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Old 10-10-2015, 01:18 PM   #21
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We recently went from an SUV (2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited) to a mid-size pickup (2014 Nissan Frontier SL)

While both will tow our 15 and we have indeed, towed the 15 over 20,000 miles with the Santa Fe, we opted for the pickup for several reasons:

Higher tow capacity, 7,000 vs. 3,500 (Many SUVs are now 5,000 but still don't come close to many trucks.)
More room in the back for messy stuff. We built a sliding tray and shelves to make loading an unloading easier. This is particularly true of our bikes which go inside the back of the truck on the sliding tray. Makes getting them in and out much easier than the SUV.
A vehicle a little more equipped to go on some of the rougher roads we have been on in parks and out of the way places. (Higher ground clearance, bigger tires, etc.)

We could go back at any time to the Santa Fe as it is our "around town" car now, but right now we are really enjoying the Frontier as our tow vehicle.
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:37 PM   #22
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I have a truck and an suv I don't like to drive my truck for every day driving I use it to haul my horse trailer. I like driving my suv and I haul my 17 with it so I guess it depends on weather you like driving a truck when not hauling you do most of your driving without the trailer . Draw back for the suv is that there is no good place to put dirty items. Hate to put them in the car or the trailer.
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:42 PM   #23
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I think a lot of this choice is based on what you carry while camping. For what we carry, enclosed space works better, and access through the side doors plus hatch is far better than just through the tailgate of a canopy-equipped truck box.

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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
This is where you lose me. Towing, other than being safe doing it, is the least of my considerations.
Many people have separate vehicles for towing and for other daily uses. In that case, towing is certainly not the least consideration.

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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
... if I need to haul stuff to the dump I can rent a utility trailer.
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Originally Posted by Klem View Post
The combination of a SUV and a small utility trailer works best for me.
...
The utility trailer is much better to load and unload (it's lower) and you can fill it with whatever and drop it until you need it again.
I agree. If you don't mind managing a trailer, a trailer and anything that can tow it (including an SUV or minivan) is far more functional than a pickup truck. If you need the carrying capacity rarely, you can rent whatever best suits the job each time, instead of always having a high, short, and narrow box with sides that you can't reach over and a tailgate at the back.

Of course, if your stuff isn't too bulky, you need to carry it frequently, and a tug plus trailer would be awkward, you can't beat a pickup truck.

We had a pickup truck. For the last decade, we've had a minivan. The van has proven to be much more useful. Of course, a van has more room than a typical SUV.

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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You can always make your pick up into a SUV via a removable cap over the truck bed, you can not make our SUV into a pick up.
... except by towing a cargo trailer. While towing the travel trailer, I agree that if you need an open cargo box you need a pickup.
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:49 PM   #24
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Some SUVs are still built on the same platform as a pickup truck; the Toyota Sequoia (Tundra), Ford Expedition (F-150), and Chev/GM/Cadillac Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade (Silverado/Sierra) are the only ones which come to mind. In these cases, the SUV is just as capable for towing as the pickup, other than wheelbase (the longest SUV typically has the wheelbase of the shortest pickup).

Seating height is comparable, regardless of the body style of the back half of the vehicle.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:21 PM   #25
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Vehicle conversion

Ah yes, vehicle conversion, brought to mind a time when a couple of boys plugged into an outside outlet on one of the park restrooms Late one night. Outlet should have been off but wasn't. They were using a sawzall to convert their sedan into a convertible. Police wanted to know if we wanted to press charges, I let them go when they loaded the top crossways in the back seat and the P.D. followed them home. Always wondered what dad said. We like the Highlander for our tow but it's hard for me to load dirty stuff in the back when camping. Firewood comes to mind. Nice ride, pretty good mileage, good in snow and rain, 2wd pickups, not so good without weight in the back.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Many people have separate vehicles for towing and for other daily uses. In that case, towing is certainly not the least consideration.
And, many people don't, including me.
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:50 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Some SUVs are still built on the same platform as a pickup truck; the Toyota Sequoia (Tundra), Ford Expedition (F-150), and Chev/GM/Cadillac Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade (Silverado/Sierra) are the only ones which come to mind. In these cases, the SUV is just as capable for towing as the pickup, other than wheelbase (the longest SUV typically has the wheelbase of the shortest pickup).

