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Old 07-25-2017, 08:19 AM   #1
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Mountain towing a 5.0 with THIS...

We have a 2008 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4.7L 2WD without a factory tow package. I've been looking at our truck's stats and I'm starting to be convinced it will not be capable of towing the 5.0 in the mountains let alone on flat land well. I know we can add some things to the truck such as tranny cooler, etc., but even after doing all of that, I still don't think the truck was designed to pull much of any standard trailer let alone a small and lightweight fifth wheel.

Those with a 5.0 who are knowledgeable about truck specs and real life capabilities, what are your thoughts?
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Misc99 View Post
We have a 2008 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4.7L 2WD without a factory tow package. I've been looking at our truck's stats and I'm starting to be convinced it will not be capable of towing the 5.0 in the mountains let alone on flat land well. I know we can add some things to the truck such as tranny cooler, etc., but even after doing all of that, I still don't think the truck was designed to pull much of any standard trailer let alone a small and lightweight fifth wheel.

Those with a 5.0 who are knowledgeable about truck specs and real life capabilities, what are your thoughts?
One (iconic) member of this Forum had been successfully towing his 5.0 with a Frontier so I doubt you'd have any problem with your Tundra. All of the standard features of my F150's tow package are available for aftermarket purchase and I suspect for your Tundra too. Do your research, but I bet you conclude that your Tundra is well-suited for the 5.0TA.
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Misc99 View Post
We have a 2008 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4.7L 2WD without a factory tow package. I've been looking at our truck's stats and I'm starting to be convinced it will not be capable of towing the 5.0 in the mountains let alone on flat land well. I know we can add some things to the truck such as tranny cooler, etc., but even after doing all of that, I still don't think the truck was designed to pull much of any standard trailer let alone a small and lightweight fifth wheel.

Those with a 5.0 who are knowledgeable about truck specs and real life capabilities, what are your thoughts?
Really? I have a 2012 4.6 l Tundra 4x4 double cab and as long as you are careful about what you put in the truck for payload it tows my 5.0 TA no problem. Your truck has a bit more cab but no 4wd so your payload should be better than mine and I assume you are talking about a single axle 5.0. Go online and check your specs but you should be just fine. Or are you trying to convince yourself to get a new truck
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Old 07-25-2017, 09:01 AM   #4
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Tundra 4.7

We have the 07 Sequoia 4.7 L engine and we pull a Escape 21 with no problem . If you are towing a 5.0 single axle or the 5.0TA you should do fine .
Although mpg is 11-14 not good
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:35 AM   #5
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OP here:
Here is some background information why we are very cautious and conservative. We don't want to repeat the same thing we did with my former Odyssey. It had a tow package and was rated to tow 3500#s. We pulled our 2400# popup with it. Needless to say it was not really a good fit and there were things we did and didn't do that played into the scenario. We didn't go to the mountains but a couple of times we hit some hill country. When I traded it in for my current Odyssey, It was not much of a trade-in. The brakes and engine were rode hard and put up wet. Not proud of what we did, but we don't want to even come close again to doing what we did before.

Since going to Colorado, Banff, and other wonderful places is what we want to do with our next trailer or third, we are looking very seriously at our the whole rig configuration. I'm really hoping those who have done this share their towing experiences and insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
I assume you are talking about a single axle 5.0.
We really like the 5.0 TA best. The dual axle is something we like over the Scamp among most other things.

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Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
Go online and check your specs but you should be just fine.
I have been doing a lot of research online and running calculations with all of our numbers and I still find the 5.0 TA might not work for what we want to do with it.

Here are our truck's numbers:
GCVWR: 10,500 (probably the most important number)
GVWR Tundra: 6800
Approx. wt with us and stuff: 6000
Towing Capacity of the truck is 6500 (I'm starting to learn this # doesn't mean squat by itself)

I've used these two calculators:
RV Tow Check | Before You Buy RV Calculator
Travel Trailer Weight Calculator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
I have a 2012 4.6 l Tundra 4x4 double cab and as long as you are careful about what you put in the truck for payload it tows my 5.0 TA no problem.
I've recently learned that even in the same brand, make, and model there can be other specs that make a big difference. Does yours have a tow package? If so, that would explain a lot. We are finding a tow package can really make a difference and not just in weight capacity. One with a tow package is built with a better frame, suspension, breaking, cooling, etc. Some things we won't be able to replicate by adding them. Also we would like quite a bit of wiggle room with weight and the distribution of weight. So it may mean we need to wait. longer for the an Escape.

