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skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

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Joined: 12/17/2003

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Posted: 04/10/10 07:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Using the TERM half ton makes the problem seem less complicated than it actually is. The range of capabilities of half ton pick up trucks is as great as the range between a half ton and a one ton truck. Some of them are rated for towing only about five or six thousand pounds and others have a rating of over 11,000 lb. (both with good reason). For a trailer of the size you mention there are lots of good choices in a half ton that will handle the load easily. My travel weight (trailer and cargo) is just a bit over 9,000 lb. and we towed with our F-150 for over 50,000 miles without a single problem with the truck. Traveled through 48 states and enjoyed every minute of it. We still tow with the F-150 when we're not heading to the mountains because it tows the trailer every BIT as good as the 3/4 ton truck, just with less power. If you get an appropriately capable half ton truck it makes an extremely good choice for the situation you describe. Good luck / Skip


2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer

US Govt survey shows three out of four people make up 75% of the total population


wrighta

Sherwood Park, AB

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Joined: 04/17/2008

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Posted: 04/10/10 08:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think all 1/2 tons are not created equal, need to look at GVWR, payload, engine, gearing, etc. My 07 1/2 ton chevy vortec max trailering pkg with 4.10 gears hauls my 07 Jay Flight 31 BHS fine (9000 gvwr, 6873 dry), but I wouldn't want to go much bigger for sure. I tow maybe 5-10% of my annual mileage on the truck, wanted something smaller than a 3/4 ton for manuevering in parking lots, etc. Better ride.

Cap11b

Central California

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Joined: 04/09/2010

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Posted: 04/10/10 03:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you all for your input. Since I will be buying a new truck next year, I do have a bit of time to evaluate whether I want to stay with the current TT or get a larger unit, in which case I will definitely look for a more capable and appropriate truck. I really do appreciate your advice.

Wardo

Chicago Area

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Joined: 10/13/2009

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Posted: 04/13/10 08:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cap11b wrote:

Thank you all for your input. Since I will be buying a new truck next year, I do have a bit of time to evaluate whether I want to stay with the current TT or get a larger unit, in which case I will definitely look for a more capable and appropriate truck. I really do appreciate your advice.


Do the math on everything, especially with half-tons. In particular weight you will put in the TV and tongue weight. Manufacturers specs can be very deceptive. Case in point, Ford says my F150 can pull 11k lbs - yeah, I guess you can do it according to their specs (with no passengers, no cargo, no gas, lose a bunch of weight, etc...).

We bought a 30ft travel trailer last fall, dry weight 5800lbs. Based on many recommendations, I traded in 07 Expedition EL Limited for more "capable" tow vehicle. Loaded up, the trailer comes in right around 7200lbs. Did a break in trip last fall with light load (4 hours each way) which went well, and recently did round trip to FL for kids spring break - 1000 miles each way.

Have '09 F-150 Lariat SCREW, 5.4, 4x4, 3:73 with Max Tow, short bed, Equalizer WD.

Prior to leaving, I weighed the setup:

Front axle - 3250
Rear axle - 4030
Tongue Weight (used Sherline scale) - 840
Trailer Axles - 6360

After realizing that the rear axle of truck was a little over GAVW of 4000lbs, (and that I was already over the 7200GVWR on the truck!) I made an adjustment to the WD in an attempt to move more weight to the front of the TV and Rear axles of the trailer, however, did not re-weigh it. It was weighed with light load in the bed of the TV(maybe 150lbs), me (230lbs) and a full tank of gas (315lbs) - need to add another 250lbs for wife and two kids. At that point, I am over the F-150 GVWR! Gimme a break! The trailer loaded only weighs 7200lbs! And Ford says the hitch will handle a 1100 lbs with WD setup?? What they don't tell you is that you just maxed out any weight allocation for passengers or cargo in the truck. Because by the time you are done with Fuel at 9lbs/gallon and the driver, you're maxed out on the trucks GVWR.

Interestingly, I really thought when I bought the setup in Fall that I would have plenty of room to spare, afterall, this is a Ford truck with 11,300lbs towing capacity, right? Not so, according to specs and weights I'm borderline at best. I will weigh it again before our summer trip to see the affect WD adjustments made, and if needed make another adjustment to WD setup.

Obviously, tongue weight is a huge deal.

The good news, the setup tracks extremely well - had major amounts of wind driving from Chicago to Destin, FL, and overall it handled extremely well. From time to time, big gusts (40mph+) of wind were a little nerveracking. Handled great on the way home with little wind. Even through the hills in TN and Kentucky, the truck pulled great- no problems accelerating or passing at 70-75mph - average speed was 65-70mph.

