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Old 04-21-2011, 07:45 PM   #57
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Gringo,
What's the ideal towing vehicle? The perfect towing vehicle for a 25 - 30 feet long Airstream is, for me, not a diesel-powered truck. The higher first cost, maintenance costs, and fuel costs of the diesel engines for light trucks reduce or eliminate a net savings from better miles per gallon.

We sold the house and moved into the Airstream and our 3/4 ton 2500HD Chevy. Our engine is quieter, less smelly, has ample torque for even the highest passes in North America, has cost us less than $1,000 for all oil and filter changes in 75,000 miles, and has never stuttered or given us a check engine light. We average 11 mpg towing with combined weight of 14,000 pounds, not as good as diesel-powered but we aren't paying for diesel.

It's true we don't have 600 ft.lbs of torque like a diesel. But we have more power than we need, and at highway speed of 58mph our engine's towing rpm is 1,500 to 2,000. Quiet, smooth, reliable, and inexpensive. Perfect for me.

Your wishes and needs may be different, so you need to detmine what you want to make your choice accordingly.

Jim
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:01 PM   #58
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Thanks for the imput. I have been surfing around and have been reading about both Ram and Chevy 2500's as being popular. I grew up in a Ford family in Texas. I am not sure my father would have let a Chevy even park in the yard, and my uncle once referred to Jimmys as just "Chevrolets with some of the lock washers on".

So I am totally unfamiliar with anything other than Ford trucks and the Land Rovers I am driving now. My son, who did four years in an automotive technical school, tells me Ford trucks are not what they used to be. Of course he likes Toyota.

So a big V8 Gas, would be as good or better than a diesel, all things considered. A 2500 or a F250, I guess. I am reading that people like the 4 wheel drive.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:23 AM   #59
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You'll get alot of different arguments on this subject for sure. As a former diesel truck owner(3 Fords and a Chevy), a good gas 3/4 ton will do you a fine job without all of the headaches associated with owning a diesel. I personally like the Ford Super Duty as it is built better than most others with heavier components. The Ford interiors are far superior and hold up better over the long run as well. The new(since 2005) TorqueShift tranny is vertually bulletproof and is a proven tough performer over the years. IMHO you can't beat an F-250 4X4 gass rig.

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Old 04-22-2011, 12:51 PM   #60
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Gringio, if you drive Land Rovers you must be pretty tolerant of repairs and unreliability. So you could buy any truck, but we find the Toyota Tundra tows very well. Massive engine, brakes, driveshaft, etc. Toyota's reliability isn't what it used to be, but it still appears to be the best. GM and Ford have improved greatly and may equal Toyota in several years, but it still does not appear to have happened yet.

Every vehicle is better than years ago so it's hard to go too far wrong, but I don't like to get stuck somewhere far from home. For what it's worth, on our trip to Alaska we encountered two Ford trucks broken down (transmission maybe) and one GMC or Chevy and I think that was tranny too. Tundra did fine.

In the many cars and trucks we have owned over 50+ years, the worst were a Mercury (1956), a Toronado (inherited, 1985), a Dodge (early '80's), early '70's International, '72 Jeep CJ5, and any VW every made prior to 1980. All the Japanese brands (12 vehicles I believe) have been far better than anything else we've owned, except for the '73 Honda Civic I had which was a throw away car at 50,000 miles (I guess Honda's doing better now, but they sure are noisy).

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Old 04-22-2011, 03:19 PM   #61
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I've owned a bunch of Japanese designed stuff, and in general had good luck with it. had Toyota Celica GT in 74 I put a lot of hard miles on. Have owned two Suzuki Samurai. I drove a mid 70's Land Cruiser in western Australia for a couple months, liked it just fine.

I keep hearing that the Toyota trucks are not as good as they were. But since I am looking for a used truck, maybe I could get a consensus on the last year they were still good?

We drive ( and I maintain) two 2005 Land Rover Defenders. A 110 and a ragtop 90. Can't have them in the USA. Not allowed.

