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Old 10-12-2009, 07:50 AM   #1
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2007 25' International CCD FB
San Antonio , Texas
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Need new tow vehicle

I have been towing my 07 International with an 07 silverado 1/2ton. Tow rating on it was 6800 lbs with the 342 rear. Never seemed to have any problems. It towed well, and rode very smooth. This past Saturday I was involved in an accident and the truck is totaled. (I seem to be fine)
So now, I will be buying another truck probably this week, and I am aware that most people here, would say that a 1/2 ton is marginal, and a 3/4 ton would be much more suitable for towing.
My questions are; will a 3/4 ton be smooth riding for everyday use? What about getting a 1/2 ton silverado with the 6.0 liter engine that tows up to 10,400? What about the new Ford F 150 that claims to tow up to a similar amount? I never had a diesel before, and once again, I want something that I can drive everyday that is comfortable and smooth.
One final note. My decision will be based on the information that I receive from this forum rather than any dealer.
Thank you in advance.

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Old 10-12-2009, 08:17 AM   #2
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1972 27' Overlander
Longmont , Colorado
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What you need is debatable, and depends somewhat on where you will be towing- just the flats? mountain passes? the beaches of Padre? To have every capability you might need, I think a 3/4 ton, 4wd with a diesel would be unstoppable. There are quite a few nice tow vehicles for sale in this site's classifieds- check 'em out.

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Old 10-12-2009, 08:55 AM   #3
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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Barry, I've driven quite a few recent trucks. A 3/4-ton doesn't have a smooth ride everyday; hooking up the trailer improves the ride a lot.

Given that you were happy with your Silverado, I would stick to a 1/2-ton truck. The new (2009+) Dodge Ram has a very comfortable ride, a nice interior, and the rather pleasant and torquey Hemi. I'd have a hard time not leaning towards that for a daily driver truck, unless I bought a Chevy Avalanche. Based on the Suburban, the Avalanche rides very comfortably - even better than the Dodge.

A new Silverado with the Z85 towing suspension (not the Z71 off-road package) also rides pretty well, and feels a bit less hulking than the Dodge to drive. The F-150 feels more "trucky" and ponderous to drive and its 5.4-liter seems to just get by. It's quiet and has a roomy cab.

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Old 10-12-2009, 08:58 AM   #4
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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I have towed my 31' Sovereign over 38000 miles in the last 4 years (just back from Wyoming) with a 1/2 ton (2004 Nissan Titan).

IMO, any of the V8 1/2 tons with tow package and good WD/Sway gear will work just fine.

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Old 10-12-2009, 09:22 AM   #5
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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Barry, the GVWR specs on your trailer are the same as mine; tongue wt. is 10 lbs. less. I tow our Safari with an '07 Tundra and have had no problems. The 2nd generation Tundra appears to be built with many parts characteristic of a 3/4 ton, but it rated at 1/2 ton. And they make them in San Antonio.

The Sequoia is the same vehicle with an SUV body and will have less payload, but rides smoother. The Tundra rides quite well in our opinion, and even more so since we replaced the OEM Goodrich tires with Michelins.

So long as you don't carry your ATV, anvil collection or gold bars in the truck, most, if not all, recent model 1/2 ton trucks can handle a 25" Airstream quite well.

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Old 10-12-2009, 09:26 AM   #6
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1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
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Please don't jump all at once.There are literially 1000's of repo's at auctions waiting for you and new TV's at dealer's who will go to any length to get rid of them. The market today is in your favor .It sounds like you were not completely satisfied with the performance of the previous TV.
If you like the Chevy, I'd go 2500 Silverado with a DuraMax. I would not suggest Ford with a 6.0 PowerStroke , to many problems. F250 with a 7.3 and 3.73's is a different story. U will want to wait on your insurance co or the other guys insurance if it was his fault. Hold your ground ,insurance co's don't like to pay out money,and will want to get away as cheap as they can.

I have driven diesels for yrs,its all in gettin use too. Some people don't like the noise or the smell,but you get use too it.Diesels go longer between services and last longer down the road.They are how ever a little more expensive to service.But the difference is made up in longevity.
You ask about the ride.MyF350Crew Longbed rides better than my F150 Supercab.Today's suppensions are much better and ride better.
Good Luck to you in your search for a new TV.
Roger & MaryLou
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:40 AM   #7
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Wink Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy, that weighs 7400# ready to camp. We have pulled Lucy over 50,000 miles in the last three years all over the country. We have two tow vehicle because we travel so extensively. They are also our daily drivers. Both of our tow vehicles are Suburban 2500's. One is an '04 and the other is an '05. Both have the 6.0 liter gasoline V-8 and 3.73 final drives. The '04 is a two wheel drive, and the '05 is a four wheel drive. Both of these tow vehicles do an excellent job of pulling Lucy in all conditions. We also find them to be very nice daily drivers and touring vehicles.

At one time, we had an '04 Tahoe (1/2 ton) that we used to pull Lucy on occasion. This worked OK, but I would not buy another half ton anything for Lucy. I like the comfort margin of a 3/4 ton tuck's capabilities when towing nearly 8000#. There's more to it than the engine. A 3/4 ton truck has better brakes, stronger wheels, heftier frame, an oil cooler, a transmission cooler, and they even come with load range E tires for heavy towing.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:37 AM   #8
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I know folks are concerned about a smooth ride to limit jolting to the trailer and I can understand that, but with my 07 Duramax (2500) using the Reese equalizer hitch, it seems to ride smoothly enough pulling our 25 footer. I don't have 4 wheel drive, however it did come with positraction and it does pretty well, but admittedly we could have used 4wheel drive in New Mexico (daughters steep gravel driveway) and had to pass up courtesy parking in the mountainous area of La Luz,NM as property owner said it was a necessity to navigate his driveway.

