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vanamp

Starting the search for a tow rig with 3rd seating

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vanamp

I currently have an older RAM 1500 with the hemi 5.7.  It does the job but with two car seats now it's a little cramped and we regularly have others riding with us.

I don't really understand how to look at engines and gear ratios..etc. and figure out how that relates to a good tow rig and thats making it a bit difficult to figure out if there is something that is equivalent to my truck but with seating in place of a bed.

Can someone help steer me in the right direction? 

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oldjeep

Only good options would be the gmc/caddy versions of the suburban with a 6.2l.  Or a full sized conversion van.  What cab have you got on your ram? Quad cab or a crew? 

Edited by oldjeep

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oldjeep

Or maybe this

 

13-MEGA-X-2-1024x474.jpg

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Cazan

What are you towing? Length/weight? That's gonna be the biggest factor to consider.  

I tow my 00 21' VLX with a 16 Toyota Sequoia 5.7l.  It's tows just fine and we like it because it's bigger than a Tahoe/Yukon but a little smaller than Suburban/Yukon XL.  Of course my boat is pretty light compared to newer ones. Any large SUV w/ third row should have enough to get the job unless you have a heavy boat.  The 5.3l in the Tahoe/burb is weak I'd be looking at the 6.2l but limited in only certain trims.  The new ford expedition is probably the best 3rd tow rig out right now.  Dodge Durango SRT is also a good tow vehicle with 3rd row.  Really all depends on what you are towing.

 

 

IMG_2290.JPG

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Cazan

Looking at your profile you have a 2012 A22.  According to the resource page it weighs 3600 lbs dry.  Tack on another 1200-1500 for trailer, and another 500-800 for fluids, gear, misc maybe even more than that.  Anyone chime in and what exactly the "dry" weigh consists of?  Full interior? Tower? 

With that you are still under or close to6k.  Now you have you have to consider your payload (cargo/pax.) 

Ithink you would be fine with most large 3rd tow SUVs assuming you get the "tow" package to give you oil/trans coolers, better gear ratios, mirrors, etc..

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hethj7

We use and love our Expedition.   But, I got to say if you have a newer boat or plan to in the future, they keep getting heavier and it is very difficult to stay completely compliant in tow ratings, especially with swing away tongues and WDH.   

I don’t know if anyone currently making an SUV on a 3/4 ton frame, which would be ideal.  

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Cazan
11 minutes ago, hethj7 said:

We use and love our Expedition.   But, I got to say if you have a newer boat or plan to in the future, they keep getting heavier and it is very difficult to stay completely compliant in tow ratings, especially with swing away tongues and WDH.   

I don’t know if anyone currently making an SUV on a 3/4 ton frame, which would be ideal.  

I think GMC still makes a few 2500 Suburbans with the 6.0l gasser.  Honestly I don't think the tow rating is that good anyway and I'm not impressed with the 6.0.  I think they are tough to find too and pricey. 

 

Looks like fleet only :

https://m.gmfleet.com/chevrolet/suburban-hd-heavy-duty-suv.html

Edited by Cazan

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vanamp

Forgot to update my profile!  2018 T22 is my new boat. 

My ram is the quad cab, car seats are enormous and I have to move my seat up from my comfortable position to accommodate. 

I tow about 4 hours to our cabin as much as possible in the summer.  Maybe I just tell my wife she has to drive separate with the kids......I'm sure that conversation would go fantastically. 

 

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Cazan

3k tow rating??? Wow..

 

IMG_2346.PNG

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Cazan
3 minutes ago, vanamp said:

Forgot to update my profile!  2018 T22 is my new boat. 

My ram is the quad cab, car seats are enormous and I have to move my seat up from my comfortable position to accommodate. 

I tow about 4 hours to our cabin as much as possible in the summer.  Maybe I just tell my wife she has to drive separate with the kids......I'm sure that conversation would go fantastically. 

 

T22 is 4K dry.  I'd still think you would be fine with most large 3 row SUV with tow package.  Won't pull like a Cummins diesel but will get you the job done.

