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jbanks1005

South Carolina

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Posted: 09/18/21 08:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey everyone! My family and I are looking at getting a hybrid camper for our growing family in the next few years. Right now it’s my wife and I and our two kids (2 and 1) with another one on the way. We plan on having one more and so that’s why we would be looking at a full size SUV. I’ve been doing some basic research on the different vendors and thought I would see what others thought.

Does anyone currently tow their hybrid with a full size suv? I know one with a tow package is a must and I know an SUV is not ideal, compared to a truck but with our growing family and the age of the kids, a truck wouldn’t be possible. I’ve been camping before and I absolutely loved it and my wife would love to go as well and get into it as we both love to be outdoors and to be able to raise our kids to love it as well and to be outdoors too. Camping was a great way to get away for me.

Are there any recommendations on specific SUV makers, options to consider and/or things to look out for?

I appreciate everyone’s time, thoughts and opinions.

wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 09/18/21 08:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You may not like the idea of it, but with the plan being four kids, and they will grow, you may want to look at the vans like the Chevy Express, plenty of seating, and up to 9000 lb tow capacity.

valhalla360

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Posted: 09/18/21 08:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those kids will get bigger and they will want to bring friends along...6-10 crammed in an SUV is not going to be comfortable.

Also, payload can be an issue With 6 of you, that could easily be 800lb of payload eaten up by bodies...most SUVs don't have a ton of payload to start with, so will there be enough left for the hitch weight.

I'd be looking at a full size body on frame 3/4 or 1 ton van. Something with a 2500lb payload, so you could load kids and gear in the van and still have enough to handle the trailer.


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jbanks1005

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Posted: 09/18/21 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ah thanks everyone!! I value your input. I know As you have spoken Chevy has their cargo/passenger vans and I know Ford does as well but any thoughts on which is better overall?

soon2bexpat

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Posted: 09/18/21 02:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You def don't want an SUV. I full-time in my '02 Thor 18DT hybrid (5300#) and tow with an '02 GMC Yukon XL. Below the Yukon's 7800# tow capacity but payload is close to max.


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aftermath

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Posted: 09/18/21 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are going to have 4 kids, a large SUV would be one way to go. You will have to use the third row seats OR have a bench up front and cram everyone in closely. The van might be a better choice.

I pulled my 21ft Starcraft hybrid with a Toyota 4Runner with the 4.8 V8. It did the job but one thing I did notice is the false impression that hybrids are more light weight than other standard trailers. My 21 would open up, had a slide out and felt much like a 25 ft. trailer, or maybe even larger. So, the weight of my 21ft was indeed less than a regular 25 or 26 ft. trailer. But light? Not really. Make sure you spec out the trailer and your choice of TV. And, camping as a family tradition can't be beat. You have many great experiences ahead. Your children will remember these years with fondness. Best wishes.


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Posted: 09/18/21 06:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

edited

* This post was edited 09/18/21 06:29pm by NamMedevac 70 *

KD4UPL

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Posted: 09/19/21 05:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your only real options are the Chevy Suburban (preferably a 2500 series if you don't mind buying a 2013 or older vehicle) or a Ford Expedition. You could go way back and get a Ford Excursion but they are getting more rare all the time and some have the extremely problematic 6.0 diesel.
A Chevy Tahoe might look like an option but with the third row seats in use there is basically no cargo space. Also, the longer the wheelbase of the tow vehicle the more stable it is so a Suburban is better.
Out family of 5 travels quite nicely in our 2500 Suburban. I pull a 6,500 pound boat with it. Our 3 kids all sit in the middle row. I've had 3 bikes, coolers, grill, tools boxes, 5 camp chairs, and all our other luggage behind the middle seat one time.

atreis

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Posted: 09/19/21 05:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have to be willing to live with a smaller trailer, depending on the SUV. Look at the manufacturers tow limits, and add 1000 lbs to the empty weight of the trailer. You'll likely discover that you are limited to a pretty small (~17-21 foot) trailer so need to have a very friendly family.

I towed for years with two minivans (Ford Windstar, Toyota Sienna) and a medium sized SUV (Honda Pilot) with no issues, but was very careful to make sure I stayed within the manufacturers weight limits. I used a tongue scale and also weighed regularly at a CAT scale, to make sure I was okay, and loaded very carefully. Minivans have wonderfully long wheelbases and make for a very stable tow platform, although they have low weight limits. The Pilot's wheelbase wasn't quite as good, but had a higher weight limit and stiffer suspension, but had to be careful to not transfer weight to the front axle above what would be there without the trailer. The rear axle in the Pilot is quite beefy, but the front axle doesn't have a lot of margin.

The point of the above isn't to recommend (or disrecommend) those vehicles, but to point out the considerations that need to be taken into account. What you need to consider would depend on the SUV chosen.

Also, plan on a better than average hitch. I used an Equalizer for about 10 years, and then a Hensley Arrow.

I have a family of 5 lightweight people and two dogs. I'm the heaviest of us, at 150 lbs.


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wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 09/19/21 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jbanks1005 wrote:

Ah thanks everyone!! I value your input. I know As you have spoken Chevy has their cargo/passenger vans and I know Ford does as well but any thoughts on which is better overall?


The Chevy's give you the option of a conventional truck drivetrain, plenty of tow cap in the neighborhood of 9000 lbs and sufficient seating, cargo up in the 3500 lb range. With v-8 drivetrains.
The ford transit lets you get the eco boost 3.5, and all the seating you need, but trailer towing is limited to 4000 lbs or so. The trailers you can keep in that range are pretty sparse in amenities.

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