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Old 08-14-2006, 03:18 PM   #1
76 Silver Argosy
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1975 26' Argosy 26
Fallbrook , Southern California
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Dodge RAM 1500 SLT 5.9 liter tow vehicle

G'day Campers:

Can anyone recommend any upgrades I should consider to the above tow vehicle (2002 Dodge RAM 1500 Quad Cab with 5.9 liter lump)? I am considering a 25' Safari SS and want to make absolutely certain that the truck is 'man enough' for the trailer and a family of four.

Thanks in advance,


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Old 08-14-2006, 03:56 PM   #2
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1996 28' Excella
Okemos , Michigan
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How about a bigger gas tank? The usual 26 gallon one they put in those trucks empties out pretty quick when towing. I used to tow with a 98 reg cab with the same motor and it did fine, but it had the 34 gallon tank.

Okemos, MI
T.V.:'05 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Quad Cab Cummins
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:54 PM   #3
Frank S
1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
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Hi abridges--Should be enough truck and engine for a 25' A/S. If you have a rear end around 4.10 you will be happier than if you have 3.73 or lower. Don't forget a transmission cooler, and an oil cooler is a help. Put your money into good tires and brakes on the A/S, rather than T/V up grades such as air cleaners and dual manifolds. Recommending towing in 3rd rather than overdrive, which is easier on the transmission, and you will be operation in a sweeter spot on the torque curve. Get that A/S and get rolling with your family.--Frank S
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Old 08-16-2006, 12:39 AM   #4
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Seattle , Washington
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Not a big fan. In the last half of 98 dodge went to the 24 valve Cummins 5.9 with the VP44 injection pump. This Ip has two weak points;1) the electronics package which controls it is mounted to the IP and heat cycling causes it to burn out stranding you and costing $4k to replace. 2) The factory lift pump is terrible and fails, the IP will then continue to suck fuel rather than be supplied fuel, it will cavitate and the mechanical portion will burn up, again costing you $4k to repair.

I design fuel systems for trucks and cars and recently decided to buy a new truck, I settled on a 98 Dodge 5.9 12 valve Cummins with the P7100 IP which is about the best motor built. They have one weak point which is a dowel pin used to locate the timing case which can cause engine failure if not repaired before it fails. Other than that you could pull a building up a pass while whipping it with birch twigs and it would not even notice.

See: for info on the VP44
See: for a dowel pin repair kit or sinply google "Cummins 5.9 kdp" kdp= killer dowel pin

I found a 1998 4x4, 3/4 ton, crew cab, 4 dr, short bed in very good shape for $12K, a bargain compared to what else is out there.

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Old 08-16-2006, 02:15 AM   #5
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2002 22' International CCD
San Luis Obispo , California
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We've got a 1997 Dodge Ram 5.9 L extended cab (gas engine) pulling our 22' CCD. When I first got the truck (2 yrs ago) it had the stock 3.55 rear end. Pulled ok but really had to work hauling up some long, steep grades in the Sierras. This past spring I replaced the rear end with a 4.10.... needless to say it pulls much better. I still avoid towing in overdrive, and have installed a transmission cooler. In July we took the CCD to Zion, towing through Nevada in 117 degree temps (that's right... 117!!!!!). No problems with grades, and no overheating, but our AS is lighter than the 25 footer. Hope this information is helpful. By the way, we averaged about 10 mpg towing at 60 mph.
2002 22' CCD
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:06 AM   #6
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1979 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
Hailey , Idaho
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Hey Wayne,

What difference did the rear end swap make in your fuel mileage?

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Old 08-16-2006, 10:12 AM   #7
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2002 22' International CCD
San Luis Obispo , California
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Posts: 417
Good question.... my mileage when towing has decreased by about 1 mpg... or about 10% (from 11 mpg to 10 mpg). Driving around town without the AS in tow has remained the same (12.5-13.0 mpg). I have not taken any freeway trips without the AS in tow since installing the 4.10. With the old rear end (3.55) I did get 17.5 mpg (not towing) at about 70 mph on a trip up to Oregon. I doubt I'd do that well with the 4.10.
2002 22' CCD
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:12 AM   #8
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2005 25' Safari
North Las Vegas , United States
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Posts: 850
Rear End Swap

Hi Wayne.

Say, what was the cost to upgrade the rear end?

Thanks. )

2007 Dodge Ram Quadcab 6.7L Diesel w/jakebrake

"Better to have more then you need, then need more then you have because you don't have enough!"
AIR #: 8129
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:17 AM   #9
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2002 22' International CCD
San Luis Obispo , California
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Hmm.... don't remember for sure without tracking down the invoice, but it was around $1,200 dollars for parts and labor. Not cheap, but worth it from my point of view.
2002 22' CCD
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:52 AM   #10
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1978 31' Excella 500
Goose Creek , South Carolina
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Did the TV come with the tow package? Friend of mine has the same truck, he retrofited the tow package and has no problems pulling his 86 25' AS
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:25 AM   #11
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Hello Andrew -- Welcome to the Forums!

The posts by wbrownrr really point to a big issue in towing. Karma!

Looking at Dodge's website for 2006 models (your owners manual would speak best for your truck), under capacities/weights it says you could put 1440-1490 pounds payload burden on the '06 truck. This spec always is for the base model without options that add additional weight to the truck; the added option weight must be subtracted from the payload allowed. Vehicles in this category should come with a standard 2" hitch receiver so that won't hurt you at least. This issue probably rules out adding an extra gas tank.

My hitch bar and ball weigh close to 40 pounds. The weight distribution gear and propane in the tanks all add to the published tongue weight for my '06 25' Safari FB. My Safari's published empty tongue weight is 750# (720# for the SS). Options count there too! The valuable LS package adds a spare tire right behind the A-frame. All these add-on weights give a real-world tongue weight of 950-1000#.

If you subtract that tongue weight from your truck's payload you'll only have a few hundred pounds for passengers and gear in the box. WD gear does not reduce tongue weight -- it just transfers some of it to the tow vehicle's front axle. I had a 1/2-ton truck a year ago when I got this Safari and didn't use a truck cap or carry much else in the box. Newer Airstreams of this length are about 1000# heavier than 30 years ago. I towed safely with the 1/2-ton but made plans to replace it by spring of '07. That replacement happened early ...

... but the message for you is that you can tow a 25' SS with this engine but preferably with a high rear differential ratio. After hitching up you'll have to be very aware of loads on the tow vehicle itself. The discussion can get much longer, but high tow capacity and GCWR do not allow an owner to safely exceed the tow vehicle's payload capacity. That should be in the manual too -- it sure is in my 3/4-ton GMC's!


5 meter Langford Nahanni

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