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Old 02-01-2023, 02:47 PM   #1
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Match Truck to TT

First post so bare with me. I have a 2014 Jayco Whitehawk 22ft. Approx 5K lbs loaded for the road. I want to buy a truck with the right options to consider. I am not loyal to a brand. I am interested in a truck that will have the potential of 10K towing package should I upgrade my camper next year. I get confused when I use the ratings I find online so I come to you experts. I will purchase a 2019-2020 truck due to budget. I need to know what size motor, options such as max towing package, etc to consider. Also, size of the truck i.e. 1/2, 3/4 tonnage. Any help would be helpful. Just to give you a starting place I like a 2020 GMC 1500 with 5.3ecotech v8 engine but only 3.23 axle ratio. It does have a max towing package and is said to pull up to 12K. Is this a good option or do you have a better suggestion. Thanks
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Old 02-01-2023, 02:59 PM   #2
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You 1st trailer can be towed easily by any 150/1500 series truck. That is 5,000lbs right?

But to go to 10,000lbs that will take a bigger 250/2500 series truck.

You might want to research the Nissan Titan XD. To tow a bigger trailer. This is a truck with a lot of advantages over the normal 160/1500 series truck.

Ford builds the most powerful gasoline powered trucks. 1st they have the F-150 3.5 Eco-Boost. Then they have the 7.3 litre Godzilla in the 250/350 trucks.

If you want a powerful diesel truck they are all close to equal.
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Old 02-01-2023, 03:06 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!!!

Our current vehicle (which we tow behind the motorhome) is a 2017 Ford F150 EcoBoost (turbocharged). I have pulled a few larger TT's for friends in the past...a few up to 32' in length. The F150 handled great and plenty of power.

There will be others that will suggest different vehicles.

What I suggest is for you to go to local RV parks and walk around and see what others own. Most RVers are happy to opine...ask them the pluses and minuses of their tow vehicles.
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Old 02-01-2023, 03:23 PM   #4
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I can't speak to the Titan XD, a lot of people swear by it. (Some of us just swear.)

My question is, do you want a truck with 10K towing capability, or a truck capable of towing a 10K travel trailer. Those are 2 very different animals.

To tow a 10K travel trailer, I think you are in 3/4 ton territory, which may blow a hole in your 2019-2022 budgetary considerations.

Have you looked at the door label on that GMC you are describing? The only rating for 12,000 pounds I see is with a 6.2L V8 with the 3.42. There are some 5.3L setups that can get you into the mid-11K range.

I am going to try to upload a PDF file with the 2020 Chevy trailer specs-GMC should be comparable. I also will try to upload the specs that include the payload. However, the only way to know what the truck you are looking at is rated is to see the actual door label.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf B - Specifications 2020.pdf (215.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: pdf C - Trailer SPecs 2020.pdf (133.8 KB, 8 views)
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Old 02-01-2023, 03:33 PM   #5
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5-10K is a big jump. If you're serious about the 10K trailer you will need a 3/4 or 1 ton.

Pretty much ignore the max tow rating, that's for flat bed trailers loaded with bricks. You will typically run out of payload long before you ever approached those max tow limits. Check out some trucks configured similarly to what you want, trim level wise, open the drivers door and take a pic of the weight limits, payload etc. Then use 12-15% of the GVWR of your travel trailer to figure out tongue weight + everything else loaded in the truck to make sure you're under your door sticker payload rating.

Pretty much any 1/2 ton should pull your 5000lb trailer easily. I tow our 25' 5900lb (scaled, 700lb tongue weight) 7000lb GVWR TT with our 2016 F-150 Ecoboost that has a 1700lb payload rating. Love the way this setup tows, the Ecoboost is a beast an literally tows like a diesel, plus gets decent mileage when unhooked. Highly recommend the Ecoboost, I believe it is the best gas motor in a 1/2 ton. If I was moving up to a 3/4 or 1 ton I'd go with the 7.3 Godzilla if you didn't want to go diesel. If you're considering diesel, just pick your favorite, I think all 3 are pretty comparable now a days.

