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Old 12-26-2018, 01:48 AM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Advice

Me and the bride have a travel trailer that usually weighs between 7000 to 7500 lbs fully loaded. We are part time rvers but do it about once a month even in winter if weather permits. We live in south carolina and primarily have stayed in the surrounding states but are planning on much further excursions which may include some mountainous areas. Right now I pull it with a ford e150 van with a 4.7 liter gas engine in it and 7000 lbs is right on the edge of its capability so it struggles some and gas mileage is a terrible 8 mpg. It has a huge wheel base so that helps some.
Anyway we are considering possibly buying a few diff types of used late model trucks.
2016 Nissan Titan cummins diesel
2016 Ford f150 v8 5.0 gas
2016 Ram 1500 v8 gas
Any advice on any of these or a different vehicle would be appreciated from the more experienced. Our budget is in the 30 to 35000 range.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:33 AM   #2
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Hello,

Nissan gas truck would be better, payload or Cargo Capacity really suffers. Had a lease on a 5.4 l that ran great.

I am a Ford truck owner. Take a pass on the 5 l and go with 3.5 EcoBoost. Truck pulls great lots of power. I had a 2013 towed great with 11,000 lbs behind it. I had a 5.4 l and it towed fine.

Dodge, not sure I would go there, buddy has one that between recalls and breakdowns spends more time in the Garage and has him gun shy towing any distance.
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:55 AM   #3
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The issue with the Titan is going to be payload like many of the small trucks with a diesel engine.

The F-150 you mentioned has the best payload of the bunch and the Ecoboost will probably be about the same.

I disagree about the Ram, I had one for years and it never gave me a problem. However it suffered from the same fate as the Titan, it has a low payload. All the mfg's make good trucks, and ALL of them make a bad one once in a while.

I have a GMC Sierra 2500 because of what I tow, but if I were looking at a half ton truck I'd agree with B&B and look hard at the F-150 with the Ecoboost.
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Old 12-26-2018, 09:32 AM   #4
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You don't need a truck.

My Ford Expedition with a 9200 pound max tow rating works well and I'm not stuck with a rough riding pickup truck the other 40+ weekends of the year (assuming one weekend with the trailer per month). HD Tow package is $350 on a new truck. Seats 8 when needed. 3.5 EcoBoost engine pulls better than my former Expedition with the 5.4 V8. This engine responds with increased capability on 93 octane but runs on 87 daily. The Expedition drives and rides so smoothly we frequently take it on road trips even when not towing the trailer.

This 2017 is my second Expedition and I only own one because of towing a camper. I'd be driving an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio otherwise.

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Old 12-26-2018, 09:39 AM   #5
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I would double check the titan, seems the first year or two run seemed to have some issues with the diesel engine.. Nothing catastrophic though..
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:13 AM   #6
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X2 on the Ford Ecoboost. Friend of mine bought one and he loves it. I have never owned a F150 but I known many who have them and they are quite happy and would and have bought again.

Nissan and Toyota make some good truck and I would go Toyota over the Nissan.

Key on gassers is gears. Make sure it is geared for towing. If you go F 150 would go with a 3:55 or a 3:73 with locking axle and 4x4.

NOTE: If you are looking at the Nissan diesel why not look at the F 150 with the diesel. It's got 440 lbs of torque.

Those would be my ONLY choices...
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:22 PM   #7
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Suggestion that you need a 1 ton diesel dually 4WD in 3... 2... 1... :-)

Seriously, of the three, The 2WD F150 3.5 EB with Max Tow package is quite likely the best in class 1/2 ton TV. Good luck finding one on anyone's lot, though.
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:31 PM   #8
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If you are already looking at buying a new to you tow vehicle, buy it for your next RV, which is almost guaranteed to be heavier if you follow the natural progression most of us do

Also, any gas engine will get terrible towing mileage when towing at the upper ranges of it's capacity, that's just how it is. 8mpg really isn't that bad

Good luck!!
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:17 PM   #9
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If you are already looking at buying a new to you tow vehicle, buy it for your next RV, which is almost guaranteed to be heavier if you follow the natural progression most of us do

Also, any gas engine will get terrible towing mileage when towing at the upper ranges of it's capacity, that's just how it is. 8mpg really isn't that bad

Good luck!!

True and true. I averaged 6-8 mpg on our last trip to the Smokies...
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:28 PM   #10
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I've towed my race car trailer with both a 2016 F150 3.5L EcoBoost and my 2014 Silverado with 5.3Lv8. Both have the max tow options, the trailer was loaded to around 8,000lbs. Same roads and wind conditions on the trips.

I personally prefer my Silverado as it pulled much more easily than the 3.5L equipped Ford. Gas mileage while towing was slightly better in the Silverado. Mileage is better in the F150 when not towing, however for the mileage I drive it amounted to about $150/year in total fuel cost.

