EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: On the fence. 1/2 or 3/4 ton truck for 6900 GVWR travel trailer ride quality  (Read 2193 times)

Deanon

  • Posts: 3
Hi,
I'm on the fence when it comes to getting a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton truck for towing a 24bhs north trail travel trailer I have.  The trailer has a dry weight of 5400 lbs and GVWR of 6900 lbs.  Total length 28ft.

Currently, I pull it with a 2007 tahoe, but it's not a safe feeling highway ride.  Trailer sway and other trailer motions make for a white knuckle ride on the highway.  Not to mention very hot brakes when I arrive at the destination.  Weight distribution and sway bar helped some, but not enough.

I had an F150 before and I like that size for getting around town and I'm finding used truck prices around $25k for a used 2016 F150 2wd V8.  I also like the car like ride quality when not towing.

I test drove a 2500hd.  I like the towing capacity, but the size of it makes it seems like a pain to park and get around town.  Also, I found the ride quality to be stiff and experienced slight shaking at 65 MPH.  My wife may need to drive the truck from time to time so not sure she would be comfortable driving it.  Look like I will need to spend an addition $14k to go to a 3/4 ton 4wd from what I'm finding.

So I'm wondering what the ride in 1/2 ton is like with a travel trailer this size.  I believe both vehicles can pull this weight so I'm questioning if the overall ride towing quality is worth going to a 3/4 ton.

The car dealers only like to point out the weight it pulls and not talk about trailer ride quality with a 28 ft "sail" behind it.

If you have experience with a trailer this size with a 1/2 or 3/4 ton truck can you tell me about your highway ride quality?

Thanks!


« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 07:29:59 AM by Deanon »

John From Detroit

  • ---
  • Posts: 19801
  • ^My New Home^
    • Diabetics Forum
I will give you a good rule of thumb when trying to decide on which truck to buy based on "WIll it tow my trailer?".

If you have to ask... Buy the bigger truck.

Now, I will admit that does not always work.. Some companies are kind of generous with the ratings.. but in general it will. and if. To use Ford trucks, You are trying to decide between an F-N-50 and an F(n+1)50,   Go with the N+1  (150/25 go 250 250/350 go 350)

Many tow with a vehicle that is too small.
NOBODY tows with a Tractor (Tow vehicles are called tractors by the way) that is too BIG.. Though I will admit towing a 13' Scamp with a Peterbuilt is a bit funny.. The Pete is NOT too big.. Nothing is.

Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

scottydl

  • Admin assist
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7689
  • Central IL
Very few people (in the trailering world) ever say, "Gee I have TOO MUCH truck!"  ;)  Not only would a 3/4 ton easily tow what you have now, it will open any possible future doors for buying a bigger trailer without having to also replace the truck.  Keep in mind that your Tahoe is a 1/2 ton SUV... basically a short wheelbase pickup with enclosed seats instead of a truck bed.  The only advantage you'd have with a 1/2 ton pickup is a slightly longer wheelbase, which WOULD improve stability but may not greatly improve towing capacity.

It sounds like a lot will depend on your budget... the price jump of $14k from 1/2-ton to 3/4-ton seems pretty steep.  Are you talking about a 3/4 ton diesel?  Maybe there aren't 3/4 ton gas trucks any more, I honestly don't know what all is out there.  I have a 3/4 ton gas Suburban, and these were made through 2006 I believe... and I believe they can be special-ordered new again as of 2016 or 2017.  If you like your Tahoe (as far as seating capacity goes), a 2500-series Suburban would give you a similar body style with much better towing abilities.

Keep test driving some other models of trucks.  The Fords have a much bigger Superduty body style between 150 and 250/350.  I don't think the difference is so much with Chevy/GMC and Dodge.  The 2500's might sit higher and have a slightly stiffer suspension (that's part of what better supports heavy towing loads), but you'd be used to it before long. 

The shaking at 65mph you mentioned sounds like a vehicle-specific problem with the tires or alignment on the F-250 you drove.  That's not a characteristic of 3/4 ton trucks or anything.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Dickie125

  • ---
  • Posts: 99
You do understand that 1500s and 2500s are by and large the exact same bodies dont you? While a 1500 will tow your trailer just fine bottom line is it will have the same tires,wheels,springs and brakes as your current Tahoe.  Now is a perfect opportunity to upgrade to a 2500 series truck with better/stronger components that can carry you into your next trailer

Dreamsend

  • ---
  • Posts: 158

If you have to ask... Buy the bigger truck.

