How to Choose the Right Pickup Truck

2013-Silverado-EXT-Wide-2 II

Our friends at had a problem they needed to solve--which pickup should they buy that could give them all the the size and capability they needed to do all the activities they love, specifically hauling a truck camper all over the country.

As you might imagine, loading the bed at or near maximum payload would be priority number one, but what about all the other details? Which pickup would they choose and what preferences would rule their decisions?  

Although their methods seemed an interesting mix of detailed calculation and random personal preference, we thought this was a pretty good walk through a pickup-first thought process when factoring in all the large and small details that determine which fullsize one-ton pickup you need.

We're not sure we would have chosen the shortbed, Z71 suspension, the 6.0L V-8, or Crew Cab model, but we look forward to watching TCM's progress as they build and use the fullsize truck for long-haul cross-country camping duty. We have no doubt they'll be happy with their choice. 



I know its all subjective, but for me the interior of that truck would have had me picking the Ford, regardless of all the rest. To me it has to look good rather than drive well (though of course, within reason - there isn't TOO much of a difference in ride)

Oh and those square wheel wells - don't like those either.

Unless they plan to stay in hotels, traveling cross country with a slide-in camper is optimal with a long box and possibly even a dually.

I know little to nothing about campers. Our home away is a timeshare condo so forgive my ignorance but what is "Wet and loaded" ? Does that mean it has a toilet?
Their homeowner's ass. makes them rent an off-site spot to park their dully? HUH?
She does most of the driving? I can hardly get any sleep with my wife driving!
They went with the shortbed because it is the most popular model. I don't get that.
I would have liked to know what the final price was for this purchase. Why pay $250 for the sliding rear window? Is it useful with a camper?
This article left me with more questions than answers. I guess it is more for the Good Neighbor Sam crowd.
My pro golfer uncle always used campers when on the circut and he told me that he regreted his decision to replace his Silverado with a Super Duty.

why did they pick a chevy? must be all the spRam turned them off and all the ford fires scared em

Now that's a sexy truck love the blue!!

@steveadore, My toy hauler is 7,400lbs bone dry empty. Nothing inside. Once you start adding beer, whiskey, wine, can of beans beef jerky etc... Then fill up the 100 gallon water tank at 8.34lbs per gallon plus quads, helmets, riding boots, cloths it all adds up pretty quick. Dishes ,knives, on and on. Thats loaded and wet.

As a former RVer myself (tent, popup, trailer (not fifth-wheel) and Class A, I, like the author, question their choice of short bed for a pickup bed camper; you're talking about a living area smaller than the smallest self-contained popup camper in square footage and in sleeping capacity. Currently assuming the 4.5' bed length and maybe extending it another 15" with the tailgate down is going to make the camping part very uncomfortable. I will admit, however, that I haven't looked at truck campers in over 20 years. Since I now have an 8' bed truck, I'd prefer to have a camper that gives me some room to move. Still, for me there are reasons to prefer a towable--preferably pop-up style for a greater sense of space.

To follow that tiny size with what appears to be an off-road setup makes me question their decision even more as even the lightest truck bed campers are going to affect the center of gravity and make that thing FEEL like it's going to tip over if you drop two wheels into a deep rut. Yes, I do know some campgrounds are only accessible by dirt roads, but most of those are still accessible by 2-wheel-drive. Honestly, I'd rather use my Jeep towing a decent pop-up again so I can go out and play on the trails once camp is set up.

Yes, I do fully understand the appeal of a truck camper. Now that I own an admittedly old Ford I'm tempted to look into one myself just to compare cost and roominess to the pop-ups that already have my eye. Of course, the advantage with a trailer is that I can tow it with either the truck or the Jeep as I so choose.

