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Here's my situation:

I currently have a f150 but its inadequate for towing my boat. The v6 at 200hp and 2 wheel drive is at its rated limits for towing my 26' Islander at 6k loaded. I prefer the 4 wheel drive for the ramps and something thats well within its towing limits for safety.

This is a secondary vehicle. It will see runs to Home Depot, the dump and local runs to the Puget Sound towing as well as long trip shots to Westport and Ilwaco for a few tuna runs each year. It will also serve as a backup to our primary cars. I doubt it will see more than 3k per year put on it so buying new does not make much sense. I was just looking at a 99 f250 SD with a v10 but it seems like overkill and with 13mpg empty and probably 10ish pulling I'm debating a lighter 250/2500 series with a decent v8 that could get better mileage all around. Tough call, bigger is always better when towing but saving 30-40% on gas when towing 3 hours each way does add up.

My research into Chevy/Ford/Dodge seems to show that they all suck at quality control which actually helps since they depreciate 60% plus by time they are in the 5-8 years old group that I'm looking at. If I was buying new it would be a Tundra hands down for reliability but the ones in this age group don't have the towing capacity.

My root question comes down to: What experiences do you have with towing in this weight class and whats adequate for doing the job safely? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

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3/4 ton minimum. If you are only going to drive 3000 miles I wouldn't be concerned with the fuel mileage. Towing, they're all going to get close to the same anyway. With your limited mileage I would go gas, their cheaper initially and cheaper to maintain.
My brother picked up an early 90's F250 with a 460, 4wd a couple of years ago for less than $7,000. Similar situation as your's, he only uses it for a horse trailer and hunting.
 

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A 1/2 ton with a V8 is rated to be adequate for 7000ish pounds, but will leave you wanting more on a long pull through the first mountain pass. I would go for the 3/4 ton. It's better to not need it and have it, than to need it and not have it. Far stronger tranny and rear end will give you way better service.
If it's only going to be a homeowner and tow truck, I'd buy as cheap a truck as I could find that's still going to provide reliability. Like Commanderx said. at 3000 miles per year, who cares about MPGs.
 

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I totally agree with the previous two posts. There isn't a truck on the planet that will get great mileage while towing (excluding diesel). I also recommend a 3/4 ton because power is important when towing but even more important is the transmission and brake systems. I would also recommend a tranny cooler on the new truck when you get it.
 

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Diesel is the only way to go! if you're looking used look into some of the older 24V dodge RAM's.
 

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You may want to check out the diesel Dodge, especially now with their LIFETIME engine and powertrain warranty............tough to beat this deal.....
I'm not into ameican made vehicles, but If I were in the market just for a tow vehicle, I'd be looking into this ride.
 

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X5fishinmachine said:
You may want to check out the diesel Dodge, especially now with their LIFETIME engine and powertrain warranty............tough to beat this deal.....
I'm not into ameican made vehicles, but If I were in the market just for a tow vehicle, I'd be looking into this ride.
The Cummins isn't included in the lifetime warranty.
 

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RiverTraveler said:
Diesel is the only way to go! if you're looking used look into some of the older 24V dodge RAM's.
Except anything older than '03 which could have a whole slew of issues. The auto trannies (47RE) were terrible. The '03 and up trannies (48RE) are much improved with reliability reaching that of the Allison in the GM trucks. The manual trucks (NV5600) lost 5th gear pretty commonly.

Then there is lift pumps in the pre '03 trucks,very common problem.

For as much as you're planning on driving it,I'd go with a gas truck. Fuel is cheaper,maintaince is less,and any of the small block gas engine will tow 6000lbs easily. Get a 3/4 ton or above for payload and towing stability and you'd be good to go.
 

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Towing 6000lbs worth of 26-ft boat will never result in "good" mileage. Diesel will get you "better" mileage, but when driving 3000 miles/year, you'll never make-up for the initial cost, even if buying used. My recommendation would be to find a 3/4 ton gas rig in the price range you're comfortable with. I recommend a 3/4 ton, for the bigger brakes, heavier frames, beefier running gear, etc. Things don't wear out as fast when not continually pushed to the limits.
 

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Hunter P said:
RiverTraveler said:
Diesel is the only way to go! if you're looking used look into some of the older 24V dodge RAM's.
Except anything older than '03 which could have a whole slew of issues. The auto trannies (47RE) were terrible. The '03 and up trannies (48RE) are much improved with reliability reaching that of the Allison in the GM trucks. The manual trucks (NV5600) lost 5th gear pretty commonly.

Then there is lift pumps in the pre '03 trucks,very common problem.

For as much as you're planning on driving it,I'd go with a gas truck. Fuel is cheaper,maintaince is less,and any of the small block gas engine will tow 6000lbs easily. Get a 3/4 ton or above for payload and towing stability and you'd be good to go.
That's true. but if he's buying older he can have those things checked out and see if the previous owner ever towed a heavy load. (check for a break controller) If not there's a good chance that since he only towing 3k a year it will last him forever. The Peddler is correct for only 3k per year the extra cost of diesel probably not worth it...

I do LOVE my new '07 Cummins 5.9HO though. 21.5mpg empty on open road. :cool: (mods are cool)! Not to mention it LOVES to tow. wink:
 

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Mitch,

If I were you, I would run over here and get this great old truck. It would be the perfect tow truck for your boat. And that seems like a good price. The only thing about the old Fords is they are not as comfortable as the newer models. But this will do the job.

I have a '93 F250 7.3L Navistar Diesel 4x4 Super Cab. It is a great truck but I wish I had gotten a turbo model. I bought this one to save $4K over the ones that had turbos. Well it works but don't be in a hurry! Then about 6 months after I bought it the price of fuel skyrocketed and thus the price of the truck plummeted. There is no way I can afford to upgrade it now. Oh well.

Good luck on your search. BTW: I have a friend with a 2007 F150 with the V8. I would not hesitate towing 6K lbs with it (As long as it had good trailer brakes). We towed his small bass boat cross country and hardly knew it was back there. Even when I had to do a panic stop when some lady decided to pull a U-Turn and pulled right on the road right in front of us while we were doing 70mpg! The ABS really works! Tup: We thought for sure the Semi I had just passed was going to make the boat a hood ornament! But that thing went from 70 to 20 straight as you please. We were very very impressed!
 

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For pulling 6000 lbs I would not even consider a half ton. I had a half ton truck when I bought my camp trailer. We had to put airbags in the rear and had prodigy brake controll. I pulled the trailer one time and it felt dangerous to say the least. So I sold that and bought a 3/4 ton Suburban with a 7.4 liter.
It is a nice tow vehicle with low gearing and enough power to get the job done.
 
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