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Old 01-25-2016, 09:44 AM   #21
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JRMarsh...not for sure if you're wanting new/used, BUT, here's something to consider. IF you're going new and an "Escape", you're going to be on a year's wait MIN. SO, that would give you more time to accumulate more funds and COULD contribute to your decision. Just a thought...
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:00 AM   #22
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I picked up a used low mileage Camry for my daily driver to stop racking up miles on my 4Runner since it is my tow vehicle and expensive to replace. I prefer to save the 4Runner for trips!

You might consider a gently used, high MPG, commuter vehicle and then pick the RV combo you really want.
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Old 01-25-2016, 01:50 PM   #23
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Honda is releasing the new Ridgeline this spring. By all accounts it will be very reliable, as all Honda's are. Probably won't have the tow capacity of the new Colorado. I don't know where the info about them having problems is coming from - all I've seen are excellent reviews - check out the owner reviews on Edmunds. But either would not have an issue pulling an egg and both are a good car substitute if you get the crew cab.

As for space or tightness, my Winnebago Travato is about as spacious as my Oliver. Maybe a bit more so because of the windows and the way it's layed out. Certainly bigger than all but the largest Escapes. It was cheap too - around 70k. I'd check out some vans before dismissing them out-of-hand. They've come along way in recent years and are a pretty good mult-use vehicle if configured right. I have a write-up on mine if you check out my blog.
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:21 PM   #24
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The most reliable small pickup trucks are made by Toyota.

General Motors has bad reviews.

My last Toyota truck had over 300,000 miles on it. During my time as owner I replaced the following maintenance items: Battrey, Tires, brakes plus the usual oil changes every 3,000 miles and oil and air filters...replaced clutch once in 300,000 miles.

You may never find a single Chevy, GM, Ford or Dodge with that kind of track record.

The current V6 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 with automatic transmission and tow package is rated to tow about 6,500 pounds. Check Toyota's website for gas mileage and details.
All Toyota trucks are manufactured in the USA...most in Texas in America's most modern truck plant.

I had no trouble selling it when I got tired of the color.
I now drive a Toyota FJ Cruiser, 4.0 Ltr 6 cylinder 4X4 and tow a travel trailer weighing in at around 4,500 lbs.

Toyota ranks best in quality...check consumer reports.

I am one happy camper!
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:35 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Ron Merritt View Post
Honda is releasing the new Ridgeline this spring. By all accounts it will be very reliable, as all Honda's are. Probably won't have the tow capacity of the new Colorado. I don't know where the info about them having problems is coming from - all I've seen are excellent reviews - check out the owner reviews on Edmunds. But either would not have an issue pulling an egg and both are a good car substitute if you get the crew cab.

As for space or tightness, my Winnebago Travato is about as spacious as my Oliver. Maybe a bit more so because of the windows and the way it's layed out. Certainly bigger than all but the largest Escapes. It was cheap too - around 70k. I'd check out some vans before dismissing them out-of-hand. They've come along way in recent years and are a pretty good mult-use vehicle if configured right. I have a write-up on mine if you check out my blog.
The Ridgeline is based on the Honda Pilot so tow capacities should be similar. The old Ridgeline wasn't able to tow a 5th wheel as I understand it due to the "trunk area" on the bed and the flying buttresses which caused an interference problem. The butresses are supposed to be gone on the new model but nobody knows for sure if the back end will be conducive of pulling a 5th wheel.

A 5th wheel is my preferred trailer at this point but everyone seems to have missed that. I want the separate "bedroom area" in the front. You don't get that in a hitch mounted trailer.

The Colorado gets excellent reviews for design and value and very poor statistics for reliabilty.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:39 PM   #26
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The most reliable small pickup trucks are made by Toyota.

General Motors has bad reviews.

My last Toyota truck had over 300,000 miles on it. During my time as owner I replaced the following maintenance items: Battrey, Tires, brakes plus the usual oil changes every 3,000 miles and oil and air filters...replaced clutch once in 300,000 miles.

