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Old 08-07-2012, 10:30 PM   #21
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The domestic pickups are priced very well these days, are better built, and will last longer than most SUVs and such.
Although a lot of foreign vehicles are now bouilt here, I still prefer to buy "american".
We pull our fifth with an old Ford diesel, but my everyday "car" is a Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab. The crew cab, with the larger rear seats, is even nicer. I have the 4.7 L engine with the 6-speed tranny, which would easily pull your camper, and I get 20 mpg running around empty. And it is roomy and super comfortable.
My friend just bought a Ford Ecoboost, but that has far more horsepower that you could ever use, and it is a tad more expensive. Beautiful truck though.
Lots to consider. Good luck!
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:42 PM   #22
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Have looked at new Nissan & Toyota trucks. Will look at Ford's offerings next. Prices make no sense at times. Today Toyota Tundra was priced lower than Toyota Tacoma!?
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:38 AM   #23
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I just bought a 5th wheel, so I had to get a truck to pull it. I traded in my car on a 2500HD, crew cab, long bed. I am 70 years old, and this is my first truck.

I have been surprised at how much I like using it as a daily driver. I have found it to be so useful that I am wondering how I ever got along without owning a truck.

Joel
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transamz9 View Post
What year Frontier did you look at? Did you drive it? The reason I ask is that we bought an '07 Frontier 2 wheel drive crew cab one time to make it easier for my wife to park than our quad cab short bed Ram. We test drove it and it was a really nice small truck. First trip to Wal-mart and trying to pull into a spot , it came badly clear that it would not turn as sharp as our big truck. Just make sure you drive a few different trucks and sizes. Might want to test drive a few mid-sized SUV's. I think our Jeep Grand Cherokee had a 7'000# tow rating. There are others that I'm sure are capable.
Drove a new Frontier crew cab. Quite liked it actually but the key question remains will it be enough TV for me with so many suggesting stronger TV.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:43 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Great Horned Owl View Post
I just bought a 5th wheel, so I had to get a truck to pull it. I traded in my car on a 2500HD, crew cab, long bed. I am 70 years old, and this is my first truck.

I have been surprised at how much I like using it as a daily driver. I have found it to be so useful that I am wondering how I ever got along without owning a truck.

Joel
Good points! As I test drive more and more trucks I'm getting a lot more used to and enjoying the drive. DW is clear it would be nice to have a truck for those occasions we need/want to haul stuff!
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:52 PM   #26
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Having just finished an 1800 mile, 17 day trip towing a TT with our F150 V6 truck, I definitely have an opinion on this now!

Much of our driving was on hilly and twisty roads and up to 4,000 feet. Our trailer has a dry weigh of just over 3,800 lbs but the batteries, jacks, propane tanks, etc. (the mandatory add-ons) plus all the interior mods and upgrades plus all the camping gear added another 1200 lbs for a total weight of 5,000 lbs. If we wanted to dry camp and fill the fresh water tank, that'd be another 300lbs. My point is, you may think you have a light trailer but you need to account for the total weight of all the add-ons. Your nice lightweight trailer might not be so lightweight as you think. And as someone pointed out, you will lose 190 lbs of towing capacity for every 1,000 feet of elevation you climb. That never occured to me before and that could really hurt if you are already pulling on the edge of your limit.

While our V6 1/2 ton was kinda okay for power, it really struggled up some hills and could only make 30-35 mph up some of them flat out. I tried downshifting to 1st but when I picked up speed and shifted into 2nd, the rpms were too low and we would slow down again. Transmission gear ratios is something to consider for towing.

Gas mileage with the V6 REALLY sucked. I mean, you could hear the gas being sucked out of the tank and see the needle goin' down fast. Our best run was 10.8 mpg but only because we were on a very long downhill run. Worst run was 6.8 mpg with the average trip mileage being around 7-8 mpg. The only good thing was gas prices are down somewhat at the moment and we gassed up once at $3.19/gal. A V8 would give better mileage. When I bought the truck nearly 10 years ago, I never thought I would own a TT, otherwise I would have at least bought one with a V8.

The worst thing about pulling with a 1/2 ton truck is that it is really hard to hold the truck in a straight line due to all the wind buffeting at speeds above 50 mph. We even have new Bilstein shocks so the truck is as stable as it can be. It is really, really exhausting on a long trip like we did. You can't relax, you need two hands on the wheel (at least if over about 50 mph) and you can't glance around and sightsee. You are always doing little mini-adjustments to the wheel to keep it pointed down the center of the road. A better WDH hitch might help this?? We are definitely going to upgrade to a 3/4 ton in the near future for more relaxed driving. I can't imagine how how doing this with an SUV would be.

