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#570148 - 01/28/18 08:12 AM New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . .  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,340
tpenfield Offline
Admiral
tpenfield  Offline
Admiral

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Posts: 2,340
Cape Cod, MA
A bit of an unexpected story about our primary towing vehicle that I thought I would share.. . .

The Admiral uses our 2004 Cadillac Escalade as her daily car. A week ago, Friday morning, the water pump crapped out, spewed AF all over the place in the engine compartment and shorted things out in the electrical system, trashing the battery . . . all this while on her way into work. ouch cry The car came to rest about 3 miles from home. I came to the rescue, Triple A was called, and I had them tow the car to a local repair shop that we use.

That afternoon and $1,000 later the car was fixed, but the Admiral & I decided that she needed a more reliable car, as the Caddy seems to be in the repair shop on a regular basis. The next day (Saturday) we went to the local Ford dealer and drove a 2018 Ford Explorer XLT. It was pretty nice, they also had a 2016 Platinum Edition CPO w/ 21K miles for about the same $$$$$, but the color (metallic Brown) was a no-go with the Admiral.

We did not talk any numbers on the car, but learned through talking with the salesperson and checking online that the remaining 2017 models (new) were being given steeper incentives smile . Also, a 2016 or 2017 CPO would also be a good option from a cost perspective. Later Saturday afternoon, we scoured the Internet for any remaining new 2017's. Blue, White, Silver, or Red were acceptable colors for the Admiral. I figured that the option packages with the heated leather seats, Class III Towing, and there was a Technology bundle that got you Navigation and Blind Spot & cross traffic indicators were the best option combination for us. The vehicles are rated to tow up to 5,000 lbs, which would be fine for the sailboat. (3.5 V6 w/ 290 HP)

We found that 'Herb Chambers' Ford had a bunch of new 2017 remaining on their lots (They have 2 Ford dealerships in the Boston area) and had 1 or 2 in the option combination we were looking for. So, we put an inquiry online about a 2017 Explorer XLT - Blue Jeans Metallic. I had also signed up for TrueCar and put a few inquiries in . . . BTW don't sign up for TrueCar unless you like to talk to car salespeople, as you will get a plethora of calls, emails, texts, etc.

Anyway, a short time later the folks from Herb Chambers called and emailed a 'price' on the car. By then it was about 6:00 PM and the dealers were all closing for the day. We also got a response from another dealer that supposedly had 2 cars that matched our desired configuration, but upon talking with them, the cars were gone.

Sunday, we had a bunch of stuff to do in the AM and the afternoon was the AFC Championship game. So, rather than looking at the car, 'Herb' said we could put a 'hold' on the car and come in on Monday after work. So, we did. Our concern at that point was, if we could not find a 2017 XLT with leather, towing, and tech bundle, the next steps up were in the 'Limited' series, which were a whole bunch more money. The 2018's of similar configuration did not have as steep incentives, and they also had eliminated the Blind Spot/Cross traffic feature from the tech bundle. I was just concerned that when we got to the dealer, that the car would not actually be there and we'd be in a 'bait & switch' play.

The next day (Monday) after work, we went to the dealership and the car was there . . . no bait & switch . . . thumb We drove the car and it was nice. We had them take a look at our Escalade and work up some numbers. At that point we came to realize that the Caddy had a minor accident back in 2008 ( a La CARFAX report ) ouch . The car was previously the FIL's car and he gave it to us a few years ago. Although the car had been in the family since new, we were unaware of the blemish on the car history report. So, that took a little bit of air out of our negotiating ability, but we came up with some decent numbers that were pretty much what we expected.

The car was going to be in the Admiral's name (since I already have 3 cars in my name), but at that point we realized her drivers license had expired last week . . . blush Anyway, they did the paperwork and the Admiral was going to renew her driver's license first thing Tuesday (the following day), and we would pick up the car all prepped, inspected, and registered Tuesday evening.

That all worked out and we drove the car home the following night. I got to say, I was not too keen on the 'uni-body' versions of the Explorers, having done away with the truck-based chassis, but this car/SUV is really nice. . . feature rich and very comfortable.

