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Old 06-20-2003, 08:41 AM   #1
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Default Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle?

I've read all the towing threads I could find, and didn't find many comments on the Isuzu Rodeo. I'm guessing it may be marginal as a tow vehicle with its 4500lb capacity. The Rodeo appeals to me as a dual-purpose daily driver because it is relatively cheap, is not a monstrous truck and has a V6 for decent mileage. Unfortunately, its size and engine are "strikes" against it as a great tow vehicle. I anticipate using it to tow my 2500lb integra on some inexpensive flatbed trailer that I pick up, with tires, tools and average gear. I would probably tow short distances (100 miles) 3-4 times per year, and maybe one long tow (15 hours+) per year. I would make sure the trailer had electric brakes on both axles. Does this sound like a reasonable "compromise" setup for a daily driver / tow vehicle, or will it fall short in the tow category?
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Old 06-20-2003, 08:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

Same as the Passport right? That one I told you about here is only $7900. I think it was a late 90's. It's 4x4, 190hp V6, and only has 89,000 miles on it. Passports don't hold their value I guess. I'd consider it, but I think I'd rather hold out for a V8 after towing with my dad's run-down Chevy pickup.
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Old 06-20-2003, 10:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (uncleben)

Yep, the Passport is a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo. $7900 is a bit on the high side, but pretty much inline with prices I've found here in KC. I just really would like to avoid a huge v8mobile because it will be my daily driver, and I HATE TRUCKS.
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Old 06-20-2003, 10:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

I had a friend use a Rodeo as a tow vehicle for a short time in the mid-'90s...a very short time. With that small a tow capacity and the car alone at 2500 lbs. I think that you can expect to kill the Rodeo after some time. If you were going to use a lightweight tow dolly and two Integra rear wheels on the gound it would lighten your tongue load, overall weight although the number of rolling tires would be the same as the a double axle trailer. That is going to be less taxing on the light Rodeo than a full trailer.

With a real trailer, I'd say the Rodeo would be a handgrenade with the pin pulled...not a question of if, just when. If the Rodeo was a temporary fix until a stronger vehicle could be had then at least it is a means to get you elsewhere but as a primary plan I think the car, trailer and gear will be too much. I used my sister's new Expoder V6 (5500 rating) to pull an ITA first gen CRX many years ago on a double axle trailer and after about 6 or 7 trips over two seasons you could tell that the Exploder was deteriorating at an accelerating rate. For any longevity, a substantial tow vehivle is a better plan than squeeking the limits.
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Old 06-20-2003, 11:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

pick up an old chevy v8 truck as they are very common and very cheap...you only need 2wd unless you also plan on real off roading or launching boats.
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Old 06-20-2003, 11:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (CRX Lee)

Dang, I was pretty excited that the Rodeo would be a reasonable daily driver / tow vehicle compromise. This isn't what I wanted to hear, but I appreciate the advice. What do you guys suggest as a better tow vehicle, but that I'd still be happy with as a daily driver. Again, I want to avoid monstrous trucks if possible.
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Old 06-20-2003, 12:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

If I remember right, the Rodeo feels (and sounds) more like a truck than any other SUV I've ever been in.

In the same size/scale I think the Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee is a better tow vehicle, although still a bit on the short side. Lots of people around here (flat land) tow small race cars with them.
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Old 06-20-2003, 03:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

I use a rodeo as a tow vehicle for my boat it weighs around the 4500lb limit, its a 97 rodeo, and it has about 90k miles on it, i tow about 15-20 miles each way to the boat launch and have been doing this for about 3 years now, and make this trip with the boat about 15 times a year.

Haven't had any problems with the car, aside from replacing the exhaust y pipe just below the manifold--which i had to get from honda because isuzu isn't around where i live anymore.
hope that helps

-just wanted to note that the speed i drive at is pretty slow as the trip is all around a residential area-- top speed of 40-45mph.
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Old 06-20-2003, 06:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (85pokey)

I used a 98 Rodeo as a tow vehicle for 3 years, hauling a 1700lb civic on a 1500lb trailer. It was a lease, and under warrantee, so I never really worried about it breaking. I liked the way it drove unloaded, and the engine was fine for towing, but the rest of the vehicle was marginal. I warped the brakes about 5 times - pretty much every time I had stop quickly with the trailer (yes I had trailer brakes). The shocks/springs were not good for towing - it has a lot of pitch/dive due to the long torsion bars in front, so it always felt like it was rocking back and forth. Another downside is that the Rodeo uses a small GM tranny (4L30 I think), but I never had any problems with the tranny. I did have many other problems, not towing related, and all covered by warrantee. In general, I was very happy the day they came to take it back after the lease was up.

