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Old 10-20-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
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2012 23' FB International
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Duramax fever

I 'm trying to convince myself not to buy a new tow vehicle. I'm using a Chevy 4wd with towing package. According to the manufacture stats the truck can handle 9500lbs trailer weight and gcwr of 15,000lbs. We travel pretty light,probably never more added weight than 800 lbs. the trailer is a 23 ft international with dry weight of 4806lbs and gcwr 6000 lbs.I have a very effective anti-sway hitch system. Had no problems here along the east coast and through some of our mountains over here. We are now planning some trips out west,(Glacier &Yellowstone) to begin with. Don't know how the 5.3 gasoline engine will perform out there even though it's a pretty Beefed up truck. Should I make the jump to diesel or should this truck handle it.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:35 PM   #2
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You won't set any land speed records in the mountains, but the 5.3 will handle it 6000 lbs. I towed a 5500 lb SOB for years with a 4.3, then a 5.7, and you have more than either of them! Why trouble yourself right now. Try it. If you can't live with it, then you'll feel better about the purchase. If you don't try it,...you'll wonder every time you make a payment or think where the cash on hand went.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:48 PM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

What you have will probably handle the 23 fine, even out west. We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy, who weighs in at 7,400# ready to go camping. We use Lucy a bunch. We have now spent 1,170 nights in her, and have towed her over 100,000 miles all over the United States. We have used several tow vehicles for Lucy. We have towed her with a 2004 Tahoe with the 5.3, a 2004 Suburban 2500, a 2005 Suburban 2500, and a 2011 Silverado 3500 Duramax. All could handle the job. The Tahoe was OK, albeit a little week on the big hills. The two Suburbans had the six liter, and were capable in all circumstances. The D-max is superb. Even though it caries a 3,000# pop-up truck camper, and tows Lucy at the same time, it can accelerate briskly up a 7% grade without even breaking a sweat. The D-max is also amazing on the steep downgrades. With the combination of the exhaust brake and the Allison Transmission, there is no more unnerving "runaway train" sensation.

Duramax fever can be a good thing.

Brian
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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A large diesel truck (a fifth wheel hauler) only to tow a 23' Airstream (the easiest towing, most stable trailer on the planet) is more than a bit out of context, especially if you already own a capable tow truck, which you do.

Take aspirin for the fever, it's cheaper and also makes more sense.

doug k
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:37 PM   #5
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I'd much rather have a Dodge Charger than the 1/2T. Certainly not the larger truck.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:15 AM   #6
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I've towed with the 5.4 ford and 5000# trailer across a few passes out in colorado. pretty aggravating not to be able to get out of second gear, holding up traffic, and only being able to pass underpowered gas motorhomes that are in first gear and sounding as if on the verge of explosion. That duramax will bring a smile to you face every time you get up in elevation!
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:19 AM   #7
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Why should you want to pass anything (would be the question, rhetorically). A few mountain passes in ascent do not a good TV make.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:32 AM   #8
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Gas prices AND Diesel prices going ever higher. If your towing vehicle sits in the driveway most days... well get a big one. However if you're talking a daily driver - then it's your pocket book.

Steak or hamburger? The less you spend on fuel the more you have for other stuff.

Paula
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:35 AM   #9
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2001 Sub w/ 5.3 ltr TV

We just returned from a three week vacation towing our 2011 27' AS through southern Utah, southwest Colorado, and northern Arizona. I'm guessing that our AS weighed in at close to 6,800# fully loaded. We didn't carry much in the Suburban.

Most of the time we were above 4,000 ft altitude and regularly crossed passes in excess of 7,000 ft. On Hwy 70 we crossed a 7,900 ft pass at about 50 mph with the engine turning around 2700 rpm.

What we found was that towing at high altitude was not as problem; the real challenge was the grade. A 6% grade in combination with high altitude usually meant that we were slowed to 40 - 45 mph because I didn't want to wind the rpm much over 3000. Typically the grade were reasonably short, and the slow climb really wasn't a problem; heck, we were on vacation.

The good news was our mileage; we averaged just short of 11 mpg on regular.

I also have diesel lust, but the Sub keeps doing a great job towing our AS and I can't justify popping for a diesel TV for now. I'll keep working on it though and let you know when I've figured out the rationale for switching.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:03 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone! Think I'll wait for a while on the diesel. Hearing some from Folks who have actually towed extensively in the mountains has cured my fever and brought some good insight to a decision. Happy I made a run for the door at the GM dealership yesterday.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:22 AM   #11
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Even though youve made your decision, Ill say a few things.

Iv had the diesel fever for some time now. Heck, last year my dad, uncle, brother, and 4 of his closest friends owned diesel trucks! Iv drove a few from time to time and it is simply amazing to listen to that turbo wind up and feel that power underneath ya! But of course it comes at a price. In my particular situation, itd be my daily driver. This means my insurance would go up, gas costs would go up (currently $.50 more/gallon here), truck payment would go up (a lot) and maintenance would go up. Since I usually trade once a year, resale does not bother me at all. I did the math, trying to convince myself itd be worth it when pulling the trailer but the numbers never added up. Id have to be able to buy a diesel truck for under $10,000 AND get over 25 mpg doing it. Both are near impossible. Not to mention I only plan on pulling my trailer MAYBE once every few months. I think Ill stick to my 11 mpg and $3500 truck. Drop a Cummins in it? Possibly ... In the future
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Iv had the diesel fever for some time now.
Well, you could buy my VW TDI and get 30/42 mpg and enjoy the diesel! It has 69 cu ft of trunk space.

I am looking forward to the next few years with the 1/2 ton trucks. Supposedly Ford and Chevy are working together on a 10 speed tranny. Ford has already shaved 700 lbs off the 150 prototype and is retaining the towing and payload abilities all while getting 30mpg (not towing) on highway tests without the new tranny. Things are going to change with TV choices in the next few years in a big way. I would not be surprised if we see 1/2 ton towing mpg go from an average of 12 to 16+ on gasoline.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:01 AM   #13
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Tow vehicle questions always bring out the most lively comments.

Folks chime in with all the justifications on why they have chosen, or are stuck with, the vehicle they use.

Buy what you want and choose to afford.

Let others do the same.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
I'd much rather have a Dodge Charger than the 1/2T. Certainly not the larger truck.


I guess an update to your signature line is forthcoming?


JD
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