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Old 08-24-2006, 07:25 AM   #1
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Hi, All: I am new to this site although not new to RV's. My husband and I have owned a 25' Airstream Safari (towed with a Ford van) for almost 10 years but are moving on to a 5th wheel for more space (we have 5 50-60 pound bassets that take up ALOT of room).

We are looking at a Sunnybrook Titan LX that is 31'8" in length. It has a GVWR of 15,000 lbs, dry gross weight of 10,986 and dry hitch weight of 2,388.

All of these numbers and detailed articles on tow vehicles have always confused me. Can anyone provide me with some easy to understand advice on what type of truck and hitch we need to purchase to pull this 5th wheel.

We've had our Ford van for 12 years with minimal problems so we would go with Ford again although we have no problems with Chevys or Dodge either. One major requirement is that we have a have a crew cab with a LARGE crew area. We intend to take out that crew seat and replace it with a floor mattress on which our dogs can sprawl.

Many, many thanks for any advice you can give me. We want to make the right decision and are ready to buy the 5th wheel just as soon as we can get the towing dilemma resolved.

Thanks, again!

Ellen
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Old 08-24-2006, 07:25 AM   #2
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Hi, All: I am new to this site although not new to RV's. My husband and I have owned a 25' Airstream Safari (towed with a Ford van) for almost 10 years but are moving on to a 5th wheel for more space (we have 5 50-60 pound bassets that take up ALOT of room).

We are looking at a Sunnybrook Titan LX that is 31'8" in length. It has a GVWR of 15,000 lbs, dry gross weight of 10,986 and dry hitch weight of 2,388.

All of these numbers and detailed articles on tow vehicles have always confused me. Can anyone provide me with some easy to understand advice on what type of truck and hitch we need to purchase to pull this 5th wheel.

We've had our Ford van for 12 years with minimal problems so we would go with Ford again although we have no problems with Chevys or Dodge either. One major requirement is that we have a have a crew cab with a LARGE crew area. We intend to take out that crew seat and replace it with a floor mattress on which our dogs can sprawl.

Many, many thanks for any advice you can give me. We want to make the right decision and are ready to buy the 5th wheel just as soon as we can get the towing dilemma resolved.

Thanks, again!

Ellen
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Old 08-24-2006, 07:41 AM   #3
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Since you want to go Ford, an F-350 crew cab dually with the Tow Boss package would be the ticket to handle this 15K GVWR 5th wheel since you'll probably hit the road around 23,000 lbs gross combined weight (GCW). If you get the long bed (8'), you can use just about any suitably rated 5th wheel hitch you like; if you go for the short bed, you'll probably want a sliding 5th wheel hitch to keep from crunching the cab when turning or backing.

By the way, I just noticed this is your first post. Welcome to iRV2.com - we're glad you've joined us.

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Old 08-24-2006, 09:07 AM   #4
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I'll mimic what Rusty says. If you look at my signature, you'll see I have the truck Rusty describes. I pull a 16K 5er very easily.
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:32 AM   #5
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welcome aboard
and i will third the tow boss option
we are at 23860 loaded up road ready
it adds up fast
best dually i have had so far, and zero engine issues 25k miles and going strong get right at 11 mpg towing at 70 ish
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:52 AM   #6
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Welcome to IRV2. I have a 2002 F350 crewcab dually (7.3L diesel) and it is a beast. The Tow Boss packeage kicks the GCWR up to 26,000# if you need that much capacity.

The draw back is the 6.0L and it's service history. It was introduced in the early 2003 model year and was a big problem. My neighbor has a 2004 and has gone through 3 turbos and a blown head gasket. Ford is supposed to have the problems fixed now, but they are introduding a new 6.4L diesel in 2007 model year.

My personal feelings on the Ford diesel is I would make sure the dealer kicked in a 100,000 mile warranty on it as part of the deal.

Ken
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:39 AM   #7
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yep 03 and 04 6.0 were nortoriuos problems motors
but 06 and and late 06 builds have been almost non problems, i ws very aprehensive when we got ours but so far she has done fantastic
as for the 6.4 bettter wait a year,
all three are going to have to incredible hurdles for 07 emissions and the related gear.
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:13 AM   #8
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You seem to really want a Ford. Ok go out and test drive one. BUT, before you spend the money also test drive a like Chevy and Dodge. You will be amazed at how much power the new diesel motors have. Look for seat comfort, quiet and comfortable ride. I just got a Chevy for a company truck. Two of our salesmen that are driving Fords have been in my Chevy and are wanting to get rid of their Fords. Now, that does not mean that you will not feel great in a Ford, but you gotta give all three a chance.
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:47 PM   #9
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What kind of restraints are you planning on using for the dogs in your new crew cab truck? Perhaps the stock seat-belts can be utilized with modifications. I've seen the dog adapters in adds. You don't want those puppies hurt in an accident.
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:16 AM   #10
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Hi
We travel with a 100# lab and a 60# mix. We have a ford extended cab. I built a platform over the rear seat and the mutts love it. They sleep all the time we are traveling and have plenty of room.

Just thought this idea might help you in your travels.

Rick
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:39 PM   #11
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The rear seats in the Chevy crew cab folds so that it makes nice flat surface for the dogs. No modification required. Our 120 lb Newfoundland thinks its great.

I don't do the brand loyalty thing. I think all of the big three make great trucks (and a few lemons). Drive 'em all and buy what you like that will do the job. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

We just traded our Airstream for a 5th wheel too and love it.

Lotsa' luck!
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:16 PM   #12
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This is how we carry our pooches in the Ford...
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Old 09-09-2006, 01:17 AM   #13
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For that weight you want a doolley which ever brand you choose.

The GMC / Chevy crew cabs back seat folds very flat. My 185 pound Great Dane and 75 pound Lab just think it is great.

I would advise you to stay clear of GM trucks that are 04.5 and 05 model years with the LLY engine. Get either an 01 to 04 with the LB7 or an 06 with the LBZ.

For Ford diesel the 7.3 is great. Stay clear of the 03 to 05 with the 6.0.
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:31 AM   #14
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Dave mentioned to stay away from the 04.5 and 05 LLY Duramax. They had some overheating problems but that can be fixed and usually is under warranty or GM technical service bulletin.

I have an '06 LLY Duramax. It has the LLY program but the LBZ block, heads and fuel delivery systems. One of those "on the cusp of a new year" deals. However, it's more than enough truck for me and the previous year LLY overheating issues were solved when constructing the 06 version.

It's rated about 60HP less than the LBZ, however, that is easily fixed with some judicious application of more air in and out (intake and exhaust) + an aftermarket programmer. I haven't added the programmer kit yet as I am waiting on Banks and their 06 LLY system. Be careful of other packages that simply overfuel the engine...this leads to piston melting, ring failure, rod wrist pin scoring, all of which the GM techs have been trained to identify. There goes the warranty!

Now, how do you pick the right truck? You need to know the dry (empty) and wet (loaded) weight of your trailer. Then match a truck to the specs. Here's a simple GCVW calculation I did when picking my new truck:

Max GCVW = 23,200

Truck Dry Weight = 6,322

Max Truck GVWR = 9,900

Truck Capacity = 3,578

Diesel Weight Lb / Gal. = 7

Full Tank = 238

Normal Truck Weight Calculation:

Truck, Dry 6,322

Add Fuel 250

Add People 800

Add Gear 600

Contingency 500

Total 8,472

Max Trailer Weight Calculation:

Max GCVW 23,200

Normal Truck Weight - 8,472

Max Trailer Weight 14,728

Jayco Eagle 341 RLQS Max 14,000
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