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 > Would I ever be happy towing with a half ton truck

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Ron3rd

Upland, CA USA

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Posted: 01/18/20 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can get away with a properly equipped 1/2 ton. I towed with my old Tundra for 10 years before getting a bigger truck. Even towed about 8,000 lbs with it for over 3 years.

But based on your comment of possibly moving up in size of trailer, I would say it's a no brainer; go with the 3/4 ton, the cost difference is not that much and will give you more options on what you can tow.


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IdaD

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Posted: 01/18/20 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A SRW HD is my personal sweet spot for a truck. No larger footprint than a half ton and just as user friendly but a lot more capability and more robust components for about the same money. A dually obviously has even more capability but the negative trade-offs that come with a dually aren't worth it to me, and I don't anticipate ever wanting to tow a trailer at least in the next 15 years that would require a dually.

A properly equipped half ton is capable of the trailer OP owns, but it'll cost as much as a SRW HD that's just more truck for the money. Given that OP's current setup seems adequate I don't know that I'd recommend changing it given the money involved, but if I had a time machine I would have recommended skipping straight up to the HD model instead of buying another half ton.


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Posted: 01/18/20 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I pulled 8000 lbs in the 80's with a heavy half and a 3 speed transmission. I'm quite sure I could be totally satisfied with a new half to if all I was towing was 8500 lbs. GM, Ram, Ford doesn't matter, they can all handle that kind of weight. Just relax and enjoy the drive.


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time2roll

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Posted: 01/18/20 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would have been just fine with the 2008 Sierra.
For you I recommend a 350/3500 1-ton SRW.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 01/18/20 11:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My limit with a half ton is 6,500 pounds. So, yes.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 01/18/20 11:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ShinerBock wrote:

It still amazes me that people think a 5-6k lb half ton towing 10-11k lbs is absurd, but a 8-9k one ton towing 30+k lbs is perfectly acceptable. This is one reason why I think we need to get rid of terms like half tons and one tons because people place there expectations on what a half ton should tow in their mind rather than looking at the actual capabilities of the truck. To them it is perfectly fine that HD/SD trucks have increased tow ratings to absurd amounts over the years, but the half ton will always be good for towing less than 7k no matter how much they have been upgraded over the years.


In a nutshell, this ^.
If the OP doesn't like the handling of a 7500lb trailer behind that truck, then either it's not setup right, or you likely won't be happy with a newer 1/2 ton either.
The main things that determine stability of the truck while towing are tires and spring rate. Neither of which are heavier on new trucks and both of which are easily upgrade able a couple ways. Add springs and tires to your 1/2 ton or buy a 3/4 ton. Either way your paying for the upgrade. You're not going to gain much of any power going to a 3/4 ton gasser from your current Denali 1500.

This is a classic example of either lack of towing experience, too discerning of expectations, not setup right or believing the hype on rvnet.
And weight is only one of the factors that determines how something pulls. And the difference between 7500 and 8500 lbs isn't much. Wind resistance, tongue weight, how the wdh is setup (in your case), how the truck is prepped, how much weight behind the rear axle of the trailer, axle placement, trailer axle capacity etc etc all factor in.

Yes "over trucking" the setup reduces or negates some of those concerns, but many of them either can't be changed or will present the same with a bigger truck.

Not trying to talk you out of a bigger truck. Yes it is an upgrade and it will (arguably) negate the need for a wdh which simplifies the equation, but if the trailer wiggles behind a 1/2 ton it will still wiggle behind a bigger truck. And you'll feel it.

Back to the lack of experience part, it's the middle of winter, so just observe for a while, all the different trailers you see behind differnet trucks on a daily basis and you'll see that your truck is not out classed for the trailer you have.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 01/18/20 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reminds me of a dear family friend, older couple who've been pulling travel trailers for a long time now in Colorado. He didn't really tow much if any during his career and got into it in retirement.
Seemed every other year, it was bigger trailer, bigger truck, smaller trailer, smaller truck, bigger trailer again, same truck, finally settled on a HD payload F150 Ecoboost several years ago and was sooo happy with it.
It had the most power (more than his 3/4 gasser prior). You have the power.
He said it handled like his 3/4 ton but was "small" like a 1/2 ton. News flash, they were basically the same size EC LB trucks. BUT, it had heavy springs and E rated tires and that was the perfect combo for "him."
Point is, slap some suspension and some LT tires on it and you have a 400hp towing MACHINE.

Mike134

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Posted: 01/18/20 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you go 250 stay away from diesel. Burns up so much payload a properly equipped
F150 with the heavy duty payload package (and minimum bells and whistles) can have more payload.

Gald65

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Posted: 01/18/20 02:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the help. Definitely a wealth of info from you all. I guess you could call it “ I Still Have One a More Kid In College Rig” isn’t horrible, I’m not sure how well or how bad my set up actually is. Parents always had motor homes, Travco’s to be exact (dating myself). This is my first trailer

CaLBaR

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Posted: 01/18/20 02:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I pulled my 9500 lb Reflection with a 2009 Tundra and was quite happy with the performance and handling. Towed for a year and 6000 miles and no issues. Would have been happy with another Tundra or another 1/2 ton but I keep vehicles for 10 years and can see a 40' 5th wheel in that time frame so upgraded to a 3500 SRW.

If you are not happy with the current Sierra Denali with the 6.2 then you won't be happy with another one either. Skip the 2500 and just go 3500 SRW and that gives you more payload and options if you upgrade later on.

Rob


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