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Old 10-03-2015, 07:59 AM   #1
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1991 29' Excella
Rockwood , Ontario
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 23
Most Efficient & Capable 3/4 for Towing

Time to get a new truck... have been using my F150 for 3 years now and after many trips through steep grades, the truck is way overworked. Now before you jump all over me, I had the TRUCK FIRST, then the Airstream .

Looking at all 3 makers in the 3/4 ton, I don't really want a diesel since we only pull for about 5 weeks a year, then it is just a truck for regular stuff.

Any comments about V8 power as well as favourable gas mileage from the big three based on your experiences would be helpful.

Towing a '91 Excella 29ft.

Can't wait to weigh out the outcome

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Old 10-03-2015, 08:18 AM   #2
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1987 32' Excella
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I think Ford, GMC/Chev, and Dodge are all good trucks and very capable of towing your Airstream. We went from a Ford 150 to a Dodge diesel 8 years ago and the difference was astounding. 155000 miles later we are still towing with the "new" truck. I am a "diesel head". If buying new I think you ought to at least look at the possibility of the diesel. My wife drives ours daily and likes it.

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Old 10-03-2015, 08:40 AM   #3
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I, too, am a "diesel head" and would highly recommend one. I like Fords and would look at them first, but that's just my preference. If you go with a gasoline engine, you'll do fine with any of the 3/4-ton trucks. When I was a kid and after I left home, my dad did a lot of cross-country trailering with 3/4-ton trucks with gas engines. I would be happy if I could get 12-15 mpg with the gas engine while towing. The difference between the 3/4-ton drive train and your current F150 will be quite noticeable.

Good luck with your search.
“What’s good for me may not be good for the weak minded.”

1987 Avion 34W
1995 Ford F250 7.3L PowerStroke
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:03 AM   #4
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I saw a new F-150 at the dealership with a 3.5 Ecoboost and 2070 lbs of payload capacity. You could say that makes it a 1 ton truck with pretty decent fuel economy, and the boosted engine makes it's torque at a low rpm and keeps it at altitude. And without the extra 2,000 lbs of a heavy duty truck in structure, components, and ride stiffness you most probably don't need for towing an Airstream.

If you drop the 1/2, 3/4. and 1 ton arbitrary designations, and size according to needs there's some interesting choices.
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:19 AM   #5
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2012 30' Classic
Homosassa , Florida
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I towed with a 1500 Chevy 5.3 for 10 years and loved the truck. Since you tow infrequently I would look at 1500s again. We looked at our 10 year plan and went with a 2500 Chevy diesel(personal preference). Unless you plan to bump the load capacity of the truck stay with a 1500. If more travel is in your future I would very seriously look at a diesel. We average almost 2,000 miles per month mostly towing.
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:30 AM   #6
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If you do not want the diesel then I would stick with the F-150 with the 3.5 liter Eco-boost engine. It's plenty of truck for your rig and is a friendlier daily driver than any 3/4 ton. Lots of people I know pull their AS' with that truck/engine and they love it. Unless you plan to carry your rock collection or full wood-shop in the bed, the 3/4 ton is more chassis than you need for your purposes. In my opinion, the only reason to get the 3/4 is to get the diesel.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:05 AM   #7
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Princeton , New Jersey
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A major factor that all too many overlook when buying a TV is the rear axle ratio. The manufacture try and sell the lowest rear they can to get the government MPG approval rating as high as possible. If you are going to tow in any hilly areas consider this carefully or be prepared to lose speed on the hills
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1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 10-03-2015, 01:48 PM   #8
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1991 29' Excella
Rockwood , Ontario
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Wow...I feel confused! We really load up the truck with 2 people 2 big dogs, extra water, bag of dog food, mats, bikes, chairs etc. The trailer has all it's regular everyday stuff in it, as well as sometimes, a full fresh water tank.

I really thought going 3/4 ton would solve it all. My current F150 is a 2010 crew cab 4x4 with the 5.4L Engine, tow haul package trailer brakes, 20" tires, and the upgraded rear differential, can't remember what.

Anyway, it really feels overworked going up hills, and there have been some mechanical issues, that may or may not have been contributed from towing.

I get what you mean about the actual use of the truck for towing compared to other stuff with the truck.
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Old 10-03-2015, 02:38 PM   #9
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I think a f-150 should be plenty. I think that unless you buy something way oversized you'll find they all work hard going up a hill.
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:01 PM   #10
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Gas or diesel or?

I pull with a diesel, now with 100,000 miles....and it will go up any hill as fast as I like. Pulling at between 60 - 70 mph, as I allow the run downhill to have momentum for the uphill in hilly country, usually about 62- 65 mph on the flat, I get from 12 - 14 mpg. Not towing, in town I get 16+, on the road about 20+ mpg.

If, I were to purchase a gasoline engine, the Toyota Tundra with a V-8 or the Dodge with a big Hemi V-8. Probably poor mpg, but very nice trucks.

Oh, I do drive my 22' long Dodge around town, parking being the biggest issue.

The advantage for towing of the huge torque with diesel is IMO such a comfort, especially if one does long trips (>1000 miles each way) I do regularly. And, as I have a 60 gallon auxiliary fuel tank in the bed, I can cruise for a long time, about 1,000 miles, finding the least expensive fuel. With gasoline, no auxiliary tank is possible.
Happy trails and Good Luck
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:56 PM   #11
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I guess I'm a diesel head also. I've pulled with a GMC duramax, Ford power stroke & now a Ram eco diesel. Any 3/4 ton truck will support your effort, big time, & do it well but you going to miss out on the diesel envy from all your friends
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:15 PM   #12
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We like our 99 F250 SuperDuty diesel 4x4 short bed xtra cab 4 wheel antilock disc brakes with a cap on the bed - 17-18 mpg towing our 27' AS, 20+ when not ... it doesn't know the trailer is there on Colorado mountain passes, gusty cross winds, etc.
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:27 PM   #13
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Do some math. You won't save money with a diesel with gas as cheap as it is. You could get a used gas hog 3/4 ton and figure out how many miles you can travel on that $40-$50k you will save on a used gasser over a diesel. I paid $7000 for my used V10 Excursion so that leaves me a lot of money to buy gas. Don't know if you can get a pickup that cheap or not. The rednecks have to have trucks here in the south so even a junk one is expensive. Diesels are nice but it is just as easy to gear down. HP is HP.

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Old 10-03-2015, 05:42 PM   #14
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1987 25' Sovereign
Oregon , Ohio
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Bought a 2005 F250 V10 4.10 rear end with 38,000 miles two years ago for $10,000. It gets 9 to 11 mpg towing and 15 mpg not towing This past May I talked with a guy with a new 2015 F150 Eco boost, he paid $55,000, and gets 10 to 12 mpg towing. I figure I will have to tow about 500,000 miles at 2 mpg less to burn $45,000 worth of gas. I am 64 now and hope to tow for another 15 to 20 years. I do not think I will tow that many miles in that length of time.

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