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Old 10-12-2013, 04:58 PM   #15
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Hmm. So you'd forget the SUV idea entirely. And I thought I had the numbers right.

The trailer started at 5700 lbs. I just added up the tools, dishes, toys, food etc. and we've put less than 500 lbs in it, so I think it's around 6200 and likely to stay around that for the foreseeable future. We do travel light. Really can't think of anything else we would add to the trailer. It's all set up for what we do. We show up with our carry on bags and laptops, buy groceries, and go.

I ran the numbers on the Excursion, and it looked like we were 150 lbs under on that weight too, including the 770lbs tongue weight. And I rounded all numbers up to the next 100.

So I'd have the same issues with an F-250, if I understand what you're telling me.

back to the drawing board. Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:30 PM   #16
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What would you think of something like this?

http://www.victorymotorsofcolorado.com/detail.aspx?id=3524955&PrefID=0&.aspx

Waybigger, physically, than what we want, but it might be that I have to compromise.
again.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:13 PM   #17
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When you say the main problem with the older trucks is the rust in the hitch area, did you mean the Ford or the Chevy, or both?
It really applies to anything that's been in northern (salt) winters. I've personally seen a 2002 F250 diesel from NY that was 5 years old (at the time) with only about 30,000 miles on it and the frame was rusting so badly I wouldn't want to tow with it. Especially bad around the hitch hardware/mounting points where the bolts were rusting off. Engine and body looked like new, but everything underneath was a mess. It was way more than just surface rust.

And like Smokey mentioned, the effect of water condensation in the diesel tank (and oil pan) from a few years of sitting all winter ended up causing all sorts of other issues. There is some inherent stability to diesel over gas, but water will cause all sorts of other issues.

Have you considered just renting something for when you need?
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:56 PM   #18
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https://www.hertzequip.com/herc/rent...trucks+3.4-ton

Zip 80012 for Denver. ~$1500/month rental.

This is 10 months before you're outlay neutral. Just an option.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:24 PM   #19
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Hmm. So you'd forget the SUV idea entirely. And I thought I had the numbers right.
An full-size SUV is a lot heavier than the equivalent CrewCab pickup, so it's a lot easier to exceed the GVWR of an SUV. I hate being overloaded, so if I didn't need to haul more than 4 people, I'd probably go for the pickup.

Nice Excursion 4x4 with 7.3L are very hard to find, and expensive to buy if you do find one. The Chevy Suburban 2500 4x4 or GMC equivalent with Isuzu Duramax engine is also hard to find. I enjoyed my CrewCab Ford for about 12 years and 200,000 miles, with about half the miles towing my 8,000-pound 5er, and it did everything an Excursion could do except haul more than 4 adults in comfort on long trips.

Quote:
The trailer started at 5700 lbs. I just added up the tools, dishes, toys, food etc. and we've put less than 500 lbs in it, so I think it's around 6200 and likely to stay around that for the foreseeable future.
One way to guarantee being overloaded is to begin with dry weight and try to calculate wet and loaded weight. Instead, use the GVWR of the trailer as the probable wet and loaded weight of the trailer in the middle of your third RV trip. And for a TT, use 15% of the GVWR of the trailer as the estimated hitch weight of the wet and loaded trailer.

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So I'd have the same issues with an F-250, if I understand what you're telling me.
My F-250 was overloaded with a 5er that had GVWR of 7,900 pounds. I needed an F-350 SRW to tow that trailer without being overloaded. There are about ten times as many F-250s available as F-350 SRWs, but there are some of the more-capable trucks on the market. So I would shop hard for one of those.

Ram and GM also made 3500 SRW pickups. Both also had huge gasoline engines available, so finding one within your budget that can tow a decent-size RV trailer should be no problem.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:19 AM   #20
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https://www.hertzequip.com/herc/rent...trucks+3.4-ton

Zip 80012 for Denver. ~$1500/month rental.

This is 10 months before you're outlay neutral. Just an option.
You left out the insurance. Figure half again, or more, when you include that. On some of our rentals, the insurance costs equal the vehicle rental costs. It gets painful to watch it sit there parked at several hundred dollars a day.

Yeah, we rented two Fords from PV Rentals in Houston ( great people, by the way). Problem was that we have the trailer in Colorado. Had to drive the truck back to Houston to return it.
Rented a Dodge RAM from a little company in Denver, kind of strange doing business with them, but the truck did the job. It was an old truck, at new rates.

If we don't find a truck to buy on this next trip in December, I'll take a look at that Hertz Denver location. It's only 70 miles from the trailer.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:52 AM   #21
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My bad, I took it for granted that here in the states most of the time your insurance on your primary car covers rentals as well. Sounds like you have been down the rental path already.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:01 AM   #22
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I was thinking about renting a tow vehicle, not an RV.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:08 AM   #23
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Did the 2500 Burbs or Yukon XLs ever come with the Duramax? I thought that I had heard the transmission behind the Duramax engines was to big for the floor hump, thus no DMax in Burbs/Yukon XLs.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #24
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What would you think of something like this?

