Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-23-2019, 07:58 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 7
Default buying our first truck to tow

Hello. My husband and I purchased a 21 ft. Viewfinder two years ago and due to a series of unfortunate events, we have been unable to get it on the road. In the meantime, the vehicle we were going to tow with is no longer usable, so we are about to purchase a truck. We can't manage the price of new, but we know that there are certain essentials for a good towing experience. We also want to allow enough power in case we want to move up to a 30 foot tow along. What are the "must have" features in a tow vehicle? Also anyone know the difference between a vehicle with a towing package vs. a towing prep package? Thanks in advance for your advice.
__________________

crunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2019, 08:58 AM   #2
Site Team
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,063
Default

A 1/2 ton truck would be fine for your 21 ft Viewfinder but if you plan on towing a 30 ft trailer you will probably want a 3/4 ton truck. Here's a website that will help you calculate the towing capacity of a particular truck so you can play around with potential trailers you might buy to see what specs a tow vehicle needs to meet in order to tow it safely.
RV Camping & RV Lifestyle - Changin' Gears

As far as must have features a tow package should include everything you will need. Heavy duty suspension, brakes, bigger alternator, radiator, transmission cooler, etc. Some optional features that are nice would be things like an integrated brake controller, backup camera and extended mirrors. Then of course for a larger trailer, a diesel engine is a plus.
The difference between towing package vs. towing prep package is likely just marketing by different manufacturers.
Don't be afraid to take time and do lots of research. Tow vehicles aren't cheap and you want to be sure what you get will do the job.
__________________

__________________
2011 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 4X4
2009 210 WBS
Prodigy P3
LJAZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2019, 09:20 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 7
Default Thanks for the prompt reply 4WD?

Thanks so much for replying so quickly. Is four wheel drive essential?
crunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2019, 05:17 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: TN
Posts: 334
Default

I'll jump in an say that 4-wheel drive is not an essential - and the tow capacity for a 2-wheel drive is often higher than 4-wheel drive (if maxing out your tow vehicle's capability with those heavy 5th wheels and such.)
__________________
2012 FunFinder X 210UDS
4-68 watt flexible panels; 1-215 glass panel/4 Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Batteries
2014 Ford F350 6.7 Liter PowerStroke V-8 Diesel longbed, SRW
runner421 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2019, 07:32 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,478
Default

Although 4 wheel drive is not essential for most towing, we discovered by accident that buying a 4 x4 Tacoma really opened up a lot of territory for us. We like to hike, using the trailer as a base camp. We take the truck out every day to remote trailheads.

Especially in Colorado and the Eastern Sierras, the 4x4 has meant that we can reach places that we never would have tried to reach. Fun!!
profdant139 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2019, 06:07 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,367
Default

If your tow vehicle is also going to be a daily driver, you may review the cost of diesel vs gasoline. That is purchase cost and maintenance cost, not just fuel cost.

My TV is also a daily driver so staying away from an oil burner was a wise choice for me. However, if I would be towing over 60%of the time, an oil burner should be given great consideration IMO.
__________________
2012 Fun Finder XT 276 Toy Hauler & Harley Davidson Ultra Classic with Condor wheel chock
2014 Dodge Ram 2500 AT 4X4 Crew Cab 6.4 L Hemi, 373 gears, tow package, Rambox option, Revolver X2 tonneau cover, Equal-I-zer anti-sway hitch.
Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 09:20 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: SoCal
Posts: 62
Default

I'll add my 2 cents:
We have towed trailers for 30+ years and generally have had gas engines (5.7L to 7.5L) and learned that a long wheelbase makes for a better TV. Then a few years ago I purchased a 2003 F250 7.3L Powerstroke. Oh my! It is totally stable with the trailer behind, can tow up any grade and gets better mileage. I now realize why I have heard people sing the praises of diesels for years. Regardless, from my experience you will likely need to upgrade the transmission cooler on any TV to a larger one and change your tranny oil more often, using synthetic if available. On my present F250 I added an Eaton TrueTrac which is a gear-type positraction differential that will not wear out. I have been in snow and sand without problems. I now am guaranteed of being driven by both rear tires rather than an open rear end which drives from one wheel.
__________________
2016 F281BIKS
2003 F250 7.3L Powerstroke Crewcab longbed
JimboFunFinder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2019, 10:14 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 7
Default

Thank you for all your replies and advice. We got a great deal on a Ford 250 gas truck with an excellent towing package. Now we have to get the RV back in shape from winter. Seems the cover leaked and so did the RV.
crunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 09:43 AM   #9
Site Team
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,063
Default

Nice! With that truck you'll barely tell you're towing that 21 ft viewfinder! Moving up to a 30 footer will be a breeze.
__________________
2011 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 4X4
2009 210 WBS
Prodigy P3
LJAZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2019, 08:44 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Hazel Dell, WA
Posts: 48
Default

We purchased the 2017 Ram 1500 with the 3.0L ecodiesel to tow our 18’9” funfinder (with a weight distribution hitch). We couldn’t be happier. It gets great gas milage (about 27 mpg highway) as our daily driver and pulls our trailer with no problems. Even pulling we get 12-14 mpg. Down side is the expensive oil changes, so I’ve learned to do those myself to balance things out. We now have 85k miles, about 1/2 of those towing. Not one issue.
__________________

__________________
2013 Cruiser RV / FunFinder 189FDS
2017 Ram Bighorn 1500 EcoDiesel
Agnitio is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
#towing, #truck

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Fun Finder RV, Cruiser RV, or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.