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Towing Vehicles

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  • Towing Vehicles

    I've only had experience towing with trucks, i'm looking into a new vehicle that can tow and im just seeing my options. Does anyone have experience towing with SUV's? I know a suburban would be okay, maybe a tahoe? But how small would you go? Some of the smaller SUV's, like an explorer, are powerful enough to tow a trailer. (my current one is a V8) but i feel like they are too small to be safe to do so. In choosing a vehicle, what else are you looking for besides power? Height? Lenght? I know trucks, but we may be looking to go the SUV route this time.

  • #2
    The only SUV I'd be willing to tow with would be one of the "full sized" ones. The Suburban, Expedition, etc.

    You say that your Tahoe has "enough power" to tow a trailer. Well, sure, my ex boyfriend's tiny two door civic technically has enough power to tow a trailer. What's more important is does it have enough power to STOP a trailer? Does it have the sort of weight so that the trailer is not going to be pushing it all over the place?

    A friend tows with a Tahoe...they seem to do just fine on their local trips. But I wouldn't do it.

    I tow with a giant beast, an 89 diesel Suburban with over 200,000 miles. She may be old, but I cannot feel the trailer doing 65 on the highway on a windy day, and that's exactly how I want it.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have towed a 2 horse with a suburban, and that thing is definitely sturdy, no worries.
      However I just bought a tahoe and a 2 horse trailer. I haven't driven them together yet, but I don't think you should go any smaller than a tahoe. I will only be pulling one horse and the trailer isnt that heavy (at most 3,000). The Tahoe is a V8 and 2.5 ton

      I am fairly confident with how it will work out. Unfortunately I may have some longer trips in my future with this set up, but I think the tahoe will survive.

      I've been doing a little research and the Chevy Tahoe (which is like an explorer or expedition?) is very similar to towing with a F-150 (I think). The tow capacity is slightly less on the SUV ~8,000 vs 9500. But the car weight is actually a little more.

      Comment


      • #4
        Long wheel base

        As others have said, the tow vehicle must be able to stop the trailer by itself.

        Also, you want something with a long wheel base. I know people do haul with shorter SUVs but I wouldn't choose to do it. It's too easy for the trailer to start pushing the tow vehicle around.

        Get a behemoth Suburban and you're good.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

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        • #5
          XL SUV's (suburban 2500ish) is the smallest I would go. I'm a believer in MORE TRUCK, not chancing it on something silly and flimsy like an Explorer (drove one for several years, not only did I hate it because it drove like a washing machine, but I wouldn't trust it to tow a small U-haul much less a horse).

          Wheelbase is also important, you don't want something narrow.

          There are folks on here that will swear that you're totally fine hauling with some petite death trap, but that's definitely not how I'd go. Search tow vehicles or ford explorer or something on these forums and you should be able to pull up multiple threads.
          ---
          They're small hearts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Eventer5 View Post
            I've only had experience towing with trucks, i'm looking into a new vehicle that can tow and im just seeing my options. Does anyone have experience towing with SUV's? I know a suburban would be okay, maybe a tahoe? But how small would you go? Some of the smaller SUV's, like an explorer, are powerful enough to tow a trailer. (my current one is a V8) but i feel like they are too small to be safe to do so. In choosing a vehicle, what else are you looking for besides power? Height? Lenght? I know trucks, but we may be looking to go the SUV route this time.
            How small? I towed several years with an Explorer, it worked fine. My wife learned to tow with that setup. I helped a friend set up a Trailblazer to tow her horses, she has had no complaints. Height, weight, length, wheelbase and power have already been considered for you when the tow ratings were set by the manufacturer.........although some people simply will not be satisfied unless 3/4 ton is somewhere in the vehicle description. I will admit with vehicles smaller than 1/2 ton you need to know how to set them up to tow effectively, and some people would simply never be comfortable.

            As for a Tahoe, we have several friends that are happy towing with them, it is a size up from the Explorer and they make fine tow vehicles. Only the inexperienced would say otherwise. It is built on a 1/2 ton frame, has a curb weight within 100 pounds of a 3/4 ton gas pickup and the latest generation has larger brakes than those on my 3500 SRW Duramax pickup. Get a quality brake controller (Prodigy or better) and a WDH as the suv will have a softer suspension than a pickup. On a side note, learn how to adjust the WDH yourself. We saw no fewer than 3 suv's in Aiken this weekend with WDH that were not doing a damn thing for their users.

