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Old 06-03-2013, 12:51 PM   #1
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Choosing a TV ---Ford 250, Dodge 2500...or??

During the past month I've taken test drives in a Ford f250 and a Dodge Ram 2500 - both gas fueled. I've never owned a truck so I don't have brand loyalty, so-to-speak. Eventually, I will be towing either a 25FB or a 27FB Flying Cloud. By the way, both trucks felt the same to me. What to do is the question. To be honest, while I like the front end grill of a Ford, I don't want that to be the reason for selecting a particular truck. I am interested in safety, reliability and longevity.

As a soon-to-be newbie to truck ownership, your advice and opinions are invaluable to me.

Many thanks.


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Old 06-03-2013, 12:59 PM   #2
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If you're the sort of person who keeps a vehicle for most of its useful life, get the one you like the best/best deal (whichever motivates you most.) I think either truck properly equipped will do what you need it to do.

Historically, Ford gassers hold resale a little better than Dodge (now Ram) gassers, but past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. That also matters mostly to people who trade trucks every 3-5 years, if you're going to keep the truck a long time resale will be a small percentage of initial price so the initial deal is more important.

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Old 06-03-2013, 01:29 PM   #3
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You are looking at 3/4th ton trucks.
The Ford has a slightly bigger engine 6.2 compared to 5.8 in the Dodge. More power is generally an advantage when towing a trailer.
Particularly if you decide on the 25 foot Airstream, you might consider a half ton truck. They are enough truck to tow your 25 foot Airstream particularly in flat land Massachusetts and are less of a handful to drive solo in the city. Toyota and Nissan have strong entries in the half ton truck field but make no 3/4 ton trucks. If you compare trucks of similar trim levels, half ton trucks are generally cheaper.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:16 PM   #4
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Not sure of your timing, but surveying the various car blogs reveals rumors of considerable changes to the Ram 2500 for 2014, including a new more-powerful gas engine, better interior electronics, and different suspension. Also, the Ram 1500 will get an available diesel by the end of the year.

As handn mentioned above, a well-spec'ed 1/2-ton truck could do this nicely. GM has generous incentives on their 2013 1/2-ton trucks to clear them out for the completely-redesigned 2014.

Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #5

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My as many as you can, for as long as you can.
Look for a dealer that has a good stock of "white" on the lot.

That usually indicates a robust commercial business which tends to enhance their knowledge of towing requirements and options.

BTW...nice teeth is as good an indicator as any of good health, but not necessarily applicable when choosing a tow vehicle.

Sweet Streams...



Sandra wanted to go to Cleveland on vacation,
but I’m the Husband, so we went to Cleveland. 😂

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Old 06-03-2013, 03:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
BTW...nice teeth is as good an indicator as any of good health, but not necessarily applicable when choosing a tow vehicle.

Love it!
Steve; also known as Mr UK Toad

"You can't tow that with that!"
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #7
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Ford or Dodge it really comes down to the features you like the best. Either one is a sizeable investment so get what you will be happy with.

If do decide to look at lighter weight vehicles, like a 150/1500 be sure you consider the actual weights you will be carrying vs the Gross Vehicle weight rating and the Rear Axle weight rating. Most of these so called half ton trucks have plenty of towing capacity but once you load with family, gear in the truck bed and tongue weight you may easily be exceeding these two ratings while you are well under the tow rating.

You may also find that your actual tongue weight will be higher than the Airstream stated number, depending on how you load the trailer.

Do some searching on tow vehicles in this forum and you'll get plenty of opinions and tips.
"When you find yourself in a hole - quit digging!"

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Old 06-03-2013, 03:46 PM   #8
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Yes, as most everyone here has said, spend the time to decide what you want, and then get what you want. No company that I know of these days makes bad trucks, but some have features that may be more desirable to you.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:36 PM   #9
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More important to your towing satisfaction than the brand of truck that you buy is the configuration that you select. A late model Airstream in the 25/27 foot range means that you will be towing between 7,000 and 8,000 pounds with a tongue weight in the 850 pound range. Then you must consider what gear you intend to carry in the bed of the truck. Many Airstreamers carry well over 1,000 pounds of stuff in the truck bed along with another 400 pounds bed cover or shell.

