8 Best Budget Tow Rigs

If you’re in the market for something to haul your toys to the track, dunes or lake, you have plenty of options. That said, a brand new tow rig can be very expensive. If you’ve already got a few toys, you might not have the budget for a big, shiny new RAM 3500, Duramax 3500HD or F350 King Ranch. It can be nice to ride in luxury to your preferred playground, but what if you can't afford a nice rig on top of your toys?

Fortunately, there are quite a few tow rigs on the used market that are more than capable of getting both you and your toys where you need to go. From vans to SUVs and trucks, no matter what kind of vehicle you prefer, there's something for you. Keep scrolling to see our top eight. 

1. Toyota Sequoia/Tundra (2000–2007)

2000-2007 Toyota Sequoia

Towing Capacity: 6,200–6,500 lbs

Price Range: $4,000–$8,000

Toyota’s first attempt at a full-size truck and SUV is nearly 20 years old. Plenty of these trucks are still roaming the roads and can be found is very good condition. The Achilles' heel of the 4.7L motor seems to be the water pump and timing chain, but once that's taking care of, these trucks are good for years to come.

2. Nissan Titan/Pathfinder/Armada (2003–2015)

2003-2015 Nissan Titan

Towing Capacity: 6,500–9,500 lbs

Price Range: $5,000–$10,000

Nissan’s first full size truck and SUV just hit 15 years old and can now be found under $10k. When properly equipped, the 5.6L V8 can haul up to 9,500 lbs (9,100 lbs for the Armada).

3. Chevy Astro/GMC Safari (1995–2005)

1995-2005 Chevy Astro Van

Towing Capacity: 4,700–5,300 lbs

Price Range: $2,000–$5,000 

As a one time Astro owner, I can say that these vans definitely get the job done. With the rear seats removed, you can fit a 8x4 sheet of wood in the rear cargo area and tow up to 5,300 lbs. Under the skin, they have a lot in common with the S10 trucks of the same era.

4. Chevy Express Van (1995–Present)

1995-Present Chevy Express Van

Towing Capacity: 7,200–10,000 lbs

Price Range: $5,000–$15,000

It seems like these Chevy vans have been around since the beginning of time. They can commonly be found coming off time as a delivery van, plumbers van or cable company van. Available in a variety of combinations from 4.3L Vortec V6 to Duramax V8, short wheelbase or long, rear wheel drive or four-wheel drive, the options are endless.

5. Chevy Silverado 1500/Suburban and GMC Sierra 1500/Yukon (2000–2006)

2000-2008 GMC Sierra 1500

Towing Capacity: 7,200–7,900 lbs

Price Range: $2,000–$10,000

Silverado/Sierra 1500 and SUV variant Suburban/Yukon offer several powertrain options. These trucks are everywhere and so are their parts. The 5.3L V8 paired with the 4L60 transmission can get decent gas mileage and is known to go well over 200,000+ miles.

6. Ford F-150 (2004–2008)

2004-2008 Ford F-150

Towing Capacity: 2,500–9,500 lbs

Price Range: $5,000–$15,000

These days, most F-150 shoppers look for EcoBoost or Coyote-powered trucks. The pre-EcoBoost 2005-2010 models are abundant can be found relatively cheap, and the 5.4L V8 can tow up to 9,500 lbs.

7. Ford Econoline/E-250 (1992–2014)

1992-2014 Ford Econoline E250

Towing Capacity: 5,100–5,600 lbs

Price Range: $2,000–$10,000

Like the Chevy Express, the Econoline van has been around for decades and is still in production. This full sized van has plenty of room inside and can haul a decent load. Many of these vans have also found a second life as off-road/overland vans.

8. Dodge Durango (2004–2009)

2004-2009 Dodge Durango

Towing Capacity: 5,950 lbs

Price Range: $1,200–$6,000

The second-gen Durango doesn’t show up on top of too many lists, but it should be on your list of cheap tow vehicle options. When equipped with a V8 Hemi, the Durango can haul up to 5,950 lbs and seat up to seven passengers.

We know there are plenty of options out there, but for the sake of brevity, we’ve kept this list short. Diesel trucks were not mentioned but have been covered extensively here and here. What other cheap tow vehicles did we leave off of this list?

Looking for a cheap diesel? We've listed the best under $10k.

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