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Best 3/4 Ton Pickup to Tow an Elite 2


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All of the above + weight of the vehicle off road and the quietness! After 3 diesels, I’m really enjoying my 3/4 ton gasser. I’m sure there are hills where I will slow down. But, what do I care, it’s Saturday!  (Oblique reference to another ongoing thread).

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David and Vicky
2017 Ford F-250 4x4 6.2L
2020 LEII #686 (under construction)
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13 hours ago, Fritz said:

Several others have said the same. I’m curious why.  I can see gasser for mostly non-towing, but for mostly towing?  Is it the extra cost? Maintenance cost? Emissions technology reliability?  All of the above?  Thanks!

The only reason I would consider the gas version is cost of maintenance - fuel is cheaper, but that almost evens out towing.  Oil changes are about $30 more, and every 10k miles a fuel filter at about $50 - when home I do them, but still a cost.  And the DEF is added cost - but not really that much - in the  long run.  However - a big thing is the added initial  cost of the diesel - it is 1/6 or more of  the price of  the truck........

To date -  the gas versions are not as powerful on the torque side of the  power scale, and historically are at the top end of the RPM's - which is really annoying.  At last check, GM was NOT paring the new 10 speed with the gasser, and it is std on the Duramax.  And to add injury - the Gasser has not shown any improvement in fuel mileage - towing. Now I realize each year they claim better Gas engine numbers - but I haven't seen it in real world. Perhaps that is changing.

My GMC runs at low rpm, pulling, and almost to low, running around the home front. My gas trucks were about 1000 rpm higher at cruise, and  really worked hard on the steep grades.  IF the new larger gas engines change - I will look at them - but I doubt they will match the diesel anytime soon.

As I have stated  previously - the total package - not just chassis/powertrain, are really comfortable on the  long hauls, not to mention the feeling of safety and capability under  tow. 

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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18 hours ago, Fritz said:

Thank you, John.  We will probably stick with the diesel for better towing mileage (at least that's what I anticipate), and extra built-in payload.  We found the regular Ram 2500 with Cummins rides pretty well (presumably a result of the rear coil springs) on a short section of dirt road, and gives more-than-adequate door-sticker payload for what we need.  The 6-speed transmission seems to have a decent reputation, but we have found that on one tester the transmission shifted more roughly than on others (similar to a 2014 used model that we also drove).  We didn't notice rough transmission shifts on previous test rides with different Ram 2500s.  In our limited experience, the 10-speed GMC 2500 transmission shifts very smoothly.  

One would think that the 10-speed Allison transmission would yield better mileage for the GMC/Chevy than Ram's 6-speed transmission, but a significant difference is not apparent in the Fuelly.com data.  Anyone have thoughts on these transmissions?

For those of you with the GMC/Chevy 2500 duramax, does the unloaded ride soften up a bit over time?

 

 

Fritz, I have an older 2500 Duramax and it definitely has tighter suspension and therefore a bit rougher ride than the 1/2 ton equivalents (which I drove plenty of before I got the 3/4 ton), but not enough that I'd go back to a 1/2 ton.  John Davies mentioned the rear tire pressure and that's critical for the empty ride quality.  If you are test driving trucks off of sales lots, the rear tires are likely at 80 psi or so - which is what the door sticker says because it has to assume full load.  In reality, 80 psi is way too much for an empty truck - I keep mine at around 45 when empty and the ride is a LOT smoother.

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John and Anita

2020 Oliver Elite II, Hull 688

Tow Vehicle:  2006 Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab.  6.6L Duramax

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I wouldn't buy a 3/4 ton truck for towing an Oliver.  Except that I did.  The 3500/F350s SRWs drive the same, cost the same, but have higher payloads.  I ended up with a 2500 because of supply issues during COVID.  With GM it is less of a tradeoff (GVWRs exceed 10k on the 3/4 tons) so I relented, but for some of the other Diesel 3/4 tons have less payload than some 1/2 ton trucks.

