Need a sedan to do heavy duty towing


#1

Hi, I am looking to buy a travel trailer, and I need to decide on the vehicle to do the towing. Options are: 1)trucks like F150, 2) SUVs like Suburban, 3) full size van, and 4) large RWD sedan.



I want to talk about the fourth option. There is a person selling a 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood with tow package, and this is capable of towing 7,000 pounds, which is what I need. I checked edmunds.com and other sites to verify the claim. The car seems to have a larger radiator and transmission cooler, different final drive ratio (gets a couple miles/gal less than the regular version, but same mileage city) and stiffer rear spring/shock absorber.



This option appeals to me because I want a car-like ride when I am towing, and the Cadillac gets considerably better gas mileage than the other tow vehicles.



I don’t need the tow vehicle for anything other than towing a travel trailer, so it won’t be subject to full-time towing.



My questions are:

Is there anything else to consider?

Can I get a regular RWD Cadillac and Lincoln Town Car and install heavy duty radiator/transmissio cooler and augment the rear suspension to tow several thousand pounds?


#2

A RWD Caddy with a tow package can handle some weight, 7000 lbs maybe a bit much but for that you’d have to check the specs. The trailer will have to have either electric (preferred) or surge brakes. If the brakes are electric you’ll need to get a brake controller installed.

In the old days we towed with full size RWD car all the time. The only issue is this car is 17 years old. You’ll have to make sure it is in good shape before you put the stress of towing on it.

If you can find a Crown Vic with the police intercepter package, they make good tow vehicles.


#3

Crown Vic with police package sounds like a good option. That particular Cadillac Fleetwood is too old, but it just got me thinking about towing with a full size RWD cars rather than a truck or SUV.


#4

The Mercury Maurader is very similar to the Crown Vic with the police package. HD suspension, trans cooler, hyped up motor, etc.


#5

A diesel pickup would out tow all of these, and possibly get even better mileage while doing it. Since you say that’s the only thing you would use it for, the downsides are minimized.

It should also be pointed out that the 1993 Fleetwood made due with the wheezy TBI 350. It produced all of 185 HP and was fairly underpowered even when not towing. It will struggle mightily in towing a trailer. The 1994-1996 models had the much better, and much more powerful LT1 350.


#6

My advice depends on the trailer you buy. You have been very vague. How much will it weigh? How long is it? What is its gross vehicle weight rating?

That Caddy might be able to tow 7,000 lbs., but if the trailer is large enough, size will trump weight.

Can you tell us what type of travel trailer you are considering and its dimensions and weight?


#7

You are not going to achieve car-like ride while towing. A truck will work a lot better for towing and will handle a trailer better, but if the vehicle is not primarilly a tow vehicle, a heavy duty RWD sedan would be a good choice.

I agree with the others that the Caddy you’re looking at isn’t a great choice for this. If you’re looking for something of that vintage, try to find a Chevy Caprice or Buick Roadmaster (a police-package Caprice with the LT1 motor would be great). Otherwise, you’re looking at a panther-platform car (Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, Towncar).


#8

The newer ones as you’ve found out are less likely to tow much over 2-3000 lbs with standard equipment. With almost any rwd sedan made today, any really serious towing is the tail wagging the dog and is UNSAFE.

Just a suggestion, a v8 powered 2wd domestic SUV (Expedition) that you could lower suspension slightly, and add lower profile tires, if you want the sedan look/ride and safer towing. I think you could find plenty of used “southern” 2wd Ford/GMC/ Chevy models, some already lowered. I think with LS, they make great tow vehicles. Why be unsafe ?
IMVHO…ditch the car idea and lower an SUV ! Many do successfully.

http://www.lesschwab.com/gallery/gallery_lowered1.asp


a sedan height suv…


#9

Reconsider…


#10

I agree with the others…Ford Crown Vic. police pkg. would be a good choice.


