Automotive

Which car would you recommend when towing 2800lbs

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 14th, 2018 2:52 pm
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
1921 posts
509 upvotes
I thought about it and it seems like a full sized pickup is probably your best bet. Pulling a trailer like that as frequently as once a week will put a lot of wear and tear on a vehicle that may be rated for 5000lbs, but not actually built for towing. A truck is built to tow and will likely return the best mileage while towing, offer the greatest utility (you said you need to take 2 bicycles as well and two adult sized bikes won't fit in a 3 row suv), and will give you the extra cargo space, while giving you the most passenger space for you and your kids, assuming that you go with a crew cab.

A crew cab F150 can be had for less than a mid trim level Honda Pilot or Highlander as well.
Last edited by tim-x on Jun 5th, 2018 7:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Addict
Mar 13, 2012
1215 posts
290 upvotes
Calgary
Tacoma would be my vote but I’m kind of a fanboy for those...Ridgeline/Pilot would probably be best in this scenario though.
Newbie
Mar 15, 2017
24 posts
6 upvotes
I tow roughly a similar weight as the OP regularly during the summers into the mountains of BC. I had a 2015 pilot and now a 2017 pilot and it towed it rather well. Bang for your buck and Japanese I would stick to pilot/highlander/pathfinder depending on what’s important to you.
IMO
Pilot=best compromise of luxury/tech/space/capacity
Highlander=reliability/outside styling
Pathfinder = price
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 15, 2012
10857 posts
5059 upvotes
Southern Ontario
+1 Tacoma, having a bed you can dump dirty bikes in is more carefree than scratching/gouging your SUV interior. Your weekly tow is too much strain on a minivan.
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
1921 posts
509 upvotes
AncasterRFD wrote:
Jun 4th, 2018 7:14 pm
+1 Tacoma, having a bed you can dump dirty bikes in is more carefree than scratching/gouging your SUV interior. Your weekly tow is too much strain on a minivan.
I would say though that the tacoma's backseat is too small. As well, on a personal note I found the Tacoma's driving position to be very uncomfortable.
Sr. Member
Feb 11, 2018
830 posts
672 upvotes
blind56 wrote:
Jun 4th, 2018 7:02 pm
Tacoma would be my vote but I’m kind of a fanboy for those...Ridgeline/Pilot would probably be best in this scenario though.
The Ridgeline/Pilot are FWD. They are AWD from 0km/h up to 30km/h. This is what I was told when I test drove a 2017 Ridgeline. Very nice vehicle except for the missing full-time AWD.
Paying less is only half the equation. The other half is buying less... ;)
Newbie
Mar 15, 2017
24 posts
6 upvotes
Awd is really only needed if you’re pulling a boat up a steep ramp. The older generation pilots you could “lock” the vtm. The newer pilots there is no 4wd lock but instead there are 4 4wd modes to choose from.
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2007
718 posts
181 upvotes
Surprised no one mentioned the 4runner yet. That's a real utility vehicle
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 9, 2003
17130 posts
2034 upvotes
Langley
ShingoHusky wrote:
Jun 4th, 2018 12:53 pm
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe to tow with the outback you need brakes on the trailer
You've got a 2800lb trailer that doesn't have brakes? Usually that would mean a GVWR of 3500lbs, and that would come from the factory with brakes. 3500lb axles are super common in trailers.

My vote is for a Silverado or Sierra with the 5.3l engine. And a front hitch for the bike rack, if you want to keep the bed free for other stuff.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
2711 posts
589 upvotes
Edmonton
Most people here are out to lunch.

Get a domestic truck crew cab and call it a day.

Test out all 3 and see which one suits you best
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Deal Addict
Sep 1, 2004
1721 posts
819 upvotes
tmkf_patryk wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 12:30 am
Most people here are out to lunch.

Get a domestic truck crew cab and call it a day.

Test out all 3 and see which one suits you best
I think OP doesn't want truck, SUV and especially truck based SUV.

Of course, logical answer is a truck.
Deal Addict
Mar 13, 2012
1215 posts
290 upvotes
Calgary
Xtrema wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 12:13 pm
I think OP doesn't want truck, SUV and especially truck based SUV.

Of course, logical answer is a truck.
No, logical answer is a Beige 2002 Toyota Corolla with a tow hitch and a roof rack for their bikes.
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
4171 posts
486 upvotes
Ottawa
tim-x wrote:
Jun 4th, 2018 5:26 pm
I've never seen a van that tows 5000lbs. The Sienna with a tow package can tow 3500lbs. But if you're pulling a 2800lbs trailer that means that you'll very likely be at or over full capacity with a family and cargo. Not to mention that you shouldn't go over 80% of what the full towing capacity is anyway.

You'll need an SUV that pulls 5k, or just go with a full sized truck. A covered bed will offer more cargo room than the cargo area of a 3 row SUV anyway and offer more utility.
To be fair, the previous poster said "full size van", not minivan. Full size vans will tow 5k+ lbs. (e.g. Chevy Express will tow up to 10k lbs depending on trim). FWIW, personally, I do not put value in the 80% of full towing capacity or X% of vehicle weight thing. They are rated to tow X lbs because they can safety tow X lbs.

I think the OP is probably fine with a Sienna or similar minivan but it depends on how many they are and what they are carrying:

GCWR is 8900lbs
curb weight of van is about 4600lbs
trailer is 2800 lbs

leaving 1500 lbs for passengers and cargo.

I don't know the the OP so won't presume to guess the weight of the family but it's probably safe to assume under 500 lbs (2 and 4 yr olds don't weigh much and likely won't weigh much for another 5 years ...), leaving 1000 lbs for "stuff" which should be plenty.

-- update ---

Forgot to factor in GVWR but OP should still be fine

Sienna GVWR is 6000lbs
curb weight of van is about 4600lbs
pin weight of trailer (roughly 10%) is 300 lbs

so 1100 lbs remaining. Not as much as the 1500 from above but likely still sufficient.
Sr. Member
Sep 8, 2017
874 posts
687 upvotes
GTA
Interesting I've never seen GCWR used before. Only GVWR.

I would have gone about figuring things out as per your 2nd calculation too, while keeping the trailer weight under the vehicle's towing capacity.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 9, 2003
17130 posts
2034 upvotes
Langley
As some who tows regularly, I can say this: You generally want to avoid towing at or near the max rating for any vehicle. You won't regret overkill in a tow vehicle. Especially when your family is inside it. You don't want that minor degree of anxiety every time you head out. And it gets worse each hill, each time you have to pass a slow truck, each time you have to merge onto the highway. It's probably a single axle trailer. Dealing with a trailer tire blowout is a lot different in a pickup compared to a van.

As far as reliability goes, pickup trucks are mechanically simple, and because they produce so many, they can usually find and fix bugs in new models pretty quickly. And even if the underlying reliability is better in a minivan, is that going to hold true towing weekly? Frequent towing at this weight puts far less strain on a pickup than it does on a minivan.

A Sierra v8 4x4 gets 20mpg combined, an AWD Sienna gets 18mpg. Not a huge difference. And if you get the v6 on the Sierra, it will still two 3000lbs just fine, but you'll be up to 19mpg.

The pickup is a far better bet.

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