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Old 04-13-2012, 05:55 PM   #15
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Fort Worth , Texas
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Eaglemate, it'll be darned hard to beat a used Cummins (lack of emissions equipment makes for better mpg and probably longer life). Avoid 4WD to keep operating expenses down. Manual transmission is better than auto (for any brand) but it especially sweet with the straight 6 turbodiesel.

If you buy brand new then it's hard to say which one will be best. A diesel may no longer be the best long-term buy as the initial cost is not so easily offset by higher cost per gallon and lower mpg in years past. The 1T trucks with gas motors, or the 1T vans (Ford) may be the better choice for a TT of 9k lbs.

On a used vehicle it would depend on how old one is willing to buy. I'd have no qualms recommending 2003-2006 Dodge, but I'm pretty comfortable with the vehicle specifically, and all vehicles generally. I can't say what others are comfortable with. Some years of GM are great, but no Ford from 2003 to 2011 is worth looking at (diesel). So a gas motor gives one a far greater set of choices as all three brands have some good combinations.

Much of what constitutes "success" with a TV is the service. A good dealer is worth more than brand loyalty for the majority of folks out there. If the TN and FL locations are fixed, then asking about dealers would be very high on my list of how to choose a TV.

One needs keep the TV in perfect shape as a TT demands a higher level of performance. And, while dealer service can be expensive, one is "protected" by the national level of communications, so to speak (versus a mom & pop operation).

Be willing to change if the first one doesn't work out. Same as you have planned with the TT.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:15 PM   #16
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1965 30' Sovereign
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i have to say the cummins is a better motor not really a dodge fan but love the cummins motor the have

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Old 04-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #17
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2004 16' International CCD
Orem , Utah
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Cummins do sound fine

500,000 miles is nothing to sneeze at considering it's a truck and maybe abused little. I could never buy chev or ford with diesel as Cummins is fail proof. I like small diesels little under dog motor my 2.8 4cyl hauls booty if you lay it down going up hill even in tow.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:44 AM   #18
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2007 30' Classic S/O
Somewhere , South Carolina
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This can really start the campfire "discussions" we all have opinions.

By standards I'm still new to the 5.9L just got mine in '05 (about 125,000 miles on it now) and followed it up in '07 with a '97 5.9L Ram 3500 for my Son. Some observations and opinions.

If it is a 7.3L consider it.
If it is a 6.0L run from it.
The 6.4L didn't last too long (on the market) and most pictures that I have ever seen show it with the entire cab off for any significant repairs.
Ford 6.7L reputation is still being determined. My neighbor owned a 6.0L and it failed him once too often, gone. His '11 6.7L has some kind of trans delay that would seem to show up at for example an on ramp merge, he is in serious discussions w/dealer. I must say when he took me for a drive in his '11 it is one serious sweet cab and gadgets.

One of my favorite I'm considering a diesel which one should I get comments is:

Line up a Cummins next to any Ford and then a Duramax next. Open the hoods, which one would you preffer to work on?

There are companies that make all the adaptors to create a Fummins (Ford w/ Cummins eng) but I haven't seen a 7.3L in a 3rd Gen Ram.

I really like it when I hit 6th gear with the AS hooked up and the Cummins hits the sweet spot, everything is just right and its time to enjoy the views.

I like my Cummins, I'd replace it with another if something happened to it.

Good luck.
S/OS #001
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L 6 Speed
16" Michelins, Hi Spec Wheels, Max Brake, Carslile Actuator, Equal-i-zer, Dill TPMS. Campfire cook.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:24 AM   #19
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1991 29' Excella
Mt. Vernon , Missouri
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Currently pulling with a 7.3 Ford Crew Cab Dually that we purchased new. 215K miles with no problems other than one transmission failure, which is expected from that generation of Fords. We had a Vogue 40' motorhome with a Cummins 8.3 mechanical engine that was wonderful. 34k lb. gross and it pushed it effortlessly up hills. My mechanic said it was basically the big sister to the 5.9. I would consider either brand based on my experience. Certain editions of the Duramax also have a great reputation. I would say whatever truck you like best is the one to go with. What about the threads that claim that 3/4 or 1-ton vehicles are too much for an Airstream?
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:30 PM   #20
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1972 27' Overlander
Penokee , Kansas
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The tally in our area,,
Cummins 500,000+ miles and still strong
GM,,, 200,000 + get weak or need repairs
Ford 250,000+ they never seem to die,, but just drop power.. Get hard to start and at the end blow oil..