Unfortunately, given rolling terrain and wind, I got 6.5mpg on the way down (7.5mpg on the way back) - that's painful!

Knowing what I know now, and if I had it to do over again, I'd probably go with the 250 diesel - a TV upgrade is in the future.

Hope this helps.

Vanished

Central PA

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Posted: 04/13/10 10:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's amazing how quickly you lose payload capacity (and even axle capacity) in a '1/2' ton truck... Try throwing some firewood or a four wheeler in the bed with it and see where you end up


2007 Chevy Cobalt (Gas Saver!)
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 POWER WAGON, 4x4, Hemi, 4.56's
2005 Dutchman Lite 27B

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 04/13/10 11:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BenK wrote:

There are 8.2K lb GVWR 'half ton' trucks.


No, there are not.

A "half ton" truck has a GVWR of 7199lbs or less.

At 7200lbs, the truck becomes a "three quarter ton" no matter what badge the manufacturers try to stick on the front fender.

The Ford F150 "Super Duty/HD/7700/8100/whatever" is a three quarter ton truck (GVWR 7700lbs, later 8100lbs).
The GMC/Chevy 1500HD is a three quarter ton truck (GVWR 8600lbs).
The Dodge MegaCab 1500 is a three quarter ton truck (GVWR 8800lbs).

It drives me nuts when people come on here and say "my half ton tows it no problem" and their sig shows a Chevy 1500HD. That's NOT a half ton truck!!!


2002 Chevy 3500 DRW/8.1/Allison & 2000 Palomino B1500 popup TC

-Yes, I haul a popup with a dually. No, I don't think I need a dually to haul a popup.

Wardo

Chicago Area

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Joined: 10/13/2009

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Posted: 04/13/10 11:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mkirsch wrote:

BenK wrote:

There are 8.2K lb GVWR 'half ton' trucks.


No, there are not.

A "half ton" truck has a GVWR of 7199lbs or less.

At 7200lbs, the truck becomes a "three quarter ton" no matter what badge the manufacturers try to stick on the front fender.

The Ford F150 "Super Duty/HD/7700/8100/whatever" is a three quarter ton truck (GVWR 7700lbs, later 8100lbs).
The GMC/Chevy 1500HD is a three quarter ton truck (GVWR 8600lbs).
The Dodge MegaCab 1500 is a three quarter ton truck (GVWR 8800lbs).

It drives me nuts when people come on here and say "my half ton tows it no problem" and their sig shows a Chevy 1500HD. That's NOT a half ton truck!!!


My GVWR says 7200 - its a 1/2 ton truck, not 3/4.

Road2Show

Southern California

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Posted: 04/13/10 11:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are getting some great replies here, but let me just quickly add "my" personal experience. I have not read all the replies yet, but so far I will say that I agree the most with those who have said not all 1/2 tons are created equal. Your results may vary.

For me, last week I got rid of my 2004 F150 and replaced it with a 2010 F-250 Super Duty. My trailer is around 6450 unloaded, and while I've not weighed it loaded it is going to be in the low 7000's without a water tank full. My truck with the 3-valve 5.4, 3.55LS rear-end and 18" wheels was 8000 pounds. While I knew I was going to be close, I presumed everything would be fine while staying under the rated capacities. I keep the weight fairly distributed and don't add a bunch of stuff to the truck.

Sorry, I meant this ot be short, but I've failed already. The bottom line is this. After spending a fair amount of money to make sure my F150 could handle the job well, it did not. New tires, equal-i-zer hitch professionally installed and setup, Edge tuner to get the most out of the rig, etc. Once I was rolling, things were fine. There was sufficient power to keep me going with traffic except up a hill. But I never felt comfortable towing. It just never felt completely safe. When I would start from a dead stop, the truck would literally shake up through the lower range. Up until about 25 or 30 MPH. Not good.

Now granted, there was probably more to my problems here than I discovered but I had reached a point where I just didn't want to take any additional measures to try and make it all work together. My mechanic advised me I was stressing the truck too much as well, and it was at the point where it would start to nickle/dime me to death oif not worse.

So, I have the F250 now. Waiting to get enough miles on it to start towing, but I am confident it will be a night and day experience. Your weights sound similar, so just be careful. Check everything well and you very well might be fine.

Good luck with your decision. In the end you will need to make the choice. For me, I wish I would have saved the money "prepping" the F150 and just bought the 250 sooner. Note that I say that without having towed with the F250 yet.