If I want gas, I would buy a 2021 F150 Ecoboost with HDPP, tow mirrors, and the 360 assist pack.  Yes it will require the Anderson. But balking at paying for that is a little silly given the cost difference between the F150 and a 2500.  This gets you: a built in generator that performs at altitude, a 36 gallon tank (maybe ~45 gallons if Transferflow brings their larger tank to the 2021), lane centering, blind spot that covers trailers, what looks to be great camera support both 360/trailer, the potential for fold flat seats in the truck, adaptive cruise with stop and go, automatic emergency braking, pro trailer backup assist.

On the Diesel route, I go GMC Sierra 3500 SLT/AT4/Denali with tech. Rides much better than the Ford Superduty, gets great mileage (at 60mph straight/level 22-23 naked and 17-18 towing), and can take truck stop diesel at full speed (30 seconds to full).  56 gallon extended tank from Titan should give plenty of range, otherwise there are 100 gallon aux tanks for Diesel. 

For 1/2 ton Diesels: in theory they could be great.  If I could get a HDPP F150 with a Diesel it'd be pretty compelling.  But they generally come with low payloads, smaller tanks, can't take a truck stop Diesel nozzle, and have weak payloads.  All from a truck that has roughly the same length/width as an HD when you get the 6.5'-class beds. Towing mileage is fairly close, but with 36-56 gallons in the HD vs 24 in the 1500.

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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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I have the 2020 Chev 2500HD, z71 4x4, w/Duramax and 10 spd trans.  The truck’s drawbacks to me are:  rigid ride but only over things like speed bumps and pot holes (Z71 off-road suspension), large hood presence makes for tighter forward view than i like, cooled seats need more cooling umph, and the rear seat climate controls and vents are too limited.  The positives, in my opion are many and excellent. The diesel is smooth, powerful and quiet, especially at cruising speeds. The steering feel and responsiveness is calibrated very well, as is the way the vehicle tracks on the road.  The ride is very smooth.  The technology, though not the latest in some respects works. The multiple camera views work great. The payload and towing #s are excellent with a lot of margin.

    I’m not saying that the gas options wont get the job done, but having towed and hauled with both gas and diesel, when it comes to getting the vehicle that will have no issues with any of it, i’m guessing you’d be quite happy with any of the big 3’s HD (diesel) options. They are all amazing. Besides all the great features on all these trucks, for me it came down to loving the look of the Chevy grill (seriously), the recent major updates to the Duramax engine, the 10 sp trans, and how planted and correctly calibrated it feels at the steering wheel. 

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21 hours ago, Fritz said:

Thank you, John.  We will probably stick with the diesel for better towing mileage (at least that's what I anticipate), and extra built-in payload.  We found the regular Ram 2500 with Cummins rides pretty well (presumably a result of the rear coil springs) on a short section of dirt road, and gives more-than-adequate door-sticker payload for what we need.  The 6-speed transmission seems to have a decent reputation, but we have found that on one tester the transmission shifted more roughly than on others (similar to a 2014 used model that we also drove).  We didn't notice rough transmission shifts on previous test rides with different Ram 2500s.  In our limited experience, the 10-speed GMC 2500 transmission shifts very smoothly.  

One would think that the 10-speed Allison transmission would yield better mileage for the GMC/Chevy than Ram's 6-speed transmission, but a significant difference is not apparent in the Fuelly.com data.  Anyone have thoughts on these transmissions?

For those of you with the GMC/Chevy 2500 duramax, does the unloaded ride soften up a bit over time?

 

 

I don't know about the Dodge/Chevy/GMC diesels, but our F-350 6.7l Powerstroke is extremely quiet, if that matters.  If you order it with the tow package, it has hill descend mode,  and possibly a more appropriate gear ratio for towing.  Ours also came with the 200 amp HD alternator; not sure if that was part of the tow package.