The Allison transmission really comes in handy for towing. It downshifts when you hit the brakes which helps limit trailer brake wear and tear. You can manually select each gear with the touch of an up/down button. I don't normally need to manually select, but it does come in handy in Mountain areas and is a good safety feature, particularly if you loose your trailer brakes. Does the HD gasoline 1500 model come with the Allison transmission? If so it may have all the features available to diesel Allison transmissions. I know one couple who tow their 23ft A/S with a new Roadtrek van camper said he really misses the Allison he previously had and it wasn't available on Roadtrek.

One item I wish I had paid attention to is the size of the gas tank. For some reason my WT model came with the small tank, 20 gallons, and we can only get about 250 miles max out of it. Also, we went with the crew cab, which is great for rear pax leg room and seat folds down for a nice storage area. However, it is too long to fit into our garage, even with the 6ft 6in bed. I knew this when I bought it and figured I could live with it that way, but hate to see it sitting out in the hot sun and humidity here in Florida.

I wanted a 2500 Duramax/Allison and feel I got a good deal with the WT model. It only has the vinyl floor and manual windows and locks, but the dealer sent someone out to the house to add cruise and he only had to remove the turn signal lever and install the new one with cruise. It plugged right into computer access on the steering column and works fine.

A friend has the "chip" for his Duramax (aftermarket item) and I was amazed at the performance enhancement with it. This makes a big difference with diesel, but am told not as much for gas powered. You can easily reprogram it back and forth for performance or towing.

Hope this helps, Pat
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:53 AM   #9

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up Another Burb vote...

Have used 3/4 Burbs since 1995. Currently have an 06 8.1 with Autoride,(with out auto-leveling), very comfortable ride with or without the Stream. It will get 12mpg towing with the Hypertech programmer in the eco-mode.

It works for us, but do your research, there are a LOT of very capable TV out there.

Stream Safe
AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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2007 25' International CCD FB
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Excellent information. Just as I expected from this group. Thank you. My concern about the smoother ride is not so much for my Airstream but for my neck and other joints. I actually was very happy with my previous truck, but now that I need to buy preferably a new one, I want to make the best informed decision that I can. I am leaning towards a 1/2 ton pickup, GM product with the 6 or 6.2 liter engine, 3.73 and max trailering package.
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:08 PM   #11
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2008 19' Bambi
Austin , Texas
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I sure do like the Dodge with the lifetime powertrain warranty, something to think about. I am a Jeep Commander driver with the 4.7l pulling a 19' Bambi, 4500lbs, I have made 2 trips to New Mexico and Colorado. Last trip was up to Utah and Wyoming and have never had any problem maintaining speed limit on any of the roads. The new 2009 Dodge with the storage compartments in the Bed does look like the next truck I go with. I know I have less weight then you but a Full size Dodge truck with the 5.7 Hemi should have plenty of power for the 25'. A friend of mine rented a 25' Flying Cloud FB and towed it with his Hemi 1/2 ton and it pulled it without problems.
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:53 PM   #12
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Go and drive 3/4 ton for about an hour and pick the roughest roads in your area you can find. I did, and if I need that then an all air ride renegade or prevost is in order.

Some one help me. I have never, ever, seen an average over 13 mpg when towing. Usually less. I bought the truck from its lease and now really think about caring for it. So,like all my gas engines I starting running Lucas fuel and oil conditioners and for good luck threw in a K&M air filter. I thought the gas needle was going down slower, running west on I80, heavy head wind and lots of hills in Iowa etc. Why is this thing averaging over 15 mpg? Maybe it is getting broke in, just over 40k miles. Still, this is a huge increase not expected.

Are you sure you want to spend thousands more for diesel??
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:40 PM   #13
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1971 25' Caravanner
scappoose , Oregon
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Can you get the 6.2 in a 1/2 ton GM vehicle?
The 1/2 tons, (new), I believe, use the 6L60 trans., and the 3/4 ton rigs use the 6L80, which is a much heavier duty trans. for towing.

Assuming you don't have the Allison, which is used in the diesel units.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:36 PM   #14
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
Mesquite , Texas
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Barry -

Over the summer, I went through the same decision process you are going through now.

I wanted to stick with a GM product for my own reasons and narrowed the choices down to the Silvarado CC short bed gasser and the 2500HD CC standard bed with the diesel. I studied everything I could find on both weighing the extra costs of the diesel along with the larger size and the harsher ride, noise and smell against the more "civilized" Silvarado.

Then I went and drove both of them. Same roads. About an hour apart so they were both very fresh in my mind.

While the 2500HD was certainly a firmer ride, it was far from harsh. Both were 4WD. The Silvarado was a Z-71 package and the 2500HD was the base 4x4. It was no where near the difference I was expecting.

The new exhaust system makes for a very clean running diesel. With the DPF (diesel particulate filter) there is no belching black smoke. No soot. Very little smell with ULSD.

Power, especially torque, with the diesel is unmatched.

In the end, we went with the 2500HD. We have been very happy with the choice. It delivers excellent mileage as a daily driver. Usually in 19-20 MPG range. Towing, I usually get 13 or so, but I tow a lot of highway miles at 70 MPH or more. Certainly not the recipie for good fuel mileage ;-)

I don't think you will go wrong with either truck.

Good luck!


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