I found their choices interesting and ultimately based on personal preference. I have no problem with that since that is how most of us chose a truck.
I found a few facts interesting, the most glaring being the comment that statistically: short box trucks are the most common configuration. The other comment that brings that home was that even in a 3/4 ton truck, Chevy considers a short box the "standard box".
Chosing a short box makes no sense to me when it comes to camper duty. I've slept in the back of a slide in camper in a short box truck and it wasn't what I'd call a pleasureable experience. Perhaps their camper choice will include slide outs.
There has been considerable discussion lately among some of us and our Australian bretheren in relation to global trucks doing the same job as our NA 1/2 ton trucks. If most people do not value cargo "volume" then I cannot see why the globals would not work well here.

I love how they wanted GM to build them a one-of-a-kind, extended cab/short bed 3500HD. That would've required a few one-off parts including the truck frame.

It's more interesting than GM doesn't offer an extended cab/short bed in 3500HDs as well as forcing a 5'5" bed on all crew 1500s.

Also, they wanted an extended cab instead of a regular cab for the increased visibility and to make up for lost camper storage they'd lose by owning a short camper. A regular cab 3500HD would've forced a long bed.

Skipping the diesel was a wise choice that also made the truck about 1,000 lbs lighter. As far as lost resale is concerned, I doubt they would've got much of their $7,000 investment back. I don't want a used diesel because I don't know how hard it's been used. Cheap filters and poor fuel quality causes problems down the road.

I can answer some of the questions above, having just done a bit of research on truck campers and using my previous experience.

First off (and I don't really understand why anyone would even consider this) it does seem that the 6.5' bed is the most popular--no matter the brand. To me, it's just plain too short for a camper, however. What I did see is that there are a number of campers made to fit the short bed, but they also tend to extend beyond the back of the truck by 18" or so which will throw off the front-rear balance and make the truck act like it has a much heavier load. These same campers might leave 6" or more of truck bed showing if loaded on a long bed truck which really would mean a more stable ride. Yes, there are also units built for the 8' bed with almost no overhang.

Secondly, some of these campers include kitchen and bathroom facilities. As such, they can carry maybe 10-15 gallons of drinking water and 5 gallons or so of what is called "black water", in other words, toilet water which needs to be stored and disposed of differently from ordinary sink water. Of course, at roughly 7.5 pounds per gallon fresh, you're talking from 50-100 pounds of water just for drinking and washing purposes that also needs to be stored for disposal once used. Overall, you could be carrying an additional 150# of liquids as part of your rolling home.

Thirdly, a 1500# truck camper is extremely basic and doesn't include any cooking or toilet facilities and usually has very lightweight and sparse storage capability. On the other hand, that fully-equipped camper could weigh as much as a small travel trailer--3500# or more. Obviously you need more truck to carry one of these and again if part of its length is hanging out behind the truck it could add an apparent 1000# more by putting weight too far behind the wheels even if it isn't real weight.

Finally, of course, you have to consider the number of passengers. If it's just a pair--man and wife, camping buddies, etc.--then obviously you don't need four doors. On the other hand, one or more kids and pets would make that extra pair of doors very useful.

Finally, one of you asked about the split back window. Surprisingly, many truck bed campers do offer a pass-through area into the cab even up to including a weather seal so that pass through can be open all the time. This is great to help keep the camper from getting too hot or too cold while traveling but its primary purpose is for quick access to pass food and drink through from the cooler in the back.
An additional note here is that some rigs may also include a generator or accommodate a generator riding along one side of the bed. To be quite blunt a camper is going to get hot or cold unless you have some form of air conditioner for it and most camper AC units only run on 110VAC power. Properly designed and mounted, that generator (and its fuel supply) may be accessible while on the road and I know many motor home drivers that run their generator simply to take load off the prime mover engine.

Would the truck shown be my choice? No. Then again, I don't have kids, I only have one dog and my wife; a King Cab or equivalent is more than enough cab space.

A final note: It seems in the last decade or so the slide-out phenomenon has even hit the truck camper crowd, which means that at least while you're parked in a campground, you can recover some of that floor space and be a bit more comfortable.

