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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Ideas for a truck to pull 6500lb trailer?

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Terryallan

Foothills NC

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Posted: 09/28/19 08:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

honestly. You aren't going to get much truck for 20K. I have a 2013 F150 5.0, 3.73, 4x4 XLT. And 20K won't touch it, or one like it any where.
You need to up your budget, or look at 2010 and lower. and "most" of them have high mileage.

Also that empty 6500lb trailer will turn into a 7500lb+ trailer loaded ready to camp. You will need the 3.5 EcoBoost, with the 3.55 rear, or the 5.0 with a 3.75 rear. Remember. Just because it looks like a truck. Does not mean it will work like a truck.


Terry & Shay
Coachman Apex 288BH.
2013 F150 XLT Off Road
5.0, 3.73
Lazy Campers


Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 09/28/19 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

See the overhwhelming multitude of Eggzactly same questions on here for the myriad of opinions and reccomendations. (And arguments, lol).
Short answer is bottom end of the spectrum, adequate capacity and best for daily driver when not towing, any reasonably well equipped big V8, Ecoboost or Eco diesel truck from about 2011 on will do the job.
Ideal rig for extra capacity with the chassis and plenty of towing power is 3/4 ton gasser. Short bed and/ or ext cab vs crew cab makes for an easier daily driver in the city of that's a concern.
Big diesel if you want to spend the money, for towing, is like the difference between a steak from Denny's vs one from Ruth Chris. Both will make a turd and the cheap one might actually taste good, but you don't know what your missing.....but w your budget, $20k US only buys you a decent diesel with 150k miles on it. And a whole new level of things to think about for the non truck owner.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

jfkmk

NJ

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Posted: 09/28/19 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is the 6500# dry weight or gross weight? If that is gross, a 150/1500 would be more than enough truck. I have a 3.5 150 3.5 eb and it tows a 6000# tt like it isnt there. It is max tow, so it has the bigger gas tank, which is nice to have when towing.

When we bought, we knew that the tt we bought would be the biggest we would get. Everyone has their own wants, and ours didn’t include a tt that is as big as a condo. Before buying the truck, I drove my neighbors one year old f250. While some people are “truck people” and love to drive the biggest truck they can find, I am not. Small, nimble cars are what I’m used to, and the 250 diesel was not for me. Since I’m not going to tow anything bigger than what I have, the f150 fits my bill for many years to come.

Bottom line, keep your eye on the payload of the truck you’re looking at and you’ll be fine.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 09/28/19 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Best bang for the buck for a 3+ ton camper trailer, IMO would be first, lower the miles the better, but factor in condtion and maint records.
2014-up Hemi Ram 1500. 8 speed ZF trans is likely the best trans on the market today still and certainly was 5 years ago. Engine and drivetrain solid and most HP for your dollar. Only downside is the coil spring rear which can be worked around for not a lot of $.
2013ish -up Eco Boost F150 or 2011-up V8 5.0 F 150. Solid all around. 5.0 is bomb proof and doesn't give up a lot to the Eco in the early years.
I'd look at both brands interchangeably.
GM 1500 5.3 minimum, 6.0/6.2 if you stumble on one. Mixed reviews with the GM AFM issues on the 5.3s. We have a lot of these trucks and their record for top ends due to AFM issues is, umm, ok but not great. 2010 and up or whenever they started the 6 speed depending on the model. I'd buy one of it was the "right" truck for price and condtion comparably, but I'd be thinking about the AFM issues once the miles got much over 100k.
Tundra, 5.7 anything. Solid truck but I don't have any first hand experience so can't say one way or the other, particularly.
And if you find a low mile, 3/4 ton that fits your criteria and budget, it will be the better tow rig, no questions, but will give up daily driver mileage by a few mpgs.

You won't find any Ecodiesel trucks in your budget that aren't thrashed or have 200k miles or close to it, likely.
But for all brands and models, if you can get by with a quad/extended cab vs crew cab, you can get considerably less miles truck for the same $.

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 09/28/19 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Give up on the idea of just enough truck for your current trailer.
I would suggest a full sized diesel truck. They work for everything. Contrary to popular belief by people that have never owned one, they do not cost much more, last longer and are worth more than gas trucks.

otterslide

Toronto Ontario

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Posted: 09/28/19 08:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bikendan wrote:

otterslide wrote:

I never had a trailer or a truck. I'm looking to buy a trailer that is about 6500lbs, but I need to buy a truck first.

So many options and capacities and reliability issues, I have no idea what I should be looking at any more.
Looks like a F150 with 2.7 engine would work, but not sure if something like a 2015 model would be reliable. I don't want to spend more than about 20k(USD) for the truck.
Ram 1500 Ecoboost also seems to have it's own issues

So, I wonder, what are people towing trailers daily finding the best for a 6500lbs trailer? And is there anything specific I have to look for when I buy it? Like tow package, gear ratio, etc?


First, i think you meant "Ram 1500 ECODIESEL", not Ecoboost, since the Ecoboost is from Ford.
Second, pulling a 6500lbs TT with the 2.7 Ecoboost, will be near its limits.

i pull a 27' TT about the same weight loaded, with a 3.5 Ecoboost with the Max Tow package and 3.73 rear end. it's a perfect combo and i love the truck.


How long have you had the truck, any problems? Yes I meant Ram 1500 ecodiesel, but since I found out about the emission scandal and the software updates and all diesel related problems, I am thinking maybe Ecoboost is a better idea, or just go with a 5.0L from Ford.

