Trucks & Trailers - Most economical 5000 lb capacity tow rig?

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second time
03-10-2011, 06:43 AM
With all the newer models out there today it is hard to keep up. I currently have an 05 Trailblazer as my tow vehicle for a my 19 Edgewater. Everything is fine with this vehicle towing and not except for the very poor mpg economy.

We are considering a replacement vehicle and would like to hear some real world mpg #'s for some of the newer models out there.

Thanks in advance :thumbsup:


BigShrimpin
03-10-2011, 06:52 AM
Old Buick Roadmaster Wagon with the tow package.

http://www.gotengines.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/1996.buick_.roadmaster.1350-396x249.jpg

kchace
03-10-2011, 06:58 AM
Jeep Liberty with factory tow package is rated for 5000lbs. I regularly tow 42-4300lbs (boat in sig below with alum double axle trailer) and its does great. My 2010 Liberty actually gets me 21mpg when not towing and I think around 13 towing. Great vehicle.

Ken


WNY PAT
03-10-2011, 07:07 AM
I don't know what condition the Trailblazer is in - but my guess is you might be way better off in the long run finding a good car (Malibu or Impala or similar) that'll get you 25 - 30 MPG and just use the TB when you need to tow. That's what I'll be doing next year - the Sierra will be around for towing and hunting adventures and such - but a mid size sedan for banging around to work. The deals on the Malibu were amazing a couple months ago - brand new nicely equipped for about $17K with a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Tough to beat!

LI32
03-10-2011, 08:48 AM
The most economical will be a mid-sized diesel.
If you are looking at new your choice is the Mercedes ML350 BlueTec - rated at 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and will tow 7,200 lbs. or the Volkswagen Toureg TDI - rated at 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 6,000 lbs towing.
Used, you can add in the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD 3.0 diesel (only year made), which is rated at 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and tow 7,200 lbs.

Jonboater
03-10-2011, 01:18 PM
I believe both the 4-Runner and the V6 Highlander are rated at 5,000lbs. They get pretty decent mpgs.

I always thought the trailblazer did ok too, guess not.

WNY PAT
03-11-2011, 05:30 AM
If only we had the choices available in Europe for small, relatively inexpensive turbodiesel trucks... I'd love a TD tow rig but just can't wrap my head around the initial cost and then the added expense of diesel fuel. The fact that diesel is more expensive is another rant altogether.

jerryclaybrook
03-11-2011, 07:37 AM
I recenty got a Traverse with the factory tow package. rated for 5400 lbs. Pulled my Key West 196 Bay boat 1475 miles to Florida. Did great plently of power as comfortable as a tow vechicle can be and a great all around car. Seats 7 plus the seats all lay down for hauling stuff. Wife likes it which was part of the reason. I have a F-150 as well but wife hated driving it in FL. so this makes peace in the family. Rated for 24 mpg but I get around 20 on interstate trip, I averaged 11.8 mpg on the trip to Fl. I kept cruise on 65 overall moving average was 60 which is pretty good considering the distance, traffic.

You have to get one with the factory towing package to get this rating otherwise it is rated for 1800 lbs. Tow package not able to be dealer installed.

shoot-straight
03-11-2011, 08:34 AM
no contest a chevy truck with a 5.3l engine. simply the best, most fuel efficient engine in its class. roughly the same milage as most v6's. why buy a 6 when you can buy an 8. 5000 is a good sized load.

BTW i own a tundra. i used to have a chevy. i miss it.

weimdad
03-11-2011, 05:48 PM
I have a 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD (Common Rail Diesel) 5,000 lb rating. I get 26 mpg in town, 30 on the highway. Towing, it comes in around 18.5. Too bad they only made them for two years. You might be able to find a used one, but they are in high demand.

mikeinmass
03-11-2011, 05:53 PM
Now there's a ride!

EricB85
03-11-2011, 07:17 PM
My Toyota Tacoma Sport double cab consistently gets around 18 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and an ugly 10 mpg pulling a 20' 6" Proline at around 4,500lbs loaded. I have to pull it in 4th gear on the higway though... it shifts constantly when I try to use overdrive.

