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Old 02-18-2006, 05:56 PM   #15
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1997 30' Excella
Waddell , Arizona
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Originally Posted by wvmiller
Has anyone weighed their Excella 31 loaded as we usually haul them? If not, what is your best estimate of the weight?

I'm getting a new tow vehicle, and need a realilstic weight estimate, not the bare-bones unloaded one.
7850-8100 lbs loaded for a family of 3 and a small dog.

Steve Heywood
Waddell, AZ
1999 19' Bambi (SOLD)
1997 30' Excella (SOLD)
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:22 PM   #16
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1983 31' Excella
Waterloo , Iowa
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just looked at the weight charts AGAIN!! Seems like I have spent a lot of time looking at those things over the years.
And I really apprecaited your explaination of weight gain over the years, Kevin.
Now, can you explain to me why a 1982 31, Excella center bath, weighs 6800-600 and our 1983 31 Excella, center bath says 4950-600? that indicates a LOSS of 1850 pounds in general, doesn't it?
Do you suppose that 6800# figure is actually the GVWR?
I know the charts are generally accurate but this detail between the two years same model, really bothers me!

Elizabeth in Iowa

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Old 02-19-2006, 07:26 AM   #17
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[quote=SafeHarbor]Yes, it's true that diesel is now more expensive than gasoline. However, the diesel engine is 30% more efficient that a gas engine of the same displacement. What does that mean? Well, for me, it means going from a 235-hp Dodge Dakota to a 305-hp Cummins Ram, and now I'm getting 20 mpg mixed instead of the Dakota's 14. The BEST the Dakota ever got was 17 mpg.

The fun part of having the Cummins is putting THREE GALLONS of oil in it at oil change. (And filling up a 35-gallon gas tank.)
Other than mileage how was the Dakota as a tow vehicle? A smaller truck might suit my lifestyle better. I am getting out of a Jeep GC and consideriong something that can tow, and also is extended cab.
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:50 AM   #18
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1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
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Hi, Alan,

I can't say about the modern Dakotas. Mine was a 93 model that I ordered and got in Nov. 92. I ordered it expressly to tow the Argosy. I specified the 4.01 rear end, the 5.2L V8 (old 318), the heavy duty suspension package (which really made it a one-ton truck), and the tow package.

It pulled the Argosy great, but it wasn't powerful enough or heavy enough to tow the Excella. Coming back from Michigan last year, I was climbing hills in Appalachia at 55 mph and 3500 RPM.

The truck itself was great. I drove it from 1992 to 2005, and in 128K all it ever needed was the ventilation blower repaired and a new water pump at 100K. And a headlight switch rewiring in the campground at the Ft. Desoto forum rally in October.

The main problem when towing the Excella with the Dakota was passing trucks blowing the back end of the trailer one way and then the front end (and the truck) the other way. I was able to overcome this slightly by driving on the extreme right edge of the lane and then briefly steering toward the overtaking truck as it approached. If I timed it just right, the trailer would be moving leftward just as the air blast from the truck hit the back. I would already be making the correction, and the air blast reaching the front would help me straighten out as the trailer came back into trail in the original position on the far right.

As you can imagine, this requires concentration, and the timing has to be JUST RIGHT. And, by the way, some of the truck drivers REALLY don't like it.

Towing the Excella made me rethink what I want in a tow vehicle.

I decided to get the longest wheelbase, heaviest vehicle I could find. I don't need a truck very often, but when I do, I NEED a truck, so the Suburban would not have worked for me.

I have a friend who has a Durango with the V8, and he's never seen more than 14 MPG from it, even doing a 50 mile commute out in the country. I doubt a Dakota extended cab model would do much better.

1975 Argosy 28 "Argosy"
1979 Excella 500 31 "Betsy"
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:56 PM   #19
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1997 25' Safari
Box Elder , South Dakota
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What is it with towing a trailer at 70+ mph?
That is not legal in many places and foolhardy otherwise in my opinion.
We keep it -60 mph no matter where.

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