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Old 12-24-2013, 02:48 PM   #15
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Having owned trucks all of my adult life my own opinion is that most of these comments come from folks who have purchased their first truck fairly late in life for towing and are struck by the differences to passenger cars. A lot of effort has gone into making 1/2 tons more acceptable (ride, interior options and mileage) for use where people are using them for daily commuting. On the other hand 3/4 and 1 tons are more considered work trucks so while these details have be addressed, the emphasis on their design is still on getting the work done and not loosing capabilities there.

Certainly there are some mileage differences between trucks just due to gearing and the weight you are hauling around. On the other hand you get more capability with the heavier trucks also. The exception is that if you go with a diesel in a 3/4 ton you don't gain as much in load hauling vs a correctly optioned 1/2 ton just due to the weight of the engine, which is why if you are getting a diesel it make more sense to me to get a 1 ton.

Oh and if you are considering a diesel it really isn't a good choice if you are planning on using it for short hops with lots of low speed and idle time for your daily use.

As to comments about turning radius, it is heavily related to wheelbase. Just to say a 3/4 or 1 turn worse than a half ton for this isn't valid unless you know what the wheelbase is. There is very little difference between most trucks if the wheelbase is the same but a long wheelbase, i.e. big cab with 8' box can be 6 to 10 feet more on curb to curb turning spec that short box. Also in some cases a 4x4 is actually smaller turn radius than a 2 wheel drive (if the 4x4 is in 2 wheel drive mode that is).
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
Add to the above that should you be in accident, you are far more likely to cause death and/or serious injury to the other party than you would as a car driver.

This is especially true for accidents involving pedestrians and larger trucks with their longer stopping distances and poor manoeuvrability. I don't have the percentages handy right now, and no time to google them, we've got friends coming over for Christmas eve, but I remember them being significant.
Comparing the safety aspects of sedans with heavy duty trucks is like comparing apples and oranges -- It is meaningless.

If you want to tow a heavy load, you need a heavy duty truck -- you don't have any other choice. They are not as good as sedans when it comes to handling, hence you need to drive slower.

If you want to tow a very heavy load, you need a tractor trailer -- you don't have any other choice. They are not as good as pickups when it comes to handling, hence you need to drive slower.

Porsche 911 or Subaru BRZ are amazing when it comes to handling. I don't think that makes them safe tow vehicles.

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Old 12-24-2013, 03:13 PM   #17
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So, for example, if I am reading the specs right.

A F150 crew cab with 6.5" box has a wheelbase of 156.5" a width of 79.2" and a overall length of 243.9"
A F250 crew cab with a 6 3/4' bed has a wheelbase of 156.2" a width of 79.9" and an overall length of 246.8"

I'm not seeing any meaningful difference in terms of slow speed parking and maneuvering, except that the heavier truck will probably be tougher to maneuver at highway speeds in terms of quick evasive swerves and such due to the extra weight.
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Old 12-24-2013, 03:32 PM   #18
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I don't consider my 2500 Suburban a terrific daily driver for many of the same reasons already identified. We live in an urban environment, about a mile from work. The "truck" hardly gets warmed up which lowers my mileage to 8-9 mpg in that situation. Secondly, it is a "truck" and rides like one. Don't get me wrong, I really like the 2500 Suburban as our tow vehicle - we just completed a 12,000 miles trip out west without missing a beat. All in all, if money were not an issue, I'd also have a BMW and keep the 'Burb only for its primary mission.
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Old 12-24-2013, 03:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Texasdiver View Post
So, for example, if I am reading the specs right.

A F150 crew cab with 6.5" box has a wheelbase of 156.5" a width of 79.2" and a overall length of 243.9"
A F250 crew cab with a 6 3/4' bed has a wheelbase of 156.2" a width of 79.9" and an overall length of 246.8"

I'm not seeing any meaningful difference in terms of slow speed parking and maneuvering, except that the heavier truck will probably be tougher to maneuver at highway speeds in terms of quick evasive swerves and such due to the extra weight.
I think F-150 has independent front suspension, while the F-250 has a solid front axle (4x4). That alone would affect ride quality, and may affect turning radius. The F-150 is also 1,000 or more pounds lighter. That would help handling. Lastly, in my opinion, the F-150 is simply prettier and not as hulking.

Looking at Fords website, just adding the higher end trailer towing package appears to also add payload without needing the 6.5' bed to the F-150. Check the payload capacities table under specifications. I think specing ecoboost, supercrew, and 3.73 rear end triggers it.

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Old 12-24-2013, 05:53 PM   #20
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I looked more closely at the F-150 specification on-line. It appears that a 4x4 SuperCrew truck with the 5.5' bed is the 145" wheelbase. So payload (max) is:

1520 lbs - Base unit
1900 lbs - Requires Max. Trailer Tow Package
2310 lbs - Heavy Duty Payload Package (requires 6.5' bed and 157" wheelbase)

I assume that interior upgrades and choice of tires could take a couple hundred lbs off the payload.

