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Old 07-22-2011, 05:55 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle

We just purchased a 2003 Excel 33RSE. We were not really ready but found the "right one". We are not in a hurry, the unit is stored indoors on concrete and we may not even use it until next spring.
My question is: What would be a good tow vehicle? We are leaning towards a Chevy with duramax and allison trans, probably a 2500 or maybe a 3500 between 2005 and 2008.
Any feedback will be appreciated
Thanks
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick848193 View Post
We just purchased a 2003 Excel 33RSE. We were not really ready but found the "right one". We are not in a hurry, the unit is stored indoors on concrete and we may not even use it until next spring.
My question is: What would be a good tow vehicle? We are leaning towards a Chevy with duramax and allison trans, probably a 2500 or maybe a 3500 between 2005 and 2008.
Any feedback will be appreciated
Thanks
The model # doesn't tell what it is but I will assume it is around 33'. I would go with the 3500 Dually as a min. especally if it is a 5er. I like my Dodge but have heard good things about the Chev. & Allison.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:26 AM   #3
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Don't know about the year range you are looking at but we love our 2500. You can get great information on this chevy/duramax forum Chevy and GMC Duramax Forum

Make sure that you get the stats for the specific model you are interested in so that you know the actual ratings as there were manyu model configurations. Depending upon weight you may want to consider dual rear wheels.

Only downside to the 3500 - and why we didn't go that routye - is that the gross weigth may push you into a higher annual registration fee category in your state.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:26 AM   #4
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Excels tend to be heavy and you will more than likely be over the trucks GVWR with a single rear wheel truck. A typical 5er will have a pin weight of around 20% of the trailers GVWR. Your Excel will probably have a GVWr of around 15,000# so your pin weight could be around 3000#.

A truck in travel form, loaded, full fuel and hitch will be considerably over the curb weight, so you need an actual truck weight.

Towing a 5er is limited by tow weights...the trucks GVWR and GCWR.

GVWR is stamped on the tag on the drivers door jamb. GCWR is in the owners manual and specific to an engine, type cab and axle ratio.

GVWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer pin weight.

GCWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer weight.

The weight tag also list the front and rear GAWR. The manufacturers literature will tel you that NONE of the weight ratings are to be exceeded. Some people feel it is OK to max out the rear axle and be well over the trucks GVWR. I do not.

Here is an excellent site to explain the terms and has a spread sheet to help with the calculations.
RV and Tow Vehicle Weights

The main thing is to know your weight limits and see what your comfort level is for your rig. You will get a lot of folks telling you that they pull their 40' 5er with a 3/4 ton truck and do just fine....they have no idea of their weights and are an accidenet waiting to happen.

Get the right truck to do the duty....ie. don't expect a boy to do a mans job.

In short, I think you will be better served and a more comfortable with a dual rear wheel truck. Watch certain years of the Duramax as it had some injector problems. Ford had a disaster with the 6.0L starting in 2003.

Ken
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:14 PM   #5
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For that heavy a 5th wheel, you'll need a diesel dually, a 250/2500 series truck cannot handle the pin weight of a heavy 5th wheel.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:32 PM   #6
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I can't add much to what's already been said other than to underscore the need for a dually with the likes of an Excel. Any one of the Chevy/GMC, Ford, or Dodge should do fine for you. Pick the one you like best. I'm very satisfied so far with the new Ford 6.7 PSD. I can't say the same for the 08-10 6.4 PSD. That one was very problematic for us.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:40 AM   #7
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Tow Vehicle

Thanks for all the information-- Pretty sure we are going to a 05 - 08 Chevy dually 3500.
I hated the dually idea but "better safe than sorry".
Thanks again
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:23 AM   #8
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We pull about 15000 pound 5er with 2300 pound pin weight when loaded with a 2006 GMC 3500 with duramax and allison trans and it does a fine job. I would suggest that you go with the dually or you could run into problems with the pin weight. The allison trans really does a great job. We just returned from a trip where there was a 1 1/2 mile long 7 % grade and we did 55MPH all the way to the top with no problems.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rick848193 View Post
Thanks for all the information-- Pretty sure we are going to a 05 - 08 Chevy dually 3500.
I hated the dually idea but "better safe than sorry".
Thanks again
This is just my method – It seems you may be new to running with a dually, I find that knowing your tire mfg dates and a using tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) takes a lot of the uncertainty out. It can be a PIA to check dually tire pressures, but a good TPMS simplifies it. If the truck you find doesn't have a TPMS built in - search this site for what others use. Also, if the cost of replacing 6 tires all at once is an issue, I replace 2 at a time. I put the 2 new tires on the front, the next to the newest on the rear inside, then the oldest tires on rear outside (so I can keep an eye on them). I don’t set a specific end of life date on tires, but due to normal wear and road hazards my oldest tires are only 6 to 8 years old - so about every 2 or 3 years you end up buying 2 new tires. Using a TPMS makes this a comfortable and cost efficient compromise for me.
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