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Looking to buy a new truck for towing a 6-7000 camper. Anyone using a Ford F-150 with the 2.7,3.5,or 5.0 engine. Also Ram 5.7 or chevy 5.3. Any info is appreciated
I have a 32' camper 6500 lbs empty. I tow it with my 2013 silverado LT. 5.3 and does just fine. Plenty of power. My son has also towed it with his ford 5.0 but seems about maxed out.
I'm not a Ford or Dodge fan so I'm obviously biased. However between my dad and brother and I we have had 9 GM vehicles with the 5.3. We all pull 21ft bass boats frequently and on long trips occasionally, Canada, Alabama, Michigan, KY/TN, Texas, etc. We're in IN. Anyway, the 5.3's have been great engines and none of us have had any problems. My dad did recently buy a Tundra and I think it is growing on him. Good luck!
The half ton Silverados also have a tow/haul mode for the transmission(don't know if the others do) and it works very well.I have had numerous 1/2 ton Silverados with the 5.3 and they are very good.I have seen 22.9 mpg on the the highway empty with my 2017 extended cab.
We have recently switched our fleet over to the Toyota Tundra. We purchased 7 of them at the beginning of the year. I am not going to sugar coat it, Toyota has been awesome. The trucks have a lot of power, are comfortable To drive. The resale value is 2nd to none. Their service programs are off the charts. I have found out why they sale so many vehicles. And they are known to get very high mileage out of the trucks.
McCree, any idea what kind of mileage that Tundra gets on the highway. I’m on my second Tacoma and it’s been great, but won’t be big enough for the new camper.
I have a 2014 1/2 silverado. Bought it used knowing it had a 3.01 rear end. Might be a slightly different #, but it's pull rating is about 3000# less than a reg 3.43 rear end. Mileage is low as soon as I pull even a small 5x10 trailer.
If you tow a lot buy the tool for the job. It’s just safer. I hate towing with a vehicle that is screaming for mercy on hills. I want to the vehicle to drive the trailer not have the trailer drive the vehicle. I don’t tow that often but I bought an F250 so that when I do I don’t have to think about what’s back there. The tow/haul mode only affect the shift pattern. A camper tow package is a suspension upgrade. That’s what you want. As far as the motor... I don’t buy a truck based on fuel economy. I want balls! The smaller engines are much more powerful than back in the day. The old Chevy 5.7/350 would do the trick. The 5.3 is probably equivalent. But the 6.2 drags anything anywhere with ease as long as you’re ok with 12mpg.
My brother has a F -150 with the eco-boust in it pulls great but when he hooks up his mileage goes from 18 to 6mpg I have a 1999 F-350 with a 7.3 in it I made one trip from Montana to Alaska with a 27,000 load it did fine it has 318,000 on it now you can find a used one for less than $15kwhy spend $60 k on a new one
You are crazy to even consider that with a half ton in my opinion. It’s not the power that’s the issue, it’s the suspension and handling. I don’t care what tow ratings say, tow more than 5000 pounds, and you need a three-quarter ton. Period.
Bohunter, here is a comparison for you. Last 2 trips heading west from PA towing a 16 ft enclosed with way more gear then we need for 10 days of hunting, going 70-75mph on highway. 2018 w/ Ram 5.7l, 3.21 gears got 9mpg(barely). Stock back springs very soft, lots of sag on truck. 2017 w/Tundra 5.7l, 4.3 gears got 10.5+mpg. Very little sag.
Both trucks with plenty of power. Can merge on hwy or pass no problems with power to spare. Tundra sits more level with its stiffer suspension. When not towing Ram gets little bit better mpg and better ride. Both trucks stock. I own the Ram, buddy owns the Tundra.
I will definitely get a trailer package on whatever truck I buy. I’m in se Illinois in pretty flat country. The camper hauling usage will be less than 5% of the time
I wouldn't even consider 1/2 ton trucks to tow that kind of weight on a regular basis. When the trailer starts pushing the truck around you'll know why. Also 3.73 gears in the rear end would be the minimum for a towing rig with 4.10's a better choice.
Mule Power is right. It’s the right set up for pulling that weight. It’s much safer. Out here in the West, when towing even my utility trailer and Can Am Defender sxs, any hill I hit with steep grade and my truck is screaming all the way up. I hate it. And on the way back down that hill, you know that trailer is behind you. I’ll be upgrading soon.
Agree with the others that recommend more than a 1/2 ton. Any towing package upgrade should include a beefier suspension, as well as an integrated, prewired, trailer plug and trailer brake controller. Mine also has the same transmission used in the Powerstroke.
As MP mentioned, don’t expect great fuel economy with the lower ratio rear ends. Power and economy don’t go together with gas engines, but then again, you don’t have the insane maintenance costs that comes with a diesel.
X2 SDHNTR....you are at the bottom end of what is considered capable. You are basically overworking your vehicle. No different than a tool....sure a 10 amp tool will do the job but no where near as long and efficiently as a 15 amp tool.
3.5 Ecoboost with airbags and you won't even know it's there.
Look up Jaquomos thread about his Arizona camper wreck for Exhibit A on why you shouldn’t pull weight with anything less than a 3/4 ton. Sorry Jaq
As Long as you are going to putt putt around on flat land, you can go small. But, if you are ever going to go into the hills, you not only want something with some balls to get you uphill, you want to have something with some braking power downhill, otherwise you are getting into an unsafe situation. Personally, I went with a 1 ton diesel. yeah, I only get 14 mpg but, I can pass people with a loaded trailer up hill and not have to worry about slowing the beast down. Also, with the synthetic oil, I change my oil every 15000 miles so, it isn't that much more for maintenance.
2 Points, I agree with everything you said...right up to the point you said “it isn’t that much more for maintenance.”
$1000 a pop for an injector, faulty glow plugs, etc add up pretty quick. I will admit, I sure miss the raw power though! ;-)
I've owned and driven both 1/2 tons and 3/4 tons all my life and my experience tells me that anything a 1/2 ton will pull, a 3/4 ton will pull better and safer. As 2 Points said, flat ground, pulling every once in a while, the 1/2 ton will get it done (with towing pkg, and trailer brakes), but if you pull often or in the hills, go 3/4 ton. You couldn't run fast enough to give me a diesel for everyday driving, but when I pull my tractor or backhoe, I have an F 350 diesel for that. Pulling a 12' trailer with my cart or Ranger, the 1/2 ton F 150 with the 5.0 is a breeze. Ultimately, you will be the decider with knowledge of what you will be doing.
