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Old 10-22-2016, 10:20 AM   #41
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Following up on my previous post. As Howard Cosell used to say:"Let's go to the [video]tape!"
From the Airstream website, the tongue weight of the FC27FB twin (which I own) is 791 lbs.; the tongue weight of the FC 25 FB is 837 lbs. All Airstream weights are specified as dry: empty tanks and empty propane bottles. The FC 27 has 120 gallons of liquid capacity, which will weigh over 1,220 lbs. Granted, few people will or should run around with full tanks. However, unless you plan to camp exclusively at places with full hookups, you will not be running around with empty tanks either. The FC 27 has interior storage under the bed, over the bed and on the bulkheads that separate the bedroom from the galley, all forward of the axles. In addition there are from 1-3 outside storage compartments forward of the axles, depending on whether it's a twin or "queen" layout; and the pull-out food pantry is forward of the axles. In our year, we had all of those interior cabinets filled with clothes for the two of us. We also used containers in the truck bed to carry out of season clothes and shoes (boots). The exterior storage compartment on the street side carries our power cord, 50-30 amp pigtail and two drinking water hoses. The right side carries three sets of leveling blocks, a collapsible foot stool and a folding camp chair. The front compartment carries the cranks for the stabilizing jacks and hitch jack, the breaker bar and socket for the ProPride hitch, the ratchet wrench for the hitch's WD jacks, wheel chocks, pad for the hitch jack foot, garden hose and 2 more camp chairs. While I've never weighed the front of the loaded trailer, 1000 pounds camping weight doesn't seem unreasonable, especially since the back of the truck is carrying the hitch itself. The ProPride is particularly heavy; others are lighter. Sure, the WD hitch transfers some weight back to the trailer axle, but most of the weight transfer is to the front axle of the tow vehicle. The tow vehicle is still carrying the weight, it's just been shifted forward.
Now, let's talk about the Ram ecodiesel truck. According to numerous tests, it is barely faster to 60 than a Prius, carrying only the driver it takes about 9 seconds to hit 60 from a head stop. According to Ram's website, the most capable Ecodiesel has 1,500 lbs. of cargo capacity and is rated to tow 9,300 lbs. That's a stripped, regular cab 2wd truck. Equipped the way most RVers buy a truck (crew cab, 4wd,higher trim), those numbers fall to 1220 lbs cargo and 7650 towing.
Engine braking is accomplished mechanically in both gasoline and Diesel engines. In a gasoline, with the throttle closed, the engine is acting as an air pump against atmospheric pressure, hence the braking effect. Diesel engines have no throttle, so braking has to be done on the exhaust side. The 3/4 ton pickup diesels do this by closing the vanes on the exhaust side of the turbocharger, producing back pressure that the engine has to work against. If there's no physical way of blocking the exhaust flow to the turbo, no software is going to provide engine braking on a small diesel, which is not equipped with a "Jacobs brake"- a separate mechanical device built into the engine. At best, software might manipulate operation of the waste gate, which bypasses some exhaust gas from the turbo to avoid overpressure on the intake side, and produce a small amount of back pressure.
I don't think one person hauling empty trailers is representative of the way most people use their Airstreams. In addition to the stuff I mentioned, we carry a small Honda 2kw generator, a table top grill, and 3 gallons of gasoline in the truck bed, with a folding tonneau cover.

Finally, as an interesting data point, the guys at thefastlanetruck.com took otherwise identical new Nissan Titans up the I-70 grade (about 7%) pulling a 10,000 lbs cargo trailer loaded in a way not to exceed the Titans' cargo capacity. One truck had the Cummins 5 liter diesel; the other had Nissan's 5.9(?) liter DI gas engine (no turbo), rated at 80 hp more than the diesel (at sea level; the difference was probably much less at altitude because the diesel's turbo could compensate for the lower air density). The gas truck was more than a minute faster up the hill, and the margin could have been greater but for the fact that the driver backed off the throttle on the lower part of the climb to stay within the posted speed limit, which is the procedure tfl truck follows. There was a 1 mpg fuel economy difference, the diesel being a 4 mpg. So, horsepower matters.

In my 35k miles of towing our Airstream, I'm not interested in being the fastest guy up the hill or in keeping up with Mustang GTs and other hot foots. However, I have a combination that's nearly 50 feet long; and I am interested in being able to merge into and change lanes in the unavoidable urban freeways where the traffic is rolling at 65 mph and in doing it safely without using the semi driver's technique of just forcing people to get out of the way. That's where the horsepower matters. People who have never done this need to appreciate how different it is from their experience driving a car or SUV.
I would hate to see people make a bad choice in tow vehicles because of a fixation on, say, fuel economy.
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Old 10-22-2016, 01:51 PM   #42
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All that to say again that you prefer acceleration over the economy & longevity of a diesel. Nothing wrong with that. But it seems ridiculous to condemn others to having made a bad choice if they don't choose as you did. Maybe before you condemn them you should tow with one.

