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Old 03-11-2015, 09:27 PM   #1
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SUV or full size van?

We are a family of four who tow a 10-foot Jayco popup and will be upgrading to a 12-footer soon and in a few years probably a hybrid. I tow our rig with a 2005 Toyota Sienna that needs replacing, and we always have it packed to the gills for our trips. I am 6' 8" and my 11-year-old son will be over 6 feet sooner than later, so we need room for long-legged guys in our next TV, not to mention more towing capacity. I'm thinking either a Suburban or Expedition, or something like a GMC Savanna or modest conversion van. It will also be my everyday vehicle. Of course cost, mileage, and safety ratings are all important. Anyone care to share some thoughts on those vehicle types for road tripping/towing/everyday use? Any input appreciated.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:38 PM   #2
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I'd look at a 2500 suburban based on what your considering.... Just my humble opinion since pickups aren't on your radar.....
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:40 PM   #3
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We just bought a Ford Expy to tow our Jayco X23B hybrid. We had a Ford Explorer, and I knew that we were probably over the tow limits of it (5,000 lbs.). We looked at full size vans, but nothing grabbed our eye, you know you gotta look good when you're towing, right? The Expy has the factory installed HD tow package, I highly recommend looking for one that has this on it. It includes the over-size radiator, tranny cooler, integrated brake controller.

Now I've got the confidence knowing that I have plenty of "oomph" to tow it. However, since the DW and I are in our sixties, we are looking for a traditional TT, Jayco 27dsrl.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:48 PM   #4
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This is one you might want to take a look at. It's a VW Touareg TDI and it will tow 7,700 lbs.and my Hybrid is 4,800+ my stuff so let's say5,500 going down the road and I hardly know it's there. I get 34 with out the TT and 23 with the TT and in the mountains I'll get 19. It's an 8 speed with the select shift trans. so going down the 6-7% grades I never use the brakes. You'll have head and leg room to spare and rear seat slides back an extra 6" and reclines also.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:53 PM   #5
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This was a drive down I-5 to Seattle, in town driving for the day and back and this was my Dailey average.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:12 AM   #6
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Tunce, is the dog in the tach an available option?
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:21 AM   #7
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Yes, gives you the camping spot anywhere you want! That was my dog Axel and he went to nursing homes once a week. The most lovable dog I ever had,died in my arms.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:30 AM   #8
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We towed our X23B with an 03 Expe 5.4. It did an adequate job but hitting the CAT Scale I discovered we were about 200# shy of the Rear GAWR. The HTT weighed about 4800# loaded. Look at the Rear GAWR, get the rear axle weight empty and back calculate how much TT you can safely tow. If you expect to tow in excess of 5000# or so I'd think 3/4 ton. JMHO, YMMV ......
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:52 AM   #9
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How many in your family? 3?

Towing is not cheap. Day to day mileage on any of the full size SUVs and vans is not going to be anywhere near your Sienna. You'll average 15-17 mpg at best in mixed driving with any of the options on your list. And that's a light foot. The Toureg mentioned above will resolve that problem and it's a fine vehicle, but your limitation will be available cargo space. Like you we take a lot of stuff and always needed a sizable vehicle to carry things in.

I'm curious as to why you would not consider a crew cab PU. Seats 4 comfortably. Generally cheaper to buy for the same trim level compared to a full size SUV equivalent, generally a higher payload, about the same gas mileage. You can put on a cap and load it up, or like me, I use a hard, removable, lockable tonneau cover that hides what I carry in the back.

I've owned 3 Suburbans, a Trailblazer, and a GMC Safari. The PU in my sig is the first one I've ever had. I now wish we had done a full size PU years ago.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tunce the traveler View Post
This is one you might want to take a look at. It's a VW Touareg TDI and it will tow 7,700 lbs.and my Hybrid is 4,800+ my stuff so let's say5,500 going down the road and I hardly know it's there. I get 34 with out the TT and 23 with the TT and in the mountains I'll get 19. It's an 8 speed with the select shift trans. so going down the 6-7% grades I never use the brakes. You'll have head and leg room to spare and rear seat slides back an extra 6" and reclines also.
I'm only 6', and I'm uncomfortable in a Touareg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
How many in your family? 3?

Towing is not cheap. Day to day mileage on any of the full size SUVs and vans is not going to be anywhere near your Sienna. You'll average 15-17 mpg at best in mixed driving with any of the options on your list. And that's a light foot. The Toureg mentioned above will resolve that problem and it's a fine vehicle, but your limitation will be available cargo space. Like you we take a lot of stuff and always needed a sizable vehicle to carry things in.

I'm curious as to why you would not consider a crew cab PU. Seats 4 comfortably. Generally cheaper to buy for the same trim level compared to a full size SUV equivalent, generally a higher payload, about the same gas mileage. You can put on a cap and load it up, or like me, I use a hard, removable, lockable tonneau cover that hides what I carry in the back.

I've owned 3 Suburbans, a Trailblazer, and a GMC Safari. The PU in my sig is the first one I've ever had. I now wish we had done a full size PU years ago.

If you're looking at full size SUVs, there is zero reason to not check out 4 door 3/4 tons. I put the seat all the way back in my Megacab, and my 6'5"
Dad sits behind me with room to spare.
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