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My Tow Vehicle Destroyed, Any repacement recomendations?


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My 2003 Extended Trailblazer just got destroyed last night in an accident. I'm ok but my neck is a little sore. It was someone else's fault so I hope to get resolution and find a replacement soon. I will not be able to spend any more than what I get from insurance.

 

The trailblaze performed well for towing except the parking brake (even with new parts did not hold very well at the ramp). Had to rely mostly on the parking gear. It got about 12 to 13 mph while towing boat (about 2000 lb). Best mileage I ever recorded was about 17 on highway trip not towing. The 4 wheel disk brakes worked very well on hills (no trailer brakes) and there was plenty of power for hill climbing as well with the inline 6 cylinder engine.

 

I did have quite a few major mechanical repairs. By the way, the air bag did not deploy with hard frontend hit at 40 to 45 mph.

 

Any recomendations or experiences on various tow vehicles that might fall into the price range I will be looking for, will be apreciated. I am looking to weigh various pros, cons and tradeoffs in regard to towing perforance, reliability, mileage, SUV vs Pickup, etc.

 

It sucks that this happened just before the opener. But I am greatful that I escaped any major injury and the people in the other two vehicles did as well.

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I'd get an F150 pickup if it were me gas mileage is pretty good (almost double the Trailblazer) and you can haul just about anything.  I love my 2005 Expedition but it is rusting badly (southern vehicle- never again) and only get about 11 mpg and less while towing. The newer ones may be better on gas but they are really expensive....

 

P.S. I started out towing this boat (total wt. about 3,200 with a 1999 Ford Explorer V-8 (Eddie Bauer) and although it did tow the boat it struggled and at 55-60 on the road t was like the tail wagging the dog. After all sorts of trailer and boat on/off the trailer tongue adjustments I realized it was the fact that the trailer wheelbase was wider than that of the tow vehicle by quite a bit. I bought the Expedition (V-8 350) and problem solved ...tows like a dream.I am mentioning it because most folks would never think about that influence....something to consider for a tow vehicle.

Edited by Sk8man
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Had an 05 Trailblazer, loved to eat up brakes, mileage was not that great and when I totaled all the repairs and was about to embark on more, I sold it.  All the full size pick-ups are good choices, the Ford Explorer-the older version etc.  To get better gas mileage and still have the ability to pull something(tow rating 4500 lbs I believe) the Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, and Saturn Outlook might be worth looking at.  Those vehicles essential replaced the Trailblazer and Trailblazer EXT with something that was car based with better mileage.    

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I had a GMC Safari before the Trailblazer EXT and it lost oil pressure and blew the engine shortly after I had head gasget replaced. They probably dropped some crap in the enging that siezed the oil pump. Had an Astro before that, that got totaled. They weren't as good for towing. Were barely adequate clinbing hills and the brakes were scary going downhill. Service was expensive because of the tight engine compartment. I did like being able to walk through to the back to launch.

 

The front hubs on the Trailblazer had to be replaced aroung 50k and at a little over 100k, I had to replace one again recently and the other was starting to get noisy. Also had to replace the transfer case. transmission cooler, water pump, transmission lines and exhaust manifold. The thermostat was a bear to replace because it is mounted in a tough place to get to.

 

Does anyone know of any other forums that talk about tow vehicles?

Edited by muskiedreams
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Glad you are ok. I towed my lund for a few years with an s-10 blazer with a 6 cyl. to save gas. Dealer said it could handle it. Not so. I put two transmissions in that toilet. I say if you're gonna tow a boat get a full size truck with a v-8. Gas costs less than transmission work.

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I'd get an F150 pickup if it were me gas mileage is pretty good (almost double the Trailblazer) and you can haul just about anything.  I love my 2005 Expedition but it is rusting badly (southern vehicle- never again) and only get about 11 mpg and less while towing. The newer ones may be better on gas but they are really expensive....

 

I have a 2000 Expedition with the 5.4 in it and it pulls my tandem axel trailer with a 22ft Sea Ray with no problems. I put a Hyper tech chip in it for towing and I get 12mpg towing and 14-15 around home. That's why I tow up to the lake and let her there till camp closes. My father-in-law bought a 2014 GMC 1/2 ton and went to pull my boat and it squashed the back down so much you could barely see the road, he also has pulling tractors and a enclosed trailer that squashed it down in the back. He ended up putting an air bag suspension under so he could tow, I was rather disappointed with his suspension and fuel mileage as he only gets 12mpg towing but around home he gets 16-18mpg which I thought was good. I'm glad to hear your ok and good luck with finding a new ride. 

