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Old 04-06-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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help with a general search criteria

Ok, I don't know enough to know if I'm asking too much or not, but here goes...

I bought my 5th wheel first, so I know what (for the most part) I need to pull. I don't want to take out loans, so I'll save for a few months to get the best I can afford, probably 6-10K. I have a (practically) brother who is a darn good mech. but doesn't pull a camper so no advice there. He can help though with getting what I buy into the best shape, which will be a big plus.
My 5vr is a 25' 1999 Terry Lite GVWR-6,300lbs, G dry-4,630lb,
Carry capacity- 630lb. length 25'4",
My thinking for buying the rv first was #1 to commit to seeing this through, and #2 to allow my self to get enough truck to do the job without buying more of a gas guzzler than necessary.
I'm hoping that someone could give me a sort of list from most important features to look for, to some that would be nice to have. I'm hearing chevy or GMC from the peanut gallery in my family, but like I said I don't know enough to know what I don't know. Is a 1/2 ton with 4WD and a tow package realistic? I don't want to waist time looking at trucks that aren't going to hold up.
My plan (I hope) is to go to AK next summer, so I'm assuming 4WD will be somewhere on that list, I also plan on doing as much boon docking as I can. (although I do plan on having a generator, but I guess that's for another post)

Thanks in advance, sorry for the long rambling....
Peggy
College Station TX
1 cat
1 5vr down,
& 1 truck to go
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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My 5er is a 25' 1999 Terry Lite GVWR-6,300lbs, ...allow my self to get enough truck to do the job without buying more of a gas guzzler than necessary.... Is a 1/2 ton with 4WD and a tow package realistic?
No.

There are a very few half-ton pickups with enough factory payload capacity to tow a 6,300-pound 5er with a hitch weight of around 1,100 pounds without being overloaded, but they are few and far between. Unless you have a certified truck nut among your close friends, I wouldn't even bother to try to find one.

My 2012 F-150 is overloaded towing my TT loaded to 4,870 pounds with a hitch weight of 650 pounds.

So count on getting an F-250 or GM/Dodge 2500 at least.

Quote:
My plan (I hope) is to go to AK next summer, so I'm assuming 4WD will be somewhere on that list, I also plan on doing as much boon docking as I can.
4X4 costs more up front, more in maintenance, more in gas. Only city dudes need a 4x4 to travel to Alaska and back in the summertime. We were planning on making that trip this summer with our 4x2 tow vehicle and small travel trailer, but finally decided it's just too far and too snakey for two senior citizens to try it. Depending on where you plan to go boondocking, you may not need 4x4 for that either. I've never had a 4x4, and I've camped in all sorts of off-road campsites. However, I know how to drive.

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Peggy
College Station TX
Howdy! from an old Aggie, Class of '61

Observe the 250s and 2500s for sale in your neck of the woods and see if 4x2s are readily available in the price class you're looking at. College Station is mud country, so there may not be a good selection of 4x2s available. But if you find one it should be a lot cheaper than a comparable 4x4.

And no, you don't need a diesel. Yeah, they are a much stronger powertrain, but you don't need more than a decent-size gasoline engine to drag your 6,300-pound 5er. In a Ford SuperDuty since '99 model year, that means the V-10 gas engine. (Do Not buy an F-250 with the 5.4L V8 gas engine - it's a good engine for an F-150 but not enough engine for an F-250 that will be towing.

Checking NADAGuides just now, a clean 2003 F-250 SuperCab 4x2 with V-10 engine and 120,000 miles retails for $8,025, while the diesel engine with 150,000 miles in the same truck retails for $12,300 = more than your budget.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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No less than one would expect from an Aggie!

I don't think I could have asked for more cogent advice, Thank you. "The peanut gallery" are all in ATL along with the 5vr so I'll be looking there, but I'm afraid they are mudders too. I have seen several 2WD, but kept on going thinking that I would need 4. Thats great news. Does HD automatically mean it has a tow package? or should I only stop to read the ones that state specifically that they have a tow package.
The mechanic in the P. gallery agrees with with you on the gas vs diesel.
Thanks again. I'm sure I'll be chiming in with more questions on subjects I haven't even thought of yet.

