The Boating Forum - Most economical towing vehicle rated for 5000#?

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alvispollard
04-21-2005, 11:21 AM
What vehicle, that is rated to tow 5000#, would get the best mpg when not towing? What would be the mpg when towing and not towing for that vehicle?


Major Woods
04-21-2005, 11:36 AM
Don't know if it the best, but not a bad start.
2005 Tacoma, v-6, 4x4, double cab, 20mpg normal and 15mpg towing a 20' boat.

606zpx
04-21-2005, 11:38 AM
Hmm that is hard to say. My opinion is that if you are wanting to tow 5000# you should get a vehicle that is rated somewhere above that so that you are not towing at the vehicle's limit. For example, the rig I just bought is probably right at 5000# and my Tundra is rated at 6900# so I think that this is probably the usual safe limit.

At 5000# you may be able to get away with a V6 with limited towing but a V8 would be better for long distance towing.

Most fuel efficient, I wish I knew....but I dont. Many mags have towing issues where every truck and SUV is listed with their tow ratings and other data. I would suggest a trip to the magazine store.


wetspot
04-21-2005, 12:19 PM
Last year, New, 2004 1500 silverado 5.3L (300hp) 4x4, many options minus leather, $26.8k

I would guess the Dakota with v-8 is the least expensive. Try kbb.com

txjeep
04-21-2005, 12:27 PM
The Ford Powerstroke diesel is the first one I would look at for towing something 5000# and up. I would also go for the 7.3L (?) engine model just prior to the 6.0L they just started using. I have a buddy with a 7.3 in an Excursion and he gets 20mph without a load. They lose less economy than a gasoline engine when towing. The newer 6.0 Powerstrokes are nice, but fuel economy is not quite as good. Another thing to consider is that diesel prices are usually 5-10 ¢/gallon cheaper than gasoline in the summer. They tend to run a little higher than gasoline in the winter.

alvispollard
04-21-2005, 02:13 PM
Online, point well taken. The boat is 2300# + motor + trailer = 4000#. I allowed a difference of 1000# between total weight and desired vehicle rated towing capacity. I appreciate all feedback as this is a decision I am currently making.

redfishla
04-21-2005, 02:55 PM
I can second the nomination for a Toyota Tacoma. I have the quad-cab V-6 (2003 model). Tows 3000-4000 comfortably (max of 5000, but this would be pushing it). Gas mileage is 21 hwy; towing is 14-15. A round trip towing day for me is around 150 miles.

I have always been a strict "Made in the USA" purchaser, but I had too many problems with my Ford Explorer (don't get me started!) and GMC trucks. My Tacoma has 120,000 miles on it -- never been in the shop, only general maintainance. I'm going for 250,000.

Used Tacoma's, though, are very pricy. You get what you pay for.

CohoMike
04-21-2005, 03:02 PM
Economical to me means used. Jeep Cherokee with the 4.0 l straight 6 cyl and tow pkg would do nicely for short to mid length trips. Would look for something beefier if you do long distance or mountains. Rated at 5000lbs with brakes on the trailer.

If you want new, you NEED a 4X4 DIESEL DUALLY! ;)

31CAT
04-21-2005, 03:08 PM
keep in mind that the longer the wheel base the better it will ride/tow/track with a 5000lbs load. you don't say how mutch you will be towing? nd weather it will be for the family also?

Ellie's Navi Gator
04-21-2005, 03:15 PM
txjeep - 4/21/2005 12:27 PM

The Ford Powerstroke diesel is the first one I would look at for towing something 5000# and up. I would also go for the 7.3L (?) engine model just prior to the 6.0L they just started using. I have a buddy with a 7.3 in an Excursion and he gets 20mph without a load. They lose less economy than a gasoline engine when towing. The newer 6.0 Powerstrokes are nice, but fuel economy is not quite as good. Another thing to consider is that diesel prices are usually 5-10 ¢/gallon cheaper than gasoline in the summer. They tend to run a little higher than gasoline in the winter.