I have been thinking lately about getting a p/u camper to use when I don't need all the room the Airstream alows us, and it would be nice to be able to go out on the beach with a slide in camper!, I know the F-150 I have 4X4 Ecco-Boost 8'bed reg cab with the HD package would be able to handle a nice camper, the truck has a 2,900 cap. and with the wife and I onboard it scales in at 5,585lbs. and the GVWR is 8,200, that leave me with 2,615lbs of cap. for gas water Clear/black, and alll the other necessaties that go along with these things, meaning I should be able to gert a nice lightweight slide in camper to do the job, I know the truck is more than up to the task, as it does a fantastic job with the Airtream, but to have something to accomodate my wife or fishing buddy out on the beach overnight would be great, and the F-150 Ecco-Boost would be just the ticket! and if I needed any more stability I could allways just get some deaver springs.... I mean Kelderman suspension help, if I could do so without taking away much cappacity. I would and culd not aford to get ride of the F-150 just to get a 3/4 ton truck, I would loose to much in re-sale value at this point. It could all just be a dream though .......

Gordon and Angela White have been providing some good info to the truck camper community over the past couple of years. As far as their truck choice, it would not work for most TC owners, but a nice blue 3500 Dually would! I look forward to seeing them using it and following up with more pics. I too wish GM would get that interior updated, what are they waiting for?

I read the whole article on TCMC. For what the guy wanted and needed there were only two choices; a Ford product or GM product. I understand why he chose the GM 3500. That was his prerogative.

It would not have been my choice. Regardless of the author's self-proclaimed neutrality toward the bailout and nationalization of a failed auto manufacturing company, I believe he had his favorite, and picked it. That was his right!

However, the ONLY REAL AMERICAN truck company left standing is FORD! Dodge is Italian and GM was declared dead and is now on indefinite life support, bailed out by 94% of the workforce to keep 6% of the workforce living the highlife.

Some people (me included) cannot simply overlook that. If we choose to buy American, we would choose to buy a winner, not something that we already are forced to own against our wishes. That's why Ford F-series sales do so well each year.

Full disclosure here: I do not need anything heavier than a half-ton, and I chose to buy a 2011 Tundra 5.7 SR5 DoubleCab longbed. I've owned a new Silverado and a new F150 in the past, as well as a used Dodge. Hence my preference for the better Tundra 5.7 in 2011.


The reason they went with the crew cab is because it aligns their pick with what a majority of their readers presumably drive, a crew cab truck. That, and it makes a better daily driver.

I like their pick. As they say, it isn't the "Dream Truck" for truck camping, but it meets their needs.

One thing not mentioned is to rent a pickup and buy a Small pickup, 4x4 wagon or even a Toyota Camry towing a small trailer.

If you are only going camping once or twice a year and you need a large pickup it might make more economical sense to rent a camper.

@JC - they were getting a truck configuration that was the "norm" among the RV crowd. I read that. I can see why they would do that since they are RV writers and they could generate stories that would meet the needs or interests of their target audience.
I did say in my comments that their choice meets their criteria and is just as valid as my choice. Any time one choses a particular product for a particular set of reasons it is always welcome to see their rationale. I may not agree 100% but it does allow me to see where they are coming from. That gives me the latitude to respect their opinion even though mine may be different. That is what most of the rabid fanboi's do not comprehend. Knowing where one is coming from is important to understand. It might provide information on a subject I have overlooked or I had never considered. It may exposes an angle I have not seen. It all leads to mutual understanding and respect.
The statement "my truck is best because of badge" does not do anyone any good.
It meets their needs and they've explained why.

It all depends on needs. My lightweight truck camper has an 8' floor and my my DC Tundra has a 6.5' bed. The camper was desiged for such a length with nothing really heavy towards the back. The total camper length is ~11.5'. The "bottom" bed is 7' long and the top bed 6.5'. I have had taken this combo to every state in the Rockies and west of (except for the People's Republic of California) and it has been great. It has allowed me to go to pretty remote places, park in spots where no trailer could get to, access road that don't allow large vehicles, and when on the open road I can swing into any gas station, drive-through restaurant, or whatever without hassle.

