Do I really NEED a 3/4 ton truck?


76 replies to this topic
  • KTM Rookie

Posted August 13, 2012 - 02:34 PM

#1

About 2K miles of the year, I nearly max out my 2001 F150 Supercrew. With a Combined gross weight max of 13K, I sometimes get close with 2 bikes, gear, and a 5800# Travel trailer (weighed). Part of the problem is the trailer is 4400# empty (7k# GVW) and has a tongue weight of 740#! My truck has airbags (which helped a lot) and I use a WD hitch.

The rest of the 10K miles per year, the truck is fine. It's was cheap to own, easy and cheap to work on, comfortable, and my wife will drive it (if she has to).

I tried a 2003 Cummins Longbed, and it was a bit like riding a 2010 CRF450R with my 8 year-old on his XR50 = total overkill. Doing the 6 point turn to get into a parking spot; getting stuck going thru the "drive thru", after getting the wrong food because they couldn't hear you over the engine noise; 3 gallons of oil and changing the $30 fuel filter every 6 months, the savings on fuel did not add up. Plugging it in when it gets cold, fuel additives, rattling my fillings loose after 12 hours of driving with it empty, the fuel pump issues.....etc. BTW, my wife hated driving it and smelling it.

My budget is $18K. So, should I look for 3/4 ton for $11K and spend the extra $ on gas for that 2K miles a year I'm towing, or should I just max out a 1/2 ton and give the tranny extra TLC? I don't have the room for a third vehicle and I commute on my DR whenever I can.

Thanks in advance.

  • Mr. Epeen

Posted August 13, 2012 - 02:37 PM

#2

I don't think so for what you're doing with it. I am sure that 2k miles each year it would be nice to have a 3/4 ton diesel, but it's not worth it the rest of the time. The new F150's with the Ecoboost have a very nice tow rating and may split the difference between your truck and a 3/4 ton.

  • dmac1

Posted August 13, 2012 - 04:29 PM

#3

You can answer this question yourself. What is the GCVWR for your truck? What is the GCVWR of your combined rig? What is the payload capacity of the truck vs what you're putting on it for a trip with your trailer. And finally, what are your and your passenger's lives worth. Ok...that last one is subjective. The point is, if you are within specs, then you're ok. If you're over, then you have a problem 17% of the miles you drive your truck (2/12).

If a problem, theres 3 alternatives...1 - live with it 2 - downsize your trailer 3 - upsize your truck.

With airbags, let the air down to the minimum if you're not hauling. Lower the tire pressure too. My truck's ride (2009 Ram 2500) isn't too bad when I do that. But its a longbed so I don't use it as a daily driver. It would be a pain as such due to size and I need to go into town and a shortbed would be better and still be able to easily haul your load.

At least thats how I look at it.

Edited by dmac1, August 13, 2012 - 04:49 PM.


  • Theeebalz

Posted August 13, 2012 - 05:35 PM

#4

if you're really worried about it pick up an older 2500 or f250 to do your heavy hauls with. can find them pretty cheap on craigslist.

  • Monk

Posted August 13, 2012 - 05:44 PM

#5

IMO, it isnt worth it.......I have 1 tons, 3/4 tons and half tons in my company. Owning anything larger then a half ton is a luxury unless you tow 50,000 miles a year. In your case, owning a 3/4 ton will just cost you extra money.

  • eaceti

Posted August 13, 2012 - 06:44 PM

#6

Yes, yes you do. nuf said!

  • takethebounce

Posted August 13, 2012 - 07:12 PM

#7

With the weights you posted you said you are sometimes close to your max combined? Travel trailer, 2 bikes, gear, occupants, fuel, I bet you are over your GVRW and your GCVRW at some point. Keep in mind those weights are based on the base model truck as well, not on trucks that have upgraded equipment and interior. If you don't already know the exact weight of your truck, you should as published can sometimes be off quite a bit.

I hate reading that airbags helped in posts like this. Helped what? Helped make the truck appear it can handle the load? What about the braking? GVW's aren't published just for the payload/hauling capacity. The braking system is also taken into consideration.

