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Old 02-15-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
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What size truck

I am not new to this website so I know the advice received here is very valuable. The DW and I are downsizing from a class A motorhome to a TT. We decided to purchase the TT first then purchase a used truck. We are looking at a Heartland, Wilderness 2150RB. Length is 25'9" , weight dry 4370 lbs. My best guess for the TT loaded the way we travel will be approx. 5200-5500 lbs. We would like a gas engine not diesel. What size truck would you recommend, 1/2 or 3/4T, engine, rearend ratio, and cab type. We want to be able to pull any grade we may encounter. Looking forward to all suggestions.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:43 PM   #2
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If as you say you are not new here,, you should already know terms like "dry: are meaningless. No one ever tows a trailer "dry". Instead look at the trailers GVWR.
While a 1/2 ton might do OK, a 3/4 ton will give you much more payload. Not to mention a much stronger running gear.
You do not mention what brand you prefer so for gas motors and trucks to tow your sized trailer I would suggest a GM 2500HD with the 6.0L gas motor. Down side is fuel economy will not be very good while towing. The other choice for towing is the Ford V10. But again fuel economy is not good.
Wondering why no diesel?
A 2006 or early 2007 Dodge Cummins will give you far better fuel economy and with proper care will run 350,000 to 500,000 miles easily.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by chevylou View Post
I am not new to this website so I know the advice received here is very valuable. The DW and I are downsizing from a class A motorhome to a TT. We decided to purchase the TT first then purchase a used truck. We are looking at a Heartland, Wilderness 2150RB. Length is 25'9" , weight dry 4370 lbs. My best guess for the TT loaded the way we travel will be approx. 5200-5500 lbs. We would like a gas engine not diesel. What size truck would you recommend, 1/2 or 3/4T, engine, rearend ratio, and cab type. We want to be able to pull any grade we may encounter. Looking forward to all suggestions.
Like Don said, Work from the top down. You don't know what has been added since the "dry weight" was determined. I wouldn't even concider a 1/2T even though it may do it. When you find it isn;t enough may be when you can't change your mind.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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I towed my 20' enclosed trailer home from the seller with my 1/2T, 5.9L Dodge Ram and it didn't like it. The 7000 GVWR trailer was "dry", as in completely empty and my truck was getting hotter than I wanted and was gutless.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:39 PM   #5
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I have a very good idea of what the weight is we will be putting in the TT. I will get the trailer weighed before I purchase a truck. The reason I say gas and not diesel is I had a F250 with the 6.0l diesel. I had nothing but trouble ( Purchased new). The mileage towing was not good, and regular maint was expensive ( 15 quarts oil and fuel filters).
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:34 AM   #6
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I've pulled with 1/2 tons and 3/4 tons. I'd never go back to a 1/2 ton.

I went to a GMC 2500 HD with the 8.1 and Allison. That's the same engine/transmission I have in my coach now.

You can only buy them used now but it will pull that trailer with no effort whatsoever. 10mpg at best though.

So I'd go with a bigger truck.Much more stable with a larger truck and better in an emergency maneuver.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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While I AGREE with the guys above about going to a 3/4 ton. A newer 1/2 ton will tow that load just fine. I have a 2004 and 2009 F150 that I tow a 7k pound boat with and have been pleased. While I do miss the power of my V10, 7.3 ps, 6.0 ps, and 6.4 ps. I have been happy with towing with a 1/2 ton. Now that said, If I was towing Alot, say weekly and in mountainious areas a diesel would be in my future. With the size camper you are towing I think you will be fine with a 1/2 ton. Will diesel or 3/4 ton be better ? SURE but not necessary. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
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The reason I say gas and not diesel is I had a F250 with the 6.0l diesel. I had nothing but trouble ( Purchased new). The mileage towing was not good, and regular maint was expensive ( 15 quarts oil and fuel filters).
The 6.0L PSD had more than it's share of problems...that's why they made the 6.4L PSD, which had more than it's share of problems...that's why they made the 6.7L PSD, the jury's out on it. IMHO, if I was in your shoes, I'd get a used GM/Chevy Duramax or a used Dodge Cummins. The towing experience is so much better with a good diesel than a gasser.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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The 1/2 tons are overated for towing unless you get the heavy duty towing package and that still does not give you the power, torque, suspension, brakes, and rear end ratio you need. Get at least a 3/4 ton.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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For what it's worth dept: I had an F150 that pulled my 27' 5ver just fine, but we wanted something longer. We ended up getting a deal we couldn't pass up on a new 39' Coachmen 5ver last Spring after the Tampa RV Show. Then we had to find a truck to pull it. Doing a lot of research online, among the "Big 3" trucks, I knew I wanted single rear wheels (wife's wishes), and I wanted gas. I ended up ordering a 6.2L, F250 from the factory with the new 4.3 axle ratio. It was the only 3/4 ton, gas-powered, that would pull what we bought. After nearly a year on the road, I can say it was the right purchase for us. No regrets. You might find this Ford website helpful for you, then find a really knowledgeable salesperson to work with. We average 9.5 to 10.5 MPG pulling "Big Bertha".
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:54 PM   #11
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The website is:
2012 Ford Super Duty | View Towing Specifications | Ford.com
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:27 PM   #12
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You sure don't need a big block gas guzzler or diesel engine in a 2500 truck to pull a little 5k -6k trailer unless you just want one.

A half ton truck will pull its rated tow capacity just like a 2500 truck will pull its rated tow capacity.

A half ton truck will have no problems carrying the hitch load from that small TT.

Are you looking at new trucks or 2-3 year old trucks or ......... ?? 2WD or 4x4 ?? Long bed or short bed/std cab or crew cab ?? Makes a difference.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:17 AM   #13
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s. We would like a gas engine not diesel. What size truck would you recommend, 1/2 or 3/4T, engine, rearend ratio, and cab type. We want to be able to pull any grade we may encounter. Looking forward to all suggestions.
From the above statement, I would go 2500HD or 250 Super Duty, biggest motor I could afford (Torque pulls you up hills and there ain't no substitue for cubic inches -- I'm old school), 4.10 rear end or lower, cab type to suit your preference (I wouldn't be without my crew cab). With that said, I would still recommend a diesel - Cummins or Duramax. As for ride, today's 3/4T rides as good or better than a lot of the older 1/2T's.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:19 PM   #14
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I agree with Jimnlin, a 1/2ton with tow package will pull a TT just fine as long as you are within the weight limits. The bigger the motor the better if you are going to be in the mountains. Other than that, just stay within the weight limits set on the truck and you will be fine.

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