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View Full Version : New truck needed for towing 3500 lbs


jkilov
06-24-2012, 10:20 PM
OK my F-250 is getting a tad old and I'm looking for some new wheels.

What I need:
- regular cab: solo or max. 2 people
- 8' bed: needed for cleanups
- RWD is sufficient
- economical engine (max 6-cyl., inline is preferred), no diesels
- conventional mechanics, no technological mastrubation
- manual tranny, but will settle for automatic if no choice is given
- tall gearing (3.6 or bellow diff ratio is preferred)
- 5000 lbs towing capacity
- 8000 lbs GVWR
- durability, reliability, easy maintenance
- base trim, no toys are needed
- a real truck, no "truck imitating cars" allowed

Looking at:
- Ford F-150 3.7 V6
- Chevy Colorado 3.7 I5
- Chevy Siverado 4.3 V6
- Toyota Tundra 4.0 V6

I have been a Ford man all my life and the F-150 looks great and like a real truck, but I'm also used to the fact that something always keeps breaking down, usually small stuff but getting the truck to last and look mint in the process takes a lot of dedication. I know Fords tend to be durable if you take good care of them. That said I got an informative quote at the dealer the other day and it seems they have become quite steep even if base eqipped. I don't recall spending that much on the 250 ...

So I'm giving chevy a look, love the fact they offer an inline-5, should be simple to service and run smooth and better on fuel (the 250 is a real gas hog and I need more economy), problem is the Colorado is a tad short on bed space. Not sure about the frame/chassis if it's up to Ford level, never owned a chevy before.

Finnally the Tundra, it ain't cheap and it's not my favorite but I'm giving it some consideration non the less. Power is more than I need and looks aren't exactly to my taste. From experience on my wife's corolla I know when toyota's break down repair bills run high, but if the build quality is up to scratch I'll give them a look. My greatest complaint would be that the Tundra looks and feels like a car and it won't handle commercial work as well as the US competition.

Have read several reviews and used the search function but still I would like to hear some opinions: what MPG peaople are getting and how many miles each lasts before things start to go bad.

Thank you

Patriot Services
06-24-2012, 10:29 PM
The Ford 3.7 is too new yet. The Chevys are tried and proven. Toyotas are rapidly gaining favor. The fit and finish is a little better than the others.
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32vld
06-24-2012, 10:39 PM
April 2011 my brother bought a new 2011 Chevy 1500, 4wd, 3.42 rear, 4.8/295cu in small block v8. Chrome wheels and grille, AC, am fm radio cd, reg cab, 8' bed, $26,000.

My opinion is that the inline 5 will not be well suited to everyday
loads and trailer towing. And the 5 I think only comes with the mid size chevy's not the full sized.

The 4.6 v6 will be a tad under powered thus you will get better mileage with the 4.8 v8.

JDGlandscape
06-24-2012, 11:16 PM
I do not have first hand experience with these, but I am friends with a ford technician, he gives me very unbiased opinions on all the vehicles that ford produces, and he really likes the new eco-boost. Says it has great power and great fuel mileage. He said he has had a few come in for some warranty work, but nothing significant. It is definately the strongest built out of the ones that you listed. I like the toyotas also, but they feel way too carlike for me, I love driving my uncles but it just doesnt seem heavy duty.

For me the ones you listed I would go with the ford and then the chevy as number two.

Patriot Services
06-24-2012, 11:32 PM
That's what worries me with the Ecoboost. Not enough units with any miles on them to establish a pattern or lack of major issues.
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ecurbthims
06-24-2012, 11:33 PM
currently I own three silverado's with the 4.3 auto ,long box reg cab 2wd ,just like your interested in .My trucks get awesome fuel mileage but I am finding them down on power and I dont think they would make great daily tow rigs .I also have a 2012 f150 6 cylinder auto but its extra cab with the short useless box .Anyway ,it also gets great fuel mileage , but I am certain it would handle a trailer better than my gm's .I got it for a specific job the Ford dealer wanted me to buy fords so they gave me a great deal on it ,and I will be getting rid of it in September when that job is finished.I have also owned a few 5 cylinder gm's ,and they were just as thirsty as my vortec 350's ,and were in the end a huge dissapointment as they were a little truck with the same operating costs as a real truck .These trucks **** the bed quickly and were happily replaced with full size trucks .I should also mention that I have owned a few late 90's vortec 4.3 chevy trucks ,and they would pull a heavy trailer with no issues at least as well as an old throttle body 305,would not exactly sure where all the power went with the new 4.3's ,I just know that its missing .I dont bother checking my fuel mileage ,it doesnt matter to me as every mile is a charged out working mile with these trucks ,but I will say that working the same exact routes,same exact equipment ,every one of these new 4.3's are using about $50.00 less in fuel per week over our former 350 vortecs that were concidered very good on gas .

