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Old 06-09-2012, 11:36 AM   #1
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2005 31' Classic
2005 31' Classic
Douglass , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Do I really need a new TV?

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!

James Rudd
2001 25' Safari
2003 Dodge 2500
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
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You know its probably just a matter of chance. If she's pushing it, if it does break you'll never hear the end of it.

I had a immaculate '99 F250 diesel I sold last year with about 120K. Garaged, only for towing. My priority was not to be on side of road. It worked for me. The truck had several repairs for the new owner including the water pump (friend- I fixed it for him). But I didn't wind up on side of road with new truck. I went with gas truck due to complexity of new diesels. The near 400 hp moves the 25 just fine.

You know there's lot of life left in your '03. It was the electrical gremlins which concerned me. Pretty hard to anticipate some of that.

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:58 AM   #3
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Mike Leary's Avatar
1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
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Originally Posted by tpi View Post
If she's pushing it, if it does break you'll never hear the end of it.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't: roll the dice. Being full-time, I see (in order): Ford F-150/250s, Chev Dura-Max, and Toyotas, hardly anyone seems to tow with a Dodge anymore.
"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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That's a low mileage vehicle in my world but never owned a Dodge. For the same money get a new Airstream, that way she'll be happy no matter what and you get to keep a nice truck.


doug k
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
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I would say no too. But like tpi says, if something does happen you will never hear the end of it. I find sometimes it's better to just make the wife happy, even if you think she is wrong! It makes life so much easier for you... Plus you should get a good price on the one you have...

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

2008 5.7 L V8 Sequoia
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #6
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1961 24' Tradewind
1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
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I have a 99 Dodge 2500 diesel I bought new. It has towed just about everything up to 38 feet and now has 567,000 miles on it.
With reasonable maintenance they will last a long time. Oh, and I still have the original water pump.
By my standards your truck is nor even broken in yet.
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

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Old 06-09-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
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2011 23' International
clovis , California
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You certainly don't need a new truck.... but you better get one!
SHE is always right.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:13 PM   #8
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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Another forum member (Denis4x4, if I remember right) bought a new TV - and had it towed home with less than 1000 miles. And both of the Ram diesels I've dealt with recently (2007 and 2010) needed various fixes already. (Both years were the first year of major changeovers.)

All of that's probably statistically unusual, but my point is that you own a truck that you know inside and out. Then again, i just upgraded our tow vehicle partly because my wife feels more confident with it - so far be it for me to dismiss that influence.

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Old 06-09-2012, 03:32 PM   #9

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Probably not.....but just remember,"she's not happy, 'til your not happy".

Good Luck

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #10
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2005 19' Safari
Phoenix , Arizona
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Just another opinion, but a water pump and serpentine belt were probably about due with your mileage. If you have taken good care of your truck and those are the only things that you have had to repair, I'd keep it.

If you have a mechanic you trust, have him (or her) go ahead and replace anything that worries you or your wife (if you aren't mechanically inclined, and don't wish to do it yourself). Even if it costs several hundred dollars or more (anything short of a new engine, transmission, etc.), that is only a couple of new truck payments; and you'll be set for another couple of years.

Personally, I'd have your mechanic check the U-joints and change the oil in the transmission and differential. Then, set aside a few hundred dollars for a new/rebuilt alternator, muffler, etc., just so you are ready to replace other minor items that could fail in the near future. Again, if money is no object, just go ahead and have these parts serviced or replaced. Your new car dealer, while not the cheapest place to have work done, can provide a list of the items that need to be replaced (or are most likely to fail) for the cost of an oil change or other routine maintenance.

We recently put about $500 in our 2002 Prius, and that small amount of money will probably keep this commuter car in our family for another 5-10 years. $500 was about 1.5 car payments, back before it was paid off. This is a small investment, compared to $25,000+ (or payments) for a new car, plus the higher insurance rates and all of the other expenses that come with that new car smell. Plus, our old Prius now drives just like it did when we drove it off the lot back in 2002; it just needs detailing, which the dealer would have gladly done if I wasn't too cheap to pay them to do it.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:14 PM   #11
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Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
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Only reason to replace her is if you WANT a new one.

I recently ran into a guy at the diesel pump who was towing a big box / no windows trailer with a Ram / Cummins diesel. Asked him about it. He told me he has a fleet of these trucks. He buys them used, either in Florida, Texas or Arizona, with 100,000 miles plus on the clock, ("at steal-em prices from owners who don't know much about diesels")then uses them to tow trailers full of mail under a government contract. Told me that the one he was currently driving with 350,000 on it was the current "youngest" truck in his fleet. No significant mechanical issues.

He does it for a living, you do it for fun. You decide ... but one of my diesels has 250k + on it and is a daily driver, one only 75k, and one I sold (big mistake!) at 180k. I just bought another. It almost certainly won't be the engine that goes first.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:32 PM   #12
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Bethel Park near Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
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I SAY "NO" But if the wife wins. I'll buy it! Knowing that trucks record. I know it's a good one. I bet it will go for many more miles. I own a 02 Chevy 3500 van with 196k. I have never done any major work on it. Tune-up, brakes and tires is all the work it has needed in the last 100k. Tell the wife the cost for a new TV would pay for a lot of fuel for more trips.

Ace in PA
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:42 PM   #13
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My 2000 diesel Excursion purchased new has 210,000 miles. The only time it has ever let me down was when a power steering hose failed. Lack of fluid killed the pump. When it was in the shop for the power steering, the water pump was replaced because there was a wobble. I have changed the transmission fluid every 60,000 miles and the lube in the differentials once.
There is long 8% hill near my house. The Excusion will still run up that at the legal limit in overdrive just like it did when it was new. It will go up the same hill towing the Airstream at 60+ mph in passing gear.
I would replace the hoses, both water and power steering and change the fluid and filter in the transmission.
After that you have eliminated 90% of the things that could fail suddenly on an old truck. Electrical sensors fail occasionally even on new vehicles.
Unless you like buying new trucks, I would hold on to the old one and listen to the "I told you so's" if something goes wrong. Take the Misses out for dinner every time she wants to go with the $$ you will save.
P.S. If she wins the discussion, there are plenty of us out there who want your Dodge.
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:45 PM   #14
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1967 30' Sovereign
Los Lunas , New Mexico
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Jeez, and your current truck, at that young age, probably still has that new-truck smell to it. Seems like of sad!


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