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Old 07-24-2022, 07:23 AM   #1
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1/2 Ton TT Towers

For those pulling travel trailers with a half ton truck, please share your tow vehicle, trailer weight and how the set up performs.

Despite truck prices being so high, the trade in/sales price for my Suburban is high was well. My current camper is 5,000 pounds empty. The Suburban does OK pulling around here, but we may like to go out west one day or not have to count every pound in the camper. Plus the truck bed would be a good option for bike hauling.

It seems I can get a 6.6 Gas burning GM 2500 for the same price as a nicer equipped half ton.

For pulling any RV, the obvious answer seems to be the 2500. However this will be my daily driver for at least 30 miles a day. I know that isn't much but I know the driveability, gas mileage and maintenance costs of a 1500 will be much greater. We would be looking at 4-5 camping trips a year.

Curious your real world experiences I know we have a lot that look at the charts and suggest a Peterbilt for a Pop UP, I am looking for a solid, safe set up that could venture out to the Smokey Mountains, maybe even the Rockies one day.

Thanks
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Old 07-24-2022, 09:23 AM   #2
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2018 Silverado 4x4 Custom cab 5.3 6 speed Tow Package
Basically one step up from a work truck. Plenty of power, really good acceleration.
Payload sticker says 1768 lbs. but scale weight from gross weight rating says 2200 lbs.
5000 lb loaded trailer with 620 lb tongue weight
Trailer is 26’ tongue to cargo rack
Andersen hitch
Truck pulls camper no problem. We’ve been coast to coast, over the Rockies, up and down the Appalachians on back roads.
I do drive the truck to town occasionally but not a daily driver. Have a Subaru for that, mostly. Retired, so not driving to work.
15 mpg in town, sometimes 20 on interstate, 10 towing
I have been very satisfied with this truck for almost 4 years now
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Old 07-24-2022, 09:47 AM   #3
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33' TT, 9500 lb GVWR, typically loaded to 8400-8500.

Towed initially with an F150 'max tow', crew cab shortbed (5.5'). The rig was a tad squirrely and we do some long distance tows, so upgraded after a few months to an F350, also a crew cab short bed (6.75'). I went in with the intention of getting a 3/4 ton, but found this unclaimed 'special order' on the lot and got a great deal on it.

Both trucks were/are our daily driver. Obviously the F150 was easier to park, got better gas mileage and rode nicer (more car-like) than the F350. However, having never owned a 3/4 or 1-ton before, I expected worse from a ride/comfort standpoint....it's not displeasing to drive at all, option availability is comparable...just don't expect to get into every parking spot!

With the F350 we get about 14 mpg around town and 7-11 mpg towing, depending on grades. The F150 (Ecoboost V6) was around 18-20 around town and 10-15 mpg towing if I remember correctly.

If you decide to upgrade trucks, the ride of the 3/4 and 1-ton is going to be pretty much the same. However, you will realize a good payload bump in the 1-ton vs. 3/4 for a negligible difference in price. After all, you never know what your next trailer is going to be and extra payload is never a bad thing
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Old 07-24-2022, 01:17 PM   #4
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Hello,

here is my current set up, 2003 Chevy 1500HD 6.0l 3.73 gears, has heavy frame like a light 3/4 ton frame 8 lug. Our current trailer is a 20 Xlpor RB dry shows 5400lbs, Have only had it out once so far truck fells fine. Our past trailer was about 4800lbs dry and we have to lots of place even took it to Branson down those steep hills from Springfield to Branson I75 granted going much slower up then down. Have no plans on buying new truck, have just 108,000 miles on it.
Seems to get job done.
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Old 07-24-2022, 01:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doss View Post
For those pulling travel trailers with a half ton truck, please share your tow vehicle, trailer weight and how the set up performs.

Despite truck prices being so high, the trade in/sales price for my Suburban is high was well. My current camper is 5,000 pounds empty. The Suburban does OK pulling around here, but we may like to go out west one day or not have to count every pound in the camper. Plus the truck bed would be a good option for bike hauling.

