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Old 01-29-2010, 02:31 PM   #1
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Thinking of Replacing My Truck

Hi All!

Just Bought my first TT(signature). Don't even have it yet. It's sitting at the dealer and I'm gnawing at the bit, but today, it's 15 degrees...

I have a Dodge PU (signature), which is just about at my towing limit. The truck is super heavy duty, but the motor might be a little underpowered. Without the trailer, it gets 12mpg and I'm sure with it, the truck should get gallons per mile...LOL

I prefer Dodge(long time dodge fan), but am open to suggestions.

What do you have, and how does it pull long hills, interstates, and fuel economy. I do need a quad or crew cab with 4x4.

I'm going to hopefully struggle through this year, but next year I'm ready to move up.

Any help please?

Thanks
Tom
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:39 PM   #2
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IMHO, it's hard to beat a Dodge/Cummins combo for a tow vehicle....

Voice of experience - you can't have too much truck for your trailer, but you can easily have too much trailer for your truck. Most of us have run into that as we upgrade RVs from time to time, so buy as much GCWR and GVWR as you can. In other words, don't buy a truck for this RV, but for the NEXT one and even the one after that.

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Old 01-29-2010, 03:17 PM   #3
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Everyone tells me (a Ford F350 owner) that Dodge is the best pickup truck for towing. I know someone who has a 36ft or 39 foot 5th wheel with a Ford 550 and cannot pull it. Well, he can pull it, but with a lot of strain and very slow up hills. I know someone else who hauls livestock around the country with a pickup and has tried all pickup truck brands and sizes. He is back to Dodge and will not get anything else. He told me Dodge outlast and out performs everything else.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:26 PM   #4
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I'm not particularly interested in dual rear wheels, but torque, power, and fuel economy. I've checked out 2500's that can do an adequate job now and for the future.

My good friend has an F350 with an 8cyl deisel and 5 or 6 spd manual. He has experienced very poor fuel economy and some trouble pulling his 35ft Eagle 5th wheel. In fact 2 years after getting the Eagle, he parked it in a permanent site in a local campground. That was 2 years ago. He blames the problems on the transmission. In his opinion, the older ones(for whatever reason) are the better pullers. He blames it on more stringent emmision standards.

Should I go used??? His previous TT was a 30 footer and he towed it with no problems using a 2001 Dodge 2500 and hemi. He said fuel economy with the new truck showed no improvement. Even though the new trailer weighs 3000lbs more, he thought his mileage should improve?
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:19 PM   #5
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Based on the size & GVWR of the TT you purchased, I would think you would be fine with what we used to have (unless, of course you're set on a Dodge): Chevy Silverado 2500HD, Crew Cab, 4x4, short bed, 6L gas, auto, 4.10 rear axle. We hauled a 32ft 5-r with 9800lbs GVWR/1750lb pin wt with it. The 8.1L engine woulda been better, but we were straddling the fuel economy vs towing capacity fence. If you could get that size truck in a diesel (whether, Chevy, Ford or Dodge), that'd probably be even better.

We bought that 2003 model used in 2004 & saved over $15,000 on the cost of a new truck optioned the same. If you get a vehicle that's been taken care of, used is really the best way to go.

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Old 01-29-2010, 05:50 PM   #6
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Power usually isn't the biggest problem when you don't have enough truck. It's handling and stopping. (Especially Handling.) I get 12/13mpg towing and 16/18 empty, that's if I keep the speed down and don't push it. I have the 410 rear end, get about the same as the 353 rear end I had before and much better towing. I won't go with less truck unless I have a much smaller trailer. Been there, done that.
I don't find the duals a problem. I can only remember one time I couldn't go where I wanted to go and that was between 2 posts that were 8' apart center to center. Something most don't realize is the duals are only about 7" wider on each side than a 1/2T PU.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:02 PM   #7
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As far as economy is concerned, I pulled our previous RV (13,500 lbs GVWR 5th wheel) with a 1996 Dodge 3500 V-10 with 3.54 rear axle and got 6.5 MPG. Our current truck pulling the same RV got 12 MPG. On a particular 6% grade on I-10 going into Kerrville, TX, the V-10 was in 2nd gear (47RE automatic transmission) at 3500 RPM and would hold 55 MPH at full throttle while the current truck pulling the same 5th wheel would run 70 MPH in 6th gear up the same grade with power in reserve. Most of us doing serious towing, once having used a diesel, wouldn't go back to a gasser.

If you're looking at a large 5th wheel down the road, you'll need the higher GVWR of a dually pickup. If not, then a 2500 would probably work fine.

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Old 01-29-2010, 08:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach-Tom View Post
I

My good friend has an F350 with an 8cyl deisel and 5 or 6 spd manual. He has experienced very poor fuel economy and some trouble pulling his 35ft Eagle 5th wheel. In fact 2 years after getting the Eagle, he parked it in a permanent site in a local campground. That was 2 years ago. He blames the problems on the transmission. In his opinion, the older ones(for whatever reason) are the better pullers. He blames it on more stringent emmision standards.
I got to laugh
i had a 2006 F350 crew cab with the tow boss option (430 gear set, a few other things, gcvwr of 26k)
we pulled a 15500 fiver all over and power was never the issue nor was MPG towing, 12-13 was the norm at 67 or so.
empty mpg was not changed much up to 15-16
bottom line she was purchased to pull and she did it well, the 6.0 engine likes to turn rpm to get in its sweet spot, the tranny was fantastic.
my only complaint was ........i wanted a bigger fuel tank
my older 7.3 didnt pull well at all and it was a dually as well but with 410 gears. we destroyed the tranny on a long pull.

the new ford engine may be a coin toss, but we shall see


one thing is true, you can never have enough truck, you will be surprised at how fast weight adds up and before you know it, your HEAVY.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:01 PM   #9
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I appreciate all the input received. I previously had a ford/mazda Ranger. It was indestructible, but a whimp. I really don't feel like beta testing the new Ford deisel. Even their tractors come with cummins or detroit deisels.