You may never find a single Chevy, GM, Ford or Dodge with that kind of track record.

The current V6 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 with automatic transmission and tow package is rated to tow about 6,500 pounds. Check Toyota's website for gas mileage and details.
All Toyota trucks are manufactured in the USA...most in Texas in America's most modern truck plant.

I had no trouble selling it when I got tired of the color.
I now drive a Toyota FJ Cruiser, 4.0 Ltr 6 cylinder 4X4 and tow a travel trailer weighing in at around 4,500 lbs.

Toyota ranks best in quality...check consumer reports.

I am one happy camper!
Two of my co-workers have 20 year old Tacomas that have never needed anything other than routine maintenance. They both get mediocre gas mileage. Toyota will need to introduce some more efficient engines to compete with the some of the new mid sized trucks.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:08 PM   #27
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Not sure if you are aware of it but another option might be a Nissan Titan that will be coming out with an available Cummins diesel. I believe the towing capacity is 12,000 lbs. It will have available a 5th wheel tow hitch mounted in the bed.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:25 PM   #28
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Not sure if you are aware of it but another option might be a Nissan Titan that will be coming out with an available Cummins diesel. I believe the towing capacity is 12,000 lbs. It will have available a 5th wheel tow hitch mounted in the bed.

Yes. Its a very nice truck. The price is way too high for me, though.
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:38 AM   #29
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We presently tow with a 2014 Honda Odyssey. It's has plenty of power and easily tows our trailer. It's a great non-tow vehicle with great volume and comfort. On the highway not towing we easily exceed 30 mpg. Our past Honda's have always been very reliable. We haven't owned this one long enough to now but it has good genetics.

If you have a trailer finicky wife you'll be going thru more than one trailer. Since you have time, I would suggest attending a few fiberglass rallies to get a feel of the possibilities. It seem you are destined for a fair sized trailer.

I feel a Subaru Forestor is not in the direction of an appropriate tow vehicle for the trailer you think you need.

We started off our RV life with a walk around queen bed in a med sized class A motorhome. The motorhome cost $35,000 and was very well appointed, like a small home. Ginny loved it. When I decided we needed a small trailer for a trip to Labrador, she went along for the two month trip with good humor. We both made jokes about the small size before we left, as did most of the family. After two month we loved that small space and sold the motorhome and for 8 years have been happy in a small space.

Again go to a number of fiberglass rallies, meet the people and their rigs, it will be a marvelous education for you both. It will save you time and be fun. You don't need to have a trailer to attend.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:08 AM   #30
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The OP indicated that both he and his wife are over 6 feet tall and that she wants a queen bed. I have also seen several posts recommending the Scamp 19.

Seriously, people?

The Scamp 19's bed is 54-inches wide. The bed in the deluxe model goes side to side in the sleeping loft and the forward most side is rounded on both corners. I am 5'9" and my head touched one wall and my toes the other in my Scamp 19. This is not the trailer to recommend to a couple of 6 footers who expressly indicated "queen" unless they are willing to compromise and sleep in the fetal position and be cramped side to side as well.


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Old 01-26-2016, 08:24 AM   #31
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That's a good point, Carl (though in fairness, the information about height wasn't revealed until post #12). There is one way around it, and that is to buy a standard version and modify it for lengthwise sleeping. But then you'd have to live with the the smaller side bath...

I think Norm has given probably the best advice yet. Visit a rally and experience a number of different makes and models first-hand.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:09 AM   #32
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CPW make good points. We have bought a decent 1988 Scamp 19 Deluxe. It is no more spacious bedwise than our 13 foot std. We now have a 13 Std. big bed on order. This spring our 19 will be for sale. I have to admit that the wood in Deluxe is very nice looking.


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Old 01-26-2016, 10:18 AM   #33
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As I understand it the original Ridgeline was not a " true truck" as it was built on a unibody platform and not a full truck frame. I'd call that a "wannabe truck".
The lack of frame reduces capacity and strength. Just my 2 cents worth.

