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Old    Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-29-2009, 2:05 AM Reply   
I don't think my Dodge Dakota is cuttin' it any longer. What are some good options for good tow vehicles. Would probably prefer a truck, but will consider SUV. If it's a truck I need a true 4 door truck.

Just looking for some idea of what to look for?
Yukon? Suburban? Nissan Titan? Honda Ridgeline? Ram 1500? Toyota Sequoia? Probably looking to stay under 15-20k range. Used of course. What are some good family vehicles for towing?
Old    John Bauer (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       04-29-2009, 2:48 AM Reply   
05-06 Chevy/GMC Crew Cab Duramax like Sean Dean just bought.
Old    Josh Gosa (warwagon)      Join Date: Jan 2009       04-29-2009, 3:55 AM Reply   
4WD Ford Econoline! Budget and a people hauler
Old    ausbill32            04-29-2009, 7:38 AM Reply   
I use to have a 4x4 1999 Dakota.. switched to 4x4 2003 F150 FX4 and never looked back. 78k on my F150 and not a single problem and it tows awesome. The space in my F150 is AWESOME!!!! Never a single brake/rotor problem on my F150 like Dodge trucks do, in fact, I've only had to change them once so far.
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-29-2009, 10:38 AM Reply   
I went from a 98 Dakota 4x4 with the 5.2 to an 05 Avalanche with the 5.3. Seating for up to 6, lockable storage in the back, and tows up to 7700 lbs.
Old    AtTheLake (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       04-29-2009, 10:40 AM Reply   
I have wondered why more people don't tow with E-150s and E-250s. Super inexpensive if bought used, lots of seating, tow capacity for most wakeboats, and your gear is always inside and locked up.
Old    Sam Ingram (wakeboardsam)      Join Date: Jun 2008       04-29-2009, 11:00 AM Reply   
You can get a Duramax van pretty cheap right now.

Cheapest Duramax Deal

Much cheaper than a truck and it will pull like a freight train!
Old    Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-29-2009, 11:06 AM Reply   
love the van idea...except panel vans are kind creepy

Bill, I have an 03 Dodge Dakota and I know the tow rating is well beyond what my boat is. I think the tow rating is around 5500 and my boat is only 3000. But it struggles.
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-29-2009, 11:22 AM Reply   
Yea, I've read that you should only tow about 70% of the tow rig's capacity, just in case things get a little hairy. My guess is your boat is only 3000 lbs, but your trailer is another 1000 - 1500 lbs, plus gear, ballast, etc. So your probably towing close to 5000 lbs, which is like 90% of capacity.

I think the older Dakotas with the 5.2 were rated higher, like 6200 lbs.

I liked the Avalanche / "Transformer" kind of rig. Tows plenty, 4WD, seating for everyone, drives like an Escalade, largest lockable trunk in the biz. Open up the bed in the summer & the dog's love it. Ford's version of it, the Explorer Sport Trac EXT, well, not so much.

The van idea is interesting. But I'm not sure I'd want to use it as a daily driver. Maybe setup as a camper??
Old    Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-29-2009, 11:36 AM Reply   
The avalanche is the cross breed thing right? Kinda like the Ridgeline? I kinda like those, but my wife can't stand them. she keeps talking Sequoia or Yukon, but I think I want a truck for sure.
Old    steve (ss1234)      Join Date: Jul 2005       04-29-2009, 11:38 AM Reply   

We've had two. Great towers. Our last one (2002 model) has about $115k miles and it has been a third car because we can't sell it. We first started trying when gas was $4+, now nobody has money. A few years back GM was giving them away so the market is currently flooded with them = great used prices. They can haul more people than you probably care to haul.

We bought a Sequoia to "replace" the burb, and we have an F-150. Hands down I would rather tow with the burb. Our first burb had the big 45-something and that towed like a dream. The current has the std 5.3 and it tows great as well.
Old    Sam Ingram (wakeboardsam)      Join Date: Jun 2008       04-29-2009, 11:43 AM Reply   
If you don't like the panel van you can always go with an ex-government van... Lots of miles, but I doubt you will find a better tow vehicle for cheaper...

