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Old 11-03-2008, 04:08 PM   #1
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2006 28' International CCD
Austin , Texas
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Upgrading to New TV - Need Guidance


After pulling our new (to us) 2006 28" International CCD from Texas to the Grand Tetons and back, we realized a couple of things.

One, the 2000 F-250 (5.4L V8) just doesn't have enough juice to get the job done long term.

Two, given the camera gear I usually travel with, an SUV would be a better choice for us.

So, I've narrowed down to a couple of tow vehicle choices. I'm looking at the Ford Excursion (either 2003 7.3 diesel or 2005 6.0 diesel) and at the 2006 Chevy Suburban 2500 (with the 8.1L V8).

That said, the smaller the SUV I can get away with, the happier the entire family will be.

Do any of you have experiences to share on the specific models I posted? Do others have a different (non-pickup) make or model I should look at based on the weights of the trailer I'm towing?

All information and opinions are appreciated.


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Old 11-03-2008, 05:23 PM   #2
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
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Just curious why you would prefer a non - pickup?

I am also looking for a new TV as we just bought a 30 footer that I think is a bit much for the 1/2 ton we now have.

I'm thinking to get a 3/4 ton Sierra crew cab 4x4 diesel.

I wondered about maybe getting a Suburban or Excursion, but figured they would cost me more and actually not even be as convenient for throwing excess stuff in the back, once I put a cap on the truck.

Serious question! Just wonder if I am missing something before I spend the $$ !


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Old 11-03-2008, 07:17 PM   #3
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I've got an Excursion v-10 and it pulls my 34 ft. classic all over the west like its not even there. I get 12 mpg in town 17 mpg at 65mph on the road and a solid 10 mpg towing at 60mph. I drove an 18 wheeler and see no need for a diesel. Save your money to buy more gas...
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
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Austin , Texas
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As a filmmaker/videographer, there's just gear (light kit and such) I would rather have in the back of an SUV than in the back of a pickup truck.

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Old 11-03-2008, 10:07 PM   #5
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You could check out an Expedition EL, it's kind of like an Excursion on a diet...
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:15 PM   #6
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The Ford 7.3 is a much more trouble free unit than the 6.0. A fair amount of injecter trouble with the 2005 6.0 diesels. The extra length expeditions arn't available with a 6.8 V10 or the diesel engine. John
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:53 PM   #7
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bought a 2005 excursion dsl ltd when i heard they were being discontinued.have put 50000 miles on this truck so far,witout any problems.this is my first dsl and since im not one to trade in vehicles alot my intention is to drive it until it is worn out.for the type of business your in you will probably like the room and security for your equipment that this vehicle offers.these vehicles normally need some towing mods.on my truck i added bilstein shocks and rear timbrens.i towed a 28 ft safari prior to my 31 classic.i keep refering to this vehicle as a truck,because the dry weight on this vehicle is 7800 lbs and it really is an f250 that is enclosed.since this vehicle is rated to carry people with 3 rows of seats the pa registration costs $36 per year rather than truck registration which is north of $150 per year.for me i wanted a vehicle as rugged as an f250,with the cargo and people carrying capacity.i have always owned suv s,however nothing this size with this vehicles capability.i use this vehicle as my daily driver since no matter how much i drive it i will probably never be able to wear it has as much luxury in this vehicle as my wifes aviator.dsl will be a little more cost on the maintenance since oil changes on the 6.0 require 15 quarts of oil.maintenance is the key to maintaining longevity on the dsl.have owned the vehicle for 40 months and would do it all over again.mpg is 11.5 to 13.0 towing depending on terrain.solo 14 city 19.0 to 20.5 hwy ,which depends how easy your are on the accelerator.44gallon tank gives you great range on this vehicle,which is one of the things i really like.since i drive this vehicle everyday the size is not even an issue anymore,i park the same places i would park with my wifes 2005 aviator has 12000 miles on it ,so you can see what i prefer to drive even on for the v10 im sure it is just as capable if it is maintained properly.with the 7.3 i dont beleive that you get the 5 speed torqshift towing tranny,which is a pleasure to tow with.any vehicle that you look at be sure to get the service history "oasis report" so that you can see if there are any problems you want to steer clear of.good luck
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:15 PM   #8
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I'm on the Excursion band wagon also...recently picked up a 2001, V-10, 4x4 limited with most of the goodies at a CHEAP price...the dealers aren't giving 'squat' for trade-in's on these great TV's, so the selling prices are great deals! You just have to look around a bit, and 'whittle em' down when making a deal...they want to unload the 'gas hogs' big time, these days, take advantage of them while you still have the chance...

