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Old 09-18-2019, 05:09 PM   #1
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Truck size for towing ???

I have been to a few dealerships and a couple of RV sales to get information on what size truck I need to tow a 2018 Micro Minnie Winnebago, 20 ft and 7000lbs possibled if full to allowed weight. When I left the truck dealerships I was more confused than when I went in - SOOOOO I am coming to the experts - YOU all who tow campers daily! Can you give me a general guideline? I have looked at a Chevy Colorado which says ok to tow 7000 but others have said I need a V8 versus a V6 because if I got 'stuck in the mud' I need the extra push to pull it out? Do I go for a Ford F150 / 250 ? What about diesel (although not particularly interested in those) I am 66, woman, and alone for my travels and want something reliable and with enough power to go through the mountains yet mid size for me to manuver ( I am 5ft 4 in ) any feedback would be helpful.

Judy
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:03 PM   #2
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I towed a Nash 25S (5,050# dry/8,000# fully loaded) for a number of years with a 2004 Nissan Titan (V8, 9,600# tow capacity). I never weighed my trailer but am guessing I was at about 7,000# +/- (we traveled light). I never had a problem other than having to downshift and slow down on long mountain grades. This includes numerous trips into the Sierras and up into OR, WA and BC. On the long grades between CA and OR, we'd just downshift, tuck in behind the big rigs in the right lane and relax.

My personal rule of thumb is to stay at or below 80% of the truck's tow capacity. At 7,000#, the Chevy Colorado would be too small and would leave no safety margin and no room for anything other than you in the truck. Remember, it's more than the truck's ability to pull the weight it's safety factors such as braking capacity, wheelbase, etc. Shorter wheelbases can result in the "tail wagging the dog" issues.

I think a properly equipped F150 with a V8 would be fine, as would a Nissan Titan, but you need to do the math. Admittedly, I haven't had any experience with the V6s so I'll leave that to others. Note that the F150's (or any truck's) tow capacity varies significantly by model year, cab configuration, axle ratio, engine, etc. I don't think either a F250 or Diesel is necessary but there are those who wouldn't tow anything with anything less.

In any case, you don't want to risk erring on the too small side.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:30 PM   #3
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I towed a Nash 25S (5,500# dry/8,000# fully loaded) with a 2004 Nissan Titan (V8, 9,600# tow capacity) for a number of years without any issues. I never weighed my trailer but we travel fairly light so I'm guessing we were at about 7,000# or so.

Personally my advice is to not exceed 80% - 85% of the truck's tow capacity. At 7,000#, this would be a truck with a 8,250# - 8,750# tow capacity. I took a look at the 2019 F150 tables and it looks like the above tow capacity range puts you into the V8 category. Note that tow capacity can vary significantly by model year.

A properly configured F150 (or equivalent) should be fine, no need for the F250 or Diesel (but others may disagree).

Now, whether or not you actually will weigh in at 7,000# is another issue, but planning for the worst case scenario isn't a bad thing. You don't want to undersize your truck and over-sizing can allow you to move up to a larger trailer without having to buy a new truck.

In my opinion, the Chevy Colorado would be too small and would leave no room for anything but you in the truck. Remember, larger trucks will have larger (safer) brakes and longer wheelbases which will minimize the risk of the "tail wagging the dog" issues.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:42 PM   #4
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Sorry for the double post. I wrote the first one and thought it got lost so I wrote the second one to replace it. It's too late for me to delete one.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:54 AM   #5
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Bob - thank you !!! This gives me a starting place to consider options. I agree I would prefer to be bigger than too small. I am going to stay in Florida (hahahaha flat land) for the first 6 months until I truly get the feel for the towing before I head to Maine or West coast. Appreciate your time
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:59 AM   #6
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Bob, thanks ! I see you had to re-write the information and I appreciate this greatly! Happy trails to you and yours

One last question - was your Titan a 4X2 or 4 X 4 ? I would guess the 4 x 4 is a 4 wheel drive? (literally never drove a truck before -
Thanks
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:17 AM   #7
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Mine was 2WD (4x2). I really never felt the need for 4WD (4x4), OK, maybe twice in twelve years. Due to the additional weight of the 4x4, you also give up 300 - 500# towing capacity. A 2WD plus "limited slip differential" or the like will give you some additional traction advantage in loose soil, or on slippery roads. It all depends on how much time you plan on spending off the beaten path but, as far as routine towing, it's not necessary. A 4x4 may also be higher off the ground and may be a little inconvenient depending on your height.

If you plan on moving to snow country full time it's a different story.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:16 PM   #8
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JudyC

Not only do you need to consider what the truck can tow, you need to ensure the combined weights of the truck and trailer do not exceed the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of the truck (should be in the owner's manual). Another issue is the GVWR for the truck (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, should be on a sticker on the doorpost of the truck) - this includes the curb weight of the truck, the hitch weight, and payload (including passengers). There are other limits for the axles, but these are typically not an issue for travel trailers (possibly an issue for fifth wheels).

For my F250 the GVWR is 10K#, the GCWR is 19K#, and the tow weight is 12.4K#. This allows me 1.5 tons of payload/hitch weight, which I have yet to get close to (verified by CAT scale weighing). My GVWR for the TT is 7K# like yours, so the tow limit is well within its spec too. My most recent trip (on the road for a month, so heavily loaded) the GCWR was 14.54K#, again within spec.

Don't rely on brochure values for GVWR - they are generic. Trim levels can drastically affect curb weight of the truck from what is published - go by the sticker in the truck you are looking at. GCWR and tow limits are in the brochures or owner's manual.

