View Full Version : I bought the cart, 28BRS Caliber Edition. Time to buy the horse and need advice.

01-07-2013, 08:46 PM
I have a 2013 28BRS Caliber Edition and absolutely love it. Looking to buy a used (new to me) horse and need advice. We have 2 kids and a golden retriever and need a comfortable vehicle with room for them. Would a Suburban 1500 do or should I consider a 2500. What about a Ford Excursion? If a truck is better it would have to have to have enough room for the family too. For any vehicle option I have to buy used. I'm wondering what other 28BRS owners are using. Vehicle advice appreciated. (please don't send me any math...it will just hurt my brain,:confused: lol). Thank you.

01-07-2013, 09:06 PM
I would think the easiest thing to find would be a crew cab pickup and put a cap on it. You'd have room for 5 or 6 people and storage to boot. I would want a 250 at least.

01-08-2013, 09:37 AM
I use an F250 crew cab with a cap for our 26LRSS and it works well, but I am afraid it would be a little tight with the kids and puppy. Our hundred pound shepherd huskey takes the whole back seat. My adult son has ridden it the back seat with the dog, but only around town . . . not on an extended trip.

01-08-2013, 05:34 PM
You're in the realm where a heavy-duty 1/2 ton crew cab would work. Note I said heavy duty, the standard payload model won't cut it.
IMHO the 1/2 ton SUV's are soft sprung and you'll run out of payload on them. A 3/4 ton 'Burb or Excursion would work if you need the extra room in back.
You may find a 3/4 ton CC pickup cheaper and easier to find than a 2500 'Burb or Excursion. And I'd want the longest wheelbase I could find for a 32' TT.

01-08-2013, 06:57 PM
Your on-the-road hitch weight is going to be something like 900# - 950#. After you add in 4 humans, 1 dog, gasoline, and even a minimal amount of gear, you're up to maybe 1800#. You're definitely in F250 / 2500HD territory.

01-08-2013, 09:18 PM
We have an F250 Crew and a 45lb Aussie and she takes the whole back seat when on a long trip the kids and dog may be uncomfy as they would all have to sit straight in the seat the whole time ... but they would fit... we have had 2 grown kids and two grand kids in car seats in the back of ours and they all fit ... but short trip... without a dog... good luck..

01-08-2013, 11:04 PM
Hate to say it (because I'm not familiar with the Ford lineups) but maybe don't overlook the option of a diesel....

Almost endless power options, and loaded will get better fuel mileage than a gasser.

Wen I went full size pickup, I chose diesel and my "lie-o-meter" on the dashboard says +-25 mpg empty, +- 17 mpg pulling a 10K 5th.... I'm pretty confident that a gasser couldn't lie to me like that...


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01-08-2013, 11:10 PM
Hi J,

Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum and thanks for contributing to the discussion.

01-10-2013, 04:41 PM
I own a 2011 28BRS. I started out with a 2000 Chevy 1500 Ext. Cab and very quickly realized that I was beyond what the truck was comfortable with. I currently have a 2007 2500HD crew cab. It works perfect for me, my wife, and two boys. Plus, it pulls the trailer great. I have the 6.0L gas engine because the price difference from a gas to diesel, was almost $4k to $5k. I was not ready to invest that much more money for a diesel, with many more miles than other gas trucks I was seeing.

Honestly, a diesel would be great and someday I will have one, but my 6.0L has more than enough power to pull my trailer. I pulled it home from Upper Michigan, a 5 hour haul for me. My truck got about 9.5 mpg. I thought that wasn't bad at all.

01-10-2013, 11:07 PM
Gross weight rating for the 21 FBS and your 28BRS Caliber are the same. Fully loaded at Gillette my weight came in at 6400lbs and my Suburban pulls it beautifully. Lots of room for stuff and people in the 'Burban especially with the third seat. Have about 75k on it now and still does not use any oil but I have it serviced regularly. I think it is rated to pull 7500lbs--it is a 4x4--two wheel drive will pull more. The 6L engine is remarkable, smooth at any rpm. I wanted a diesel when I ordered it but it was not offered.