Wyo, I have never replaced glow plugs and had injectors once done under warranty. I agree, they are pickier if maintenance isn't done. They need more air so, air filters are done more often. Everyone complains about powerstrokes. We have 2 6.0s and have had very minimal issues. I also have a 6.7 with 170,000 miles and, have had no issues. And, these are work trucks, they don't spend most of their lives driving with no load. I have a gooseneck rated at 22,500 they get to pull up and down mountains in AZ.
Whatever you buy, the following may be helpful.
I agree that tow ratings are maximum for short distances, and that axle ratings will probably be the restricting factor (if you even bother to weigh the rig fully loaded). I've been pulling a 7500# GW travel trailer near max weight with Tundra 4 wheel drive, double cabs for the last 4 summers (about 10,000# tow ratings). The first was an '08, and the latest a '17. With the trailer properly balanced (WD hitch) near max weight, a winch in front, a topper and some gear in the bed, two fairly light pax and a 60# dog or two in the back seat, both axles are about maxed out. Our trips have taken us from Colorado on 3 trips to northern Canada (including all the way up the Dempster), all over AK (including over Atigun Pass (12% grade) to Deadhorse), and another to the Olympic Penn., as well as shorter trips. We have averaged about 10,000 miles on the 3 trips up north, plus the other shorter trips.
Pulling power of the Tundras has not been an issue, although the '08 was slightly better than the '17 for some reason. As mentioned, axle weight ratings are what is restrictive. Even so, we never had a breakdown in the Tundras (except a starter problem on our first trip in the '08. but it had over 100,000 miles already before we started the trip, and it didn't leave us stranded. It was a gradual failure that allowed to get it to a dealer in Canada). I wish I could say the same for the Arctic Fox we towed. Actual towing mileage runs between about 8.5 and 11. I say actual because it's computed at each fuel stop, NOT what the onboard computer says. I never tow over 65 mph (unless you're running GY Endurance, or LT tires on the trailer, they're not rated over 65. We've only had one flat on the trailer on ALL trips and that was on the Dempster), and given a choice I stay off interstates. I don't know nor care about normal mileage. I NEED a pick up for daily use and to tow the size trailers I tow, and reliability is at the top of my list. From my experience I would not tow regularly above about 75% of the advertised tow rating of a vehicle (again check axle weights). I see over loaded rigs everywhere we go, and I also see a lot of breakdowns on the side of the road, especially up north.
I have owned 2 Tundra and towed a camper that weighed around 5500 pounds in PA so plenty of hills and the truck always had a few people, firewood, and bikes. MPG avg around 10 towing. Towing to CO with a 16' enclosed trailer and couple of ATVs I get 11 and some of those drivers have a lead foot. Back and forth to work which is mixed driving I get around 16. Highway can see 18 if its just me. Problem with may of these trucks for towing is the gear ratio. Tundra with the 5.7 only comes with 4.30 which is great for towing. Plenty of power plus lower RPMs towing. You need to be careful when buying from the Big 3 on gearing if you are going to tow since they have a bunch of choices. The RAM with 3.21 may get you decent MPG unloaded but start towing and its worse than the Tundra as stated by Jethro above. If I was going to tow I would try and find 3.73s at the minimum. Also I am willing to bet the great EPA numbers on the Big 3 are from the 3.21 and similar but if you end up with something else your actual MPG are less. Good luck on your choice.
Hey Bohunter09...I own two travel trailers...a 28' stock travel trailer for family trips...and a 16' travel trailer my son and I build for off road use and bowhunting. I owned a tent trailer early on, but sold it once I started doing more winter trips to Arizona (pipes inside the coach would freeze solid). The 16 footer we build and significantly reinforced weights a bit over 5,000 lbs...so it's pretty stout. The 28 footer is roughly 6,500 lbs dry. Between these three trailers and plenty of time behind the wheel, I've logged over 50,000 miles towing since the mid 80's. Here are my observations...
Diesel is better than gas for towing. Diesel trucks (for the most part) come in large-framed, heavy duty models. They are not easily pushed around by a travel trailer...even in the worst weather conditions. I've owned two Dodge Ram diesels...a 95' with the 5.9 liter Cummins engine that I put 287,000 miles on over 15 years...and my newest Dodge Ram...a 2010 with the 6.7 liter Cummins engine that I've currently put around 74,000 miles on...lots of which are from towing since I'm now retired. Diesels engines are designed to provide extreme low-end torque...for pulling heavy loads like large, heavy travel trailers and lots of power for pulling steep grades under load. The 6.7 liter Cummings engine is a brute and handles routine towing with ease. Diesels also get decent mileage when unloaded...and drop down to around 10-12mpg while towing.
The automatic transmissions matched to these heavy duty diesel engines have lower stall speed, locking torque converters and use 6-speed gear boxes (4 gears to get to 1:1 ratio, followed by two overdrive gears: 5th = 0.82:1, and 6th = 0.63:1). These new gear boxes are a pleasure to drive, can be electronically locked into any gear, and harness the diesel power for any condition...especially the mountainous areas of the southwest.
Rear axle ratios behind these gear boxes are typically in the 3.73 and 4.10 range. I'd recommend buying (ordering if necessary) the limited slip rear differential (even if purchasing a 4x4) because traveling on washboard dirt/muddy roads with a trailer can lead to jack-knifing conditions pretty easily. The limited slip rear axle keeps it tracking straight much easier than a standard differential. Towing at lower speeds in these conditions will certainly help also.
The diesel trucks also come with complete tow packages...including heavy duty engine cooling, turbo charger with intercooler/waste gate, exhaust brakes, tow-haul modes to control shift points and exhaust braking, integrated electronic trailer brake controller, 7-pin and 4-pin trailer towing wiring harness and connectors, and class-4 hitch receiver (10,000 lb. trailer w/1,000 lb tongue weight limit). These are serious towing machines and ride like a Cadillac on the road.