hosejockey2002
06-27-2012, 12:43 PM
What I need:
- regular cab: solo or max. 2 people
- 8' bed: needed for cleanups- RWD is sufficient
- economical engine (max 6-cyl., inline is preferred), no diesels
- conventional mechanics, no technological mastrubation
- manual tranny, but will settle for automatic if no choice is given
- tall gearing (3.6 or bellow diff ratio is preferred)
- 5000 lbs towing capacity
- 8000 lbs GVWR
- durability, reliability, easy maintenance
- base trim, no toys are needed
- a real truck, no "truck imitating cars" allowed

The Colorado is out- no 8' bed. It's a compact, not a full size.
There are no inline 6 gas engines available in any pickup that I know of-all V6.
Not sure what you mean by "no technological mastrubation"- All are fully computerized with EFI, etc. Trucks have been for nearly 20 years now.
8000 lb GVWR- None of these trucks will be close to that, unless you go with an F150 HD, which IIRC is not available with the base 3.7 V6

To me it sounds like you may be leaning "penny-wise, pound foolish". Asking a light duty pickup with a small engine to tow 3500 pounds and haul around an 8' bed full of debris will max it out, and mileage and durability will suffer as a result. The fact that you want an 8K GVWR suggests that a 1500 series truck will be too light for your needs.

I bought a new 2005 Chevy 2500HD, regular cab, no frills and installed a dump insert. Yes, it sucks the gas but will pull that 3500 lb trailer with a ton of debris in the bed without breaking a sweat or affecting the durability of the truck. If I occasionally need to tow very heavy- say up to 10K, it will handle that too.

Capemay Eagle
06-27-2012, 03:15 PM
That's what worries me with the Ecoboost. Not enough units with any miles on them to establish a pattern or lack of major issues.
Posted via Mobile Device The Ecoboost has been out for years and is slowly entering into the entire Ford line up. I know about 3 guys right now that have one in a F150 and love it. I just got back from the dealer and was looking at the new escape, it has a small ecoboost in it. (Not to buy, just looked at it) I am actually buying a 2013 5.0 Mustang.

For starters, I don't think you can get a manual in any F150 anymore. For what your saying The F150 V6 is what your asking for.

Patriot Services
06-27-2012, 06:09 PM
The Ecoboost has been out for years and is slowly entering into the entire Ford line up. I know about 3 guys right now that have one in a F150 and love it. I just got back from the dealer and was looking at the new escape, it has a small ecoboost in it. (Not to buy, just looked at it) I am actually buying a 2013 5.0 Mustang.

For starters, I don't think you can get a manual in any F150 anymore. For what your saying The F150 V6 is what your asking for.

How is a production start date of 1/7/2011 equal to several years of production?
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Capemay Eagle
06-27-2012, 08:46 PM
How is a production start date of 1/7/2011 equal to several years of production?
Posted via Mobile Device You think they just built the Ecoboost in 2011 and hoped for the best?

Mark Oomkes
06-27-2012, 08:52 PM
You think they just built the Ecoboost in 2011 and hoped for the best?

Why not, they tried it with the 6.0 and 6.4 powerjokes........

Patriot Services
06-27-2012, 09:25 PM
You think they just built the Ecoboost in 2011 and hoped for the best?

