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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2017 Silverado 1500, but it is giving me issues. I have never liked this truck very much.... I am looking to get something new. Though I am looking to move into the mid-size category.

My 7x14 tandem axle trailer loaded probably weighs around 3,500 lbs. If that. I really don't have a bunch of heavy gear, so I think a mid-size would tow it just fine. I am looking at the new 2022 Frontier Pro-4X. Can tow around 6200 lbs. My trailer is tall, so I know the aero will kill the MPG more than the weight. I only tow the trailer at most twice a month.... so not a whole lot of towing for the vehicle. I would rather have a mid-size truck that is smaller and easier to get around town in. I would consider doing some off-roading too if I have a small 4wd truck.


Curious what vehicle yall are using for towing your race trailer?
 

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How far and over what kind of terrain? What are your expectations for speed and passing ability?
I have a 2016 Tacoma 4x4 TRD Off-Road, with the 6 cylinder and tow package. 6X12 single axle enclosed trailer. It's an ok combination for moderate distances over flattish terrain. I'd want more truck if I was towing in the mountains.
In your situation, I'd either stick with a full size truck or get a smaller trailer.
 

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It’s more about the motor and the hp than the size of the truck. They’re no substitute for cubic inches or a turbo charger. ;)
 

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I have a 2017 Silverado 1500, but it is giving me issues. I have never liked this truck very much.... I am looking to get something new. Though I am looking to move into the mid-size category.

My 7x14 tandem axle trailer loaded probably weighs around 3,500 lbs. If that. I really don't have a bunch of heavy gear, so I think a mid-size would tow it just fine. I am looking at the new 2022 Frontier Pro-4X. Can tow around 6200 lbs. My trailer is tall, so I know the aero will kill the MPG more than the weight. I only tow the trailer at most twice a month.... so not a whole lot of towing for the vehicle. I would rather have a mid-size truck that is smaller and easier to get around town in. I would consider doing some off-roading too if I have a small 4wd truck.


Curious what vehicle yall are using for towing your race trailer?
Personally I would advise against it. You're not gonna like it and the truck is gonna struggle with the trailer. From my experience towing trailers so far, my personal rule of thumb is to go no more than about 50-60% of what the vehicle's tow rating is. Sure that truck might be able to MOVE 6200 lbs, but it's gonna struggle a lot. I used to have a 6x12 single axle trailer that was low-profile (less than 7" tall, could fit in a standard garage), and it was all aluminum. It only weighed 1550 lbs empty, so with 2 bikes, gear and other stuff, I was never at more than like 2500-2600 lbs. I was towing it with a Jeep Grand Cherokee, with the Pentastar V6 engine. It also had a rating of 6200 lbs. I was able to tow it ok, but I could definitely feel it. It struggled uphill of course and the gas mileage was ****. I then had to tow a regular steel framed trailer that was 6x14 and that was probably around 3200 lbs with the bikes and other stuff my friend and I loaded it with and the Jeep really struggled with that one. It was screaming the whole way at like 3500-4000 rpm on the highway.

So long story short, I would want a half ton truck for a 7x14 no doubt. I have a 2019 Ram 1500 now with the V8 engine and it struggles with my trailer even though I'm well below the tow rating. My current trailer is 8.5x16 with extra height, so it's like towing a parachute. Weight is probably around 4500-5000 lbs fully loaded. I really should have a 3/4-ton truck, but it'll do for now until I can afford something better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How far and over what kind of terrain? What are your expectations for speed and passing ability?
I have a 2016 Tacoma 4x4 TRD Off-Road, with the 6 cylinder and tow package. 6X12 single axle enclosed trailer. It's an ok combination for moderate distances over flattish terrain. I'd want more truck if I was towing in the mountains.
In your situation, I'd either stick with a full size truck or get a smaller trailer.
I live in the houston area, so it is flat as a pancake. I won’t ever be towing the trailer in the mountains.

What kind of mpg do you get when towing on flat ground?

