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Old 11-22-2012, 09:44 AM   #1
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Tundra 5.7 Enough Truck for 27 ft Airstream?

I am considering the purchase of a new truck and trying to decide between Dodge 2500 diesel or Toyota Tundra 5.7 with tow pack. I like the torque on the diesel but fuel is about $0.50/gal more and I believe Toyota has higher quality and it is made in US vs Mexico for the Dodge.

Any opinions on using the half ton Toyota vs 3/4 ton diesel for my 27 ft Classic?

Dave
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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They'll both work fine, it really depends on you.

Do you mind shifting down as needed for mountain grades? If so, Diesel.

Do you mind waking everybody up in the campground when you leave early in the morning? If so, gas.

What are you towing with now?

doug k
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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Tundra will be great. My 5.7 tundra handles my 25' great. If i was a full timer pulling almost daily I'd probably do the diesel but not as a weekend warrior. I enjoy my tundra as a daily driver. Both my brother and dad have the new dodge 3/4 with the HO diesel and it's a great motor but too rough of a ride for me for daily driving.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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I am with Bike Addict. Both of these will pull your 27 but to me the big question is all about how you camp and what you will be doing with your TV when not pulling the Airstream. OK, that was two questions.

The first question, half ton or 3/4 ton? What do you expect to carry with you when you go? I have the Tundra and really like it but we do travel light and there are only two of us. I take my generator, a couple of bikes, some extra water and some firewood when we boondock. So far, no problems.

I am now retired so my TV gets a lot of park time when not hooked up to the trailer. When I was using it as a daily driver I am glad I was driving the gasser. If I were still working and looking for a TV the Eco Boost F150 would be worth looking at, for the mileage if nothing else.

In the end, it will be up to you and which unit best fits your lifestyle. I am a Toyota convert after having owned a few Fords. The Tundra has been dependable, comfortable and plenty strong to tow my 25FB through the plains and over the mountains. No complaints. It is not a huge brute though. It is a half ton so keep that in mind.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:31 AM   #5
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I'm pulling my 23' Safari with a 2011 Tundra 5.7 Double Cab and feel like I have more than enough truck. Easily passed laboring 18 wheelers on steep up grades in the Ozarks this summer, and was completely impressed with the transmission on downhill grades, had to use the brakes on either the truck or the AS very sparingly. We don't travel as loaded in the TV bed as some people, couple of bikes, camping rug, toolbox (small) and miscellaneous stuff, so payload could be an issue I suppose but in two summers of camping have been very pleased. Plus I like the fact that we have Toyota dependability... this is the 5th Toyota we have had in the family since 1976 and have had zero problems. Plus despite not being a native Texan, I like the idea that the Tundra was "born in Texas, built by Texans" as they say
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:47 AM   #6
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I tow a 27FB International and the Tundra 5.7 is plenty!
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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Good grief I hope so! A 1/2 ton truck would handle that 27 footer just fine. A buddy of mine pulls a 25 foot non-airstream (much heavier) with a 2 door short bed Dodge 1500. A diesel OR Tundra will tug your AS without an issue whatsoever. Although I say get the American owned Dodge, Toyota is also American made. Both excellent choices.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Do you mind shifting down as needed for mountain grades? If so, Diesel.
You won't have to shift on mountain grades. The Tundra only comes with an automatic. You can downshift if want going downhill, and that's a good idea, but it does that automatically too, but not as soon as I want it to. It pulls our 25' up Colorado passes easily and since the 27' is not that much heavier, I'm sure it would pull it just about as easily.

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Old 11-22-2012, 03:30 PM   #9
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For a 27 footer the Toyota will be fine.

I pull a 34 footer with a Dodge turbodiesel. I've never hit a hill I couldn't accelerate up, and that's with a motorcycle in the bed and the trailer loaded to the gills.

It's a personal preference thing. After owning a diesel truck, I will probably never go back to a gasser. Yes, diesel fuel costs more than gasoline now (it didn't used to....), but diesels get 30% better fuel economy apples to apples than a gasser. I can get 21mpg with my 4-door 4x4 8' bed Ram. If it had the hemi, I'd probably be lucky to see 14mpg ever.

