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Old 06-04-2020, 07:34 AM   #1
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2020 30’ Globetrotter
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New TV for Globetrotter 30RB

Ok, so we've decided to go for a new GT30RB.

Based on feedback received here (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...0i-208808.html), we've accepted that while we love our BMW X5, it won't be up to the task of towing a 30' AS trailer rated at 8800lbs.

Which now means that in addition to the AS, we need to get a new TV. I've read through discussions on 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton, gas vs. diesel, etc., but I'm still somewhat confused.

We want comfort. We know that a truck isn't going to match up to our X5 on ride quality or interior fit and finish, but we'd like to get as close as we can, thinking about all those miles on the road. Of course, we want safety and confidence towing as well.

Our last experience towing an AS was a few years ago when we rented an IS 28RB and Tahoe XL in the Southwest. The Tahoe was a bit anemic, especially as we climbed to 7300ft on our way to the North Rim. Keeping speeds under 55MPH was the only surefire way to feel confident. Faster and things got squirrely.

Looking mainly at GMC Sierra 1500 SLT with Max Tow, RAM 1500 with Max Tow. Not really a fan of the F-150. I'm sure it's a great truck, just not our style. Definitely need a crew cab. I was also considering the GMC 2500 SLT, Dodge 2500 or maybe the F-250, but am concerned the ride quality will be considerable stiffer than the 1/2 ton options.

And lastly, I don't want to spend $80k on a TV. It's incredible to me that some of these trucks cost more than a loaded X5 once you start ticking the options.

Before I start test driving and looking for deals, I'd like to get specific recommendations from the AS community, preferably from those towing 27, 28 and 30 ft AS models.
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:39 AM   #2
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You might want to consider the Nissan Titan XD. I have a 2016 model and it has been flawless (never been back to the dealer) for 60,000 miles. While I have the no longer available diesel version, the gas version is rated to pull ~ 12,000# and carry over 2,000#. Mine is extremely comfortable and has all the modern gadgets.

My original Airstream was a 1986 31’ Sovereign running about 8,000#. I towed it with a 2004 Nissan Titan with essentially the same 5.6 liter Endurance engine. When I traded it in on my 2016, it had 216,000 miles on it and everything worked except the CD player. In all that time the only mildly expensive repair was new exhaust manifolds that set me back about a grand.

The one thing it will not do is pass a gas station, especially if you have a heavy foot. Over 80,000 miles of towing, I averaged a little over 11 mpg. The current version does have better fuel injection but it is also heavier so I suspect not much improvement.

The 2020 Models come with a 5 year/100,000 mile nose to tail warranty and, just judging anecdotally from the TitanXD Forum, you can get a very sweet deal on them as Nissan is desperate for market share.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:17 AM   #3
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For the 30' AS I think the GVW is just under 9k. While you can tow that with a half ton pickup you might want to consider a 3/4 ton. Wear and tear will eat up that half ton pretty quick and stability with the 3/4 ton is far superior. For our 30' AS we purchased a 2020 Ram 2500 MegaCab. Went with the 6.4 Hemi w/8 speed and 4.10 axle. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:37 AM   #4
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Let your numbers lead you

Run the numbers for your situation.

When I weighed my 30' Flying Cloud on our last trip out, my tongue weight was 1180lbs (including ProPride hitch).

According to the CAT scales, when fully loaded with gear/people and trailer is attached, my truck weighs 1960lbs more than the "curb weight". In simple terms, my measured payload is nearly 2000 lbs. On this trip, we didn't have bikes & kayaks on the truck, so sometimes my payload is even more.

While there are some "half ton" options that might work for our situation, it has been easier to spec the HD truck (with 3839lbs payload capacity) so we don't run out of bandwidth. My 9-year old twins are only going to get heavier (and bring more loot along) as they get older!
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:27 AM   #5
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Hmm. I hadn't even considered a Nissan truck - just the popular American models. I'll take a look. Thanks!

Looks like we're virtually neighbors. What's been your experience getting out of South Florida to go anywhere? Slightly off topic, just curious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
You might want to consider the Nissan Titan XD. I have a 2016 model and it has been flawless (never been back to the dealer) for 60,000 miles. While I have the no longer available diesel version, the gas version is rated to pull ~ 12,000# and carry over 2,000#. Mine is extremely comfortable and has all the modern gadgets.

My original Airstream was a 1986 31’ Sovereign running about 8,000#. I towed it with a 2004 Nissan Titan with essentially the same 5.6 liter Endurance engine. When I traded it in on my 2016, it had 216,000 miles on it and everything worked except the CD player. In all that time the only mildly expensive repair was new exhaust manifolds that set me back about a grand.