01-20-2013, 10:49 AM
Does anyone have any thoughts on a F250 Power Stroke Turbo Diesel v8 vs Ford F150 Ecoboost? Ecoboost forums are saying the ecoboost can do the job. Not sure which Ecoboost they are talking about 3.53 or 3.73. Some say, some don't. Anyhow, we have a lot of time to make our decision and love looking. We plan to take frequent trips. We are from Western/Central NY and do have hilly areas around here and would like to go to the adirondacks, catskills at least 1x per year. We will also go to PA, OH, SC as well. Other than that the vehicle will take my husband to work and back (only 6 miles away). Anyone out there with an Ecoboost pulling a 32ft trailer? Thanks everyone.

01-20-2013, 10:56 AM
Get the Diesel!

01-20-2013, 11:07 AM
Does anyone have any thoughts on a F250 Power Stroke Turbo Diesel v8 vs Ford F150 Ecoboost? Ecoboost forums are saying the ecoboost can do the job. Not sure which Ecoboost they are talking about 3.53 or 3.73. Some say, some don't. Anyhow, we have a lot of time to make our decision and love looking. We plan to take frequent trips. We are from Western/Central NY and do have hilly areas around here and would like to go to the adirondacks, catskills at least 1x per year. We will also go to PA, OH, SC as well. Other than that the vehicle will take my husband to work and back (only 6 miles away). Anyone out there with an Ecoboost pulling a 32ft trailer? Thanks everyone.

Johnny, easiest solution for you when you go to look seriously.... Drag your trailer in there and hook up to the Ecoboost and go for a test drive. Then hook up to the diesel and go for a test drive...

If the truck dealer wants the sale bad enough, he'll let you test-tug with both trucks. You won't need any long distance high speed hauling, as both versions will feel similar at speed.... It's when you starting out and stopping that you will notice the biggest difference, other than on hills....

The only other thing I can mention about the newer diesels (mines an older '06 with no EPA emission controls) is that short trips around town can make the EPA systems overload the diesels (but this is just what I'm reading on some other forums - your experience may be totally different)

I'm sure there are forums dedicated to both models of trucks where you could find the specific answers. Wish I could supply more info to you. I just know I absolutely love my diesel and wouldn't trade it for any gasser now....

Best of luck in your choice,


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01-20-2013, 11:33 AM
There is just no comparison between the two, the diesel will out do the ecoboost two to one towing.

01-20-2013, 02:40 PM
No expert on trucks, but I can tell you, once you get the RVing bug, you'll be upgrading at some point. I'd advise to buy the diesel, even if it's more than you need right now... You might decide a 5ver is what you want down the road... And you don't want to be switching tow vehicles again!

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01-21-2013, 05:35 PM
I couldn't agree with everyone more. As I said in my previous post on this thread, I started out in a 1/2 ton truck. I don't care what people say about how much this half ton can tow vs. the next half ton. They are not made for the kind of pulling that people do when you put a TT behind you. The difference between my 1/2 and 3/4 ton that I have now, is honestly night and day. To me, this is a no-brainer. Definitely get the diesel. Like TravelTiger said, you are going to upgrade sometime in the future, so definitely plan for it now.

01-21-2013, 06:15 PM
The other plus about getting a diesel is the amount you'll actually use the truck - for being a truck....

My lovely better half decided to go get some fresh dirt for the garden one weekend last year while I was gone on a golf trip.... Came home just in time to see her leaving for another trip for dirt. I went along with her and when she told the loader operator "2 scoops" and he just sat there shaking his head - that should've been my first clue to tell him to stop; but I didn't. 2 scoops later and 1.36 metric tonnes in the box of my 3/4 ton diesel, we were headed for home.... (1.36 metric tonnes = 2720 lbs).... The diesel powered down the road OK (bless her heart, she drove sanely) but I don't think I would've wanted to travel much farther/faster, just for the sake of the suspension and frame.... But the power of the diesel just purred along....

While hauling over 2700 lbs in the bed of a truck is not an everyday occurence, towing a 10K lb 5th wheel (hitch weight about 1400 lbs) can be a more frequent occurence with my truck, now that I've experienced a "really" heavy load. Towing a TT that weighs 6600 lbs wouldn't even phase me anymore (except for winter conditions) and after that experience with the dirt, my 700 lb quad literally is nothing to me or my truck. I've always said that having more than enough Oomph is good; having the capability to control it with the right foot is the critical part.....


