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Old 08-08-2021, 10:34 AM   #1
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So, how's your 1/2 ton holding up?

My wife and I have decided to go the TT route, and we'll be buying a TT and pickup to haul it with soon. We're looking at TTs in the under-6000 pound UVW range.

I know a 3/4 ton diesel will be more satisfying on the highway and in the mountains, and I'm inclined to go that route. But I'm sure finding a lot more offerings in my price range locally in 1/2 tons.

I'm really interested in knowing how well your 1/2 ton pickups are holding up. If you don't mind, please share what 1/2 ton you're towing with, what weight you're towing, and how it's holding up.
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Old 08-08-2021, 11:03 AM   #2
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I don't have it anymore (recently sold it to my nephew) but my 2004 Nissan Titan crew cab 2wd was a great tow vehicle and very comfortable. I was towing a Nash 25S (GVWR 7,400#) without any problems. I think the Titan had a tow rating of 9,600# with tow package. I suggest not towing over 80% of your truck's tow capacity. With a relatively short bed, it would also fit in my garage.

When going up long mountain grades, I would downshift and take it easy, keeping an eye on the transmission temperature gauge. If there were big rigs going up the hill, I'd just tuck in behind one and take my time. On flat ground, the sweet spot in terms of rpms was between 62 and 65 mph.

As I mentioned, it was a 2004 and we towed two different TTs from 2004 to 2017 (when we bought our MH) without any significant repairs beyond normal maintenance. From 2017 to 2021 it was just used as a second vehicle.

I'd say that thirteen years of trouble free towing is a pretty good record.
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Old 08-08-2021, 11:06 AM   #3
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I towed a 5,500lb wet trailer that was 26.5' long with a F-150 with a wheelbase of 145" and a Drawtite WD hitch for two years. The truck controlled the trailer very nicely. No sway or influence from semi trucks. I towed around 70-72mph. This was one of my best matched truck/trailer.

I am not sure how much more weight or length that truck could control. I would guess 28' and 6,000lbs would be a comfortable towing.

I do know I towed a 6,500lb 29.5' trailer with my friends older Ram 1500 and that seemed too much.

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Old 08-08-2021, 11:13 AM   #4
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DO NOT use the UVW when selecting a trailer or how much your tow vehicle can safely handle, unless that's how you intend to use the trailer-unloaded.
Always use the trailer's GVWR, or if unavailable add cargo carrying capacity to UVW to obtain GVWR.
This travel trailer weight calculator will safely and accurately match tow vehicle and trailer and eliminates the chest-beating "my truck can tow anything" mentality.
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Old 08-08-2021, 11:55 AM   #5
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I should have added to my post that CA has a 55mph speed limit for towing so I was never comfortable going much faster than a little over 60mph while towing in CA. The Titan will tow in the 70s, which we did in other states. No matter what truck you have, the faster you tow, the worse your mileage and the less safe you'll be in terms of stopping, accident avoidance, stability, etc.

Also, remember that, for the most part, truck tow capacities are calculated using a 150# driver and a full tank of gas, no passengers, dogs or stuff. Therefore, for all practical purposes, they're overstated.
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Old 08-08-2021, 12:41 PM   #6
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I tow a 6K dry weight, 32 foot TT with my Silverado crew cab short bed 1500, 5.3l V8. I haven't owned either the truck or trailer long enough to answer a "how is it holding up?" question. I can say that it is the max I would tow with this truck. Anything bigger, and I would be wanting a 3/4 ton. I anticipate that my towing will be primarily flat country, as opposed to mountains.

Truck inventories are very limited right now. If you can wait 6-9 months on a truck, I think inventory will get better, but my crystal ball has been very flakey the last 18 months or so.
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Old 08-08-2021, 12:43 PM   #7
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I had a 2007 Nissan Titan before. Big V8. Never pulled a TT with it, but pulled the boat all over the place. Gaso mileage was brutal even when not towing. It has pretty good towing spec's as I recall.

