ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Fluff > Shiny Things
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-20-2015, 07:54 PM   #1
SeanF OP
-
 
SeanF's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Tucson Arizona USA
Oddometer: 2,189
Got an SUV with a v6 that you love? That tows?

I am car shopping for purchase in the next few months.

The primary mission of the vehicle will be towing an ADA-accessible camper that I will be building from a 7' x 12' cargo trailer. Estimated post-conversion weight to be around 2700lbs.

My significant other uses a wheelchair and transfers from her chair to the front passenger's seat by scooching the chair up next to the vehicle's open door, then grab the passenger grabhandle, then stand-pivot-sit. So the seat height and grabhandle height is a consideration. She is a tall babe , but I think anything like a Pilot or XTerra will have too high of a seat. That also rules out pickups...we kinda need the cargo area for stowing the wheelchair.

We tried out a Ford Escape and it was around the right seat height. Also tried a Touareg and it was fine too. An older Kia Sorento had a grabhandle that seemed strangely in the stratosphere, but could probably be made to work. We'd even be down with a station wagon, if it could handle the towing.

We both work from home, so we won't be putting many local miles on the vehicle. Occasional trips will be towing from Tucson (1800-2000 feet elevation) to the Colorado Plateau (7000+ feet). Some to Mexico, beach and otherwise.

I'd be grateful for any experiences, good or bad, with a small-to-midsized suv or wagon that can tow a bit. Looking to buy used, probably 2-7 years old, unless something compelling enough comes up.

Thanks in advance
Sean
__________________
Before enlightenment, change oil and adjust valves; after enlightenment, change oil and adjust valves.
SeanF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:09 PM   #2
BMW-K
F800GS FTW!
 
BMW-K's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Anaheim, CA
Oddometer: 1,518
Mercedes GLK or MLK 350 with a diesel? Audi Q5 diesel?

Both tend to rank quite highly.
__________________
2010 F800GS Anniversary - a return to Eden
2011 Yamaha WR250R, 2012 Ducati Monster
2007 R1200GS (Sold)

IBA # 20880. STFU and Ride.
BMW-K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:13 PM   #3
13
__________
 
13's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Long Island, NY
Oddometer: 6,708
Explorer? Its nothing fancy but suit your needs if the seat height is good. Ours has been trouble free for the 2.5 years we've had it.

Edit: The Outback! I'm not sure what the tow rating it be we towed a 2400b boat around the adirondaks with a '11 4 cylinder. Seat height should be perfect. Even a Forrester may work
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeflow
conformity makes better taxpayers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozmoses
Well, money comes and goes; time just goes...
13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:22 PM   #4
bruceo
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Wetside, Washington
Oddometer: 166
Mazda CX-9
__________________
2012 KTM 990 Adventure R
2010 KTM 530 EXC
bruceo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:44 PM   #5
Hesaid
Beastly Adventurer
 
Hesaid's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Central CA
Oddometer: 1,525
Well, yeah, I've got one...

But like you mentioned, the seat is a bit high on an Xterra. It'll handle your towing needs just fine, and the mileage doesn't (can't) even get much worse than when you're not towing. Mine's an '03, and taller than stock, so my perception might be a bit off, though I suspect it is higher than what you're looking for. My brother in law now has a Pilot, traded from an Escape. I'll ask him for his opinions next time I see him (Friday?).

I'd avoid the fancy German SUV's, but that's just me, a German auto mechanic. Or technician. Or occasional magician... Whatever it is we're calling ourselves these days. As much as I'm not a Ford guy, the Explorer does seem to be a pretty reliable chassis that keeps getting the job done. At least the older, body on frame versions, preferably with a solid rear axle. Though that might be older than you're looking to go.

Are you flexible on the SUV part? Small trucks with camper shells might be an option. There are all sorts of varieties of heights available, and most are pretty easier to modify to get the height you want.

Another thing to consider, not knowing just how your significant other does things, is seat height vs. step in height. The door sills on many smaller unibody vehicles are (necessarily) high and bulky, as opposed to a flat floor on a truck based platform. As my grandparents aged, this was a significant issue for them, and a serious drawback to their Subaru. Basically, high door sills make it harder to slide your legs in/out. You have to lift them up and over.

Look at all those words? It's like I can never answer "yes" or "no"...

MV
__________________
DR Feelgood , Tipsy Wombat, Pinkfoot, FatCat, and how they got their names: What the hell is a wombat? And now, the tales of their adventures.
Hesaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:45 PM   #6
Jimmy the Heater
Tilting the Horizon
 
Jimmy the Heater's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: WA Palouse area
Oddometer: 2,133
When I read tow and Colorado, I would really question a V6. Granted that is a pretty light trailer but remember you also have to question the frontal area of a cargo trailer as well.

I made that mistake with my Grand Cherokee and the 4.0 6cyl. Trailer weight was 2800 which was well within the 5000 lb capacity of the Jeep but the frontal area of the trailer ate horsepower. I got 6 mpg towing with it and any hill had me down to 35-40 mph.

7000 ft of elevation will reduce your HP by about 25-30% as well.


Yes this trailer is bigger than what you describe but the weight is very similar empty. Heck even my neighbor who borrowed this to move a couch said he was wishing for more power with his Silverado and the 285 hp V8.

Another thing...cooling. Make sure whatever you get has a high capacity cooling system included in the tow package.