Anyhow, I am not sure you want a bunch of people to say, sure you are okay, no need for a 3/4 ton truck, or are you really wanting to know if you should operate with a truck capabable of safely being able to tow on your highways.

How does owning a 3/4 ton cost you more money orginal monk? (not trying to pick a fight, but I have owned both) All new generation HD trucks are quite good on fuel even the gassers. The newer 6 speed tranny's have improved quite abit over older 4 speeds. In terms of older gaser HD trucks, your every day fuel economy may suffer and owning a second vehicle may not be an option just for towing once in awhile but again, these trucks are designed for towing. Many times through out the year I see people towing too much for thei tow vehicle, many times I see accidents as a result of it as well.

Be it a 1/2 ton, or a 3/4 or a 1 ton, they all have tranny's, front diff's (if 4 wheel drive), transfer cases (again if 4wd), rear diffs and so on that should all be servied at regular intervals. Diesel's do take more oil, and cost more for serving, but can go twice as long as gasser services. Diesels do not make good every day drivers though. They need to be worked.

So with that, what about a 2wd wheel drive HD truck? I know of very low mileage fully loaded 2wd Duramax's out there going cheaper (06/07's) as not many people want a 2wd. For gasers, again, newer generation's will be better on fuel.

Also how strict is your DOT where you live? Do they ever do spot checks? Do they pull over peole with loads that look subject to being over weight? Ever seen a guy leaving his trailer on the side of the road before after being pulled over? I have.

Maybe we see more of it because we operate in the mountains, and especially throughout the winter operate with some decently heavy loads. I don't run a lifted truck with stupid oversized tires, but I operate the proper truck for my load.

Do your homework I guess :thumbsup:

Edited by takethebounce, August 13, 2012 - 07:22 PM.


  • gots_a_sol

Posted August 13, 2012 - 07:20 PM

#8

after getting the wrong food because they couldn't hear you over the engine noise;


I found the best way to solve that problem is to just shut the truck off. :thumbsup:

  • sangheraent

Posted August 13, 2012 - 09:26 PM

#9

why not buy a 2500 6.0L chevy? those are good trucks I have hauled a 16 foot flat bed with 8 guys gear 7 quads and the gas mileage was almost the same as empty.

I agree diesels arn't always worth it but I think you would be a lot safer in a bigger truck.

  • Orange and Blue Family

Posted August 13, 2012 - 11:17 PM

#10

Our family had a 1/2 Ton Chevrolet Suburban, and it strained a lot pulling heavy loads (separately...four dirt bikes in a trailer, a ski boat, or a two horse trailer). Gas mileage dropped significantly whenever we pulled a load (down to the 7 - 10 mpg range). We live in the Sierra foothills, so performance on grades was important. And especially on curves and downhills with the largest loads, the Suburban didn't handle the load smoothly.

We bought a pre-owned 2004 Dodge 2500 Diesel Quad Cab (short bed). My litle 5' 4" wife took it over because she liked driving it better than the Suburban, and we sold the Chevrolet. The Dodge is awesome. It gets 16 - 18 mpg no matter where we go, and no matter what we're towing. It handles heavy loads smoothly around corners and in emergency stops. No need to put it in low range to pull the ski boat up a launch ramp (as we needed to with the Suburban sometimes).

Two weeks ago, my 13 year old son and I did bonzai long distance drive in the Dodge to Southern California and back to pick me up a new KTM 450 XCW. 1 3/4 tanks of diesel roundtip for 900+ miles (that's almost 17 mpg), and not a hiccup with the cruise control at 70 - 75 up and over the Grapevine.

We'll never go back to either gas or a half ton (truck or otherwise).

Hope this is helpful!

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  • 123BigcoopDawg576

Posted August 14, 2012 - 05:31 AM

#11

For my wife and I it came down to what we could pay cash for and own out right that would fit our needs with safety being the most important.

