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-   -   Advice on tow vehicle for Excel 36' (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f116/advice-on-tow-vehicle-for-excel-36-a-217698.html)

gschooley 09-05-2014 08:17 AM

I went to the dealer yesterday that I have bought my last three diesel pickups over the last 10 years. They sell both RAM and Ford, very convenient for me. I was able to both take on a long test drive with equivalent configured F-350 and RAM 3500 (4wd, DRW, 8' bed etc.). I fully understand not having 19,000 lbs behind them its not much of a test but we all know both rigs can handle them. I was really interested in how they would compare in riding with out any weight (since I will be using this truck for off road and unimproved road excursions for fly fishing, hunting etc.. a lot on my full time adventures. Also, I am a Ford biggot but someone who has been bitten hard by Ford with the last three diesels and including my current 2011 F-250. I know this will probably spark some emotional responses but driving the Ram 3500/F-350 on some of the worse highways in the US (Michigan) and taking down wash boarded and pot holed dirt roads...there was no comparison. I can't believe I am saying this but after owing six brand new Ford trucks in my life I am jumping ship. The 2014-2015 Ram 3500 is what I am settling on, with the Aisin tranny.

drfife 09-05-2014 10:32 AM

gschooley, did you test drive a GM 3500HD? The ride is great.

JDT 09-05-2014 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drfife (Post 2215208)
gschooley, did you test drive a GM 3500HD? The ride is great.

I am not one of those who say buy what I buy but for a good comparison I agree with Russell. The quietness and fit and finish of my truck is excellent. The power is all I need and very smooth. The ride is really decent empty. The Duramax and Allison are a good combination. I didn't think I would like it but the lane drift warning system is a must have in my books. It will buzz whatever side of your seat your drift is headed, or you can set it for an audible warning. I had no idea I ever strayed from my lane but the wife did. I makes me pay closer attention. I also have the forward collision alert but have not set it off and hope I never do.

gschooley 09-07-2014 04:26 PM

Okay, everyone's contributions has really paid off. Thank you. Now to the NEXT PROBLEM and/or concern of mine I need some direction or advice, please. To remind everyone; I will be ordering a 2015 Excel 36GKE Limited. Currently, I am strongly leaning towards a 2015 RAM 3500, DRW, 4WD, 8' bed, Crew Cab. The 4WD is a must, no mater it Ford/Chev!!!

My concern now is the 5th wheel clearance between the truck bed rail to the bottom of forward cab of 5th wheel. What I can ascertain a minimum of 6" but preferred 8" for extra measure. I am reading horror stories out there with the newer trucks, over the last couple of years, being too high for proper truck to 5th wheel rail clearances. I have read many of the forums, including iRV2, and I just can't seem to figure it all out, and my dealer is new to Excel and 5th wheels in general.

Any experience, issues or advice with a 36' Excels and proper rail clearance with a 2014-2015 RAM 3500, DRW, 4WD, 8' bed, crew cab?

excel2014 09-07-2014 05:25 PM

You can adjust the height of the fifth wheel hitch on the trailer by 3-6" at least. I did that adjustment to get fairly level and for proper clearance

gschooley 09-07-2014 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by excel2014 (Post 2218636)
You can adjust the height of the fifth wheel hitch on the trailer by 3-6" at least. I did that adjustment to get fairly level and for proper clearance

What truck are you using?

excel2014 09-07-2014 06:09 PM

The difference between the bottom of my 37ike and the bottom of the king pin plate is about 14 inches. I had to raise my king pin plate one notch to get my trailer and truck near level. Right now on asphalt the bottom of the trailer is about 62 inches but the trailer was raised 1-2 inches when i pulled the truck out.

JDT 09-07-2014 08:41 PM

I have about 6" clearance between the top rails of the truck bed and the bottom of the Winslow and it is very close to level. It might sit a little nose high but really looks level. I have my Trailer Saver hitch sat at its lowest level. I think my king pin plate is in the middle holes. I think you will be fine but may have to make some adjustments.

gschooley 09-08-2014 05:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDT (Post 2218958)
I have about 6" clearance between the top rails of the truck bed and the bottom of the Winslow and it is very close to level. It might sit a little nose high but really looks level. I have my Trailer Saver hitch sat at its lowest level. I think my king pin plate is in the middle holes. I think you will be fine but may have to make some adjustments.

