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  1. #1
    Chief Petty Officer NYGiants's Avatar
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    Default Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Looking at used pickups and I am curious what is the best 1/2 pickup for towing. I need something that can handle up to 2500 lbs. But not on a regular basis

  2. #2
    Petty Officer 3rd Class danfrompgh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Boy are you opening a can of worms with this post. The sharks love these questions. I have towed with all the big 3's pickups and all were adequate. My 98 Dodge w a 5.2 auto and tow package was good but the tranny is the weak link and gas mileage sucked,but it sucked when not towin also.
    My 2001 Chevy w a 5.3 auto and tow package was a work horse and gave respectable mileage.
    My 2006 F-150 w a 5.4 and tow package was OK but I fought with Ford from day 1 that the mileage rating was way off, they said 14 city 17 hwy, I was lucky if I got 9 city 12hwy empty.
    As you notice tho they all had the factory towing package. That is the one constant everyone will agree on. The rest is kinda apples and oranges, which one do you like better?
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  3. #3
    Chief Petty Officer NYGiants's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    which gets the best mpg?
    and i am looking american

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Ford F150 BAR NONE.
    Best selling for 25 some odd years for a reason.

    Seriously I really like Chevy's gas V8's and kinda think Ford is lacking in the gas engine HP and gas engine displacement department.
    Ford has better looks and better running gears under the Super Duties.
    GM has a good automatic transmissions be it a Hydra~Matic or Allison.
    Dodge always had a proven and great true truck diesel and bad transmissions and good axles like a Ford Super Duty.

    All good trucks, even the off shore brand trucks are very impressive, some nice V8's over there.
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    Half Ton nomenclature is outdated.
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  5. #5
    Petty Officer 3rd Class danfrompgh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    The Chevy gave me by far the best mileage. The Ford seemed to be on the lowside of the horsepower comparison . The Dodge had the best low-end torque. But if I was to buy anyone of them back it would be the Chevy,no question.
    The Chevy was so much better compared to the Dodge it replaced that I was saving $80-$100 a month in gas. And all 3 trucks have towed the same 3500# boat and the same 31ft travel trailer. The Chevy did it cheaper
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  6. #6
    Lieutenant Commander redone4x4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    I have a dodge with the hemi. tow rating is around 7000 lbs, factory tow package with a class IV hitch, heavy cooler and radiator, etc. it has plenty of power. Its a little overkill for my bayliner actually but oh well haha. and i get abut 12.5 mpg around town, and 13-15 on the highway, and about 10 no matter what if i am towing.

    The fords are nice, and have a very high tow rating and the new 6 speed tranny is pretty awesome. I liked the dodge interior better, and at the time it was a few thousand less than a comperable ford. bottom line is, nowadays they are all pretty well built, you just gotta drive some different ones and see what it is u like.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    My 2005 Chevy 1/2 4x4 Extended Cab (5.3L) gave me 20mpg on a 120 mile one way treck to the cities and back over the past two days. Towing my boat yields me 16 mpg or so. I personally like the Chevys over Ford and Dodge, but all will do what you need. The tow packages give you extra leafs in the suspension, a receiver group, and adequate brakes up to the rating. It is worth the extra coin IMO.

  8. #8
    Supreme Mariner Silvertip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    At 2500 pounds you don't even need a 1/2 ton pickup. If you need a pickup, an S10 4.3 or a Ford Ranger 4.0 will handle that load without breaking a sweat. 3.73 gears make the job even easier. If 2 wheel drive a locking or limited slip differential is essential. Most 4WD S10's have a locking differential. The S10 was even available as a crew cab and it had a pretty fair amount of back seat room. It certainly would not suite a 250# six foot jock but for regular people it was a tolerable ride. Although fuel economy is a tad better on these trucks than the full size it is not that much different but that all depends on how you drive. Again, you can throw the Dodge Dakota into the mix but if you end up with the V8 you may as well go full size as neither are economy champs. All three of the vehicles I mention are in the family fleet. I've owned Dakota V6's and they do not tow well with even light loads in my opinion.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    i'm pulling with a 98 dakota with the 5.2. no problem towing it around, only an older 18' thompson, but hooked up my dad's 21' imperial and pulled it like it was nothing

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    2500lb trailer is nothing worth burning brain cells over. As I have mentioned before, my 4Wheeler is rated for 2500 lbs.

    Any mini truck with a 6cyl and any full size can tow 2500 without knowing its back there. You need to pick a truck thats in your budget thats in good condition.

    I have worked for many many wayyyyy toooo many dealers as a tech/foreman and service manager.

    In my personal opinion I am fond of the Silverado w/ 5.3 engine. Keep it 2002 or newer for the 4L65E trans. It has an available locking diff (true 100% locking diff) and will give you the best fuel economy of the bunch.

    Regardless, any of the big 3 trucks and Toyota can tow 2500 lbs with out a hicup.

  11. #11
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    I have had both the Chevy and the Ford. Chevy has more comfotable seats and better gas mileage. Ford has more power and I like the dash better. The Chevy transmission is better...maybe they need to get together and make the ultimate truck.

    I think it is your preference. They are both good...Dodge...not so much.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    **deleted**
    Last edited by smokingcrater; July 12th, 2009 at 02:56 PM.

  13. #13
    Lieutenant Commander fat fanny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Ihave been towing my 17 footer for over 3 years now w/ my Chevy 1/2 ton WT w/ the 6' bed and a 4.3 and it hasn't batted and eye plus the fuel economy hardly changes. Chevy's can't beat'em
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by smokingcrater View Post
    not to open a can of worms, but what is american made? both ford and chevy offshore a fair number of models to various other countries, and toyota assembles all US tundra's in either texas or indiana. So if you want american made you can either support the American CEO's salary, or the American worker on the line.
    Sorry bud but you are wrong on that one.

