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Old 03-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
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Need help with a new TV

I have a 324BHS KZSpree. Weight max is 7850lbs with this trailer. Right now am towing it with a Ford expedition with tow package and a 10K equilzer package. The TV has a max tow wgt of 10.5K. It tows ok on the flats but is lacking in any type of hills. I really want something that will tow with a lot less effort. However, accomidations for passengers is the problem. I have 2 good size dogs and 3 kids, all around 12yo. I am leaning toward a 2500 series truck with a full crew cab but that would be tight and no place for the dogs. Another option would be a suburban, that puts me right back into the same tow catagory i believe.. If I went with the crew cab option, I would have to get a pass thru window and rig a compartment under a topper to house the dogs and a way to get them A/C from the cab. We live in Texas and the heat would be just to much for them under a topper.

Anyone got any options????
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schupaul View Post
I have a 324BHS KZSpree. Weight max is 7850lbs with this trailer. Right now am towing it with a Ford expedition with tow package and a 10K equilzer package. The TV has a max tow wgt of 10.5K. It tows ok on the flats but is lacking in any type of hills. I really want something that will tow with a lot less effort.
You're going to spend a heck of a lot of money to add an air conditioned camper shell on the back of a pickup. It may be doable, but it will be very expensive. So I wouldn't do it.

Instead, I'd change the rear axle ratio on your SUV to get shorter legs and thus the feel of more power and torque when dragging that 7,850 pound trailer up a mountain pass. 2010 and 2012 Expeditions had a 5.4L engine and 3.31 or 3.73 axle ratio, and neither had a tow rating over 9,200 pounds. So I don't know what you have with a tow rating of 10,500 pounds.

But since your trailer should never gross more than about 8,000 pounds, if your TV has a tow rating of 9,200 pounds you should be fine as far never exceeding th GCWR of your TV.

Just as a WAG I chose 2008 as your model year, and Randy's Ring and Pinion says your rig has a Ford 8.8" rear diff. They have several ratios available for that diff. I looked at 4.10 or 4.11 ratio, and they have a Ford Racing set that might be just what you want.
Ford Racing ring & pinion set for 8.8" Ford in a 4.10 ratio (OEM). - SVOM4209G410

4.10 ratio is a ten percent difference if you have a 3.73 now. If 4.10 might not be quite enough Randy's has 4.30 and 4.56 and even shorter legs for youe Expedition. 4.30 ratio is a 15 percent difference if you have a 3.73 now. I suspect you'll be happy with the 4.10, but if you enjoy power then you'll love the 4.30. Any shorter legs would be overkill.

With the 4.10 or 4.30 ratio, you'll be fine as far as GCWR is concerned. Your problem will be exceeding the GVWR of your TV. That 9,200 pound tow rating assumes nothing is in the SUV but a skinny driver. But load the SUV with two adults, three kids and two dogs and you'll probably exceed the GVWR of your TV. If you do, then the next mod is air bags - to raise the back end of the TV back up to level with the world. The WD hitch will help some, but probably not enough to have your headlights properly aimed when towing at night.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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It already tows level and has decent power on the flats. However, I need a new vehicle. As for the truck A/C i was thinking of putting a small partition right behind the pass through window inside the topper and insulate it so it could get a/c passively from the cab. The partition would only be big enough to hold the dogs.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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If you really want to step up the towing ability in the hills, go ahead and get a diesel. Problem is ford stopped making one of the best tow vehicles a few years back...the Excursion. The Suburban was good when you could get the old 7.4L (454 CID) and the 8.1L.

You might see if you can find a Ford E350 van with a diesel around.

Ken
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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However, I need a new vehicle.
Passive AC going into the topper is not going to be satisfactory - if your neck of the woods gets anywhere near as hot as mine.

But a new TV is a challenge. For your requirements, you still need a large SUV. If you special order the new SUV, you can get:
2012 Expedition XLT EL 4x2 5.4L 3v = $48,930
Rear load-leveling air ride suspension = $485 (requires 203A)
203A = XLT Premium pkg = $5,855
includes
HD trailer tow pkg (GCWR 15,000, tow rating 8,900)
Leather seats (better for dog paws and dog hair)
Sinc and satellite radio
moonroof
rear camera (makes connecting the TT much easier)
3.73 axle ratio

Usually Ford's tow ratings are useful if you subtract about 1,000 pounds. So you should be happy with that rig and your 7,900-pound trailer.

The only fly in the ointment is payload. You'll probably exceed the GVWR of the SUV, with both family inside and the hitch weight of the RV. Maybe if you haul nothing in the bed, and nothing but eopple and dogs in the SUV you squeeze by.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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Hmm... If your rig isn't shot and has more years of life in it, it gets tempting to consider a motorhome instead if you can get a good price for your trailer. Of course then you probably will want to drive around after camping which means pulling a toad. It may be that the fuel saved when you use the toad for everyday driving the rest of the time you are not traveling will pay for any monthly payment you end up having.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:41 PM   #7
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Oh - and I've owned both a trailer and a motorhome. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Currently using a motorhome and towing a car when I need to get around locally. Happy travels.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:38 PM   #8
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TXiceman's idea of van is a good one. I did something similar 35 years ago when I had tweenagers at home and on the road with us.

