Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Montana - Estados Unidos De Americana
When I say this I want you to understand where I am coming from, I have over a million miles of towing experience in everything from a Jeep with an inline 6 to a Semi grossed out at 137,000 lbs.
You could get a half ton, and it would work for towing the trailer however the issue I have with a half ton is that in any make you are going to have a semi floating rear axle. The issue with a semi floating rear axle is if you bust a clip or an axle shaft the tire comes off the vehicle, and that can make for a very bad day especially if you are towing your trailer when it happens.
If you are looking for a deal I would look seriously at the 91-95 chevy/gmc trucks. the TBI 350 is a **** good motor, in a 3/4 ton you can get a 4L80E and 16" tires and a full floating rear end, and those trucks can be had for 4 grand or less with a reasonable amount of mileage on them.
I have had several of them in that body style and have worked the dog snot out of them and they have always performed well for me. Even the 6.5 is not a bad engine and gets good mileage, but it has some quirks you will need to make yourself familiar with if you are going to run one. Otherwise you will wind up very frustrated.
If you were to go newer into a 96-00 I would recommend going with the Vortec 454, not the 350, the 350 in these years had issues with the intake manifold gaskets sealing, they will lead water into the crank case and eat the bearings.
As well with a 3/4 ton you do get much better brakes, which means if for what ever reason your trailer brakes fail your truck will be much more capable of stopping.
The final note on that is a 3/4 or 1 ton is going to get the same fuel mileage, going with a 1 ton would mean in the future if you so have the need to get a larger trailer, IE taking friends on a trip with horses and a borrowed trailer, it will open a lot of doors to things you can do.
Another thing to consider may be having a dedicated tow rig, and then getting an econobox for a daily driver so you can go see your horse with out breaking the budget.