Which truck

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New member
Dec 28, 2005
Bromont Quebec Canada
Hi everyone,

I am a new member to this forum and I would like to know which truck is the best to tow a F.W. with a UVW of 4 300 lbs and a carrying capacity of 2700 lbs. The hitch weight is 995 lbs. We are looking at the Sun Valley X-treme lite 23RBSL f.w.

We live in Quebec Canada so we have to be careful with the gas prices.

Thank you in advance for all your very good advice.

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 14, 2005
west Los Angeles
OK, you seem to indicate that your trailer has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 7000 lbs..    Therefore, you want a tow vehicle of no less than 7700 lbs tow rating.  If you plan to visit the Rocky Mountain or Pacific West, make that 8400 lbs..  (The allowances are for payloads and aging truck and for the high altitudes and long, steep grades out west.)

With those numbers in hand go to the Trailer Life's website and their Tech Section's Tow Ratings for the year of truck you intend to buy.  Look for the models which have tow ratings that fit those limits.  Be sure to read the footnotes and fine print!  My guess is that you will be looking at equivalents of the Ford F-250 and 350 full sized pickups.

Fuel mileage:  Good mileage towing does not follow engine size like it does with trucks not towing something.  Trucks towing trailers have rotten mileage.  Period  The small cube engines have as bad if not worse than the big 6 and 7 liter monsters.  Torque, the important measurement for towing efficiency, is dependent on liters of displacement.  Small engines tow inefficiently.    If this truck is primarly a tow vehicle, buy big engines.    Diesel engines seem to have better towing properties but they have a few problems of their own -- not the least of which is the higher cost of fuel, currently US$0.25 per gallon out in my neck of the woods (Los Angeles, CA).   


Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
West Palm Beach, FL
Carl gives good advice.  If you tow often, a big block engine will provide better performance and economy too. If towing is an occasional weekend thing, then maybe a smaller engine will do better overall, even though it gets poor mileage when towing.  The other thing you want for good towing is a relatively high rear axle ratio, probably  in the 3.73-4.10 range. That's not an "economy" axle.

You can probably tow with a 1/2 ton truck (F150/1500) but you are near the upper limit of its towing capacity. Again, if you tow only occasionally, that may be the better choice, but if you tow frequently or long distances the 3/4 ton (F250/2500) models will do better.

As for which brand, it's pretty much a matter of personal preference. Ford, Chevy & Dodge all make excellent trucks these days and their drive trains are solid too.  Just don't opt for one of the small engines, e.g. a V6, on the assumption is it more economical because chances are it is not on an overall basis.  You can view the towing capacity for various trucks online - each manufacturer has a spec page that shows max towing capacity by model/engine/axle configuration. Pick one that covvers your rigs weight with some extra Head room, per Carl's suggestion. 

This page, for example, shows all the towing capacities for a 2005 Ford F150:  http://www.fordf150.net/specs/05f150.php

You need to be concerned with the towing limits and the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating). If you are not familair with terms like GCWR and GVWR, see the RV Glossary which can be found via this sites home page (www.rvforum.net).


Well-known member
Aug 15, 2005
Tempe, AZ

As others have said, the package you pull will dictate what type of truck you need.  I have a 28 ft Cherokee lite that weighs 5700 lbs empty. I pull it with a 2005 Dodge 1500 quad cab short bed, 4x4, 5.7litre Hemi, 20 inch tires, 3.92 rear end, 5-speed automatic.  It has a tow/haul mode that I use when pulling the TT. In tow/haul mode it doesn't shift into 5th gear  When I pull my trailer (in tow/haul mode) I get about 10 mpg.  On a recent 1000 mile trip in Arizona and Utah with pick-up alone, I average 17 mpg overall. The truck is rated for towing 8200 lbs.  I am very satisfied with my trucks ability to handle my trailer.  It has enough power for pulling the trailer up 6% mountain grades at a respectable 55 mph.  I was concerned when I bought the truck and wondered if I should have gotten a 2500.  But 80% of my truck milage does not involve towing or loads.  I went with the 1500 because I though it would have a better ride and better gas milage for the majority of my driving.  Still I wonder if a 2500 with roughly the same set up wouldn't perform about the same.

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