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Old 01-23-2009, 11:16 AM   #57
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GMA’s, I do agree with your stance (however “exuberantly stated”)…I also had a negative experience with a yota, went back to GM, and never left again. Having said that, trying to convince those that have never towed with a ¾ ton just how much better it is, is also a waste of time. You just don’t know until you try it yourself.
A common misconception is the “ride” of a ¾ ton. Truth is a ¾ ton rides better than a ½ ton when towing. A ½ ton rides better when not towing. The increased performance and safety while towing is something each person has to weigh against any perceived ride quality while empty. When I had ½ tons, I could feel a difference in handling when loaded up for a ski trip with 3 people and gear (no TT) alone can eat up 75% of a ½ ton’s payload, never mind with a 25’ AS on the back. Not so with a ¾ ton; the handling isn’t phased by any load (except our TC…that is noticeable for sure.) Our truck is pretty much used for tow/haul duty, not a daily driver, we do use it for other long trips when not towing (ski trips etc,- heading North tonight!), so the ride unladed is not a big deal to us, I compensate by airing down the tires when not towing. Load range “E” tires on 3/4 have an operating window (45-80psi) versus load range “C” or “D” tires found on ½ ton which would usually only have a max pressure rating, so airing down “E” load range tires is acceptable, safe, and commonly done, and significantly improves the unladed ride .(If you go to test drive a ¾ ton, keep in mind tires are most likely at max psi.).
You were there once yourself, and now you have seen the light, others take a little longer to come around. (Naiveté explains a great deal when it comes to choice of tow vehicles; if you’ve never towed with anything bigger-how would you know? Knowing what I know now, I would never tow more than 6000# for any distance with anything less…but you, I, and many others have had the benefit of experience. Others cannot say that…yet. See my old post; “$.02 of towing advice” for the whole story). Most Folks start out thinking they will use their ½ ton for anything that comes their way, for many it is the first truck they have owned and they are duly impressed with owning a truck-any truck-, soon, they realize a ½ ton is a compromise between car and truck, and not really up to the task of serious tow duty (sound familiar?). A ¾ (or 1 ton) is no compromise; it is a tool intended for severe duty. Just about everyone here who tows with a ¾ started with a ½. I don’t know of anyone who started with a ¾ and went to a ½, so it really is a question of experience. Be patient, others will be “converted” in time…when you start to pull 25’ or greater, it really is time to step up. Anything less is a compromise in safety, comfort, and handling while towing.
We see that the OP has made his choice. We wish him safe travels. He has now begun his journey to gather towing experience and wisdom, and also many happy AirStream memories for his Family.

Bill
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:31 AM   #58
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GMA’s, I do agree with your stance (however “exuberantly stated”)…I also had a negative experience with a yota, went back to GM, and never left again. Having said that, trying to convince those that have never towed with a ¾ ton just how much better it is, is also a waste of time. You just don’t know until you try it yourself.
A common misconception is the “ride” of a ¾ ton. Truth is a ¾ ton rides better than a ½ ton when towing. A ½ ton rides better when not towing. The increased performance and safety while towing is something each person has to weigh against any perceived ride quality while empty. When I had ½ tons, I could feel a difference in handling when loaded up for a ski trip with 3 people and gear (no TT) alone can eat up 75% of a ½ ton’s payload, never mind with a 25’ AS on the back. Not so with a ¾ ton; the handling isn’t phased by any load (except our TC…that is noticeable for sure.) Our truck is pretty much used for tow/haul duty, not a daily driver, we do use it for other long trips when not towing (ski trips etc,- heading North tonight!), so the ride unladed is not a big deal to us, I compensate by airing down the tires when not towing. Load range “E” tires on 3/4 have an operating window (45-80psi) versus load range “C” or “D” tires found on ½ ton which would usually only have a max pressure rating, so airing down “E” load range tires is acceptable, safe, and commonly done, and significantly improves the unladed ride .(If you go to test drive a ¾ ton, keep in mind tires are most likely at max psi.).
You were there once yourself, and now you have seen the light, others take a little longer to come around. (Naiveté explains a great deal when it comes to choice of tow vehicles; if you’ve never towed with anything bigger-how would you know? Knowing what I know now, I would never tow more than 6000# for any distance with anything less…but you, I, and many others have had the benefit of experience. Others cannot say that…yet. See my old post; “$.02 of towing advice” for the whole story). Most Folks start out thinking they will use their ½ ton for anything that comes their way, for many it is the first truck they have owned and they are duly impressed with owning a truck-any truck-, soon, they realize a ½ ton is a compromise between car and truck, and not really up to the task of serious tow duty (sound familiar?). A ¾ (or 1 ton) is no compromise; it is a tool intended for severe duty. Just about everyone here who tows with a ¾ started with a ½. I don’t know of anyone who started with a ¾ and went to a ½, so it really is a question of experience. Be patient, others will be “converted” in time…when you start to pull 25’ or greater, it really is time to step up. Anything less is a compromise in safety, comfort, and handling while towing.
We see that the OP has made his choice. We wish him safe travels. He has now begun his journey to gather towing experience and wisdom, and also many happy AirStream memories for his Family.

