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Old 07-23-2013, 02:46 PM   #15
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1996 28' Excella
Portland , Oregon
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I'd rather have too much truck than not enough.

You'd probably be fine with either the Toyota or the Duramax for decades of towing. It's that one time where things got out of control that you wish you would have had that extra weight and stance of the heavier diesel truck.

My 28' trailer weighs around 8,000, and I definitely can feel it. Last weekend a bicyclist decided to swerve out in front of me on the highway and I'm glad I had the extra truck, brakes, and stability of the GMC. Actually, without knowing it, she's glad I had the GMC.

I do like those Tundras. Any of the big three will do. They're all so nice.


1996 Airstream Excella 28'
2007 GMC Duramax 4x4 CCSB
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:30 PM   #16
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1999 34' Excella
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Round Rock , Texas
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2012 Dmax 4x4, Allison tranny and exhaust brake.

1999 34' Excella, EAZ-Lift hitch, single sway control and 1000# WD bars.

From Arkansas to near Austin 16mpg running avg 62-65mph, sometimes more or less depends on 4-wheeler telephone booths.

Then it went into and stayed in Regen for 150 miles. Dealer updated code on engine. Tranny shifting hard 5-6 gear. Have trip and don't want truck out of commission for "guess" at fix.

Otherwise lovin the Z!

Peace and Blessings..
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:49 PM   #17
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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How is the diesel going to like being in -30 temps all Winter?
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:02 PM   #18
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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If you have the most common Tundra with the 5.7 L. engine, you should have no trouble climbing hills. The mountains in Colorado are a lot higher and I can cruise up them at 65 easily, even the 11,000' ones. It has big brakes for downhills plus 6 gears to downshift through. We also tow a 25' and the Safari is about the same weight as the International (I think). The Classics are the really heavy ones.

But if you have the smaller V8 it may take a little more power to climb those steep grades on the way to Glen Allen (you can't go fast on those grades anyway no matter what truck you have). Even so, the small V8 should be adequate. A few Tundras have a V6, but I don't think there are many of them. Are you using tow/haul?—that lowers the shifting points so you have more power for towing.

If you have the 5.7 L., the truck needs service. That's still cheaper than a new truck, though a new truck is always appealing.

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Old 07-23-2013, 06:24 PM   #19
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2005 25' Safari
North Las Vegas , United States
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Read my comment below..... It's from experience having a similar situation like yours and trying to upgrade only to find out...... !

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!"
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:43 PM   #20
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2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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Since we are moving from a 25FB at 7,300 pounds GVW to a 27FB at 9,000 pounds GVW, our existing 2012 3/4 ton Dodge with Cummins diesel will continue to do a great job both towing and stopping our rig. We expect the combination weight to increase from 16,000 to at least 18,000 pounds with the new trailer.

I had a 2500HD GMC Duramax back in 2002 and it was a great truck for towing the twin axle Harley Hauler that might have bikes or a full load of tools and materials. My wife's former husband bought it from me in 2006 and is still driving it.
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:25 PM   #21
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1999 34' Excella
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Round Rock , Texas
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
How is the diesel going to like being in -30 temps all Winter?
According to dmax forums the dmax handles -20 pretty well... Even without block warmer.
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:28 AM   #22
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1994 30' Excella
2012 25' FB International
Anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 25
Overwhelming responses!!

Really appreciate the comments everyone has given me in just one day. Just spent most of today traveling back from Homer, Alaska to our home near Anchorage. Overall, one of the toughest drives in the state. Crap roads, and really impatient drivers.
I agree with the comments about "runaway" feeling on downhills. Heck when my wife and I had our 30' Excella, I totally warped the stock Tundra brakes on the accent into Skagway, so I'm well aware of what it feels like to not have enough braking.
I actually had an 03' Chevy Duramax. Best motor to tranny feeling I've ever experienced. Couldn't keep injectors in that rig, so I wound up selling it for the Tundra I now have.
I can tell the Toyota does a reasonable job of pulling our 25 footer around. However, I'm just at the "crossroad" to where either I keep the Tundra or sell it for something that I know will be an overall better vehicle for what my wife and I need as a tow vehicle. Really wish the Tundra were a 3/4 ton or I wouldn't probably be looking at the new truck. Just doesn't have the suspension needed for 800 lb tongue weight along with the in-bed extras we carry with us.
Yes, the one rig I'm looking at has the exhaust brake. Think they are standard, but still not sure what's going on. Just know this latest rendition makes 400 hp and around 750 lb of torque.
I'd say at this point that I'm about 60/40 for being able to get the new rig. Have a budget I can afford and not sure if the dealership will go this low..
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:30 AM   #23
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2013 30' Flying Cloud
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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2500 DMAX too much vehicle?

