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Old 03-08-2013, 09:12 PM   #1
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new to me RV - next steps

So, I am upgrading to a somewhat larger 5er and towing it with a 2009 RAM 2500 Diesel 6.7L Mega Cab.

The 5er is a 2006 29' Excel RV, up there in the 12,000 GVW range. So the Diesel will not struggle with the load at all.

The interior will be dressed up by the woman of the house, I will start to fill a very ample basement.

And there is very little money burning a hole in my pocket so the budget is not limitless.
What is next for long week vacations - 12 hour drives over whatever terrain and weekend trips?
A) chip the diesel - and risk the voided warranty from Dodge - to improve the power and fuel mileage
B) upgrade the pin box - to reduce the chucking. We suffered a lot of that in the first round but suspicion is that the pin weight changes might help.
C) get a generator
D) save the money for emergencies or discovered - "Hey I gotta have that" type of items
E) buy the Good Sam Protection Insurance - some of the several varieties they have been barraging my mailbox with.

Looking for some wisdom from those of you more experienced in this realm.
We have been doing short weekend trips in the past 2 years; but that is going to change this season. We start our travels ahead of the vacationers - in April and stop after they have all gone back to school in Oct. Die Hards - no; but trying to get as much on the RV time as possible.

Looking for your ideas and additional items that should be considered. I have most of the tools already; so that doesn't need to show up on the suggested lists.

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:46 PM   #2
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if you have a shop that you trust do a dpf delete with chip cold air intake save all your parts so if you have any problems you can put it back on and get warranty work done. but with the dpf delete you will gain between 5 and 9 miles a gal. maybe a set of airbags on the back. if you will be boondocking get a generator but don't try to save money here you get what you pay for here. if your not planing on boondocking save your money to pay for more nights at the camp grounds.
hope this helps.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:38 PM   #3
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ahhh, a shop you can trust

So stop going to the dealership?

I have not understood the dpf delete - so that does not make my list. But wow, 5 - 9 mpg improvement. That would be great. Is that both loaded and unloaded?

Nope, no boondocking for us. Just had a couple occasions in the past year when my electrical systems failed us - the inverter box was defective. hence the generator was on the list.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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My first concern with a 2500 would be pin weight. What is it? You need to load it up and weigh the truck, each axle with and without a load. Compare that to your GVWR and see if you are over. How does the truck sit when loaded?

If you like to boondock, you want at least two 6v deep cycle batteries, a good multistage converter and a good quality sine wave inverter. Wire it in to the rig on the most used outlets for coffee, TV, computer, etc. If you do not have a multistate converter, consider moving up to an inverter/charger all in one. Not cheap, but worth every penny. Then, decide where you will be camping - - do you need AC? If so, you need at least 4000 w generator and get a good, quiet one. Two 2000w Hondas that can be paralleled give you the option of using one for charging and two for AC. And, you can carry them - - the 3 or 4K units are heavy. We boondock a lot and the inverter is a must for us.

Here is a URL for a great website. Go to the poop sheets for good information on inverters, batteries and converters. phrannie.org

Good luck,
Bob
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:22 AM   #5
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D) I would put some money into a savings account for emergencies.
It will make your trips more enjoyable. Peace of mind is the best add on you can get for you RV.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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If you run into a problem with the 2009 2500, it will be with pin weight putting you over the truck's GVWR. The short bed of the MegaCab could give you problems with cab-to-5th wheel cap interference when turning or backing as well.

There's no need to chip the 6.7. I tow a 16,000 GVWR 5th wheel with our 350/650 6.7 (same rating as yours), and it has plenty of power for towing. Of course, the 4.10 gears in our truck help, but with a 12,000 GVWR 5th wheel, the 3.73s would work OK.

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Old 03-09-2013, 10:29 AM   #7
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Tires should be less than 3 yrs old. I like LT tires, they are built to higher standards than trailor tires. Make sure trailor brakes and bearings are in good shape. Check spring bushings while you are at it. If chucking is still a problem you may want a jaw type hitch.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by touringmn View Post
A) chip the diesel - and risk the voided warranty from Dodge - to improve the power and fuel mileage
I don't have experience with a Dodge, but on a Ford PowerStroke, a 60-horse towing tune definitely improved performance enough that the tranny no longer downshifted from OD to direct drive for every little bump in the road. That alone was worth the price of the tune.

But improved MPG? Don't count on it. With the increased power, mashing on the go pedal is so much fun that you tend to do it a lot more often than "needed", thus decreasing MPG.

A "chip" or a multi-position chip is one way to get a towing tune. Another way is to get a tuner/programmer with your choice of three tunes. And a third way is to simply flash your engine control computer with a towing tune.

