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Old 05-12-2016, 04:19 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Fiat/Chrysler vehicles get the worst reliability ratings from Consumer Reports and have for many years.
Yes, but with the exception of the Durango, which they have chosen as one of their recommended vehicles.
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:26 PM   #22
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Fiat/Chrysler vehicles get the worst reliability ratings from Consumer Reports and have for many years. I'd be especially wary of a 100,000 mile one. . . .Gene
Interesting, one of the fellows who tests vehicles for Consumer Reports tows his Airstream with his Durango.
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:33 PM   #23
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My 2004 Durango limited with a Hemi, 2 wheel drive and 200k miles on the clock is the best vehicle I've ever owned. I've towed
.....snip....

........This vintage Durango has body on frame construction and even with a rooftop tent mounted on top it handles winding roads with aplomb.
..... ...that's because it's body on frame.....
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:52 PM   #24
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IAMGLG nailed it. We've got a 04 Yukon with the 5.3. It works just fine and is very comfortable.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:00 PM   #25
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IAMGLG, welcome to the Forum. It is the best source of Airstream and RV operating info I have run across. Sometimes the answer seems obvious when in fact the opposite may be true. The reason the larger Airstreams need a hefty 3/4 ton pickup is because the combination tow vehicle (TV) and travel trailer(TT) will not take the prolong abuse the roads in the US, including Alaska, and Canada deliver over the life of the vehicle combination. Several years ago another couple, me, and my wife, with two Airstreams, went to Fairbanks, AK, on a three month trip touring the entire northwest American Continent. Our intention was to go all the way to Prudhoe Bay. On the way, in the Canadian Rockies, my friend broke down a hundred miles North West of Fort Nelson. We had been climbing long grades, but after a rest stop, he could not get his 1/2 truck to start. Five days later, the new part arrived with a much improved heat shield on the tranny shift cable. The original plastic part had melted from high engine heat in the mountains. On, to Alaska. One day, before we headed on to Prudhoe Bay a Doctor coming the other way from the Bay stopped to talk with us. He has been to the Bay and was returning. He was driving a 3/4 ton vehicle and pulling a 30' Airstream. When he saw my friend's 1/2 truck and 28 footer he immediately said don't take that rig to Prudhoe Bay you will never make it over the rough road and back. He then look at my rig, a 3/4 ton pulling our 34' slide, and said no problem your rig will make it. My wife and I decided not to go alone. Think, "Ice Road Truckers." When we got back I decided a trip to Airstream Factory Service was in order to check and repair known and unknown damage. The stove top, bathroom counter top, and mirrors on the wall behind rear slide, had pulled loose from the walls holding them. Service fixed and made their mounts stronger. Then I had them Sealtec (pressurize) the trailer for leaks. Only one rivet had sheared off on the rear of the slide frame. I almost forgot to mention the $1,000 damage to the left rear wheel well due to a blowout South of Denver at the beginning of the trip. I lost three more tires on the trip due to tread separation, but caught them by visual inspection or dropping tire pressure on the ProPressure Monitor. All new Carlisles, but the way. The all new replacement Maxxis tires lasted two and a half years. I now own all Michelin on the truck and trailer (12 tire counting spares). Discount was easy to deal with on the Carlisle's because I had all the en-route replacement receipts. They replaced 7 for $390. I was most impressed.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:29 PM   #26
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What can I say? I have traveled the Dalton Highway, and The Cassiar Highway, been on the "Top of the World" highway, all of these twice in Alaska. Been on most all the paved roads in Alaska and a lot of unpaved ones too. Been with folks who have lost receivers and wheels there. Have seen tow vehicle failures but none were because of undersized equipment. Worst stuff though was in Vermont, those hills and climbs are nasty. Both of my "1500's" have the "wrong" rear ends in them, are 4 speeds, but have factory transmission coolers with temp gauges and neither has ever showed excessive heat. Check that, once coming out of the east side of Yellowstone National Park I thought for sure the whole rig would give up the ghost but she made it. My transmission oil is cherry red and has always been so. One sidebar, when we first took our "brand new" CCD 28 to Alaska when we got home there was a registered letter awaiting us saying that no grease was put in our bearings. Opened up the bearings and sure enough no grease was in them. Bearings were fine, put some grease in them and all OK. Love Maxxis 8008 trailer tires, run thousands of miles on them, no tread separation, Carlisles are OK, Marathons are junk. I have Pressure Pros on to be sure. I have been on this forum years ago but recently rejoined again. Again, I know of no engine or transmission failures because of their being overloaded. I have a Reese top of the line equalizing hitch. I do not run 75 down the highway, I stay within the speed ratings of the tires which is 60. 75 mph is too dangerous to be hauling any trailer regardless of tow vehicle.
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:42 AM   #27
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Toyota makes good "stuff". They win all the awards. I had two and they were really good.

High speed v/s low speed rear ends. I like the high speed ones. When pulling your trailer the transmission finds the right gear and when not pulling your trailer you get better millage.

I am sure that a well taken care of Toyota is good for over 200,000 miles.
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:59 AM   #28
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We had 3.55 axle gears on our last Ram truck and I thought there would be less downshifting, hunting for gears, or skipping gears on downshift causing sudden rev of the engine, with lower gears. Also we had been on a couple of real steep hill descents where I think we could have had more effective engine compression braking with lower gears. So we got lower 3.92 gears on the new truck.

I don't think these ratio numbers cross directly from a Ram to a Durango because the Durango probably has smaller diameter tires, which has the effect of lower gear ratio.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:06 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Interesting, one of the fellows who tests vehicles for Consumer Reports tows his Airstream with his Durango.
I don't know exactly why Tom bought the Durango compared to every other SUV except that CR buys all the vehicles it tests and then offers them to the employees, probably at a discount. If I were him, I'd go for one of the Porsche 911's.

So far as ratings go, I was writing about the manufacturers' ratings, not individual vehicles.

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