My 270 HP 3.92 geared 8 speed has no trouble merging in a timely manner. Never have I had to as you say force people out of the way. Its roughly the same HP as the last years of the Ford 7.3 which was heavier with less gearing and I haven't heard of people complaining that they were to slow/dangerous to merge with.
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:05 PM   #43
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EcoDiesel is a very efficient engine. The main problem with EcoDiesel is the very limited payload. One member had 850# stamped on the door sticker. Thats less than my Subaru Forester. It works for you as you travel alone and tow empty Airstreams, and thats great, but it may not work for folks who pull a loaded trailer, or have family members, or do not want to exceed/reinterpret the ratings. There are different vehicles out there serving people with different needs.
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:25 PM   #44
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After a little reading I learned our Ram EcoDiesel does have a turbine brake. The vanes in the turbine are variable and controlled by the ECM, which partially closes them for deceleration building back pressure in the exhaust side of the engine.

The GDE turbine brake option VernDiesel uses in his GDE tune closes the turbine vanes even more (but not fully closed, and programmed for drivability as well as effectiveness) for increased turbine braking.

The idea that the EcoDiesel is without engine braking is not true, and I can say from experience it works very well, greatly reduces the need for truck and trailer service brakes. I think the 8-spd transmission and 3.92 axle are important to optimize this function.

Most probably not as effective as the exhaust brake of the larger diesels but we don't have the extra 2,000 Lbs or more truck mass to decelerate.

We're are in the mountains of New Mexico on a trip to California right now, our second long trip with our EcoDiesel. No braking problems, no payload problems, no stability problems, no inadequate power problems. The more we use it, the more we like it.
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:47 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Milo1952 View Post
Will be new to airstreaming next year. Retiring in March.Starting from scratch for everything.
My choice of AS will be a late model 25' FC.
Am looking at purchasing a new 2016 Ram 1500 eco diesel as TV. short bed.
It just fits in the garage.
Am looking for other options for TV as my wife does not like the idea of
getting a pickup. Looked at Jeep grand Cherokee but the folks at CAN-AM
said it is NOT one of their favorite choices for towing.
Funny, they told me my Grand Cherokee would be great for towing the trailers we were looking at. It was a great all around vehicle, maybe a little light on the merge power. Also light on payload but I never worried about it and never had a problem. It's not like an airplane; it still was fine with the seats filled.

Test drove the Ram and loved it, but acceleration at freeway speeds was a deal breaker and I ended up with a much larger truck. The CanAm tech kinda laughed when I brought the Bambi in for a checkup, and their eyes got big when they saw no WD bars.

On the downside, the mileage sucks on my F350, with or without the trailer. But if a had it to do all over, I would do the same thing.
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Old 10-22-2016, 06:32 PM   #46
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rostam, Agreed their is no one best best truck it depends on a particular persons needs. How much weight you can put on them is less than a HD and some people will need a HD. I do try to always point out that they are new dry and the weight of the trailer so people can use that info to best compare it to their use.

I can't speak to how well the mechanical braking as DC Bruce says works in a half ton gas truck. I can say the enhanced turbine braking on my ED will hold the speed to about a 6,000 pound trailer on a 5% grade. Heavier than that and you occasionally will need to supplement with the factory trailer brake controller or your truck brakes if you choose to use them. This is not only very reassuring when coming down a grade its has helped save my truck brakes as the originals are still smooth with good wear left at 232,000.

Merge acceleration would not match the 3.5 EB or the 6.2 GM but with the 3.92 & tune I can say I have no complaints and I don't think most people would.
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:39 PM   #47
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So the question is if the EcoDiesel has a variable vane turbine brake that creates back pressure in the exhaust system (like the big and small GM Duramax diesels do), why don't they state it has an exhaust brake?

I suspect it is because the Ram Cummins has an "real" exhaust brake (and over twice the engine size) which they are proud of, they would rather reserve the name, exhaust brake, for the Cummins. They are different, and by comparison the EcoD is weak.
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:51 PM   #48
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My guess would be that transmission programming has more to do with it in the ED. "Engine braking" covers that pretty well (or however your owners manual spells it out).

Exhaust braking is not a free lunch. VernD can probably dissect it. A minor amount, stock (under particular conditions; more a matter of drag than backpressure) to a significant amount -- the real thing -- with aftermarket tune, is my guess.


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Old 10-22-2016, 08:02 PM   #49
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I would never had considered a tune for our Ram EcoD, but the enhanced turbine braking program from GDE makes it very tempting, not to mention the EGR delete, and the claim the tune doesn't show up when in for dealer service unless you tell them.
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Old 10-23-2016, 06:02 AM   #50
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I would never had considered a tune for our Ram EcoD, but the enhanced turbine braking program from GDE makes it very tempting, not to mention the EGR delete, and the claim the tune doesn't show up when in for dealer service unless you tell them.

