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Old 08-14-2015, 03:23 AM   #61
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Go back to your local Chevy dealer, buy a Duramax crew cab with a sliding rear window. Get a truck cap with opening window, cab boot, and a power inverter. Dog rides in the truck cap with the cab rear sliding glass and cap glass open some can get air conditioning. Also, a power inverter and box fan or 12 volt fans can be in the cap for the dog. If the dog is small enough, he can enter and exit the cab from the truck bed thought the sliding back glass-
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:34 AM   #62
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Dana... if you got a pickup... how would you carry your two kids (ever growing larger) and the German Shepard in the back seat area... for any distance beyond a few miles?

As I mentioned earlier, I can't see how you can avoid going with an SUV, if you want the kids and the dog to be comfortable for any extended driving trips. I think that putting the kids and the German Shepard in the back seat area of a pickup truck, for hours at a time, would be a bit punishing, to the dog, anyway... he would not be able to lie down. Our Golden Lab consumes the bulk of the back seat area (seats flipped up to allow flat floor area for his bed) of our 3/4 ton Denali HD with Crew Cab and during any extended drives, he needs to get up and change positions numerous times to stay comfortable.

My name is Dan. I'm 6'6" 320 lbs.

Please stop calling me Dana

Dan at "The Rock", we live a few miles out in country from The Rock, our local NASCAR track. I can see how Dana jumps out.

Your making some great points as usual DHart. The only truck that I feel gives the dog and the kids ample room is the Dodge Mega Cab. Huge backseat, and the center floorboard would be for dog. Still. As you point out, not nearly as comfortable for our shepherd, Chena, on long trips.

We would make regular stops to stretch his legs I'm sure. In contrast, he travels in back of our Tahoe now in comfort. We drive 2.5 hours to coast, and don't even know he's in the back. Doubt a floorboard in a truck will be as accommodating.


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Old 08-14-2015, 06:31 AM   #63
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A ten year old Ford 6.0 and a 30' bunkhouse adds more variables than I can decipher.
You must be aware the 6.0 PSD was Fords most unreliable engine. Although I have had tons of work done to it rendering it "Bulletproof" there is no doubt things will go wrong as it is 10 years old.

It is a solid truck however, garaged and cared for. The 6.0 was an odd motor, it takes a while to learn how to drive it. But once you learn, it is amazing. It literally screams, and needs to scream.

I am at a loss as to what to replace it with when the time comes. We do 1000 mile days in 2 shifts with two drivers and I fly the rest of the family to the destination. We will do this again in 2017 on our Utah trip.

I can't help think that these newer 1/2 ton vehicles will be challenged in some of the conditions we find. Driving late at night, roadwork with really bad merging, uneven pavement, lane separations, there are some really challenging situations out there. Not to mention mountain passes near 10,000 feet, the Excursion can literately engine break all the way down with very little use of the breaks. However, towing at a moderate speed in the daytime with no traffic the lighter truck may be fine. I don't know, but we have had some real tough conditions in just the 10,000 miles we have gone already.

I fear the day I need to replace my Excursion.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:47 AM   #64
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Dan at the Rock,
From my voice of experience - We have one kid and a dog when traveling. My dog is 65 lbs and like to travel sitting up and looking out the window. He sits on the flat floor behind my wife in the cab. The rear seat folds 2/3rd, 1/3rd. Daughter gets 1/3rd, dog gets the 2/3rds flat floor. Works well. The back seat in a truck is big enough to bring another kid along and swap sides where the dog gets the small section and the kids would get the larger section. The dog can always ride in the bed if need be (if not too hot).
When you have kids you always have to bring "a lot of stuff". That's just the way it is. Stuff takes up a lot of room and often is dirty (grills, bicycles, tricycles, etc......) SUV's are really nice but in my opinion I think a truck with a cap would serve you better.
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:15 AM   #65
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We met a sweet couple from Canada that were towing their 30' Classic with an Audi SUV that the guy from CAN AM rigged up for them. He said it towed the Classic like a dream.


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Old 08-14-2015, 07:23 AM   #66
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lmao! I think "Dana" should stick
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:37 AM   #67
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As long as you guys keep hand feeding me, you can call me whatever you like. I'm pretty comfortable in my skin. An opportune time perhaps to remind you all how much my wife and I appreciate your interest in our success. We are not buying a vehicle to tow an Airstream, we are buying a vehicle to safely transport our two small children and we will just happen to have a camper in tow. We greatly value the collective wisdom of this forum.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post

I can't help think that these newer 1/2 ton vehicles will be challenged in some of the conditions we find. Driving late at night, roadwork with really bad merging, uneven pavement, lane separations, there are some really challenging situations out there. Not to mention mountain passes near 10,000 feet...