It handles our 78, 28ft Ambassador like it's hardly back there, even up and around our big 'hills' here in the west!
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:31 AM   #9
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Well, your video gear is obviously going to be at least a little safer from prying eyes and light fingers in the back of an SUV, though if they want it, they're gonna' get it. And as a daily driver, the SUV may be more useful. I used to have a Suburban and loved it, but not so much for towing .... I got a pickup with diesel, 'cause I'm all about longevity and torque and fuel economy (I also have long driven diesel cars for the same reasons), and because from time to time I haul stuff (like a generator and gasoline can and somewhat smelly BBBQ grill and spare propane bottle) that I don't want inside the vehicle with me.

Maybe one of each??!!
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:03 AM   #10
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How about a van? We have several people in our unit who tow with the E250 & E350 vans. I have met several people with conversion vans that allow comfortable day trips while traveling with the Airstream.
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:22 AM   #11
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I've been leaning towards the Excursion, and after doing a bit of research, it sounded like they had worked out the "bugs" in the 6.0L PSD in the 2005 model. There are more '02 and '03 7.3L models available, that's for sure.
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:28 AM   #12
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I second the (3/4 or one ton) van!

Originally Posted by fltlevel510 View Post
How about a van?...
I tow the 31' Sovereign with a 3/4 ton short high-top conversion van. The short tail on the van allows for a minimum horizontal displacement of about 2' between the axle center line and the hitch ball - great for towing and maneuvering.

The 4 captains chairs and the fold down bed allow for a huge number of configuration changes - the center captains chairs are easily removeable when we take the dogs and no extra people.

Just make sure that the available tow capacity is there when you have the van loaded the way you will actually travel.

Last week, on a 2,000 mile round trip I averaged 10 mpg driving waaaay above the best mileage speed.

Again, be sure to get an actual weight on the finished conversion to be confident that you do not bust weight allowables on any axle. The Reese dual cam sway control hitch allows for great weight distribution from the (short) rear hook-up to transfer the correct amount of weight to the front axle.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 11-04-2008, 08:30 AM   #13
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Diesel is going to have more low end torque and get better MPG, however, it's still a Ford.

I have a 2500 6.0L Suburban w/ 4.10s and I'm very pleased with it. I think the 8.1L will give you a bit better performance than the 6.0L, but it comes with a price...that price is that the 8.1L can consume some oil. I have heard countless folks talk about it not being too uncommon for the 8.1L to eat maybe a quart between oil changes.

If you didn't go diesel, then to be honest the Ford V-10 has about the same power as the GM 6.0L. The 8.1L is the BIG block and does consume a bit more fuel than the 6.0L.

The 6.0L w/4.10s is a good balance between power, torque and fuel economy IMHO and it tows my 25' Safari, even at steep grades like it's barely even back there.

If going the diesel route, go with the older version. I heard nothing but issues with the newer diesels found in Fords.....

Also, rumor has it that the Suburban is getting a diesel engine within the next 24 months....but that of course is just a rumor.....and has been a long time coming for a lot of folks since GM yanked the diesels out of the Suburban line years ago....
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:33 AM   #14
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Hmmm…a van. Now that's an idea I hadn't considered. Are we talking the Ford Econoline "conversion" van here? E-250 or E-350? Diesel or gas? What should I be looking for?


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