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Author Topic: The Right Truck And Its Use  (Read 422 times)

Steve Peeters

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The Right Truck And Its Use
« on: May 11, 2017, 09:16:29 AM »
Here begins a newer version of my query yesterday on a Tow Vehicle for our new 25Y Arctic Fox.  It still has a dry hitch weight of 680 pounds and a gross dry weight of 6,853.  I am starting this new thread because I learned soo much from all of the great answers, plus things keep changing in our shopping process as we learn more about the truck we'll need.  Recall that I thought an F150 would fit the bill.  Now I am convinced it must be a minimum 3/4 ton and a 1 ton is certainly under consideration.  Some questions follow:

Can a truck of this size be used as my primary vehicle when I am not on a road trip or out camping?

It seems that diesel is the best way to go, however, some say that they aren't too good for just local (no towing) use.  I do remember being told the truck will ride better with the trailer than without the trailer.  So, how big a deal is this?  If I weren't 69 years old and I was really husky, I could just throw 100 or so sand bags into the bed when not towing (LOL).  Presently we own two motor vehicles, my wife's car and a Honda Odyssey which has doubled as a tug for my 16' Scamp and my primary transportation.  Should I keep the Odyssey and also buy truck to tow the trailer?  This would take us from owning two motor vehicles to owning three.  What do you do?  I'd like to own just the tug and my wife's car but not sure if that's a good plan. 

With the above in mind should I just go with a gasser?  I don't get why a gasser is better as a primary vehicle opposed to a diesel.  It seems both would bounce some on the rear when not under a load. 

Our budget has changed to doing what works best for us.  It may now cost over $41k but of course we'd like to spend only what we need to.  If we can get a nice used truck and save some big bucks were all for it.  I am going to look at some trucks today at Pacific Auto Center in Fontana, CA. They probably the largest used truck dealer in California.  I prefer to buy from a private party, but I take a look over at the used truck dealer.  Is a vehicle just turned in from a lease an option, are those out there somewhere in 1 tons? 

I like the idea of single rear wheels rather than duel rear, any thoughts on that?

Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing your posts. :) :) :)

SargeW

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2017, 09:45:51 AM »
You are correct, a gasser will bump just as much as a diesel when empty. The gauge for me would be how much towing I would be doing with it. If you are going to tow a lot with it, then I prefer the diesel for it's better pulling power, better mileage, and longevity of the motor. The down side is that there is a premium to pay for the diesel up front. The resale on the diesel tends to be higher than the similar equipped gasser.

Modern diesels run as quiet as a gasser and just as smooth. The comment about just using it local does have some truth to it as it takes diesels much longer to warm up than a gasser, and love to work hard. If you didn't tow much then many 2-3 mile trips around town are hard on them as they need to be worked hard occasionally to drive the moisture out the internals.

The 3/4 ton truck would give you more than enough pulling capacity in either gas or diesel. It really comes down to your preference and pocket book. Drive them both and see which one you prefer. 
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Hammster

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2017, 09:53:16 AM »
Ok, ignore anything that says "dry". You will never do anything with that trailer in its dry state. Here are specs from Northwood's site so not sure where you are seeing the numbers you posted.
Dry Axle Weight (approx. Lbs.): 6093
Dry Hitch Weight (approx. Lbs.): 760
Net Carrying Capacity: 3147
Gross Dry Weight Lbs.: 6853
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) Lbs.: 10000

Anyway, tongue weight should be based on 10% of GVWR (10000 lbs). So, 1000 lb tongue.
We bought a GMC 2500HD Denali diesel 4x4 crew cab as our tow vehicle for our Arctic Fox 22G. Lighter and smaller trailer than yours, but I'd never even consider a half ton even for the 22G. So, good to stay with 3/4 or bigger. The Denali passes the wife test in that it is quite comfortable unladen and equally comfortable with trailer in tow.
Our around town mileage is right at 14-15 mpg which I find acceptable for this diesel beast. Be aware we are retired and the truck can sit on the driveway for several days without use so fuel costs are nominal. On a long trip, without the trailer and mostly freeway speeds, we got right at 20 mpg. A recent trip with the trailer, and no actual freeway speeds (all less than freeway speeds), but some stop and go and some uphill/downhill and twisty roads we averaged just over 11 mpg. The diesel seems like it can pull and pull so that will be good for us as (plus diesel exhaust brake is awesome!) we have a couple of long trips coming up. One for a week and a half in June and then a 7 week cross country (and back) trip in Sept/Oct.