The one thing it will not do is pass a gas station, especially if you have a heavy foot. Over 80,000 miles of towing, I averaged a little over 11 mpg. The current version does have better fuel injection but it is also heavier so I suspect not much improvement.

The 2020 Models come with a 5 year/100,000 mile nose to tail warranty and, just judging anecdotally from the TitanXD Forum, you can get a very sweet deal on them as Nissan is desperate for market share.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnandDonna View Post
For the 30' AS I think the GVW is just under 9k. While you can tow that with a half ton pickup you might want to consider a 3/4 ton. Wear and tear will eat up that half ton pretty quick and stability with the 3/4 ton is far superior. For our 30' AS we purchased a 2020 Ram 2500 MegaCab. Went with the 6.4 Hemi w/8 speed and 4.10 axle. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Certainly not ruling out a 3/4 ton. I've heard great things about the RAM 2500.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:30 AM   #7
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Good points. With the Max Towing packages, the 1/2 ton trucks do get a decent bump in payload and tow weight. Wondering if that's enough to make up the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
Run the numbers for your situation.

When I weighed my 30' Flying Cloud on our last trip out, my tongue weight was 1180lbs (including ProPride hitch).

According to the CAT scales, when fully loaded with gear/people and trailer is attached, my truck weighs 1960lbs more than the "curb weight". In simple terms, my measured payload is nearly 2000 lbs. On this trip, we didn't have bikes & kayaks on the truck, so sometimes my payload is even more.

While there are some "half ton" options that might work for our situation, it has been easier to spec the HD truck (with 3839lbs payload capacity) so we don't run out of bandwidth. My 9-year old twins are only going to get heavier (and bring more loot along) as they get older!
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:39 AM   #8
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I've towed my 30' RBQ with both 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton platforms. trailer is 8,500lbs wet with 990lbs on the tongue.

For me, the 3/4 wins hands down in terms of comfort when towing. 1/2 ton is more comfortable when not towing...
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
For me, the 3/4 wins hands down in terms of comfort when towing. 1/2 ton is more comfortable when not towing...
True story.

For us, the 3500HD looks like it belongs, because....Texas.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:03 PM   #10
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What you have to be careful with is if you are going to 3/4 ton to stick with gas as the diesels eat up a lot of the extra payload of the 3/4.
I know if you spec out the Chev max tow 6.2L 1/2 ton and stay away from the sunroof, the payload will be around 2000lbs.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:35 PM   #11
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I would rule out the Nissan, with your airstream you would want the diesel and it’s being discontinued. It’s the least popular truck period.

I would not go smaller than 3/4 you’ll be much happier in the long term. I would pay the most attention to payload.... that’s the key number. If you get a loaded truck ie a Denali, the options eat up payload. Any of the big 3 are fine and they make competitive trucks to each other. Look at TFL Trucks on YouTube lots of good info there. None of them will ride like your BMW but if you want all the luxuries you’ll approach 80K retail. It sucks. We ended up with an F350 Platinum due to availability and the deal. As the wife says more comfy on long trips than our GMC 1500 Sierra AT4 was. Almost as nice as our Audi SQ5 but not quiet there. Happy to talk off line feel free to PM.
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfphoto View Post
Hmm. I hadn't even considered a Nissan truck - just the popular American models. I'll take a look. Thanks!



Looks like we're virtually neighbors. What's been your experience getting out of South Florida to go anywhere? Slightly off topic, just curious.


We always try to escape on a weekend. On the few occasions we have tried a weekday, it was always 2 hours just to get out of Miami-Dade. The turnpike is really pricey with a trailer so we have gone up US 27, passed Lake Okeechobee on the east side and picked up the Turnpike that way.

Going to the Keys is always a challenge — private RV parks are expensive and it is a real challenge to get reservations at any of the three remaining State Park campgrounds.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hope Sound is often available and is a nice weekend. Long Point County Park, just north of Sebastian Inlet, is great, much easier than the state park to get into and especially useful if you are a fisherman. It’s a pretty good drag up there so a long weekend is better.
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:24 PM   #13
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JonDNC is pretty dismissive of the Nissan basically because it isn’t “popular”. True, you don’t see that many and Nissan has never figured out how to market the truck effectively. In all honesty, I am a big fan of the brand, going back to my Datsun 510 in 1975 so my bias is clear. But zero, nada, no issues in 3.5 years and 60,000 miles is fairly ordinary for the brand.

Like I said before, I have the diesel and it tows effortlessly as well as carrying everything I need. Zero maintenance issues. But, I spend $80 for fuel filters every 10k miles, I have to buy DEF about every 3000 miles (~$10), oil change is 2 1/2 gallons of oil (~$85 w/filter). And, I get to enjoy life at the diesel lane, with its perennial puddle of diesel fuel for my shoes. So, in hindsight, if I had to do it over again, I’d buy the same exact truck with the gas power plant.

