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A general observation regarding Tow Vehicle reccomendations on this site.

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  • A general observation regarding Tow Vehicle reccomendations on this site.

    Hi all
    While i have only ever posted once on this site before i do tend to do a lot of reading on it, And one thing that interests me greatly is the tow vehicles recommended for people and what people are told to stay away from.

    I live in Australia (about 4 hours north of sydney ) and our most common tow vehicles out here is the Toyota Landcruiser. They generally tow from your standard 2 horse straight load up to 3 horse slant (angle) load trailers.

    In fact this is my set up! What has to be the least favourite tow vehicle on here!




    2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 Diesel with a Rowville 3 Horse Angle (slant) Weighs near on 3350 kg or 7400lb when my 3 are on there. Grand Cherokee can take 3500 kg or 7716 lb here

    Now here is my question:
    Does the USA have vastly different towing regulations to australia or is it just better to be safe than sorry?
    And are American Built trailers somewhat heavier than those built elsewhere?

    P.s i would really love a ton truck but they are few and far in between and extremely expensive e.g. a 2000-2005 F250 7.3 powerstroke goes for between 40,000-$80,000 and the F350's are almost non existant.
    Last edited by GLX265; Jun. 9, 2013, 08:13 AM. Reason: Added a pic and a question

  • #2
    I think several factors probably play into tow vehicle selections in the US:

    -terrain -- some of us tow through mountainous areas, where stopping and general trailer control are important issues

    -traffic -- many of us live in urban areas, where we have to 'play in traffic', with lots of small cars cutting us off and lots of big rigs blowing past us. Once again, trailer control becomes a major safety issue

    -access -- for many, many years, full-sized pick-up trucks were far easier to acquire than SUV-type vehicles, so we became accustomed to those as primary tow vehicles.

    I would take a guess that actual 'regulations' don't vary that much -- regs tend to be based on weight ranges and lengths and there are only so many ways to configure those. In fact, in reviewing some local-area state regs over the years, I don't think I have ever seen a reg that specified a particular size of tow vehicle for a particular size of trailer.

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, one, it's a diesel, which is pretty much non-existent in an SUV here -- so your Landcruiser is not the same as the US Landcruiser, at least torque and power-wise. And at least when I was there, the Landcruiser was a much more heavy-duty, versatile, and long-lived vehicle than the urban kid-wagons sold here.

      I have lived in Aus and even in the middle of Sydney, traffic is also not nearly as insane as having a transfer truck blow by you at 80 mph on the interstate when there are 25 mph storm winds! I rode in the mtns of Victoria and NSW and traveled up and down the east coast and the terrain and roads are much gentler on a vehicle as well.

      Add in that we don't have roundabouts, almost entirely stop signs and traffic lights (a LOT of stopping and starting), many people who overload vehicles and trailers or buy very large, heavy trailers, and lots of folks who buy goosenecks (can't really hitch it to your roof, LOL) and you start to see the difference.

      We don't have many towing regulations beyond "you must use your safety chains" and "the trailer needs a license plate" which makes some...interesting...rigs appear on the road, eek! Although even were I back in Australia, I still would not be loading a vehicle that close to its maximum tow rating --- there are many many people who do many many things here very often, doesn't mean it's a good idea.

      Price is also a factor, as you mentioned. If you walked out and bought a new diesel 3/4 ton truck today (such as the F250), you'd be looking at a good $50,000 approximately. A new LandCruiser (it is a luxury vehicle here) will probably cost you about the same and you can't even get a diesel engine, so that's kind of a no-brainer if you are going to be towing.

      If you don't like setting your money on fire buying brand new vehicles (terrible depreciation), you can go pick up a used older diesel in pretty decent shape for $5000-10,000 (in this region of the US) that will run a looooong time, so again, not hard to decide.
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
      We Are Flying Solo

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm going to go with Star's number three as my number one. I remember driving an early model Land Cruiser in '75 and in comparison to the '74 F250 hauling a Miley two horse, um, no. We did drive enormous station wagons and I remember hauling a rented two horse trailer with a '70 Pontiac Catalina, also with a '70's El Camino. Don't forget that the '70s were the period of the gas crunch in the USA and subsequent regulations regarding fuel economy, the big powerful engines tended to stay in the pickups.

        The first ORV's we had here were the Land Cruiser/Land Rover copies like the Ford Bronco and the Jeep Wrangler - the Cherokee was around and it was pretty big but the pick up was the ranch vehicle of choice. You would find a pickup truck stashed somewhere on every ranch or farm for work duties.