So, look at cargo carrying capacity of whatever truck you intend to buy. Try to keep at or below 80% of that number when considering tongue/hitch weight plus weight of cargo in the truck.
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali. 6.6L Diesel. 4x4
Arctic Fox 22G.

Dreamsend

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2017, 10:30:11 AM »
It still has a dry hitch weight of 680 pounds and a gross dry weight of 6,853.
 

Hi Steve

I'm surprised someone else has not mentioned it yet, but . . I think it would be helpful in the long run if you would refrain from thinking about the dry weight of your trailer.  No one camps or travels in an empty trailer or one without fresh water (8.3# per gallon) or at times wastewater and propane.  Your trailer final weight is going to increase by at least 1,500# (estimated) to up to 2,000# depending on how many hoses, extension cords, tools, food, a generator, clothing, kitchen pots, pans, gadgets, grills, outside chairs, table, rug, etc. and the weight of your hitch, you pack along.  AND, your tongue weight is gonna be 10-15% of this total loaded trailer weight and hitch, not just a percentage of the DRY camper weight.  That's why the consistent advice from the experienced gurus here, and in fact, in every towing guide I've read, says to use the trailer's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) as the most upper limit of what you're going to tow when figuring out the best truck for your money to get.  If your camping and packing habits means you end up weighing less, then you just more safety margin IMHO.

For the AF 25Y, Northwood RV states a GVWR of 10,000#.  That provides you a trailer carrying capacity of about 3,150 pounds, assuming there are no options which impact this number.  You can find the actual GVWR for your particular trailer on the Federal tire and load weighting sticker posted on the trailer somewhere near the entry door.  So, while you may not actually load 3,000 lbs. cause that's a lot, you're certainly going to tow well over 6,850 pounds. 

But, for sake of example, assuming the trailer does weigh-in at 10,000#, your tongue weight, some call it hitch weight, just went to 1,000 to 1,300 lbs. or so (not 680) and don't forget 10% of the 100 to 200 pound WD hitch the truck will need to pull also.   ANY TRUCK you plan to use will need to have a separate payload/carrying capacity to account for this 1/2 ton of trailer weight in addition to the weight of you, your passenger, the dog, and any and all items you would carry in the truck and the truck bed. 

Calculate your expected total trailer weight, not dry weight, being conservative and then use this number to arrive at what sort of tongue weight you're going to have, so that you can look for a truck that has sufficient payload (and rear axle weight rating).

I point this out, because the available payload can vary among the different manufacturers even within comparable classes, such as an F250 compared to a RAM 2500 for example.  More importantly, older trucks seem to have lower towing and payload numbers in general than ones built in the last 2-3 years, so will need to look up the exact ratings for the model year truck you're considering.  In doing so, you will also always need to make sure you're getting the rating numbers for the exact engine, transmission, axle ratio, differential, etc. because the combination of these elements will affect towing capability.  You also need to make sure that the a portion of the weight you're going to be carrying in the truck, including the tongue weight (i.e. total payload) does not exceed the REAR axle gross weight rating as I've seen people post examples for older trucks where this did happen.  By law, you cannot exceed your trailer's or truck's axle ratings, singularly or in total (not that anyone will catch you at it, but in case of an accident, their are always sue hungry attorneys out there).

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Can a truck of this size be used as my primary vehicle when I am not on a road trip or out camping?

Absolutely!!  Many millions of people drive trucks as their primary or only means of transportation.  Today's 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks are designed to be waaaaayyyy more comfortable than the trucks of even a few years ago.  But, even older trucks are fine for daily drivers.  I've read that more Ford F series trucks have been sold than all other vehicles combined.  Not a plug for Ford over any other brand, just asserting that trucks are very popular.

Quote
With the above in mind should I just go with a gasser?  I don't get why a gasser is better as a primary vehicle opposed to a diesel.  It seems both would bounce some on the rear when not under a load.
 

