Buying tow vehicle, suggestions

NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 44
edited January 11 in Trailer & Towing
Bought new 320 boondock, I have big 2500HD pickup now but it's so over kill
Looking at Grand Cherokee, but slightly more capacity & $$ than I like
Also like the Subaru,
Anyone tell us what you tried and didn't work out?
Do you love what you're using now?

Planing going into Canada Banff etc with real steep hills and onward in Alaska this summer

Bob

2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
365 Watts of Solar

Comments

  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 994
    edited January 10
    Whether or not a Subaru is a good tow vehicle depends entirely on the model and your camping style.

    The Ascent is a decent workhorse for towing a 320; every trim level except the base model has a 5000 lb overall towing capacity and 500 lb tongue weight limit, so you can carry pretty much anything you want. The towing package includes a 7 pin connector, and it has anti sway built in. 
    The Outback is more of a minimally acceptable tow vehicle, and ONLY the 2020 or 2021 XT models should be used, as they have a 3500 lb towing limit. They will work, but between the lower limits and mere 900 lb payload (which includes driver, passengers, cargo, pets, and your trailer tongue weight), they’re not the best choice if you’re the type who wants to carry a bunch of additional stuff like bikes, kayaks, heavy coolers, etc. 

    Just a heads up because not everyone is aware: Neither Subaru is compatible with physical anti sway bars due to their unibody construction. For some folks, that’s a deal breaker.

    The Grand Cherokee is a very popular tow vehicle around here. The Toyota Highlander is another possibility you might want to look into.

    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (NOT recommended)
    2020 Subaru Outback XT
    Pacific NW—stuck at home this season
  • B0atguyB0atguy Member Posts: 139
    edited January 10
    Keep the 3/4 ton 2500HD . It is not overkill , you will appreciate when you need to climb some steep grades and when you find yourself in Alaska . With the 2500HD (not sure of your engine ? 6.0 ?) , you will barely notice a MPG difference towing the [email protected] , and it will barely be breaking a sweat so it will be easy on the drivetrain and engine to keep it nice and reliable. 

    We tow our RV's with a 3/4 ton Suburban with a 8.1 496ci , and towing our 320S Boondock with it,  is the true definition of "dont even know its back there", lol . MPG is the same if we are empty, or towing the 320 . Maybe there might be a 1 mpg difference. 
    Now we did have a Dodge Caravan with the 3.6 3600lb tow rating and while it was a doable combo with the 320 , MPG really suffered when towing . Empty was close to 30 on the highway, when towing the [email protected] we dropped in to the 12's to 14's, and it was working really (too) hard. Had to keep it in 5th (out of 6) gear most of the time , unless it was a really flat long stretch . 
    The Suburban doesn't even break a sweat , and we are still pulling at about 12-14 MPG towing . It a WAY less stressful towing experience ! I can literally forget its back there  ! 

    We also have a Keystone Ouback 6500lb 30' Travel Trailer, and the Sub handles that well also. Just a way easier towing experience when we are towing the [email protected] (and way better MPG's ! , lol) vs. the big Outback. 

    Keep what you got and get a nice cap for it ! 
    2019 320s Grey / Black Trim. Pitched Axle, Front rack, 150w Solar, Sofitel sink, Isabella Awning, etc.  
    2011 Keystone Outback 260FL - 2 Slides . 
    2001 Chevy Suburban LT 2500 8.1 - 496ci  

  • rh5555rh5555 Member Posts: 247
    Now that Jeep have announced their next generation Grand Cherokee, you may be able to get a deal on the current model.  I don't remember seeing a singe negative comment about the Grand Cherokee as a TV on this forum.
    Roger and Sue Hill | 2020 [email protected] Boondock ([email protected]) | 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2L | San Juan Island, WA
  • NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 44
    the 250HD has the 8.1 gets about 9mpg, with 170 miles on it a bit too old for a big trip.

    reading older threads most folks don't use anti sway?
    2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
    365 Watts of Solar
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Member Posts: 1,019
    Agree with @B0atguy, I would use what you have, mileage will be no less towing and maybe better than some over taxed minimal tow vehicle.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 994
    edited January 10
    NovaTab said:
    the 250HD has the 8.1 gets about 9mpg, with 170 miles on it a bit too old for a big trip.

    reading older threads most folks don't use anti sway?
    If you load the trailer correctly, many people find anti sway bars unnecessary with a 320. But plenty do use it.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (NOT recommended)
    2020 Subaru Outback XT
    Pacific NW—stuck at home this season
  • B0atguyB0atguy Member Posts: 139
    edited January 10
    NovaTab said:
    the 250HD has the 8.1 gets about 9mpg, with 170 miles on it a bit too old for a big trip.

