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Old 10-27-2020, 12:27 PM   #1
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Some 2020/21 Tow Vehicles

Hi everyone. I work for Daimler and drive company or employee lease cars for towing. I'm thinking about getting out of the lease program as I get nearer to retirement, as eventually I'm going to have to actually own my own cars.

I started looking at some tow vehicle options including what I currently lease as a reference. I have a pretty high cargo weight need (people, dogs, kayaks, gear + tongue weight) and pretty soon I realized this was the biggest problem. You might wonder why I don't buy an F150 and be done with it, and the reason is that a 231.5" vehicle will block access to my third garage. Too dang long.

Most cars are advertised by a generic "tow weight rating" that can be pretty vague. I dug into actual capacities and created the attached chart, which I thought people might find of interest. All the PU's here are crew cab short boxes, with 4x4.

Your "load limit" is what the car can carry, including the tongue weight and hitch. Your combined limit is everything.....cargo, trailer, hitch, everything together. If you are under both numbers you are probably OK, but really should check axle loads to be certain. The closer your loads put you to 100%, the more of that kind of thing you should check.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:56 PM   #2
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I see you own a 19, so we are considering a bumper pull. An interesting mix of vehicles you have shown, glad to see you are looking at cargo capacity, many people just load em up. There does not seem to be a lot of logic to cargo capacity, that is one take away. Fortunately the 19 can have a lower tongue weight, the new model like yours did gain some weight with the end of the classic.

I suspect going to a larger vehicle such as Tundra, Suburban or Expedition will give the same varied results. I am not familiar with the F150 but are all models that long?
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:09 PM   #3
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The Escape 19.


The reason my weights are so high (in cargo mostly) is that I often have a mix of activities going on where the camper is just a base camp launch point. So I will often have 2-4 people, 2 kayaks or a canoe on the roof, or maybe ebikes instead. Also 2 dogs, and then a bunch of backcountry camping gear or whatever. It adds up fast.


My calculations are based on needing about 1500 pounds capacity.


The Honda Passport is a great example of how things can fall apart. This vehicle is billed as "tows 5000 pounds". That's actually "Tows 5000 pounds with two 150 lb occupants and 35 lb cargo in the vehicle." This kind of detail is what I was interested in, which led me to create the chart from sources like owners manuals and the manufacturer data sets.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JeffreyG View Post
Hi everyone. I work for Daimler and drive company or employee lease cars for towing. I'm thinking about getting out of the lease program as I get nearer to retirement, as eventually I'm going to have to actually own my own cars.

I started looking at some tow vehicle options including what I currently lease as a reference. I have a pretty high cargo weight need (people, dogs, kayaks, gear + tongue weight) and pretty soon I realized this was the biggest problem. You might wonder why I don't buy an F150 and be done with it, and the reason is that a 231.5" vehicle will block access to my third garage. Too dang long.

Most cars are advertised by a generic "tow weight rating" that can be pretty vague. I dug into actual capacities and created the attached chart, which I thought people might find of interest. All the PU's here are crew cab short boxes, with 4x4.

Your "load limit" is what the car can carry, including the tongue weight and hitch. Your combined limit is everything.....cargo, trailer, hitch, everything together. If you are under both numbers you are probably OK, but really should check axle loads to be certain. The closer your loads put you to 100%, the more of that kind of thing you should check.
You might want to recheck the values in your list, at least for the F 150 - 10 speed transmission since at least 2018, 1800 + payload for many models, at least until you stick on lots of accessories.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I suspect going to a larger vehicle such as Tundra, Suburban or Expedition will give the same varied results. I am not familiar with the F150 but are all models that long?

I did the F150 and realized it would have about 1" clear on either end sitting in my garage (unless I get rid of my garage fridge, and that's not happening). I checked other full size pickups, and they are all the same size. So I did not bother doing a data check on the Silverado or Tundra.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:19 PM   #6
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You might want to recheck the values in your list, at least for the F 150 - 10 speed transmission since at least 2018, 1800 + payload for many models, at least until you stick on lots of accessories.
You are correct on the transmission, I must have typed it incorrectly.

