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Old 12-06-2015, 10:52 PM   #1
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Choosing the right tow vehicle.

We currently own a Forest River 29' Wildwood X-lite, 4400 lb. dry (probably 1-2 hundred pounds less). We had it parked for past two summers, but this spring we will look to take it out. I won't be hauling water, just the wife, 3 kids under age 11, two dogs and typical gear for a family of 5. What would be best for us to tow with, yet be roomy enough? Could we go with a Suburban? Should we go with Ram 1500? This would also serve as our family vehicle for a short period of time. Any guidance is greatly appreciated. We will be camping primarily through Pennsylvania, possible southern trip to FL (maybe).


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Old 12-07-2015, 09:27 PM   #2
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I pull a 2016 Ultra V, weighs about 6500 dry, with a 2008 Silverado 1500, 5.3, 315 hp, 3.73 rears. If you are going to buy a newer vehicle, a half ton Chevy, 5.3 lt, 3.73 rears and crew cab would be a good choice.
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Old 12-08-2015, 01:29 AM   #3
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Choosing the right tow vehicle.

I have a tundra crewmax. The cab is huge. I have had three kids in the back seat and there is more than enough room. I tow 7000 pound toy hauler my truck has the 5.7. Truck pulls great plenty of power never had any issues with hills and I have towed in the mountains. But really any half ton crew cab should work for you.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:57 AM   #4
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Well you have few things to keep in mind.
Seating for 5 means 4 doors, and a full back seat.
Hauling room.... open bed or SUV...A Suburban has more room than a Tahoe. Do you need a pickup bed for bigger stuff. Some pick ups have a bed to small to be of any good. Avalanche comes to mind....
Tow rating.... This is the big one and can be very confusing....would you believe me if I told you that the 97 1500 2WD is rated to tow more than the 2500 by 1000Lbs...yet my truck is rated to tow more than its rated to stop...
My next TV will be a 2000-2006 C1500 HD extra cab with a 3.73 gear posi track from the research I have done. Our son has an 02 Ram quad hemi and loves it, tows great but daily MPG isn't great.

If your looking for used, learn to research RPO codes, that will tell you exactly what was on the truck from the factory. Many have a hitch put on at the dealer and called a Factory Tow Package.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:00 AM   #5
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I would start by looking at the manufacturer towing guides for the vehicles you are considering. These will give you the towing specifications for the various configurations that the same truck can have and allows you know what to look for. You can find the towing guides by Googling the manufacturer name and "towing guide".

Another question you need to answer is if you are planning on replacing the trailer during the lifetime of your truck ownership. If you are will the new trailer be heavier? If this is a possibility it is better to buy more truck than you need to accommodate a heavier trailer in the future.

All this being said we are looking at replacing our TV and I am leaning towards an F-150 Extended cab with the 2.7L Ecoboost and a 3.73 rear end. This will give me 8300 lbs towing capacity which is more than enough for our current 3600 lb GVWR TT. We expect our next trailer to come in around 6000 lbs GVWR so this will also give us plenty of capacity when we buy a new one a few years from now. Another part of picking the 2.7L engine was this being my daily driver and getting better gas mileage around town. All things considered this truck should cover our needs for the 10-15 years I tend to keep a vehicle. If we had planned to go a lot bigger on our next trailer I would have looked at the 3.5L Ecoboost with a 3.73 rear end or a diesel in a bigger truck if the next trailer was going to be huge.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by keith_h View Post

Another question you need to answer is if you are planning on replacing the trailer during the lifetime of your truck ownership. If you are will the new trailer be heavier? If this is a possibility it is better to buy more truck than you need to accommodate a heavier trailer in the future.

Very good advice right here!!!


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Old 12-09-2015, 09:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Punxsy1994 View Post
We currently own a Forest River 29' Wildwood X-lite, 4400 lb. dry (probably 1-2 hundred pounds less). We had it parked for past two summers, but this spring we will look to take it out. I won't be hauling water, just the wife, 3 kids under age 11, two dogs and typical gear for a family of 5. What would be best for us to tow with, yet be roomy enough? Could we go with a Suburban? Should we go with Ram 1500? This would also serve as our family vehicle for a short period of time. Any guidance is greatly appreciated. We will be camping primarily through Pennsylvania, possible southern trip to FL (maybe).


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Forget the dry weight. Use the GVW of the trailer or a little less. Or do you always tow the trailer completely empty?

Forget the manufacturers listed hitch weight, add the battery/batteries and propane weight to it, then you have to add a percentage of gear in the trailer that is ahead of the axle. You don't say the model of trailer but if Wildwood says the hitch weight is 500 lbs it is probably closer to 750 lbs.

Whatever TV you are looking at, start with its payload, and deduct that hitch weight, along with the kids and dogs and maybe even the wife, along with any other gear you plan on having in the TV.

You can have all the tow capacity in the world but if you're over on payload from the beginning you're in trouble.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:59 PM   #8
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X2 on the published hitch weight for the trailer. FR said ours was 860# and I found it was over 1,000#. We pull our 35' Windjammer with a 1/2 GMC, 5.3 ltr. 3.73 gears and have had no issues. Loaded we are at 14,500 GVW which isn't under the rated weight by much but pulled up and over the 8,000' mountains in the NW this spring just fine.
That said, I agree with Keith and would recommend you go ahead and get the 3/4 ton in diesel for the next rig. You know you will want to go bigger and heavier at some time and if you already have the TV, it makes it so much easier to upgrade.
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Old 12-09-2015, 01:28 PM   #9
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I agree with DB Travelers...go with the extra TV to handle whatever you want to move up to. My mistake was I got a good deal on a Silverado 1500 with HD Tow pkg but a high ratio rear end. It's fine for my current TT but now I am limited on moving up to a more comfortable TT! Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2015, 01:48 PM   #10
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I am towing a Rockwood 2702ws (6250 dry, 7700 GVW) with a suburban rated for 8000lbs. I had to add a transmission cooler, brake controller, LT tires (blew a passenger tire it came with) and Monroe Reflex shocks. It's right at the limit but works fine because it's just myself, wife and 7 year old. We are looking to upgrade to a 2500HD however soon because the open road, hills and wind will make you wish you had more. I didn't believe folks in the forums suggesting to buy a bigger truck, now I do.
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