Way back when, a manufacturer offered to install a chip in my Ford in exchange for my testing and then writing an article about another one of his products. We agreed. So early one morning I drug my small 5er 120 miles to one of his vendor's shops. On the way there, I asked myself, "Why would anyone want more power than this stock PowerStroke"?

But after towing with the chip for a few years, I had to make a long towing trip from west Texas to Seattle and back without the chip. I really missed that 60 extra horses because the automagic tranny downshifted out of overdrive much too often. As soon as I got home, I ordered another towing tune.

As for the Ford factory warranty? My 7.3L PowerStroke lasted me over 197,000 miles, and almost all those miles running a 60-horse towing tune, and I never had any need for the engine warranty before it expired. I sold it to a friend who's put another 100,000 miles on it with no engine problems. I'll bet your Cummins is similar in not really needing the engine warranty during that first 100,000 miles if you keep fresh motor oil in it, don't allow it to idle when cold, and don't shut off the engine until the turbo has a chance to cool down to less than 300 EGT.

Quote:
C) get a generator
What fiverbob said. If you need a generator because you sometimes need to run the AC where hookups are not available, then don't buy one. Buy two Honda EU2000i, one of which is the regular EU2000i and the other one is the "companion" that includes a 30-amp plug-in for your 5er cord. When you just need some juice to charge the RV batteries or run the furnace or TV, then use the companion only. It's good for up to 1600 watts by itself. But when you need to run the AC (or maybe the microwave), then you connect the two EU2000is together to have up to 3,600 watts of continuous power available.

The EU2000i is very quiet and lightweight. Each one will burn only a bit over a gallon of gasoline overnight, whereas my Honda 5000 burns up over 5 gallons in the same time.

Quote:
I have not understood the dpf delete - so that does not make my list. But wow, 5 - 9 mpg improvement. That would be great. Is that both loaded and unloaded?
Understand that deleting the diesel particulate filter (DPF) is a serious crime that will cost you a boatload of money in fines when you're caught. The environmental extremists don't like diesels to begin with, so when they learn that a camper has deleted his DPF they turn you in to the State Police or other LEO. In some locales, including anywhere in California or Colorado or the big cities in Texas that have smog problems, the judge will probably throw the book at you, and especially if he belongs to is one of the environmental extremists organizations such as the Sierra Club.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:07 PM   #9
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if you have a shop that you trust do a dpf delete with chip cold air intake save all your parts so if you have any problems you can put it back on and get warranty work done. but with the dpf delete you will gain between 5 and 9 miles a gal. m
On a truck that's going to book 15-20mpg, that's a 25-50% increase in mileage. As an Engineer - I'll tell you either the manufacturers are doing it wrong or that simply isn't possible. And I'll wager on "not possible".

And before you buy from a vendor that says 5-9 mpg, ask for the actual data... Doing a little googling, realistically you might get 3 mpg, which is still great... but again, look at under what conditions you get that extra mpg.

Look, diesel chips can put down big power. Diesels are tuned to be cleaned and very conservative with the boost, so removing the "clean" and decreasing the safety margins via more boost can result in huge gains. Before you chip, decide if you need it... And chipping definitely will void that warranty - even if the modifications are not at fault - it'll be a standard denial.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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I towed a 12K Dutchman Colorado 30RL-BS with my 2007.5 quad cab DRW Dodge 3500 for 4 years. With the 3.73 gears under it, I had no problems pulling the weight, the only problem was that it pulled so good that I would run in the 75 MPH Interstate crowd, and that is what decreased my fuel mileage to the 10.5 to 11 range. I traded up to a 2012 DRW Crew Cab long bed before I got the current Alpine 3600RS only because of an offer that I could not refuse on my old truck. On the new one I am rolling at about 22500 lbs Gross Combined Weight when traveling, and on a new truck with less than 10k miles I was averaging 11 MPG on the Interstate highway. All of these numbers are BONE STOCK, I warn about many issues with modifying these Emission Diesel Engines. Wish you many happy travels
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cb1000rider View Post
On a truck that's going to book 15-20mpg, that's a 25-50% increase in mileage. As an Engineer - I'll tell you either the manufacturers are doing it wrong or that simply isn't possible. And I'll wager on "not possible".

And before you buy from a vendor that says 5-9 mpg, ask for the actual data... Doing a little googling, realistically you might get 3 mpg, which is still great... but again, look at under what conditions you get that extra mpg.

Look, diesel chips can put down big power. Diesels are tuned to be cleaned and very conservative with the boost, so removing the "clean" and decreasing the safety margins via more boost can result in huge gains. Before you chip, decide if you need it... And chipping definitely will void that warranty - even if the modifications are not at fault - it'll be a standard denial.
I'll take that bet! I work on them every day. when the dpf goes in to regen you will not get anywhere near 20 mpg
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
I don't have experience with a Dodge, but on a Ford PowerStroke, a 60-horse towing tune definitely improved performance enough that the tranny no longer downshifted from OD to direct drive for every little bump in the road. That alone was worth the price of the tune.

