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Old 07-23-2013, 09:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
How is the diesel going to like being in -30 temps all Winter?
According to dmax forums the dmax handles -20 pretty well... Even without block warmer.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:28 AM   #22
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Overwhelming responses!!

Really appreciate the comments everyone has given me in just one day. Just spent most of today traveling back from Homer, Alaska to our home near Anchorage. Overall, one of the toughest drives in the state. Crap roads, and really impatient drivers.
I agree with the comments about "runaway" feeling on downhills. Heck when my wife and I had our 30' Excella, I totally warped the stock Tundra brakes on the accent into Skagway, so I'm well aware of what it feels like to not have enough braking.
I actually had an 03' Chevy Duramax. Best motor to tranny feeling I've ever experienced. Couldn't keep injectors in that rig, so I wound up selling it for the Tundra I now have.
I can tell the Toyota does a reasonable job of pulling our 25 footer around. However, I'm just at the "crossroad" to where either I keep the Tundra or sell it for something that I know will be an overall better vehicle for what my wife and I need as a tow vehicle. Really wish the Tundra were a 3/4 ton or I wouldn't probably be looking at the new truck. Just doesn't have the suspension needed for 800 lb tongue weight along with the in-bed extras we carry with us.
Yes, the one rig I'm looking at has the exhaust brake. Think they are standard, but still not sure what's going on. Just know this latest rendition makes 400 hp and around 750 lb of torque.
I'd say at this point that I'm about 60/40 for being able to get the new rig. Have a budget I can afford and not sure if the dealership will go this low..
Pat
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:30 AM   #23
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2500 DMAX too much vehicle?

For nearly four seasons we towed our 25' Safari with our DMAX 2500. When I weighed the truck with full fuel and loaded for camping it weighed about 6400 lbs. The trailer's max. gross was 7300 lbs. The truck barely knew that trailer was back there. Towing in the mountains involved minimal downshifting.

When we had a "minor mechanical failure" and had to rent another tow vehicle we towed the Safari home with a 3/4 ton gasser. The tow was noteworthy for significantly more shifting. From your perspective in Alaska you wouldn't call the terrain anywhere in Virginia mountainous.

As an aside, we recently traded our fabulous Safari for a 30' Flying cloud. The truck now knows the trailer is back there - shifts are sooner and mileage is slightly diminished. I would say that now it knows the trailer is there but it just doesn't care.

As with everything else to do with tow vehicles and hitches there is often more passion than analysis in the discussion. After you have weighed all the things that are important to you the tie-breaker might be that the DMAX is bulletproof and the truck could pull a school cross-country.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:59 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
How many miles solo versus towing is the most important question.

I note that those who tow few miles (RV'ers) are overly concerned about hill ascent speed when the descent is all that matters. Going slowly up an ascent is meaningless so long as one does not overheat, etc. This very day thousands of 18-wheelers will climb at slow speeds . . only those truck companies engaged constantly in mountainous work will spec a truck to "perform" in that single parameter of performance. The rest value better spec for where the majority of their work is done and outfit the truck accordingly.

50 to 60 mph is not "reasonable" as I've just shown, it is emotional. Sort that out before you spend more initially on a vehicle and for every single mile afterwards. What does EDMUNDS show as to True Cost of Ownershp between new models of the two vehicles contemplated on a per mile basis? A difference of 30% . . or 70%?

One can spend a lot and get very little in return.

It has bcome no suprise to me that the opposite of this -- perceived as being "hard" (lash-up and tire pressure) -- is fairly well ignored. Or, that the best hitch and trailer disc brakes are "too expensive" even thought the expense is fractional compared to either TT or TV. Value received is far in excess of dollars paid in this.

Work the numbers on your current rig at the scale. At least know the difference for which you pay in every mile, towing or not.

.
Slowmover makes some excellent points. The bottom line is that the technical and emotional sides of the issue must BOTH be addressed. Where and how you drive should be primary considerations in what vehicle you select.

I can't offer any new info on the 2500, but I can suggest that if you are within safe limits, there are a myriad of available upgrades for the Tundras which might make keeping your current vehicle the best choice. Since you mention the upgraded brakes, you may wish to take the same approach with power, as a supercharger kit is available to bolt on, as this was the route my brother-in-law took with very satisfactory results.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:01 AM   #25
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I have an '11 Silverado 2500HD LTZ crew cab standard bed 4x4 Z71 with the Duramax/Allison.

I simply love this truck. I believe they are very under-rated spec wise. My only criticism of the truck is that the rear suspension is very stiff, so rough roads are just that - rough. With a heavy load in the back, she rides like a Cadillac. I use this truck to pull a 14,000 lbs fifth wheel I have for my work. For my TT adventures, I have a Suburban 1500 with the 5.3 liter. It is an absolute sorry vehicle for towing - suspension too soft and not enough torque for the hills we have in the Carolinas. Around town, the Suburban is great. So sorry to say, I'm looking to replace it. So I've been looking at 1/2 ton trucks to pull a 6500 lbs TT with an 850 lbs tongue weight.

