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Torn Colorado/Canyon or 3/4 Ton?


artywoof

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So I am torn at to what I want and what I know I should get. I would prefer to purchase a Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon truck. Basically because they are smaller with better gas mileage, better to park and can get into parking and maybe off road a bit easier without the TT attached. Now that limits my capacity to tow at TT. They are rated at 7000lbs max towing. Now there are plenty of TT’s that I could get but what gets me is how the Weight Calculators online basically say I can only tow 5600lbs fully loaded. So I wanted to present a few examples to get all of your advice if I am thinking correctly or am I missing something.

 

Colorado/Canyon are rated for the following: Max Trailering 7000lbs, GVWR 6000lbs, GCWR 12000lbs, RGAWR 3500lbs Curb Weight 4475 Could not find a hitch weight but their Max Payload 1492lbs.

 

The Changing Gears calculator says Max Trailer Weight with margin 5600lbs Max Hitch 840lbs for these trucks. So of these choices below I would be at serious risk to tow them or is the 20% margin a bit too much? Most TT’s can carry around 1500lbs on average in the sizes I have been looking at so that would mean I would likely have to find a TT with a UVW or about 4100lbs to be under the safe margin of 20% on the truck and be able to load the TT under its max weight. Am I missing something or do these calculators really mean that a truck that says it can tow 7000lbs is really to only tow 5600lbs loaded and that I should buy only something 4100lbs or less?

 

Forest River Micro Lite 25BDS UVW 5266lbs, Hitch 583lbs, CCC 1619lbs the GVWR is unlisted. (Unsafe?)

Forest River Micro Lite 23FBKS UVW 4453lbs, Hitch 590lbs, CCC 1423lbs the GVWR is unlisted. (Unsafe?)

Forest River Micro Lite 23FB UVW 4101lbs, Hitch 508lbs, CCC 1377lbs the GVWR is unlisted. (Safe?)

Winnebago Micro Minnie 2106FBS UVW 3705lbs, Hitch ?, CCC ?, GVWR 7000lbs. (Safe)

Winnebago Minnie 2200SS UVW 4900lbs, Hitch ?, CCC ?, GVWR 7000lbs. (Unsafe?)

Airstream Flying Cloud 25FB UVW 5503lbs, Hitch 837lbs, CCC 1797lbs, GVWR 7300lbs. (Unsafe?)

 

I plan to keep my search new/used to 30' or less no matter what. If these are true and I’m not missing anything then I will definitely consider getting a smaller TT to stay at a dry UVW of 4100lbs +/- or just get ¾ ton truck and not worry about the smaller trucks. Would I also be very unhappy trying to tow a TT with the smaller trucks say in wind or up mountain passes too?

 

Thanks in advance for the advice. Tim

PS: I will not get a diesel engine the exhaust smell gives me migraines! And they are expensive to fix and I know nothing about them.

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...They are rated at 7000lbs max towing. Now there are plenty of TT’s that I could get but what gets me is how the Weight Calculators online basically say I can only tow 5600lbs fully loaded...

The manufacturer's maximum ratings are based on engineering and design and do not include an additional voluntary self imposed 20% safety margin as recommended by the calculator authors/producers. The manufacturer ratings are also often based on a vehicle with a 150# driver, less than a full tank of fuel and a trailer with a smaller frontal area than a Travel trailer. The capacity of the hitch with and without weight distribution is usually stamped or on a plate on the hitch, They are also rated by class I-V, with V being the highest weight ratings.

 

...Colorado/Canyon are rated for the following: Max Trailering 7000lbs, GVWR 6000lbs, GCWR 12000lbs, RGAWR 3500lbs Curb Weight 4475 Could not find a hitch weight but their Max Payload 1492lbs...

Note that the GVWR + Max trailer weight exceeds the GCWR. If the truck is loaded to GVWR then it can only tow 6,000# not 7,000#. Any weight of additional passengers, fuel, cargo, etc. increase the vehicle weight and decreases the available payload for the tongue or pin weight of a trailer. This is why many recommend getting the truck first, loading it has ready to travel, and getting the truck weighed in order to determine how much cargo/payload capacity is left.

 

Keep in mind that the manufacturer listed hitch weight may/will change with the loading of the trailer. It is generally recommended that the hitch weight be 10-15% of the loaded trailer weight. For planning purposes many recommend using 15% of the trailer GVWR to estimate the trailer tongue weight.

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Just curious, but in your title you made the jump from Colorado/Canyon to 3/4 ton? What about 1/2 ton trucks like the F150, Chevy/Dodge 1500 series, maybe even the Tundra/Titan if they are on your radar? They can certainly tow more than the Colorado/Canyon series trucks, but aren't nearly as big and cumbersome as a 3/4 ton? They certainly get better mileage than the 3/4 ton trucks and should be a much nicer experience towing with some capacity in reserve than using a Colorado/Canyon near it's towing capacity.

