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Old 03-18-2012, 09:08 AM   #1
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Question Can there be too much truck?

I am planning on buying a new 5er and a used truck to pull it. The 27' 5er that I want is:
total dry weight 6419
pin dry weight 1391
GVWR 11,551

I could probably get by with a 1/2 ton, but I think performance in the mountains would not be very good. I finally decided to look for a 3/4 ton diesel. I have been surprised to find that there seem to be more 1 ton than 3/4 ton trucks on the market.

Is there much effect on fuel economy in moving up to a 1 ton? Other than price, are there any other disadvantages to a 1 ton?
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:30 AM   #2
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Hi J;
I think the diesel option would probably be a good one. I drive an F-350 dually, and wouldn't trade for something smaller. The fuel mileage issue will be determined by mainly your rear end gear ratio, The higher numerically, the more low end pulling power, but also the more fuel used, to over simplify a bit.

You don't mention whether you are looking at SRW or DRW 1 tons, but excluding the duallies, you shouldn't see much difference in fuel between the 3/4 and 1 ton. With the modern trucks, ride quality isn't much difference either.

If you do look at duallies, you will find that they are good on the road, but it takes a bit of getting used to working with "training wheels". I found out the hard way that when the toll booth says cars only, they mean no wide rear ends...

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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In the realm of pickups, you cannot have too much truck - maybe excess capability but not too much truck. You can DEFINATELY have too little truck - as in a 1/2 ton trying to control a 10k+ load.
My 3500HD DRW diesel gets better mileage than my 2500HD gasser did - 11.3 vs 5.5 with 5vr attached. 5vr loaded is approx 13k and way overtaxed the gasser for a couple of months until I upgraded. 2500HD was a 2010, 3500HD is a 2011
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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To answer the OP's question, no, you cannot have too much truck. If you try to use a 1/2 ton, you will have way too little truck.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
I am planning on buying a new 5er and a used truck to pull it. The 27' 5er that I want is:
total dry weight 6419
pin dry weight 1391
GVWR 11,551
Dry weights are useless info. Assume your wet and loaded trailer will weigh close to the GVWR and you'll be on the right track.

Quote:
I could probably get by with a 1/2 ton, but I think performance in the mountains would not be very good.
Even the heaviest duty half ton would be overloaded with a fifth wheel that weighed over 11,000 pounds. Ford F-150 now comes in a heavy duty model with a tow rating of slightly over 11,000 pounds, but the actual max weight of any trailer you could tow with it without being overloaded is south of 10,000 pounds. And even then you could have absolutely nothing in the truck except a skinny driver. So forget the half tons.

Quote:
I finally decided to look for a 3/4 ton diesel.
Lots of folks make that mistake. They think an F-250 diesel can tow the world without being oveloaded. Not true. If by "used" you mean 2004 or earlier, then even an 8,000-pound 5er will overload. My '99.5 F-250 diesel CrewCab 4x2 was overloaded by several hundred pounds over the GVWR of the pickup when dragging my 8,000-pound 5er. With 2005-up, you would have to pay attention to be able to drag an 11,500 pound 5er without exceeding the GVWR of the pickup, especially if the pickup is a 4x4 CrewCab. It's simply too much stress to have to worry about being overloaded in your SRW tow vehicle.

Quote:
I have been surprised to find that there seem to be more 1 ton than 3/4 ton trucks on the market.
Good. Because you need the one-ton dually to tow that 11,500 pound 5er without being worried about being overloaded.

Quote:
Is there much effect on fuel economy in moving up to a 1 ton?
Almost none. Certainly not enough difference to chance being overloaded with lesser tow vehicle.

Quote:
Other than price, are there any other disadvantages to a 1 ton?
The tail end is definitely wider, and that requires some time and experience to get over it. But if you have telescoping trailer tow mirrors, the mirrors will stick out as much as the rear fenders, so it's a quick study to learn how to squeeze that truck through the tight places. And there are some places you just do not go. Do not try to go through the drive-thru at a bank or fast food joint. Park on the back 40 at WalMart or Home Depot or the mall. Those sort of minor inconveniences. But you'll be proud of your tow vehicle knowing it's enough truck for the job. And if you get the diesel engine, you'll not be the pokey holding up traffic on the mountain pass.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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Thanks

Thanks, all.

I will look at both 3/4 and 1 ton trucks.

I would question SmokeyWren's suggestion that "Dry weights are useless info. Assume your wet and loaded trailer will weigh close to the GVWR and you'll be on the right track."

With a 6419 lb. dry weight, I can't imagine adding 4600 lbs. to get close to the 11,551 lb. GVWR. I would be surprised ie we would even carry half of that.

Thanks again,
Joel
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:56 AM   #7
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in my days of being a fire officer i lived by one principle when it comes to too much resources: I'd rather have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.