            You will notice there is already the standard nonsense about being able to stop the trailer with the tow vehicle. A quick read through pretty much any owners manual or towing guide will reveal that 2000# or less is the rated limit for unbraked trailers. I always find it funny that the nervous nellies claim the manufacturers over-rate the tow capacity, yet these same nay sayers think their 3/4 and 1 tons can stop their trailers fine despite being at 3x the no trailer brake ratings........

            Trailer brakes stop the trailer, a pickup or suv simply CAN NOT effectively stop a horse trailer by itself.....period.
            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%

            Comment


            • #7
              Ditto the long wheel base. Minimum 120". I tow with an Expedition (5.6L 4WD) and have never had an issue towing. I have a WDH and a good brake controller which I check and, if needed, adjust every time I change the weight of the trailer (tow empty, add a horse, etc.). That said, much as I would love one, I don't have a dressing room in my 2H BP. Since I am not driving the biggest truck on the road, my feeling is that I want to minimize the trailer size appropriately so my Expedition is not overmatched. I could, for example, haul a 3 horse slant BP...I just would not with this setup.

              2bee, I totally agree with you about the quality brake controller that is correctly adjusted, and the weight distributing hitch. However, I have to disagree with your characterization of the discussion on braking having brought up the "standard nonsense" about a vehicle that can stop the trailer. It's one thing to brake on a dry road, going straight. However, have you ever tried to deal with a trailer that's fishtailing on you? Or a dire road situation where the trailer is in danger of flipping iteself and your vehicle? This is the kind of "stopping" I think most of us worry about. Fortunately, I have not, but I gotta tell you, I would never, ever tow with an Explorer or comparable sized vehicle, no matter what the manufacturer said, and no matter what setup I had with WDH and brakes. You need a vehicle big enough to (hopefully) counterbalance your trailer when it starts rocking and rolling in an unsafe situation. My Expedition or a standard pickup may not avoid all accidents, but I would take that over an Explorer any day of the week.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 2bee View Post
                Height, weight, length, wheelbase and power have already been considered for you when the tow ratings were set by the manufacturer.........
                Yeah, but you know what the manufacturer didn't consider? LIVE WEIGHT. And that is the key point when towing horses, and why you want to fit as much space between the weight of your trailer and the maximum towing of your vehicle as you can afford/work with. Sure, a Tahoe can tow a nice little boat all day, every day, merrily skipping off to the beach. Can it handle the grumpy-a$$ 1200lb warmblood who does NOT want to be in the trailer? Or the downed, thrashing horse you're trying to get to the emergency vet?

                These are things that the manufacturers DIDN'T consider. And they're also a business, and a key point of being a business is selling stuff and making money. So yes, that Chevy dealer is OF COURSE going to tell you that the Tahoe can safely handle a two horse dressing room fully loaded. The consumer's job is to see through the bullshit and salestalk and figure out just exactly how much risk they want to put their lives and their horse's lives in.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by javma View Post
                  Ditto the long wheel base. Minimum 120". I tow with an Expedition (5.6L 4WD) and have never had an issue towing. I have a WDH and a good brake controller which I check and, if needed, adjust every time I change the weight of the trailer (tow empty, add a horse, etc.). That said, much as I would love one, I don't have a dressing room in my 2H BP. Since I am not driving the biggest truck on the road, my feeling is that I want to minimize the trailer size appropriately so my Expedition is not overmatched. I could, for example, haul a 3 horse slant BP...I just would not with this setup.