I have contemplated buying a 1-ton and getting a more luxorious truck camper, but, in addition to not needing the capablities or expense of such a truck, I think that less is more when going camping.

Interesting. I've recently been checking out slide ins and came to the realization that I'll probably need a 3/4 ton when I figure in the weight of the camper, a family of 3, and a boat trailer with 150lbs tongue weight. I've been leaning toward the extended cab version of this truck without the z-71 pkg. I looked at Ford first, but I'd rather have an extended cab over the quad cab and the Fords still seem to offer 1990s era space and comfort in the back seat.


I live in Canada and Chevy trucks are 3-4 th place in sales (between GMC/Chev bounce back and forth over the years)


Ram is a consistant second best selling truck and Canada's overall number 2 best selling vehicle (cars/trucks/suv's included)and gaining on Ford.

Ford/GM trucks are thousands less at dealers lots,ex. you can pick up a Ford/GM truck for $15,999 for a 6 cyl extra cab,a single cab 6 cyl RAM is $19,999.

Sorry,that you are jealous of the extrememly high quality RAM trucks and their fans.Ram truck buyers are more educated,self learning,business owners and overall better rounded individuals than Chevy fans.More often then not, Chev fans can be found at trailer parks,smokin meth or/and crack as that is why they picked the Chev truck,it is used to homeless people sleeping in its box or a cheap camper.

@ Highdesertcat,

Dodge is still an American company...I cant understand why all of a sudden people say Dodge isnt an American company just because it is partnered with Fiat (Ferrari,Maserati,Lancia) Most people didnt say Dodge was a German company when it was partnered with Mercedes since 1998 !

Furthermore,you make ZERO sense when you try to put down Dodge by saying its not American,but then you own a Japanese truck LOL ! Weird,just strange !

FYI,Toyota received billion's of Japanese taxpayer dollars over the years as it is well known that the Japanese government props up its industries all the time ! Its not an even playing field when one countries government props a company up for it to succeed and another craps all over it for doing the same.I guess Americans want no American companies,thats the only logical explanation ! Something when done in America is looked down upon.But yet you Americans knock your own and buy imports by the hand full,totally ignoring you guys make no sense ,as you say you are against companies that take government (taxpayer monies) but yet buy import goods/vehicles that only exist today because they took and still take government money..Truly odd folks !

Very inteersting article: wonder how many miles did their 1998 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins diesel dually have, before it gave up the ghost?

The spRam folks are showing up now. They just mad cause the truck camper site couldn't use a ram due to low numbers. lol

@Canadian Dodge RAM Owner ! Funny you should talk bout quality and dodge read and learn lol

If you read their other article on "How to choose the right truck", it is much more imformative and they say just opposite of which is more popular. They say more people want the long bed for campers and they go into real reasons for choosing what size, not phoney reasons like we didn't want a dually and the driveway, yada, yada, yada.

Long bed truck or short bed truck?

"There are three reasons to own a short bed camper over a long bed. First would be that you already own one. Second would be that you want a shorter truck camping rig. And third would be that the truck camper model you want is designed for short bed trucks.

Other than those three reasons, you'll have more options if you buy a long bed truck. Other factors including camper cost are negligible. Resale values are also generally better for a long bed as more people want them. And lastly, a long bed will give you more options should you decide to get trade up to another truck camper in the future."

The reasons they state in this new article go against everything they said in this article.

If you can fet a 6-7' bed in your driveway, you can fit an 8' bed. The dually factor is irrelevant because you can buy a long bed single wheel. It just sounds like they wanted to go with what they did because they "lost their minds" (their words) or got buyer's fever. Their choice does not follow any of the factors they stated in the how to choose the right truck article.

