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Old 01-16-2018, 03:52 PM   #1
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Truck or SUV? The Payload Almighty

I'm looking at potential tow vehicles, and stopped at three dealers over the weekend.

Ram Truck – A 1500 gas model. Drove pretty dang well for a pickup. Comfortable. I was impressed. This one was some kinda cowboy version. Laramie? I can't recall for sure ... whatever, it had stitching everywhere, and luxury this and that.

But the payload ... 980 pounds! How'd that happen?

I assume other Ram Trucks are not so handicapped, but I only tried this one.

Interesting that when I asked about the payload, the nice salesman said "9,000 pounds." I tried to explain but after three goes I gave up. He never did get it.

He even called back later to correct me ... he looked it up, he said. "9,000 pounds."

Chevy Tahoe – The Suburban shorty has a lot going for it. Liked it a lot, but it lacked some of the tech I'd like to see, such as the 360-degree camera. Did have one camera, pointed aft. That'd be handy.

Payload was good – 1,500-plus pounds.

Again, nice salesman took the payload question and gave me a "It'll pull 7,500 pounds" response.

I also drove a Chevy Silverado. Again, nice truck. But ... payload was less than on the Tahoe, by about 250 pounds. What the ...?

Ford Expedition – This is the new aluminum Ex-P. Got the 3.5 EcoBoost, and tech all over. Too pricey, though.

Payload? A solid 1,652 pounds.

Wanted to check out an F-150 but ran out of time. Dinner was calling.

I was surprised to see the strong payload numbers in the two SUVs. I'd prefer an SUV, so ... good to see. There were not options to boost the payload. No MaxTow. You get what you can get, but not more. Fortunately for me, 1,500 will work. 1,600 will work even better.

I was advised that trucks come with plenty of carmaker giveaway money, but SUVs don't. Bummer.

Bummer II ... the SUV prices have gone up since I bought my Suburban, 14 years ago.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:26 PM   #2
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All that stitching and bells and whistles adds weight and takes away from payload. I was going for the King Ranch/Laramie/Denali trim level till I figured it out.
Give the Nissan Armada a look see. For an SUV, 1500/8500 are good numbers.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:50 PM   #3
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I have of those cowboy RAM 1500's with all the stitching and it suffers from a bad case of payloaditis. I love the ruck otherwise. Really drives and rides nice. Gets decent MPG and has no issues pulling or stopping my 25' AS. But the payload issue. I've been watching the releases of the new 2019 Silverado 1500 and the 2019 RAM 1500 with interest to see how this issue will be addressed, especially in the RAM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:04 PM   #4
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If stitching takes away too much payload you're looking at the wrong truck. Go up a size.
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:27 PM   #5
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If stitching takes away too much payload you're looking at the wrong truck. Go up a size.
Now that would be just too easy! Plus, then what would I have to complain about!
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:07 PM   #6
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We have a ‘16 Suburban LTZ 4WD with the tow package. The package doesn’t increase payload, but it does give you HD cooling, an external oil cooler, 3.73 rear axle, and the two speed transfer case. When we’re hitched up, all four of us inside (the fifth kid is in college now and is too cool to camp with us), and tanks topped, we only have 100-150# of cargo capacity for gear. That’s not a lot, but we’ve made it work by putting more in the trailer (and staying well under it’s max). If you get a 2wd model, you gain a couple hundred pounds. If you get a Tahoe, you’ll gain another hundred or so in payload. As always, get on a scale and check your labels. YMMV

The other comment about a Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon is that you can’t get factory extendable mirrors. You have to use add-ons. Other than that, it’s a rock-steady tow platform. 5.3l gas does require a little patience, but you can get the 6.2 in the top of the line GMC Denali models. There’s changes for ‘18 that allow you to get the 6.2 in a sport Tahoe, but I’m not sure you can get the tow package with it. If you can do without the luxury toys, there’s a down-option Tahoe “Custom” that also allows a bench seat (subtract ~$400) and deletes the third row seat (more payload without the options). You can still get the tow package. There’s a 3500 model available for fleets, but forget towing - max trailer is about 3-4,000 lbs. There’s also talk of a diesel coming back. The old 3/4 ton diesel models were perfect; would love to see that class come back.

