Need help picking out a truck to tow


Junior Member
We are considering buying our first travel trailer, and I could use some help figuring out the tow vehicle needs.
We are looking at a Keystone Sprinter (278BHS). The overall length is 31'8", weighing 7000 pounds, and 785 at the hitch. The fresh water tank is 81 gallons. As far as gear, we will have 2 adults and 2 kids, with occasionally 2 kids' friends to join. Not sure what all that adds up to, but I'm guessing 1200 to 1500 to be safe. So I suppose we are looking at about 8500 total, maybe a bit less.
We do not have a tow vehicle, and would like to find an used pickup that will work well. If possible, I'd like to keep the budget around $8,000 to $12,000, but since I am new to pulling an RV, I don't want to skimp here, or wind up with something that will be pushing it or worse, be unsafe.
So the main question is for any suggestions on what we should be looking at (F150/1500 or bigger?), 2x4 versus 4x4, maximum reasonable milage for a used truck, etc. I am also wondering whether a shorter truck (standard cab, short bed) would be easier to manuver than a longer truck (new to towing and want to keep it easy to handle). Also, does a hitch sway bar or other hitch equipment make sense for us?
Thanks in advance!


Junior Member
I should have mentioned that the truck will probably not ferry the people, just me, the RV, and gear. Second car for everyone else.

C Nash

Senior Member
Long wheellbase tr are better tow IMO. Do you need 4x4? YES, you need a weight dist hitch & sway control. 4x4 has lower tow capacity and gets less MPG. Welcome to the forum


Senior Member
I think the minimum truck you would need would be a F250/2500. Since you will be driving solo, you could get by with a short bed 2 wheel drive. If you don't need 4WD, don't get it. 4WD won't do anything to improve your towing ability. As Chelse said, you will need a weight distributing hitch and a sway control system. New shock absorbers and control arm bushings would probably help with drivability issues. As for how "used" a used truck should you buy, trucks these days can go 150k to 200k with no problems, provided they have been properly maintained. And - how much mechanical ability you have. Welcome to the forum and post back if you have more questions.


Senior Member
They are usually more expensive, but IMHO worth it...go diesel. Especially if you are planning to tow a lot or future upgrade/bigger RV.