Comforting to hear but I am still worried about it. I going out to measure the Ram 3500 vs. the F-350 4wd today. If I remember looking at them, side by side from the rear, the Ram looked higher in the back. I don't have access to a Chevy like yours for comparison. If you get a chance and can measure from the ground to top of bed, at rear of truck I would greatly appreciate it. I am assuming all the Excels have the same cab height, when level, to the ground?

happy tails 09-08-2014 07:13 AM

We are towing our 2014 36 GKE Limited Co storied with our 2013 Dodge Longhorn Laramie and we have no problems with clearance we are a little high in nose when pulling but not that bad.

happy tails 09-08-2014 07:14 AM

2014 36 GKE Limited Customized

JDT 09-08-2014 07:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gschooley (Post 2219257)
Comforting to hear but I am still worried about it. I going out to measure the Ram 3500 vs. the F-350 4wd today. If I remember looking at them, side by side from the rear, the Ram looked higher in the back. I don't have access to a Chevy like yours for comparison. If you get a chance and can measure from the ground to top of bed, at rear of truck I would greatly appreciate it. I am assuming all the Excels have the same cab height, when level, to the ground?

I put a level on top of the tailgate and measured from the floor to the bottom of the level. It is right at 57 3/4 inches. If that is not what you wanted let me know. My assumption is the Excel heights are all the same but you may have to ask PI about that one.

gschooley 09-08-2014 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDT (Post 2219328)
I put a level on top of the tailgate and measured from the floor to the bottom of the level. It is right at 57 3/4 inches. If that is not what you wanted let me know. My assumption is the Excel heights are all the same but you may have to ask PI about that one.

That helps a lot, thank you. I got my measurement with a level too. Just got back from Ford-Dodge dealer. Both trucks 8' bed, 4wd, dually, crew cabs (F-350 & 3500). Ouch on the Dodge!!! Both have same 17" rims, too.

F-350 is: 55.5"
3500 is: 59"

That is not a typo and all measurements double checked...you don't have to measure to see the big difference, both trucks were side by side. My F-250 crew cab with 20" wheels is also 59", ridiculous.

There lies my problem. I've got to find someone out there with a 2013-2015 3500 with this 4wd same configuration to talk too. I have seen on some forums where people have done crazy suspension things to get bed rail down but this is something I am not willing/hoping to do. Hopefully, there is a reasonable solution??? Why do the manufactures do these things, obviously they don't talk to their real customer base.

rockintom 09-08-2014 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gschooley (Post 2219797)
That helps a lot, thank you. I got my measurement with a level too. Just got back from Ford-Dodge dealer. Both trucks 8' bed, 4wd, dually, crew cabs (F-350 & 3500). Ouch on the Dodge!!! Both have same 17" rims, too.

F-350 is: 55.5"
3500 is: 59"

That is not a typo and all measurements double checked...you don't have to measure to see the big difference, both trucks were side by side. My F-250 crew cab with 20" wheels is also 59", ridiculous.

There lies my problem. I've got to find someone out there with a 2013-2015 3500 with this 4wd same configuration to talk too. I have seen on some forums where people have done crazy suspension things to get bed rail down but this is something I am not willing/hoping to do. Hopefully, there is a reasonable solution??? Why do the manufactures do these things, obviously they don't talk to their real customer base.

Just for grins, I went out and measured my 14 Chev CC 4WD CC LB with a Fold-A-Cover bedcover. Just a smiggin' under 58" I have a tight 6" of bedrail to coach clearance and the rig is just slightly high in the front.
I have to be careful when entering and exiting with a sharp turn, but not something I can't live with. Coach suspension is set on the lowest hole (coach as high as possible). I'd like better numbers but did the best set up I could without spending a bunch of $ to make it better. Just FYI. I have noticed a friend that his 2012 Ford 350 (all the same stuff as mine)is about an couple of inches lower than mine when they sit side by side. rockin'


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