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Old 09-19-2015, 10:24 AM   #1
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TV for 26' Travel Trailer

We're thinking about a 26' travel trailer. Empty trailer weight is 5100 pounds and trailer GVWR is 7000 pounds so loaded we're certainly closer to 7000 pounds vs 5100.

Would a 1/2 ton truck or 3/4 ton truck be better and why? What should I consider when deciding which TV to buy? This would be our first truck and travel trailer so I want to be sure the TV gives the best and safest tow experience.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 09-19-2015, 10:43 AM   #2
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3/4 ton will always trump a 1/2 ton for comfort and ease of towing BUT, think about how much towing you're actually doing.
A properly equipped half ton with a quality WDH will easily handle that length and weight without drama and return far better unladen fuel mileage and comfort.

3/4 tons have larger everything. Frame, brakes, suspension, you name it. They are designed for this duty day in and day out. More stable because there is simply more truck in front of the trailer. That comes with a pretty steep cost compared to a half ton though.

I tug a 26' jayfeather which is a little lighter with a '13 Ram 1500 5.7 3.92 and that little truck pulls like a freight train. I am usually cruising in 7th gear.

Basically any full size truck if properly spec'd will have little to no issue with that so it's a matter of what you prefer. Get the proper engine, tow package and gears. Also watch the payload on the super-lux trim levels- that will be your enemy with a half ton.

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Old 09-19-2015, 02:20 PM   #3
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I have been using a 2011 F250 diesel to pull a 26' 7100lb loaded TT for the past 5 years. Have 10's of thousands of miles on this setup and I just keep smiling. I am totally convinced that this was the correct choice for me. We often read here of the marginal setups that are just getting by.
While you have been given some good advice above, do yourself a favor and shop around between 1/2 and 3/4 trucks to compare out-the-door pricing. You might find that the difference is not all that much.
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Old 09-19-2015, 02:31 PM   #4
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I have to just say that everyone I know tends to move up in size, weight, style before they ever thought they would! I suggest leaning toward more truck than you need right now to give you options down the pike without putting more money out for a different tow vehicle. You know your budget and probably have some long term plans so only you can make the decision. If money were no object I would steer you toward a diesel 3/4 ton or even 1 ton. I've had them both in diesel and gas versions and those are what I like. JMO mark
08 Dutch Star 4354, 2016 Tahoe w/rv brake2, blue ox tow bars,
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Old 09-19-2015, 03:37 PM   #5
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How comfortable do you want to be? For my comfort and ease of towing I cut off my weight limit for a 1/2 ton truck at 6,000lbs.

For comfort and safety a 3/4 ton truck would be better. A 1/3 ton truck weighs approx. 5,700 lbs. While a 3/4 ton truck weighs 7,700 lbs. That is a lot more frame and weight to handle your 7,000 lb trailer.
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AnteaterZot View Post
Would a 1/2 ton truck or 3/4 ton truck be better and why?
3/4 ton would be better for that much trailer. Most half-ton pickups and SUVs will be overloaded with a 7,000 pound trailer.

Using Ford F-150 as an example. The only one that can tow a 7,000 pound TT without exceeding the GVWR of the F-150 is the very rare F-150s that have the heavy duty payload package. Ordinary F-150s without that HD payload package can be overloaded with less than a 6,000 pound trailer. My F-150 is overloaded with my small wet and loaded TT that grosses 4,870 pounds on the road.

What should I consider when deciding which TV to buy?
Payload capacity. With a small family and normal options on a CrewCab pickup, you want at least 2,000 pounds payload capacity if you don't want to be overloaded when you add a topper, loaded toolbox, jacks in case of a flat on the trailer, campfire wood, weight-distributing hitch, and full tank of gas. My F-150 has payload capacity of 1,366, and I'm overloaded with tongue weight of 650 pounds. And that's with nobody in the truck except me and Darling Wife and Sugar the Border Collie and Marguerita the small Chihuahua.

Ignore the "tow rating" published by the truck manufacturers. My tow rating is 8,400 pounds, but I'm overloaded with my TT that weighs only 4,870 pounds.

Way back when, my F-250 had a tow rating over 13,000 pounds, but I was overloaded with my small 5er that grossed only 8,000 pounds. So worry about the GVWR and payload capacity of your tow vehicle, not the GCWR and tow rating.

The tow rating indicates the total weight you can PULL without overheating something in the drivetrain, and without being the slowpoke holding up traffic on steep grades of hills and mountain passes. The payload capacity indicates the weight you can HAUL on the truck tires without overloading the suspension, axles, brakes and other components of your truck.

Again, using my F-150 as an example, it can pull a trailer that grosses over 20,000 pounds across the Hill Country from Midland to Austin. No problem with power to pull that load at 65 MPH without overheating anything. But I was severely overloaded over the GVWR and rear GAWR of my poor little F-150. So I wished I still had my F-250 for that trip.
Grumpy ole man with over 60 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2019 F-150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCab with Max Tow (over 1,800 pounds payload capacity)
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:59 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the good information. There is a lot of experience and knowledge here and I appreciate all of your help.
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:21 PM   #8
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solid info in this thread....thanks for sharing everyone.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:24 AM   #9
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1st hand experience here. I used to own a 7000lb loaded for camping TT. I 1st towed it for 2.5 years and apr 10,000 miles with an F150. The 1st truck was a 2010 F150 Max Tow super crew 5.4, 3.73 with the 5.5 bed and 145" WB. The truck did just OKAY in the handling department. Most of the time it was fairly steady. But other times I would get moved around a bit from either a side wind or semis. I added Rancho 9000 shocks, E rated tires and SuperSprings on the rear.
I then bought a 12 Ram 2500 CTD CC LB truck. Big, big difference. The added weight and firmer suspension made a big difference in the handling department. While the TT may have moved around under those same windy conditions or passing semis the truck stayed firmly planted. I used an EQ WD with the built in 4pt sway control too.
I won't even get into the difference in power with the Cummins. That speaks for it's self.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:56 AM   #10
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The lateral movement is always something that has bothered me immensely with the 150/1500s and our TT is only 26' and 5500-6000lbs. Put down my sig on a 2500 6.4L Ram yesterday just because of that fact. The 1500 would do it, but there were trade offs.

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