Bill
I agree. No one has said a 1/2 will tow better than a 3/4 ton. the 3/4 tons have more power with the diesel and are a lot stiffer.

However I disagree with the ride. I have towed with both. I prefer to tow with my Sequoia than a 3/4 ton truck. The ride is softer, not as harsh. Plus I have two small children and the back seat of the 3/4 2006 dodge I have towed with is not that great. Double doors. Seats to upright. Not as comfortable as the seats in the Sequoia. I have also driven it the 1300 miles to seattle and back a few times. Man it bounces down the road even with a load in the back.

Now if it was just me and the wife, and we pulled the trailer full time and thats it. Sure I would consider a 3/4 ton.

The point is most people who have 1/2 tons won't switch till there needs do. most people don't pull full time, and don't need the overkill for other stuff.

There are even dodge magnums pull 30' AS And do a great job.

Check out the threat I posted, It's neat to see how many people are happy with what they tow with.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:32 AM   #59
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Bill,

Not to be contradictory, but in the past I owned a 3/4 ton truck...orignally bought it for hauling a cab over camper. Had no problems with it, but it did have a stiff ride when not towing or hauling.

So, I am one who owned a 3/4, and switched back to a 1/2, albeit a long time ago.

For my needs, my HD, towing package equipped, 1/2 ton serves me perfectly.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:58 AM   #60
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Now I have learned a 3/4 ton has both a stiffer and not stiffer ride than a 1/2 ton. Since people are talking about different brands, models, model years, accessory packages, it's probable that some 3/4 tons are and some are not stiffer.

We had a '02 Sequoia for several years and it definitely has a soft ride. The seats were wonderfully comfy. It was an excellent cruiser. It was built on the same chassis as the 1st gen. Tundra, but with a softer suspension and about a ton more weight. I have no idea how it tows a trailer, but I have no reason to disbelieve purman who knows a lot about motor vehicles. The newest Sequoias are built on the 2nd gen. Tundra chassis, starting in '08 I believe, and must be a formidable vehicle.

These tow vehicle threads always end up "my truck can beat up your truck". For some people an Abrams tank may be the best TV (extra-stiff ride) and for others, an Oldsmobile Toronado.

Why don't we talk about religion instead? I'm just waiting for the first post on Zoroastrianism.

So, Libo, did you pick up your Airstream? What kind of hitch did you get? Have we scared you off yet?

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Old 01-23-2009, 12:16 PM   #61
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Check out the threat I posted
It's not nice to post threats (sic)
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:19 PM   #62
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Why don't we talk about religion instead? I'm just waiting for the first post on Zoroastrianism.

Gene

Well I can see a resemblance of the struggle between light and dark in this thread.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:20 PM   #63
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1/2 Ton to 3/4 Back to 1/2 Ton

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex View Post
I don’t know of anyone who started with a ¾ and went to a ½, so it really is a question of experience.
Bill
Bill, As I have stated in the past I switched to the 2008 Tundra, 5.7 after pulling for 3 years or so with the 3/4 Suburban with the 8.1. Sure I don't have the 8.1 power anymore but what I do have is a truck that is able to pull safely any trailer I own everywhere I want to go inlcuding out to the west coast. The power with the 6 speed allows me to get out into traffic without a problem, the frame questions and stuff on the websites is not a problem, the truck will take the weight, either GVWR or GCWR and the ride is good regardless of if I'm hooked or not. The other big part of the picture is the stopping distances and the Toyota out performs the 3/4 Suburban. (IMHO). I think the big plus here is that the Toyota stays out of the shop, the 3 Suburbans I have before it could not, I no longer sit on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck!

