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Old 03-10-2004, 08:38 AM   #29
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Jonathan,
My .02 worth...
I am with Big Dee all the way on Quadra-steer. (search the forum under Quadra-steer some good links)
Even if you don't want it, test drive something with it to get a feel for what it does! Before my testdrive, I wrongly assumed that it only helped with backing... Not so it works with your trailer, backing and towing. It is hard to understand that a full size SUV can turn in the same amount of space as a small wheel base auto.
I spent alot of time asking questions here on the forum and develped a plan from the information others shared. It was unpleasant to learn that my Jeep Grand w/tow pkg was not really up to towing... Short wheel base unibody construction etc...

I ordered a 2500 Suburban with Q-Steer, camper mirrors and the 4.10 rear end and the 6000 motor. The build out date is 12 weeks(early May ), but it will be exactly what I wanted, plus Chevy has 5 year 0% loan that makes my monthly payment less that my jeep...
We will be pulling a 1976 27' Overlander come this October...

Abe
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Old 03-10-2004, 08:41 AM   #30
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according to trailer life magazine..an 04 expeditionRWD eqiupped with5.4L,towing package and 3.73rea end, it has a tow limit of 8950 lbs. but as always moes advise of weighing fully loaded with dogs cats and whatever is the common sense way to go
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Old 03-10-2004, 09:23 AM   #31
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The manufacturer's towing guides and tow capacity numbers have to be generated by the marketing department who haven't a clue what happens in the real world.

If you look at the specifications for the Expedition on Ford's Fleet site, you'll find that someone with a little common sense slipped a Maximum Trailer Weight in there:

4.6L V8 - 5271 lbs./4x4 - 5569 lbs.
5.4L V8 - 5420 lbs./4x4 - 5689 lbs.

The 119" wheelbase is also WAY too short for a 29' trailer, where you should be at least 134" of wheelbase.
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Old 03-10-2004, 09:53 AM   #32
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Kmtyme:

I think you should ask Cosmotini how he likes his Durango. His trailer probably weighs more than yours by a little bit...can't tell from the A/S trailer weights chart. I know, the extra power of a 3/4 ton pickup or suv is "nice", I'm not sure I'm convinced that its an absolute requirement. And the one thing that people on the other side of that argument never mention is that these vehicles are hugely expensive, compared to their 1/2 ton cousins. If money was no object, (and it probably is no object for someone that can afford a late-model 30+ foot trailer), then go out and get yourself a shiny new H2. Pick up a $3k hesley hitch, while your at it, and a spare as well in case the first one breaks.

According to Airstream's site, the empty weight of your trailer is considerably less than you stated, so I'm assuming that your "actual" weight is with the trailer loaded. is that correct?
I couldn't find the information on Nissan's site; they don't seem to list any numbers for "payload", or gcwr, but for the Durango, the numbers are 14000 gcwr, 6600 gvw, and around a 1500lb payload.
So it comes down to just "how much people/stuff" are we talking about? If it were my family, it would be do-able. I'm thinking 400lbs of people, 350 tounge weight, 160 gas, and a couple hundred pounds of "crap" at the outside. (that's probably very generous; I don't have that much "stuff" that doesn't go in the trailer). That leaves 300 lbs. not a huge amount, but its within the vehicles limits. That leaves 7400lbs for towing to be inside the GCWR.

The price for this is around 36.5K. You could do it for even less if you opt for the SLT model instead of the LE, and save 3K...but for some strange reason, the web site says that the SLT isn't available w/ the 3.92 rear end...which is a $40 option on the LE (?). either way, it doesn't change its weight ratings, but the 3.92 would probably be better for towing.
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:22 AM   #33
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Yes, 3/4 ton trucks are higher than 1/2 ton. However, a Durango is no bargain at $36,500 as compared to a Dodge quad cab 3/4 ton 4X4 at around $26,000. $32,000 with diesel. Note that the operative words are "as compared to". I say nothing of the relative value of a Durango in the marketplace; they appear to be a very attractive vehicle.

Actually, I believe you can buy a standard cab 3/4 ton from the big three for under $20,000 if you want to go pretty basic. But for towing purposes if you need that heavy a chassis you will also need the big block engine, which is more $$$.