Has your buddy with the 7.3L Excursion Diesel put any chips in it or anything? I don't get near that efficiency with my 7.3L Diesel Excursion. Is his 4x4? Mine is, so if his isn't, that may be the difference. Also, what is the weight that he's pulling?

txjeep
04-21-2005, 03:39 PM
Yes, he does have a chip in it and it is 2 wheel drive. I can't remember which chip, but that thing will flat get with the program. I think he told me he gets 21mpg in the highway. He doesn't tow much though, so he won't be able to help you there. My father in law has a 7.3 with a chip and he tows big stuff with it. I think he's a dealer for the chips, or maybe he used to be. If you want, email me I can find out more info for you.

arlon
04-21-2005, 03:40 PM
I'm a firm believer in towing about half the rated capacity. That said I have a 5000lb boat and I bought a 2003 cummins quad cab to tow it with. The used truck has 40k miles on it and was a good bit cheaper than a new v-6 import quad cab truck. I get 14-15mpg towing and 20-21 on the road. Cummins is over kill but it tows like it isn't back there. Nice to know I'm not coming close to killing the truck towing the boat... 100, 500, 1000 mile tow? Absoluely no worries. I like it that way.. If the cummins deal hadn't landed in my lap I was just about to pull the trigger on an e350 (econoline van) with the powerstroke. Amazing how cheap you can find them (e350's) for and a ton of possibilites for the interior if you are a bit handy!

Joe
04-21-2005, 03:55 PM
lol..diesel 4x4's for a 5k# boat.

You guys kill me.

Josh
04-21-2005, 04:35 PM
Joe - 4/21/2005 3:55 PM

lol..diesel 4x4's for a 5k# boat.

You guys kill me.

Gotta agree with you there Joe. He certainly doesn't need a Diesel 4x4 to tow 4000lbs! Geez. I would take a serious look at the Jeep Cherokee or Grand Cherokee for SUV's and the Dodge Dakota for pickups. I have a 99 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 with the tow package and its rated for 5000lbs. I tow a 2000lb loaded boat with it and its no trouble. I wouldn't want to pull 4k on the highway alot, but to the ramp would be fine. I get about 16 around town and 21 on the highway and about 14 towing to the ramp or 17 towing on the highway.

Good luck, and don't let these guys convince you that you need a diesel 4x4. :roll

tightwads
04-21-2005, 04:48 PM
Joe - 4/21/2005 3:55 PM
lol..diesel 4x4's for a 5k# boat.
You guys kill me.

:thumbsup: Major overkill. Look below and you'll see what's pulled my 22' Bay boat around for the last year and a half. 6 cyl and 4WD. It may be slow, but it gets there every time.

How about a Diesel Jeep Liberty? 4x4 with the Diesel engine rated for 5000 lbs MSRP of ~ $25,700. You KNOW it's less than that.... probably by about $2K. Estimated Hwy Mileage ~ 24 mpg.

Luis

Capt-n-Dave
04-21-2005, 05:22 PM
If you want the best milage then a Cummins Diesel will get about 17mpg pulling that weight--won't be cheaper to buy but it would be cheaper to run--plus if you every move up to a bigger boat like I did (After only 2 years) then you won't have to trade tow vechiles. ;)

CohoMike
04-21-2005, 05:31 PM
Man, I hope you guys didn't really think I was recommending a diesel 4x4. Thats why I put the little winky thingy on that statement. My '99 Jeep Cherokee gets 22-23 hwy and about 19 around town. I'm pretty light footed. My old boat/trailer combo weighed in a little over 2k, I believe the 4.0 could easily pull double that.

Obviously it aint gonna work with the Carolina. F350 should be here first week of May for that ;)

nsh
04-21-2005, 05:37 PM
Definatly a 6 ton dually diesel. sorry, couldnt resist... :)

Firefly_Too
04-21-2005, 05:43 PM
I don't know about the towing/not towing mileage, but the new '05 Nissan Xterra would get the job done nicely. It has a new, larger engine and plenty of torque. I have an '04 Xterra that tows my 20' CC pretty well, and it has 80 hp less than the '05.

wahoo33417
04-21-2005, 05:53 PM
Alvis: I have an older, 1995 Chevy S-10 Blazer 4WD with the the 4.3 liter V-6. Max tow rating is 5500 lbs. Mine is actually 5,000 lbs. with the 3.73 rear end. Not towing, I get 24 mpg (easy) highway driving and 15 mpg around town. I wouldn't call my truck 'reliable' as compared to Toyota, but it does tow well.