So I guess here is a post from a guy who did go from a 1/2 to 3/4 and back to the 1/2.

As I have stated before I like my Tundra and glad I have it.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:00 PM   #64
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OK, here goes my 2 cents in the 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton debate.

We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy, who tips the scales for travel at or near 7,300#. During the past two years, we have towed Lucy over 40,000 miles all over the United States.

We are probably some of the very few people who have towed the same Airstream with both 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton tow vehicles of the same make alternately during the same time period.

When we bought Lucy in June of 2006, we owned a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe two-wheel drive with the 5.3 liter V-8. This is a 1/2 vehicle with coil spring rear suspension. We also owned a 2005 GMC Yukon XL 2500 four-wheel drive Quadrasteer with the 6.0 liter V-8. This is a 3/4 vehicle with leaf spring rear suspension.

We pulled Lucy with both of these tow vehicles, and these are my assessments after this side-by-side comparison.

- Both the Tahoe and the Yukon XL could pull Lucy at highway speeds on fairly level ground without hesitation. On grades above 3%, the Tahoe started to strain. The Yukon XL had no trouble with until it hit about 6% grade. The Tahoe did not do very well at all up the really steep grades.

- Both tow vehicles did not show any evidence of sway with the Hensley hitch system.

- The most noticeable difference between the two TVs was in the braking department. The Tahoe just didn't have the braking power of the Yukon XL to the point that it slightly scared me a couple of times. I found myself using the manual trailer brake control very often with the Tahoe. The Yukon XL's brakes were much more confidence inspiring.

- While not towing, I really didn't notice any appreciable difference in the ride. The longer wheel base of the Yukon XL probably helped in that area.

- Gas mileage of the Tahoe while not towing was 16 mpg; towing Lucy made it 10 mpg. The Yukon XL did 13 mpg while running solo; while pulling Lucy, it dropped to 11 mpg. I was surprised that the 3/4 ton actually did better than the 1/2 ton in the gas mileage department while towing.

The bottom line is that last March I replaced the Tahoe with a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 (3/4 ton) two-wheel drive Quadrasteer with the 6.0 liter V-8. We tow so much that we like having a back-up tow vehicle. The 1/2 ton Tahoe was just not deep enough into my comfort zone.

Brian
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:19 PM   #65
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OK, here goes my 2 cents in the 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton debate.

- Gas mileage of the Tahoe while not towing was 16 mpg; towing Lucy made it 10 mpg. The Yukon XL did 13 mpg while running solo; while pulling Lucy, it dropped to 11 mpg. I was surprised that the 3/4 ton actually did better than the 1/2 ton in the gas mileage department while towing.

Brian
Brian - we noticed the same thing. When we were towing with our F-150 (1/2 ton gas) we averaged around 10 mpg. On our first trip with our new F-250 (3/4 ton diesel) we averaged almost 13 mpg towing - and the F-250 is nowhere near broken in yet.

We also noticed that the breaking was much better with the F-250.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:03 PM   #66
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How about comparisons of Chevy to Ford to Dodge to Toyota to Nissan. It's possible a 1/2 ton Brand A could be superior in some or many regards to a 3/4 ton Brand B. And comparing 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton with a 28' Safari is different than a 25' because the Safari weights are different. I realize Brian, Jim and Rod's experiences are valid for their situations, but making comparisons is difficult because they can't be generalized.

There are so many variables that making decisions based solely on 1/2 vs. 3/4 ton is simplistic. For example, a '96 Ford may have bigger brakes than my '07 Tundra, but does the Ford have 4 wheel discs? Even then, how sophisticated is a '96 braking system compared to an '07? Can a 3/4 ton be too much truck for a Bambi?

A better way to decide what vehicle meets specific needs is to decide what it takes to tow a specific trailer. Some of that can be reduced to numbers, some cannot. Then either figure out what truck fits the trailer, or what trailer fits the truck. Part of that analysis has to be what's important to you—if you have to have a diesel, that eliminates a lot of vehicles; if you have to have a Classic, likewise for trailers. If there's no good match, change something. Part of decisions are not just GVWR, etc., but what you like. That part can really confuse things.