This may be the only part of their article that I agree with...."When we decided what truck we wanted, I realized we would have some serious explaining to do. " and "Have we lost our minds? Well, maybe..."

Their pick of a GM truck is not surprising. I have a taken my GMC to Sturgis and have a bed tent that fits in it perfect. People in this site with poor knowledge of pick ups, including the author, always seem surprised that Chevy is picked over Ford. Dodge Ram is not even a consideration for a cross country trip since it uses as much gas a a toyota turdra and is of such poor quality compared to GM and ford trucks that they break down. I still find it amusing dodge and ford have pumped billions into their new pick up trucks and a 8 year old designed Chevy is still so much better than their new trucks. Can't wait until the new GM trucks put ford and dodge back into the 1950's next year.

The surprise is not the brand. The surprise is the bed size, the suspension type, the engine, etc. He made a stupid choice because he lost his mind and now has buyer's remorse.

Why would they buy a truck with that cheap ass nasty interior? I thought they said they had to drive the thing cross country? No way in hell would I be in a Chevrolet when I could be in a Ford Platinum, King ranch or a Dodge Longhorn, Limited. And those square wheel openings are awful. Especially without wheel liners and even moreso with the wavy sheetmetal over the rear wheels. Just an awful awful truck save for the powertrain which is like a diamond in a pile of pig slop.

Nice low slung frame under there. It will turn to pure rust and stick out like a junkyard frame inside of 24 months just like all of their frames have done the last two truck cycles. RUST BUCKETS!! Cheap wax coating that flakes off and ground pounder frames. Only from El Cheapo GM. Junk trucks with junk interiors, with piston slap engines (I Love the Tahoe in the pictures!!) and Mega Cheap bodies

Typical Chevy rust bucket.

Canadian Dodge RAM Owner ! | Aug 11, 2012 7:06:31 PM,

if you want to believe that Dodge is still an American company, be my guest. Whatever makes you happy. I'm not here to change your mind and I don't care if that's what you want to believe.

I happen to own a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit (for my wife's daily driver)and I have no misgivings about who owns Jeep either. Designed by Daimler, assembled by the UAW and imported from Detroit. Profits go to Italy.

And when Daimler owned Chrysler it was also Daimler that called all the shots at Chrysler, and it was Daimler that sold Chrysler to Cerberus, not Chrysler that sold Daimler. Daimler was ecstatic to be rid of Chrysler. Daimler went on its merry way. Chrysler died in 2009.

Now we have Fiat calling all the shots at resurrected and bail-out Chrysler and Chrysler actually keeping Fiat afloat, yet not having ANY control over all those profits Chrysler is making that keep Fiat of Italy alive.

Do you see the irony in that? Many of us do. But then it only cost the American taxpayers $1.3B to bribe Fiat to take Chrysler's carcass off our hands. Now we're done with Chrysler. It is no longer our concern.

But back to the article: my driving a Tundra is only for clarification about where I stand and how I got there. You see, it is all about choice.

I owned a Silverado I bought new, and I owned an F150 I bought new, and I even kept them both at the same time, until Jan 2011, when I bought my Tundra.

Before I bought I shopped around and looked at all brands. I bought what I thought was clearly the best truck at that time in quality and value. It happened to be a Tundra 5.7.

Everybody wanted to be like Tundra in 2007. Everyone compared themselves to Tundra. I remember the ads. That got me interested. I looked. I liked. I bought.

I could have bought any of them, but the Tundra worked for me. And since I never need a 3/4-ton or 1-ton for what I need a truck for, they would not have worked for me.

For camping and traveling I have an old Southwind 30ft Motor Home powered by the Dodge 440. So yeah, I do know quite a bit about Mopar since I started rebuilding my dad's 426 dragster Hemis when I was 12 years old. I am 66 now.

