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  1. #1
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    Nov. 24, 2005
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    left my soul @ the barn
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    Default Best Towing Vehicles?

    What are the best USED towing SUVs/trucks on the market? Looking to buy first truck and trailer for myself! I can spend up to 5k on a truck or other vehicle. Want something relatively good on gas and not too big as I will need to be able to drive it around town as well. Thanks so much for your opinions and thoughts! Have a great day



  2. #2
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    Jan. 25, 2011
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    Southern Pines, NC
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    Default

    I've got some good friends who have a GMC 2500 SUV and they like it pretty well. Not sure how it is on gas though. I won't even start on what I haul with, the gas mileage makes me a little queasy
    I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.



  3. #3
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    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    Default

    There are bazillions of threads on this topic, your best bet would be to spend a couple hours reading those.



  4. #4
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    Jan. 26, 2011
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    Columbia, MO
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    Default

    I think it depends on what you're going to haul with it. My friend has a beautiful one horse Brenderup (think I spell that right) that she pulled with her Mercury Mountaineer. But if the area where you live is very hilly, or you want be able to drive on the interstate I would recommend a truck. Remember its not wether your vehicle can pull your trailer, its wether or not they can STOP your trailer. A SUV pulling a loaded two horse trailer needs more room to stop than full semi truck. Not sure where I heard that but I BELIEVE it!

    The best luck I have had over the years has been with the early '90s Ford trucks, the body is tougher than hell and the engine is easy to work on with well priced parts (when buying a used truck you know your going to have to fix things). When I'm buying a pulling truck I always want three things (besides FORD on the hood a diesel engine, a five speed and duals. Diesel engines are made for pulling (not for driving around so much) but the mpg and pulling power are worth the extra price at the pump. A five speed is a must for me, it allows you to control your speed and power without having to slam on the brakes and risk your trailer. Dual tires are the one I might give up, but I have pulled with both trucks and I honestly think duals give you alot more stability pulling a gooseneck or a bumper hitch.

    Well, there's my opinion, hope it helps!
    A student in all things.



  5. #5
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    Jun. 15, 2008
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    739

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyGirl77 View Post
    I think it depends on what you're going to haul with it. My friend has a beautiful one horse Brenderup (think I spell that right) that she pulled with her Mercury Mountaineer. But if the area where you live is very hilly, or you want be able to drive on the interstate I would recommend a truck. Remember its not wether your vehicle can pull your trailer, its wether or not they can STOP your trailer. A SUV pulling a loaded two horse trailer needs more room to stop than full semi truck. Not sure where I heard that but I BELIEVE it!

    The best luck I have had over the years has been with the early '90s Ford trucks, the body is tougher than hell and the engine is easy to work on with well priced parts (when buying a used truck you know your going to have to fix things). When I'm buying a pulling truck I always want three things (besides FORD on the hood a diesel engine, a five speed and duals. Diesel engines are made for pulling (not for driving around so much) but the mpg and pulling power are worth the extra price at the pump. A five speed is a must for me, it allows you to control your speed and power without having to slam on the brakes and risk your trailer. Dual tires are the one I might give up, but I have pulled with both trucks and I honestly think duals give you alot more stability pulling a gooseneck or a bumper hitch.

    Well, there's my opinion, hope it helps!
    Having hauled horses many a mile with an Explorer, and make my living for several decades driving a 'semi'........I can assure you it takes WAY MORE time to stop the semi.
    Disclaimer;
    Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
    Not in the 42% or the 96%



  6. #6
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    Apr. 2, 2009
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    North Carolina
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    Default

    If you want to tow, you need to realize one very important thing -- you CANNOT choose a tow vehicle based on gas mileage. Good at towing does not equal efficient on gas. It's a sacrifice that must be made. Do NOT compromise safety and vehicle function for mileage.

    If you don't want 8 mpg while towing, you have to go diesel. Those are just the facts of physics.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2011
    Location
    Central Montana
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    Default

    The type of vehicle you get will depend on the type of trailer you have/want and the terrain you live in. If you have a little 2 or 2 horse and live on flat land, you could probably tow with a LARGER SUV. But i never would.

    Remember that what's more important than pulling power is STOPPING ability. If the vehicle isn't big enough to stop the loaded trailer in an emergency, it's not big enough to tow with.

    I live in Montana. I pull over mountain passes frequently. I have a 4 horse GN with a tiny LQ. I tow with a 1 ton Dodge dually diesel 4 wd. Around here, a SUV pulling a 2 horse just isn't seen, unless that SUV is a full sized Suburban type rig.
    People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they're lost.---Dalai Lama



  8. #8
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    Nov. 24, 2005
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    left my soul @ the barn
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    Default

    I would be pulling a smaller trailer...two horse bumper pull! How much difference is there between gas mileage when towing a trailer and when not towing? I def. want a truck....not a bigger SUV. I was looking at some fords and dodge rams. I like those the best out of anything I've seen!



  9. #9
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    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Sanger, TX, USA
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    Our 2006 Dodge 1500 gets 15 mpg, 8-9 towing and you definitely cab tell the trailer is behind you (2-horse steel slant). The 1997 F250 diesel gets 19-20 mpg, 16 mpg towing. Have to have both horses in it to get any feel of trailer behind you.

    Only towed once with the Expedition and it was a very short haul. We put a
    brake controller in it as a backup tow vehicle. However, would imagine the
    mpg would be similar to the Dodge's.
    Julie
    www.centaurfencing.com
    Safer, Stronger, Lasts Longer!
    Godspeed BARBARO--Run fast and free!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2010
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    Default

    You need to search the Trailer forum on Horse Trailer World http://www.horsetrailerworld.com/home/newhome.asp, this is a topic that is well discussed.

