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Second vehicle just for towing?

I’m looking to buy a 2H trailer in the next year or so but my current vehicle ('04 Land Cruiser) isn’t suitable to tow. I’m weighing the options of selling my current vehicle (and having to decide between a truck and a larger SUV), or keeping my current vehicle as a daily driver and purchasing a truck specifically to tow. I’m a single driver - does it make sense to own two vehicles? Options as I see it are:

  • Sell current vehicle and purchase a larger SUV to tow with
  • Sell current vehicle and purchase half ton truck
  • Keep current vehicle (to use as daily driver) and purchase half ton truck
  • Sell current vehicle, purchase half ton truck, and get cheapo daily driver with better gas mileage than current vehicle

I’m not interested in driving anything bigger than a half ton. This would be local hauling, < 2 hrs roundtrip a few times a month.

As I see it, the only (?) downside to keeping two vehicles is the increase in insurance/registration cost. I do live in an apartment, but my building allows 2 vehicles per tenant. I also like the idea of having a backup car if one is in the shop. Am I missing anything? Would love thoughts and input - TIA

Crunch the numbers. Will you spend more on gas with a half ton daily driver versus insurance on second vehicle? I would, so I have both. I lucked out, my Toyota Corolla was about $12,000 at 4 years and my Ford F250 was about $12,000 at 10 years, paid cash both. Toyota is now 18 years old and going fine F250 about 15 years.

So it’s NBD to have both right now.

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I had 2 until recently.
For daily use a PT Cruiser.
Better on gas & easier to park.
SUV did the hauling - 16’ aluminum stock trailer.
When the PT needed a cylinder (one of 4) mechanic said it was safe to drive until it started losing another.
I ended up junking it & last year traded my '07 SUV for a 2016.
I had an F250 V10 I hated & sold that to get the 1st SUV.
My longest haul is 3+hrs with mini & his cart.
Gas consumption goes up, but not outrageously & no problem stopping.
When I had 2, insurance gave me a small discount.

I have an older F250 I used for my GN 2+1 until I recently sold the trailer, just wasn’t using it enough. I love the F250, great to get hay, mulch, dirt … farm stuff. Downside is it doesn’t get much drive time. I drive it most weekends to just get it some miles. It is very hard to park it where I work. If you go with 2 make sure the hauler will get enough miles. It is nice to have an extra vehicle when one is in the shop, etc

Depending on why current vehicle isn’t suitable to tow, if it’s a weight thing you may want to look into European trailers. My Brenderup was my answer to this issue. At the time (2019), I paid about the same for the Brenderup as I would have for a two horse straight load, ramp, no manager, tack area American trailer. I towed it with a Kia Sportage that got 22-25mpg instead of the 12-14 my old F150 got. Now we have a hybrid SV and a truck, but the one vehicle that could do both things decently with the right trailer was a good solution when I still commuted.

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wow, a Kia Sportage! I have thought about a Brenderup, and I see them listed every now and then in my area. But they look claustrophobic (for the horse) to me… do they feel that way to you? I think it’s the lack of windows. My LC could technically do the job even with an “American” 2H trailer, but it makes me a bit nervous. It also gets a horrific 13mpg on its own…

I have always gone with a separate tow vehicle.

I prefer a van to a pickup truck, and I have a 1997 Ford Econoline E-350 that I bought i baout 2002, and it is still going strong.

I have been through a variety of cars for my daily driver (they get driven a LOT more miles, and they get much better gas mileage) - Toyota Celica, Nissan Sentra, VW GTI, Ford Fiesta.

We’ve always had a separate tow/farm truck. The daily driver is a Toyota Prius and the farm truck is an F250. The farm truck only moves when I’m towing the horse trailer or flatbed, or when picking up farm supplies.

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Same here. Really appreciated the Prius when I had a 100 mile commute for work. My plan was to buy a cheaper car to commute with since I wanted my truck to last for at least two commute cars. Now I am retired and don’t drive so much but I would hate to have to drive the tank everywhere. Not just diesel fuel but tires, etc. and it is a pain to park and maneuver in crowded parking lots.

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I have been driving a large SUV that is capable of pulling my 2H BP. I recently bought a daily driver and kept my big SUV for towing and other farm use. My insurance increased a bit, but probably more about the added value of the new vehicle than about having two cars. Taxes and upkeep on two cars is a bit more, but not terrible.

It’s really nice to drive something fun and sporty (and easy to park!) around town, and gas mileage is much better as well. I think the second car is a luxury, not a need, but I don’t think the costs are prohibitive.