2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman Hemi, 4x4, 6 speed

20mpg empty, 14 mpg with 27' Overlander.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:53 PM   #21
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I'm also in with the Cummins. My 2000 Dodge has outlasted any other diesel I've had with 215,000 miles of no big engine repairs.. Did a fuel pressure gauge, a FASS lift pump and lots of fuel filters for no problems.
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:24 PM   #22
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Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
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I also run a Cummins. Bought it new in August '04 when the '05's were coming a big black 4-door 8' bed 4x4 SLT with the 4-speed heavy duty automatic (they had two automatics for the 2004 1/2...the regular and the heavy). I pull a 34 foot triple axle 5 ton gross and my wife probably loads it to 6 tons....I have never hit a hill I could not accelerate up.

I'll echo what the others have said....when the big straight six hits its sweet spot, she just purrs up the road. I have had zero problems with this truck. I have been very happy with it. The only problem I have is that our calico cat, Cupcake, likes to walk on top of it and leave "footy prints" on it. Can't really blame the Mopar for that though

I use an Equal-I-Zer 14,000lb rated hitch with my trailer. I generally get 12-13 mpg towing and 19-21mpg empty. I used to get 2mpg better before they changed the diesel fuel formulation in late 2007. If you put fuel additive in, you'd probably get the higher mileage. I probably should run the fuel additive all the time but I don't....

At any rate, I have been extremely happy with my Mopar. The interior is not quite as fancy as the truck it replaced, but it's still nice. And, when I turn the key, it runs. That is worth more to me than any heated leather seat (my Excursion had all the goodies but liked to puke spark plugs...)

You won't go wrong with a Cummins.

Oh yeah, my "other" car is a '70 Dodge Charger with a 440 Magnum and a 4-speed

Mopar or NoCar!
- Jim
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:46 PM   #23
1975 Argosy 24
Germantown , Tennessee
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What would be the max mileage you'd consider in buying one? I have a budget of about $17,000.00 and anything I find is in the 150,000 mile range.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:12 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Eaglemate View Post
What would be the max mileage you'd consider in buying one? I have a budget of about $17,000.00 and anything I find is in the 150,000 mile range.

It all depends on the year, make and model that you are looking at. Mileage on a pre '07.5 Dodge Cummins is second to the overall condition of the truck. If it is maintained well and not abused, 150K on the 5.9L internals is nothing. I have one 3rd gen currently pushing close to 300K of very hard work and it runs like the day we drove it off the lot. However, you have to consider things like injection pumps on the 2nd gen 24-valves and injectors on the early 3rd gen trucks. If you find one that you like that has higher mileage, take it to any of the dozens of quality independent diesel shops around the country to have them look it over. PM me if you need assistance finding a good Cummins shop. I happen to know a few.

The 6.7L in the '07.5 and newer trucks has proven to be solid also, except for some emission system problems, especially for trucks that have been used for "grocery getter" duty. They tend to have soot buildup issues with the DPF and turbos, especially with the first couple model years.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:13 PM   #25
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1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
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I would be comfortable buying a well maintained Cummins in that mileage range.

AS I said before, 565K and other than an injection pump no engine related repairs.
The engine itself has never been opened. I see little if any change in performance today as compared to when bought it.
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #26
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1994 34' Excella
1978 31' Sovereign
Mansfield , Georgia
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Run, run, run from any Ford truck with a 6.0 L diesel engine. I have one and have spend thousands trying to keep it running. Ford has never fixed this engine and will not stand behind their product.
Tac GA-20
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:39 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Eaglemate View Post
What would be the max mileage you'd consider in buying one? I have a budget of about $17,000.00 and anything I find is in the 150,000 mile range.
We need to know more.



Auto trans

Man trans

I bought mine when it was less than 4-yrs old and had 120k on it for 19k. No abuse evidence in re GN or 5'er hitches, "tuners", etc. Owned by a service company that turned them at three years. Chrysler VIP report told me what I wanted (along with Carfax). Call in favors and be ready to travel.

Much depends on your competence about vehicle mechanics or that of a good friend.

Engine hours need to show a 30-mph average preferably. I'd not really like less than a 27-mph average.

Your budget is one I would work with, too, and 150k ought to be "do-able" . . for a great 2WD/manual.

The 4WD/auto will be expensive to repair (which it will need). Happily, the 2WD is not only cheaper to run, it is always cheaper to buy.

See what is up on Autotrader and link us to some candidates. Make the '03 and early '04 models the center of your search. No advantages to later with a few disadvantages accruing (service interval, poor seats). Best motor tune is the one I also have: 305HP & 555TQ.

The later 600TQ engine has a third injection event, poor piston design and much shorter oil change interval that shows up at 1 Jan 2004.

You can also dig around on CUMMINSFORUM for more specific info.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:22 PM   #28
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Why not Ford Power Stroke as your oil burner?

John "JFScheck" Scheck
2015 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL
2015 Mercedes Sprinter 3500 XL Chassis with Mercedes BlueTec V6 Diesel
**I Love U.S.A.**
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