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Hi from beautiful Washington state. I am coming up on retirement and will be able to do the traveling I've wanted to. I also have friends who do alot of social camping and have been invited to join, which I want to do so I can keep my current friendships up and not get lost in the retirement black hole.
I need some help in determining which pickup truck would best fit my needs. No-haven't found a trailer either. I not in a great hurry so will have the time to make good selections. I was thinking on something between 25-30'.
What pickup truck brand is the most reliable for towing (no 5th wheel), has a good reputatation, decent maintanance record, etc. Haven't decided on diesel or gas. The vehicle will be used for regular driving mostly but I want it to be able to handle the towing when needed.
There are so many questions I have. Wish me luck.
 

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welcome.

you'll get as many different reasons to choose a brand as there are people on this forum and then some. i like my Dodge so if you want one just because i said so there you go. sorry but there are good and bad models from all the manufactorers and any truck could be the bad one or the good one. are you looking at new or used?

how much towing do you think you'll be doing?
-a diesel in a heavy duty truck is CONSIDERED more "ready" to pull a camper for longer distances. it has more power, fuel is higher, higher initial cost & could have higher repair bills.
-a gas 1/2 ton could do the job easily if you don't decide to trade for a larger camper, don't push the limits, pull it all over the country and want something that you're more used to.

i prefer a diesel HD truck, i like having a little more truck than i need and not having to worry about it if i decide to go 2000 miles in the mountains.

but remember, it's just my opinion. figure out what you think you want and want to do, then see what the towing caps of the truck are.

ask lots of questions here, it'll help you get lots of ideas.
 

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Along the lines of what bobrussell posted, I think the size of trailer you are going to need for a 25 to 30 ft trailer you'll need more than a 1/2 ton truck. I did this and did not like towing with only 1/2 ton. On some grades I couldn't go faster than 40 mph and the downhills I felt like the trailer was pushing me down the hills. Any trailer towing will just kill any gas economy you are hoping for but you should expect this and build the fuel cost into your living expenses. I ended up with a 3/4 ton, and was very happy with that. I now have a 1 ton for the big 5th wheel we have.

If you want to settle on a gas 1/2 ton for decent mileage when not towing then you'll have the Big 3 and the Nissan and Toyota trucks to add to the mix. But you'll need less trailer (25' or less) because of their lighter weight. If you are lucky and find a 30' that is lightweight, you also might find a trailer that gets rattled to pieces or lesser features because of the sacrifices made to make it lighter. It doesn't sound like you will want a lightweight cheap unit if you are gonna spend a lot of retirement hours in it. But when you see the prices of the nicer more equipped trailer (heavier?) you just might.

Figure that most 1/2 tons have a bumper tow rating up to about 8,000 lbs. This means the GVWR trailer must be UNDER this amount because you need to consider gear you carry in the truck and all the hitch hardware and any other accessories you might add to improve the ride. You CANNOT improve the ratings on a 1/2 ton truck so don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise. They are WRONG, plain and simple. They can only improve the ride, not the rating - things like air bags, overload springs, trans/engine or other coolers, bigger tires and wheels,etc. The reason is that what you upgrade might not be the only limiting factor for why the truck has its weight ratings. There are many other factors to consider and most manufacturers won't tell you because "it's secret".

Learn the weight ratings (Gross versus, Combined, hitch, axles, Shipping, unladen or curb weight). Only the max GVWR, and axle ratings count and everything should be calculated on the possible maximums, not the probables! The sales personnel will try to sell you a trailer based on the "empty weight", so be careful and learn what is needed and this will provide you the confidence to get what will work for you!
 

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looking for RV and tow vehicle.

In my opinion all above is good advice but I would suggest you take in a couple of RV shows in your area to get an idea of what's out there and decide what your want/needs are. When looking at any travel trailer look at the gross vehicle weight usually listed inside a cabinet door because in all likelyhood you will eventually fill it to closer this number. Never use the dry weight figure for anything and I wouldn't trust anything a salesman told me regarding what can be towed with any tow vehicle. When you think you know what size RV meets your needs I would encourage you to then look for one a few years old and have it checked out by a reputable shop before buying. Depreciation on RVs is big the first year. Then as has been stated look for a tow vehicle a bit heavier ie more substantial than you think is needed. As an example my 01 Dodge diesel has a tow rating of 9300 lbs and I tried to limit my RV to 80% or a 7500 lb trailer. Here in the northwest we have many 6% grades and an underpowered tow vehicle will not only be straining but will have shorter lives and more expenses. Good luck, don't be in a hurry, trust your instincts and you should be fine.
 
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