I need to buy a vehicle (preferably used) for commuting 60 miles round trip daily to work, so I’d like decent gas mileage. Occasionally, I want to pull a horse trailer with a loaded weight of about 6,000 lbs. I would like a Grand Caravan, and wonder if this vehicle can pull a trailer. If not, what would you suggest?
The Caravan can do towing but it can’t handle more than 3,800 lbs. It is a very good vehicle though, I think. We have a Town & Country and love it. I think you will need something like a Suburban or heavy duty pick-up to handle the load you want to tow safely. You may want to think about seperate vehicles to do what you want to do, if you can do that. The newer pick-ups do have some pretty decent MPG ratings though. Especially the diesels. I think most horse owners use pick-ups to travel with due to the extra things needed when owning a horse.
You need a full size SUV or pickup for this task. You won’t get great gas mileage with any of them, though some will be better than others. Edmunds.com shows the maximum towing weight recommended for the manufacturer. You might also consider renting a truck whe you need one.
What you want basically does not exist; any vehicle with good gas mileage will not have enough power to pull the 6000lb trailer and survive. Here is what I would do; a friend of mine is in the same situation, except he has a 5th wheel camper. He drives a Mazda 626 4 cyl. to work, and gets great gas mileage. To tow the 5th wheel he has a 10 year old Ford F150, on which he puts about 3000-4000 per yaer. The truck will last many years this way, and the Mazda now has over 200,000 miles on it and still going strong!
As mentioned above, I think you need two vehicle. A small four cylinder commuter, and a vehicle that you use only for towing. The tow vehicle could be a used full size 3/4 ton vans. You can usually find a low mileage ones for less money then a comparable full size pickup. Things stay dry, and secure in a van.
If you must only get one vehicle then I would stick with a full size van although don’t expect gas mileage any better then mid to lower teens.
As noted above, 2 vehicles makes sense. Talk to your insurance company and see how much it would cost to keep a truck for towing that you drive occasionally but never as a commuter. They will want to know what cars or trucks you have in mind, so at least have two representatives (one each)to give them.
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I believe you’re correct–I need two vehicles. Your suggests are great and I appreciate your taking the time to help me.