My next tow vehicle was an old Grand Cherokee 4.0, which had much better suspension/brakes for towing. The 4.0 motor was a little underpowered - I'd go for the V8. I thought the Jeep was more fun around town. Not as refined or quiet, but better handling and sportier feel. Now I've moved on to an Astro van. It's a great tow vehicle/race support/hotel room, but obviously not too much fun around town.

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Old 06-20-2003, 08:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (EMod Civic)

I found a nice chart of vehicles and their published towing capacities. I would never have thought a Cadillac Fleetwood is rated at 7000 lbs! http://www.panpacificrv.com/towspec1996.html

Edit: here's a better link: http://www.panpacificrv.com/towspecmenu.html
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Old 06-24-2003, 11:12 AM   #11
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

I just found this and figured I would give my $.02.

I used to tow a 22' ski boat with a 97 Passport and never had any problems. My brother towed the same boat with a Jeep Cherokee and it was one of the worst tow vehicles I've ever seen. The Jeep weigh so little that the boat would pull the Jeep down the ramp even with the parking brake pulled. It made for some exciting times though. Jeeps run pretty well in 2 feet of water. Click the image to open in full size.

If I were you, I would look for a used Tahoe or Yukon. I realize you are looking for a none V-8 and something smaller but I think if you drove one you would be impressed. The gas mileage is really going to be about the same. My Passport would get about 19 on a good day while I would borrow my parents Suburban and it would get 18. Tahoes are also going to drive just as well as any other SUV unless you're looking at Pathfinders or BMWs.

When I towed with my Passport, it would actually get worse gas mileage than the Suburban. The V-6 had to work a lot harder than the V-8 plus it really pisses you off when you can't pass. Never had problems with the Suburban.

What you really should look for is a 94 - I think to 97 Chevy Impala with the LT1. Screw owning a SUV. I'll never own another after my Passport.
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Old 06-24-2003, 12:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (BagelW)

Thanks for your advice. Based on what I'm hearing, I'm really leaning away from the Rodeo/Passport as a daily driver / tow vehicle. Now, I'm warming to the idea of a '95-'98 V-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is supposed to pull around 6500 lbs, and it's a bit larger than the Rodeo. On the other hand, it's not quite the mammoth of a Yukon or Burb, so it may be a better compromise vehicle for me.
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Old 06-24-2003, 01:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

I use a Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.2L V8 to tow my S2000 race car (2500 lbs) and I rent crappy uhaul trailers (2000) pounds. (4500 total.) I really like the jeep, its a comfy ride and handles the load with out a problem. Plus its not a huge truck, it fits in my garage nicely. It does squat pretty good in the back, some air shocks would probably help that though. I really wouldnt tow with less then a V8, I almost got a V6, and I am very glad I didnt, on the steep hills and while passing cars you will be glad you got a V8. I get about 9mpg towing... 17 mpg highway and 13 mpg city when not towing. Thats the only downside.. damn gas guzzler
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Old 06-24-2003, 01:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (EFFECT)

Well, so much for anticipating my brother returning my dad's 1995 1/2 Passport from school! I still drive my car to/from track, but as I get more involved... we know what happens to the car... on and off the track. I did however use it to tow my parts car up & down the Catskills of NY. I immediately knew that the Rodeo is not a good long term solution. I'm going to continue making friends in NJ for that Click the image to open in full size. hitch hike home!
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Old 06-24-2003, 07:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batoutahell
Thanks for your advice. Based on what I'm hearing, I'm really leaning away from the Rodeo/Passport as a daily driver / tow vehicle. Now, I'm warming to the idea of a '95-'98 V-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is supposed to pull around 6500 lbs, and it's a bit larger than the Rodeo. On the other hand, it's not quite the mammoth of a Yukon or Burb, so it may be a better compromise vehicle for me.
I would avoid 95 Grand Cherokees. They are supposedly trouble proned. 96 or above are much more reliable. They changed some things for the 96 year. My parents now own a 00 Grand Cherokee with the V-8. It's a nice ride but it has had some minor problems but I'm just used to owning reliable Hondas.
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

my friend is towin with a troper. works pritty well.
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Old 06-25-2003, 01:22 PM   #17
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (BagelW)

Quote:
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I would avoid 95 Grand Cherokees. They are supposedly trouble proned. 96 or above are much more reliable. They changed some things for the 96 year.
How you know all this useless info and facts about such useless vehicles I will never know. Okay, maybe not so useless in this case Click the image to open in full size.

