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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    3,488

    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.
    Kristen

    Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
    http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2003
    Posts
    515

    Default

    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
    Risa
    HappyTrailsTrailers.com
    BalancedRideTrailers.com



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    1,863

    Default

    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
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,497

    Default

    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.

    Signed,

    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.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5,623

    Default

    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


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2009
    Posts
    1,283

    Default

    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
    Posts
    2,407

    Default

    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
    Posts
    678

    Default

    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!
    Check us out on Facebook at EVER AFTER FARM


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2011
    Posts
    641

    Default

    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
    Location
    gulf coast
    Posts
    1,342

    Default

    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
    Posts
    340

    Default

    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.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,696

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GaMare View Post
    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.
    or you could get the Chinese knock off of the F150, the Jiangsu Kawei K1 (it sells for 1/10 the cost of the f150 in china)

    admitted cribbing of the F-150’s design, including its distinctive headlight shape, wheel arches, bumper insert and tailgate, plus fender vents that are clearly inspired by the ones on the Raptor. Inside, it’s a slightly more original, but still manages to steal some of the flavor of the F-150’s cabin.
    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/...es-ford-f-150/

    http://en.kaweigroup.com/



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2012
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    980

    Default

    We drive an economical beater, and have a size appropriate tow vehicle. If you run the numbers we are seriously ahead. We tow with a Ford f250 Superduty with a V10 gas engine. I don't care about the MPGs any where as much as I care about safety.
    I like my men like my tea: hot, strong, sweet and British!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    6,660

    Default

    I pull my Brenderup Baron with a Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 Hemi. It only gets 13mpg, 10 mpg towing.

    I'm considering a 2015 F-150 for the gas mileage advantages.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2013
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    802

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwayu View Post
    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.
    A vehicle that is *good* for towing will be a bad commuter. Just plain physics talking here. Trying to find a "good" balance is not really reasonable - you will be choosing between a bad compromise vehicle and a terrible compromise vehicle.

    What is the physical reason you can't have both vehicles?

    Here is some math (gas @ $3.50/gal, commute @ 100mi*250 times/year):
    A 25mpg unicorn towing vehicle will cost you $3500/year in fuel getting to/from work.
    A 35mpg commuter car will cost you $2500/year in fuel.
    A 15mpg towing vehicle will cost you $5833/year in fuel.
    All of this is not counting mileage you put on while towing.

    The 25mpg towing truck sounds great but only if you're buying a brand new half-ton with an aluminum frame and a newer engine. Since those run $30k easy, it's safe to assume they're not in your current budget. Even if it was, it will still cost you an extra $1000/year in fuel (plus tires every other year and more expensive maintenance and insurance) compared to a commuter car. Lastly, fuel economy is a fairly new consideration in pickups. They are doing some interesting things but the total cost / reliability is not quite there yet. I know some folks who have driven off the lot in a brand new truck only to find there are expensive issues not covered by warranty.

    My thought would be to put $6k into a decent used towing pickup or Silverado and keep commuting in a commuter car. Or if your current car is not getting 35mpg, trade it in for a $15k commuter car that gets 35mpg+. The two-vehicle setup will pay off before long. And believe it or not, driving an economical car that shuffles people efficiently feels good. So does driving an appropriate vehicle that can get work done when you need it to work.

    David


    3 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2014
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    31

    Default

    I am with the camp of spending the money on a more than sufficient tow vehicle for everyone's safety and also getting a beater for commuting. Even though gas is down right now, the higher mpg of a commuter car sure beats out 10-14 mpg in a truck.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2010
    Posts
    314

    Default

    Not necessarily a recommendation (although I love my truck for many reasons that are not gas mileage) but throwing my stats in here for anyone who is interested.

    I have a 2010 F-150 Super Crew, 5.4L V8, 4WD. I haul an older steel 2 horse with a dressing room. I get approx. 15 mpg highway with no trailer, and closer to 12 mpg with the trailer.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    10,805

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post

    Signed,

    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.
    Chevy right? I have the 3/4 ton version, a 2001 2500HD gas with that 8.1. Hauls well, but sucktastic on fuel economy. I get 8-9 mpg daily, no towing. Once my horse trailer is paid off, I want to get a little Kia or similar for daily driving. I love my truck, and with its age and the fact that it ONLY has 95k miles on it and repairs would be cheaper than any sort of new hauling vehicle, I am not getting rid of it. But the mileage, oy .
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    3,488

    Default

    As of right now, I have to hold off on any vehicle. I'm a teacher and only work 184 days a year and trailer out maybe 5x a year so I'm not talking a lot of towing. My current vehicle is dying a painful death...crushed by a tree with about 150k miles. Passes inspection and doesn't leak water but
    UGLY and worth ZERO!!!

    With both my horses in/out of the hospital in the last few months and with one of them still with no answers, I'll be driving my "piece of tin foil" until it no longer moves forward and continue to pay people to use my trailer to trailer my boys.
    Kristen

    Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
    http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,497

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJenners View Post
    Chevy right? I have the 3/4 ton version, a 2001 2500HD gas with that 8.1. Hauls well, but sucktastic on fuel economy. I get 8-9 mpg daily, no towing. Once my horse trailer is paid off, I want to get a little Kia or similar for daily driving. I love my truck, and with its age and the fact that it ONLY has 95k miles on it and repairs would be cheaper than any sort of new hauling vehicle, I am not getting rid of it. But the mileage, oy .
    GMC, but same difference. Not that it really makes THAT much of a difference, but you might want to look into what you can do to increase the gas mileage a bit, because 8-9 is pretty low for these trucks. You might need different tires/air pressure, or a general tune up. But I'm talking about a 2-3mpg increase, so...

    It is nice knowing this sucker is going to pull whatever I attach to it, that's for sure.



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