Edit: a friend has a 5.0L V8 Ford and it tows very similar to my Silverado. Wouldn't hesitate to buy one if a good deal was available.
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:41 PM   #11
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On ANY truck you buy, gas or diesel, please compare all of your HP and Torque ranges. You dont have to look to hard to find out where each one operates. Then start matching the gears in the vehicle to your application. I have a Crew Cab F150 with 3V 5.4L, 6.5 box and 3.73 gears. I can get 20 mpg on the highway and 13-14 mpg towing my 17RP. Getting the right gears to match the power range and load being applied is the key. the weight isnt really the issue, but the frontal area and wind drag. all of the trucks you have listed will do the job and do it well. but if you put 3.08 gears in there, its going to struggle against one that has 3.55 or 3.73 gears.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:20 PM   #12
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My buddy has an F-150 that he tows about a 7000 lb Coachmen TT with and he loves it. I have been through several different tow vehicles and now have ended up with an F-250 Diesel to tow our 14,000 lb fifth wheel. I would suggest getting what you like. All the vehicles you listed will tow your trailer with no problems, but you have to like the vehicle that you are driving. I had a Toyota Tundra that I towed our previous trailer (around 8100 lbs loaded) with and it got 8 MPG towing. My diesel gets 10.5-11 MPG towing the new 5th wheel. Both vehicles towed the camper like a champ. No matter what you get the fuel mileage is going to be pretty poor when you are towing a camper. They aren't the most aerodynamic. Like was written in the previous post, make sure its geared correctly and that it has a towing package. Thats just my 2 cents lol.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:15 PM   #13
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Personally I would look for a 2500 based pickup. I purchased a ram 2500 Laramie 6.4 gasser with less than 30000 miles on it for about $39000.00 I tow a 26rr forest river.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:08 PM   #14
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FWIW, I tow a 8,500# trailer with a 2009 Ram 2500 with a little 5.7. It pulls it fine, just screams while it’s up in the power band (and Hemis love to scream). I am looking to upgrade ONLY because of that scream...used to like it and now it grates on me. Will be getting either F250 6.2 4:30 or Ram 2500 6.4 4.10...all gassers so I can keep my payload. They won’t scream AS much, and I can live with that.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:31 PM   #15
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Unlike my Ecoboost friends here on the forum I opted for a F150 with the 5.0L V8. I get 12 to 13mpg towing (sometimes a little less or more depending on wind), 20 - 22mpg on the hwy and am very happy with how it tows even at higher altitudes of the Rocky Mountains.

I agree with what others have said about checking payload on the Titan. I didn't like the Ram reviews of transmission issues when I was shopping. If you opt for any F150, the XLT is a nice trim package with more than ample payload capacity.

Good luck in your search
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:38 PM   #16
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Unhappy 3/4 ton or more

Huge opinion coming through...yours may differ considerably. I personally would not tow 7000+ pounds with a 1/2 ton truck. I currently tow with a GMC 2500 and could not imagine the plethora of safety concerns dropping to a 1500 would create. I also could not imagine towing anything with an eco boost. There is just no replacement for displacement. I’m not interested in white knuckle rides, living on the edge or huge repair bills from pushing a machine beyond its natural and physical limits. There, I said it. Eco boost, aluminum bodies, just a whole bunch of voodoo coming out of Ford truck factories that make the 150. Although F250s are solid.

Get a 3/4 ton or more, and don’t look back.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:48 PM   #17
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FWIW, I tow a 8,500# trailer with a 2009 Ram 2500 with a little 5.7. It pulls it fine, just screams while it’s up in the power band (and Hemis love to scream). I am looking to upgrade ONLY because of that scream...used to like it and now it grates on me. Will be getting either F250 6.2 4:30 or Ram 2500 6.4 4.10...all gassers so I can keep my payload. They won’t scream AS much, and I can live with that.
They'll still scream just as much...

But you'll be able to keep up the speed.

I know from experience...

I went from a Dodge Ram Magnum 5.9L (don't know what rear end that truck had, but not 4.10's) to a Chevy 2500HD with 6.0L and 4.10 rear end.

The Chevy still screams as much as the Dodge did, but I can do those mountain passes at 55 MPH instead of 25 MPH.

My 5'ver weighs in at 9500 LBS loaded...
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:57 PM   #18
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I will give you a bit different take on this...

newer 6 and 8 speed transmissions make a lot of difference when towing these days... that '16 RAM probably has the quality 8 speed in it the same as my '14 RAM

I tow about 5,000# with my '14 RAM 5.7 hemi and 3.21 gears and get great mileage (8-9) both towing and not towing (16 in town and 21 on the hiway). More tranny speeds keeps your engine in the best power band longer.

Check the payload sticker on the driver door jamb on all those models... you will be close to your limit figuring maybe 1,000# tongue weight certainly on the RAM depending on the specific model.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:05 PM   #19
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Once you go diesel you will never go back. Just saying. I had a Tundra with 3:73’s and. 5.7 v8 . It did great until you had to climb the hills. Gas mileage sucked. Went back to my Chevrolet , got a 2500 hd with duramax and with bigger truck came the bigger camper. Still no issues with towing, and the hills and mountains are no issue. The fuel mileage is 19 to 20 on highway and towing 12.7 to 13 . Remember that wind is never your friend and will kill it to 9.5 to 11. Gas or diesel , it’s all up to what ever you want.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:06 PM   #20
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Unlike my Ecoboost friends here on the forum I opted for a F150 with the 5.0L V8. I get 12 to 13mpg towing (sometimes a little less or more depending on wind), 20 - 22mpg on the hwy and am very happy with how it tows even at higher altitudes of the Rocky Mountains.

I agree with what others have said about checking payload on the Titan. I didn't like the Ram reviews of transmission issues when I was shopping. If you opt for any F150, the XLT is a nice trim package with more than ample payload capacity.
Upon re-reading the original post, I would seriously consider a 3/4 ton gasser (likely more payload than a diesel). The right 1/2 ton will pull it and stop it, but a 3/4 ton would be a more comfortable towing experience.
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