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Talk to me about 1/2 ton trucks

Talon2006

Yellow Skull
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
282
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394
The time has come to replace my 2002 Dodge ram 2500 ctd 4x4. I will be honest, I really really really want another 2500 4x4 diesel... though when I think with my bigger brain, a 1/2 ton gas truck will do everything I need. I have nothing to tow, in the future I "might" buy a boat or a camper. A 3/4 ton gas is also a consideration at this time.

I want 4x4, 4 doors, and preferably a bed 6' or longer. I have been looking at 2015+ trucks, budget around 30k, though when I was looking at diesels we had a budget around 50.

So of the big three, any years/motors/transmissions I should avoid or stay away from?


(or should i throw caution to the wind, you only live once and buy a diesel)
 
Riding in my coworkers Ram (2017?) with the 8 speed or 10 speed or whatever it is. That thing shifts up and down ALL the time. He doesn't notice it at all when I asked him about it, but that's all I can notice when we're driving around, is how often it shifts up and down.

Drives me nuts. But I don't own any automatic transmission vehicles, so maybe I notice it because I'm used to shifting.


If you really want a 2500 diesel, then get it.

If I were looking for a new-ish truck, I would get a Dodge/Ram because I think they are the only one still offering a manual transmission.
 
I inda e-know you from following your recent schooling journey. Don't buy a half ton. Don't step down. You'll waste your money, always want another diesel, and you will be buying one within 2 years. You'll end up talking a bath on that half ton on the process because the depreciate way faster.

I've only had half ton trucks until recently. They really aren't meant for people like you and me. Now that I have a Cummins 2500 I realize just how hard I struggled to make my half tons do what I needed them to. After my recent towing road trip with my ram I was convinced I made the right choice and it was worth the price tag.

My wife towed an empty trailer once and in a neighborhood with my half ton. She was white knuckling the wheel and didn't feel confident. She hated it. On this trip she saw I was exhausted and offered to take over between rest areas. She was a little fearful. Within 15 minutes of towing with my ram she had one hand on the wheel, the adaptive cruise set at 70 and she was singing along with her music. That's how night and day the trucks are.

Sure, my 05 Silverado could have done the job, but not with the confidence my ram did. Half ton trucks are just 80's sedans with a big trunk. They are made for people that tow a pop up or bass boat occasionally and commute to the office the rest of the time. I know that ain't you!
 
Riding in my coworkers Ram (2017?) with the 8 speed or 10 speed or whatever it is. That thing shifts up and down ALL the time. He doesn't notice it at all when I asked him about it, but that's all I can notice when we're driving around, is how often it shifts up and down.

Drives me nuts. But I don't own any automatic transmission vehicles, so maybe I notice it because I'm used to shifting.


If you really want a 2500 diesel, then get it.

If I were looking for a new-ish truck, I would get a Dodge/Ram because I think they are the only one still offering a manual transmission.

That's funny about you noticing and being annoyed by the transmission shifting. My sister in law has a JL and all I notice is it shutting down and starting when you stop. It drives me nuts and if I'm the driver I shut it off.
I'm a Chevy fan but if I was going to buy a new 2500/3500 it would be a Ford with the 460.
 
The new Rams are pretty nice. I would look at a 6.4L Hemi with the 8 speed. Everyone I have talked to has nothing but good things to say about the 8 speed. It shifting constantly is a good thing, it keeps the engine in it's power band. The trucks with the 6 speed like my 2018 2500 are more annoying to me as they will actually lug the engine a bit and then suddenly leap forward when it downshifts as you give it more throttle to maintain speed. I've gotten used to holding throttle until it starts to chug around, then I let off the throttle completely and when I get back into it a second later, it downshifts smoothly and maintains speed. I think it's a programming issue, but they don't seem to be doing anything about it. Damn I miss having a manual transmission! But yeah, you couldn't give me a 1/2 ton from any brand. They are just cars with beds now.
 
Love my 2018 F-150 with the 2.7 and 10 speed. Dont notice it shifting, love the turbo in the mountains. Have towed a loaded 16'enclosed cargo trailer, probably 6k fully loaded and it pulled it flawlessly. I prefer it over any of the variety of 3/4 and up trucks we have at work. Even the 2019 F-550. They just ride to rough for the occasional towing I do.
 