Thanks Ted. That's exactly the kind of stuff I need to be thinking about. But admittingly, have not been. It's hard to have a meaningful hypothetical conversation with ones self regarding finer points of a skill set I have yet to obtain. Thanks for adding that last post to this discussion. It influences me more than the 20 post before it. There is meat on that bone.


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Old 08-14-2015, 07:42 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
Dan at the Rock,
From my voice of experience - We have one kid and a dog when traveling. My dog is 65 lbs and like to travel sitting up and looking out the window. He sits on the flat floor behind my wife in the cab. The rear seat folds 2/3rd, 1/3rd. Daughter gets 1/3rd, dog gets the 2/3rds flat floor. Works well. The back seat in a truck is big enough to bring another kid along and swap sides where the dog gets the small section and the kids would get the larger section. The dog can always ride in the bed if need be (if not too hot).
When you have kids you always have to bring "a lot of stuff". That's just the way it is. Stuff takes up a lot of room and often is dirty (grills, bicycles, tricycles, etc......) SUV's are really nice but in my opinion I think a truck with a cap would serve you better.

Thank you. You may very well be right. I ran the kiddos to daycare an hour ago, grabbed a bag breakfast at B king, and rode by the Dodge dealer to peek at the Mega Cab. Key to good staring and pondering lies in getting there before 9 am when the vultures arrive. I've had many a parking lot breakfast in recent months. If trucks were women, I'd be in the pogey by now.


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Old 08-14-2015, 07:55 AM   #69
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Hi Dan, my husband The Engineer and I just went through the gauntlet of truck purchasing decisions for our new Serenity 27FB, and we ended up with….drumroll please….a 2015 Ford Expedition Limited with the HD tow pkg which included a leveling suspension - then we slapped a ProPride 3P 1400 on the AS. Didn't go with the EL as it wouldn't fit in the garage.
There were a number of factors that contributed to the Expedition, the biggest of which was safety and the numbers (towing capacity, payload, etc…). For us, two adults, two spoiled cocker spaniels, the weights work out perfectly with room to spare for safety. We touched and drove and ran the numbers on all the other SUV's, the ones we kept coming back to were Ford and Lincoln. (According to my sales dude who handles both, same engine - different finishes.) We chose the Ford as the price was $20K less, had every feature we needed/wanted, and pulls like a mule on speed. A pickup would have been my preference, but this is also a work vehicle for me and I need the cargo room to haul floral designs under cover and in air conditioned glory.
First tow was from our dealership in NJ (Colonial - ask for Patrick) to our home in northern Virginia, and although we knew it was back there (I can't believe people who say they forget it's back there!), the Exp handled herself beautifully. If you need an SUV vs a truck, Ford or Lincoln will handle the most weight for a good safety margin for you.
Safe travels!
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:58 AM   #70
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Cyn,

'Slapped a propride 3P 1400'.. Hah. I love it. Chics just don't talk that way often enough. I really appreciate you chiming in. Sounds like your experience echoes that of every single expedition owner I have heard from. Not one person owning an Expedition/Navigator has reported anything but positive experiences.

All criticism is from big truck owners. Hmmm. Kidding, I already knew that would be likely, it's human nature. Sounds like you and The Engineer, smiling, have a great setup. When are you making the inaugural run to Virginia Highlands??

And Patrick, he's a celebrity at my house. My wife and I have watched all his movies, videos most would say. But with popcorn and the kids in bed, it's more like a Netflix rental. Anyone want to quiz me on the many features and design characteristics of the Airstream door?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Remax gal View Post
We met a sweet couple from Canada that were towing their 30' Classic with an Audi SUV that the guy from CAN AM rigged up for them. He said it towed the Classic like a dream.Laura & Tom

Must be something in the water up there. Everyone I've met from Canada just smiles, says Eh, and has a generally laid back view towards life. It's unnerving for a redneck like myself, truly. Maybe the Xanax are more powerful up there, not sure. Either way, Canadians are happy people.

And Andy Thomson, of Can-Am RV, I've heard great things about. He was kind enough to email back and forth numerous times with me lately. Just a wealth of knowledge, and at the time had nothing to gain. Just a great guy. Damn smirking, smiling, helpful Canadians. Geesh.



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Old 08-14-2015, 08:10 AM   #71
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The Can-Am videos are quite convincing...it makes me feel like I overthink things.