                  2bee, I totally agree with you about the quality brake controller that is correctly adjusted, and the weight distributing hitch. However, I have to disagree with your characterization of the discussion on braking having brought up the "standard nonsense" about a vehicle that can stop the trailer. It's one thing to brake on a dry road, going straight. However, have you ever tried to deal with a trailer that's fishtailing on you? Or a dire road situation where the trailer is in danger of flipping iteself and your vehicle? This is the kind of "stopping" I think most of us worry about. Fortunately, I have not, but I gotta tell you, I would never, ever tow with an Explorer or comparable sized vehicle, no matter what the manufacturer said, and no matter what setup I had with WDH and brakes. You need a vehicle big enough to (hopefully) counterbalance your trailer when it starts rocking and rolling in an unsafe situation. My Expedition or a standard pickup may not avoid all accidents, but I would take that over an Explorer any day of the week.
                  Alright, lets take a look at this "vehicle big enough to (hopefully) counterbalance" theory. My steel 2H slant w/dress loaded without water comes in at 5700#. My Explorer (V8 4wd) weighed in at 5100#, so the trailer outweighed it by a little. Now my 3500 SRW Duramax weighs in at 6500#, according to you that's great.....right? But wait, lets say I didn't order the diesel engine or 4wd or the longbed.......now we are down to 5300#. Are you actually implying the dead weight of the numerous available options are a safety feature? Simply put, there are 1/2 tons that "outspec" a 3/4 ton, and put to shame 3/4 ton models from 10 years ago.......but despite all this people are still perfectly happy with their older models because 3/4 ton is in the name.


                  Now consider if I was hauling only 1 horse in an aluminum trailer behind the Explorer, that could drop the trailer weight to around only 3000#. Or lets say a fully loaded 3h steel behind the 3500 Duramax, that trailer could be pushing 8000#. Now we could throw a Tahoe in the mix, which is a step up from the Explorer, but my point has been made.

                  Things that make you go hmmmm.
                  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%

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                    Yeah, but you know what the manufacturer didn't consider? LIVE WEIGHT. And that is the key point when towing horses, and why you want to fit as much space between the weight of your trailer and the maximum towing of your vehicle as you can afford/work with. Sure, a Tahoe can tow a nice little boat all day, every day, merrily skipping off to the beach. Can it handle the grumpy-a$$ 1200lb warmblood who does NOT want to be in the trailer? Or the downed, thrashing horse you're trying to get to the emergency vet?

                    These are things that the manufacturers DIDN'T consider. And they're also a business, and a key point of being a business is selling stuff and making money. So yes, that Chevy dealer is OF COURSE going to tell you that the Tahoe can safely handle a two horse dressing room fully loaded. The consumer's job is to see through the bullshit and salestalk and figure out just exactly how much risk they want to put their lives and their horse's lives in.

                    You're right, it never crossed any manufacturer's mind that you might want to use their vehicle to tow a horse trailer . More newbie nonsense.

                    Horse people claim no one considered "live weight", RV people claim no one considered "frontal area" and "top heavy trailers". I guess the only people happy are the ones hauling boats. Good grief, I guarantee in this lawsuit happy county they most CERTAINLY did consider EVERYTHING in relation to the tow ratings.

                    Since I have nothing better to do lets entertain your train of thought for a moment. Say we have a nice aluminum trailer loaded with our horses and stuff that comes in at 5000#. A Tahoe can be had with a tow rating of 8500#. Seems to me even if they didn't consider "live weight" a reduction of the tow rating by 42% should be sufficient? Or is it simply to be written off as unacceptable because it is a SUV?
                    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%

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You can tow your horses with the larger SUV's -- I towed for several years with the old body style Tahoe, which I loved because it's longer and heavier than the new ones. However, an important thing to take into consideration (and this can come into play with 1/2 ton trucks as well) is that if you do any kind of frequent towing (once a month or so or more), you WILL wear out your vehicle faster. If you are ok with that, then go for it. The big SUV's can haul a horse safely, especially if you add (I recommend) a weight distribution hitch. But you'll be putting more money into your transmission, suspension, etc in the long run.
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am fresh off of researching this very topic! I found an SUV that shocked me: Volkwagen Touareg!

                        I just bought one and love love love it! I live in the city where parking a pick up truck or an excursion is simply out of the question in the parking space I have. I was looking at an Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, or an Envoy until one morning I saw a Touareg pulling a horse trailer. I looked it up online and found out it is a tough yuppy truck! Towing capacity on the V6 7,716-pounds! It drives like a car, but has the power of a truck. Gas hurts, because it takes premium, but otherwise I love my Touareg!
                        Welcome to my dressage world http://www.juliefranzen.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ghlight=toureg

                          The idea of trying to TOW with a Touareg scares the hell out of me. What does your trailer weigh? What about the short wheelbase?
                          ---
                          They're small hearts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The trailer weighs about 2500lbs. It is similar to a benderup trailer. I am towing one warmblood.

                            The wheelbase is 114 inches. Tahoe wheelbase is 116 inches.