PS I wouldn't want to go any bigger in a TT with our current truck.
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Old 02-01-2023, 03:51 PM   #6
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5-10K is a big jump. If you're serious about the 10K trailer you will need a 3/4 or 1 ton.

Pretty much ignore the max tow rating, that's for flat bed trailers loaded with bricks. You will typically run out of payload long before you ever approached those max tow limits. Check out some trucks configured similarly to what you want, trim level wise, open the drivers door and take a pic of the weight limits, payload etc. Then use 12-15% of the GVWR of your travel trailer to figure out tongue weight + everything else loaded in the truck to make sure you're under your door sticker payload rating.

Pretty much any 1/2 ton should pull your 5000lb trailer easily. I tow our 25' 5900lb (scaled, 700lb tongue weight) 7000lb GVWR TT with our 2016 F-150 Ecoboost that has a 1700lb payload rating. Love the way this setup tows, the Ecoboost is a beast an literally tows like a diesel, plus gets decent mileage when unhooked. Highly recommend the Ecoboost, I believe it is the best gas motor in a 1/2 ton. If I was moving up to a 3/4 or 1 ton I'd go with the 7.3 Godzilla if you didn't want to go diesel. If you're considering diesel, just pick your favorite, I think all 3 are pretty comparable now a days.

PS I wouldn't want to go any bigger in a TT with our current truck.
Agree with everything you said. (OK, I don't know squat about the Ecoboost, but I don't disagree with those statements.)

I was having trouble with my computer and had to reboot, so I cut my last post short.

My Chevy has a 9800 pound towing capacity with a payload of 1924, and my 31 1/2 foot long travel trailer has a GVWR of 7700 pounds. I have not weighed it, suspect I am running somewhere about 6800 pounds and a tongue weight just under 1000 pounds. I would not want to put anything larger behind my truck.


When I look at all of the spec sheets on GM trucks at least, they are all over the place. I can match my towing capacity to the charts, but my door label payload is almost 140 pounds less than the chart shows.
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Old 02-01-2023, 04:28 PM   #7
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When I look at all of the spec sheets on GM trucks at least, they are all over the place. I can match my towing capacity to the charts, but my door label payload is almost 140 pounds less than the chart shows.
Trim levels make a huge difference in payload; if you like Lexus levels of comfort w/ leather, power everything (running boards etc), sun roofs etc. expect hundreds of lbs less payload. I bet the difference in payload between my XLT and a Limited is probably 4-500lbs.
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Old 02-01-2023, 05:50 PM   #8
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Trim levels make a huge difference in payload; if you like Lexus levels of comfort w/ leather, power everything (running boards etc), sun roofs etc. expect hundreds of lbs less payload. I bet the difference in payload between my XLT and a Limited is probably 4-500lbs.
Based on another person's report, the Denali trim on a GMC takes a huge hit on payload.
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Old 02-01-2023, 07:02 PM   #9
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OP...for trying to match up truck to trailer, here's some basic things to become familiar with....sorry for length of post, but have some time to kill before dinner

GVWR - Set by the manufacturer, it is the maximum the vehicle can weigh. 1/2 tons are typically rated at 6500 - 7800 lbs or so. 3/4 and 1-tons can have a GVWR up to 12.5K or so. The ratings of various components such as frame, axles, wheels, tires etc. play into how the manufacturer assigns GVWR.

Payload (Cargo Carrying) Capacity. Simply GVWR minus the weight of truck. It's how much 'stuff' the truck can carry. It includes trailer tongue weight, weight of the hitch, all occupants and any miscellaneous gear in the bed or cab.