Our previous Ford was very unreliable, so I am a bit wary going with Ford. Also the contractors around here say it's not reliable, but I'm finding a lot of online info saying they are reliable. So I don't know what to believe any more.

otterslide

Toronto Ontario

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Posted: 09/28/19 10:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jfkmk wrote:

Is the 6500# dry weight or gross weight? If that is gross, a 150/1500 would be more than enough truck. I have a 3.5 150 3.5 eb and it tows a 6000# tt like it isnt there. It is max tow, so it has the bigger gas tank, which is nice to have when towing.

When we bought, we knew that the tt we bought would be the biggest we would get. Everyone has their own wants, and ours didn’t include a tt that is as big as a condo. Before buying the truck, I drove my neighbors one year old f250. While some people are “truck people” and love to drive the biggest truck they can find, I am not. Small, nimble cars are what I’m used to, and the 250 diesel was not for me. Since I’m not going to tow anything bigger than what I have, the f150 fits my bill for many years to come.

Bottom line, keep your eye on the payload of the truck you’re looking at and you’ll be fine.


The GVWR on the tt is 5,800lbs.
If I add some food/luggage and things I may end up around 6,000 to 6,500lbs, that's why I was thinking 6500 should work.

I definitely want the smallest possible with the best mileage, but I want to make sure it won't have problems pulling the trailer.. I think something like the Ram 1500 with V6 may be cutting it too close, it lists 7,200lbs max tow. That truck would be pretty ideal in terms of mileage for me.

MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 09/28/19 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the trailer GVWR is #5800, that's the max it can weigh.. You must mean that's it's "dry weight" and when you load it up, it can go up to it's GVWR. That was about the dry weight for my trailer. It's GVWR is #7000.

I've got 82,000 miles on my 13 F150 Ecoboost and it's only been in the shop for the couple of recalls on it (brake booster and transmission reflash of the program).

Oh, my truck has a 'tow rating' of #11,300... I feel maxed out with my #7000 TT. You will not enjoy towing a #6000 TT with that V6 Ram at all... I say that knowing what a difference it was towing a #5000 TT with my truck and then getting the #7000 TT with the same truck... Big difference!

But, every truck is different and no matter what make, model you get, there will ALWAYS be some that are a POS and some that shine..

Good luck!

Mitch


2013 F150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab Max Tow Egoboost 3.73 gears #7700 GVWR #1920 payload. 2019 Rockwood Mini Lite 2511S.

otterslide

Toronto Ontario

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Posted: 09/28/19 11:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MitchF150 wrote:

If the trailer GVWR is #5800, that's the max it can weigh.. You must mean that's it's "dry weight" and when you load it up, it can go up to it's GVWR. That was about the dry weight for my trailer. It's GVWR is #7000.

I've got 82,000 miles on my 13 F150 Ecoboost and it's only been in the shop for the couple of recalls on it (brake booster and transmission reflash of the program).

Oh, my truck has a 'tow rating' of #11,300... I feel maxed out with my #7000 TT. You will not enjoy towing a #6000 TT with that V6 Ram at all... I say that knowing what a difference it was towing a #5000 TT with my truck and then getting the #7000 TT with the same truck... Big difference!

But, every truck is different and no matter what make, model you get, there will ALWAYS be some that are a POS and some that shine..

Good luck!

Mitch


Ok, looks like I misunderstood what GVWR is, so the trailer will be a bit lighter than I thought then.
Dry Weight 3,914 lbs.
Payload Capacity 1,526 lbs.
GVWR 5,800 lbs.
Hitch Weight 380 lbs.

You have a pretty strong truck, and fast too. Surprising that you need such a big buffer to feel good towing.
How much worse does the MPG get when you're towing vs. not towing?
Thanks.

MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 09/28/19 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have always used regular gas with this truck (87 octane). Even towing my old #5000 TT. I tried premium (92) with it a couple of times, but really didn't see a difference and it would get 10 mpg towing the #5000 TT and no issues with heat.

First tow with the new #7000 TT, I used regular. Got 8 mpg, found I was having to go into 3rd gear to take the same grades I could take in 4th gear and had to watch the coolant temps real close. (I have a phone app that I can monitor a ton of the trucks other sensors that you can't see on the dash)

Second trip, I decided to try premium gas (even the owners manual suggests using premium when towing heavy)... About a week before my trip, I filled the truck with premium (there was a little less than 1/2 tank of regular). Before the trip I topped off with premium and took off.

Went the same route as the first trip (different destination, but same overall route) and noticed right off that where I was in 3rd on the grades, I could hold 4th AND keep the coolant temps in check. It was all about controlling the boost and rpms and speed.

Found I ended up at around 9 mpg on that second trip.

Now, for the kicker... Running regular, I get around 16 mpg overall on my daily commute to work. Keeping the premium in the tank, that has gone up to 17 mpg and the straight hwy mpgs are now in the 21 mpg range.

There will be the nay sayers of course, but this is just my results, so your MPG may vary! [emoticon]

Yes, you need to understand that just because a truck has a "tow rating" of X amount if you get a trailer at X amount, it's going to be maxed out and have no reserve left. Having that reserve amount is what makes the towing performance and experience much better.

That's why folks tend to say "you can't have enough truck" and always say you need to get a 1 ton diesel to tow anything.. That's fine, if that's what you want.. But, I've got 7 months that I'm not going to be towing now, so my F150 fits the bill for me and my TT choice. This will be my LAST TT I get and as big as I will ever need! I had my little #5000 TT for 16 years and traded it in for 1/2 the price I paid for it brand new back in 2002!

Good luck!

Mitch

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