For us, that meant we wouldn't be jumping to a diesel. We picked this up for 8K (http://www.thumperta...2-chevy-2500hd/)

After getting it tuned etc. the MPG is a lot better... highway is 17 and city is 12 with an over all of 14. Towing is towing...diesel or gas you getting 9's / 10's no matter what.

I wont win the up hill battle, I may be a bit slower etc but Ill smile the whole time knowing I don't owe :thumbsup:

why not buy a 2500 6.0L chevy?


Good recommendation!

The Dodge is awesome. It gets 16 - 18 mpg no matter where we go, and no matter what we're towing.


I doubt you hook up a trailer weighing in at 8-10K you're seeing 10+

Edited by 123BigcoopDawg576, August 14, 2012 - 05:36 AM.


  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted August 14, 2012 - 06:46 AM

#12

About 2K miles of the year, I nearly max out my 2001 F150 Supercrew. With a Combined gross weight max of 13K, I sometimes get close with 2 bikes, gear, and a 5800# Travel trailer (weighed). Part of the problem is the trailer is 4400# empty (7k# GVW) and has a tongue weight of 740#! My truck has airbags (which helped a lot) and I use a WD hitch.

The rest of the 10K miles per year, the truck is fine. It's was cheap to own, easy and cheap to work on, comfortable, and my wife will drive it (if she has to).

I tried a 2003 Cummins Longbed, and it was a bit like riding a 2010 CRF450R with my 8 year-old on his XR50 = total overkill. Doing the 6 point turn to get into a parking spot; getting stuck going thru the "drive thru", after getting the wrong food because they couldn't hear you over the engine noise; 3 gallons of oil and changing the $30 fuel filter every 6 months, the savings on fuel did not add up. Plugging it in when it gets cold, fuel additives, rattling my fillings loose after 12 hours of driving with it empty, the fuel pump issues.....etc. BTW, my wife hated driving it and smelling it.

My budget is $18K. So, should I look for 3/4 ton for $11K and spend the extra $ on gas for that 2K miles a year I'm towing, or should I just max out a 1/2 ton and give the tranny extra TLC? I don't have the room for a third vehicle and I commute on my DR whenever I can.

Thanks in advance.


I bought a brand new Dodge 2500 diesel crew cab, long bed, 4WD, it rides so nice and smooth. Engine is as quiet as a mouse, I get better mileage than any half ton could. (18.6) at 70 MPH over 3 mt grades with AC running. And it tows anything like its not even there. You dont even feel mt grades. Rolls up them just as fast as if it was empty. I'm a long bed person only. But that is just me.

With a budget of 18K, a good gasser would work fine. I will always get a 3/4 ton.

  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted August 14, 2012 - 06:49 AM

#13

After getting it tuned etc. the MPG is a lot better... highway is 17 and city is 12 with an over all of 14. Towing is towing...diesel or gas you getting 9's / 10's no matter what.

I wont win the up hill battle, I may be a bit slower etc but Ill smile the whole time knowing I don't owe :thumbsup:


I get 15.5- 16 around town, 18.6 on the highway with my diesel. It doenst even know a grade is there. I tow a trailer, it drops to 13.5 (6000 lbs)

Gassers tank in mileage when towing and labor up any grades. Diesel is more expensive, ie fuel and maintanance though.

A buddy did tow my trailer once, 04 Ford F150 (was actually the Lincoln LT) and it got 8.3 mpg

Edited by toyota_mdt_tech, August 14, 2012 - 11:51 AM.


  • 123BigcoopDawg576

Posted August 14, 2012 - 09:30 AM

#14

I tow a trailer, it drops to 13.5 (6000 lbs)


I guess I should clarify when I say towing, I mean toybox, 5th wheels, travel trailers etc...these are the types of trailers that eat the millage.

  • KTM Rookie

Posted August 14, 2012 - 11:08 AM

#15

Thanks Everyone for this thoughtful discussion.

According to Ford's specs on a 2009 F150 4x4 Supercrew with a max tow package GCWR = 17100, Max tow = 11K, Payload is 1460#,
This would be a step up from my 13K GCWR, max tow= 8K, etc. The 1/2 tons wars have produced some nice 1/2 tons.

