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Need advice on a tow vehicle

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  • t walgamuth
    replied
    Yeah, pulling a car on a trailer is fairly light duty. I can get 17 pulling one with my cummins at 65 mph.

    One day I picked up a Miata from Fort Wayne with my old utility trailer and before heading back to Lafayette I discovered a problem with one of the trailer tire fill stems. So I ran 50 coming home and got over 22 mph for the trip with the trailer and the Miata on it.

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  • hausdok
    replied
    Go down to your local Ford truck dealer and check out an F150 EcoBoost with the full-blown tow package.

    Mine is a five-year-old 4WD XLT Supercab with a deluxe tow package and is an awesome hauler. It's powered by a tiny little 213 ci V6 that produces an unbelievable amount of torgue through it's entire usable RPM range. It's got a 1500lb payload and is able to tow in excess of 11,000 lbs without even breathing hard.

    Last April I was on my way to South Bend with a full bed, an old all-steel trailer that weighs more than a ton behind, loaded up with a car and going up over the Cascades when I glanced down at the speedo - I was doing 65 and the engine was turning a measly 1,000 rpm !!!

    The truck is a rolling computer. Slippery roads? It decides what to do whether speeding up or slowing down and braking. Trailer tries to fishtail? It sends you a warning on the dash and says it's initiating corrective measures and a second later the trailer is following along like a placid puppy. Only thing I didn't like was that when the truck is in haul mode you can't use cruise control or all of the traction, handling and braking gizmos switch off.

    Going up through the rockies, I'd roll up next to some big Super Duty belching smoke and going just about all out with a lighter-newer hauler and lighter-smaller car, well above 65, and ease right on by turning maybe 1300 to 1500 uphill. One guy did his best to try and spank me. As I was going by he accelerated and pulled up flush. I glanced over at him and he had a big s***-eating grin on his face. He gave me a thumbs up and put his foot down hard and started pulling away. I put the pedal down a tad more and rolled up next to him and glanced over. He looked a little startled and put his foot down even more. I just chuckled, put the pedal down a tiny fraction more, went by him like he was going in reverse, got out 150 meters in front of him and kept him there, for about half an hour. He would speed up and try and close the gap; and I'd keep him right there at 150 meters, until we'd get up to speeds that I imagine were scaring the cr** out of him; and he'd ease off for a while before trying to sneak up to me again. No matter how hard he tried, I kept him at 150 meters behind for more than half an hour before I got tired of the game, put the pedal down a little more and he became a speck in the mirror really fast and eventually disappeared. All while using, according to the computer. 14.2 mpg with that load on; and, if I slowed down and drove more civilized and kept it at 55 to 60 getting nearly 20 mpg.

    The new one's make mine look like a nag. The new one is 700 lbs lighter, because it's got an aluminum body, which ups the payload, it makes 10 more bhp with the same displacement and same number of turbos (2), electronic fuel injection and variable valve timing, and an additional 50 pound feet of torque at 3500 rpm (470 vs. 420) than my truck does. It's got a 10-speed transmission versus my six speed. It's got all the doodads mine has plus more - lane assist, etc. - and it ride is really comfortable. Steering response is crisp with just the right amount of feedback. Took mine down to the local Ford Truck guy and feigned interest in trading in my truck on a new one, just so they'd let me try out all the various new configurations. Poor guy, I spent most of the afternoon taking out a bunch of their trucks, driving a mile to the interstate, getting up on the interstate and then going up two exits before I got off and made my way back again, but in the end I had to let him down by staying with my old steel-bodied nag.

    Unless you plan to be hauling industrial trailers with big industrial excavators and such on them, or a massive snowbird home that you're going to drag down to Arizona every winter, there's no need to buy something that's considered to be a heavyweight - that F150 ecoboost with the best tow package combination Ford has is way more than you'll need to drag a car hauler with your baby on it around the country.

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  • bob40
    replied
    Every 1/2T truck I buy gets a update to 1T springs in the rear. Problems solved.
    Looking at a new to me beater parts/towing rig.Something 2001-4.High miles and rust do not bother me
    Have a friend who sells cars and they have a eye out for me.
    My only parameters are that I am upgrading to a 3/4T Chevy 4x4 standard cab long box.
    Nothing yet.

    Leave a comment:


  • tsenecal
    replied
    I like the 2nd gen Dodges also. Have a 2000 V10, that is now my work truck, and a 2001 Diesel with the six speed. The six speed is truly bombproof, while I have heard that you can't tow in fifth gear with the five speed.

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  • Mrs K Corbin
    replied
    I much prefer the older 2nd generation dodge cummins with a 5 spd.

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  • thunderations
    replied
    My take on the crew cab trucks is that the added wheelbase just makes the truck that much better to tow with. The added length reduces the swaying motion from the trailer Anti sway can be reduced by using the correct equipment, hitch and anti sway unit. The other thing is to get the correct tongue weight to reduce sway. Too many people have no idea that by reducing tongue weight you increase sway. There's a reason 18 wheelers have the trailer axles way towards the rear instead of forward. You need to be towing, not balancing. The other thing, if it's applicable, is to tow with a fifth wheel hitch or gooseneck to get the weight over the truck axle instead of off the rear of the truck. Makes maneuvering much better too.