In addition to towing, I also own a 700 lb Polaris quad. I carry this quad while towing on top of my truck bed using a Diamondback ATV hauler. The reason I bring this up...is that you'll want to be using a load-distribution hitch while towing. The additional spring bars used in the load-distribution hitch will allow you to level your truck and trailer suspensions while towing, and allow both truck and trailer to move more as a unit rather than independently with the rocking point at the hitch ball. I would never even consider pulling a trailer in your weight range without a load distribution hitch setup. The instructions for setting the ball platform height and spring bar tilt angle are simple to follow...and you can find YouTube videos to help you understand the principles involved in setting up your hitch.
Lastly, a word about tires for trailering. Trailer tires are special tires designed to reduce rolling friction, better tracking, and increase lateral sidewall strength. They come with a "Special Tire (ST)" rating...and are designed to be used up to 65 mph MAXIMUM. At times I travel in states with higher speed limits, but don't tow over 65 mph (not anymore anyway). I have destroyed plenty of trailer ST tires...and the secret to getting longer mileage is to keep your speed at or under 65 mph and replace them every five years regardless of mileage. The rubber used these days simply will not be safe (in my opinion...and that of the experts) beyond the 5-year mark. For safety's sake, slow down, take it easy, and get there alive.
Beyond that, good towing mirrors that can extend for a better view behind your trailer is very helpful. I live in a highly populated area and getting out of town and back in after an exhausting bowhunting trip can be like a combat mission. So my best advice is to buy a truck that will meet all you towing needs, has the power and gearing to do it safely no matter what terrain or weather conditions you end up in, consider additional cargo loads you may have or will add later (think quad or equivalent), add a load-distribution hitch to your list of necessary towing items...and drive defensively. Good luck on your quest for a new truck...I hope at least some of this will be helpful to you. Kevin
Our trucks are both 2015 Fords with 6 speed automatic transmissions with tow-haul mode to change the shift points as required. The F350 6.7 powerstroke crew shortbed is great for towing and carrying our heavy Northern "Lite" (not) camper (truck has the heaviest suspension package available without going to a dually). I often pull a cargo trailer combined with the cab-over. It has 3.55 gears which are the lowest numerical available.
We also have a F150, 5.0 l king cab, 6'-7" bed with canopy and standard spring package with 3.31 gears (road economy). It gets excellent mileage (over 20 US mpg on the road). I tow an open snowmobile trailer with a quad or two or the RZR without any issues....say 2000 #s total. When I pull the 3700# GVW, tall, extra height cargo trailer with the RZR and camping gear inside it feels "like a load". I would not want to double that weight (to 7500#s) and tow it very far or often, even though the motor and tranny would be fine. The suspension and handling would be the issue in the mountains. Obviously load equalization hitches and a heavier spring package would help, but it wouldn't be my choice.
My comment on gearing....I don't see that as critical in this day and age with 6, 8 or even 10 speed automatics as it was years ago with 3, 4 or 5 speed transmissions. A lower number ratio will get you better mileage when not towing, and in tow/haul mode the auto will use the right gear. I'm a bit old school and often I run the tranny in manual mode when towing in the mountains anyway.
Good luck with your choice!
I did not read all posts to lengthy. & I don't care which vehicle manufacturer you think is best that's 18 year old kid stuff. towing is about controlling the weight behind you not having enough motor to get the weight moving . can a 1/2 ton pickup get a 32' camper moving sure... can it stop it quickly under control or handle a quick reaction situation... ABSOLUTELY NOT.
^^^^^. There are states where daisy chaining bumper pulls to bumper pulls are illegal for a reason.
No effin way
Pulled it every were triple if you have the right truck its safe and easy just have to make sure you don't need to back up
This was my other set up when I was sheep hunting in the breaks
For a camper that big you need a one ton and any brand ....an 2500 Dodge or Chevy and 250 ford would do the job...tundra's suck for towing ..
My '07 Tundra 4X4 is rated/equipped to pull just over 11,000 pounds. So that means I can only safely pull 5,000??
I agree that a 3/4 ton is the only way to go. The 150 will tow it but the ride will suck, the truck won't handle very well and it actually can make for a tense trip. I have a Dodge 2500 Cummins Diesel that I put airbags on for towing. I can handle 22000 pounds very nicely depending on the type of trailer. I much prefer a 5th wheel they tow way better than regular camping trailers. The 28000 pounds the guys with the 350 Ford unless it was a diesel and even f it was that truck is not even close to rated for that. The Cummins Dodges have by far the best rated trucks for towing in the industry. Shawn
I'm just not sure why the OP needs a truck equipped to pull 20,000 plus pounds when he's planning to pull 6,000?
^^^This plus this.....
"The camper hauling usage will be less than 5% of the time"
I have a 03 F150 FX4 with the 5.4. I towed my cargo trailer coast to coast the long way and that was approx 4000lbs. Towed medium sized boats and trailers often half ways from east/west and north/south. I was looking at the new F150's with 4x4, tow package, nav AND the 36 gallon tank. My current F150 sucks at gas mileage but it has power. It's time for something new though. I like the 36 gallon option on the new F150's for longer legs plus the good gas mileage. I will go with the 5.0 because (as I was told by the dealers) the smaller engines tow but they work too hard and gas mpg's drops big time. You won't have power issues with the 5.0 when you need it. They offer 3 or 4 axle options.
The brother has a 2006 2500 Cummins. Great fuel mileage and pulls alot of weight but a little finicky in cold weather on start up. Newer diesels may do better in real cold weather when cold soaked. The other knock on diesels...at least for me...is the higher cost for fuel. For a daily driver that would be a factor for me.
I don't know much about the Chevy's.
If you don't tow much.....the best two cents I can offer is to be patient, don't tailgate and plan your stops. I'll also add to make sure your auto insurance has a tow/service coverage for your truck and camper/trailer. Good luck with whatever you go with.
I have two extra fuel tanks built over my wheel wells I haul 100 gal of fuel that gets you down the road a long way between fuel stops My truck is an F-350with 355 gears and a 6 speed manual trans.
Have a Ram 2500 w/Cummings. 2016. 3:42 locking rear w/6 sp. Pulling TT weighing around 8600 loaded. Truck is loaded and extremely comfortable. Truck is set up to pull 17,000 so nowhere near capacity. Unloaded milage approaches 22 mpg with towing from from NNY to TN to OK last fall milage dropped to a bit under 14 mpg using gallons at pump/miles math. Kept speed around 60 mph in tow mode with engine rpm around 1600...just loafing. Put over 300,000 on previous Cummings... Take care of them and it is hard to beat diesels for towing.
