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Old 08-19-2006, 09:31 AM   #1
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Hello friends...

I am purchasing a 31' Northwood Arctic Fox travel trailer with a maximum towing capacity of 11,700 lbs. I am adding on a Hensley Arrow hitch.

I'd like to purchase the best 2007 gasoline pickup truck I can. The vehicle will be used 70% of the time for town non-towing travel and 30% of the time for towing to my next location.

While I know diesel pickups are touted to pull better... they are too loud, provide more vibration, have some odor, not all gas stations carry diesel, they are higher in maintenance costs, have a higher cost of gas per gallon, and I am concerned about any unknown 2007 low sulfer diesel gas change-over issues. So for now diesel is off the table. Gasoline it is!

Unless anyone knows of a better selection I have narrowed my choices down to the following gasoline tow vehicles:

FORD F350 XLT
6.8 V10 automatic
4x4
regular cab
8' box
single rear wheels
4.30 limited slip

or the....

GMC 2500 or 3500 SLE (not sure on the difference yet)
8.1 V8 automatic
4x4
regular cab
8' box
single rear wheels
(unknown) limited slip

Can you please give your opinion as to which one might tow better, be more reliable and perform better for my needs?

Thank you all! See you on the road.... Candy Nelson
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:31 AM   #2
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Hello friends...

I am purchasing a 31' Northwood Arctic Fox travel trailer with a maximum towing capacity of 11,700 lbs. I am adding on a Hensley Arrow hitch.

I'd like to purchase the best 2007 gasoline pickup truck I can. The vehicle will be used 70% of the time for town non-towing travel and 30% of the time for towing to my next location.

While I know diesel pickups are touted to pull better... they are too loud, provide more vibration, have some odor, not all gas stations carry diesel, they are higher in maintenance costs, have a higher cost of gas per gallon, and I am concerned about any unknown 2007 low sulfer diesel gas change-over issues. So for now diesel is off the table. Gasoline it is!

Unless anyone knows of a better selection I have narrowed my choices down to the following gasoline tow vehicles:

FORD F350 XLT
6.8 V10 automatic
4x4
regular cab
8' box
single rear wheels
4.30 limited slip

or the....

GMC 2500 or 3500 SLE (not sure on the difference yet)
8.1 V8 automatic
4x4
regular cab
8' box
single rear wheels
(unknown) limited slip

Can you please give your opinion as to which one might tow better, be more reliable and perform better for my needs?

Thank you all! See you on the road.... Candy Nelson
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Old 08-19-2006, 10:36 AM   #3
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While you sound pretty set on no diesels, I thought I'd put in my two cents worth.

I have owned both gas and diesel trucks and have towed with both. I currently drive a diesel (my dually) and use it as an everyday driver.

Most new (current) diesels are much "better mannered" in that they are quieter and smoother running that the older ones. I used to have to shut off my truck in the drive through lane, but not any more. In addition, the automakers have done a world of good with insulation in the cabs to make them quieter on the road, too.

Now, since you say you'll be towing 30% of the time, I have found a significant (20-40%) increase in fuel economy from my gas trucks to my diesels when towing. In addition, the diesels I have owned tend to cruise much more comfortably than the gassers (with much less downshifting). Around here, diesel is widely available and is currently 10-15 cents a gallon cheaper than regular unleaded gasoline. We just travelled from Albuquerque to L.A. to Las Vegas to Albuquerque (2000 miles in 9 days) and I found this to be pretty consistent every where we went. Lots of city driving sees 16 mpg in my 8500# 6 tired truck. The best mileage I every got out of a similar sized gas truck in similar conditions was 11 mpg.

As for the maintenance, I am using the "severe service" schedule on my truck as recommended by the manufacturer and I am changing oil every 7500 miles vs. the 3000-3750 miles recommended for many gassers. I do change fuel filters more often, but I pay $12 a pop for the filters and it takes me 15 minutes or so to do it. But that may not be your thing, I understand.

