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Old 11-16-2014, 01:17 PM   #1
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Need help - which hybrid and which car/truck

I know this is kind of the cart before the horse, but I need to buy a car before the end of the year and need suggestions both on the car and also the hybrid.

I currently have a Honda Odyssey. It's only me (mom) and my 2 young kids, but I like having 3 rows since we do often drive friends and carpool. But, I also try to live as "green" as possible, so the gas mileage bothers me. I just test drove a Honda Pilot - it was nice, but the gas mileage bothers me.

I feel like a hybrid is a better option for us. I like the airy feel and we'll never go camping when it's freezing out, but I also have to have a potty and shower. I had a PUP for a few years, which I bought used at a great price, but it was much too large for the 3 of us. It also was pushing the weight limit for my van and wasn't easy to set up. Consequently, I never used it and sold it when we moved.

Of course, minimizing expenses is always the goal. So my questions are:

1) What car/truck/minivan do you recommend? I will buy new and need to keep it under $30K. Can I get away with 3000 tow rating as I have now or really need to go up to 4500?
2) What lightweight hybrid (with a tent and shower/potty) do you recommend? I would love to buy used at $5k or less, but will consider new if the cost is less than $15K.

Or are there any old PUPs out there that I could get for $2K or less, with a potty/shower, that are easy and quick to put up?

I want to go on extended trips with my kids throughout the US and Canada, but initially we'll go places and stop for a few days so it won't be so much putting up and taking down. My oldest is a girl and will be 10 next summer.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Old 11-16-2014, 02:29 PM   #2
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Buying the vehicle first limits to what you can tow. Picking out the trailer first then gives you guidelines as to what vehicle you need to tow it with. So, if it were me I would find the hybrid trailer you like and then get the vehicle to tow it. This way you have not cut yourself out of a whole line of hybrid trailers that may suit you better. A 3,000 pound trailer is going to be fairly small and you may like a little bigger unit.

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Old 11-16-2014, 02:30 PM   #3
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First even the smallest hybrid (16') would be 2900lbs. dry, add an easy 750+lbs of stuff and your over the towing capacity of the Odyssey. The V-6 Pilot 4x4 is rated at 4500 towing. The 2x4 Pilot is only rated at 3500 lbs. So right there and then the 4x4 is going to push you well over $30k closer to $35k.

With your two tow vehicle choices your kind of limiting your hybrid choices as far as weight. With taxes and fees there is no way even with a base Honda you will be able walk out the door under $30k.

Yes, the Pilot is a nice daily driver and would make a acceptable tow vehicle only if you find a RV (hybrid) in the low 3000 range and a hitch weight under under 350 lbs.

We towed our 2005 & and our 2013 hybrids with a 2005 Toyota 4Runner (V-8). But since have moved up to a Toyota Tundra. Used the 4Runner for 9 seasons. The 2005 tt weighed about 4800 wet (loaded) and the 2013 tt comes in at 5100 lbs. That 4Runner was rated at 7200 towing. Even the 5100 tt. I would want to go and larger that the 26' tt.

A 3,000 pound trailer is going to be fairly small and you may like a little bigger unit.
I would agree 100% personally a 16' or 17' hybrid is small. There are some nice hybrid floor plans out there in the 22' to 25' with a slide that doubles the inside space. Remember you want to do some extended trips. Hybrids under 20' will not have a couch.

Our 2005 hybrid being 24' had a super floor plan, tons of counter space, tons of cabinet storage, small couch slide really opened up the whole aisle-way. We take many 14-18 day trips staying 4-7 days at each location. I think we had 380 nights in our 05' over 7 seasons. Even on rainy days the 3 of us did not feel cramped.
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:13 PM   #4
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You should check out the new pups from viking/clipper. Some of these now come with potty's and since they are low they don't have the large frontal wind resistance (think sail) that regular tt's have which cause your tv to suck gas. They should be easily towed by the Odyssey.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:46 PM   #5
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I admire you being eco conscious and wanting to have a TV that is economical and can tow a TT that will fit your family. To have that and 3 rows of seats is going to be tough or expensive. As far as trailers go, your best bet may be to look at the trailmanors which are hard sided and sort of like a pop-up but take far less time to set up. Research them and if you're willing to shell out a little extra cash for one, you should be able to keep your minivan depending on model you choose. BTW if you watch a YouTube video on how to set one up, my 100lb wife can do it by herself.
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