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Author Topic: Affordability and quality of tow vehicle  (Read 499 times)

Jan C Wright

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Affordability and quality of tow vehicle
« on: October 14, 2017, 01:36:53 PM »

My next newbie question is potentially touchy because it relates to if and how I can afford purchasing a travel trailer and tow vehicle.  I don't want to get into specifics because every one's financial situation is their own business, but I'm curious about the thought processes people went through when they made their decision on what to purchase. 

We're pretty settled on the type of travel trailer we want - a 30 foot rear living floor plan seems to give us the floor plan and space we best like.  We've also pretty much decided we can't afford a new tow vehicle but I'm pretty sure we'll need a Ford F250 or a Dodge Ram 2500 or something similar.  I think that recent used vehicles might be within my price range but would make for a solid vehicle.

What thought processes did you go through about getting the RV and tow vehicles you needed without having to sell the farm.  If people need more particulars (short of displaying my tax forms), I'll see what I can provide to help.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


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Re: Affordability and quality of tow vehicle
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 01:57:05 PM »
For what it's worth, my suggestion is go at least one size up from what you think you will need.  Gas vs Diesel is a never ending subject, with supporters of both.  Good luck, happy camping :D


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Re: Affordability and quality of tow vehicle
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 02:25:23 PM »
You really need to buy the trailer before buying the truck to make sure you get enough truck to pull the trailer. And there is a lot more than just can this truck pull this trailer. Will it brake safely and how will it handle in a cross wind. And as txkreddog says it is best to step up one size bigger since you will eventually want a larger trailer and at that point you need to replace the truck and the trailer if it is too small for the new one. Don't underestimate the size trailer you will want because the longer you use your RV the smaller it gets.
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Roy M

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Re: Affordability and quality of tow vehicle
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 02:29:13 PM »
I would look at the trailer GVWR on the tongue or on a decal on the inside of a cabinet door. Add 20%, you now have the minimum tow rating you should be looking for in a truck. New vs used is a never ending question. I guess it boils down to what the truck will be used for. Will it be primarily a daily driver or tow vehicle?
Pros of new
No previous abuse, you know the history
Full new vehicle warranty
Best if you plan to keep it a long time
Spec it the way you want
That new truck smell and feel can't be beat
High initial cost
You absorb all the depreciation
You have to deal with minor issues which plague every new vehicle.
I would suggest a clean well maintained used unit, it sounds like you are new to rv'ing
Lower initial cost
Initial depreciation has already been absorbed
The bugs should be out of it
Shorter service life
May not find the options you want
May have to replace tires, brakes and other pricey items
Used car warranties are a cash cow for the dealer and often not worth the paper they are printed on.

What have I left out? ;D

Old Blevins

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Re: Affordability and quality of tow vehicle
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 05:39:58 AM »
We knew the trailer and, as Seilerbird mentioned, that really helped with the truck decision.  We knew we'd be towing through the mountains a lot, so we wanted the torque of a diesel.  That meant used, since new diesels were more than made sense for us.

We wanted a long wheelbase for more control over our 11,000 lb trailer. So we wanted a long bed, which also gave us more room to haul stuff.  We have a dog, and we also wanted to be able to carry passengers, so that meant a crew cab.  Finally, we wanted a fairly high payload and found used 1 tons don't cost much more than used 3/4 tons. They also get pretty much the same mileage and don't cost any more to maintain. That gave us more flexibility to move up to a fifth wheel if we should so choose. We did not want the extra width and cost of dualies, so we got SRW.

Then it was just a matter of choosing make and trim line and matching the age of the truck to our budget.

It took us awhile to find a That Truck, but it was worth it.
2006 Silverado SRW 1-Ton 4WD Diesel
2006 Arctic Fox 29V
1985 Brawley 2-Horse Straight-Load Trailer


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Re: Affordability and quality of tow vehicle
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2017, 06:03:44 AM »
As Roy M said, this decision is somewhat based upon how you plan to use your RV.  Are you planning to full time or just go out on occasional weekends? 
When I did the calculation for a trailer or a 5th wheel I soon realized that a truck that was adequate to pull something we liked added to the cost of that RV could well be more than the cost of a comparable MH since I didn't plan to drive the less economical truck when not RV'ing and would also have to pay to store that truck.
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
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Re: Affordability and quality of tow vehicle
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2017, 08:41:29 AM »
I think Jim (old blevins) has articulated the process as best can be done i did the same process but have a 2017 dually as for me i like my trucks new. But over the years and a lot of vehicles i have repated this same process as circumstances and situations have change ie kids marriages pets finances etc etc to where i am now 30 yrs ago i didnt think i would have done all that in my life lol but im at the point where i have topped out but done probably a more tedius way trading up as my needs changed. But ive been lucky knowing the Car dealers and rv dealers as childhood friends and not taking too big a hit each time
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2014 F150 Ecoboost Reg cab (company truck) daily driver
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded  5167lbs cargo/weight capacity
Selling truck parts for 15 yrs plus
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