For nearly four seasons we towed our 25' Safari with our DMAX 2500. When I weighed the truck with full fuel and loaded for camping it weighed about 6400 lbs. The trailer's max. gross was 7300 lbs. The truck barely knew that trailer was back there. Towing in the mountains involved minimal downshifting.

When we had a "minor mechanical failure" and had to rent another tow vehicle we towed the Safari home with a 3/4 ton gasser. The tow was noteworthy for significantly more shifting. From your perspective in Alaska you wouldn't call the terrain anywhere in Virginia mountainous.

As an aside, we recently traded our fabulous Safari for a 30' Flying cloud. The truck now knows the trailer is back there - shifts are sooner and mileage is slightly diminished. I would say that now it knows the trailer is there but it just doesn't care.

As with everything else to do with tow vehicles and hitches there is often more passion than analysis in the discussion. After you have weighed all the things that are important to you the tie-breaker might be that the DMAX is bulletproof and the truck could pull a school cross-country.
Speed is Life . . . guidance is optional . . .
The Traveling Circus: 2013 Flying Cloud 30A; 2006 Chevy Duramax Crew/LWB
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:59 AM   #24
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1966 24' Tradewind
Livingston , Texas
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
How many miles solo versus towing is the most important question.

I note that those who tow few miles (RV'ers) are overly concerned about hill ascent speed when the descent is all that matters. Going slowly up an ascent is meaningless so long as one does not overheat, etc. This very day thousands of 18-wheelers will climb at slow speeds . . only those truck companies engaged constantly in mountainous work will spec a truck to "perform" in that single parameter of performance. The rest value better spec for where the majority of their work is done and outfit the truck accordingly.

50 to 60 mph is not "reasonable" as I've just shown, it is emotional. Sort that out before you spend more initially on a vehicle and for every single mile afterwards. What does EDMUNDS show as to True Cost of Ownershp between new models of the two vehicles contemplated on a per mile basis? A difference of 30% . . or 70%?

One can spend a lot and get very little in return.

It has bcome no suprise to me that the opposite of this -- perceived as being "hard" (lash-up and tire pressure) -- is fairly well ignored. Or, that the best hitch and trailer disc brakes are "too expensive" even thought the expense is fractional compared to either TT or TV. Value received is far in excess of dollars paid in this.

Work the numbers on your current rig at the scale. At least know the difference for which you pay in every mile, towing or not.

Slowmover makes some excellent points. The bottom line is that the technical and emotional sides of the issue must BOTH be addressed. Where and how you drive should be primary considerations in what vehicle you select.

I can't offer any new info on the 2500, but I can suggest that if you are within safe limits, there are a myriad of available upgrades for the Tundras which might make keeping your current vehicle the best choice. Since you mention the upgraded brakes, you may wish to take the same approach with power, as a supercharger kit is available to bolt on, as this was the route my brother-in-law took with very satisfactory results.
Lou Axt, Jr.
1966 Tradewind
1969 Chevy C10

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Old 07-24-2013, 07:01 AM   #25
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I have an '11 Silverado 2500HD LTZ crew cab standard bed 4x4 Z71 with the Duramax/Allison.

