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Old 07-17-2016, 02:23 PM   #1
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Simplified answer re tow vehicle?

My A/S is a 25FB, 7500 lbs max weight. I have a Tundra 5.7. We're in Colorado and it's a struggle getting up the passes. We certainly make it, but it's a struggle. I looked at 3/4 ton diesels and they are just too much. The 1/2 ton diesel (Ram 1500) appears no stronger than the Tundra. Is there a simple answer for a TV that will be more effective than the Tundra for my situation?

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Old 07-17-2016, 02:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BobGall View Post
My A/S is a 25FB, 7500 lbs max weight. I have a Tundra 5.7. We're in Colorado and it's a struggle getting up the passes. We certainly make it, but it's a struggle. I looked at 3/4 ton diesels and they are just too much. The 1/2 ton diesel (Ram 1500) appears no stronger than the Tundra. Is there a simple answer for a TV that will be more effective than the Tundra for my situation?

While 7500# is your max, what does it actually weigh loaded for camping?

What do you mean by struggle to get up the passes? Are you going 50 mph?

And what do you mean a 3/4Ton is too much - too much power? Too much money? Too much something else?

My simple recommendation would be a 3/4T diesel but I'm not sure what you don't like about it.

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Old 07-17-2016, 03:02 PM   #3
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I live in Colorado as well (just north of Denver) and have a 25' as well. I tow up and down the steep canyons on the front range and beyond frequently.

If you tow often through the mountains I'd recommend a tow vehicle with 400hp and 400+foot pounds of torque. No need for a massive 3/4 ton truck in my opinion. I tow with a 2012 Infiniti QX56 and it does very well. A gmc Denali with the larger gas engine would also do well (420hp + 460 foot pounds of torque).

Just mind your payload (mine is about 1,500lbs and my tongue weight has been measured at 780lbs. So just 700 lbs left for people in the car but that's just fine by us.

Also - remember shorter overhang is better - you want the ball on the hitch as close to the rear axle as possible to reduce sway and improve weight distribution leverage.

Good luck.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:05 PM   #4
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If the payload specs match up to your current weights, and the issue is lack of power at elevation, I would look to a vehicle with a turbocharged engine, which won't be impacted the same way at altitude as a naturally aspirated engine. An F150 with the Ecoboost and an appropriate axle ration would fit that description.

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Old 07-17-2016, 03:12 PM   #5
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The 1/2 ton diesels are just that. 1/2 ton trucks. There are some good used 3/4 tons out there. I would stay away from the first year of any of the new def systems. Takes time to work the bugs out.. I prefer the gm duramaxes but that's me. I. Have a bro in law that just bought a 2 yr old dodge and he loves the Cummins.he just returned from a trip from one end of florida to the other and back and averaged 25 mpg. His is a 2wd crew crab longhorn edition
You just have to decide what's important to you. Taking a little longer and being carefully not to over work your truck or moving to a 3/4 ton. good luck. I have a 2003 duramax approaching 200,000 mile and still going strong.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:24 PM   #6
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That term 1/2 ton was coined a long time ago. It certainly does not imply that these trucks are limited to 1000 lbs.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:00 PM   #7
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I'll try a simplified answer. If the 5.7 gas engine revs above 3500 RPM to climb grades and provide engine compression braking, that's not a struggle, that's what it's designed to do. That's where the peak torque and compression braking are.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:23 PM   #8
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Not sure what I would do for a TV now. We have a 2007 diesel 3/4 ton that we got a good deal on new. Biut at around $65,000 now a new one would be a big stretch. And I see no real discounts out there. A 3/4 ton diesel may be too expensive but it is not way too much truck in the mountains in the west.
My guess is that the expense of a heavy duty TV is going to go up markedly in the next few years. Putting trucks in the fleet fuel economy calculations makes that a certainty.
I would look at the Ford Ecoboost. And I would look at the 3/4 ton diesels.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:07 PM   #9
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Sometimes, this is as good as it gets.

Bob, I also have a 25 foot Airstream and have a 2012 Tundra as a tow vehicle. Actually HAD a Tundra and I now own a 2016 Ford F350 Diesel to tow the 25 footer. Not only for the high elevations, but more important to me... CARGO capability.

I have less than 300 miles on the odometer, so in August will be the test on the 2016 Wyoming Adventure to see if I made a judgement error, or not, on the F350 6.7L Diesel. I had better be optimistic for what the suggested retail is on these! The trade in of my Tundra was high private sale and the discounts for 2016 'hang tag' of $9300, prior served Military and probably a discount for breathing thin air... made it more to handle. (Also 2017's coming soon.)

You will not be passing many vehicles going up a Colorado Pass. It is bad enough with the elevation reducing power, but the weight of an overloaded tow vehicle and trailer IS most likely your issue, in my opinion. No one wants to hear that, but the majority, as myself, know they are a bit... heavy for cargo.

Yes, on most mountain passes you will discover that occasionally you will be in the 4000RPM and higher to maintain. I will occasionally use the 'paddle shifter' and keep it in 3rd for a particularly steep grade for a short time. A fully loaded 25 footer will require the downshift to maintain a reasonable speed. (A full Fresh Water Tank is probably your first mistake, if you want to avoid this.)

The Tundra never had an overheated engine or transmission. This is with a cargo load to 1200 to 1400 pounds. On level highway I could go as fast as I felt responsible. Michelin Tires... hint, hint.

The 4.7L 2006 Tundra easily pulled a 23 foot Safari. Same issue on steeper grades of passes. But never a problem other than that. The 5.7L gets better mileage and has a shorter turning radius!

IF you are hauling a full Fresh Water Tank... you have answered your own question.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:55 PM   #10
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I'm sure there are programmable performance electronics, cold induction and injectors for your 5.7 Tundra that would make up for the elevation changes above sea level, however there is no substitution for making sure you have the least amount of weight in both vehicles. Don't run with a full water tank or 6 sets of utensils if two will do, as weight is everything.

The rule is for every 100 lbs of weight, you need 10 hp increase in your vehicle to maintain the same performance.

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Old 07-17-2016, 08:00 PM   #11
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I have an '08 Tundra and have towed it over every pass in the northwest. Just got back from a trip to McCall, ID and had to pull over Whitebird pass and have done Sherman in WA which is over a mile high.

On the really steep hills I can maintain 50 in 3rd and under 3500 RPM. The 5.7 hits max torque numbers at 3500. We move along nicely, the engine isn't "screaming" and the temp gauges don't move. I am happy with my set up. A 3/4 ton would not increase my pulling power unless it had a diesel in it. If you are concerned about pulling hills easier then look at a diesel. I don't think you will see that much of an improvement over your current TV with anything else.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:50 AM   #12
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Ford F-350 to pull a 25' 7,000 lb travel trailer? I'd say that is ... um .... overkill

I probably have 15k towing miles on my "little" Infiniti and it does an amazing job. Like I said 400hp and 400+ foot pounds of torque and you are good through the steepest passes up and down.

Now if you want to travel with 4 pallets of bricks in the bed of your pickup while towing and plowing snow with a blade that's another story

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Old 07-18-2016, 11:48 AM   #13
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We also have a 25ft AS and tow it with. 5.7 Tundra. I have never had a problem towing with it . Last year we went out west for 4 months and spent many miles going up and down mountain passes without a problem. I always tow in 5th gear with the tow/haul mode on , this gives you maximum rpm availability.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:52 AM   #14
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What is your rear end ratio? You may need a 3.92 or 4.10 to improve power to your rear wheels.

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