SUV vs. Pickup truck

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Ladyhawke, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I had a '98 Ford Explorer that I used for tent camping and then, the last three years I had it, for pulling my PUP. I now have an '11 RAM 1500 pickup with a canopy over the bed. There is absolutely no contest in my mind. I love the pickup. It's just me alone or DW and me so there is plenty of room. RAM's Quad Cab is the biggest "extended cab" (i.e., not a full back seat crew cab) that I saw when shopping and the ability to open the back doors like regular ones instead of opening the front door first is fantastically convenient.
     
  2. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    We had an oldtimer in our flyfishing group who had gone the camping route from tent to hardside to popup and finally did the pickup truck camper shell thing. He carried a small 8' X 8' dome tent that he would setup at the site in case he wanted to use the truck for traveling about. Do not recall his exact setup but this is about as close as I can find.

    For an additional "bedroom" ... or for just heading out for a quick one nighter, this would be hard to beat ~

    http://www.accrete.com/p-tgl/taco/taco2.htm

    (Lots of possibilities for making this into a great camping option.)
     
  3. Steve A

    Steve A A bad day camping beats a great day at work!

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    One other thing to keep in mind, cross branding. You've seen it, Nissan Frontier = Suzuki Equator. Honda Ridgeline = Chevy Avalanche = Caddy Escalade. It's about the nameplate and extras.
     
  4. Yar

    Yar Garland, TX

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    Previous tow vehicle was a Mitsubishi Montero Sport and changed to a Mitsubishi Raider. I used to think the suv was a good tow vehicle unitl I got the truck. The truck out performed the suv for towing power, the sway issue, gave us a lot more storage for camping equipment and firewood. I would go with the truck.

    I now tow with a Tundra 5.7 litre and really like it.
     
  5. JamesRL

    JamesRL New Member

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    Steve,

    Right on with the Frontier=Equator, and the Suzuki was much more often discounted because of it(but less selection).

    But the Avalanche is not at all related to the Ridgeline, and while they have similar looks there are some big differences.

    The Avalanche is built off the full size GM truck platform. The Ridgeline is a custom platform(Honda's only truck), which is a hybrid between a unibody and body on frame.
    The Avalanche is V8 only, the Ridgeline in V6 only.
     
  6. 3pillons

    3pillons Press hard, Five copies.

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    It's much easier to make a truck act like an suv than it is to make an suv act like a truck. A removable, lockable tonneau cover or camper shell gives you every advantage of an suv while still giving you the benifits of a pick-up when needed. The Liberty is nice, but the Tacoma has a longer and wider wheelbase and will be much more confident when towing.

    I went with an Expedition as opposed to an F-150 because my wife liked an SUV better. I wish I had went with the truck instead.
     
  7. neo302

    neo302 Peace and chicken grease!

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    I've always loved SUVs. When I was a kid, my dream vehicle was a full size Bronco. I thought they were the coolest and baddest vehicle on the road. And I loved the Jeep Wagoneers too.

    I was towing my much smaller PUP with a Honda CRV. It was a practical vehicle for me. It was roomy, got good gas mileage, and had AWD. But with a tow limit of 1500, I needed an upgrade because I wanted a bigger PUP. I was leaning towards a Honda Pilot but for some reason, I became interested in pickup trucks. I really don't know why. I narrowed it down to a Tacoma, a Thundra, and a Honda Ridgeline. After test driving the Ridgeline, there was no comparison. The other two may be more traditional trucks and have a higher towing capacity, but the Ridgeline rides like a dream. And the in-bed trunk is nice...

    Anyway, take it from an SUV lover: the pickup is a better option. The Tacomas are nice and have a decent towing capacity. A pickup is nice for when you have to haul trash to the dump, or buy a bucket of mulch, or a kitchen appliance, or... This is my first truck and I'm never going back.
     