I had a Trailblazer EXT, loaded(msrp 42,000), but when it came to hauling anything, it didn't. My 24ft Bayliner bowrider and trailer(weight >4,000lbs) used to tow the trailblazer around. The Dodge towed the boat with no problems at all. The Trailblazer was relogated to shopping and kid running around vehicle with all of their activities and sports. Prior to the TB, I had a Suburban 2wd with man 4sp and 300cid gas six and towing the boat was fine, except for long uphill pulls. I always looked forward to the crest of a hill.

My Dodge has been a tank with 118,000 mi, one tune-up(last year), one oxygen sensor(october). Of course, there's normal maintenance and wear and tear items. It is also one of the baddest looking trucks on the road. It's customized with more chrome than a seeburg jukebox. I still get comments on it wherever I go.

As far as my friends ford f350 goes. I don't know what particular deisel engine he has, or for that matter, what he's got for a rear end. I think that's kind of personal anyways, don't you powerboatr? I don't mean to insult your fordliness sir, but I do know he hates it and he no longer tows his trailer. I refuse to buy an asian truck. Bought the Ranger without knowing it was a Mazda. I've owned 2 Lincolns and both were junk!

For me, it's either the Dodge or the Chevy/GM. They're all awesome looking trucks. What ever one is up to the task will probably get my vote. Price and average cost to maintain is also very important.

Albeit, I may go 1 ton, only because there's very little difference in price between 1 ton and 3/4 ton from what I've seen browsing around the net.

And yes, I am HEAVY! 6' 2" and 315lbs.

Thanks again for all your advice.

Tom
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:29 PM   #10
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Albeit, I may go 1 ton, only because there's very little difference in price between 1 ton and 3/4 ton from what I've seen browsing around the net.
You won't be sorry if you go bigger from the start & you'll be ahead of the game when (& it's always when...never if) you decide to upgrade the rv for more room. Just ask those of us here who've done the 'truck shuffle" dance.

Happy shopping!

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Old 01-29-2010, 11:54 PM   #11
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Yes, I have to agree with the spec's of your new TT (Catalina) you are at the limit in your Dodge 1500. About 4 or 5 years back my brother bought a 38' 5er toy hauler thinking his old Dodge 2500 V-10 would handle it. No way. We went with him the first trip out to a ATV based campground off the beaten path in SW. PA. The last hill before the campground did him in. He over-heated twice the last 10 miles and had to park it to cool down. He didn't want to do it, but broke down and bought a new 3500 Dodge Diesel soon afterwards. He first searched for a used one, but any diesel truck seemed to hold it's value, so he went new. $$$$.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:10 AM   #12
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About 4 or 5 years back my brother bought a 38' 5er toy hauler thinking his old Dodge 2500 V-10 would handle it. No way. We went with him the first trip out to a ATV based campground off the beaten path in SW. PA. The last hill before the campground did him in. He over-heated twice the last 10 miles and had to park it to cool down.
A little off-topic, but having pulled a heavy 5th wheel with a Dodge V-10, I'll share some experience on this problem. First, be sure that the cooling system is in good working order - the thermostat, viscous fan clutch are working and the cooling pack (radiator, A/C condenser, A/T fluid cooler, etc.) is clean. If all this is OK and the truck is still overheating on slow, steep grades, it's probably due to torque converter heat as the unlocked torque converter generates LOTS of heat that the transmission fluid dumps into the radiator tank cooler which, as Dodge plumbed the system, is the first cooler the transmission fluid sees.

Adding an auxiliary transmission cooler between the transmission and the radiator tank cooler gets rid of a lot of this heat before it's dumped into the coolant. Be careful here - the 47RE has larger transmission cooler lines than the standard off-the-shelf coolers. Be sure the cooler is compatible with the 47RE. This solved our coolant temperature problems when towing heavy with the V-10 on steep grades, especially in high ambient temperatures. With this mod, the fluid path is Transmission > New Oil-to-Air Cooler > Radiator Tank Cooler > Factory Oil-to-Air Cooler > Transmission.

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Old 01-30-2010, 01:47 PM   #13
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Adding an auxiliary transmission cooler between the transmission and the radiator tank cooler gets rid of a lot of this heat before it's dumped into the coolant.
Come to think of it, our Chevy 2500HD had one of those. I remember asking Dave why the truck had a 2nd smaller radiator & what you said above is exactly what he told me. We never had a problem overheating - but then, I think the most grade we ever hauled up/down were 7% grades on eastern PA Tpk & I-64 south of Charleston, WV.

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Old 01-30-2010, 08:41 PM   #14
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I happened to stop at the Dodge dealer today to take a look at the 10' Ram Heavy-Duty. The diesel went from 5.7L to a new 6.7L Cummins. The salesman said that was the first one they received for this model year. He said it would be a 8-12 week wait to get another. Has anyone heard of how this new Cummins diesel is going? Boy, what a nice interior.
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