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Old 09-22-2020, 12:23 PM   #1
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Ford, chevy, ram towing configurations

Hello all. Trading in my redhawk 26xd and I'll be buying a tow vehicle for a 7000 lb travel trailer and I'm looking for advice. Not familiar with chevy and ram towing configurations. If I go with a ford it will be 150, 3.5 l turbo with max tow package, 4 wheel drive. I'll buying on price mostly. Any thoughts how an equivalent chevy and ram should be configured?
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:34 PM   #2
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The one thing that you will have to watch for is the payload configurations of the various vehicles. For example, my 2020 F150 Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 has a payload of only 1537 pounds, and with the tonneau cover, etc. added, I am down to 1460 pounds for payload. If your trailer is 7000# loaded, your tongue weight will be between 700 and 1050 pounds (10-15%). If this was me, and I was at the higher end (1050 pounds), add in my WDH (about 50 pounds) and I am down to 360 pounds of payload before I hit maximum. This 360 pounds is myself, other passengers and all the other gear I load into the truck. I couldn't do it, which is why I am pulling a 212qb (5500# GVWR).

Good luck in the hunt.
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:51 PM   #3
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IIRC, with Fords, the max tow and max payload packages are stand alone? As in, you can have one without the other? If that's the case, I'd be looking for a "max payload" equipped unit. Not long ago, those were considered "unicorns" on Ford truck lots.

I towed with a 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab 2 wd and it was a fine towing truck (hauled my 28BHBE around; it worked the truck pretty hard, but it worked). They've gotten A LOT more capable in the more recent builds. I upgraded the Sierra to a 2015 Ram 2500 with the 6.4L Hemi, crew cab 4x4, and LOVED that truck. The half ton rams in that era were dreadfully low on payload because they were designed to ride softer (coil suspension in the rear didn't help with carrying capacity), but again, the later models have much better payload.

Is the 7,000 lbs trailer you're looking at the "brochure" (empty) weight or the GVWR? If I were you, I'd be shopping the truck based on GVWR of the trailer, and considering 15% tongue weight. Focus on payload, not "towing capacity", and give yourself some cushion to work with.

Truth is that modern 1/2T trucks from all three makers should be able to handle a trailer in that realm when configured properly. And if you find that to be the case, I'd be shopping on price/features. I rode in the back of a late model F-150 recently, and I couldn't believe the space in the back seat! Talk about rear leg-room! It went on for MILES. And don't forget Toyota and Nissan. One of my employees tows a fairly large trailer with a Nissan Titan, and they do just fine. Family of 4 with two teenage boys.
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:58 PM   #4
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What you really want is max payload on an F-150. If you can get max towing and max payload, thatís better
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:17 PM   #5
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I am not here to say which one is better or anything like that, BUT... I have noticed something in my travels. 3,500 mile trips each year around the US and many trips locally I have noticed this...


1. I see more Rams towing than any other vehicle out there...
2. Out of all the vehicles I've seen broken down from towing, Ram is on the side of the road the least.



Yes, I kept track of this on my last couple of trips.

Just my observation and yours may be different....
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
1. I see more Rams towing than any other vehicle out there...

Because they are cheaper.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:31 PM   #7
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Because they are cheaper.

I will admit they are less expensive, yes... I got one because it had better options than anyone out there for what I needed. Not to mention, it was more comfortable. My boss however, says he's towed with the top 3 and his Ram tows much better than his Chevy and Ford. However, he was comparing half tons to 3/4 ton...
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:33 PM   #8
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Thanks All for the help. The trailer I'm looking at is 7000 lb, GVWR. Most of the trucks I'm looking at are above 10000 lbs towing capability which gives me a comfortable buffer. Am l correct in assuming that GMC and Ram come with the towing capabilities that Ford considers option (max towing package)? Thanks again.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:15 PM   #9
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Donít forget Payload

I read many of these posts and find many different opinions and different advice. I just always share my personal experience and hope it ads food for thought.

