Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We bought a motorhome we love. My wife and I studied many RVs, how we would use one, where we would take one, and what type of floor plan we desired. That process went very smoothly. Now we are trying to figure out what type of tow vehicle to purchase and are currently at polar-opposite ends of the scale on what we need, what we can afford, and how we will use it.
We are not looking for any brand information -- we just want some clue as to what we should be considering so that we can both back off our demands and find some middle ground.
--Tow to Tow in Tampa
It sounds like you two are very methodical in your approach to making a purchase. It's refreshing to hear you are both actively engaged in making decisions together. These are large investments that will affect both of you for many years. Getting it right the first time is not as common as you might think. With little information as to what your needs and wants are in a toad, let me just give you some food for thought. In the end you will have to make the final decision on your own.
There are all kinds of contraptions for pulling a vehicle behind a motorhome, protecting it from stone damage, and keeping it within safety regulations.
If you like to explore back roads, you might want to consider high clearance and four wheel drive. If you are looking for extra storage, shop a small to mid-sized pickup. If you are hauling bikes or kayaks on the vehicle, think about rack space and fit.
Consider weight and towing capacity and how it will affect your fuel mileage. Even a light vehicle will most likely cost you a mile per gallon.
New or used? No matter what you do to protect a toad, expect stone damage, tar and road grime maintenance, and some additional tire wear from towing sway.
If you observe the many other RVers pulling a vehicle behind a motorhome you will see a wide variety of choices.
Some will need more accessories than others. The additional expense can include brakes, transmission pumps, dollies, lights and wiring.
I'm sure if you read the comment section of this post you will find many others willing to share their thoughts and experiences on how they made their choice.
Personally, I continue to buy old Saturn SL's on Craigslist. Unfortunately, they aren't making them any longer. They were too reliable and economical. They are also under 2500 lbs. and easy to dingy-tow four wheels down.
Our decision is based on easy to fix, easy to connect and disconnect and, because of the weight, fuel efficient while towing. Also, I don't have to take it to Best Buy or the Apple Genius Bar to get it fixed.
List all your needs and wants. Once you agree on those, there are many vehicles to choose from today.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink