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Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-14-2006, 03:09 PM   #1
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Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

We want to buy a gas economical vehicle, costing under $29,000, to tow a small trailer which can double as a small passenger vehicle when detached. The Toyota RAV4 looked ideal but it appears to severely limit our trailer options to under 3500 lbs. The Toyota Tacoma double cab short bed, would tow up to 6500 but requires premium gas. Anyone have any suggestions? Sites that would help?

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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-14-2006, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

My buddy has an Avalanche and loves it so much he just traded it in for a new one. Its an 8 cyl. but on the open road shifts to 4 cyl... Tows 2.5 tons easily, says he.

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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-14-2006, 04:01 PM   #3
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

You could ask on www.rvforum.net
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-14-2006, 04:09 PM   #4
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

The Toyota FJ Cruiser and the Honda Ridgeline Pickup both look pretty interesting.

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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-14-2006, 04:10 PM   #5
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

There is no such thing as an "economical" vehicle that can tow 6500 pounds. That's an oxymoron !

Here's what I would do though. Wait until next summer when gas prices get up to $3 or $4 again. Then buy a used (maybe 5-year old) Expedition/Suburban/Tahoe from someone who just has to unload it at a fire-sale price. Park that vehicle to be used for when you need to tow a trailer/boat.

Then go out and buy an economical vehicle (ie a car). It'll cost you half as much to buy and half as much to operate.
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-15-2006, 07:15 AM   #6
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

In order to tow that much weight you must get into the actual truck type vehicles. The micro SUV's are built on a car chassis and can not handle the load. I would suggest an actual body on frame vehicle not the unit-body truck designs coming out. They are very new and don't have a track record for heavy use.
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-15-2006, 08:14 AM   #7
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

Why not a '00-'02 (last year on the prior platform) used Toyota 4-Runner?
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-15-2006, 08:23 AM   #8
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

I would also in general recommend a Toyota 4Runner (rated at 5000 lbs), but I also suggest that you don't want to pull the max load a vehicle is rated for. Give yourself some headroom for safety.

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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-15-2006, 08:24 AM   #9
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

The Nissan Xterra will tow up to 5000 pounds and starts stickering around $20k.

Jeep Liberty also tows 5000 pounds and starts stickering around $21k.

I bet there are others if you poke around.
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-15-2006, 08:33 AM   #10
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

Go to Cars.com and look under Research. They list the towing specs for the different engine packages.

These tend to be a little optimistic, compared to real world driving - so you really need something with a little more capacity than the actaul trailer weight.

As an example, growing up we had a 1973 GMC suburban with a 455cu. in engine and 4:10 rear end - we could pass people going up a mountain towing a 23' trailer. At 8 miles per gallon.

Some years later my dad had a friend trying to tow a similar trailer with a v6 Toyota pickup - it would do it, but when you hit repeated hills he would be doing 40 miles per hour. He later bought a 1 ton truck, which was overkill, but no more traffic backed up behind him.
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-15-2006, 11:36 AM   #11
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Jeep Liberty also tows 5000 pounds and starts stickering around $21k.
I would be very careful about towing with a Jeep Liberty (I own one). It has a really short wheel base, and this tends to lead to instability (swaying) when pulling a trailer. Depends on the length of the trailer of course.

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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-15-2006, 11:43 AM   #12
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
I would be very careful about towing with a Jeep Liberty (I own one). It has a really short wheel base, and this tends to lead to instability (swaying) when pulling a trailer. Depends on the length of the trailer of course.

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I was pretty unimpressed with the Liberty we rented earlier this year, but it can allegedly tow 5000 pounds...
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-15-2006, 11:53 AM   #13
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

What's the trailer you are towing (RV travel trailer or a flatbed with lumber, etc)? If you actually need it fairly infrequently, it might make sense to rent a vehicle for those occasions (if they can be had with the right hitch and if the rental company will allow this). Though it might cost $60 per day, you might come out money ahead vs buying a newer vehicle and taking the depreciation hit.

Or, get a junker if reliability isn't a giant issue. A 10 year old Suburban will haul a lot of stuff and there's a great deal of freedom that comes from driving a beat-up car. And, if you have a car capable of haulng stuff, you'll always have friends . . .who need their stuff moved.
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-15-2006, 05:29 PM   #14
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I was pretty unimpressed with the Liberty we rented earlier this year, but it can allegedly tow 5000 pounds...
We have a love/hate relationship with ours. Terrible gas mileage and it doesn't have near the quality of a Toyota and the dumbest engine braking I have ever experienced, but it makes a GREAT toad (i.e. vehicle pulled behind a motorhome) and it is compact enough to squeeze into small parking spaces and short camping spaces. It's also extremely maneuverable.

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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-16-2006, 01:27 PM   #15
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

Thanks for all your responses. We have been thinking about a multi-purpose vehicle that would be able to tow a TrailerManor for short travel excursions in the United States. Midweek, a guy stopped me at Safeway in my 1986 Toyota pickup and offered me $1700 cash.

That old truck had been in more accidents: head-ons, broadside, and rear-enders. My wife feared for my wife whenever I used it, but since it was primarily a back-up vehicle for our main transportation, it was adequate for my purposes, but it was time.

I figured I couldn't get much more for it had I tried, so I sold it the next day.
I didn't realize how often I used it for quick trips to Ace Hardward or the 7/11 for beer. And, snif, how I would miss the old junkster.

Went out and bought a new Toyota - a V-6, double-cab short bed. It can tow up to 6,500 and has a class IV hitch, so it meets those requirements, plus it drives like the old truck, so it won't take too much getting used to. It is bright red, so hopefully folks won't run into us quite as often. The biggest drawback is that it fills up the garage, making manuevers to the tool storage and other vehicle difficult. I'm gonna have to reconfigure the shelving to create a little more space after the holidays.
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-17-2006, 04:41 AM   #16
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

i really liked my nissan xterra. did most things really well. very rugged, full ladder frame and powerful.
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-17-2006, 06:27 AM   #17
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

Quote:
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i really liked my nissan xterra. did most things really well. very rugged, full ladder frame and powerful.
A Nissan Xterra ran into the back of my F-150, It didn't look very rugged on the side of the road with the front about two feet shorter and bleeding radiator fluid. I drove my F-150 home, it had a dented bumper and tailgate. The Xterra was totaled. Of course the front of a car is easier to damage than the back of a pickup. In a collision the car with the most mass usually comes out best.
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs
Old 12-17-2006, 07:01 AM   #18
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Re: Small SUV or Truck that can tow up to 5000 lbs

it all depend how vehicles get hit and where, and how they are designed to crumple. i have pics of some xterra accidents that the occupants walked away from that are amazing. having used mine for years off road i can attest they are quite durable for normal use.
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