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Old 03-30-2021, 10:30 AM   #1
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Half ton or 3/4 ton for these trailers?

There are a couple of trailers I am eyeing for the future and decided it is time to get a new truck for now anyways so am keeping that in mind for when we get a new trailer. So far, the ones we are leaning toward are something like these:

Flagstaff 25BRDS which is 26', 5300lb dry weight, 6870lb GVWR

Freedom Express 257BHS which is 28.5 feet, 5263lb dry weight and 7500lb GVWR

I would like to keep it under 30' but even with these, the tongue weights are probably going to be close to 1,000 pounds. This truck won't be a daily driver and just used as a secondary vehicle and for pulling a trailer or going on trips, etc. Would you guys go 3/4 ton or half ton if you were buying a new truck at this time?
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:01 AM   #2
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If buying new at this time for pulling a camper, Id buy at least a 3/4 ton but strongly consider a 1 ton if you think a bigger trailer will be in your future.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:10 AM   #3
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If buying new at this time for pulling a camper, Id buy at least a 3/4 ton but strongly consider a 1 ton if you think a bigger trailer will be in your future.
I don't ever plan to get anything really heavy like a 5th wheel because there really is no room here and I also don't want a diesel so I should mention that too. If this is the case that I won't get something huge in the future, would a 3/4 be a good choice, and possibly have a slightly better ride than a 1 ton as well?
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:18 AM   #4
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Seeing as you will be using it as a secondary vehicle and not a daily driver go with a 3/4-ton gas (take your pick on MFG, they all have there issues).
This way no matter what you end up buying you will have nothing to worry about and it will tow it with ease.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:49 AM   #5
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I agree with others that a 3/4 ton is a better choice. My reasoning though is a bit different.....Payload.

Looking at your trailer choices, you've already recognized a hitch weight of roughly 1,000 lbs. The WDH itself will be another 100 lbs. = 1,100 lbs

Available payload - 1,100 lbs is what your truck can safely carry in the bed and cab.

Being that your top two trailers are bunkhouse floorplans, I am making an educated guess that you have at least 2 kids (or more). As time goes on, kids eat and grow into bigger kids. This also means that over time, a 1/2 ton truck gets closer and closer to maximum capacity or over.

Buy once, cry once.

A typical 1/2 ton crew cab truck will have anywhere from 1,200 lbs (Toyota Tundra) to 1,800ish lbs ('16+ Ford F150 XLT) of available payload. Subtract 1,100 lbs from that and that's what your truck can carry....in some cases not even enough for a driver, let alone a family with a few bikes and stuff in the bed.

On the other hand, a gas 3/4 ton truck will have ample payload capacity to grow into. My '16 F250 and previous '11 F150 are pretty much apples to apples regarding trim and configuration. Where our trailer is 7,500 lbs with a 900 lbs tongue weight, the F150 was overloaded with a payload of 1529. The F250 has a payload of 2766. Even fully loaded for a 1 week vacation with the bed full of gear, we still have about 800 lbs of payload to spare in the truck. The towing experience with the F250 has made all the difference.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:52 AM   #6
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Not a recommendation, just a POI. My trailer has a GVWR of 7642. I've pulled it over 25k miles with a F150 w/3.5 EB (states visited map is for current trailer). We travel light in the truck so I have enough cargo capacity for our needs. One reason I've stayed with the F150, a F250 won't fit in my garage.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:57 AM   #7
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Double post. Please remove.
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:36 PM   #8
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The 3/4 ton gas gives you better brakes, MORE PAYLOAD, and stronger frame. Most modern 3/4 ton trucks will have no problem w/ either trailer or a small 5 th wheel in the future. They will have a higher safety cushion, at the expense of mileage in daily driving w/o trailer. Consider the new Fords w/ 7.3 gas and 10 speed transmission. They are $2k over the 6.2 gas and you get a more relaxed towing experience and no turbos to deal w/.If you consider diesel, go with a 1 ton. Remember the brochures are fictional weight, it will be higher.
I went from a Tundra to a 6.7 diesel 1 ton pulling 8 K TT, no comparison.
I have never heard anyone say they have too much truck.
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:58 PM   #9
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If it is not a daily driver then 3/4+, however a well equipped for towing 1/2 ton should be ok for this.