Peggy
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:17 PM   #4
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There are lots of 1/2 ton trucks out here that can legally/safely tow a small 5k-6k 5th wheel trailer.
I towed a 26' 7200 GVWR 5er with a '84 chevy 1500 4x4 with the old 305 engine 4.10 gears 700R4 tranny all over the southern Rockies for five years and 165k miles. Actual weight ran 5800-6200 depending on how it was loaded.

Your problem is being limited to 6k-10k which means a well used truck which a good practically brother can help you choose.

Either a 1/2 ton or a 3/4 ton will work but I would get a 4x4 with 3.73 or 4.10 gears with a 5.4 up to a 6.0 engine in a 1/2 ton or a Ford V10/GM 8.1 in a 3/4 ton. The last two will be gas guzzlers.

If your camping off road with the trailer the 4x4 will be a must have. I've always had a 4x4 and 2wd trucks and none of the 2wd I had could go where the 4x4 could. If you choose a 2wd a locking type of rear differential is a great feature for some lite off road conditions.

I haven't looked at prices but the '00/'06 chevy/GMC "1500 HD model" 6.0 engine with a 8600 GVWR and 6084 RAWR 8 lug wheels and E tires have over 3000 lb payload. The truck is basically the old '80s/ '90s 2500 truck.

Also the 1500 Dodge Mega cabs with the 5.7 Hemi are on a 2500 chassis with a 8510 GVWR and 6000 RAWR with E tires and wheels.

good luck on your search.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
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Thanks, again !

I will be doing a lot of boon docking, I really want to see some out of the way places ( except when I have to use the internet, then I'll have to resurface). I will also be full timing, so the 4WD may end up being worth the extra fuel.
If I have to I can wait a little longer to get the truck, which will mean more to spend. It sounds like I could potentially get lucky and find a smaller truck with the capability to do the job. Is there a place I can go to find out what all the terms used in the descriptions mean? I get lost when trying to sift through it all, like the difference between heavy duty and tow package, and what a truck can pull with the engine as opposed to what the "drive train?" can handle.

I've already learned a lot, just from the responses today. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read and answer my questions

Peggy
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:07 PM   #6
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Does HD automatically mean it has a tow package? or should I only stop to read the ones that state specifically that they have a tow package.
I don't know what you mean by "HD". All F-250 SuperDuty pickups after about 2001 have the tow pkg std. That includes the tranny cooler, trailer brake controller plugin, and the 7-wire RV trailer plug on the back bumper. The V-10s also have an engine oil cooler. The receiver hitch and telescoping trailer tow mirrors were options until a few years later, when they were included as standard on all F-250s.

For '99 thru 2004 F-250s, GVWR was 8,800 pounds. For 2005-up, it was increased to 9,400 on a SuperCab 4x2 V-10 and to 9,600 on a CrewCab 4x2 V-10. 8,800 GVWR is all you'll need for a 5er with GVWR of 6,300 pounds. But if I were looking at 8-to-10-year-old pickups, I'd rather have the 2005 with more GVWR than the older models with less GVWR.

I don't know about Government Motors or FIAT Motors 2500s.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:52 PM   #7
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My point exactly

I meant Heavy Duty I think, but now what is this "super" duty? and each flavor of vehicle, GM Ford Chevy may or may not have 250 or 2500 referenced in the ad. Some times all I see is XLT or Z71. I would imagine that after a few headaches, some new reading glasses and just plain time reading about it all, I'll eventually start to understand the references. It was a lot more fun mooning over floor plans when I was searching for the 5vr, although I think I'm going to like driving the truck. So far the only truck I've driven was GMC 1500?.
This all reminds me of another question, standard or auto, My dad made me learn to drive a standard before I could drive an automatic and I have had several standard shift cars, but it's been a long time. I've heard that modern automatic transmissions are so much better that I may be better off with them.

I hope you don't run out of answers before I run out of questions.
Peggy
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #8
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texastigger,
First, the carry capacity should be the gross wt less the dry wt, and that comes up 1670lbs. Dry wts are notoriously low, so the actual carry capacity will be more than the 630, but less than the 16780. Just a minor correction for your reference.
If you end up looking at the Ford V10s, try to go with the 3-valve model, which came out in 2005 I think.
Not up on GMs, but I think every 2500 now carries the HD label; the Z71 is 4x4 option.
Joe
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:57 AM   #9
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I meant Heavy Duty I think, but now what is this "super" duty?
Ford pickups since 1999 come in two flavors, F-150 half-ton pickups, and F-250/F-350/F-450 "Super Duty" pickups with three-quarter ton or more capability. Don't take the half-ton and three-quarter-ton language literally. It was close to accurate back in the days of the Model T pickup, but after the 1930s pickups have grown in capability. But diehard truck fans still use the 90-year old phrase of half ton and three-quarter-ton when talking about pickups.