Ben, who doesn't know anyone else that knows as much trivia and facts about all automobiles then Todd
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

I agree with the others. Rodeo = too small, you'll kill the motor, transmission, and the brakes, and it'll be a damn handful with a trailer heavier than it is pushing it around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batoutahell
On the other hand, it's not quite the mammoth of a Yukon or Burb, so it may be a better compromise vehicle for me.
Don't discount a full size based on how its gonna drive. I mean people...let's not kid ourselves. No truck - be it a Cherokee or an F150 or a Rodeo or whatever...anything that can tow is much fun to drive around town. They're all top heavy and big, usually underbraked, and they all suck down a lot of gas.

My Suburban, while certainly not "fun" in the classic sense, is kinda neat to drive. Its a great highway cruiser, has great seats, and holds EVERYTHING.

I contend that if you're gonna deal with the downsides of an SUV (size, fuel economy, people making fun of you for looking like a soccer mom), you might as well go with a big one and get the upsides too.

Just my opinion.

--Karl, who makes fun of people in itty-bitty SUVs at Home Depot who have to tow a utility trailer around because the truck's too small...
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (krshultz)

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I contend that if you're gonna deal with the downsides of an SUV (size, fuel economy, people making fun of you for looking like a soccer mom), you might as well go with a big one and get the upsides too.
1) Size doesn't matter, 2) fuel economy isn't a big factor for me, and 3) I've been called worse than a soccer mom Click the image to open in full size. Don't get me wrong, I have no delusions that my tow vehicle will be a "fun" daily driver. All I expect is something that sucks a lot of gas, and is pleasant to drive to work. However, the size of a Burb is intimidating - heck, my daily driver is a 1st gen mr2.
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:58 PM   #20
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (Batoutahell)

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However, the size of a Burb is intimidating - heck, my daily driver is a 1st gen mr2.
The burb only feels big in parking lots. On the road, it's quite pleasant until you need to go around a corner. I'm with Karl on this one, the burb kicks ***.

Of course, I don't drive it every day. That's what my Miata is for. Going from a 6500# truck one day to a 2200# car the next is quite an experience!
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Old 06-25-2003, 08:31 PM   #21
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Default Re: Anyone using an Isuzu Rodeo as tow vehicle? (whitney)

A guy in our club tows with his wife's 4 cylinder 4-Runner. Seriously. Of course, it is a 1600 lb hatch on a puny-*** trailer.
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Old 06-27-2003, 06:14 AM   #22
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Well I too am looking for a good tow / fun SUV. (Steve - Jave convinced me to get rid of my baby, the Mits. 3000GT and get a real tow vehicle. The bronco has a dead cylinder). I went to one of my racing sponsors who happes to own a really nice used car dealership. I was speaking with them about potential vehicles. They suggested a 2001 + (240hp) Nissan Pathfinder. I personally really like the idea of a jeep grand cherokee lerado (sp?) but he said he wouldn't sell me one for my purposes. They tend to have transmissions issues; I confirmed this with consumer reports. I test drove the pathfinder and thought it was pretty nice. Not quite as peppy at the 3000gt. If I could afford one, I would get a Honda Pilot. It tows effortlessly! But unfortunately I don't think I can get one in my price range. Any thoughts on pathfinders? The automatic one is rated for 5,000 lbs.

Also, any idea what a typical trailer (not aluminum) would weigh? I'm guessing about 2,200 lbs. What do you think about ford expeditions? Not so sure about their reliability though.
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Old 06-27-2003, 06:23 AM   #23
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My friend is planning on picking up an Expedtition and that will be our tow veichal. Didi some reasearch, and it seems to get high marks on relibablity and fit and finish. There was 2 or 3 recalls but nothing like a tranny falling out Click the image to open in full size.
The one recall that did worry me was about the trialer hitch. It can speatre from the truck becuase of inadequete bolts fromt eh factory. Needless to say thats the first thing we are going to change
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