    reading older threads most folks don't use anti sway?
    Out of all the vehicles we own, I trust my old 8.1 the most , lol . They are just about as bulletproof as you can get for a towing vehicle. 170k is barely broken in for a 8.1 . They just run forever . The rest of the truck ........well that seems to vary depending on region and the amount of body rust/rot . But the drivetrain will outlast the body . Our 2500 Suburban was a California truck, so luckily, no rust anywhere . 
    9 mpg is a little hurtful , maybe it needs a good tuneup  ? 
    I am in the boat business , and the 8.1 496 is a common marine engine used in cabin cruisers and performance boats . They just run ......... period . They barely even need maintenance. Why GM phased out this engine is a mystery . Too much competition for the Duramax , prob. 
    We have service trucks with 5.3's, 6.0's and 8.1's . The 8.1's NEVER need anything . Just have to watch a few of the common 8.1 problem areas (same for 5.3, 6.0) . Exhaust mainfold gaskets , damper pulleys , and the common 8.1 "using" some oil . Some worse than others. Our Suburban is not bad , about 1 quart per 1k miles. 

    If you are determined to switch up tow vehicles , you cant go wrong with a Grand Cherokee . If it were me, I would get the 5.7 ........so there goes the MPG again . Great towing platform though , with the V8. The 3.6 should also be ok , as they are pairing that with an 8 speed transmission now. Just dont care for the shorter wheelbase of the GC for towing. 

    If we ONLY towed our [email protected] , I would prob jump into a new body style Suburban with the 5.3 (our 30' outback would be too much for the 5.3) . I dont know how anyone can camp with a 320 , and not have the room in the tow vehicle for all the "stuff" that wont fit in the [email protected] !  A Jeep Grand Cherokee just wouldn't do it for us . 
    2019 320s Grey / Black Trim. Pitched Axle, Front rack, 150w Solar, Sofitel sink, Isabella Awning, etc.  
    2011 Keystone Outback 260FL - 2 Slides . 
    2001 Chevy Suburban LT 2500 8.1 - 496ci  

  • 4ncar4ncar Member Posts: 894
    I’m I’m kinda partial to my Colorado diesel.
    TV- '16 Chevy Colorado LT Crew Cab-DuraMax
    2018 320S Outback
  • tabiphiletabiphile Member Posts: 265
    With the 2500 you already own a perfect TV. Rear wheel drive with selective 4 wheel for when you need it, lot's of HP  and torque, a bullet proof motor and a truck chassis. You can't do much better without buying into a modern equivalent. After a 2500 any Subaru will leave you feeling drained and stressed every time to finish a day on the road. Going from capable to marginal is a step backwards. Jeep is a Jeep is a Jeep. If you try to make a move from a Chevy to a Jeep it will make you crazy. There is a Jeep way that things are done that only someone who has always liked Jeeps can appreciate...a Jeepy kind of funk and now with a bit of an Italian flare.
    In your shoes I would throw some plugs in the 2500, change the oil in the motor, tranny, transfer cases, make sure tranny mounts and motor mounts and brakes are happy, replace all of the filters and run it another 75,000 miles. 
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Member Posts: 1,019
    You can buy a lot of fuel for the difference in price between a paid for older vehicle and a new one that likely will not get a huge increase in MPG towing. Unless towing a ton, almost never worth it. I am towing a Tab 400 with a 20 year old Ram 2500, solid long ago paid for truck, 315k and counting.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
  • NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 44
    Well we rehearsed this till the cows came home,

    We love the 2500 but it's 13 years old and we towed a 31' Airstream for several years weighing about 7K, never felt it strain up mountains and would do 75mph on the right roads like nothing even with semi's passing on both sides.

    But it is big for my with drive she want new and smaller.

    I just found as a tow vehicle the Gran Cherokee "Trail Hawk" had so may tow related features it was a no brainier at least for our needs, it has air suspension, instrument that shows the angle left right and front back. just push a button to level up.

    And we can really go off the woods or desert with or without the TAB,
    also the 320 were getting is the Boon docking option so it all makes sense.

    If anyone is considering a new TV take to time to read thru the literature from Jeep.

    With the right deal and incentive's they are in low $40's
    2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
    365 Watts of Solar
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 2,177
    The Jeep GC or Wagoner is a good choice for towing RVs.  You get all the bells and whistles, great backup cameras, and rear axle drive that is more stable when towing larger loads.  The TaB 320 is small enough for mid size SUVs, but going with a larger TV allows upgrade to the 400 or larger RV...
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Boondock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • 4ncar4ncar Member Posts: 894
    Prior to my Colorado, I had a ‘14 Grand Cherokee with the eco diesel. It was great, comfy, and tons of torque, as you would expect with a diesel.
    TV- '16 Chevy Colorado LT Crew Cab-DuraMax
    2018 320S Outback
  • rfuss928rfuss928 Member Posts: 657
    NovaTab
    Your 2500 is a very capable and reasonably comfortable TV. 
    If you're determined to get a more efficient yet very capable TV, I would recommend something with a diesel powertrain.  I have 10+ years and 80k miles traveled towing with a Touareg TDI. We're always very comfortable and never concerned with capability.  16-18mpg towing, 28-31mpg otherwise.   


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