A diesel engine is no longer available in the E-vans, so begin with an E-350 12-pax regular wagon with V-10 engine and 4.10LS axle. Remove the back seat and you have lots of rattling around room for 3 kids. Put the two dogs behind the remaining seats. Payload and tow rating is higher than for the Expedition. Here's one I "built" on Ford.com:

E-350 regular wagon, XLT, V-10, 4.10LS
Trailer Tow pkg
Trailer hitch receiver
telescoping trailer tow mirrors
Integrated trailer brake controller
backup camera
privacy glass
running boards
alloy wheels
-----------------
MSRP $39,105
==================

And of course there are lots of other options if you just gotta spend more money. In our 2012 F-150 Lariat, we like the satellite radio and the bluetooth capability of Sync. Works great with our I-phone.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:52 PM   #9
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We run with four kids and two dogs. Even a crew cab isn't really big enough. Used suburban for a while. Little under powered. Got a really good Excursion with the 7.3 diesel and have been happy ever since. Pulls like a dream and without the TT I still get about 18 mpg.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:18 AM   #10
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wish that was in the cards right now. We have 6 more years till we retire then or plans are to half time in a pusher.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:13 AM   #11
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Another possibility if you want a diesel engine without having to shop for a used van: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The passenger vans don't have enough towing power to do the job, but you can do like I did 35 years ago: start with a cargo van with the optional nice front seats and several options to make it car-like.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: Cargo Van Highlights

Unlike the Ford, the Sprinter cargo van has optional window packages. Their window pkg IV is probably what you'll want. Options includes the usual cruise control and power stuff, as well as receiver hitch and suspension pkgs to give you HD rear anti-sway bar and 9,900 GVWR and 15,250 GCWR with 7,500 pounds tow rating (instead of the standard 8,550 GVWR with only 5,000 pounds tow rating).

Carefully option it so you have 15,250 GCWR and 7500 tow rating. That will barely be enough for your trailer, but that's an itty bitty diesel engine so they don't make one with more tow rating. To get the 9,900 GVWR, you have to go for the raised roof, but your kids will probably prefer that anyway. With the HD rear AC in the cargo van, the interior is finished except for the bare floors behind the front seats. Find some seats out of any van in the bone yard, or even nicer seats out of a high-trim pickup. (On mine, I used the captain's chairs that matched the optional Flexsteel front captain's chairs in my high-level interior trim cargo van.)

Put 1/2" plywood on the floor, then 2" thick high-density foam, then cover the foam with a high-quality thick plush carpet. The dogs (and probably the kids) will love it. Plus it makes a decent bed for any passengers that want to sleep while Dad is driving.

Way back then, on my '77 E-Van, I also added a seperate sterio radio for the back seats, with headsets instead of speakers. That way the kids could listen to their hard rock of the late '70s and early '80s while the adults enjoyed the quiet ride and 101 Strings. Today, maybe an AM/FM/CD radio would be pas'se, so maybe make that an MP3 player or an I-Pad or whatever is the current thing for tweenagers. But don't have speakers for the "rear entertainment system" - they can use headsets or earphones.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:41 AM   #12
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GMC offers the DMax diesel in their 3500 series Savana passenger vans - a bit expensive but would be able to tow just about anything you wanted. They also have rear AC as an option.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:16 AM   #13
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GMC offers the DMax diesel in their 3500 series Savana passenger vans - a bit expensive but would be able to tow just about anything you wanted. They also have rear AC as an option.
GMC and Chevy both have the same passenger van with diesel engine. I built and priced the Chevy version and it came out to a little over $50k MSRP. LS trim only. The nicer LT trim level is not available, but you can add most desirable options such as cruise control and rear AC/heat.
Chevrolet | Build Your Own - Customize Your Perfect Car By Trim
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:00 PM   #14
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Went ahead and purchased a 2012 RAM 2500 Diesel crew cab. I also special ordered a 32" deep topper/sleeper custom made from cowtownsleepers.com. They will pull the rear window and put an accordian boot so that area will have full A/C from the cab. I had them make it cab high and sit 4" into the bed. This will make for just enough room for the dogs to bed down during a trip and still see out the rear window over them. It also makes for a smaller area to cool. Should work fine with with the whole rear window out of the cab. It will be just like a mini DOT sleeper in a semi. This option left me with half of a truck bed for bikes and firewood. GCWR of 21K, TV payload of 2240, and max towing of 13.1K. Dry curb wgt of the TV is 7200. Lots of wiggle room on weights now and it will pull like a scalded mule with 350HP/800lb-ft. Add a programmer and that gets better also. It will also have better mileage than the Expy.
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