I traded that in 2018 for a RAM 1500 crew cab with the 6 cyl diesel. It has tons or torque but lacks the "zip" that I was used to with the Titan. The Titan was a race car in comparison. The travel trailer we added maxes out at 4,200#. We are probably a little under that fully loaded. So far the RAM 1500 eco diesel has handled it with no problems. Pulling the boat I'm better than 20 mpg. Towing the trailer is a lot less but still pretty decent as long as I drive sensibly.

Having said all that. If I were buying the truck at the same time as the TT, i would go for a 3/4 ton without any question. Always better to have more capacity than needed. Cost more, but that old saying applies: "Buy once, cry once".
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Old 08-08-2021, 05:07 PM   #8
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You don't say which 1/2 ton you're wondering about. There's so many different variations of 1/2 tons.
For that TT I'd go F150 Super Crew with the 6.5 bed, Max Tow and the 3.5 Eco Boost.
That will give you the stability, power and comfort for longer trips. MPG's in 1/2 tons are all about the same when towing, but the EBoost could net you a couple more mpg's when not towing.
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Old 08-08-2021, 05:23 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the input. We went shopping today and we bought a little Keystone Outback with less than 5000 pounds UVW and about 7000 pounds maxed out. I feel pretty good about that with a 1/2 ton.

I'll make sure whatever I get has a tow package and at least a 10,000 pound towing capacity.
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Old 08-08-2021, 05:39 PM   #10
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Just an FYI - towing capacity has little to do with towing. Length of trailers and wheelbase are key.

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Old 08-08-2021, 05:41 PM   #11
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07 5.7 hemi with 3.92 gears (which was hard to find). Purchased new. Now at 220,000 miles. Currently our camper is a ‘16 Winnebago 28rbds with an 8800 lb gvwr.

The camper we had before was a few thousand pounds lighter.

I’m going to buy a new truck when inventories are back to normal, or I’ll order one. I will be getting a 2500 (or 3500 single rear wheels per side) with a long bed so we can haul our golf cart But the 07 has been a heck of a good truck.

It does drink a lot of gas towing at say 70 on the highway. 7-8mpg, depending on variables.
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Old 08-08-2021, 05:45 PM   #12
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Asl long as you stay no more than 7500# GVWR and under 28', a 1/2 ton truck with the proper towing package and axle will do fine. You need to shop for a 3,73 or 3,93 axle on the truck and no lift kits or oversized tires.

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Old 08-08-2021, 06:03 PM   #13
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I tow at 5000 LB GVWR trailer with my 2017 RAM 1500 4x4. Tow rating is 8000 LB. I am guessing the trailer is about 4100 loaded. I haven't weighed it but I weighed everything that went in it and came up with about 600 LB (includes propane, both batteries, no water). Dry weight is 3500. I have been to Crane Flat in Yosemite (6600 ft) and 3X Sequoia (all over 7000 ft). I have climbed and descended the Grapevine at least 7 times.

So far no issues. Having said that, if I knew then what I know now I would have went with the 3/4 ton. My 1/2 ton tows fine, but I feel like I have to pay attention to the payload and loading all the time. One trip to Sequoia we went to Eshom campground, the road in is steep and windy, I took it nice and slow but was worried about the brakes and tranny. I just feel like the 3/4 would be less stress on me. When I was shopping I wanted the 3.92 rear end but settled for the 3.21, this was before we had a TT. That was a mistake.

A few weeks ago, I took my truck to the dealer to get the oil changed. While waiting I walked around and looked at the 3/4 tons, thinking maybe I'll trade in my 1/2 ton. They had 4 2500s on the lot, two at $71K and two at $78K. I paid $30K for my 2017 1500 brand new. I left thinking, I guess I'll be driving the 1500 for a while longer.
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Old 08-08-2021, 08:24 PM   #14
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we tow a 26' that weighs around 6000 to 6500 fully loaded for us. with a 1500 GMC crew cab short box, it tows great. we use the 1500 a lot for everyday driving its smooth, doesn't set high and probably does a little better on gas. we have a nearly new Toyota Highlander and for a long trip i would rather drive the 1500.
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