rusbob
03-11-2011, 08:53 PM
The most economical will be a mid-sized diesel.
If you are looking at new your choice is the Mercedes ML350 BlueTec - rated at 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and will tow 7,200 lbs. or the Volkswagen Toureg TDI - rated at 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 6,000 lbs towing.
Used, you can add in the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD 3.0 diesel (only year made), which is rated at 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and tow 7,200 lbs.
These are economical choices? Diesel is NOT an economical choice in America. Period. And I'm a diesel owner! The OP will never be compensated for the initial cost of these vehicles in gas mileage. He only wants to tow 5000 pounds fer cryin out loud! To justify a diesel vehicle in this country you better be towing a large load (8-10k) often. Otherwise, gassers rule.:)

wvstriper
03-14-2011, 10:42 AM
How much hay and oats per mile?;)

http://www.dailyencouragement.net/images/amish_mule_work_team.jpg

LI32
03-14-2011, 11:07 AM
These are economical choices? Diesel is NOT an economical choice in America. Period. And I'm a diesel owner! The OP will never be compensated for the initial cost of these vehicles in gas mileage. He only wants to tow 5000 pounds fer cryin out loud! To justify a diesel vehicle in this country you better be towing a large load (8-10k) often. Otherwise, gassers rule.:)

The OP's complaint was solely about fuel economy. Not debating overall costs or financial sense.
Other than the diesel, show me one other SUV or pickup that gets 20 mpg or better in the city and over 25 mpg on the highway that is rated to tow 5,000 lbs? I hear crickets.

Joe
03-14-2011, 01:19 PM
no contest a chevy truck with a 5.3l engine. simply the best, most fuel efficient engine in its class. roughly the same milage as most v6's. why buy a 6 when you can buy an 8. 5000 is a good sized load.

BTW i own a tundra. i used to have a chevy. i miss it.


My Toyota Tacoma Sport double cab consistently gets around 18 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and an ugly 10 mpg pulling a 20' 6" Proline at around 4,500lbs loaded. I have to pull it in 4th gear on the higway though... it shifts constantly when I try to use overdrive.

I must be doing something very wrong. I just traded a '10 2wd DC V6 Tacoma for an 07 Yukon 5.3l. Neither vehicle got anything near these numbers. I tracked every gallon of gas I put in the Tacoma and over the year I had it, it got 17.56 mpg...the highest it ever got was 20.38 mpg...once. I haven't been as diligent with documentation with the Yukon, but I haven't seen a tankful over 15 mpg yet since I got it in January. I drive as conservative and slow as possible..no flooring it or jack rabbit starts etc and use the cruise control on almost every trip.

I don't get it.

LuckyLadyBH
03-14-2011, 01:45 PM
Joe, I have an 07 Yukon and regularly get 16-17 running around and 19-20 on the road at 65-70. FYI.

Joe
03-14-2011, 04:07 PM
Mine must be defective.

ReelWork
03-14-2011, 04:24 PM
Jeep Liberty with factory tow package is rated for 5000lbs. I regularly tow 42-4300lbs (boat in sig below with alum double axle trailer) and its does great. My 2010 Liberty actually gets me 21mpg when not towing and I think around 13 towing. Great vehicle.

Ken

Yeah, how far you towing??? My bet says less than 20 miles... :trout:

kone
03-14-2011, 05:01 PM
With all the newer models out there today it is hard to keep up. I currently have an 05 Trailblazer as my tow vehicle for a my 19 Edgewater. Everything is fine with this vehicle towing and not except for the very poor mpg economy.

We are considering a replacement vehicle and would like to hear some real world mpg #'s for some of the newer models out there.

Thanks in advance :thumbsup:

What mpg would you consider acceptable?

Just did this dance - pretty tough finding anything better than 20 day in, day out. As much as I didn't want to, I ended-up adding a high mpg commuter car.

jerryclaybrook
03-14-2011, 05:16 PM
Anyone notice my previous post. 11.6 mpg towing 1450 miles at 65 mph, 20 mpg 70 mph Interstate, 19 overall driving. probably better than 20 mpg at 60 mph or less. Plently of power, good comfort, all wheel drive, 7 passenger plus seats lay flat when needed. 5400 tow rating. I think it is an ideal SUV, not meant for offroading but how many really go offroading. Chevy Traverse.

I was towing a tandem axle trailer with car fully loaded, plus 20 ft Key West Bay boat with 60 gallons of gas in tank plus misc. stuff loaded in the boat.

LuckyLadyBH
03-14-2011, 05:24 PM
Jerry, those are very good overall performance numbers!!!

