Originally Posted by rlepperson
Your recommendations, please. I potentially need a used, quad style, gasoline fueled pick-up truck that will pull a 6000 lb loaded airstream trailer, and carry a 1500-2000 lb payload capacity. As I will use the pickup for possibly 18,000 miles of independent driving and 2000 miles of towing per year (20, 000 miles total), I want to find the most fuel efficient “beast” possible. Of course, I also want it to tow well. Short bed vs. long bed? Four wheel vs. two wheel rear drive? Please, provide rationale.
If I were shopping, I would skinny down what I carry in the bed and shop for a used half ton short bed truck with a tow package. Unless you plan to boondock on earth and gravel or drive in the snow, I would go with 2wd.
A half ton is plenty of truck to tow your 6000 AS particularly in the flatland. Most of the time you will be driving the truck solo so that should be your first consideration. Yes short beds won't tow as well but long beds are a pain in the city.
You are probably looking at a V8 as used eco boosts are pricey and the first years the engine was out are the most problematic. Newer turbo diesels are tempting because of mileage but I think the technology is unproven and they will cost more than an eco boost.
I would shop for condition and price. Fords, Dodges, GMs, Nissans, and Toyotas will do the job if properly equipped. Shop around and find the one you like at the price you want to pay.
Toyotas and Nissans have bigger engines and you may find five liters is not enough even though those trucks have tow ratings that match your trailer.