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Old 09-08-2015, 10:46 PM   #1
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1/2 or 3/4 TV?

I have read tons on here but still can't decide...

I'll be replacing my current truck on retirement in a few years. (Chev Silverado 1500 LTZ).

Pulling a 20' Nash. Seems to pull just fine, but I'm debating if I should go for a 3/4 ton next time. Will I experience a lot of difference in towing and power to make a noticeable difference? Ford, chev, Ram?

Should I be planning for a possible upgrade to a larger TT (no plans at present)?

And finally, which TV in the real world tows the best in 1/2 ton, and in 3/4 ton in your experience?


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Old 09-09-2015, 07:07 AM   #2
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Ford Ecoboost F150 and Ram EcoDiesel towed the best for 1/2 ton. I've owned both. They both have gobs of low end torque that make pulling loads effortless. The Ecoboost was also quite fast while not towing, while the EcoDiesel was a dog that left something to be desired. But, the EcoDiesel got me around 29-32 MPG while not towing. If you can stay out of the boost on the EcoBoost you can easily see 22-23 MPG. While I loved the EcoBoost motor, I had major issues with the transmission that made me trade it. I had the EcoDiesel for all of 4 days before taking it back and getting a 5.7 Hemi Ram 1500. It just lacked horsepower. My current 5.7 Ram 1500 tows and does great otherwise, but MPG kind of stinks both towing and highway.

Also had a Nissan Titan for a short while. The motor is stout, everything else attached to it fell apart. In the 9 months I owned it I had 2 cracked exhaust manifolds, bad sway bar bushings, all 4 rotors warped with a stuck caliper, rear main seal leak, xfer case pinion seal leak, both rear axle seals leaked. Never. Again.

Only experience I've had with 3/4 ton was an '01 F250 7.3L FX4. Honestly, I should have never sold that truck. Only thing it ever needed was brakes and front wheel hubs every 75k miles. Sold it with 280k miles on it and my friend still has it with almost 600k miles on it. I give myself a swift kick in the rear daily.

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Old 09-09-2015, 07:29 AM   #3
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Not sure what a 20' nash weighs but I have to think it is well within 1/2 ton territory, being only 20' long...

My rule of thumb is 1/2 ton's are typically ok up to 6-7k lbs depending on how they are configured, and up to about 26-28'.

I can tell you from experience, pulling a 31' light weight TT with a half ton was miserable.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:02 AM   #4
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Do you ever plan to get a bigger trailer? A 3/4 ton will tow anything you are likely to get.

And while I agree, a half ton is fine for your current trailer, you will notice a huge difference with a 3/4 ton, especially if it's a long wheelbase. The stability on the highway will be night-and--day from the heavier suspension, E-load tires and just the fact that you have a truck that weighs more than your trailer. That just makes sense in any situation.
Consider that you can probably find a lightly used 3/4 ton diesel that has had its initial depreciation for the same price as a new half ton which would give you a lot less truck and massive depreciation.
That used diesel 3/4 will be worth what you paid for it for years.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:39 AM   #5
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My experience with the 2015 5.7L RAM 1500 towing a 6000LB dry 33'' bumper to bumper TT has been fine AFTER I upgraded from EAZ friction sway to Blue Ox. However, it does run higher RPMs on hills than I would like. A Diesel would fix that in a heartbeat, but it is my husband's DD and we live 6 miles/15 min from work so were hesitant to go Diesel. Next truck will be 2500 Diesel at a minimum.

I have a sneaking suspicion that after our trip next fall to Colorado and Utah we will be "properly motivated" to upgrade the truck.

I've never heard anyone say "Man, I have too much truck, I should really trade down to a half-ton". And that pretty much says it all.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:59 PM   #6
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A 1/2 ton truck weighs approx 5,500 - 5,700 lbs. A 3/4 ton truck weighs 7,500 - 7,700 lbs. A 3/4 ton truck is way bigger than a 1/2 ton truck.

The trouble with a 3/4 ton truck is there really is no gasoline motor that will move the truck as well as a diesel engine.

In a diesel version the 3/4 ton truck is a considerable better towing machine.

Not sure how you will use your rig but to me a good way to travel is in a 3/4 diesel truck towing a trailer. By putting a cap on the back of the truck with a 8' bed allows you to carry just all your stuff.