DrewC
03-14-2011, 05:40 PM
Are you considering buying a new vehicle to save money on gas? You can't do it unless you buy something that cost the same as your Trailblazer is currently worth. If you buy a new truck, Tahoe, whaterver, you'll spend more on depreciation each month than gas.

weimdad
03-14-2011, 06:32 PM
Yeah, how far you towing??? My bet says less than 20 miles... :trout:

I tow 58 miles round trip. Some hills and a long 5% grade on the return trip. You also have to remember in 2005 diesel was still cheaper than gas at the pump. At that time it was a no brainer to go with the diesel. Besides, the upcharge was less than $2,000. I getting ready to pull a Pursuit 2270 CC. Weight will be just over 5,300lbs. Jeep service manager said I shouldn't see any problems with being over the limit by that much.

second time
03-15-2011, 06:19 AM
No, I would not be looking new. I was hoping the Traverse and similar newly designed vehicles with higher mpg ratings would do better than 11.5 mpg towing. That is not far from what I get now at around 10 mpg.

jerryclaybrook
03-15-2011, 06:49 AM
Yes I was hoping for better with the Traverse but it is 15% better than what I got with my F-150. If you are not towing at interstate speeds (below 60) I am pretty sure the mpg would be between 12-13. The higher speeds really impact mileage when towing.

BigShrimpin
03-15-2011, 08:57 AM
I towed a 20ft seacraft loaded with 2000lbs of tools/crap cross country
(3362 miles) with a 1995 Buick Roadmaster wagon and I averaged 13.6mpg . . . a lot of that was 65 - 70mph driving.

When you slow down to 55mph you get better fuel economy.

Captain Willie
03-15-2011, 11:56 AM
Hey Joe (couldn't resist): I have an '04 Yukon w/5.3L. Average mileage over 94K is 17mpg. On long range tows of my beast = 11 mpg's.

Joe
03-15-2011, 12:53 PM
Hey Joe (couldn't resist): I have an '04 Yukon w/5.3L. Average mileage over 94K is 17mpg. On long range tows of my beast = 11 mpg's.

Mine will get 99 mpg going downhill!

JoeR2
03-15-2011, 01:24 PM
Numbers taken when I towed a 4950 lb load (grady on a trailer) 1400 miles with my 5 speed manual 4Runner: 13.4 mpg average for the trip. The rig got 20.7 mpg combined city/highway driving when not towing. It was a beast and drove well. with the manual, it did rev high on highway trips in 5th, but I usually keep it to 65 mph, so not a biggie. Lost it in an accident. not sure they make the 5-speed any more. The automatic makes towing easier, but not sure about mileage.

tango2echo
03-17-2011, 05:12 AM
I have a 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD (Common Rail Diesel) 5,000 lb rating. I get 26 mpg in town, 30 on the highway. Towing, it comes in around 18.5. Too bad they only made them for two years. You might be able to find a used one, but they are in high demand.

I have been looking for one since 2008. Haven't found one on this side of the country yet.

Fatherof4
03-17-2011, 06:43 AM
I have a 2011 Chev Silverado, Crew Cab 4x4. I get 15 mpg around town, and just pulled my 24' bay boat 200 miles one way. avg exactly 9.9-10.0 mpg pulling the boat.

dbkerley
03-17-2011, 06:47 AM
Old Buick Roadmaster Wagon with the tow package.

http://www.gotengines.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/1996.buick_.roadmaster.1350-396x249.jpg

I was looking for one of those.

Inlander
03-19-2011, 05:39 AM
These are economical choices? Diesel is NOT an economical choice in America. Period. And I'm a diesel owner! The OP will never be compensated for the initial cost of these vehicles in gas mileage. He only wants to tow 5000 pounds fer cryin out loud! To justify a diesel vehicle in this country you better be towing a large load (8-10k) often. Otherwise, gassers rule.:)

Have to disagree. The advantage of diesel is equally advantageous with small diesel engines. I have both a Grand Cherokee with a 3.0V6 diesel rated at 7,200#, and a Liberty with a 2.8diesel rated at 5000#. These were not expensive to purchase or expensive to operate.

The only problem with the small diesel engines is that there aren't enough of them available in the US. Neither model is available in the US today. To get into a small diesel engine you have to buy a very expensive luxury vehicle. Yet a little 2.8 liter 4 cylinder or 3.0V6 diesel would be perfect in a half ton pickup or SUV.

In terms of what new vehicle is available today, the gas Liberty may be the most affordable vehicle capable of towing 5,000.