Rob

Outrage2795
04-21-2005, 06:06 PM
My tow vehicle is a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0L 6 cyl 2 wheel drive with factory tow package. It gets 22+ mpg on the highway at 70 mph and get 14 mpg pulling my 1986 Boston Whaler 18 ft Outrage/150 hp Evinrude 2 stroke. The boat probably weighs about 2,800 lbs total and the Jeep pulls it just fine on major road trips at 60-65 mph. One problem I've noticed is the Jeep suspension is a little soft and I had to pay careful attention to get the trailer tongue weight right.

or you could get a 4x4 diesel dually!

glacierbaze
04-21-2005, 06:18 PM
I love hearing what everyones' truck will do. I'll tell you what mine just did. 2003 K1500 Suburban, 5.3L, 3.7 rear, 55K miles. I just pulled my Glacier Bay 220, which is supposed to weigh right at 5000lbs BMT, from Morehead City about 160 miles, 65-70 MPH @ 2800-3000RPM in third gear. I reset my trip computer leaving the ramp, and when I got to my exit it was 8.1 MPG.
I think I might have to trade for the V6 Tacoma. ;cool;

scott-hydra24
04-21-2005, 07:08 PM
The new Ridgeline probably has the best mileage of them all....
http://automobiles.honda.com/models/specifications_full_specs.asp?ModelName=Ridgeline&Category=4

nogm4me
04-21-2005, 08:06 PM
Interesting. I had an acquaintance recently call me a gas guzzler with my Xcursion and F-250 7.3L. I've been doing some research myself to see if I could 'downgrade' or 'upgrade' whatever your opinion is on medium duty diesels, but the Honda in May 2005 Automobile mag page 125 has "scary EPA city mileage of 16 mpg" a direct quote from page 125 of this issue from a reviewer who really had nothing to say but great things about the Honda. It also said it had 3.5L v-6 with 255hp and 252 ft.-lbs. torque and could 'carry and tow AS MUCH AS 1550 and 5000 lbs, respectively'. I really don't know the exact power figs. on the vehicles I own, but I can tell you with the Xcursion with my heavy-footed wife the thing weighs about 8,000 lbs. empty and gets about 15-16 mpg city or highway....same with my 250..... and has TORQUE. I've only towed a small Aquasport with either and mileage doesn't seem to change much. You can call me a liar, but I've really looked into cars, smaller SUV's, smaller 4 cab trucks, and I hate to admit it .....but even mini-vans. Ya know.....City wise they do not seem to beat me much at all with my behemoths! With the diesel I have excellent resale value especially with the 7.3l and demise of the X. Overkill maybe, but I'd hate to be in an accident with me, for the vehicle I think I get great mileage, I've got power, no spark plugs, my exhaust really, really smells and infuriates convertible owners, I'm loud..... and the feeling when the 8 year old down the street tell his mom, "Mommy, I love his MONSTER TRUCK"....is just priceless. Overkill maybe, but if this is still America... do your homework and buy what you can afford and like to BEST fit your needs IMO.

cjd
04-21-2005, 08:49 PM
My isuzu trooper has stood by me pretty well. not the best mileage, but it wears many hats, and is not as expensive as most luxery SUVs.

strikerthree
04-21-2005, 09:00 PM
i just bought a new 2006 honda ridgeline i get close to 23 -24 mpg on the highway, sticker says 22 but since i put mobil 1 in it i have been getting better mpg, great truck

Chaps
04-21-2005, 09:13 PM
Check this out . . . referencing prior posts on diesels and import V6's. I own a '94 Ford 1 ton 4x4 crew cab 7.3 Powerstroke (stick/3.55 diff/perf mods) and an '05 Nissan Xterra SUV V6. They get virtually identical mileage, actually the truck does better on the highway by about 2 mpg. The X is easier to park in town otherwise I might as well be driving the truck 100% of the time.

finz2right
04-21-2005, 09:41 PM
If you are a Toy man like me......the new Tacos are great but my Tundra gets the same mileage and tows more....even with 60k miles.

TG_190
04-22-2005, 09:00 AM
I have a V8 Toyota 4Runner Sport, and get 19 on the highway and about 12 towing over 6000lbs. It is smooth and powerful, with awesome torque, and is a pleasure to drive on the road. It also handles offroad very well. The 2005s are rated to 7300lbs, mine was retrofitted to handle the 7300lbs prior to the sale at dealer cost in 2004 - I still stay below 6500lbs with it to be on the safe side w/ a Al, tandem, w/ twin disk breaks. I couldn't be happier with the vehicle, except if it was a nice little diesel instead of gas.If you are gonna tow, I would reccommend the V8 over the V6. The numbers on paper don't show a big diff in hp, but the torque difference is big, and the fuel economy and price diffs are not that big IMO.

txjeep
04-22-2005, 09:57 AM
Here's a snippet of a MotorTrend review of the 2002 4x4 Excursion 7.3L diesel.