        The way we drive here in the US and the terrain also play into it a LOT, and I think we do have heavier trailers and quite a few very large trailers, six horse types.
        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
        Incredible Invisible

        Comment


        • #5
          2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 Diesel is available in the US... cost is about
          $50K

          but we can new buy pickup trucks cheaper

          Comment


          • #6
            wldlifer made me think of something else, the diesel engines. Regulations have made it much easier to put a diesel on a "truck" platform. For a period of time we could get VW's with diesels and they were tiny and not as reliable as the smaller versions of the diesels that were going into farm equipment and over the road trucks, we could also get Mercedes diesels but in the US a Mercedes is a luxury car.
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible

            Comment


            • #7
              also it appears diesel versus gasoline costs in Assyland are nearly the same

              142 cents per liter versus 147 cents per liter

              Diesel around here is in the 15% to 20% range higher than gasoline

              Comment


              • #8
                I can remember when diesel was cheaper than gas.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think access, cost, diesel options, and of course margin of safety are the big reasons why heavy duty pickups are so recommended (and endorsed!) here in the US.

                  I suspect that if towers in other countries could try a long-wheelbase pickup and experience the extra stability and safety, they would want one. Narrower roads, roundabouts, high fuel prices, style preferences, etc are some reasons why full size pickups are rare outside of the US and Canada and cause the tradeoff to occur.

                  JMHO. Very few individuals have had the opportunity to try multiple towing vehicles in more than one part of the world, which is really what this discussion leads to.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yikes - I should have sent you my old 7.3 diesel Ford f-250 and we could have shared the profit.

                    But it was a 1989 - still ran like a tank and never gave a minute's trouble.
                    Took it and a loaded camper and two-horse all over mountainous BC. It was not fast, but it chugged along in a lower gear.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yikes - I should have sent you my old 7.3 diesel Ford f-250 and we could have shared the profit.

                      But it was a 1989 - still ran like a tank and never gave a minute's trouble.
                      Took it and a loaded camper and two-horse all over mountainous BC. It was not fast, but it chugged along in a lower gear.

                      You might try e-mailing Susan Moore - apsdallas@bigpond.com - she sells horse trailers out of Sydney and used to live here in BC, so may be familiar with your questions. She is my unofficial adopted daughter.
                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by clanter View Post
                        2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 Diesel is available in the US... cost is about
                        $50K

                        but we can new buy pickup trucks cheaper
                        Holy cow!! Yeah, I don't think any horseperson (well, there are always exceptions) would spring for that -- these days, the trend if you want to hurl a disproportionate amount of money at a tow vehicle, one goes and buys some custom FreightLiner so you can have your very own personal semi and haul 37 horses at once. People are weird everywhere -- that is one thing I learned living overseas, LOL!

                        Haha, Foxtrot, srsly, I now have a plan for when, for some insane reason, I might need to sell the F250!!

                        ReSomething, sigh, don't remind me -- in high school, I used to FILL UP my 6.0L diesel GMC suburban (40 gal tank) with two $20 bills - AND GET CHANGE, because diesel was $0.85 a gallon. Snif...
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wildlifer View Post

                          ReSomething, sigh, don't remind me -- in high school, I used to FILL UP my 6.0L diesel GMC suburban (40 gal tank) with two $20 bills - AND GET CHANGE, because diesel was $0.85 a gallon. Snif...
                          Humm... I am from the days when regular was at 25.9 I could drive my MBG with overdrive transmission round trip Louisville Ky to Dallas Tx for less than $16.00

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ROFLMAO -- well, I think you just dated yourself there, you win!
                            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                            Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                            We Are Flying Solo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yep, Clanter wins it - I remember gas at 25.9 and they pumped it for you and washed your windshield and gave you Blue Chip Stamps, but I still had a good ten years to go before I could drive!
                              Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                              Incredible Invisible

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                zipping up my flame suit tight, but:

                                I haul with my 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is the 5.7L and has the same brakes, transmission, transmission cooler, etc as the Ram 2500. The upgraded tow package includes the 3.73 axle ratio that makes this possible. I have 4x4.

                                It was also $47k new, but it was in my family before the current horse was, and it is paid for. So, we work with what we've got. A free vehicle beats one you have to buy, anytime.