You really want to argue facts? They did not put ecoboosts in F150's until 2011. If you really want to roll the dice get the turbo model. Hang out in the F150 forum and read what the concensus is.
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Patriot Services
06-27-2012, 09:35 PM
The Colorado is out- no 8' bed. It's a compact, not a full size.
There are no inline 6 gas engines available in any pickup that I know of-all V6.
Not sure what you mean by "no technological mastrubation"- All are fully computerized with EFI, etc. Trucks have been for nearly 20 years now.
8000 lb GVWR- None of these trucks will be close to that, unless you go with an F150 HD, which IIRC is not available with the base 3.7 V6

To me it sounds like you may be leaning "penny-wise, pound foolish". Asking a light duty pickup with a small engine to tow 3500 pounds and haul around an 8' bed full of debris will max it out, and mileage and durability will suffer as a result. The fact that you want an 8K GVWR suggests that a 1500 series truck will be too light for your needs.

I bought a new 2005 Chevy 2500HD, regular cab, no frills and installed a dump insert. Yes, it sucks the gas but will pull that 3500 lb trailer with a ton of debris in the bed without breaking a sweat or affecting the durability of the truck. If I occasionally need to tow very heavy- say up to 10K, it will handle that too.

The Colorado is a midsize and has 2 inline 5 cylinder options for 2012. 3500lbs can be towed and stopped just fine with a midsize. We are talking your typical 5X8 trailer here. A 2500 is just more gas down the hole. You won't find a 8ft bed on anything less than a fullsize though.
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Capemay Eagle
06-28-2012, 04:26 PM
You really want to argue facts? They did not put ecoboosts in F150's until 2011. If you really want to roll the dice get the turbo model. Hang out in the F150 forum and read what the concensus is.
Posted via Mobile Device
The Ecoboost has been out for years and is slowly entering into the entire Ford line up I will will argue the facts because I said nothing about the Ecoboost in the F150, in the quote above is what I said^^^. The Ecoboost Launched in the MKS and Ford SHO in 2010. You can also take a look at the Volvo S60 concept in 2008 with a GTDi engine and guess what it is? Remember a few names like twin force and Cyclone engines?? I will argue the facts all day.

Capemay Eagle
06-28-2012, 04:32 PM
Why not, they tried it with the 6.0 and 6.4 powerjokes........ Do you know who built the Ford 6.0 and 6.4?

Patriot Services
06-28-2012, 05:34 PM
I will will argue the facts because I said nothing about the Ecoboost in the F150, in the quote above is what I said^^^. The Ecoboost Launched in the MKS and Ford SHO in 2010. You can also take a look at the Volvo S60 concept in 2008 with a GTDi engine and guess what it is? Remember a few names like twin force and Cyclone engines?? I will argue the facts all day.

You want to argue semantics. A modified car engine is absolutely no indication how it will hold up in a much heavier platform under high stress conditions. 2010 is still only 2 years of history under completely unrelated conditions.:usflag:

Still waiting for you to go to the F150 forum ans tell me what users are saying about the Ecoboost in the F150.

Patriot Services
06-28-2012, 05:36 PM
Do you know who built the Ford 6.0 and 6.4?

Still went under the hood of a Ford. Everybody knows they were rushed into production with the plan to iron out the kinks under warranty. Turned out kinkier than they ever imagined.:usflag:

Mark Oomkes
06-28-2012, 06:16 PM
Do you know who built the Ford 6.0 and 6.4?

Uh, Caterpillar, right?

No, no, I heard Ford was going to use Cummings.

Or was it Detroit?

I don't care, they were sold with a blue oval on the front and Ford had to play the HP game to compete with GM and Chrysler which caused a lot of the problems. Give me torque, not HP for work trucks. Which is what a 450\550 are.

Still went under the hood of a Ford. Everybody knows they were rushed into production with the plan to iron out the kinks under warranty. Turned out kinkier than they ever imagined.:usflag:

Ain't that the truth.

jsslawncare
06-28-2012, 06:56 PM
I'll have to read all of this later. I've got grass to cut.

Keith
06-28-2012, 11:33 PM
You should be able to get an F150 XL regular cab 8' with the 3.7 V6 for $20-22k as long as you don't get it too optioned. Personally, I'd get 3.73 LS, decor group and power equipment group.

biodale
06-29-2012, 04:22 AM
I am looking fora Chevy with the 5.3 engine. Bullet proof and good on the gas. Trying to find a 2500 with long bed. They are in short supply. Stay away from 6.0 engine. Reliable and powerful, but will not pass a gas station.