I'm in the same boat as OP.
Really been looking at F150's mainly because of the trailer backup assist. I get sick of having to pull the horse trailer when my wife and daughter go to events. Horse events are not my thing. So, if that feature helps my wife back up a trailer, I'll go that route. Or she can just man up and learn but for some reason she freaks the fuck out when she tries.
Also, I never pull more than ~8k. 3.5 eco or 5.0 is what I'm looking at but not opposed to the 2.7 eco if the price is good.
opinions are welcome!
 
If you are set on 1/2 ton, put a set of Firestone airbags under it day one. They make a world of difference towing or hauling anything in today's cars with beds. The kit I put on my Tacoma ran me around $300 and I helped a friend put a kit on an F150. Install for both was bolt on and all we had to do was remove factory bump stops.
 
Food for thought. A modern 1/2 ton has an equal tow capacity to a 90's one ton.

Airbag a half ton and maintain an E rated tire and I don't see how you could go wrong.
 
I've seen mexicans haul damn near an entire house with a little datsun... :laughing:
 
Food for thought. A modern 1/2 ton has an equal tow capacity to a 90's one ton.

Airbag a half ton and maintain an E rated tire and I don't see how you could go wrong.

Almost all the 1/2 tons I have looked at, have the same or more tow rating then my 02 CTD.

I do question how the 1/2 ton would pull it vs my current truck though.
 
will a dealership let you tow something during a test drive? that would probably put it to rest, if 1/2 ton works for you or not.
 
I went through this last year. Spent a little over a year in a 2018 Ram 2500 with the 6.4. After two plus months in the shop, and no real end in sight, I cut bait and went to a 2019 Chevy 1500. Dealing with Ram and their service left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.


Mine has the 5.3 and 8 speed transmission. Yes, the front end leaves something to be desired, but I don’t stand outside looking at it enough to be annoyed. It has grown on me over the past few months, but I also liked the cat eyed chevys. It has the larger 4 cab that came with the redesign. The bed is 69.6” or something goofy like that. The engine and transmission have been flawless over the last 14K. My biggest gripe is the mushy shocks.

Time will tell if I stick with a half ton, or go back to a 3/4 ton after this. Can answer more specific questions if you have any. I considered Chevy, Ford, and Toyota when making my decision.
 
I went through this last year. Spent a little over a year in a 2018 Ram 2500 with the 6.4. After two plus months in the shop, and no real end in sight, I cut bait and went to a 2019 Chevy 1500. Dealing with Ram and their service left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.

The idea of this happening makes me livid. I couldn't imagine having a new truck, just to have it break 2-3 times in two years, especially if it left you stranded. At that rate I am better off keeping my 2002.
 
Food for thought. A modern 1/2 ton has an equal tow capacity to a 90's one ton.

Airbag a half ton and maintain an E rated tire and I don't see how you could go wrong.

More. My dad's f150 has a higher tow rating then my 02 7.3 6spd. With that said he may out tow me up to about 8, maybe 10k lbs, but there is now way I'd hook up to 15 with his truck.
 
I’ve got a 2014 Ram 1500 Sport crew cab with the 5.7L Hemi and the 8 speed auto. I still love that truck. The Hemi has power for days. As others have lauded to, you get a lot more options and comforts for your mo em with Ram vs Ford or Chevy. Mine is fully loaded with all the bells and whistles. I also have the Ram boxes on mine which I absolutely love. It tows incredibly well for a 1/2 ton as well. It hauled my old redneck toyhauler with the Jeep on it quite well. The whole package was 9,500 lbs.
 
Almost all the 1/2 tons I have looked at, have the same or more tow rating then my 02 CTD.

I do question how the 1/2 ton would pull it vs my current truck though.

I'm pretty sure duty cycle is what comes into play. Things like SF axles and suspension components that wear premature under the added stress.

Like your first post claims, you don't actually have anything to tow. So it's likely a non-issue.

Personally, I really like my neighbors 18 F150 king ranch with the EcoBoost. His is that off white color with the brushed stainless looking trim. He has a set of BFG AT's on it with the white letters out and it just looks sharp. No fucking way would I waste my money on one though. I bet the depreciation is 10 grand a year right now. That's just too rich for my blood.

I'd be more inclined to keep the 02 CTD and buy a car that I liked, that would appreciate at the very minimum hold value. For what a new truck costs I could daily a fun collector car.
 
a friend of mine just got a new 2500 with the hemi. He said he's getting 13mpg empty. :eek:
 
I'm pretty sure duty cycle is what comes into play. Things like SF axles and suspension components that wear premature under the added stress.

