What is the right type tow vehicle for a 5,000GVW tarvel trailer?

hiwaysanityhiwaysanity Member Posts: 216
edited April 2014 in Toyota
I've read a lot of these discussions, and found nothing that is really focused on my question. There seem to be enough people here with opinions to give me some advice. I am considering purchasing a TT with 5,000GVW rating (Sunline Solaris 2053). This would be our first towable over 3,000#. My question is what is the most practical suitable tow vehicle for about 2,500 to 6,000 miles per year of towing. I've read about compact and full size pickups, vans, etc. I need to use it as a second vehicle when not towing. I have several questions:

How much reserve tow capacity is enough/too much? I'm drawn to long bed full size pickups, but is this really overkill?

I am leary of a 2WD in New England, since they can be so helpless on snow. Is 4WD suitable for towing, or an unnecessary expense?

Engine size - is the mid-size V8 sufficient, as I suppose?

Brand - I tend to prefer Ford trucks, but I don't like the F150. Any guidance there?

Then all the details (OD, rear end ratios, etc.)

Thanks for any help.


  • markbuckmarkbuck Member Posts: 1,021
    at min a full size PU. I currently tow a 5,000lb travel trailer all over the west at high speeds with the PU bed full of dirtbikes.

    I have found that stability is the most important tow feature. I have a 1/2 ton Silverado with a 4.8L motor and 4.10 rear end (4x4). Plenty of motor, great brakes, just sometime feel stability at 75mph on the interstate with bikes in the bed a little poor.

    Get an equalizer hitch, electric brake controller, and receiver hitch.

    I think the F150 or Silverado 1500 would be perfect. I have a big ol Crew Cab that arrives this week....
  • hiwaysanityhiwaysanity Member Posts: 216
    Silverado 2500 LD extended cab today, 4X4 with the 6.0L motor. Trying to find out why it was left over.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    For more feedback..., you may also want to post (copy/paste) your message in this discussion: Cabover Campers & Camper Trailers (pickups). Good luck.



    Pickups Message Board

  • markbuckmarkbuck Member Posts: 1,021
    That would be a great tow vehicle with either rear end ratio....
  • bessbess Member Posts: 972
    I also prefer Ford trucks, but don't like the look of the F150. However the F250 SuperDuty is a whole other story.. I use mine as a daily driver, and it would easily handle your trailer..
    It costs about the same as an F150, but it does ride a bit more firm..

    00' F250 xlt SC 4x2 5.4L 5sp 4.10LS.

    If your trailer is not a 5th wheel trailer, then an Expedition would handle that weight as well as the F150 would.. Of course its tough to deal with the extra $$ that everone seems to demand for the same vehicle in SUV form..
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    Fully loaded with all your gear the trailer could very well be over 6,000-7,000 lbs, add in your family in the truck and suddenly you are close to reaching the max GVWR of a 1/2 ton.

    I don't know about that latest Fords (don't have the latest brochure) but the 1/2 ton Chevy goes up to 9,300 lb rating. If you are going go the half-ton route I would go for 5.3 or 5.4 (Chevy or Ford)up the grades you will really be happy with money spent, the only problem here is niether offer a manual tranny on their biggest engine in their half tons (well last time I checked) If you are worried about gas milege the half ton will be a lot better, with 19 rating for the 5.3 Chevy (same rating actually for the Chevy 4.8 and 5.3) and I would imagine the 5.4 couldn't be much worse that that (these are highway rating's). Both the Ford and Chevy offer a lot of differnt towing options, while I think the Chevy has more suspension choices. For towing I wouldn't recommend the Tundra for lack of suspension option and expensive hitch option plus the the Tundra isn't as roomier, the Ford and Chevy can be wired up perfectly for trailering.

    Either the Ford or Chevy 1/2 ton will do a fine job outfitted right, I would order the brochures online and see what interior etc you like, and of course drive the trucks to see what you like. If you don't like the F150 looks, like me, you are stuck getting the F250 which you don't really need since the base engine is the same engine as in the 1/2 ton and you don't need the extra towing capacity., where Chevy the 1/2 ton has a 5.3 and the 3/4 ton has a 6.0L engine (standard).

    What I recommend, go with either Chevy or Ford 3/4 ton, the milege is a little worse, but they aren't much more expensive than the 1/2tons, yet are roomier, stronger, better looks, and super trailer hauling ability. If you weren't using this as a second vehicle, a 3/4 ton would be better, but the ride and milege will hit you.(of course I actually prefer the feel of the 3/4 ton some people do and some people don't) These are both awesome trucks, I have driven both and love both of them..I would even buy a Super Duty and I prefer Chevy!