To my mind a truck with a 145" wheelbase is still a big vehicle. Its probably the largest I'd want to go as my daily driver/tow vehicle.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:06 PM   #21
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Both my 3/4 ton diesels are 4 wd and are my daily drivers.They both have custom suspensions that have improved the ride and handling.Each one has it's own personality,the 94 is a std cab long bed that makes it a better fit in parking and tight quarters,the 05 is a long bed quad cab-a bit long for parking in tight lots.You will never get a truck that can do substantial work to ride like a Caddy that can not work.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #22
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t let strangers that do not know you and your likes and dislikes tell you what you should drive
I agree.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #23
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Consumer Reports released their latest Worst New Cars by category today. Interestingly, the Ford 250, rather than Ram or GM, captured the Pick-up rating:

Here's the list by category:

•Compact /Subcompact Cars: Volkswagen Beetle with a 2.5-liter engine

•Midsized Cars: Nissan Altima 3.5 SL

•Large Cars: Ford Taurus Limited

•Luxury Cars: BMW 750Li

•Sports Cars/Convertibles: Chevrolet Camaro convertible 2SS with a V-8

•Wagons/Minivans: Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L

•Small SUVs: Ford Escape SE with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine

•Midsized SUVs: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

•Luxury/Large SUVs: Nissan Armada Platinum

•Pickups: Ford F-250 Lariat with a 6.7-liter V-8
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:23 PM   #24
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Besides parking the 22' RAM 2500 long bed "beast", the main difference was cost. I commute about 55 miles a day, and while the RAM gently driven gets about 17-19mpg, fuel costs add up. I was spending about $100 a week. Then, add the 10k service internals of oil change (12 qts) and 2 fuel filters @$80, and it gets spendy.

I drove the RAM about 4 months as a daily driver, then did a quick spreadsheet to realize if I parked it during the work week, I'd have about $300 month or more to spend. So last week, I found a very low mileage Acura TSX for a bargain price, which gets about 30-32mpg hwy, and is super comfy. Now, best of both worlds: sporty and efficient car for racking up the miles, and a great TV when I need it.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:28 PM   #25
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I drove 1/2 ton trucks for many-many years. I switched to 3/4 ton's in 2008 and have had 3 since 2008. All Chevy's. I used 1/2 ton trucks as daily drivers with no problem. The daily driver issues for the 3/4 tons for me is the turning radius which is 55 feet, I believe, for my truck. Turning radius makes it a pain when in parking lots. The other 3/4 ton issue is the mpg. My 6.0 gas engine gets a combine mpg of 12.5. Towing our Safari 25 on average runs about 9 to 9.5 mpg. But I love the the 3/4 ton trucks.

Edit: I looked on GM site and found that my turning radius is 50.5 feet. It is 2 feet larger than a 1500 crew cab with a standard bed. It may only be two feet but it feels like a large difference to me when I am in a parking lot.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:48 PM   #26
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Thanks guys. I do know what cars drive like. I've only been driving them for the past 34 years.

I was specifically asking about the truck comparison. Millions of people drive 1/2 ton trucks as their sole vehicle. Heck, half the vehicles in TX must be 1/2 ton pickups. But you don't tend to hear people saying "I love my F150 but it sucks as a daily driver". By contrast, nearly every thread discussing 3/4 ton trucks has someone saying something to the effect of "I love myF250/2500 etc. for towing but it sucks as a daily driver"

I was just wondering what exactly makes say an F250 worse to drive than a similarly sized and appointed F150.
Drive one and find out. Rent one for a weekend or even take a test drive at a dealer's lot.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:46 PM   #27
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A newbie full-timer with an 2011 F250 to pull and when home is parked, it's either the F250 or walking. Since I am an old man, I drive like one and the mileage (14-16) for side trips is acceptable and better than 2000 F150 I had to carry a cab-over slide in a few years back. For parking, it's a beast, but not particular more so than the F150 was. Biggest difference is the stiffer suspension when empty; road maneuvers on a rough patch will definitely have the truck dance a bit. Can't talk to any of the technicalities, but just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:02 AM   #28
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The rollover statistics on pickup trucks should get anyones attention. One doesn't just "walk away". A truck will roll over where a sedan will spin out.

What makes a "real" pickup (3/4 & 1T) a pain to drive is the combination of weight and wheelbase. As we live in a demonstrably stupid society one need only observe that truck drivers drive (a misnomer) a pickup the same way they drive cars. In both cases, cars or trucks, poorly.

Any vehicle pivots off the rear wheels. Long wheelbase makes all turns and other maneuvers slower to complete and to take longer. Time and distance. Doesn't matter where you go or what you do, a truck is slower. If it isn't, the driver needs his head examined.

Unless someone is a full-timer determined to carry waaay too much stuff along while traveling, or has IRS-deductible miles for a truck in business use, then it is an unnecessary choice for pulling an A/S.

Commuting and running errands in a pickup takes quite a bit more energy. Factor in reduced visibility and slick roads and . . hey, the phone is ringing.

There are those (the vapid) who believe that their "skill" will keep them from trouble. 3,061 dead Texans this year might contest that point. Risk minimization is the umbrella needed. And, within that, considerable caution.

A TT that can get through a slalom faster than a pickup while solo is what we have. A better TV than a pickup can be spec'd. A rollover with a TT attached is one truly bad scenario. Stick to the TV types which are far better in this regard (and steer and brake better).

The basics matter. Fully independent suspension cannot be beaten. A FORD Expedition is an example. As would be a HONDA Odyssey. Or a JEEP Grand Cherokee.

CG matters too. Low to the ground. As with a DODGE Charger.

Start iwth a clean sheet of paper. The concerns over weight is a part of faulty assumptions (advertising-driven). Stability is what matters. And weight is a detail in obtaining that.

The time and effort folks put into the TV really ought to be put into understanding why antilock disc brakes on an A/S is a more worthwhile use of their time.

Find the TV that best suits solo duties and that can also pull the TT and be done with it. Brakes and hitche lash-up is what really matters (past tire loads).

Good luck

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