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Old 04-18-2016, 04:44 PM   #1
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Max Trailers for various tow vehicle types

Hi, I own neither a trailer nor a tow vehicle but am interested in both for DW and I. We are in our mid 40s and will be travelling with just us and the dogs. Our son and his wife are very active campers and currently have a 2015 Tacoma TRD towing and 2015 RPod 178 (recent upgrade from a 70s popup).

From what Ive read the Rpod or similar is about max for a Tacoma. If we purchased, I would like the option to go larger maybe 26 ft w/ 2 slides as we like creature comforts more than our son and his wife. So, was just wondering about where the general sweet spots lie regarding tow vehicles. We would like the tow vehicle to be our daily driver so I would prefer balance between capabilty comfort and cost. Since not retired, usage would be mainly two week long trips a year sprinkled with shorter extended weekend trips.

I know there is a lot of debate on 1500 vs 2500 here and diesel vs gas, i guess i am looking for what is the minimum tow vehicle I can look at that would give me an option for the trailer I described? I envision a new or last years model instead of used, just so I can shop around and have choices on options etc.

Sorry for the long first ever post and if it is too vague. Just want to narrow down some of the endless combinations out there to know what I may strive to save up for in the next year or two. Knowing if i can get a TV that i like and would be safe and allow me some options in a TT for 35k new vs 60k new would help in my long term planning immensely.

Thanks all in advance!
John
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:30 PM   #2
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Since it is a daily driver--more solo that towing--might keep in mind a 2500 GM or Ram gasser--won't find many Ford 250 gas models, I don't think.
You should be quite comfortable driving in a 2500, so pass on a 1500 as you may find you want a larger unit later.
If you go travel trailer, short beds are fine; if you go fiver, than prob need a long bed or slider hitch.
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:24 PM   #3
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Differently spec'd vehicles in different classes from different manufacturers (Toyota, Nissan,FOrd, Chevy, Dodge, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, 1 ton) will all have some differences great or small as to what they can tow. If you go with brush guard with a winch, smaller engine, the fancy steps, truck bed topper, etc., than your cargo capacity will be less to choose a trailer.

If you believe you will be more particular about the trailer you will buy vs the tow vehicle, than find the trailer you want to buy, and then go find the truck to tow it. It's not putting the cart before the horse, it's finding the horse that can pull the cart you want.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:01 PM   #4
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Thanks! I feel the TV will be the bigger decision as there seem to be 1000s of choices in TT at all prices. Are there any SUVs to consider?
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:28 PM   #5
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SUVs have less cargo capacity. You'll eat up cargo capacity in an SUV by simply filling it with people.

You really can't pick what you will get as a tow vehicle that will tow within it's rated limits until you know what you'll be towing.

Or just get what you like best in both the trailer and tow vehicle and don't mind me and the advice I'm trying to give to a noob about the same process I went through.

What is the GVWR for the trailer syou are interested in? What will the tongue weight be if that ends up being 13-15% of the GVWR? Can the vehicles you are interested in handle that tongue weight and GCWR and your passengers and anything else you might carry in the TV?

You can't answer these questions as you have no numbers to work with for either trailer or TV.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnandjennc View Post
... i guess i am looking for what is the minimum tow vehicle I can look at that would give me an option for the trailer I described?
A 26' trailer with two slides. That could be a 22' box with 4' tongue, or a 26'box a 4' tongue. The model number will usually include the box length, and the overall length includes the tongue and rear bumper, usually with the spare tire mounter over the rear bumper.

I'll assume you want a 30' overall length trailer that would have a 26' box. And to keep the weight down, you want an ultra-light trailer. One that meets your requirements (other than cost) is an Airstream. But cost is prohibitive for most of us. So let's back off to a normal 30' TT.

Like the Skyline Layton Javelin 255RK, for example:
255RK - Skyline Recreational Vehicles

Only one big slide, but otherwise meets your description. It's 29' 11" overall length with GVWR of 7,750. It has a full 60x80 queen-size bed, not the typical RV-Queen or short-queen size.

Or the similar Keystone Hideout 26RLS. GVWR 7840, 31' long overall, Upper limits for a TT that can be towed with an F-150 HD.
http://www.keystonerv.com/hideout/?model=276RLS

Hitch weight will be your limiter, and that Skyline trailer will have hitch weight of about 1,000 pounds when wet and loaded for camping. So the payload capacity of your tow vehicle must be enough to haul your wife and dogs plus anything else you haul in the tow vehicle, plus 1,000 pounds of hitch weight. plus another 100 pounds for the WD hitch, without exceeding he GVWR (and payload capacity) of your tow vehicle.