  8. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    These never were classed nor should ever be called an SUV [:(!] ... These were real 4x4's, not some fwd drive wanna be ... Sorry just can't stand it when some one classes these 4x4's as a SUV ... [:D]
     
  9. Decker

    Decker Member

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    Bah, the Bronco was an SUV before SUV's were cool. Today's SUV's are just lifted cars. It's a shame to call them SUV's.

    I've had a number of SUVs and trucks. Towing to me comes down to wheel base, the more weight, the longer the wheel base. I wont tow anything over 5K anymore with my Bronco. It's rated for 7.5K, but I dont like the feeling when a tall profile trailer starts swaying.

    My ultimate tow vehicle? 1996 Ford/Centurion C350 with Power Stroke & 5 speed. Same bumper tow rating as an F350 SRW Crew Cab with the interior luxury of a Bronco.

    I've towed a 14K dual axle deck over fully loaded with my '96 Bronco. Way over loaded for the rated towing. Will I ever do it again? Never. Did I have little choice else? Yup. Wasnt going to leave 8 quads, 50 gallons of fuel, a genset and all of the camping gear on the side of the freeway.

    1967 Chevy C10 2wd, Long Wheel Base. 6.6L (400) small block. Great power, towed OK, but drum brakes in all 4 corners made stopping an adventure when towing & trailer brakes failed.
    1970 GMC C2500 2wd, Long Wheel Base. 6.6L (402) Big Block. Most power I've had without EFI. Towed like a dream with factory towing options. Used to tow 6 place horse trailer before I got it.
    1975 Chevy C10 2wd, Long Wheel Base. 6.0L (383) Small block. Lots of power, towed well. Used to tow car trailer.
    1978 Toyota SR5 2wd, Short Wheel Base. 2.4L (22R) 4 cyl. Fun, light, no towing at all. Couldn't handle it, might have gotten away with 1K lbs.
    1987 Ford Bronco, 4wd very short wheel base. 5.0L (302) small block. Not enough power to tow, did OK with small trailers. Large trailers started "wagging the dog" as they started to sway. Very scary.
    1988 Ford F250 4wd, Long Wheel base. 5.0L (302) small block. Not enough power to tow on long hills. Did great with any trailer with trailer brakes in town however
    1994 Ford Ranger 2wd, Short Wheel Base. 2.3L. Not enough power to tow anything except a lawn tractor.
    1996 Ford Bronco 4wd, very short wheelbase. 5.8L (351) Great power for anything up to 5K lbs, started to feel doggy and under powered for 7K. Had factory heavy duty towing package with 7.5K towing capacity, wouldn't recommend for anything over 5K. Nothing over 1500 without trailer brakes.
     
  10. crdodd

    crdodd New Member

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    We have both. We have a Niagara that probably pushes the 4,000 lb limit.I have a 2005 Tacoma that is rated for 6,600 lbs. This is my default tow vehicle. It pulls the trailer great around Texas. Good starting power, good at maintaining speeds, not bad on inclines.

    Our other vehicle is a 2008 Aspen. We recently went Hot Springs, AR, and we used this one. It has the 5.7L Hemi, and is rated at 8,900 lbs. It pulls great as well. The engine and transmission don't even feel the Niagara back there. This one is softer, more easy to ride (especially for 8 hours), and keeps the kids quieter.

    The difference comes in what you want to bring- I can pack a whole lot morein the Tacoma than the Aspen. Plus, it does not matter if it is dirty or not. We can get by with the Aspen if we need to, but I always default to the Tacoma.

    One strange thing between the two- the SUV is much heavier, more power, but the truck has less sway issues. I am guessing it has something to do with wheelbase length. If I had to pick a tow vehicle from the two I have, I would go with the truck.
     
  11. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    As a general rule of thumb, longer wheelbase TVs have less sway issues. The same is true for trailers if you substitute the distance from the axle to the coupler for wheelbase. That's one (of many) reason I like my current combo of RAM pickup and TrailManor so much -- long wheelbase and long coupler-axle distance.
     
  12. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

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    Decker do you think you have enough toys! [:D] Must ahve a big family or you love collecting trucks! Nice line up!