Both GVWR and CCC can be found on two separate stickers on the driver's side door pillar of any truck. Since no truck is optioned the same, the amount of CCC can vary wildly. A stripped down F150 'XL' work truck may have a GVWR of 7000 and weigh only 4800 lbs., leaving a CCC of 2200 lbs. Conversely, a loaded F150 'Platinum' trim model may also have a 7K GVWR but weigh 5600 lbs, leaving a CCC of only 1400 lbs.

Tongue Weight: For travel trailers, figure 13% of the trailer's GVWR (trailers also have this rating) will be tongue weight. This counts as 'payload' for your truck.

Your goal is not to exceed the truck's payload capacity - and as a result its GVWR. Here's an example using a 6000 lb (GVWR) travel trailer and an F150 with a payload capacity of 1700 lbs:

Trailer tongue weight: 6000 * 13% = 780 lbs
Weight Distribution Hitch: 100 lbs
2 adults, 2 kids: 400 lbs
1 dog: 50 lbs
Firewood, cooler, tools, misc gear: 100 lbs

Total payload used = 1430 lbs leaving 270 remaining.

As mentioned, and as you can see, you would run out of payload cap long before you could tow anything close to the published tow ratings....particularly with a 1/2 ton truck.
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Old 02-01-2023, 07:53 PM   #10
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Think of it this way. No matter the tow rating on a 150/1500 series truck the max comfortable travel trailer that you can tow on the highway at 70 mph is 6,500 lbs. I don't care if the tow rating is 13,000lbs. A little 150/1500 series truck has trouble controlling more than 6,500lbs.

A 5,000lb travel trailer is easy to tow.
A 10,000lb travel trailer is not easy to tow.

You need a bigger truck to tow 10,000lbs.
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Old 02-01-2023, 09:00 PM   #11
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OP - As others are mentioning it is not just the weight of the trailer but the size that puts you into 2500 and 3500 trucks when you get to 10,000 lb travel trailers. Not a Ford owner, but someone on here a while back was showing how they put in the owners manual a section on trailer size, not just weight, as towing limitations. One can probably search and find it.

You’re fine for 5,000 lbs but you’re not going to have a good experience upgrading the trailer later with the same 1/2 ton into the 10,000 lb probably 34-36’ trailer. You would be overloaded too on the rear axle and or GVWR anyway.
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Old 02-01-2023, 09:32 PM   #12
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Just to give you a starting place I like a 2020 GMC 1500 with 5.3ecotech v8 engine but only 3.23 axle ratio. It does have a max towing package and is said to pull up to 12K. Is this a good option or do you have a better suggestion. Thanks
The 2020 1500 chevy has a 10 speed tranny so the 3.23 gears work fine.

My wifes has a 2016 1500 chevy 4wd 5.3 engine (355 hp/383 torque) 3.42 gears crew cab 6 speed tranny.
I use it sometimes pulling a 10k car hauler with a 7640 lb blue tractor (cab) doing mowing or blade/bucket work. The trailer has 8800-9400 lbs on the trailers tandem 5200 lb axles...... depending on which tractor attachments.
I load the tractor on the trailer to stay under the trucks 4000 lb rawr.

For a 10k TT I would recommend a 3/4 ton truck with the 6.x or 7.x gas engines. You sure don't need a one ton or the diesel unless you just gotta' have one.
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Old 02-01-2023, 10:20 PM   #13
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I pulled a 30' 5th wheel (9500# scaled) with my 2500 RAM with a cummins diesel. I am close to payload with that trailer with my truck configuration. Disadvantage of diesel, is they cost more to purchase. Advantage diesel - they can pull 10K without thinking about it. I did a round trip from CA to AR, with my trailer, on cruise control, up and down the mountains on I40 and I80, got 11.13 mpg hand calculated overall and cruised 65-75 without any issues.
Buy as big as you can afford and if you do up size your trailer down the road, use the truck as the limiting factor on trailer size. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-02-2023, 09:08 AM   #14
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Good idea about rv park discussions with campers. I'll do some of that. Thanks
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