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  • mike cenit
    replied
    If you are on the road for work, in the age of smaller 4 door cars, a 4 door short bed truck is invaluable, you can stow your gear in the room size back seat, and as jclary said use the bed for stuff that needs not to be inside, only downside of cause is the gas, and mall parking. But you can drive all day in comfort, for my 40,000 mile a year for work, I can't see ever going back to a car, our company uses Ford's and Ram's, the Ford's seem to ride better, but the aluminium body seems to get beat up faster and more often, and they are more difacult repairing the body's, I can see the company dropping Ford's, likely for GMC.

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  • jclary
    replied
    Originally posted by Mike Sal View Post
    I'm kinda in the same situation....I'd like to upgrade from my '99 dodge 4x4, but almost all used (and new) trucks out there are 4 door.....I don't want a 4 door....if I wanted a 4 door, I'd drive a car. Doesn't anyone use a truck for work anymore where they need an 8ft bed???
    Mike Sal
    A couple of things...Obviously, you must be neater than me. When I left my "Suit & Tie" job for a career in Industrial Sales & Engineering, my vehicle became my "office." Early on, I spent a few days with an experienced salesman who was driving a mini-van. One day, we had demonstrated an airless paint unit, which involved carrying a pump that had to be cleaned with a flammable solvent. After leaving the customer, my co-worker lit a cigarette as we were driving away from the plant. I'm not a smoker, and I was horrified by Larry lighting up with the heavy aroma of solvent in the confines of that van. From that moment, I decided that for my business vehicle, there would be no Van. Since then, I have only used extended cab & four door trucks (room for my office), and a bed cover to separate me and my demo equipment from any solvent vapors.

    There were many times, after a meeting that required tweaking a quoted project, that I was able to go to my four door truck, use reference materials (catalogs) take my computer and printer, revise the proposal, and leave with a contract... while my competition was pondering their options and trying to decide which secretary they were going to task with typing the new quote.

    As they say, "different strokes for different folks"...when you consider the options that work best for your tasks, there are often compromises required for the best performance. I've pondered the idea of a pickup using "fifth-wheel" towing opposed to bumper hitch towing. There are pros & cons there too...

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  • DEEPNHOCK
    replied
    Originally posted by Mike Sal View Post
    I'm kinda in the same situation....I'd like to upgrade from my '99 dodge 4x4, but almost all used (and new) trucks out there are 4 door.....I don't want a 4 door....if I wanted a 4 door, I'd drive a car. Doesn't anyone use a truck for work anymore where they need an 8ft bed???
    Mike Sal
    No friends, eh? (It's a joke...a joke)
    I insist on a full crew cab 4 door because I do not want my passenger friends to be smushed into a jumpseat sized for kids and dogs.
    You can get a crew cab 4 door with an 8' box. They are great in above ground parking lots.
    And they are expensive because 90+% of the buyers don't want a loooonnng truck.

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  • t walgamuth
    replied
    Not too many.

    The four door is nice for towing a camper. 6' bed nice for maneuvering.

    When I had kids at home we towed with Suburbans. We had at least six of them. I'd tow with one today if Dodge offered one with the Cummins. Maybe even a Chevy if they offered it with the diesel.

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  • Mike Sal
    replied
    I'm kinda in the same situation....I'd like to upgrade from my '99 dodge 4x4, but almost all used (and new) trucks out there are 4 door.....I don't want a 4 door....if I wanted a 4 door, I'd drive a car. Doesn't anyone use a truck for work anymore where they need an 8ft bed???
    Mike Sal

    Leave a comment:


  • t walgamuth
    replied
    That could have been avoided by applying the trailer brakes early on.

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  • studeclunker
    replied
    Actually, Toyota builds a nice truck. They're comfortable for my 6'4" frame and tow beautifully. I had the use of a ninety-six T100 that pulled my 25' Terry T.T. with total aplomb. But then again, so does Bess ('56 Parkview) and my V8 Champ. As for myself; the proposed load you are describing, I would only attempt with a one-ton truck, if I had my 'druthers. A 3/4 ton truck will likely do it, but can be overfaced with the load and it can get really ugly, really quickly. This illustrates what happens when a 1/2 to 3/4 ton gets in trouble with a trailer swaying (a good example of an overloaded tow vehicle going too fast):

    <span style="font-family:comic sans ms;"><font size="3">

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  • mike cenit
    replied
    the Tundra is ok so is the Titan, no better or worst than GM, Ford or Ram, problem is you can't spec them like an American brand truck, tires, rear end, trans and engine match ups, especially for a work truck, plus their dealers don't stock as many.

    I believe there are no better 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton or 1 ton pick ups in the world than American trucks.

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  • thunderations
    replied
    I'm going to get soooooo beat up over this input. I all ready feel the pain coming my way.
    Have you considered a half ton, (I'll use small letters and maybe the pain will be less) toyota tundra? They have excellent reviews and owners swear by them. They have a heavier load capacity then the Big 3 half tons and get good mileage.
    Disclaimer: I don't own one of these, but would consider it for occasional towing of an enclosed trailer as I have several friends that have them, use them, with well over 100,000 miles and no major problems. They keep telling me that they are made in the USA...........so, maybe they are OK.
    If you were towing all the time, a diesel is the way to go. I towed the 66 Daytona to South Bend in 2012 with my 2000 Ford F350 1 ton dually crew cab, long bed and got 15.5 miles per gallon of diesel at highway + MPH. That old truck had nearly 100,000 miles on the 7.3 diesel and was still real strong. It was an automatic and I never found out how much it could pull. We had a big 5th wheel that we pulled and I pulled an even bigger one for a friend on occasion.
    Dang, now you have me missing that old truck again.

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