Tow vehicle discussion

JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 444Member ✭✭✭
In the (semi) near future I am going to have to replace my daily driver, and with the boat purchase I am entertaining the idea of getting a truck. I can bear the additional fuel cost, but only to around 15-20mpg combined, and I dont really want/need want a heavy duty.

I'd get an appropriate dual or triple axle trailer for my 276 (~6500lbs, wet) and the "right" equipment on the truck to tow safely.

My biggest concerns are:

1. Is a total weight of around 8k lbs pushing the envelope too far on a 1/2 ton? Most have a "rating" of around 9500-10,500 lbs, but I wonder how it actually tows with that much weight.

2. I can definitely see the pro's of having a trailer now, but I wonder if the expense of getting a 15mpg daily driver is worth it. I'll still keep it in a slip for the summer, and probably only pull it out for cleaning & maybe one or two trips a year to the other side of the state. I would assume my winter storage would be cheaper, as I could winterize and keep it pretty much anywhere.

3. I wonder how much of a PITA it would be to buy a trailer, and then rent a 3/4 ton (~$5-600/week) to tow it with.

I dunno, just thinking out loud right now. Thoughts? Anyone with a 26-28 footer towed it around?
2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
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Comments

  • NotamemberNotamember Posts: 1,153Member ✭✭✭✭
    ecoboost F150 gets nearing 20MPG's real world mileage, have all the creature comforts of a dressed passenger car, and can handle that weight with ease..

    the difference between the 3/4~1.1/4 tons (especially diesel), is that they can do it day in and day out, where as the 1/2 tons will stress out under constant use..

    don't undervalue 4wd.. it is a nice thing to have while towing, and especially launching a boat.
  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 444Member ✭✭✭
    4WD, LSD and leather is non-negotiable. Gotta have them.

    I like the Ecoboost, and they have the best towing capacities for the 1/2 tons, but they are still pretty new and they are still right around $30k. Thats more than I wanted to spend, which is ideally around $20k. I can get a 5.4 in the same "generation" for close to $10k less, so thats a lot of gas.

    What kind of MPG should I expect while trailering? I know it'll be pretty brutal, but is double digit expecting too much? Again, it wont be very often, but it's still a small factor.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • FlyingBlind310FlyingBlind310 Posts: 31Member

    I have a '12 Ecoboost SCrew and love it. The tow rating on it is 11,300 (FX4 package) from the factory. I have seen highway mileage in the 20's but I would expect to be in the high teens 18/19 more often than not. Great truck and I absolutely love it.

     

    I have never trailered anything with it yet, but I have heard guys get double digits when trailering. I think it all depends on load and driving style.

    TRUCK.jpg 67.6K

    2001 310 Fiesta Vee

    T-5.0 FWC Mercs w/ B2

    1998 Chaparral Signature

    7.4 MPI w/ B3

  • RinkerYanRinkerYan Solomons, MDPosts: 2,284Member ✭✭✭
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 2,181Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    2014 F150 w/ecoboost:  11,300-lb. maximum towing capability when properly equipped.  Source: Ford website.

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • FlyingBlind310FlyingBlind310 Posts: 31Member

     

    RinkerYan said:
    1/2 ton that tows 11,300? I doubt that.

    Believe it or not...Like I said...I don't tow (and have never tested it), but apparently the boys (&girls) at Ford think otherwise. I was off 100 lbs...only 11,200 for my model.

    http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/towing/

    Towing 11k pounds regularly would def beat up a 1/2.

    2001 310 Fiesta Vee

    T-5.0 FWC Mercs w/ B2

    1998 Chaparral Signature

    7.4 MPI w/ B3

  • RinkerYanRinkerYan Solomons, MDPosts: 2,284Member ✭✭✭
    You need to weigh your truck loaded and subtract that weight from your GWCR and that gives you the max trailer weight you can tow. Personally I would never max that out.
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 2,181Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    maxing it out for towing is not a good idea, agreed.  Still heck of a nice capacity for infrequent towing.

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,288Member ✭✭✭✭
    That's a sweet ride FlyingBlind.

    As for capacity I'm with BD. 75-80% of the claim is where I'd be banking on reliable hwy time. Short hauls sure, but anything more than 30mi or hilly conditions and I'd want some serious grace in that towing claim. Before I got close to their claims I'd swap out the stock trans cooler for a mondo trans cooler just to save a potential overheating issue. The stock cooler on my 3/4ton suburban with a towing package was an embarrassment and had temps with a load near 200*. My new one is 3x larger and my temps run right at 160* max. Easy upgrade and I love the idea of less heat.

