Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-19-2008, 01:19 PM   #1
1 Rivet Short
 
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
Images: 3
Reflections on 3/4 ton ownership

After owning our 2006 DuraMax/Allison through 2 tow seasons and getting ready for the third season, I started thinking about how upgrading to a ¾ ton chassis and diesel has effected us. If you are in the market for a TV,this information may help you decide.
If you have not seen my post about the evolution of our towing experience, you may be interested in how we got to this point; http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ice-28886.html

Some thoughts in random order;
  • It only took one trip to convince me, there is no doubt in my mind that towing with a ¾ ton chassis is the way to go.
  • It is not really about hp or torque (of course you would not want to be seriously under powered), but it is the frame, brakes, and suspension that really make the difference. For me, I was not going to a ¾ ton unless it was a diesel, but this is personal preference.
  • This is our first diesel, and despite some initial concerns about increased maintenance cost, availability of fuel, etc, none of this has proven to be true. Don’t get me wrong, I do not NEED a diesel, (no one does to tow an AS), and I am not 100% sold on diesel (maybe 99%-talk to me after 150k miles or so) but I am more and more convinced that diesel will be the fuel of choice in the future both for environmental reason and for economy. My Wife will be due for a new car soon, and it is likely that will be diesel.
  • The economy of diesel has proven true for us; 21 mpg unloaded on the highway. 14-15 locked and loaded (usually with several water toys on the roof of the truck=increased drag).I get a kick out of driving a full size truck and getting this kind of mpg! I was never able to get this kind of mpg with a small block ½ ton gas truck (Too bad diesel is not yet available in ½ ton, and then this would not be true!) so there is no argument for better mpg with ½ ton’s. If anyone can return this kind of economy with a gasser, please let the AS community know!
  • There has been no difference in the day to day experience versus a gas motor. None. Not cold weather, not finding fuel. Nothing. Just start it and go (the new glow plugs warm up in seconds).
  • Smell and noise? Not anymore, the new common rail injection has eliminated these concerns. Can you smell exhaust? Of course, but I don’t care to breath gasoline fumes any more than diesel fumes. Noise is a non issue, the old clatter traps are no more.
  • All of the big three make competent HD trucks, but boy, this D/A combo is a dream to tow with. (Let’s hope Ford’s new diesel fairs better than the last one-the new Ford HD’s are VERY sharp looking!)
  • Often the diesel pump at the fuel station is located separately, offering more room for big rigs, trailers etc, an added benefit!
  • Yes, the ride was harsher than a ½ ton, but once I smartened up and let some air out of the tires, when not towing, there is not much difference in ride quality. Some, but not much. (And the opposite is true when fully loaded-this is when the difference becomes crystal clear.)
  • I have owned and towed with probably 7 or 8 ½ ton vehicles prior to this truck, as long as I have something behind me, I will be in a ¾ ton truck from now on. A ½ ton vehicle is a compromise between truck and car like ride. A ¾ ton is purpose built; it is a tool, no compromise.
  • A ½ ton truck for light loads and shorter trailers (5000#, 23’) and limited tow miles (a couple of trips/year) does provide a nicer ride as a day to day vehicle. (The white knuckle experience of being fully loaded and driving for several hundred miles can quickly make you forget about a nice soft ride!) But again, you really need to reflect on just how much towing you will be doing each year. We knew we would be camping more and traveling further and this has proven to be a good move for us.
  • Traveling at close to max capacity, not knowing who is in control (trailer or truck?) does not make for good vacations.
  • I would never understand this if I had not experienced both.
In summary, for those of you entering the AS lifestyle and looking at TV’s, or those of you looking to replace a TV due to age, or a questionable experience with a lesser TV, I am convinced a ¾ ton is the way to go. I, and others here, feel that once you get over 25’ or 6000# or so, it is time to get in a ¾ ton. There is a reason those of us with ¾ ton trucks preach the experience; we have been there, done that. I will amend my previous recommendation and would now say; even if you are towing lighter than that, if you are full timing and/or towing significant miles each year, then you could not go wrong with a ¾ ton. If you fit any of the suggested parameters above, do yourself a favor, keep your family safe, save yourself some aggravation, some $ (there is no real cost difference between ½ ton and ¾ tons), and ask yourself how do see your Streaming a couple of years down the road? See more, do more, live more.
We have found no negatives in our ¾ ton experience.

