I need a new truck

BIEDERMANCOOKS

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Feb 9, 2023
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Hi- my truck might be dead, but I knew that day was coming. What I can’t do or don’t want to do is sell my whole rig right now so I am in the market for a larger truck (think f259 or other large full size) that I can mount my ‘22 raven shell on and use and then one day upgrade to a larger slide in or go flat bed and keep the same truck. I can’t afford to order new and I don’t have the time to wait. I’d love to hear what everyone here suggests. Thanks-
 
Definitely just get a gas F250 (350 if you can and if you have flatbed aspirations).

Or whatever HD truck floats your boat.

Tundra, F150 etc are really the only wrong answers.
 
pawleyk said:
Definitely just get a gas F250 (350 if you can and if you have flatbed aspirations).

Or whatever HD truck floats your boat.

Tundra, F150 etc are really the only wrong answers.
Well, not exactly... my F150 HDPP has a payload capacity of 2611# and carries my Grandy shell (1200#) just fine..
 
BBZ said:
Well, not exactly... my F150 HDPP has a payload capacity of 2611# and carries my Grandy shell (1200#) just fine..
Agreed. My Tundra double cab has been hauling our Hawk and two of us everywhere I want it to go for 3 years now. Recent Toyota service found no significant brake wear at 40,000 miles.
 
I weighed my 1996 Hawk Shell fully outfitted with gear, and I come in right under 1950 lbs. That includes the roll-over bed, bat-wing awning, solar panels, fridge, water, chairs, batteries, etc. With my truck rated at 2,120 lbs, I feel pretty comfortable, though I have added some helper springs which give me a bit more peace of mind and help level out the ride.

FWIW, I have a 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 (Z71 SLT 4x4 if you want a longer model name) and I'm really impressed with it. I've been a Ford guy since I started driving 19 years ago, but during COVID craziness I found this truck certified pre owned and jumped on it....a similar spec and mileage Ford would have been another 5-8k. The 3" longer bed seems silly, but it's enabled me to comfortably carry a Hawk shell...I don't know if I would have felt the same with a 5'5" bed.

If you're going older truck then you might need to jump up to the 250/2500 level, but any trucks from the last 10 years, properly spec'd, should carry a Raven shell without issue.
 
I think you need to decide what your ultimate goal and camper set up will be. If you wish someday to get into a flat bed set up, then a 3/4 or 1 ton is the way to go for sure.

If all you want is a FWC shell model, then a 1/2 ton of your choice will handle it no problem. Depending on the payload rating you may have to do the standard upgrades of springs, air bags, tires, sway bar and the like.

I currently have a 2017 Silverado 1500 with the max trailering package.

I added:
-Firestone air bags
-Super springs
-Bilstein 1500 HD shocks
-Hellwig sway bar
-Mag Hytech transmision pan and rear diff cover
-Power stop trailer/tow brakes
-E rated Toyo AT3 tires
-K&N cold air intake kit
-Magna flow oversized exhaust

Even with all of the mods, my truck is still considerably less expensive than upgrading to a 3/4 or 1 ton truck. I really looked into it and decide since my truck was payed for, I would see how it went. Truck handles my 2022 fully loaded Hawk surprisingly well. Great exceleration, braking, handling and plenty of power up long grades even when I'm towing my boat. It doesn't feel like the truck is laboring in the variety of conditions we have been in. Another benefit is the gas mileage. My 5.3L is getting between 15-17 MPG, which is not that bad in my opinion.

All that said, if I was to get a new truck, I would go for a 3/4 ton or bigger just so I never need to worry about being over loaded. My hope is that my Silverado will last me long enough until they come up with a heavy duty, EV truck that is tried, true and worth a hoot. Then I may find my happily forever after truck.

For now, knowing that my 1500 is maxed out, it forces me to pack light and only bring the essentials on trips. I find value and simplicity in not having a ton of junk to haul around. She sure is a nice and comfortable ride that suits me fine.
 
Thank you everyone for your insight. One day I am hoping to upgrade from my slide in raven to a more full size on a flatbed so I am hoping to have my next truck last me a long while. I have had bad luck with f150’s but it’s hard not to go with a f250 diesel but I am looking for advice because I don’t know much about anyone’s personal experience. So thanks
 
I moved from a RAM 1500 with 1999 Hawk slide-in to a RAM 3500 gasser with a Hawk flatbed. After a 3-week trip with 4 people through AK in the 1500, I wanted more wiggle room on GVWR and less wear and tear on the truck.

The Hawk has many, but not all the options, and I've made the following modification to the truck:

AEV front bumper with winch, airbags, onboard air, a rear rack with full size spare, storage box and maxtrax.

I went with RAM because I grew up with them on the farm in MT, and my unscientific confidence in the brand. I underestimated by weight by about 600lbs, likely due to my tendency to pack for every situation. I've included a snapshot of my math based on a CAT scale weigh-in and weighing stuff as I reloaded it on the rig.

Hope it helps,
Blake
 

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