We love the ‘Burban, BTW. Meets all of our other daily needs better than a pickup. If it were just the two of us, we’d be all over a diesel pickup, but the kids kind of like being able to recline their captains chairs. It’s not like the old days...
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:58 PM   #7
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Payload aside, I debated for a while between SUV versus truck. In the end I decided that for us, a crewcab pickup with a cap on the bed would be the best option.

Reason being lots of space inside for all the passengers we would ever carry - or more high value or delicate items to be carried when just the two of us are off on an RV trip, plus all that storage pace in the back for things that I would not want to be messing up the inside of a nice SUV.

Things like ladder, gennie, gas can, toolboxes, axe shovel, trolley jack, air compressor, lawn chairs, boxes of boots and shoes, beer, water, and no end of other stuff I probably won't need - but you just never Know!

Hmmm ..... Maybe I SHOULD get it weighed one day when the trailer is hooked up as well!

In any event, it has served us very well indeed since we bought it new 8 years ago, still runs like new, and will likely last us as long as we need it!

Until last year this truck has also been our daily driver - recently picked up a little VW GTI for running around town and fun drives! Still prefer the truck on snowy winter days though!

Good luck with your choice!


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Old 01-16-2018, 08:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post

[snip]

Ford Expedition – This is the new aluminum Ex-P. Got the 3.5 EcoBoost, and tech all over. Too pricey, though.

Payload? A solid 1,652 pounds.


[snip]
That's a pretty impressive payload for a feature-loaded vehicle (I assume you mean Expedition Platinum).

I googled around looking for payload numbers by trim line, but failed to find any payload or GVWR numbers at all.

But I did find the hitch ratings, which are disappointing (like the previous Expeditions): 930 pounds for the short wheelbase, 900 for the long, when using weight distribution. This is published in the Expedition trailer guide PDF: https://www.ford.com/cmslibs/content...ition_Oct5.pdf
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:50 AM   #9
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But I did find the hitch ratings, which are disappointing (like the previous Expeditions): 930 pounds for the short wheelbase, 900 for the long, when using weight distribution
We are pulling a 19 International, which has a tongue weight that is (allegedly) under 600 pounds, so I’m good there (and we do use a weight-distributing hitch).

Thanks for the link to the Expedition trailer guide.

So far, the Ford Ex-P is leading the pack, but so far, everything looks pretty good.

We could end up with a truck with a cap on the back, but ... since the SUVs come with a perma-cap, we are inclined to go that route. Pay a price penalty, though.

We also like the lower center of gravity of the SUVs, though the newer models appear to sit a good bit higher than my 2004 Suburban. Trucks even more so.

It may be appearance only, but from the eye the Ford F-150 stands especially tall.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:03 AM   #10
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You may not want to carry a generator and fuel in the back of an suv. Not all payload is clean. Think dirty shoes, grills and other external accessories.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:16 AM   #11
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We towed for a few years with a Chevy dually 4 door pick up with a 454. Even with three kids the interior felt as big as an SUV. Payload limits were pretty much non-existent as far as camping gear went. 9 mpg on a good day. We've also towed with a Burb, Excursion, G500, and currently a Crewmax Tundra, but the dually was king of them all.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:52 AM   #12
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I would have preferred an Expedition as well but the starting price was $65K and ultimately, it did NOT offer all the safety options that the F-150 did (which is what I bought). I've never owned a pick-up before but I must say, what a ton of fun to drive!
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:17 AM   #13
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The Laramie probably has a 3.21 rear dif, plus a bunch of heavy options. My lower optioned 2 wheel drive Ram has a 3.92 rear dif and a 1520 load capacity. Someone suggested the Nissan Diesel - that may be a good fit for you
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:33 AM   #14
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Keep in mind that F-150 cab(s) are the same as on the F-250/350. The difference is in running gear and payload.
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