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Old 03-01-2015, 05:40 PM   #1
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Stowe , Vermont
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Tow Vehicle - what to do

We have a 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 w. Cummings diesel (mega cab). It has had some quirks over the years. The biggest was turbo work that thankfully was still under warranty - $5000. Then there were minor irritations with electrical system, Jake brake issue, dead radio needed replacement (with Sirius), part of the dash board lights dead (never replaced because of $250 estimate), exhaust system (replace from muffler thru tailpipe with only 50,000 miles). In addition were the normal expected wear and tear items, brakes, tires, etc. The engine itself will outlive me, but the body and other items just keep coming - especially in the northeast with all the salt and brine on the roads. The truck only has 110,000 miles (new in my book). Today the engine light came on yet again. We do a lot of heavy driving every year pulling our 27ft. AS with 4 to 5 people on board in the cab, normally from Vermont to Florida and points west to the Rockies from Banff to Estes, or points north to the Canadian Maritimes. The last thing I want is failure on a 7000 mile trip, stranded in the middle of nowhere. The question is, do I keep shoveling parts into the “beast”, or do I start looking for a new TV. I am definitely looking at staying with a diesel (2500/250 size) How are you GMC, Chevy and Ford diesel people doing with your vehicles - both big and small issues? Ram people, I’d like to hear from you too.

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Old 03-01-2015, 06:38 PM   #2
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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Don't own a diesel but I will say that a paid off vehicle whose maintenance history you know is pretty good deal. Getting the interior redone, maybe a mid level paint job and you are good to go for another couple of hundred thousand miles with no payments and your insurance company is insuring a 25000 dollar vehicle for less than it would a 50000 dollar vehicle.

My 10 year old Nissan Titan has near 190000 miles on it but it starts every time, doesn't burn any oil, shifts perfectly and tows great. It has male pattern baldness (the clear coat is failing, common on Nissans). I would LOVE new and shiny and digital and superbly equipped... But, I just can't see forking over huge bucks when the machine I own does the job very well.

So, I am going to fork over the dough for new paint and roll the dice that I get another 50-100 thousand miles. Beats car payments.

If I do make it another year or two, the new Nissan Titan XD is probably in my future.


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Old 03-01-2015, 07:51 PM   #3
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Is it a 6.7 or a 5.9? We have a 2007 5.9 with 150000 on it and have done some work to it. My vote is to just keep shoving parts into it. You are probably going to need injectors and some front end work. I did see an add for a ford 250 in the paper today for $65,000. If I was going to get another I would be sure to get one new enough that uses the DEF.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:26 PM   #4
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2008 23' Safari FB SE
Boulder , Colorado
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I may be a naysayer here but we had a 2002 ram 1500 that seemed to have issues from the get go. The service experience was awful. I finally sold it and bought a new Toyota Tundra 5.7 DC 4x4. The Toyota has had one issue that was a $1k item but Toyota agreed to split the cost with me even thought it was out of warranty. I have been very pleased with my Toyo experience.

I don't know if it would tow your 25 but worth taking a look to see if it would.

I will not own another Dodge.

I am sure other people may have had better experiences but that was mine.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:39 PM   #5
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Personally our family is Toyota only after a horrible experience with GMC

I've simply been unable to break or wear out Toyota trucks (and cars for that matter) I've tried. If my Tacoma is no longer big enough, I'll get a Tundra.

Dumbest move I ever made with a Toyota pickup was sliding off my driveway (house under construction) going rear first over s rock and dropping the tran bumper some 15 feet to the sidewalk. Truck was at a better than 45 degree up an and rear wheels were off the ground. I shut it down, and my son and I had to climb out of it. Had a friend come by, and we dragged the front end sideways off the rock down to the street. Scuffed the back bumper Nd a few scratches on the frame in front. Absolutely no damage. Drove it away and kept it another three years before wife got tired of it and made me sell it. Still saw it in town 4 years later. Guy that bought it loved it.

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:38 PM   #6
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... I am definitely looking at staying with a diesel (2500/250 size) How are you GMC, Chevy and Ford diesel people doing with your vehicles - both big and small issues? Ram people, I’d like to hear from you too.
Not such good luck going from a Ford to a 2013 Ram CTD due to EPA mandated computer upgrades and front end recalls never completed on the Ram... however, exceedingly happy with the new Chevy Duramax ... similar power and even more comfortable.

Especially noteworthy was this test ... for us trailer haulers ... downhill grade control; page down on the link:
2015 25' Eddie Bauer Int Sp Ed
2015 Chev Duramax 2500; equalizer hitch
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:28 AM   #7
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In May 2015 we'll have owned our 2011 F250 Lariat four years. It was the first year of the current 6.7 Diesel engine. Only one repair so far, the DEF heater, under warranty. We only have 45,000 miles on the truck and so far are delighted with its performance, reliability and ride comfort. In the mountains it tows effortlessly.