All this considered, you are in a territory that may be best served by a 3/4 ton tow vehicle. Half tons can tow the trailer, but when you load them up with camping/traveling gear, they can easily fall into the marginal zone.

Depending on your camping style and the extent of your trips, you will also need to consider crew cab vs. extended cab and long bed vs. short bed.

You should also consider gas vs. diesel. Yes, diesel is more costly to buy and to operate, but a diesel powered truck tows a heavy trailer so much better that it is almost unbelievable. I was a long time 3/4 ton gas fan. In 2011 I went diesel to accommodate my truck camper. The difference is like night and day in all aspects of towing. I will never own another gas tow vehicle.

Do your homework and take your time. There is a lot of tow vehicle information here on the Forums.

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Old 06-03-2013, 04:37 PM   #10
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Just wondering.... why would you be looking at a large heavy duty truck?

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:03 PM   #11
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Yea, really, you could just do like they do in Canada, and pull your trailer with a minivan.

Oh, I'm sorry, you said you were interested in "safety, reliability and longevity", so then you do need a truck.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:32 PM   #12
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Man this is gonna launch a brand war

If you go gas, I'd say HEMI!

If you go diesel, I'd say CUMMINS!

Personally, I use a Ram 2500 quad cab, long bed, 4x4, with a Cummins and heavy duty auto tranny. Haven't hit a hill yet I couldn't accelerate up with my 34 foot triple axle loaded to the gills. Running 75mph I get 12mpg towing. Running 60mph on flat lands I've gotten 15mpg. This is pulling a 10,000lb 34 footer. You'd barely notice a 25 footer. I get 20mpg with my Ram running empty. I've been very happy with it.

My truck is admittedly probably more than you need for the trailer in question. But I have been very happy with it and plan to drive it at least another 10-15 years. The Cummins diesel is a very good engine.

But heck, you could get a new Dodge Charger with a 6.4 HEMI and pull that trailer just fine with the right setup. Maybe set a new speed record with it.

- Jim
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:47 AM   #13
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Whow -- Thanks so much for the benefit of your collective experience with trucks!

A phrase that keeps surfacing is the issue of "falling into the marginal zone" when considering the combination of weights that one must consider when purchasing a tow vehicle (travel gear, generator, passengers, etc). I also hear and understand those of you who believe in the strength of diesels. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear diesel is, "does every gas station sell diesel"? And, are used diesel trucks trustworthy?

Rest assured that I will be taking my time with this decision. The goal is to get over the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming and feel confident driving up and over the Beartooth Highway in Montana/Wyoming.

The more I read posts in the Airstream Forum, the more fascinated I become with the knowledge and experience that flows through this site. Hopefully one day I, too, will be offering advice to folks through the forum. However, it will more than likely be in realm of decorating ideas. Although by then, I will have "some" truck experience!


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Old 06-04-2013, 07:06 AM   #14
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If I were in your situation, buying a 25' Airstream, and looking at trucks, I would be looking at 1/2 ton gas trucks with the maximum towing capacity, the highest number of gears in the transmission (6 minimum), and with the highest load capacity. A gasoline engine 1/2 ton truck equipped like this will have no problem towing a 25 footer.

This with the assumption I would always be happy with the 25 footer, and would never want to upsize to a larger trailer.

A 1/2 ton truck is just an easier driving vehicle than a 3/4 ton, and it is my opinion above the 25' size is the braking point over to a 3/4 ton.

One thing that I did a while back when considering a 1/2 ton truck is weigh the tongue of the trailer with the WD hitch attached to get an accurate tongue weight you will be carrying. Then weigh, or estimate the weight of all the things you intend to carry with you frequently, and include your and passenger's weight, any cover you might want to use over the truck's bed, fuel in the truck, tools, etc., to come up with a total load weight. Then obviously compare that weight to the capacity of the truck you are considering.

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