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Old 06-20-2013, 04:35 AM   #113
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Since so many seem to think bigger is better when talking tow vehicles, see link below for a truck that will tow about anything:

Jack and Danielle Mayer

Jack Mayer is the person who provided a lot of the practical, field test data on the mobile broadband equipment that we purchased to keep in contact on the road. Check out the WiFiRanger, Millenicom and other links in the "Communications" section of this Web site.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:40 AM   #114
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[QUOTEEconolines=PharmGeek;1315439]saw this on the ford site...wife chuckled but was a bit intrigued by the idea of having things stowed away, dry, locked up...and when family visits (they do 1-2x per year in groups) they can all be toted around easily....

im skeptical that I will consider this option, but its kinda intriguing to consider...turning radius probably is terrible

2013 Ford E-Series Wagon Work Trucks | View Full Gallery of Photos | Ford.com

I have not checked out the other kinds of vans m.hony mentioned.[/QUOTE]
Please do not get an Econoline. We have (14) 2011 E350s at work towing 24' cargo trailers. I have lost track of how many transmissions we have replaced, but one of them has had the transmission replaced twice. At least 2 of them have had the power steering sector replaced and one of them has had a new motor. We bought them knowing they would never work out, but we're willing to try them because they were $20,000. These trucks have 40,000-60,000 miles. We are replacing these Econolines with Duramax diesel crew cab pickups. I know it used to be common for Club Wagons to pull Airstreams. They must have had better transmissions. Also, this is surely the last year of production for the Econoline. Ford is coming out with a big Transit Connect maybe in 2014.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:32 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
I have no idea about gasoline vs. propane generator....?? difference in cost? weight?
If I ended up getting a van or SUV as a TV, then propane may be a good option. How far does gasoline go in a "typical" generator(s) that would be used to run 2 AC units in the summer?

Oh boy, more quesitons
My last trailer had an Onan 5500 (dual 30 amp circuits) built in, which I could run two AC units on - but the per hour gas consumption was terrible. In the 7 years I had the trailer, I ran the Onan about 4 times.

I bought a Honda EU2000i (around $1000, 47 lbs) for making coffee, charging batteries etc. This is a 20 amp gen. Honda advertises up to 9.6 hours on one gallon (of course, this is probably with no load). Mine would run at least 6-7 hours straight on one gallon with a moderate load. It's my understanding that you can string up to two identical generators together with a parallel cord, which combines the output but I've never done that - so two EU2000i units would create 40amp source etc. You could also combine two EU3000i's (30 amp) to create one 60 amp unit which would power both AC units but the EU3000i is a big unit.

How you wire your two AC's is another story. On my old RV, I wired the second AC separately so that it had it's power cord. I then had a 50 amp plug that pigtailed into two 30 amp plugs - I'd plug the RV shore cord and the second AC cord into this. Or, if boondocking, I could plug the shore cord into one 30 amp leg of the gen, and the second AC into the second 30 amp gen leg. This allowed me to use 30 amp shore and one AC, or if the park provided 50 amp use both.

This all said - the easiest thing to do is camp in cooler weather
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:26 AM   #116
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You really going to do much boondocking with two small children in the south? Do you need a generator? You will need one mother of a generator to run two AC units. The only time boondocking would appeal to me is in the fall or during a mild winter when you don't need much heat and you don't need AC. Then you can get buy with one of the 2000W Honda suit case generators. This is about a 3rd order issue right now.

Perry

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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
I have no idea about gasoline vs. propane generator....?? difference in cost? weight?
If I ended up getting a van or SUV as a TV, then propane may be a good option. How far does gasoline go in a "typical" generator(s) that would be used to run 2 AC units in the summer?