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A 1500 truck is hard to beat.  A 6-cylinder will tow a 2,000 lbs boat no problem.  If you want to go with an SUV and stay in the GM line-up, the replacement for the Trailblazer is the Acadia/Traverse/etc.  Make sure you get one with a factory ordered trailer package.  They have extra coolers installed at the factory.  They do tow quite well and are rated for up to 5,200 lbs.  The Tahoe/Suburban are built on a 1500 platform and are a great choice (but more money).

Edited by BAZOOKAJOE
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Dodge ram has a good amount of room in the back seat even with the quad cab.  The new silverados and fords are nice but the  back seats are tiny (not enough room for a small kid let alone an adult).

 

Between me and my family we have had dodge, ford, chevy and the newer dodges are great buys for the amount of truck and tow more than any of the other stock V8's.

Edited by Chas0218
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I am only going to have a little less than $6k to work with. Just doing some checking on Ford F150s and Chevy 1500s on the Kelley Blue Book site, they are valued about $1500 to $2000 more than that. So it might be tough to go that way with the amount I have to work with.

 

rbonnell,

How big or heavy is your boat? What is the drive train in the truck and does it have a towing package? How has the reliabilty and repair costs been.

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My boat is a 19 foot statecraft fiberglass my truck has the Hemi in it yes it has the tow package its reliable but loves gas it cost me about 40 dollars a day to haul the boat from geneva to s odus

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I have a 03 Chevy Silverado that is rated to tow 7800 lbs and it does. I pull our camper which is just shy of 7000 loaded. You know it's there but still does it without hiccups.

I was coming down Watkins Glen hill when the brake controller gave out and the truck was still able to stop. Not many trucks can do that.

Sent from my thinking chair...

Edited by Chas0218
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F250 7.3l diesel. Cost of fuel is a little more but I get a constant 16 to 18 mpg towing or just driving. I have two of the trucks one has 485000 miles the other just hit 100. Don't be afraid of one with 200 plus. Tow anything with limited stress on the truck.

Sent from my C811 4G using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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F250 7.3l diesel. Cost of fuel is a little more but I get a constant 16 to 18 mpg towing or just driving. I have two of the trucks one has 485000 miles the other just hit 100. Don't be afraid of one with 200 plus. Tow anything with limited stress on the truck.

Sent from my C811 4G using Lake Ontario United mobile app

Ditto, 7.3 turbo diesel pulls effortless. ( 21 ft Chris Craft Scorpion, tandem axle) 4.09  a gallon and about 18 mpg. All the gas engines iv'e towed with averaged about 10 mpg towing. Not that I am recommending it, but off road diesel seems to have more power than highway diesel, and .60 - .70 cents a gallon cheaper. (mine is used for agriculture and farm use as well) Iv'e pulled hay wagons with 200 bales at about 45 lbs each (10,000 including wagon) with no problem. That's a good tow vehicle. I would give a diesel a try. Many well used out there at the range your dealing with, and 150,000 is just broke in for a diesel. 

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  • 1 month later...

Glad to hear you walked away from collision in good health. I am an import guy. A used nissan pathfinder has lots of towing capacity for its class, like 6800lbs if memory serves. Engines and drive train are well engineered and will far outlast the sheet metal. Not uncommon to see a pathfinder with 250-300k. Good rigs. Good value. Imo. Good luck with ur search.

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I ended up buying a used 2003 Trailblazer with about 124k miles. Same year as the other one but it is the reg length instead of EXT.

 

I will hopefully break even after needed repairs. I repaired the neon third brake light by inserting LEDs which I got at Advance Auto for $24. I replaced the front and rear stabilizer links myself. It needs one front hub because of faulty ABS speed sensor which I might replace myself if I am able to remove the big nut. It also needs ball joints and front diff pinion seal which I will have done by a mechanic.

 

Oh, and the CD player doesn't work and there is no sound in rear (haven checked to see if there are speakers). I may just have to live with that. You can't just replace it with a used one without having a dealer program it for the vehicle because of the security system. That could be a 1 hr charge for 10min of work plus the cost of a used radio if I can find one.

Edited by muskiedreams
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