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Old 11-24-2022, 01:03 PM   #1
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Another "which truck should I buy" thread

Sorry, I know the forum is cluttered with these threads, but I can never find the one that answers my questions exactly...

Looking at upgrading to a slightly larger travel trailer, which will require a more powerful tow vehicle (my little Highlander already has more than it can handle comfortably). The trailer will likely be a typical single axle travel trailer. About 20-22 feet total length, about 8' wide by 10' tall, GVWR probably around 4,000 lbs, 5,000 absolute max.

I'd like to have a comfortable towing experience for long distance travel. I want to be able to maintain 65 mph on the interstate without having to make it scream on rolling hills, slight grades, and in moderate headwinds. Here's a description of the kind of towing experience I'd like to avoid: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f45/runn...ds-598902.html

The budget has me looking at low mileage older used half ton pickups, probably in the 2010 - 2014 year range. I'm looking for advice on which powertrains will give me the comfortable towing experience I'm after. I figure any of the 5.3, 5.4, or 5.7 V8 power trains should do the trick. I'm not sure about smaller V8s or the Ford Ecoboost V6s; will they generate the necessary low-end torque? Not interested in non-turbo V6s.

I'm pretty much brand agnostic, as it seems to me that any of the half tons made by the big three, Toyota, or Nissan are pretty reliable out to around 200,000 miles if they are maintained properly. But if you know of any specific reliability issues, I'd like to hear about them.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 11-24-2022, 01:41 PM   #2
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With the exception of the Ecoboost they will all be turning high rpm pulling the hills. I pull an approx 9k tt with a Ram 2500 with 6.4 and its running 2500-5500 rpm to do the job.
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Old 11-24-2022, 05:44 PM   #3
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I tow a Cherokee Wolf Pup with a 2013 F-150 4WD, 5.0 liter.
The Wolf Pup is 21.5 ft., 7 ft. wide, 10.5 ft. high (to A/C), and GVWR 3944.
I’ve towed it from the east coast to the west coast without issue.
I’ve only experienced high RPMs when descending mountains in Tow/Haul mode with the transmission downshifting to control the speed.
Climbing mountain passes, such as Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado, I don’t believe I ever exceeded 3,000 RPMs. 2,500 is more often the maximum needed.
I’ve fought some strong headwinds at 2,000 RPMs.
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Old 11-24-2022, 05:51 PM   #4
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F150 with EcoBoost engine
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:12 PM   #5
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I pulled a 5,500lb 26.5' travel trailer very comfortably with a 2011 F-150 with the 5.0 litre coyote engine. I towed at 72 mph most of the time with zero sway. I used a Draw Tite WD hitch with the chain links. My F-150 had the tow package which meant it had a 36 gallon fuel tank. I went up some big mountains and it was a non-event. Not saying I went up the mountain at 72,mph but more like 60 mph. The 5.0 coyote engine was not unpleasant towing up a mountain.

The F-150 with the 3.5 eco-boost would be more powerful but the 5.0 litre was also a good towing engine.

A 2010 F-150 will have a underpowered 5.4 Triton engine. IMHO you do not want this engine. Two new engines came out in 2011. The 3.5 eco-boost and the 5.0 litre coyote.

I would try to find the newest F-150 you can afford with either of the two engines mentioned above.
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NevadaNick View Post
With the exception of the Ecoboost they will all be turning high rpm pulling the hills. I pull an approx 9k tt with a Ram 2500 with 6.4 and its running 2500-5500 rpm to do the job.
I expect to slow down or rev up on big mountain grades. I'm thinking more of rolling hills and long, slight grades.
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginian View Post
I tow a Cherokee Wolf Pup with a 2013 F-150 4WD, 5.0 liter.
The Wolf Pup is 21.5 ft., 7 ft. wide, 10.5 ft. high (to A/C), and GVWR 3944.
I’ve towed it from the east coast to the west coast without issue.
I’ve only experienced high RPMs when descending mountains in Tow/Haul mode with the transmission downshifting to control the speed.
Climbing mountain passes, such as Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado, I don’t believe I ever exceeded 3,000 RPMs. 2,500 is more often the maximum needed.
I’ve fought some strong headwinds at 2,000 RPMs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I pulled a 5,500lb 26.5' travel trailer very comfortably with a 2011 F-150 with the 5.0 litre coyote engine. I towed at 72 mph most of the time with zero sway. I used a Draw Tite WD hitch with the chain links. My F-150 had the tow package which meant it had a 36 gallon fuel tank. I went up some big mountains and it was a non-event. Not saying I went up the mountain at 72,mph but more like 60 mph. The 5.0 coyote engine was not unpleasant towing up a mountain.