I will say they are built like tanks and easy to work on. And we have two that are six years old in a neighborhood where everybody else changes US made trucks every two years, at most. The climate here eats iron. And aluminum. and fast.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:48 PM   #62
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Our best Toyotas were a 1999 Tacoma and a 2000 4Runner. The 2002 Tundra and the 2002 Sequoia were almost as good. The first generation Tundra is really not designed for a 27' trailer. The 2nd generation started in 2007 and that's what we have.

Though we don't think our '06 4Runner and the '07 Tundra are as well made as Toyotas used to be, according to Consumer Reports they are still better than other brands. CR does not like trucks, so they do look for comfort and trucks that are more like cars. They like the Honda Ridgeline also, but it doesn't seem to be the truck other full size trucks are and is more like a car. Ridgeline owners will disagree. Our Tundra has a smaller gas tank (26.3 gal I think) than the Fords and Chevy/GMC and I don't know if they have made it bigger. I can live with it, but will seriously consider a truck with a larger tank next time. Too many fillups with 26 gallons, though stopping often and walking around is a good idea.

Check the towing capacities, payload, torque, HP of trucks and large SUVs and see what works. Payload is the problem with 1/2 ton trucks because you have to be more careful what you can put in the truck and the tongue weight. Then see what reliability is and whatever else is important to you. CR is a good source for information (the annual auto issue came out a few months ago), but remember the anti-truck bias. There are other sources for information such as Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book.

Like others, I think the Tundra can be used with a 27'. The engine is very powerful and there is sufficient payload if you are careful. But if you like to load the truck up to the gills, brings a large family including 2 St. Bernards, go for a 3/4 ton.

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Old 04-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #63
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Again - lots of opinions here, but for me - modern F-250/F-350 (2500/3500) diesel is the best TV for an Airstream Classic 30 or 34 footer....
SUV - unless the Excursion were still available or a Suburban 2500 - no other SUV out there that I would use to tow anything larger than a modern 25 Classic.
Again - this is what I would do...
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:03 PM   #64
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I just re-read my Jan-Feb Truck Trend magazine which had a huge article on the new Ford Eco-boost turbo V-6. I guess I had forgotten how strong that engine really is. How about 365 hp and 420 lbs of torque! The test vehicle had a 3.15 rear end and they said it still towed great. Imagine that engine with a 3.73 rear!! The towing capacity is the same as the new Ford V-8 at 11,300 lbs, and on regular unleaded. Their test vehicle, which had few miles on it, got a combo city/highway of 22.8 mpg. The 6 speed Torqueshift is standard and the Eco-boost engine is only an additional $750 over the standard V-6 engine. The new HD V-8 has 411 hp-464 tq so I don't see that much difference in power and no doubt the mileage on the V-8 will be alot less. If I was in the market for a nice TV, I would look strongly at the new Eco-boost twin turbo V-6.

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Old 04-26-2011, 07:14 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
[Tundras,] according to Consumer Reports they are still better than other brands. CR does not like trucks, so they do look for comfort and trucks that are more like cars. They like the Honda Ridgeline also, but it doesn't seem to be the truck other full size trucks are and is more like a car. Ridgeline owners will disagree.
Gene
Thanks to extreme brainlock, I was looking at the 2007 CR auto issue. The 2011 auto issue rates Tundras best in reliability and Chevy Avalanche and Silverado best overall, but average in reliability. Ford is lower than Chevy overall, equal in reliability. Tundra in overall ratings has slipped down below them—they haven't changed since the 2nd generation came out with the 2007 model.

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Old 04-26-2011, 07:42 PM   #66
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I really like my Ford Ecoboost so far. Around 17 highway at 80mph, and around 19 when I slow down to around 65. No towing yet, as only a month old. Lots of power, but remember it is a half ton (Heavy Half) so even if it can tow 11,300, do you want that behind you on mountain passes. We only have a 19'Bambi, and I am really feeling good about this truck.
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