After trying to do a 1/2 ton for about 5 years I'm back to a 3/4 ton. For big work there's no comparison. Having said that, for occasional towing, the 1/2 tons are very impressive. If it's some random towing here and there, and you don't mind being cautious, and possibly thrown around just a little more in the wind, the 1/2 ton gets the job done. I would only be looking at a V8 though. The new little super motors are engineering marvels, but I don't see them doing well past 2-300K. Tolerances are so tight, they just won't last like a V8. Repairs would turn quite costly as well. Last I checked the EcoBoost when loaded doesn't come close to a 5.0L in Fuel Economy when towing either, so I just don't see the benefit. I had a 5.0 Ford F150, 2015, and it was such a wonderful truck. Now I'm driving an equal F250 and feel like I'm driving a tractor again. It's here to WORK
IMO, it's not the motor or tranny in the 1/2 tons that are the first to notice as under gunned with a big load, it's the suspension and weight of the truck, and no, adding air bags doesn't make that all go away, it just helps with the sag.
"I'm just not sure why the OP needs a truck equipped to pull 20,000 plus pounds when he's planning to pull 6,000?"
Because it's the off-season, and opinions are like...well...everyone has one ;)
I love a good bowsite "my truck" thread.
2 things are for sure every time. Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Nissan and Toyota make the best trucks for anyone's questions and you'll be sure to get a picture of Bigdan's Ford pulling a train of recreational vehicles behind it. LOL.
The OP asked about pulling a 7,000# camper. Buying more than a 1/2 ton truck for that duty, plus every day driving, is just dumb. My Tundras have pulled a 7,5000# trailer on 10,000 mile trips for 3 summers, much of it on gravel roads, plus many shorter trips, without any problems at all, and the truck still fits in my garage. It's also available with a 38 gallon fuel tank. Sure, if you "need" to drag the contents and comforts of an entire house sized "camper" with you, you will have to pay the price for a bigger truck.
For you that say it's not safe, maybe you should learn how to drive. Trailers do have brakes. And if they are set up correctly they are effective. Just because you're driving an automatic transmission doesn't mean you shouldn't be downshifting manually. I rarely use my brakes ANYTIME, towing or not, until I've shifted down to second gear. Traversing either side of the Eisenhower Tunnel (7% grades at over 11,000'), I can maintain the speed limit going up (not over 65) and maintain the speed limit going down using just engine braking.
This photo is on Atigun Pass (12% grade) on the Dalton highway, crossing the Brooks Range in AK.
1/2 ton trucks today outclass 3/4 tons of yesterday... 3/4 tons that were all the rage and completely competent for towing back then. I see no reason to not tow with a good 1/2 ton if you have anti-sway and trailer braking. Just don't outdrive your rig. Now, if you are making a living towing or pulling a camper all the time, I would opt for the bigger truck.
Sure like my Duramax diesels for towing the big toys. And in 2 months after I retire and will be towing at least a 30' camper around the country I'll be especially happy that I have it.
I'm on my second Silverado Duramax and I've only had to change one glow plug. I did it myself for about $25 and an hour of my time...
I switched from 3/4 diesels to 1/2 gassers 10 years ago and never looked back. I was non stop spending money on those 3/4 ton trucks and the stuff behind the tires is way more $. Plus my 1/2 ton rides and drives like a car.
I now mostly tow my 5000# boat with a 2018 Chevy 5.3. I have zero issues with it and IMO a 3/4 ton would be overkill and a waste of money. 10 ply tires are a huge improvement over the LT tires when towing
Big Dan I used to run with a 5th wheel and a boat but never a double bumper hitch. I stopped when a close friend almost lost his life due to a boat trailer tire blowout. When it went it basically pulled him to the outside of a curve and he ended up rolling the whole thing over multiple times.
I wonder if the Op would have asked for info on a good weight for a turkey arrow if he would have got responses here that he needs to move up to 600 grains.
I thought we all already agreed on another thread that the Toyota Tundra is a superior product?
Brotsky, wasn't that on the Leatherwall? I think when it comes to actually putting dead animals in the box the Fords seemed like the right fit?
"...it's the suspension and weight of the truck, and no, adding air bags doesn't make that all go away, it just helps with the sag."
For the load described in the OP, yes it does, and fuel economy is a function of average speed. Bigger engines can pull faster for the same size load and kills economy just the same. Air resistance is air resistance...
I go big, I understand the newer trucks have modified shift points and modified suspension and big trailers have brakes.
once trailer weight gets close to vehicle weight, you are at risk of the tail wagging the dog. If you have ever seen it you know exactly what I am talking about. We see it around here once in a while when someone puts too much hay on a trailer and it is heavier than the truck. Lets just say, it doesn't end well. I have seen it twice once with a one ton diesel pulling a tractor on a 5th wheel, and another with a 1/2 ton pulling a big boat.
I understand you may not tow very often or very far, but bigger is better.
In my perfect world I would have the one ton for towing and working, and a mid sized truck to everyday. Not there yet so I went big, I will get the smaller one before I retire. Yes the diesel is expensive to maintain, tires, front end wear, etc, but I have had to do more of that because I put more miles on them, the motors last forever.
As a professional with vehicles, when pulling 5 k or more you are best to get a 3/4 ton. I don't care about ford vs chevy and so on,, just that a 3/4 ton is way better for pulling, handling and stopping with 5 k or more. Now I'm not talking pulling your camper with your 1/2 ton 2 or 3 times a year to the camp ground thats 50 or 100 miles away that you can take your time and get there 30 minutes later than if you had a 3/4 ton. But if your talking long trips or pulling every weekend, a 3/4 ton it should be.
....."Plus my 1/2 ton rides and drives like a car."
That pretty much says it all. There is a reason they drive like a car.
Pretty simple logic one things for sure if you buy a 3/4 ton you can always pull a smaller trailer if you buy a 1/2 ton you can’t simply pull a big trailer, like many others have said no need for diesel and the extra 12k sticker price on same truck offered in gas especially now with the transmissions
"...once trailer weight gets close to vehicle weight, you are at risk of the tail wagging the dog."