My usual load works out to about 800 to 1k# (including myself). That only leaves me with 500# tongue weight (Max trailer weight about 3500#?). I was surprised how heavy my current trailer's tongue weight is (740#). I guess I'll look at some lighter trailers and look at some 3/4 tons.

BTW, if a flier says "hitch weight" is 400#, that does not include the tanks full of propane (another 60#) and the dual batteries (another 56# for eachgroup 24). So, 2 tanks and batteries weigh over 200#.

Edited by KTM Rookie, August 14, 2012 - 04:55 PM.


  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted August 14, 2012 - 11:50 AM

#16

I guess I should clarify when I say towing, I mean toybox, 5th wheels, travel trailers etc...these are the types of trailers that eat the millage.


That one would drop me closer to around 10 mpg.

  • takethebounce

Posted August 14, 2012 - 05:09 PM

#17

Thanks Everyone for this thoughtful discussion.

According to Ford's specs on a 2009 F150 4x4 Supercrew with a max tow package GCWR = 17100, Max tow = 11K, Payload is 1460#,
This would be a step up from my 13K GCWR, max tow= 8K, etc. The 1/2 tons wars have produced some nice 1/2 tons.

My usual load works out to about 800 to 1k# (including myself). That only leaves me with 500# tongue weight (Max trailer weight about 3500#?). I was surprised how heavy my current trailer's tongue weight is. I guess I'll look at some lighter trailers and look at some 3/4 tons.


1460# of payload. Why do they even make a 1/2 ton truck. Yes I know we use the terms 1/2, 3/4, ton loosely, but it has been that way for a number of years. Yes I know why, but in terms of someone who needs a truck to actually haul anything you are fighting a losing battle.

Newer trucks weigh more. The GVW's have increased along with the trucks weight. By the time you throw in 2 people (200# each) 2 bikes (250# each), gear, fuel for bikes, actually put fuel in the truck as well and pick up your lunch you are likely at %85-90 of your GVW.

You might also try and find a heavy half. GM/Chev call them 1500HD's. They also made a 2500 non HD. The 1500HD has a 8600# gvw. The 2500 Non HD's are hard to find.

Next consider your rear ends. 4.10's are going to be harder on fuel from every stop and go. 3.73's are better on the highway, but won't have the torque off the line.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a F150, or any other 1500 model truck, but anyone who tows a trailer, or who hauls anything in the box of their truck and wants to actually be within what the law states will probably be surprised if they ever pull across a scale.

Last time I went out truck shopping, took a new Dodge out (diesel, club cab 4x4) to compare to my Chevy 2500 HD extra cab 4x4 I told the sales man I would buy the Dodge on the spot if it had more payload than my several year old Chev. No problem he said, this truck will haul anything ( I love salesman, no real knowledge of what they sell) My Chev weighs in at about 6300# with a full tank of fuel on the scale and a 9200# GVW. The Dodge came in at I believe 6800# and the GVW was 8800#. Almost a 1000 pounds less payload in the newer Dodge. I had the print out from the scale to show him my truck weight. He couldn't wrap it around his head that the Dodge was a heavier truck and that counted against its GVW. (It will also count against the combined)

Anyhow, good luck!

  • Chickenhauler

Posted August 14, 2012 - 06:15 PM

#18

How does owning a 3/4 ton cost you more money orginal monk? (not trying to pick a fight, but I have owned both)


Registration for starters. Tags for my half ton are under $50. My dually is one year newer, and costs $240.

Insurance is another-bigger, heavier more expensive parts=more expensive premiums.

Brakes, tires, steering and suspension, shocks, they're all more expensive on a heavier rated truck.


Also how strict is your DOT where you live? Do they ever do spot checks? Do they pull over peole with loads that look subject to being over weight? Ever seen a guy leaving his trailer on the side of the road before after being pulled over? I have.


I travel 120k miles + per year, have been doing so for well over a decade, and have NEVER seen a non-commercial (RV) vehicle get inspected for weight, much less placed out-of-service.