Cheap Van with Windows
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-29-2009, 11:54 AM Reply   
Yea, the Avalanche & the Ridgeline look a little alike. But the Av is on a Suburban chassis..... tough to compare to a Honda. Same as the Yukon XL too. I wasn't too crazy about the Avs with all the plastic either. So I had to wait till I found one that looked more like a Silverado.

So are you looking for a daily driver that you can tow with? Or a 3rd vehicle dedicated towing?

(Message edited by bill_airjunky on April 29, 2009)
Old    Marc Rounds (calipackfan)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-29-2009, 12:02 PM Reply   
All that yellow van needs is a " free Candy " sign on the side. creepy.
Old    Chris P (billhall)      Join Date: Jun 2006       04-29-2009, 12:21 PM Reply   
+1 for Yukon. Personally the Yukon/Tahoe is the way to go. The 5.3 tows well and the trucks are very comfortable. Decent mileage and they are a dime a dozen now.

Panels vans might me cheap but try parking that in a parking space vs. a tahoe. They are ugly as sin and people might think you are a pedophile. IMO, vans should be reserved for the cable and electric company workers. Upload
Old    Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-29-2009, 12:23 PM Reply   
This will be a daily driver. We have a small business so we are constantly picking things up and dropping off. That's probably why a truck is preferred, but then again everything is relatively small so the back of an SUV would probably be sufficient.
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-29-2009, 12:36 PM Reply   
The GM/Chevy line of SUVs & pickups is deep, and their reliable trucks that will tow your boat(s) easily & haul all your other stuff. I get like 15 mpg out of mine in town, and over 20 mpg on the freeway (at 60 mph, a bit less at 70 mph). And now days their cheap.

On the Ford side, the Expedition is a good truck too.
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       04-29-2009, 12:43 PM Reply   
Well if you go with a child molester style van, then yes, creepy.

Of course you can do a few things to REALLY improve how they look. There's WW member with a pretty cool van, Marco IIRC. He had a white and blue supra in the classifieds for a while. His looked like a 3/4 ton with rims and big tires on it. Tinted windows, looked sharp.

OTOH, got 90K miles on my Sequoia and she's still running strong. I see Toyota's for sale with 150,000 on them all the time. So if you can find a toyota that fits the bill, it should last you a while.
Old    Nubb (nubb)      Join Date: May 2006       04-29-2009, 1:00 PM Reply   
You should be able to pick an 03 or 04 Yukon Denali for that price range. Most came standard with a towing package (air bags in the rear that auto adjust to tongue weight) and the are AWD. You will suffer in the gas mileage department at 13-15 mpg, but from a towing standpoint I've been extremely happy with mine.
Old    JimR (jimr)      Join Date: Sep 2001       04-29-2009, 3:07 PM Reply   
I just picked up an '04 Yukon with 41K miles for under $14K a couple months ago. Its an SLT with the 5.3L, 3rd row, leather, Bose, etc.

Now the wife can pull the boat behind the Yukon and while I tow the camper with the truck. She has never towed before so this should be really fun... :-)

Old    Brad Walker (humboldt9)      Join Date: Jun 2004       04-29-2009, 3:31 PM Reply   
I just bought a used '05 Toyota 4Runner with the 4.7L V8 (the same engine that comes in the Tundra of that year) it also has a transmission cooler as well. It tows my Sanger V210 really well.
Old    Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-29-2009, 3:32 PM Reply   
Jim, that's a nice ride for that money. That's right about where I need to be. So with the 3rd row, is that an 8 seater?
Old    Evil0ne (evil0ne)      Join Date: Sep 2006       04-29-2009, 10:51 PM Reply   
Chances are yes. If the second row is not the captain's chairs then yes 8 seats otherwise 7.
Old    Andy (michridr69)      Join Date: Dec 2008       04-30-2009, 7:09 AM Reply   
Upload (mines grey though)
Old    Chris (atlmobiuslsv)      Join Date: Feb 2008       04-30-2009, 7:29 AM Reply   
in december i picked up a 2006 chevy 1500 crew cab for 10900...tows like a champ..60k miles
Old    JimR (jimr)      Join Date: Sep 2001       04-30-2009, 8:26 AM Reply   
Yes, the 2nd row is a bench seat so it seats 8. Keep in mind the rear seat is best left to the kids though. I'm right at 6' tall and I have to scrunch down in the back seat to keep my head from rubbing the head liner. Also, access to the rear is only slightly better than changing the impeller on some V-drives. :-)

There was one problem with the Yute I bought:


As a fellow boater I'm sure, as with myself, the first thing you look for is a class III receiver when checking out a new TV. It still amazes me that they don't just go ahead and put a hitch on all the tow-capable vehicles at the factory.

