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Old 02-27-2020, 07:15 PM   #1
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Question What Truck is Best Long Term?

Hello all,

My wife and I have begun a search for TT and truck. We have some time before purchasing (working on getting $$ right), but are leaning toward Grand Design due to floor plan and what we've read about customer service and reliability.

I want to get one somewhere between 20' - 25'. It'll just be the 2 of us in it (kids in college), so that should be plenty of space, and we'll be taking weekend trips and longer ones up to 2 weeks or so. I owned a pop up for several years and took the kids all over the place in it and I've done a fair amount of tent camping. My wife is new to the RV/camping life (she will NOT tent camp LOL).

However, I want to make sure I get enough truck. I have been looking at 3/4 ton (GMC 2500, Chevy 2500), but wondering if that's too much.

It's hard to say whether we'll want a bigger TT at some point, we don't think we will (want maneuverability and as little hassle hauling as possible), but you never know.

I think I could haul a trailer that size pretty easily with a 1500, but I would hate to get a couple of years down the road and then have to buy a new truck.

What are the down-sides of having the bigger truck? I would be using it as my regular vehicle (but I live 2 miles from work, so no biggy there). Just not sure what to do.

Edit: I should add that the only reason I'm getting a truck is to haul that travel trailer. We live in a town house now, so no more hauling stuff for the yard, etc.

Your thoughts much appreciated.
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:41 PM   #2
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My goal when towing is to have a comfortable experience when doing it.

A 250/2500 series truck is good a pulling travel trailers. Not so much for a 5th wheel. If you ever envision getting a 5th wheel then the 250/2500 is the wrong truck.

For a 2 mile drive to work I would recommend getting a gas powered truck.

If buying used, the best gasoline engine I believe is the Ford 6.2 as far as reliability.

The 2020 GM trucks are greatly improved are are every bit as good as Ford and Ram. The 6.6 GM gas engine is a huge improvment over the old 6.0.

How much technology do you want? If you have never driven a truck you will be impressed with the way they are equipped.
My next truck will have both a back up camera and a front camera. The back up camera is important when hooking up your trailer.

Now if you want a 150/1500 series truck which will pull the current targeted trailer size and weight fine...but when it comes to the next trailer then the truck will probably not be big enough.

A 150/1500 series truck can tow a 28' 7,000lb trailer pretty good. But as always a 250/2500 series truck can tow it even better.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:07 PM   #3
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I own a 3/4 ton Chevy and am very happy with it. I can tow whatever I want with it.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:12 PM   #4
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I don't believe you can ever buy too much truck.

Obviously, as you are already future thinking, the 250/2500 will open up more options should you decide to go bigger on your next TT.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:34 PM   #5
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I have an old 2000 Chevy 2500 that I bought new and just don't have the heart to junk it while it is still running great at 189k. The truck has the 6.0 liter gas motor and pulls our 8000 lb trailer easily. I will replace it with the best diesel 3500 I can afford when it finally gives up. I wouldn't bother with a 1/2 ton, don't forget every other wear/maintenance part is also less heavy duty as well. I only use my truck to pull the trailer and drive a car the rest of the time, they do suck down a lot of gas though.

Good luck
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:59 PM   #6
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I've had a truck as my daily since 2007 (I started with a Tundra); went GM 3/4 ton gasser in 2010; went GM 3/4 ton diesel in 2013; went GM DRW 3500 diesel last year. The stuff I pull just keeps getting bigger and bigger and no regrets. The footprint on a 3/4 ton isn't that much bigger than a 1/2 ton but it is a lot better tow truck than a 1/2 ton. I won't go back to a gasser and would not want anything less than a 3/4 ton for towing anything over 6-7k lbs. The short answer is, no, a 3/4 ton isn't too much truck. And most people regret not having enough truck to start, not the other way around.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:34 PM   #7
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Our lives and desires change. So get what works for you today. No truck and trailer combo is going to last forever. If you want to be able to go up any grade easily and have an exhaust brake to slow you on the down side, get a diesel. But, the new diesels are quite complicated and expensive to purchase and maintain. 3/4 ton trucks tow nice but a 1/2 ton rides better. If you pack heavy, you're looking at a 3/4 ton. There are many things to factor in that only you can sort out. Take your time and have fun.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:37 AM   #8
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3/4 ton is a couple inches taller but it is the same body so exactly the same size whether 1/2 ton, 3/4 or 1 ton.