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Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
Or are you trying to convince yourself to get a new truck
Nope, neither of us are wanting to get a different truck at this time. Our plan now is to keep this one for for a few years. It only has 80K on it. My husband only puts 7K on it a year. This may change, but this is the plan for "now". We have two teenagers that will be going to college in a few years.

The reason why I'm asking now is we are planners, and we don't want to make the same mistake twice.

Insight from others who have been there and done that (the good and the bad) is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:08 PM   #6
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I towed the 5.0 single with a Frontier and never had a problem. Got the TA and had no problem until I pulled Teton Pass (10% for 5 miles) and the transmission started to smell. But that could have been because the traffic kept speed down to 20mph and the cooler didn't have a chance to cool. Traded up to a 150 and have not tried that "hill" since. So I don't know if it makes a difference. I like the turning radius on the 150.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:19 PM   #7
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I towed the 5.0 single with a Frontier and never had a problem. Got the TA and had no problem until I pulled Teton Pass (10% for 5 miles) and the transmission started to smell. But that could have been because the traffic kept speed down to 20mph and the cooler didn't have a chance to cool. Traded up to a 150 and have not tried that "hill" since. So I don't know if it makes a difference. I like the turning radius on the 150.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I think 1/2 tons will do fine in most conditions, but mountain driving is another thing. Since ours doesn't have a tow package, I'm thinking we may need a 3/4 ton with the tow package for our next truck. This is unless someone can share greater insight and experience.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Misc99 View Post
OP here:
Here is some background information why we are very cautious and conservative. We don't want to repeat the same thing we did with my former Odyssey. It had a tow package and was rated to tow 3500#s. We pulled our 2400# popup with it. Needless to say it was not really a good fit and there were things we did and didn't do that played into the scenario. We didn't go to the mountains but a couple of times we hit some hill country. When I traded it in for my current Odyssey, It was not much of a trade-in. The brakes and engine were rode hard and put up wet. Not proud of what we did, but we don't want to even come close again to doing what we did before.

Since going to Colorado, Banff, and other wonderful places is what we want to do with our next trailer or third, we are looking very seriously at our the whole rig configuration. I'm really hoping those who have done this share their towing experiences and insight.


Here are our truck's numbers:
GCVWR: 10,500 (probably the most important number)
GVWR Tundra: 6800
Approx. wt with us and stuff: 6000
Towing Capacity of the truck is 6500 (I'm starting to learn this # doesn't mean squat by itself)

Also we would like quite a bit of wiggle room with weight and the distribution of weight. So it may mean we need to wait. longer for the an Escape.


Nope, neither of us are wanting to get a different truck at this time. Our plan now is to keep this one for for a few years.

The reason why I'm asking now is we are planners, and we don't want to make the same mistake twice.

Insight from others who have been there and done that (the good and the bad) is greatly appreciated.
You have quite the list of requirements there. Warning: I'm of the "bigger truck is better" camp, based on my experiences/roads.

No ones seems to ever take this advice, but grab 900lbs of cement bags from your local big box store. Load up the coolers, top up the gas tank and pile everyone in for a day of driving to your favourite not-local fun spot, say 75 miles away. How did she drive? Brakes fade? Over heat? All good? Headlights pointed at the sky? Or rent a small travel trailer and get a better approximation. Said another way, get some towing miles (same weight) to build up confidence/experience.

....


My two cents is you are on the right track asking "what is comfortable for the roads we'll be on". You definitely want payload numbers to be crystal clear with a 5'er. Also rear axle weights. Personally, I'm towing 4000lb bumper pull with a 7000lb rating, and some trips, I kick myself for not getting the 10000lb rated truck. Other trips (say on flat land or city driving), I wish I was towing with a Prius. That's me though. I think Cali hwy 49 was amazing/fun and love traveling on double digit gradients without overheating.