I pulled the CARFAX on this one and found out it was locally purchased and serviced and that the CARFAX agreed with the advertised mileage...


I jumped on it.

After haggling with them we came up with some ridiculous number (they were nickel-and-dimeing me so I nickel and dimed them right back and we ended up at something like $13,887).

I got a U-haul to install a hitch and a tranny cooler for around $400 and she's ready to tow. I used it once, to pull the boat up to the shop to get it de-winterized (have not had the boat on the water yet ) and it did great. I will have to say my truck (Z71) with the longer wheelbase, seems to be a little more stable when towing but the Yukon did fine.

My wife is a Toyota fan and she thought we should buy a V8 4-Runner or Sequoia. I found an extremely low mile '03 Sequoia that was very reasonably priced. I pulled the CARFAX on it and turns out it was a New Orleans car and it had a huge gap in its history from 2005 until it was sold at auction to a dealer here in Dallas - Buyer Beware!

Anyway, I now drive her RAVA to work (22 mile one way commute) and she, being the stay-at-home mom (and soon-to-be boat towing expert) uses the Yukon to haul the kids around. She now begrudgingly admits that the Yukon is a pretty nice vehicle, but still insists that her RAVA is going to outlast our two GMC products (and she's probably right). I told her that once she goes back to work she can go get her a brand new Sequoia if she wants and she'd get no argument from me!
Old    TODD YOST (yodd_tost)      Join Date: Aug 2007       04-30-2009, 8:34 AM Reply   
Got a 06 yukon xl, w/50k miles on it, that is bomb for towing and gear and people and your business goodies, for sale
Old    TODD YOST (yodd_tost)      Join Date: Aug 2007       04-30-2009, 8:36 AM Reply   
BTW -Hawk do you remember my blue stalker/panel van I had that I towed that old I/O w/. It had a love seat it it for the rear seat, It was awesome.
Old    Josh (romes)      Join Date: Sep 2006       04-30-2009, 9:03 AM Reply   
if you get a van get a Quiggley....not exactly budget but definately BAD ASSUpload
Old    John Gardner (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       04-30-2009, 9:12 AM Reply   
Old    Sam Ingram (wakeboardsam)      Join Date: Jun 2008       04-30-2009, 9:32 AM Reply   
That creepy van will out pull any Suburban, Tahoe, or Toyota, will seat at least nine, or you can set it up as a camper. You will probably get better mileage too.
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       04-30-2009, 9:35 AM Reply   
Disco ball this bad boy
Old    SEAN DEAN (05elitevc4)      Join Date: Jan 2008       04-30-2009, 10:11 AM Reply   
My buddy has a tows pretty good and in the winter we can put four or even five dirtbikes in it and head to the desert.
I would say 05-06 1/2 ton chevy something like a tahoe or silverado...does four wheel drive matter. If it doesnt then you should be able to find a ton for waaay cheap. But four wheel drive should be in your range as well. My 2cents is wait and wait until you know you found "The One". You will know. Mine was on the higher end of my price range, but I knew that was the one I wanted. }
Old    Sam Ingram (wakeboardsam)      Join Date: Jun 2008       04-30-2009, 4:12 PM Reply   
My latest find:


Coolest Tow Vehicle Ever

Heck you could get rid of your trailer and just mount the bunks on the back.
Old    Dave (captain_542)      Join Date: Oct 2006       04-30-2009, 4:28 PM Reply   
I would love to see a pair of slappers or waverunners or whatever you call them on the back and the boat on the trailer behind it. Come on red bull you know you want to do it.


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