It seems I can get a 6.6 Gas burning GM 2500 for the same price as a nicer equipped half ton.

For pulling any RV, the obvious answer seems to be the 2500. However this will be my daily driver for at least 30 miles a day. I know that isn't much but I know the driveability, gas mileage and maintenance costs of a 1500 will be much greater. We would be looking at 4-5 camping trips a year.

Curious your real world experiences I know we have a lot that look at the charts and suggest a Peterbilt for a Pop UP, I am looking for a solid, safe set up that could venture out to the Smokey Mountains, maybe even the Rockies one day.

Thanks
The trailer:

2022 Keystone Hideout 262BH has a gross vehicle weight of 7,545 lbs. Empty or dry weight means nothing.

Either pick your tow vehicle based on the gross weight, or get the trailer weighed when it is fully loaded for travel. Dry weight is wishful thinking or a salesman's commission generator.

Published hitch weight is 545 pounds. This is frequently wrong. You can't rely on published hitch weight. Figure 1000 pounds (15% of gross or actual loaded).

Actual weights while towing are what matter. Get the trailer weighed and the hitch weight (including weight distribution hitch weight).

The tow vehicle:

If you are considering a new or used tow vehicle, get the towing capabilities from the exact model you are considering. Weights are vehicle specific. Published weights for a type or model line are unreliable. Ford has a good system for looking up individual VIN numbers for towing capacities. Use it.

Many Suburbans are capable of pulling as much or more than some 1/2 ton trucks. Check the VIN specific numbers for your Suburban. Sometimes you can find towing specification inside the driver's door frame.

If your Suburban can't safely pull it, most 1/2 ton trucks can't either. Get vehicle specific towing capacities to know for sure. Some 1/2 ton trucks are capable of a lot more than others.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 07-24-2022, 03:43 PM   #6
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I had a F-150 4X4 5.0 litre 6 speed with a tow package towing a 5,500lb 26.5' long travel trailer with a Drawtite WD hitch. I got around 19 mpg not towing and 10.5 towing. This combo towed rock solid with zero sway and zero influence from semi's that I passed. I towed around 72 mph.

If you are not going to ever get a bigger travel trailer get a 150/1500 series truck. I have a 2017 F-250 2WD and it is not a good daily driver.

I would look hard at a F-150 with the 3.5 Eco-Boost with a 36 gallon fuel tank. To me, that is the best blend of towing power and daily driver MPG
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Old 07-25-2022, 06:41 AM   #7
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TV: 2021 Ram 1500 Bighorn. 5.7L Hemi w/eTorque, 4x4, 3.92 rear, 33 gallon tank. 1,653lbs payload.

TT: 2022 Winnebago 2306BHS. ~4800lbs dry. 6,000lbs GVWR. Ours is typically about ~5,500lbs ready to camp.

We use a Blue Ox Trackpro WDH. At first we had a lot of issues with it, the trailer always felt like it was pushing the truck around, and I was never comfortable with it. Finally, I decided to actually ready the WDH manual which specifically mentioned turning off sway control on the truck. The Ram tows it fine now, not lacking on power. We just did a trip 3 hours away in the mountains and it was comfortable enough. Still a little white knuckle if the wind picks up a lot. We got about 10-11 MPG on our last trip, which actually seemed pretty good.

However, as common with all half-tons, I'm already starting to eat up payload. The family wanted kayaks, so we got two of those, plus a bed rack for the truck to hold them. Plus kid's bikes, etc. I still have a few hundred pounds left, but as my kids get bigger, I'm going to have to move up to a 3/4 or 1 ton just for all the other non-trailer related toys the family wants to bring.
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Old 07-25-2022, 07:37 AM   #8
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There's a wide range of 1/2 ton towing capabilities. I'd second looking hard at the 3.5 Ecoboost platform though. I'm on my second trailer using this engine and have never felt unsafe or underpowered even with my current 28ft (31ft+ total) trailer.
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Old 07-25-2022, 07:41 AM   #9
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As my sig line says, I am towing a Forest River 263BHXL with my Chevy Silverado Crew Cab, Short Bed, 5.3L V8. Using a Curt WD hitch, if I had to do it over, I might go with a better quality setup. Does have sway control.