I'll double check on the capacity, but I tend to mistrust any round number like "1800 lb cargo capacity*" vs. my method. I look up the curb weight and GVWR for the vehicle configuration. That yields the actual cargo capacity. In this case you are looking at F150, crew cab, 4x4, 2.7 ecoboost, 36 gallon fuel tank, and a few other bits and bobs.

Tow ratings are similar. There are a lot of "tow ratings" based around the assumption that there is nearly no weight in the vehicle. GCVWR minus curb weight is a better measure.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:28 PM   #7
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You are correct on the transmission, I must have typed it incorrectly.

I'll double check on the capacity, but I tend to mistrust any round number like "1800 lb cargo capacity*" vs. my method. I look up the curb weight and GVWR for the vehicle configuration. That yields the actual cargo capacity. In this case you are looking at F150, crew cab, 4x4, 2.7 ecoboost, 36 gallon fuel tank, and a few other bits and bobs.

Tow ratings are similar. There are a lot of "tow ratings" based around the assumption that there is nearly no weight in the vehicle. GCVWR minus curb weight is a better measure.
I can be specific on mine - a 2018 3.5 Ecoboost Super Cab (not crew) with 6.5' bed & 36 gallon tank is 1826 pounds & 231.9" long. Have to admit, it is a big truck - I loved my Tacoma, but it wasn't up to pulling the 21.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:29 PM   #8
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Great analysis. I’m very happy with Colorado and 21C, but don’t have as high of a vehicle payload requirement.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:35 PM   #9
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Expedition (reg-not max) is 210". That is equal or less than half of your list. I shopped the current Explorer and found the dimensions and mileage very close. Of the two the Expedition is really built for towing travel trailers and has better rear suspension.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:41 PM   #10
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Great analysis. Iím very happy with Colorado and 21C, but donít have as high of a vehicle payload requirement.
I hadn't thought about it until I looked at the Passport. I assumed a Passport would be OK until I noticed (in the owners manual) that it can only carry 948 pounds. That started this and I wound up shocked how marginal most of these mid-sized trucks are for what I want to do.

We're just a regular old family on the road:
(2) adults and (2) teens - 535 pounds and growing (the 13 year old is growing, not me. )
(2) dogs 75 pounds
(2) kayaks and rack - 150 pounds.
(1) WHD - around 100 pounds
Tongue - around 430 pounds
And now I'm only 200 pounds away from 1500, which could be paddles, PFDs, tents, pads, my generator.......

I'm actually shocked at the capability of the Ford Explorer. For some reason it sits very high in the list of capability.

The 4Runner would merit more of a look, but what on earth is going on with those fuel consumption numbers? 19 highway? What does this thing get towing?

Range is another concern. With my boats and the last trailer I had, a M-B GLE would usually deliver 10 mpg. That means 200 miles between fillups, which is not good when you are north of Lake Superior.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JeffreyG View Post
I hadn't thought about it until I looked at the Passport. I assumed a Passport would be OK until I noticed (in the owners manual) that it can only carry 948 pounds. That started this and I wound up shocked how marginal most of these mid-sized trucks are for what I want to do.

We're just a regular old family on the road:
(2) adults and (2) teens - 535 pounds and growing (the 13 year old is growing, not me. )
(2) dogs 75 pounds
(2) kayaks and rack - 150 pounds.
(1) WHD - around 100 pounds
Tongue - around 430 pounds
And now I'm only 200 pounds away from 1500, which could be paddles, PFDs, tents, pads, my generator.......

I'm actually shocked at the capability of the Ford Explorer. For some reason it sits very high in the list of capability.

The 4Runner would merit more of a look, but what on earth is going on with those fuel consumption numbers? 19 highway? What does this thing get towing?

Range is another concern. With my boats and the last trailer I had, a M-B GLE would usually deliver 10 mpg. That means 200 miles between fillups, which is not good when you are north of Lake Superior.
Same problems with the Tacoma. OK when pulling the 17 (but sometimes close on payload), but with the 21, 200 pounds overloaded (and that was with just me) and 10 - 11 MPG on a small gas tank.