 

A 3/4 ton truck would make easy work of the size of the TT's your are looking at. Even some of the 1/2 ton trucks may have plenty of capacity in reserve if you keep the TT light and small. You'll always have a much better towing experience with a larger truck not being stressed vs a smaller one carrying near it's capacity. Since so many 1/2 tons are used as every day vehicles, it seems that could be a good compromise for you.

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Just curious, but in your title you made the jump from Colorado/Canyon to 3/4 ton? What about 1/2 ton trucks like the F150, Chevy/Dodge 1500 series, maybe even the Tundra/Titan if they are on your radar? They can certainly tow more than the Colorado/Canyon series trucks, but aren't nearly as big and cumbersome as a 3/4 ton? They certainly get better mileage than the 3/4 ton trucks and should be a much nicer experience towing with some capacity in reserve than using a Colorado/Canyon near it's towing capacity.

They are just is so that I don't do the middle. Either stay small Colorado/Canyon or go 3/4 ton. The 150/1500s can go up to the 10-11k lbs mark or so. But you can get a 3/4 for nearly the same price so i'd just go with something that would benefit me more with capabilities/breaks/weight and get the 3/4 ton with 12-13k lbs towing with added bed weight for say a 5th wheel in the future. The Tundra/Titan/TitanXD just seem less then a 150/1500 and not enough benefit to them over the Colorado/Canyon that I like stylistically more. I would most likely go with a Chevy 3/4 ton as a favorite, but consider the Ram too. I just dislike the Ford. That said I have not driven any of these recently since 2001 so I may choose differently once I test drive or find a great feature that I want. I'd consider a 1 ton only if its SRW and priced the same as a 3/4 for now because I just don't see me needing or wanting to go full out all dually, I want to stay smaller as much as possible.

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FWIW worth I have owned and driven a Colorado(Isuzu) for many years and a RAM for the past 3 years. Admittedly the RAM is a newer truck. But there is no comparison IMHO. The Isuzu is a nice reliable, well built truck. But the RAM is a whole nuther step up. Yeah it's bigger but I just think I would be more comfortable with the few extra inches of sheet metal around me that the RAM has. MPG? Well the RAM gets better MPG than then Isuzu ever did. (Caveat. I'm not 100% familiar with the Chevy Colorado. But here in Australia they are 'almost' identical to the USA Chevy version. Apart from the Americans getting the steering wheel wrong. :rolleyes:)

 

regards

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It's a tough decision because of the use of the truck most of the time when you won't be hauling the trailer. For years I had 1/2 tons and pulled trailers that pushed them to the max. At times it was slow going because it really wasn't enough truck but for most of the year it was my daily driver and so comfortable...pretty much like a car. I now have a 3/4 ton diesel because we fulltimed and pulled a larger fiver. I'm keeping it because it's paid for. But daily driver? Forget it. I avoid using it whenever possible and take the car. It's much less comfortable, rougher riding and far more noisy. For that reason I'm not of the bigger is always better. You really might want to look at 1/2 tons as a compromise between the Colorado that will probably not be real enjoyable as a trailer puller and the 3/4 ton that is not a great daily driver. Just my opinion and I'm well aware not the majority opinion.

 

One more thing, on edit: pretty good chance that whatever you buy you will want larger next time...might as well not have to buy a new truck every time. LOL

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Thanks for the replies. So if you go with a 3/4 ton and either Chevy or Ram there is usually 3 engine choices. The 6.0L V8 for the Chevy and the 5.7L or the 6.4L V8's for the Rams. It seems most of the used Rams are 5.7L, will it matter much if I choose the 5.7L or should I hold out for the 6.4L. Why would I want one over the other? The tow ratings don't seem to matter much online.

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As a generality, all things being equal (which they usually aren't), a larger engine working easier will be more fuel efficient, than a smaller engine working harder. In your example of the Ram engines, they are both very powerful engines and the towing limitations are probably more chassis and transmission related rather than power.

 

Small trucks (Ranger, Dakota, S10, Colorado, etc) have almost zero advantage over a 1/2 ton or full size truck. They are not any less expensive to purchase. They do not get better fuel economy, sometimes worse. They can not tow, haul or comfort passengers as well as a full size truck.

 

However, small trucks do fit in small garages or parking slots better.

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Have you considered getting the smaller truck and just hire a rv hauler to take the camper over the mountains for you? This would all depend on how much you plan to cross the mountains. Craig's List has haulers advertising under transport. Just another option. I agree with the above post in that the smaller trucks usually don't prove any savings, it's only perceived savings.

Greg

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The 1/2 Ton trucks do seem to be a good compromise on the ability to pull a bit more, and not be a bit easier for around town traveling over the 3/4 ton.

 

If MPG is important to you, especially when not towing, the F150 EcoBoost is getting positive reviews for power, MPG, and comfort. The newer, believe post 2015, are several hundred pounds lighter via the 'Coors Light' aluminum treatment:)!

