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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2003
    New York

    Default Best truck for towing/gas mileage???

    I'm currently looking for a new vehicle and I need suggestions!!!

    I really want a pick up truck, but I'm not sure it's practical, so a SUV would do too if it met my requirements. It MUST be able to tow my 2 horse bumper pull trailer (NO dressing room and sticker says 7000 lbs.), and it MUST be good on gas. You are probably laughing by now but I drive about 100 miles A DAY to get to and from work alone. I cannot afford to have 2 vehicles unfortunately.

    Any suggestions???? I really like the Chevy Silverado but gas sucks.

    Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2003


    I have a Dodge 2500 Diesel, 23+ MPG hwy, 18 mpg hauling a small trailer, 175K miles on it so far... it costs a bit more to get the diesel up front and diesel is more per gallon - but the MPG is very good comparing - your trailer likely weighs about 2700 lbs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008


    The 7000 lbs on your trailer is probably the maximum weight when loaded that the frame can handle. I do about 70 miles a day back and forth to work. I don't drive the tow vehicle though.

    My 2004 Tahoe gets about the same mileage as cited above for the Dodge diesel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwayu View Post
    I cannot afford to have 2 vehicles unfortunately.
    Is that really true? Everyone says it, of course, but is it? I get not being able to afford two BRAND NEW vehicles, but what if one is older? (Usually the truck is a good bet for the older, less-used vehicle.)

    With gas prices the way they are, I think you'd be surprised by how much having two vehicles can SAVE you.

    For anything that can tow 7k, you'll be looking at the 20mpg range. At $3.50/gal, that's $87.50/week, or $4550 a year. And that's not counting weekends.

    Or you buy a brand new car that gets in the 40mpg range. Your yearly gas cost drops to $2275.

    A yearly savings of $2275 (plus $3.50 was low to start with, and gas is only going up!) pays for a cheaper (~$8k) truck + insurance in a matter of a few years, and you get the comfort of knowing your tow vehicle is completely adequate for the job.

    Just something to really think about, and calculate the costs out a few years, not just for the first month.


    Someone hauling with a 8.1L one ton that gets 10mpg, and dailying an adorable Mini Cooper that gets 30+mpg for my 35mile commute.

    3 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    North Carolina


    You simply cannot pick a tow vehicle based on gas mileage beyond a certain point. If you want awesome mileage, well, don't drive something heavy and powerful enough to tow a horse trailer.

    As far as appropriate tow vehicles go, a good diesel will always use less fuel in both tow and empty circumstances. My tow vehicle is my only vehicle, I did ALL the math and if I bought a $5,000 car, it would take well over 5 years to start saving money IF I doubled my mileage and IF I had no repairs or insurance costs.

    Before I really realized the difference, I owned 3 1/2 ton big V8 gas vehicles.
    ~15-17 mpg hwy, ~5-7 mpg towing. Suck.

    Now I drive a 7.3L F250 diesel. 22 mpg hwy, 13-16 mpg towing.

    Obviously road conditions vary via speed, slope, mountains, etc. And the truck is paid for.
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
    We Are Flying Solo

    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2009


    I have a beater car ($3,000 Toyota with low miles for its age). It gets great mileage, and is cheap to fix. insurance is $32/month.

    I save my truck for hauling, and plan to have it for a LONG time.

    Works for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2007


    My GMC Sierra averages 15.7 mpg consistently and that is for towing 3-4 times a month, and it's my personal and business vehicle - 4-door, 4WD, my only car. Feels like a cushy SUV inside. I love mine! You cannot beat it in the snow. It rocks. However, it sucks in a D.C. underground parking garage LOL. We take my husband's car whenever a parking garage is involved!

    I tow an Adam steel stock/slant combo with small dressing room BTW usually with just one horse, but sometimes 2.

    I have thought about getting a small car with excellent gas mileage for work to use locally, but I just saw a safety clip on the news where they tested a bunch, and 9 out of 10 had HORRIBLE safety ratings (cars like Fiat's and Fiat size). It was scary.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2009


    I'm one of the people who has a "beater" and a tow vehicle. In my case my truck was where I spent my money as I plan to keep it for many many years. I have a 2008 ram 2500 diesel with all the bells and whistles, I bought it new. (thankfully it's paid off now)
    The everyday driver is a 2002 Passat that gets 30/32 mph depending on how I'm driving. I bought it 3 1/2 years ago with 104,000 miles on it, it now has 186,000 and going along just fine. It has only needed basic up keep. Paid 4k for it! Have to admit my DH is a manager at a chevy dealership and this was a trade that we were able to put through the shop for free, but anyone can take a car to have it checked out by a mechanic for not much cost before they buy it. If beater car does die, I have the truck to drive if need be everyday and mileage won't totally suck!
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2011


    I agree with the others that it is sometimes cheaper to have a super-efficient commuter car AND a dedicated tow-only vehicle.

    Before we moved to DC, my husband bought a Smart car to commute in. The Smart consistently gets well over 40 mpg, and in cool temps when the A/C is not running, it gets even higher, often above 50 mpg. It was cheap to purchase, cheap to insure, and he can park it anywhere.

    His other 2 choices for a commuter were a one-ton Dodge dually or my 3/4 ton GMC diesel. We've run some numbers, and he's darn near paid for the Smart in the time we've lived here...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
    gulf coast


    MPG does not equal Cost To Operate a vehicle, regular maintenance, insurance, etc, must be factored in. Then you must consider safety, for you and your horse. As many, many, have posted.. pulling a trailer is not the issue, controlling the trailer when something goes wrong is.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2010


    OP- Are you able to wait a bit to make your purchase? If so, you might look at the 2015 F-150 with the aluminum body. Supposed to get up to 30 mpg. I'm sure mileage isn't that good with the engine you'd want for towing, but worth a look.

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