If you tow a fifth wheel trailer, as many RVtravel.com readers do, then with very rare exception you do it with a pickup truck. So, our very logical question today is which brand of truck did you choose for the job?
We know that this is one of those questions where the owners of a particular truck believe it is far and away the best one for the job — at least the job required to tow their particular RV. So, after you answer the poll, would you please take a moment to leave a comment and explain why you chose your truck? Would-be fifth wheel owners will discover this poll through Google or other searches. They will likely be very interested in why you chose your vehicle in order to help them make their own buying decision.
Okay. Time to vote. Remember, if the poll has not appeared below yet, it could be you have a slow connection. So just stand by for a moment. It’s on its way through cyberspace right now. Trust us.
We tow with a Toyota Tundra. It’s all about quality! And they are built in San Antonio, TX
The only thing wrong with Toyota or Nissan is they can’t figure out how to make a full size truck that gets more than 13-15 mpg empty.
I have a 2017 F150 and tow a 31 ft 2016 Flagstaff 8528CKWSA 5th wheel I chose the Ford as it was and I believe still is the only 1/2 ton with a GVW high enough to legally tow my trailer. I have the 3.5 twin turbo and it has amazing torque for pulling. So far I have had no issues and have 115000 kilo on it with 2 trips to Florida hauling the 5th wheel from Canadian east coast.
I am now on my second Ram 3500. The first was a single rear wheel. We pulled a 16,000# Hitch Hiker and after 90,000 miles the only cost was tires and routine maintenance. Our current 3500 is a 4×4 dually and just turned 60,000 miles pulling a Grand Design. Love everything about the truck and the only cost has been oil changes (actually the first 2 years were provided by the dealer) and routine maintenance.
Bought a new 2020 F350 7.3 gas to pull my 16,500 Montana fiver. At 24,040 miles, the engine totally self-destructed. If Ford knows why, they aren’t telling me. Both top and bottom of engine was replaced. Was in the shop for 97 days. Get it back in two days. Do I trust it? Oh, and apparently Ford won’t extend the warranty on the new engine beyond what’s left on the old. We will have to talk about that, I suspect. Dealer customer service was great. Ford’s … not so much.
2015 volvo vnl w/D13. 12 speed Ishift, custom bed carrying a Smart Car, pulling a 36′ toyhauler. Moved to the HDT because we got tired of replacing brakes, trans, etc. Pulls anything, up anything, and stops us without issue. And it’s registered as a motorhome so no CDL required.
2005 Chevrolet Silverado K3500 4WD long bed Duramax Diesel and Allison 5-Speed automatic transmission currently pulling 2019 Grand Design 35′ 337RLS Reflection. For 13 of it’s 16 years it pulled an Excel (Peterson Industries) 35′ SEO Park Model that weighed 2000 pounds more than the current Grand Design. One set of head gaskets (my fault), one hydra-boost unit, and a water pump. All other repairs were routine maintenance items. 150,000 miles.
About 18 years ago I was hauling a heavy fiver with an FL-60 powered by a 3126B Cat engine. MDTs were the upcoming trend. That diesel engine had only a butterfly-valve in the exhaust system for compression retardation (braking). On a westward trip down US-160 off Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado the butterfly-valve stuck fully open. The truck brakes faded and the trailer brakes operated manually were maybe 10% effective. I know how C.W. McCall felt. In over 20 years of RVing it was the closest I have ever come to availing myself of a run-a-way ramp. So, I traded soon after for the custom built Peterbilt 385. Our fiver is a 40′, 20,000 lb. full-time unit. We do much of our RVing out west and in the Rocky Mountains. The C-13 Cat engine has a lot of pulling power to get up grades. BUT The main reason is that of safely coming down hill. The three stage Jake-Brake is a welcome component of the C-13 Cat engine. Safety is the name of the game.
I use a 2005 International 9400i Eagle with a Cummins ISX.
Eric: 2007 Ford F250, Lariat Diesel, 6.5′ box. Encountered early diesel engine problems, which were resolved. Prefer diesel engine for it’s excellent grade-ability performance on grades.
I chose my 2009 Chevrolet Silverado with the Duramax/Allison Transmision because of their reliability, low height, and noise level.