At any rate, in your case, either will work fine. My buddy has a Tundra and is very happy with it. I love my Ram 2500. Get whichever you like. Either will pull that trailer just fine.

cheers,
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvia73 View Post
I am considering the purchase of a new truck and trying to decide between Dodge 2500 diesel or Toyota Tundra 5.7 with tow pack. I like the torque on the diesel but fuel is about $0.50/gal more and I believe Toyota has higher quality and it is made in US vs Mexico for the Dodge.

Any opinions on using the half ton Toyota vs 3/4 ton diesel for my 27 ft Classic?

Dave
I am currently pulling with a 99 Dodge 5.9 gas. 145k and has been good truck but 35 mph on grades.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvia73
I am currently pulling with a 99 Dodge 5.9 gas. 145k and has been good truck but 35 mph on grades.
Get the diesel if you $$$. Remember, diesel fuel cost more, but you'll get 12 mpg pulling the 27. You'll get 8 with the gas truck. Diesel tank 36 gal, gas tank, 26 gal--how often do you want to be planning fuel stops? 3/4 or one ton truck will have E (10 ply) tires, heavier suspension and class IV or V hitch. To me, the most important reason for the diesel is, power and torque to get out into traffic. If you need to get going, put the peddle down and go. The Duramax, PS or Cummins doesn't care what's hooked on behind--it will just zip you out there.
Stiff ride when not towing? Well my wife takes our 3/4 Duramax from me all the time just to go to the grocery. Likes seeing over everybody.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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Our 2012 Ram gas 5.7 Hemi 6 spd auto gets 12 mpg towing, 20 mpg highway not towing, 16-18 mpg combined. We never use overdrive towing so there is no shifting up and down.

They will soon have this Ram with 8 spd auto trans; that will keep you near an ideal power range all the time and improve gas mileage.

With year-end discounts, our new Ram was $24,000, has 100k mile mechanical warranty, is well equipped for towing and the full coil suspension is smooth when not. How does a new diesel beat that for economy?

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Old 11-22-2012, 09:46 PM   #13
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I tow a 30' Flying Cloud with the Tundra, plenty of power. I replaced the gas tank with a 46 gallon version, increased the tire size and added air bags to the suspension. The truck is easy to drive. I think nothing of taking it into large cities and I can park it in a typical space. The hitch is a Propride, towing is stable.
When I go into Burningman I am over weight-three Honda 2kw generators 60 gallons of gas extra water and gear in the bed. I am unable to feel any change in performance or handling with this load. My millage runs 10-12 mpg while towing.
40,000 miles on a 2010, no problems so far, happy with the combination.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:54 AM   #14
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Some of the posts made about gas engines on many threads do not reflect how gas engines have improved in recent years.

Our '07 Tundra does not get "8" mpg nor does it go uphill at 35 mph. We get 10-11 most of the time, though a bit over 11 much more often than below 10. Altitude makes only the smallest of differences. We can go uphill well over the speed limit (65 on some passes) if we want to, but as with any engine, efficiency drops a lot going uphill at high speed. I try to keep it at 50 on those passes, but the engine takes it so effortlessly that I find myself going 60 when I'm not paying attention.

While Toyotas aren't as bullet proof as they used to be, the engine-transmission-drive shaft-suspension-axles stuff work without any problems and appear to be built as well as Toyotas were a decade ago. We just passed 80,000 miles, more than half of it towing, without incident.

Years ago, if you had a heavy trailer, a half ton gas truck was not that good an option. Diesel fuel was cheaper than gas; that has changed. Diesel fuel mileage seems to have dropped make the cost comparison with gassers even closer. Transmissions were 3 or 4 speed, now 6 speed is common. Even then 3/4 ton gas trucks were reasonable options vs. diesel.

"Years ago" is long over. Our 5.7 L. engine puts out 401 lbs. of torque. Isn't that enough for a 27' trailer?

The question with a 1/2 ton truck is payload. Depending on what you bring with you and tongue wt., half ton trucks can be close to or over capacity. Otherwise, they generally have the tow capacity for anything but the largest Airstreams.