And make sure you have a good weight distribution/anti-sway hitch.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:50 AM   #9
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Great information thank you again for your expertise as I now go to TRUCK DEALERSHIPS and deal with those folks, I really dont like the way they haggle back and forth - geezzzz )
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:52 AM   #10
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WOW - that is really great information that I would not have considered - where are you in NE Florida? I was in Jacksonville - now in Ormond Beach. I appreciate the weight information and will keep it with me as I go to begin the process of considering which truck! Thank you and Happy Trails ... Judy
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JudyC View Post
WOW - that is really great information that I would not have considered - where are you in NE Florida? I was in Jacksonville - now in Ormond Beach. I appreciate the weight information and will keep it with me as I go to begin the process of considering which truck! Thank you and Happy Trails ... Judy
Yes, sometimes in Jax, sometimes in Maine, and sometimes somewhere (not necessarily) in between.

Remember, if a (truck) salesman's lips are moving, you'd best take their advice with a grain of salt. Do your research - be armed with knowledge. They'll tell you everything is OK, but ...

Remember, air bags and such do not increase the GVWR of the truck - they just assist in keeping everything level. The sticker in the truck is the law. Be sure if there's an integrated brake controller it is compatible with your TT.

We bought our truck used; that might be an option to consider too.

Best wishes in your search, and happy trails to you too.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:09 AM   #12
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Get a 3/4 ton for the larger brakes. V8 diesel not necessary.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:41 PM   #13
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Here's something I forgot to mention - wheel base of your TV. This link is from another forum that discusses a general rule of wheelbase vs trailer length.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:58 PM   #14
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Truck for towing

How big is your TV that it has a wheel base? I need to shop for one!
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:02 PM   #15
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Steinbeck wrote a book called Travels with Charlie, it’s a thin book 1/2 inch at most, if you read it, you will have a good understanding about the weight issue.
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:22 PM   #16
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We have a 2019 2106DS, very similar to the 2108...I towed with a Chevy Tahoe with 5.3l 3.42 gears. It did fine on flat land and could do highway speeds but struggled with acceleration and topped out at 40mph on an incline at any elevations above 3000ft. Sure you can down shift but that high RPM for extended periods didn't sit well with me,plus the higher transmission temps.
We upgraded to a 2019 GMC 2500 with the 6.6l Duramax turbo diesel and Allison transmission...WOW! Like the trailer isn't even there! The heavier brakes could handle the trailer if the trailer brakes didn't work, the heavier truck makes the need for a WDH unnecessary ( though we still use it) . my advice would be to buy what you can afford also keep in mind if you ever want to upgrade to an even larger TT or 5th wheel.
I'm getting about 14-16 mpg pulling our 2106DS with the truck, not pulling I can get 20mpg !
We are hoping to travel to Colorado and other mountainous areas and want to ensure we have more than enough power to do so.
GM is coming out with 1/2 ton trucks that now have a 3.0L Duramax diesel too, so something to take a look at.
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudyC View Post
I have been to a few dealerships and a couple of RV sales to get information on what size truck I need to tow a 2018 Micro Minnie Winnebago, 20 ft and 7000lbs possibled if full to allowed weight. When I left the truck dealerships I was more confused than when I went in - SOOOOO I am coming to the experts - YOU all who tow campers daily! Can you give me a general guideline? I have looked at a Chevy Colorado which says ok to tow 7000 but others have said I need a V8 versus a V6 because if I got 'stuck in the mud' I need the extra push to pull it out? Do I go for a Ford F150 / 250 ? What about diesel (although not particularly interested in those) I am 66, woman, and alone for my travels and want something reliable and with enough power to go through the mountains yet mid size for me to manuver ( I am 5ft 4 in ) any feedback would be helpful.

Judy
I towed my 2108ds with my 2016 Colorado with tow package, V6, and 4x4 it did the job pretty well. As I looked at longer trips I decided I’d like more comfort and easier towing, I traded for a 2016 Tahoe, can’t say enough good about it! It pulls my camper easily, has the tow package (with the “trailer” button on the shifter) and 4x4. It’s very comfortable and depending on road conditions I get anywhere from 10.5 to 14 mpg.
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:50 PM   #18
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F-150

I have a 2108ds MicroMinne and I tow it with my Ford F-150. I have the 4.2 L EcoBoost and it works well. I had the truck built specially for towing so it has the heavy tow package and off road suspension. The truck is the super cab with a 5 1/2” bed.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:37 PM   #19
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I did a TON of research before buying. I got the Toyota Tundra double cab, with the factory tow package, and the larger v8.I suggest that you will regret buying a 6 cylinder. Tundra scored WAY better than anything else on Consumer Reports, and it will pull 10,500 lbs. without a whimper. It also rides extremely nice for a pickup. Yes, 8 cylinders uses more gas, but getting stuck or burning up the engine or transmission is an expensive nightmare.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:39 PM   #20
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For 7000lbs you won't be happy with a V6 or even smaller V8's even if the manufacture rates it to tow 7000lbs or more. It's no fun having to constantly downshift or slow way down. I used a Dodge Durango with the hemi 5.7L to tow 6,000lbs. Did very well although somewhat slow up steep grades but adequate.


Keep in mind that truck dealerships will tell you whatever truck you're looking at can pull the trailer you have and that RV dealerships will tell you that whatever truck you have will pull the trailer you want to buy. They don't care as long as you buy!
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