Another thing to remember is that everything you do for a 3/4 or one ton is more expensive - tires, brakes, and, if a diesel, oil changes.

Mark
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:54 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by chuck
for the Durango, the numbers are 14000 gcwr, 6600 gvw, and around a 1500lb payload.
So it comes down to just "how much people/stuff" are we talking about? If it were my family, it would be do-able. I'm thinking 400lbs of people, 350 tounge weight, 160 gas, and a couple hundred pounds of "crap" at the outside. (that's probably very generous; I don't have that much "stuff" that doesn't go in the trailer). That leaves 300 lbs. not a huge amount, but its within the vehicles limits. That leaves 7400lbs for towing to be inside the GCWR.
This is where so many newbie RVers get into trouble... using published specs and cutting it close on paper. That not-a-huge-amount 300 lbs probably isn't going to be there in the real world. In fact, it may be a negative 300 lbs. And towing at the GCWR is working the vehicle to the max on the flats and overloading it in the mountains.

With a little shopping skill, one can pick up a 3/4 ton diesel 4X4 crew cab truck for much less than that Durango price. You don't HAVE to have the top of the line luxury package with leather seats. You DO have to have the power and weight handling.
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Old 03-10-2004, 11:34 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by chuck
Kmtyme:

I know, the extra power of a 3/4 ton pickup or suv is "nice", I'm not sure I'm convinced that its an absolute requirement. And the one thing that people on the other side of that argument never mention is that these vehicles are hugely expensive, compared to their 1/2 ton cousins.

I take issue with a couple of Chuck's observations. First is that power is an issue. I don't think that's the case. Athough it's true that there's no substitute for cubic inches, I think that most current 1/2 tonners have the option of having enough horses to at least make a respectable showing while towing under the majority of conditions.

My concerns with 1/2 ton tow vehicles have to do with the typically shorter wheelbase and lighter weight of the truck being pushed around under adverse conditions by the weight of a heavier trailer.

Yes, and I recognize that my Excursion's wheelbase is short for towing my tri-axle; however, it's the heaviest and longest vehicle in it's class. There aren't any other options in the 3/4 ton SUV category other than the Ex or the Suburban, and the Ex outweighs the Subs by nearly 1000 lbs!

BTW, the specs on the H2 for towing are even worse than the Ex and Subs!

Last, the dollars issue. That's sort of like the "Airstream Millionaire" assumption. I bought my 2000 Ex Ltd. with 45k miles on it for $23k. It's in showroom condition. I bought BOTH my Ex and my tri-axle for less than the cost of a new Ex Ltd. alone.

I retiterate my position that IMHO, 1/2 tonners are fine for 25' trailers and smaller, and perhaps up to the Overlander in the vintage units, but the loads imposed by the newer larger trailers (28' and up) are just too much for them!

Roger
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Old 03-10-2004, 12:12 PM   #36
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Roger,

I totally agree with your concern with weight with 1/2 tonners but I disagree about wheelbase. My 1/2 tonner has a longer wheelbase (143) than your Ex so that's not an issue. Some 1/2 tonners are longer. The weight concern is the one that I think is the biggest issue with 1/2 tonners. Stopping distances become a worry especially down hill.
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Old 03-10-2004, 12:43 PM   #37
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Pick a number, any number...you'll find a trailer for sale for that price. Same thing with tow vehicles. I don't think its really a fair comparison, pitting a new SUV against anything else that isn't also a new SUV. Certainly you can buy a cheaper and more capable tow vehicle....but nothing that is classified as a new suv. Certainly not a new 'burban or Ex. that's allz I'm sayin'.

And everybody's needs/wants are different. Some are really stuck on the "new" thing. some are stuck on the SUV thing. Some wouldn't buy a "Ford/Chevy/Dodge/insert-any-make-here" if their life depended on it. You also have to keep in mind the other 350 days per year that this thing won't be towing, and garage space, too. From the begining of the thread, we're trying to meet some very specific and sometimes conflicting needs, here. what else can we pile on this poor little truck?