But what to buy? Doug's Dodge (now seems to be called a Ram, but still a Dodge to me) has some impressive numbers. Fuel mileage should be going up substantially in the next several years. Doug's reflects improvements mad recently. As someone said earlier, in a few years we'll see how the Ford EcoBoost works out. Toyota will have an all new Tundra for 2014 it appears. Buying a new truck now seems to be a bad idea. Given Toyota's reliability, I'd look for a fairly low mileage Tundra from '07 through to '09 and keep it as long as you can and then buy a new truck when mileage has increased substantially.

Gene
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:29 PM   #15
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The Tundra has very nice accurate steering which is plus for towing. This is one heck of a truck (I've owned five overall from different mfg.).

I went from Tundra and 25' Airstream to a 24' Class C on E450 chassis. By comparison the handling and V10 powertrain of the E450 is primitive.

Love the new motorhome, but have to give a hearty endorsement to the Tundra. A neighbor just bought one to tow his toyhauler and he was raving about his too.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:35 PM   #16
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I tow our 28' Safari with the Chevy 1/2 ton 5.3 and average 12mpg since owning it for 2 seasons now and towing over 8000 miles. With the 6 speed tranny, it gets about 1 mpg more than my last Chevy truck.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:24 PM   #17
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You go to a diesel for performance, not economy. While in general diesels do get better fuel mileage apples to apples, you have to figure on $5K up front additional just to get that power plant.

If you're only pulling a mid 20's foot trailer, you have no need to go to a diesel. Truth be known, my truck is probably more than I need for my 34 footer. But, the silver tube isn't the only trailer I pull. I wanted something with tons of torque. The Cummins delivers in spades.

The new diesels don't get as good a mileage as the ones from 5-7 years ago because diesels are now in the primitive stages of emissions controls. It's basically 1973 for diesels. Whereas my '04 Ram (that I bought new and has 41K on it now) gets 20-21mpg (used to get 22-23 mpg before they went to the low sulphur fuel), a new one will be lucky to see 16mpg. You can remove the dpf unit and get the mileage back. But you're basically breaking the law in many states if you do that.

I think somebody might have mentioned the F-150 EcoBoost for you. That might be a worthy option as well.

At 27 feet, you're getting close to where I'd personally consider a 3/4 ton truck. But a half ton should do nicely.

Anyway, if you like the Tundra, get one. It will certainly do the job for you. I used to tow with a Ford V10 Excursion. It did a good job too. But my Ram long bed quad cab with the turbodiesel pulls the 34 footer like it's barely back there. For me, that is great. As well, if I want to haul 9000 pounds of steel in my utility trailer, that works too.

Hey, how about a '78 Ramcharger with a 440??!! A friend of mine had one and he could burn off all four tires with it
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #18
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Silvia, Jim has it correct. At 27 foot, you are in that range that would be just about max without a diesel. I see a lot of people like their Tundra's, and I'd love to see the one that gets 10 to 12 mpg while towing a 27 footer.

If you are not going far, and not going often; sure go ahead and buy a gas 1/2 ton. Just know if in the hills, there is going to be a lot of gear shifting going on. I pulled our 2012 30 foot Flying Cloud with our 2011 Chevy 1/2 ton 4/4 crew cab with the 403 hp 6.2 on it's maiden voyage only. The 2012 Duramax 3/4 ton crew cab has been in front since--with trips to TX hill country, NM mountains and a trip to the coast of TX. There is no comparison. But then maybe it's just me. In my younger life, I was a Navy fighter pilot and later an Airline pilot--I know what it is like to be slow and low on power at the same time. No such thing as too much power (in our case torque and turbo charger acceleration).

Good luck girl
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Do you mind shifting down as needed for mountain grades? If so, Diesel.

Do you mind waking everybody up in the campground when you leave early in the morning? If so, gas.
I dont think that noise has been an issue with the recent EPA choked diesels. At least for us fellow campers have asked if we really had a diesel in our unit or just the badging on the side of the TV...
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:24 AM   #20
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With the new diesels (after 2005) they're suppose to be 50% quieter. I've left early and not to my knowledge have had any complaints reported. The Class A (gas and diesel) make more noise then my 2007 Dodge 6.7L. when they take off.
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