Your Thoughts on a 2016 Tow Vehicle? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-05-2016, 04:02 PM   #1
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Your Thoughts on a 2016 Tow Vehicle?

I am in the market for a new or used Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe. I know the dry weight of this Casita is roughly 2,500 lbs. What would you purchase to tow it if your budget for a new car allows for $30,000 and you want the best mpg that you can get? I know this is a broad question and I am just looking for ideas and recommendations. Thanks in advance for all/any replies!
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sherritini View Post
I am in the market for a new or used Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe. I know the dry weight of this Casita is roughly 2,500 lbs. What would you purchase to tow it if your budget for a new car allows for $30,000 and you want the best mpg that you can get? I know this is a broad question and I am just looking for ideas and recommendations. Thanks in advance for all/any replies!
While the average loaded weight of a 17' Casita is 3287 lbs, the average tongue weight is 417 lbs. This excludes the 3500/350 lb ratings on many small SUVs. I'd look at vehicles with at least a 5000/500 lb rating. Figures are from the Trailer Weights in the Real World Spreadsheet at LakeshoreImages.

As to mileage, unless you go for a diesel, somehow it seems the average no matter what the vehicle engine is around 15 MPG towing. The small V6 SUVs will often do better when unhooked, while many trucks only get a few miles per gallon more when solo. I pulled a Escape 17B with a loaded weight of 3010 lbs for over 76,000 miles with a 2010 RAV4 Sport (V6 & tow package) rated at 3500/350 and got 25 MPG unhooked, and 15 MPG towing. Again, I'd suggest a higher tongue weight rating for the Casitas - my tongue weight was between 325 - 345 lbs.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sherritini View Post
I am in the market for a new or used Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe. I know the dry weight of this Casita is roughly 2,500 lbs. What would you purchase to tow it if your budget for a new car allows for $30,000 and you want the best mpg that you can get? I know this is a broad question and I am just looking for ideas and recommendations. Thanks in advance for all/any replies!
I own a Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe and I can tell you that 2500 lbs dry weight is not based in reality . Mine weighs almost 2700 lbs dry and 3300 to 3400 lbs with a tongue weight of 420 to 430 lbs when loaded for travel.
Look at a vehicle with a 5000 lb tow and 500 lb tongue weight rating.
As far as under $30 K ,your on your own.
It's tough to find a really good tow vehicle that gets great gas mileage . You usually get one or the other but not both
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:38 PM   #4
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Thanks!

I appreciate your time and knowledge.
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:25 PM   #5
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Tow truck

Used F-150 2014 2.7L eco boost 4WD.
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:49 PM   #6
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Used F-150 2014 2.7L eco boost 4WD.
4WD could be an overkill, all depends on your travel/camping style, but F-150 is a right choice.
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Old 07-05-2016, 06:28 PM   #7
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Ford 2014 F 150 with the V8 ( Not a fan of the Eco Boost but am a fan of Ford trucks . There is a reason that the Ford F150 is #1 !!!
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Old 07-05-2016, 06:47 PM   #8
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Used F-150 2014 2.7L eco boost 4WD.
Might be tough to find for $30K...
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sherritini View Post
I am in the market for a new or used Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe. I know the dry weight of this Casita is roughly 2,500 lbs. What would you purchase to tow it if your budget for a new car allows for $30,000 and you want the best mpg that you can get? I know this is a broad question and I am just looking for ideas and recommendations. Thanks in advance for all/any replies!
If you really want new, one you might want to take a look at is a Nissan Frontier. The SV-V6 extended cab version is rated to tow 6500 pounds in 2WD trim (starts around $25K) and 6300 pounds in 4WD trim (starts around $28K). The crew cab version adds about $1K to the price and reduces the tow rating by 200 pounds. Non-towing fuel mileage will be mediocre. I honestly can't think of much else new with 4500/450 minimum towing rating and under $30K, unless it's a stripper work truck. All the SUVs I can think of with adequate tow ratings start over $30K new.