Best part (granted this was Fall 2016), I drove my truck (mid-level SV trim) off the lot, with a Cummins diesel, for $42k incl tax/tag.
Try doing that with any of the Big Three.
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Old 06-04-2020, 07:09 PM   #14
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Yes I was dismissive due to resale and long term support. You hit it Nissan has not succeeded with any of their trucks so if ride and trim level meet your needs and you’ll run it till it dies then could be a good deal, but coming from a BMW I’ll bet Nissan doesn’t stand up to any of the big three let alone a European luxury car, when it comes to cabin fit finish and luxury features.
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Old 06-04-2020, 07:37 PM   #15
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I think you would be surprised. But, ultimately, it will be up to our OP to test drive, negotiate, compare features...

My second choice would be a Silverado 2500, all pimped out, with a big, honking V8.
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Old 06-05-2020, 08:12 AM   #16
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Interesting comments - LOL - Yet another TV thread . . .

I have seen the Nissan XD Diesel (platinum) up close - Seems like a nice truck, but they are being discontinued (likely due to demand & maybe the diesel is not up to anticipated emission requirements?).

I shopped hard looking for a left-over Ram HD last fall. Wound up with a 3500 dually MegaCab. A bit overkill (for my 25' FC), but I had to get something better than my Jeep Cherokee. Crazy cargo capacity. It tows like a dream.

If you are looking at RAM, look for a used 2018 2500. That should do the job nicely. If I were you, I'd look for a 2500 with the taller axle ratio (3.51?) vs the 3.73. Reason, the diesel has plenty of power and does not need to the 3.73 rear end to get the job done. I have a friend who regularly tows a 8500-90000# camper without issue.

Good Hunting.
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Old 06-05-2020, 06:05 PM   #17
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So, before making a final decision on the truck, I'd like to test drive the options to see how they drive. I'm leaning towards the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT 6.2L V8 with Max Tow 4WD Crew Cab with Standard Bed. The tow specs are as follows:

Max trailer weight: 12,000#
Max GVWR: 7,300#
Max GCWR: 17,800#
Max Payload: 1,950#

Seems to be up to the task of towing the 30' AS at 8800# Max TW.

I'm also curious to test drive the Sierra 2500HD with 6.6L V8 and see how much we'd give up in everyday ride comfort when not towing. The tow ratings for that model:

Max trailer weight: 14,500#
Max GVWR: 10,000#
Max GCWR: 24,000#
Max Payload: 3,139#

Being in the Fort Lauderdale area, I'm finding it difficult to locate exactly the truck I'm looking for. Went on GMC vehicle locator and the closest Sierra SLT 6.2L V8 Gas 4WD with Max Tow is 1000 miles away. Same for Seirra 2500 SLT with 6.6L Gas. Everything is either a stripped-down work truck with cloth seats and no options, a Denali with everything but no tow package, or diesel, or a short bed, or RWD. We would really prefer the large gas engine to diesel. Wondering if a dealer down here would be able to get us one of the vehicles from up north. I'm assuming yes if we wanted to purchase it, but how can we accurately get a feel for the way the Max Tow equipped truck will drive with the beefier springs and suspension?

We also haven't ruled out the RAM 1500 or 2500, but want to focus on the GMC option right now. We've driven numerous Yukons and Tahoes as rental vehicles, so the platform is familiar. Our only experience with Dodge was the Journey which I will never drive again. Given the overwhelming praise on the RAM trucks, I'll just assume they don't share much in common.
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Old 06-05-2020, 06:33 PM   #18
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GMC 1500 vs 2500 are two completely different vehicles. Recommend you spend time with / test drive both.
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Old 06-05-2020, 06:42 PM   #19
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New TV for Globetrotter 30RB

Also max payload does not equal vehicle payload, it’s very option dependent. Just max sure you check the door sticker.
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Old 06-05-2020, 08:45 PM   #20
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I own a 2019 Chevy Silverado High Country 4x4 with Tow Package installed. It has the 6.2 L V8. I tow a 2020 25RB. The truck is only used for towing too.

I just returned from a month long trip where we went from Texas through Colorado, Utah and Arizonia. Driver up medium to steep hills it tacs at 4K RPMs to maintain a speed of 65 MPH. On lesser hills it will tack 3K RPM.

My gas milage on our total trip was 10.8 MPG and I only use premium gas.

Time will tell if this is going to work out over the next year. If I could have a do over I would strongly consider going with a diesal.
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