Apply this theory to pickup trucks. I would rather have more truck than I need, than need more truck than I have. One thing to keep in mind. If you get into the F450/4500, F550/5500 range of trucks, you will be talking about lower rear gears, more GVWR/GCWR, little more RPM thus a little less MPG.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:49 PM   #8
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If a 3/4 is enough and you want the extra buffer you can get a 1 ton that is singles instead of duals. I had a 1 ton short bed crew single v-10 and moved to a 1 ton long bed crew dually. The ride and pull are night and day. No more white knuckle driving due to having just enough truck. Trailer is 10k grossing at 14k.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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My truck was in the shop and I needed to move our horse trailer. Neighbor has a 3/4 ton shortbed regular cab with a gooseneck hitch. He offered it to me for the short trip (about 20 miles round trip). I though I was gonna die. That horse trailer man-handled that little truck like it was nothing. Made me glad I bought the dually. My opinion echoes many here: Buy more truck than you think you'll need, because you'll need it.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
Thanks, all.

I will look at both 3/4 and 1 ton trucks.

I would question SmokeyWren's suggestion that "Dry weights are useless info. Assume your wet and loaded trailer will weigh close to the GVWR and you'll be on the right track."

With a 6419 lb. dry weight, I can't imagine adding 4600 lbs. to get close to the 11,551 lb. GVWR. I would be surprised ie we would even carry half of that.

Thanks again,
Joel
SmokeyWren is right, look to see how much stuff DW sneaks in to the trailer while you were not looking (extra chairs, awning for the picnic table, more cloths than she can wear, pots and pan, blender, and enough grocerys to feed the whole camp ground for the week) sand then add up all the stuff you put in there (tools that you need and the tools that you dont want to be left without, generator + fuel, leveling blocks, and "fishing gear/beer") then add 55 gals or so of fresh water at almost 9 lbs/gal (nearly 500 lbs) plus any water that you may have in your black and grey tanks (I know in my area we are not always close to a sani dump). The weight can add up pretty quick.

I would defently go for the bigest truck you can af"FORD". Its not always pulling that weight but about stoping it and keeping it under controll. A trailer at the weight your looking at will be pushing a half ton more often than that truck will be pulling it. If you can get a diesel that has an exhaust break that will even be better.

We just want you to be driving the safast rig you can / I might be driving behind you.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
Thanks, all.

I will look at both 3/4 and 1 ton trucks.

I would question SmokeyWren's suggestion that "Dry weights are useless info. Assume your wet and loaded trailer will weigh close to the GVWR and you'll be on the right track."

With a 6419 lb. dry weight, I can't imagine adding 4600 lbs. to get close to the 11,551 lb. GVWR. I would be surprised ie we would even carry half of that.

Thanks again,
Joel
That's what I said about our TT with 6300 dry & 10400Gross. Our traveling weight is about 9K. There are things ( awning, AC, and possibly other appliances) that are added after the dry wieght is determined. Just be glad you have a big capacty. That means you will have better handling if you're under the GVWR. The ONLY way to know what your dry weight (or loaded) is to weigh it which I reccomend.
I have a friend that had a 27' 5er that he towed with a 3/4T. He said it was never comfortable so he traded for TT.
Our first 01 Dodge 1T had a 3:55 rear and after it was wrecked we got the same thing with a 4:10. We made the same trip from Wa. to Ca. about a year apart and got very little MPG difference and a lot less shifting with the 4:10. As for duals, the handling is SO much better than SRW that I wouldn't even concider singles for that much weight. Yes, it can and is being done.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DpDave View Post
Hi J;
I think the diesel option would probably be a good one. I drive an F-350 dually, and wouldn't trade for something smaller. The fuel mileage issue will be determined by mainly your rear end gear ratio, The higher numerically, the more low end pulling power, but also the more fuel used, to over simplify a bit.

You don't mention whether you are looking at SRW or DRW 1 tons, but excluding the duallies, you shouldn't see much difference in fuel between the 3/4 and 1 ton. With the modern trucks, ride quality isn't much difference either.

If you do look at duallies, you will find that they are good on the road, but it takes a bit of getting used to working with "training wheels". I found out the hard way that when the toll booth says cars only, they mean no wide rear ends...

Good luck with your choice.
I agree and just want to add a dually will allow for more pin weight and more stabilty on the road but duallys are about worthless in the snow. Here in Pa. regrestration on a 1 ton dually which is a class 5 is not cheap--$249.00 a year. If you are going to do it right you should have at least a 1 ton TV and for me you cannot beat a diesel even though diesel maintenance cost is higher then a gasser.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:17 PM   #13
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If you need crampons and ice-axes to cimb up into the cab, you bought too much truck. Seriously, though, the average geriatric RVer would have a tough time getting into a Peterbilt or Volvo Class 8 conversion or similar.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:41 PM   #14
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One more time--dry weight is useless, just weigh it when you take it home and see...
Joe
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