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Old 08-13-2010, 10:37 PM   #15
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My vote. 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Pickup Truck Test Drive - Popular Mechanics
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:24 AM   #16
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Brian,

One of the things to consider in choosing Gas vs. Diesel is the cost to own, and not the cost to buy. Although you will pay significantly more for a diesel, your resale value will also be significantly higher when you sell it. That doesn't mean that a diesel is the right choice for you, but many people choose not to buy them because of higher cost up front.

I owned a Ford 2003 gas 5.4L, and just upgraded to a Ford 2010 diesel 6.4L. I am not Ford partial, but in both purchases I evaluated the options from Chevy/GMC, Ford, and Dodge. I do believe that the Cummins engine is the best, but Dodge still does not make a vehicle that I feel is well designed or put together. Chevy/GMC trucks were a tremendous disappointment for the 2010 year based on my needs, and I also think they're less than good looking.

The new 6.7L diesel may end up being a true standout, but time will tell. Based on the weight you're moving, I think you'll be very happy with a diesel. Not only will a gas engine work very hard, but the drivetrain may also have significant issues after 100k miles.

You may still be able to find a Ford 6.4l 2010 diesel for a very good price, and it is a proven engine with plenty of torque and power. You will find that diesel mileage towing is NOT much better than gas.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:43 AM   #17
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Whether gas or diesel, the powertrain (trans, transfer case & diffs) are the same in the HD line. Check the eng powerband where it peaks and drops off.
Consider the rear end ratios as the apply to your needs.The info is of value in choosing as personal preferences relate to one's needs and situations.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:12 AM   #18
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Gas and Diesel, apples and oranges. They're not the same machine. For that kind of work, consider the diesel. Efficient, made for the task at hand, longer lasting. We couldn't be happier with our Cummins. We'll never buy another gas vehicle again, even when we replace our commuter cars.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:38 AM   #19
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The endless gas vs. diesel death match continues. It appears that a diesel will last a very long time and modern gas engines last a very long time and have lots of torque too, but maybe not quite as much. Diesel costs a lot more initially, over time, costs decline/mile.

So, Brian, how long would you keep this truck? You appear to make one trip to the area around Wyoming each year which is approximately 5,000 miles, maybe 6,000, round trip. I don't know what else you do with the tow vehicle, but even doubling the miles comes out to 12,000/year, so in 15 years, 180,000 miles. Would you keep the same truck that long? It seems you may never reach the point where diesel makes sense in cost/mile.

If you want lots of payload, perhaps a gas dually is the answer.

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Old 08-14-2010, 11:42 AM   #20
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DryHeat56 mentioned this issue previously. I am considering a 2011 Ford F350 crew cab with either a 6.75' or 8' bed which makes the truck approximately 20.6' or 22' long. What are the pro and cons of bed length? I would assume that the 6.75' bed would make backing an Airstream easier. What about the turning radius difference between the bed lengths?
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:08 PM   #21
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An 8' bed has a longer wheelbase than a 6'. Check the manufacture for the turning radius and consider where your rig would be principally used.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
We want a single rear wheel truck for better wilderness access.
That may rule out a dually. I don't know about a dually for wilderness (very wide track I suppose), but for wilderness access any full sized truck is very limiting. Just how "wilderness" do you want to go? 4wd roads often mean a compact pickup (do they still make them?) or a jeep or a small SUV. I can't imagine taking our 1/2 ton truck on 4wd drive roads in Colorado or Utah—it's far too big. We've done those roads with small pickups, 4Runners and Isuzu Troopers, but I wouldn't want to try it with a longer, wider truck unless I was very familiar with the road. And I'd hate to meet a full size truck coming the other way because it could be very difficult to get past each other.

Another alternative is two sleeping bags, a cooler, some water jugs, and a foam pad and sleep in the back of a pickup with a 6' or 6 1/2' bed with camper top or maybe you can fit in the back of the Suburban.

