Originally posted by Silver Bullet
The specs show 2980 dry. Being that you're in CA, I would opt for a larger CID (or liter) and lower gear ratio as the Rockies are inbetween you and the places you are sure to venture. Oscar
I would not get smaller gears. Any truck that is bought today comes with a minimum of 3.08s. Most prefer 3.73s, while some like 3.42s or 4.10s. I would go no lower than 3.08. Case in point, my gears are 2.93 and are for sh** towing. They work, but not as good as the bigger gears.
In the end, the larger CID or liter engine means not that much if it can't deliver the power to the pavement. I have what I would consider an extremely potent 350 and if I go with a bigger coach, I will have to go with the 3.73s if I want to be able to successfully deal with the additional size, weight, etc of the larger coach.
Larger gears should also work well in mountains too. From my understanding most gas engines deliver torque and HP at higher RPMs than diesel, so, larger gears increase the RPMs a bit at the very least.