Morse
03-19-2011, 10:28 AM
I've bought atleast one diesel truck per year since 99. Well, this time I bought a gasser because I was having a hard time justifying the cost of a new diesel. I bought a 2010 crew cab 2wd dodge with the 310 hp 4.7 V8. It's difinitely not a HD pickup, but the fuel mileage is quite impressive. With the cruise on 78, it averages 19 to 21 mpg hand checked on the interstate here in FL. Pulling running 72 on the interstate turned in 12.x to 14 mpg. The fuel economy is actually better dropping out ot 5th and into 4th on the interstate with a load. If a person wants to be a fuel miser, unloaded the truck can turn in over 25 mpg on the interstate running 65 mph. If a person isn't in a huge hurry, it pays to drive slow with the price of todays fuel. Around town I consistantly get 16-17 mpg, but I drive very conservatively. You can buy a one year old 2010 like this one with low miles for less than 20 grand. It's a very good bang for your buck. Do I miss having 4x4 diesels that can tow anything, sure I do. I to hope one day in the near future a half ton diesel will be released.

weimdad
03-19-2011, 08:49 PM
I have been looking for one since 2008. Haven't found one on this side of the country yet.

I haven't seen any for sale here either. I get comments about it, not too many people know about them. My wife uses it for her art shows and says she has become very popular with the men when she starts up the Liberty. Seems they are all interested in her driving that type of SUV. She says she should have had one when she was younger>:o

cgull
03-20-2011, 05:12 AM
05 4-Runner here and it is great. Has v8 + 4wd. Safety was a goal on the road + at the ramp and the 4Runner delivers. Also, when not towing it gets ~20mpg highway. Got it used at CarMax

dbkerley
03-20-2011, 08:37 AM
My '97 T100 does the same. It does seem to work a little harder than it should though.

RumRunner21
03-20-2011, 10:07 AM
This will be a bit of over kill... but i just sold a 1993 Dodge Diesel for $3500 in great shape... got 25mpg highway... 20mpg towing 6k, and you didn't even know it was back there.

My bright self bought a Escalade for more comfort, and know get 8-9 mpg towing... DUMB on my part!

I would find an old Dodge or ford diesel and run the hell out of it.

tango2echo
03-20-2011, 11:27 AM
I haven't seen any for sale here either. I get comments about it, not too many people know about them. My wife uses it for her art shows and says she has become very popular with the men when she starts up the Liberty. Seems they are all interested in her driving that type of SUV. She says she should have had one when she was younger>:o

The new Jeep Jk 4 door is similar in size and weight to the Liberty diesel. The JK gets 13city 17hwy with the 3.7V-6. Why the heck don't they put the 2.8L CRTD or the 3.0L CRTD in it? It has been done by more than one aftermarket company. I was going to buy the wife a new 4-door JK, but the crappy mileage was the deal breaker for me. Even worse is the 1500/2500 pound tow ratings. Even with the towing package the 4-door JK is only rated 3500lbs with 250lb tongue weight.

I don't get it.

t2e

rusbob
03-20-2011, 12:48 PM
Have to disagree. The advantage of diesel is equally advantageous with small diesel engines. I have both a Grand Cherokee with a 3.0V6 diesel rated at 7,200#, and a Liberty with a 2.8diesel rated at 5000#. These were not expensive to purchase or expensive to operate.

The only problem with the small diesel engines is that there aren't enough of them available in the US. Neither model is available in the US today. To get into a small diesel engine you have to buy a very expensive luxury vehicle. Yet a little 2.8 liter 4 cylinder or 3.0V6 diesel would be perfect in a half ton pickup or SUV.

In terms of what new vehicle is available today, the gas Liberty may be the most affordable vehicle capable of towing 5,000.
I don't disagree in theory. I would love to have a 1/2 ton with a small diesel. It would suit my needs perfectly. But the fact of the matter is it does not exist in America, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. It is not financially viable for the auto manufacturers right now.
As for routine maintenance costs, they are about the same, but repairs are generally more expensive with a diesel. Priced a set of injectors lately? Scary.
The point of my original post was that the OP asked about a tow vehicle for 5000 lbs, and a diesel would probably be overkill both in terms of power and price.

BigShrimpin
03-20-2011, 02:22 PM
http://www.wellcraftv20.com/gallery/albums/album216/1_G.jpg

22.26mpg down to Reading, PA (334 miles on 15.0 gallons) driving 65-68mph. I even rolled out my sleeping bag and took a nap in the back for 2 hours

tango2echo
03-20-2011, 02:39 PM
I don't disagree in theory. I would love to have a 1/2 ton with a small diesel. It would suit my needs perfectly. But the fact of the matter is it does not exist in America, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. It is not financially viable for the auto manufacturers right now.
As for routine maintenance costs, they are about the same, but repairs are generally more expensive with a diesel. Priced a set of injectors lately? Scary.
The point of my original post was that the OP asked about a tow vehicle for 5000 lbs, and a diesel would probably be overkill both in terms of power and price.