My truck is rated for just under 10K towing, payload just under 2K. My trailer has an overall length just under 32 foot. Dry weight of just under 6K, I may be pushing close to 7K as setup and loaded. Dry hitch weight of 736 pounds, probably close to 1K.

Between cab and the bed, I may load an additional 700 pounds in truck. I suspect I am close to the limits on most of the numbers, but truck rides level, isn't squatting, etc.

I did tow the trailer for state inspection, with minimal load in the truck, without the WD hitch, probably 3 miles round trip. I definitely need the WD hitch for on the road.

Things to consider: A crew cab, long bed, is going to be a more stable tow vehicle. Also, it will get you a larger gas tank on most models. I only have a 24.5 gallon tank. It would be great to have a 33-36 gallon tank, would open up a lot more trips to not needing to refuel to get to campsite.

I have said it before: I feel like I am towing the most I would consider with this truck.
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:58 AM   #10
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2016 truck & trailer, love this setup and has worked great for us for the past 6 years.
Truck: F-150 supercab XLT w/ 8' bed, 36g tank, Max Tow, 1700lb payload, 3.55 gears, 6 speed, 3.5 Ecoboost

Trailer: Winnebago 2500RL, 7000lb GVW, 5800lb scaled weight

Rock solid, the Ecoboost is a beast, love the way it pulls. 9-12 mpg towing, 19mpg daily driving. We live out west so are traversing mountain ranges sometimes several times a day, rockies and coast mountains.

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Old 07-25-2022, 01:21 PM   #11
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I don't think you need a Titan XD or even a Ford with that super long 163" wheelbase. For your current trailer a F-150 with the towing package and 3.5 litre Eco-Boost would work. One thing I failed to mention is a non-turbo engine will lose 3% of it power for every 1,000ft of elevation gain. Much of the west is around 5,000 feet or higher.

A turbo engine loses a lot less of it power at those elevations. I think less than 1% per 1,000 feet of elevation. Maybe .75%.
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Old 07-25-2022, 03:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I don't think you need a Titan XD or even a Ford with that super long 163" wheelbase. For your current trailer a F-150 with the towing package and 3.5 litre Eco-Boost would work. One thing I failed to mention is a non-turbo engine will lose 3% of it power for every 1,000ft of elevation gain. Much of the west is around 5,000 feet or higher.

A turbo engine loses a lot less of it power at those elevations. I think less than 1% per 1,000 feet of elevation. Maybe .75%.
You know the old saying "There's no replacement for displace... err I mean wheelbase." 😕

I attribute a good portion of my stable towing to that 163" wheelbase. Plus proper trailer loading etc.
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Old 07-25-2022, 05:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipkeller View Post
2018 Silverado 4x4 Custom cab 5.3 6 speed Tow Package
Basically one step up from a work truck. Plenty of power, really good acceleration.
Payload sticker says 1768 lbs. but scale weight from gross weight rating says 2200 lbs.
5000 lb loaded trailer with 620 lb tongue weight
Trailer is 26’ tongue to cargo rack
Andersen hitch
Truck pulls camper no problem. We’ve been coast to coast, over the Rockies, up and down the Appalachians on back roads.
I do drive the truck to town occasionally but not a daily driver. Have a Subaru for that, mostly. Retired, so not driving to work.
15 mpg in town, sometimes 20 on interstate, 10 towing
I have been very satisfied with this truck for almost 4 years now
I have almost the same setup but 6500 loaded and the same results. mine is a 2010 so slightly a little less power, but still the same results. i use mine as a driver and would rather drive it on trips that my new Toyota Hylander. it rides nice and smooth a drives excellent. milage is about the same as the Hylander.
Jay D.
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Old 07-27-2022, 04:01 AM   #14
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Bring on the haters !
2013 F150 TowBeast Screw Max Tow 3.55 gears 3.5 EgoBeast engine towing an 8600 GVWR TT weighing about 8000. No issues anywhere anytime.
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