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Old 08-14-2010, 01:52 PM   #23
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BTW,realizing your request was for tow vehicle info, however, thought I would mention that I saw "l968 Avion truck camper 12' aluminum rivited construction, stove, oven, wood cabinets, toilet, furnace, $1800, delivery possible 414-403-6337, WI " listed in the Sept issue of Hemmings Motor News. No mention of condition and can't tell much by the picture. All polished up pulling your AS
T/T, it could be a beautiful combination. Pat
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:00 PM   #24
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This is why I like my F-150 FX4. It's 4x4, has low and high gearing, runs happily in 4x2, can tow 9,900 lbs, has excellent ground clearance, and the hitch is naturally 19" high With its 5.4L triton V8, it can tow anything and with the firm but not hard suspension, it doesn't hurt large or smaller trailers.

I chose an extended cab with the medium 6 1/2 foot bed. I have 4 and 7 pin sockets for work and leisure.

I get 20 mpg freeway, 16 mpg around town, and 14-15 mpg towing - unmodified. I plan to get an Edge programmer to reprogram the transmission shift points for towing, and for the slight fuel economy improvement. I also plan a cold air intake because having 17 extra horsepower means I'll naturally use a little less gas to get the same power as before. On my last truck, this got me an extra 2.5 mpg over the life of the vehicle.

2.5 mpg over 180,000 miles is 22,500 extra miles or saving 1022 gallons or $2,750 at today's prices. Not bad for a $600 investment.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
That may rule out a dually. I don't know about a dually for wilderness (very wide track I suppose), but for wilderness access any full sized truck is very limiting. Just how "wilderness" do you want to go? 4wd roads often mean a compact pickup (do they still make them?) or a jeep or a small SUV. I can't imagine taking our 1/2 ton truck on 4wd drive roads in Colorado or Utah—it's far too big. We've done those roads with small pickups, 4Runners and Isuzu Troopers, but I wouldn't want to try it with a longer, wider truck unless I was very familiar with the road. And I'd hate to meet a full size truck coming the other way because it could be very difficult to get past each other.

Another alternative is two sleeping bags, a cooler, some water jugs, and a foam pad and sleep in the back of a pickup with a 6' or 6 1/2' bed with camper top or maybe you can fit in the back of the Suburban.

Gene
We have already done some of this wilderness camping in the Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming, this past spring using the 4wd Suburban. There are some really neat campsites right in the middle of the Mooses. This area is readily accessible with the Suburban, but Lucy couldn't make it over the terrain. A truck camper would handle this very well. A dually would be really tight on some of the roads that the Suburban could handle.

Being used to Lucy, camping in the Suburban is not a lot of fun. Hence, the truck camper idea.

Brian
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:27 PM   #26
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Real trucks don't use spark plugs.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:17 AM   #27
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I am also now leaning toward a diesel as I think that the gas engine offerings don't have enough juice to do the job with confidence. I have driven a Duramax, and I also like the diesel 'breaking effect'.

My concern about the diesel is the maintenance issues, routine service, filters, etc. We travel pretty extensively. How easy is it to get a diesel properly serviced on the road. Can Wal-Mart or Jiffy Lube handle this, or do I have to find a dealer to do it?

Brian
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:30 AM   #28
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while quick lube places CAN change the oil in these trucks and i have used them rarely...

there is really no need to go that route.

dealerships are E V E R Y W H E R E....

while the # of dodge shops has trimmed, blue oval shops still seem to be plentiful,

and MOST have "quick lube lines" with 30-60 minute oil service at a competitive price or with discounts.
___________

my favorite "quick lube" franchise is uncle henry...

the driver STAYS in the truck and they provide coffee, a newspaper and a video monitor...

so you can WATCH the guys working under the truck, which is pretty cool.

un fortunately the oil filters used (last time i visited) were NOT oem quality (for the diesel).

so stick with dealer shops or DIY, the new 6.7 is really really easy to diy.
___________

with a change interval of 5,000-10,000 miles it's pretty easy to plan when/where to swap oil.

and i keep a extra oem filter in the truck at all times (wally sells motorcraft filters)
___________

along with the oil, the trucks will need FUEL filters and DEF (except the cummins)

and QUIK shops may not have those things available.
___________

the last issue, if there is a bed CAMPER on the truck,

there may be clearance issues fitting into the typical quik lube bay.

YMMV

cheers
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