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Old 10-15-2011, 06:56 PM   #1
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Down sizing all the way around

Good evening everyone,

Finally decided on our best course of action-for us. We are going to down size the truck-no more 2500HD. And the camper is going to be sold in the spring to a enterprising person who can do the repairs. It's beyond our scope and it is going to be 13 years old.

We are unable to go camping now for a good year and a half or better right now. My new job the vacation starts during Aug next year-right in the middle of doing school bus schedules-I am the dispatcher-so that's not looking good unless it's for a weekend trip at best. So more than likely, it's going to be longer. And for everyday use, for me to drive a 2500HD, it's just not gas and wallet friendly.

So here's our plan. We want to get a SUV. Not a Suburban or Expedition sized. But one that can pull a future light weight camper-we've found some that we like out there that would easily sleep the 3 of us-we do have two other kids-one late teen-the other almost 22. Mom and Dad aren't cool enough these days.

So for what it's worth, can you give me a good tow vehicle to look into-used wise? Anywhere from 2005-2007 is where I am targeting. I've looked at a Explorer-with tow package(color was awful), Trailblazer, Pathfinder, 4Runner, Sequoia, Armada, Infinity Q56, Tahoe. They all looked to fit the bill better than most.

So give me ones to target-which will work best for a lite weight camper(no more than 25 ft'er with a 5500-6000lb fully loaded weight).

I know it sounds crazy, but when life throws lemons along the way-you have to change course on occasions and regroup for the next step.

Thanks-
Nell

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Old 10-17-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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No one has anything to share. :( Really looking for good advice for this move to a smaller tow vehicle for when we down size the camper. Someday we'll go back to bigger and bigger-when we retire.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:40 AM   #3
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I dont think you should work from the point of making your TT fit your tow vehicle. You need to determine what your needs are in terms of a TT. From there check out the towing capicity of the vehicle you like. Looking at advertisements I think the new Nissans are advertising a towing capacity of only 9 k. And thats for a new vehicle. My buddy towes a 26 foot light TT, but when we went travelling for 3 weeks his gas bill was more than mine (we pulled our 5th wheel with an 6 Litre F 350). So its really a personal thing, but from where you are you might think about starting with what TT your going to be buying, then figure out what towing capacity you need, then figure out what type of vehicle you want to use and lastly buy the best vehicle for the money you want to spend.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:41 AM   #4
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Replies have been slow lately. TT needs first, then vehicle.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:44 AM   #5
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Or a pick up with a nice camper might be an option?
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:07 AM   #6
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If you see my avatar-that's the set up we have now. We are selling both and down sizing. In two years-who knows what will be on the market by then. But to keep driving a Silverado 2500HD when we won't be towing for close to two years, money wise it's too expensive(at least here in NY it is with gas still about $3.65 a gallon) to just use it as our daily driver. We've been the route where we've bought the camper-then had to up grade the tow vehicle to match it. I'd rather do it the other way around this time. And we are looking into the light weights-keeping it all under 5500lbs. I've been towing 7500 now with what I have-and we've got two less kids and junk going along. Not looking to get bigger, actually smaller for just 3 people.

In two years, maybe we'll have what we need to get a truck again-who knows. But right now-this as a good a plan as we can come up with for the next 2 years by downsizing. That's why I've been asking about the smaller tow vehicles-not interested in staying with the big toys right now. We've been camping/RV'ing for close to 26 years and learned a lot along the way-some of it the hard way too.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:32 AM   #7
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I used a 2007 Dodge Durango with a Hemi Engine to pull my 4400 lb boat and trailer. It is a comfortable, reliable and fairly inexpensive SUV and it pulled the boat without any problems. Great vehicle. You may want to try one out.
Good luck!!!
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:27 PM   #8
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Been through the same thing... sorta. I bought an economy car so I could save money not driving the truck. found out even with the fuel saving, it cost more for maint. and insurance then I saved. Are you sure an SUV will save enough to justify the extra cost of insurance, plates, etc.?