 I'm in the same boat...I tow 3 hours one way to cottage.  Last trip last weekend my Sequoia claimed 12.4 mpg towing. So not horrible.  

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Pnwrider
42 minutes ago, vanamp said:

Forgot to update my profile!  2018 T22 is my new boat. 

My ram is the quad cab, car seats are enormous and I have to move my seat up from my comfortable position to accommodate. 

I tow about 4 hours to our cabin as much as possible in the summer.  Maybe I just tell my wife she has to drive separate with the kids......I'm sure that conversation would go fantastically. 

 

The newer crew cab trucks have much larger cabs. I have no issues with space in my 4th gen ram with two car seats in the back seat (can have the driver seat all the way back). Now obviously that doesn’t solve your issue of bringing other people... 

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oldjeep
49 minutes ago, vanamp said:

Forgot to update my profile!  2018 T22 is my new boat. 

My ram is the quad cab, car seats are enormous and I have to move my seat up from my comfortable position to accommodate. 

I tow about 4 hours to our cabin as much as possible in the summer.  Maybe I just tell my wife she has to drive separate with the kids......I'm sure that conversation would go fantastically. 

 

Time to upgrade to the crew cab.  If my 6ft 2 kid can sit behind me when i drive then there is plenty of room for car seats.  

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Falko

I know they are the bassturd child of the SUV world, but take a look at the Armada. We've had ours for 5 years and 80k miles. It's been a really good truck, especially given the way my wife drives it. The previous gen (like mine) is rated for like 317hp and around 400ftlbs, which tows our 23XTi just fine, even when the thing is loaded. You know it's towing but performs pretty well. The newer ones are pushing 400hp which should do nicely. We carry my son's 13yo baseball team members around a bit in it and have no issues. Granted he's pretty tall and doesn't fit well in the back seat but the one kid who is 6-0 and others in the upper 5's sit in the third row without too much crying. Car seats easily fit in the second row and would go in the third row if you are sadistic enough to try and put a kid in one back there. The auto leveling works great too.

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Nitrousbird
21 hours ago, oldjeep said:

Only good options would be the gmc/caddy versions of the suburban with a 6.2l.  Or a full sized conversion van.  What cab have you got on your ram? Quad cab or a crew? 

Armada and the Infiniti version would be good.  Audi Q7 TDI.  BMW X5.  Toyota Land Cruiser. 

Just to name a few...

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shawndoggy

pricing? new/used? I'm pretty cheap and would never pay full price for a new tow rig, so my experience is all with dated rigs.  

I've towed with both a 7.3 excursion and a 2006 Infiniti QX45 (Armada clone).  The excursion is/was the better towing platform for sure, but they are real old now and require mucho maintenance.  They also drive like dump trucks for the 98% of the time that you're just driving around and not towing (i.e. no fun!).  The QX/Armada platform tows real well and is surprisingly powerful.  Some of my very best memories are of having the back two rows of the QX loaded with kids for a trip to the lake.  I found the QX's limits (which is why we went to the excursion), but my tow was an extreme one (5000' ascent on twisty roads).  The QX was also surprisingly OK to drive unloaded, though the H U G E a-pillars were super dooper annoying.

Looking newer, from a pure towing power perspective, getting the 3.5 eco in the expedition or navigator is going to be the best powertrain feel.  The 3.5 expys are showing up used now for under $30k.

Looking older, an early 00s suburban/yukon 2500 with the 8.1 would be a great choice.  

A friend tows a T23 with a 6.2 yukon denali and it does real well (though apparently never misses a gas station either).  

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racer808

I'd just buy the most expensive diesel you can and be done with it.  And by expensive I mean a used money pit. 

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vaporbluebu

If luggage room behind the 3rd row is important to you the only real options are Suburban, Yukon XL, and Expedition EL.  Everything else will be very limited space.