Honestly I would be looking at full size pickups/Crew cab with a canopy to store the chair and a V8. The new Ram 1500 Hemi that I rented when the Jeep above got totaled has 395 HP and still manages to get 24 on the highway.
Jimmy the Heater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 09:41 PM   #7
RBJ
Ph.D in B.S.
 
RBJ's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: I da Ho
Oddometer: 538
Mercedes ML320. 240hp V6 with dual range and extra cooling capacity.

http://4x4abc.com/ML320/tow.html
__________________
Freedom isn't free.
Free men aren't equal.
Equal men aren't free.
RBJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 04:14 AM   #8
Maritimer
Bikeless Adventurer
 
Maritimer's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Oddometer: 314
I'm thinking Outback with the H6..the height is right it will tow what you need.
It might even return decent fuel economy - certainly relative to a larger SUV.
__________________
Former motorcyclist...avid bicyclist

Mrs Maritimer on packing lunches: "Don't forget the pepper grinder. Just because we are eating cottage cheese at work, doesn't mean we need to be heathens about it."
Maritimer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 05:27 AM   #9
Yooper_Bob
Beastly Adventurer
 
Yooper_Bob's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
Oddometer: 2,876
I think you should actually try out a Pilot, before ruling them out.

Our first pilot went 130K miles and was never in the shop! That is, until the wife totaled it in an accident. We immediately went out and bought another one.

They are very boring, extremely reliable, get excellent mileage (25 mpg), and have a ton of interior space.

The front seats are very easy to get in/out of. The door openings are pretty wide.
__________________
2007 KTM 640 Adventure
Yooper_Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 05:34 AM   #10
Jarvis
DC GSer
 
Jarvis's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 11,006
Grand Cherokee with air suspension, so that you can lower it as needed to ease access.
__________________
Support DC voting rights.
Jarvis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 05:53 AM   #11
fullmonte
Reformed Kneedragger
 
fullmonte's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Oddometer: 5,433
I've got a 2007 RAV4 with the 3.5 V6 which produces 269hp = 0-60 in the mid 6 sec range, 26 mpg at 80 mph on the slab with 4 passengers and luggage, 23-24mpg in town. Has a tow rating of 3500lbs. When towing a heavy duty open motorcycle trailer and a 500lb bike, it gets 15-17 mpg in the mountains. Leave the trans in 4th in those conditions and it doesn't struggle to maintain 70mph. Has 116k miles and all I've had to change is gas, oil, tires, the 90k mile service, and a set of brakes.
__________________
"If you are looking for the typical ride to a restaurant, eat tacos, hold the middle finger over the food, stop and take a picture of a gravel road type ride, you probably won't be interested." - dlrides

"A guy I know was the lead researcher for the University of Utah federally funded study of cellphone and texting use while driving. He found that your twice as dangerous as a drunk while using your cell phone and I think it was up to six times worse if the driver was texting."-dakardad
fullmonte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 06:01 AM   #12
SeanF OP
-
 
SeanF's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Tucson Arizona USA
Oddometer: 2,189
Wow, thank you for all of the replies. This gives me a lot to think about. I'm pretty sure this aspect of the project is more complicated than the trailer conversion itself.
I also have a size limit on the tow vehicle due to garage space. She needs a few feet on the passenger side for access/egress, and we're juuuuust ok in there as it is with a car and 2 bikes + a sidecar rig. Don't make me part with one of the bikes.
__________________
Before enlightenment, change oil and adjust valves; after enlightenment, change oil and adjust valves.
SeanF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 06:10 AM   #13
James Adams
A few crayons short.
 
James Adams's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: uʍop ǝpᴉsdn
Oddometer: 10,542
My diesel Grand Cherokee has a 7200# tow rating (7400# on the 2WD version). Any of the other diesel V6 SUVs will tow what you need just fine, and they'll do still perform reasonably well at altitude because of the forced induction. But they're typically a bit more expensive both to buy and maintain.

And as Jarvis mentioned, the air suspension allows the Jeep to lower 1.5" from normal ride height for easier entry/exit as well as raise about 2.5" higher than normal ride height for obstacle clearance. It doesn't sound like much, but it feels like a lot.

Air suspension also keeps the vehicle level no matter what kind of load you have on the hitch.

[flame suit on]

(above picture was also taken with the suspension at the lowest setting for easy loading of the bike)
__________________
505 XC-F DUKE 690

James Adams screwed with this post 05-21-2015 at 06:23 AM
James Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 06:18 AM   #14
RumRunner
Sit there, turn that
 
RumRunner's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2001
Location: Great White North
Oddometer: 4,805
We have about 190k kms on a Ford Flex with Ecoboost. It tows 4500lbs, is low to the ground and has huge room per passenger. You might want to ad one to your list of considered vehicles.




DW
__________________
I became friends with someone just because they rode motorcycles from no-place to no-where.
RumRunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 06:24 AM   #15
James Adams
A few crayons short.
 
James Adams's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: uʍop ǝpᴉsdn
Oddometer: 10,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by RumRunner View Post
We have about 190k kms on a Ford Flex with Ecoboost. It tows 4500lbs, is low to the ground and has huge room per passenger. You might want to ad one to your list of considered vehicles.




DW
That's a great choice; I always forget about the Flex. Tons of room inside!
__________________
505 XC-F DUKE 690
James Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 12:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015