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Old 02-28-2021, 01:47 PM   #1
Roostie
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First truck - mid or full size?

I'm considering getting my first truck, and I'm weighing mid-size versus full-size. I'd use the truck for DD, and pulling a travel trailer.


I like the idea of a mid-size because of its lower cost and I feel more comfortable driving something that size ... I've never had a truck or SUV.



Tow ratings of the Colorado with either the V6 or the diesel (7000+) are sufficient to pull the type of trailer I have in mind. I'd take this trailer to the desert and mountains, which are often windy. Anybody have experience hauling a travel trailer with a mid-size truck or SUV, how did it go?


I did online builds and was comfortable with the Colorado price, but found that the full-size trucks got to $50k, a little beyond what I want. And, the big guys don't have much extra towing capacity above the Colorado unless you get shorter gears, which really cuts into their mpg. But, I don't know if full-size is the way to go.
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:41 PM   #2
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I run a 2018 Colorado, crew cab, long bed w/Leer cap, w/2.8 diesel. It's my daily but I do tow a 5 x 10 utility trailer. Been to Florida and back towing with a golf cart. Not sure total weight but guessing around 2000#. Averaged a little over 20 mpg, and that is cruising 70-80 on the highway. I do like the truck, I think with a better trans the milage would come up. Recently drove a 21 Silverado 1500 with the 3.0 diesel and A10 tranny, really, really liked. Smooth, quieter and the tranny kept the diesel in power band. It will be my next truck when I get closer to 5 years on my Colorado. Yes they start pushing 50 if you add extra goodies. I'd test drive both then decide. Chevy didn't offer a diesel in the 2018 1500's or that's what I'd be driving now. Good Luck!
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Old 02-28-2021, 03:08 PM   #3
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I am pretty versed in towing... DO NOT LOOK AT THE TOW RATING! it is a load of BULLSHIT.

Ok, now we have that out of the way. What TT are you looking at?

Rules of towing,

You need the GVWR of the truck and the payload. The payload will be on the door jamb sticker. DO NOT USE THE MFG WEBSITE FOR PAYLOAD! Use the door sticker.

From there you can see how much your truck can legally hold - this number will include all options, all fluids including fuel. BUT NOT any added features from yourself of the dealer.

Now you have that number, your payload as it left the factory. From there you need to subtract - passengers and cargo - cargo is anything you put in the truck. What is left will be you available tongue weight allowance which is usually 12% of the total weight of the trailer when it is loaded. SO say you bought a 5000lbs trailer, you add in the propane and some stuff an now you are around 6000lbs, your tongue weight should be about 720lbs off of your payload.

The fancier the truck the less payload. In the full size world diesels have less payload. Sunroof, steps, bed covers...all come off the payload.

SO first thing you need to decide is what trailer you want - DO NOT BUY THE TRUCK FIRST.
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Old 02-28-2021, 03:22 PM   #4
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Go midsize IMO. I've owned a half dozen Toyota pickups, all bought new. Can't beat them. I'm still driving an '09 Sport with 265,000 miles and it looks and drives like new. I also bought a new ZR2 that sits in the garage with 100 miles on it.

Oh, and towing a 4000 lb. boat up and down "mountains" (around here) no sweat.
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:17 PM   #5
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Did I mention, Do not by the truck first?
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:28 PM   #6
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I daily a 2500HD Crewcab 4x4 Diesel. Get 20 mpg, can park it anywhere I want and can tow anything I want.
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:17 PM   #7
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Ok, this thread is going to go off the rails - pm me if you need anything.
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Old 02-28-2021, 08:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas Bound View Post
I daily a 2500HD Crewcab 4x4 Diesel. Get 20 mpg, can park it anywhere I want and can tow anything I want.
I have a K3500 D-max (standard cab/tow pkg) and get 20 mpg too.
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Ok, this thread is going to go off the rails - pm me if you need anything.
Lol

Mid size will struggle to control a very big trailer, particularly in hills and wind.
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:01 AM   #10
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Mid-size trucks are for folks who like the idea of having a truck, but still want the comfort of a car/small suv. They have their place.

I would buy atleast a 1500 series full-size for towing.
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:34 PM   #11
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Thanks, your comments are helpful. I can see it's really crucial to decide what trailer I get before I get the truck.

Once I add weight for 3 passengers and cargo in the truck, and supplies and gear in the 20-23' trailers we're considering, I see that a mid-size truck would be marginal. Considering I'll face steep inclines and high winds on some trips, I ought to get a full-size truck for that size trailer.

On the other hand, if I compromise trailer size down to the teens, I could get by with the mid-size. We gotta decide if we want to pull a big luxurious trailer or travel lighter in something more basic.

Last edited by Roostie; 03-01-2021 at 12:35 PM. Reason: syntax
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:49 PM   #12
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I tow a Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser 19ERD. When we are loaded up we are less than 4Klbs in the trailer. The height, width and length make it very easy to tow with a1500. I have a 2020 RAM 1500 Limited with the 3.92s and the air suspension it makes towing an absolute breeze.

I also like the one piece roof design.

Do your homework. Get a good WDH and stay within the limits of that truck and your adventures will be awesome!

https://www.gulfstreamcoach.com/prod...er/model/19ERD

And for what it is worth, I am not locked into one truck brand (I only ever owned Chevy and RAM) but nothing on the market will beat a Ram 1500 Bighorn with the towing package. You should be able to get one high 30s to low 40s, fairly well optioned.
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK95-Z View Post
Mid-size trucks are for folks who like the idea of having a truck, but still want the comfort of a car/small suv. They have their place.

I would buy atleast a 1500 series full-size for towing.
For me, it was size. I still frequent city streets and the dimensions compared to existing gen full size improves quality of life (parking, etc). And the truck has just enough utility to load up gear and go tailgate or haul the kayaks to the river. I agree you'll want a full size to tow anything significant even if it's just for the extra stability and headroom.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerFran View Post
I tow a Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser 19ERD. When we are loaded up we are less than 4Klbs in the trailer. The height, width and length make it very easy to tow with a1500. I have a 2020 RAM 1500 Limited with the 3.92s and the air suspension it makes towing an absolute breeze.

I also like the one piece roof design.

Do your homework. Get a good WDH and stay within the limits of that truck and your adventures will be awesome!

https://www.gulfstreamcoach.com/prod...er/model/19ERD

And for what it is worth, I am not locked into one truck brand (I only ever owned Chevy and RAM) but nothing on the market will beat a Ram 1500 Bighorn with the towing package. You should be able to get one high 30s to low 40s, fairly well optioned.

Your taste is similar to mine. In the 1/2 ton trucks, the Ram Bighorn with air suspension looks best to me. And Gulf Streams travel trailers look good. I favor the 19CSK, with a pop-out for a sofa bed, we need to accommodate a child. But oh my, there are a lot of travel trailer manufacturers.

What is "one piece roof design," is that no pop-outs?
For the Bighorn did you get a chance to see the difference between standard cloth seats and the uprated cloth that's $500 extra?
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