2021 Ram 3500 with the Max Tow package. My third truck with the Cummins. My Newmar Kountry Aire fifth wheel weighs 20,000 pounds so need the dually. Truck has payload of 5100 pounds and rated to tow over 30,000.
We have a 39′ Weekend Warrior that we tow with our 2005 F250 that has been upgraded with Bulletproof Diesel parts that have upgraded the pulling capabilities – plus airbags. Hate the idea of selling the RV but life isn’t always kind.
It would be interesting to know how many Fifth Wheels are towed by 1 ton trucks. Also solicit comments on how (if) they stay within the cargo-carrying capacity of the truck.
Had Dodge /Ram for 16 years , went from 12 valve Cummins to 6.7 , bought a new 6.4 Hemi in 14 , 7000 miles later it burned up to pistons , Dodge said bad fuel and did not cover under warranty, after 20,000 dollars and three months I got my truck back . In the meantime I had bought a used Chevy Duramax to work out of , traded Ram with new Hemi to a Chevy dealer at 14,000 miles . Really like the Duramax , 94,000 miles on a 15 Duramax , close to 60,000 of those miles it has had a cattle trailer or big fifth wheel hooked on it . Quite , smooth riding , good fuel mileage only problem has been EGR valve stuck at 62000 miles . I work out of this truck daily and take it on long trips . Truck is heavy since I have a bale bed on it and a cube feeder most of the time , truck weighs 12000 lbs with the feeder on , hook up to 45 foot toyhauler and get 8.5 mpg , pickup and trailer together weighs a little over 30,000 pounds . Pulls great .
I bought a 2001 Ford F250 Supercab with 250,000 miles for $4200. I put another $1000 into it. I recently had to put a new power steering hose and a wheel bearing on but I consider that regular maintenance. It now has 311,000 miles on it and it’s still running strong. I bought it because it has the 7.3 diesel. That’s a strong runner. Not as powerful as some, but it gets the job done. It has a 40 gallon tank and gets about 8 mpg while pulling (but I go for speed over mileage). My buddy (the owner of this computer) drives it from time to time and gets 12-14 so it’s my lead foot that is the problem there.
2019 Ram 3500 DRW. It has the HO Cummins with the Aisin transmission. So far we love the truck. It tows our Alliance Paradigm 5th wheel wonderfully. It was our first dually pickup. Learning to live daily with such a large truck was a bit challenging but we got used to it. You have to park at the very back of the parking lot when you go to any store. I’m fat so the extra walking doesn’t do me any harm. Small inconvenience.
2019 Chevy 3500HD Dually Diesel, pulling a 2021 Montana 3121 RL (16,600 GVWR). We decided on this due to the comfort and the fact it has an Allison transmission. I think the tranny would be first to go while towing and the Allison’s are very dependable and matched with many engines! We test drove the Ram but the ride seemed harsh, the Fords were way overpriced. Our Chevy is extremely comfortable and plenty of room for the dog platform I made for the back seat. (Both our dogs travel with us with extra large dog beds). Both front seats can slide all the way back, so far that my wife’s feet can’t touch the firewall. I love the ride of the long bed and not having to worry about a sliding hitch. The truck is 21′ bumper to bumper. My wife can drive it just fine and much prefers the truck! Great choice for us!
The GM twins are the best riding and very good performance and reliability. The Ram Cummins is the easiest to work on, and the Ford is the noisiest, roughest riding so take your pick and live with your decision. Lol
Ford F-250 Super Duty 6.0L diesel.
I’m not an expert but from 1968-2015 I’ve owned or extensively operated each brand of pickup truck on the market from 1/2 ton to 5 ton ratings. Every brand, every engine and every model year will leave you broken down on the side of the road for one reason or another.
The key to minimizing breakdowns is knowing the weaknesses in the various manufacturers vehicles and deciding which one has the least number of issues and how much you’ll have to spend to correct those issues before you start towing.
Or, have deep enough pockets that you can trade in the truck every year 😎.
I have a 2014 Chevy Silverado, crew cab 3500 with single rear wheels.
It tows my fifth wheel without a problem. I plan on keeping it because the price
of a replacement is nothing I want to deal with and I’m not going electric.