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Old 07-06-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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Trailer and Tow Vehicle Combo

Hey y'all the wife and I are shopping around for an upgrade to our current combo: 20ft explorer TT towed by a 98 F150 4.6. It won't be for a while since I'm in grad school but it always nice to look ahead and start planning. Anyway I just wanted to know what y'alls opinions were on the best combo trailer/TV. Right now we think any 5th wheel with the rear bunks for eventual kids will suit us best and the 5er we've chosen now is the Wildcat model 312 BHX. GVRW 11,720. We really plan on towing probably about 5k miles a year and I plan on keeping the 98 F150 bc seriously the best truck I've ever owned. So that will be my DD. The tow vehicle I'm thinking of will be an 06 Chevy 2500 8.1w/Allison tranny. I say I want gas because of cheaper maintenance and I've heard letting a diesel sit really isn't good for them. Also I've found several gassers with the exact combo I've mentioned with very low miles and low price. Anyway that's what I've got so far. Any real world opinions would be great!


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Old 07-07-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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Wife and I are also shopping around for fifth Wheels, I will tell you from lots of reading on here, find the RV you like and then size your TV (Tow Vehicle) accordingly. The Allison transmission is great, also since you are lookng at an 06 model it will be a six speed trans. I can't say much on the gas 8.1L since i don't own one I opted for diesel. Also if you are interested in other models based on what your looking at there is also Jayco Lite, Coachmen Rv, and Cougar X Lite, they all have models very similar in what your looking at, and may be priced very similar, again only suggesting. Happy shopping

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Old 07-07-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! Yes I would say look for the trailer first. My dad, when they first got started, bought his hitch first, then trailer, then truck. It was funny then because he put his reese 5er hitch in the trunk of his impala lol. But in hind sight probably not a bad idea. Found a 16k hitch for $50 (yes $50) because the lady didn't know what she had and it was her husbands who she just divorced. Then he just matched everything up from there. I do like the all of the cougar models. Wife seems to like their decor and we both like Jaycos because of their build quality.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:37 PM   #4
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I had a GMC 2500 with the 8.1/Allison and currently have a 36' motorhome with the 8.1/Allison.

Good engine with sufficient power to get me around the country. On the motorhome I had to have the exhaust manifolds replaced but on the GMC I never encountered a problem.

You will hear piston slap on the truck 8.1 but not the motorhome 8.1. The dealer told me that was because there is a difference in the two engines.
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.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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Not saying your wrong but the piston slap actually may have been your valves (lifters). At my shop we would ecounter this once in a while usually remedied by sometimes synthetic oils and a few people have used that crazy red bottle (Marvel Mystery Oil) and have eliminated the noise,
2008 Chevy Crew Cab Duramax/ Allison
2013 Coachmen Chaparrel Lite 279BHS
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:24 PM   #6
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What you are referring to could also be engine "ping" by one or more things gas, oil, heat, stress ,computer trying to adjust to weight being pulled, my 02, Tahoe when it's hot out pings for about ten miles, I usually pull off road at exit or rest area let truck idle for about 15 min and it stops. Had to dealer all has checked out well
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:58 AM   #7
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8.1L gas engine is 495 CI. Huge engine, that loves gas. The closest thing I've had was a Class A motorhome with a Chevy 454 engine that also loved gas - 5 to 8 MPG, depending on wind conditions. One trip we got 5 MPG from Midland to Denver heading into a stiff norther. But if you can stand the gas bill, then it will probably be an excellent towing engine.

For my use, I switched to a diesel for dragging my 5er. 11 to 12 MPG instead of 5 to 8. We had the diesel/5er combo for 12 years, then "retired" from RVing. But we missed having our pottie on the road, so we now have a small TT and use a turbo gas engine to tow it with. Having had a turbo diesel for many years, I'm not concerned about the reliability or longivity of the turbo gas engine.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:15 AM   #8
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Big bore gas engines take lots of gasoline to fill the cylinders. Met a fellow with a Chevy 1 ton DRW 8.1L towing a 16000# 5er. He said unloaded he was lucky to get 12 to 13 mpg on the road. Towing he got 6 to maybe 7 mpg on the flats. Hill, he didn't bother to check mileage, but it was bad.


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