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ctfortner 11-26-2007 08:32 AM

Best Vehicle for Towing
The best vehicle for towing is a sturdy truck or SUV. Also a compact pickup like a Ford Ranger or Chevy S-10 is going to be better choice than just about any car! Another great choice when towing is a half-ton truck like a Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado. The proper vehicle will make your towing experience a lot easier.

bill0830 11-26-2007 08:32 AM

When I first started towing my first 5th wheel, we let the dealers talk us into getting a camper that was really too much for my truck to handle. At the time I had a 2003 Dodge 1500 (1/2 ton) pickup. Pulling a 27 foot 5th wheel, I averaged about 6.5 miles to the gallon. After 5 pulls, including one to Texas (about 500 miles), my transmission started to go out, plus the truck just wasn't made for towing (no tow package). I traded in the 1500 for a 2500 Diesel. The best trade I ever made. I have plenty of horse power and I get around 15 mpg while towing (23 mpg regular). I also purchased a Bully Dog Programmer. They arenít cheap, but in the 1 Ĺ years I have had it, it has paid for itself.

Hind site is 20/20 and I really wish I had gone all the way with a 3500, as my 2500 is a short wheel base and you don't have much of a turning radius. If it weren't for my slider hitch (designed for short wheel base trucks, pulling 5th wheels), I don't think I could get out of the driveway. For someone thinking about getting a 5th wheel, especially one over 25 ft long, I would recommend a dually (3500 Dodge/Chevy, 350 Ford).

campingforfun 01-05-2008 09:20 PM

My parents had always pulled their pop-up tent trailer with a car but then one year DAD decided to buy a Ford 150 and it was the best thing they ever did. They went clear across the country pulling the trailer and the trip was so smooth and I think safer for them as they got older. The truck was higher up and in the Rocky mountains, there did not seem to be the same stress on the truck as the car.

They found the truck to be more comfortable as well for long travelling distances. And the big mirrors made seeing behind a lot easier. And of course the truck gave them a lot more storage space especially when they liked to carry their own firewood.

hydrofoil82 03-06-2009 12:27 PM

diesel is the way to go duramax in my opinion with propper tuning is great

bighabsfan11 03-06-2009 01:34 PM


Originally Posted by hydrofoil82 (Post 5825)
diesel is the way to go duramax in my opinion with propper tuning is great

I'll buy that! Now, for the tuning....gotta getter done.

ctfortner 03-06-2009 05:44 PM

I dont have a diesel, but I hope yall see more results on tuning than I did. I bought the hypertech III for my ram 1500, didnt notice a thing! Got rid of the 35" tires and then I saw some things change :shrug:

bighabsfan11 03-07-2009 09:36 AM

ctfortner, usually, tuning doesn't do nearly as much on a gas engine as it does diesel.

That's probably why you didn't notice much...but, I'll bet your mileage was a bit better.

Tuning a diesel has MAJOR horsepower/efficiency changes, depending on how you tune it.

coachbob 06-12-2010 09:59 AM

Chevy express has many advantages
We have a 33 foot travel trailer towed by a Chevy 2003 express 3500 6.0 V8 work van with the tow-haul feature. While we don't get great mileage I sincerely believe that Chevy could tow a house if it had wheels.

The work van offers us the advantage of having plenty of space for stowing my wife's art show equipment and displays, room for beds for our two dogs and two spacious seats up front for the two of us and our "stuff."

We bought the Chevy used with 63,000 miles on it and have driven it 12,000 miles with not so much as a hiccup. It burns no oil, pulls the trailer up even the steepest hills (with the air conditioning on) and even rides fairly well for a big one-ton tow truck.

While the Express is pretty spartan (no frills, even has roll up windows) and is not the best looking vehicle on the block I'd put it up against almost any other tow vehicle. This van is a real work horse.

The Chevy Express is not for you if you like fancy upholstery and interior design (actually the interior is mostly steel with a little plastic up front like the dash and door panels) but if it's raw power and dependability you want this truck sure has done the trick for us. Don't be surprised, though, if the up-front plastic looks and feels cheap, it is. Everyone I know who has an Express has experienced cracked or broken inside door panels, but that's the only complaint.