....

The flip side is your truck will do "for now" when towing (ratings aside) as others have mentioned here and in other threads. Get a trailer, any trailer, and get out and enjoy the freedom. The teenagers might like sleeping in a tent next to the trailer, so three beds might not matter. Next year may be totally different than this year, enjoy the moments.


.....


finally, this thread may be of interest on mountain towing tips/thoughts:
Hermione II, Maiden Voyage
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Misc99 View Post
We have a 2008 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4.7L 2WD without a factory tow package. I've been looking at our truck's stats and I'm starting to be convinced it will not be capable of towing the 5.0 in the mountains let alone on flat land well. I know we can add some things to the truck such as tranny cooler, etc., but even after doing all of that, I still don't think the truck was designed to pull much of any standard trailer let alone a small and lightweight fifth wheel.

Those with a 5.0 who are knowledgeable about truck specs and real life capabilities, what are your thoughts?
Hi: Misc99... (Iconic) member here... We have towed both a single axle and double axle Escape trailer with our 2010 V6 4X4 Frontier w/out tow pkg. since new. The truck now has 145,000 km's on the clock and still has the original trans fluid in it!!! I have it checked regularly by my mech.
Both of these trailers were designed to be pulled by this truck, as that's what Reace drove at the time, to pull ETI trailers. Alf
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:55 PM   #10
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The flip side is your truck will do "for now" when towing (ratings aside) as others have mentioned here and in other threads. Get a trailer, any trailer, and get out and enjoy the freedom. The teenagers might like sleeping in a tent next to the trailer, so three beds might not matter. Next year may be totally different than this year, enjoy the moments.
Gotta agree with Bruce here. Your Tundra will tow a 5'er. If that's what you want, go for it. You can always get a "more capable" truck later. The transmission cooler is a sound plan. Just watch your payload.

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Hi: Misc99... (Iconic) member here... We have towed both a single axle and double axle Escape trailer with our 2010 V6 4X4 Frontier w/out tow pkg. since new. The truck now has 145,000 km's on the clock and still has the original trans fluid in it!!! I have it checked regularly by my mech.
Both of these trailers were designed to be pulled by this truck, as that's what Reace drove at the time, to pull ETI trailers. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
This is true Alf, but Reace now tows with an F150, and his opinion is that it's a MUCH more capable and enjoyable towing experience than the Frontier. It's all about expectations.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:07 PM   #11
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As Robert said, it's all about managing expectations.






An older thread that the OP might like to read.

Tow vehicle decision
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Misc99 View Post
OP here:
Here is some background information why we are very cautious and conservative. We don't want to repeat the same thing we did with my former Odyssey. It had a tow package and was rated to tow 3500#s. We pulled our 2400# popup with it. Needless to say it was not really a good fit and there were things we did and didn't do that played into the scenario. We didn't go to the mountains but a couple of times we hit some hill country. When I traded it in for my current Odyssey, It was not much of a trade-in. The brakes and engine were rode hard and put up wet. Not proud of what we did, but we don't want to even come close again to doing what we did before.

Since going to Colorado, Banff, and other wonderful places is what we want to do with our next trailer or third, we are looking very seriously at our the whole rig configuration. I'm really hoping those who have done this share their towing experiences and insight.


We really like the 5.0 TA best. The dual axle is something we like over the Scamp among most other things.


I have been doing a lot of research online and running calculations with all of our numbers and I still find the 5.0 TA might not work for what we want to do with it.

Here are our truck's numbers:
GCVWR: 10,500 (probably the most important number)
GVWR Tundra: 6800
Approx. wt with us and stuff: 6000
Towing Capacity of the truck is 6500 (I'm starting to learn this # doesn't mean squat by itself)

I've used these two calculators:
RV Tow Check | Before You Buy RV Calculator
Travel Trailer Weight Calculator


I've recently learned that even in the same brand, make, and model there can be other specs that make a big difference. Does yours have a tow package? If so, that would explain a lot. We are finding a tow package can really make a difference and not just in weight capacity. One with a tow package is built with a better frame, suspension, breaking, cooling, etc. Some things we won't be able to replicate by adding them. Also we would like quite a bit of wiggle room with weight and the distribution of weight. So it may mean we need to wait. longer for the an Escape.