The author also stated that Dodge trucks were not players in his decision because he needed load-capacity because of his wet tanks, and Dodge had the least capacity of them all. Dodge went to schitt when it was redone by Daimler. They got nice interiors now but pogo-stick springs in the back.

Like I wrote earlier, when it comes to heavy haulers there are only two trucks out there, a Ford or a bailed-out GM-product.

I would have chosen a Ford because it is the only American car maker still left in the arena and clearly head and shoulders above anything GM.

I would also have gone with a diesel. For the heavies, diesels are the only way to go. Seriously!

The author clearly had a penchant for GM products, but that is his choice. And he's welcome to them since he is paying for it.

During our camping trip to Quartzsite and other places, we see many more HD Fords towing and hauling than GM or Dodge. And these snowbirds haul year 'round, so they get the best there is.

@Marion, STAY AWAY FROM THOSE GMT-800's!! Rocker Rot, Cab Corner Rot and Bed Rot SPECIALS!! All inside of 5-10 years! JUNK!!!! Cluster guages in those are JUNK too! Interior plastics in those are JUNK!! Piston Slap engines are JUNK! I LOVE OLD Chevy's with all of my heart!! New Chevy's however are PURE CRAP. The first 5 minutes of that video says it all! This is a STANDARD GUARANTEED issue! This is the truck where Chevy lost it's crown and handed the reigns to Ford plain and simple! The 900's just made it that much worse. Effing GM. They wreck everything by being so damn cheap!! They just ruined Chevy trucks from 99 forward.

First comment by TruckFan, just wondering why the hate for square wheel wells? I think they look a lot more masculine and tough. Think about it... round is feminine. It's the shape you see on women's hips and boobs. Square is the shape you see on a man's jaw and bicep. The round wells you're seeing on all the newer trucks first started to appear on wussy sport cars like the miata. They transitioned to full size trucks to give them a more "car" look. Same with how trucks are becoming more streamlined and egg shaped. Maybe it's just me but I like the look of that older squared off design.

@ Red- tires are round man. I for one hate all of the uneven space around the tire and when you go to put larger tires on, you can't fit much on a Chevy because of these stupid square wheel openings. 67-72 Chevy trucks kick ass. After that, they built good trucks up until the 1998 model ended but they never looked as good or were as functional as the 67-72's. Chevy dropped the ball in design yet again.

If they took thier blinder off they would see that the turdra would do a better job and would ride better and get better mpgs. They would realize the turdra is the best truck of all trucks 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton trucks.

Its hard for me to take my blinders off because the view is so good!

LOLOLOL!!! "Ford and Dodge interiors are Quality" and "Chevy=K-Mart"!! I LOVE IT!!! So TRUE!

Typical Chevy rust bucket.

LOLOLOL!!!!! That video is DEAD ON!! Minutes 1-5 are EPIC!!! CHEAP ASS MODERN DAY ROT BUCKET CHEVY'S!!!! They sure ain't like they used to be!

Don't let the door hit ya when you leave for 3rd or 4th place in truck sales you cheap POS GovtMoCo company. You did it to YOURSELVES by building such GARBAGE! GM itself=KMART.

Dodge>Chevrolet now!! Ford>Chevrolet for some time.

@Canadian Dodge RAM Owner - that goat's milk you been drinking must of gone sour and affected your logic. You sound like all of the other fanboi's who cry that Chrysler is still American.
Considering the fact that you are Canadian, why should you care or even try to argue the point?
If you haven't noticed, being Canadian means that the USA is just as much a foreign country as Italy, Mexico, or Japan.

If you want to bitch about companies being bailed out, so what if Japan bailed out Toyota? It isn't our money they used. Canadian taxpayers bailed out Chrysler and GMC. It isn't all that bright to use that one to critique Toyota. IIRC Toyota did get a loan for 2 billion from the Japanese government to support its financial arm. I believe that it has been paid back. Japan unlike the USA or Canada has a trillion dollars in financial reserves. That is 1,000 billion dollars. Japan can afford to do what it wants since they do not need to borrow money!

