Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-11-2016, 11:15 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 20
Ready to purchase a tow vehicle

We're getting ready to purchase a tow vehicle, and due to budget constraints, it might have to be a gas engine. The question I have is, does anyone know whether the big three manufacturers transmissions have speed retarding capabilities like the allisons do? If you ask the dealers, they don't know. Looking to get a one ton dually or single wheel. We also will be purchasing a fifth wheel next year, most likely a grand design something. I'm not new to rv'ing, have had a classic A, class C, and two 39 foot fifth wheels. Thanks for the comments in advance. Gp

winnieducks is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-11-2016, 11:30 AM   #2
Senior Member
plasma800's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,138
Blog Entries: 2
Manual downshifting works, it's they was it's done in gassers.

RVM#78 - -USAF- F-15 Eagle Radar Vet
'5 Fleetwood Revolution- '15 Airstream Intl Sig. 27FB
Jay, Andrea, Stella '14 Ram 3500 Aisin '18 ORV F30RLS
plasma800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2016, 04:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ca
Posts: 1,058
My friend was new to RVing. He bought a new bumper TT and a new 2500 Chev.
Wasn't long and he bought a new 5er. Now he has another new 2500 Chev diesel. All in two years or less.
Good luck.
timetogo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2016, 05:49 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 333
I towed a 14,000 lb 5ver with an F350 v10. It struggled up the mountains, but going down sucked even in 2nd gear. Get a diesel if you can swing it.
rskeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2016, 05:57 AM   #5
SouthpawHD's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 77
My Chev 2500 gassers pulls my 8,000 pound trailer no problem. But I can definitely see its limits. If you are planning on a big 5er, and based on the fact that you need a 1 ton you are, you really should consider diesels or plan on spending time in he slow lane on roads with inclines.

That being said, if you live in the flat Midwest and aren't traveling far on a regular basis, a gasser would do the trick.
Palomino SolAire 307QBDSK
2016 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 6.0L, CC, 4.10
SouthpawHD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2016, 05:05 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Viva Las Vegas
Posts: 251
If purchasing a 5ver, I recommend a used diesel. Yes, they are pricey compare to there gas counterpart. But in the long run, you are better of with a diesel.

BTW, my Tundra did downshift automatically like my Allison does while in Tow/Haul mode.
2014 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
2005 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT CC 4x4
Zac808 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2016, 05:19 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 604
If 10k or more go diesel. I honestly cannot imagine towing a substantial trailer/fiver with a gas truck. Tow haul mode and downshifting is nothing compared to the above with an exhaust brake in the mountains.
gtsum2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2016, 06:58 PM   #8
roteague's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 62
The RAM has an 8 speed transmission and works well in tow/haul mode.
2015 Ram 1500 Big Horn 3.0L ecoDiesel
2016 Keystone Bullet Premier 26RBPR
roteague is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2016, 07:31 PM   #9
Senior Member
tuffr2's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palm Coast Florida
Posts: 2,967
I do not know anyone that tows heavy with a gasoline engine for long. Usually only one or two years before they downsize the trailer or switch to diesel.

If you can find a clean used diesel 2011 or newer I think you would be happy.
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2016, 10:29 PM   #10
Senior Member
MtnTrek's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Currently; SW Cali. Sunny & warm!
Posts: 1,134
"the big three manufacturers transmissions have speed retarding capabilities like the Allison's"?
Allison transmissions do have anti-self-destruct sensors that put's them into limp mode if they are put outside of their performance envelope.
Not sure exactly what you're asking, do you mean engine braking by means of downshifting? You'll still be able to downshift but going to fast you may over-rev easier.
Engine braking is not as efficient on gasoline motors due to their lower compression ratio, and normally being naturally aspirated. It's not so much the transmission. Although all "big three" are probably beefy enough in their gas versions.
The diesels in the big three utilize in addition to the higher compression ratio's, variable vane turbo chargers. This among other features further reduces the internal gas flow creating "reverse brake horsepower". This is inverse of what is utilized going up the grade.

Happy motoring.
DRV Suites ES-38RSSA #9679
J & J
GM Denali, 3500HD-Max, 4x CC, 8' DRW,
MtnTrek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2016, 11:03 PM   #11
Senior Member
Arch Hoagland's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Clovis, CA, USA
Posts: 6,382
The only gas engine that was good for towing was the GM 8.1.

Had one in my 2004 GMC 2500 and I currently have one in my Class A motorhome. I weigh in at about 25,000lb with toad.

Any other gas engine won't work for a bigger trailer. I've been there and done that.

I think you'll be wasting your money buying a gas engine to do what you want to do unless you can pickup a used Chevrolet or GMC with the 8.1 and Allison transmission.

As far as transmission speed retarding I drop my gears manually down to 3rd and 2nd on my Allison 1000 transmission. Not much compression so while it helps it doesn't do much.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS

Don't know where I'm going, spose I'll get there anyway.
Arch Hoagland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2016, 11:13 PM   #12
Senior Member
road dogs's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: 7S5
Posts: 571
I have been towing heavy 5th wheels with my 2004 diesel I bought used over 6 years ago. I have towed many, many miles, coast to coast and many trips in mountainous terrain and usually average about 11-12 MPG. I can't imagine making those trips with a gas powered TV. I have EFI Live programming with 2 tow modes and a turbo brake for downhill. I have pulled up and down some long 8% grades easily and safely, something I would never attempt with a gas rig. I've seen RPM 1000+ over the 3200 RPM red line going down steep grades but that is not a problem for diesels. I do all my own maintenance and minor repairs myself and have not had any problems in over 30,000 miles of towing. You can find older diesel trucks for sale that will provide many miles of safe, happy towing. Yes, they demand a higher price but they are worth it and will retain their value if properly treated and maintained.
2004.5 GMC SLT CCLB, Ride Rites, Turbo brake, EFI Live
2012 Arctic Fox 29 5T 5th Airborne, B&W, Prodigy
Papillon navigators Lily, Buddy and Willow
road dogs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2016, 08:57 AM   #13
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 20
Thanks to all who replied to my question. The big problem is the ole finances and trying to save a dollar. I guess if I'm going to do it the right way, it's going to have to be a diesel. This will be our last rig, and it won't be over 34' in length and will try to keep it light. We will be living in it until we need to pull up in front of the nursing home and get out. Thanks again for the comments.
winnieducks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2016, 09:51 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ca
Posts: 1,058
A diesel without an exhaust brake has less compression braking than a gasoline engine.
As long as you buy new, all of the big 3 diesels come with exhaust brakes.
If you buy used, be careful and do research.
I wouldn't own a diesel without an EB.

timetogo is offline   Reply With Quote

purchase, tow

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Full Timers-Tow Vehicle-Do it Yourself Tow Vehicle Mtc - where do you do it? dexters Full-Timers 6 11-01-2015 07:51 PM
Ready For Retirement-New Tow Vehicle !!!! rideandslide Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion 3 04-05-2015 05:55 PM
RV tow vehicle. Vehicle later tows boat. T-J Class C Motorhome Discussions 1 08-08-2014 07:50 AM
New tow vehicle ready to roll dayle1 New Rig Show-Off! 8 02-01-2014 10:41 PM
Problems with buying a vehicle that was used as a tow vehicle. KeithT Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 17 01-17-2005 05:07 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.