Like your first post claims, you don't actually have anything to tow. So it's likely a non-issue.

Personally, I really like my neighbors 18 F150 king ranch with the EcoBoost. His is that off white color with the brushed stainless looking trim. He has a set of BFG AT's on it with the white letters out and it just looks sharp. No fucking way would I waste my money on one though. I bet the depreciation is 10 grand a year right now. That's just too rich for my blood.

I'd be more inclined to keep the 02 CTD and buy a car that I liked, that would appreciate at the very minimum hold value. For what a new truck costs I could daily a fun collector car.

If I was to buy a fun car to DD It would be a C6 corvette. Maybe a c7 but they are still expensive.
 
I’ve been driving f150’s for years, and would likely continue: they pull anything I want them to pull well, and have been good trucks. I started looking around now, and turns out a gas f250 built like I want it is cheaper than a new f150 equipped the way I would want it. I’m kind of waiting out the virus crash now, and also want to see what the new 7.3 gas shakes out as over a few months.
 
30k will get you into a lower optioned Cummins Ram in your year range, you can even find 15 and 16 Laramies in the lower 30s if you look hard. I agree with whoever said don't settle, go ahead and get what you want. I will also say that if I could have found my truck with the 6.4 Hemi instead of the Cummins I would have bought it instead because I just don't need the Cummins and I have a friend with the 6.4 and it is a beast.

Duane
 
I bought an F150 with the 5.0 and six speed. I thought it would be a viable option to replace my F250 6.2 gasser as I looked at downsizing. I owned the F150 less less than 4 months and still have the F250. I found out pretty quickly I could not replace my 3/4 ton with a 1/2 ton for my uses.
 
The idea of this happening makes me livid. I couldn't imagine having a new truck, just to have it break 2-3 times in two years, especially if it left you stranded. At that rate I am better off keeping my 2002.

The newer 8 spd transmission behind the 6.4 is likely a improvement over the 6 spd mine had. I had issues with the transmission and rear differential. If memory serves me correctly, the 6 spds used the same internals as the non-Aisin Cummins trucks, which meant the gearing wasn’t the best for the Hemi equipped trucksZ
 
This is pirate4x4 all over again. Homeboy said he doesn’t even have a trailer and people are talking about what’s appropriate for towing 15k.

1/2 ton sounds like it will be perfectly fine for you unless you simply want 3/4 ton diesel, in which case the 1/2 ton will never be good enough.
 
Been happy with my 16 RAM 1500 crew cab.

Only complaint is the air ride gets grumpy in the winter.
 
What about the new Ford 7.3 gasser? Looks like its going to set a new standard of good engine.
 
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I had a 12 ram 1500 5.7 quad cab. I loved that truck, but when you start driving with a family it is tight. Jumped to a 17 ram 1500 5.7 crew cab. It was a Laramie and had lots of nice options, but a high ration in the rear that i didnt like. The 12 had 4.10 and it was a noticeable jump with the 17 having 3.07. Both the trucks were great, but at 5k feet towing and hitting 10k+ going to the mountains they were lacking.

I am not driving a 19 F250 6.7. The cab is bigger so it fits a car seat better. I enjoy the diesel way more driving to work and back, and really appreciate it while towing my boat. I towed a previous boat from CO to MI and back with the 17 ram, and it really is the elevation that was holding it back. If i was at sea level i would consider a gas motor.

When you factor in depreciation on half tons vs the 12k premium going 3/4 or 1 ton diesel it works out in the end. Sure diesel is a little more and i average 3mpg less. You have def which is $15 every 5k miles, and filter costs, but again in the end the trade/resale value of a diesel is well above what i will put in to it.

My ford has around 8k miles so cant talk about quality yet, but the initial quality has been great. I ran the 12 ram to 75k and only changed oil and tires. The 17 to 30k and only oil. Both were good and i never had issues other than being hit by hail.

To sum it up, if i could go back i would have gotten the 12 ram, then ford diesel in 17. The ram was fine when it was just me and a buddy hauling dirt bikes around. Once i had a family and boat, or anything significant to haul, i would have been happier in the diesel
 
I'd honestly only do the diesel if I absolutely needed it. My 6.2 does fine hauling the L series Kubota and loaded down with firewood. I'm not winning any races, and I don't haul everyday, but I'm happy with it. When I was shopping, a 3/4T isn't that much more than a half ton. Actually, the deal I scored on my truck was the same price as an F150.

Those diesels are no joke though. Set you right back into your seat. :eek:
 
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