Back on topic - "How to Choose the Right Pickup Truck" shows the thought process this guy and his wife used to buy their truck.
He did start with the question: "how much do I plan to carry?" That should always be your first and most important criteria. This criteria also includes the question: "how much do I want to tow?"
I think that if most people were honest with that one, we'd see considerbly less pickups on the road.

The most significant question wasn't mentioned. I'm leaning towards Lou and Highdesertcat.

How much can I afford? And how many of you guys other than a few can afford to buy and maintain an HD for starters.

Before I decide to buy a vehicle I work out my financial situation. It doesn't matter if you want a vehicle because your a carpenter or camper.

I all good and well to have everyone banging dicks about what is the best pickup. They are very competitive and sales comes down to marketing. Its like politics everyone trying to bad mouth the other.

And so what if a manufacturer is owned by the Italians or Japanese etc. If the vehicle suits your requirements buy it. Most any ute/pickup manufactured in the world today has parts from every continent.

I bet there is product from China in every pickup sold in the US.

What about Ram?

RAM vehicles are built to haul anything. Take a look at the payload specs!


Dave, If you're looking at a truck camper with a slide out you should be focused on a 1 ton truck with dual rear wheels and a long bed!


When I look at this truck all I see is wavy thin sheetmetal, gobbs of cheap plastic inside and out all piled into an overall poor looking design. As noted, the frame looks terrible and will look 100 times worse when the wax comes off and all of that rusty steel is hanging out from under your 60k dollar truck. Why anyone would opt for a gas engine is beyond me given the piston slap bulletins GM is still sending out to this very day. I love old Chevy's. I have a 55 we're restoring, a 68 Chevelle and a 69 Stingray. My wife drives our 06 Corvette every day it's nice out. I can't drive a manual anymore since my left leg damage. When it comes to trucks though, I'm absolutely in the same boat as many. I wouldn't and haven't owned a Chevy truck since the 98 model was done with. It's not just their looks that went downhill it's primarily their quality. Particulalry their body quality and interior quality. My new truck in 03 was my first Ford truck ever and it was great. We just bought a 2011 F-150 and it's even better. Ford's are just a more solid better constructed truck. Better materials are used for the construction all around. They're just not nickel and dimed like the Chevy's became. I don't know what happened to Chevy trucks but something internally within the company went very wrong towards the end of the 90's.





A blue bean counter special.. Chevy trucks are so damn cheaply made. Blech..

Big Al from Oz | Aug 12, 2012 1:17:40 AM,

"How much can I afford? And how many of you guys other than a few can afford to buy and maintain an HD for starters.", is not relevant here.

People who have to ask, can't afford it.

I'm not making light of it. I'm dead serious! If people have to worry about the price of fuel or how much that new truck is going to cost them, they oughtn't buy it. They can't afford it!

I have several friends (retired Air Force men), members of the Traveling Elk, all, who haul and tow year 'round, moving with the sun, so to speak. Sometimes we go with them when we don't go to Hawaii instead.

And even though these guys maintain a home and permanent residence in this area, their annual expenses in fuel, lot fees, maintenance, insurance and sustenance can easily exceed the initial acquisition cost of their pickup truck (~$55K+).

That is per year, over and above what the truck cost them when they bought it. That's why the choice of that new truck takes on such a significant meaning. You want something that lasts.

There are many reasons why I would choose to buy an F350, F450 or even a F550, or F650, if I ever had a need for one, over any GM product.

Too many to go into here, so it all boils down to individual choice. It's obvious to me that the author preferred the GM product, but it is equally obvious to me that he is not going to change any Ford owners' minds.

We will not see a bunch of Ford truck owners rushing down to the local GM dealer to trade their chariot in on the best GM has to offer. GM's got nothing on Ford.

And that's even before the discussion of whether or not the bailout and nationalization of GM was a prudent move for the taxpayers. Most agree it was not.