The F-150 with the 3.5 eco-boost would be more powerful but the 5.0 litre was also a good towing engine.

A 2010 F-150 will have a underpowered 5.4 Triton engine. IMHO you do not want this engine. Two new engines came out in 2011. The 3.5 eco-boost and the 5.0 litre coyote.

I would try to find the newest F-150 you can afford with either of the two engines mentioned above.
Good to know, thanks. I would have thought the 5.4 would do the job, but good to find out now that it's weak.

I wasn't aware of the 5.0 coyote. I'm old enough that when someone mentions a 5.0 L Ford V8, I'm thinking about the old 302 c.i. engine that they used in everything back in the 70s and 80s.
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Old 11-24-2022, 08:01 PM   #8
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This online towing calculator will accurately, safely, and impartially match your truck and trailer. It also removes all the bravado of "this truck will tow it" from owners and salesmen.
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Old 11-24-2022, 08:02 PM   #9
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You would be surprised if you drove a Ford Ecoboost, run very much like a diesel engine.
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Old 11-25-2022, 06:09 AM   #10
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In online listings, I'm seeing a lot of 2011-2014 GM trucks with the 5.3 V8. Anyone care to comment on that engine?
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Old 11-25-2022, 08:41 AM   #11
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^^^ I'm seeing a couple of 2011 GM trucks showing up at a nearby dealer that have the 5.3 V8 and "heavy duty towing package" with the 3.42 rear end. From what I can find on line, it looks like those would be rated to tow somewhere between 9,000 and 10,000 lbs. Of course I won't be pulling but about half that much weight. Wondering if the 5.3 with 3.42 gears can pull 4,000-5,000 easily at highway speeds.
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Old 11-25-2022, 08:59 AM   #12
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Another "which truck should I buy" thread

Not what i would want. I would go for a 3/4 t pickup with a 6.0, and 4.10 ratio.
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Old 11-25-2022, 08:59 AM   #13
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F150 with EcoBoost engine
I will agree, except to add the 3.5 Ecoboost, and try to find one with the big 36g fuel tank. While expensive to fill I love having the range with the big tank. Good luck on your search. Oh and the Ecoboost is a beast, it literally tows like a diesel and definitely does not need to be revved to make power.

We downsized from a 39' class A gasser on the F53 chassis with the V10 and one of the main reasons was because we were so tired of the screaming engine.

The Ecoboost will also get decent mileage when not towing, plus they can be a hoot to drive, press the tow haul button twice for Sport mode, and the traction control button twice for Advanced Sportrac and you'll look like a drifting champ.

This is what sold me on my truck...
Ecoboost Torture Test
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Old 11-25-2022, 09:57 AM   #14
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Depends on your definition of hills. If you are climbing the Rockies or driving in the Adirondacks it will make a difference. And how fast do you want to go? In test drives, not pulling a trailer we found the V8 fords doggy, the dodges peppy but the trucks were always falling apart but the LS in a chevy was just right. Ours is a 4.8 and we slow down to 55 on grades over 6%. The 5.3 might be better but they had issues with the cams in the engines that deactivated cylinders under low load. And the 6.0 is a monster but gets poor mileage, but they all use a lot of gas when working.
Be prepared for all sorts of feedback, sooner or lated someone will tell you a 3/4 ton is the best choice. Happy reading!
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