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Old 03-09-2014, 07:56 PM   #1
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Family expanding now which tow rig?

My wife told me last week that we would be welcoming another member of our family in September. So we will have three kids and I'm wondering if my F250 plan still works or do I need to consider a big SUV?

Child 1 is 5 and in a booster, Child 2 is 2 and in a full car seat. Child 3 will start out in a bucket and move to a full size seat.

Can I fit all three in the back of the 250's we sufficient room so that they won't be immedialty touching each other. We know how bad that can be.

I can only come up with two SUV's that would be big enough and could tow the trailer. Escalade ESV or an Excursion. I'm not considering the Expedition because I just don't like them. The Escalade will cause me day to day issues because of what it is and the Excursion well I love them but the last ones are getting on 10 years old now.

Anyone with a 250 fit three kids in the back?
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:13 PM   #2
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The Escalade really doesn't have the towing capacity for your ST290QB. I would suggest a Suburban 2500.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:29 PM   #3
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8100 would be enough for the 29. The 2500 burbs are very hard to find and the ESV is a relative deal as a used truck.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:32 PM   #4
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Go on Kelly Blue Book. http://www.kbb.com
Look up the specs on your truck.

A F250 has 68" of rear shoulder room.

A Suburban has only 65" rear shoulder room.

Both were 2012 models.

Don't know what year and model you have, but if you have either the crew or extended cab F250 you are ahead of any Suburban type vehicle.

So if you indeed have a crew or extended cab, keep what you got..
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:37 PM   #5
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I never thought about looking on kbb thanks! I'm taking out three seats to the dealer and test fitting them once I get back from my next trip. I have yet to buy the 250 because I wanted to get a better look at a 2015 F150 but now I think I'll need more cab space.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:46 PM   #6
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2014 F150 has 65 1/2" of shoulder room. I believe the 2015 will be slightly wider.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:49 PM   #7
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First congrats on the future new addition. IMHO you will be very unhappy towing with the escalade. The specs I found for the escalade esv were 8000 lbs for 2wd and 7700 lbs for the awd. What is not accounted for is the payload which it will be seriously lacking in. Not to mention that escalade only has a 3.42 rear in it. I gave towed a similar weight tt with an armada that was rated for 9100 lbs but actually only had 810 lbs of available payload. I believed a dealership that said I would be fine, it was not a pleasant towing experience.

You could go for a 1 ton van to get your third row. I have the f250. We have a booster seat in it. I have fit 3 skinny adults next to it in a tight squeeze. Your kids will be able to touch each other in close quarters in any vehicle that doesn't have a third row.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:57 PM   #8
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Burb 2500 or Maybe a Ram Mega cab.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:58 PM   #9
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YOu could put up a sheet of plywood between them to stop negative interaction.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:27 AM   #10
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My 2-cents:

If you were to purchase an F250, 3 kids will fit in the back. Get a crew cab.

HOWEVER, because you have a Sunset Trail 290QB (a trailer we looked at), you CAN pull that with a 1/2-ton suburban. Your GWVR for the trailer is just under 7800#, so a properly equipped suburban will be a decent tow vehicle. Try to get one with the 3.73 rear end. Stick with the 'Burb as smallest SUV because the wheelbase will help.

You will spend months looking for a 3/4 ton 'burb with no avail. We have looked. Fortunately, your Superlight ST290QB can be towed with a 1/2-ton and you will get the same vehicle as an Escalade without the criticism. Expect $30K minimum for a clean used one. As Anaro mentioned, a super-duty van is also an option.

Unfortunately for us - the Zinger is too heavy and a truck is our only solution.

Edit: If you already have the 250, keep it. I thought you were looking to get a new TV.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:45 PM   #11
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One thing to consider is that not just the TV may have to change
Maybe the rv as well within the next few years as the toddlers toddle more !

I would suggest you think and plan a little longer term and not have to trade tv next year if you must trade now... build in some 'cushion' with a 350 at max gvwr you can get... (I wish someone would have told me that when I got my 250 !)
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:23 AM   #12
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Greeetings Coopers Dad,

Congrats on expecting. Just to give you some perspective, I have 3 teenage boys, 13, 13, 15 all pushing 5'10". I had the same dilemma last year when we bought our 300BH. We were towing our Jayco 26L hybrid with our Sequoia

I knew we were upgrading back in 2011 so we ended up with a 2011 F150 of which we towed our 300BH from Ohio to Yellowstone and back. It has a built in trailer brake, rear camera, and towing package.

Boys were fine room-wise. They love the truck for the leg room, not the shoulder room. We even take the dog on our weekend trips.