Going lightly used would give you more options. The suggested F-150 Ecoboost is a good choice if you don't mind the larger size.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:21 PM   #10
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How much of your time will be devoted to towing versus unhitched. Put pencil to paper and figure out how much you will actually save on gas based on how you will use the vehicle. If you are full timing, a full size truck brings V8 durability, comfort and storage. If you are still working, something smaller (Tacoma/4runner w/ v6) would have slightly better mileage and easier to park.

$30k may push you to the used market, but you might find a bargain at the end of the model year on a new full size domestic truck.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:22 PM   #11
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If the OP bought a 16 ft Scamp or Parkliner , or Little Snooze ,her choice of vehicles would be greatly expanded . It may be less expensive to go with a lighter trailer than a Casita 17 SD and the MPG may be better.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:16 PM   #12
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Hi Sherri and All,

Laura and I purchased a new to us '05 Casita 17' Freedom Deluxe in November. The previous owner weighed it and it tipped the scales at 2,910 lbs. I am guessing the tongue weight to be 400 to 450 lbs. Love the Casita. I would definitely recommend something rated to tow 5,000 lbs or higher.

Since we had no tow vehicle, I researched this extensively as well. My goal was to buy a trailer and tow vehicle for no more than $25,000! It was tough, but I did it. We love the '09 Kia Borrego 2WD V8 Limited. It is rated to tow 7,500 lbs, but does not get great gas mileage:

21 to 24 on the highway, not bad
14 to 15 on in city
12.5 to 14 towing

The Borrego was Kia's answer to the Toyota 4 Runner. I am not pushing the Borrego. I was on a tight budget. Brand new the Borrego Limited was $38,000. It is an '09. I bought it for $12,000 before taxes. For me, the depreciation on a Kia was wonderful. I also own an '08 Kia Rondo that is a solid vehicle. Given your $30,000 budget, I think you can find something newer than my '09. They only made the Borrego in '09 in the USA, but it sold elsewhere as the Kia Mohave for several years.

Laura did not want a pickup truck, so I concentrated on the following:

Toyota 4 Runner
Toyota Highlander
Honda Pilot
Lexus GX470
VW Touareg

However, all the above, given my budget and preferences, were either too pricey, too many miles, could not tow enough, etc. A 4 Runner would have been my choice, but they are in high demand and pricey. They are great vehicles. So, I ended up with Korea's answer to the 4 Runner. It works for me.

Despite Laura not liking pickup trucks as a daily driver (she drives our tow vehicle some), I think the best tow vehicle is a quad cab pickup truck. There are several nice midsize trucks, but they don't get great gas mileage and are pricey. Jon's suggestion of a Frontier is solid. Probably a little less money than a Taco and the newer Canyons and Colorados.

I love the idea of the Ford F-150 2.7L Eco-Boost. Lots of utility. Roomy. Better than most gas mileage non towing and not bad towing. Price will be the challenge. My brother just bought a '15 Ram 1500 Big Horn Edition Extended Cab (not quite a quad cab) for $26,500. So, maybe a '14 or '15 F150 2.7L Eco-Boost???

Happy Hunting!

Dean
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:35 PM   #13
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Brand new, and under $30K, that can handle the heavy hitch weight of a 17' front bath Casita. I don't know of anything other than a lightly equipped pickup truck, but a pickup would do the job quite well. You'd be fine with the base V6 (non-turbo) engine. Here's an example I found locally for less than $25K: New 2016 Ford F-150 For Sale | Broken Arrow OK
The same dealer has one with the 5L V8 for about $30K, and a 2.7L Ecoboost Supercab for $31,600.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:14 AM   #14
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I recently went through the decision process on a new tow vehicle. My original budget was $30K but I ended up paying $35K (with tax & license) for a 2016 Chevy Colorado. I agree with those who recommend the Ford F150 (or similar) but I didn't want a full size pickup since this is my daily driver. The 7000 lb tow rating is way overkill for my Campster but who knows, I might get a bigger trailer some day.