Diesels cost more to purchase than a gasser - $5000-$6000 more. However, when you sell the truck, you'll recoup most of that back in higher value. I see trucks like mine (2004 with 60,000 miles) selling for 75% of what I paid for mine. Not bad depreciation at all. And that holds true all around this part of the country.

I have run ULSD in my truck (most of the places we were at in CA had this) with no ill effects. Cummins doesn't foresee any major problems with this. There may be a reduction in service intervals, but you are right - nobody really knows for sure. I know lots of California diesel owners, though, and they aren't saying they are having problems yet.

Anyway, if you have your mind made up, go for it. If you get a chance (there's no harm in trying, you know) drive a new diesel. You may just like it....


BTW, welcome to IRV2.com!

Juan
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Old 08-19-2006, 10:38 AM   #4
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The brand you buy (Ford or GMC) won't make any difference, they just look different. Brand selection is usually a matter of personal preference, dealer service availability, and how well the dealer prices it to you.

If you choose to select the GMC with SRW, I'd suggest going with the 1 ton (3500), It'll have a GVWR of 9900# as compared to the 3/4 ton (2500) with a GVWR of 9200# and it won't cost much more. You'll recoup the additional cost at resale time.

Also, make sure you get the trailering mirrors and any other towing packages offered.

I don't think you'd go wrong with either one.
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Old 08-19-2006, 11:09 AM   #5
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I'll add another 2 cents to go on and get a 2 ton truck over the 3/4 ton truck. If it were up to me, I'd get a diesel over the gasser. You will recoup the cost when you sell it for the extra that you will spend on a diesel. In addition, the diesel will get better mileage both towing and solo.

If you have a limited budget, look for a used diesel truck. There are plenty of them out there. A diesel with 60,000 to 100,000 miles is just getting broken in.

Ken
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Old 08-19-2006, 11:32 AM   #6
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Candy Nelson, WELCOME to iRV2!!

Looks like you're getting some good advice,even from two moderators that apparently didn't notice it was your first post!

Ten lashes for them....

Godd luck with your decision!
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Old 08-19-2006, 12:04 PM   #7
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Ok, Unless you get a big block truck, which bye the way will net you unloaded around 8 to 10 MPG city, you will not be happy with the towing results. Yea, I know 30 percent of the time is all you will be towing, but how comfortable do you want to be during that 30% of the time?? Like has been stated before, new diesels are so much quieter than the old ones. If you are comparing diesels to the earliest Dodges, yea they were loud. Even I can hear old diesels clear across the campground. The low sulfur fuels just comming to the USA are a God sent if you ask me. A few years ago we had the opportunity to vacation in Europe for a couple of weeks with a diesel car. What a marvel. Started right up in the morning and had more pep than most gas engined cars of the same size. All this while returning better than 35 MPG in a mix of European driving.
While I would prefer no more diesels drivers on the road to use my fuel, I would really recomend that you at least investigate the new generation of diesel trucks before you decide on a gasser that will use way more fuel in a year of mixed use.
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Old 08-19-2006, 12:16 PM   #8
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Let me begin by saying up-front that I am coming into this with some bias. But it is only because I think I have the vehicle you want (with a couple of exceptions). It is an extended cab and it is a 1999.

Now before you quite reading take note that it has the V10, 4.30, limited slip, LB, and SRW. Additionally it already has a Prodigy brake controller installed, as well as a transmission temperature gauge. While I have owned it, it has towed a 19' pop-up and a 33' 5th wheel. I have upgraded the tires to 10 ply, load range E Michelins and had the bed LineX'd.

I loved this truck and took care of it but I am getting a much larger 5th wheel and had to step up in towing capacity to an F-550. I am running synthetics in both the engine and transmission, they both run cooler and my mileage is better than without them.