Way back in 1975, Ford came out with the new F-150 to fill the gap between the F-100 and the F-250. The F-150 could haul a few more pounds than the F-100 without being overloaded. So my Dad called the F-150 a 5/8th ton pickup. But the new phrase didn't stick, so now most old codgers call them a half-ton pickup and they've forgotten the real F-100 half tons from 40+ years ago. Both the F-100 and the F-150 were sold for several years, but the F-150 gradually replaced the F-100 as Ford's base truck, and the F-100 was discontinued during the 1983 model year.

When looking at 10-year-old Ford F-250 pickups, there were three primary trim levels. XL was the "work truck" trim level, with plastic seat covers, rubber floor covering and no cruise control or power windows. XLT was the next level up, with cruise control, power everything, nice cloth seats, carpeted floor covering. Lariat was the fancy trim with leather seats, lighted vanity mirrors, wood-grain trim pieces, more do-dads and a trip computer. There were also limited edition trim levels of King Ranch and Harley Davidson that were even fancier than the Lariat trim. GM and Dodge had similar trim levels, but I don't keep up with those lesser pickups.

Quote:
...and each flavor of vehicle, GM Ford Chevy may or may not have 250 or 2500 referenced in the ad. Some times all I see is XLT or Z71.
Then those are probably half-ton pickups, which are by far the most common. XLT is name of a Ford trim level, and Z71 is the name of a GM suspension level.

If you move up a notch to a 350/3500, there are two very different trucks available, with either single rear wheels (SRW) or with dual rear wheels (DRW). For your needs, a 350/3500 SRW would be fine, but a DRW would be severe overkill. A 350/3500 SRW is really just a three-quarter ton pickup with some extra payload capability, while a DRW is a "one ton dually". Ladies look silly driving a one ton dually unless they are dragging a huge horse trailer.

Quote:
This all reminds me of another question, standard or auto,..
Since you can drive either one, then it doesn't matter. If you find a nice truck with the right specs at the right price, then the transmission type is not a deal breaker. But since most folks cannot drive a stick shift and therefore demand is low, if you find one with a stick shift it will probably be less expensive than an otherwise identical truck with an automagic tranny.

Also think down the road. Darling Wife can drive either transmission too, but as we aged she developed arthritis in her knees that make it painful to handle the clutch in a shick shifter. So even though I prefer the stick shifter and at age 74 I can still handle a heavy clutch, beginning with my '99 F-250 I've had to order my pickups with automagic tranny so Darling Wife could share the driving on long trips.

Also down the road, when you get ready to sell or trade in the truck, because of low demand the stick shifter is usually a lot harder to sell for a good price so it's worth a lot less money. So you might save some when you buy it, but it will probably cost you when you sell it. I had that problem with my last stick-shifter pickup, a 1995 Toyota T-100 with V-6 engine and stick shifter. I tried to pedal it myself while the F-250 diesel was on order, but no takers. I finally had to let the dealer have it at trade-in value.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:47 AM   #10
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Ford pickups since 1999 come in two flavors, F-150 half-ton pickups, and F-250/F-350/F-450 "Super Duty" pickups with three-quarter ton or more capability. Don't take the half-ton and three-quarter-ton language literally. It was close to accurate back in the days of the Model T pickup, but after the 1930s pickups have grown in capability. But diehard truck fans still use the 90-year old phrase of half ton and three-quarter-ton when talking about pickups.

Way back in 1975, Ford came out with the new F-150 to fill the gap between the F-100 and the F-250. The F-150 could haul a few more pounds than the F-100 without being overloaded. So my Dad called the F-150 a 5/8th ton pickup. But the new phrase didn't stick, so now most old codgers call them a half-ton pickup and they've forgotten the real F-100 half tons from 40+ years ago. Both the F-100 and the F-150 were sold for several years, but the F-150 gradually replaced the F-100 as Ford's base truck, and the F-100 was discontinued during the 1983 model year.

