Recently acquired a nice 17' camper trailer from the mother in law, not sure what we need to pull it. I tend to stick to smaller cars when possible and I want to avoid over-buying an SUV to pull this thing.
The car will replace a smallish minivan (2001 Mazda MPV) and become my wife's daily driver. Additionally, she works in a place where the parking is tight and the streets narrow. I'd like to stay away from the "Suburban" end of the spectrum if possible.
The trailer is 17', and weighs about 3,500 lbs. empty. With water and sundries we're talking about 4,500 lbs when going out in it. Additionally, it has an electric braking system. I assume that means I could go with a smaller vehicle (less mass) than I might need if it had no stopping power.
Do you think I could stay in the V6 neighborhood? We have 2 kids so a truck isn't practical. Even a larger cab truck isn't feeling right compared to an SUV, but a truck with enough seating could work. I've always liked the look of the Ridgeline, but don't know anything about it. It's probably going to be on the high end of my price range.
My wife likes the appearance of the old Jeep (Grand?) Wagoneers, but I don't know anything about their reliability. She puts down about 80 miles a week in typical driving, so gas isn't a huge concern. Obviously newer is better, but wouldn't mind trading some years for a lower purchase price. I see older 80's era cars that I could buy outright for $2K or so, not sure if I should do that or go up to $5K, which is my pain point.
What'cha think? Any ideas?