Canada may be different, but here in the states an Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement officer (the guys with the scales) cannot stop a non-commercial vehicle without probable cause.

BTW, if a flier says "hitch weight" is 400#, that does not include the tanks full of propane (another 60#) and the dual batteries (another 56# for eachgroup 24). So, 2 tanks and batteries weigh over 200#.


Real tongue weight is never what they publish. RV manufacturer's and bike mfgr's use the same scale (which is also the same one every fat chick refers to for her drivers license weight).

  • condor74

Posted August 14, 2012 - 06:26 PM

#19

If you are towing anything or even unloaded I would recommend a 3/4 ton truck. You can get a short bed to get your turning radius back. I have 2 trucks. My wife drives a 2002 Dodge ram 1500 and I drive a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 diesel. The Diesel has tons more power for towing, gets better fuel mileage towing and unloaded. I get better than 22 miles to the gallon on the highway. The best the 1500 has gotten is 18. I only paid 2500 for the diesel. I know that is kind of a steel but you can pick up trucks similar to this for around 8 to 10000. Newer body style is much nicer and is a bit more expensive. 15000 should have in a nice cummins diesel truck.

If you go Ford do not buy a ford diesel between 2003 and 2009. They are all junk and will cost you 2 to 5000 dollars ever time they break,(will be often). Do not buy anything with a 6.0 or 6.4. I manage a fleet of these trucks at work. Earlier than 2003 they had the 7.3 Powerstroke diesel. This was an excellent power plant. After 2009 they went with the 6.7 which I hear good things about. Good Luck.

  • DMC707

Posted August 14, 2012 - 07:34 PM

#20

If you are towing anything or even unloaded I would recommend a 3/4 ton truck. You can get a short bed to get your turning radius back. I have 2 trucks. My wife drives a 2002 Dodge ram 1500 and I drive a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 diesel. The Diesel has tons more power for towing, gets better fuel mileage towing and unloaded. I get better than 22 miles to the gallon on the highway. The best the 1500 has gotten is 18. I only paid 2500 for the diesel. I know that is kind of a steel but you can pick up trucks similar to this for around 8 to 10000. Newer body style is much nicer and is a bit more expensive. 15000 should have in a nice cummins diesel truck.

If you go Ford do not buy a ford diesel between 2003 and 2009. They are all junk and will cost you 2 to 5000 dollars ever time they break,(will be often). Do not buy anything with a 6.0 or 6.4. I manage a fleet of these trucks at work. Earlier than 2003 they had the 7.3 Powerstroke diesel. This was an excellent power plant. After 2009 they went with the 6.7 which I hear good things about. Good Luck.



Not sure anybody said they were shopping for a clapped out $2500 truck ---- just assume you are shopping for a new truck and ask yourself how much truck will 26-27k buy you off the dealer's lot for a 1/2 ton, vs a 3/4 ton?

--- bottom line is its hard to buy a decent diesel 3/4 ton truck under 40k unless it is optioned out like a prison work van -------- its total bull--snot because the manufacturers cater to commercial and fleet users who can write off the extra expense, not the 2 months a year toy hauler user who convinces himself he needs a a "big boy pickup"

If you are a sheep who says "well, its only 200 bucks more per month " -- then more power to you - and keep convincing yourself of your moral superiority over 1/2 ton drivers
but if you a ctually need the big truck and the shitty tooth rattling ride, sometimes problematic fuel availability, and other weird shit- (a buddy keeps jugs of urine on hand to pour into his new powerstroke -- weird)


In case any "diesel people" declare me a broke, jealous , 1/2 ton weakling who doesn't know what he's missing --- this is my secondary vehicle . Primary vehicle is a much more sensible 1/2 ton crew cab F150 (that also gets decent mileage but is easy to drive, park and live with everyday )


Big trucks are status symbols for retards -- and that is most of the users i see claiming their total superiority in all aspects of life --- the guys who actually need them are happy to drive something else when they are off the clock


Posted Image

Edited by DMC707, August 14, 2012 - 07:37 PM.





 
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