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Cboom12

The 3 row rigs r super convenient but they have gotten so expensive. We r in the same boat (no pun intended). We have an a24 and my eco boost f150 does a great job. It has a ton of room in the back also, my son is still in a car seat and my daughter in a booster. We have looked at the new expeditions with their 9300lb tow rating but ford is quite proud of them and they seem to be selling well so no big discounts to be had that we have found. 

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oldjeep
2 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

Armada and the Infiniti version would be good.  Audi Q7 TDI.  BMW X5.  Toyota Land Cruiser. 

Just to name a few...

How many of those have non midget seating in the 3rd row? A lexus gx460 tows fine too, but the 3rd row is placebo seating and eliminates the entire trunk when in use. 

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SDTony

I have the '18 Ford Expedition Max and I think it tows really well. The ecoboost is such a huge step up. I'm in your same situation, two car seats and I regularly have others riding to the lake with us. We went with the 2nd row captain seats and they literally feel about as comfortable as the front seats. For now, we normally strap the carseats in the captain seats and have full-sized adults in the 3rd row. They always say it's much roomier and more comfortable than expected.

Before the Expedition, we had a '16 GMC Yukon XL (5.3 Ecotech)......what a junky tow vehicle. To me, it always felt under powered, like it had no guts (my technical term because I'm not a gear ratio, torque, etc. guy either). The technology in the car was great though, super smooth ride when not towing, etc.

Just my .02

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hethj7
1 hour ago, vaporbluebu said:

If luggage room behind the 3rd row is important to you the only real options are Suburban, Yukon XL, and Expedition EL.  Everything else will be very limited space.

Great point.  We have the XL and it is noticeably much roomier for even things like groceries.  The standard configuration can’t really even fit a stroller behind the 3rd row.  Also, our Expy drives much more car like than truck like vs the F150, if that makes sense.  Softer rider, tighter turn radius, etc.  

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AzAxisA22

I was looking at Sequoias and Yukon XL Denalis/Escalade ESVs for the same use.  We ended up with a 2015 GM because very few of the Sequoias have bucket seats in the middle row.  The Quad seating makes it much easier for people to get in and out of the 3rd row.  Also, more cargo space in the XL/ESV with the 3rd row in use.

I've towed with the Denali a few times.  It gets the job done but my Tundra tows significantly better despite having less power and less torque.  

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shawndoggy
2 hours ago, oldjeep said:

How many of those have non midget seating in the 3rd row? A lexus gx460 tows fine too, but the 3rd row is placebo seating and eliminates the entire trunk when in use. 

the armada/infiniti rig is surprisingly OK.  The third row also folds flat into the floor which is friggin awesome (and is probably certainly true of new three row rigs but was pretty unique 10 years ago).

Edited by shawndoggy

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vaporbluebu

That’s a good point about the 3rd row folding flat. We’ve had both an Expedition EL and currently a Denali XL. I liked the Expedition better (flat folding 3rd row, under floor storage in back, etc) and it towed great, but I had a base model without the tranny cooler and felt like it was only a matter of time before something bad happened pulling a 23 LSV. Started to look for a newer one, but trying to find an Expedition EL Limited 4x4 with 2nd row bucket seats was almost impossible to find.  All of that was standard on the Denali and a bunch to choose from.  We often tow over an 8500’ pass and it does it just fine. Like @shawndoggy said it guzzles gas even when not towing.

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Nitrousbird
12 hours ago, oldjeep said:

How many of those have non midget seating in the 3rd row? A lexus gx460 tows fine too, but the 3rd row is placebo seating and eliminates the entire trunk when in use. 

Be he is putting kids back there = midget seating.  Which is why a 2+2 car works fine with kids - they just don't need the room.  As for storage, not sure what the OP's needs are there.  Armada/QX have plenty of space - they are BIG.  I spent a couple days last fall driving an Armada around and was pretty surprised at the power and how big it was.  I haven't been in any recent Land Cruiser so I can't comment on that one, but am guessing they have ample space.  The rest won't.

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