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Old 02-23-2012, 06:06 PM   #155
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Diesel Jeep

The diesel is being sold overseas, V6 turbo, new 7 speed transmission. Mid to high 20's on the highway and more torque than the 5.7 Hemi. My dealer said there were "no plans" to sell them here.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:17 AM   #156
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debated TV's from 4Runner,ML305BT,Jeep GC but have pretty much settled on a new Chevy Avalanche LTZ ordered specifically for towing but with all the goodies.

I take interest in the fact that, according to some, any of the above could be set up to handle our AS pick. But, with that said, which would be the safest? We do not want a straight P/U (better halfs and my decision) but the Avalanche seems to be the best of both worlds.
Comments PLEASE!
I am a big Toyota fan, but we owned a 2011 4Runner for just long enough to find something else to buy (a Sequoia). I've had a few Tacoma's, and after we were expecting our first baby we traded into a 4Runner. I've always dreamed of a 4Runner. It was disappointing in several ways. The most annoying was the square spokes on the steering wheel that made it very uncomfortable on long drives. (they've since changed the Tacoma interior to match, so yikes!)

I complained to Toyota about handling quirks... we live in an area with lots of winding mountain roads, and it required 100% attention all the time to keep it on line. It was just very twitchy. At first I thought it was because I was moving from a longer wheelbase to a shorter one... but it was just too weird for me.

The Avalanche is the biggest, by far, of those vehicles. Unless you are really hooked on the pass-through end gate (or the styling I guess), you might get more for the buck in a 1/2 ton crew cab. I don't know if I'd call the Avalanche the 'best of both worlds'... as I've never, ever seen one used in truck mode. (I'm sure people do - I've just never seen it in person).

I love my Sequoia... luckily found a super used 2008 and the dealer gave me my money back on the 4Runner (I had to throw in my winter tires/wheels)...
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:27 AM   #157
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I really like the Avalanche...one of my favorite vehicles for a number of reasons. I happened to be driving one at the time I traded my 5500# SOB for my 30' Classic. I did pull the Classic with it on a few trips. Although overloaded, it handled the AS very well.
It is on the Suburban chassis so it rides better than a PU. If GM still built a 3/4 ton Avalanche, it would be high on my consideration list.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:13 AM   #158
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Smatrsounds

It is good that you have some time before you make your big decision. If you really want to go diesel then the MB is your vehicle and you have to deal with the transmission issue and gross rating issues with a wd hitch (talk to Can-Am). The safest bet appears to be to go gas and I would look at the Jeep GC with the 5.7L motor and the Toyata Sequoia 5.7L. I have a Tundra with the 5.7L and the six speed and I am quite happy. I would go for a well cared for used one since they have not changed them since 08. This way if you don't like it or something else comes along that seems better you won't loose very much when you sell it.

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Old 02-24-2012, 11:40 AM   #159
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The expert of experts is Andy Thomson of CanAmRV.ca in Canada! I'm working with Andy and John right now and they are super helpful and knowledgable. No hard sell with these guys, just honesty and expertise! Good luck.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:30 PM   #160
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Specifications are important in lawsuits. The specs may be wrong, but they are black and white and juries respond to that. But most people don't sue because the risks of loss are high enough when combined with expense to deter taking a chance. Insurance companies are in the risk business. They will look at what it costs them to fight a customer over specs. First they have to investigate specs and try to understand them in a towing context, look at the risk they will be sued or a complaint sent to the insurance commission, and then decide whether it is worth it to not pay a claim. But if you sue them over their payments (or go to arbitration as it is likely you will be forced to do), then they surely will look at towing specs.

You may want to sue the truck manufacturer, Airstream, the dealer and a few others. The more defendants the merrier because the defendants tend to blame each other and may prove your case for you. This is expensive and a lawyer may do it on contingency, but only if the work involved is not so much the lawyer loses money or makes very little. Lawyers can't afford to take bad or weak cases on contingency. There are costs to a lawsuit besides fees and the client may not be able to afford them and the lawyer may not want to lend the client money for the costs (the ability for a lawyer to lend a client money for this is different in different jurisdictions; my understanding is it is generally frowned upon). Product liability lawsuits are very expensive. If you want to sue CanAm, you will probably have to do it in Ontario.

Given the concern with potential accidents that if often expressed on the Forum, there are really very few of them reported. The ones that do get reported here have few or no injuries (I recognize dead drivers don't post here, so the numbers may be skewed). That kind of surprises me. Maybe we are all so fearful we drive pretty well. Accidents are one part, of course; vehicle wear and tear is the other and goes mostly unreported. We had to replace the rotors at around 67,000 miles on our Tundra—I haven't had to replace a rotor for 30 years, so that surprised me. I know another Tundra owner has to replace his though I don't recall how many miles he has on his. I expect the added weight of towing plus the poor drum brakes on Airstreams has caused this. Everything else works fine, but I can't see inside things to see what the wear is. I know if I were to buy a used truck for towing, I'd avoid one that has been used for towing if I knew it had been.

I don't understand how CanAm does it. I am not an engineer. It seems to work and I think we have to respect that. I've read Andy's articles in Airstream life and they look well thought out although I don't always understand what he is talking about. But I really wonder how the various components (transmission, differentials, etc.) will hold up over time. I don't know if there has been an objective look at that. I thought Canadians pulled their Airstreams with snowmobiles anyway.