Based on our experience so far we would buy another Ford if we were in the market. I might consider the F350 because the springs of the F250 are a little soft in the rear. Some F250 owners who tow add the Firestone airbags or another leaf spring. There are threads on this topic on Airforums and some of the Ford Truck forums. Since I added a cap to the bed last year its weight has resulted in a little rear end sag. So far I haven't done anything about it.

Another issue with these trucks is the poor quality of the factory supplied Rancho shocks. Many owners upgrade to the Bilstein 5100 shocks for improved handling and ride. I'll probably make this change when the weather gets warmer.

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Old 03-02-2015, 06:11 AM   #8
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Dexter , Maine
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If money isn't an issue, buy a new one. Comes with a warranty, "should" be less likely to brake down, and looks better.

If you would rather not spend 60K fix what you have making it as reliable as possible.

really is just about how YOU want to spend your money.

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Old 03-02-2015, 06:59 AM   #9
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I know that I will get flamed for this comment by Dodge truck owners all over America , but it has been my observations that Chrysler products look beautiful and innovative when new (all styling) but don't hold up over the long run (poor engineering and/or build quality.) Most of my experiences and observations on this subject have been on the auto side of the product line, but it does not surprise me that the truck side would have similar issues.

Cue the Dodge truck owners with 875,000 miles with only oil changes and nary a repair.....
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:26 AM   #10
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Crestview , Florida
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Red face Keep or replace TV

I also have a Dodge Ram 2500 HD 5.9L mine is 2006 any TV will have issues its the nature of the beast. I had a tundra when I bought my 25 AS and towed in some mountain areas and within 6 months the transmission began to sound strained so I bought a Ford 250 diesel and in less than two yrs it was leaking oil from the rear main. I waited in line for six months for repair that seemed to never going to be done, spoke with many others at campgrounds that had same problem and leak returned after repair. I then bought the Dodge. I have been very proactive with preventive maint. replaced all the belts and hoses oil/filter every 4000 ml fuel filter every 10,000 mi and use fuel additives always let the engine run 1.5 to two minutes before shutting off. Drain water from fuel filter after fill ups. So far the only problem was a leak in rear axel seal a $300.00 repair. I feel lucky knock on wood and all that stuff. Ha. No matter what brand there are going to be problems down the road just keep cool and try to find a shop that can be trusted not a easy thing on the road but no matter where you are check internet for reviews and enjoy the journey. Best of luck Rand
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:14 AM   #11
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Grizbear makes a good point that is not often discussed when the subject of truck reliability/maintenance is brought up. Extensively towing a larger modern (e.g., 25 foot and larger) Airstream is a demanding job for any truck and will require a more intensive maintenance schedule and result in more mechanical issues than would occur if the truck was used as a daily driver to go to an office job and the supermarket. Anyone who expects a similar ownership experience as you would get with a passenger car driving 15,000 miles a year will be in for a rude awakening.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:39 AM   #12
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Penokee , Kansas
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With over 15 diesel engines around our farm,, I never worry about the 15 year old stuff working.. Its all my 2013 and newer engines I worry about. It all boils down to all the newer diesels are over loaded with electronic gizmos to in part pass all the stupid EPA guidelines. Plastic crap with micro millivolt connections that fail..
I still own my old 98 Dodge diesel with somewhere around 300,000k.. Don't know for sure as I cant read all the numbers with the dust that filled in between the gauge plastic window.. 1 lift pump and regular oil changes is all I have done.. But saying that,, my TV now is a gasser hemi,, It took me awhile to get use to it but its doing everything I ask of it and doing fine. I felt warm and fuzzy as most of the time since I got the hemi,, gas has been 80 cents a gallon cheaper than diesel and I get about the same hwy mpg as I got with my 98 diesel..
2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman Hemi, 4x4, 6 speed

20mpg empty, 14 mpg with 27' Overlander.

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Old 03-02-2015, 12:21 PM   #13
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Princeton , Iowa
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I have friends with Dodge Trucks with Cummins engines and you are right, the engine is good for 500,000, but the body 75,000. I have had a Tundra and a Silverado with a 5.7 and 5.3 engine respectively and they are both great. The Silverado gets better mileage and is more comfortable and easier to work on. I do think well cared for a pickup will tow a 30 ft. airstream 200,000 miles easily.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:52 PM   #14
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In 2004 I bought a 1999 Silverado 5.3 gas with 40,000 miles on it. It now has 245,000 miles. Have towed about 150,000 of those miles. Trans serviced every 50,000. Oil and filter changed regularly. Replaced brakes, steering rack, front hubs along the way. Nothing else has gone wrong. That is the issue. There is plenty else to go wrong. Some very expensive. In-tank fuel pump, electronics, and so on. Things that will not fail at home, but most likely on a towing trip in the middle of nowhere.

Just found a very nice 2012 Silverado 5.3 gas, one owner, with 35,000 miles, at a good price.

Perhaps it's time to start the cycle over again.

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