That's what I'm looking for. Maybe it would work for you.

cgaengineer
06-29-2012, 06:03 AM
Put heavy duty springs on Tundra if you don't like the ride.

Turbos on gas burners can be troublesome...this is fact.
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Capemay Eagle
06-29-2012, 09:00 PM
You want to argue semantics. A modified car engine is absolutely no indication how it will hold up in a much heavier platform under high stress conditions. 2010 is still only 2 years of history under completely unrelated conditions.:usflag:

Still waiting for you to go to the F150 forum ans tell me what users are saying about the Ecoboost in the F150. What ever you say man. I am willing to be you sport a Toyota?

cgaengineer
06-30-2012, 12:44 AM
What ever you say man. I am willing to be you sport a Toyota?

And it doesn't change th fact that in two years most of those Fords only have about 20-30k on the clock.
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White Gardens
06-30-2012, 12:58 AM
I'd get a V-8 of some sort. A six cylinder or in-line five is just way too underpowered.

I finally gave up on my S-10 last fall with the 4.3. Good truck and traded it with 250,000 miles, but way too under-powered for pulling anything.

I went with an 05' F-150 with the 4.6, and I get the same or better fuel economy with it compared to my S-10.

Ultimately I've got enough power now to actually pull a few things. I was originally looking for an F-150 with the 5.9, but I've got my C3500 HD with an 8.1 to pull the big loads. http://www.sherv.net/cm/emoticons/guns/machine-gun.gif (http://www.sherv.net/machine.gun-emoticon-447.html)

hosejockey2002
06-30-2012, 01:14 AM
I am looking fora Chevy with the 5.3 engine. Bullet proof and good on the gas. Trying to find a 2500 with long bed. They are in short supply. Stay away from 6.0 engine. Reliable and powerful, but will not pass a gas station.

You won't find one. Chevy never put a 5.3 in a 2500. Older models had the V5700 (old 350), but with less power than the 6.0 and probably as thirsty. If there was such a thing as a 2500 with a 5.3 it would probably be as bad on gas as a 6.0 but not have the power.

Patriot Services
06-30-2012, 01:17 AM
What ever you say man. I am willing to be you sport a Toyota?

Nope, a pair of 06 Dodge 2500's diesels and a 99 1500 gasser for shop and brush hauling. An 04 Dakota for pool service. Looking to replace the Dakota. Personal vehicles are a 02 Trailblazer and 10 Mustang GT.
I wish Ford had continued pursuing diesel tech for the F150 and now defunct Rangers. I think any V6 is going to too stressed under daily towing operations. The 5.0 is probably going to the most popular option.
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stik208
06-30-2012, 01:58 AM
Why not, they tried it with the 6.0 and 6.4 powerjokes........

The 6.0 and 6.4's
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee311/stik208/tumblr_lhv22jqvPQ1qzey7f.gif

excav8ter
06-30-2012, 08:27 AM
I don't know why so many people hate the 6.0......I bought mine new and have been running and SCT X3 programmer on it since about 200 miles, I now have nearly 129,000 and it still runs great. Doing routine maintenance on the 6.0 is the key to the engine lasting. I pull my mini x or my CTL almost daily with my truck as well as trips west to go snowmobiling in the off season. This 07 F350 CC SB 6.0 has been the best truck I've ever had. Including all the GM and Dodge trucks that have been in my possession.

hosejockey2002
06-30-2012, 12:45 PM
I don't know why so many people hate the 6.0.

Because so many people have had them turn out to be money pits. You obviously have a good one. I think I know 4 guys with them. 1 has been perfect for over 150K, the other 3 are money pits. The '07s are supposed to be better than the earlier ones.

BJWLAWNCARE
06-30-2012, 07:14 PM
I personally would have a tough time going from a 250 to a 150. You may save gas but everything else is smaller. The brakes, axles, etc. You may run into problems down the road with repairs.

jkilov
06-30-2012, 11:22 PM
My bad I meant 8000+ lbs GCWR not GVWR, anyway the colorado is out, I need that 8' bed for volume not so much the weight itself.