So, we got
2017 Ford Explorer XLT Metallic Blue w/ black leather interior - 7 passenger.
Premium Audio System
Dual Zone temperature control
10-way power seats
Heated seats and steering wheel
Sync 3 system, which is great as we took phone calls via the radio on the way home.
Navigation system
Blind Spot system
Foot Activated lift gate
Remote start
Forward Sensing system
Keyless Entry
Class III Towing
Intelligent 4 wheel drive
Etc. . . .

We still have our older Explorer (2004), so we will probably keep both for a while.

Here are a few pics:

The Escalade, now traded-in for the Ford. 6.0 V8 360 HP 9,000 lb towing.

[Linked Image]

Here is the new tow vehicle - 2017 Ford Explorer. 3.5 V6 290 HP 5,000 lb. towing

[Linked Image]

Here is the older (2004) Ford Explorer that we still have. 4.6 V8 249 HP, 7,000 lb. towing

[Linked Image]

We just got the 2004 Ford its annual inspection sticker, so it's good for another year. Probably will keep it at the summer house as a beach mobile and for trips to the dump/landfill.

Anyway, we certainly were not thinking about getting a new car/SUV tow vehicle a couple of weeks ago, but stuff happens. There goes the new boat fund . . . shocked

Last edited by tpenfield; 01/28/18 09:49 AM.

Regards, Ted

Formula 330SS

My Boat Web Sites
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#570149 - 01/28/18 09:44 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
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Posts: 7,483
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

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Chicago, IL
Nice looking new ride. Congrats always exciting to get new wheels. My brother has an explorer & the interior always amazes me how big & nice it is.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570150 - 01/28/18 09:52 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
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Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

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Fruit Heights, Utah
Nice looking. Whenever I see one I always first think its a Range Rover.
Mileage should kick butt on what you were getting with the Caddy.
Love it when a non-Plan comes together.


Beer makes you feel the way
You should feel without beer.
#570151 - 01/28/18 09:56 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,483
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

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Chicago, IL
Nice looking new ride. Congrats always exciting to get new wheels. My brother has an explorer & the interior always amazes me how big & nice it is.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570154 - 01/28/18 10:00 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
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Posts: 7,008
Parrott_head Offline
Admiral of Vice
Parrott_head  Offline
Admiral of Vice
Admiral

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Very nicely equipped! What is with all that white stuff on the ground?
The remote start and blind spot items are nice, I assume the Forward Sensing System is an adaptive cruise control? Wife's car has that and I have grown to love it.


Former owner of a 2002 Four Winns 234 FunShip
'16 F250 4x4 Oil Burner
"Hey, if I'm a Vice Admiral, which vice do I get to claim?"
#570156 - 01/28/18 01:05 PM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,129
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Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,129
Pasco, WA
Nice looking ride. I like well optioned cars. Makes the owning experience more pleasurable and the car more fun to drive.

I was a bit surprised by your comment that the Explorer is a unibody construction. I was under the impression that unibody cars/trucks had very limited towing ratings. That's good news and expands our search horizons when we go looking for our next tow rig.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#570159 - 01/28/18 01:49 PM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
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captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

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Chicago, IL
GFC couldn't agree more with you on driving loaded cars.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570161 - 01/28/18 04:16 PM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
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tpenfield Offline
Admiral
tpenfield  Offline
Admiral

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Cape Cod, MA
Thanks everyone,

The Admiral was thinking something bare-bone and I was thinking something with all the bells and whistles. So, the XLT with leather and tech package seemed to be the compromise. 5,000 lb. towing rating is pretty decent for a car (uni-body) chassis. The engines are transverse mounted, so they probably cannot fit a V8 engine in to get a bit more towing capacity.

It is interesting to note that a loaded car of 10-15 years ago is pretty bare-bone by today's standards.


Regards, Ted

Formula 330SS

My Boat Web Sites
#570163 - 01/28/18 04:29 PM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
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captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

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Chicago, IL
Funny how things have changed.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570166 - 01/29/18 08:51 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
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On Holiday Offline
Daddy
On Holiday  Offline
Daddy
Admiral

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PA and Smith Mountain Lake
I have a 20 year old loaded up vehicle and know my next vehicle even if it is a base model will have more bells and whistles. I do miss power locks as those stopped working about 5-7 years ago.