But improved MPG? Don't count on it. With the increased power, mashing on the go pedal is so much fun that you tend to do it a lot more often than "needed", thus decreasing MPG.

A "chip" or a multi-position chip is one way to get a towing tune. Another way is to get a tuner/programmer with your choice of three tunes. And a third way is to simply flash your engine control computer with a towing tune.

Way back when, a manufacturer offered to install a chip in my Ford in exchange for my testing and then writing an article about another one of his products. We agreed. So early one morning I drug my small 5er 120 miles to one of his vendor's shops. On the way there, I asked myself, "Why would anyone want more power than this stock PowerStroke"?

But after towing with the chip for a few years, I had to make a long towing trip from west Texas to Seattle and back without the chip. I really missed that 60 extra horses because the automagic tranny downshifted out of overdrive much too often. As soon as I got home, I ordered another towing tune.

As for the Ford factory warranty? My 7.3L PowerStroke lasted me over 197,000 miles, and almost all those miles running a 60-horse towing tune, and I never had any need for the engine warranty before it expired. I sold it to a friend who's put another 100,000 miles on it with no engine problems. I'll bet your Cummins is similar in not really needing the engine warranty during that first 100,000 miles if you keep fresh motor oil in it, don't allow it to idle when cold, and don't shut off the engine until the turbo has a chance to cool down to less than 300 EGT.



What fiverbob said. If you need a generator because you sometimes need to run the AC where hookups are not available, then don't buy one. Buy two Honda EU2000i, one of which is the regular EU2000i and the other one is the "companion" that includes a 30-amp plug-in for your 5er cord. When you just need some juice to charge the RV batteries or run the furnace or TV, then use the companion only. It's good for up to 1600 watts by itself. But when you need to run the AC (or maybe the microwave), then you connect the two EU2000is together to have up to 3,600 watts of continuous power available.

The EU2000i is very quiet and lightweight. Each one will burn only a bit over a gallon of gasoline overnight, whereas my Honda 5000 burns up over 5 gallons in the same time.



Understand that deleting the diesel particulate filter (DPF) is a serious crime that will cost you a boatload of money in fines when you're caught. The environmental extremists don't like diesels to begin with, so when they learn that a camper has deleted his DPF they turn you in to the State Police or other LEO. In some locales, including anywhere in California or Colorado or the big cities in Texas that have smog problems, the judge will probably throw the book at you, and especially if he belongs to is one of the environmental extremists organizations such as the Sierra Club.
a 7.3 never had a dpf nor does the the 6.0 the 6.4 and 6.7 does so does the 6.7 dodge '

also the only way anybody will know that you did a dpf delete is if you tell them or if they climb under your truck and know what they are looking for. and I know over 500 trucks with the dpf delete and 10 of them are hot shots that go over the scales every day and none of them ever had anybody say a word. but some people say every thing you do in life must be legal even when it's a BS law. unless no body is around then they will do it. so is a dpf legal NO. will it help you truck with mpg, longevity, and lower EGT's YES it will.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:10 AM   #13
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Boy did you open a can of worms with this thread. I could go on for a long time trying to answer most of your questions but…

The two that I am most familiar with are improved the pin box and adding a tuner to the truck. With a new Trail-Air pin box I eliminated 95% of the chucking with trailer and truck. To me this was one of the best improvements I did for ride improvements when towing.

Now you got about 6 grand that is what I have invested in my 08 Mega Cab so far as improvements for performance, tow and longevity of the truck. I have extra fuel filtration installed, gages; Boost, EGT’s, and Transmission Temperature, Mag-Hytec covers and transmission pan along with a 5”TBE and Smarty S67 tuner. I have also installed Westin side steps for the cab and 2- AMP Researcher bed steps one at the bumper and one behind the cab at the bed easier to get to the bed this way for an old guy. Was this all worth it?? To me yes to others well who knows?

What the Smarty has done for me is to provide a 3 MPG improvement year in and year out since I have had the tuner installed, but the biggest improvement has been the oil change interval. This went from 2500-3000 miles interval to 7,500 miles interval, due to less fuel dilution and soot in the engine oil. The engine use to make oil as they called it but really the level went up from un-burnt fuel that entered the oil during the Regen cycle. I know this from oil samples taken every oil change for the first four years and now every other oil change.

Jim W.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:51 PM   #14
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In Az. vehicles must pass emissions after 5 years, this is a visual as well as exaust reading. No DPF or EGR = no tag, also, a shop could, would be fined for removing and or disabling federally mandated emission equipment. Like stated above, this is a can of worms.
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