    Silverado and Sierra are assembled in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Pontiac Michigan

    The Toyota is made in Princeton Indiana and San Antonio Texas.

    All made by Americans but the Chevy is an American company. The other ships the cash to Japan. Toyota has CEO's too but they are not under the thumb of retarded unions.

  15. #15
    Chief Petty Officer dorelse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Well, I may be the only one, but my 98 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 (with factory Tow pkg)...AND extra capacity aluminum trans pan, has been rock sold for 115,000 miles now.

    On the older Dodges, at least from what I've researched, cooling is the key to keeping my tranny happy. I just don't think they gave it a deep enough trans pan & a tranny cooler should have been std equip.

    But...if I had no budget to worry about, I'd be looking at any of the new ones.

    Yeah, gas mileage is not stellar 15-16 Hwy, 10-12 City.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by sportsmanphil View Post
    Sorry bud but you are wrong on that one.

    Silverado and Sierra are assembled in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Pontiac Michigan

    The Toyota is made in Princeton Indiana and San Antonio Texas.

    All made by Americans but the Chevy is an American company. The other ships the cash to Japan. Toyota has CEO's too but they are not under the thumb of retarded unions.
    And the Ford is made in either Kansas City or Detroit for F-150 and Kentucky for the F-250 and up.
    The Toyota is made only in Texas now.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    I will have to tell you that my 1995 Chevy 4X4 has been the best truck i have ever owned. Just hit 306,000 miles on the orginal motor. The trans lasted to 286,000 miles before it had to be rebuilt. This truck has pulled boats from day one with no problems. I don't think it will ever die.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by redone4x4 View Post
    I have a dodge with the hemi. tow rating is around 7000 lbs, factory tow package with a class IV hitch, heavy cooler and radiator, etc. it has plenty of power. Its a little overkill for my bayliner actually but oh well haha. and i get abut 12.5 mpg around town, and 13-15 on the highway, and about 10 no matter what if i am towing.

    The fords are nice, and have a very high tow rating and the new 6 speed tranny is pretty awesome. I liked the dodge interior better, and at the time it was a few thousand less than a comperable ford. bottom line is, nowadays they are all pretty well built, you just gotta drive some different ones and see what it is u like.
    Be careful with Dodge's tow ratings. They tend to inflate them. I test drove a Durango 4.7 that supposedly could tow 7400 lbs. Yeah... I suppose it could do it if you liked to keep your engine running at 3500 RPM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    I can knock Dodge all day long (trust me ) But for towing, dodge has a problem.

    Their standard half ton and 4x4 packages have very weak leaf springs. They do this to try to ease the ride quality but there *** drops at a light 150lb tongue weight.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by sportsmanphil View Post
    I can knock Dodge all day long (trust me ) But for towing, dodge has a problem.

    Their standard half ton and 4x4 packages have very weak leaf springs. They do this to try to ease the ride quality but there *** drops at a light 150lb tongue weight.
    Agreed... The 4.7 Durango was made for hauling groceries, not trailers.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Always been happy with Chevy's and Fords. I like Fords more personally from deisgn/quality standpoint, but it's just personal preference. The new Dodge Rams are the first Dodge I've seen as acceptible in a LONG time, but I still chose the 08 F150 over them after comparison shopping.

    Dodges always have some really bad recalls on them. All cars have recalls but the Dodge recalls on their cars/trucks are things like "you may try to turn around a corner and your wheels won't turn while at speed". I just can't put faith in their engineers just yet until their track record cleans up a bit.

    My 08 F150 is rated up to 9700 lbs towing and gets an average of 17.5mpg mixed and 20 on the highway. The 5.4L is only 300HP, but it's more than enough for what the truck is rated for. If it makes you feel any better, next year Ford will have a 6.2L with 400HP out to compete with Chevy and Dodge's larger motors. That's the reason why the 5.4L HP is so low compared to Chevy and Dodge since we're comparing 5.4L to 6L engines.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    **deleted**
    Last edited by smokingcrater; July 12th, 2009 at 02:56 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    My Dakota would and did handle that load with no problems. I had the little 3.9l V6, 2wd and pulled Dad's 20' Javelin F/S all on pretty steep ramps with no problems (about 3500lb combo, tandem axles trailer with brakes). Our Suburban has no problems up to the 7K tow rating with no issues. Although trailer brakes are a must over 3500lbs (at least for me). The current Tundra ("Japanese", but there are more USA components in this truck than most "American" made vehicles) is a beast. I have only a minor beef with the truck, I do occasionally wish it had a real locker, especially in the mud. However, it has never disappointed me at the boat launch or towing anything. Power is amazing, and ride is great, loaded or empty. Brother has a Ford, and it fine, though I like my Tundra better.

    In truth, I will echo the comments above, most any of the "1/2 tons" are going to be more than capable. However, if you area guy that like rowing through the gears, pay attention to tow ratings. Lots of the manual transmissions have very low tow ratings, even on 1/2 ton trucks. I would stay away from Dodge trucks due to the tranny issues, though as stated above I had no problems with mine.
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  24. #24
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by haulnazz15 View Post
    That's the reason why the 5.4L HP is so low compared to Chevy and Dodge since we're comparing 5.4L to 6L engines.
    Of course the Chevy 6.0L gets close to the same mileage as the Ford 5.4L. It was not until recently though that you could get the 6.0L Chevy in the 1/2T version. Was always in the 3/4T before.
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Best 1/2 Ton Pickup for Towing?

    Ever thought about a Toyota V6. More than capable of pulling 2500. The reliability is amazing. I have a 03 (4x4) and love it.

    Just my 2 cents worth !!

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