If you want a truck...buy a real truck.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:49 PM   #34
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I appreciate everyone's comments. Thanks for providing them.

My original post requested suggestions for a new pickup truck that gets good gas mileage that could be used to pull a fifth wheel like the Escape 5. Perhaps my thread title isn't specific enough but I've gotten more comments about trailers and tow vehicles that won't pull any sort of 5th wheel (vans and SUV's).

Since I have several years before I need to do anything I'll just wait and see how the 2016 truck line up performs and decide later.

The Tacoma's gas mileage is better than I thought it was. I downloaded the EPA's 2016 gas mileage pamphlet which lists mpg's for all trucks sold in the US and have learned that trucks STILL don't get very good gas mileage. I'm not sure why this is true. Vans with V-6 engines can get 30 mpg. Maybe its a weight issue, maybe it has to do with drag ... don't know. I get 26 mpg in our 12 year old Odyssey fully loaded on a long trip.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:54 PM   #35
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My original post should have been titled "Would appreciate ideas about a TRUCK - Completely new camper!"

Sorry, my fault. I didn't notice that I did that.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:22 PM   #36
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Trucks are heavy duty vehicles and have heavy strong frames designed to haul heavy loads. They are also geared for the work they are designed to do any have matching horsepower and different rear end gear ratios than the family people hauler.

Honda makes great people haulers but they have yet to produce any real trucks.
The Ridgeline is not built on a truck frame. It is a suburban wanna-be truck.
When it comes to Honda the smaller the engine and vehicle the better the result.

I recommend the Toyota products over all others. Their engineering goal is high at 300,000 miles without any major system failures. GM, Ford, Dodge care more about profit and saving money on production than long term durability.

Spend your money on proven quality. Determine the weight of your dream travel trailer fully loaded for the road first....then select the truck with the tow rating that will pull it while having the best reviews for dependability.

No one ever accused GM of building dependable long lasting vehicles. Maybe that is why they are in and out of bankruptcy.

It is your money spend it wisely!!!

Happy Camping
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:24 PM   #37
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Honda makes great people haulers but they have yet to produce any real trucks.
While the Ridgeline may not qualify as a real truck by your definition, it's probably enough of a truck for many folks driving pickups. Most of the pickups I see are empty. I've yet to talk to an owner who didn't love it. I own a Frontier primarily as a tow vehicle. A Ridgeline would certainly suit my needs equally well. Raz
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:20 PM   #38
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MPG between trucks and cars will probably never be the same. I remember looking at a new Crown Vic and a F150, both with 302 V8's & auto tranny. Window sticker showed 28 & 15 for MPG for an average. Different gearing and different designed jobs to do.
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:18 PM   #39
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Compact Trucks

Like the OP, I'm also looking at purchasing a new (or almost new) compact pickup. As far as I know, the only ones available in the USA are

Chevy Colorado / GMC Canyon
Toyota Tacoma
Nisson Frontier

Are there any that I'm missing?

I suppose I could add the Honda RIdgeline if I'm willing to wait that long...

Any opinions pro or con on these?
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:13 PM   #40
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A lot depends on what you're planning to tow.

For modest towing (up to about 4000#) the Ridgeline would be my first choice: excellent reliability, compact size, and more car-like ride & handling. You should be able to find a low-mileage, old-style Ridgeline now, no wait.

For heavier trailers or fifth-wheels the Tacoma would be my first choice for reliability, but it's pricey, even used, and I might also consider a Frontier. I've owned both and had good experiences, but not recently.

I personally avoid new or redesigned models until they establish a track record, so I'd pass on the Colorado/Canyon and the redesigned Ridgeline for now. I believe the Ridgeline is now going to use the same cylinder cutoff system as the Odyssey and Pilot. There have been some problems reported, hard to say how widespread, but enough for Honda to offer a limited power train extension on VCM related repairs.
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