Not my experience. Like I said, I would not try to approach the advertised tow rating, but my Tundra and camper are about the same weight. I have had no handling issues.
"...pulling your camper with your 1/2 ton 2 or 3 times a year to the camp ground thats 50 or 100 miles away that you can take your time and get there 30 minutes later than if you had a 3/4 ton. "
I use my Tundra on 2+ month, 10,000 mile trips every summer. I don't care what you're towing with, 65 mph is all that most trailer tires are rated for, plenty fast enough from a safety standpoint, and easily done with my Tundra and 7,500# trailer. I don't need to get anywhere any faster. I'd rather get there in one piece. Thinking a bigger truck allows you to go faster, safely is just trying to rationalize unsafe driving.
If you plan on upgrading to dragging a portable house, then by all means get a big truck. But it sure isn't necessary nor necessarily smart for what the OP is planning.
Yes, good point Brotsky, it was already settled!
"Good enough" and what is better/best are two different things. You'll likely change what you tow more so than what you tow it with. I like options. Lots of options. If you already own one.... well I guess you dance with who you brought.... If going from scratch.... unless you WANT a truck that kinda drives like a car I see no reason not to go with a 3/4 ton. A real 3/4 ton..... =D
If you're using a 1/2 ton towing.... try the same trailer with a 3/4. Then you'll know "good enough" vs "better".... My next will be a 1 ton diesel for a 5th wheel. Only debate for me as to kind is single or dually..... but then I hate cars..... =D
I have been pulling boats & campers from va to Fla for 35 years & driving tractor trailers from Florida to Maine for 20 years. twice In Fla pulling a camper all the way from va on a rutted section of 95 iv had the camper turn my rig into a snake like you snapped your fingers it happens & bigger is better. my 96 2wd f250 7.3 gets 22 highway & 15 pulling an old heavy 24' Albemarle boat or my old 38' camper. do whatever but imo bigger is better it's a little more $ for a lot more truck. if you do choose the 1/2 ton at least order it with 10 ply's if ya can
Try a 2500 duramax and guaranteed it will be on the wish list. 2006 or 2007 has the lbz engine before the deff mandatory. I've seen 700,000+ miles on these.
I love threads like this and always enjoy the responses. Big Dan always puts that pic in.
I used to pull about 6k with a 2007 dodge 1/2 ton with a 5.7 Hemi. No issues at all with the power. Gas mileage was around 8 mpg.
When I loaded the bed of the truck with coolers and gear and filled up the trailer with water the rear end would definitely sag. I used the heck out of that truck like that for 9 years and know the newer ones should be even better.
Year and a half two years ago i was looking at newer trucks . Don’t pull enough for a diesel and don’t want to pay for one just for the manly factor.
Realized 3/4 ton gassers are priced about 500 dollars higher than a comparably equipped 1/2 ton new. Used, they’re cheaper.
I bought a 2016 F 250 with the 6.2, gas mileage towing is the same as my dodge but the beefy suspension and weight of the truck did make a noticeable difference in trailer management. Gas mileage is horrible in these things but I’ve been very happy with it. Plus having that huge Dana 60 in the front end makes me all giddy.
If you’re gonna tow once in awhile the half ton is good. If you’re going to do it a lot the 3/4 is the way to go.
Last, gears are important for towing. Tundras do so well cause they’ve got 4:30’s in the diffs. Ring and pinion size basically put it in 3/4 ton territory. If you buy a half ton don’t get any less than 3:73. You’ll regret it when you hook up that trailer.
The 2020 superduty is getting a new gasser, 7.3L push rod motor, im not ready yet but in 3 years i will be looking at this option!
I saw that carcas, I started to drool.
I agree that diesels cost more but they also depreciate less and hold their resale value. My original Duramax was an '04 and now I have a 2011 with the DEF. My '11 is paid off and just turned over 100k miles and I'm looking forward to several years of payment free use. The DEF really isn't a big deal and it's like adding windshield washer fluid. I certainly wouldn't let DEF stop me from buying a diesel. I pull some stuff around; big camper, big boat, and race/show cars. I did it for years with gas 1/2 ton trucks (some with added springs and one with airbags) and I doubt that I'll ever go back unless I buy a second truck. Another nice feature of the diesel trucks is that they have the engine braking feature that allows you to jake brake going down the mountains and save your brakes.
Anybody see the Nissan Titan with the Cummins diesel? I saw one on the road the other day and I was surprised. I didn't know there was such an animal...
Will pick up new f150 fx4 quad cab Thursday. Comes with trailer package including Ford’s sway control program. 5.0 engine rated for 10100 towing capacity. Looks like the camper will be 24 ft 5500 pound dry weight. I will let you know how the combination works
I have the Nissan XD w/ Cummins Diesel & love it. It is built for towing. I get the exact same MPG towing my 17' Alumacraft as without it. Don't even know it's back there. I only got the diesel because in 2016 they were brand new and didn't even make gasoline versions yet. Now that I have the diesel power, I'd never go back to gasoline.
Has a winner been decided on the my truck is best thread? Did a simple 1/2 ton truck make the grade or are you convinced you need a 1 ton diesel with aftermarket mods to pull that trailer? Good luck in whatever you decide.
1/2 ton with 5.0..... screaming uphill, white knuckles going down. IMHO a half ton is an SUV.
Quinn. 1/2 ton f 150 with 5.0 v8 and trailer towing package Trailer will be 5500 dry weight with equalizer hitch and sway bars. I’m not climbing mountains, just a little rolling terrain here in Illinois. Will let you know how this performs.
Congrats on the new truck. Its going to perform great, even if you decide to go to the mountains. Good choice on the 5.0 vs. turbo.
BOHUNTER09 Just curious which gears yours came with? My dealer has 1 with the 5.0 and 3.73 think it is called heavy payload package but most I see have the 3.55
bohunter09 Son just bought a used version of that truck with a super cab, wow decked out with options and very nice. You will like it. His is not a 5.0 but the smaller v6 with twin turbos. Loaded with options. love the super cab, he can fold the back seat up and put enough gear back there for a long trip, or he could even sleep back there if he had to. His has a leveling kit which adds a good look to it.
Good luck with your choice hope it is the right one for you.
