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I currently have 2 half ton trucks, but I'm interested upgrading to a 3/4 ton truck. I really don't want to hear from all the biased Chevy, Dodge and Ford guys. Fuel economy and tow capability are very important, but manufacturer is not important. I hope to tow a 20' travel trailer. So if someone can give me some objective, factual direction, I would appreciate it.

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Welcome.  I guess the question would be "what are you needing the new truck for?"  You said towing a 20' TT.  Is that the only thing it will be used for?  Are you full timing in a 20' TT and will possibly move into a larger heavier RV in the future?  Do you only camp a couple months a year and then will be using the new truck as a daily driver?  

Several years ago when we did our first stint of full timing we were pulling a 39' fiver.  Went with a F350 single rear wheel 6.7 diesel and had really good luck with it.  Averaged 13mpg towing and pretty good mpg when not towing.  Put over 40,000 miles on it and the resale was great.  

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9 hours ago, Doc Price said:

I currently have 2 half ton trucks, but I'm interested upgrading to a 3/4 ton truck... Fuel economy and tow capability are very important, but manufacturer is not important. I hope to tow a 20' travel trailer. So if someone can give me some objective, factual direction, I would appreciate it.

 Welcome to the Escapees forum!!!

Some more information would help give you a better answer. What is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the trailer that you want to tow and may tow in the future? As asked previously, how often and in what kind of terrain do you plan on using the trailer? Do you want a gas or diesel, new or used? The capacities of the light duty trucks (150/1500, 250/2500, 350/3500) have changed pretty dramatically in recent years. This calculator may help you evaluate potential trucks and help you keep all the capacities within limits. Most of the necessary information for recent year trucks is available at the manufacturers' websites.

Another consideration is the relationship between trailer length and the wheelbase of the tow vehicle; so regular cab, extended cab, crew cab, long bed or short bed can affect the towing capability of a truck. While this is not likely a factor for a 20' travel trailer it could be for future longer trailers. Here is an article that discusses this.

There is often not a large difference in price between the 250/2500 and 350/3500 single rear wheel trucks, However, there may be differences in registration fees and insurance rates. There may also be differences in tolls on roads/bridges that charge based on the GVWR of the truck. 

Again, Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!!

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! Hope that you become a regular here and if you don't find the information you are seeking in the thread, please do post additional information so that we can be more specific.

As others have stated, a major part of what will serve best is the weight of the RV and the intended use when not towing the RV. Another issue is how long you expect to keep the truck and/or RV in service. Travel trailers of 20' length will vary pretty widely in total weight and GVWR as the type construction, slides or not, manufacturer and several other things come to play. We presently travel in a 20' travel trailer that is one of the ultra lite models and as such it only has a GVWR of 3,900#. But it also has no slide and I have seen 20' models with a slide that run as high as 5000# or more. I suspect that your half ton trucks would tow what you have now but would work pretty hard to do it. 

We tow our 20' travel trailer with a 2003 Dodge, Cummins diesel and are very happy with it but a gas truck could do so just as well but at a higher fuel cost. On the other hand, the purchase price of a diesel truck is far above that of the gas powered ones and you could buy a lot of gasoline for the price difference. With our truck & trailer, it is difficult to tell any difference when the trailer is with us, from when it is not. We used to tow with an SUV rated to tow 5000# and gas powered and towing it only got 11 mpg while the diesel 3/4 ton truck gets nearly 16 mpg. But I would never have spent the money to buy a diesel at this point in life if we had not had a very special purchase from a close friend who was the original owner. 

We have neighbors who own a Ford Eco-Boost tow truck that they say is competitive to the diesels in towing capability and I beliieve cost less than a diesel, but they also report very high fuel consumption when towing.

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I would say that each of the "Big Three" makes outstanding 3/4 ton pickups, all of which would easily tow a 20' travel trailer. Either gasoline or diesel trucks will work, and within those two classes the mileage among the manufacturers will be similar. As Kirk notes diesel trucks get better mileage, at a higher initial cost. 

I would also agree with others that a properly equipped 1/2 ton truck, from any of the manufacturers would handle that trailer as well. 

Beyond that, you're stuck with listening to the biased Chevy, Dodge and Ford guys opinions. FWIW I'm a Ford guy and have been for 30 years. Why?  The first pickup I bought for towing was a Ford, and I've been happy with them ever since. But you'd have no problem finding similar stories from Chevy and Dodge owners. The good news is that you won't go wrong with any of them.

Edited by mptjelgin
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