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Old 04-15-2011, 04:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Randy the sly old fox View Post
My truck has then new tow haul II (like the Allison) that downshifts when you tap the brakes when tow mode is turned on. I have read on other forums where they felt that this was better than the exhaust brake.
I would imagine most (if not all) the current diesels, regardless of manufacturer, have integrated trailer towing systems that combine the tow/haul mode, exhaust brake and integrated brake controller functions to make trailer towing pretty seamless.

On our Dodge, when towing with the tow/haul mode and exhaust brake functions engaged, the computers manage these functions in conjunction with the integrated trailer brake controller such that, the harder I brake, the more aggressive the downshift schedule in the 6-speed automatic transmission (with the exhaust brake function of the VGT turbo engaged, of course), and the higher the output from the integrated trailer brake controller to the trailer brakes. As you state, a tap on the brakes results in a downshift with the exhaust brake engaged, but I also have + and - switches on the gear lever to select the highest gear the transmission will use (i.e., if I toggle the - switch down to 4, only gears 1-4 are used) or to manually downshift when coming to a stop or going down a steep grade. Usually this isn't required, however, as the trailer towing algorithms loaded into the computers by the engineers do a pretty darned good job of automating much of the trailer towing process.


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Old 04-15-2011, 04:53 AM   #16
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truck choice

Hi Dan
Just my thought, bought a 2011 dodge 3500 drw and love the job it does pullin a 36 ft prairie schooner at 9.5 and up to 10 mpg. Exhaust brake does a great job when in the tow/haul mode.
good luck
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:31 AM   #17
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Another question: is an exhaust brake an important thing to have?

YES
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:47 PM   #18
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My truck is a gasser so I do not have an exhaust brake. However my tranny has a grade brake that downshifts when I tap the brakes - I can also use the Manual mode and "tap shift" as well. I have read alot of other posts on other boards where a person with a new GM truck does not use his EB and uses only the grade brake.

I believe that Ford's Tow Boss package uses a combination of tranny shifts and EB in an automatic style - the rumble in the rockies downhill looser was the Ford.

The new GMs have a switch to engage the EB along with the grade brake.

The ITB has a limited part in the overall grade braking process.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:53 AM   #19
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Wow! A dually is not what I wanted to hear, but then again, itís exactly what I wanted to hear - knowledgeable opinions and advice from experienced people who have already been down this path! And everyone seems to be in agreement - a 1 ton dually. That's what we will start looking at. We plan to check out the Dodge dealers this weekend.

Another question: is an exhaust brake an important thing to have? Iíve read up on the theory and it sound like a good idea. Dodge, Chevy and GM say an exhaust brake is standard in the 2011 models, but Iíve found no mention of one in the Ford info.
What are every onesí opinions on exhaust brakes?

Thanks again for the help!
Hi again, I was out camping this weekend and did not have access to WI-Fi.
So I am posting my $0.02 to your questions on the exhaust brake.
YES, one is required with a diesel engine. The Cummins has the best DIESEL EXHAUST brake amoung the big three, as standard.

This is from the Cummins diesel engine home page.

This engine is rated with 350 horsepower at just 3013 rpm. It achieves a peak torque of 800 lb-ft with the automatic transmission configuration, providing Ram Heavy Duty pickup customers with superior trailer towing and drivability. With 800 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm, power is increased across a wide speed range of 1200-2700 rpm. This delivers up to 46 additional hp at typical highway cruising speeds and the most low-end torque available in a heavy duty pickup. The Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel continues to offer the most powerful integrated exhaust brake available in a heavy duty truck. Cummins best-in-class integrated exhaust brake, with a full 225 braking horsepower at the wheel, gives Ram Heavy Duty pickup customers more confidence while towing the heaviest loads down the most severe grades. Cummins proprietary sliding nozzle Variable Geometry (VG) Turbocharger is used as the integrated exhaust brake, making this unique capability standard on every Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel. Utilizing the VG turbocharger, the exhaust brake significantly improves control when towing heavy loads, such as pulling RV fifth wheels and horse trailers, providing added vehicle control and vehicle brake savings by using the engine for braking power. This extends the vehicle brake life, resulting in reduced total cost of ownership.

If you check the DODGE BODY BUILDER'S Guide, you will see that Dodge has raised the towing weight on the 3500HD DRW trucks to the best in class.
Jim W.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:59 PM   #20
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After shopping for the dually - Whew!