The tracks I would go to are 1, 3 and 4 hours away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It’s more about the motor and the hp than the size of the truck. They’re no substitute for cubic inches or a turbo charger. ;)
That Chevy has a dog of an engine. The frontier is 310 hp and the Chevy has 355 hp. Though the Chevy has quite a bit more torque (about 100 more)

I wouldn’t mind a 3.5 ecoboost f150 but they are so darn expensive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Personally I would advise against it. You're not gonna like it and the truck is gonna struggle with the trailer. From my experience towing trailers so far, my personal rule of thumb is to go no more than about 50-60% of what the vehicle's tow rating is. Sure that truck might be able to MOVE 6200 lbs, but it's gonna struggle a lot. I used to have a 6x12 single axle trailer that was low-profile (less than 7" tall, could fit in a standard garage), and it was all aluminum. It only weighed 1550 lbs empty, so with 2 bikes, gear and other stuff, I was never at more than like 2500-2600 lbs. I was towing it with a Jeep Grand Cherokee, with the Pentastar V6 engine. It also had a rating of 6200 lbs. I was able to tow it ok, but I could definitely feel it. It struggled uphill of course and the gas mileage was ****. I then had to tow a regular steel framed trailer that was 6x14 and that was probably around 3200 lbs with the bikes and other stuff my friend and I loaded it with and the Jeep really struggled with that one. It was screaming the whole way at like 3500-4000 rpm on the highway.

So long story short, I would want a half ton truck for a 7x14 no doubt. I have a 2019 Ram 1500 now with the V8 engine and it struggles with my trailer even though I'm well below the tow rating. My current trailer is 8.5x16 with extra height, so it's like towing a parachute. Weight is probably around 4500-5000 lbs fully loaded. I really should have a 3/4-ton truck, but it'll do for now until I can afford something better.
I hear ya…

I had a 2016 ram 1500. That 5.7 is a great motor! And the 8 speed transmission is awesome. Yea, your trailer setup sounds pretty heavy and lots of drag.
I guess I really should weigh my trailer sometime.

This past March I rented a 24’ travel trailer and pulled it with my Silverado. I think that trailer weighed around 6500 lbs or so. It was also very tall. The truck definitely struggled pulling that. When I got out to the panhandle area of Texas I was getting 3-4 mpg!!! There was some very strong wind. I was stopping like every hour to tank up. It was insane. (I was only doing 60 mph too).

There are videos of guys towing a 5700 lb boat/trailer with the frontier. They say it goes pretty good but that would tow easier I would think than a tall box trailer
 

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I pull only a light trailer, typically the smallest UHaul cargo trailer. I built snap in sides and a roof that fits the trailer. Recently I pulled that loaded with the 400 To Summit Point WV from Birmingham (700 miles each way) with a 2004 Subaru Forester normally aspirated 2.5 liter and 5 speed manual. Lowest MPG was a little over 22 MPG and highest tank was a shade over 27 MPG.
It’s not for everybody though.
 

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There are videos of guys towing a 5700 lb boat/trailer with the frontier. They say it goes pretty good but that would tow easier I would think than a tall box trailer
I've also seen guys tow big toy haulers that weigh over 7000 lbs with half ton trucks, but that doesn't mean they don't struggle, as you found out lol

If you want a truck that is nicer to drive and can also tow that trailer easily, get a newer Ram 1500. I used to have a 2014 before and when I first drove the new 2019+ gen I was amazed how much nicer it was to drive. This is the only truck I've ever driven so far that doesn't feel like a truck to me. It feels like driving a nice SUV, but still has the same capabilities of a half ton truck. My old one felt like a truck, every Chevy/GMC truck I've driven felt like trucks, the F-150 I used at my old job felt like a truck, but the new gen Ram doesn't. Go test drive one, it might make you change your mind.

