Hello- this is my first post after being a member for over a year. Brother Bear recommended this site after I had posted a question on another site. Have spent most my time gaining a lot of free information to get me over our newbie status of being full timers since May 2011, never having trailer or motorhome camped before.
Anyway, on this topic we started out last January hunting for the "perfect" toad and found our criteria changed as time went along and as we learned- going from one car and three pick-ups to one vehicle took a lot of getting used to.
We first wanted a 4wd or awd as we wanted to be able to sight see as we traveled. Our idea of simple soon changed to a more realistic recognition of what was more suited to a pair of seniors with some disabilities.
As always being Ford or GM owners it took a lot of re-adjustment to check other brands- GM and Ford were out as they were just plain uncomfortable for someone of my height and both required me to lift my feet about 6 or 8 inches to lift them over the door sill when exiting, difficult with my back injury and neurological problems in my legs.
Next to the imports-most 4wd did not have an automatic that was full flat towable. The CR-V was an exception and filled most of our requirements, but was not a big 3 manufacturer and as a farm boy I would not risk getting in a situation where the next town down the road in West Texas, population 2000, didn't have a dealer and repair facility. Scratch the CR-V but a great car.
Because of this "service" aspect, we also decided to buy new and we eventually ended up at a Jeep dealer-had never owned ANYTHING Daimler Chrysler before except for a WW II surplus CJ.
Eventually the dealer was able to up sell us to a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland - had everything we needed, everything we wanted and a whole lot more. Automatic, 4WD, comfortable great load capacity(instead of being towed by our Class A , it could nearly do it the other way around) and space for all we thought we had to leave behind.
Beware most sites that tell you what is towable or not-most are out of date at best or just plain wrong! Dealers can print out the towable versions of their products along with restrictions, Their service departments can (and most are willing to) make you aware of any service bulletins that affect towing and are the best source in my opinion. Also forums like this will give you a lots of heads up on caveats on towing - like questions about the Ford Escape.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Grand Cherokee- they have just added a third shift at their North Jefferson plant and are again offering a diesel option so they are doing something for employment.
The CR-V also gets a thumbs up, but is a bit smaller.