    As far as ride, if you are going the 4x4 3/4 ton route, the Super Duties have a solid front axle, the Chevy's don't, if you aren't doing hardcore off roading or on a construction site, you will prefer the independent front suspension of the Chevy.

    please give me some thoughts on my post so I can help some more, and know what you are thinking.
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    it is probably left over because when the new HD's started rolling off the line everybody ordered that, with the 2500's not being as in as much demand. That vehicle would be a really good one for you, I kinda forgot about the LD 2500 Chevy, this would be perfect for you, it would give you the better ride of the 1500 Silverado but with the increased towing capacity of the 2500 and the 6.0L (if you don't mind the milege). The problem here is that they don't offer a Silverado LD 2500 long bed extended cab. But if that doesn't bother you , buy the a 2500 LD Silverado.

    It kinda comes down to milege, what kind of milege are you looking for?
  • hiwaysanityhiwaysanity Member Posts: 216
    It's a little travel trailer - 5,000 GVWR. Sounds like even a half ton would give sufficient reserve tow capacity, but I also do not like the F150. Let you know what we decide to do.
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    duh, I was thinking GVW< if it is 5,000 lbs Rating then get a 1/2 ton.
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    If you buy a Silverado make shure it is not made in Canada, the Canadian ones suffer much worse reliability than the American ones. IF you look at the suburban (using CR reliability ratins) which is made in the US and Mexico and based off Silverado it has average reliability, while the Tahoe and Silverado, both which have a Canadian and US plant, have below average reliability. There was also an article I read that had GM's plant internal listing for quality and the US plants were above the candian one.
  • hiwaysanityhiwaysanity Member Posts: 216
    good info.
  • tundradudetundradude Member Posts: 588
    Any 1/2 ton truck will do.
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    If you do decide F-150, don't even consider the smaller (4.6?) V8. A guy that boards at my stable trys to tow a two-horse trailer with one horse (guessing 4,500#) and it's gutless. I've never driven the 5.4L with a trailer, so you'll have to rely on someone else. A 1/2 ton should work IF equipped right.
  • frankno1frankno1 Member Posts: 68
    If you are really only pulling 5000# or less any 1/2 ton V8 will be fine. If roominess is a problem a F150 or Silverado with an extended cab would be best. The Toyota is probably built a little better but it also costs a little more but has less room especially in the back seat.
    Thats my opinion.

    Frank K.
  • tundradudetundradude Member Posts: 588
    My V6 will pull it, you don't need a V8. Its GVWR is 5000, wet weight will probably be around 4500 or less.

    I get to go camping next week. Its always interesting to get the stares.

    Last year when I went camping I had this guy camping beside me and it took the third day for he asked what kind of truck I had. This was after staring up till that point.

    The only other Tundras I saw was that one was pulling a heavy weight 24 footer. I was three other Tundras with tents. The wife and I joked and said they spent too much on the truck and not enough on the trailer (or lack thereof).
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    don't get the V6, if you are going to be towing you don't want it to be a drag, going up hills with a V6 is bad enough, towing oh man, the 5.3 Chevy is rated like 15/19 or so, thats pretty dang good, plus the towing milege was pretty good too, why not get the nice big beefy engine with good milege and pass all those tundras up the grades.
  • tundradudetundradude Member Posts: 588
    Everyone cannot afford a 25000 truck!
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    If you are hauling a travel trailer you probably have a family,so you need ext. cab, plus he needs 4x4, well a Silverado 1/2 ton 4x4 long box (something you cant get on the Toyota) is 25,000$ base price, the regular cab is 19,000$.

    The base toyota 4x4 ext cab short box msrp is 25,000$, yet you get the V6 stock, on the Silverado,s the 4.8L V8 is standard on ext cabs,

    The SR5 (I don't really know what this means so if you could help me out here) Toyota 4x4 with the 4.7L (on the toyota site doesnt say anything about offering a 4x4 regular cab with the six) is 23,000$. You can get the 5.3 for 1,400$ and you would have a regular cab 4x4 base long bed, that would be 20,500 or so, that would give 2,000 to burn on options,

    looks like he cant afford not to get the Silverado
  • erikheikererikheiker Member Posts: 230
    Better stay away from Toyota then! A friend just bought a Tundra with a sticker of 34k. It doesn't have anywhere near the options mine had at 4k less. If you can't afford an expensive Toy, then you'd better buy a real truck for less.
  • amoralesamorales Member Posts: 196
    should be plenty.
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    I see your first truck was a 52 Chevy , what six did it have, man Chevy made killer sixes, I have the 250 I6 in my truck, 200 ft lbs at 1600 rpm, may not be fast but awesome torque.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Member Posts: 1,021
    Geeze, that equates to a whopping 61HP at 1600 rpm. How do you keep tires on the thing.....
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    Well yes it is slower than all get out,and I will not devulge the HP rating, because it is quite pathetic, but in an 81 truck I get 15 mpg in the city, not too bad, plus is is long lasting engine design. and it is capable of towing, just won't have very good 0-60 times.
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