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Old 05-16-2015, 09:28 AM   #29
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Don't forget about tow mirrors. Most half tons offer them with the tow package and the 3/4 ton would come with them also. But other vehicle types do not. This is something you won't notice on a test drive but would become apparent when you hitch the trailer.
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:08 PM   #30
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Just in case money matters, we bought our 2012 Ram 1500 new for $24k with no finance expenses needed, no repairs at 40,000 miles and the tires are original. Oil changes are $18-$30 at the dealer, runs efficiently on regular gasoline, license and insurance are reasonable.

Pulling our Airstream coast-to-coast and border-to-border several times it has gone everywhere and done everything we have asked of it. It has all the power, braking, payload and towing capacity we have ever needed. We spend 6-7 months each year with it traveling all over the country staying in venues ranging from Wal-Mart, the middle of nowhere, to luxury RV resorts and found something good about all of them.

On the road it tows like a dream (the mirror ensures it's back there), absolutely stable with the PPV hitch in all weather, the transmission has the gear needed to climb and brake in mountains. The relatively short wheelbase allows excellent maneuvering of the Airstream in tight campsite and gas station situations. The full coil springs and front independent suspension rides nicely and handles well, it does not shake up our Airstream on rough roadways. We are both comfortable driving it, and relaxed after a day on the road.

Properly equipped and hitched light duty trucks are excellent tow vehicles for mid-size Airstreams, at a very reasonable purchase and operating expense.

cheryl
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:41 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckottum View Post
Just in case money matters, we bought our 2012 Ram 1500 new for $24k with no finance expenses needed, no repairs at 40,000 miles and the tires are original. Oil changes are $18-$30 at the dealer, runs efficiently on regular gasoline, license and insurance are reasonable.

Pulling our Airstream coast-to-coast and border-to-border several times it has gone everywhere and done everything we have asked of it. It has all the power, braking, payload and towing capacity we have ever needed. We spend 6-7 months each year with it traveling all over the country staying in venues ranging from Wal-Mart, the middle of nowhere, to luxury RV resorts and found something good about all of them.

On the road it tows like a dream (the mirror ensures it's back there), absolutely stable with the PPV hitch in all weather, the transmission has the gear needed to climb and brake in mountains. The relatively short wheelbase allows excellent maneuvering of the Airstream in tight campsite and gas station situations. The full coil springs and front independent suspension rides nicely and handles well, it does not shake up our Airstream on rough roadways. We are both comfortable driving it, and relaxed after a day on the road.

Properly equipped and hitched light duty trucks are excellent tow vehicles for mid-size Airstreams, at a very reasonable purchase and operating expense.

cheryl
I'd be interested to know what trim level you bought, with which engine and cab.

As stated, I'm kicking around a second vehicle that can tow, and money always matters - but since we travel sometimes to trade shows, we carry a specific amount of stuff that would require a quad cab to fit some of it plus two small dogs. Basically we need room inside an AC environment for two full size rubber maids, the rest can ride in the pickup bed as it's not heat sensitive.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:33 PM   #32
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DHart's last post (#27) is spot on.

If you haven't already done so, download the current Trailer Life towing guide to help narrow down what will and won't work for you or decide how you might have to configure something.
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:54 PM   #33
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Plasma, we have the Ram Express Hemi MSRP about $32k ($24k after discounts), the crew cab a little more. The best bargain is the Tradesman model, higher payload and lower price. All mfg's offer similar models.

Noname, DHart's post on payload doesn't consider a w.d. hitch effectively moving load to the trailer and truck front axles.

Here's how WE see it. The payload figure on our truck is substantial for what we carry but we would have to load truck and trailer and then take it to the scales, weigh it attached and then each separately each trip to KNOW what payload is actually added to the truck. DHart will have to do that too.

We know that the payload figure on the truck accounts for a truck mostly loaded in the bed, mostly over the rear axle. With a w.d. hitch that load is distributed among the front and rear axles of the truck, and the axles of the trailer. So OUR concern shifts from payload rating to axle and tire ratings; to ensure these are not overloaded.

We have weighed our combination together with an unreasonably high load for our usual travel and found we are well below axle and tire limits on the truck (and trailer) axles. Our payload actually added to the truck is most probably within it's labeled load as well but that is not our primary concern, we want to know the axles/tires are not overloaded.

(Interesting side note in our experience; the truck handles better near full payload with the trailer attached and weight distribution applied, than it does near full payload without the trailer and most of the weight on the rear axle. The worst handling is with our loaded utility trailer and no weight distribution.)

Knowing full well this is arguable until the end of time, I can only tell you how and why WE do it.

cheryl
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:00 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ckottum View Post
Plasma, we have the Ram Express Hemi MSRP about $32k ($24k after discounts), the crew cab a little more. The best bargain is the Tradesman model, higher payload and lower price. All mfg's offer similar models.

