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Old 05-19-2014, 10:48 AM   #1
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Tow Vehicle for 2013 23D

I am very close to purchasing a 2013 23D and will need a tow vehicle for it. I know there are a lot of vehicle styles that could pull the 23D but I'm only interested in pickups as I will have other uses for one.

I am looking at used and trying to keep my cost around the $30k mark. I have found a lot of 2012-2013 F-150's with the 5.0 V8 and some similar year Rams with the 5.7. Not all that interested in the GM as it seems a bit long in the tooth until the refresh in 2014.

I am looking only at crew cabs with short bed in 4x4 configuration.

The most salient difference I can see between the two are the payload figures; the Ford is at 1700 lbs and the RAM is 1430. With 3.55 rear ends they can pull 7,700 and 8,600, respectively, so the RAM is better there but either should work. If I find one with the 3.73 (Ford) or 3.92 (RAM) rear that might even be better.

I have scheduled appointments to drive each later this week. But looking to the forum for any insight that I may be missing.

Any opinions on which is better and why?
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:21 AM   #2
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Pulling will not be a problem with either powerplant (I pull a 31' with a 5.6 liter Nissan). With a new trailer with shiny new brakes, stopping shouldn't be a problem either. As noted, your limitation is payload.

Once you put the tongue on the hitch and distribute some of the weight back to the trailer axles with your weight distributing hitch, you will probably have 500-800 pounds of payload left.

Certainly doable assuming you aren't planning on toting your bowling ball or Mosler Safe collections.

Have fun out there,

Mike
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
Pulling will not be a problem with either powerplant (I pull a 31' with a 5.6 liter Nissan). With a new trailer with shiny new brakes, stopping shouldn't be a problem either. As noted, your limitation is payload.

Once you put the tongue on the hitch and distribute some of the weight back to the trailer axles with your weight distributing hitch, you will probably have 500-800 pounds of payload left.

Certainly doable assuming you aren't planning on toting your bowling ball or Mosler Safe collections.

Have fun out there,

Mike
Thanks. This will be my first Airstream -- or any sizable trailer for that matter. So I guess I am correct to be looking at payload primarily?

I do plan to travel fairly lightly (relatively short trips) and the total weight of all occupants will only be around 300 lbs, so that helps.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:55 PM   #4
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You'll be fine. Last week I drove US89 from just north of Ogden, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming. Absolutely beautiful drive, lots of twisty some steep descents and climbs but nothing an attentive driver with a well maintained rig could not handle. We had a few minutes of 2nd gear, 3800 RPM and 42 MPH but mostly just a painless mosey through the hills.

Your first trip, you'll pack too much or too little... By the third time out, you will have your gear and rig dialed in and then you will truly enjoy the Riveted Life.

Enjoy,

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Old 05-20-2014, 07:44 AM   #5
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From what I hear on my truck forums, the new Dodge 8 speed trannies are becoming a problem when towing. They keep "hunting" for the right gear and will fail prematurely. I think you'll be best off with the F-150 5.0 V-8 unless you want to go for the V-6 Ecoboost. So far that's a good engine, but the more "stuff" like twin turbo's, etc, then the more potential problems could happen long term. Just a plain old V-8 is all you need, and, the mileage isn't much different.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:08 AM   #6
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When we first got our Airstream we towed it for three years with a 2001 F150 crew cab 5.4 liter and 3.55 rear end. It did well through the West Virginia and Tennessee mountains and it gave us 10 to 12 mpg towing. The reason we bought a 2005 F250 was lower mileage and a very good price. The F250 has a V10 6.8 liter and a 4.10 rear end. We now get 9.5 to 11 mpg. You should do well with the F150 if it and the trailer are set up right.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:55 AM   #7
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I initially purchased a 2010 F150 5.4 Supercrew 4x4 3:55 gears to pull my 28ft International CCD.I pulled it fine but the problem for me was with the tongue weight of the loaded trailer,generators,supplies in the bed and passengers in the truck I was over the maximum payload that the truck was rated for.When looking at trucks there are many variances on the Maximum Payload so check the sticker on the drivers door jam.Pulling is not a problem and 3:55 gears are fine.A 5.0 or 5.4 engines are both strong engines.Payload capacity is the key.Towing the Airstream with the F150 fuel economy was 9- 10 mpg on flat ground.
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:30 PM   #8
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There seem to be three schools of thought here on the forums regarding manufacturer's towing specifications. The first type doesn't even know that towing specs exist or doesn't know what they mean. You've probably seen them before pulling that 34-footer behind a Yugo. The second type knows what they mean, but considers them to be "guidelines." They might pull the 34-footer with a 1/2-ton vehicle. The third type considers the specs to be based on a detailed engineering analysis of a wide-range of variables. These members consider the specs to be the rule of law, never to be broken. They might even pull their 16-footer with a diesel-dually - Just in case.