01-21-2013, 07:18 PM
I have a 26LRSS and now tow it with a 12 Ram 2500 diesel. Prior truck was a 10 F150 5.4 Screw 5.5 bed. While the power was just okay, the handling is way better. Plus I went from 8.5 to 11 mpg's. Sure diesel costs more but if you do enough towing you'll break even on fuel. I will never recoup the higher price of the diesel option but I don't care. For me it's about comfort and safety. The Ram I have has the CC LB which gives it a 169" WB. Great stability with the TT behind it. My TT weighs 7300lbs loaded so the Rams barely breaking a sweat. If you just tow several weekends and maybe 1-2 week vacations then the gas may be the way to go. But def get the 3/4 version.

02-09-2013, 08:03 PM
Well, we have been busy test driving vehicles. Ford EgoBoost with the Heavy Tow Package 3.73, F250 V8, F250 V10 and F250 PSD. I have my favorite and my husband has his. Going to wait till the weather gets nicer and put them through some towing tests. Thanks to everyone for your input.

02-09-2013, 09:25 PM
Ive got a 2011 28BRS and we tow it with a 2002 avalanche Z71. Me the wife and 2 kids with all kinds of stuff loaded up. bikes on the rear rack and a canoe on the roof of the truck. its pretty much maxed out right now but it does the job.

02-09-2013, 10:30 PM
Wow great question, everyone has asked it at one tome or another. My 2 cents, I have a 07 4012 5th wheel 13k light and about 22k maxed out moving from El Paso, TX to Sumter, SC. We pull it with a 08 F350 Super Duty 4x4, 6.4L diesel, single wheel rear, (tolls are way to much in Maine with a dually) and the camper package. We got on average of 9mpg at 65mph the truck has no power problems. have a stump story if you care. I love it but it is not totaly family friendly, pass side feet cramped, back seats alittle stiff. but you cant stop it. We also use a 5 horse slant goose neck with no worries full.
My wife has a 2011 GMC YuconXL 2500, smart V8, 4x4, dvd player (must with kids) her best mph 23mph highway no tow, During the El Paso trip she pulled a 7x16 tandum axle enclosed trailer (lowes style)loaded about 8k and 5oolbs in the truck, two kids, two small dogs. averaged about 17mpg. No power probles here either. The best part kids had their own row so now "he's touching me business" and the dvd keeps them quiet.
My question is where do you see yourself? staying in a bumper or going 5th wheel?

02-11-2013, 08:34 PM
To answer SnoShoe82's question. We've been in and out of hundreds of TT's over the last 15 years scrutinizing, studying, etc. We know for a fact that we are not excited about 5th wheelers. Our plan is to spend many years using the 28brs so we are focused on the tow vehicle for the 28brs at this time. As far as upgrading our TT in the future...we know we will as we approach our retirement years and plan on it being a motorhome.

02-12-2013, 09:02 PM
Glad you have found your castle, I would recomend the GMC Yukon XL with the smart V8. 3rd row seating keeps the kids apart, huge "trunk", and great power when you need it. you will probably get better milage if you get the 2wd. I wouldn't ever get a 2wd again, 4x4 is not as inefficient as it use to be and it adds that extra pull power if you need it.
If you decide to go with a truck I recomend getting the camper package ie w/ stiffer swaybar. it reduces the fish tail and wind sway quite a bit.
Good luck with your hunt.
If you find yourselves down I 95 in SC maybe we'll see you

02-19-2013, 08:55 AM
I must first say that I do not have kids or a dog. I do read that over time many families traveling with kids start looking at 5th wheel toy haulers for the extra beds in the garage so the kids can have their own space. Toy haulers are a lot heavier and if you ever decide to go for one you will need a 3/4-1 ton to pull a toy hauler.
If you think your kids will be traveling with you for years to come think about what you may need in the future.


07-07-2013, 09:36 PM
I tow my '11 28brs with a 5.0L '11 F150 S.crew 4X4, 3.73 rear gear. 9300lb to rating and 1560lb payload. Factory tow package and brake controller. When hooked up properly and weight bars set up it pulls straight and true. I don't tow often so this was the best package for everything I use it for. The 3.55 gear will give better milage but the towing drops to 7300lbs. I bought the horse and this is the second cart for it. Quite happy with the combination so far driving through the hills of northern Ontario with two kids and all their gear. A cap would be great for the dog, or fold the small side of the seat up with plenty of room in the big side for two kids.