However, when I watch the videos of cars dragging 30'er's through a slalom course I can't help think to myself, where are the bikes, the kids, the dog, the BBQ grill and the other 2 tons of crap I need for a cross country trip. It sure the hell isn't in the trunk of my Mercedes.
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:19 AM   #72
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Kids in Canada don't need all that crap to be happy
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:23 AM   #73
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Link to Andy Thomsons articles on RV Lifestyle magazine..

Can-Am RV :: Hitch Hints
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:29 AM   #74
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Kids in Canada don't need all that crap to be happy
That's true, and by that logic we all don't need 30' Airstreams. While I love my trailer and is great for long trips, my favorite days have been when my kids were really little and we camped in a pop-up at a State Park.
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:53 AM   #75
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Andy's crew at CanAm in London, Ontario modified the 2007 Mercedes hitch assembly with some creative welding and bent the Hensley stinger down slightly after shortening it about four inches to preload the Hensley screw jacks. Was told to see 3" of the screw jack and was spot on for both the 25FB and the 23D for weight distribution.

The CAT scale numbers were okay for me alone driving the 25FB home with the Mercedes. The issues arose when crossing the scales with BOTH me and the wife, a 40 pound air compressor in back and the trailer loaded for camping. Now the car's GVW was exceeded as was the front axle rating. There was a slight groan from the car drive train on a minor grade going to the CAT scales.

We researched the remaining 2012 Dodge Rams and selected one of the remaining 2012 models that had everything we wanted and would have ordered. It had no issues towing the 25FB with the truck. Now it tows the 31' Classic with a 2,700 pound heavier GVW with no issues starting, or most importantly, stopping. The numbers are all good per the CAT scales.

In your research, dig into the front disc brake details on the candidates you are considering for towing. You want a safe stop if the trailer's electric drum brakes have an issue in the mountains or a slick road or a front tire issue on the tow vehicle.

Since none of the vehicles discussed have been chump change, one needs to be correct in their assumptions before the pen hits the contract to purchase.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:08 AM   #76
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^^^ Thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post
That's true, and by that logic we all don't need 30' Airstreams. While I love my trailer and is great for long trips, my favorite days have been when my kids were really little and we camped in a pop-up at a State Park.

You said it man. The most fun I ever had was tent camping with my parents in the Smokies out of their red/white VW van.


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Old 08-14-2015, 09:33 AM   #77
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The most stressful time towing for me is on downhill stretches of road. How well will this rig handle downhill speed? If you are at or over maximum load will the tow/haul mode (or whatever it is called) be able to reduce your stress level in extreme downhill conditions? In the video you posted they talk about the Denali needing brake input to maintain control. The less I have to do to maintain my speed the more attention I can spend on whats going on around me (as in other drivers and road conditions). I am not making a judgment on your choice, just adding food for thought. If others here with similar setups can post their experiences with this, it will help you with making a good decision.
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:13 AM   #78
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I have a 2015 Ford Explorer Sport. It has the 3.5 eco twin turbo, tow package is standard, the suspension is independent. We are picking up our 2014 AS Sport next week should I be looking into hitch systems for weight distribution or is the Sport light enough to not bother? Would appreciate advise from the experienced.
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:51 AM   #79
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Welcome to the forum Pickett. Start a thread in the hitches section and you will surely get some input. Congrats on the new camper. I'm sure your excited.




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The most stressful time towing for me is on downhill stretches of road. How well will this rig handle downhill speed? If you are at or over maximum load will the tow/haul mode (or whatever it is called) be able to reduce your stress level in extreme downhill conditions? In the video you posted they talk about the Denali needing brake input to maintain control. The less I have to do to maintain my speed the more attention I can spend on whats going on around me (as in other drivers and road conditions). I am not making a judgment on your choice, just adding food for thought. If others here with similar setups can post their experiences with this, it will help you with making a good decision.

That's a good question and what little I found online was inconclusive as to how well the Tow feature, manually downshifting, worked at controlling descent. Maybe folks with Expeditions or Navigators will chime in.



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Old 08-14-2015, 11:23 AM   #80
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You can't go wrong on a Navigator IMHO. It's definetly the one of the very best SUV's that can tow any bumper pull on the market including any Airstream made. No modifications needed at all. While there may be some changes in the future, you are better off with the tried and true current examples. I would not give you a plugged nickle for all the modified Can-Am modifications on smaller vehicles; it's all a bunch of hog wash. I have 2 friends with recent Navigators that tow RV's and love them. My wife has an older Lincoln LT truck and it has towed our 7,000 lb utility trailer many times while I tow our AS. Go for the Navigator, you won't be disappointed.
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