Given the two options that you've presented, I would buy the Ford because of the increased payload rating. You would be surprised how quickly you can exceed the payload of a vehicle when you start throwing in two generators, some extra fuel, a big cooler with ice, an extra passenger or two, etc.. That extra 270 lbs. can be used up in a flash. Don't forget to consider the loading on your rear-axle.

If you are a Type 1 or Type 2 member you don't really need to worry about it.
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Old 05-20-2014, 04:49 PM   #9
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I second the previous opinions on the importance of payload. Assuming that you will head that advice, I'd push you in the direction of the F-150 Eco-Boost. The turbocharging will help you in high altitude situations compared to a normally aspirated engine, the mileage when not towing is better than the V-8 and your budget will certainly allow you to pick up a very gently used one off-lease. Check out the other threads about the Eco-Boost. Most people who actually have them can't stop raving about them so there must be something to the "hype."

This is a link to one of the longest running Eco-Boost threads on this Forum:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ost-74084.html
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airrogant View Post
There seem to be three schools of thought here on the forums regarding manufacturer's towing specifications. The first type doesn't even know that towing specs exist or doesn't know what they mean. You've probably seen them before pulling that 34-footer behind a Yugo. The second type knows what they mean, but considers them to be "guidelines." They might pull the 34-footer with a 1/2-ton vehicle. The third type considers the specs to be based on a detailed engineering analysis of a wide-range of variables. These members consider the specs to be the rule of law, never to be broken. They might even pull their 16-footer with a diesel-dually - Just in case.
Well, given that I'm here asking questions I guess I'm not the first type. Probably somewhere in-between the latter two is most accurate.

So today I test drove the following:

1. 2014 GMC Sierra with the 5.3.
2. 2013 F-150 with the 5.0.
3. 2012 RAM with the 5.7.

The nicest looking of the bunch was the GMC. Definitely more "modern." Was also the most expensive and clearly drove the worst. Most truck like and didn't have the power I thought it should.

The RAM is a beast. Probably way more engine than I need. Driving was more car-like than the GMC.

The Ford was by far the easiest to drive. Not unlike a big sedan or minivan. I felt it had more power than the Sierra but that could be due to the gear ratios on the rears. The Sierra had the standard setup while the Ford may have had the max tow package with 3.92 rear (the dealer didn't know...)

I didn't buy any of them. In fact, none of them "moved" me enough to really consider them.

I'm wondering if I should rethink my options and just look for a truck in the $8-10k range rather than the $30-40k range where these sat. Maybe it's because the latter two were not taken care of well, but they just didn't strike me as $30k vehicles.

In the $8-10k range I might even consider a 4x2 with a V6 so I can keep the truck somewhat new. That should handle the 23D fine I would think.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:00 PM   #11
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Reliability

The decision to go with an older used TV should take into consideration the kind of traveling you plan to do. If you are primarily a "weekend warrior" and don't plan to stray very far from home for months on end, an older and potentially less reliable TV might be just fine. However, if you plan to hit the road for months at a time and go cross country, the reliability and dependability of the TV becomes more important (e.g., no one wants to sit in BFE, Nebraska waiting for a part for a ten year old pickup.)

Just my thoughts...
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:18 PM   #12
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The decision to go with an older used TV should take into consideration the kind of traveling you plan to do. If you are primarily a "weekend warrior" and don't plan to stray very far from home for months on end, an older and potentially less reliable TV might be just fine. However, if you plan to hit the road for months at a time and go cross country, the reliability and dependability of the TV becomes more important (e.g., no one wants to sit in BFE, Nebraska waiting for a part for a ten year old pickup.)

Just my thoughts...
Yes. That is very much part of the consideration. Realistically, we are going to be weekend warriors. I might see a 3 week trip at some point, but those will be few and far between. Don't foresee much more that that.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:37 PM   #13
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The Tundra never came up-
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:45 PM   #14
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The Tundra never came up-
I luv my truck-
Same here; but drive them all, pick the one you like, go forth and recreate.
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