When looking at 10-year-old Ford F-250 pickups, there were three primary trim levels. XL was the "work truck" trim level, with plastic seat covers, rubber floor covering and no cruise control or power windows. XLT was the next level up, with cruise control, power everything, nice cloth seats, carpeted floor covering. Lariat was the fancy trim with leather seats, lighted vanity mirrors, wood-grain trim pieces, more do-dads and a trip computer. There were also limited edition trim levels of King Ranch and Harley Davidson that were even fancier than the Lariat trim. GM and Dodge had similar trim levels, but I don't keep up with those lesser pickups.

Then those are probably half-ton pickups, which are by far the most common. XLT is name of a Ford trim level, and Z71 is the name of a GM suspension level.

If you move up a notch to a 350/3500, there are two very different trucks available, with either single rear wheels (SRW) or with dual rear wheels (DRW). For your needs, a 350/3500 SRW would be fine, but a DRW would be severe overkill. A 350/3500 SRW is really just a three-quarter ton pickup with some extra payload capability, while a DRW is a "one ton dually". Ladies look silly driving a one ton dually unless they are dragging a huge horse trailer.

Since you can drive either one, then it doesn't matter. If you find a nice truck with the right specs at the right price, then the transmission type is not a deal breaker. But since most folks cannot drive a stick shift and therefore demand is low, if you find one with a stick shift it will probably be less expensive than an otherwise identical truck with an automagic tranny.

Also think down the road. Darling Wife can drive either transmission too, but as we aged she developed arthritis in her knees that make it painful to handle the clutch in a shick shifter. So even though I prefer the stick shifter and at age 74 I can still handle a heavy clutch, beginning with my '99 F-250 I've had to order my pickups with automagic tranny so Darling Wife could share the driving on long trips.

Also down the road, when you get ready to sell or trade in the truck, because of low demand the stick shifter is usually a lot harder to sell for a good price so it's worth a lot less money. So you might save some when you buy it, but it will probably cost you when you sell it. I had that problem with my last stick-shifter pickup, a 1995 Toyota T-100 with V-6 engine and stick shifter. I tried to pedal it myself while the F-250 diesel was on order, but no takers. I finally had to let the dealer have it at trade-in value.
Not sure how you can say gm or dodge are "lesser" trucks than the ford. At least myself and friends with dodge and gm can ride down the road and wave at my other friends with ford 6.0 and 6.4 diesels waiting on tow trucks. Now we all know what brand you like maybe we can get back to helping folks and not ramming the " better" brand down everyone's throat.
Chad
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:55 PM   #11
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I feel a lot better

Thanks again to you all

I can already look at "CL" ads and such with much less anxiety. I really think that I will be able to weed out most of the unsuitable trucks before I call my brother and have him start pulling them on his computer to look at. I didn't want him to dread the sight of my name on his caller Id or text. He has a small but busy shop to run, and I just couldn't tell when it would be worth making that call. Now because of your help, I think avoid becoming too much of a bother, That is until I find the truck that needs just "a little TLC" which I will have to depend on him to supply.

I really mean it!
Thanks
Peggy
1 cat
1 5vr
1 truck to go
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:05 PM   #12
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Not sure how you can say gm or dodge are "lesser" trucks than the ford.
Notice the smilie? I was jerking your chain.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #13
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Notice the smilie? I was jerking your chain.
Sorry did not see a smilie. I use the android app on my smartphone and do not see some things. I have nothing against fords, I have had great luck with dodge over the years and have stuck with them. Just do not like somebody bad mouthing a brand without just cause. As said, I have nothing against ford, they are american made and that's much better than foreign.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:32 PM   #14
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I'm a newbie and am looking for a 5th wheel, about 26' - more or less. The ones I've looked at seem to have GVWR of about 8400 max. I've talked to a couple sales guys at a couple places and they claim that people usually add about 1500 lbs of stuff and as long as you don't go over 11,000 lbs for the whole unit - then an F150 will be OK to pull it. What I'm seeing here is that they're giving me a line and there's no way - I'll need at least an F250 (or equivalent, depending on the brand). I know that sales people just want to sell the units, but does this mean I shouldn't trust ANYTHING they say?? I don't have the 5th wheel or truck yet, I'm just deciding what I need/want. So far, the only thing I've decided on is a 5th vs a TT or Class C.
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