Who's using V6's to pull there trailer

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by cpt87gn, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    Being that you are in Texas, and I dont think Texas has too many hilly areas, you should be OK with a V6, but forget it in hilly areas. When I first started, I tried pulling a 6x12 single axle with a Ford ranger V6 2WD, and it was terrible, on hills, I had to floor the pedal, and it still was like driving up a steep hill in a semi truck, couldnt get above 45 mph! It was embarassing since I only had 2 WBS on the trailer! Just go with a V8, you will grow into it anyway.
  2. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    My old 3.0 pulled around a 6x12 open with 2 mowers perfectly fine. Standard tranny, wouldnt win no races but was definately a solid truck. Got it from dad at 130k, sold it 3 years later with 190k, all of those miles pulling a trailer or boat. The ford v6s, chevy 4.3 and others will suprise ya.
  3. Hawg City Lawns

    Hawg City Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,070

    talking chevrolets you know the 4.3 is just a 5.7 missing two cylinders but trust me it doesnt pull like a 5.7

    Messages: 1,851

    I to have a f150 with the 4.6 v8 and completely agree it works hard to get the trailer moving and continues to keep it moving. Not impressive at all.
    I had a full size chevy silverado before this with the 4.3 v6 and it would pull FAR better than the f150's tiny v8 any day and this is in NH and there are hills/mountains everywhere
  5. 2low4NH

    2low4NH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NH
    Messages: 1,890

    thats just because your legs are to short to push the pedals
  6. mike lane lawn care

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

    well, it's not going to win you any races, but a V6 should be ok. I used an astro van and a GMC 1500 both with the 4.3l V6 engine and they did just fine, never had a bit of trouble moving a trailer. The problem you're going to run into is one of safety. usually a V6 powered truck or SUV is smaller and a lot lighter than their V8 counterparts, making them less stable for towing. Another thing to consider is the braking performance of the vehicle, sure it may stop itself just fine, but what about when it has a loaded down trailer? so trailer brakes are a must, and don't think that just because it's a single axle trailer that you don't need brakes, because you do. I have a 2500HD with upgraded larger rotors and calipers and I still have brakes on my single and tandem axle trailers, the reason for this is, the truck's brakes are designed to stop itself and stationary weight in the bed, not rolling weight pushing from behind.

    So in short, yes a V6 will work, as I said I have used them a number of times before, and did great for me. However, just make sure you are taking the necessary precautions for safety, because it's not only you that you'll kill when you can't stop, but that Honda Odyssey loaded with kids from soccer practice.
  7. DKJLawnCare

    DKJLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    I use my Ridgeline to pull my 6x12. It has a 48" ZTR and a 21" push. My ridgeline has the 3.5 V6. It does OK. It definitely isnt going to win a race. But it works to get the job done. I get horrible gas mileage when towing with it. Hence the reason im going to get a 7.3 diesel F250
  8. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    If you want a V6 truck, it will save you money if you buy new. On the used market, you can get a better deal on a low mileage V8 truck. Most V6 trucks are limited to rear wheel drive only, if that works for you, fine!

    I'd go with the GM 4.3L V6. Most come with the 3.23 rear axle, but 3.73 was a no cost factory option for most years, even 2010 models! The V6 makes max torque at 2800rpm, versus a high HP V8 in the 4000rpm range. Even with the 3.23 axle towing 2.5K (my estimate of the weight of an open trailer and your equipment). The V6 gets similar mileage as the DOD 5.3L V8 and 6 speed transmission with 2wd (non XFE). For the $2K cost of the 5.3L V8, added maintenance such as 2 quarts more oil to change each oil and filter change, more weight on the front end which reduces handling (from what there is to begin with), and having less tech such as the displacement on demand (DOD) system will save you money on future repair bills. Having two cylinders less also means you save a few bucks during tune ups. Not to mention the base price is low for a reg cab long box when compared to a loaded V8 extended cab model that you might never use.

    Having more power and interior trimmings is great, but the V6 can legally carry close to 6K and it also has the highest payload rating. If I could live with rear wheel drive through 6-7 months of winter where I live, I'd get a GM W/T 4.3L ext cab short box.

    With a previous business I an Astro C/V and a Savana C/V both with the 4.3L V6. Around town mileage was in the mid teens for both vehicles. I traded the Savana in at 228,000miles (370,900kms) and it burned no oil, and went 4K between regular oil changes (no synthetics). I traded it in for a 6.0L 3500 for the extra payload and mileage plummeted to 11-12mpg in town.

    Needless to say, capability has a price, and if you want more, you'll pay for it. Only you can decide if the V6 is a good fit. It's not that I don't have the capital to buy a high end V8 truck, but for me, I won't use a vehicle like that to it's full potential.

    As for trailer brakes, if you're under 2K, you should be fine without any. Check with your local DOT office for mandatory regs. I believe trailer brakes have to be on if the total weight is 3.5K or over. You can still install them on your trailer if it's not already equipped. I know you won't admit it, but if you're a more aggressive driver, it would be a wise decision to add trailer brakes.
  9. Creative Cuts

    Creative Cuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    i got a gmc sierra 4.3 vortec that will do anything i need it to. pull a 6x12 trailer with 2 walkbehinds ,blowers, trimmers, hand tools. and in the winter i plow 20 some odd accounts with the same truck. gas mileage ain't no better than a v8 probably worse really, but it still works fine. but i might as well have a v8 due to the gas mileage i get.
  10. Mr. Kevo

    Mr. Kevo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Whatever you get, stay far away from a 3.0L Ford Ranger. They can hardly carry their own weight.

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