Nope, neither of us are wanting to get a different truck at this time. Our plan now is to keep this one for for a few years. It only has 80K on it. My husband only puts 7K on it a year. This may change, but this is the plan for "now". We have two teenagers that will be going to college in a few years.

The reason why I'm asking now is we are planners, and we don't want to make the same mistake twice.

Insight from others who have been there and done that (the good and the bad) is greatly appreciated.

My Truck is a 4x4, so yes bigger tires and brakes. It does have the tow package but all that really means for me is the trans cooler and trans temp gauge, it does have the tow haul mode but I do not use it as it revs too high for too long(mileage suffers). The Toyota 4x4s w/tow package are not significantly different than the non tow package trucks re:frame, brakes, trans,suspension, etc other than the items i listed above...maybe rear end gear ratios but not sure about that. I live in the mountains of Vermont and have towed from Las Vegas back to here and had more than enough power, cooling, etc. We have a pretty well outfitted camper but do not fill it with a ton of extra stuff. We also are only two people in the truck. Bottom line is it works for us and was a step up from the Nissan Frontier we towed a Scamp 5er all over the country.

When towing slow down, enjoy the scenery, go easy on the brakes and pull over to let the people in a hurry go by. The Tundra is a good and capable truck for the job.
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Misc99 View Post
Here are our truck's numbers:
GCVWR: 10,500 (probably the most important number)
GVWR Tundra: 6800
Approx. wt with us and stuff: 6000
Towing Capacity of the truck is 6500 (I'm starting to learn this # doesn't mean squat by itself)
...
I've recently learned that even in the same brand, make, and model there can be other specs that make a big difference. Does yours have a tow package? If so, that would explain a lot.
You are hitting a limitation due to GCWR (only 4,500 pounds available for the loaded trailer), and I wouldn't be surprised if a towing preparation package would have addressed that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misc99 View Post
We are finding a tow package can really make a difference and not just in weight capacity. One with a tow package is built with a better frame, suspension, breaking, cooling, etc. Some things we won't be able to replicate by adding them.
although a Toyota towing package would not provide any change in frame, suspension, or braking, I agree that proper engine and transmission cooling (and perhaps some other detail changes) may not be reliably achieved aftermarket.
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:31 PM   #14
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Elaine welcome to the forum.

We have (Iconic) Alf's first 5.0 and when we bought it we towed with a 4.6L 2wd F150 without tow package and were happy with it as far as towing went, mind you we never really did mountains, I found those in NM and AZ nothing like those in the Rockies where we went this past May.

Last year we traded for a 2.7 ECO F150 4wd and love towing with it, and not towing also. The mileage is no better towing than we got with the 2wd, but it does great when not towing.

I believe you would be fine towing a 5.0TA with your Tundra. You certainly don't need a 3/4 ton.

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Old 07-25-2017, 04:21 PM   #15
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Hearing from all of you that have pulled in the mountains with a 1/2 ton with an Escape is really helpful. Keep em' coming if you have them.

BCNomad: Loved your comments and style of descriptions. Yea, my husband is not a BIG truck guy and it has to be his daily driver. He hates having to park it in the parking garage and other places. Give him a Miata and he is in heaven. However, we are not ones to try and pull the most that with can with our truck especially in the mountains. I remember when we bought our truck and I saw 6500# towing capacity and I thought, Oh, that's plenty, because we are not big rig campers either. Well, after running the numbers it is more like 2,3, or 4K depending on what trailer it is and how comfortable we want to be and what type or driving conditions we plan on doing.

The other threads linked were helpful, too. I did do a search before starting this thread. I didn't find them.

I've pinned the mountain directory for future reference. Mountain Directory for Truckers, RV, and Motorhome Drivers Thank you!

From: Hermione II, Maiden Voyage thread
26% Grade OH MY! As one who used to pull a 5th wheel gooseneck horse trailer many many moons ago, I am familiar with lower gears. We aren't as familiar with brake controllers, but that will be another thread later. We currently have hydraulic brakes on our pup.