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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Re the Chev/Gmc ... The ride does soften but only ever so slightly, and more so under load.  For what it’s worth, I was told by the Chev dealer that the z71 package (off road) is the most rigid-ride of the options. Perhaps someone would know if the off-road packages of Ram and Ford ride differently than their non off-road packages? At the end of the day, across all brands, the necessary heavier components (frame, diesel engine, trans, brakes, drivelines, axles, etc) required to give HD diesel trucks higher working margins will naturally cause them to ride far more rigidly than the ride-friendlier light duty pickup/suv. If a friendlier ride on bumpy terrain is near the top of what you value, the light duty truck would hit the mark more effectively. 

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Once again you just opened a bag of worms, yes the 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton and using the Anderson is probably the biggest difference in which vehicle to choose. Brand for many owners is there personal liking and most probably stick with what they have owned in the past and works well for them. One thing to look at is if you use your tow vehicle for everyday driving, there is a difference in ride, fuel mileage, and ease of in and out access of the vehicle. I personally went with the 1/2 Ram and using the Anderson is no big deal, I have thought several times if I changed tow vehicles would I switch to a 3/4 ton truck and my answer is probably not. I will say that my 2019 Ram is a 4X4 which gives a little extra towing, but very little from what I can see, I just like having a 4X4. I personally don't get into towing vehicle discussion at campsites, too many are so bias to there brand that the discussion becomes pretty tense and I could careless about one vs. the other.

trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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3 hours ago, Trainman said:

Once again you just opened a bag of worms, yes the 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton and using the Anderson is probably the biggest difference in which vehicle to choose. Brand for many owners is there personal liking and most probably stick with what they have owned in the past and works well for them. One thing to look at is if you use your tow vehicle for everyday driving, there is a difference in ride, fuel mileage, and ease of in and out access of the vehicle. I personally went with the 1/2 Ram and using the Anderson is no big deal, I have thought several times if I changed tow vehicles would I switch to a 3/4 ton truck and my answer is probably not. I will say that my 2019 Ram is a 4X4 which gives a little extra towing, but very little from what I can see, I just like having a 4X4. I personally don't get into towing vehicle discussion at campsites, too many are so bias to there brand that the discussion becomes pretty tense and I could careless about one vs. the other.

trainman

Test drive different makes/models.  This won't tell you how they tow but will give you an idea of how 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, 1-ton, 2WD, 4WD, long bed, short bed, etc rides compare.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Bill. I guess the capacity number is less important than the other max tow features like rear diff, brake controller, and engine/trans. coolers. I can feel myself getting carried away with seeking the max tow rating. Last week I was fine with a Touareg...

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have finally given up our resistance to a pickup truck and are buying a 2018 Ford F-150 with the 3.5L EB and max trailer package. I’m sure we could’ve managed with the Touareg but we have big aspirations for long, mountain-heavy trips and the greater capability and storage margins give us comfort. Funny, I never used to notice these things and now they are every third vehicle I see. 

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By the look of that smile on the truck's grill it would appear that you have already told it that an Oliver is in its future 😄.

Have a good time but at first be a little careful of when and where you put your foot to the floor - a nice lonely road with no police is a good thing 😁.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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BlueHighways,

I agree with you on the additional cab comfort of a 3/4 ton on long haul trips, IMHO there is no comparison to a half ton or an SUV. We recently made a decision to move to a 3/4 and have zero regrets. Driver/passenger comfort, insane power from an extremely quiet diesel w/engine brake or Jake brake. Another huge plus is added cargo room and excellent cab visibility (ours is factory lifted) which really suits us perfectly for travel and touring. We also have the optional 1 ton Dana axle high capacity tow package TV and still averaging 21-22 mpgs highway. Drive what you enjoy and enjoy what you drive! 👍🏻
 

Happy Camping and enjoy that new TV! 

 

 

Edited by Patriot

2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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The RAM trucks are getting good press  - I'm not up to speed on their powertrains, but seems the interior comforts and such are very well refined. I may stop and look at a few  - one of theses days...

The new TRX certainly has the HP. 

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, MarylandDave said:

PickupTruckDave. 

1E98AA18-81A5-4467-BFBC-8976F780BD64.jpeg

I was next to one like yours at a stoplight a few days ago. I remember thinking , "now that's a great looking truck!"

Happy travels.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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