This is actually a myth. Studies have shown that it costs less to build a small diesel than a similar gas engine. Case in point is Subaru's 2.5L boxer diesel available overseas, and VW's TDI 1.9L diesel in the Jetta. It cost less for them to build the diesel than the 2.5L gas engine in the same car. Therefore the MSRP of the diesel with the SAME options package is about $300 less. (The diesel Jetta often has more options like leather and a sunroof) There are fewer wear parts and moving parts on the diesel. The reason the automakers do not bring more diesels here is the general publics opinion of them is based on the smelly, poor performing diesels of the 1960-1970's and price shock at the pump with diesel fuel costing more. Simply put, the average American cannot do the math to figure out that the cost per mile on a diesel is less than a similar gas engine.

t2e

dbkerley
03-20-2011, 05:46 PM
http://www.wellcraftv20.com/gallery/albums/album216/1_G.jpg

22.26mpg down to Reading, PA (334 miles on 15.0 gallons) driving 65-68mph. I even rolled out my sleeping bag and took a nap in the back for 2 hours

So - are you saying that you would like to trade for my Toyota?

Joe
03-20-2011, 06:22 PM
This is actually a myth. Studies have shown that it costs less to build a small diesel than a similar gas engine. Case in point is Subaru's 2.5L boxer diesel available overseas, and VW's TDI 1.9L diesel in the Jetta. It cost less for them to build the diesel than the 2.5L gas engine in the same car. Therefore the MSRP of the diesel with the SAME options package is about $300 less. (The diesel Jetta often has more options like leather and a sunroof) There are fewer wear parts and moving parts on the diesel. The reason the automakers do not bring more diesels here is the general publics opinion of them is based on the smelly, poor performing diesels of the 1960-1970's and price shock at the pump with diesel fuel costing more. Simply put, the average American cannot do the math to figure out that the cost per mile on a diesel is less than a similar gas engine.

t2e

I was riding behind an older Suburban diesel the other day that was burning vegetable oil..smelled like french fries..and made me hungry!

Inlander
03-21-2011, 05:34 AM
This is actually a myth. Studies have shown that it costs less to build a small diesel than a similar gas engine. Case in point is Subaru's 2.5L boxer diesel available overseas, and VW's TDI 1.9L diesel in the Jetta. It cost less for them to build the diesel than the 2.5L gas engine in the same car. Therefore the MSRP of the diesel with the SAME options package is about $300 less. (The diesel Jetta often has more options like leather and a sunroof) There are fewer wear parts and moving parts on the diesel. The reason the automakers do not bring more diesels here is the general publics opinion of them is based on the smelly, poor performing diesels of the 1960-1970's and price shock at the pump with diesel fuel costing more. Simply put, the average American cannot do the math to figure out that the cost per mile on a diesel is less than a similar gas engine.

t2e

In europe, over 50% of vehicles sold are diesels. In the US it is only a small percentage. I wonder if it a problem of consumers in the USA who can't do the math, or is a the problem of the auto makers who think USA consumers are too stupid to do the math. Meanwhile, there is very little diesel product available.

jacksdad
03-21-2011, 12:53 PM
My '06 Tundra dcab gets around 17mpg unloaded and maybe 9mpg towing my 23' parker or loaded open car trailer. Love my truck. It is a doggone sports car compared to the bigger (and higher capacity) GM and Ford products. Good fit for me and the towing I do.

I wouldn't tow a large boat with anything so short as a Liberty or some of the other vehicles mentioned here no matter what was under the hood. Pulling the load is just 1/3 of the picture. Stopping it requires weight in the tow vehicle and controlling it requires the same + wheelbase.

fish factory
03-21-2011, 01:06 PM
no contest a chevy truck with a 5.3l engine. simply the best, most fuel efficient engine in its class. roughly the same milage as most v6's. why buy a 6 when you can buy an 8. 5000 is a good sized load.

BTW i own a tundra. i used to have a chevy. i miss it.

:thumbsup: Low initial costs, very little maintenance, good re-sale,
good riding, quiet vehicle.

DrewC
03-22-2011, 06:12 AM
In europe, over 50% of vehicles sold are diesels. In the US it is only a small percentage. I wonder if it a problem of consumers in the USA who can't do the math, or is a the problem of the auto makers who think USA consumers are too stupid to do the math. Meanwhile, there is very little diesel product available.

I'll tell you why - gasoline costs way way more in Europe and in the US, we buy what we want. Most of us don't want diesels. It's not a matter of math. For those of us that tow heavy campers, etc, many do drive diesel trucks.



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