I too like the mid-size trucks, and would love to have a Ford Ranger as a daily driver, but the lack of towing capacity is the main reason I haven't. Plus their price tags don't make sense. All of them are crazy expensive for what they are! I know people who paid more for Tacomas than I did for my brand new Ram a couple years ago. If you could get a mid-size that's not the absolute basic package for around $25-$27k they'd be more appealing, but at $35k+ it makes no sense to me. I paid like $32,800 for my Ram Big Horn Quad Cab brand new.
 

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I live in the houston area, so it is flat as a pancake. I won’t ever be towing the trailer in the mountains.

What kind of mpg do you get when towing on flat ground?

The tracks I would go to are 1, 3 and 4 hours away.
12ish, depends on lot on wind. For where you're at, you should be ok, as long as you're not expecting to cruise comfortably at 80mph.
 

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That Chevy has a dog of an engine. The frontier is 310 hp and the Chevy has 355 hp. Though the Chevy has quite a bit more torque (about 100 more)

I wouldn’t mind a 3.5 ecoboost f150 but they are so darn expensive!
I had a first generation F150 with the big ecoboost and that motor is great for pulling. I traded it because the early models had some really bad drivability issues at times. I now have the 5.0 v8 and it's great too. The turbo motor was actually better at low revs but the 5.0 is stronger once the revs are up. I love my v8 and wouldn't go back.
 

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I know gas makes more sense, but towing with a diesel motor, Cummins or Duramax is night and day. Hums along all day long pulling just about anything.

I would love to have a newer Ram with a Cummins in it, or even a Tacoma and drop a 12v in it and a nice drivetrain behind it, lol

But dang Tacoma adds $ just for it being a Yota
 

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7x14 Dual axle cargo with two bikes we use a 2020 Ford Ranger equipped with brake controller and electronic brakes. In the midwest this works just fine.
 

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What vehicle do you use to tow your race trailer?
Obviously this won't work for your trailer, but this is what I use. 33mpg is nice. While it's perfectly good at towing, I don't like the Civic much. Will be replacing it with a large V8 sedan this winter.

You might want to consider an SUV instead of a pickup if you don't use the pickup bed much. I would guess that since the SUV roof goes all the way to the back it would be much more aerodynamic with a tall trailer, compared to a pickup where the roofline dips to the bed before rising again for the trailer. And a lot of SUVs have high tow ratings as well - but that's more about the frame being able to handle the load; horsepower/torque/displacement are probably more useful metrics to look at than the tow rating number as long as the tow rating is sufficient. The Ford Explorer for example is rated for 5.6k lbs and has a bigger engine than the Frontier. Plus you get a larger, more practical interior, an enclosed trunk instead of an open bed, and I would assume SUVs are a bit more comfortable than pickups. And they're perfectly capable of doing light off roading as well.

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You might want to consider an SUV instead of a pickup if you don't use the pickup bed much. I would guess that since the SUV roof goes all the way to the back it would be much more aerodynamic with a tall trailer. And a lot of SUVs have high tow ratings as well - but that's more about the frame being able to handle the load; horsepower/torque/displacement are probably more useful metrics to look at than the tow rating number as long as the tow rating is sufficient. The Ford Explorer for example is rated for 5.6k lbs and has a bigger engine than the Frontier. Plus you get a larger, more practical interior, an enclosed trunk instead of an open bed, and I would assume SUVs are a bit more comfortable than pickups. And they're perfectly capable of doing light off roading as well.
I tow my Shoreland'r 3 bike trailer with a 2010 Nissan Xterra, 2WD, with the 4.0 V6(same thing as the frontier, just the SUV version) that has 230k miles on it.

I haul it with my 400 on the middle rail, I have also hauled 3 dirtbikes with it and it does fine, no issues.
But I know you are talking covered trailers and all that, its a open trailer that is pretty light weight by itself.(maybe 500-900 lbs)

Like Pink guy said, loading everything else in the SUV makes it nice, the only thing outside on the trailer is the bike and the tie-downs holding it down, and sometimes a gas can strapped down.