What matters most is the point loading over the axles (or tongue weight if bumper pull). As long as you keep that in spec with the tow vehicle, you're good.
Hunt abs mine is the 3.73 rear end. I think the rating is neary11000 I won’t be getting close to that. Big Ozzie. That rear seat area is huge. I’m going to like that a lot
For those who know Ford F150's, there's a "trailer package" and a "max trailer tow package". The max trailer tow gets you the 3.73 gears, increased tow capacity and some engine breaking. The truck he's showing in the pic will probably only have the trailer package, lighter gears and no engine breaking. You can find the same truck with the max trailer tow, just keep looking. It will be a few $'s more, but worth it with what you have planned for the truck.
My 2012 F150 has the max trailer tow and handles the camper no problem although my mileage goes to $hit. Usually 7-8MPG when towing and can go down to 5-6 if I'm bucking any kind of wind. And that's towing in that 65-70 range on the interstate. Any higher than that, my mileage would be even worse.
My camper is a toy hauler that when fully loaded is in the 8500-9000lb. range with an ATV onboard. I've towed it multiple times in the mountains with no issues. Just don't push it.
BTW, I just retired my F150 to my son and went back to an F250 diesel.
I have found the "Ike Gauntlet" videos and write ups on this site very helpful. You can find them on YouTube as well.... They run max loads on all sorts of trucks in the toughest conditions you would likely tow in. Some of their results have surprised me. TODDY
This will be my next camper sets up fast and you can pull it with my escape but I will keep my F-350 to pull it
that camper is pretty cool.. what is it?
I have a 2000 F250, 7.3 245,000. I recently had to have the trans rebuilt. Other than that my costs have been as follows A/C compressor $700. Fan clutch. $100 Alternator $125 Fuel drain valve on fuel filter Housing. $42. Brake pads(1 set). $75. Other than that it’s been the usual oil change and trans fluid change. And batteries No injectors, injector pump or glow plugs. I always glow the engine before I start it and when towing in city or hills it’s out of O/D. I have a 36’ trailer I tow. I have a friend that had to replace his injectors twice on his Chevy diesel. I don’t understand why that has happened.
Out west you need big torque for big hills/passes. My current rig is an 06 GMC Yukon converted to a Duramax Diesel. It will pull what I want as in 3 horse trailer with all my camping gear. Getting about 12-14 towing and 18-19 empty on the road. My other for comparision is a 06 GMC Yukon 8.1 4:10s, Modifyied engine. 425 horses/525 ftlbs of torque. will also pull want I want but with regular gas. 9mpg towing 7500 lbs and 13 on the road empty. 11-12 just dinking around. what can I say i like Big SUv's. From this thread I read the Excursion is coming back, Well guess what I will have in 2020. My problem so does my wife like big SUV's why I have both. that 7.3 matted with a 10 speed is going to be fantastic for everything except large loads towing. Then again why I have an extra high 4 car garage.
Pyrannah, those are the Rockwood A-frame fold down trailers.
Big Dan , i would have one of those except the wife wants more space in the camper.
Wow, that was a lot to read! I’ve been down this same road before myself and have opted for the half ton. My concern has always been how the 3/4 or 1 tons would handle while four wheeling on Jeep trails. I spend a lot of time going over rough terrain in my truck. A ton more than I spend towing. My half ton Chevy with 5.3 will pull anything I’ve asked it to (3-7k lbs) uphill at 65+ mph through the mountains. I’ve never wished I had more power.
You guys are definitely traveling different mountain ranges (hills) than I.
I had a 2003 F350 with a 7.3 diesel. When I sold it to buy the F250 it had 349,000 miles on it and other than batteries the only thing I ever put on it was an alternator! Unreal. Before that I was a Chevy guy but I’m never going back. Done with 1/2 tons after towing with real trucks too. Night and day. Yeah those smaller trucks can pull things but not like the bigger ones. Heck back in the day I towed with a Gran Prix and even a Pontiac Firebird. I think they were 1/2 tons. Lol
" Yeah those smaller trucks can pull things but not like the bigger ones."
I hear this quite a bit, but that 1/2 ton is the SAME size as the 3/4 ton in the same truck and very little weight difference. Just look up the difference on a 1/2 ton with trailer package and a 3/4 ton of the same truck. Tires, brakes and suspension are the difference, which are upgraded with a tow package on the half ton.
Another claim is that no way they would pull a seven thousand pound trailer with a six thousand pound 1/2 ton. But then claim they cruise through the mountains all day long, pulling twenty thousand pounds with a seven thousand pound three quarter or one ton.
Ambush. I had the same thoughts after reading what some folks were pulling. I have to think some of those loads are gooseneck trailers. Rear hitch towing 3 times the truck weight seems like a lot.
"Another claim is that no way they would pull a seven thousand pound trailer with a six thousand pound 1/2 ton. But then claim they cruise through the mountains all day long, pulling twenty thousand pounds with a seven thousand pound three quarter or one ton."
Yep. How else can a tractor (semi truck) pull a massive piece of equipment that weighs a magnitude of 10x the weight of the tractor? Load distribution and gearing is how.
For towing the weight the OP mentioned, I would never go with less than a 3/4 ton, and nothing other than a turbo-diesel. I also recommend a good anti-sway bar. As others have said, it's not just getting up a hill; rather it's having control of your rig in weather, a sudden stop, or when a huge semi passes you on the road.
I think a lot of the discussion is more about “ ... do what I do... “ because that validates my choice. No different them most subjects.
I drove Cummins for twelve years. Not sad about leaving it behind. And if my present truck is equipped and manufacturer recommended to pull up to eleven thousand pounds, why would I be remiss in doing so? Manufacturers are not prone to advising “over board” use of their products simply from a liability stand point.
If you are a “coal roller” at heart and love it, than that’s great for you. But not everybody sees the overkill and expense as worth it for the other ninety seven percent of their driving.
"I think a lot of the discussion is more about “ ... do what I do... “ because that validates my choice."
Ambush, that may be your opinion, but it's not the basis for mine. I tried towing with a great 1/2 ton, a Toyota Tundra. It almost had the power that I needed in the mountains, but I was white knuckled while driving in mild wind on the interstate, and when I was passed by a semi. I like enough beef to be in control of the rig in less than optimal conditions. While there is an increase in the initial investment for a turbo-diesel, since they commonly will last 2-3 x as long as a gasser, the yearly cost is less.