Good luck
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:15 PM   #7
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I believe that a well equipped 1/2 ton will pull your current trailer very well and safely. If your plans are to one day upgrade to a larger trailer, get a 3/4 ton diesel.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:10 PM   #8
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A few things that stick out to me:

1. Retirement. No offense meant- but if you're like me, my back already can't handle the beating a 3/4 ton delivers unloaded and I am 20 years away from retirement yet.

2. Possibly upgrading trailers. It's just my personal opinion that upgrading from a 20' into anything that requires a 2500 or 3500 series is a bit of a stretch simply because of comfort levels and learning curve.

3. Retirement also (typically) means fixed income. A 2500 gasser has the ability when worked to keep a refinery busy by itself. The newer diesels with all of the emmisions BS can put a serious dent in your pocket book just for routine maintenance. So it's six in one, half dozen in the other.

If you go with a gasser 3/4 ton you will not notice ANY power gains over the 1500 counterparts other than the gain you will see jumping from your current 5.3 (assuming) to a larger gasser. Stability will be improved for certain though.

In my personal experience, my Ram out performs my previous F150 in every way. Stability, power, comfort, everything. That is my experience. Others will differ. There really is no "best" as they all have pros and cons.

To me retirement means comfort. A 1500 when properly equipped can handle a sweet bumper pull with many creature comforts in the 26-28 foot range happily and deliver reliable unloaded fuel efficiency and comfort. A 3/4 ton is a beast of burden. Loaded up constantly they are fine. Unloaded (even the Rams with the coils) you will know why it's called "Heavy Duty" because it will rattle your kidney stones loose.

Personally- I am a Ram convert from the Blue Oval camp and I'll never go back. We have been kicking tires on a new 2500 Ram 6.4 and we just cannot get past the unloaded ride. It's torture. Our 1500 is tied to a 26' Jayco and pulls extremely well. I sit around 2200 rpm (jumps to 2800 on hills) in tow and unloaded I have hand calculated 19-23.5 mpg depending on conditions. The current F150 and GM offerings are also very stout half tons and are fully capable of trailering well appointed bumper pulls.

I just sense that you may regret going with a larger class truck with no immediate plans for a trailer upgrade to warrant that big mass of truck.
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:28 PM   #9
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I guess one thing I may add as well- if you're thinking diesel in the HD, skip the 2500 and go to a 3500. The diesel option for a 2500 eats up a LOT of the available payload. An alarming amount actually.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:37 AM   #10
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My F250 2wd diesel crew cab rides just fine, and there's an incredible amount of back seat leg room. It's all most travel trailer owners need.

But if you're ever going to a fifth wheel, you'd need to go to dual rear wheels if the kingpin weight will be 3K or more. That means most full size fifth wheels.

I bought a new fifth wheel trailer a year ago, and it weighs 11K with 2K kingpin weight. At 37' long, it's as big as I'd want to go with my truck.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:28 AM   #11
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Just an FYI for those considering a 2500, completely empty it will ride rough. I carry 150 to 200 lbs in a tool box and it rides better. A topper tames the beast even more. The empty test ride isn't a true comparison of the tamed ride of having a little weight in the bed.
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:09 AM   #12
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I went from a 1/4 ton Ranger 4 x 4 to a 1/2 ton GM DSL 4 x 4 and the ride was improved. Upgraded to a GM 2500 4 x4 and it drove very well loaded but better then my neighbor's 1/2 ton Ram 4 x 4.
Now I drive an F250 4 x 4 with 2 additional spring plies on each side on the rear and the ride is the best of all my trucks loaded or empty. The heavy trucks do give a much smoother ride while taller trucks will give much more choppy ride. My reason for choosing the F250 over the F350 SRW 4 x4.
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:12 AM   #13
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Part of what makes HD trucks ride poorly empty is also what makes them great tow vehicles... the E Load tires at 80psi. My tire pressure monitoring system has a "light load" setting. If you use the truck every day and only tow occasionally, air down to around 50psi and the ride of any of these HD trucks improves a lot.
It's actually safer too, since you have significantly more traction when the tires are not rock hard.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:32 AM   #14
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I had a 1/2 ton truck and towed a pull trailer all over the country. It is a short wheel base 4x4. Loved the truck, in fact still have it a '77 Ford F-150. I got my first 3/4 ton about 10 years later, my heavens what a difference. I now have a F-350 DW 4x4. Go large.

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