                            If you have ever been to Europe, they pull their horse trailers with cars, the do not have the monster trucks/trailers that we have here. The link you provided was certainly scarey, but as someone pointed out the accident cannot solely be blammed on the Explorer. There was mention about the trailer not be hooked up properly. You can drive even the nicest/safest rig and still have an accident.
                            Welcome to my dressage world http://www.juliefranzen.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dressage_Julie View Post
                              The trailer weighs about 2500lbs. It is similar to a benderup trailer. I am towing one warmblood.

                              The wheelbase is 114 inches. Tahoe wheelbase is 116 inches.

                              If you have ever been to Europe, they pull their horse trailers with cars, the do not have the monster trucks/trailers that we have here. The link you provided was certainly scarey, but as someone pointed out the accident cannot solely be blammed on the Explorer. There was mention about the trailer not be hooked up properly. You can drive even the nicest/safest rig and still have an accident.
                              Yeah, and most everyone is agreeing that the Tahoe is NOT safe...so what does that make your vehicle?

                              Always always always the "Europe argument" comes up. It's comparing apples and oranges. The terrain, the speed limits, the regulations, EVERYTHING is different over there.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I loved my Suburban 2500 for towing. It never let me down, and I tow in the mountains regularly. I bought a Dodge pickup when I moved to my own horse property because I knew I'd need the open bed for hauling hay and shavings, but I often miss my Suburban. The covered and secure storage capacity plus the towing strength made it a perfect vehicle.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                                  Yeah, and most everyone is agreeing that the Tahoe is NOT safe...so what does that make your vehicle?

                                  I'm not sure I would describe what appears to be a few novice drivers with their first trailers, posting on a BB, as "most everyone". I have read this forum for years before signing up and have watched with amusement as numerous screen names post the purchase of their first trailers, then in short order are giving concrete advice based their extensive experience. And of course you have those that chime in never having pulled a trailer.

                                  In the real world there sure seems to be a lot of these claimed dangerous combos, yet they all generally get where they're going with little drama.

                                  But to answer your question; being the VW is so close in size to the Tahoe and is more sporty, IIRC it outhandled the Tahoe (braking distance, slalom, emergency lane change etc.), I would say it could easily be argued the VW is a safer choice.
                                  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%

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If you have ever been to Europe, they pull their horse trailers with cars, the do not have the monster trucks/trailers that we have here. The link you provided was certainly scarey, but as someone pointed out the accident cannot solely be blammed on the Explorer. There was mention about the trailer not be hooked up properly. You can drive even the nicest/safest rig and still have an accident.
                                    The Europe arguement is tired, because driving there is so very different. Most trailers there are in the style of Brenderups - so, I'll say fine if you're driving the equivalent of a brenderup. But with a normal, heavier bumper pull, I would not be inclined to haul with a Touareg. FWIW, cars.com lists the wheelbase as 112.

                                    If you're going to come on here and "advise" people to haul with a Touareg, it's definitely helpful if you specify that you're hauling a petite piece of fiberglass, not a hunk of steel.
                                    ---
                                    They're small hearts.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Trixie View Post
                                      If you're going to come on here and "advise" people to haul with a Touareg, it's definitely helpful if you specify that you're hauling a petite piece of fiberglass, not a hunk of steel.
                                      I was not saying the OP must buy one... I was simply saying I was surprised by the towing power of this vehicle and that fitting it into my parking garage space was a factor... it is the right choice for me living in a major city and having a horse just a different perspective on things.

                                      And you are correct about the wheelbase 112.4 my mistake!
                                      Welcome to my dressage world http://www.juliefranzen.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Trixie View Post
                                        The Europe arguement is tired, because driving there is so very different. Most trailers there are in the style of Brenderups - so, I'll say fine if you're driving the equivalent of a brenderup. But with a normal, heavier bumper pull, I would not be inclined to haul with a Touareg. FWIW, cars.com lists the wheelbase as 112.

                                        If you're going to come on here and "advise" people to haul with a Touareg, it's definitely helpful if you specify that you're hauling a petite piece of fiberglass, not a hunk of steel.

                                        That is another common misconception, Brenderups are not really that "petite". Six of the eight models listed here on page 10 are almost 2000# or a touch more. Numerous aluminum trailers of comparable size can be had at that weight.
                                        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%

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