BoLin

New Tow Vehicle Thoughts / Recommendations

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Just starting to look at getting a new (or slightly used) tow vehicle for a 20' Grady. (This vehicle will also be my wife's everyday ride so it's gonna be an SUV, not a pickup.) Total towing weight is only a bit over 4,000 lb so we don't need a monster truck.  Also, this vehicle will be used a few times a year for beach driving to fish on LI.

We've towed this boat with an Explorer and an Expedition in the past and presently have an older Jeep Grand Cherokee. Kinda figured to go with an Expedition again or maybe a Tahoe. My wife saw a Nissan Armada that she likes the look of which got me wondering if they tow well.

I know nothing about the Armada except that US Newsa rated in in the top 10 SUV's for towing. So, if anyone has any knowledge or opinions on the Armada as a tow vehicle I'd love to hear them. Also, since our last Expedition was a 2002, any input on current Expeditions or even Tahoes would be helpful.

 

Last but maybe not least ... seems a lot of new / late model Expeditions have V-6's now.  Our recent tow vehicles have all had pretty big V-8's.  Anybody know how a V-6 Expedition does towing a boat like ours?

 

Thx for the help.
 

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The vehicle manufacturers all list the gross towing capacity so I would use that as your guide. I wouldn't go with anything less than 5K capacity for that setup if you are planning on towing regularly. The brakes are as important as the max pullage, so keep that in mind too.

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might want to check that weight, 4000 seems low for a 20' grady, did you add for the trailer and gas (6.6 pounds/gallon) and gear 

 

my boat had a dry hull weight of 2400 lbs, add the outboard and other equipment and gas and trailer, it was closer to 5500 lbs

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Fishfood - I kinda figured it would be OK but I'm just and old fart who's used to old tech and big engines.

 

Strat - I'm aware about the factory recommendations but sometimes I wonder about those a bit.  My Cherokee is rated at max tow or 6250# and from experience with my Grady I wouldn't want to try to pull 6250# up even a moderate hill.

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I tow a 22' grady seafarer with an old grand cherokee rated for 6500lbs.  But my ramp is 2 miles away thru 35mph roads and dead flat.    I can accelerate up a hill going to the gas station, but if I ever start towing longer distances with frequency, I'll upgrade to a full sized pickup.  I've been looking into trucks as a preemptive measure, and hear a lot of good things about the power/torque in those 3.5 ecoboosts.  I think the expedition is rated to over 9k lbs with the tow package. 

 

Any of those full sized SUVs you mentioned are a step up from the grand cherokee in vehicle weight and wheelbase, and should do fine.  I had a Tahoe as a rental recently and that thing was a monster in size and power compared to my old jeep. 

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Having owned an Expedition and now an F150, the slightly shorter wheelbase of the Expedition made a huge favorable difference in maneuverability when backing a tandem axle trailer almost 30' long.  Also the 3.5 Ecoboost with 8 speed tranny is much better for towing than the 5.4L with 3 speed plus overdrive.  Never had good experiences with any V8 I owned over the years.

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12 hours ago, whaler1889 said:

Having owned an Expedition and now an F150, the slightly shorter wheelbase of the Expedition made a huge favorable difference in maneuverability when backing a tandem axle trailer almost 30' long.  Also the 3.5 Ecoboost with 8 speed tranny is much better for towing than the 5.4L with 3 speed plus overdrive.  Never had good experiences with any V8 I owned over the years.

show me any new tranny that only has 4 speeds lol.  When was the last time you drove a V8, early 90s?

 

Depends on how much towing you are doing, but as the saying goes, there is no replacement for displacement.

 

Tahoe/Yukon will handle that rig with ease.  Handles my 26 Mako fine except for the steepest of hills at highway speed.  Cant comment on the other rides as I have no experience with them other than the F150 ecoboost which I rented once - an impressive truck but I didin't tow with it

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8 hours ago, makorider said:

show me any new tranny that only has 4 speeds lol.  When was the last time you drove a V8, early 90s?

 

Depends on how much towing you are doing, but as the saying goes, there is no replacement for displacement.

 

Tahoe/Yukon will handle that rig with ease.  Handles my 26 Mako fine except for the steepest of hills at highway speed.  Cant comment on the other rides as I have no experience with them other than the F150 ecoboost which I rented once - an impressive truck but I didin't tow with itex

You bring up a good point. haha.  Expy was 1998.   A few years ago a young engineer I worked with poked some fun at me and said you keep cars for decades where most people keep them for years and your quote reminds me of that.

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31 mins ago, whaler1889 said:

You bring up a good point. haha.  Expy was 1998.   A few years ago a young engineer I worked with poked some fun at me and said you keep cars for decades where most people keep them for years and your quote reminds me of that.

I can relate.  I have never replaced a car with less than 250K miles

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