But it certainly was for GM and the UAW, and that is a totally different ballgame, not even played in a League park. That was politics.

I watched the Chevy rot video that mopar madness posted. I looked at both Chevy and Ford before buying my Dodge. None but Dodge offered what i needed. Bed size was critical with quad cab. I live in southern California. I had small patches of rust on my truck and trailer after driving through the ocean to cross to the dunes in Pismo beach ca. I sprayed with new paint under truck to prevent the spread of rust. My question is people that live in snow areas with salt on the road eats cars. Wouldn't this rust happen to any vehicle that lives in that environment? Dodge Ford or Chevy?


Gold medal count:
Canada 1
Italy 8


AND... Just like every other comment thread on a posting, it devolves into a brand war that has no relationship to the article itself. I could honestly wish that the administrators start tagging or even eliminating comments that have no relevance to the article at hand.

And yes, that would even include this one.

On the Rust argument, it seems some of you have developed such tunnel vision about your favorite brands that you simply overlook the fact that environment WILL have an effect. I live near the eastern end of the so-called "Rust Belt". Yes, there is a Rust Belt, but it doesn't only consist of the northern regions of the US where salt and corrosives are used extensively during the winter. Anybody who lives within about 50 miles of a seashore suffers an increased risk of rust as well; the closer you are to that saltwater environment, the faster the rust will develop and grow.

This is why when cars are traded in in southern states--especially inland areas--are frequently trans-shipped for resale in the northern states as winter beaters. An obvious example of this is my 1990 F-150 that has almost no rust on it despite its age. Records show that it spent its first 10 years on the road in central Georgia. Luckily for me, it spent the following 12 years sitting under a lean-to somewhere and doesn't seem to have experienced more than maybe one winter driving season.

So arguments and videos about rust-buckets are very subjective--I don't believe any given vehicle is more or less susceptible when everything else is equal. I've seen practically-new cars (less than 5 years old) showing more rust than 50-year-old antiques--penetrating rust, not just surface spots. Many of these were hard-used Chevy, Ford and even Dodge trucks. And don't think I'm ignoring the imports because even they suffer--no more and no less than the "Big Three". When it comes to rust, the issue is the owner, not the brand.

I paint the under carriage of my truck every chance i get. when it goes up on the lift at 4 wheel parts for maintenance i am under it keeping it looking fresh and black. If i lived in the rust belt of the united states i would have them spray rhino liner under the whole truck not just the bed. I have seen jeeps done inside and out. They even color match it. To prevent corrosion.

For the money, Toyota Tundra all the way!

If you're not interested in a very light truck camper, you can rule out the 1/2 ton Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra.

Most truck campers will require the payload offered by a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck from Chevy, RAM, Ford, or GMC. Again, knowing the approximate weight of the truck camper you have in mind will quickly rule in and rule out specific truck levels.

For example, if you're looking at a truck camper with a slide out you should be focused on a 1 ton truck with dual rear wheels and a long bed for most options.

I dont think i would have chosen a gas Chevy 2500 either. I know as far as 1/2 tons go. Ford seems to have the highest payload. While guts glory Ram over there with its coils hauls less in its bed then a i4 Transit. I wouldnt go for a 3/4 or 1ton unless its necessary, but in most camper cases it is. So as far as the gas 3/4 Ford does have the most power, GM and Dodge use much less powerful engines.

When buying a vehicle money is my foremost consideration.

Which brand you buy is also very subjective. When you become subjective you make it easier for yourself to justify decisions when buying.

I know you can say Chev is worse than Ford and Rams are out of the equation, but all of these trucks are competitive trying to entice the same buyer with extremely similar product.

Last week I was talking to a yank and he owns a Ram 3500 he uses for towing his fifth wheel around in and he seems to think its great. My experience is limited but I do like the HD Fords.

As to what country owns the factory is irrelevant in what you require for a vehicle.

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