Here is what was key for us. We only traveled during the day and stopped each night, no crazy marathon driving and everyone was comfortable. We bake breaks and lunch stops into our trips and it made a huge difference in the "backseat antics".

mark5w is spot on. Look at the rear leg and shoulder dimensions. KBB is a great research tool. You'll be surprised that bigger vehicle doesn't always mean more rear seat room. Burbs are great, but for me, my daily commute is 65 miles highway roundtrip and tight parking garage pushed us to the F150. I've also benefited from the Ecoboost in the F150 despite the mixed results others are getting.

For us, the truck vs. SUV boiled down to the truck because of the versatility. We take 5 adult bikes during our summer weekend camping and when I don't need the bed, I have a hard tonneau giving us additional storage for things like firewood, grills, etc. When my wife needs to do the "soccer mom" thing for a group of kids, we take the Sequoia. No regrets on the truck. I also was able to buy new truck vs. used SUV for what I was willing to spend.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:11 AM   #13
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Congrats on the new addition!

Get the Armada. It has a 3rd row you can sit in even if you have legs.

The 9100lb towing capacity is well above the max weight of your trailer. We have a similar tongue weight on our Z-1 and pull just fine even with one kid, two dogs, and a 100lb kayak on top. It has integrated air bags that automatically inflate when adding load, which is a nice feature.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:25 PM   #14
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I myself am kicking myself in the @$$ for not getting my wife a 2500 suburban. Traveling in our Suburban with our old TT was great. Plenty of room even for friends. As the children get older they always want to invite friends along.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:32 PM   #15
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Hey, Just wanted to thank everyone for the great posts. It's really helped quite a lot. I've been on the road all week and I'm waiting for my flight home trying to beat yet another snow storm. Will this winter ever end!

Anyway, its narrowed down to the following.
2015 F150 EcoBoost
2012 or 2013 F250 like I was planning.
2500 Burban if I can find a good one.
Armada ( Thanks Antares for the idea)


Because I'm planning ahead I've got the time to find the right truck. My Avalanche will serve us well this season unless I find a killer deal. I really agree that the ratio of rear leg room to truck size is deceiving. I was surprised how little my Avalanche actually had when I had my seat adjusted for me. This week one of my crew had his new truck on site which was a 2014 Ram 2500 MegaCab. I felt like I was in a limo it had so much leg room in it. Cool idea but not the truck for me.

One of my friends who lives a few hours from me has a 250 and we talked this week about swapping rides for a week. He has the 6.2 in it so I'm interested to see what the real world MPG is VS the diesel.


Thanks again for all the great ideas, I really appreciate the suggestions and help!
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:00 PM   #16
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Coopers Dad,

Can't go wrong with any of those tow vehicles.

I'm hoping you get the 2015 Ecoboost F150...Love mine and with the aluminum panels and 700lbs less, it should get decent gas mileage. Opt for the 3.73s if you go that route. Also, the factory integrated trailer brake is smoother than the $200 Tekonsha I had on my Sequoia.

The Ecoboost is like a diesel..if you drive it hard (acceleration, braking) it drinks like a sailor, but if you watch your takeoff acceleration and stick close to speed limits on the interstate, it rewards you with a few mpgs.

Anyone out that has drives diesel can chime in, this info is based on jawing with my neighbor who has a diesel f250.

To clear the air, I in no way comparing ecoboost engines to diesels. Diesels have the pulling power..period. The two motors seem to respond the same depending on driving habits.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:13 PM   #17
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If he opts for the 373 gears he won't be able to get the complete package to up the payload capacity.

I say go for the max pay and max tow, that will also give you 17 in. 10 ply tires. It will also drop the gear ratio down.
Running empty I have seen 20--22 1/2 consistently.

The super crew cab feels like you could hold a barn dance in the back seat.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:44 PM   #18
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I have a 2011 f250 crew with a 6.7 diesel and we have put two child seats in and a 16yr old in the middle and everyone was quite comfy. Pulling a 32bl 5er should not dampen the ride or with the added weight of the three passengers and my wife really should not stress the engine.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
If he opts for the 373 gears he won't be able to get the complete package to up the payload capacity.

I say go for the max pay and max tow, that will also give you 17 in. 10 ply tires. It will also drop the gear ratio down.
Running empty I have seen 20--22 1/2 consistently.

The super crew cab feels like you could hold a barn dance in the back seat.
I opted not to get max payload because it required an 8 bed, and could not get 402a package
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:11 PM   #20
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I would skip the armada. I hated towing my tt with my 2004 armada LE. I was pushed all over the road by cars, trucks and Suvs passing me. I had a constant tail wagging the dog feeling. It took everything I had learned in 20 yrs of hauling horse trailers to keep that rig on the road. The final straw was not having enough TV/engine etc to control the tt coming down a 7% grade. I traded it for my current F250 PSD and now have fingertip towing. I used my brakes 1 time on that same 7% grade, the engine held the tt back. Towing is enjoyable again.
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