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Old 07-12-2017, 08:44 PM   #1
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Toyota/Ford/Dodge/Chevy/Etc.

I have a good friend in AZ who owns a Dodge with diesel. He also owns a Chevy and a Ford, all heavy-duty trucks, so I guess he's multi-lingual on towing vehicles.

I currently drive a '97 Toyota 4Runner (the LTD not the wiener SRV) and I hauled a big stock trailer (with small horse) over slushy/icy roads from the Bitterroot Valley up to Kalispell and back some years ago and had power to spare. Still drives like a car, too.

I had a dear friend near Missoula (with money to spare) who, several years ago, went to the dealer at the south end of Missoula. Dealer sold both Fords and Toyotas. Friend asked dealer, "So you sell both. Which would YOU buy?" and dealer asks, "You gonna be hauling a heavy loaded trailer over the Montana passes several times a year?" Friend says "Nope." Dealer says, "Then buy the Toyota Tundra."

Friend of mine south of here in Oregon bought a Tundra specifically for hauling a big loaded horse trailer. Her truck rides better than my 4Runner (but then it's also 10 years and 100K miles younger).

Votes from longtime haulers here? If you were going to buy a new or used tow vehicle, what would you look at tomorrow? And if you're familiar with the Tundra, why would you choose something else?

THANKS.
Kelly.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:12 PM   #2
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If I were going to buy another tow vehicle it would be what I've been towing with, 2006 Dodge 3500 SRW four door short bed automatic. It would have to be either an '06 or the first half of '07 with the 5.9 Cummins. Easy to work on. Lot's of internet knowledge. Great daily driver, around town truck due to it's shorter than all the competition wheel base. Pre-emission higher standards. Most proven trouble free diesel ever (with a nod to the 7.3 Ford, a close second). They take a lot of grief because of their tansmission but they are adequate. Professional drivers love the rig. Every time I go anywhere near a truck dealer they try and buy mine as there is a steady demand.

I've got 170,000 relatively trouble free miles on mine towing up to 15,000# from Florida to Alaska and all points in between. As I plan on keeping it, and keeping traveling with a trailer, I've recently been putting some cash back into it to bring it up to standards. If you are at all mechanical they are the easiest of truck to work on. I just put new brakes on, calipers, rotors, pads, brake lines, $700. Although it was working fine I wanted to redo the air conditioning as I travel in the desert a good bit and didn't want it to fail at the worst time. New OEM parts, compressor, condenser, accumulator, expansion valve, wet line, freon, $500, complete. I did spring for upper and lower ball joints and tie rods, to the tune of $1,300 as I've got a torn rotator cuff and the heavier stuff is getting painful to me. I've been warned since the day I bought the truck that the transmission was the weak link and it may be, but at 170K miles it's still running cool as a cucumber. $4,500 to $5,000 will buy you the best of the best upgraded transmission and torque converter, installed (not a competition tranny, but something built for heavy hauling). I have a shop in Atlanta I plan on using but first I'm going to wait for some sign that the tranny is getting weak. Many of these 5.9 Cummins go well over 500K trouble free miles. I figured putting $8K to $10K into it to bring it back up to standards beats $40K of truck payments (after trade in) on a truck with a bunch of complicated emission controls and computers.

But that's just me. Good luck with what ever you get, most of them are very good if you take care of them.

As far as the Tundra goes, I can't answer directly to that. I traded in a V-6 Tacoma that I absolutely loved on the Dodge. I never thought I'd ever drive anything but a Toyota or a Honda, then I began a lifestyle calling for a diesel truck. It must have been '07 when they came out with the new Tundra and I was waiting on that before moving on one of the big 3 diesel trucks. I never thought I'd be caught dead driving a Chrysler product but the fuel economy on the Tundra turned me off. I get much better mileage from my one ton diesel than I did with the v-6 Tacoma.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:14 PM   #3
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We had an earlier Tundra and Tacoma. Extreme frame rust on both, leaking main seal, failed alternator and lousy gas mileage on the Tundra led us to purchase two Ram 1500s since. The 2012 Hemi and 2016 EcoDiesel Rams have been trouble-free, have a remarkable ride, and provide excellent fuel economy.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:01 AM   #4
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Our daughters former fiancee is a diesel mechanic in the natural gas fields responsible, with his boss and one other mechanic for servicing and repairing the 300 + diesel pick ups the company has. The fleet is comprised of all three major manufacturers and all diesel.

