(Ask TFLtruck) Are Diesel Trucks Still Viable? Towing Heavy with a Chevy Colorado, and More

We get dozens of questions from you every week.  We like hearing your stories and questions. You can reach out to us at ask@tfltruck.com.  While we want to answer every question, we often do not have time to get to everything. As such, we publish this Sunday column of some of the unanswered questions, so that we can get input from the TFLtruck community.

Towing heavy with a midsize truck?

Larry L. asks:

I recently fell in love with a travel trailer, a nice little 4-season Black Rock 20 RD. I was concerned that the 4,300 lbs (dry weight) would be too much for my 2016 Colorado to pull over the mountain passes. The max trailer weight is 6,995 lbs. I was just looking at your IKE gauntlet series and it seems the identical Canyon did ok with about 6,100 lbs. I think I should be ok if I buy that trailer eh?

Are diesel trucks still viable and reliable?
Matt G. writes:
I bought a Tundra last year when we upgraded our camper. I had a Tacoma which was starting to rust and I said well Toyota wouldn’t make that mistake with the whole line up. Wrong. The bed of the 2011 Tundra I have is rotting out! This time I am going to go newer. Would love a diesel but it’s $$$, and I am leery with all the emissions equipment causing reliability issues. The new camper is rated at 7,500 lbs fully loaded, that is the most I would be towing. Looking for something reliable and that gets decent fuel mileage ( I know its a truck, not my Mazda 3 ha ha ) but the tundra was terrible on gas, but is super reliable, I usually keep my vehicles for a long time… Would a 2500 model suit me better?

Is a $10K price difference between comparable trucks justified?

Bret T. writes:

I own a construction business and my accountant has told me to purchase a new truck this year to offset some of the taxes. I’m looking at the RAM 2500 Mega Cab Longhorn and the Ford F-250 King Ranch. So far I’ve consistently been able to find a loaded Ram for $10,000 -$12,000 less. Is the F-250 worth this extra cost, if so why?   I know this is highly subjective but I do appreciate the knowledge your team has.

Towing on long trips with a Chevy Colorado ZR2?

Tyson wonders:

just bought a t@b outback teardrop camper.  It has a max loaded weight of 2900 lbs (1900 dry), tongue weight of 200, but I am planning to up that number with a pro pride hitch (probably overkill) and if possible a bike rack.  The bikes may end up on a roof rack, in the trailer or truck bed or some other place.  Typical use would be for two adults and one small child combined weight 350 lbs, and we have two adult bikes and a baby trailer that add up to another 75 lbs.  I doubt we would add more than 4000 lbs to the tow vehicle with people trailer and stuff.  I want a vehicle that can pull this trailer to Moab and back from Denver, easily maintain 65 mph up hill on i70 and be somewhat (if not very) capable off road because I plan on taking this trailer to some fairly remote places.  I am hoping to use the trailer year round, we run to pueblo/canon city fairly often when the weather is better down there.  While free would be nice, I have a soft limit of $50k.

In my perfect imaginary land I would get a macan turbo and have it perform flawlessly.  Maybe a macan is what I should look for, but I feel reality says a 15/16 Cayenne diesel is a good option.  I feel like it will perform great and I can find one for my upper limit of $50k.  Another vehicle I have been looking at is the ZR2.  The ZR2 should be capable of making it to the far end of the white rim in Moab if either my wife or I get stranded with a broken body/bike, while still riding well on pavement and the engine/exhaust brake in the 2.8 gmc canyon I drove seemed pretty cool.  I worry about the “easily maintain 65mph up i70” criteria with the 2.8 so maybe the v6 gas would be better if I go ZR2 route?

Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.