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2011 Big Three Diesel Truck Shootout Results

The Tale Of The Tape

David KennedyPhotographerKevin McNultyPhotographerDrew HardinPhotographer, Writer


Category Ford GMC Ram
Drivetrain 120 114 120
Ride & Handling On-road 132 114 138
Ride & Handling Off-road 79 66 78
Interior 122 106 103
Exterior 41 35 37
Towing Attributes 20 19 15
Off-roading Attributes 51 42 44
Styling 20 25 26
Empirical 35 38 35
Overall 620 559 596

Hauling the fun

If you like to camp when you wheel and maybe bring an ATV, dirt bike, or side-by-side along too, chances are you want (or already have) a toy hauler. These double-duty RVs typically offer camper-style accommodations such as bunks, galleys, toilets, and showers, plus room to stow your dirt toys while in transit.

When this truck evaluation called for trailering, we figured that pulling a toy hauler would mirror what a lot of you are doing with your tow rigs. Toy haulers are available for rent, but the folks at Carson Trailer in Gardena, California, very generously loaned us three of their Fun Runner trailers.

Carson Trailer manufactures several types of toy haulers as well as camper trailers, race-car haulers, flat-bed trailers, and more. The FC 202 models we borrowed are 24 feet long, weigh right around 5,000 pounds empty, and can hold 2,000 pounds of gear. Inside is a full galley with a sink and a refrigerator, a stand-up shower, a toilet, sofas on either side of the trailer that fold out to twin beds, plus a pulldown queen-sized bed over the cargo area. The trailer’s linoleum floor is easy to clean with a broom or a hose. A deep-cycle battery powers the interior lighting and appliances, while twin 5-gallon propane tanks fuel the heaters, which kept us cozy despite the desert’s bone-chilling nights.

These trailers were a breeze to haul. Their weight didn’t tax the 34-ton tow capacities, and we also found the trailers maneuverable, easy to hook up, and straight and steady even when subjected to serious crosswinds and high-speed brake testing.

The FC 202 models, which retail for $16,420, are just the start of the Fun Runner line. Bigger versions range up to 32 feet long and have 15,000-pound gross weight capacities. And since Carson manufactures its trailers, it can help you with custom floorplans, furnishings, exterior colors, and other options. For more information, visit www.carsontrailer.com.