We have a 2019 White Hawk 28RL with a dry weight of around 7900+/-. I was towing with a 2018 Toyota Tundra 2wd Crewmax with the off-road and tow package. 5.7l. I had plenty of horsepower to pull the trailer, but the truck rear would bottom out when I had any significant bump while going down the highway. I added airbags to the rear that helped with the squat, but would still tend to bottom out on larger bumps.

I then had an experience with a u-haul attempting to pass me with in coming traffic. I needed to get shut down and on the shoulder quickly, needless to say, since I am writing this, my DW and I made it through the experience but it left a lasting mark.

We bit the bullet and upgraded to a 2020 Chevy 2500HD. Payload problem solved, ability to stop greatly improved, much more stable towing platform. 1/2 ton trucks can tow trailers of this size and I do understand a persons need to stay with a 1/2 ton as a daily driver. However, if you plan to camp quite a bit and cover any distance while doing so, give payload as much or more consideration as you do towing capacity. I now tow with much less stress and enjoy our long trips much more.

I wish you the best with your search.
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Old 09-22-2020, 11:39 PM   #10
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The truck is going to come down to your preference. Research the capacities, engine, torque HP... Ram is cheaper but I don't think they are built as well as Ford. Don't be fooled with the "Max Tow Package". That is an additional package that adds bigger tires, fans to cool tranny etc... Its pretty much just a package...I have a 19 F150 with a payload of 1814 which is high for a F150. Can I pull a #7000 trailer... yep but my payload is just about maxed out, The payload number is the number that you need to be concerned with not the the highest tow capacity. Your most often going to run out of payload before you touch the towing capacity. Most F150's average out to about 1500-1700 pound of payload depending on the trim you get (Lariat, XLT etc...).

Can an F150 pull it sure... its stopping that you need to be concerned with.... at some point physics takes over.... In my opinion anything of #7000 you should start looking at the 1/2 tons.... F250 or 2500s Bigger payloads, bigger breaks and better suspension... No White Knuckle Pulling... . Your going to get a lot of opinions here...which is good it makes you do your homework..
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:09 AM   #11
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I hope OP is seeing the common theme in most of these responses: PAYLOAD.

When you're looking at towing a travel trailer, "towing capacity" literally means nothing. At BEST it's a vague starting point to populate a list of target vehicles. You WILL exceed your payload numbers before you get over "towing capacity". The reason is simple, travel trailers are much heavier on the tongue than other trailers. 13-15% tongue weight is generally recommended for a stable tow of a travel trailer. With a flat bed trailer loaded with bricks, you can get away with as little as 10% tongue weight because there is no vertical profile to that load. Travel trailer is like towing a big sail. 10% tongue weight on a travel trailer, and you'd better be using a Propride or a Hensley hitch, and you STILL might not get away with it.

Another tidbit from my own personal experience: you don't want to be on the margin either. Give yourself some room in your capacities. When I towed with my Sierra, I was constantly worried about weights because I was operating on the margin. Once I moved to my 3/4T, I never worried about weights again. I slept a lot better at night, and had NO worries hauling generator, extra fuel, air compressor, bicycles, etc in the bed of my truck on cross-country trips. With over 3,000 lbs of available payload, I literally was only limited by the physical space in the bed of the truck.

Now, I'm not saying you need a 3/4T truck to tow a 7,000 lb GVWR trailer, I'm just saying that you should give yourself as much buffer as possible on capacities. In my case, I was pulling a 9600 lb GVWR trailer, and there were plenty of times I got close to that weight. I found out at the end of the day, just because the math added up within spec, didn't mean I was happy with the configuration when my butt was actually in the seat. A 3/4T gasser made the ride A LOT more enjoyable in my case because I had a VERY comfortable margin on my capacities.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:45 AM   #12
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The listed payload capacity of my F150 XLT 4x4 157" wheelbase Max Tow is 1857#. My Cummins Ram 2500 4x4 is 2047#, just shy of 200 lb more that the 1/2. You really have to be aware of how specific configurations effect payload capacity. 2500 Diesels are notoriously low on listed payload capacity.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:17 AM   #13
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The listed payload capacity of my F150 XLT 4x4 157" wheelbase Max Tow is 1857#. My Cummins Ram 2500 4x4 is 2047#, just shy of 200 lb more that the 1/2. You really have to be aware of how specific configurations effect payload capacity. 2500 Diesels are notoriously low on listed payload capacity.
Absolutely!