I know it is not the new truck you want but it has a lot of life left in it and at a fraction (small fraction) of what a new one costs. See my classified add on this web site.
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Old 08-19-2006, 01:33 PM   #9
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I agree, brand is probably not all that important. But if you would look at the new loaded GMC/Chevy 2500 or 3500 diesel duramax/allison auto tranny, I think you will be trully amazed at how 'tame' these truck are, but how easily they will also tow a heavy load. I love my new '06 GMC, loaded out truck and would even consider it if I did'nt tow, though I know you can't justify the extra cost of a diesel.
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Old 08-19-2006, 06:38 PM   #10
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Hi Candy! Welcome to the gang! The big gasoline engines provide plenty of power and torque to pull your proposed trailer. I drive a diesel because I want too, and I'm not going to insult you by trying to convince you that you should too. I, in fact, was shopping for a new gas powered tow vehicle when I found a deal too good to pass. Sure the gas engines turn more rpm's than a diesel and get less mileage, however they cost about $5-6K less. That will buy a lot of gasoline considering the approx 1/4 less mileage difference. Contrary to some opinions, I have found used diesel powered pickups sell for about the same as a gas powered one in the Midwest. When I asked about this, a used truck dealer told me diesel powered trucks are more likely to have been worked much harder. Both of your choices appear to be quite capable of towing your choice of trailers. The creature comforts of the interior may be the largest difference between them. Look up the specifications of each engine, both gas and diesel, on the internet and you'll find they are somewhat close. The biggest difference will be noticed climbing a long grade loaded to the limit, where a diesel engine shines. Now I hope someone doesn't try to talk me to switching to a gasser, I really like my Chevy K3500,LB,CC, D/A, towing monster. I hope my opinions may be helpful. Again, welcome to irv2.com.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:53 PM   #11
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HI Candy, welcome to IRV2, now that you are an AF owner you might also want to check out and join at AFnash.com. It is a site and forum for AF and Nash owners. It would help if you told us the model number of the AF you are looking at. There are several models in the 30' range and the model numbers do not reflect the actual length. The 11,000 lb figure you mention is the Gross Wt rating of the TT. In most cases with AF that means that you can add around 3000 lbs or more of cargo - I hope you do not do this. Most of the larger AF TTs have dry tounge wts around 1000 lbs some have kitchens and slides near the front, while others have a bed there. Either way you will need a big hitch - class V which is not standard on GM trucks. You will also need your Hensley to be able to handle 1200 lbs minimum. The high tounge wt will also demand a 1T truck. I am a GM fan so I would vote for the3400 with the 8.1L/Allison Tranny with a 4.11 or higher gear set in either a GMC or Chevy. Good luck
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Old 08-26-2006, 03:37 PM   #12
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Hi Candy
Most of the replies don't own or have driven or ridden in a V10 powered truck, so they don't know what they are talking about. I own a 06 350 single wheel crewcab, V10, torqueshift, 4.30. It is a pulling machine out here in the mountains of the northwest. With my camper loaded and towing a Explorer loaded to the gills with camping and hunting equipment. It will average about 2 miles to the gallon less than my 2000 350 diesel with the same load on the same road, and it will do it with more speed if you want.My combined gross towing weight is between 16 and 17000 pounds. I will never go back to a diesel, it is not cost effective. And don't have to say I am driving a diesel, i drove log truck for 35 years in Oregon.
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:44 AM   #13
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I currently own a turbo diesel, ('01 ford F350 PSD), I am looking at maybe a new truck next year, and it WONT be a diesel. I love the turbo diesel for towing, BUT if you only tow 20-30% of the time, I think it just doesn't make sence with the price of diesel/gallon vs. gas.

As far as gas motors go I really like the GM 8.1L and I really like the allison 6 sp auto. This is what I will be looking at.

Either ford or GM gas will do the trick, I am on my 4 ford truck, had enough of ford, I am going to switch to GM, the wife is on her 5th tahoe, gm just seems to be a better fit for us.
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Old 08-27-2006, 12:56 PM   #14
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We tow our TT with a 2005 E-350 van with the v-10 and a 4.10 RA. Our TT weighs about 7800# loaded. We just came back from a 4100 mile trip through Nova Scotia and averaged about 9.5 mpg towing.

We really like the gas engine and the van.

Good luck.

Frank
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