One other thought is have you considered a MH? It would be in the same cost range as a truck & trailer.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lloyds View Post
There are a couple of trailers I am eyeing for the future and decided it is time to get a new truck for now anyways so am keeping that in mind for when we get a new trailer. So far, the ones we are leaning toward are something like these:

Flagstaff 25BRDS which is 26', 5300lb dry weight, 6870lb GVWR

Freedom Express 257BHS which is 28.5 feet, 5263lb dry weight and 7500lb GVWR

I would like to keep it under 30' but even with these, the tongue weights are probably going to be close to 1,000 pounds. This truck won't be a daily driver and just used as a secondary vehicle and for pulling a trailer or going on trips, etc. Would you guys go 3/4 ton or half ton if you were buying a new truck at this time?
I pulled a trailer very much like your first one (26', 5300# dry) with a 2014 5.0L F-150 Supercrew LWB, with WD hitch, and did NOT enjoy it in much of any sort of wind; it handled the weight just fine (at 6-8 mpg), it was the stability. I upgraded to a F-250 Diesel crewcab with 6-9 bed and it was night and day. Even when I upgraded to a 36' Alpha Wolf 29DQ-L,, which is 36' LOA, I sometimes forget it's back there.

Especially if it's not a daily driver, go big, you won't regret it.


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Old 03-30-2021, 01:18 PM   #11
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It is a personal view, but from my experience pulling trailers under 10K- gas 3/4 ton does a good job. Over 10K, the diesel is the way to go w/ a 1 ton. I am at a point I want to envoy the trip and not worry about weighing everything DW drags into the trailer. My current 5 th wheel sticker weight says 12,200. Just weighed it after 1 trip, 14,404.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:23 PM   #12
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Consider getting the 3/4 ton

My $0.02.


I purchased a 2019 Chevy 1500 5.3l with Max tow package when we had a new Rockwood Mini Lite 2511S which is that weight range. It towed OK. I avoided the 2500 (3/4 ton), 4WD, and diesel. We loved the camper and really loved the truck. But when I realized that if I had a camper with more room and a better layout in the living area, I could work better from the camper. Since I work an IT job remotely, I could work from a campground almost as easy as I could from home. We switched our trailer to a Rockwood Ultra Lite 2707WS (32 feet from hitch to bumper).



Theoretically it was in the capabilities of our truck. The truck was able to tow fine on relatively flat ground. But when we took a bit longer trip over into the Texas Hill Country, the half ton 1500 struggled and gas mileage was horrible. I upgraded to a 2020 Chevy 2500 Duramax diesel with 4WD. It provides a FAR better towing experience than the 1500. The trailer can't control the truck.



I'd recommend the 3/4 ton truck because it is likely that you might want to get a bit bigger trailer in the near future and it is far more likely that the half-ton will not handle it well.
Sam
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:24 PM   #13
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The 3/4 ton gives you so much more capability for towing. And if you do choose to move up a bit in size at a later date, the 3/4 ton should be ready for a bigger trailer. When going on a long trip it doesn't take long to pack so much your are testing your weight limits on a 1/2 ton. The new 3/4 tons have much higher cargo ratings than the ones from 20 years ago. And most of us eventually move up the food chain with their trailers, so I think you'll aprreciate the extra capability.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lloyds View Post
There are a couple of trailers I am eyeing for the future and decided it is time to get a new truck for now anyways so am keeping that in mind for when we get a new trailer. So far, the ones we are leaning toward are something like these:

Flagstaff 25BRDS which is 26', 5300lb dry weight, 6870lb GVWR

Freedom Express 257BHS which is 28.5 feet, 5263lb dry weight and 7500lb GVWR

I would like to keep it under 30' but even with these, the tongue weights are probably going to be close to 1,000 pounds. This truck won't be a daily driver and just used as a secondary vehicle and for pulling a trailer or going on trips, etc. Would you guys go 3/4 ton or half ton if you were buying a new truck at this time?
If your are going to purchase a new truck, I'd probably go with a 250/2500 so you have room to move to a heavier TT down the road. It's always better to have more truck than you need rather than not enough.

