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Old 08-15-2010, 08:56 AM   #29
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Thanx for the info on servicing the diesel.

As to clearance at the quick lube places, we have been in several with the kayak and large cargo box on the roof of the Suburbans. A pop-up truck camper would need about the same clearance.

Brian
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:10 AM   #30
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Brian,

If you want braking effect then drive a Dodge with the 6 spd auto. It comes standard with the exhaust brake which can be turned on and off according to your needs. Most of the time you will leave it on.

As for oil changes, I go from 12,000 to 15,000 miles between oil and filter changes on my trucks. True, I do run them on the highway all day long for 600 to 700 miles which is much easier on oil than commuter driving, but my guess is you could go an entire trip without changing oil. If you did need to have the oil changed on the road I would suggest a big truck shop (especially a Cummins dealer as they should have the correct filters in stock if you own a Dodge). It would be best to carry spare oil and fuel filters with you just in case.

You are wise in seeking a one ton, I would highly recommend the dually if not for your circumstances. Backing with a quad cab Dodge and 8 foot bed is not a problem nor is turning radius.

As far as engines go I will mention two things: 1. Open the hood. 2. The Cummins has far more proven miles than the other two combined. That same Cummins engine is also used in farm and construction equipment.

IF I were to buy a brand new truck (which I wouldn't because of all the stupid government imposed emission crap!) there wouldn't even be a choice for me to make. Brand loyalty? Yep, based on owning 5 Dodge Cummins with a total of over 2 million miles on them and 4 of them I still own and work. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. But they are the best bang for the buck for what I do with them.

BTW, if you buy the Dodge I would be more than happy to give you some tips and upgrades that would protect your investment.

Godspeed,
Trent
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:17 AM   #31
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well at least u are thinking 'bout the clearance issues and have experience with that variable.

the WORLD of truck campers is very diverse much more than 'streams.

i wandered into a park where a 'truck camper rally' was in progress, the variety and LOVE of these things was amazing.

the small ones are promoted in the same way bambi is...

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but once set up STILL have a pretty good size factor...

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and the big rig owners claim size matters...

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seems they've sorted out the slide issues better than stream, i've seen some with 2 slides that are impressive.
_______________

this gets back to what YOU want/choose and details matter.

payload is key for a SRW oNeTOn truck.

IF the camper shell has bumper OVERHANG, you'll need a longer shank or modified receiver to pull the stream...

the fords can be ordered/had with 2.5 inch OEM receivers which are rated to 1600/16,000 lbs

these would TOLERATE a longer stinger (with more moderate loading) than the typical 2 inch box.

it's all good!

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:23 AM   #32
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I have considered the overhang issue with truck campers. I have come to the conclusion that it would be best to go with a pop-up truck camper with no overhang, avoiding the receiver extension issue.

Brian
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:39 AM   #33
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I have considered the overhang issue with truck campers. I have come to the conclusion that it would be best to go with a pop-up truck camper with no overhang, avoiding the receiver extension issue.

Brian
good choice, given the combination of housing at your disposal.
________

another issue is the so called "camper package" offered on some of these trucks as an option...

on the ford side the 'camper package" is these things...

1. a REAR anti sway (really these are anti-ROLL) bar.

this helps with LEAN from the higher cog a camper shell creates.

2. an "overload" leaf just above the main leaf spring stack which only engages WHEN the load compresses the main stack

3. a CERTIFICATE that shows the truck's cog and where to place the heaviest part of the camper shell...

and that's it.
___________

1-the rear anti roll bar is a good thing and can be ordered ALONE as an option or added after the fact.

it' really does keep the truck from leaning OUT on turns and makes for a flatter riding experience

2-the OVERleaf is needed IF the payload justifies it, and at lesser loads is NOT a factor in the suspension/ride....

again the oem ford 1 ton srw has MORE payload (rear axle/spring rating ) than the dodge so you may not need it,

but bags and other aftermarket options exist for both trucks.

3-the COG certificate isn't of much use since one can't easily MODIFY the load of a camper shell.

it seems to be more of a 'legalese' document than anything else.
__________

ALL of these diesel fired trucks have engine braking now, it's not a dodge exclusive thing.

the "fx4" package on the fords adds SKID PLATES and a HILL DESCENT feature which is pretty cool...

the driver can SET the speed, for example at 7 MPH

and the truck will totally control throttle/braking/gearing to keep the truck at 7 MPH...

pretty cool.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:24 AM   #34
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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
Brian,

I agree sleeping in the back of a truck is not so good. We tried it and then bought a new, bigger tent. Our backpacking tent just wasn't ok anymore when my knees prohibited backpacking.

