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Old 11-11-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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tow vehicle suggestions

We're buying a 2004 Glendale Titanium 29/34RL. 5th wheel. The length from the pin back is 29 ft but it has a 5 ft extension ahead of the pin, hence, the 29/34 length description.

We plan to buy a low kms 10 - 15 yr old tow vehicle (budget demands) and have considered a Chev/GMC Duramax/Alison combo; also the Ford F350 6.0 or 7.3 L diesel Automatic.

Does anyone have suggestions on which of these (or other): make, engine, rear end would be best?

Also short or long box, dually or SRW?

Thanks, PD
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
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Based on many forum comments, I would look for a Duramax over a 6.0L Ford. The 7.3L tho is a fine engine. Trouble is, when you find one that is in good shape, you will pay as much as for a newer DMax.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:42 PM   #3
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The other dig problem you will run into with older tow vehicles is the low GVWR numbers. And because of that if your going that old, get a dually. But I also have to ask why no Dodge Cummins? A one ton dually Dodge Cummins with a manual trans makes one tough tow vehicle the likes of which you will find hard to duplicate in a Ford. The GM Duramax did come out until I believe 2002 and any older than that there is no way I would buy a GM diesel motored truck.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:39 AM   #4
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From what I know from my time with trucks and have read from others, you will NEED a DRW 1-ton diesel truck. They are all good if they have been taken care of. The 6.0 Fords are ok, but their problems are well known and easily fixed if the tech knows what they are doing. The older Chevy diesels are a no-go. the Dodge Cummins combo is strong but loud.
Have you searched to see what's available in your price range? You may have to get a gasser-diesels hold their value. You also may have to travel a distance to get a good deal. I'd get a clean 6.0 or a 7.3 if you can find one.

PowerstrokeNation.com and TheDieselStop.com are good boards to look at.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:54 AM   #5
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I recently bought a new to me truck and I did alot of research before buying. I wanted a dodge with cummins I drove my buddies dodge to try it out. they ride like a dang lumber wagon and couldn't stand the interior. I have a couple friends that are Ford lovers. I don't know why because they are always fixing them. They brag about how good they are but they are but it seems like they are always in the shop. I bought an 07 chevy duramax. Crew cab long box leather with 99,000 miles. It rides like a Cadillac. Last summer we went from home in Nebraska to Ky to see my wifes family. She was very pregnant at the time when I asked her what are we driving? The mini van or the the truck. She said the truck because it don't make her hurt.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:10 AM   #6
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The latest trucks from the big three are all pretty equal, so pick the one you like that has the capacity to tow your trailer.

In the Fords, avoid the 6.0L unless it has had the mods made to FIX it once and for all. Ford can pull the Oasis report to give you the service history for Ford performed work. The 6.4L is not much better and is a fuel hog.

The Ford 7.3L engine is a good engine and clean low mileage trucks bring a preminum price. The E4OD and 4R100 transmissions are the weak link. An added transmission cooler and temp gauge with frequent oil changes help the life.

The GM Duramax has had issues with the engine and injectors on certain years. A GM fan will have to answer that. Bodies tend to develop rattles.

The Dodge Cummins has had issues with the older automatic trannies as well. The older ones rode rough and tended to develop body rattles.

When I sold my 2002 7.3L DRW, no problems selling it and looked at the new trucks, I drove the Dodge Ram, and the GM Duramax and settled on a new Ford F350 in my signature. My 2002 had zero body tattles and such.

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Old 11-12-2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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My 2002 Dodge Ram 3500 dually Cummins HO/6-speed manual was still tight and rattle-free when I sold it in 2010. It was dead reliable, rode very well for a dually after replacing the stock shocks with adjustable Rancho 5000s, and was a towing fool with the 4.10 gears. Yes, until the advent of HPCR fuel injection in the 2003 models, the earlier Cummins were loud outside the truck - not so much inside, but they just sounded like a real diesel IMHO. If you could find a clean earlier Cummins HO dually with the NV5600 6-speed manual, it would make a very good tow rig for your application.

Because of a physical problem, I had to go to the 6-speed automatic in our current Ram, and I'm very satisfied with its performance as a tow vehicle as well. The interior is quiet, very well appointed and has all the modern bells and whistles that the older trucks didn't have. Towing performance is excellent as I expected since I ordered this truck equipped to achieve maximum GCWR and GVWR.

Personally, I'd avoid the 6.0L Ford. Some reportedly were OK, but a lot were not, and you really don't know which one you'd be getting.