Now if I had the money, as I said earlier, I would definitely have a diesel powered truck or mid-large SUV with a nice covered trailer with a roof a/c unit and etc.
I have a few friends who have these, or toy haulers and have had the pleasure of using or sharing while at the track before, and it is so nice on scorching days, or when a down pour comes along to go inside those with the A/C blasting and chill on a cot or couch between sessions, or at lunch and relax or nap, but like I said if I had the money........a man can dream, right? :p
 

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For long trips to tracks over 3 hours away we use my buddies 2020 Dodge Ram 1500 with the hemi. My trailer is a 6x12 single axle which weighs around 1500 lbs. With 3 bikes, we are at the 2600 range with gear and canopy and other “stuff”, I will round it up too 2800 lbs. Lately,
we have been taking 4 bikes. One bike fits in the bed of the truck. So I will round that up to 3300 lbs. That hemi pulls with no effort even at speeds over 70mph.

For shorter trips 2 hrs away, we use my 2010 Audi Q5 with the 3.2 engine. The Q5 pulls the trailer and 3 bikes with no problem. Even on hills. The Q5 has a tow rating of 4400 lbs. I have a 2007 BMW X5 with the 3.0 that has a tow rating of 6000 lbs. I tried it once going too NYST, 2 hrs away with lots of hills, with 2 bikes and it struggled a little bit on the hills. It had no problem on the level surfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For long trips to tracks over 3 hours away we use my buddies 2020 Dodge Ram 1500 with the hemi. My trailer is a 6x12 single axle which weighs around 1500 lbs. With 3 bikes, we are at the 2600 range with gear and canopy and other “stuff”, I will round it up too 2800 lbs. Lately,
we have been taking 4 bikes. One bike fits in the bed of the truck. So I will round that up to 3300 lbs. That hemi pulls with no effort even at speeds over 70mph.

For shorter trips 2 hrs away, we use my 2010 Audi Q5 with the 3.2 engine. The Q5 pulls the trailer and 3 bikes with no problem. Even on hills. The Q5 has a tow rating of 4400 lbs. I have a 2007 BMW X5 with the 3.0 that has a tow rating of 6000 lbs. I tried it once going too NYST, 2 hrs away with lots of hills, with 2 bikes and it struggled a little bit on the hills. It had no problem on the level surfaces.
Yea, I had a Ram 1500 with the 5.7 hemi. It is a great motor. Awesome torque and power.

At this point I am basically looking at a new F-150 Lariat with the 3.5 Ecoboost motor or the Nissan Frontier. Huge difference in towing/power/torque between these vehicles.

I can get the frontier the way I want for around $44k-$45k. I can get the Lariat around $56k. Part of the reason for me to go to a mid-size over full size is the ease of parking and daily driving. I don't like trying to squeeze a 1500 size truck around town..... though I know that F150 ecoboost motor would tow my trailer without breaking a sweat.

Though if I am only towing 1-2 times per month x 7 months, that means either 7-14 times per year and maybe 20-22 times if I am really doing a lot of track days/racing. I think to myself, do I really need to buy a truck that is more optimal for towing if I am only towing absolute max 30 times per year? Or can I get by with the smaller truck/smaller engine?

I do not want to downgrade from what I have now. Leather seats, nice sound system, etc. So that means I would need to get the Lariat trim of the F-150. I really don't like the idea of spending $56k on a truck.... but then again I don't want to spend anything on a truck period (currently, no truck note...)
 

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Driving a full size truck in town, especially parking in crowded places is not fun. But on the Highway with or without trailer is awesome.
 

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2013 VW Touareg TDI. Commuting I get 28mpg, towing I get 21-22mpg with a 5x8 open trailer. Maintenance can be expensive but the comfort and power is amazing. Before used car prices got out of control you could get them for under $15k. Tow capacity is 7700 lbs, max tongue 680lbs, Payload is 1150 lbs.
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