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Old 04-27-2015, 04:46 PM   #29
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I drive a 2008 F350 diesel crew cab short bed, 4WD, not a dually. (No Airstream yet, but I'm working on that.) I've hauled several different types of trailers with it and really like it. Some thoughts: (1) We went to the short bed after having a long bed, because of the long turning radius on the long bed. Friends who have switched back to long beds from short beds tell me that somehow, modifications have been made on the long beds to address the turning radius issue, so that it is easier to maneuver in tight spaces, so you might want to try both. (2) A friend recently purchased a F250 and had a mechanic add one leaf to each side of the rear springs. He tells me that makes it the equivalent of a F350 in terms of towing capacity. (He tows a lot of heavy loads.) If that works, it's a lot cheaper than buying the F350. (3) When driving in Tow/Haul mode, my transmission used to downshift too easily on downhill runs, ramping up the gas consumption. Now, I keep gentle pressure on the brakes before the rig builds up too much speed, and that tends to keep the transmission from downshifting too much. (4) I don't recommend a dually. I have never driven one, but have been told that the wheels tend to hang off the road on tight turns. Also, they take up more space. They certainly haul a lot more, but I don't think you need that much capacity for what you will be towing. There's my two cents.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:55 PM   #30
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Yes, so many opinions. I have pulled a 30 ft. Classic about 30,000 miles over the last 5 years with a 1/2ton pickup with a gas engine (5.7 Toyota and 5.3 Chav.) I think a bigger truck is over kill and a waste of money.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:02 PM   #31
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I have towed about 36,000 miles with my Tundra 5.7. It does a great job. If I had to buy another truck, it would be a silver CrewMax Platinum 4x4.


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Old 04-27-2015, 06:13 PM   #32
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Despite the fact that I'm a light vehicle person, for Full Timing you will be better off with the 3/4 ton. The only down side will be the harsher ride....but I'm only going on hearsay. Newer vehicles have come a long way in the comfort dept...maybe some of you with the bigger trucks can weigh in...for my Wife the stiff ride of a 3/4 ton truck is out of the question. Not to mention the agility to get into it.

You can still get a one ton with single rear wheels and there is more load capacity at least on the older models
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:00 PM   #33
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I pulled my 1978 31' AS over 12000 miles with my 1999 GMC 1/2 to 2 wheel drive last summer my trip to YK was over 7000 mi with no problems. I had that truck from new until Feb and I finally decided to get another GMC 1/2 2wd its new so I'm excited about getting them introduced and see how they like each other. lol
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:17 PM   #34
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Bev do you have a before and after pic, old PU and new PU? Would be great to see.
(Sorry for thread hijack)
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Old 04-28-2015, 02:15 AM   #35
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2000 36' Land Yacht XC Diesel
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Ford to Dodge to GMC

Though I'm a class A Airstreamer, my other toy is a 38' Fountain Lightning racing boat. My first TV was a Ford F-350 but I traded that for a mover powerful Dodge 3500 Ram diesel manual. That thing had so much torque if I wasn't towing I didn't need 1st or 2nd gear. The thing was so powerful that without something behind it it was actually uncomfortable to drive...very jerky. And as I'm 6'2 the headroom wasn't all that great.

My current TV is a GMC 3500 Sierra Denali diesel. I absolutely love it. I have a Hummer H1 and H2 in my fleet so I've always been fond of GM. But the Denali is so comfortable I use it as a daily driver sometimes. I personally think they have the best interior on the market. And the damn thing can tow anything. I can go uphill towing a 38' boat with ease.

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Old 04-28-2015, 04:50 AM   #36
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Take a close look at the new F150. I have towed with several of these now and they are quite impressive. The aluminum body helps it in two areas, the center of gravity is noticeably lower which improves handling. The lighter body also gives the F150 all the payload you will ever need towing a 30' Airstream.

The other huge benefit is independent front suspension. This widens the front suspension stance by 18", the rear spring and shock placements are wider as well. Besides handling any emergency situation better the more precise steering box gives you more control just heading straight down the road.

Because the suspension is matched more closely to the load being carried and partially due to less un-sprung weight it is much easier on your Airstream.

You can likely spec out an F150 new for less cost than the used diesel. Myself I would buy the 5.0 Litre motor but there are many that love the echoboost.

Just something to consider.

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Old 04-28-2015, 06:29 AM   #37
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My two cents. Own and tow with a 09 Dodge 3/4 ton Diesel 4x4, no issues in six years. I debated long between 2 or 4 wheel drive, co workers who have owned diesels for years convinced me to get the 4x4 due to the weight of the engine, the front ends tend to sink in soft ground due to the weight. They were right, front end has sunk (got stuck) several times in boondocking campgrounds, just engage 4 wheel drive and out came truck and trailer. Just the cost and time to get a tow truck to pull you out in some remote area will justify the 4x4.
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:42 AM   #38
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TV and Trailer

Dream Truck would be FORD Body, Cummins Engine, and a Allison transmission
Picture of My truck and Trailer.
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:42 AM   #39
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Green Cove Springs , Florida
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All of what everyone says is true, BUT my biggest concern is stopping. What I own is not for everybody. I carry my tools with me because I do repair work. I am a ASE MAster mechanic and am going to get my master RV certification.I custom built this truck and have the same wheel base as a 4 door Ford 350. I have a 55 degree turning radius and a motor that should last 1 million miles(if maintained). I get 11.8 MPG which I hear most don't get even that. I also spent just under 100k on it brand new. The decision is yours on what you get. But if you want to full time you will need room for stuff to boondock for extended time. Get a 3/4 or higher and put a reading service body on the back(comes in aluminum). Enjoy
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:49 PM   #40
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We considered a variety of 1/2 ton options in preparation for towing a 30' Airstream. Our conclusion was that the 1/2 ton options, while adequate, fell far too close to being maxed out, particularly with regard to carrying capacity.

In the end, we went with the new Sierra Denali HD (3/4 ton, 4x4) with Duramax Diesel and Allison transmission. We don't have the Airstream yet, but we are really loving the truck as a daily driver. Very comfortable to drive and fun, as well. Crew cab is very spacious and luxurious. Bed is 6 1/2', a nice happy medium for us. Of course it's not quick to shoehorn into tiny parking spaces, so we don't bother with those, we just pick a better spot for parking.

I'm confident that this truck will be more than well-suited to towing a 30' Airstream pretty much anywhere.

These are not inexpensive, but if the budget can swing it, they're fabulous trucks.

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Old 04-28-2015, 02:12 PM   #41
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Budget guides decision every time. I'm on a low budget, so I'll likely tow with my nearly maxed out 1/2 ton for 20 more years. Maybe then Toyota will have a 3/4 ton diesel.


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Old 04-28-2015, 02:48 PM   #42
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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We use a 2010 5.7 L Toyota Tundra V8 with tow package - PLEEEEENNNNNTTTYYYYY of power.
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