I simply love this truck. I believe they are very under-rated spec wise. My only criticism of the truck is that the rear suspension is very stiff, so rough roads are just that - rough. With a heavy load in the back, she rides like a Cadillac. I use this truck to pull a 14,000 lbs fifth wheel I have for my work. For my TT adventures, I have a Suburban 1500 with the 5.3 liter. It is an absolute sorry vehicle for towing - suspension too soft and not enough torque for the hills we have in the Carolinas. Around town, the Suburban is great. So sorry to say, I'm looking to replace it. So I've been looking at 1/2 ton trucks to pull a 6500 lbs TT with an 850 lbs tongue weight.

If you look at the ratings on the new '14 Silverado 1500, while the payload is much less - but still around 1900lbs, the trailer pull weight (travel trailer, not fifth wheel) is not that much less than the 3/4 ton - so around 10,500 with the new 5.3 liter. The spec for the old 5.3 is 303 ft-lbs torque, but 383 for the new engine - big difference! They don't list specs yet for the new 6.2 liter - that is the one I'd go for. Dodge is coming out with a small diesel (6cyl) in their 1/2 ton, so that may be a compelling mid-price offering as well.

If you are going fifth wheel, then hands down you need at least a 3/4 ton truck. But for a bumper pull, these new 1/2 tons are pretty compelling. The problem with those of us that have had deisel trucks is that once you experience it, you are spoiled. Hills are just a non-issue. Better fuel economy. Exhaust brake. Incredible payload. The only downside is cost. It is $8500 more than a gas truck.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:53 AM   #26
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2015 23' International
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Apache Junction , Arizona
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After crossing the CAT scales and making the discovery that my Mercedes lacked the axle and gvw ratings to legally tow our camping ready 25FB International, I made the decision to acquire a 3/4 diesel pickup and went with the 2012 Dodge since that model year did not require the urea additive like the Ford and Chevy/GMC trucks. I kept the 2007 Mercedes 4wd diesel with mid-twenties mpg in city driving as the daily vehicle.

I was fortunate enough to find a truck equipped as if I had ordered it with the options I wanted. It is not an economy queen, but definitely has the power and brakes to pull and stop any Airstream and the engine brake is just the thing for braking in the mountains without overheating the truck or trailer wheel brakes.

I have towed with gasoline engine cars and trucks and the insignificant drag when letting up on the throttle as compared to my diesel cars and trucks is reason enough for me to only tow 7,300 or 9,000 pounds trailer weight with a diesel powered vehicle.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:13 AM   #27
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1] There is no "legally tow" rule. Anywhere. Zip, zero. Tire and axle ratings are all that might ever be in question. And no one recommends exceeding those. Tongue weight distribution has some science to it, but the usual marketing department "weight" spreadsheet so beloved of Rv'ers wanting a truck is always trumped by having a vehicle not so prone to roll-over; less likely to of itself cause an accident, solo or towing. The likelihood of serious injury or death is squarely atop buying a pickup truck in comparison to other tow vehicle choices. There is more than one way to set TW properly, just respect axle/tire ratings.

2] Trailer brakes stop the trailer, truck brakes stop the truck. A too-heavy-for-the-job-needed tow vehicle just burns more fuel and needs more energy (brake swept area) just to stop itself.

Trailer disc brakes will stop the combined vehicle faster than the solo vehicle can stop by itself. TUSON (see DIRECLINK) has trailer anti-lock to add to electric -over-hydraulic disc brakes. That controller ought to be sourced over the current one.

For other than a fullltimer dedicated to carrying too much (me, for one) there are plenty of choices in a TV that can pull an A/S. Bigger is not better when it means one is restricted to a poor vehicle type for all miles. Risk minimization is already well-answered by this TT design. The TV should follow suit if possible (low COG, independent suspension, etc).

It still comes back to percentage of annual miles towing. The vacationer (versus the fulltimer) is best off getting what suits solo miles best.

Take the rig to a segmented weigh scale and get the numbers of the combined rig, and each, singly (including separate TW) on the same day with full fresh water, propane and a representative load in each as to most common use. Axle-by-axle.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:31 AM   #28
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2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Siloam Springs , Arkansas
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One cannot not make blanket statements about the correct tow vehicle for each individual.

We all have different priorities and expectations.

What is most important for one may have absolutely no value to the next guy.



Jeff & Cindy
Hunter RIP

'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
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