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Old 12-16-2013, 08:45 AM   #43
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I am pleased with our 2012 Dodge TV. However, the huge frontal area, as compared to my Mercedes, sure acquired a lot of grasshoppers on a recent trip. But it did deflect or destroy most of them so the trailer was not encrusted with their residue.

I selected the truck based upon a Cummins high output diesel with no urea required and the tow and axle ratings selected allowed for my future jump from a International Serenity 25FB to a 31' Classic model 30 with no need to worry about the towing capacity or real limits on what goes in the bed of the truck or tongue weight issues.

I am aware this unit will not stop on a dime when towing, but stopping distance is directly related to speed. Driving at 62 to 65 in 6th great at the maximum torque point of the engine (around 1600 to 1650 rpm) makes for a smooth running engine and driveline and the temperatures are running cooler at the turbo inlet to increase it's service life.

Many astute observations for congested driving included being a few mph slower than the crowd so they are always pulling away. If my pace is building up vehicles behind me, per Indiana law, I have to pullover when seven vehicles are backed up, I take the first opportunity to let the folks pass on a straight away so they do not create an issue trying to pass with oncoming vehicles.

The power associated with this diesel engine allows me to accelerate briskly when needed to merge onto the highway at a reasonable speed to fit into the flow of traffic.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:43 PM   #44
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To add to the confusion: I have hauled a 25' Safari with lots of gear 70,000 miles with a gasser (3/4 ton 6.0 Chevy) with no problems. However, engine type is not so critical as load capacity.. Can it carry the load? The rated carrying capacity for a Tundra (similar to other 1/2 ton pickups) is about 1,500 lbs. That is NOT usually in the ads. This is the safe limit for the vertical load on the vehicle. My 25 foot Safari is 7200 pounds. With 400 lbs of gear in the truck, 250 lbs of passengers (the first one doesn't count in the calc), 200 lb of hitch and flaps, 150 lbs of gas, and 720 lb of trailer weight (given I load the trailer perfectly w/ 10% on the hitch, the total
is 1,720 lbs, way over the rated carrying capacity. Way over... But the advertisements say it can haul 10,000 lbs. Sure, if there is one passenger, no gear, little
gas, and a lightweight hitch. The 3/4 ton has 3,300 lbs carrying capacity. That is
more than enough and has a good margin for error.


And here is another way of looking at it: Using Gross Vehicle Weights:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...tml#post456088

Still comes out that you need a 3/4 ton truck to haul my 25 ft, and most certainly for
a 30 foot.

And here is another way of looking at it:
Andy Thompson in the latest Airstream Life has an article about towing capacities. He evaluates the total risk in using a heavy duty truck for towing, but most of the
year using it for local travel. The handling of the big truck is poorer than smaller vehicles. A smaller vehicle may be near or over its limits during the trailering times,
but most of the year it is safer. So any decision on minimizing risk should consider
how much you tow versus how much you just drive around. Good way of looking at it. Ninety percent of our truck use is towing, so that is where we put our risk management. Your experience may differ.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:46 PM   #45
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Our 2500 Dodge diesel is used for towing. I have a much more fuel efficient daily driver in a Mercedes ML 320 CDI diesel plus motorcycles.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:14 PM   #46
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We have a very fuel efficient car at home for every day use, but 6-7 months a year we are away from home with the Airstream. Most of that is daily driving without the Airstream, so we need a safe, efficient, easy daily driver. A heavy duty truck is a poor choice for us.

We use a 2012 Ram reg cab 1500 with full coil suspension and that works well. Different needs for different Airstreamers.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:23 PM   #47
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Maybe this diesel truck will do.

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Old 12-17-2013, 04:31 PM   #48
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Well...That is an Avion I think- that rig is shorter than a tow vehicle and traile, but longer than an Interstate-
Is that for real or is it photo-shopped?
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:38 PM   #49
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I'd like to see where he hauls his ladder.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:06 PM   #50
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can turn around in a country mile
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TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

