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Old 09-23-2020, 11:55 AM   #1
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Best 1/2 ton TV for 30 ft International

I'm in the process of buying a new 30'rbt and am looking for the best TV that can be used as my everyday driver. I do realize that 3/4 ton would be better but I'm looking to find a compromise that will take me through the next 3 years. Our use will be the typical family vacations for long weekends and maybe 1-2 long week or two week trips, we live in the NE (once my wife and I go more full time a 3/4 ton will be in our future but until then I'd like to stay with 1/2 ton). Currently looking at GMC Sierra SLT with either diesel or gas and the F-150 diesel or gas. I will be going with crew cab setup and 6.5' bed (unless other feel the shorter bed will give you a better towing experience). Thanks for your input on the pros and cons of each.

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Old 09-23-2020, 01:09 PM   #2
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Do search this question was just asked and the answer is 3/4 or 1 ton is was better at that size. Payload is the gotcha.
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Old 09-23-2020, 01:25 PM   #3
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Either the Sierra or F150 can work well. I would go with the Ecoboost 3.5 and avoid the diesels.

To get one configured properly you may need to order it instead of buying what is on the dealer lot.

JonDNC: that may be an answer, but to a different question.
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Old 09-23-2020, 01:27 PM   #4
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Drive the GMC HD truck before you finally decide. You're looking at the long-wheelbase half-ton, which is really close to the length of the short-wheelbase HD trucks. Having "truck tires" on the HD truck will firm up the ride a bit, but for a 30' trailer that's likely to be a good thing.

A good dealer will let you "test drive" an HD truck overnight if you seem like a serious buyer and ask (esp. if it's a used unit w/ miles on it already.)

I specified the GM because the GMC and Chevy are the only ones with independent front suspension on the 4WD HD models... if you're looking at 2WD I think they all have a decent front end, but double-check that, I wouldn't swear to it.

My main reason for sticking with a half-ton was for the foot-shorter wheelbase (I have the short bed) and to avoid the truly-silly height of the HD 4WD trucks.

I have heard good things about the GM 3-liter diesel, and I prefer an inline 6 to a V6. The Ford diesel is less universally liked, and is going to leave you with less payload (it's not available in the HD Payload version, if I remember correctly)

IF you're OK with the long-bed crew-cab, with an F150 you can order the HD Payload Package (627) and have a "tweener" that's actually more capable than a 3/4 ton from the 90s or before, but that limits you to the "mid-level" XLT or base-level Lariat trims, and to gas engines. It'll also be hard to find (to the point that you may have to custom-order it) and with an F250 you could get a high-luxe truck that's the same length that (with the gas engine) will have the same payload. (that big Powerstroke does eat into payload.)
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Old 09-23-2020, 02:23 PM   #5
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Easy answer would be an F150 with the max tow package. Personally I'd have to give a serious look at a Nissan Titan XD gas for what you have in mind.
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Old 09-23-2020, 02:38 PM   #6
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Ditto on the Nissan Titan XD. I have one and it is quiet, comfortable and (knock on wood) mine has never been in the shop except for routine maintenance. While I have the diesel version (now discontinued) the gas version has a near bulletproof 5.6 liter V8. It is rated to tow over 11,000# and has a payload in the vicinity (depending on trim level) of 2200#

Sort of a 5/8 ton.

They are much, much less expensive than their Big Three counterparts as Nissan is desperate for market share...
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:17 PM   #7
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3/4 ton of any of the big three.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:32 PM   #8
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My first answer to the op's question, based on experience, would be to add a 1/4 to that half ton.

That being said, if you're set on a half ton, do some math. Check out the door jamb stickers on some of them on the lot. Find the payload capacity. Begin to deduct first, the tongue weight of your trailer. Then deduct the weight of all passengers. Then deduct whatever weight of cargo you'll be hauling in the truck. See what you come up with.

My F250 has a payload of 3,111 pounds.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:56 PM   #9
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You are really looking at what option package will give you the maximum payload. In the F150 line you can get up to 2,000lb payload on an F150 but you'd be giving up some things you might like, 4x4 for example. That might be a good tradeoff in your case, though. You also can't go crazy with fancy options. I'd recommend not going higher than the XLT trim. This is really too much trailer for a 1/2 ton truck but then you know that.

It's all about the payload rating. Be sure you've watched and understand this video from Keep Your Daydream.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:01 PM   #10
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Silverado 1500 maxtow, ltz, 6.2L. 2034 payload. Dont necessary need 2500/250 if spec'ed correctly.

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Old 09-23-2020, 08:35 PM   #11
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I do believe it's fully reasonable to tow a 30ft International with a 1/2 ton, so long as it's appropriately optioned. Manufacturer tow rating specs firmly support that.

In regard to options, don't forget to consider one with a tow package and a larger gas tank option. It will make a big difference to having reasonable range when towing a larger and heavier Airstream. Fuel stops aren't exactly fun to maneuver through with a larger rig.

