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-   -   What Truck to Purchase? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/what-truck-to-purchase-196924.html)

mcclesp 06-15-2019 11:54 AM

What Truck to Purchase?
 
My wife and I are planning to retire next year, and will be entering a new era of life as full-time RVers. After a lot of research, we have decided on a 27ft FB as the best AS for our needs. We plan to purchase the AS and a truck next spring.

Our travel plans will include much of the U.S., possibly Canada and Mexico. We are excited to visit our great National Parks. So, we'll be driving in mountain areas often. We are hoping to do the full-time AS lifestyle for 5+ years.

The challenge I am having is with the truck purchase. I have never owned an RV or a truck. I have researched trucks, and for the weight class of the 27ft, I see that both a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton trucks could do the job. Also, not just the size of the truck, but the need for diesel or not, is a question. I understand there are several factors to consider for towing, and am looking for advice, especially the full-time RV community, on how to make the best towing truck decision.

lsbrodsky 06-15-2019 12:11 PM

I don't want to seem rude, but there are a bezillion threads on this subject. I think you need to spend a great deal of time reading past threads. Bottom line: you are not going to get a single clear, concise answer to your question. You will see everything from anything will work fine to you gotta have this combo.
Larry

thewarden 06-15-2019 12:50 PM

You likely will not need a diesel for towing a 27FB. Towing capacity of either a 1/2 ton or 3/4-1 ton trucks will also not be an issue. What you do need to pay special attention to is cargo capacity. You will find this on a sticker on the inside of the driver door pillar. Do not pay attention to brochure specs as they are not accurate. Similarly, do not pay attention to the AS brochure hitch weight specs. A loaded 27FB will have a hitch weight of 900-1000lbs. Together with the weight of the WD hitch, passengers, gear, etc, you will find that most 1/2 tons cargo capacity will be maxed out, some even exceeded.

Bottom line, do as you are doing, do your research. Choosing the wrong tow vehicle would be a costly mistake.

PKI 06-15-2019 01:06 PM

The Chevy Suburban is coming soon to a dealer near you with IRS. Could be a winner. Then there is the Ford SUV recently posted in the forum Classifieds. It's an oldie but a goodie. V10 and they are rumored to be hard to find. Find a solution that is low and stable. The rest will work out. Now, get to reading and reading and reading. Then do some estimating and more estimating. Figure out how much weight you will load for your travels. Only you can prevent your success in the coming adventure.

The 27 is an excellent choice. Enjoy your new lifestyle. :) Pat

Ray Eklund 06-15-2019 01:16 PM

If Safety is not a concern... a SUV or a 1/2 ton two wheel pickup, no back seats, no topper, Goodrich/Goodyear D Rated Passenger tires, if available.

If you want to Rule the Highways, Mountains and be 100% content... a Diesel 3/4 ton Ford, crew cab (with back seats) or for less than $200 a 1 ton. I sold our 25 foot International, kept the F350 Diesel. Avoid the sun roof, you may never use it. After break in, which may take 3,000 to 4,000 miles, your mpg will jump. I thought my odometer was wrong, but 15 to 25 mpg can be done when you use wind, downhill and uphill strategy towing, or not.

Get the Ford rubber mats and bed rubber mat. Haggle it for a free add on. You will not regret it compared to the others available on the market. You want the Michelin tires, E Rated and great if on the truck in the lot. Otherwise, find one that has the Michelin tires.

If you want to be comfortable, less gas mileage than the Diesel, go with the 3/4 ton Ford F250/350 (probably get the F350 for the same price).

I drove Tundras 5.7L crew max, 4x4. Great truck but borderline for 25 foot Airstream or longer. (Again, many will say get an expensive hitch, but your leaf springs on the Tundra will be FLAT. I am experienced in towing with Tundra 4.7L and 5.7L. Never owned a Ford. Never owned a diesel.

Now with 31,000 miles on the 2016 F350 Diesel... love it. When you want to kick up the speed to pass on the two lane roads in Nevada, you will understand. A F250 gasser will do what you need, AND less service costs.

Others will say overkill. When you are hunting... Bear... it is You or the Bear. Your trailer is the Bear.

If you are towing goats or chickens behind the vehicle... anything works.

Call me Crazy Ray all the way to the... Bank. Resale prices for clean Diesel F250/F350's make up for the initial cost.