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Old 11-12-2013, 08:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdanniels View Post
We're buying a 2004 Glendale Titanium 29/34RL. 5th wheel. The length from the pin back is 29 ft but it has a 5 ft extension ahead of the pin, hence, the 29/34 length description.
Per NADAGuides, that RV weighs 8,545 dry, so probably 10,000 pounds on the road. Wet and loaded hitch weight will be in the neighborhood of 1,700 to 2,000 pounds, so count on 2,000 pounds to be safe.
2004 Titanium by Glendale Fifth Wheel Series M-29E34RL Standard Equipment, Prices & Specs - NADAguides

Quote:
We plan to buy a low kms 10 - 15 yr old tow vehicle (budget demands) and have considered a Chev/GMC Duramax/Alison combo; also the Ford F350 6.0 or 7.3 L diesel Automatic.

Does anyone have suggestions on which of these (or other): make, engine, rear end would be best?

Also short or long box, dually or SRW?
Anything before 2005 model year has a lot less payload capacity than the later model diesel pickups. I know the details of Fords, so I'll use them as my examples.

A 10 to 15 year old Ford diesel will probably have the wonderful 7.3L Powerstroke diesel engine. Dependable, reliable, should last to around 400,000 miles with excellent maintenance, or at least 200,000 miles with awful maintenance. You want a '99 thru 2003 7.3L. But so do all other knowledgeable shoppers for older diesel tow vehicles, so the price is higher than for the same vintage GM and Dodge diesel pickups. I bought a new '99.5 PowerStroke and put almost 200,000 mostly-towing miles on it before I sold it for $10,000 two years ago. Wonderful pickup.

Don't even think about an F-250. Only 8,800 GVWR, and mine was overloaded with my 5er that grossed only 8,000 pounds.

Ford made that truck as an F-350 SRW, either shorty or long bed. But the problem with the SRW is it's not quite enough truck for a 10,000 pound trailer. GVWR is only 9,900 pounds, and the wet and loaded CrewCab diesel longbed 4x2 will weigh about 8,000 pounds before you tie onto the trailer. That leaves 1,900 pounds for max hitch weight, and your trailer might have a bit more hitch weight than that. And if you go for a 4x4, those weigh about 400 pounds more than the 4x2s, so you'll be even more overloaded.

So for your trailer, you want a '99-'03 F-350 DRW with 7.3L diesel engine, or even an F-450 that has an aftermarket tow body, flat bed, or pickup bed added. There were lots of F-450s converted into RV toters, so there should still be some available as used trucks.

The weak spot in the 7.3L drivetrain is the 4R100 automagic tranny. It's good for around 100,000 miles, then it goes south. So count on replacing the tranny if you buy one of those. Replacement trannies cost anywhere from about $2,500 for an OEM 4R100, to $4,000 for the much better HD4R100 that's now available from Ford, to over $5,000 for a custom rebuilt bulletproof tranny by BTS. (I had a BTS rebuild at 112,000 miles, and back then it cost me less than $4,000).

And don't forget that any old pickup is still an old pickup that things break and have to be replaced. The diesel engine might run "forever", but everything else is just parts on an old truck. AC, water pump, fuel pumps(s), shocks, tires, brakes, various micro-computers including the main computer (PCM), etc. So it pays dividends if you are a pretty good shade-tree mechanic.

Shorty or long bed? It doesn't matter if you buy the right hitch. Ford made a few (very few) shorty duallys back then, so you night run into one or more for sale. But don't even think of tying onto a 5er with a shorty pickup without a slider hitch. There are two kinds - manual slider and fully automatic slider. If you're old like me, then you probably need the automatic slider. It's called a PullRite SuperGlide. I wouldn't want to tow a 5er with a shorty pickup without a SuperGlide hitch.
Traditional Series SuperGlide - For Short Bed Trucks | PullRite Hitches

Other brands back then: The GM diesel engine before about 2002 was simply an awful engine. My GM dealer refused to sell them or work on them. The Issuzu-designed Duramax engine that replaced the old GM diesel around 2002 model year was a much better engine. So if you find an old GM diesel pickup, be sure it has a Duramax engine and not the earlier one. The Cummins diesel engine in Dodge pickups has always had a reputation of being a great work engine. The only problem with the Cummins engine is it came with a Dodge wrapped around it. Drive one before you buy one, and decide for yourself if you can live with the Dodge pickup.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdanniels View Post
We're buying a 2004 Glendale Titanium 29/34RL. 5th wheel. The length from the pin back is 29 ft but it has a 5 ft extension ahead of the pin, hence, the 29/34 length description.

We plan to buy a low kms 10 - 15 yr old tow vehicle (budget demands) and have considered a Chev/GMC Duramax/Alison combo; also the Ford F350 6.0 or 7.3 L diesel Automatic.

Does anyone have suggestions on which of these (or other): make, engine, rear end would be best?

Also short or long box, dually or SRW?

Thanks, PD
,
The one thing to watch for is make shure the previous owner did not have some big tuner on it and rod the piss out of it. This goes for Chevy ford and dodge. If you can find one unmolested or with just an economy tune that would be best.
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