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Old 11-27-2015, 12:32 AM   #1
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Why not buy an old tow vehicle

Low mileage 2012 V6 RAV4's (my current TV of choice) are listed at $22-$27,000. Is there wisdom in buying an old tow vehicle? The April 2015 edition of Consumer Reports magazine (page 80) contains a short list of quality vehicles CR would recommend to "family and friends." One recommendation: 2005 Honda Pilot (4,500 pounds tow capacity; 17/22 mpg when not towing). Granted maintenance and repair costs are higher in old vehicles, but the initial purchase price is $12-13,000 or less. Appreciate your thoughts!

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Old 11-27-2015, 12:42 AM   #2
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All I know is that my 2008 RAV4 V6 with tow prep and hitch and brake controller is not for sale. It's low mileage, just about to hit 50,000 miles and has had every service on time.
But, people do sell for various reasons. Maybe came into money and need a luxury SUV to boost ego. Or the tranny is about to give out.
Can only suggest that you get a used tow vehicle checked over by a good mechanic and that you ask for all the service records.
The guy that bought my '87 Subaru wagon got all those records, and I think he talked to the owner of the garage where the work was done.

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Old 11-27-2015, 04:20 AM   #3
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If I was doing shorter regional trips, needed to save $, or if I had been a mechanic, buying an 11 year old used vehicle could well be a smart move. As none of the above pertain to me, including being smart, I went new.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:18 AM   #4
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Buying an older car can be iffy even with low mileage and complete service history. Who knows how hard it had been worked. You want to be able to tow that new 17B where ever the winds may blow and feel confident your TV will get you there without any problems. Peace of mind is priceless. Just my opinion.
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:04 AM   #5
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Hi: Steve R... If you want an "Old tow vehicle"... Buy a new one. With an Escape trailer they get old fast!!! Alf
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
As none of the above pertain to me, including being smart, I went new.
I dunno Bob, you sure duz look smart on these here interwebs.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:25 AM   #7
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I bought a low mileage 11 year old Ford Explorer cheap, to tow my Burro, and towed from the sands of Provincetown to over the Rockies, never a problem. At 174K miles the head gasket died. You pays your money and you takes your chances.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:43 AM   #8
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My wife and I made a 7000 mile trip to the west coast this fall. We bought a new truck to make the trip. We would have not attempted the trip in an older ,high mileage vehicle.
The truck is now a year old and has 19,000 miles on it. (14,000 miles towing) A lot depends on how far and how often you will be traveling. Being stuck at home due to vehicle problems is bad enough but being stuck 3000 miles from home is even worse. As said above " Peace of Mind" is priceless.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:10 AM   #9
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I think a three year old V6 RAV with low miles is just broken in and well worth considering. I have had no problems with purchasing low mileage vehicles with good reliability ratings. Have them checked out by an independent mechanic and try to get service records.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:30 AM   #10
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I think that I would have much greater comfort towing with an older vehicle that I had owned for most of its life, rather than towing with an older vehicle that I had just purchased. I would then have previous knowledge of how the vehicle was treated and how it performed, and maybe a better feel for what things were likely to go wrong in the future. But then life is a crapshoot and anything could happen, even with a brand new vehicle.

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