    Mike
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • NotamemberNotamember Posts: 1,153Member ✭✭✭✭
    Rule of thumb is 10% margin east of Rockies, and 20% on and west... I believe in the 20% and 30% personally, especially tongue weight.. brake controller is maybe not required, but after you've used one there is no going back.. the engine, though important, is second to ability to brake, in my humble opinion.. cooling it for long hauls is uber important for trans life..
  • AlswaggAlswagg Posts: 378Member ✭✭✭

    Heck if the factory says you can tow 10k lbs the vehicle will easily double that.   Hook that Ford up to anything you have, it will do it.   Our old 550's would easily tow 40k lbs.  Yes, 410 and 420's with a 10k lb trailer.  Heck look at the Toyota commercial, they towed the Space shuttle and did not even sweat a drop.  "you can do it" 

     

  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 444Member ✭✭✭
    Drew - I'd definitely be getting a brake controller, just for that extra safety margin.

    Al - I wouldnt want to try to defend an accident in court when I was driving an overloaded truck/trailer/whatever.

    The local roads around me are very flat, but northern MI is decently "hilly", but absolutely nothing like the east or west mountain areas.


    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • AlswaggAlswagg Posts: 378Member ✭✭✭
    Your Ford Eco boost will definatly tow a 276.   However, if you know me, I was being a little off key.  lol.   Anyway, I would prefer a 3/4 ton Sub with big block, 4 wheel disc brakes, 410 gears and 10 ply tires.  Oh, wait a minute, that is our shop trucks.  lol  
  • mattiemattie Posts: 27Member
    edited December 2013

    Hey JTKZ, When we got our new 276 in 08 I had a 2007 Yukon XL Denali with the 6.2L motor. It would definitely pull the load - but stopping was a whole different issue. It became uncomfortable while towing. When fully loaded the 276 would push that truck around quite easily. A 1/2 ton will do the job for pulling the boat out for a cleaning. Driving the 276 across the state with a half ton - expect about 8 mpg. Maybe 9 if you're lucky. You'll be white knuckling at times. I've got a '12' 2500 Duramax Crew now. Any towing issues are now gone.

    The 276 & trailer is a bigger unit than people think.

     

     

    Post edited by mattie on
    Mattie
  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 444Member ✭✭✭
    Thats what I'm kinda worried about - the boat & trailer weighing close to 2k lbs more than the truck itself.

    Did you have a weight distributing hitch & brake controller? Was it a tandem or triple axle trailer?

    Thanks for the feedback, thats exactly what I'm looking for.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • NotamemberNotamember Posts: 1,153Member ✭✭✭✭
    that half ton will be fine as can be with that weight behind it with or without a distribution hitch, though those things are nice... but only so long as the trailer is capable of stopping itself.. and I ain't talking those rinky dinky surge brakes either- those are a certain way to jack up your truck.. electric or electric boost brakes and a controller in the cab.. they are not near as expensive as they used to be.. you can get one for under a benji, and install it yourself in about ten minutes..

    air bags under the rear axle are nice, too.. but again, not required.. the brake controller is required in my humble opinion..

    modern 1/2 tons are mighty capable trucks.... the caveat is duration- I wouldn't want to do it every day or even more than twice a week on a half ton because the suspension is geared more towards comfort than work.. the parts and pieces will stress to the point they aren't comfortable anymore, and still not capable of long term tugging without issues.. your brakes will wear fast.. your tires will scrub tread.. your springs will lose firmness.. your ball joints and swing arms will deform.. your front suspension, if you use a distribution hitch and don't have it set up correctly, will get the crap kicked out of it..

    I used to mt bike competitively, and towed a camper to the races.. a couple buddies did the same.. we loaded up and pulled about 10hours one day, all of us using a distribution hitch.. mine was correct.. another was correct.. the other was obstinate and determined that his was good, when it was clearly biting too much link.. his front tires were toast when we arrived- eaten to dang near belts.. he's lucky he made it with the temperatures they must have been generating.. which brings me to this:

    a nice little tool to have is one of those infrared heat sensing guns.. you can get one from harbor freight for >$10... check the temperatures of your tires at every stop if you are pulling near the weight limit of your rig.. check the outside tread, inside tread, and middle tread.. you'll want them uniform across the tire.. you can play with tire pressures w/o a load to make certain your alignment and pressure is right, and then compare it to the readings under load.. check your brake temps too... you can grasp whats happening using that little gun dang near as much as you can driving a load..  
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,288Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2013
    Towing my 270 with safety and ease was my goal. Trying to choose the smallest truck that could do it was a potential problem that it looks like others here are trying to steer you away from.