The biggest limitation is probably hitch load, noticed when the trailer isn't level loaded the truck's rear is all over the place.

Last year I accumulated well over 20,000 miles, this economy thing has me going much further for business than usual so good mpg's are important. Since I service the truck myself once outside warranty I prefer clean simple engineering.

More importantly I'm demoing a 1500 4.7 V8 Ram next week, it's not on my list but I refuse to discard any option before actually driving it.

excav8ter
06-30-2012, 11:27 PM
What are you expecting to see as far as MPG goes? I have hard time believing that a gas engine is going to deliver good MPG's while being good at towing. I work with many guys who have gas engines in their trucks, and they do poorly in the MPG department.

White Gardens
07-01-2012, 06:47 PM
I wish Ford had continued pursuing diesel tech for the F150 and now defunct Rangers. I think any V6 is going to too stressed under daily towing operations. The 5.0 is probably going to the most popular option.
Posted via Mobile Device

That's my biggest gripe. If the 1500 or F-150 had a small diesel in it, I'd be all over it in a heartbeat.

If I ever become successful enough to where I have money to blow, I'll be importing an F-150 Diesel from Europe.

.......

hosejockey2002
07-01-2012, 06:58 PM
It will be interesting to see how well the Ford Ecoboost holds up in the long run. People will say that there is no way a V6 will hold up to heavy towing, but not many years ago guys would have said the same thing about a diesel engine producing 1 hp per cubic inch, which is almost exactly what modern pickup diesels produce.

Patriot Services
07-01-2012, 09:50 PM
That's my biggest gripe. If the 1500 or F-150 had a small diesel in it, I'd be all over it in a heartbeat.

If I ever become successful enough to where I have money to blow, I'll be importing an F-150 Diesel from Europe.

.......

I wish it was easier to import vehicles. There are a bunch of more powerful, more efficient options from around the world. But thanks to the EPA and ignorant consumers we will never have them. If they based emissions on economy there wouldn't be any arguement.
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jkilov
07-22-2012, 11:07 PM
OK finally demoed the dodge and it's ... suprisingly good.

Ride quality is very smooth and stable. I don't think it would tow as good as the ford, chassis wise it just seem to flex a tad in the corner, though being unloaded I couldn't give it a real test.

Economy wasn't that bad, again for the short distance and unloaded I can't really say but got 15 mpg fat the test which isn't that bad for a V8, apparently there's a V6 available on some gutted models, albeit only a 4-speed, I may look into those.

The biggest surprise is just how quiet this truck is, at 50 mph road noise is hardly audible, one could really get use to that. The "Ram-box" is a very nice feature, I definitively want one of these.

Biggest complaint would be fit and finish, the SLT tested felt kinda cheap with the lower trims even worse, I guess you get what you pay for.

To summarize quite a decent truck, any feedback on long-term reliability would be very appreciated.

SouthLouisianaGrassCutter
07-22-2012, 11:42 PM
What is the price range you are looking into?

My vote is for a 2000 to 2002 F-250 with the 7.3L

BTW That 4.7l dodge you drove. hook it to a trailer and it will get 10 MPG or less.

My 7.3 got 13-15 mpg towing. Truck and trailer weighed 15,000lbs that is an in-closed trailer. 18-20 MPG unloaded

JCA1
07-23-2012, 10:51 PM
If Ford no longer offers it, could you find a slightly older F-150 with the 4.2 V6?

RSK Property Maintenance
07-24-2012, 01:29 AM
i read your original post, and from experience i would say go with something a little older, like an 01-03 7.3 f350 diesel, because while you may not need that much towing capacity now you probably will down the road, if your looking to grow, which i would think everyone is. I bought an f350 last year and started advertising and now a little over a year later, i'm looking into f450 dump trucks.....and will probably end up buying one before the winter hits, always buy more then you need, you will either grow into it or end up using it to its full capabilities and wishing you went bigger eventually. i know i always do.....

Classic Cuts Lawn Service
08-02-2012, 09:53 PM
couldnt go wrong with a new tundra