John 3:16

2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 8.1L / Allison
2010 Keystone Cougar 27RLS U/L West Coast Edition

(GONE)2010 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4x4, 6.4 PSD
(GONE)2004 F-150 Supercrew 5.4

**Keystone/Cougar products = NEVER AGAIN!**

BenK

SF BayArea

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Joined: 04/18/2002

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Posted: 04/13/10 11:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wardo wrote:

snip....


Unfortunately, given rolling terrain and wind, I got 6.5mpg on the way down (7.5mpg on the way back) - that's painful!

Knowing what I know now, and if I had it to do over again, I'd probably go with the 250 diesel - a TV upgrade is in the future.

Hope this helps.


This helps only those who are willing to listen...usually coming here
for confirmation of their 'hook line and sinker' purchase.

Others come here either to brag that they can go over the ratings and
have no issues, don't know it's back there, and the biggie for me...
advise others that is is okay and that the ratings are bologna

Your comments is exactly my point when state that it is not for the
good days out there when even a riding lawn mower can tow it.

It is for that worse or bad day when Mr Murphy crosses your path that
many think only happens to 'the other guy'.

At that moment, you either have the safety margin or not. NO time to
go back to purchase or resetup.

Also called risk management...aka...gambling that you have enough
safety margin and/or not going to have Mr Murphy cross your path
that day.

PS...my point on the various GVWR's for 'half ton' trucks not nick picky
over a few pounds, but that there are several thousand pounds difference
and that the components are also of higher ratings.

The same goes for '3/4 ton', as there are various GVWRs for them too.
Ditto '1 ton', etc.

Again, Wardo, many thanks for your post and hope some will learn from it

PPS...notice in my signature that my off roaders and TVs have all gotten
bigger as I've aged. Mainly due to my numerous PhD's from the school
of hard knocks. Am going back to something smaller for my serious off
roader for when I fully retire. Maybe a Samurai or another K5. FJ40's
are too expensive as the fashion statement crowd (moneyed) have
driven it's costing out of sight.


-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

Wardo

Chicago Area

New Member

Joined: 10/13/2009

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Posted: 04/13/10 12:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BenK wrote:

Wardo wrote:

snip....


Unfortunately, given rolling terrain and wind, I got 6.5mpg on the way down (7.5mpg on the way back) - that's painful!

Knowing what I know now, and if I had it to do over again, I'd probably go with the 250 diesel - a TV upgrade is in the future.

Hope this helps.


This helps only those who are willing to listen...usually coming here
for confirmation of their 'hook line and sinker' purchase.

Others come here either to brag that they can go over the ratings and
have no issues, don't know it's back there, and the biggie for me...
advise others that is is okay and that the ratings are bologna

Your comments is exactly my point when state that it is not for the
good days out there when even a riding lawn mower can tow it.

It is for that worse or bad day when Mr Murphy crosses your path that
many think only happens to 'the other guy'.

At that moment, you either have the safety margin or not. NO time to
go back to purchase or resetup.

Also called risk management...aka...gambling that you have enough
safety margin and/or not going to have Mr Murphy cross your path
that day.

PS...my point on the various GVWR's for 'half ton' trucks not nick picky
over a few pounds, but that there are several thousand pounds difference
and that the components are also of higher ratings.

The same goes for '3/4 ton', as there are various GVWRs for them too.
Ditto '1 ton', etc.

Again, Wardo, many thanks for your post and hope some will learn from it

PPS...notice in my signature that my off roaders and TVs have all gotten
bigger as I've aged. Mainly due to my numerous PhD's from the school
of hard knocks. Am going back to something smaller for my serious off
roader for when I fully retire. Maybe a Samurai or another K5. FJ40's
are too expensive as the fashion statement crowd (moneyed) have
driven it's costing out of sight.


Agreed.

I would emphasize, my greatest motivation for saying what I did about about "hindsight" and the diesel 3/4 ton is gas mileage and TV payload. Overall, I believe the F-150 as configured IN MY CASE is very capable, it handles well, breaks well, accelerates and comes up to speed pretty good, and most importantly feels safe. But then again, I'm only pulling 7200lbs, not the 11.3k Ford advertises (nor would I). According to Ford, I've got a lot more room for pullling larger/heavier trailer. However, based on recent 2k mile trip in bad weather (rain and wind) I probably wouldn't want to take on much more than 8k lbs, regardless of what the specs say.

Interestingly, I just found out that Ford actually increased the payload capacity on 2010 F-150's with 18 and 20" wheels with max tow by 450lbs without any changes to the rear springs - same part number for '09 as '10.

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