Some brands don't even support options for a larger tank and hamstring you with a smaller 24 gallon tank. Perhaps to balloon up their payload ratings as fuel weight doesn't have to subtract from the GVWR of the chassis.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:56 PM   #12
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Look for a F150 with "Heavy Duty Payload Package ". They are kinda rare.
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:04 PM   #13
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Silverado 1500 maxtow, ltz, 6.2L. 2034 payload. Dont necessary need 2500/250 if spec'ed correctly.
I was just going to say that!
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:14 AM   #15
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Take a look at a new Tahoe or Yukon with the Max Tow Package. You would have the great everyday vehicle that would tow your trailer with no problem.
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:41 AM   #16
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F150 Max tow package

I have an F150 Platinum with the max tow package and it pulls my 30' Classic like a dream. I also just pulled my friends brand new 30' Flying Cloud from Des Moines to Minneapolis with no issues whatsoever. The F150 also pulled my 30' Classic over Vail pass and Eisenhower tunnel without issue as well. The 3.5 Ecoboost is an amazing engine!
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:42 AM   #17
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ROADAGAIN - this is one of the most exciting, exhilarating and informative question you could ask on this forum! Appears that daily driver is important, so the non-HD's are the best option, if you can find the weights that your new TV can manage, like:

* Gross combined vehicle weight rating
* rear axle max rating
* payload
* max tow is not as high a priority as the above weights, since all OEM's claim very large max tow weights.

Be advised that some responders will tell you they can tow these large trailers with some TV's, but they rarely provide the above max weights. For example my preferred TV's = Tundras are notoriously low on payload, but durability and reliability are at the top of TV's. We chose an F250, because our F150 did not have the rear axle weight to support our towing requirements (26 & 34 ft AS's), and the Tundra's were all around 1200 - 1400 payload, and we were targeting 2000 lbs as our minimum payload requirement. We ordered an F250 4x2 gas and were very happy to see 3500 lbs as the payload weight.

Other things to consider -
1. tow mirrors are rarely available on the dealer lots (at least Ford), so those 1/2 tons with factory tow mirrors are usually specially ordered. OEM mirrors are much better than aftermarket
2.size of gas tank - ford allows you to order a 36 gl tank on their 1/2 tons
3. 1/2 tons do not have the E rated tires you will need. May be able to order them?
4. Type of WD hitch you will use - weight impacts from payload
5. Length of bed - Ford has three bed sizes on 1/2 ton 5 & a half, 6 & a half and 8 foot. Compare to 3/4 ton regular bed is 6 & a half feet long
6. What type and weight of cover will you put on your bed? My ARE topper is about 200 lbs, tonneau cover is about 100 lbs. This weight impacts your payload & rear axle weights
7. How many folks will be in the TV - weight impacts payload?
8. How much stuff will you bring in the bed of the pickup? generator, BBQ, Tools, lawn chairs, extras, etc. All this stuff impacts payload.
9. 1/2 tons have much higher discount than 3/4 tons. Last year we received a 12% discount on our F250. F150's at the time were up to 25% discount. Note that 2021 F150's will be upgraded. Watch a You Tube on this product if you are looking at Ford's.
10. Only Van that we looked at that could tow our weights was the Nissan NV 3500. Not sure it's max tow, but payload was great and seating configuration unmatched by other TV's.
11. Visit an RV park near you and see what other folks are using as TV's for their trailers regardless of manufacturer. They/we all love to talk about our TV's and trailers.

I know there are alot of dealers in my area of middle Georgia and Atlanta that are offering limited lifetime warranties on their cars & trucks drivelines, and. highly recommend you find one of those dealers. Read the warranty, to make sure you understand the limits of liability e.g. if you exceed the mileage requirement for routine/required maintenance, the warranty could be voided. It is sometimes tuff to get maintenance performed by those mileages when you are traveling around the country.
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:54 AM   #18
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I like the F-150 with payload and max tow love it
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:04 AM   #19
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superChop hits it

* Gross combined vehicle weight rating
* rear axle max rating
* payload
* max tow is not as high a priority as the above weights, since all OEM's claim very large max tow weights.

A 30 foot International has at least 1000+lb tongue weight. Subtract that from your payload. Add two adults and the dog you could be left with little left.
I have towed with a 1/2 ton that was over payload sometimes. Some white knuckle experiences made me get a 3/4 ton. Make sure you get a larger gas tank.
I have never been a Nissan person. But I think the Nissan XD deserves a look.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:08 AM   #20
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And the advertised tongue weight from the Airstream brochure is always low. Usually a 10 to 20% higher. The 30 Intl. RBT shows 898# for the tongue weight. You may find that is closer to 1000#. So factor in all of the previous weights that are mentioned for overall loads.

DO NOT trust the truck manufacturer marketing weights. Look at the door stickers on similar vehicles so that you get something close to the 'real' load capability. What sounds like a capable truck may not be when options and trim levels are added. I have looked at some of the Ram 1500's and the payload was just over 1100#.

My Ram 3500 Longhorn Mega Cab short bed is my daily driver. No issues with parking and mileage around town is in the high teens and sometimes low 20mpg. No worries about load with a 33 Classic.
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