So if you get that trailer, how much tow vehicle will you need? More than a normal half-ton pickup will have. But that's no problem if you plan ahead and order your new tow vehicle several weeks before you need it.

For a 2016 F-150 CrewCab pickup Ford calls a SuperCrwew, in order to have enough payload capacity to haul your bunch and the hitch weight of that trailer without being overloaded, you must insist on an F-150 with the heavy-duty payload package. You won't find any in stock, anywhere. Special order only.

The HD payload package comes with a few restrictions:

1. It must have the wonderful 3.5L EcoBoost engine.
2. It must include the max tow package.
3. A SuperCrew must have the 6.5' bed. A SuperCab must have the 8' bed.
4. The fanciest trim level available is the base Lariat trim. XL and XLT trims also available.

If you order the F-50 HD, understand that tow mirrors are a separate option. But be sure to include tow mirrors in your order.

That F-150 will also be a good commuter car, with enough capacity to haul home some stuff from Home Depot. And my Lariat SuperCrew is plenty nice enough to take my wife to Church on Sunday.

Quote:
I envision a new or last years model instead of used, just so I can shop around and have choices on options etc.
Sorry, but if you want an F-150 tow vehicle, then you won't find any in stock that are properly equipped to tow a 7,750 or 7,840 pound travel trailer without being overloaded. You have to order it. But when you order it, you can choose all the options you want, and you don't have to accept any options that are not required by the heavy duty payload package.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:48 PM   #7
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A typical SUV will have softer suspension than a truck thus not make a good TV.

How far will you be towing and on what roads. Interstate or back roads?
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:20 PM   #8
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A typical SUV will have softer suspension than a truck thus not make a good TV.
Nobody makes an SUV with enough payload capacity to haul the 1,000 pounds tongue weight of a 7,850 pound TT. So no use looking for an SUV for that heavy a trailer, unless you back up a few years to the Suburban 2500 or the Excursion. The last Excursion was last produced over 10 years ago. And GM dropped the Suburban 2500 a few years ago.
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:27 PM   #9
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A SRW 3500 diesel pickup will pull any trailer that you could pull with any 1/2 or 3/4 ton pickup, without worries.
Just as easy to drive and totally capable. Have fun.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:06 AM   #10
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This is all great info. SmokeyWren thanks for the trailer examples and detailed description of the F150 that would suit them. So now the question I am afraid of... How much would that F150 be? 50k ish?
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:31 AM   #11
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At the right time of year any truck is discounted about 8 - 10k. Well not the little trucks like Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado, Honda Ridgeline.

I will take the a slightly different angle. If you own a house with a yard and land scaping and work full time I am thinking your best bet would be to buy a small trailer and a small daily driver truck. You will want a truck that will fit in the garage.

Camping with son and daughter-in-law will be fun no matter what small camper (R-Pod) you pick.

Check out the 2017 Honda Ridgeline coming out in a few months. That will make a great daily driver plus you can tow a small camper plus carry mulch.

On the other hand all full sized trucks plus the 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks get a thumbs up from me. They are not the trucks of 10 years ago. All are comfortable powerful and easier to live with then you would expect. Test drive the expensive F-150 3.5 Eco-Boost engine truck. Don't let the salesperson see you smile.

Then test drive the F-150 2.7 Eco-Boost and that truck will bring the same kinda smile.

Oh...to make things worse the Chevy and Ram will also make you smile. Just not as much as the Ford Eco-Boost engine.

You really can not go wrong with any truck unless you pick a huge 3 slide 34' long heavy trailer and pick a 1/2 ton truck.

Just so you know - the bigger the RV the nicer it seems.
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Old 04-19-2016, 04:39 PM   #12
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Lol. Thanks, I think I am getting a better feel for what truck matches what trailer. I am leaving tomorrow for 2 nights with the kids in the rpod so that will be a great experience of small camper living. At this point I can envision us going with something similar for the pre retirement years.

Or i may just go buy a Thor Vegas! Lol!
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:05 PM   #13
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Cool...have a great time!!!
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