    Like Al I chose a long wheel base tow vehicle and decided that a tri-axle trailer with SS discs would be the best trade off of tracking vs load capacity down here in the flatlands of FL. All up my tri-axle trailer and boat loaded with gear and fluids for a weekend hit the scales 10,100lbs. With about 800lbs on the tongue the Suburban barely flinches so no wt dist hitch hassles and no elec actuator. Saltwater messes with everything so I keep it simple use a drop pin for reversing and a typical hyd acutaor.

     The boat mule is a 2000 3/4ton Suburban With 6.0ltr 335hp Vortec and weighs 6160lbs. I found the truck used with 200k mi in great shape for $3700. Added the trans cooler and put synthetic oil in the engine and it's a dedicated boat mule and visitor/guest truck.

    Stopping is crucial and the trailer discs work like a champ. Once up to speed I could pull it all day at 63-65mph and it tracks like it's on a rail. My day-to-day SUV is far easier to justify around town with the low overhead of my older but pedigree boat beast which mostly just waits to go play.

    Here's a pic. Hope that helps and good luck. Mike

    imageimage
    Post edited by TikiHut2 on
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • mattiemattie Posts: 27Member

    Here's a pic. Hefty unit when loaded. Factory "Trailmaster" trailer. Tandem with surge brakes, no dist hitch.

    Mattie

     

     

    image
    Mattie
  • RinkerYanRinkerYan Solomons, MDPosts: 2,284Member ✭✭✭
  • mattiemattie Posts: 27Member
    RinkerYan said:
    Duramax with an Allison?

    Yup, Denali HD. Pulls like a bandit. Exhaust brake too.
    Mattie
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,288Member ✭✭✭✭
    Man, Whatta handsome rig! I'll bet it's ideal on the highway.
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • RinkerYanRinkerYan Solomons, MDPosts: 2,284Member ✭✭✭
    Here is my tow vehicle. 4x4, 454, 410 gears and 13MPG solo and no payments. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet ! Like this one AL?
  • Now or neverNow or never Posts: 36Member ✭✭
    We tow a fv250 with avalanche we live in Ohio and spenp time at lakes in my and ten have towed up Cherokee mountain to get to norris also gatlenburg to lake Douglas average about 15 mpg towing no problems stopping or pulling I suggest 4 wheel drive some ramps are steep have to use low range to get up them here is a photo on the way to lake Cumberland
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,288Member ✭✭✭✭
    Nice rig!  :-bd
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • Now or neverNow or never Posts: 36Member ✭✭
    Thanks the avalanche rides like dream towing or not it has a 3.73 gear so its not to bad
  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 444Member ✭✭✭
    We tow a fv250 with avalanche we live in Ohio and spenp time at lakes in my and ten have towed up Cherokee mountain to get to norris also gatlenburg to lake Douglas average about 15 mpg towing no problems stopping or pulling I suggest 4 wheel drive some ramps are steep have to use low range to get up them here is a photo on the way to lake Cumberland
    I like the Avalanche, but isnt it rated for "only" like 8000lbs? I'd assume the FV250 plus trailer is probably really close to that number, right? I want something closer to rated 10k lbs for some extra "fudge factor".
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • Now or neverNow or never Posts: 36Member ✭✭
    Yes we run on the limit on week long trips put it is very comfortable and doesn't seem to have any trouble. My son in law uses a dodge deasel his boat is a sea ray 290 .he weighs over 10000 and has a very hard time .but we get there.these big boats are hard to tow no matter what you pull them with
  • jmoen438jmoen438 Posts: 93Member ✭✭✭
    I haul my 270fv with an avalanche, tows it like a champ.
  • Glassguy54Glassguy54 Cedar Rapids, IaPosts: 137Member ✭✭✭
    I tow our Captiva 246 BR with a Chevy Tahoe Z71. Does real fine usually, but slows a bit on the long upgrades along the Mississippi, and in parts of Missouri. I wouldn't haul anything larger without going to a 3/4 ton vehicle.
    photo (3).JPG 700.8K
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,288Member ✭✭✭✭
    Those lakes with that alligator free sweet water sure look tempting. Time to hook the boat up and head north....... in the summer :D
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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