As for towing, under 25' and 6000 pound gross trailer a half ton is fine but any heavier or longer and it will wear you out. There is no down side to a 3/4 ton except gas mileage when not towing. It will lose 2 or 3 MPG when not towing but will be the same when you are towing, roughly 9 MPG. And you can put a topper on it or bring a quad without much worry. You will not have the payload in a half ton to do that.

All the big 3 make great trucks, pick the one you like the best. GM screwed me a couple decades ago so I have been a Ford guy since but they do make a good truck as does Ram. Pay attention to the payload sticker on the truck and remember that specialty trucks like the Raptor are made for going fast off road, not for towing. By the right tool for the job.
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Old 02-28-2020, 05:22 AM   #9
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:12 AM   #10
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I currently have a tundra, it's solid platform just lacks payload, has plenty of brake and power.

I would look into the Titan XD, it's in-between a 1/2 and 3/4 ton truck. Like the early 2000 GM trucks 1500hd
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:45 AM   #11
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BTDT and for that reason if towing 6000 lbs loaded and around 25' I'd 100% opt for a 1/2 ton. Anything over and it's 3/4 ton.
Yes many tow more than 6000 lbs with 1/2 tons. But from personal experience and being a person that hates drama it's makes towing so much easier when you're slightly over trucked.
One of my setups was a Ram 2500 diesel and a 28' 5th wheel @9200 lbs. That was by far the best handling combination I've towed. If something were to happen to me and my wife needed to drive then that would be the setup that she'd have no problems with. Hit the tow haul and exhaust brake buttons and just drive.

It's much more relaxing when the tow vehicle is in charge and not in a tug of war with the trailer.

I've been driving 3/4 ton CC LB's for 8 years straight. Worst part is parking lots and tight campgrounds when backing in.
A 1/2 ton would be much nicer but it won't do what an HD truck can do without compromise.
Biggest downside to HD trucks is gas millage. They suck in town and empty on the hwy. Towing mpg's is about the same for 1/2 tons and HD trucks.

Not knowing what you'll own next for a trailer I'd opt for a 1 ton diesel.
It will be overkill for a 25' TT but the upside is much more.
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:25 AM   #12
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I would like to add my comments here, the DW and I are both retired however we do not pull time, we do like to camp General Lee in state or national park areas, back in 2013 I bought a used 2011 Fun Finder X 210 WBS. At the time I owned a 2002 half ton pickup made by Chevy it towed it just fine. Since then I have changed to a 2006 Ford F-150 Lariat oh, it has all bells and whistles of its day it tows my little camper absolutely beautifully. It does have a 5.4 liter Titan engine in it, the fuel mileage is not the greatest and you did say that you were going to use it as a daily driver. I would stick with a gas engine, driving rigs my whole working days I would suggest against a diesel if you're going to use it as a 2-mile runner back and forth to work daily, I would suggest against the diesel for short trips like that, as suggested above a Gasser would probably do you best for a daily driver. Diesels are great workers as far as engines wise when you're going to work them hard for daily running gas is better. I do not know if I gave you any good information but I thought I'd get in here and mention this. I stated before also how's your needs will change you will probably end up changing things anyway if you decide to go with a larger camper you may need a bigger truck. What things end times do change. also I don't know if you noticed it but I do like to buy used trucks. E-Trade core portfolio
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:53 AM   #13
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Instead of buying enough truck for this trailer, look to your next trailer. If long term your thinking of a bigger trailer or a fifth wheel get a 3500. Brand? What do you prefer? Ram arguable today has the best interior, and the Cummins if your looking toward diesel is the best motor out there. 25% fewer moving parts, and many many years and many many miles of reliable service. Both Ford and GM have upgraded or changed their motors over the years. Some have been good, some abaolutely horrible money pits.
Dont get all wound up in dry or shipping weights for what a trailer weighs. All that will happen is you will wind up with an inadequate truck. Same for trucks. They rarely can actually tow what mfgs claim once loaded with people, fuel and stuff.
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Old 02-28-2020, 02:09 PM   #14
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Buy nothing less than a 3/4 ton. As someone said earlier it is not possible to buy to much truck as you can see from my picture.
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