I'm sure the Ford F-350 econoline van is also a great tow vehicle but if you've been looking at the Dodge Sprinter, forget it. It has more interior space than either the Chevy or Ford but couldn't tow much more than a very small trailer. It only comes in a V6 and has very little torque for pulling power.

The work van as a tow vehicle probably only suits a few people because not everyone needs the interior space for hauling and it is useless if you have a 5th wheel.

I hope this helps someone. Thanks for reading.

cuzican 06-19-2010 10:20 PM

I am normally headed up crappy old rutted up, sometimes muddy mountain roads. I pull a 24 foot Fleetwood Wilderness Yukon. I have an 86 chevy 1-ton crew cab, not a dually, with 6 inches of lift riding on 35's. It is purpose built to be my stump jumper with a big block, manual tranny, and dana 60's front and rear. It sports a flatbed that I put two ATV's and a dirt bike on, with a rack over the cab for more assorted crap. Sometimes I also pull a 17 foot Seaswirl boat behind the camper. Don't ask about fuel mileage, you don't want to know.

When we are headed to more civilized areas, we use my wife's 2002 GMC Yukon XL with the little 5.3 in it. It actually does a better job than I expected it to and still pulls 10mpg.

happiestcamper 06-20-2010 06:37 AM

Don't forget to get a tuner for the onboard chip. I was very impressed with my trip last week pulling to the mountains and back after tuning it for towing. Now that I'm back home, it's tuned for economy. Got over 13 MPG last week pulling in the mountains.

mark 06-21-2010 07:48 PM

great!! a panel of experts, just what I'm looking for, my problem...

I travel with a 30' fifth wheel to work, I need something powerful enough to go cross country hauling the RV but fuel efficient enough to drive 200-300 miles a day for work(without hauling rv) for around $30-$40 a day fuel cost, any suggestions ?

happiestcamper 06-22-2010 05:52 AM

A little quick math. Assuming fuel at $3/gallon, $30 would buy 10 gallons. To go 300 miles on 10 gallons, you would need to get 30 MPG. To go 200, you would need to get 20 MPG. I don't see it happening.

Yvonne 10-28-2010 02:09 PM

Best truck to tow 25 ft. trailer
My husband and I are just now getting into the camping scene. We have our eye on a 25 ft. Airstream which weighs about 7,300 lbs., but not committed to this as of yet.
We are truck shopping and we want to get the right truck that will pull this or something comparable. Don't want to get something too small and after a few trips wish we would have gotten something larger. Does anyone have any input.
Are thinking about 1/2 ton but have heard we may want to consider 3/4 ton. We will be driving this around town as a 2nd car when not traveling so don't want something too big or too crazy on gas mileage.
Also considering diesel as have heard nothing tows like a diesel. Not planning on full time camping for a few years...just 4 day trips for this year. We are in Texas and the Toyota Tundra is making headway down here so considering that one also.
Anyone have any input/

artmart 10-28-2010 06:30 PM

First of all, never look at what the trailer weighs. Pay more attention to what the trailer MIGHT way (Gross vehicle weight rating). I guarantee you that whatever the trailer weighs at the lot, you will never be that light again as soon as you start putting stuff in the trailer!

You can get a diesel 3/4 ton but get one with a low differential ratio. This way it will be well strong enough to pull your Airstream up and down hills but the low ratio means you will get better gas mileage especially when you are not towing. Diesels are so strong they usually don't put them in anything smaller than a 3/4 ton. There's talk of it, but I'm not sure I'd want to be the first one that buys one.

Keep in mind that you'll not be able to upgrade to a much bigger trailer because of the differential. Whatever you decide keep under the weight ratings and you should be okay. But maybe by then you'll be ready for upgrading both the truck and trailer.

happiestcamper 10-28-2010 06:56 PM

I have a Dodge 3/4 ton diesel that I drive everyday. As long as I have a camper to tow, I will always have a diesel.

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