Noname, DHart's post on payload doesn't consider a w.d. hitch effectively moving load to the trailer and truck front axles.

Here's how WE see it. The payload figure on our truck is substantial for what we carry but we would have to load truck and trailer and then take it to the scales, weigh it attached and then each separately each trip to KNOW what payload is actually added to the truck. DHart will have to do that too.

We know that the payload figure on the truck accounts for a truck mostly loaded in the bed, mostly over the rear axle. With a w.d. hitch that load is distributed among the front and rear axles of the truck, and the axles of the trailer. So OUR concern shifts from payload rating to axle and tire ratings; to ensure these are not overloaded.

We have weighed our combination together with an unreasonably high load for our usual travel and found we are well below axle and tire limits on the truck (and trailer) axles. Our payload actually added to the truck is most probably within it's labeled load as well but that is not our primary concern, we want to know the axles/tires are not overloaded.

(Interesting side note in our experience; the truck handles better near full payload with the trailer attached and weight distribution applied, than it does near full payload without the trailer and most of the weight on the rear axle. The worst handling is with our loaded utility trailer and no weight distribution.)

Knowing full well this is arguable until the end of time, I can only tell you how and why WE do it.

cheryl
Makes sense to me. All I care about aside from the ability to carry the weight is "is it comfy day in day out".. Sexiness matters 0 to 10 out of 100, not to mean your truck isn't sexy, I mean that if I picked one up 4 years old and it has dents and scratches, and an oddball paint color.... Matters far lower on my scales compared to capability, reliability and comfort
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Old 05-16-2015, 06:21 PM   #35
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In the meantime, we seem to have lost the originator of the thread, who is still just showing one post. Flash, I hope that in our eager attempts to be helpful we didn't just annoy the snot out of you or give you a headache.

Maybe you're just out test driving a whole bunch of vehicles!
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Old 05-16-2015, 06:48 PM   #36
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Well, we all know that in the end, the best tow vehicle is a blue one. :P


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Old 05-16-2015, 08:30 PM   #37
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@no name
No kidding on finding a half ton with the requisite cargo capacity (I.e. more than 1600 lbs.) Not gonna find it in a RAM crew cab. 2014 F-150 had a crew cab rated at about 1730 lbs. with max trailer tow and max payload package (available in Laramie trim with 3.5 liter Ecoboost). '14 and newer Chevy/ GMC has max trailer tow package with crew cab having 1900-2000 lb capacity, but they are very rare and have been on constraint (I.e. you can't order one). I'm going all the way to Denver to get mine. '15 F-150 has a max payload package they're not making yet and you can't get it with the 36 gallon fuel tank.
So, there's no doubt that the easier "off the lot" choice, new or used, for a 27-30 foot Airstream is a 3/4 ton. Fast lane truck descended the Ike gauntlet in a '14 Silverado with the max tow package pulling 10,000 lbs. without ever using the service brakes and kept the speed reasonable. So I think I can stop well enough, especially considering a 3/4 ton has an additional 1,000-1,500 lbs. of vehicle weight to stop also.
Surprisingly, I saw a large number of new 3/4 ton Chevy's without trailer tow mirrors installed. What's up with that? On Chevy/GMC these cannot be retrofitted (at least for '15) because the tow mirrors are attached with 4 bolts, while the regular mirror uses only 3. A truck with regular mirrors from the factory isn't going to be drilled and set up for 4 bolts. So, you're into aftermarket or add-ons.
As for "but-in-seat," the '15 Chevy/GMC has the absolute best seats for this guy's butt.😜
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:50 PM   #38
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cheryl and others: No argument from me that making sure the axles and tires are suitable with the weights applied to them after the trailer, WD hitch, and loads are set up should to be done, if one wants to be thoroughly detailed in making sure that all is proper with the TV and the trailer setup.

In my case, we were buying the TV before having the 30' International Serenity to test it with! Thus, we wanted to make a choice on the side of extra capacity, so that once all was put together and weights were measured, we wouldn't face a nasty surprise!

And, it happens that we preferred driving the 3/4 ton Denali HD Duramax/Allison truck to the 1/2 Denali 6.2L gas version, which felt more like driving a car. With the capacities of the 3/4 ton diesel version being significantly better than the 1/2 ton gas version, it was a no brainer for us to go with the Denali HD 4x4 (3/4 ton diesel).



Thus, we made our selection of TV BEFORE we had any opportunity to weigh each axle while towing a fully-loaded, weight-distributed 30' International.

With this choice, I'm not worried that when we do get our 30' Airstream and load the truck and trailer with ourselves and our stuff, that we will have a problem. That's a big plus for me.