Pretty sure the OP stated (and correctly I think) that either model would handle the weight, I.e. towing, but was asking about what his comfort level would be.  In the past week alone there have been maybe 4-6 posts by folks stating how well the ECB 3.5 F 150 (suitably equipped tow pkg., axle ratio, etc.) handles their trailers of up to 7800#, if I remember right. 

OP - see the very recent thread linked at the bottom for example.

As to the comments about length -- the super crew and crew cab are only 6" and 7" longer in the 250 than the 150 for the same box.  I can't tell the difference.  The reg cab IS 22" longer in the 250, so a difference one could see probably.

I've spent 5 hours last week at Ford dealerships driving and comparing the two trucks, especially with regard to how the 250 rode unloaded.  The 2016 I drive seemed to have a little more "feel every bump", but not enough to feel uncomfortable by any means.  The 2017 seemed smoother and was an excellent ride --I REALLY liked the F 250, had no trouble maneuvering it and no longer feel it would be too much truck for me to handle.

There really is no comparing newer Ford trucks with a 2007 anything, including Fords. The engineering and technology are eons apart.

I'm dubbing the 2017 F250 the first smart truck!  There are scads of systems -- most of them standard on at least  the XLT for towing, manual shifting, downhill anti-sway, anti-skid, and more even optional safety like all-around camera views.

The MSRP for gas is about $3000 more for the F250 since you have to option in more things on the F150 for all the towing bells and whistles.  And before you wonder, I am comparing apples to apples for style, cab, bed, drive, etc.  One difference is the 3.73 axle ratio in the 150 compared to the 4.10 in the F250.

OP, I know you requested opinions from actual long-time users of both trucks rather than just my research and brief driving.  You will also find lots more information from first hand users if you search or post to the Ford truck forums and ask about trailer towing.  I read many reviews which were extremely helpful on several.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,102206.0.html

Linda
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 09:28:35 AM by Dreamsend »
Linda with kitty Sarah
2017 Ford F250 Lariat aka Gypsy Rose

Lowell

  • ---
  • Posts: 1954
There are many 1/2 ton trucks that can handle a 6900 trailer easily.  I've been doing it with a 1/2 Dodge for 12 years. I don't have any problems with trailer sway, or wind from passing trucks. And i tow in the mountains also. In your current setup, do you have at least 12% of the TT weight on the hitch?  A lightly loaded hitch will get even a 3/4 ton truck jerked around.
Lowell

2005 Cherokee28A TT
pulled by 2009 Dodge 1500 Crew Cab 4X4
KF7YET

Tempe, Arizona

Arch Hoagland

  • ---
  • Posts: 1553
  • Clovis CA
I've towed travel trailers with both and would suggest a 3/4 ton.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 80,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

UTTransplant

  • ---
  • Posts: 966
  • Salt Lake City area
Your trailer sounds similar to ours. We used to tow it with a Toyota Tundra, and it was ok. It took a lot of manual gear changes to go up and down the mountains, and it only got 7 miles a gallon! We chose to get a diesel 3/4 ton Dodge as a replacement, and it is night and day better. I have found to make the ride without the trailer better we lower the pressure in the rear tires. While towing we need about 80 pounds, but without a trailer the trucks rides nicely at 65 pounds on the rear tires, same as the front. We bought a high capacity air compressor, and we enjoy the truck without the trailer on long drives now. It makes a huge difference in comfort! As for size, any pickup sucks in an urban environment. When in the suburbs (shopping centers etc) we just park away from the door, preferably in a spot we can pull through. In true urban areas, we end up walking a long way to our destination. Sigh. I will take the inconvenience for the ease of towing.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
2014 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 240RKS
2015 Ram 2500 Diesel
http://toobusyforwork.com

glen54737

  • ---
  • Posts: 1224
  • My camping buddy
Basically I think the the ride would be better towing with the bigger truck and better not towing with the smaller.
Maybe you need to work on your towing setup?
more hitch weight will help also better sway control.
Look at Pro-Pride or Hensley hitch systems they are pricey but will eliminate sway.
2018 Thor Miramar 35.2
2015 F-350 CC short box 6.7l 3.55 axle
2015 Alpine 3510RE-sold

Glen,Nene
Mickey & Jayco (yorkies)

Cant Wait

  • ---
  • Posts: 726
Get the 3/4 ton, that way in a couple of years when you decide you need a bigger TT you already have the truck to tow it and won't have to go thru the whole truck buying routine thing again.
2012 Winnebago "Our Incredible Journey"  40U
2008 Dakota Sport 4x4
2004 Subaru Baja - DW's
2005 Honda Shadow Aero - TOAD for now
Home - Western NY