It's not "recommended" to pull 11,000. It's maxed out do not exceed 11,000. We rent wood chippers rated to chip 9". It will technically DO a 9" log.....but if you have a stack of them plan on a couple days of chipping..... but it'll take 3 and 4" in stuff as fast as you can toss it in.
People tend to figure things as best case, plugging in max numbers on one end and bare bones minimums on the other and hoping for the best, "yeah, that'll work!" That 5000 lb trailer is dry weight. Don't even LOOK at dry weight.... you will NEVER be towing it at that weight but once on the way home. Look at GVWR, what it's max rating is loaded. It will be at or near that more often than not. Many if not most are OVER when they are on the road. States LOVE weighing RV's especially out of state, bring your checkbook. By the time it's full water, propane, generator, tools, spare tire, kitchen, food, camping gear,etc. it going to be near GVWR, easy. And a 5000lb dry weight trailer is 24-26 feet if I recall? That's significant.
A "super towing package" on a half ton is basically trying to make a 3/4 out of it when it's not. It may even have the gear ratio you want, the right hitch and beefed up springs.... but it's not on a 3/4 axle, brakes, frame etc. People many times don't even look at the load rating on their tires (which will mess ya up with bounce and sway as well even if they don't blow out). I just fail to see WHY (if starting from scratch) anyone would not have a 3/4 if they knew they were towing more than a little bass boat or an ATV. Makes no sense to me to get the minimum you can get by with. You never plan an a pallet of quikcrete for home projects? A load of firewood? So your wife can have a "car" ride? Ever think WHY it has a car ride? I might consider a wife upgrade before a truck downgrade.....=D
Gas vs diesel is a different argument, they make gas engines to pull nearly anything most folks want/need to pull and get by OK. 1/2, 3/4,1 ton is about suspension. Suspension, from the tires up through the axles, frame, etc is about weight and weight management.
And if it all worked the same then they wouldn't have different trucks designed from the ground up differently. They'd all be girl trucks..... =D
" And if my present truck is equipped and manufacturer recommended to pull up to eleven thousand pounds, why would I be remiss in doing so?"
As long as you understand that what that rating means is, it's rated to pull that much with one 150# driver, one 150# PX (so for many of you no PX), no topper, nothing on the back seat, and nothing in the bed. The hitch weight alone on that trailer should be 10% to 12%, of the trailer gross weight. Even with a weight distributing hitch, you're at the load carrying capacity of the truck. And load distributing hitches only properly distribute the load when the truck and trailer are on the same plain. When cresting a hill, if the transition is short enough, it's not doing anything. If all you're doing is taking the manufacturers recommendation without weighing all your axles when fully loaded the way you tow, you're asking for trouble, and likely liability if you have an accident.
I pull a 7,500# trailer with my Tundra with an anti sway, WD hitch. The way it's loaded pretty much maxes out my front and rear axle weights. I've already posted a photo of it. I've towed it for well over 40,000 miles in four years. I have NO handling issues. I barely notice when passed by large trucks. And in that much towing, I have encountered strong winds, and the occasional avoidance maneuver. I doubt my rig is less safe than what you pictured Dooner.
How is it not safe to pull a 7,000# trailer with a 7,000# truck, but it is to pull 3 or 4 times the truck weight with a slightly larger truck?
TD, the OP asked about pulling 7,000 pounds. My response was “if I am rated for 11,000, why am I stupid to think 7,000 is too much?”
And if I m rated for 11,000 and I’m pulling a 5,000 pound dry weight trailer, plus 2,000 pounds of water and gear, why would I get a fine for being overloaded?
When they rate a vehicle, it is rated according to how it’s equipped when shipped. While I agree there are some folks with overloaded sport ute’s on the road, we are not talking about them.
A lot of interesting responses here. I have been thinking about buying a travel trailer for some time so I have been doing a lot of online research regarding what you can safely pull with a half ton and what to expect with gas mileage. Like most people, I will be using a truck to drive around town and to and from hunting locations for 95% of the mileage so I want a vehicle that will do that well in addition to pulling a trailer when needed. Lots of people are pulling travel trailers with half tons without any issues. This includes people driving through the mountains. Many are retirees who have made pulling their travel trailers a lifestyle. Plenty of online websites dedicated to the travel trailer lifestyle where you can find out what people are using to pull their trailers, gas mileage, problems, etc. Much of what I am reading here contradicts what I am reading on various websites dedicated to travel trailers. Makes it difficult to make a decision when you see so many different opinions...with each person firmly convinced that their opinion is the one that is most correct.
An F250.... or any Super Duty has a solid front axle instead of independent front suspension. It’s a whole other animal. I remember the first time I jumped into mine after driving a 1500 Chevy for most of my life. I could feel the weight. Stopping was totally different. It was a beast! Now when I have to make sudden reactions like swerve or fast brake I smile and thank myself for buying a truck that was made to tow instead of just getting one that could.
I'm not saying you CAN'T pull a decent sized rig with a 1/2 ton. Certainly can, and people do it all the time. (and on the topic..... people unarguably DO get into accidents all the time caused because they are under rigged) I'm saying the 3/4 is going to do the job better and for bigger loads yet the 1 ton. If you had an opportunity to tow the same trailer with each comparably equipped rig you would see the difference immediately.
Comparing towing a 3/4 with a bumper hitch with a 1/2 with load distributing receiver and sway bars.... no. But comparably equipped, apples to apples..... it's not close. Again....just fail to see starting from scratch why a person wouldn't, it's a significant improvement. It's no big deal IMO to drive a 3/4 as a daily driver and you've got a lot more versatility for doing things. But each their own. Some folks even wash their trucks more than couple times a year..... to me a truck is a work tool, purpose built. Not something to show off in the parking lot or cruise town and pick up chicks..... I look good enough already.... =D
"Makes it difficult to make a decision when you see so many different opinions...with each person firmly convinced that their opinion is the one that is most correct."
The place to start Ollie is by listening to folks who actually know what the advertised specs mean, and those who have actually weighed their rigs, at least each axle, if not side to side also, to make sure they are operating within ALL the weight restrictions.
"... it is rated according to how it’s equipped when shipped."