So the truck gets 15mpg and the SUV get 18mpg. At $4 per gallon you would have to drive 10K miles to save $400.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:51 PM   #9
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I pull a Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel behind my RV. They only made them in 06-07-08, Mercedes engine. I own two, have about 50K miles on each and am very pleased with them. Good to pull (and easy to be pulled)! Have not spent a dime on either one in repairs.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:24 PM   #10
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Hi, Nell

If I were you, I'd "uncouple" a second vehicle decision from the future trailer decision.
While 6,000 lbs may seem "lightweight", it still requires the use of a much bigger vehicle than you need just to get around from day to day.
A lot can change in two years, and you may completely rethink your RV needs at that time.
Given your time constraints, you may even decide that renting an RV is most sensible for you...
Many folks who can only get away a few times a year find that to be true.
You could potentially save yourself a lot of expense by buying simple transportation during your reorganization phase!

Good luck with your decision-

Francesca
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca View Post
Hi, Nell

If I were you, I'd "uncouple" a second vehicle decision from the future trailer decision.
While 6,000 lbs may seem "lightweight", it still requires the use of a much bigger vehicle than you need just to get around from day to day.
A lot can change in two years, and you may completely rethink your RV needs at that time.
Given your time constraints, you may even decide that renting an RV is most sensible for you...
Many folks who can only get away a few times a year find that to be true.
You could potentially save yourself a lot of expense by buying simple transportation during your reorganization phase!

Good luck with your decision-

Francesca
We've been toying with that idea too. Or just buying a place now already in a campground-just get in the car and go with no of the other fun stuff. We never thought we'd give up the pickup. We've been in big trucks/vans since 95-I started with a G-20 Conversion van, got a 2500 Suburban, 2500HD Dodge, then this 2500HD Chevy. We've even thought of going back into a pop up since we had two of them. As you said a lot can change in two years. Right now-I'm just focusing on the vehicle. And if worse comes to worse-I still have my 4 room cabin tent!
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:42 PM   #12
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Nell, I have been very pleased with my 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Rear Wheel Drive as a tow vehicle. It's rated for 5,000 lbs stock and goes up with a tow package.
20 MPG in summer and 18 mpg in winter country driving - that is with a chevy 350 and uses regular gas. I bought it used for $4000 with 86,000 miles on it. I have owned it for 7 years and driven it for 80,000 miles, so history is involved. I think this is the last of the rear wheel drive Cadis - 1993 thru about 1996. Nice ride and tows well. Older that what you were looking for, but someting to consider.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
We've been toying with that idea too. Or just buying a place now already in a campground-just get in the car and go with no of the other fun stuff. We never thought we'd give up the pickup. We've been in big trucks/vans since 95-I started with a G-20 Conversion van, got a 2500 Suburban, 2500HD Dodge, then this 2500HD Chevy. We've even thought of going back into a pop up since we had two of them. As you said a lot can change in two years. Right now-I'm just focusing on the vehicle. And if worse comes to worse-I still have my 4 room cabin tent!
I know what you mean, Nell!
I still have my good old canvas Hilary tent
Also about giving up the truck- I know how hard it can be, believe you me.
My husband is still clinging to his full-size Ford...
But he's rationalizing it by using his itty bitty motorcycle for getting around town! Then he combines the mileage between the two...he says he's getting 35 miles per gallon that way.
Trust an engineer to come up with such creative reasoning, eh?

Francesca
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:07 PM   #14
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This is just my personal opinion, but with the vehicles you're looking at, I wouldn't pull anything bigger than a Pop-Up. We have had several Blazers and a Trail Blazer, all should have been able to pull our previous 24 ft TT, but we were struggling pulling it with a 1/2 ton 5.7 L full size pick-up, so there is no way the Blazers would have pulled it unless it was all down hill, then we wouldn't have been able to stop. Just my preferences.
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