In my case 4WD is essential so that bumped up the price a bit.

I also looked at the Nisson Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. The Tacoma is more expensive and the Frontier is less expensive. I actually liked the Frontier but then I found out that the low end trim that I was considering didn't have a backup camera. Trust me on this, you really want a backup camera if you are going to get a new tow vehicle. It makes hitching up so much easier.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:27 AM   #15
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... I actually liked the Frontier but then I found out that the low end trim that I was considering didn't have a backup camera. Trust me on this, you really want a backup camera if you are going to get a new tow vehicle. It makes hitching up so much easier.
We went through that with our last TV purchase. A back-up camera is nice (and not just for hitching up), but in the end I couldn't justify many thousands more for a newer vehicle/higher trim simply for that one feature. There are other ways to skin that cat. But I'm a tightwad, or so I'm told... YMMV
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:27 AM   #16
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cars.com

Put in your money parameters and a radius of say 100 miles from your house. Price, equipment, or put in little than say Ford 150 or Toyota Tacoma, then click new.

Or click used.

In either case you'll see all the trucks being sold by dealers in your area. We have web based search technology and it saves a boatload of running around.
The dealers are 100% keen on listing their inventory this way as they know that modern folks like to use the technology to find stuff.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:39 AM   #17
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If the OP bought a 16 ft Scamp or Parkliner , or Little Snooze ,her choice of vehicles would be greatly expanded . It may be less expensive to go with a lighter trailer than a Casita 17 SD and the MPG may be better.
Good suggestion. That was my first thought as well. Lots of nice mid-sized SUVs with 3500/350 tow ratings would make better daily drivers.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:19 AM   #18
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We went through that with our last TV purchase. The back-up camera is nice (and not just for hitching up), but in the end I couldn't justify many thousands more for a newer vehicle/higher trim simply for that one feature. There are other ways to skin that cat. But I'm a tightwad, or so I'm told... . YMMV
You don't need a camera to line up your hitches. Just get this 'MaxxHaul 70043 Magnetic Trailer Alignment Kit', two telescoping yellow balls on magnetic pads:

https://www.amazon.com/MaxxHaul-7004...J7V59GC73TEDW3

and use your rear-view mirror.

The camera won't be of use, anyway, once the trailer is hitched.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:54 AM   #19
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I have had my eye on the Ram 1500 Ecodeisel. A friend just bought the quad cab version in 4 WD for $32,500. I see the 2WD versions around here advertised for under $30,000. Talk about overkill for an HC1. I have not heard what towing mileage would be but with that engine, I would not expect it to be too bad compared to non towing.


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Old 07-06-2016, 09:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Elizabeth EWA View Post
I recently went through the decision process on a new tow vehicle. My original budget was $30K but I ended up paying $35K (with tax & license) for a 2016 Chevy Colorado. I agree with those who recommend the Ford F150 (or similar) but I didn't want a full size pickup since this is my daily driver. The 7000 lb tow rating is way overkill for my Campster but who knows, I might get a bigger trailer some day.

In my case 4WD is essential so that bumped up the price a bit.

I also looked at the Nisson Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. The Tacoma is more expensive and the Frontier is less expensive. I actually liked the Frontier but then I found out that the low end trim that I was considering didn't have a backup camera. Trust me on this, you really want a backup camera if you are going to get a new tow vehicle. It makes hitching up so much easier.
I think you will find that your Chevy Colorado is not "Overkill"
Once you start loading your trailer and truck with camping gear that even with a truck ,you can easily reach the payload capacity of your vehicle . I have a full size 1/2 ton truck with a towing capacity of over 10,000 lbs so my Casita is well under that limit but I am right at my payload capacity. I agree with you about the backup camera , that is one feature my 2014 Ram is lacking. Next year when I trade my truck in for a newer model ,it will definitely have a backup camera.
CONGRATULATIONS on your new vehicle , I think you made a smart choice !!
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