As you're actually "working" the truck, the chances of emissions related problems are lower for you than for soccer mommy & softball daddy.




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Old 10-23-2016, 08:03 AM   #51
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I don't understand, as there is no such thing as too much horsepower or too much money, with the 6.7 you also have an exhaust brake that actually works..
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:16 AM   #52
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TJ, we looked hard at and drove the 2500's early this year, gas and diesel, there is a lot to like. For some people. We need the 4x4, it's high and I'm 71 soon. The axles are both solid axle, the steering box is recirc ball, great stuff for heavy work which we never use it for. The fuel economy is less than the light truck. The everyday drivability and ride does not equal the light truck; we travel months at a time so it must be our daily driver six months year. It was priced much higher, less incentive and discount, we took 0% interest rate (our savings do slightly better).

Overall, the 2500 is a very capable pickup, most of it wasted to pull our Airstream. My Dad had a trucking business, I grew up driving and riding in them on country roads. Enough of that for me. Our Ram 1500 is a very smooth pickup in every way, it's perfect for us and our Airstream. We have plenty of engine torque and money, try to use both wisely.

BTW, my son's initials are TJ, named after my old Grandpa who farmed with horses before my time. I think he would agree with you "you can't have too much horsepower". I doubt though, he would hitch up four horses when he only needed two.
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Old 10-23-2016, 11:11 AM   #53
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Doug I don't see the 3 to 5 mpg that they talk about on their site. But I have seen an honest 2 mpg in my average. Thats easily paid for itself a couple times over the last 200k that I have had it. I don't think you would have emissions problems because of the towing but not recirculating the soot back into the engine has to be a good thing. I have taken my MAP sensor out for preventive cleaning maintenance before and after and the difference is dramatic.

The brake was a good confidence and safety improvement. Came down grades at over 15k CVW confidently with no drama and no need on dry pavement to even use the foot brake to control speed. The cruise is much more relaxed and works much better especially towing. When load increases from a hill it adds fuel slower and allows it to drop up to 2 mph before ramping up the fuel to maintain speed or downshift so its night & day better IMO. There is a noticeable power bump nothing dramatic. Overall drive-ability & operation is improved. Regens are reduced and you will use less DEF.

Its not cheap but neither are shop repairs. My only repairs in 232k is a light switch at $104 & a lift pump at $158. I had a delivery near their shop so they reprogrammed it & we swapped it in about 20 minutes. They sometimes do a group discount for the ED forum members when they do several in a city at one time.
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:48 PM   #54
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The GDE Tune's EGR delete caught me eye. Fifteen years ago the EGR clogged up our VW turbodiesel so bad it would barely run. Everything in the intake system, turbo, intercooler, manifold, right down to the intake valves. Many hours labor taking head off and manually cleaning it out.

Good car, in fairness this happened when I was talked into using high-percentage biodiesel (because it's clean and won't gel, the farmer-owned coop said) during Minnesota mid-winter. Nonetheless, I hate that soot and gunk going through our intake system.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:20 PM   #55
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Someone asked for the specifics of my 2012 QX... here are the door stickers...

Great tow vehicle for my 25'...

Attachment 273381
Attachment 273382
Hi, I have been looking into getting a QX56 or 80 and I thought the GVWR was 8500. Does it depend on your tow package? We are looking to get a 28ft Airstream.

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:45 PM   #56
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Tow Vehicle Recommendation

I have a 2012 QX56. The GVRW of the QX 56 is 7,500lbs.

It's rated to pull 8,500lbs with 850lb tongue weight.

All of the 2011+ QX should have a class IV hitch with integrated 7 pin connector. The hitch is substantial and is welded to the frame.

All infiniti QX have the same power train - 7 speed transmission, 400hp and 413 ft lb of torque.

For your airstream you'll want to make sure that your tongue weight is 850lb or less.

Make sure, as with any 1/2 ton vehicle, you watch your payload. Mine has a 1,433 lb payload which leaves 673lbs for people and gear after my tongue weight of 760lb is deducted.

The 2011+ QX makes for an excellent tow vehicle in my opinion and with independent suspension (air springs in the rear) things are very very smooth /comfortable with or without a trailer in tow. And there is plenty of power and torque for a mid sized airstream.

I use an equalizer hitch with fairly aggressive weight transfer and both my QX and trailer sits level +/- 1/2" . It works well for me.

If you have specific questions about the QX PM me, I've got 70k miles on mine and about 15k of those are towing my 25' international....
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:50 PM   #57
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:58 PM   #58
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Very nice looking combo! Love the matching color.
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:12 PM   #59
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Nice looking setup and great pics.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:43 AM   #60
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So yesterday Mercedes officially announced their new mid-size truck. Anticipated payload is over 1 metric ton, they are saying 2400#'s along with 7700# tow rating. Not sure on US availability yet, but it will be at least late 2017 if it does come here at all.

Likely available with a BlueTec diesel. Jalopnik Mercedes Truck Explainer
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