2008 Honda Goldwing Trike
2006 Regal 2400
2004 Dodge Ram 2500
2003 Ford F-150
2002 Harley Davidson Roadking Classic
1998 Honda Civic


#570167 - 01/29/18 09:02 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,483
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

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Chicago, IL
Younger people today will have no real appreciation for what a truly entry level cars is. Back to the day of manual windows, manual locks, no ac, am radio, hub caps, no carpet & manual transmission.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570168 - 01/29/18 11:31 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: captkevin]  
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Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
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Lake Geneva, WI
Originally Posted by captkevin
Younger people today will have no real appreciation for what a truly entry level cars is. Back to the day of manual windows, manual locks, no ac, am radio, hub caps, no carpet & manual transmission.


Things sure have changed. Remember back in the day when the mirror on the passenger side door was an option?

#570171 - 01/29/18 02:47 PM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: Dock Holiday]  
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captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

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Chicago, IL
Originally Posted by Dock Holiday
Originally Posted by captkevin
Younger people today will have no real appreciation for what a truly entry level cars is. Back to the day of manual windows, manual locks, no ac, am radio, hub caps, no carpet & manual transmission.


Things sure have changed. Remember back in the day when the mirror on the passenger side door was an option?



Hard to believe that was a option - but ashtrays & lighters were standard


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570173 - 01/29/18 02:52 PM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: Dock Holiday]  
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WayWeGo Offline
Admiral
WayWeGo  Offline
Admiral

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Oakton, VA
Originally Posted by Dock Holiday
Things sure have changed. Remember back in the day when the mirror on the passenger side door was an option?

I still have a car that does not have a passenger side mirror! Now you are making me feel old!



1975 Trojan F36 Convertible, Twin Chrysler 440's
2014 West Marine AL360 Inflatable, 1966 Mercury 6HP, 1992 Mercury 20HP
#570174 - 01/29/18 02:56 PM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,452
On Holiday Offline
Daddy
On Holiday  Offline
Daddy
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,452
PA and Smith Mountain Lake
You are old smile


2008 Honda Goldwing Trike
2006 Regal 2400
2004 Dodge Ram 2500
2003 Ford F-150
2002 Harley Davidson Roadking Classic
1998 Honda Civic


#570178 - 01/29/18 05:29 PM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
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Jack T Offline
Admiral
Jack T  Offline
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Southern California
OK, I'm even older. In the 50's, my folks bought a new Buick that didn't even have a side view mirror on the driver's side. My dad bought one, and installed it.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#570185 - 01/30/18 12:49 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,353
WayWeGo Offline
Admiral
WayWeGo  Offline
Admiral

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Posts: 2,353
Oakton, VA
And I remember when my dad bought seatbelts and installed them in our car. Up until then, my seatbelt was my mother's arm reaching across to keep me from going through the windshield!



1975 Trojan F36 Convertible, Twin Chrysler 440's
2014 West Marine AL360 Inflatable, 1966 Mercury 6HP, 1992 Mercury 20HP
#570186 - 01/30/18 08:44 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: WayWeGo]  
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Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

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Lake Geneva, WI
Originally Posted by WayWeGo
And I remember when my dad bought seatbelts and installed them in our car. Up until then, my seatbelt was my mother's arm reaching across to keep me from going through the windshield!


You had nice parents (or you were well behaved). Seems like my parents arms were mostly reaching over to smack me for fighting with my brothers. Of course, they always started it, but I got the blame. c

Last edited by Dock Holiday; 01/30/18 08:45 AM.
#570210 - 02/01/18 09:49 AM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
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Posts: 7,483
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

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Chicago, IL
Add on seat belts - we really have come a long way.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570217 - 02/01/18 07:39 PM Re: New Tow Vehicle for the Admiral's Daily Car . . . [Re: tpenfield]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,129
GoFirstClass Online content
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Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,129
Pasco, WA
Now you guys are making me feel really old. My first TWO cars didn't have seat belts. #1 was a 58 Chevy Belair 4 door and #2 was a 65 Chevy station wagon. The first car I owned with seat belts was a 68 Catalina wagon that I bought new right before I went in the USAF.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
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