Seating height is comparable, regardless of the body style of the back half of the vehicle.
Good point; conversely, a Crossover such as a Highlander is built in a Camry chassis. Many people here refer to their Crossovers as SUV when they are not.

Have never owned a truck, however checked some out when I decided I wanted something more substantial to tow our 21. Decided we wouldn't use the utility aspect as much as most who own trucks so went SUV. Test drove 2nd gen Sequoia and then a Yukon. They were both good, however the Yukon gets better mileage and the interior was nicer with the SLT in the same price range as an SR5 Sequoia. Have towed about 22K mikes and it is just as I hoped it would be. Get 13.4 towing and it primarily sits in the garage otherwise. Will say the ride got much better with new M ichelins vs. OEM Bridgestone Alenzas.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:46 PM   #28
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Good point; conversely, a Crossover such as a Highlander is built in a Camry chassis. Many people here refer to their Crossovers as SUV when they are not.
Although there might be some slight design relationship, I don't know if it would be possible to find a single part in a Highlander chassis or structure which is shared with a Camry. The Highlander is not a heavy-duty commercial vehicle, but I wouldn't worry about it having only Camry capacity.

"SUV" just means Sport Utility Vehicle: none of those words are "truck", and none specify the type of chassis or drivetrain. They're generally understood to be station wagons (no separate trunk or cargo box, interior convertible between passenger and cargo use), but beyond that the choice of label is just marketing.

By the traditional definition of being built on a light truck chassis, the Honda Pilot is an SUV (because Honda builds the Ridgeline on the same platform), but the virtually identical Toyota Highlander is not, only because Toyota doesn't make a version with a pickup box. The Mercedes G-Class (which is still sold as a military vehicle) is not an SUV, unless you can get a pickup version from somewhere. The passenger van versions of the Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, and Ram ProMaster are all SUVs, because the same vehicles are available as chassis-cab trucks. The original VW Rabbit hatchback is an SUV because there was a Rabbit Pickup.

In the end, I don't think the SUV label is a useful indication of towing ability... or lack of it.
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:19 PM   #29
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Just quoting Wikipedia...your earlier reference though regarding pickups and their SUV equivalent is missing something I forgot to mention and that is the distinction of a front wheel drive (primarily-even if you have AWD/4WD) is that you are using a transaxe vs. a tradtional transmission/differential with a drive shaft. They got really popular for traction in snow but also because they're cheaper to produce. Question is are they as tough as a RWD tranny?
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:53 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Just quoting Wikipedia...your earlier reference though regarding pickups and their SUV equivalent is missing something I forgot to mention and that is the distinction of a front wheel drive (primarily-even if you have AWD/4WD) is that you are using a transaxe vs. a tradtional transmission/differential with a drive shaft. They got really popular for traction in snow but also because they're cheaper to produce. Question is are they as tough as a RWD tranny?
I don't think they're much cheaper to produce, but they do package more compactly in the vehicle, potentially making the rest of the vehicle less expensive to produce.

A transaxle has the same contents as a separate transmission and final drive unit, so it will be as tough if the components are as tough. Of course, if the transaxle is designed for minimum weight in a light-duty application, it won't have particularly robust components.

A popular current transmission is ZF's 8HP: it is the 8-speed in Ram pickups and some sedans and SUVs. It is a modular system, and by selecting different components it can have a input torque capacity from 300 Nm (221 lbfft) to 1000 Nm (738 lbfft); pick a low capacity and push it to its limit and it probably won't prove to be particularly tough.
One 8HP configuration integrates the transfer case and front differential into the same case as the transmission - that makes it a transaxle, but does it make it any less tough the the traditional separate-housing approach?

A Mazda MX-5 has a traditional longitudinal engine, transmission on the back of the engine, and separate final drive at the end of a driveshaft. I wouldn't suggest towing with it. I think it's really about the components, not the arrangement.
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