Piggy Bank 06-15-2019 02:07 PM

I say let your backside decide.

Many, many vehicles are suitable.

(Disclosure, we have a Tundra and like it, as it is both extremely comfortable and also suitable for our 27 Flying Cloud in the manner in which we camp.)

Read up until you very clearly understand the meaning of Payload, as it is the least understood and biggest differentiator related to vehicle choice and suitability.

Then drive around town, each of you driving, all vehicles. Try to park them, do a suitable U turn, drive over bumpy things like train tracks so you can fell the hardness of the ride and how bouncy the vehicle is.

I like the Tundra for our style of camping.

If I were full timing and needed more payload it would not be suitable.

moosetags 06-15-2019 03:19 PM

Greetings from the Florida Panhandle
 
1 Attachment(s)
I won't tell what I think that you need. Instead, I will tell you what has worked for us. We are highly experienced Airstreamers. We have been Airstreaming for thirteen years and have spent almost 2,000 nights in our Airstreams and have towed them over 180,000 miles.

We have an Airstream 25FB. It weighs in at 7,400# ready to camp. We tow with a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax Diesel. This is our second Durmax. Prior to 2011, we towed with Chevrolet Suburban 2500's with gasoline engines. They did okay, but we like the diesels much better.

We are currently in Strasburg, Colorado, on our way to Alaska.

Brian

GCinSC2 06-15-2019 04:03 PM

Add a cap to the list. Allows extra cargo capacity and rain protection to the gottahaveits you’ll pack for the adventure.

KK4YZ 06-15-2019 04:45 PM

If you’re going to Mexico, you may want to consider an A1 Abrams

Daquenzer 06-15-2019 05:17 PM

If you are going to be full timing you want a 3/4 ton because you will have to take lots of stuff with you. I have a 1/2 ton, but I am gone for only a week at a time. But full timing means lots of extra clothing etc. to pack. 3/4 ton minimum in my opinion.

As to gas or diesel? Well the gas will have more payload but you won't have the power nor the engine breaking for downhill. The diesel will have great power, but costs quite a bit more and you will have less payload. Also maintenance will be more on a diesel. That's where you have to figure out what you are comfortable with.

With a 27' the gas 3/4 ton has plenty of power and breaking capacity for mountain driving.

May also want to consider a 3/4 ton VAN. Some people think they are great and you get more storage capacity that is easier to get to. GM makes the best van for towing. Nissan is next.

Spend time researching the WD hitch set up you want. Very important. I wish I had spent more time researching that as I did the truck and AS type.

And you will have a myriads of opinions on hitches. A good hitch will make all the difference in your driving experience.

Suggest going to www.tfltruck.com to see some their towing tests. Very instructive. And they will give you pros and cons of various trucks.

out of sight 06-15-2019 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcclesp (Post 2252634)
My wife and I are planning to retire next year, and will be entering a new era of life as full-time RVers. After a lot of research, we have decided on a 27ft FB as the best AS for our needs. We plan to purchase the AS and a truck next spring.

Our travel plans will include much of the U.S., possibly Canada and Mexico. We are excited to visit our great National Parks. So, we'll be driving in mountain areas often. We are hoping to do the full-time AS lifestyle for 5+ years.

The challenge I am having is with the truck purchase. I have never owned an RV or a truck. I have researched trucks, and for the weight class of the 27ft, I see that both a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton trucks could do the job. Also, not just the size of the truck, but the need for diesel or not, is a question. I understand there are several factors to consider for towing, and am looking for advice, especially the full-time RV community, on how to make the best towing truck decision.

A 3/4 ton is a perfect match for a 27. A 1/2 ton is insufficient for doing a lot of towing. Since you are going to be moving around a lot then get a diesel. It will pay for itself in about 100,000 miles, plus it will give you great pleasure to drive. I would recommend a Ram with Cummins diesel. It has a 5 year 100,000 mile drive train warranty.

out of sight 06-15-2019 07:26 PM

Not sure what you're going to put in the truck bed but if it's more than 500 lbs then I would get a 1 ton 350 or 3500.

Since you will be living on the road then your tow vehicle will be your daily driver. I would recommend the short bed since it can fit into a supermarket parking space. A long bed needs two parking spaces.