I’ve always been a single driver with two vehicles. I’d get a car with good gas mileage for my 35 mile commute, and a truck for towing. I also used the truck to drive to work when it snowed, since my road and driveway are steep and gravel. I also used it to buy hay and carry anything that needed carrying.

Now I have a job very close to home and I have considered selling my car and only driving the truck, but I like having the flexibility to have both. The car is easier to take to places with tricky parking, and I do really like having a spare in case one is in the shop or has a problem. If you get a truck, just make sure you drive it from time to time even if you’re not towing, so the battery doesn’t die.

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There only thing that made me happier than getting my little hatchback as my daily drive was when I traded it in for my Kia niro hybrid hatchback daily drive.

And it’s shocking how much stuff you can fit in the back of one of those small hatchbacks. I was pretty sure that I would need to drive the truck frequently for any large purchases etc. And boy was I wrong. Now I have to make up the excuse to drive the truck once every 2 weeks when we’re not in showing season.

But if you do get a daily driver, also buy a battery tender to put on your towing vehicle. I leave one on mine a lot during the winter.

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If it is not financially uncomfortable, buy a truck to tow and whichever vehicle suits you for a daily driver. SO and I have yours, mine, and tow. You don’t have to deal with the truck in the city. You have an optimal tow vehicle. And there is always a spare ride if something is in the shop. For me, totally worth the expense!

And so other mechanical stuff gets to move!
My F250 was too big for my garage & had to live outdoors, parked on grass.
Brake lines rusted from damp.
It might have lasted longer if I’d left it parked on my driveway, but that would have blocked one side of the 2C garage.
Once or twice a week I’d drive it to work - all of 10mi - just to run the engine :expressionless:

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I have a F250 that is primarily used for towing and hauling feed. Daily I use either the Tacoma, as it gets much better fuel mileage, or my Jeep, which I bought almost twenty years ago to save the truck I had at that time.

Advantages are that I can leave the truck hooked to the trailer if I am going to use it several times in a few days, I have a spare vehicle, and as the Ford is my most expensive vehicle if I had to replace it I keep the mileage down on it.

I always had a separate tow vehicle up until 2016 when both my daily driver and truck both went kaput within weeks of each other.

There are very few disadvantages. I’d much rather have a separate tow vehicle, it just hasn’t been in the finances for while.

My setup for about ~8 years was an F150 XLT that pulled my 2H BP aluminium trailer (Shadow) wonderfully. For just myself and my one horse, I was able to fit everything we needed for a horse show (or any other outing) in the bed of the truck, trailer tack room, and the second horse space in the trailer. My truck was my daily driver and would fit in most parking garages, street parking, parking lots, etc. because it was a supercrew cab with a standard size bed (5.5"). Any larger or longer would have not fit.

The gas milage was decent but certainly not the best for a daily driver vehicle, especially since I did a fair amount of commuting (although most was freeway), but it made the most sense for me to only have one vehicle from a financial perspective. When I started dating my SO a few years ago, we would swap vehicles frequently. He had a very short commute to work compared to mine (both work and the barn), plus he had a fuel-efficient company car :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

My plan was to upgrade to a larger truck and GN trailer, but I ended up moving across the pond last year!

I had two cars for about eight years or so. My truck was a big gas engine and it had a couple mishaps from sitting during that time. Last year I bought a diesel and knew it couldnt sit, and live about 10 min from work, so it was a conscious effort. Then earlier this year I had a financial goal and sold my Santa Fe.

It is easier to just have the truck. That’s my opinion. No more worrying if the truck is driving enough, no more wondering which veh ate your check book or work keys or water thermos, ins for one, gate clicker for work and home in one, etc. Sure I REALLY miss that Santa Fe but my wallet and brain appreciate the break.

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This, for me, too.

i have been a 2 vehicle person or years. Smaller model VW for every day, especially because my work commute was 25+ miles. Big SUV to haul the trailer and to take on long trips, when lots of luggage. I tow generally short distances, no more than 2 hours max. In the last couple years, have done less showing due to my back issues and my Lusi was not mentally capable of stringing together a bunch of 1 tempi changes - I figured at 20 it was a good time to back him down.
I drive the little thing around town, but on the weekends use the SUV just because. I think about going to 1 car but I much prefer the safety of the SUV on Florida highways, and still want to have a towing option. And at least if one breaks, I still have a vehicle.

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