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Best tow vehicle


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#1 osage

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:35 AM

What is everyone using for a tow vehicle. As we are thinking of buying a Casita 17 foot Deluxe, We now have a 2002 Chevy 1/2 2 wheel drive but I want to replace it with something smaller. As it only gets around 17 mpg empty.

#2 osage

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:39 AM

Yes I know how to spell TOW.

#3 qua22y

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 11:35 AM

QUOTE (osage @ Jan 15 2009, 11:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes I know how to spell TOW.

We bought us a 2002 Saturn Vue all wheel drive and are more than pleased with the capabilities. We choose that year because it has a cool look, style and great MPG. We traveled around the grand canyon,zion,brice,canyonlands, colorado,wyoming, and averaged 21 mpg. Keep in mind we had the dog and trailer loaded down with about 300 lbs of canned foods and supplies so we had no need for resturants and such. I am sooo in love with this vehicle after the snow storm of 16 inches here in Washington. I had to actually tow my hubbies truck out of the driveway so he could go to work. Also mashed it all down so he could come home. Towed a few cars and trucks off the icy street out front. I really reccomend this vehicle as it is an AWD, V-6, and has loads of get outta my way power. I average 29 1/2 MPG on the highway even though they say 27 from the factory. I have just put 65000 on it, got it used 10 months ago with 53000 fom an elderly lady whose hubby died. The 2002 ans 2003 seem to be the best ones out there. The only factory prob the 2002 had was the rubber gasket for the thermostat, they did a replacement and no probs. There are two types of the integrated tranmission and one was a failure so check with a reputable mechanic, or If your going to go check one out I'll try to get the info for you. I just did research before hand and I challenged the sales man on the subject and made him look it up. He did without reluctancy, we know he needed to make the sale. So, with the low economy I'm sure you can land a greta deal. Have a good one and happy hunting.
Di&JIM
2002 SaturnVue
1996 Casita 16ft
Cracker Box Palace

#4 mike712

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 11:42 AM

Osage: For a low-cost TV it might be hard to beat a 92 Chevy half-ton with two-wheel-drive. Keep the 92 and buy a small car or a small SUV for good mileage when not towing. Mike
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#5 Rich & Penny

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 12:14 PM

QUOTE (mike712 @ Jan 15 2009, 01:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Osage: For a low-cost TV it might be hard to beat a 92 Chevy half-ton with two-wheel-drive. Keep the 92 and buy a small car or a small SUV for good mileage when not towing. Mike



I agree with Mike, keep the old one. If the old tug is worn out, trade it on a new Chevy (They are selling them cheap and they get better milage than your old one). You can use the full size truck to haul your Casita and have plenty of cargo space to haul your gear instead of overloading a smaller tug. The towing milages reported here don't vary all that much from full size V-8 trucks to 6-cylinder SUV's like Honda Pilots. Plus you'll be safer having a tug that weighs more than your Casita. Rich

#6 Greg & Ann

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 12:33 PM

QUOTE (osage @ Jan 15 2009, 10:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes I know how to spell TOW.


best toe vehicle for me is a pair of 9 1/2 D New Balance 990's! Great traction, don't blow out like the Goodyear Marathons, and I have a built in high lift axle. The gas mileage isn't as great as it was when I was in my 20's though.
Lompoc, CA
'02 17' SD/ '10 Tacoma
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#7 Muttley

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 04:51 PM

You don't say where you will be driving/towing. I pull our 17SD with a 2000 Chevy Blazer 2wd. I don't go off road and I haven't driven in snow since 1972. The high clearance is good for the odd times we travel down dirt roads. 2wd is less machinery to maintain and will use less gas than a 4x4. My insurance man tells me 2wd is cheaper to insure. 4.3 litre engine works well. Rear wheel drive tends to be stronger than front wheel drive, although some folks do tow with minivans.

I get 16 mpg towing, up to 20 mpg solo highway. The Blazer and a street legal golf cart are our only vehicles. The blazer works as a passenger car, hauler and a tow.
2002 SD 17 'Tinker Toy'
2010 Nissan Xterra

#8 Ken J

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:08 PM

Hmmm best tow vehicle -

I like my 3/4 ton Avalanche.... smile.gif

Ken J.

#9 Palmer M

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 07:25 PM

QUOTE (qua22y @ Jan 15 2009, 02:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We bought us a 2002 Saturn Vue all wheel drive


Thanks for the description of the Vue. I was about to post "Anybody tow with a Vue/Equinox/Torrent?" the other day, because they are seldom mentioned. Does the rear hatch open without hitting the jack post?

I'm with you on the style. The original Vue is for someone who shops at Ikea and reads Dwell magazine...and tows a Casita! biggrin.gif The newer Opel Antara/Vue is nice, but it doesn't have the modern purity of design that yours has. Plus, yours has the plastic body panels, which I think were great, but they've done away with because of everybody competing for fewest millimeters of panel gaps.

Muttley, it's true I've seldom used it, but 4wd has been essential in a few situations over the last four years, including wet yards and some loose gravel situations. You're right if you NEVER go off pavement, but I think 4wd/AWD is worth it for the what-if? situations. Two weeks ago, I would have had to wait 3-5 days to get the Casita out of the yard because of all the rain, but with 4wd was able to manage it (and throw mud everywhere!).
Like you, I've got a V-6, and get 16-19 MPG towing (only 22 when not towing).

