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Old 08-21-2007, 07:59 PM   #15
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I tend to agree with Minnie Mate. We've owned two 34's, the last one with a slide out. Diesel is without question my preference, but you will probably be OK with your current truck. With the slide out version, and towing with an Excursion, I added some "air bags" in the rear suspension in order to keep the TV more level, which by the way has worked great.

I don't remember your post, but a good hitch will make a huge difference. We use a Hensley hitch, which is tremendous, but there are many other brands as well.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:48 PM   #16
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When we had our 22' International, we towed it with an '01 F250 V-10 (gas). Did great, hardly noticed the Airstream behind us (mileage was 8-9MPG). However, when the bug bit us and we traded SallyMae in for the 30' Classic, well, we most definitely knew we had her behind us. Traded the truck in for an '06 F250 6.0 turbo diesel.

Wow! What a difference! Unless glancing back in the rearview mirror to the behemoth following me, I would easily forget and find myself creeping upwards to 75-80MPH with the diesel engine sounding like it was just idling. With 11,500 miles on it, I'm getting 13.5 MPG. Over time as the engine breaks in, my mileage will increase.

With a 34', I'd go absolute minimum F250 6 liter turbodiesel (or at least 2500 chevy, Dodge). The newer Fords are 6.4 and higher. F350 would be a better deal in the long run. Whatever brand, go diesel, you won't regret it.
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:17 AM   #17
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Just wanted to add; there is really no benefit in going 1 ton over a 3/4 ton when talking TT's. In some cases the 1 ton's actually have LESS tow capacity.
The only benefit would be payload, a non-issue with TT's.
Unless you bring along your anvil collection...


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Old 08-22-2007, 08:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
Just wanted to add; there is really no benefit in going 1 ton over a 3/4 ton when talking TT's. In some cases the 1 ton's actually have LESS tow capacity.
The only benefit would be payload, a non-issue with TT's.
Unless you bring along your anvil collection...


Bill
I tend to agree on the 3/4 vs. 1 ton advise above. The main difference between the two is going to be payload. That is going to be a factor of the suspension and not really the engine, at least for the most part. IIRC, the new super duty Fords all have the same engine options across the board. I am really in the dark about Chevy's and Dodges so I don't know their options but I would suspect you can get the same engine in their 3/4 tons as their 1 tons. I don't even know if the 34' sliders really need the 1 ton based on tongue weight and that would be your main factor in the decision. However, with the firmer suspension, the 1 ton is going to have a harsher ride for the passengers and Airstream alike. There is also a concern in my mind that the stiff suspension might have a long-term negative affect on the A-frame if you aren't real precise with the hitch set-up.

Now speaking of that anvil collection, my 30' Safari has a GVWR of 8,400 lbs vs 11,400 lbs. (11,500 for slide-out) of a 34' Classic (per Airstream, Inc. :: Travel in Style). These are maximum case scenarios of course and you probably won't be quiet that heavy. That is quiet a difference though, but I occasionally carry our golf cart with us on camping trips. That adds another 1,000 lbs. to the bed of the truck and increases the load on the rear suspension by 1,000 lbs. if I don't adjust the hitch to compensate. The handling is virtually the same with or without the golf cart in the bed of the truck. Yes, there is a little difference if I don't adjust the hitch set up, but there is almost no impact on acceleration from a stand still or when I want to pass, except on a steep hill of course. In those circumstances I just leave a big black cloud in my wake and keep on going!
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:21 AM   #19
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Personally we have a F350 Single wheel Crew with the 7.3 diesel and a 3:73 non-slip rear-end. We at this point don't have an AS yet. The Truck was bought with pulling a large trailer in mind. The salesman never got it "Why U need that much truck"Answer "TO DO ANYTHING I WANT"
Lots of Luck to U
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:33 AM   #20
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I know that the F-250 is really overkill for our Airstream, but I wanted durability and I wanted the same "TO DO ANYTHING I WANT" ability, too. My last truck gave me ten years and 182K of trouble free miles. It was an F-150 but I never towed anything with it. I wanted to make sure that I had an engine that could give me that kind of service again with the kind of towing that we planned to do. With the ease that this truck tows our Airstream, I don't think there is going to be any excess wear and tear caused by using it as a tow vehicle. If I had gone with another F-150, I was afraid that towing our 30' Safari might put too much strain on it and over time it might not last as long and be as trouble free. (A half ton truck would have been sufficient, BTW, but I wanted to feel I had somewhat guaranteed durability built in.)
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:16 PM   #21
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diesel for sure,i found out the hard way not to get a gas motor for that big of a rig
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:19 PM   #22
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Our 2500HD Silverado is rated 12,600 tow capacity with big block gas engine and 6 spd allison transmission. Don't know if it would be any fun towing a 34 but think we won't be doing so. Tows our 6,300 pound AS wonderfully.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:11 AM   #23
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I think a 2500HD/gas is adequate for most situations, we used one for several years for our previous 31' and a little later with the 34', that said, after a tour of the Rockies we opted for a 2500HD/diesel. There is an advantage in fuel mileage and a significant difference in comfort (the ability to keep up with traffic on the grades (any grade)) with the higher torque diesel. I really don't see any need to go to a duel rear wheel set up unless a fifth wheel with a higher load weight was towed, they are just too much to drag around the rest of the time. There is a significant cost difference for the diesel motor, but when we traded our last one the cost was recouped. Between last year and this, about 25000 miles with the 34', it is more comfortable to tow than the 31' after a slight adjustment for the additional weight. JMHO
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:08 PM   #24
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Two more points on truck selection -- we just heard last week the Chevy/GMC 2500 trucks might not have 8.1L gas and Allison 6spd automatic on the new models. We heard (and haven't confirmed) one would have to purchase the 3500 to get this lash-up.

Separately, the GM trucks with 6.5 foot bed only get a 26 gallon fuel tank. We are, after trying it out for almost two years, finally biting the bullet and buying the 45 gallon after-market saddle tank to replace the 26. The cruising range with total of 26 gallons is just too short, especially if you aren't sure if the next exit's gas stations will also be closed (like we found yesterday in South Carolina -- all three gas stations selling newspapers, colas, and hot dogs but no fuel).

Other than that, we are still loving the Chevy 2500HD!
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamStreamr
we just heard last week the Chevy/GMC 2500 trucks might not have 8.1L gas and Allison 6spd automatic on the new models.
Hey Jim, full timing must be great...GM hasn't sold a big block for 2 years now!
Wish I were that far off the grid!

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