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Old 01-23-2009, 02:43 PM   #67
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It's not nice to post threats (sic)
But they work so well, Don't they? Opps.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:01 PM   #68
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A better way to decide what vehicle meets specific needs is to decide what it takes to tow a specific trailer. Some of that can be reduced to numbers, some cannot. Then either figure out what truck fits the trailer, or what trailer fits the truck. Part of that analysis has to be what's important to you....

Gene

Amen. This is America...we're not all the same, and that's OK.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:15 PM   #69
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How about comparisons of Chevy to Ford to Dodge to Toyota to Nissan. It's possible a 1/2 ton Brand A could be superior in some or many regards to a 3/4 ton Brand B. And comparing 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton with a 28' Safari is different than a 25' because the Safari weights are different. I realize Brian, Jim and Rod's experiences are valid for their situations, but making comparisons is difficult because they can't be generalized.

There are so many variables that making decisions based solely on 1/2 vs. 3/4 ton is simplistic. For example, a '96 Ford may have bigger brakes than my '07 Tundra, but does the Ford have 4 wheel discs? Even then, how sophisticated is a '96 braking system compared to an '07? Can a 3/4 ton be too much truck for a Bambi?

A better way to decide what vehicle meets specific needs is to decide what it takes to tow a specific trailer. Some of that can be reduced to numbers, some cannot. Then either figure out what truck fits the trailer, or what trailer fits the truck. Part of that analysis has to be what's important to you—if you have to have a diesel, that eliminates a lot of vehicles; if you have to have a Classic, likewise for trailers. If there's no good match, change something. Part of decisions are not just GVWR, etc., but what you like. That part can really confuse things.

Gene
Gene - as usual - you've made some really good points. There have been some attempts on this thread to compare a lot of different things and it does tend to confuse the issue. Yes, you can cross compare vehicles, it's done all the time in the industry. It just requires applying a set of measurement standards consistently across the board. (Not frequently done here!!)

I've been only comparing the 1/2 ton Ford to the 3/4 ton Ford because that's all I've owned and towed with. Comparing those two trucks together based solely on 1/2 vs 3/4 may appear to be simplistic but in reality it's a valid comparison because they are from the same line and have many of the same features - but - very different driving and towing characteristics.

The 25' and the 28' Flying Cloud / Safaris both weigh in at a GWVR of 7300# - it's pretty safe to compare the two interchangeably. Any differences as to how they feel behind a TV would probably be negligible .

Another point you raised that I've wondered about is when you said "It's possible a 1/2 ton Brand A could be superior in some or many regards to a 3/4 ton Brand B." It makes me wonder how the 1/2 ton Brand A (Tundra) stacks up to the 3/4 ton Brand B (F-250). I'd love to know how the Tundra would perform (compared to the 250) hauling our 28' Safari through the Rockies.

I'm intrigued with the Tundra. I recently rode in AZflycaster's Tundra (not towing) and it was a really nice truck. I wonder if we got a Tundra instead of the F-150 for our first TV if we would have traded it up. Since 1981 at least one of our vehicles has been a Toyota or a Toyota product (Lexus). They have ALL been great cars! For the last 16 years we've had Fords as a second vehicle (also very good).

We ended up with the F-250 this time because of 3 things:
1 - price (incredible end-of-year closeouts),
2 - having had good luck with Fords in the past, and
3 - not being sure if going to a Tundra from the F-150 was a big enough step up.

All in all we're very pleased with the new F-250. It's towing capabilities are amazing!

As for towing a Bambi with a 3/4 ton - yup, it's like killing a fly with a shotgun!

Anyhow... I've rambled on enough.
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:07 PM   #70
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Thanks for the compliment on my truck. Since my trailer is vintage and only tips the scale at around 5,000 pounds, I do not know how it would work with a much larger trailer but it tows mine with little or no effort. It's a sweet ride. Plenty of go when I want it and plenty of stop when I need it.
I towed with a 1st generation Tundra (2003) before I bought the 07. It was a good truck, but was a little light on power on the big uphills and the back seat was a little small for the two big dogs. I traded it in after four trouble free years and got back over 60% of what I paid on the trade. The new Tundra is a much different truck and is a lot more fun to drive. The pull over Wolf's Head Pass would not have been as much fun in the old Tundra. I've had this truck for 1 1/2 years and it has only been in the shop for fluids and filters.
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