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Old 01-08-2015, 10:01 AM   #1
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What TV to get to have enough space, but still safe to tow

Hey all, a while ago, I wrote about weight limits for my F150 while looking for a TT, have been looking, but now would like to switch gears to look at SUV's to better hold the 3 kids and two dogs while towing. I want something that will tow a 28' and up bunk house. Any suggestions. I was leaning towards a suburban or yukon, but wonder if they are rated big enough to handle it.

As always, thanks in advance for your knowledge and suggestions.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:13 PM   #2
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For SUV's, the 3/4 ton Suburban and V-10 Excursion would be the most capable for towing, but you have to watch the payload ratings. An alternative would be a one ton van, such as the E-350 V-10, or GM's Savanna or Express 6.0 liter. The vans will have more available payload capacity than the SUV's.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:26 PM   #3
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When my kids were younger (in 1996) we bought a 30ft Terry travel trailer with bunks. We tried to pull it with a Chevy G20 van but did not have suspension or engine to handle it. I traded for a 1996 Suburban C2500 (3/4 ton) with the 7.4 liter engine. Between the larger engine and better suspension it was a very sweet combination and fun to travel up hills and down. Can't ever have too much tow vehicle.
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:15 PM   #4
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JMO but a CC 1/2 ton with a cap would offer way more than an SUV. SUV's tend to be softly sprung and have lower payload and tow ratings. Looking at 28-30' TT's you'll want the longer wheel base of the truck for stability. Plus you can throw more in the rear of the truck than any SUV.
OTOH if you don't take anything like bikes, fire wood or lawn chairs, etc then the SUV would be doable. I've just never been a big fan of short wheel base SUV's as tow vehicles. Those that own them seem to be the ones that come back and report sway problems more than any other combination.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:08 PM   #5
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:08 PM   #6
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GM no longer makes the 2500 Suburban or GMC equivalent. So there is nothing available in an SUV that will handle the trailer you described without being overloaded.

Go back a few years and look for a GM 2500 Suburban with HD towing pkg, and that will probably do the trick. Diesel engine probably not available unless you go back several years.

The answer is the GM 3500 van with diesel engine. You'll probably have to work hard to build the van with passenger interior but diesel engine and HD towing capacity, but you can do it. But get out your checkbook. It will probably cost you more than fifty large for a new one. Consider a "commercial" van with nothing behind the front seats but bare metal, then finish the interior yourself using high-quality carpet and padding. I did that way back in 1977 and had a wonderful family travel van. I installed Flexsteel Captain's Chairs in the back so the kids could have good seats for travel, but they rarely rode in the seats.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:00 PM   #7
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As mentioned you will have to go back a few years for a 2500 Suburban or a v10 or diesel Excursion. I would not want to tow that large a trailer with a 1/2 ton anything with it full of kids and their gear. The big 1ton van is a great idea and can be had with 15 passenger configuration which is helpful when the kids want to bring friends.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:09 PM   #8
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The Toyota Sequoia has a 7400 pound rating.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:45 PM   #9
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FWIW IF I was setting up for that crowd I would be looking for a 1 ton van. The bigger they get the bigger the toys and the more "stuff". I'd also spring for a rustproofing package as you are looking at a 10-15 year vehicle.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:47 PM   #10
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I have an 02 Yukon xl 2500 with the 8.1 496 Big Block. It tows our 35ft TT bunk house with no issues and it weighs about 7k loaded.
With regards to the suspension being softly sprung, the 2500 suburbans and yukon xl 2500's come with autoride which is electronically controlled suspension that adapts to heavy loads and act somewhat as air bags so it really helps the ride when towing or not. I also have over 2k of payload and no half ton can compare to that unless it is a reg cab long bed which defeats the purpose of what the OP needs.
The 01-06 2500 suburbans and yukons are more truck like compared to the newer ones and if you're able to find one with the 8.1 and 4.10s it will most likely have low miles due to poor unloaded gas mileage, but it will be one heck of a TV. Plus, you could get one for less than 8k which maybe would allow you to use it strictly as a TV
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbird1311 View Post
I want something that will tow a 28' and up bunk house. Any suggestions.
Here's your problem: A 28' bunkhouse TT, such as the Keystone Sprinter # 278BHS, has a GVWR of 9,850 and a tongue weight up to 1,475 pounds. So you TV needs enough GCWR to pull a 10,000-pound trailer and enough GVWR to haul the 1,475 pounds hitch weight, plus the weight of your family and stuff you haul. If a CrewCab pickup doesn't have enough room in it for your desires, then your only choice in a new TV is one of the heavy duty vans, including the GM vans mentioned above.

The new Ford Transit passenger vans can be ordered with plenty of payload capacity, but the max trailer weight is 7,000 pounds, so that omits that van from your consideration.

I understand that the VW Touareg TDI (diesel powered luxury SUV) ) can pull a heavy trailer, but I can't confirm that on VW.com. If it can tow 10,000 pounds and haul 1,475 pounds hitch weight plus family without being overloaded, then that might be an option. Expect a new one to cost over $60k.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
...
I understand that the VW Touareg TDI (diesel powered luxury SUV) ) can pull a heavy trailer, but I can't confirm that on VW.com. If it can tow 10,000 pounds and haul 1,475 pounds hitch weight plus family without being overloaded, then that might be an option. Expect a new one to cost over $60k.
last time I looked it was only 7500# and 750# TW, and like most Unibodys they recommended NOT using a WDH.

The OP could also look Nissans NV 3500 Passenger with the V8. About 2500# payload and 8500# Tow capacity. Not sure what the standard hitch receiver is rated at but hopefully more than 1000# for a trailer of that size.

But, whew, the gas mileage on these things must be horrendous ...
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:47 AM   #13
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Another thing, the more recent 2500 Suburbans have the hitch receiver integrated into the rear "crumple zone" of the bumper, and have basically weakened a bit of frame. Or so I am told.

As a result the hitch receiver/frame can only handle 1000# of tongue weight.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:56 AM   #14
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Thanks for the multitude of responses. You guys are always more than willing to give opinions and advice. However, I'll be honest, its all a little over whelming and disappointing. I do not want to drive an 02 and I don't have 60k to buy a new monstrosity gas guzzler that will be my everyday vehicle. Its disheartening for me to think that these trailers are so heavy that the average family can't tow without buying a special heavy duty TV. I really thought when I started looking into all of this that the challenge would be to find a TT that the family likes, now i have to find that, plus figure out some wacky magical combination of TV and TT that won't be overloaded and dangerous yet won't overload the budget and wallet. I guess I was just naive to the whole thing. Either that or these families that tow large TT with average TV's are just being dangerous or have nothing in them. Thanks again for your responses and I'll keep shopping.
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