#11

A friendly reminder that a police package is not a tow package and tow weight is increased but not on the order of a real tow package if offered. Frame reinforcements are as much for front end collision work as anything…if anything it might make a better “plow truck” :). Some packages are very specific. That’s not to say it isn’t better, just not a panacea on the order of many K lbs more and make it a “truck”. And it won’t ride like a normal sedan when not towing…but a heck of a lot more fun to drive.
If you try to tow 7klbs with it, you’d better keep the light bar on to keep everyone off the road when you “drift” unsafely by.


#12

dagosa, nobody said anything about towing 7,000 lbs. The OP mentioned the car being considered has 7,000 lbs. of towing capacity. In all likelihood, the trailer will weigh less than 5,000 lbs., maybe even less than 4,000 lbs. We don’t know the trailer weight yet.


#13

The Panther Platform Fords can tow 2500-3000 pounds without too much trouble…Bur weight is not everything…With a travel trailer, you get into aerodynamic drag big time and anything above 50 MPH you really start to feel it and so will a sedan type tow vehicle…


#14

“dagosa, nobody said anything about towing 7,000 lbs.”

Options are: 1)trucks like F150, 2) SUVs like Suburban, 3) full size van, and 4) large RWD sedan.
And he said 7000lbs, which is what I need

Whitey, I hear you, but please read my post again and the others in context of the OP…we don’t know it isn’t going to be used and there are at least several post that keep saying that a police package is the solution to tow an indeterminate amount of weight in the same breath as an F150, full size van and SUV like a Suburban, all capable of 7000 plus lbs and his only mention of weight along with “which is what I need”.

…if you’re going to mutually ordain the use of a “large sedan” in the same breath as those mention by OP…I feel a little caution is needed to not include a Crown Vic Police cruiser and other large sedans in this discussion with his other vehicles; To me, OP is obviously thinking of more than 4K and we are not unless OP misstated his intent. Other wise, he might mention lesser alternatives vehicles. I am obviously the only one who feels this way by the previous posts. Unless OP is a tad more specific; I’ll err on the side of caution and assume he wants serious tow weight. and let the rest of you mention a police package Crown Vic, Caddys, Buicks and the like in the same breath as OPs other suggestions? Not me and I really don’t know what several thousand pounds finally means when he certainly needs to consider a Suburban.
Besides Whitey, you did mentioned too, a Caddy might be able to tow 7K, and it seems we just disagree about the safety of it…


#15

The Ford 7.3L diesels are the ones to look for.


#16

Wouldn’t it be nice if the OP would answer some basic questions? Many times, I ask a basic question and wait for more information to give an answer. I am often amazed at how people can give any answer without knowing such important details.

I only stipulated that the Caddy in question [i]might[/i] have that much towing capacity because the OP said he confirmed it and I wasn’t going to challenge that assumption without knowing, specifically, the type and weight of the trailer.

As a professional driver, if I was going to tow more than 3,500 lbs., I would want a truck. If I was going to tow more than 5,000 lbs., I would want a full-size truck. If I was going to tow anything larger than a pop-up camper, no car on earth would do. Anything that large can easily end up being the tail that wags the dog in a strong wind or in a collision.


#17

I evened looked up what “several” meant; as an ex math teach, I thought I knew. More than a few, less than many. Great…So all I had to go by was just a lot of good natured banter about some great cars (esp. the Police Crown Vic which I loved driving) that I would not think of using for serious towing. And my mention of it towing 7000 was in jest with light bar comment because I don’t expect it to safely.

Except for my one wild moment of wanting to tow 350lbs with a Civic…I’can’t think of a car either made in the last ten years that I would do towing on the level of a Suburban, or F150…My nephew in Florida does have a lower 2wd suv which is what I suggested earlier. It rides and handles surprisingly well and can tow 7500 with ease and just feels like an old time “big” wagon. That’s kind of where I am…and a “monster Checker Cab” of course.:slight_smile:


#18

I don’t know of any car I’d consider safe enough to tow 7,000 lbs with. YES we don’t know how much he’ll actually be towing…but we have to assume it’s close to 7,000 lbs…or why would he through out that number.

One vehicle I’d consider is the Pathfinder Armada. Class IV rated (up to 7500lbs). I’ve owned two of the smaller Pathfinders well past the 300k mile mark. These are EXCELLENT vehicles.