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Old 12-18-2012, 08:09 PM   #71
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Steve

I was looking at the specs today for the 2013 1/2 ton GM truck. I was shocked to find out that it has rear drum brakes. That in itself would knock it out of contention for me.

I really like my Tundra. It is a great vehicle. It is comfortable, quiet, refined and powerful. It meets your criteria except for the payload and gas tank size. I think the weak link may be the rear axle. Everything else like the brakes, cooling, motor torque,rear end and tranny seems stout enough except for the rear axle. Maybe Toyota will fix this sometime by increasing the GVWR above 8,600 lbs, so it won't hurt their CAFE requirements.

Hopefully the redesign of the big three in the next year or so will give your what you are looking for, along with a lot of other Airstream owners.

Dan
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:43 PM   #72
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Yes Dan, I too was surprised to see those drum brakes. Must be the last of the 1/2 ton trucks with drums.

I know the Toyotas are good vehicles, I have one, but not a truck. I have the FJ Cruiser, and I like it a lot. Too bad it won't tow the Airstream.

I have several friends in our unit that tow with Toyota Tundras, one an earlier 31', and another that tows a late model 31'. They seem to do alright, but I know they carry little to nothing in the trucks.

At this point, I believe I'm actually just tired from this exercise, and will put it aside for a while. Maybe tomorrow see if I can do something about the steering play in my truck. (one of the reasons I was looking at 1/2 tons....they have rack and pinion)
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:39 PM   #73
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Actually, Guys, drum brakes have been historically better in "dirty" work truck environments. Especially up here in the north, where salt is used a lot. Rear brakes are exposed to the spray of the entire truck, whereas drums are covered and protected. Not as big of a deal down south. Also, drum/shoes have more contact friction area than disc.

This is one of "those" kind of arguments, but I have preferred drums in my fleet and commercial observations. It will be interesting to see what the new discs are like in the GM announcement the other day.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:39 AM   #74
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We love our Tundra, but don't think I would like to tow anything larger than our International 27FB with it.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:43 AM   #75
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Actually, Guys, drum brakes have been historically better in "dirty" work truck environments. Especially up here in the north, where salt is used a lot. Rear brakes are exposed to the spray of the entire truck, whereas drums are covered and protected. Not as big of a deal down south. Also, drum/shoes have more contact friction area than disc.

This is one of "those" kind of arguments, but I have preferred drums in my fleet and commercial observations. It will be interesting to see what the new discs are like in the GM announcement the other day.
And it's the front brakes that do most of the work. I don't remember ever changing a set of rears.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:25 AM   #76
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And it's the front brakes that do most of the work. I don't remember ever changing a set of rears.
Just my opinion, but it's not about how long they last....it's about how well they work.

Every other 1/2 ton truck has disc rear brakes, and GM 3/4 ton trucks have disc rear brakes, as do most all the cars they make, at least all that I know of, but I'm not really into keeping up with car engineering these days. Why don't all those vehicles have the corrosion problems that Rich speaks of?
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:17 AM   #77
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Good question Steve. Cars, don't see the "Grit" that commercial trucks see in the mines, construction sites....etc. Other mfrs have seen issues with discs. It is a challenge to shield them properly and keep the airflow necessary for cool operation at speed and towing, etc. It seems to have been worked out on the HDs in their latest iteration. Remember the HD is a 2011 platform. The 1500s are a 2007 platform. The GMT800, (which came out in 1999) were disc, and there were contamination and corrosion issues. You only get a chance to change the major systems when the platform changes, as in 2014 with the 1500s. They will be discs. There are still a lot of folks....engineers included....who maintain that, due to the operating characteristics of the shoe/drum interface and surface area, that drums are better for low speed, high load work......What do big trucks have? Semi trailers, etc? Why?

Kosm1o, with the advent of ABS (especially the last several years of advanced systems), much more of the work is now proportioned to the rear. ABS allows for a TRUE load sensitive proportioning system. You would still expect, in most circumstances, to get longer life out of the rears, but not like it was years ago.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:07 AM   #78
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It seems to have been worked out on the HDs in their latest iteration. Remember the HD is a 2011 platform. The 1500s are a 2007 platform.
My current 3/4 ton is an '08, and it has disc rear brakes.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:17 AM   #79
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Short wheel base 3/4 ton Dodge 4/4 with the small back seat and 4 doors that open the right way. Disc brakes all the way around. Rides great on smooth roads. A real tooth rattler on rough roads. We live where the roads are smooth. I also have a older 150 that I used before the Dodge to tow. It worked but not all that well. About the same length as the Dodge. I parked next to a friends max cab Tundra at the last WBCCI luncheon and chatted with him a while after. Same load range E tires as my Dodge for payload and pulling stability. Same size as the 3/4 ton, length, width and height. Cost about 15000 more than I paid for the Dodge. He loves pulling his 28 footer with it. I am always looking at this kind of thread because I might need/want to replace it. Right now I would look at Toyta and Dodge. We live in the suburbs and my wife drives the Dodge as her everyday ride. I tried to get her into a car or something smaller, but she loves driving it and will not give it up. It takes a bit more space to park because of the width and the turning radius limit of the 4/4. When you shop at Walmart and malls that is not a problem. The heated leather seats and the full adjustability of the pedals, seats, wheel, etc. make it easy for her to adjust to her short frame. We looked at long bed Fords before we bought the Dodge. Like driving a small freight train. I would not do it, but there are multiple leaf spring sets that will somewhat smooth out the rear end of 3/4 ton trucks when running empty and still carry the load. About 2 grand, I think.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:18 AM   #80
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Yes, if I was forced to trade for a 1/2 ton at this time, it could only be a Ram or a Toyota, with the tilt going toward the Ram for mostly personal reasons. They are the only ones with a medium sized cab with normal opening doors.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:47 PM   #81
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Yes, most of the the HD models retained disc, 1500s did not...except the SS when it was produced.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:34 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Specifically, I would like to hear from those of you that are currently towing late model, larger, heavier Airstreams (wide body 27' and above) with 1/2 ton trucks, how you tow, how much you tow, and how satisfied you are with the "experience".

Thanks,
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You have a Duramax now, are you needing to trade down or wanting something new?
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:42 PM   #83
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You have a Duramax now, are you needing to trade down or wanting something new?
I want something new in the next year or so, and I am considering a 1/2 ton, but not committed yet because the weight/towing capacity numbers are too close at this time.

If you go to post #25 this thread, I listed my requirement for a 1/2 ton truck there.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:38 PM   #84
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Have you considered a suburban? (since you want a topper)
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