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Old 05-09-2015, 10:30 PM   #15
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For the size RV you have, dually for sure.

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Old 05-11-2015, 08:14 PM   #16
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I towed an all steel (hefty) gooseneck trailer with two horses in it with my '99 F250 4x4 superduty 7.3. Probably weight around 12,000 loaded. It was fine, but clearly towing a load. I had that truck for 14 years and never had problems with it. But, I didn't want to test it in the mountains. Up not a problem, was worried about coming down.

As I am doing my research for getting a 5th wheel toyhauler rig I am finding that it is less about the towing capacity. It is rather the payload that the truck can carry that needs to be looked at first. I am looking at around 35-38 ft and no matter what the manufacturer it is going to be 2600 or more in payload. I have tried to find that sweet spot but it looks like no matter what I look at....it has to be a 3500/350 and a DRW.

But one other number seems to be the ratio....3.73 looks like it is the minimum. But that is maybe on the line with what I am looking at: Voltage, Fuzion, Road Warrior. Maybe 4.10 is the better choice.

Champagne taste, beer budget. Still tweaking it

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Old 05-11-2015, 08:28 PM   #17
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If I were looking in your price range I wouldn't overlook a 2nd generation Duramax/Allison. Mine has towed a 5th wheel about 35-40K miles without any issues, coast to coast, up & down many mountain passes and everything in between. If I could afford a new truck I would take a long hard look at Dodge, but my SS check won't cover a $65K truck so I'll keep my good ol' D/A going as long as I can. No DEF, DPF or payments, just drive and tow....
2004.5 GMC SLT CCLB, Ride Rites, Turbo brake, EFI Live
2012 Arctic Fox 29 5T 5th Airborne, B&W, Prodigy
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by WalkAbout View Post
As I am doing my research for getting a 5th wheel toyhauler rig I am finding that it is less about the towing capacity. It is rather the payload that the truck can carry that needs to be looked at first. I am looking at around 35-38 ft and no matter what the manufacturer it is going to be 2600 or more in payload. I have tried to find that sweet spot but it looks like no matter what I look at....it has to be a 3500/350 and a DRW.
There are SRW 350/3500 trucks with payloads over 4000 lbs and 5th wheel tow ratings around 16,000 lbs. DRW is better while towing, but I don't like dealing with parking them while using them as daily drivers the other 350 days of the year.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:11 PM   #19
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I can answer your question based on actual real world experience.

I have BOTH trucks and tow with both. A Dodge Ram 3500 and a Ford F350. While I would've originally thought my Cummins 5.9L powered Dodge to be the far preferable vehicle to tow with, I couldn't have been more wrong. Hands down I much prefer towing with my 7.3L Powerstoke Ford. Both trucks are duallys and both engines are lightly modified (exhaust, cold air intake, towing chip). I operate heavy equipment for a living so I believe in pushing my vehicles. Both are set up for longevity rather than max power.

The Ford rides and handles better as well although it is a 2WD. My Dodge by contrast is a 4WD lifted and riding on 38" military tires. So of course it's going to be a worse ride but it still is set up to handle that lift quite well. I also have a 2WD Dodge V10 powered Ram 2500 SRW and it rides much worse than my Ford F-350 Dually.

Your budget fits finding a lower mileage 7.3 PS Ford but you definitely should stick with a F350 DRW or F450/550 if you can find it.

I picked mine up in California last year. It had 111,000 miles on it. I have put on 24,000 mostly towing miles since then. I paid $11,000 for the truck I then took it to the 7.3 PS guru, David Lott (DPI in Houston) and had him custom tune the engine for the power I needed to get through the hills in California and Oregon. I also had him add hte basics for upgrading: cold air, 4" MBRP exhaust EGT and Trans temp sensors and a 6.0 transooler for additional cooling. I then added a full HID setup with the 6.0 looking lights and new grille. I get compliments on my truck nearly every time I drive it ( as long as it's clean). I set my EGT alarm to 1200 and never exceed it (or if I accidently do I back off immediately). I pull a 14,000 lb FW.

As far as the cab type. Definitely go with the crew cab vs extra cab set up. The quad cab doors make it a royal pain to deal with at parking spaces. And the kids will need the extra space of the crew cab. We have driven across country in both. My poor daughter was cramped like a sardine in the Dodge (she's a full sized adult even though she's only 12). In the Ford she can stretch out an relax. My 8 yr old son loves both and could care less about the extra space. Ha.

While I never race or push it, last year a kid pulled up to me at a light in TX. He had a brand new Chevy Duramax 2500 that had a 6" exhaust tip and was obviously heavily modified. His motor sounded like a jet engine. He guns it, I follow and off we went. He had me beat but not by much. At the next stop light he rolls his window down and says he can't believe and old 7.3 PS, and a dually at that, could almost keep up with him. I think I'm at 380 HP and around 800 lb TQ. The new trucks are more than than but not my much. They usually have a pretty big payment, and of course massive depreciation, I don't

Now don't get me wrong, the new 6.7 Powerstokes and Cummins are amazing motors and I will likely update to new truck eventually. I'm not saying my truck is as good as the new ones. I'm just pointing out that if you're on a budget that you must stick to, then you can accomplish 80-90% of what the new trucks will.

As far as stopping, that's what good judgement and GOOD TRAILER BRAKES is for. I don't speed when towing, don't tailgate, and I don't skimp on brake maintainance. In fact, last year I spent $1500 upgrading the F350s brakes (slotted and drilled rotors and new pads on all four hubs), and another $2,000 on the trailer brakes (including new bearings and a hitch install). I don't have an exhaust brake on the Ford (the Dodge has it) but that isn't an issue even in the worst of hills. One just has to manage the energy conservatively. You can't tackle a 6-8% downgrade doing 70 mph with 14-16,000 lbs behind you and expect to be called safe. I approach such grades at 45-55 mph and never exceed 60... unless I see a steep uphill grade following it. In 20,000+ miles of western US towing (mostly hills) I haven't had a problem stopping.
No longer full timing, but still camping 10 days at a time every other month.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:34 AM   #20
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2002 RAM Cummins Dually 6sp manual. Great truck.

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