towing applications

The V6 is not dead yet. Honda just rolled out a major redesign of its 3.5L V6. And the turbo-4's are plenty strong for towing small-to-mid-sized molded trailers.
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Old 02-01-2023, 04:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar1 View Post
I was really lucky in timing.
My 2019 Ranger XLT was only 25K after rebates and discounts, and when I ordered my 2020 Escape 19, it was before the COVID camper envy spike and only cost 30K.
So, 55k for both is not bad compared to today's prices.
Dave,

Your timing was impeccable. You could easily spend $55K or more on a mid-trim 1/2 ton. You could also spend 50% more on your camper than you did. A new Ranger is probably $40K to $45K plus/minus and a new Escape 19 is probably $50K plus/minus. I am guessing you saved $35K plus/minus $5K buying in 2019 rather than 2023!

You are brilliant!

Dean
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Old 02-01-2023, 04:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Thanks! We are well, not camping much as our kids are transitioning to college. Planning a trip to Korea in the fall, just the two of us. Our Pilot is still going strong at 230K. It may have a minor leak in one of the fuel injectors, first real issue of any kind, but it has not yet required a fix. Eventually I'd like to downsize for empty nest travel, especially now that we've decided a 16' is not in our future. But I'd like to watch the Pilot turn over 300K first.

What do I think of the new Honda products? I agree the new Pilot definitely looks much better, and the new DOHC V6 sounds good on paper. I assume the Ridgeline has it, too. I got to try the current 10-speed tranny with push-button selector in a rental MDX last year, and well... it works fine, but couldn't they at least pretend it's connected to something? It all seems very complicated compared to my SOHC, port injected, 5-speed dinosaur. I'll watch to see how it plays out.

Unless something happens to our Pilot, I'm not in the market. Looking further ahead, maybe a Passport, maybe a RAV4 Adventure, maybe a CX-50, maybe even a Maverick hybrid, who knows? I'm not seeing anything out there right now that gets me really excited, and the high prices are like a bucket of cold water on my desires.

Best wishes to you and Laura!
Hi Jon,

Trip to Korea, exciting!!! Congratulations getting those kids off to college.

Your Pilot has treated you well. I worry a bit about the Borrego needing parts at some point and that being an issue since it was only sold in the U.S. for one year (2009). However, it was sold elsewhere and continues to be sold globally.

Yes, so much technology and electronics in vehicles today. Regarding a shifter, I would be perfectly happy with a column shifter! I am assuming the changes to the 2023 Pilot will trickle over to the 2024 Ridgeline.

I am a Passport fan as well. That would be a great tow vehicle for your Scamp. I am intrigued with the Maverick, particularly the hybrid. It is flat towable. Sometimes Laura and I toy with the idea of Class B or small Class C (flat tow the Maverick) and keeping the Casita and possibly even towing it on rare occasions with the small motorhome. In any case, lots to like with the Maverick hybrid. I will watch over the next few years.

Yes, prices are a major issue that have caused Laura and I to rethink selling the Casita in 2024. Definitely donít want to buy a camper and truck at the same time, given current prices!

Take care,

Dean
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Old 02-01-2023, 09:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980 View Post
Jon,

Interesting. My pandemic and current hobby is to truck shop on Sundays when the dealerships are closed. However, the mighty 2009 Kia Borrego with 152,000 miles is still going strong. Camped 64 nights and towed 5,000 miles in 8 different states in 2022.

Laura and I will both turn 62 in October/November of 2024. We are talking about getting a pickup truck (mid-size or 1/2 ton) at that point. Truck prices have gone up considerably and accelerated since 2019. As we all know, everything has inflated in price, including campers. I have teased my financial planner about wanting a new truck and new camper at the end of 2024. I informally budgeted $50K for a truck and $70K for a camper. I just recently noticed that Oliver had posted a brand Oliver for sale due to unfortunate medical/health reasons for the buyer who was yet to pick it up. The Oliver was listed at $96K!!!

Currently, mid-size trucks are running $40K to $50K. I see that the new 2023 GMC Canyon AT4-X loaded out will run nearly $70K!!!

Currently, 1/2 ton trucks are selling for $45K to $80K. I could probably still spec the type of 1/2 ton truck I would want for low to mid 50s.

We have probably decided to keep the Casita past 2024. We still love it. We could sell it for more than we purchased it for in 2015. However, the sales price would only be 20% of the cost of a new higher end egg camper. Plus, we really like the nimbleness of only towing 17í.

SUVs are even more expensive than pickup trucks in general.

I guess we will see how much the market cools on trucks/SUVs and campers over the next 18 to 24 months. No new camper? No problem. No new truck? Maybe, maybe not. If need be, we can buy late model used. No problem. Or, keep the Borg for another year or two.