While the F 150 is larger than I'd like, I still have hundreds of pounds of payload left, am getting 12 - 13 MPG towing, and with the 36 gallon tank I get to pick where I buy gas, and don't have to stop at every station.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:56 PM   #12
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I'm actually shocked at the capability of the Ford Explorer. For some reason it sits very high in the list of capability....
I would take the payload figure of 1815 with a grain of salt. It varies for each different trim level and options list. The Expedition Forum had people post their yellow stickers and it really runs the gamut; from 1467 to 1900.

https://www.expeditionforum.com/thre...re-time.44864/
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:00 PM   #13
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Tow Vehicles Updated

V2, fixed the F150 and added a Nissan. I may add some others as I keep looking.
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:02 PM   #14
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While the F 150 is larger than I'd like, I still have hundreds of pounds of payload left, am getting 12 - 13 MPG towing, and with the 36 gallon tank I get to pick where I buy gas, and don't have to stop at every station.

The F150 is what I probably want. Better take the tape measure back into the garage and figure this out.


Best bet is to probably take my wife to a dealer and have her drive one. Then she'll be on my side trying to make it work, instead of telling me "It's too big, pick a smaller truck."
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:04 PM   #15
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I would take the payload figure of 1815 with a grain of salt. It varies for each different trim level and options list. The Expedition Forum had people post their yellow stickers and it really runs the gamut; from 1467 to 1900.
Even if they understated the curb weight by 300 pounds, I'd still be OK for my 1500 pound cargo.

That makes it about the same as the GLE I have, except a little more palatable on cost (provided I stay away from the high trim levels.)
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:15 PM   #16
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tow for 5th wheel

This subject made me think about what I would need. I currently have a Dodge Durango that followed a Jeep Grand Cherokee that was near to 100K miles and no problems and great tow ability so it was replaced with another with the Hemi engine vehicle. The Dodge is 202" length, 6 seats, independent suspension, 8 Spd, 4 cyl cut out when not needed. It weighs 5K with GCWR of 13,100#, GTW of 7400# and tongue wt of 740#. Mileage of 15-16 towing and 24 to 25 not towing at 75mph.I feel spoiled now so I'm looking for a RAM with a Hemi.
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:25 PM   #17
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RAM

I'm looking at the quad cab, 6 and 1/2 ' bed and Hemi 5.7. It will have 140 WB and a 23" radius turn with 2 wd. The new 2021's are now showing up so next week we may get serius and then we will be committed to the new 5th wheel that is scheduled for next June. I'm sure the numbers will be good.
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:06 PM   #18
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Jack,
My 2014 Ram Hemi gives me close to those numbers with 8sp auto and 3:21 rear. Just getting broken in with 40K miles....
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:12 PM   #19
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V2, fixed the F150 and added a Nissan. I may add some others as I keep looking.
Thanks for posting your findings. We are also looking at replacing our tow vehicle for our 19 in the next few months and your findings are useful. We have also been looking at the 2020/21 Explorer, but specifically the ST which has more HP, torque, higher GCWR and higher towing capacity than the XLT. Did you consider adding the ST to your list?
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:17 PM   #20
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Thanks for posting your findings. We are also looking at replacing our tow vehicle for our 19 in the next few months and your findings are useful. We have also been looking at the 2020/21 Explorer, but specifically the ST which has more HP, torque, higher GCWR and higher towing capacity than the XLT. Did you consider adding the ST to your list?
Well, the XLT starts at $37,000 MSRP, while the ST starts at $55,000 MSRP. By the time I add AWD and trailer tow to the XLT to make them closer in capability, the XLT is still only $38,500 MSRP.

What I always do with car shopping is start by listing my must have options (or capabilties). Once I get there, I check each additional trim line and ask myself "would I pay X for Y?" For me personally, the price step to the ST is too high compared to what it brings. Other people may have a different view.
I don't eschew the bigger Ford Ecoboost engines. At $995 I'd definitely add the 2.7 EB to the F150 XLT over the 2.3 base engine.
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