We read all the comments and went shopping for a 1 ton dually on Saturday. We had put Ford 3rd (in part because of the "Rumble In The Rockies" article) and didnít even make it to the Ford dealer (we had been there before). But we did make it to Dodge and Chevy. From a gut feeling point of view, we both liked the Dodge 3500 DRW a lot better than the Chevy 3500 DRW - the driver info seemed better displayed and the ride was better. We like the amenities and storage better in the Dodge.
We came close to buying a used 2011 Dodge with 3k miles on it, but it was a loaded up Laramie trim package, which kind of offset the savings of buying used.
So now we are strongly leaning toward a new Dodge 3500 DRW, crew cab, 4WD with a mid range trim package - there are quite few around town for sale. We bought the Consumer Reports New Car Report for the Dodge and have gotten a couple of offers that we think are very good. It sure is exhausting and time consuming haggling with dealers
But here is my question today: what rear axle ratio should we go for? All of the trucks on the lots are 3.73, but when I look at the Dodge charts, going to a 4.10 results in a very significant increase in GCWR - 6600 lbs! If I understand this correctly, the downside of a 4.10 rear axle is that the engine RPM will be higher a lot of the time and mpg will go way down. Have I got that right? It may be a moot point because all of the trucks on the lots seem to be 3.73. The only way to get a 4.10 may be to order it, and we donít want to wait that long.
So - what are everyonesí thoughts about rear axle ratios?

Thanks in advance for your comments and help!

-- Dan & Deb --
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:45 PM   #21
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HI Again,
My Dodge is a 2007 6.7L Quad Cab dually with 6 speed auto and 4.10 rear end ratio. Oh and it is a 4X2.
So from my prospective the 4.10 is ideal. I can pull all day up and down hills with the cruise control set at what ever speed I choose. My fiver going down the road scales 12,350 pounds. Not overloading the truck by a long shot. But it is nice to have all that reserve power at hand. At a minimum get the 3.73 rear end ratio.
BTW, I have seen as high as 11.5 towing to the coast, which is over a small mountain range.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:47 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by DMcKerrow View Post
But here is my question today: what rear axle ratio should we go for? All of the trucks on the lots are 3.73, but when I look at the Dodge charts, going to a 4.10 results in a very significant increase in GCWR - 6600 lbs! If I understand this correctly, the downside of a 4.10 rear axle is that the engine RPM will be higher a lot of the time and mpg will go way down. Have I got that right? It may be a moot point because all of the trucks on the lots seem to be 3.73. The only way to get a 4.10 may be to order it, and we don’t want to wait that long.
So - what are everyones’ thoughts about rear axle ratios?
With the 68RFE 6 speed automatic being a double overdrive transmission (i.e., both 5th and 6th gears are overdrives), the 4.10 gears are very easy to live with. At 60 MPH in 6th gear, engine speed is 1612 RPM with the 4.10 gears and 1466 RPM with the 3.73 gears. On my previous 2002 Dodge dually with the NV5600 6-speed manual and 4.10 gears, 60 MPH was 2000 RPM. Lots of opinions about the 4.10 gears are based on running them with the older single overdrive transmissions like our 2002's NV5600, so they really don't apply with the newer trucks.

As was mentioned earlier, most of us whose trucks have 4.10 rear axle ratios had to order them. Dealers just don't stock them. Our 5th wheel RV has a 16,000 lb GVWR, so we wanted the higher GCWR rating available only with the 4.10 gears, and we aren't disappointed at all. The truck is a joy to tow with - at least, that's what my wife tells me. She's so comfortable towing with it that she has logged far more towing miles than I have to date.

As far as delivery is concerned, in our case, we ordered the truck on August 5, 2010 and took delivery on September 11th, but the window for ordering a 2011 is fast closing - the order cutoff date will probably be toward the end of this month. Since we wanted specialized tow rigs, we've ordered our last 2 trucks equipped just as we wanted them.

Good luck whatever you choose.


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Old 04-19-2011, 08:28 AM   #23
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But here is my question today: what rear axle ratio should we go for? All of the trucks on the lots are 3.73, but when I look at the Dodge charts, going to a 4.10 results in a very significant increase in GCWR - 6600 lbs! If I understand this correctly, the downside of a 4.10 rear axle is that the engine RPM will be higher a lot of the time and mpg will go way down. Have I got that right? It may be a moot point because all of the trucks on the lots seem to be 3.73. The only way to get a 4.10 may be to order it, and we donít want to wait that long.
So - what are everyonesí thoughts about rear axle ratios?

Thanks in advance for your comments and help!

