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Old 02-16-2014, 08:37 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle upgrade

So, we are very interested in a comparison of tow vehicles as we are looking to get an upgrade. Big mistake when I bought the Tundra 4.6L rather than 5.7L for hubby in late 2010. We have very low mileage on the Tundra but want to change before we go out West and want to stay with a gas engine. And, we eventually plan on upgrading to a fifth wheel. Any help you can give would be great. All of your recommendations would be appreciated as you have more experience than us on TV. I would love to have an order of preference and why. TIA
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:14 PM   #2
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I'm shopping right now too. I have learned Chevy is better on payload than ram. I would go 3/4 ton with your current tt and your plans for going west. I have a bad taste in my mouth from my ford diesel so I'm staying away from ford but many others will tell you that they love their Ford's. My big debate right now is gas vs diesel and new vs used. If I go diesel again it will have to be used, the wallet just won't have it any other way. I just loved towing with my diesel and am afraid to go back to gas after feeling a diesel towing.

I would weigh your tt and get a good idea of your loaded tt weight and loaded tongue weight so you know exactly how much towing capacity and payload you need.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:20 PM   #3
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Duramax, of course.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:32 PM   #4
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There are definitely gas engines that are capable of towing a fifth wheel, but I doubt they'll tow it quite as well as a diesel. Anaro has had a bad experience with a Ford diesel, but I love mine. I've had zero problems and it pulls like a dream. I have a Cruiser fiver right now that weighs about 8,000 dry. It pulls it like it's not even back there. Before the Cruiser, I had a 40 ft Blue Ridge fiver that weighed 13,200 lbs dry. It pulled it without problems as well, although I could definitely tell it was there. If you plan to upgrade to a fifth wheel, and especially if you plan to buy a higher end fifth wheel that is on the higher end of the weight scale, you should really think about a diesel. I think Toyota is planning on a diesel Tundra for the 2016 model year, which means they will hit showrooms some time next year. That's just my opinion. I pulled a couple of different TTs with a gasser, and there is no comparison between gas and diesel for pulling.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:30 AM   #5
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I have responded to a few different posts regarding new tow vehicles lately, so I apologize if this is redundant to some. But here are my feelings:

First off, as many have said, if there is any chance you will go to a fifth wheel in future, go with a 3/4 ton at minimum. Once you tow with a 3/4 or 1 ton truck, you will always wonder why you even started with a 1/2 ton (at least that is what I feel. )

And now the big decision between gas vs diesel. To me, it all comes down to how much cash you want to spend, how much you are going to drive the truck, and where you are going to tow.

If you normally tow thousands of miles per year, and use your truck as a daily driver, then I would highly recommend a diesel pickup. There is just no comparison to pulling with a diesel. Just be prepared for everything to cost more than it does for a gas motor truck. Oil changes, at the pump, etc.....

But if you don't travel a ton of miles each year with the trailer, and also do not use your truck as a daily driver, I would highly recommend a gas motor. The appropriately spec'd out gas powered truck will be able to pull many fifth wheels that are out on the market today. Not as efficiently as a diesel of course, but it will do it. You are not going to get the gas mileage as you would with a diesel, but it will get you there just fine.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:00 PM   #6
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If you are considering a fifth wheel in the future, then truck bed size is important. If getting an 8ft bed, then brand does not matter. But there is a difference when it comes to 6.5ft bed models (now considered standard bed). Dodge uses the smallest cab-to-axle distance, about 37 inches. Ford and GM are 40-41 inches. This difference does affect maximum turning angle with a fifth wheel and how soon a sliding hitch becomes necessary. Also, when it comes to 1/2 ton models, an 8ft bed may not even be available depending on cab size.

Also, don't make another mistake and get a 1/2 ton truck and then decide to go for the fifth wheel. There are very few fivers made that have pin weights light enough for a 1/2 ton. Not saying it can't be done, since I did exactly that for 14 years, but many more fivers become viable choices with a 3/4 ton truck. If you don't go crazy on total trailer weight, then 3/4 ton gassers will probably work for you, pick your brand. But pay close attention to CA (cab-to-axle), payload for pin weight, max. towing capacity and fuel capacity (towing range).

Then there is diesel. With 3/4 ton diesel trucks you can get back into a payload limitation pretty quickly, but they will pull great. Loved how my '03 GM diesel pulled my '04 Cruiser and it still did a great job with the new Cruiser, but 1500 lbs more was noticeable. The new '13 GM diesel is outstanding, so quiet and feels like unlimited power solo or towing. If you can't guess, I prefer GM, shortest total length and longest cab-to-axle. My crew cab still fits in the garage. With Ford I would have been limited to extended cab and with Dodge maybe an auto slider.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:54 PM   #7
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I really like towing with my 2011 RAM 2500 6.7 Cummins. My neighbor has a 2012 Ford F350 dually and really likes that. I hate to say it with being a RAM guy and all, but the big 3 all make a pretty nice truck with plenty of towing upgrades.
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