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Best Family Hauler

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  • Best Family Hauler

    In the market for a new hauler. Needs to be able to haul a two-horse BP and seat a family of 4 comfortably. $20K or less. What would you buy?

  • #2
    $20k or less NEW?! Doesn't exist.

    Other than that, please do a search as there are a billion and one threads on what SUVs/smaller trucks are suitable for hauling trailers. I'll sum it up for you real quick--the general consensus is that, unless you're talking a Brenderup type trailer, the "full size" SUVs are really the only ones suitable. (Just the general consensus...you'll find a few odd ones out who say you can haul with a frickin' Corolla.) IE: the Suburbans, Denalis, Expeditions, etc. The trucks who happen to have seats in the bed, essentially.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
      I'll sum it up for you real quick--the general consensus is that, unless you're talking a Brenderup type trailer, the "full size" SUVs are really the only ones suitable. (Just the general consensus...you'll find a few odd ones out who say you can haul with a frickin' Corolla.) IE: the Suburbans, Denalis, Expeditions, etc. The trucks who happen to have seats in the bed, essentially.
      ^This. The limitation is not seating four people, it's having the wheelbase and stopping power for the 2-horse bumper pull. So you either need an actual truck (with extended cab to seat your four people) or a truck masquerading as an SUV. But $20K will buy you a serviceable used version of either.

      The Brenderup route is an alternative but not necessarily a cheaper one unless you already own a vehicle that's suitable for towing a B'up. If you have to buy a towing vehicle + Brenderup, all of your "savings" from the smaller tow vehicle will go into the Brenderup. A used 2-horse Brenderup will run you $6K-$9K. A new 2-horse Brenderup will cost you $12K-$16K.

      I am guessing you're in Ohio, and depending on which part of Ohio you're in and where you plan to haul, you might get away with 2WD. If you're planning to go to Kentucky or Pennsylvania for horse trials, or God forbid trying to drive through West Virginia to get to Virginia, then 4WD would be worth the price.
      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Ha- yes, definitely used! I am replacing an F250, but its just an extended cab, and I either want a full sized cab or a big SUV (Excusion maybe??). I don't haul far, usually a couple hours or less, but I do haul frequently. The SUV has advantages for the family, but am worried about giving up my truck. I like the Silverado 2500, but the CR report has me a little concerned (drive train issues in the '04-'06 models). I don't love my Ford, I should ad.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've been very pleased with my Expedition. It's a great family car, though a gas hog, and it pulls my 2 horse bumper pull just fine.

          Best of luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
            If you're planning to go to Kentucky or Pennsylvania for horse trials, or God forbid trying to drive through West Virginia to get to Virginia, then 4WD would be worth the price.
            I'm curious, can you expand on this? I get "for horse trials" because you often have to park in wet, muddy fields. But driving _through_ WV would presumably be on paved roads... what would 4WD be useful for?
            --
            Wendy
            ... and Patrick

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wsmoak View Post
              I'm curious, can you expand on this? I get "for horse trials" because you often have to park in wet, muddy fields. But driving _through_ WV would presumably be on paved roads... what would 4WD be useful for?
              Bad weather on curvy hills and mountains, particularly ice or snow, can make even a paved road into a horror. Granted one is not usually hauling to horse trials in such weather, but it's still a consideration. Even here in Ohio, my AWD towing vehicle comes in handy during winter hauls to lessons.
              Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GallopHer View Post
                I've been very pleased with my Expedition. It's a great family car, though a gas hog, and it pulls my 2 horse bumper pull just fine.

                Best of luck.
                Me too, I love my car! Bought mine used, I think it was 3 years old. It has 4 WD and my favorite thing, power folding rear seats. When I was car shopping I brought my kids and made them sit in the last seat, this one was the one they thought was most comfortable.

                I pull a brenderup but could pull a 2 horse lighter weight trailer with no problem.

                I miss having a truck, but we have a small utility trailer that I can use to pick up things that won't fit in the back of the car (although I can fit a lot back there, even a sheet of plywood).

                Comment


                • #9
                  I also tow with an Expedition. No problems here. I bought an old one with 170,000 miles on it, and we're at 190,00 with about $700 in repairs (which puts me at $4500 in the vehicle). For us, it's an extra (also have a mustang, F350, and a Freightliner M2), so that was a reasonable expense.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    The Expedition, eh? Do you all have the 5.4L? And its pretty powerful? I'd hate to lose the pulling power, but it does look nice and roomy...This is also a 3rd car for us, so fuel economy isn't a huge issue for me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eventermomoh View Post
                      Ha- yes, definitely used! I am replacing an F250, but its just an extended cab, and I either want a full sized cab or a big SUV (Excusion maybe??). I don't haul far, usually a couple hours or less, but I do haul frequently. The SUV has advantages for the family, but am worried about giving up my truck. I like the Silverado 2500, but the CR report has me a little concerned (drive train issues in the '04-'06 models). I don't love my Ford, I should ad.
                      Stick with what you know, and look for a crew cab. At least in my area, a 7.3 can easily be had for less than $20k. I've sat in the back seat of my crew cab a few times, and carted THREE full sized adults in the back seat five hours across the state (and back) with no complaints.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, the 5.4 liter expedition. I wouldn't want to tow a horse trailer with the smaller engine.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes mine is the 5.4L with the tow package.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I had a hard time finding a 7.3L (so Ford Diesel Powerstroke) with few miles for under 20K in the Northeast. Rust and salt happen here, killing off trucks they stopped making in 2003.

                            In these I think you do want a crew cab and probably a shortbed. That will bring you to a wheelbase that's long enough but not unparkably long as in a 4-door with the 8' bed.

                            If you want new, maybe a Nissan Titan? Don't laugh or puke quite yet.

                            A friend of mine who hauls a big draft in a 2H BP dressing room did this. She does use sway bars, but likes the truck. These are pretty comfortable and Nissan seems to really want to get these out on the road right now. You might be able to find a dealer who will do $20K or close. When she was shopping 2 years ago, it was cheaper to lease than finance. That's a nice way to do an experiment with a truck too young to have a track record.

                            I hear truck-drivers complaining about Ford's 5.4L gas engine having not enough power. They like the V-10 better. But I think both are trustworthy for longevity as far as gassers go.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My Expedition is also the 5.4 engine with tow package. We bought it new in 1999 and it's still going strong. Currently, we use it as a spare car and our towing vehicle and it has nearly 180,000 miles.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a '99 Suburban 1/2 ton and have used it extensively for hauling a 2300 lb. 2 horse bumper pull all over California (mountains, everything). It has been a great tow vehicle and family hauler ---- it is my daily driver. I paid $17k for it with 40k miles on it in 2003. It now has 140k miles and has been a really reliable vehicle.

                                If I were in the market again for another tow/family vehicle, I'd probably buy a 3/4 ton diesel Suburban. They are harder to find. Or an Expedition, etc.

                                I now tow with a bigger truck and I really miss the luxury of driving that Suburban down the road with a horse trailer attached. I also liked having a closed vehicle where I could load luggage and gear and lock it all up.

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