Our short experience with a truck camper was a lesson in high center of gravity. We did take it on some pretty bad roads and when they were off camber, it was unsettling. Every combination will be different and I think the suspension on the truck we had at the time was maxed out. Overhanging tree branches can also be a challenge.

Investigating the unusual combination is also a challenge. I like that you are looking for something to expand your experience.

Gene
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:36 AM   #35
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Hi Brian, I tend to be the advocate for smaller rather than larger. Traveled all over this country in pop-top VW camper vans, and found the concept very convenient, much better overall, than pickup campers.

For this reason, you may expand your idea to include pop-top camper vans, as converted by Sportsmobile, and others. You may have them converted exactly as you want, or shop the lightly-used market on their website.

Doug
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:54 AM   #36
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The " Sportsmobile" site has posted some nice looking used units w/low miles.Our possible next TV. Also GTRV Pop Top Conversions.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:37 AM   #37
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I looked at all three too. Bottom line for me. My new 2011 Ford Lariat SuperCab long bed 4WD Diesel will be here in 1-2 weeks. I assume you are buying new. It used to be that special orders cost much more that buying one off the lot. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore, at least with Ford. My point is, order exactly what you want. You will probably have this truck for a long time. I keep mine for about 8-10 years. Even though I love my 2001 F350 4WD diesel, I still regret not getting a couple of options I wanted. Make a bid sheet and fax to all the dealers within a radius that you feel is manageable. I sent mine to 7 dealers and the range from hi to low was $2500 on exactly the truck I wanted.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:24 PM   #38
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The " Sportsmobile" site has posted some nice looking used units w/low miles.Our possible next TV. Also GTRV Pop Top Conversions.
I looked at the Sportsmobile website. They make a really neat product. I think that we prefer the truck camper concept because we prefer not to have to make up our bed every night by converting it from the dinette or couch.

Brian
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:28 PM   #39
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I looked at all three too. Bottom line for me. My new 2011 Ford Lariat SuperCab long bed 4WD Diesel will be here in 1-2 weeks. I assume you are buying new. It used to be that special orders cost much more that buying one off the lot. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore, at least with Ford. My point is, order exactly what you want. You will probably have this truck for a long time. I keep mine for about 8-10 years. Even though I love my 2001 F350 4WD diesel, I still regret not getting a couple of options I wanted. Make a bid sheet and fax to all the dealers within a radius that you feel is manageable. I sent mine to 7 dealers and the range from hi to low was $2500 on exactly the truck I wanted.
Regardless of which truck I decide to go after, I plan to do the same thing as you did. Spec it out and send the info to every dealer within a reasonable distance. I'll see what comes back in the way of a price. As a matter of interest, of the 7 dealers that you sent the specs to, how many replied with a price?

Brian
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:30 PM   #40
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Brian,

First a disclaimer, I am partial to Ford's. I have a '28, '68, and 2009 TV. With that said, my post is really on the price issue. If you are a USAA member, they have a buying service which will do a great job of negotiating for you on whatever brand you select. Just have a couple of "instock" VIN's for them to work with, and they do the rest.

If USAA is not an option, there are several organizations which along with membership allow access to the Ford "X" plan for employee type purchases. I belong to the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association). The "X" plan is one of the benefits there. You get documentation from them then go into the Ford dealer and talk to fleet sales. That can save thousands, it did for me on my 2009. I would anticipate that other organizations who affiliate with the other manufacturers would have similar benefits.

Just a thought.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:17 PM   #41
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Brian

I just bought a Ram 2500 Crew with the Cummings and the reason I did was two fold...

1. The Cummings is made by a diesel Engine manufacture.
2. Its the only one with an Exaust brake...

Your gonna be Heavy and I think the Exaust Brake you would appreciate in a down hill situation...

Greg
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:52 PM   #42
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Craig, I am also somewhat partial to Fords. We a a '30 Cabriolet and a '56 Tbird out in the garage. Albeit, our tow vehicles are both GM.

Brian
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