Ray Eklund 06-16-2019 09:34 AM

Best Advice is never Good Enough...
 
1 Attachment(s)
Sometimes... the best advice is never good enough.

Sold a 1938 Wurlitzer Jukebox in the late 1970's to this guy. Sometimes, if it fits... make it work? :)

Cispook 06-16-2019 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewarden (Post 2252654)
You likely will not need a diesel for towing a 27FB. Towing capacity of either a 1/2 ton or 3/4-1 ton trucks will also not be an issue. What you do need to pay special attention to is cargo capacity. You will find this on a sticker on the inside of the driver door pillar. Do not pay attention to brochure specs as they are not accurate. Similarly, do not pay attention to the AS brochure hitch weight specs. A loaded 27FB will have a hitch weight of 900-1000lbs. Together with the weight of the WD hitch, passengers, gear, etc, you will find that most 1/2 tons cargo capacity will be maxed out, some even exceeded.



Bottom line, do as you are doing, do your research. Choosing the wrong tow vehicle would be a costly mistake.



Well stated. Lots of vehicles will tow ... some will actually stop. Bottom line is cargo capacity. Diesel vs gas to most is a personal preference.

out of sight 06-16-2019 10:24 AM

There is one advantage to a 1/2 ton truck, specifically a RAM 1500. It is available with a 2 axle leveling suspension. This allows you to raise or lower the truck by a few inches. I have noticed some old timers having difficulty getting into and out of a 3/4 or 1 ton truck, particularly a truck with 4WD. The 1/2 ton is much easier when at its lowest level. It's worth looking into if you only tow occasionally.

On the flip side of this is the fact that the 3/4 ton will keep you in better shape by having to climb in and out all the time.

Countryboy59 06-16-2019 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcclesp (Post 2252634)
My wife and I are planning to retire next year, and will be entering a new era of life as full-time RVers. After a lot of research, we have decided on a 27ft FB as the best AS for our needs. We plan to purchase the AS and a truck next spring.

Our travel plans will include much of the U.S., possibly Canada and Mexico. We are excited to visit our great National Parks. So, we'll be driving in mountain areas often. We are hoping to do the full-time AS lifestyle for 5+ years.

The challenge I am having is with the truck purchase. I have never owned an RV or a truck. I have researched trucks, and for the weight class of the 27ft, I see that both a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton trucks could do the job. Also, not just the size of the truck, but the need for diesel or not, is a question. I understand there are several factors to consider for towing, and am looking for advice, especially the full-time RV community, on how to make the best towing truck decision.

Any good 3/4 or 1 ton, gas or diesel, will do the job.

mcclesp 06-16-2019 10:53 AM

Thanks for the truck purchase decision feedback!
 
Thanks to everyone for your thoughts, experience, and recommendations. A lot of great takeaways, on payload considerations (as a full timer), WD, bed size, beyond just tow capacity. The comments about manner of use was helpful to highlight the importance of matching the truck to lifestyle. The additional ideas about test driving will also be helpful.

I have been on the www.tfltruck.com, great info and have seen their towing tests. I have been leaning toward a 3/4 Ton, as the best match for our full-time RV plans, and many of your comments confirm that. I would like to avoid the higher cost and more limited used market of diesel trucks, but this looks to be the safest and best fit. Will still be exploring the gas vs diesel decision.

I also appreciate the feedback, and agree that I need to spend more time on existing threads, not something I am accustom to. One of my best resources has been connecting and networking with truck repair shops, to get good info on engines and the brands.

Will continue my research, thanks again!

alreardon 06-16-2019 10:56 AM

Toyota Tundra

pappy19 06-16-2019 10:58 AM

I also recommend the F250/350 with the new 7.3 V8 gas engine, or, if you want the hassles and extra costs of a diesel, go for it. One thing that isn't discussed much about Ford F250/350 trucks, is they are the number one stolen truck in America and Mexico. Every owner should buy and install a set of Jimmi-Jammers, otherwise your truck can be unlocked in 5 seconds flat.

devolo 06-16-2019 11:05 AM

I have a 2016 F150 with the Ecoboost engine towing a 28'. While the engine has plenty of power, the suspension is at its limits, especially on rough roads. For occasional outings, it's fine. Full-timing, get a larger truck.


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