2002 Ford F-350 SD - Used Truck Longmont CO | Victory Motors of Colorado

Waybigger, physically, than what we want, but it might be that I have to compromise.
again.
That's exactly what I would be looking for. F-350 SRW 7.3L, including the 4x4 you want. The price is a bit low for a cream-puff pickup, so I suspect it will need some TLC before you're happy with it. To make it equal to mine, you'll need:

..BTS rebuilt tranny which includes a Stallion PowerStoke torque converter, or Ford HD4R100 tranny plus a Stallion performance torque converter :
http://www.converter.com/images/stal...owerstroke.pdf
Brians Truck Shop

...3-gauge a-pillar mount with pyrometer, boost and tranny temp gauges.
ISSPRO EV1 Gauge Kits for Ford Powerstroke from DieselManor

...(Magnaflow or MBRP) performance turbo-back 4" exhaust system

...Ford/Donaldson 7.3L air induction system (AIS), no longer available from Ford parts, but still available from Donaldson
Ford AIS Severe Duty Intake System 98.5-03 7.3L Powerstroke FA-1759

...and only after you have gauges, DP-Tuner or Power Hungry Performance 80-tow tune. That tune is available in three ways: 1) flash your PCM or buy a new PCM with that tune, 2) tuner (a.k.a programmer) with the 80-tow tune included, or 3) multi-position "chip" that includes the 80-tow tune. Power Hungry Performance and DP-Tuner (and a few other 7.3L tuning pros) both have all three options.
Diesel tuning products for Ford PowerStroke

...Never kill a hot engine until the exhaust gas temp (EGT) has cooled off to 300. If you hate to twiddle your thumbs waiting for your pyrometer to show that, then install an ISSPRO Turbo Temp Monitor TTM) that will do it automagically.
ISSPRO R4130 Turbo Temp Monitor at DieselManor
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:50 AM   #25
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Well, none of that is going to happen. I have a nice garage/shop and a really good set of tools, they're here with me on this island. I've worked on and rebuilt car, truck, motorcycle and airplane engines since the 60's, but am pretty sure I won't be rebuilding transmissions or installing new exhaust systems in the Lakeside KOA with a swiss army knife.

SO...still looking for a solution.

In your opinion, is there a vehicle out there with a gasoline engine that would do the job for 15 kilobucks?
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:52 AM   #26
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No such thing as a pre-'99 Duramax. Before around 2001 model year, they were the awful 6.5L GM diesel that was converted from a GM gasoline engine. That's the engine that ruined the image of diesel engines in the United States after GM installed them in Caddys and big Olds and 2500/3500 pickups. They were so awful that my GM dealer wouldn't even sell them, and wouldn't special order one for me. So I wound up with the wonderful '99.5 Ford/International 7.3L. Thank you, Lady Luck.

The Duramax was an Isuzu engine slightly redesigned to work in a GM pickup. On introduction, GM fans were worried sick over the history of GM light-duty diesels, but the Isuzu design turned out to be a winner. So if you get a diesel Suburban, be certain it has the Isuzu engine and not the original GM 6.5L diesel

Well, sorta. The problem with diesel is condensation (sweat) on the walls of the fuel tank, which results in water in the fuel. That's a disaster for fuel-injected diesels. So you must have a good, well-maintained fuel filter/water separator working right, between the fuel tank and the injectors. I helps if the rig is stored in the arid SouthWest and not in a humid area.

One help to mitigate the results of condensation is to fill the fuel tank to the brim before you park it, and be certain you have an excellent "gas cap" that seals tight to keep air out of the fuel tank.

I have a 40-year old John Deere backhoe with a diesel engine. It sits for months at a time, and I've never had any problem with the diesel going bad with water contamination. I owned a Ford diesel towing machine for 12 years, with never a problem with condensation in the fuel. But I live in the arid area of west Texas, where we are spoiled with "but it's a dry heat".
All wrong
GM got rid of the 5.7 long before the 6.5l. It was replaced by the Detroit 6.2l without a Turbo and it was a great engine that became a cash cow due to unnecessary head swaps.
In 93 the electronic fuel injection controlled 6.5l was introduced and was ahead of its time. But it had fuel pump heat problems that again dealers or Steelers made every owner scared. Later the 6.5l had so much power that cooling of the rear cylinders became problematic.
I know I owned both later models and use them to Tow heavier then rated for years without any problems. The 6.5l was a fuel mileage dog untill warranty was over and I fixed with a $3.25 pot.

I would not question the capacity of the 7.3l but would make sure to drive the truck taking car of the tranny.
I believe an Econ by Hypertech would help with the power and fuel mileage. It sure works great on my 6.0l that is also a Ford cash cow that has served me well. There also cheap 03 up 6.0l to be found that by now are after market improved.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #27
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I'm still not tracking on why Smokey says an SUV based rig would not do it for you. Maybe I'm missing something.

A 2500 Suburban/Yukon has a GVWR of 8,600-9,600lbs (depending on year). Curb weight of 5,900-6,100lbs.
Even with 1,000lbs on the hitch, 1,000lbs of people and gear AND full 39gallon tank (~225lbs), you're weighing in at around 8,300lbs gross.

I think the 2500 GCWR is 16,000lbs.

I'm certainly no expert, but I don't see where you are anywhere near the limits of safety. I am very willing to learn, since my kids are in the car when we tow.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:49 AM   #28
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I'm working my way through the same education. I understand that two of us, plus our stuff, could quickly reach the max rated load on an Excursion. What I don't know yet is what determines that max load. Would a slight change or upgrade to a rear suspension fix things? These are leaf springs, after all.

I haven't run any numbers on the Suburbans, as a GM product would be my absolute last choice after all others had been exhausted. Not quite there yet, but it might be time to start considering one.
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