-- Dan & Deb --
What you are seeing in the charts for the 4:10 gear set is the new high output engine from Cummins. This has an increase of 800 FT of torque compared to the original 6.7L engine, which had 650 FT of torque. The newer HO trucks are not on dealer lots as of yet. From what I have read on other forums the ordering window open for them in late March or early April. So if you want the increase load carrying capability you will need to order the truck.
There is much more to the newer trucks then just an increase to engine torque. Dodge had to redesign the Torque Converter and Differentials to handle this extra torque. So you will get a truck that is capable of handling a heavier 5er. In fact the Dodge Reg. Cab, long bed DRW truck 4X2 is rated to tow 22,700 LBS trailer with a max GCWR of 30,000 LBS.
Like Rusty stated above there is not much difference in engine rpm's with the new 6spd auto's using the 4:10 gears set.
Jim W.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:42 AM   #24
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In fact the Dodge Reg. Cab, long bed DRW truck 4X2 is rated to tow 22,700 LBS trailer with a max GCWR of 30,000 LBS.
Yep, ordering a 3500 DRW with the new Max Tow package gets you a 30,000 lb GCWR. When we ordered our truck, the GCWR for it was 26,000 lbs. If you were to find a 4.10 dually on the lot that didn't just come off the transporter, that's likely what you'd get.

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Old 04-20-2011, 09:46 AM   #25
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Another question: is an exhaust brake an important thing to have? Iíve read up on the theory and it sound like a good idea. Dodge, Chevy and GM say an exhaust brake is standard in the 2011 models, but Iíve found no mention of one in the Ford info.
What are every onesí opinions on exhaust brakes?

Thanks again for the help!
I will respond to your question this way. Our 10yr old Dodge has 85k on it and it has been used mostly for hauling or towing something. The original brake pads still have over 50% on them yet. i use the Ebrake all the time. One trip I hauled a 13k tractor over Blewett pass here in Wa. I held 50 (5th gear) coming down only using service brakes before some of the corners. I later found that I was 3500 over loaded. Best money I have spent.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:08 PM   #26
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All those web sites are just about worthless, especially if pertaining to a specific truck. They will best case everything from their perspective. Ask about cargo capacity for a 3/4 ton truck...they'll give it to you for a gasser, which does not have the heavy diesel engine and, thus, has 800 to 1,000 more cargo capacity. What they don't tell you is the greatly reduced GCWR with the gasser.

Bottom line, get the diesel dually, you'll really be happy and glad you did...BTDT!
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:05 AM   #27
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Dan, in the for what its worth department. I had a 08 Dodge 3500 SWD prior to buying my new 5th wheel. In the time while waiting for the build after much research I realized that the SWD would probably tow the trailer but not as safely. Further research led me to a 3500 DWD and I looked at all of them. Final result was I wanted a Dodge but my local dealer did not have any with a 4:10 rear end and only stocked a 3:73. My 08 had the 4:10 so I did have a feel on towing a 24' enclosed car trailer with car,tools tires etc. That combo was in the 13m lb area however the side movement was something that I didnt think I wanted to deal with on a 5th wheel. As I decided to go ahead with the Dodge the dealer did a dealer trade for one with a 4:10 rear end and now I am really happy I didnt settle for one they had. My mileage is at 10mpg pulling and about 13 not pulling but its starting to get a little better as I add mileage (6400 now). The truck is a 2011 Laramie 4WD 3500 DRW with all options and I added a Aux 65gal fuel/tool box and 20m Reese hitch and after the first time hook up of the trailer I added Firestone air bags to the rear.
Truck pulls the trailer with no problem and even in high wind is very stable. Trailer is a Brookstone 367RL and is much heavier than advertized when loaded, but the added items like 2 AC , gen, and many other items. The weight at the Cat scale last month was 25000 lbs for loaded truck and trailer with about a 4000 lb hitch weight. I changed the trailer tires to LT the second day so I have a better safety factor there also.
So the coments I have are that no matter what the advertized numbers you get on a truck / trailer you will probably have much more so better to plan for the maximum the first time
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:42 PM   #28
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We Bought The Truck!

Thanks for every-one's comments and help. The last few weeks have been an educating experience. We started out thinking we could do this with a used ĺ ton truck and a used 5th wheel for about $50,000 - silly us. We went to an RV show, talked to a lot of people and found this great iRV2 website. Reality set in - we rented a 30' class C and really enjoyed it, but we learned a lot and got a much better idea of what we wanted.

We ended up with ordering a new Excel 5ver and a new Dodge 3500 DRW 4x4. It just became clear that thatís what it would take to be comfortable - for us. We got the truck Saturday and love it. Itís got the Big Horn trim package and we went with the 3.73 rear end. We get the 5ver in late May

We plan to be full timing in a few years and canít wait to get started this summer with a long trip back east. Our first grand child is expected in August!

Thanks again for every-one's help. Weíll be lurking on the site - learning and posting!

-- Dan & Deb --
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