tow vehicle


Senior Member
Re: tow vehicle

Brand is not your primary concern at this point in time. First of all, figure out the type of vehicle - Pickup or SUV or Van. Then decide the weight of the vehicle (for that much trailer I'd say at least a 3/4 ton and a heavy 3/4 would be better). Then decide gas or diesel (diesel seems to tow better, if you can live with its quirks). When making these decisions, keep in mind any other use for the vehicle besides towing. Once you have defined the vehicle you want, only then does it make sense to consider brands.
Re: tow vehicle

Welcome to the forum. John gives good advise, but your trailer does not weigh that much. Look in the kitchen cabinets and you will see a label that gives you the "UVW". That is what your trailer weighed from the factory. You have to add what you put in it, food, clothes, etc.

good luck in your search.
Re: tow vehicle

I have been towing with Chev Tahoe which I believe is close to pulling capacity. I'm leaning toward Ford F250 diesel (purely cosmetics), but seems as though Dodge gets better reviews. Are there any disadvantages going with a 06 vs. 07? Thanks for all your input!

DL Rupper

Senior Member
RE: tow vehicle

I would stay with Dodge or Chev. The Ford 6.0L Power Stroke diesels have had alot of problems. The 06's Dodge and Chev diesels are of a proven design. The Dodge, Chev and Ford 07 models have all gone to newly designed or redesigned diesels to meet the new EPA standards. I don't believe any 07 diesels are available yet (Jan 07). The 07 diesels will only run on the new EPA Ultra Low Sulfer Diesel (ULSD) fuel, while the 06 and older model diesels will run on the Low sulfer diesel and ULSD fuel.

Chev Duramax is still selling their 06 model and is a good combination with the allison 6spd auto transmission. If you can get a real good buy on the Dodge you won't go wrong. The Cummins is a really good diesel engine. In the 06 model Dodge I would go with the 4spd auto transmission.


Senior Member
Re: tow vehicle

When matching a trailer and a tow vehicle, it is better to use the GVWR of the trailer rather than the 'Dry' or UVW. Although it should be accurate from the factory, it does not take into any changes made by the dealer (or a previous owner). Plus, you will hardly ever be towing it 'dry'. You'll want some water and food, clothes, trailer hookup stuff and personal stuff at a minimum. Most people carry entertainment and comfort stuff. Plus some sewage, since it is better not to dump if the tanks are less than half full. If you make sure your tow vehicle can tow the GVWR of the trailer, then you will always be ok (or both will be overlimit :) )

If you really think you will always 'partial load' the trailer, that can work. You just have to weight everything you put into and take out of the trailer, or visit a scale before each trip and after any significant change of contents.
Re: tow vehicle

John's statement could be correct, but it also could be a little misleading. It depends on your particular trailer. For example, I own a fifth wheel that has a GVWR of 14,000lb. (2 - 7000lb. axles) The UVW is 11,468lb. I have scaled it and it now weighs 12,000lb on the dot. That is my loaded weight, food, clothes, etc. I will NEVER put another 2,000lb. in my trailer and believe me, it is loaded.

I have another trailer on my lot with GVWR of 14,000. UVW is 11,094. NO ONE will put almost 3,000lbs. in that trailer.

Take your trailer to a scale. You can find one at a truck stop. I use a farm feed store. They don't charge if you just drive over the scale and read the display. You will realistically add around 500lbs. to the empty weight. It is best to have a vehicle that can handle more than GVWR, but I don't necessarily use it. I am NOT suggesting using a vehicle too small, I just don't always use GVWR. Scale your trailer and you will know what you are dealing with.

It is also best, and legal, to travel with empty tanks except for fresh water. Think about having a wreck with sewage in your tank. Did you know that MILK is considered hazardous waste by the EPA, if spilled on the ground? Think about sewage......

Please dump your tanks before traveling. Fill with water to aid dumping if necessary.


Senior Member
Re: tow vehicle

Good point. Yes, if you are at a dump site but not full enough to dump, you can fill the tanks with water enough to dump.

I can think of some cases where I could not or would not want to dump. 1) No dump station on site. 2) Weather or other reason I wouldn't want to spend much time outside. 3) Travelling (1 night per site) and the cost of adding chemicals after each dump. 4) Using the toilet while travelling. I sure hope it is not actually illegal to travel with something in the tanks, because I've done it a lot.

GTS, how many people travel with you? Could trailers hold or require less stuff then motorhomes? I never weighed my old fifth wheel so don't know how much we crammed into there. It was only half the size of the motorhome, so a guess of around 1000 pounds of stuff and 7 cats for 2 people is probably not too far off.

By the way, if you do the math you will see that 3.5 cats per person is the appropriate. If you have a choice, take the front half. You still have to feed it, but it doesn't need a litter box :)

We generally go out for 4 to 6 weeks at a time, and were flirting with the GVWR the first trip in the motorhome. Wet weight (full water and fuel, empty everything else) turned out to give us 2700 pounds of CCC and 300 pounds for the amount we weigh over the 2 154 pound people the unit was designed for). With only 1/3 tank of water (so as not to exceed the rear axel rating) and us and the cats and all our stuff, we weighed out to about 2000 pounds of stuff and cats for the two of us. On a side trip with my dad and his stuff, we weighed in with nearly 2600 pounds of stuff, including the table he made as a present. I had trouble finding sites with dump stations out east, so probably arrived with nearly 400 pounds of sewage. So there is at least one person insane enough to put 3000 pounds into an RV, or at least into a motorhome. :)
Re: tow vehicle

I quess when I can go out for extended periods of time, things might change. Right now it is usually just weekends. We do travel with as many as 6 couples, we all have trailers and I can safely say that none of us are packing thousands of pounds.

You are correct in what you say. I am just throwing out another perspective. Someone in a 27' trailer will not exceed GVWR or usually come close and 500lbs. is the average weight added in that size trailer. I have been selling campers for about 12 years and that is what I have found.

We had one couple who when out west for 3 months. They took 10 sets of clothing (washed once a week), bought groceries once a week, and just hauled about a 1/3 tank of fresh water. I bet they were under a 1,000lb. extra weight.

We all have different ways of doing things, that is what makes the world go around. Happy trails...