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Old 01-30-2007, 12:25 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Ashtabula , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6
Tow Vehicle Suggestions

Alrighty, it's me again, with another tow vehicle question.

This time I'm looking for some advice/suggestions on a tow vehicle for a 1971 31 foot Sovereign International, rear bath, center beds.

I am trying to find a vehicle that is going to be capable of pulling my airstream around town 6 or 7 times a year, and I live in Ohio, so no need to tackle the rockies with this trailer, just switching campgrounds or going on weekend retreats.

I have about 6-7k to spend, and I am in love with the dodge ram trucks, especially the 2500 and up.

Anyone have any suggestions in my price range for this setup? I'd like to come to an idea on what a good, conservative tow vehicle for this trailer would be, given I will be driving this vehicle daily, I don't want to get a big old suburban or anything, but I want to at least be able to get the trailer around once in a while.

What are your opinions on the dodge ram trucks (specifically 96-2000 models, 2500, 3500, etc... I dont think the 1500 has the tow rating)

Am I as off base with this vehicle as I was with my idea of towing with my jeep grand cherokee?

Thanks in advance, I really appreciate it!

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Old 01-30-2007, 01:10 PM   #2
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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I can respond quickly, until more Dodge owners weigh in...

The '71 31' trailer should be able to go around town behind even a Ram 1500 if it has the V-8 and a tow package, plus good WD hitch... Your real challenge is going to be tongue weight and stopping power, not power to move on level ground. Long pulls might overheat transmission if it doesn't have factory tow kit, or after-market cooler...

As gas rises again, I suspect late model trucks will get cheaper again as manufacturers bomb prices of new ones to keep them from sprouting roots at dealer lots... You may be surprised at how recent a truck you can get for the high end of that price range. If you're really planning on long-term usage, you might also consider shopping in southwest (AZ/NV/CA) where snow, salt and rust are non-existent concerns, and bodies last longer.. There is a thread you can search for describing several owners of late model Dodge Ram trucks who had to invest in new brake lines when factory models corroded and began to leak fluid.. Of course, Fords with 5.4L Triton V8 suffer from spark plug/head failures, and Chevy/GMC trucks have their issues, but it might be worth looking at Chevy/GMC versions instead.. If you ever decide to take that trip over the mountains, you'll want to trade up for a 2500/F250/3/4 ton version, whether diesel or not...


In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:39 AM   #3
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Ashtabula , Ohio
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thanks! I really appreciate the input!

I have no brand loyalty, just like the truck itself, but just out of curiousity, Any dodge people out there want to ring in?
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:00 AM   #4
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1996 28' Excella
Okemos , Michigan
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Smile A ram driver chimes in

Originally Posted by atticus_ar
thanks! I really appreciate the input!

I have no brand loyalty, just like the truck itself, but just out of curiousity, Any dodge people out there want to ring in?
I towed a 28' 1979 Ambassador with a 98 Ram 1500 reg cab long box 4x4 with the 5.9 liter (360) engine. The trailers of this vintage are much lighter than the later widebodies. I had no trouble towing. Be sure to get the transmission cooler installed if it does not have the factory tow package. Any hitch shop can run the wiring for the brake controller and lights. If you just need 2wd, then the tow rating of the truck is over 8000 lbs. The 4x4 lowers the rating by 400 lbs. These trucks had 16" wheels with discs up front and drums in the rear. They had lots of stopping power. Where you pay is in gas mileage with the 4x4 during your daily commute.

Every manufacturer makes good trucks and lemons. A lot depends on who had it before you. Avoid fleet trucks since the drivers didn't own them and didn't care how they treated them.

Good luck in your search. I have owned 4 different dodge rams and with the same features, they were always a better price by several thousand dollars in comparison to the other two big truck manufacturers.
Okemos, MI
T.V.:'05 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Quad Cab Cummins
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:57 AM   #5
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
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I am pulling a 1973 27' with a 1999 F-150 4x4 w/ 17" wheels, std cab, short bed - where I'd want improvent to my combo (safety wise) is cornering, the short half-ton rated chassis and tall tires made freeway speeds interesting on the 1400 mile trip home after purchasing it. I have not towed since I upgraded to Michelin 'E' load range tires, I hope that will fix most of the 'hydroplane' feel when throwing the rig combo into a sweeping turn at 60+mph.

The gas V8 engine mpg drops to 8-13 pulling my dry weight trailer (4400#) and if I had to purchase again diesel would be 1st choice since I have a low-price truck stop a few minutes away; no cheap source of diesel and you have lost the advantage during day-to-day driving.

Stopping the trailer should not be a problem with electric trailer brakes, I was amazed using the prodigy controller as even panic stops were non-events.

I would seriously consider raising your purchase price in order to get the interior options to make your 6 or 7 trips as pleasent possible - the base model 3/4 ton Ford diesels vinyl bench seats etc would rapidly become a chore to travel with, plus you would have that much greater resale value..

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