I find interesting the statement that for one vehicle at least, payload was in part determined by the tires. Our Tundra came with crappy Load Range C "P" tires. We replaced them after 18,000 miles with Load Range E LT tires. I wonder if that would make a difference in payload ratings? There were in 2007 a variety of tires and wheel packages plus various truck models, but looking at them, I couldn't see any obvious differences in payload caused by tires and wheels. One of the footnotes says that "payload is not the Vehicle Capacity Weight as defined by FMVSS 110." This is a federal rule regarding tire and wheel selection for trucks under 10,000 lbs. GVWR, but I have no interest in researching it. Maybe someone else understands it.

Payload doesn't seem to be defined well. Toyota figures payload with a full gas tank, but it has been stated that some manufacturers don't and may also figure it with no coolant. I have read that some Class A and C motorhomes have negative payload. There may not be a rule for payload.

Gene
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #161
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But I really wonder how the various components (transmission, differentials, etc.) will hold up over time. I don't know if there has been an objective look at that.
I talked to my service writer about that. (He has a camper van and a trailer himself, so he's very familiar with the mechanical demands made by TVs.) I wanted to know if there was any way to track wear on the Jetta to see if the towing was taking an undue toll on the vehicle. He said there's absolutely no way to tell, and that it always comes down to the driver's skills/non-skills, the individual TV and the people who made all the parts and have done all the mechanical work, the weather, storage, fuel quality, choice of tires, maintenance quality, and pure b*st*rd luck of having all those ducks in a row. Otherwise, he said, every driver's experience of every vehicle model's lifetime of use would be exactly the same, and plainly that's simply not true. (To his vast credit, he managed not to look at me as if I was a complete and total idiot when he explained this. Perhaps I've finally worn him down.)

ETA: Andy Thomson told me that when it's time to replace my tires (which were relatively new and bought before I even dreamed of towing an AS, i.e.: November), to call him and he'll tell me which tires to get; he said that there were much better tires for stability for the vehicle.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:09 PM   #162
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Zlee, I have no doubt it is hard to know whether components will wear prematurely, but it could be done with a bunch of money and time. German cars have in CR's reliability ratings not done well compared to other countries' products. I hope this is not true for you, but I think you'll be keeping an eye on the Jetta to make sure it beats the odds.

I'd like to tow our trailer with a Prius, but we'd probably go up Vail or Monarch Pass at 1 mph, or roll down backwards.

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Old 02-24-2012, 01:19 PM   #163
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Payload doesn't seem to be defined well. Toyota figures payload with a full gas tank, but it has been stated that some manufacturers don't and may also figure it with no coolant. I have read that some Class A and C motorhomes have negative payload. There may not be a rule for payload.

Gene
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The brochure for my 08 2wd DC Tundra lists a payload of 1,680 lbs; yet the door sticker lists it as 1,475 lbs. I suppose the difference (205 lbs) is that the door sticker is with a full tank of gas (8x26) where as the brochure is with the tank empty, but I would think that Toyota would use the same payload definition in their brochure as is on the door jamb sticker. Go figure.

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Old 02-24-2012, 01:35 PM   #164
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Dan,

A full tank of gas (26.3 gal.) weighs 161.75 lbs, not 205. Gas is 6.15 lbs. Water is 8.34 lbs. The door sticker on ours says the payload is reduced by 107 lbs. because of options installed—running board perhaps, towing and TRD package maybe.

Somewhere, long ago, I read Toyota calculates payload with a full tank. It may be buried in the booklet I got at the dealer in 2007 that has all the specs.

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Old 02-24-2012, 01:45 PM   #165
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I THINK all manufacturers arrive at their weight figures with all fluids full, full tank of fuel, and one occupant @175 pounds. I have heard, due to Americans getting "larger", that figure may go up to 190 pounds soon (if it hasn't already). The difference in payload figures in the brochure and your label is indeed due to the options on the truck. The brochures will usually list payload for a base vehicle.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #166
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German cars have in CR's reliability ratings not done well compared to other countries' products.
I'd want to look at what they were comparing it to and what years. I know my Jetta's year was considered one of the tops in class for the Jetta overall--the ones after were horribly unreliable until 2010, apparently, and this year's Jettas seem to have generated international scorn.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:24 PM   #167
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But I really wonder how the various components (transmission, differentials, etc.) will hold up over time. I don't know if there has been an objective look at that.
I once asked Mr. T about such a thing. He said that from what he had seen over many years and millions of miles logged by customers the cars had less problems (mechanical wear issues) than the trucks. He also said that towing could increase the possibility of wear but that could apply to any vehicle. The beauty is getting 25MPG+ when not towing.

From our experience (10 years towing with a V6 Mini Van and now a V6 car) I have to say the mechanical issues related to towing have been about nil. I did add a set of coil spring isolators at a cost of $35.

There have been no drivetrain issues with either vehicle related to towing. The van had 435,000klm's on it and the car now has 205,000 klm's posted. The car still runs/looks like a new vehicle (except for the dent in the rear quarter thnxs to BH)
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:07 PM   #168
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I thought Canadians pulled their Airstreams with snowmobiles anyway.
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My dog team used to work better Gene, but the yipping when I pulled into a site disturbed all the southern tourists! Now they ride in the cab with me (the dogs, not the tourists, although of the ones I met we got on famously).

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