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Old 04-10-2010, 07:44 PM   #1
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truck question

First things first
I don't have a truck. I don't have an rv. I don't know much about either.
I'm at square one.

I don't really like unnecessary bells and whistles. Actually, I dislike them.
I do like simple, sturdy, dependability.

Because this is just for one person, I'm thinking of pulling a small travel trailer
( 5000 lbs?)

Before I do anything, I want to know what trucks are strong and dependable.
I will probably spend as much time with the trailer unhooked, so I need the strength to pull with ease,
but not a monster for when I'm unhooked and just driving around. thanks

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Old 04-10-2010, 08:17 PM   #2
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You will probably do well with a full size properly equipped 1/2 ton p/u or SUV and a 24' tt or fiver. Go with the larger V-8 offered, less than 5 litres will not get the job done. Trust me on this.
Are you looking at new or pre owned? The newer trucks are very reliable and comfortable regardless of brand, it boils down to personal preference.
Welcome aboard, this is a great place to start. With any luck you can learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them.

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Old 04-10-2010, 09:08 PM   #3
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When looking at tow vehicles (TV) you need to make some serious decisions on what you actually need. 4X4 or 4X2, gas diesel, long bed short bed? Now as to reliability, all of the newer trucks are good. Pick what you like the looks of and are the most comfortable in.
Next you need to decide how big/small of a truck you need. Personally, I would pass on the 1/2 ton offerings and go straight to a 3/4 ton.
My reasons for choosing a 3/4 ton stronger frame, tires wheels springs axles, well just plane stronger all around. I prefer full floating axles under my vehicles.
While a 1/2 ton will do the job a 3/4 ton will allow you to travel with more junk and have no fear of over loading until you get farther north of your 5000 pound limit, And if you decide to upsize in the future you will not find it necessary to up size the truck too.
Do not short change yourself on the engine as the smaller motors can actually get worse fuel economy than their bigger cousins.
GM makes a fine 6.0L gas motor. There are mixed reviews on the Ford 5.4L, as well as the Dodge 5/7L motors. Like I said, go drive them all and pick what YOU feel is the best choice for your use. Not what others tell you is the best.
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
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If you want the strength to pull with ease, for all the reasons he states, I agree with Don & say you should consider a 3/4t truck. With a 3/4t, it is beefy enough to easily handle the TT you are considering now & an upgrade (and you will upgrade...sooner or later, we've all done it ) in the future.

What I consider the "Big 3" (Ford, Chevy, Dodge) are all great trucks, properly equipped, for towing. It's a matter of personal preference, so pick the one that YOU like best. And, please consider a late model, used truck. We bought the Chevy 1yr used & saved over $17,000 off an exactly outfitted new one. It served us well without breaking the bank & we didn't take the depreciation hit of driving a new on off the lot.

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Old 04-10-2010, 10:05 PM   #5
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If you are sure you are going with a light weight travel trailer, a full size van makes a great tow vehicle. We had a Ford E150 van for years and traveled all over the country with it. Lots of comfort and storage space, not to mention space for the kids and all their stuff.

Get the largest engine possible. If you can afford to go with the E250 (3/4 ton) then do it. You will not regret the added towing capacity. Make sure it has the towing package, including transmission cooler.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by hermit View Post
Because this is just for one person, I'm thinking of pulling a small travel trailer
( 5000 lbs?)
If you decide on a pickup, you can easily get away with a regular cab truck. However, I would recommend going with an extended cab instead. With the rear seat folded, you'll have plenty of space to store tools and valuables with a lot more security than storing them in the bed of the truck. Of course, you can always put these items in your trailer. However a small trailer, by design, is going to have limited storage space inside and won't hold as much as the rear seat area of an extended cab pickup.

As a "Newbie", here's something you probably didn't know about trailers: On the trailer's outside storage compartment doors, many trailer manufacturers use the famous "751" key for the locks. They'll open anyone else's compartment doors that use the same key. This is another reason to keep anything valuable either in your vehicle or inside the trailer.

While regular cabs usually have a small storage area behind the seat, for me, this would be inadequate because I carry several different sized socket sets (1/4", 3/8", 1/2"), wrench sets (metric & SAE), Vice Grip wrench set, Pop rivet set, torque wrench, general tools, cordless drill & drill bits, portable jump-start battery and more. It would never fit back there.
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:15 PM   #7
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There used to be a poster in another group of forums who showed a photo of his tow vehicle with the caption "There's no replacement, for Displacement" in his sig.. He drove a Peterbuilt Semi Tractor as I recall (may have been a Frightliner)

Now.. for a 5K trailer.. That is just a bit... Overkill (After all,, my brother's Kenworth is plated for 160 Thousand, He hauls steel, Oh, it's an RV too,, THat is the tractor is a motor home in and of itself, many are these days)

While I won't venture out on a limb and suggest a truck size.> I will say that if someone does the research and suggests a truck.. I'd upgrade that suggestion by one size.. IE: if they say "F-150" (Or C-10) I"d go with a 250 (or 20)
If they say 250, (20) make it 350 (30)

Cause one size larger... Well. if you toss in some "Toys" (not to mention tools) that will still have the OOMPH to pull the thing.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:23 PM   #8
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This Travel Trailer Weight Calculator towing weight calculator is invaluable for properly and safely matching a tow vehicle and trailer.
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:33 PM   #9
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Yes go bigger on the truck now before you buy, that way you can and will upgrade later. The big 3 all offer good trucks depending on what you really want. I realize you state you don't want all the bells and whisles but once you've sat in that cold truck once and turned on the seat heater to warm your backside once or twice you may change your mind. As far as other bells and whistles, gauges and and a built in trailer brake controller with TT mirrors are a must. It's easier and cheaper to get them from the start than to add them later.
#/4 and 1 ton trucks have larger brakes to stop that load so remember in the case of towing Bigger is Better.
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:42 PM   #10
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SuperGewl makes a good point regarding brakes. My 2001 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax has 156,000 miles on it and still has original brakes...and they are still not close to needing replaced.

Heavier duty trucks hold up longer, especially while towing.

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