I tow a 2021 Forest River Vibe 21BH, a TT very similar in layout and specs as the coaches you linked.

I tow my Vibe with a 2019 F150 Screw, 4x4, 6.5 bed, 3.5 with turbo EB.
F150 has a tow rating of 10,700 # as equipped
Remaining Payload (door sticker) 1810 #

Scaled (packed for travel) Vibe= 6480# (axles = 5540# Tongue weight = 940#)
** The Trailer weights are with Full Fresh water. The FW tank is in front of trailer axles so does add some tongue weight.

I am very pleased with the way our setup tows.

So yes, you will be looking at close to a 1000# tongue weight.

Good luck with your decision.
-Russ
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:32 PM   #15
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I would consider the 3/4 ton. If you decide to go with a bit bigger TT in the future you are good to go. When I upgraded to 3/4 I went with a Ram Tradesman. Not a lot of fancy stuff added but the ride is quite and comfortable and the price was great. With the Tradesman you get good payload, mine is 3150#.
All major brands make good HD trucks, the price and the overall appearance pushed me to the Ram. Did get gasser with the 6.4 Hemi, I get better gas mileage than I did towing with my 1/2 ton.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:34 PM   #16
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We all can get into the weeds with this calculation/justification or that. Just suffice it to say, after all of my experiences, the old adage "when in doubt, make it stout" is very applicable here....
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:40 PM   #17
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If it is not a daily driver then 3/4+, however a well equipped for towing 1/2 ton should be ok for this.

One other thought is have you considered a MH? It would be in the same cost range as a truck & trailer.
I actually briefly thought of a MH too, thinking it would be around the same cost as both of these. But then I realized that then I won't have a truck for other purposes and the MH would be sitting idle for 11 months out of the year so I better not go that route. Maybe way down the road when I am retired, if I want to go out more often or year round, that would be a good option!
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tundra 2014 View Post
The 3/4 ton gas gives you better brakes, MORE PAYLOAD, and stronger frame. Most modern 3/4 ton trucks will have no problem w/ either trailer or a small 5 th wheel in the future. They will have a higher safety cushion, at the expense of mileage in daily driving w/o trailer. Consider the new Fords w/ 7.3 gas and 10 speed transmission. They are $2k over the 6.2 gas and you get a more relaxed towing experience and no turbos to deal w/.If you consider diesel, go with a 1 ton. Remember the brochures are fictional weight, it will be higher.
I went from a Tundra to a 6.7 diesel 1 ton pulling 8 K TT, no comparison.
I have never heard anyone say they have too much truck.
Explain no turbos to deal with.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:43 PM   #19
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I would consider the 3/4 ton. If you decide to go with a bit bigger TT in the future you are good to go. When I upgraded to 3/4 I went with a Ram Tradesman. Not a lot of fancy stuff added but the ride is quite and comfortable and the price was great. With the Tradesman you get good payload, mine is 3150#.
All major brands make good HD trucks, the price and the overall appearance pushed me to the Ram. Did get gasser with the 6.4 Hemi, I get better gas mileage than I did towing with my 1/2 ton.
While I have always had Chevy's in the past, I did look at a couple of Rams recently (1500's) and loved the interior way more than the Chevy's. It drove really nice too. I will have to go back and try out a 2500 now. It seems like that is the consensus on here and I was leaning toward that anyways, but now with everyone's opinion, I think I can talk myself into it even more Honestly though, I was thinking about payload and actual towing power but didn't think about the braking or handling so I am glad people mentioned that in here. Thank you everyone for all of the advice.
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Old 03-30-2021, 02:03 PM   #20
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Another POI, I've towed my 9,000 lb. 5er 38,380 miles with a Tundra and I just bought an F-150 echo-boost tow max. Why? Because the F-150 is civilized and an old man on Lasix has to be careful.
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