I haven't heard that a gasser, which is an engine type, is any less prone to what you're getting at than a diesel, also just an engine type. In fact, haven't heard anyone discuss bouncing on this forum, but then there is always a chance and I've missed it. Diesels are more expensive up-front, are higher maintenance and fuel costs, but they definitely have their place in the world of trucks.  I've not read any real data (just opinions) that one type engine is inherently better for daily driving than another just based on the engine type alone. It depends on where you drive, what part of the country, local fuel prices and availability, and towing, and load capacity, etc. etc.

Just be cautious about looking at used trucks and listening to some sales people who will tell you anything.  ALWAYS find the exact weight rating numbers for the year and configuration you're considering, and then crunch the numbers.

I also encourage you to do some Google searches for articles and more information about calculating towing capacities, understanding tongue weight, hitch weight etc. towing guides, comparing truck towing capabilities, etc. as these can go into more detail and examples than what may get posted in the forum.  Much success, and keep asking those questions, you'll get there.  Linda

« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 10:38:14 AM by Dreamsend »
Linda with kitties Sarah & Samson
2017 Ford F250 Lariat aka Gypsy Rose

Hammster

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2017, 10:42:18 AM »
 

Hi Steve

I'm surprised someone else has not mentioned it yet, but . . I think it would be helpful in the long run if you would refrain from thinking about the dry weight of your trailer. 

<cough> my post <cough> LOL
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali. 6.6L Diesel. 4x4
Arctic Fox 22G.

bigarm

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2017, 10:42:35 AM »
I just traded my 3/4 ton Ford gas engine truck for a one ton diesel Ram.  So far I am very happy.  The new truck rides just as well if not better than the 10 year old truck did and the power difference is remarkable.  I am glad I went with the diesel, but it did come at a premium in price.

Dreamsend

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2017, 11:51:19 AM »
<cough> my post <cough> LOL

 :D Cut me a little slack here dude :) :D ;D  One of those "someone posted while you were writing" things I think.  Glad you brought it up also however because it is important.  L
Linda with kitties Sarah & Samson
2017 Ford F250 Lariat aka Gypsy Rose

sadixon49

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 01:36:06 PM »
I've looked at these gas vs diesel debates and heard that if you buy the diesel you'll get your money back when you sell. I've always thought, yea right, no way you're going to get 8 to 10 K$ back in 5 years. Then while thinking of this for awhile, I came up with a small experiment. First, I checked Chevy.com and found that a diesel adds $7800 to a 2500HD. Then, I checked Cars.com for 4 to 5 year old Chevy 2500HDs, 10 with gas, 10 with diesel, closest to my zip, to eliminate pricing variations. Surprisingly the price difference as listed averaged out at exactly $7800, $28300 for gas as listed, $36100 for diesel. So you do get your money back with a diesel.
steve
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Dreamsend

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 02:21:58 PM »
So you do get your money back with a diesel.

I remember reading your post about this and thought "how cool" you did that research. However, you don't need to get "money back" if you don't spend it in the first place.  The higher used price for diesel reflects the value of the equipment AND the higher upfront cost.  Paying more for a used diesel truck does not indicate that gas trucks don't hold their value as well.  Right now diesel adds an extra $8900.00 to a new F250 -- not including sales tax, registration, etc.  If someone doesn't need or want a diesel based on their planned use or preferences first and foremost, they could look at the extra $$ and decide that investing those $$ elsewhere over the lifetime of the truck would yield a much better return compared to the value of getting out what you had to put in to begin with.  Seems that way to me anyway.  L
Linda with kitties Sarah & Samson
2017 Ford F250 Lariat aka Gypsy Rose

kdbgoat

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2017, 02:30:30 PM »
It goes back to the title of the thread- "The Right Truck And It's Use"
For some people the diesel is the right truck for them, for others, a gasser is. That's why manufacturers make both. When I bought the last pick-up I had, diesel wasn't right for me. I have two friends that bought new trucks last fall, and diesels were a better choice for them.
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sadixon49