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 11009
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Get the 3/4 ton, that way in a couple of years when you decide you need a bigger TT you already have the truck to tow it and won't have to go thru the whole truck buying routine thing again.
Or you won't be saying we can't buy a bigger trailer because then we would have to get a bigger truck.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
My new Pixel camera:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/rMSw5eVkCfKuuEOP2
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

Gods Country

  • ---
  • Posts: 488
The 3/4 ride is going to be a lot stiffer than the 1/2 ton.  When it's hitched up however a 3/4 ton will ride much better than an empty truck.  I understand newer 1/2 ton trucks have some pretty impressive towing specs, if they are to be believed.  I always feel its better to have too much truck than not enough.  I see an awful lot of 28' ++
TT being hauled by F-150's.  A few years ago that really would have turned my head.  You definitely will not regret hauling with a 3/4 ton.  You won't even know the trailer is there most of the time.  I have never purchased a truck based on ride or gas mileage.  They're a tool, and you need the right tool for the right job.  Ride, look, and comfort are secondary to me.  Of course I have a need for 3/4 ton in other day to day chores, so the choice was obvious.

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 11009
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
The 3/4 ride is going to be a lot stiffer than the 1/2 ton.  When it's hitched up however a 3/4 ton will ride much better than an empty truck.  I understand newer 1/2 ton trucks have some pretty impressive towing specs, if they are to be believed.  I always feel its better to have too much truck than not enough.  I see an awful lot of 28' ++
TT being hauled by F-150's.  A few years ago that really would have turned my head.  You definitely will not regret hauling with a 3/4 ton.  You won't even know the trailer is there most of the time.  I have never purchased a truck based on ride or gas mileage.  They're a tool, and you need the right tool for the right job.  Ride, look, and comfort are secondary to me.  Of course I have a need for 3/4 ton in other day to day chores, so the choice was obvious.
What he said ;D
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
My new Pixel camera:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/rMSw5eVkCfKuuEOP2
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

grashley

  • ---
  • Posts: 3736
  • Western KY for now.
The 3/4 ride is going to be a lot stiffer than the 1/2 ton.  When it's hitched up however a 3/4 ton will ride much better than an empty truck.  I understand newer 1/2 ton trucks have some pretty impressive towing specs, if they are to be believed.  I always feel its better to have too much truck than not enough.  I see an awful lot of 28' ++
TT being hauled by F-150's.  A few years ago that really would have turned my head.  You definitely will not regret hauling with a 3/4 ton.  You won't even know the trailer is there most of the time.  I have never purchased a truck based on ride or gas mileage.  They're a tool, and you need the right tool for the right job.  Ride, look, and comfort are secondary to me.  Of course I have a need for 3/4 ton in other day to day chores, so the choice was obvious.
X3
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Deanon

  • Posts: 3
Thanks everyone! It seems like a 3/4 ton would be worth it.  It will cost more but in the long run I wouldn't have to upgrade the truck for a new reason.

OutdoorFT

  • ---
  • Posts: 365
Thanks everyone! It seems like a 3/4 ton would be worth it.  It will cost more but in the long run I wouldn't have to upgrade the truck for a new reason.
Thats why I went from a Dakota to an F350. Id pay the same or a bit less for 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton. More options when/if you upgrade.
Future Fulltimer

2011 F350 Lariat CCLB SRW
No RV yet!!

jubileee

  • ---
  • Posts: 314
Surprised no one mentioned that the 2007 Tahoe is just a 1/2 ton pickup with a long roof.

scottydl

  • Admin assist
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7689
  • Central IL
Surprised no one mentioned that the 2007 Tahoe is just a 1/2 ton pickup with a long roof.

I said that (or something very similar) in my Reply #2 above.  ;)

Keep in mind that your Tahoe is a 1/2 ton SUV... basically a short wheelbase pickup with enclosed seats instead of a truck bed.  The only advantage you'd have with a 1/2 ton pickup is a slightly longer wheelbase, which WOULD improve stability but may not greatly improve towing capacity.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

jubileee

  • ---
  • Posts: 314
I said that (or something very similar) in my Reply #2 above.  ;)

Don't know how I missed your comments. I'm going to read more carefully.

scottydl

  • Admin assist
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7689
  • Central IL
Eh, it's easy to miss comments buried in the thread.  Our brains tend to quickly scan through many of these conversations when there are multiple replies... I've done the same thing.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

 

Hosted by Over The Network