I sure would like a newer truck, and especially would like to return to a GM tow (I inherited the Dodge), but there's a lot to be said for a paid-for vehicle that only costs about $25/month for insurance. Plus, my old truck is a '96, which means it has the same trouble code protocol and dataport as any new vehicle (I am used to checking trouble codes in older vehicles by sticking a paper clip into the dataport!).

Good Luck Osage. It sounds like you have a pretty nice truck. If I were shopping for a tow for my 16, I would probably go with a four-door, 4wd, 5 cyl Chevy Colorado. I also wouldn't rule out a Nissan Frontier/Suzuki Equator with the V6. What I really want is my Dad's old 2005 Pontiac Aztek AWD! (Except I would miss the open side access to the pickup bed.)

With the 17, you may be better off with the full sized truck, and you will probably find versions of the 4800 and 5300 Chevy with cylinder shutoff, which may help the mileage.

Happy Trails,
P
Palmer McCall
North Carolina
05 Casita 16 SD "micronaut"
96 Dodge Dakota 4x4 V6
full-timing since 09/04

#10 Don in OKC

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 07:59 PM

Osage;

Careful, what may tow a 16 OK, may be challenged to tow a 17.

My old rule of thumb for happy towing is;

17' = 500 lb tongue rating, 5,000 lb tow rating

16' = 350 lb tongue rating, 3,500 lb tow rating.

13' = 250 lb tongue rating, 2,500 lb tow rating.

===

A 'paid for' also makes a good tow vehicle. Helps buy a lot of gas. wink.gif
Don in OKC - (Useta have a) 2000 16' LD, 98 Chrysler T&C

#11 Marianne

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 09:31 PM

QUOTE (Don in OKC @ Jan 15 2009, 08:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Osage;

Careful, what may tow a 16 OK, may be challenged to tow a 17.

My old rule of thumb for happy towing is;

17' = 500 lb tongue rating, 5,000 lb tow rating

16' = 350 lb tongue rating, 3,500 lb tow rating.

13' = 250 lb tongue rating, 2,500 lb tow rating.

===

A 'paid for' also makes a good tow vehicle. Helps buy a lot of gas. wink.gif

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Really? sad.gif

We have a 1999 Dodge Grant Caravan, V6 - 3.8L. The manual tells us that the tow capacity is 3,800 lbs. We're looking at having a cooling system installed for the transmission (I think). Hubby isn't here for me to ask.

We're looking at purchasing a 17' Liberty

Bill & Marianne
Silicon Valley, CA
2009 Casita "Little White House" Liberty Deluxe
TV: 1999 Dodge "Big White Car" Grand Caravan
Next Trip: May 1st through May 5th, 11th Annual 2014 FiberglassRV Rally
@ San Lorenzo Regional Park, King City, CA

#12 mike712

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 08:40 AM

Vue information wanted: A friend of mine says some V/6 Vue Saturns had a Honda motor and, I suspect the transmission was also Honda. If that is true, then those dependable Vues may have Honda power. Does anybody know the facts of this possibility. Mike
Mike & Sally
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#13 roadcam

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 09:05 AM

I like my fullsize cargo van, would buy it again, in a heartbeat ! smile.gif ... mileage nothing to brag about, 17+ empty, 13+ towing, loaded ... BUT, it's also my garage, workshop, doghouse, pantry, warehouse, and, has lots of power ( I like power biggrin.gif ) ... I carry next to nothing in the Casita ... cheaper insurance rates, than my Honda Civic EX, too ohmy.gif ... you might want to keep your pickup, maybe throw a cap on it ... it's so convenient to keep tools, supplies, storage, etc., at your fingertips ...

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#14 Bobinyelm

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE (roadcam @ Jan 16 2009, 12:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I like my fullsize cargo van, would buy it again, in a heartbeat ! smile.gif ... mileage nothing to brag about, 17+ empty, 13+ towing, loaded ... BUT, it's also my garage, workshop, doghouse, pantry, warehouse, and, has lots of power ( I like power biggrin.gif ) ... I carry next to nothing in the Casita ... cheaper insurance rates, than my Honda Civic EX, too ohmy.gif ... you might want to keep your pickup, maybe throw a cap on it ... it's so convenient to keep tools, supplies, storage, etc., at your fingertips ...


Amazing!

My vans (one of which is a '99 Econoline van) are the MOST expensive vehicles we own to insure. My company said trucks do more damage to other cars in accidents, so the liability of insuring one is greater, thus higher rates.

I didn't consider other companies use different logic.

I know most folks think sports cars are expensive to insure, but when I had Corvettes, this same company charged me the same as my other cars for them, but the Econoline was MORE than the Corvette.

Go figure!

Bob

#15 Bobinyelm

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 09:47 AM

QUOTE (Marianne @ Jan 16 2009, 12:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Really? sad.gif

We have a 1999 Dodge Grant Caravan, V6 - 3.8L. The manual tells us that the tow capacity is 3,800 lbs. We're looking at having a cooling system installed for the transmission (I think). Hubby isn't here for me to ask.

We're looking at purchasing a 17' Liberty


With a transmission cooler, a good proportional brake controller, and WDH (mandatory) you should be fine.

You may not have the ideal TV for mountainous terrain, but with the increased wheelbase of the Grand Caravan, it should handle fine.

When you have it wired for towing, do ask them to use an adequate gauge wire to charge Casita's battery (or suffer a low Casita battery if you use your Fridge on DC enroute).

Bob