Separately last year I asked both of them, "so, which diesel pick up is the best in your experience". Both, said Ford 6.7 with the Ford 6 speed automatic. They had zero experience with Toyota, but had a number of Dodge and GMC trucks along with Fords in the fleet. So, it's a Ford F350 Crew short bed for us. So, far not disappointed.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:42 AM   #5
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Our 2012 Tundra rides like new at 72,000 miles. If you are going to keep your truck for a long time, or you are going to run up a lot of miles, the Tundra is the way to go. I think you give up a mile or two mpg, but knowing you aren't going to be sitting on the side of the road is worth a few extra bucks.. (in my most humble opinion..) I think Toyota takes extra steps in the quality area, that other manufacturers just don't do.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:54 PM   #6
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As I have posted before, as a business owner I've owned all brands. The worst ever was an '11 Ram 1500 Hemi. Second worst '07 GMC 1500. Best overall half ton Tundra 5.7 4x4 crew. Best tow vehicle Ram 2500 Cummins. Newest disappointment: '15 GMC Z71 with 42k miles. AC condenser bad, went to dealer to buy part, none available. 16 on back order, receiving 1 a week. Obviously a factory defect with failures showing up just out of warranty.
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyAndersson View Post
use

Votes from longtime haulers here? If you were going to buy a new or used tow vehicle, what would you look at tomorrow? And if you're familiar with the Tundra, why would you choose something else?

THANKS.
Kelly.
Steering, handling and brakes outweigh other considerations.

The truck with independent front suspension, rack & pinion steering, and four wheel antilock disc brakes tops the list.

The rest is details. Not serious considerations for a tow vehicle.

FWIW, I'm third generation going back more than fifty years. And have used pickups in oilfield hauling (as well as being an OTR truck driver).

Someone tells you you "must" have 4WD, you can safely discount the rest of their advice.

Etc

Take your time. A pickup may not at all be the best choice. That's in itself a bad assumption.


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Old 07-20-2017, 07:24 PM   #8
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If you're looking for quality and reliability there are no 100% guarantees. You can always find people who love or hate any manufacturer based on their experience. BUT you have to play the averages. If you're looking for quality / reliability, your best bet is the Tundra. If you need something more than a regular half-ton, then you have to look elsewhere... maybe Ford.
We have a 2015 Tundra 4x4 Crew and love it. It does a great job pulling our 23D..very stable & strong. Our MPG towing through mountains has been 11-12. We've seen 18 on the highway solo, and everything else in between. Not exactly a Prius, but we didn't buy it for long solo commutes. FWIW
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:37 PM   #9
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I transport new TTs from manufacturers to dealerships mostly going over the western grades. Since only rarely do I ever tow anything over 9k with most being in the 6 to 7K (dry) range I use the Ram Ecodiesel with 3.92 gear 8 speed. 340,000 miles. Mine has been stone reliable with normal average towing economy of 15 mpg at 65 mph.

Tundra is a solid reliable truck but with the worst fuel economy who can afford to drive or tow with them except locally or sporadically. At least not commercially where fuel economy comes directly off or before achieving a profit.
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:43 PM   #10
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Factor in the price of diesel vs 87 octane E-10 and the fuel cost difference is not so much. Diesel can be 10-20% higher in price.
Then factor in the premium you pay for the diesel package on the truck. suddenly 11-12 towing mpg in a tundra doesn't look so bad.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:43 PM   #11
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Great replies from others.

I own a 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4x4...blinged out version. You've already heard the pros of the Tundra from others. Cons are poor fuel economy (already mentioned), low payload (especially with the premium versions and 4 wheel drive similar to mine), and 1/2 ton braking (vs larger brakes on 3/4 and 1 ton pickups).

For a 25' Airstream and how we use the pickup I would buy a Tundra again. But it has those cons which are not to be taken lightly.

Have fun with whatever you choose. I think they're all darn good vehicles nowadays.

Chris
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:34 AM   #12
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@Meeks: just curious about the 4wd and brake comment. I agree about payload, but we make it work.
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:12 AM   #13
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I have a lot not fun with the idea TT is a "1/2 ton". Brake and rotor size and frame gusseting where the biggest in industry in 07 and still compare to 3/4 in other species! Rear springs are about only vestige of a 1/2 ton that I can see. Certainly tow rating is high regardless of model.
Fuel mileage is only poor compared when not towing. Towing mileage is very similar to most other brands.
Unless u tow weekly, I have never been able to say the cost of diesel packages and fuel pencil out.
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I have a lot not fun with the idea TT is a "1/2 ton". Brake and rotor size and frame gusseting where the biggest in industry in 07 and still compare to 3/4 in other species! Rear springs are about only vestige of a 1/2 ton that I can see. Certainly tow rating is high regardless of model.
Fuel mileage is only poor compared when not towing. Towing mileage is very similar to most other brands.
Unless u tow weekly, I have never been able to say the cost of diesel packages and fuel pencil out.


Yeah, but the GVWR must be pretty conservatively set at 7200 lbs. our 2015 crew max with trailer connected us and stuff in vehicle weighed out at 7100. Would be nice to have more margin but like I said, we make it work.
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