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Old 05-27-2021, 09:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Economical tow vehicles

I am looking for a tow vehicle that will be used to tow a 7500 lb trailer once a month or so. I would like some ideas for an economical tow vehicle to buy. The ideal vehicle should have a low cost of ownership (includes things like gas mileage, maintenance costs, insurance, and initial purchase cost). Gas mileage while towing is important to me. Vehicles that have nice aftermarket support would be nice too, but not required.

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Old 05-28-2021, 12:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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With tow ratings for similar vehicles differing substantially between the United States and other markets, if liability is a matter of concern, it sounds harder to get anything other than a pick-up. On a sidenote, have you ever considered a Diesel-powered tow rig?
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Old 05-28-2021, 12:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If a lower towing capability would be sufficient, the Passat B5 1.9 TDi (130PS AWD) can tow 2000 kg or 4400 lbs.
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Old 05-28-2021, 01:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have been thinking about a pickup, but it is pretty crazy how much people think that used ones are worth around here. A diesel would be very nice, but they are the worst offenders. I would hate to pay $15k for a 2004 pickup.

VWs are nice, but the trailer I am towing is very large and weighs 7500 lbs. I need something that can tow that amount safely.
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The considerations should be is the frame and attach points strong enough and is the braking system adequate for stopping the load under trailer brake failure? Power on tap is not relevant to anything except acceleration. Upgraded brakes on anything carburated and 4 + place would suffice

I have seen many undersized vehicles tow many insanely huge things such as a semi tractor towing a 3story house or the toyota pickup dragging the space shuttle down 10th st east in Palmdale.
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor95 View Post
I am looking for a tow vehicle that will be used to tow a 7500 lb trailer once a month or so. I would like some ideas for an economical tow vehicle to buy. The ideal vehicle should have a low cost of ownership (includes things like gas mileage, maintenance costs, insurance, and initial purchase cost). Gas mileage while towing is important to me. Vehicles that have nice aftermarket support would be nice too, but not required.
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Old 05-28-2021, 12:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My first thought is an AMC Gremlin with a nail-head Buick and Pontiac 8-lug finned aluminum drum brakes.
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Old 05-28-2021, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor95 View Post
I am looking for a tow vehicle that will be used to tow a 7500 lb trailer once a month or so.
Once a month... But how far?

Quote:
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Gas mileage while towing is important to me. Vehicles that have nice aftermarket support would be nice too, but not required.
If it's once a month and you're not towing far the cheapest vehicle would be an old pickup, even if it get's terrible fuel mileage.

If you buy some old Ford or Chevy V8 (70's or 80's) that runs and doesn't have any major issues that would be the cheapest option. The vehicle could cost under $1,000. Even if it needed some work, if you can do it yourself that would be far cheaper than a newer vehicle, unless it needed a new everything.

But if gas mileage while towing is really that important to you, you'll want a newer vehicle, prefferably a diesel or even the new Ford F150 electric pickup. But then you'll be paying a lot more on the initial cost.

However, if you drive far once a month, like 1,000 miles at least, then it would make sense to get something like a diesel pickup, or a much newer gasser. There are Chevy Colorados that can tow up to 7,700lbs. The diesel version gets 30mpg, according to the EPA. But again, those won't be cheap to purchase.
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Old 05-28-2021, 01:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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https://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-towing-guides/

I’d be thinking 2001ish Silverado 2wd reg cab 5.3l w 3.08 gears would be hard to beat for total cost, if it has enough seats
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Let's say you get an old truck that gets 5mpg with your trailer and you do 100 miles once a month. That's 20 gallons a month, or $80 a month if you multiply that by $4 per gallon. So if you own it for 5 years that would be $4,800 total. If the truck cost you $1,000 and you had to do $1,000 worth of work to it you're now at $6,800 total after the five years, plus tags and insurance.

If you get a truck that gets 10mpg, you'd break even if the truck is $4,400 and needs no work.

You'd also break even if you got a truck for $5,200 that gets 15 mpg while towing.

A 20mpg truck while towing would have to cost no more than $5,600 to break even.

Of course the farther you drive, the more fuel costs per gallon, or the longer you intend to do this every month the more it makes sense to get the newer, more expensive, fuel efficient truck, at least from an economical standpoint.

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