    JJ
     
  13. shfd739

    shfd739 Member

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    Im kinda torn on this issue. My wife and I are kicking around the same question for a replacement vehicle for me next year. Currently I have a '97 Land Cruiser.

    I like the F350 4 door, short bed trucks as it has a bed for hauling and I could take an ATV, generator or other stuff with us. But I also like an SUV as it has covered storage. With a truck I would have to put a tonneau cover on it-kinda defeats having a truck. Looking to the future with a 4 door truck once we are taking a kid and dog around, the dog has to ride in the backseat also which takes away a seat.

    With a large SUV (probably a diesel Excursion) there is plenty of room for interior storage-but then we need a trailer with a deck to take an ATV, generator, fire wood etc. Wifey doesnt care for the pups with a deck but I bet a nice, used Fleetwood E4 would change that.

    It all depends on what works for you.
     
  14. Decker

    Decker Member

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    Hehe, I buy em, drive em until I get tired of them and sell them off. I'm currently down to the '96 Bronco and '94 Ranger. And a '96 (blech!) Jetta. It would be a F350 & Bronco, but I drive over 300 miles a week and gas isnt cheap!

    But back on topic, to the OP, I would be worried about towing anything over 2,000 lbs with a medium/mini pickup/SUV based on personal experience.

    Tacoma's are nice, but they are light, LIGHT duty pickups. I would consider the new F-150 with the Ecoboost engine. I've heard reports of up to 28 MPG highway, and their transmissions, axles and suspentions are made to tow things and haul heavy cargo. A quick look at ford's site says that the F150 Super Crew 4x4 with the 3.73 axle, has a towing capacity of almost 6 tons!

    Take it from someone that abuses vehicles offroad, one of the first things that goes is the auto trans and then the rear axle.
     
  15. Hyperterex

    Hyperterex Active Member

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    We've towed with both a Suburban 1/2ton 2wd and full size pickup 4wd. Both have their advantages and disavantages. The great thing about have the suv is if you have anything that needs to be locked up for an overnight stay at a hotel or maybe something you dont want to leave in the pup while you're gone, or if you're traveling through wet weather. The great thing about having a pickup is that you can load a lot more in a truck than you can in an suv. Easier to carry bicycles, generator and gas can. If it rains, though, everything will be wet.
    This is just my personal experience and having a family of 6 we are back in the Suburban but I would much rather have a truck when pulling the pup and going camping. I just dont have the room for another car at the house.
     
  16. neo302

    neo302 Peace and chicken grease!

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    I disagree. Yes, they were more rugged than today's SUVs but to me, they were SUVs, and still think of them as such the rare days that I see one on the road.
     
  17. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    IMO the Bronco was pretty much the granddaddy of all SUVs. It essentially started the genre.
     
  18. 14erfam

    14erfam Member

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    I'd probably throw the ol' Internash Scouts in that group too. They would climb anything you could touch with a tire.

    But I would also add that although most of the SUV market has gone crossover, there are still a few truck based SUV's out there that are qualified to get off the roads. FJ, 4-Runner, Landrover, Xterra, Wrangler Unlimited, Grand Cherokees/Durango (eventhough it's now a Mercedes M-class unibody as opposed to traditional truck ladder chasis- but it's a very confident and strong SUV), to name a few.
     
  19. jasf

    jasf New Member

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    I went from a truck to an SUV. Worst mistake I ever made! I still have to see my old F150 on a regular basis & it hurts,hurts real bad. I'm going back as soon as it's economically feasible.
     
  20. brockeverly

    brockeverly Member

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    I debated the same thing between a new Tacoma and 4Runner. I love my 4Runner, and do not regret the decision in any way. Its a great SUV, great 4x4 with awesome offroad capability, and all in all awesome family hauler.

    And to the post above that the Ridgeline is the same as the Avalanche and Escalade, not even close. Maybe they look alike, but are in no way the same vehicle. The Ridgline is not even built on a truck chassis (notice the "bed").
     

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