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Old 05-25-2016, 01:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Steve Clark View Post
By the way......Alf say aplomb weigh about what a Steinway...........
Hi: Steve Clark... Whats a "Grecian Urn"? Five bucks an hour.
George Carlin said it best. "Kilometers are less than miles...so take your next trip in kilometers".

Quote Bugs Bunny..."Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it ALIVE"!!!
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Old 05-25-2016, 01:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Julie View Post
It sounds like a weight distribution hitch is a good idea, but only vehicles with truck bodies can use them because of the frames. All of the trucks are so big. I can only have one vehicle, so I guess I am looking at a car that has a truck body.
I understand what you're saying, but for clarity: what you are calling a "truck body" is a vehicle with separate body and frame. Very few reasonably-sized vehicles are built this way now, other than pickup trucks, and some of the SUVs with body-on-frame construction (which are now rare) are poor tow vehicles. There's even one pickup (the Honda Ridgeline) which does not have a separate body and frame, just to show that there's more than one design to achieve a target goal.

"Full-sized" pickup trucks certainly are large, and even the next size down (Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon) are long and heavy things.

Rather than starting with the assumption that you need a weight-distributing hitch (WDH) and choosing a vehicle to use it, I suggest choosing a vehicle with the right characteristics, and using a WDH with that vehicle if (and only if) it makes sense for that combination.

Originally Posted by Julie View Post
Are Explorers an option?
Auto manufacturers like to re-use names, which can cause confusion as they build very different vehicles over the years with the same name. A current Ford Explorer is very typical SUV, with a design and construction nearly identical to the same-sized thing from every other manufacturer (e.g. Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, etc) Years ago, the Ford Explorer was a body-on-frame vehicle which was mechanically more like a pickup truck... and even then it was nothing special as a tow vehicle.

An Explorer might be an option (you would need to check the capacity ratings), and so would be the other models which Ford builds with the same parts and design: the Ford Flex and the Lincoln MKT.

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Old 05-25-2016, 03:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Julie View Post
Are Explorers an option? I have not towed before, so this is a pretty big deal for me. Please let me know your suggestions. Thank you.
watch out for that cute Ford Explorer ad...owned the previous version of the SUV built on a truck type frame as Brian described and it was an inexpensive workhorse for the money....now they make them to look good and not much else...if you can't handle a full size truck initially perhaps look at the medium sized trucks as mentioned in other posts.....not sure of today's pricing, but a few months ago with the options I wanted it came down to... the new Tacoma was priced about 35k with the 2016 reduced warranty and a new full size 2015 Ram truck was 38K with the last of the 5 yr 100k mile warranties...bought the Ram...now apparently the warranties are less yr/miles unless you pay extra....and the warranty for the Ram was the icing on the cake...break down anywhere in the USA and they send a truck to get it at no charge and repair it at a dealership.....if it holds true that peace of mind is definitely worth something....you might be able to still get a great deal on a new or sales demo/loaner 2015 if you look a bit....had a salesman scour several states inventory over a few days and ended up with pretty much exactly what I wanted....a galactic freighter for pulling a trailer.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:32 PM   #14
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tow vehicle change

Today we did it. Our Jeep Grand Cherokee had 93000 miles, half towing the 19 and then the 21 and I don't think it owed us a thing, I made it work very hard and fast. We couldn't buy another Jeep with the Hemi engine unless we went to 4 wheel drive and I guess a larger turning circle. We bought a Dodge Durango two wheel drive, Hemi engine and a lot of newer extras. The durango is about 200 inches long instead of the 189" of the Jeep, the same turning circle of 37 feet and 6" more wheel base to improve the ride slightly. At our age this will probably be our last tow vehicle unless we down size to a 15'. We did buy the bright red (defensive color) R/T model that looks like a hot rod with all the blacked out grill, trim and 20" wheels. Now that we brought it home and had our naps we'll go drive it somewhere.
Jack and Nancy
P.S. Nancy likes it and that's good since she does some of the driving with the trailer attached.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:45 PM   #15
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Congrats! Look forward to seeing the new rig.
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:16 PM   #16
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Sounds like a hot rod Jack, I'm really enjoying mine, while Escapeless.
never in doubt, often wrong
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by azjack View Post
Today we did it. Our Jeep Grand Cherokee had 93000 miles...
We bought a Dodge Durango two wheel drive...
I'm glad the Grand Cherokee worked out; the Durango is the same vehicle underneath, just longer and with different body details. It does look like a capable tug.

I doubt you could buy a 2WD Grand Cherokee or Durango here, unless you special ordered it, but if you never need the 4WD then this is the logical choice.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:54 PM   #18
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Just to address the perception that 4runners have too soft rear suspension. Not true in my experience. The 4runner has been a stout tow vehicle. As a precaution I installed air bags (not air shocks) but only have the minimum 5 psi in them. The transmission is good. The 4runner has two trans temp sensors so you can monitor hot and cooled temps. Never a problem.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:58 PM   #19
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Thanks, everyone. Good advice.
If you have the Tacoma and are happy with it, which one did you get? Is the ecoboost in the Ford a really good thing? In your research, have you found a model year in any of the TV choices that is better than others?
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Julie View Post
... If possible, I would like to get a used tow vehicle from 2012 or 2013 up. I thought about a 4 Runner, ...
I am towing with a 2014 Tacoma and have logged about 6000 miles towing my Escape 21. No complaints except that the combination is a bit underpowered for my home state of Colorado. I live in the right lane while climbing to 11,000' going west out of Denver on I-70, but other than that I am keeping up with posted speeds. Gas mileage has varied from 11 to 15 mpg depending on various factors like trailer loading, head winds, driving speeds, etc. There is one factor that keeps me very happy - the manual transmission is always in the correct gear - if I am paying attention. But be aware that a Tacoma drives like an old fashioned 4X4 truck - which is OK by me, but it is not going to feel like driving a car if you need that.


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