If you look at the ratings on the new '14 Silverado 1500, while the payload is much less - but still around 1900lbs, the trailer pull weight (travel trailer, not fifth wheel) is not that much less than the 3/4 ton - so around 10,500 with the new 5.3 liter. The spec for the old 5.3 is 303 ft-lbs torque, but 383 for the new engine - big difference! They don't list specs yet for the new 6.2 liter - that is the one I'd go for. Dodge is coming out with a small diesel (6cyl) in their 1/2 ton, so that may be a compelling mid-price offering as well.

If you are going fifth wheel, then hands down you need at least a 3/4 ton truck. But for a bumper pull, these new 1/2 tons are pretty compelling. The problem with those of us that have had deisel trucks is that once you experience it, you are spoiled. Hills are just a non-issue. Better fuel economy. Exhaust brake. Incredible payload. The only downside is cost. It is $8500 more than a gas truck.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:53 AM   #26
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After crossing the CAT scales and making the discovery that my Mercedes lacked the axle and gvw ratings to legally tow our camping ready 25FB International, I made the decision to acquire a 3/4 diesel pickup and went with the 2012 Dodge since that model year did not require the urea additive like the Ford and Chevy/GMC trucks. I kept the 2007 Mercedes 4wd diesel with mid-twenties mpg in city driving as the daily vehicle.

I was fortunate enough to find a truck equipped as if I had ordered it with the options I wanted. It is not an economy queen, but definitely has the power and brakes to pull and stop any Airstream and the engine brake is just the thing for braking in the mountains without overheating the truck or trailer wheel brakes.

I have towed with gasoline engine cars and trucks and the insignificant drag when letting up on the throttle as compared to my diesel cars and trucks is reason enough for me to only tow 7,300 or 9,000 pounds trailer weight with a diesel powered vehicle.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:13 AM   #27
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1] There is no "legally tow" rule. Anywhere. Zip, zero. Tire and axle ratings are all that might ever be in question. And no one recommends exceeding those. Tongue weight distribution has some science to it, but the usual marketing department "weight" spreadsheet so beloved of Rv'ers wanting a truck is always trumped by having a vehicle not so prone to roll-over; less likely to of itself cause an accident, solo or towing. The likelihood of serious injury or death is squarely atop buying a pickup truck in comparison to other tow vehicle choices. There is more than one way to set TW properly, just respect axle/tire ratings.

2] Trailer brakes stop the trailer, truck brakes stop the truck. A too-heavy-for-the-job-needed tow vehicle just burns more fuel and needs more energy (brake swept area) just to stop itself.

Trailer disc brakes will stop the combined vehicle faster than the solo vehicle can stop by itself. TUSON (see DIRECLINK) has trailer anti-lock to add to electric -over-hydraulic disc brakes. That controller ought to be sourced over the current one.

For other than a fullltimer dedicated to carrying too much (me, for one) there are plenty of choices in a TV that can pull an A/S. Bigger is not better when it means one is restricted to a poor vehicle type for all miles. Risk minimization is already well-answered by this TT design. The TV should follow suit if possible (low COG, independent suspension, etc).

It still comes back to percentage of annual miles towing. The vacationer (versus the fulltimer) is best off getting what suits solo miles best.

Take the rig to a segmented weigh scale and get the numbers of the combined rig, and each, singly (including separate TW) on the same day with full fresh water, propane and a representative load in each as to most common use. Axle-by-axle.

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Old 07-24-2013, 08:31 AM   #28
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One cannot not make blanket statements about the correct tow vehicle for each individual.

We all have different priorities and expectations.


What is most important for one may have absolutely no value to the next guy.


Regards,

JD
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:57 AM   #29
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I currently have a 2008 Ford F150 and a 2008 GMC 2500 with Duramax diesel. Obviously my F150 is not a Tundra but this is my 2 cents. I have been driving them back to back/towing/not towing etc for the last six months. I like the F150, its a loaded Lariat with sunroof/Sat radio and every amenity, but it gets about 13-14MPG city and the best on highway (non towing) is 17MPG empty. As soon as it is towing it drops down to about 10 MPG and I don't like the handling/braking.

The 2500 gets about 15 city and 19-21 highway depending on how I drive. Towing it gets about 18. My trailer weighs about #4400.

I love the 2500 and am going to sell the F150 soon. The only complaint about the diesel is it can be a rough ride on bad roads when it is empty. I have remedied this somewhat by putting some sandbags over rear axle.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:01 AM   #30
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If all we did was tow our Airstream every time we fired up the truck, a heavy duty diesel truck would be great. If we towed all over Alaska a lot, it would be great. But 90% of the time it's just us and nothing in tow, even on our annual six month winter vacation.

For much less money to buy and maintain, we use a nice, comfortable 1/2 ton set up to adequately tow our Airstream. We know the trailer is behind us when we tow in most places, but just barely.

Everyone's need is different.

