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Old 01-11-2017, 12:46 PM   #1
bemmett
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Default Newbie towing advice

I didn't realize this forum existed, but the fine folks over in the GT4 forum set me straight.

I've got an old Subaru wagon DD that's costing more to maintain than I'd like. I've been thinking about getting rid of it and getting something a little larger that I can continue to DD a few days a week, but also use to tow my GT4. I'd also be looking at a lightweight aluminum, open, 2-axle trailer (TrailEx, etc) to bring my car to my local track days, as the traveling man-cave is overkill, albeit appealing. I'd only be towing a few times a year, with a max radius of a few hundred miles, and no real steep grades to speak of.

As much as we all love torque, I can't fathom why I'd need some gigantic diesel duallie, as I'll never tow more than 5K pounds. I'd been hoping I could get something like a new Toyota Tacoma (rated at 6400 lbs w/ tow package), but the rest of the Internet can't seem to agree as to whether the Taco is suited for it. Some reviewers seem to think it's totally fine, but others think it's garbage because it hits high RPMs while going up an 8 mile grade in the Rockies at 65mph while pulling a gigantic enclosed trailer.

I like the new 4Runners (rated 5000 lbs), but I'm concerned it might not be able to do the job well, so my preference is something like the Tacoma, but I'm open to other suggestions.

Any opinions or helpful suggestions? I'd be open to mid-size SUV's and dual-cab trucks.

I'm looking for new, as I tend to buy and drive until the car is nearly dead.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:52 PM   #2
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I used a Crewcab V6 Taco for 4 yrs towing an open trailer. Average about 12 -13 mpg overall doing so. I got as low as 10 mpg and as high as 15 mpg depending on wind and terrain. HTH
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:03 PM   #3
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Now I have the big diesel but a totally different approach that a friend of mine does is when ever he needs to pull his trailer he rents a truck from national or enterprise can't remember which, he normally get a 3/4 or 1ton truck.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:00 PM   #4
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Now I have the big diesel but a totally different approach that a friend of mine does is when ever he needs to pull his trailer he rents a truck from national or enterprise can't remember which, he normally get a 3/4 or 1ton truck.
We have a local guy down here in TX who does that as well. Compared with buying the truck, the deal is a steal if you don't need the truck for other purposes. He gets to tow with a new F250 PowerStroke, zero maintenance, if it craps out it is the rental company's problem and it only costs him about $200 or so for a weekend.

The caveat of this approach is, to work, the truck rental location needs to be in a good spot relative to where you car and trailer is stored and the track. For me, that adds at least a day's rental and mileage that doubles that $200 and I have a need for a truck otherwise as well.

-Mike
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:22 PM   #5
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At only 5k lbs and an open trailer, there are many good options. It might be more a case of what you prefer to DD, how much you want to spend, and is gas mileage a concern. I would personally look for something that's rated to tow around 7k or more, to give some margin. The Tacoma would probably do Ok.

There are also SUV's like the Merc GL (gas or diesel), Audi Q7 (diesel only if used), and GM Tahoe. Many people also tow with the Cayenne.

In the pickup range, the Dodge with the ecodiesel would return good mpg as a DD. My choice would be an aluminum F150 with the smaller 2.7L ecoboost. Good tow capability vs gas mileage trade off for your load.

If you can wait till 2018 models, F150 will also have a small diesel (3.0L) available, and the ecoboosts and diesel will go to the 10 speed automatic. That would help MPG also. Downside is 1st year with new technologies.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:16 PM   #6
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I have towed my 5500 lbs setup for 6 years with the V8 BMW X5. By far and away the best midsize tow vehicle I have ever owned. Plus BMW luxury and free maintenance when needed.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:33 PM   #7
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Diesel or V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee would check your boxes and be a comfortable DD as well.

But have a long hard talk with yourself about the next five years and your track plans to make sure you don't make the mistakes of those before you.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bemmett View Post
I didn't realize this forum existed, but the fine folks over in the GT4 forum set me straight.

I've got an old Subaru wagon DD that's costing more to maintain than I'd like. I've been thinking about getting rid of it and getting something a little larger that I can continue to DD a few days a week, but also use to tow my GT4. I'd also be looking at a lightweight aluminum, open, 2-axle trailer (TrailEx, etc) to bring my car to my local track days, as the traveling man-cave is overkill, albeit appealing. I'd only be towing a few times a year, with a max radius of a few hundred miles, and no real steep grades to speak of.

As much as we all love torque, I can't fathom why I'd need some gigantic diesel duallie, as I'll never tow more than 5K pounds. I'd been hoping I could get something like a new Toyota Tacoma (rated at 6400 lbs w/ tow package), but the rest of the Internet can't seem to agree as to whether the Taco is suited for it. Some reviewers seem to think it's totally fine, but others think it's garbage because it hits high RPMs while going up an 8 mile grade in the Rockies at 65mph while pulling a gigantic enclosed trailer.