One thing to think about a pickup versus an SUV/minivan is that a truck has a longer wheelbase and wider track. It will inherently be more stable. Trucks have beefier brakes, suspension and drivetrain. Trucks are built with a frame while SUVs and minivans are unibody construction. They just can't take the abuse like a truck can. The newer trucks have factory towing packages in them and they are putting in things like beefier front brakes even in the 1/2T models.

With a truck, you have the bed for cargo. It's surprising how much bulky stuff we've been taking along - firewood, pop-up canopy, portable cooler, garbage can, and more. Also gives you space to bring stuff back home you might buy while away.

Unless your camping trips are only going to be short occasional local ones, I'd say you can live with the appropriate SUV like say a Toyota Highlander (rated to tow 5,000 lbs). For longer trips, hilly roads, up mountain passes, freeway driving, twisty roads I'd definitely go for a 1/2 ton with a V8 or maybe even a 3/4 ton.

The best thing you could do, and it's maybe not possible, would be to do a demo with a truck and then an SUV with your trailer hooked up and head out on to a highway for a spin.

Anyway, just another over opinionated opinion....
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:15 PM   #27
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Thanks myredracer for taking the time to relate your experience. Certainly leads me to further consider all those who are saying bigger is better.

I actually have an F150 in the driveway(on demo) from a dealer. Also he has a 2010 F150 with 9500 lb rating I believe coming in in a week with only 6000km!!! which he will let me use for a weekend with my trailer to see what I think. Guess what I'll be doing soon?
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:49 PM   #28
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rce, you're welcome.

Like many things in life, it really pays off to do your due diligence and check out every thing you can think of and then some. You want to make the best choice that will keep you happy for years to come.

Happy camping!
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:41 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
The worst thing about pulling with a 1/2 ton truck is that it is really hard to hold the truck in a straight line due to all the wind buffeting at speeds above 50 mph. We even have new Bilstein shocks so the truck is as stable as it can be. It is really, really exhausting on a long trip like we did. You can't relax, you need two hands on the wheel (at least if over about 50 mph) and you can't glance around and sightsee. You are always doing little mini-adjustments to the wheel to keep it pointed down the center of the road. A better WDH hitch might help this?? We are definitely going to upgrade to a 3/4 ton in the near future for more relaxed driving.
Might be the WDH and/or sway combo. I only had issues with tracking and sway for a 3-4 hour period between Lake Michigan and Superior coming through the U.P., but that was because of the heavily gusting winds. That is with a 6k+ lb, 34' (w/rear rack down) TT and only one sway control on the passenger side. The rest of the trip was mostly one handed and calm at about 59-64mph.
Also, the Hemi is a beast. with 91 in the tank, that thing climbed decent grades quite well with little to no struggle. Lowest I hit up a long grade (approx 2 miles) without a downshift to 3rd (5sp with O/D locked out) was coming into WI from MN at 40mph after getting to 55. I didn't get a great start from the stoplight near the bottom and short flat before the hill (7-9% grade). Also averaged 9 MPG for the 3k mile trip.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:34 AM   #30
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something to consider not previously mentioned - are you bicycle folks? You shouldn't hang your bicycles off the rear trailer bumper (use the search feature on this forum for extended converstations and heart wrenching pictures of the consequences). So if you plan to bring along bicycles having a pick up means you have a place to put them (in the bed of the pick up).

I totally understand making the transition from ultralite backpacking / climbing to having an RV. You go from working to eliminate grams to finding yourself taking along a rice cooker. From planning every meal and packaging only exactly what you will need to having staples on hand (butter, flour, sugar) as well as baking pans and the vitamix for smoothies. You can shop at local farmer's markets along your route and savor farm fresh instead of freeze dried. You can bring your hobbies, your instruments, the spinning wheel sewing machine, art supplies and a selection of books and enjoy your creativity along the road. Being able to take full advantage of the places you go and enhancing your experiences is what having an RV offers.

I mentioned before that our pick up gets the same mileage loaded / unloaded. Why not bring your water from home and the cast iron dutch oven for the campfire? Having a tow vehicle that isn't anywhere close to being marginal means that bringing float tubes or a kayak is also possible.
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