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2017, 03:30:38 PM »
I remember reading your post about this and thought "how cool" you did that research. However, you don't need to get "money back" if you don't spend it in the first place.  The higher used price for diesel reflects the value of the equipment AND the higher upfront cost.  Paying more for a used diesel truck does not indicate that gas trucks don't hold their value as well.  Right now diesel adds an extra $8900.00 to a new F250 -- not including sales tax, registration, etc.  If someone doesn't need or want a diesel based on their planned use or preferences first and foremost, they could look at the extra $$ and decide that investing those $$ elsewhere over the lifetime of the truck would yield a much better return compared to the value of getting out what you had to put in to begin with.  Seems that way to me anyway.  L
I agree, I didn't mean to say that the diesels were better, or that I think that that is what the OP should buy, only that you do in fact get your money spent on a diesel pickup back when you sell it. Put another way, while the rest of the truck depreciates away, the diesel holds it value.
steve
2017 Jayco Redhawk 26XD
E-450 Ford, 6.8 V-10
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grashley

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2017, 08:08:56 PM »
From my perspective, diesels make better tow vehicles with more low end torque.  They come at a price up front.  They also tend to cost a  bit more for routine maintenance and a LOT more for major engine work.   Thankfully, today's diesels are very reliable, often running 250,000 miles or more with no significant issues.  Diesels take 15 - 20 miles to really get warmed up.  My Miata can be throwing out heat in less than a mile.  With the particulate emission stuff, the engine needs to get hot and stay hot to properly burn off the particulates caught in the system.  The computer tells you when it is needed and when it kicks into cleaning mode.  The slow to warm up and particulate filter is why I would not want one if most trips were less than 5 miles in town.

The gasser should be a great tow vehicle for your stated needs in the previous post.  In addition, it costs less to buy and maintain.  It warms more quickly, which is better on the motor on short trips.  It is about 800 lbs lighter than the diesel, thus higher payloads.

Both will ride about the same.  They come with the same option packages.  Handling will be very similar.  They are the same size.

For the ton / SRW 1 ton question.  Everything in the line above applies to this comparison, except a bit rougher ride in the 1 ton empty.    Used prices are very similar.  New price is less than $1,000 higher.  The 1 ton has a higher GVWR and higher payload.  Should you upgrade to a larger TT or even to a FW, this truck could probably handle it.  Just keep the FW under 15,000# or so.
ALL ton are SRW.  All three mfgrs offer 1 ton in both SRW and dually.  The statements above refer to SRW models.  Dually brings a higher GVWR and Payload.  They also come with bigger hips, so are a bit harder to park in town.  If you need the capacity of the dually, fine!  If not, WHY get one?

You can use the truck as a daily driver, but I suggest a gasser for this for the reasons stated above.  Personally, if it were me, I would keep the Odyssey and be a three vehicle family.  We have been for several years.  If the DW is gone, and the truck does not start, you have another option.  If one is in the shop, no problem.  Assuming it is paid for, the annual cost is very low - Registration and insurance.  And the Odyssey will keep miles off the truck and vice versa.

HAPPY SHOPPING!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 08:11:21 PM by grashley »
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Buggy-Bumpers

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Re: The Right Truck And Its Use
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2017, 03:16:40 AM »
Some of us learn the HARD way.  Get more truck than what you think you need because when you go out TT shopping you will end up buying more TT than the truck you going to buy can handle safely.
If you really believe what the truck mfg's and dealers tell you about their trucks then you will end up in a world of hurt.  Yes they all say that their 1/2 tons can tow 9-12klbs but can you stop it and how long will the engine, tranny, and brakes last?  I've seen tons of 1/2 tons being over towed with 5th wheels, TT's and or slide in campers.  Most have a CCC of around 1500 - 2000lbs depending on build,
Find the TT you think want and see what it takes to pull it then get yourself a bigger truck than what is necessary.  You need stopping power and pulling power and good chassis that can handle the stress of towing.
Personally a 3/4 ton or larger with a diesel engine will get you thru 90% of your towing needs.  The advantage of diesel is you also have some sort of hill descent, exhaust brake.  This makes a big difference when hitting the hills. 
You will most likely get a bigger TT after a couple of years just due to wanting more room and having that bigger truck will allow you to do so.
Just MHO 
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