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Old 12-18-2013, 09:37 PM   #51
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Pamela, I can tell you what my wife and I have decided. We have an 05 Silverado with a 5.3L gas engine which we use to pull our 30' Classic. It now has over 100,000 miles and we are going to buy a 2015 GM truck. Nothing necessarily against the other brands but we have had the best luck with the Chevrolet compared to our experience with Ford and Dodge (all gas). We keep our pickup trucks for at least ten years so the new one will be around for a while. We have decided to buy a 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax Diesel. There are arguments for and against every manufacturer but they have made over 1.5 million Duramax diesels and they are made in partnership with Isuzu and their reliability is as good as any. We prefer the GM brand but you should get the brand you like. We plan to do more towing in mountain areas during the coming years so that was a factor in our Diesel decision. We are not ordering 4WD as we do not plan to do off road traveling. 2WD Diesels are rare and 4WD seems to be the most popular just not the way we are going. I would think if you buy the truck you like, any of the Diesel engines should be fine for the long haul. They all require the use of DEF for emission requirements and I believe they all use about the same amount. Best wishes in your decision.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:11 AM   #52
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I shopped all the key brands when selecting a tow vehicle.

Ford: great engine, lousy interior that didn't seem to hold up well when we looked at a few older ones for reference, inside felt like a truck. Ready for a much needed update.

GM: great transmission, engines, but dated interior and just not comfortable. The 2014 was improved, but seats were not comfy. Felt huge. Just ok.

RAM: great engine, ok transmission unless you got the Aisin option. Terrific interior with great seats, options. Wish I had a chance to wait a few months for the 2014's which replace leaf spring suspension with coils.

Toyota Tundra: dated plastic interior, lacked power to get up the passes, awful mileage around town and under a towing load. Really disappointed as I wanted this t work given the reputation.

Ended up with the Ram. So far, super impressed.


Like Seitz, I'd
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:22 AM   #53
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My "dated plastic interior"...Click image for larger version

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12 mpg towing-
12 mpg in town-
16 mpg highway-
Lack of power?
381 hp and 400 lb. ft. Of torque...
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:16 AM   #54
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If being the best tow truck is the object then a 3/4 long bed crew cab will be hard to beat. I think the brand comparison may be a religious discussion so I won't go there. The clear downside is urban parking.

Gasoline VS Diesel - There may be some advantages to the diesel, but there can't be many. The big gasoline engines and six speed transmissions have more than enough guts. Diesel is harder to find and more expensive than gasoline which largely offsets the milage advantage.

In my opinion, the giant factors against diesel are: They are noisy, they stink, and they are messy.

I dislike:
1) being set up in a campground and having a diesel pull in next to me. Sunday mornings at the RV park sound like a truck stop. Picture yourself pulling into a national forest campground full of tents with one of those.


2) Getting stuck behind one going up a hill, especially if I am on a motorcycle. They stink! Sunday mornings at the RV park smell like a truck stop. Picture yourself pulling into a national forest campground full of tents with one of those.

3) Look around the diesel pump at the station. All that black oil around the ground is now on your feet/carpet for you to enjoy until that part of your ofactorys shuts down.

Oh well - I guess its clear I am not a diesel fan so I will list one more thing that I find irritating. For some reason, diesel drivers think they need to let those things idle from the time they start them till the time they go to bed so the noise and stink continues for way longer than is necessary.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #55
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Have you considered that warming up a diesel engine gradually rather than putting it under full load just as soon as it starts (like most the gasoline engine starts) could be the reason gas engines can have shorter lifespans?

I towed the same cargo trailer with the same load of motorcycles behind two different vehicles on the same road over time. Going up a steep grade, the gasoline Toyota Sequoia 5.7L V8 engine was running at close to 5,000 rpm while the Duramax diesel was at 1,800 rpm. Which driveline was generating the most wear and tear?

The newer diesels with all the emissions equipment do not generate the bus fumes of old.

Diesel fuel is available near any Ford dealership and at truck stops on all major highways. I have not had any issues finding it after we got over the introduction of Ultra Low Sulphur diesel in 2007 to 2008.

My wife and I each drive a diesel Mercedes vehicle. She gets close to 40 mpg on the highway in her 2009 E320 sedan and I get 28 mpg with continuous 4WD in my 2007 ML 320. Neither vehicle has the urea additive and there is no diesel smell except when filling the tank at a station.

YMMV
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:36 AM   #56
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Yes, I resisted Diesels for a long time because I didn't like all of the above negatives, but they are better these days...not as noisy, and not as smelly.

However they do cost more to purchase, to service, and the fuel is more expensive, but the mileage is a little better. Doubt the mileage improvement is enough to offset the cost of the fuel.

Positives are you get a lot of the initial cost of the engine back when you trade, and once you tow a big trailer with a Diesel, you'll not have another gas tow vehicle again. I'd almost guarantee that.
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