And my gas motor 3/4T had over 3,000 lbs payload. That diesel motor will pull like crazy, but it costs a lot of payload.
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:26 PM   #14
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Thanks again for the great info. Like I said, I currently have a Class C Redhawk and I tow a tiny Chevy Spark (2300 lbs), so I was really unaware of TT towing concerns. I'm now aware (thanks to you guys) to look at Payload and then Towing capacity. I think I'll look at 250's (2500's) now. The 150's seem to be too close for comfort. I really want to keep a 15 - 20% buffer on all weights.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:12 PM   #15
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There was a comment about max towing and heavy payload packages for an F150. It will be a specific factory order in a specific configuration (bed length, body style). The ones I have seen are in the 2800# range for Payload.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:31 AM   #16
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1. I see more Rams towing than any other vehicle out there...

What are payloads like on the ram? I know they have the coil rear suspension and I would imagine that would lower payload amount.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:05 PM   #17
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What are payloads like on the ram? I know they have the coil rear suspension and I would imagine that would lower payload amount.
You can use this "configurator" to put together your truck and see roughly what the "out the door" payload capacity would be. Don't forget that some added options will subtract from the available payload.

https://www.ramtrucks.com/towing-guide.html

ETA: Looks like you can get 1/2T Rams with up to a little over 1800 lbs payload, which IMO is pretty solid. For giggles, I configured my old truck (Ram 2500 Crew Cab, 4x4, 6'4" bed, 6.4L Hemi, 3.73 axle ratio, Tradesman (with almost all the options). 3,150 payload capacity.

Only thing I regretted on that truck was the 3.73 axle ratio; wish I had gotten the 4.10 for what I was doing.

More to add: If I were looking for a truck again, my first look would be Ram, second would be Ford, third would be GM. And I've always been a GM guy. But I LOVED my Ram.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:07 PM   #18
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What are payloads like on the ram? I know they have the coil rear suspension and I would imagine that would lower payload amount.

My specific Ram is actually a Power Wagon and fully loaded so I've got the lowest of them all. If I recall, it was unfortunately around 1,300 lbs but again, it's a fully loaded Power Wagon... Power Wagons have MUCH softer suspension than a regular 2500HD because they are off-road based. I have put air bags in to compensate for that but still only "legally" allow the max payload per the MFR.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:40 PM   #19
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I previously had a Ram pickup but I had no end of problems due to rust. I also had problems with the exhaust manifolds and ball joints at about 60,000 miles. The truck ran well but I was tired of dealing with rust issues so I bought an F150 because of the aluminum body. I got a '19 STX super crew cab 4x4. It came with a tow package but not the max tow package. Changing the gear ratio will have an impact on fuel economy when not towing so I settled on a 10700 lb tow capacity. I have no issue towing my 24RCBS (GVWR 7700 lbs) with a load of fire-wood in the bed. I select tow-haul and put it on cruise control on the highway. I hardly know that the camper is back there. I'm very happy with the truck. I own a '19 chevy too so I'm not a bigot with regards to brands (Corvette). I live in the northeast and deal with lots of snow and road salt so having better rust protection was important to me. If you don't mind having your truck rust out, go for the Dodge.

Whatever you get, order a big gas tank. They all get around 10 mpg towing so a standard 20 gal gas tank doesn't get you too far.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:45 PM   #20
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My specific Ram is actually a Power Wagon and fully loaded so I've got the lowest of them all. If I recall, it was unfortunately around 1,300 lbs but again, it's a fully loaded Power Wagon... Power Wagons have MUCH softer suspension than a regular 2500HD because they are off-road based. I have put air bags in to compensate for that but still only "legally" allow the max payload per the MFR.
But what an AWESOME truck!

I looked at those when I was shopping for my Ram. At the end of the day, I NEEDED the payload, and I had a Jeep in the garage for getting dirty...

That being said, my Ram never gave me trouble off-road, not that I did anything too crazy, but I did get it pretty dirty!
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