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Best Towing Vehicles?

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  • 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
    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
    Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

    Comment


    • #3
      There are bazillions of threads on this topic, your best bet would be to spend a couple hours reading those.

      Comment


      • #4
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          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%

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          • #6
            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.
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

            Comment


            • #7
              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

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                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!

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                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

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  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

                                  Comment

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