Not true. Tow ratings are based on "... that the tow vehicle includes any options with higher than 33 percent penetration;"
Many mention tires. I agree they are critical. The ones that come standard on your truck AND trailer probably should be upgraded. I've always driven my trucks and trailers straight from the dealer to Discount Tire (Toyota doesn't let you spec tires and neither do most trailer dealers). I also highly recommend TPMS for the trailer.
There is no such thing as a vehicle that will do everything. If all you want is a tow truck, then by all means, get the biggest you can afford. But don't expect it to be comfortable around town, also. Heck, just finding a place to park a 1/2 ton most places is a nightmare. It's also gonna suck on that narrow, winding, two track you might want to access. If you want to tow a reasonably sized camper, a properly set up 1/2 ton is perfectly safe, and may be the best choice if it's also your main ride.
As much as I'd like to call some guys on here dumber than dirt. I was that guy at one time. Until you tow with a 250 or 2500 diesel you have no clue. I remember sitting behind the wheel of a 2500 duramax for the first time. The first thing I noticed was a transmission temp gauge. How many F150s or 1500s have you seen with a trans temp gauge?
Ok, last question and comment.
How much trailer weight can I safely tow with my truck that is factory equipped and decal declared to tow 11,400 pounds? Keeping in mind that the trailer itself is properly equipped for its weight.
Junior, my 1/2 ton has a transmission gauge. But not sure how that helps with handling?
Ambush. That's impossible to say until you've loaded up your truck also. Then put the whole rig on a three axle scale. When you say "properly equipped for its weight." It should also be properly balanced with 10% to 12% of its total weight on the tongue. Less than that could result in control problems. I've found that the restrictive weights are usually the gross axle weight rating (GAWR) on the tow vehicle. (Should be a placard in the door jam). Unfortunately, there is no way to know any of this until you actually have all the parts put together, unless you know someone with the same/similar combination that has actually weighed his rig. I can tell you that my '08 Tundra was rated for a 10,000# trailer. My 7,500# trailer near it's max weight with about 800# tongue weight, pretty much maxes out the GAWR on the truck when it's equipped and loaded for a typical trip.
Junior. My "08 Tundra had a transmission temp gauge, but I never saw it move much. They evidently decided it didn't need one, 'cause there isn't one on my '17. I also wish it still had one.
The Tundra had a temp gauge with towing package along with a trans cooler.
I have a 2007 Tundra with tow package, truck tires and air bags. Double cab, long box, 4X4. Only weight I’ve added is a bed cover that is under one hundred pounds.
I’m actually shopping a for travel trailers (used) right now. One that I’m very interested in is 6,200 pounds dryweight and the guy has been pulling it since 2012 with two different 1/2 Fords. Equalizer and anti sway equipped.
Right now I carry a 1,500 pound camper and pull a 4,700 pound boat. No problem pulling, stopping or handling.
You're gold, and I've did the same for years with less! It's the smart thing to do if you don't tow much. Edit: Trailer brakes i assume? 10 ply on the truck?
All sounds good... and is largely irrelevant. You NEED to actually weigh it with everything in it that you would actually carry to know if it's within limits. Ask the guy that's been towing it to show you his scale sheet the last time he had it weighed. Better yet, drive what you are currently carrying/towing to the scales. Or look in the door jam. You will find some interesting weight limits. If you are carrying a 1,500# camper on a Tundra, I think you'l find that alone is too much, without even any passengers. Let us know what you find. What you perceive to be just fine may not be reality. I'd be surprised if more than one or two folks that have posted on here, have actually weighed their rigs when fully loaded, or ever.
Air bags don't add anything to the load carrying capability, they just keep the truck level under load. Shouldn't be necessary with a WD hitch correctly set up.
Ziek, from my papers:
GVW = 8,536 pounds
Truck Net = 5,690
Payload difference = 2,846
GAWR front = 3,990
GAWR rear = 4,144.
What papers? I can't find any Tundra with a GVW over 7200#, and 1600# payload.
What does the drivers side door jam weight limit placard say?
3265 kilos is 7198#. All you other weights look right so doing the math your payload is just over 1500#.
From my registration papers with Canada Dep of Transportation.
Not sure what to think about that. Maybe rated differently in different countries? Commercial truck? Still would like to know what the placard on the truck says, if there even is one.
Don’t worry, us Canadians have bigger (foot)balls too.
And it was made in Texas and everything is bigger there.
I have owned 2 Tundra and have friends with a few. They all have the payload sticker in the door jamb. Typically is between 1300 and 1400 pounds depending on options. Crewmax have lower payload than the DC.
You always run out of payload before you run out of tow capacity.
Most likely a typo in the GVW, or that's just the GVW for that type of registration, and has nothing to do with the actual GVW of the truck.
The f150 I just bought has a transmission temperature display. That could be useful under severe conditions. It’s got the trailer towing package, not the trailer max option.
Trucks have come a long ways! Still each is a tool, and the F250/F350 is a towing/payload upgrade from the F150.
Sounds like you bought the truck. If it's your first Ford, welcome to the family! Happy trailering...
Big red. It’s my first Ford. Going to miss the Tacoma but the Ford is so much larger and roomy. Nice so far. Supposed to get 1000 miles breakin before towing.
BOHUNT, an axle code L9=3.55 gears, L6=3.73 gears. Either will pull what you’re going to tow. I’m sure the package you chose came with a brake controller too. Nice truck, enjoy it
Here’s the final rig. 2018 Ford F-150 with 5.0 v8 and towing package includes transmission cooler and temperature guage. Towing capacity is 10,600. The camper is a 2018 Starcraft 24 ft with a dry weight of 5300 pounds. The truck handles the camper well with the weight distribution hitch and sway control. I picked it up in Nashville and brought it home to southeast Illinois so experienced some hills. I could definitely feel it back there on steeper grades. Wife is happy with the new camper.
What is the a special weight distributing hitch and sway control you are talking about?
It’s a hitch device which transfers weight off the hitch bringing the front of the truck down to closer to the unloaded level. It also uses a friction device to limit the tendency for the trailer to whip or sway. It makes the whole package a lot more stable.
I understand what it does. I was hoping for a picture or a link to what exactly it is.
I guess I could have just googled it:
I understand what it does. I was hoping for a picture or a link to what exactly it is. Thanks