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Best truck to pull a two horse trailer and also be an every day ride.

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  • Best truck to pull a two horse trailer and also be an every day ride.

    My current truck is a Ford Ranger who has definately seen better days. I am currently driving my deceased father's Honda Pilot and I though about trying to buy it from the estate. But I will need a truck and some kind of trailer to haul horses and other horse stuff like feed and hay.

    My late father had a Chevy 3500 Flat Bed dually that he used to pull his RV and a 16 foot Co-Hahn stock trailer. I used that truck and trailer when I needed to haul something. But Dad left my sister the trailer and the dually is WAY too much truck to use for an every day ride. I can't afford two vehicles so whatever truck I get will also be my every day vehicle. So I'm thinking about getting a regular pickup truck and a two horse trailer. I will only be hauling to local trails and the occasional vet visit. My horses range from minis to the two paint boys which are in the 16hh range and weigh around 1250 each. The local terrain is pretty flat. I'd like a truck that could do a decent job of pulling a trailer plus would be reasonably comfortable to drive around town. Decent gas mileage would be a plus. I also will need an extend cab at least because I need some place to put groceried, dogs and DD and her friends. So recommendations? Is two wheel drive ok or is 4 wheel worth the extra expense? We don't get much ice or snow here and when we do, smart folks stay home.
    Thanks
    I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

  • #2
    F150 Ecoboost.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._

    Comment


    • #3
      I towed a 2 horse with dressing room for years with a Chevy 1500 4X4 extended cab. The gas mileage on the Chevy's kinda suck. I personally hate the sound of diesel. I used the truck for an everyday driver. I think my MPG was 16 ish.

      I prefer Chevy to Ford. I hate Dodge. All of the Dodge trucks I have known seem to have very loose steering compared to my Chevys.

      My current truck is a 2500 Chevy crew cab. I was briefly using it as an everyday driver. I eventually went a got a beater car for about $500. Eventually upgraded to a $3,500 car. But that was because I drive 64 miles roundtrip to work. I didn't want to pay for gas at 11 MPG or put that kinda mileage on the truck. If I wasn't planning on using it as an everyday driver I might have considered diesel.

      For us 4X4 is a necessity. In your area it might not be but consider where you will park. Part of what makes it a necessity for me is to foxhunt, show and sometimes trailride we park on wet grass or slightly muddy fields. The 4X4 is invaluable in those situations.

      Is there anyway you can have a beater car and US Rider/AAA and a moderately used truck that you use primarily for towing? Worry about the gas mileage on the car and if it breaks down call AAA and use the truck until you can afford to fix the car?
      I admit I am very lucky and DH's hobby is mechanic so me driving a beater and getting it fixed is no big deal.
      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
        F150 Ecoboost.
        I second this. It is what my parents use for their two horse slant + tack room bumper pull - plus for all road trips etc. Comfy, pretty good gas mileage. Roomy back seats accommodate child seats for the grand kids.

        Theirs is 2WD.
        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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        • #5
          We use our Dodge Ram 1500. The newer ones have a cylinder shut off so when you are driving down the highway it shuts off the cylinders it doesn't need. Ours can get over 20 mpg and hauls perfectly fine.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not going to be the first one to say that with your max load (a trailer + the two biggest horses) you need more stopping power than a half-ton truck will provide.

            Any half-ton truck.

            IMO, which isn't always popular, half-ton trucks are for boats, small campers, etc. Not horse trailers.

            With that in mind, shop around and drive a bunch of trucks. Find what you *like*. The fuel economy is going to suck on all of them as a daily driver if you are used to driving the Pilot (or the Ranger depending on what engine you have). Pick the flavor you like . I've owned them all, currently drive a Chevy three-quarter ton with the 8.1 liter gas engine. I get fuel economy in the single digits, unless you count the decimal point. So I don't recommend that one unless you get to keep the Pilot.
            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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
              I've owned them all, currently drive a Chevy three-quarter ton with the 8.1 liter gas engine. I get fuel economy in the single digits, unless you count the decimal point. So I don't recommend that one unless you get to keep the Pilot.
              Off topic, but.....really?

              I drive a 1-ton GMC with the 8.1, on a mix of highways (where I speed...oh do I speed..) and hilly back roads. I get 11-14mpg (average for the whole tank, not like, as I'm coasting down a hill ).

              But yes, definitely not the truck for someone concerned about gas. I don't even look at my computer when I'm towing something.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yours sounds newer than mine (computer, what computer?).

                I have the 2001 Chevy 2500HD. Fuel economy has gotten a bit better with newer models, but 9 mpg to 11 mpg is not a huge jump. I have gotten 11 mpg once when I drove off the island twice in the same week and went down the Interstate. Otherwise it's all island driving for me, with the occasional jaunt off the island. DH's dually gets better economy, so if we're both going, we take it.

                So yes, really .
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  We have, as has everyone around here, driven to pull 16' stock trailers, BP and GN, F150s or take your pick in the three main brands, for decades now.
                  I know of only one wreck and it was a semi running into the trailer one dawn, the truckdriver never saw them.

                  If you are a good, careful driver, those pickups are good enough, used sensibly.

                  OF COURSE more truck is better, but half tons are also good enough if not overloaded.

                  All of ours have been 4x4, as is our current one and it gets 21 to 23 going to town on cruise control highway driving, generally driving around 18 and checking around the pastures slow and idling 16.
                  Pulling the 16' GN with two horses drops to 13-14 average on highways.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Always hauled with a half ton. Always Dodge Ram 1500.
                    Has plenty of hauling power and more importantly plenty of stopping power.
                    And with 29 years hauling horses all over the country, of course there have been times when I've needed both!
                    I love my Dodge! Hauls like a big truck, and rides like a car when not hauling.
                    Good gas mileage unless I tromp on it, which is tempting with that Hemi
                    Very roomy also. Luxury truck.
                    I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have an 04 F350, diesel and I get 28 MPG in the city with a chip installed. Its a big beast (long bed, four door) but a step down from my long bed, four door dually. You can get an F250 diesel and throw a chip in and keep the same milage (25-30), that is what my SO does with his.

                      I personally drive mine in the city (winter park/orlando) when needed, but I can squeeze that thing into any spot like a greased pig. If you aren't comfortable with the bigger truck, which from your OP it sounds like that, then get something with a short bed.

                      I have an 02 F150 with the 5.4L engine as well which I use as a daily driver and the thing gets crap milage with a chip in it even (12-16 depending) but it is fast and easy to drive/park as well as reliable. I towed one horse in a 2h aluminum with steel frame BP w/ dressing room with it and hated every moment of it. It did the job, but even with a sway bars it still got hairy. It was very rarely that I towed with that truck instead of my larger trucks.

                      Though that is my experience and I live in Florida with the flattest lands possible, so take it how you will. It is the STOPPING POWER not the take off power. My little truck could haul the thing but had a tough time stopping.

                      That being said I see people haul their two horse trailer with hyundai santa fes or toyota four runners or dodge dakotas and cringe. Most of those have a 3000-4000 pound tow rating. I just freaking cringe. They usually haul like dumb a**es as well which further infuriates me. So in some cases I wish people would haul with a 1/2 ton truck.

                      As I tell everyone I meet when they ask me what I would haul with I say the same thing, go diesel or go home. Better gas milage with a chip, more power, plus they last longer if you take care of them and drive them every day. Sure the cost of upkeep is sometimes higher, but find a good mechanic who wont toss you over the barrel.
                      I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Quick question on stopping power....

                        I remember way back when - when I rode with my dad hauling our two horse trailer all over the west - with a pretty darn small truck (I won't confess as to its size - as I am sure I would receive a COTH flogging) - My dad, who is a car guy, mechanic etc, always set up the breaks so that the trailer would actually stop the truck a bit.

                        After hooking up he would start pulling forward, giving the truck just a little gas - adjust break controller - manually engage the breaks - and that trailer would start stopping the truck. When he was happy with the breaking level, we would head on our merry way.

                        I will always remember going to events Wild Horse Valley Ranch in Napa CA. For people that aren't familiar - it was quite a road - steep and windy, with a big "Trailers NOT recommended" sign. It took careful management to get our little rig up and down it. Stopping frequently on the way down to let the breaks cool, and to give the transmission a rest "always go down the the same gear you had to use to go up". (going up also required running the heater on full blast to help prevent over heating )

                        One day an RV pulling a trailer lost its breaks going down the hill - as we came down the hill (sloooowly, as that was the only way we could!), we started seeing debris, first an awning, then RV siding - them more metal - they had been hitting the trees and hill side trying to stop. They were VERY lucky, weren't going too fast when they finally smacked an oak tree that stopped them.

                        So - breaks are important, rig size is important, and driver / equipment knowledge is also very important.
                        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So, regarding half tons: I have one. A 2013 GMC Sierra with the 5.3L V8. Prior to this truck I had a 2008 F-150 with the 5.4L V8.

                          GMC: suspension is a weak b*tch for adding any sort of load to it, which my bumper pull trailer obviously does. I am going to need to add a leaf to the leaf springs to beef up the suspension some. Pros: I get about 17-19 MPG for commuting purposes, and it rides nice.

                          F-150: I never even knew when I had my 14' steel stock trailer, with two horses in it, fully loaded with tack, behind my truck even on the interstate or travelling hills. Cons: Fuel mileage was about 14 mpg on a day without hauling the trailer. I never calculated the MPG with the trailer because I figured I would throw up.

                          I'm in Vermont; we have plenty of hills. Both trucks had plenty of motor to haul the trailer, and both trucks had a brake controller so never any worries about stopping as I had trailer brakes to help out.

                          But, if you're going to be hauling regularly, don't get a GM.

                          If you are hauling once in a while, with a lighter load, the GM is great for daily commuting (since in comparison to some MPGs out there, 17-19 is pretty decent for a gas truck!)

                          ETA: obviously more truck is better but not everyone has that option. If I had a choice, I'd be driving an F-350 with the 7.4L PowerStroke in it, but that wasn't an option for me.
                          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Either a Dodge 1500 (they have 3/4 suspension and you will not have any problems with a two horse) or my preferred choice, a Chevy.

                            I actually commute in a 3/4 ton (gas) chevy now and the mileage is better than most half tons and it is the best pulling gas truck I've ever had the pleasure of driving.

                            "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I know tons of people driving the newer F150s on a regular basis and they're really happy with them.
                              The rebel in the grey shirt

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The newer the truck, the better the mileage and luxury inside.

                                They do keep making a better mousetrap with the newer vehicles.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I tried to reply earlier but my post was eaten.

                                  I hate my ford. Hate actually isn't a strong enough word. Its a 2011 and I started having issues within a month. It was bought new. Has like 12 miles when I drove it off the lot. I regret the decision to buy it every time I look out my front door. The thing is a total piece of junk.

                                  First the dashboard was possessed by demons. The display only worked when it wanted too. Then the stereo started going out. Basically the computer that controlled the USB input from my iPod is bipolar or something because she has some awful mood swings. Today she just stopped playing. She will go days and even months without working at all. Yes I've taken it to the dealer, but they just give me the run around on why its not their problem. Found out they never even ran diagnostics on it. Oh, and the speakers on the passenger side have been replaced, drivers side require regular beating of the door to work.

                                  And then a few weeks ago it started shifting poorly. Lurching when in stop and go traffic, and if I hit the gas sometimes it won't go. Yep, tranny is going. No joke. This truck has less than 60k miles. Its rarely been used to haul as I got pregnant about 7 months after I bought it. Its mostly a family vehicle now. Never driven hard at all. I dread taking it back to the dealer even though it should still fall under the warranty. Last time I even made calls to the customer service line and that got me a rude phone call from the dealer and nothing more.

                                  I would love to trade this piece of junk in on a tundra, but even though I paid $8k under sticker and didn't disclose its intermittant BS, I'm $4k upside down on it. Body and interior is pristine. The value of these things drops like a rock as soon as they leave the lot.

                                  If ford actually cared enough to try to fix the thing I might not hate it so much. But customer service is a foreign concept so now I'm stuck with a vehicle that works when it feels like it and could strand me with a 7 month old baby at any point.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I've heard the new Fords have Sync issues. That's all the dash/iPod/bluetooth/etc computer stuff up front.
                                    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

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Love my 2010 Toyota Tundra. It pulls well - 2 horse GN with every piece of tack I own in the DR. And it is very comfortable as a daily driver. I average 16 mpg unloaded, but there is an ugly rumor that I have a lead foot.
                                      If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Hampton Bay View Post
                                        I tried to reply earlier but my post was eaten.

                                        I hate my ford. Hate actually isn't a strong enough word. Its a 2011 and I started having issues within a month. It was bought new. Has like 12 miles when I drove it off the lot. I regret the decision to buy it every time I look out my front door. The thing is a total piece of junk.

                                        First the dashboard was possessed by demons. The display only worked when it wanted too. Then the stereo started going out. Basically the computer that controlled the USB input from my iPod is bipolar or something because she has some awful mood swings. Today she just stopped playing. She will go days and even months without working at all. Yes I've taken it to the dealer, but they just give me the run around on why its not their problem. Found out they never even ran diagnostics on it. Oh, and the speakers on the passenger side have been replaced, drivers side require regular beating of the door to work.

                                        And then a few weeks ago it started shifting poorly. Lurching when in stop and go traffic, and if I hit the gas sometimes it won't go. Yep, tranny is going. No joke. This truck has less than 60k miles. Its rarely been used to haul as I got pregnant about 7 months after I bought it. Its mostly a family vehicle now. Never driven hard at all. I dread taking it back to the dealer even though it should still fall under the warranty. Last time I even made calls to the customer service line and that got me a rude phone call from the dealer and nothing more.

                                        I would love to trade this piece of junk in on a tundra, but even though I paid $8k under sticker and didn't disclose its intermittant BS, I'm $4k upside down on it. Body and interior is pristine. The value of these things drops like a rock as soon as they leave the lot.

                                        If ford actually cared enough to try to fix the thing I might not hate it so much. But customer service is a foreign concept so now I'm stuck with a vehicle that works when it feels like it and could strand me with a 7 month old baby at any point.
                                        In defense of Ford, that so many here use without any problems, just as so many use any other brand out there, problems may happen in any brand of pickup.

                                        My neighbor had such luck with an GMC, that he finally traded after three years that it spent longer in the shop than on the road.

                                        Lemons happen in any brand.
                                        Just keep being the squeaky wheel, look for information on your problems on the internet, copy them to show them it is not just you and keep after them until they get it fixed or give you a great trade-in on another vehicle.

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