A 1/2 ton gas truck may have wound up being adequate for our needs with the 30' International, but then again, we like the 3/4 ton diesel and with the extra capacity of that choice, I'm sleeping very comfortably. The remote-powered trailer-towing rear view mirrors, diesel-engine braking, higher towing and payload capacities, greater pulling power, and higher stance on the road are all factors we appreciate which contributed to our choice.

We're also set if we should, for some reason, down the road, decide that a 5th wheel might be something we would want to pull.

In the end, folks, there are a lot of factors to consider in each of our unique situations.

What works perfectly for us may not be the best choice for someone else, particularly if you're pulling a 25' Airstream and don't have much need for a higher payload capacity.

Bottom line is that I'm in full support of anyone who does their homework well and thoroughly and then comes up with any sensible solution for their unique situation!



Quote:
Originally Posted by ckottum View Post
Plasma, we have the Ram Express Hemi MSRP about $32k ($24k after discounts), the crew cab a little more. The best bargain is the Tradesman model, higher payload and lower price. All mfg's offer similar models.

Noname, DHart's post on payload doesn't consider a w.d. hitch effectively moving load to the trailer and truck front axles.

Here's how WE see it. The payload figure on our truck is substantial for what we carry but we would have to load truck and trailer and then take it to the scales, weigh it attached and then each separately each trip to KNOW what payload is actually added to the truck. DHart will have to do that too.

We know that the payload figure on the truck accounts for a truck mostly loaded in the bed, mostly over the rear axle. With a w.d. hitch that load is distributed among the front and rear axles of the truck, and the axles of the trailer. So OUR concern shifts from payload rating to axle and tire ratings; to ensure these are not overloaded.

We have weighed our combination together with an unreasonably high load for our usual travel and found we are well below axle and tire limits on the truck (and trailer) axles. Our payload actually added to the truck is most probably within it's labeled load as well but that is not our primary concern, we want to know the axles/tires are not overloaded.

(Interesting side note in our experience; the truck handles better near full payload with the trailer attached and weight distribution applied, than it does near full payload without the trailer and most of the weight on the rear axle. The worst handling is with our loaded utility trailer and no weight distribution.)

Knowing full well this is arguable until the end of time, I can only tell you how and why WE do it.

cheryl
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:05 PM   #39
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In the meantime, we seem to have lost the originator of the thread, who is still just showing one post. Flash, I hope that in our eager attempts to be helpful we didn't just annoy the snot out of you or give you a headache.

Maybe you're just out test driving a whole bunch of vehicles!

Happens all the time. A new member shows up, ask a simple question and the war starts. New member decides these people are nuts and they go somewhere else for their answers.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:13 PM   #40
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Happens all the time. A new member shows up, ask a simple question and the war starts. New member decides these people are nuts and they go somewhere else for their answers.
Did a war start here?

Funny thing is... wherever they go... those people are all nuts too!

All we can do as individuals is offer the best advice we each know to offer and let the person with the question decide for him/herself what makes sense.

Personally, I've learned to never run with advice from any individual, even those with seemingly solid credentials. I like to seek a number of viewpoints/datapoints and consider them all together.

People come from all kinds of different places, with all kinds of different backgrounds and experiences. Some of them confidently offer up advice that is flat wrong. This is the world wide web after all, the "wild west" of information/misinformation.

I like to seek advice from a wide variety of sources, then sort it all out for myself, without trusting in any individuals in particular.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:58 PM   #41
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Hey question. So traveling the Grapevine in CA as often as I do my favorite and most used feature on my XC and Denali is the diesel exhaust brake. Do the 1/2 ton diesels have one as well? Heck can you get 1/2 tons in diesel??
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:10 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Bruce View Post
Surprisingly, I saw a large number of new 3/4 ton Chevy's without trailer tow mirrors installed. What's up with that? On Chevy/GMC these cannot be retrofitted (at least for '15) because the tow mirrors are attached with 4 bolts, while the regular mirror uses only 3. A truck with regular mirrors from the factory isn't going to be drilled and set up for 4 bolts. So, you're into aftermarket or add-ons.
As for "but-in-seat," the '15 Chevy/GMC has the absolute best seats for this guy's butt.😜
I wonder what factory genius made that decision about the mirrors? That's nuts!

Between the factory and the sales, floor, sometimes they do seem to keep us either shaking our heads or laughing them off. One day we were getting into a truck that a young salesman brought out for us to test drive. As I stepped up into the driver's seat I asked him if this one had the power folding tow mirrors. He told me that there were no power folding tow mirrors and that it wasn't even an optionů at which point I located and pressed the button and said "Oh, really?"
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