Tow vehicle recommendations...

Rusty2192

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2014
1,189
Kentucky
I would love to get a truck, my problem is I commute almost 60 miles Mon-Fri. Any potential TV will be used, no way I can afford new on any of these.

Can you fit 3 child seats in a 1500 or 2500, or even a Tundra for that matter?

With a commute like that, something like the Traverse would be much more budget friendly. Assuming easy numbers: 25 mpg for a Traverse and 20 for a Tahoe/Suburban/truck and $2.50/gallon at 300 mi/week commute, you’d spend almost $400 more per year on gas alone with the full-size offerings.

With a tow rating of 5,000lbs, a Traverse would handle just about any pup out there, and is significantly cheaper to buy. Its probably easier to deal with on a daily basis too since it’s designed primarily as a family vehicle first.

On the flip side, if you are willing and able to spend the extra money, the full size truck based vehicles will provide more headroom if you ever go bigger.

You could also get a slightly older Suburban plus a cheap commuter car to save on gas and keep miles off the suburban, effectively stretching its life to the same as a newer one used as a daily driver.
 

1380ken

Super Active Member
Nov 7, 2013
2,924
Mass
I currently own a 2005 Honda Odyssey that I was planning on using as our TV. I know I have to add a hitch, brake control, and likely some kind of leveling system. We are a family of 5 with twin 4 year olds and a 6 year old and a ton of stuff! I'm not set on using the Odyssey and was looking for some recommendations for a TV. I was thinking Suburban, or something more plug and play like a 1500. The wife wants something more in the Traverse range. Has to accommodate the two car seats and a booster seat.
I am also a family of five with twin boys and a daughter who is 3 years older. It is nice with the two car seats to have 3 rows of seating with the captain chairs in the middle. It allows easy access to the third row with the car seats installed. It is hard to beat the capabilities of a mini van no matter what everyone on here says. I currently have an 2006 Escalade which is a nice truck but doesn't really have any more interior room than my old Ford Windstar mini van. I would beef up the mini van with a tranny cooler and air bags in the rear. Even if you have to replace the tranny at some point, the savings in gas and buying a larger vehicle will pay off.
 

1380ken

Super Active Member
Nov 7, 2013
2,924
Mass
I have owned several full size pick up trucks and a Suburban and an Escalade and I can tell you that you will not get 20 mpg. If you travel any faster than 55 mph your gas mileage will be closer to 12 mpg.
 

Halford

Super Active Member
Sep 28, 2011
3,563
Santa Clarita, California
Best to find a vehicle with tow package that would take care of your towing needs. I have an Explorer with Tow Package and it tows my Niagara beautifully even up in 7,000 ft mountains in California...
 

MNTCamper

Super Active Member
Jun 14, 2014
1,332
MN
To the OP, unless you have an unusually large camper, why not just tow with the Ody? They are very capable tow vehicles when equipped properly and make a a great vehicle when not towing. And, you own it already. The last two years I have towed something like 14K miles with a pop up that weighs in about 2900 loaded with 4 big kids and one or two dogs all over the Western US and have not had a single problem with my 2003 Ody at all. I previously towed with an '01 Ody and no issues with that. Modern minivans make excellent tow vehicles for all but the largest pop ups for many folks. They have power to spare, the biggest issue is with the suspension and needing a transmission cooler, but those are solvable problems.
 

emoney

Super Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
880
It's going to be tough finding a midsize SUV that will hold 3 car seats. The 3rd row of seating, at
least in my opinion, would be an absolute must. Having said that, a newer vehicle, especially something
2016 and newer, allows you to get much better MPG than something from say 2012. They've come
a long way in fuel economy. I have a 2018 GMC Canyon and I consistently get 25 mpg on the highway
when I'm commuting. And that's travelling closer to 80mph than 70. No, I'm not recommending a
Canyon because it's not big enough for the 3 car seats, but rather using it as an example.
 
Sep 1, 2018
71
Having recently gone through a thoroughly researched car purchase, I would caution that if you are used to the space that a minivan has, you will probably be disappointed with any of the mid sized SUVs out there.

For example, the 2018 sienna has almost as much volume behind the third row than most crossovers have with the third row folded down. Generally the minivans are much more space efficient. We were seriously considering the Subaru Ascent, but it was just not big enough (not even close).

If I recall, the Dodge Durango was the largest (and best for towing) of the mid size suvs. I think the ~2016 traverse was also larger than most. Otherwise I think you would have to consider the Yukon class size.

I would also caution that you look at the actual weight numbers for towing / payload capacity for whichever vehicles you consider - I’m bumping into payload limits on the sienna when you factor in family of 5 + dog + tongue weight. AWD hurts for that. At ~300 HP I do think I the sienna has the power...but I need to put as much of the cargo In or on the pup, and not in the van.
 




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