I am more concerned about the travel, camping, and adventure than the camper and the tow vehicle. The Casita is a wonderful little camper that has everything we need. It is small enough that there are lots of options new and used for towing it.

I hope all is well with you and the family.

Take care,

Dean

P.S. - What do you think about the new 2023 Honda Pilots? I think they are sharp. I really like the Trail Edition that Honda has introduced. We are Ridgeline fans. I am hoping they will offer the Trail Edition on the 2024 Ridgeline.
Most very expensive trucks are high optioned. We got a brand new RAM 2500 low optioned gaser for 54. You'll have to order what you want to get a modest priced truk. It matches the new Bigfoot. And yes it only gets 10 to 11 towing, but that's why we bought it, our daily driver is a prius prime or a 4 cylinder camry.
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Old 02-02-2023, 07:45 AM   #15
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Agree. When you get into larger trailers, there is definitely more value to be found in trucks than SUVs. Truck makers still build low-content, high-capability models because of the fleet market.

On the other hand, the recent trend among SUV makers in response to supply chain issues has been the elimination of bottom level trims. Profitability increases even as production decreases, and the average buyer is looking for an excuse to buy up anyway. “Sorry, hon, but the Platinum model was all they had.”

I’ll confess to enjoying the heated seats in my wife’s RAV4 when it’s 15 degrees outside. We bought it lightly used at the end of 2019 for a price we’re not likely to ever see again. Good timing, but I claim no credit.
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Old 02-02-2023, 12:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by oldwave View Post
Most very expensive trucks are high optioned. We got a brand new RAM 2500 low optioned gaser for 54. You'll have to order what you want to get a modest priced truk. It matches the new Bigfoot. And yes it only gets 10 to 11 towing, but that's why we bought it, our daily driver is a prius prime or a 4 cylinder camry.
John,

I agree with you. I may do the same thing, particularly if we decide to go with a 1/2 ton. Start with a base truck and be frugal adding options. Order it. Plus, it will not be used for a daily driver. We also have Kia Rondo and Honda Fit for those duties. At some point, we will need to replace the 2008 Rondo. I am liking the Maverick (hybrid) as a daily driver/runabout at some point, but lots of options.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 02-02-2023, 01:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Agree. When you get into larger trailers, there is definitely more value to be found in trucks than SUVs. Truck makers still build low-content, high-capability models because of the fleet market.

On the other hand, the recent trend among SUV makers in response to supply chain issues has been the elimination of bottom level trims. Profitability increases even as production decreases, and the average buyer is looking for an excuse to buy up anyway. ďSorry, hon, but the Platinum model was all they had.Ē

Iíll confess to enjoying the heated seats in my wifeís RAV4 when itís 15 degrees outside. We bought it lightly used at the end of 2019 for a price weíre not likely to ever see again. Perfect timing, but I claim no credit.
Jon,

I hear ya! Our 2009 Kia Borrego V8 Limited (loaded) was purchased in November, 2015. MSRP in 2009 was about $37K. I would have never purchased it new, particularly a high end Limited. But, in 2015, I purchased it for under $12K. Umm, I have to admit, I love those heated seats!

Take care,

Dean
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Old 02-02-2023, 03:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AlanKilian View Post
Things that can tow starting at US$30,000

https://fourwheeltrends.com/small-su...wing-capacity/
One of the recommendations in the link was a Mazda CX-50. The article says "starting under $30K" and "maximum towing 3500#." What it misses is you can't have both. The entry point for 3500# towing is $39K MSRP. Typical of these kinds of articles.
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Old 02-02-2023, 05:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
One of the recommendations in the link was a Mazda CX-50. The article says "starting under $30K" and "maximum towing 3500#." What it misses is you can't have both. The entry point for 3500# towing is $39K MSRP. Typical of these kinds of articles.
And for that price you are near 5000# capability choices. Strange article.
What Small SUVs Can Tow 5,000 lbs?

Well, actually none of these, but....
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:40 PM   #20
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Well, it's possible to actually READ the article and learn that they SPECIFICALLY state that none of the tested small SUVs can tow 5,000 pounds.

It's specific, referenced information that might not meet your large-towing needs, but it's still not a "Strange article, headslap" kind of thing in my opinion.

That's pretty dismissive of the service they are providing.

"What Small SUVs Can Tow 5,000 lbs?

Small SUVs can provide excellent value when it comes to pricing, power, space, and features.

The definition of a small SUV can be different for different people, so a midsize SUV might be considered small to people that own a large SUV.

In regards to this list, we’ll be focusing on compact SUVs and compact crossover SUVs that have the highest towing capacity.

Since the SUV with the highest towing capacity on this list has a maximum towing capacity of 4,500 lbs, we do not list any small SUVs that can tow 5,000 lbs.

If you’re looking for an SUV that can tow 5,000 lbs, you should look at larger SUVs such as the Ford Explorer or Nissan Pathfinder."
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