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Old 06-09-2012, 06:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jrudd1968 View Post
My TV is a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 (3/4 ton) diesel. Bought it new. It's primary use has been for towing my 2001 25' Safari. It has 135K miles.
All regular scheduled maintenance (oil changes, filters, transmission fluid, fuel filter, air filter, coolant, etc.) has always been done at the appropriate time. I get 17 MPG towing and 21 not towing. Physical appearance is like new.

Never had a wrench on it until last year on our "annual get out of the heat" trip to Colorado. Replaced a water pump and sepentine belt on that trip.

It has new tires, new batteries, new shocks, and new brakes. Just had the AC control fixed at my local independant mechanic. I ask him to look over the truck while he had it and make sure it is ready for this years travels. He advised me it needed nothing and was in great shape. He said it should go another 150K easy without any major troubles.

I trust the truck totally and never even think about tow vehicle problems when hooking up for another AS adventure.

My wife and I will be leaving Texas for Colorado, Wyoming, Montanna, and perhaps southern Canada, (Alberta) in early July. Planning to be on the road until end of October when we will return to Texas for the winter.

My wife just advised me that she would feel more comfortable on this years trip with a new TV! She said she did not want to have trouble on the road like last year, and that she is not comfortable taking a 9 year old TV on this trip.

So, what do you guys and gals think? Do I need a new tow vehicle or not. My vote is "not" but I would like to hear your opinion!
Your mechanic is correct. This exact vehicle (but DRW) is the one that easily ran 300k in commercial service for hotshot and oilfield in our state for hundreds if not thousands of commercial operators. A few breakdowns might have occurred . . but there is not enough to worry over for you as you are not constantly pulling a 16-24,000-lb trailer.

Mine is a 2004, and, with this upcoming August marking the ninth year since manufacture -- and with 180k plus miles -- I mark this as the halfway point on time & miles for this truck.

Keep treating it as if it were brand-new. No parts but factory. No tires but the best. Book service intervals for time or mileage (or shortened). Keep it as clean as Day One. Etc.

The newer trucks are overly expensive, overly-complicated and will not achieve the same fuel mileage if you buy a diesel. There is no comparable gasoline truck to yours or mine.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:30 PM   #16
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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The Dodge is an awesome truck... and I assume its the 5,9 Cummins...
They are tough and you can get them fixed just about anywhere...
I say keep it, and blow the consequences...

But a word of caution...

My buddy with a similar Truck was telling me just the other day, that when he drove over about 75, he could hear a whining noise and was worried about it... and asked me my opinion...
I replied, that I once had a similar issue...
"What did you do?" he asked..

"I divorced her!" I replied

I would suggest replacing the Wife.... but that would be REALLY expensive...
Ask me how I know...
Divorces are expensive.....
But sometime they are worth every Cent!

OK, joking aside, maybe suggesting she pay for the replacement truck would solve the problem?

My name is Steve.... and I am an Alumaholic!
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:14 PM   #17
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Exclamation No

135,000 is just broken in mileage for a diesel RAM. Any vehicle can have a malfunction at any age. Dodge Rams have a very good reputation for reliability. If you are going to be gone that long, I don't see the problem with staying somewhere a day or two if you do need have repair work.

I am much more confident starting a long trip with my well cared for 2003 Diesel Ram (see profile picture), than I would be with a untested and not yet broken in new vehicle.

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:18 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the replies so far! I think, and my wife thinks, believe it or not, that we'll keep the truck! After 35 years, she still listens to everyone but me! I'll get the hoses replaced as Phoenix suggested. The wife really likes the "take her out" more and the "more money to spend on gas" suggestions.
Thanks again!
James Rudd
2001 25' Safari
2003 Dodge 2500
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:36 PM   #19
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1976 Argosy 26
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If it is not broke don't fix it.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:11 PM   #20
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I always have a hard time parting with my used vehicles, because I generally keep them in good condition and always think to myself "I'd buy this vehicle if I found it used..." so selling/trading is sad parting. I traded my 2006 Tacoma that was in super shape for a new 4runner... Hated the 4runner... traded it on a Sequoia... but still miss my Tacoma.

I guess it's like an old horse... until he leaves you in the desert, why shoot him?
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:48 PM   #21
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I have a 1994 Jeep Cherokee that is about to turn over 200,000 miles. I wouldn't trade it for any new vehicle on the market. I do most of the work on it myself. It costs less to keep it running than to buy a new one. I have bought two brand new vehicles in my life and they both died when they were worth what I still owed on them. What a coincidence?
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:36 AM   #22
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Is your 03 pre EGR? If so keep it for sure!
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:09 AM   #23
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Put me on the list of guys that are interested in buying your old worn out truck, if you decide to get rid of it.

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Old 06-10-2012, 07:59 AM   #24
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Just get Good Sam's Roadside Assistance (they also tow your trailer to campground or repair) and don't worry about it.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:10 AM   #25
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They sell new trucks in all the places you're visiting...don't forget your checkbook
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:35 AM   #26
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You need to dump that thing quick! What no one here is telling you is that those Rams tend to explode into fireballs at 141,000 miles!

Because we're such old friends I'll make the sacrifice and drive all the way to Texas and haul it away for you. You don't even need to donate for fuel although that would be a nice show of gratitude for saving your lives.

In reality you aren't even at half-life yet on that truck. Look on Craigslist or auto trader and you'll see that your truck is selling used for 19,000 to 24,000 while other models of the same year are selling for half. There is a reason.

I hope you can keep your truck since no other will give you that good of mileage or last as long.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 06-10-2012, 09:18 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by jgerardi View Post
You certainly don't need a new truck.... but you better get one!
SHE is always right.
The solution is obvious. Keep truck. Trade in wife.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:35 AM   #28
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I wouldn't replace it, but then again I typically drive my gas vehicles into the 300,000 mile range prior to replacing, diesel? Don't know...yet. I have one 1996 F350 PSD with somewhere past 500k on the odometer, the odo quit working a few years back.

I would have a thorough check over and hit the road. FWIW we were traveling with some friends a year ago driving our 2003 F150 towing a popup, they had a brand new Chevy pickup towing a brand new SOB. We had to leave them at the end of the 4th day when they were sitting at a Chevy dealer 500 miles from home for warranty work, heard from them a week later and they were home...without their RV it had an axle failure of some sort and was a dealer for warranty work.

You pay the devil and hope for the best. Me? I would rather have tried and true than brand new.


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