Bill
__________________

__________________
*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
BillTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 01:39 PM   #2
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
...(there is no real cost difference between ½ ton and ¾ tons)...

Bill
Really??!!!??! this must be something new, because when I bought my truck, the difference between it and an otherwise identically configured 3/4+deisel was $10,000.

TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.


thats a lot....to me.
__________________

__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 01:40 PM   #3
Desert Fox
 
1985 31' Sovereign
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 250
Smile Hi,

Dittos on the 3/4 ton. I have one with gas 350 Vortex. My new TV will be a duramax.
Regards from Russell in sunny and warm Tucson Az.
__________________
RUSSELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 01:46 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
Quote:
even if you are towing lighter than that, if you are full timing and/or towing significant miles each year, then you could not go wrong with a ¾ ton. If you fit any of the suggested parameters above, do yourself a favor, keep your family safe, save yourself some aggravation, some $ (there is no real cost difference between ½ ton and ¾ tons)
Bill, You make some valid points...but,


A couple of points where my thought diverge from yours....
1. I have never had a "white knuckle" experience. I just delivered a 29' A/S trailer to the midwest, I tow my 25' Safari all over with no problems.

2. I do feel that I am keeping my family safe. I see too much of the other to NOT consider this.

3. If I were to change one thing, it would be power, and diesel does provide that. Aside from that, I have experienced NO aggravation with the 1/2 ton.

4. Cost IS a factor.

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to take a work related class in a remote area, and towed my Safari with the department owned late model F-250 Diesel. I was not overwhelmed with the difference.
For me, the 1/2 ton works out great. Most of my driving is without the trailer and this is what works for me.
If we all saw alike, there wouldn't be the "Big Three" now would there?

Dave
__________________
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 01:49 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
87MH's Avatar
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
Proper rating is the key

Well said, BillTex.

Since I have owned (and put LOTS of miles on) all three weight ranges (1/2. 3/4, and 1 ton trucks) I can attest to the importance of matching the manufacturers rating to the load you want to tow and/or haul.

You might be able to "get by" for a while by undersizing, but when it comes to comfort, ease of towing, and safety there is no substitution for a properly rated Tow Vehicle.
__________________
Dennis

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 02:45 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
myboyburt's Avatar
 
1993 25' Excella
Beautiful , New Hampshire
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,705
Images: 12
Blog Entries: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
Really??!!!??! this must be something new, because when I bought my truck, the difference between it and an otherwise identically configured 3/4+deisel was $10,000.

TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.


thats a lot....to me.
Leon and I are in the market for a new tow vehicle right now and have found the difference in price between a 1/2 gas and a 3/4 deisel is $10,000.

It's a big jump in price for us too but we will be going for the 3/4 deisel.
__________________
Michelle & Leon
New England Unit

myboyburt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 02:52 PM   #7
1 Rivet Short
 
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
Really??!!!??! this must be something new, because when I bought my truck, the difference between it and an otherwise identically configured 3/4+deisel was $10,000.

TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.


thats a lot....to me.
Chuck; Gas for gas (the original post did not say gas vs diesel-it says "1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton), the difference would be minimal.
Obviously, there is a premium to get into a diesel.

Bill
__________________
*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
BillTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 03:08 PM   #8
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
Really??!!!??! this must be something new, because when I bought my truck, the difference between it and an otherwise identically configured 3/4+deisel was $10,000.
I believe he was talking about gasser to gasser...at least that's how I read it. I read that he preferred diesel, but the minimal cost difference between a 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton is fairly accurate, unless you opt for the diesel.