When we tested a diesel Excursion, it went nearly as fast empty as a V-10 and faster when it was loaded. It averaged 18-plus mpg and bettered 20 on a couple of trips, a feat no 8.1 Sub or V-10 Excursion will manage. Plus, the diesel won't lose nearly as much power at altitude on cross-country trips.

jhendric
04-22-2005, 10:37 AM
Man, I scratch my head reading some of these numbers. I have a 97 Ford Expedition 4x4 with the 5.4 liter that I tow 3500llbs with. I get 13 miles to the gallon with no boat, I get 13 miles to the gallon with the boat. I had a ford Ranger 3.0 that got 19 MPG with no boat. I am not a rocket scientist by anyone's stretch, but can someone explain to me how a much bigger engin towing a much bigger boat can get better gas mileage?

Joe
04-22-2005, 10:41 AM
glacierbaze - 4/21/2005 6:18 PM

I love hearing what everyones' truck will do. I'll tell you what mine just did. 2003 K1500 Suburban, 5.3L, 3.7 rear, 55K miles. I just pulled my Glacier Bay 220, which is supposed to weigh right at 5000lbs BMT, from Morehead City about 160 miles, 65-70 MPH @ 2800-3000RPM in third gear. I reset my trip computer leaving the ramp, and when I got to my exit it was 8.1 MPG.
I think I might have to trade for the V6 Tacoma. ;cool;

I hear ya. I have two Jeeps, a '91 Grand Wagoneer with a 360 and a '98 Grand Cherokee with a 318. Neither of them break 20 NOT towing my Grady. And towing my Grady with the old jeep drops the mileage into the 5-7 mpg range. Heck..it only gets 12 otherwise.

ESMDChris
04-22-2005, 10:44 AM
i was thinking the exact same thing......but, to each his own.

by the way, don't forget passenger weight in your towing figures.

SnoweyTiger
04-22-2005, 10:57 AM
I use a Nissan Xterra to tow my rig and I'm sure I run in the 4,000 pound range loaded. I see 20 mph suburban use that drops to 12-14 towing. The 4X4 is great for slick ramps. You can pick up good used Xterras under $18,000 and they make good family/general purpose vehicles when you dont have a trailer attached.

Josh
04-22-2005, 11:12 AM
jhendric - 4/22/2005 10:37 AM

Man, I scratch my head reading some of these numbers. I have a 97 Ford Expedition 4x4 with the 5.4 liter that I tow 3500llbs with. I get 13 miles to the gallon with no boat, I get 13 miles to the gallon with the boat. I had a ford Ranger 3.0 that got 19 MPG with no boat. I am not a rocket scientist by anyone's stretch, but can someone explain to me how a much bigger engin towing a much bigger boat can get better gas mileage?

Can't help you with your rocket science, but I can relay some real world numbers. Our previous pickup was a 99 Ford F-250 Super Duty 5.4L V8 4x4. Gas mileage averaged about 12 mpg in town and 10-11 towing a small jonboat. Our new pickup is an 04 Dodge 2500 Heavy Duty 5.9L CTD 4x4. Gas mileage averages about 15 around town and about 15 towing the same small jonboat. Could help explain something for you. :thumbsup:

txjeep
04-22-2005, 11:23 AM
jhendric - 4/22/2005 9:37 AM

Man, I scratch my head reading some of these numbers. I have a 97 Ford Expedition 4x4 with the 5.4 liter that I tow 3500llbs with. I get 13 miles to the gallon with no boat, I get 13 miles to the gallon with the boat. I had a ford Ranger 3.0 that got 19 MPG with no boat. I am not a rocket scientist by anyone's stretch, but can someone explain to me how a much bigger engin towing a much bigger boat can get better gas mileage?

Diesel engines generate massive amounts of torque so they can do a lot more work at a lower rpm with higher gear ratios than a gasoline engine.

Jamie M
04-22-2005, 12:37 PM
My 1999 Nissan Pathfinder V6 is rated for 5200 pounds. My rig's weight comes in around 4,000 pounds, and I've never had any problems...

Tiger2
04-22-2005, 02:31 PM
[
At 5000# you may be able to get away with a V6 with limited towing but a V8 would be better for long distance towing.




Isn't the 5000 lb mark where some people recommend going to a 3/4 ton truck due to the stronger brakes, frame, axles, etc?

Afishinado
04-22-2005, 02:52 PM
tightwads - 4/21/2005 4:48 PM

Joe - 4/21/2005 3:55 PM
lol..diesel 4x4's for a 5k# boat.
You guys kill me.

:thumbsup: Major overkill. Look below and you'll see what's pulled my 22' Bay boat around for the last year and a half. 6 cyl and 4WD. It may be slow, but it gets there every time.