Ian and Sue:
I like the idea of stopping on our way up and down just to enjoy and give the truck a "brake". When we were in the Rocky Mountain National Park and drove to the top in our Odyssey, we stopped a couple of times just so our bodies could adjust to the altitude. Beautiful drive!!!

EscapeArtist: Your comments were promising. Thanks for reminding me we need to check with our mechanic on all of our questions. We have a really good one.

Emers382: Thanks for the welcome and input.

Brian B-P: Yea! That's what I was coming up when I crunched the numbers. I'm thinking we are at the max and maybe then some with our GCVWR. Our truck with a tow package could tow 8000#. I can't remember what the combined wt was.

As for camping with or without the kids, this will continue to happen no matter what we pull. My husband and I really like the Escape 5.0, but it is probably a long range goal for us. The kids are starting to like having their own tent (especially with a friend or two). That's mighty fine with my husband and me. On our last "family only" camping trip over July 4th our son, the Boy Scout who camps 1-2x/month, was bored camping with us. Ugh! This has made us see our camping days with the kids are numbered and begin the search for what will be the next phase of our camping adventures and possibly as empty nesters.

I do have to say if we don't get an Escape initially, I do like the Gulf Stream 19BHS Vintage Cruiser in teal, and a Scamp fifth wheel comes in third.
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:15 PM   #16
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I didn't see the payload on your truck, do you know it? I see you mention the truck will be 6000 lbs loaded, are you including the trailers pin weight?

There is not always somewhere to stop going up or down a mt. Driving Wolf Creek Pass in CO there wasn't anywhere to pull over till I was just about down. The overlook 1/2 way down was closed due to a semi not making the turn an hour earlier. Going up is easy.
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:06 AM   #17
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I didn't see the payload on your truck, do you know it? I see you mention the truck will be 6000 lbs loaded, are you including the trailers pin weight?
The weight I listed is without the trailer's pin weight. I'm guessing our payload remaining is 800. (Tundra GVWR: 6800 - 6000 = 800) Of course, we don't have a 5th wheel hitch yet. The weight of those vary I would presume. I think I remember the specs for the tongue weight of the TA to being about 600. I'm sure it will be a lot more in reality. If I'm wrong in understanding all this, please feel free to help me understand. Again, I'm not feeling much wiggle room when I look at these numbers.

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There is not always somewhere to stop going up or down a mt. Driving Wolf Creek Pass in CO there wasn't anywhere to pull over till I was just about down. The overlook 1/2 way down was closed due to a semi not making the turn an hour earlier. Going up is easy.
Good reminder that not everything goes as planned, thanks!

We actually took our current rig to the CAT scales one day before we headed out for a camping trip. It was interesting to know how much we had with our truck, PUP/popup, us, and stuff. All total it was 8400. Seeing each axle weight was as well.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:36 PM   #18
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Thank you for sharing your experience. I think 1/2 tons will do fine in most conditions, but mountain driving is another thing. Since ours doesn't have a tow package, I'm thinking we may need a 3/4 ton with the tow package for our next truck. This is unless someone can share greater insight and experience.


You can buy a F150 that can tow over 11000lbs and have a payload over 2500 lbs. it will drive and handle way better than a 3/4 or larger truck. I'm pretty sure you can get a Ram or Chevy pretty close to these specs although last I read the F150 is the class leader.


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Old 07-30-2017, 07:39 PM   #19
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You can buy a F150 that can tow over 11000lbs and have a payload over 2500 lbs. it will drive and handle way better than a 3/4 or larger truck.
True. It's part of why I'm such a fan of the F150, and why I drive one. Huge towing capacity, payload, comfort and ease of driving, and fuel economy to boot. It may not be the perfect vehicle, but it's perfect for me.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:55 PM   #20
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Chevy and Ram have a ways to go to catch up with the Ford F150
All the rest have a really really long way to go to catch up with Ford.
I don't own a Ford but I know a winner when I see one.
The Ford F 150 would be my choice of TV if I was towing an Escape 5.0 TA HANDS DOWN !!
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