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Old 10-14-2009, 10:35 PM   #1
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Diesel Chevy, Ford, Dodge, or GMC?! 10,000 lbs

I'm totally new to airstreams and towing in general. I've towed Uhaul trailers from SF to Portland and L.A. to SF in my Toy 4runner, but all i did was hook it up and drive away. Now i'm starting a business where i'll be converting an airstream into a commercial kitchen and serving around the San Francisco Bay Area and need something really reliable and affordable (under $8,000).

I've done a lot of research, but different places say different things, i'm looking for personal opinion from (if possible) people that own or have owned any of these trucks.

We are looking for a diesel pickup that can tow around 10,000 lbs, if possible under $8,000, and from around 2000. Any information is appreciated.

Thanks,
Simon
Nomad's Kitchen
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:44 PM   #2
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You will hear plenty of opinions. I believe a allison/duramax will outlast all other parts on the truck.

My opinion...
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:57 PM   #3
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Find a clean, maintained (hopefully had the tranny rebuilt) 1999-2003 7.3L Powerstroke Ford F-250 Superduty. Anything less than 175k miles should be fine. I've towed my 25' Airstream about 1500mi since I've owned it, truck pulls it like it isn't even there, gets about 14mpg if you keep it at 65mph or less. Anything more than about 1800rpm on the engine and she starts drinking fuel. Good luck.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:20 AM   #4
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Here is opinion 3.. I have a 99 Dodge Cummins, with manual transmission,purchased new and currently with 540,000 and still running perfectly. I work for a trailer transporter and have seen these with over a million miles with no teardown.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:52 AM   #5
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See?? there you go, 3 answers and 3 opinions.

Since a chevy and GMC are functionaly the same, all your bases are covered in 3 replies.

Me? I tow with gas and have been a Ford man for many a decade. If I was to go with an oil burner, it would be an older power stroke for sure.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:07 AM   #6
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Yep everyones got one,opinion that is. I agree wiff Rick,the Dodge wiff a Cummins is hard to beat. The objection I have is,Cummins is very noisy, if you can get passed the noise its all good. Trust me,I drove a Cummins powered yard tractor for 10yrs with hardly no down time.
I would consider a GM (something) DuraMax /Allison Combo if you can find one in your price range.Hit the auctions,there are lots of em repoed that would fit your needs.
My person favorite is my Ford F350(u don't need this heavy)with the Allison and a 7.3 and 3:73 rear end.
Around town 14 mpg/Highway 20mpg Towing 15 (+ or - depending on conditions) keeping the speed down to 65 or below.
There ya have it, >>>>Another opinion.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SEARCH
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:09 AM   #7
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I have owned them all at one time or another in the last 15 years. Ford gets my vote for best overall. Find a clean used F250 and hit the road.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:00 AM   #8
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I currently own a 2000 F250 Crew cab, with a 7.3 L Powestroke, 3.73 rear gear, and auto trans. Just averaged close to 14 MPG last weekend on a 350 mile run from McKinney down to Gatesville, TX towing our 07' Safari 27' FB. I have 136 K on it with no problems at all. I can feel the need to have the tranny gone through here soon. I have only gone through the original set of brakes in the last year at over 125K on the truck. I would suggest that if you get one of these and the trans needs a rebuild to look at adding a better quality Torque converter (suncoast) to save you some life on the transmission and provide better towing longevity. These motors are rated for up to 500 HP and are found in many Mid duty IH trucks they are de-tuned for the lighter duty F-series trucks because of the smaller axle and trans.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:12 AM   #9
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Choices

Yes, all good opinions, just STAY AWAY from the Ford 6.0 Diesel. Many many problems after Ford went to this (there's a thread on it too.) Go for the 7.3L.

Good Luck!

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Old 10-15-2009, 06:54 PM   #10
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Additionally, if you go with a 99-03 Ford 7.3 Powerstroke, ensure you replace the transmission cooler with one from the 6.0 Powerstroke. The 6.0 cooler is 133% larger than the original 7.3 cooler. The 7.3 cooler is not adequate for any type of towing, beats me why ford used something so small. I had tranny temps of 190F just from stop and go traffic in the summer with no trailer. Now, with the 6.0 cooler, I struggle to break 160F towing the Airstream.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:56 PM   #11
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I bought a Cummins with a Dodge around it and am totally happy with it. When I was looking I was told if I bought a Ford I needed buy certain years and avoid certain engines because they changed them year to year. While the GM has the Duramax/Allison transmission, neither Ford or GM had the longer term consistency of the Cummins straight line six.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:09 PM   #12
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Recommend the Allison/Duramax combo. Love my Chevy truck, and here's the big surprise for me: I get 23mph going back and forth to work here in Huntsville, and 15 mpg towing an 8500lb Airstream (30' Excella Classic). I also have the BullyDog computer chip on it. If you can find a used one in your price range with the computer chip, bet you'll like it. Kudos to the other folks above who enjoy their rigs--the counsel on avoiding the Ford 6.0 is on the money.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:01 PM   #13
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Computer chip

I'd like more info on adding a computer chip. What is the cost and what are the options?
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