 

Sure seems like you first need to decide what our going to tow. Then size your truck accordingly.

 

Best of luck to you,

Smitty

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Have you considered getting the smaller truck and just hire a rv hauler to take the camper over the mountains for you? This would all depend on how much you plan to cross the mountains. Craig's List has haulers advertising under transport. Just another option. I agree with the above post in that the smaller trucks usually don't prove any savings, it's only perceived savings.

Greg

My plan is to go FT in September 2017 and I would rather do my own towing, likely cheaper too. I will be figuring out an income and will likley not have the funds to pay someone to tow up a mountain. But thanks for idea, I did not know that was a thing.

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I plan to list my house in May 2017 to sell, get the funds from the sale, they decide on a trailer and tow truck. Then when my apartment lease ends in September 2017 go FT.

 

I guess if boils down to could a 3.6L 300HP V6 Colorado/Canyon be sufficient enough to tow a trailer FT and that trailer fall with in the correct perimeters.

 

Or should I just go with a 3/4 Ton and make sure I have what I need in all instances. I am leaning to this option but wanted to ask if anyone used a smaller truck and what experiences they have had.

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Remember what a wise old man said "Displacement is King, Torque is Queen, and Horsepower is the court jester". My interpretation is buy the truck with the biggest diesel engine. I would buy a Chey/GMC 2500 crew cab long bed with the Duramax/Allison power train. Had one for years and loved it, Best Wises, Jay

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Remember what a wise old man said "Displacement is King, Torque is Queen, and Horsepower is the court jester". My interpretation is buy the truck with the biggest diesel engine. I would buy a Chey/GMC 2500 crew cab long bed with the Duramax/Allison power train. Had one for years and loved it, Best Wises, Jay

Unfortunately for me the smell of Diesel can give me instant migraines. I could not live that way constiantly around one. I know its the best choice to tow but the worst choice for my health.

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Remember to consider the rear end gear ratio in conjunction with the engine. My personal experience has been since 97 is pulling first a 27ft. older TT then a 30ft. TT since the year 2000. I started with the old 350 Chev. and have had since then 5.7 Dodge engine in a truck and a 1 Ton van and also the Chev. 6.0 which is what I have now. On the flats these are great but it can be challenging in the higher altitudes and on steep climbs. They have all worked well but I would not go less in conjunction with a 4:10 rearend. If you want to go less you will severely limit what you can tow. I just went through this with a friend who believed all that 1/2 ton towable bs. It cost him dearly and it was such a problem that it took the fun out of it and he got out of rving. It would have worked if he had got a small and light enough trailer but he didn't. All my vehicles have been low mileage vehicles I have bought at the GSA auctions. The one I have now had the highest mileage at just over 36 thousand miles I bought about 5 years ago and now has 139,000 (and still has good brake pads on the front, unbelievably) The lowest mileage one I bought had just over 20,000 miles.

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It maybe surprising to run a tape measure over a Colorado and compare the length and width to something such as a RAM 1500. I'll bet there is only an inch or two in it.

 

Edit - I looked it up on the web so this must be right!!!!!! Colorado is 212" long. RAM 1500 is between 203" and 249" depending on model. Colorado is 74" wide while the RAM is 79".

So not a lot of difference.

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Remember to consider the rear end gear ratio in conjunction with the engine. My personal experience has been since 97 is pulling first a 27ft. older TT then a 30ft. TT since the year 2000. I started with the old 350 Chev. and have had since then 5.7 Dodge engine in a truck and a 1 Ton van and also the Chev. 6.0 which is what I have now. On the flats these are great but it can be challenging in the higher altitudes and on steep climbs. They have all worked well but I would not go less in conjunction with a 4:10 rearend. If you want to go less you will severely limit what you can tow. I just went through this with a friend who believed all that 1/2 ton towable bs. It cost him dearly and it was such a problem that it took the fun out of it and he got out of rving. It would have worked if he had got a small and light enough trailer but he didn't. All my vehicles have been low mileage vehicles I have bought at the GSA auctions. The one I have now had the highest mileage at just over 36 thousand miles I bought about 5 years ago and now has 139,000 (and still has good brake pads on the front, unbelievably) The lowest mileage one I bought had just over 20,000 miles.

I have seen lot of the 5.7 Ram out there for sale. But the problem is I do not see the axle ratio listed on the dealer websites. Do you or anyone know how to find that information out on a listing if not listed? Can I use the VIN or is the a combination of engine components that would make it easy to figure out?

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I am about 90% convinced to get a 3/4 ton. I just need to narrow it down to the exact one I like the best. I had a 2000 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 extended cab long bed but I am open to all now in this now search year later.

 

I am most considering the Open Range Light LT216RBS or the Grand Design Imagine 2650RK

 

Or similar that is under 30' if I go used and choose something other than those two.

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