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Old 10-21-2012, 11:19 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton

Towing a larger trailer, is there any advantage in towing it with a 3/4 ton vs a 1/2 ton tow vehicle? Assume we are carrying nothing in the truck bed and are within the capacities of the tow vehicles.

I am asking because the Chevy 1500 can tow 9600 pound trailer and the 2500 can tow a 9500 pound trailer. This is for a 4x4, extended cab, standard bed, gas powered model.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:17 AM   #2
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Not sure where you got your info but according to Chevys web site a 1500 in that model with the 6.2 liter v8 and 3.73 rear end can have a max trailer weight of 10300 lbs. And a 2500 hd with 6.0 and 4.10 can have a max trailer weight of 13000 lbs. max 5th wheel of 14000 lbs. the advantages are obvious more weight and higher payload with a 2500hd. Unless you don't have a trailer that big and only need a half ton.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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When it comes to camper towing, the limiting factor is almost always payload, not the maximum towing weight. The true payload capacity available for tongue weight (or pin weight) of most half ton trucks is around 1000 lbs once you have passengers, fuel and gear in the truck. For 3/4 ton trucks that available payload capacity may be closer to 2000 lbs. The tongue/pin weight of the camper helps to decide what you need.

The other advantage of a 3/4 ton TV would be the upgrade to diesel power if desired. There's no dispute that diesel trucks make towing easy and have better fuel mileage.

You should also give some consideration to your future needs. People tend to change campers more frequently than trucks so you may want to consider the next camper purchase.

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:14 PM   #4
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Yeah, the GMC 2500 Duramax handles a lot more than 9500 pounds. I agree, buy your TV for the next camper you are going to own, not the current one you own...
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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I think I did a poor job of posing the question. I know that a 3/4 ton TV can handle a lot more weight and diesel engines have a lot more power than gas engines. My real question is regarding stability of the truck and trailer. For the same trailer (say a 34' travel trailer with 800 pounds hitch weight and 8000 pounds loaded weight) will a 3/4 ton TV be more stable for some reason? I can't think of any but am asking those with much more experience than me.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:12 PM   #6
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I have done both. When you get up in the 8K range the lightweight of the half ton shows. My 3/4 weighs 2K more than the 1/2, Believe me, you will know it's back there. If you are going to drag it out to the lake or campground once in a while you live with it.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:26 PM   #7
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To answer your rephrased question, the 3/4 T truck will feel more stable. I'd think of it in terms of % of payload capacity...80% for the 1/2 T, 40% for the 3/4 T. I'm not saying that the 1/2 T truck at 80% payload capacity isn't acceptable, it probably is.

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Old 10-22-2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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My 2500 hd has a lot less body roll than my wifes tahoe on sweeping curves, I would atribute that to the stiffer susp. And my truck sits about 6-8" higher. I just don't think that 1/2 tons have enough"lead in their butt". My 5er is probably about 10.5k loaded and I don't really like how hard it pulls and I have a d-max. I usually haul a lot of equipment and hay and my 1/2 ton Z71 I had a few years back, you really had to watch how you loaded it- easy to do with equipment,watching how much it squats the truck, hard to do with a 5er. Plus 1/2 tons seem to buck more easily(to me).

Maybe it is just me, but I hate seeing squatting vehicles towing a trailer. I like being the one nobody notices when I tow cause my truck sits normal(& I don't use bags).
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:25 PM   #9
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I towed our first camper (8,500# bumper tow) with a Toyota Tundra rated for 10,500# and it struggled on the slightest hill. Upgraded to a Dodge 2500 Cummins Diesel and the difference was astounding...plus a 50% increase in fuel mileage. One our second fiver which is about 12,500# and still get 12.5 MPG! If it's within your budget, go for the 3/4 diesel of your choice. Never heard anybody say they wish they had a smaller truck...
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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I gotta agree...

I have a Chevy 1500 with all the tow goodies, and tow a 6500# trailer. It'll do it, but I'd hate to try anthing bigger, and still have plans to upgrade to a diesel 2500 when funds allow.

Right now I get 7-9 MPG when towing, but I do tow through some mountains...
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