                                Anyhoo-- I was assured by many, including Tom Scheve at Equispirit, whom many on this board refer to, that this vehicle is completely capable of pulling a 2H bumper pull, even with dress. At this very moment I am about to purchase a Hawk with dress, 3200lb weight, once I get over my indecision problems. If I don't do the hawk, it will only be because I'm a wuss about spending that much $$ and not because I don't think the truck would do fine with it. If that doesn't fly, it will be a brand new Calico steel trailer.

                                The Jeep requires weight distribution, but it would for any conventional trailer whether it weighed 1900lbs or 3500lbs. I have the factory tow package that includes the wiring for a brake controller and it is equipped with a Tekonsha P3, carefully adjusted.

                                With a good weight distribution system (I recently upgraded to the Reese Strait-Line system-- after recommendations from many long time bumper pull users I know) this pulls like a champ and and it is the key to making this work. This dual cam system literally forces the trailer to directly follow the tow vehicle at all times, even under cornering and swerving force. The force required to induce trailer sway with this assembly would have to be a pretty impressive force.

                                I don't live near a city, I rarely sit in traffic. I catch rides to stuff that is really far away because I just really don't like driving 4 hours whether the horse is behind me or not. But for getting to lessons, local shows, the vet, and generally being mobile-- it works great.

                                I know a guy in Aus with the new CRD (3.0L diesel) and he is pulling a 7700lb (with 3h in) 3h slant all up the eastern coast. He loves it. Outside of the horse world in the USA-- there is much less conservatism about tow vehicles. I think a lot of it is simply not knowing anything else and not having any successful examples of smaller but heavy duty SUVs doing the job. This is exacerbated by stupid people with poorly configured setups, ruining it for the rest of us.

                                I would not have considered this setup if I hadn't been assured by at least 10 people whose experience with trailering I truly trust implicitly, that it was 100% okay. There is a poster here, 2bee, who explains the physics of this type of vehicle and spoke up in a previous thread. And I gotta say-- getting ~18mpg hauling is great.

                                The short of it is-- no, the regulations aren't different, and no, there are people here who pull safely and comfortably with smaller vehicles.
                                Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  In America, all the vehicle dealers have towing information on hand that they can show any purchaser. So a truck or vehicle purchaser can see right in the dealership what the recommended towing capacity of any vehicle is per the vehicle manufacturer.

                                  Our owner owned 5 Jeep cherokees, including the 5.3 liter and the 5.9 liter. None of which was recommended to tow us warmbloods. So she bought a big huge truck for that. Although she could have purchased a medium sized truck, which had the towing capacity.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by WildandWickedWarmbloods View Post
                                    In America, all the vehicle dealers have towing information on hand that they can show any purchaser. So a truck or vehicle purchaser can see right in the dealership what the recommended towing capacity of any vehicle is per the vehicle manufacturer.

                                    Our owner owned 5 Jeep cherokees, including the 5.3 liter and the 5.9 liter. None of which was recommended to tow us warmbloods. So she bought a big huge truck for that. Although she could have purchased a medium sized truck, which had the towing capacity.
                                    nope, none of those, including the 5.3 and 5.9, were suitable.

                                    I should clarify my position: the ONLY jeep grand cherokee I would consider doing this with, is a 2005-up with the factory Class IV tow package and 7200lb tow rating.

                                    When you add it all up, my wheelbase might be shorter, but when you compare my braking power and horsepower to a mid-late 90s even 3/4 ton, the jeep comes out ahead. My father in law has a 2001 3/4 ton Yukon XL Denali with the big engine and tow package-- and the brakes and horsepower are both smaller than my vehicle.
                                    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                                      I can remember when diesel was cheaper than gas.
                                      Thank the EPA and their ultra low sulfur diesel garbage fuel that they forced on us for that. Not only does it require MUCH more frequent fuel filter changes (every 10-15k miles), but it's more expensive AND doesn't have the lubricating properties for the injectors that the old diesel fuel had.

                                      On topic, our trailer, by necessity, is an Elite 6-horse slant. GVWR is 20k lbs. our only option is a 1 ton dually. We went with the Ford F-350 for a couple reasons that I don't feel like elaborating on right now.

                                      The farm we used to work for had a 2-horse BP trailer that we pulled with their SUV. Once. That rig was so bloody unstable and underpowered it was scary.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        oh, we warmbloods misspoke: Owner had a 5.2 liter jeep and a 5.9 liter jeep, both cherokees, (as well as the 3 other jeep cherokees with the 4.0 liter engines) and both not suitable for towing warmbloods, even with those engines, all gas.

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