    Basically you'll find that most people are going to tell you NOT to tow a horse trailer with an SUV unless you get a 3/4 ton Suburban outfitted with a tow package and weight distribution bars.

    Unless you purchase a small Brenderup, there is NOTHING you can safely tow a trailer with that will get decent gas mileage.

    Good luck!
    Proud Native Texan!
    owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!



  11. #11
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    Dec. 19, 2007
    Location
    Camden, DE
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    Default

    When I was looking for a truck to tow the 4-horse gooseneck trailer I was about to purchase. I looked at a Chevy, Dodge and Ford. My heart was pretty set on a Ford. I ended up with a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins turbo diesel with a 6 speed manual transmission. I LOVE that truck. I have gotten 18-20MPG towing with it before. It averaged that as well for regular driving if I don't drive it like I stole it. If you go for a Ford diesel look for the 7.3 motor. Can't go wrong with a 1st or 2nd gen Cummins either. Not sure what you'll find in your price range...perhaps early 90's-ish. You're going to want plenty of staring AND stopping power.



  12. #12
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    Apr. 2, 2009
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    North Carolina
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StrawberryFields View Post
    I would be pulling a smaller trailer...two horse bumper pull! How much difference is there between gas mileage when towing a trailer and when not towing?
    A LOT. Well, if you have a gas engine. On the half tons I used to use, mileage without trailer was between 15-18 mpg, with trailer, 7-8 mpg. If you tow more than 2x a year or so, it makes a big dent in your gas consumption.

    With my 3/4 ton diesel, mileage w/out trailer is around 20 mpg, with trailer, 16-17 mpg, roughly.

    Both sets of numbers are with about 7,000 lbs of trailer.

    As far as which truck within a size class is best, well, you might as well ask what religion is best, we are all very, um, proud of what we own, ROFL.



  13. #13
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    Nov. 28, 2009
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    Garden Prairie, Illinois
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pcostx View Post

    Unless you purchase a small Brenderup, there is NOTHING you can safely tow a trailer with that will get decent gas mileage.
    You are absolutiely right!

    I spent a lot of time (2 years) reading about Brenderups, and test driving vehicles that could handle a 1,400 lb one horse trailer.

    I decided on a Volvo sedan as the best vehicle for daily driving 90 miles to/from my office on the interstate at 25 mpg, and hauling my 16 hand OTTB in my Brenderup Solo trailer to events and schooling shows once a month.

    My mileage when hauling with a car drops to 12 mpg. I live in the flat cornlands of Illinois. As someone said, these two needs are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
    Inese



  14. #14
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    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wildlifer View Post
    If you want to tow, you need to realize one very important thing -- you CANNOT choose a tow vehicle based on gas mileage. Good at towing does not equal efficient on gas. It's a sacrifice that must be made. Do NOT compromise safety and vehicle function for mileage.

    If you don't want 8 mpg while towing, you have to go diesel. Those are just the facts of physics.
    True that on the diesel. A friend has a brand newish (maybe a couple years old) Dodge 2500HD Cummins diesel. The truck has an "Econ" mode that essentially shuts down some cylinders, perfect for highway driving where you don't need so much power, just enough to cruise. (Well, at least if you're not being an asshole!) He posted a facebook photo the other day of his mirror gas-mileage readout:

    28.6mpg.

    In a giant diesel truck.

    Pretty good!



  15. #15
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    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Sanger, TX, USA
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    Default

    Dodge also has that system of shutting down some of cylinders at cruise
    on their gas engines, on the 5.7 Hemi for sure. We still get blah gas mileage.
    It was supposed to get 18 mph on the highway...ha! And if you have a headwind, forget it. We did 60 mpg once on the gas mileage readout thingie
    while we were in Colorado coming down a mountain and hadn't touched the
    gas pedal for a while. Took a picture for posterity!

    If you consider an older Ford with the 7.3L engine, make sure it is the turbo charged one, which came out in 93 or 94, I think. Friend bought an older Ford
    diesel than our 1996 and did not get anything close to our gas mileage plus big hills were very interesting. She didn't have the turbo charged engine. She now has a 1997 F350 dually with the 7.3L turbo but got the fancy Centurian
    conversion which added some weight. Doesn't get anywhere near the mileage
    our 1996 model gets...part of it is her driving habits, though.
    Julie
    www.centaurfencing.com
    Safer, Stronger, Lasts Longer!
    Godspeed BARBARO--Run fast and free!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2011
    Location
    Central Montana
    Posts
    380

    Default

    My 2003 Dodge diesel 1 ton dually 4wd gets 21-23 on the highway empty, and 12-18 towing, depending on the trailer, the road and the weather. We get lots of wind here, which really eats into mileage.

    As for older Ford Diesls, the 95-97 Powerstrokes were FABULOUS engines. We had a 95 and it was incredible. They sucked after that however.

    And off topic: Inese, i see you are from Garden Prairie! I grew up in Champaign. Left home in 1981 and have only been back to visit and remind myself exactly why i left (humid, flat, no cowboys, no mountains, too many people...). Great place to be from, however.
    People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they're lost.---Dalai Lama



  17. #17
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    Nov. 24, 2005
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    thank you thank you thank you!!! gas mileage isn't really a concern for me...i drive to the barn and school. both are under 10 miles, LOL. If i need to go anywhere long distance I can ride with friends/boyfriend/family. Life is good



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