I like the new 4Runners (rated 5000 lbs), but I'm concerned it might not be able to do the job well, so my preference is something like the Tacoma, but I'm open to other suggestions.

Any opinions or helpful suggestions? I'd be open to mid-size SUV's and dual-cab trucks.

I'm looking for new, as I tend to buy and drive until the car is nearly dead.
Your car + a Trailex will be ~4k#, I suspect that either a 4R or Tacoma will be fine. I currently tow ~3900# w/ an gen4 V8 4R it barely notices it, Used to have a gen3 V6 4R and towed a 5k# keel boat all over w/ it, a little slow on hills, especially w/ 2 -3 other crew in it. The longer wheel base on the Tacoma will make towing a little more pleasant.

Chev/GMC have a small p/u similar to a Tacoma but w/ more muscle(even have a diesel option), You can also go 1/2 ton from anyone or use one of the luxo SUVs but they are a lot more $

Don't forget Grand Cherokee and Durango, they both have over 7k tow rating, Durango has a longer w/b which is a plus.

1/2 tons you can get a trailer brake controller built in, the others will all have a box hanging under the dash.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:20 PM   #9
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We had an '06 Taco Quad Cab 4x4 w/ tow package that we would regularly use to pull my Boxster on a rented uHaul trailer with no issues what so ever. Went from Vegas to Denver with the car/trailer with no issues.

We've since stepped up to a 28' trailer, so I picked up a diesel and my wife traded the Taco in on a 4Runner Limited (very nice). The 4runner is rated at 4900LBs towing, and comes prewired for towing with a 7 round and flat 4. We had a controller added by a local towing shop, but have only towed a 4x8 cargo trailer with it so far (with no issues).

If you have need for a bed, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the Taco for your immediate towing needs.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:12 AM   #10
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You'll be fine with any of the SUVs stated above. I tow around 6000 lbs about 5-10k miles a year with an Audi Q7 diesel. Keep in mind that towing capacity ratings are not just about "making it up a hill". They are also based on your transmission, brakes and suspension being able to handle the extra load. When towing, there is nothing worse for your vehicle than stop and go traffic where cooling demands get very high. Longer wheelbase helps with cross winds and when passing tractor-trailers.
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:21 PM   #11
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A lot to chew on before I pull the trigger on anything, but sounds like based on my use case my initial intuitions weren't too far off.

Thanks for all the advice, everyone!
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:51 PM   #12
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Enterprise rent a car offers pickups and large SUV's but expressly states that you are not allowed to tow anything with them in their policy.
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:43 AM   #13
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Late to this thread, but for a dual-purpose DD and sometimes-tow vehicle, I'd recommend a small diesel SUV. VW Touareg TDI (2009 and later 3.0 L and not the V10), Cayenne diesel, Audi diesel. Grand Cherokee also has a diesel (from MB) but it seems to have spotty reliability when researched online - no personal experience though.

As far as the Tacoma, yes it can do what you described. I've towed ~2,200 lb. and ~2,950 lb. cars on 7541 and 8045 Trailexes with lots of tools and extra tires with a Tacoma V6 4 L with Tow Package (tow rating 6,500 lb.) and it tows "OK"... It's a struggle going up steep mountains or hills and you won't be passing anybody quickly (though I generally tow at 70-80 mph). Also, mine is a MT so the transmission doesn't take a beating like ATs do.

I've thought long and hard about diesel SUVs but decided to stick with Tacoma for now. I bought a house 2 years ago and the pick up comes in pretty handy (hauling cut down tree limbs to the township foliage dumpster, for example). I've also been spoiled by the legendary Toyota reliability. 136,000 miles and it keeps on going and going without any problems. Oil change, gas, and go forever.
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:39 PM   #14
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Yeah, if I decided to go the Taco route, I'd go for the MT.

However, all the recent news about VW diesel settlement got me wondering if after things are finalized if there might be nice deals to be had on new/used Cayenne diesels. I read (it's on the internet, so must be true) that a lot of those 2016 3.0 diesels have been sitting on dealers lots for over a year and thus can't be sold as new, so I may start putting feelers out now to see if the discounts are appealing enough.
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bemmett View Post
if there might be nice deals to be had on new/used Cayenne diesels. I read (it's on the internet, so must be true) that a lot of those 2016 3.0 diesels have been sitting on dealers lots for over a year and thus can't be sold as new.
I've heard the same, but I guess we shall see (it would be nice)... You may be able to get a brand new 2016 diesel for "used" price, but remember that these brands (Porsche, Audi, VW, BMW) don't decrease in price dramatically because they're 1 year old - except for some models.
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