Luis

Luis, everytime I see that photo in your signature I remember a pretty scary ride I had. About 10 years ago I was towing my 17 Carolina Skiff back to NJ from Marathon with my '90 Wrangler (6cyl 5spd 4x4 rated to tow 2,000lbs). About 5:30am, I was crusin about 10 car lengths behind a big ol Caddy at about 70mph. Nobody else on the road. Out of nowhere this big Mercedes screamsby me doin over 100 cuts in front of me and rear ended the Caddy! Thought I was witnessing a mafia hit or something, like he aimed for it. I narrowly avoided them, ran over car parts that were flying all over the place. I had damn little control, barely avoided the collision. After that, the biggest thing I ever hooked to it was a utility trailer. BTW, the guys in the Merc were all basketball stars, and the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Also, BTW... SHARP LOOKING BOAT!

I tow my SeaPro SV2100 with a '99 Tahoe. I get right at 16 normal driving. Towing @70-75mph I get 11mpg, push it to 75-80 and I'm at 9mpg.
.

KevinM
04-22-2005, 03:39 PM
004 Ford F150 lariat with 5.4 3:73 LS gears. tow capacity over 9,000 lbs. Never watched the tow mileage since I have no interest during towing. But on the highway @ 65 mph no tow, I get 20.8mpg. Average HWY and city driving is 15.6mpg.

roundtuit
04-22-2005, 04:23 PM
Wellllll, here's my two cents and probably worth about that, too! If you want something that will pull your load AND be a total pleasure to drive day in and day out and that won't give you problems if you do normal maintenance, look at a Toyota Tundra. My access cab is rated at 7100#. I pull about 3500 # with it and it. I have had four trucks to pull various boats and campers and I can honestly say this is the best vehicle, truck or otherwise, that I have ever owned. Mileage is not great...19mpg on highway and probably about 14mpg towing...but lack of problems will make up for that in a big hurry!

justfishin
04-22-2005, 04:44 PM
GMC Sierra, 5300 engine, 3.43 rear end, best mileage so far not towing, 20 mpg, averages about 16-17 due to driving in town. Pulling about a 4000 lb total weight center console, gets 11-12 mpg. With lots of get up and go..........

bcampion
04-22-2005, 05:13 PM
I pull my boat from Michigan to Florida & my Diesel Excursion does a great job, pulls my 23' boat that weighs about 7,500 lbs with ease, I get 11-12 mpg @ 70 - 75 or if I go slow I can get as high as 14 towing, driving to work & back, I get 17 mpg in the winter & 18.5 in the summer.

Also if you travel on the freeway and need to buy diesel, you just pull your rig in a truck stop, I am 55' ft long overall when I tow and I can't see how I would get my rig into the gas stations as easy as I can pulling through a truck stop.

Also the Excursion has a 44 gallon tank, when I travel without the boat I can leave Detroit and not fuel until 100 miles into Georgia.

Mahalo
04-22-2005, 05:22 PM
Hey guys My 2500 4x4 suburban, 454 & 410 gears, pulled my 31 contender back from. Fl. In Rocky mount NC I got 15mpg going down hill with a 15knot wind at my back.. Beat That!!!!!!!!!!

31CAT
04-22-2005, 07:18 PM
jeep is starting to put little deisels in the liberty, and soon others, that may be something for you to check out since you don't NEED a 4X4 duelly deisel.

Powerstroke
04-22-2005, 09:54 PM
7.3 dually-4.10-6 speed 18.5 around town and when pulling 40 cc 15 mpg at 60. I can put the truck in low low and idle out without touching the gas on a steep graded ramp! I think that towing can be so dangerous with all the clowns out there,weather etc,that id rather be on a little overkill and live to tow another day.I also tow late night to miss all the traffic and oversize load police.

reelapeelin
04-22-2005, 10:42 PM
I can second Kevin above...2001 Lariat crew w/ 5.4 motor...20 mpg on interstate w/out a/c or towing, and doesn't suck while towing...rides like a majic carpet, pulls like a locamotive...loads of torque...

baypro21
04-23-2005, 05:08 AM
Don't look to the V-8 Dakota for economy, towing or not, unless the new ones are better. My '02 4 door 4x4 w/ 4.7 liter gets 10 mpg towing my rig and best I've seen on the highway is 16 mpg. At 75 - 80 mph I get 15, around town it's 13mpg. Oh well, It'll be paid for soon, if gas keeps rising I won't see a differance in total money spent per month. The $400 I'll save on payment will go in the tank. :( :( :grin:



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