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Old 11-29-2013, 12:36 AM   #21
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Hi Pamela

Just to completely confuse you. If I was going to purchase a pick up to tow an Airstream with today hands down my choice would be the new Dodge 1500 with the 3.0 Litre Diesel and the Air suspension and 20" wheel options.

This truck will get dramatically better fuel economy than any of the 2500 series trucks while still having way more power than you need. The ride is much smoother so it is much easier on you and the Airstream. It has a wider stance and lower centre of gravity and more precise steering. As well the tires have more bite for shorter stops.

If a 5'6" box has enough cargo space it will be quite a bit more maneuverable as well.

What is your day to day vehicle now?

Andrew T


Andy T, are you now saying a 1500 Dodge truck is better than the Chrysler 300? Your latest article in Airstream Life states the 300 is a safer tow vehicle then a 2500 Truck. Are you implying Dodge has a different wheel base for the 1500 platform as the 2500 platform? I dont see how this would be profitable for a company to have such a change in platforms. A 1500 has softer suspension and lower towing rating, and are not the brakes smaller with the 1500 than the 2500? Tiers? Really? Truck is a Truck. How do you have insight into the inter workings of a major corporation as the Chrysler Brand?
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:24 AM   #22
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OH but it is available if you have the time and energy to do it.Their are actually some companies that make adapter kit for that very thing. I know where a 2005 ford F350 with the old cummins motor and an allison trannie is. It was over 10 thousand dollars for the swap to be completed but he is so happy with this truck he is getting ready to build another. So all things are possible.
Yes, it is available. I looked into several years ago and I believe an outfit in Fla. builds it. But i'm suffering from CRS so don't ask for the name. Sal
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:28 AM   #23
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Hi Christopher

Though we have a lot of customers with 300's and extensive towing use with them ourselves I used it more to illustrate a point in the article that there are many elements to safety and just because a vehicle is larger taller and heavier does not make it safer. In fact the combination of all three tends to be the oposite. For example the 1500 is about 2000 pounds lighter than the Dodge 3/4 ton but the brakes are virtually the same size and the tires have substantially more traction. Our 2500 Dodge is easily the worst stopping vehicle in our fleet dramatically more so if it is wet.

The independent front suspension on the 1500 gives it a much wider stance, more suspension travel, less unsprung weight and lower centre of gravity all factors that make a huge difference to handling.

If you need the carrying space of a pick up then the 1500 is a better choice than a 300. In a pure test of emergency avoidance and stopping ability the 300 is better. However plenty of people have other priorities than just accident avoidance and panic stopping distance.

I tow with all these trucks on a very regular basis so I have a very real world understanding of how they perform and what can be expected of them. For towing a 14,000 pound fifth wheel that is going to put 3000 pounds on the drive axle a 25 or 3500 is the obvious choice. If you want to carry two 700 pound motorcycles in the back of the truck again you need the load carrying of the 2500. with an Airstream with a normal load in the pickup if you test there is just no contest. As well remember you will likely drive this vehicle many times more miles solo that you will towing and as a solo vehicle it is dramatically less capable of executing and emergency maneuver or stopping quickly.

What I mentioned to Pamela was she could get the shorter wheelbase 5'6" box in the 1500 which would give her better maneuverabilty getting in and out of tight campsites etc.

I know of 3 Airsteams that were rolled over this year. A 19' on an F150 and two 31's on 2500 Dodges. Vehicle size is no guaranty of control, how you hitch it up is almost always going to be the most important factor.

Stick with me for a couple of more Airstream life articles and I will try and bring all this together in an easier to understand formula. Your question about the inner workings I will try and answer in the next issue. If you are ever in our area feel free to stop in and try out some of this stuff, I know it is very hard to beleive until you have been behind the wheel.

I hope this helps.

