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Anyone towing 2500-3000 lbs with a 4-cyl 5-speed compact pickup?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by olde_blue, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. olde_blue

    olde_blue LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    I was wondering how many people are running 4-cylinder, manual transmission, 2 wheel drive, compact pickups for towing. What truck are you running, how much weight are you towing, and how does it work? What sort of fuel economy do you get? I was considering such a pickup as my next truck, so I could have a more fuel efficient run-about.

    I currently tow about 2500-3000 lbs daily with a half-ton--but it light duty half ton by modern standards (D-100, 4800 lbs GVWR, slant-6 with 95 hp and 170 ft-lbs, OD manual transmission, 2000 lbs tow rating). It is fine towing around town, as long as you are not in a hurry. Almost all new compact trucks have better specs than this, except perhaps the GVWR. A Colorado/Canyon or Tacoma 4-cylinder is rated to tow 3500 lbs. I think the 4-cyl 5-speed Rangers are rated at only 2000 lbs.
  2. kps2389

    kps2389 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Don't get a 4 cylinder it wil be underpowered. Go with a V6.
  3. Kennedy Landscaping

    Kennedy Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,597

    When we we're looking for our Ram 1500 we also looked at a canyon and colorado (both pretty much same truck) we asked the salesman about towing and he went to talk to one of his mechanics, when he came back out he said the machanic told him those trucks cant tow crap.
  4. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    I have with an S10 before. Mostly pulled a jet ski with it.

    I would honestly look for 1/2 ton pickup with a V6. The mileage difference would not be noticible and you have some extra space and a safety factor.
  5. CletusT

    CletusT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Why are you so attached to a 4 cylinder? If you are towing, the 6 cylinder will be very competitive on gas mileage and will be under a ton less stress. The price difference is pretty minimal, so I would honestly go with at least a 6 cylinder.

    If you are going to tow every day then I definitetly wouldn't exceed the rating of the truck. Remember, the tongue weight rating is just as important, if not more important than the towing rating. Too much weight pressing down on the hitch will get you in trouble in a hurry. If you will be getting up to highway or interstate speeds with that load then you will really be pushing any small trucks limits. Keep in mind how much drag you are dealing with as well. I shoot sporting clays tournaments and drag a Yamaha Rhino all over the place on an open trailer. It and the trailer together is less than 2500 lbs but because of its footpring and drag it pulls like a boat that weighs 6000 lbs or more. I ended up going to a full size truck because non of the mid size trucks would comfortably pull it at highway speeds.

    Of the trucks you listed... the Tacoma with their V-6 is by far the best option. Make the dealer upgrade you to a good set of tires though. I've done alot of test driving of the tacomas and the difference between the standard and the upgraded tires is VERY noticeable at highway speeds. Also, be ready to deal with Toyota. They set their price high but you can work them down. Start on them a week or so before the end of the month and then be ready to make the deal right at the end of the month to get the best deal. Sadly... the Toyota is one of the most "American Made" trucks on the market... and its quality just plain blows the others out of the water.
  6. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    if you are towning 3000-4000 lbs a small v8 with a stick will be just as good on fuel if you are easy on the truck. If you stick with the 4cyl you will be kicking yourself every day for making the pruchase. Now if you already onw the truck and you are just wanting to know if you can pull it sure just make sure you add brakes to the trailer. I pulled a 6x10 landscape trailer with a z and two push mowers plus edger and trimmers for two years because this is what I had. I now pull with a 1 ton crew and you know my milage has not gotten any worse I just have more ability to pull manuver and stop.
  7. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,707

    i towed one day with a friends 2005 GMC canyon 4 cyl. 4x4. it was awful, i made it as light as possible, about 1500 lbs, and it struggled so bad that i never wanted to do it again.
  8. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    I have a Chevy S10 4cyl, 5 speed, 2wd and that thing gets stuck if you look at a puddle wrong. I almost laughed when I saw the trailer hitch on the back.:laugh:
  9. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    A 4 banger is asking for trouble. Not only are the brakes and chassis underrated but you are forgetting that it can't even get itself out of the way in an emergency. Ever pull out into a road and realize you missed a car heading at you at a high rate of speed? I have and luckily had (just enough) power to get my heavy ass out of the way. And that is with a 350 V8.

    Plus the thing will be dead in a year. A properly set up truck will last you years.

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