Incidentally, only a fool pays the full ticket on the diesel upgrade. It's like buying an Airstream....you have to use your horse trading skills. If not, and you don't mind, you pay full boat. $10k is sticker.
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 04:03 PM   #9
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
I specifically remember the breakdown, and it was about 5K for the 3/4 ton, and another 5k for the deisel itself. Both significant numbers, imo. certainly not "minimal".
and I used to sell 'em...I know what the markup is. it ain't that much.

now...if you happen to be one of those "airstream millionaires"...well, then sure. 90g's for the new 34' classic, + another 60 or so for the luxury SUV...what's a few grand extra for a deisel? chump change.
__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 04:17 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
 
altamont's Avatar
 
2007 27' Safari FB SE
Tracy , California
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 321
Ditto and a diesel fuel question

Bill,

For all the reasons you mention, we LOVE our 3/4 2008 HD Ford with the diesel engine. I am constantly looking in the rearview mirror to see if the AS is still attached. Even going up hills, the tranny doesn't kick down very often. Aside from power it brake, handles, and stops so very calmly. I ALWAYS feel like the driver is in charge and we NEVER feel the least bit worried that we are overdriving or overtowing our rig. On the downside, diesel fuel is $0.20 more a gallon than premium right now. That hurts but the increase in miles per gallon makes up the difference in cost.

As an aside, can anyone tell me why diesel should ever cost more than gas? When we bought our truck last April, diesel was $0.20 LESS than regular.
__________________
altamont is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 04:49 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
Quote:
As an aside, can anyone tell me why diesel should ever cost more than gas? When we bought our truck last April, diesel was $0.20 LESS than regular.
I've wondered the same, since it doesn't have to go through as much refining.
I can only figure market pressures as more folks go diesel.
__________________
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 05:19 PM   #12
E Pluribus Aluminus
 
Jaxon's Avatar
 
2008 34' Classic S/O
1967 22' Safari
2005 30' Classic
Rockport , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,214
Images: 10
Send a message via AIM to Jaxon Send a message via Yahoo to Jaxon
When we had our 22' International, we towed it with an F250 V10 gas. Worked fine - could hardly tell it was there, even though you could see the gas gauge slowly creeping south...

Got the 30' Classic and we could sure tell it was there and the gas gauge wasn't creeping slowly anymore...! More like it was playin' chicken with me all the way to the gas station. Traded the V10 in for a F250 Turbodiesel. World of difference! Wouldn't go back. The 250/diesel makes for a much less strenuous towing experience, get up & go is much better as well as the mileage...

Wouldn't even consider towing the 30' with a 150. My old one was great with the Coleman pop-up. Handled that like my 250 handles the Classic!
__________________
Bill & Kim
WBCCI 7005 * AIR 9218
The trouble with trouble is it always starts out as fun...
Jaxon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 05:58 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Key Biscayne , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 12
I'm still just trying to come up the learning curve here and certainly don't want to get in the middle of the always contentious debate between 1/2 and 3/4 ton pickups.

However, if you're convinced you want to go with 3/4 ton or larger diesel and are looking for a deal, I've noticed that Dodge seems to have a very large number of 2007 leftover Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks with the Cummins 6.7 litre diesel engine...at least here where I live in South Florida. One dealer is even advertising up to $14,000 off of the list price of their trucks, depending on model. This still doesn't make it cheap, but you could get a brand new diesel Ram 3500 for less than $30k. Please note that I have no opinion on Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge, nor do I work for Dodge. I just thought this information might be useful to those who may be in the market for a new TV.
__________________
Bonzai30b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 06:13 PM   #14
Ham KI4HJX
 
1982 27' Excella
1970 23' Safari
Franklin , 28734
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 126
Duramax

I upgraded from a ford f150 to a Duramax 2500 HD and it was the best thing I have done. Besides the Airstream 27 ft. I pull a small backhoe and tractor at times also I have a dump trailer I haule dirt and stone in. The problem with a lite truck is it will not stop a heavy load. I shopped around and found a used Duramax with 45,000 miles on it and saved about 15,000 dollars over a new one. It now has over 100,000 miles on it with no problems. My work car is a VW bettle with a TDI diesel it gets 50mpg. I also think you are going to see a lot more diesels 2010 Ford and Chevy are putting V6 diesels in all of the 1/2 ton trucks and SUV's.
__________________

__________________
Ramp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton towing? subfan1 Tow Vehicles 7 12-13-2007 04:10 PM
When do I get my cert. of ownership? marta5 Title, VIN & Registration 1 12-11-2007 05:01 PM
Big 3 1/2 Ton vs 3/4 Ton Trucks Streamer1 Tow Vehicles 40 11-20-2007 11:13 PM
The anticipation of Ownership! Moonstruck Member Introductions 7 12-08-2006 12:56 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.