I like the Tahoe a lot- so much that after I rented one in 2010 for a 2000 mile trip I bought one. I bought a 2003 4x4 5.3L with 90k miles on it to tow my Passport 238ML, which is abou 5k pounds loaded. I rarely use it for non-towing purposes, but it gets about 17mpg highway when I do and it gets about 10-10.5 towing in the hills around here. However, the new models with the cylinder deactivation get a fair amount better mileage when unloaded, and there is a Hybrid available. The 2010 Tahoe with cylinder deactivation and the 6 speed transmission I rented got 22mpg mixed driving from Miami to Key West to Tampa to New Orleans. It's a great tow vehicle for a shorter trailer- the wheelbase isn't as long as a Suburban or truck, but it has the same drivetrain and good brakes. GM has been making them for so long there really aren't all that many issues with them, they are easy to buy and sell on the used market, everybody can work on them, and parts are cheap. I bought a new fog light for mine the other day for $20 shipped.
My trailer is only 3000 lbs loaded, but I am a safety nut (and we go into the mountains a lot). Currently we have a Pathfinder -- it's ok but wearing out at 100k miles. Decent mileage when not towing -- often 20 mpg.
Looking for something similar. A truck would be ok, but prefer SUV due to enclosed cargo space. 4x4 a must. Decent mileage when not towing preferred. Don't care about luxury at all. When towing, I know it will be 10 mpg -- that's just the way it works due to wind resistance.
So what would you choose? Your collective wisdom is appreciated!!
Any new Mid-Size SUV will fit the bill perfectly. Even the Honda Pilot with the lowest towing rating of 4500lbs will do very well.
I tow exactly 4100lbs (per scale!) 23ft TT and it does very well for the few trips we do per year. We average 22mpg and have been as high as 25mpg. (EDIT: Towing MPG has been 11-15mpg) So the trade off is well worth it for us.
However, were we towing more often, even the same trailer, I would get a larger TV. IMO, as long as your within the ratings it really comes down to how often you tow to help sway you TV buying decision. I find 260hp in the Pilot suitable. Will you? Is flooring the pedal and reving high up a steep grade with a head wind ok with you? Or do you need 300hp+ for that 3,000lb trailer that doesn’t need to be floored as often? Its personal...and has nothing to do with safety.
Bigger TV does NOT often = More Safety. On the net, you'll find a lot more accidents with large TV, TT's and 5'ers than I have with smaller set ups!!!!
* This post was
edited 05/04/12 12:33pm by RinconVTR *
Guessing you are a serious off roader, as am I. Not many on this forum understand
that a CUV or any monocoque (unibody) will NOT do, nor will last long out there
I too love SUV's (now hate the moniker, loved it when it first came out as it
captured the essence of serious off roading). Have you considered a ladder frame
pickup with a bed cap? Almost as good and weighs less to boot (not as much glass,
seats, rugs, insulation, doors, etc, etc)
Or just rebuild your Pathfinder, I would
My Sub is a whale and too big for the serious stuff and have a K5 being noodled
So know what you mean/want
Worn out is subjective....my old 1973 Chevy Blazer K5 had over 325K miles on it
when the ex insisted I sell it. Should'a tossed her and kept the K5...
I put in a 1 ton suspension (Dana 60 front, GM 14 bolt rear and positive arched leaf
packs on both). Tank and could go almost anywhere, but my 70 FJ40
was more of a goat (a bit narrower, shorter wheelbase and a full belly
pan...even the exhaust was inside of that pan)
What wore out was the body panels...too many times out at Pismo and skiing up
at Lake Tahoe. Salts and when the windows stopped working, the road noise/dirt/water
came into the cab via the rusted door bottoms...and the killer was the rusted
upper lip of the windshield (roof edge) was the last straw for her
If me, actually am in a very similar situation...noodling a 70's K5 and build
it up with another Dana60 front and GM 14 bolt or Dana70 rear.
-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...
jees, tough crowd in here. Ya know, when my underwear gets holes in it, they become garage rags...I could keep wearing them sure, but why?
If your ready for a new vehicle, go for it. The only thing is that many of the newer SUVs aren't quite as off road durable as the traditional ladder frame SUV's. Even the Explorer is now a glorified CUV.
The Explorer size seems perfect to me, the capability needed to tow, yet compact enough dimensions to be friendly off road. The shorter wheelbase also helps when backing up short trailers.
02 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8 4x4, prodigy and equalizer
07 Crossroads Sunset Trail ST19CK
and no payments
When I say the Pathfinder is wearing out, I am referring to all of the repairs it has needed -- transmission, radiator, etc. We have had an extended warranty, which is a good thing, but it runs out at 100k, which is rapidly approaching. I suppose we could just keep it and see what happens -- it certainly does the job in terms of towing and daily driving.
But I like the idea of a pickup with a cover over the bed -- the only issue is whether I will get decent mileage while commuting. We do a lot of towing - 50 or 60 days a year -- over long distances -- and yet 90% of my mileage is on the freeways of Southern Calif, to and from downtown LA. So I really can't justify an Armada or a big truck.
Thanks for all of your suggestions -- there are some vehicles mentioned that I never would have thought about! (And yes, I need something that is good off-road. We boondock in some very remote places.)
Add me to the list that prefers a pickup with a fiberglass snug top type canopy.
Nothing wrong with Nissans. Reasonably priced. We owned two Maximas and a mid sized pickup several years ago.
How about a 5.6 V8 Nissan extracab or four door pickup with a snug top canopy.
I have owned a Suburban and a full size Blazer, too. Both worked good but the advantage of the 5 to 6 passenger pickup is the versatility.
All the folks go in front in air conditioned / heated comfort.
All of the rubbermaid camping tubs stack under the canopy and on the return trip we don't worry about the dirt from camping.
I carry a brush to sweep out while camping.
When I get home I clean out the pickup bed with Palmolive and a truck wash brush.
Works great with the boat, also. Wet waterski vests, wetsuits, towels, ice chests go in the back of the pickup, under cover where they will not blow out.. We frequently have 5 or 6 folks and this setup works best for a group.
If you look at the new F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost V6 and 3.31 gears I think you'll find you get as good or better than the Pathfinder. 8100lb tow rating. Plus have more room. Theres a reason it's the #1 selling vehicle year after year.
if you need a SUV, i think the newer Tahoe, on the GM900 chassis, is a good choice.
i have an Avalanche with the same AFM engine and i can average over 20mpg on the freeway. and that's with the older 4spd. tranny.
the newer ones combining the AFM 5.3 v-8 with the 6spd. tranny will get great gas mileage for a large SUV.
Dan- Firefighter, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP), 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS, 2007 Rockwood Roo 23SS w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes