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Old 01-02-2014, 07:18 AM   #1
Dave in Wi OP
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Which Full Size Pickup?

I'm going to be in the market for a full size pickup sometime in the next year. I most likely will buy new, but maybe a used late-model. It will be used as a family truckster, commuter, and occasionally to tow a bumper pull 2-horse trailer or a camper. Gas motor, 4wd, crew cab, tow package are my only requirements so far. I am biased toward the Toyota Tundra because I've had such good experience reliability-wise with Japanese vehicles, but I haven't ruled anything completely out yet either.

So, tell me about your full size late-model pickup. What do you like about it, what don't you like, what problems have you encountered? What gas mileage do you REALLY get?
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:51 AM   #2
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2013 Toyota Tundra Crew Cab, 5.7L, tow package, just 2WD.
I added OEM tow mirrors, step rails, had the bed Line-X'd, and use a Tekonsha P-3 trailer brake controller.
It got 17.5 mpg on the highway (65-75 mph) empty and gets 11-12 mpg towing a 25' Airstream (2 axle, about 6000 lbs loaded) at 60-65 mph. Around town nets about 14.5 mpg. About 30% of the first 6k miles have been towing the Airstream.
It feels a little cheap in some ways (interior plastics, the way the windows go up and down, feels like it was made in the USA). It rides and handles like a truck. I think Toyota has room for improvement there. I like the ergonomics better than other brands. The tailgate seems like it might be weak, but it's hard to tell exactly since it's lift assisted. I'd like to load up the GS for trips with the trailer, but I'm a bit leery of having nearly 800lbs resting on the tailgate edge (bike and me). I'm sure I can engineer a workaround.
No problems so far. It's a keeper.
All the Toyotas I've owned have been good vehicles, the same cannot be said for Fords or GM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:47 AM   #3
SourKraut
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I hate to admit that I like my '12 Chevy Silverado and aside from two warranty issues (brakes replaced, leaking axle seal fixed) early on it is growing on me. It is an extra cab 4x4, 5.3L V8 pretty much loaded with options other than the LTZ stuff (no leather/nav). We get 17 mpg running 75 mph on the highway and it is capable in the challenging conditions we encounter up in VT in the winter. The Eaton locking rear differential is pretty amazing and it will tackle things in 2wd that my limited slip F150 wouldn't do in 2wd. The engine and six speed Allison transmission work very well together and I like the selectable gear option where you can lock out higher gears with the +/- paddle to keep it from hunting on longer grades.

Long term reliability and corrosion resistance will determine whether it goes down in my history and a good vehicle but I'm only at 27K miles/1.5 years at this point. The series of F150s that preceeded it drove me away from Fords but maybe I was just unlucky.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:48 AM   #4
RocketJohn
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My two favorites of the current models are the Tundra and the Silverado. I'd probably get a Tundra as its actually made in Texas, like me. Plus I have had great luck with Toyotas over the years, even though all mine were made in Japan.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:34 AM   #5
Hondo
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My 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche is the best vehicle that I have ever owned.

Go take a look at one. They are very versatile and can wear many hats.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:39 AM   #6
mr2autoxr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SourKraut View Post
It is an extra cab 4x4, 5.3L V8 pretty much loaded with options other than the LTZ stuff (no leather/nav).

The engine and six speed Allison transmission work very well together and I like the selectable gear option where you can lock out higher gears with the +/- paddle to keep it from hunting on longer grades.
The Allison trans is only available with the diesel. Looks like you have a 6 speed 6L80 trans unless it's in a 2500/3500. Those are 6L90's.

Either way, I'm glad you like the truck. I am sold on the Chevy's as well.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:52 AM   #7
SnowMule
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How much weight in the horse trailer/camper?

I had a '99 Dodge 1500. (4x4, ext. cab, 5.9L V8)
Pulling my trailer, it got it done, but it wasn't much fun. Slow going up the hills, fried brakes going down the hills (yes, the trailer brakes worked... truck just didn't have the braking capacity).

That pickup got 12-16mpg unloaded, and about 6 pulling the trailer.



Traded that truck in with a cracked crankshaft and badly burned exhaust valve. The trailer was just a bit too much for that engine/truck.

Upgraded to an '05 Ram 2500 Power Wagon. (4x4, crew cab, 5.7L Hemi) And holy shit does that thing pull trailers nice.
Plenty of engine to get things moving, no problem in the mountains, and even at 75m/h on the highway you can lay on the throttle and get up to 85 pretty quick. Didn't have any issues with brakes fading coming down the mountain either.

Knowing the damage done to the engine (and brakes) on my half-ton, and now using the 3/4-ton to pull the trailer for a while...
One, I waited too damn long to upgrade; and
Two, I should have gotten a 3/4-ton about 3 years ago.

If I were to buy a new(to-me) truck tomorrow, I don't know that I'd go with the Power Wagon again... 4.56 in the differentials is a bit excessive for a truck like that, 4.10 would do just fine and improve the fuel mileage. I do like the upgraded suspension though, rides nicer than a 2500 SLT does. Not sure all the offroad capabilities are worth the price tag.
The other truck I looked pretty hard at (and was pretty sure I'd be driving till I found the Power Wagon) was the 8.1L GM's with the Allison trans. Solid motor and transmission, but the interiors leave a bit to be desired.

This truck gets ~10mpg. Best I've gotten is 13.5, unloaded, coming down from the mountains. Highway around town I see 10-11, city/commuting it's about 9. Pulling the trailer I get 8-10mpg though, and it pulls the trailer really damn well.

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Old 01-02-2014, 11:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SourKraut View Post
I hate to admit that I like my '12 Chevy Silverado and aside from two warranty issues (brakes replaced, leaking axle seal fixed) early on it is growing on me. It is an extra cab 4x4, 5.3L V8 pretty much loaded with options other than the LTZ stuff (no leather/nav). We get 17 mpg running 75 mph on the highway and it is capable in the challenging conditions we encounter up in VT in the winter. The Eaton locking rear differential is pretty amazing and it will tackle things in 2wd that my limited slip F150 wouldn't do in 2wd. The engine and six speed Allison transmission work very well together and I like the selectable gear option where you can lock out higher gears with the +/- paddle to keep it from hunting on longer grades.

Long term reliability and corrosion resistance will determine whether it goes down in my history and a good vehicle but I'm only at 27K miles/1.5 years at this point. The series of F150s that preceeded it drove me away from Fords but maybe I was just unlucky.

The 1500's come with an Allison? I now have a 2011 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab 4x4 with the D-max and Allison and I love my truck.

I use to own a 2003 Chevy 2500HD Ext. cab 4x4 with the 6.0L gas engine and towing package. The towing package (4.10 rear end) could pull a house down but once you went over 65 mph the tank went empty pretty fast. Got around 13 mpg all the time with that engine and rear end configuration. The only issues I had in the 7 years that I owned it were the starter crapped out, the oil pressure sending unit had to be replaced ($50), and I had the gauge cluster dial stepper motors replaced ($65ish).
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:57 AM   #9
SourKraut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr2autoxr View Post
The Allison trans is only available with the diesel. Looks like you have a 6 speed 6L80 trans unless it's in a 2500/3500. Those are 6L90's.

Either way, I'm glad you like the truck. I am sold on the Chevy's as well.
Thanks for the clarification. The combination of 85 more hp and two extra gears vs. the F150 it replaced puts the driveline light years ahead, better gas mileage is just the icing on the cake.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:22 PM   #10
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I want it a crew cab truck and looked all of them from toyota to chevy, opted this used ram mega cab due to simple yet functional cab with plenty of room. Its a 5.7 hemi with auto and 4X4, they only came with short box. My main reason was our 27' toyhauler, rear seats fold flat for the dogs. When traveling with friends the rear seat recline back for maximum comfort. That cab is huge. Pulls the loaded trailer with no problems, gets 9-11 with trailer empty around 14 on flat @ 68mph, anyting north of 15 is a dream. For a long trailer I want it a long wheelbase truck since they pull much better. Truck do what I need and very happy with it, price was not to bad for a truck with60K on it.



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Old 01-02-2014, 01:52 PM   #11
Double Moo
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Did the whole look and test drive thing a couple of months ago. Based on internet reviews I boiled it down to Toyota, Ford, and Ram... in that order (GM needed some new blood to make it worth a look - came out after my purchase). I was fortunate enough to be able to test drive all 3 back to back to back within an hour. I totally reversed the order based on the test drives. All three felt good and solid - the ford the most so. All three had good aenities, pretty much a matter of preferrence there. But the ride was the difference... Ram had a far smoother, car like ride. With the latest body style in 2009 Ram went with coil springs in the rear instead of leaf springs... and it worked. Where this truck will also be my daily driver I had to give it to Ram -bought a 2013 1500 Crew Cab 4x4. 395 hp and 407 ft/lb of torque makes it a decent towing rig with a 10,000 lb tow rating - (be careful to get the right gear ratios!! they are also using an 8 speed transmission with tall gearing to get better mileage ratings - but the towing capacity drops to roughly 6,400 lbs). If you are going to be towing a little more than some but still want the 1/2 ton ride, Ram just came out with a V-6 diesel that still pushes 420 lbs of torque. They got Motor Trend's Truck of the Year in both 2013 and 2014 - worth giving them a look.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:06 PM   #12
shakeybone
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I have a 2012 F150 4x4 5.0 3:73 gears extra cab 8' bed that I have 25k trouble free miles. I traded a 04 Silverado with 150k that was starting to nickel & dime me. I looked at a new Chevy but liked the Ford better and got a better deal than the Chevy dealer offered. I did not look at Dodge as they don't offer a extra cab 1/2 ton with a 8' bed.
I get about 18 mpg in town and back roads and 21 on the highway.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:10 PM   #13
adam_c_eckhardt
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http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=943371
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:17 PM   #14
Bullwinkle58
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I have an '08 nissan titan with 80k now. I bought it new. I have the 4wd, crew cab (4 door) long bed configuration which gives you a 7'3" bed (I can close the tailgate with 2 bikes in the bed). The long bed comes with a 35 gallon tank. Pretty cool for a 1/2 ton. I really like the configuration. Roomy cab and a big bed.

I get 11-13 mpg around town and 14-15 mpg highway. It has the tow package, which has 3.357 gearing, but i've heard due to the way the trans ratios are, it's equivalent to 4.10's. It's rated for a shade under 10k. I think 9600 or something.

It has too much plastic on the exterior, the cowl turns grey if you dont keep protectant on it. The paintjob is low quality, and a desert climate destroys it. Mine is 6yrs old & I had to get the hood & top painted this summer already. Seat fabric is wearing out where I slide in & out. I think that happens to all of them. Nothing has ever failed or broke on the truck. I think they just cut corners on the fit & finish. Well, except for the shocks & brake roters. Just low quality parts. It had a recall for a brake pedal pin and the gas tank sending unit, but that's it.

I'm keeping it another 4 years, until it's 10 yrs old, then probably getting a gas 3/4 ton, since you get a lot more capability for a couple thousand dollars more, and the mpg is the same.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:40 PM   #15
SnowMule
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then probably getting a gas 3/4 ton, since you get a lot more capability for a couple thousand dollars more, and the mpg is the same.

Especially if you're towing. The additional capacity of a 3/4-ton is well worth it.
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