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Old 07-24-2013, 10:04 AM   #31
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That road into Skagway is a challenge. We towed our 25' there and my wife drove down the grade into town in 2nd gear. The rotors did not warp. No problem coming back up. Our rotors eventually warped, but that was after 70,000 miles (about 40,000 of them towing). We also went to Haines on that trip and had no trouble there either.

Downshifting should prevent warp for a long time, but a panic stop can warp them on any vehicle and eventually they will have to be replaced because towing does stress brakes. A brake job is a lot cheaper than buying a new truck.

You appear committed to buying a new truck however.

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Old 07-24-2013, 10:37 AM   #32
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I put these brakes on my Navigator. Huge improvement in stopping power.

http://www.buybrakes.com/p-896-power...brake-kit.aspx
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:41 AM   #33
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Reducing the rear tire pressure on any pickup truck to the recommended empty load pressure (for my 2500HD Dodge that is 45psi versus the 70psi when loaded) makes for a more bearable ride when empty.
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:27 AM   #34
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Still reading these comments..

First off, sorry about the brain-fart. Yes, I should have written "descent" not ascent into Skagway. Fairly similar to the pass in Canada we accidentally diverted to near Cache Creek last July. Many miles ago, I installed a set of EBC slotted rotors with the Hawk brand pads. Totally improved braking, but still 1/2 ton braking abilities, not the larger, heavier duty units the 3/4 tons come with. For me (and I was warned about this on the Tundra Talks forum) with our now International fully loaded, along with generator, 2 people, fuel, etc, the GVW of the Tundra is extremely close to being exceeded (if it already isn't). I know the tongue weight on this new FB model is around 100 lbs more than our front kitchen 30 Excella we had.
For now, I'm also "undecided." The Tundra will pull the trailer well. However, I'm not the type to "scream" the motor up to 4 grand to keep up with traffic that's already exceeding the speed limit, and find myself being more exhausted each trip we make with this combo. The Toyota needs more chassis, along with another 150 lb.ft of torque; enough said.
In closing, it is very hard to commit to a vehicle I'll be using as daily transportation between Nov. and April, which might be too much just to have a better tow unit for our Airstream. However, I think my wife and I stepped into that arena last July when we pulled out of Airstream Adv. with this new (albeit heavier) Airstream. Just think everything else is mute. Still looking, still thinking...
Pat
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:53 PM   #35
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I had a 2010 F150 And It just was not enough truck for me.I have a 2012 F350 6.7 turbo diesel 4x4 crewcab longbox single rear wheel.I drive it everyday and for those of you that think a one ton or 3/4 ton drives like a dump truck you are in for a surprise.The one ton and 3/4 ride on a progressive leaf spring rear and coil front and they ride nice.Some people on this site just rant and rave about how a HD truck is over kill .......they have no clue what they are talking about
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:38 PM   #36
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Can't let such a blanket statement go without a response in fear of some folks becoming misinformed...

Disc brakes on the trailer do not stop faster than drums on the trailer.
Diesel braking going downhill save both TV brakes and trailers brakes while minimizing the potential of drums overheating thus fading before discs (advantage disc have over brakes).
As applied to Airstreams - electric over Hydraylic often have a "lag" or pause as compared to electric over electric.

From someone who has experience with the above configurations and settings....
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:44 PM   #37
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We have a 2012 Silverado 2500/Duramax/Allison combination to tow our '97 25 foot Safari. Repeat of those who talk about going over passes without having to shift, the engine brake being fantastic, sway control built in, etc. etc.. Used to tow the same trailer with a 2003 Silverado 1500 with gas engine. Not a fair comparison and I would never go back. I will also repeat the better too much than not enough statement. Just got back from Yellowstone and it towed like it wasn't even hooked up to a trailer.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:45 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
I had a 2010 F150 And It just was not enough truck for me.I have a 2012 F350 6.7 turbo diesel 4x4 crewcab longbox single rear wheel.I drive it everyday and for those of you that think a one ton or 3/4 ton drives like a dump truck you are in for a surprise.The one ton and 3/4 ride on a progressive leaf spring rear and coil front and they ride nice.Some people on this site just rant and rave about how a HD truck is over kill .......they have no clue what they are talking about
Bullseye on that. I have a 2005 F350 that rides great and the diesel/tranny combo with tow haul can't be beat.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:51 PM   #39
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BTW - my new 2013 Ram 2500HD rides at least as well, if not better than my 2013 F-150 EcoBoost and better (both not towing and when towing) than my 2011 F-350.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:00 PM   #40
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Can't let such a blanket statement go without a response in fear of some folks becoming misinformed...
~~
As long as we're dispelling rumors and disinformation, I'll point out that the 13.9" rotors on a Tundra are very nearly as big as the 13.98" rotors on a current Chevy/GMC HD pickup. The extra 1000 lb of curb weight on the GM will probably use up what extra braking capacity is there. Their dry-conditions braking is within 5 feet of each other unloaded.
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