Andrew T
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:55 AM   #24
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+1 Andy T. Respectful and well reasoned reply. This is the kind of post that helps new AS owners make informed choices. Thank you. Look forward to the next article.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:19 AM   #25
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Andrew on the roll overs can you share what type of hitch setup they had?
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:50 AM   #26
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Awaiting delivery of our 30ft FC in January 2014--bought a GMC Denali Diesel/ Allison, just thought the look and feel suited us. Considering the top 3 come with 3 year warranties, any diesel will work, it simply comes down to what grabs you at the initial test drive. Dealer demo's will offer the most discount, just make sure it has the Exhaust Brake, helps in long down grades. The new diesels have an additive that must be changed with oil changes, adds about $25-50 to oil changes, and you should carry the two and half gallon with you on trips with extra filter. See you down the road.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:18 AM   #27
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Pamela (the OP)...are you still out there? Are you screaming in dismay yet? The responses in this thread lead me to conclude that there is no one right answer
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:20 AM   #28
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..( sorry..i hit the send button inadvertently). But there are wrong ones...and those may involve having an improper hitch set up. You next have to learn about that! Good luck.
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:16 AM   #29
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Although we own a Ford F250 Super Duty diesel (insert grunting sounds here), I saw that Consumer Reports recommended the Chevy diesel in their 12/13 issue. Just saying.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:45 AM   #30
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Get whatever has the features you and/or your traveling companion prefer. We really wanted to buy another Ford, but found that the Ram diesel better met our needs. It would be hard to imagine in today's light purchasing a really bad diesel truck - most of the bugs are now gone ... it is just the EPA that has cut into fuel economy almost across the board!
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:15 AM   #31
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Thank you for all the replies I really do appreciate it , we decided to get a 3500 Ram with a cumming s engine. we cant wait to try it out this winter.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:23 AM   #32
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That is really exciting Pamela! Post some pictures of that fabulous rig when you get it all hitched up. Where will you camp this winter?
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:49 AM   #33
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Thank you for all the replies I really do appreciate it , we decided to get a 3500 Ram with a cumming s engine. we cant wait to try it out this winter.
Congratulations, I believe you will be happy with the truck.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:45 AM   #34
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first trip Texas I will post picks when I figure out how
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:21 PM   #35
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2013 Ford F250 Platinum with the 6.7L Power Stroke Diesel pulls our 30' Airstream likes it's not even there.
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:24 PM   #36
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Having owned a 30 foot Airstream, a 2011 Ford Super Duty diesel with the new Scorpion engine and now a 2013 F2500 Ram with Cummins diesel - I would clearly state the 2013 Ram Cummins Diesel is the tops!
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:29 PM   #37
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Here is my experience. Search for the thread if u want the spreadsheets.
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I have had a moderately long journey in RV towing vehicles. My first rig was a 2000 Forerunner with a 3200’ trailer. The second was a 2007 Forerunner with a 4000’ trailer. Now I have a Safari 25 with loaded weight at 7200’. These were under rated maximum towing capacity for each vehicle, but not by much. They were uncomfortably close. The engines worked really hard, and even with sway and weight distribution I always felt I was on the edge. On the few occasions where I had to maneuver, there was a tendency for the trailer to drive the truck. I went on a search for a new vehicle. The wife specified this is the last one, so get a good one. I was smitten by the new Tundra. What a beauty! When I suggested a ton PU as a TV to the Airstream community, I was smitten again. This time by a variety of comments, with many paraphrased as “I towed a … with a …. And it seemed to work fine”, “don’t do that”, and the like for a variety of vehicles. But who knows? And what about the rare, but unpleasant potential events that happen to so few of us that they don't get reported. This time I had to do it by the numbers. Thanks to GMGAZ for a link to a spreadsheet. I had to do a bit of digging to find all the weights and capacities. Those spreadsheets are attached. The numbers say: Doesn’t look like a Tundra will do it, nor will similar trucks. Not even close. A ton PU is the only way to go, at least to my watery, numbery, and smitten eyes. This puts some numbers on my decision to buy the Chevy PU ww 4.10 rear end as a TV for my FB. I don’t purport to smite others’ opinions, since we all have different experiences. But now there’s mine to add to the mix. Not Smitingly, Hank
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:29 PM   #38
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While a big Ford fan I would have to say Dodge with their Cummins engine is probably the best option. I would still give Ford a good look as it is a superior truck in all other areas. The EchoBoost gas engine would more then likely pull your Stream but be certain to max out payload capacity. Either way you have to get serious with the salesperson as most don't know much about trucks. They just want to get something off their lot.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:36 PM   #39
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I disagree.
I disagree, homeboy!
Everyone is entitled to their opinions...
On the other hand there must be some reason why F150 is the most selling vehicle. Period.
There are 6 times as many F150's sold than Tundras.
It may be that Ford trucks have been around longer and have a loyal following.
It may go back many decades to Ford having the first V8...
Who knows? But there is some merit to the fact that Ford sells more trucks than anyone else and 3 times as many full size trucks than Nissan and Toyota combined...
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:52 PM   #40
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Ouch...
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