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Old 04-26-2003, 01:15 PM   #15
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Tow vehicle choices

I'm an old Chevy/GM guy. But now I have found the best RV puller. I bought another guy's Ford Diesel puller. My new ride is a 1991 Ford 7.3 diesel F350
crew cab, Lariat trim package, PW, PDL, auto trans E4od, long wheel base, tow package dual rear wheels, 2 fuel tanks and power to spare.
Our 31ft Airstream came from Branson, Mo. We went to pick trailer up with a '91 Chevy 350 v8 and R700 trans. The truck would barely move the trailer. A guy with a Ford diesel moved the trailer up out to flat land. The tow to Idaho was an adventure. Lots of hills were started up at 75 mph and topped at 22 mph at 4200rpm. in second gear. The truck I got came from an old RV guy who had abused the truck. I replaced the auto trans, brakes, radiator, and driveline.
It is the best truck I have ever used to pull a load up to 15K pounds.
I recently moved a car from Idaho to Ca on a car trailer. The truck pulled like magic. I love a diesel. Our ride is with turbo and propane is to be added shortly. The new Ford diesels after 1995 are even stronger. The power stroke can have a big power increase just by adding a computer program chip. Try a truck before any decision.
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Old 04-27-2003, 12:54 PM   #16
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Uhhh, hate to tell you....

Frank, ummm, missing something? I don't know, but if your truck truely is a dually, you're missing the "dually" part of your back wheels. From the picture, it sure looks like your inner wheels are gone!

Jack.... how much clearance do you need for the newer Chevy Express. You could order one with slightly smaller sidewall profiles, lowering the van a tad. (and give you a slightly taller axle ratio). IF the specs are the same, I would think the carpet, seats, and all would lower the van. OR, maybe you could purchase the van "contigenent" on it fitting in the garage. I did an opposite tack, I made sure that I could park our boat by our house before we bought the house. Our agent thought we were nuts, but it worked!

Or how about an Intrepid? Just kidding!....although I'm curious.....
Marc
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Old 04-27-2003, 02:10 PM   #17
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Wow, I will be more careful

Ya caught me....... with just 2 rear wheels. The tires were not great so I was driving with just 2 outer wheels. All new tires now... hahaha
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Old 04-27-2003, 03:03 PM   #18
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Guess I'll add my .02....

I like Chevy. I have no issue with Dodge or Ford, my pref is just GM. I know others have other prefs, but this one is mine.

I would go with a pickup or a Suburban.

If you like the diesel, great, myself, I like the 8.1L. The 7.4L is the 454 which I have not seen around in some of the literature I have from Chevy '03. It appears to have been replaced with the 8.1L engine. Either way I would go with the Allision Transmission.

I would also go with the 4.10 gears and any and all cooling options you can get you hands on. In most cases the 1 Ton is not needed. The 3/4 ton could do the job every day of the week and twice on Sunday. The largest GVWR that A/S makes in a trailer is 10,500 per my A/S brouchure for '03. This would mean that really any engine at or above the 4.8L(and I would't go with the 4.8L) and 3.73 gears could do it. Me, I just love the 8.1L and since MPG is going to be in the tank anyway, an extra few miles per gallon lost in the sands of time between the 6.0 and the 8.1L are trivial to me. I want the extra HP and gobs of torque the 8.1L has comparted to the 5.3L and the 6.0L. I like the gas better than diesel because I just love the way the gas engine sounds and other issues that diesels have in general having had 3 in our family up through the '91 model year.

Regards,

Eric
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Old 04-27-2003, 09:06 PM   #19
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454 vs 496

Eric, I believe that 2000 was the last year that the 7.4 L or 454 C.I. was available in 3/4 or 1 ton GM vehicles. They upgraded it to the 8.1 L, which is a 454 block with a longer stroke crank. I wonder why they just didn't make it a 502, but it probably had something to do with emissions. BTW, I hear GM may be coming out with a V10 Big Block gasser, again for emissions. I read that they can control emissions better with smaller bore engines.

I love my 454, it runs great, and gets around 10 mpg towing. If you get an 8.1, your going to love it. Not much of a difference in fuel economy over a 6.0, but has much more power.
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Old 04-27-2003, 10:04 PM   #20
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Thumbs up Re: Uhhh, hate to tell you....

Quote:
Originally posted by 3Ms75Argosy
Jack.... how much clearance do you need for the newer Chevy Express. You could order one with slightly smaller sidewall profiles, lowering the van a tad. (and give you a slightly taller axle ratio). IF the specs are the same, I would think the carpet, seats, and all would lower the van.Or how about an Intrepid? Just kidding!....although I'm curious.....
Marc
Marc,
I went over to another dealership and found a 2500 passenger van although it didn't have the axle ratio I was looking for. Took it home and tried it. It did get through although it did rub on the upper gasket that is part of the framing of the garage door entry. Looks like I have a little less than 1/4" clearance.

As it ends up I have some new framing material that was supplied with my new garage door. The installer left it with me in case I wanted to use it in the future. That material is a 1/4" thinner than the old framing material. I'll end up installing that which should allow the new van to clear the door framing without touching anything. I also figure that adding fuel will also bring the van down somewhat. The tank on my test vehicle was almost empty.

The dealer is placing the order Monday without requiring me to make any commitment. He is certain that if I change my mind he will easily be able to sell the van. It will be interesting to see how this new van will pull the Safari. Right now I'm about 600 lbs. short of the Chevy's towing capacity. The new van with the Vortec 6000 and 4.10 axle will handle 9,900 lbs which will leave me with 3,900 lbs. of unused capacity.

Jack
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