Yeah, they charge way too much money for SUV's for what they are, imo. but again, I'm just trying to compare apples to apples. And as far as what trucks cost...5 years ago, when I bought my truck, it had a sticker price of 28K on it. Parked right next to it was the exact same thing, only in 3/4 ton/deisel. it cost TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS more. not small change, in my book.

don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that *I* would tow a modern 28 footer w/ a 1/2 ton, but I was originally referring to a not-so-new trailer that weighs quite a bit less. (and why are they making these trailers so $%*& heavy these days, anyway? ).
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Old 03-10-2004, 01:25 PM   #38
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Armada vs. Expedition vs. Suburban vs. Excursion

thank you all for the input...it is disheartening to think Sub/EXcursion are the only ones that will do...I hear that GM is not so good right now, problems...
the Excursion is a hog to me...
went out to Nissan and took the Armada for a ride...great pickup...wheelbase 123.5, 5 speed, 305/5.6 engine 32 valve, but vibration in the stearing, also a little noisy..and then the price, not much in discounts...looking at 40K w tow, sunroof, electric seats...
the 1993 Excella weighted in yesterday at 6800lbs...pretty loaded...no water though...
now the GCWR, I am trying to get figures on that on the Armada,
payload too...and this 3.92 rear end??is that also Nissan Armada?? I need a vehicle, none seem to be right...wish the Expedition Eddie Bauer had a bigger engine...and longer wheelbase..I can get that for about 33K loaded with lots of discounts as it stands...but....
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Old 03-10-2004, 04:44 PM   #39
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Re: Armada vs. Expedition vs. Suburban vs. Excursion

Quote:
Originally posted by kmtyme
thank you all for the input...it is disheartening to think Sub/EXcursion are the only ones that will do...
the 1993 Excella weighted in yesterday at 6800lbs...pretty loaded...no water though...
now the GCWR, I am trying to get figures on that on the Armada,
payload too...and this 3.92 rear end??is that also Nissan Armada?? I need a vehicle, none seem to be right...but....
Sorry about the editing of your post... hope I didn't leave out anything you think is significant.

I agree with you regarding the Sub/Ex. Although, if you drive them, you might like 'em! I'd been told by a GM dealer that the Quadrasteer wasn't available in 3/4 ton because the components weren't heavy enough. It appears that perhaps this year they'll produce it? THAT would be revolutionary, I think. Particularly if you can buy a Quadrasteer Sub with the DuraMax and Allison. Am I asking too much?

Re: the Armada/Titan trans/rear end... I've been told that you can pull a train with a sewing machine motor, if it's geared properly. It seems like perhaps going to the 5spd auto trans with the (relatively) small (medium sized?) V8 offered is the way Nissan is claiming their towing capacity. It will be interesting to see how it works in the real world. I still don't think that there's any substitute for cubic inches or tow vehicle weight when you start getting into the long trailers!

Roger
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Old 03-10-2004, 06:42 PM   #40
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Save your money and buy an older trailer not just a longer one.

1957 30 foot 3860 lbs
1967 30 foot 4650 lbs
1977 31 foot 5070 lbs
1987 29 foot 5300 lbs
1997 30 foot 6810 lbs

It wasn't just the cars that were different in the 50's. The trailers were half the weight. They don't look like they should be that much heavier but there you are....

(from Airstream.com weight charts)
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Old 03-10-2004, 06:48 PM   #41
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Re: Re: Armada vs. Expedition vs. Suburban vs. Excursion

Quote:
Originally posted by 85MH325

I agree with you regarding the Sub/Ex. Although, if you drive them, you might like 'em! I'd been told by a GM dealer that the Quadrasteer wasn't available in 3/4 ton because the components weren't heavy enough. It appears that perhaps this year they'll produce it? THAT would be revolutionary, I think. Particularly if you can buy a Quadrasteer Sub with the DuraMax and Allison. Am I asking too much?
Roger
For 2004, Quadrasteer is available on 3/4 'Burbs, Yukons, and Denalis. The engine must be the Vortec 6000 and the tranny is a HD 4-speed. I am waiting for QS to ba available with the Vortec 8100. That would be the ultimate tow vehicle for me!
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Old 03-10-2004, 07:53 PM   #42
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Quadrasteer

If Quadrasteer is available on the Suburban there should be no reason why it shouldn't be available on the Avalanche. Unfortunately it isn't.

Big Dee, I agree. The availablity on the 3/4 ton is also a concern. Looks as if I will have to try to hold on until 2005 models and see what develops.
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