Oh boy, more quesitons
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:38 AM   #117
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I would expect these vans to have the same running gear as the F series trucks and I would expect the same problems with both vehicles. Sometimes they use smaller transmissions in the trucks/vans with smaller engines and that is something to be concerned about. Whatever you buy, do your research. One advantage of buying something used is there is alot of data out there on reliabilty. Maybe the newer Ford transmissions do have problems. They have gotten alot more complicated with 6 speeds and tow haul modes etc. My Excursion is based on the same running gear that was used on the 7.3L Powstroke Diesel series of trucks. This is one of the best and most reliable series of Ford Trucks. The 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel and the V10 gas engine from that era are relatively bullet proof.

I don't think I would buy a GM truck mainly because of all the electronic gadgets that constantly seem to fail on them. Recent comments on here are not too favorable for the current series of Suburbans. I am not sure Dodge is much better. Anything that has not had a couple of years history in an American made vehicle is a risk. Don't get a new model of anything. Your a geek do your research before you invest a good portion of what your house it worth in a new vehicle.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
[QUOTEEconolines=PharmGeek;1315439]saw this on the ford site...wife chuckled but was a bit intrigued by the idea of having things stowed away, dry, locked up...and when family visits (they do 1-2x per year in groups) they can all be toted around easily....

im skeptical that I will consider this option, but its kinda intriguing to consider...turning radius probably is terrible

2013 Ford E-Series Wagon Work Trucks | View Full Gallery of Photos | Ford.com

I have not checked out the other kinds of vans m.hony mentioned.
Please do not get an Econoline. We have (14) 2011 E350s at work towing 24' cargo trailers. I have lost track of how many transmissions we have replaced, but one of them has had the transmission replaced twice. At least 2 of them have had the power steering sector replaced and one of them has had a new motor. We bought them knowing they would never work out, but we're willing to try them because they were $20,000. These trucks have 40,000-60,000 miles. We are replacing these Econolines with Duramax diesel crew cab pickups. I know it used to be common for Club Wagons to pull Airstreams. They must have had better transmissions. Also, this is surely the last year of production for the Econoline. Ford is coming out with a big Transit Connect maybe in 2014.[/QUOTE]
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:16 AM   #118
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As a diesel owner (the infamous Ford 6.0) I'll say that I'm going to think long and hard before I buy another diesel. As mentioned, fuel is more expensive, oil changes are more expensive, fuel filters are expensive, etc. On the other hand, there are upsides, some of which have also been mentioned - it's REALLY nice to put your foot down and have the truck move like the trailer isn't there. I've caught myself doing 65-70 mph climbing the mountains on the PA Turnpike, several times. And filling up at truck diesel pumps is nice, too - they have larger nozzles, and the credit card limits are much higher, so it's faster, and easier to get in and out of, too. You get better fuel mileage, although with diesel prices being higher than gas now, I'm not sure you're actually saving much money with this. Yeah, I'm torn - hence the "think long and hard" part.
That was bad luck. They were blowing up those 6.0s pulling empty hay trailers up La Bajada coming out of Albuquerque. I had a '97 7.3 F250 Powerstroke that got 220,000 miles on it with not one problem until I wrecked it. I hauled big loads of horse hay out of the mountains for resale. Now I've got a 2000 F350 7.3. Love, love, love it. It's awesome to be on the freeway going 80 and be able to take off like a jet plane just in case. I wouldn't have anything else. I used Dodges with the Cummins engine doing ranch work, hauling cattle and horses. Not the same power I thought. The one I have now was owned by a Canadian couple and made in Canada with all the arctic upgrades. It only had 73,000 miles on it because they just hauled an RV less than 10,000 per year. Lucked out. It's the first automatic I've ever had. I checked with a guy who owns a steel yard in Espanola. He said the automatics in the Powerstroke hold back any load and he ordered one specifically to haul steel.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:49 PM   #119
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Ill check consumer reports and look over various brands reliability history as it relates to 3/4 ton gas trucks and vans....going to look at that now and see if I can then perhaps find a 3-7 year old model at a good price and consider that.

