Best towing vehicle

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valeenmur

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Joined
May 26, 2006
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Hi,
We have an opportunity to purchase a 21ft Hi-lo. We are new to the RV world.
While we have a Ford F150 truck,we need to trade this for another vehicle as we have a toddler and are expecting another baby(no room for 2 carseats in back seat of pick-up!).We had decided to get a mini-van but I've been informed that this would not be the best choice for towing.
The Hi-Lo weighs about 3200 lb and while some minivans have towing capacity of 3800,I've been told this is too close.

Anyone have any suggestions? we would appreciate it.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It's impossible to tell for sure without more specific information about the vehicle.  What make, model ,year, engine, transmission and rear axle ratio.  With that info we can probably look up the GVWR and GCWR and see what it can haul. Or at least get its max towing capacity from a sales brochure.  That latter isn't definitive, but it gives a good uide to the range you might consider. 

A regular van or large SUV would be a better choice than a minivan, since it will tow more and carry more as well. Everything you load into the van substracts from its towing capacity - that's why most minivans can't actually tow much of a trailer. The 3500-4000lb tow capacity is diminished by the weight of passengers and gear to a much lower figure. And the transmission and axle gearing is designed for economy rather than towing power as well.
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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west Los Angeles
Like Gary said, towing is a bit much for minivans.  A full size van makes more sense.  The Ford E-150 passenger van has a tow capacity of some 6100 lbs. even with the 4.6L V-8.  You may get less gas mileage than a minivan, but then an overstressed engine at its towing liimit has really lousy gas mileage anyway.    The bigger vehicle will give you your passenger room and haul your light trailer handily.

Let me run a few numbers for you.  We recommend that if you intend, ever, to tow in the mountain or Pacific coast west, you allow 15-20% headroom in your tow ratings over your trailer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).  This allows for the long steep grades and 7-8000 foot altitudes of some of the passes.  [A truck loses 3% of its rated HP per 1000 feet of altitude.]

Assume for this purpose that 3200 is the GVWR, and not the dry weight which would be less.  A 3200 lb trailer would require a tow vehicle with a 4000 lbs tow rating.  However, I will bet that 3200 is not the GWVR of your trailer.  That number can be found on the trailers DOT plate on the left front side of the trailer.
 

timbrady

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Jun 7, 2006
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A warning to anyone considering an F250 with the 6.0 diesel:  My 2006 with 5500 miles has already spent 10 days in the shop.  It appears that Ford has not done their homework with this one.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It appears that Ford has not done their homework with this one.

Sorry to hear you have a problem ridden Ford, but I think you are in the minority. We see very few reports of problems with the Ford 6.0L, which has been on the road a couple years now. Most owners are quite happy.
 
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