Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton mpg

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    • #28914

      We are newbies. Going to purchase a Northstar 850SC (pop up). However we have certain limitations on vehicle length. This leaves us with a couple of choices:

      We are looking at the F150 or a 3/4 ton (e.g., F250). The camper plus passengers and gear will be approximately 2900 pounds. Payload of the F150 would be exceeded. However am F250 SWB SuperCab has 3000+ pounds payload.

      We have certain restrictions on length, so an 8ft bed F150 isn’t an option. The F250 shows under 20 ft (238 inches). Chevy 2500 double cab shows 230 inches

      We are concerned of the gas mileage (mpg) of the F250 vs F150. Does anyone have mpg ranges for

      F150 under full load
      F250/Chevy 2500/other 3/4 ton under full load
      F250/Chevy 2500/other 3/4 ton no load

      The mpg range for F150 5.0 4×4 Heavy Duty package is 15/19/17, without HD package 16/20/17 (city/hwy/combined).

      On 3/4 ton truck most likely choose gas over diesel.

    • #28982

      I am not quite sure what you are asking, but I have an 03 GMC 2500HD 4×4 stock suspension 6.0 gasser it gets 10mpg not loaded with anything. I hope that helps

    • #29025

      We had a Northstar 850SC on a F250 5.4L gas. I would not recommend putting it on a 1/2 ton pickup. When fully loaded we were pushing the payload capacity of the 3/4 ton, and wished we had it on a F350 (which we have now with a larger Northstar camper). We got between 9mpg and 12mpg, depending on terrain and wind. Hope that helps.

      2014 Northstar Arrow U
      2012 Ford F-350 4x4, CC, SRW

    • #29056
      Mello Mike

      Get a 3/4-ton or better yet, a one-ton. It’s best to have more payload capacity rather than less.

    • #29222

      The other consideration is the mpg when fully loaded. A smaller high revving gas engine now o days is geared to get the best mpg with 1 driver with a light right foot and no load at all driving with the wind on the flat. One bright spot here is the newer close ratio 8 speed automatic transmissions that keep your revvs at the optimal point: high, depending on the make. The minute you load up your 2900 pounds the mpg drops precipitously. In the past my favorite gas engine for a 3000 pound TC was the V-10: Ford or Dodge. Yes, poor mpg even with no load, but does not drop as far as a small gasser with the same big load. I’m afraid there is no free ride with a small gas engine and a big load.
      Oh, and you never, ever hear someone say, “I have too much truck for my camper”.
      This is a common paradigm shift for noobies.

      2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.

    • #29269

      With that much weight (likely even a conservative figure…) its best to avoid a bad case of morning after sickness by going 3/4 or 1 ton…And who knows, someday you’ll have the option to go with a larger TC…

    • #29332

      Thank you for the input. We have decided to go with a 3/4. Either a F250 or the Chevy Silverado 2500.

      Appreciate the advice and guidance.

    • #30071
      Travels with Yoly

      Truck and camper mileage usually goes where the wind blows. I once averaged 20 mpg over 300 miles across Montana with a tail wind (Ram 2500 2WD, CC, 6.4L Hemi). I’ve also averaged 12.8 with a headwind and 13.9 overall for a trip to western Canada and back from Georgia. This was with an Adventurer 80RB running around 2500 lbs loaded. A direct side wind will also diminish mileage noticeably.

      Neil & Yoly
      2016 Ram 2500HD Tradesman, 2WD Crew Cab, 6.4L Hemi
      2018 Travel Lite 840 SBRX
      Honda EU2000i

    • #30267

      You did not say diesel or gas, big difference.

      If MPG LOADED is key, then go diesel. My F 30’s (Diesel, CC, LB) past 5 going back to ’09 and now my ’19 all get about the same:

      Unloaded: 15’s city/hiway; hiway only 17-20 (light winds, light traffic 70-75 mph.

      Loaded 10-12’s hell or high water, headwind, tailwind makes no diff. Diesels were made to haul and not much affects them, I a hair slower than the traffic, if they are going 65, I lag by a couple of mph letting them lead and giving them all the maneuver space they want. Typically I am running between 63 and 73 mph.

      I would not suggest you buy a F 150 if you are playing the TC game, go with a F250 or 350, cost diff in measured in hundreds of dollars and you get more for your money with either of them. F 150 will always be wanting…

      US Army Retired
      2019 F 350 CC-LB King Ranch
      Hill Country of Texas

    • #30353

      Thank you for all the input. We have decided in our situation to go with a Transit Van.

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