It is tempting to attempt and find one with much higher mileage...say 120-150K...I will drive the truck no more on average than 4K miles per year (maybe less? really) - alot of weekend "local-ish" trips...probably 4-6 gulf beach trips (either long weekend or 1 week - 5 hours drive each way)...and probably no more than 1 much longer type of trip per year...like a trip out west I would think that far would be more infrequent until the kids are much older than now.

Anyway...If I could find something with 100-150K miles at a good deal....it still would would in 8 years only have put on <50k more miles likely....of course it assumes I get a realiable and good used model...but if the price is right, the risk may be worth it....still contemplating...

I will have to think VERY hard and feel good about new before I pull that trigger.

Argh...I am dizzy
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:28 PM   #120
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Hi, since we have gotten into the transmission debate, I will add a few things. I had a Chevrolet company truck that I owned and drove. The transmission went out at 25,000 miles. Years later I bought a Ford E-350; One of my customers told me that this was a big mistake because the Ford trans will go out at 75,000 miles. So I proceeded to tell him if that was true, then it will last three times as long as my Chevy did. Any thing can break at any time, you take your chances. I have worked at new car dealers since 1968 [now retired] and in some of that time, I have been a transmission mechanic for both sticks and automatics. In response to having 14 trucks, that means employees are driving them and they don't give a D*** about something that doesn't belong to them. NEVER, EVER, buy a used company truck And never compare the life cycle of a company truck to a privately owned one. Most [not all] company trucks are thrashed and trashed.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:35 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, since we have gotten into the transmission debate, I will add a few things. I had a Chevrolet company truck that I owned and drove. The transmission went out at 25,000 miles. Years later I bought a Ford E-350; One of my customers told me that this was a big mistake because the Ford trans will go out at 75,000 miles. So I proceeded to tell him if that was true, then it will last three times as long as my Chevy did. Any thing can break at any time, you take your chances. I have worked at new car dealers since 1968 [now retired] and in some of that time, I have been a transmission mechanic for both sticks and automatics. In response to having 14 trucks, that means employees are driving them and they don't give a D*** about something that doesn't belong to them. NEVER, EVER, buy a used company truck And never compare the life cycle of a company truck to a privately owned one. Most [not all] company trucks are thrashed and trashed.
seems legit

The new E350 in principle looks nice, the cost is lower, can pull and load all I need, secure stuff nicely..more passengers if needed.....
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:11 PM   #122
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Hard to beat a used V10 Excursion for bang for the buck. They are a gas hog SUV as far as most see it. I see it as a pickup with a permanant topper. Last one made in 2005.

Perry
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:50 PM   #123
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perry...I am going to take a look man...seriously would like to find something as such at this point..."permanent topper"...really?
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:55 PM   #124
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2005 Ford Excursion Eddie Bauer in Albuquerque, NM- 9368715 at carmax.com

Its 2wd though
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #125
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in that same vein....thoughts on suburban?
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:15 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, since we have gotten into the transmission debate, I will add a few things. I had a Chevrolet company truck that I owned and drove. The transmission went out at 25,000 miles. Years later I bought a Ford E-350; One of my customers told me that this was a big mistake because the Ford trans will go out at 75,000 miles. So I proceeded to tell him if that was true, then it will last three times as long as my Chevy did. Any thing can break at any time, you take your chances. I have worked at new car dealers since 1968 [now retired] and in some of that time, I have been a transmission mechanic for both sticks and automatics. In response to having 14 trucks, that means employees are driving them and they don't give a D*** about something that doesn't belong to them. NEVER, EVER, buy a used company truck And never compare the life cycle of a company truck to a privately owned one. Most [not all] company trucks are thrashed and trashed.
We have about 300 Chevy/GMC Express/Savanas that have given a lot better service than the Econolines. The 4L80E and 4L60E transmissions between 2004 and 2007 were terrible. We replace those pretty often. The 4 speed transmissions 2003 and older and the 6 speed transmissions 2008 and newer have not given much trouble. I can't remember ever replacing one of the new 6 speed transmissions.
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