Tow Vehicle Suggestions - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-10-2011, 05:28 PM   #43
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Name: John
Trailer: 2006 Bigfoot 25RQ
Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjquigs

I suspect heavier tongue weights in the U.S. reflect the reality that we drive much longer distances at much higher speeds, and heavier tongue weights can help reduce sway, especially at high speed. Plus we like to tow heavy stuff with vehicles that maybe aren't so great at it (remember all the SUV rollovers a decade or so ago, when taller was better?)
Since Europeans generally tow with much smaller vehicles and they're generally not going as far, they're probably going a lot slower so sway isn't as much of a problem. Plus, heavier tongue weight serves to "idiot proof" the trailer somewhat, since it would be easy to offset 100 lbs. of tongue weight by loading behind the axle.
Regarding tow vehicles: I waited for a few years while Ford postponed the diesel F150 because I too wanted a reasonably priced diesel, and finally ended up with a diesel Touareg which I never could have afforded had I not found one that nobody wanted and the dealer just couldn't get rid of.
I think the ultimate tow vehicle might be a diesel-electric hybrid truck with diesel driving the front wheels and electric driving the rear. You'd get true AWD instead of near-useless 4WD and pretty good fuel economy, even while towing. We *love* our Fusion Hybrid but it's rated to tow exactly 0 pounds.
Bill
I agree. I think even a diesel 150 would not be enough truck since we need a considerable payload. I looked up the v10 diesel Touareg last night but it's payload/towing isn't enough. We talked about the diesel Excursions they made several years ago but we prefer a truck to a giant SUV. Our ideal vehicle would be a diesel 4x4 1 ton van. At this point we aren't willing to drop the cash for the conversion. You'd think a diesel-electric would have come to market by now but I guess there isn't enough demand or the profit margin wouldn't make them rich enough.

-John
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:38 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by John Fazio View Post
I agree. I think even a diesel 150 would not be enough truck since we need a considerable payload. I looked up the v10 diesel Touareg last night but it's payload/towing isn't enough. We talked about the diesel Excursions they made several years ago but we prefer a truck to a giant SUV. Our ideal vehicle would be a diesel 4x4 1 ton van. At this point we aren't willing to drop the cash for the conversion. You'd think a diesel-electric would have come to market by now but I guess there isn't enough demand or the profit margin wouldn't make them rich enough.

-John
Complexity can cost a lot more than fuel. Just what sort of fuel savings would you expect with a Diesel/Electric vis-a-vis a straight Diesel truck?
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:16 PM   #45
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Complexity can cost a lot more than fuel. Just what sort of fuel savings would you expect with a Diesel/Electric vis-a-vis a straight Diesel truck?
I'm not thinking fuel savings but more so as a great combination of torque. Diesel-electric hybrids have been around a long time but are only recently entering the consumer market. I think there are efficiency gains by pairing the two, which is why gasoline-electric hybrids exist already. I would expect a mpg gain but in a 1 ton truck it probably wouldn't be drastic. Any gain would produce a reduction in fuel consumption, something I personally embrace.

-John
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:41 PM   #46
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I'm not thinking fuel savings but more so as a great combination of torque. Diesel-electric hybrids have been around a long time but are only recently entering the consumer market. I think there are efficiency gains by pairing the two, which is why gasoline-electric hybrids exist already. I would expect a mpg gain but in a 1 ton truck it probably wouldn't be drastic. Any gain would produce a reduction in fuel consumption, something I personally embrace.

-John
Fairbanks-Morse makes a great Diesel/Electric set-up. it can move a ton of freight 400 miles on a single gallon of diesel fuel when fully loaded and at speed.

////////////////////
I kinda liked that hydraulic boost system that Ford was experimenting with a couple of years ago, easy on brakes and great on accelleration. I suppose I would use it too much to save any fuel.

As for the gasoline hybrids, $15,000 is a lot of extra money to gain 2MPG, not to mention the complexity penalty and environmental impact toward the end of it's service life.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:50 AM   #47
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There are plenty of great small diesels available everywhere in the "free" world but here. The Toyota Tacoma is available with a diesel engine and sold as the Hilux,....but not here. That would be a great tow truck for small to midsize trailers.

The hybrids have limitations, well,... except for the one Floyd mentioned . They rely heavily on being very light and aerodynamic. A friend has a Prius that he likes very much. He added a Yakima rack to the top and it affected his mileage so much he had to take it off. I forget what he said, but it was something ridiculous like 10 MPG less.


David
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:54 AM   #48
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Also the battery on those Hybrids is like $8,000.00 to replace.
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:08 PM   #49
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John, I work for a company that teaches truck spec'ing (light, medium & heavy-duty courses for fleet buyers, factory & dealer personnel -- tmitraining.com) I'm not an instructor, but I know some questions to ask and may be able to help.

As far as Gas vs Diesel: How many miles per year do you estimate you will travel in a year (1/3 towing, the rest exploring & modest off road excursions)?

Do you expect any extreme altitudes, or cold climates?

From what I read here: The trailer will be about 7000lbs loaded with a tongue weight of perhaps 800 lbs. Truck cargo weight of about 1000lbs plus two people and a couple of small dogs. You will occasionally be sleeping in the vehicle itself. You would prefer a pick-up or van over a large SUV.

Is this about right?

Mark
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:16 PM   #50
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Trailer: 2006 Bigfoot 25RQ
Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Godfrey
John, I work for a company that teaches truck spec'ing (light, medium & heavy-duty courses for fleet buyers, factory & dealer personnel -- tmitraining.com) I'm not an instructor, but I know some questions to ask and may be able to help.

As far as Gas vs Diesel: How many miles per year do you estimate you will travel in a year (1/3 towing, the rest exploring & modest off road excursions)?

Do you expect any extreme altitudes, or cold climates?

From what I read here: The trailer will be about 7000lbs loaded with a tongue weight of perhaps 800 lbs. Truck cargo weight of about 1000lbs plus two people and a couple of small dogs. You will occasionally be sleeping in the vehicle itself. You would prefer a pick-up or van over a large SUV.

Is this about right?

Mark
- - -
Thanks! The camper will be 7000 dry but close to 7500 wet, only when necessary and as short a distance as possible. That's a good estimate on tongue. We have one 60 pound dog and one that is 11 pounds. We do plan on traveling North America but hope to hit the cold climate areas during the summer months and will be in the mountains as often as we can. Our estimated annual mileage is 16-20k. Modest off-road is a great description. If we get a truck it will have a topper (weight already included in the 1000) for storage and our makeshift sleeping quarters. Either will have a rack (also included in the 1000) to move gear to when needed. We plan on keeping our bikes, kayaks etc... In the bed/van normally to keep them out of the elements and to have when spontaneity strikes. Ideally we'd like to get ten years out of whatever we purchase.

-John
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:08 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by John Fazio View Post
We have recently acquired a 2006 Bigfoot 25RQ for fulltiming and are searching for a tow vehicle. We are estimating our camper weight at it's maximum of 7500lbs and we'll have about 1000lbs of gear/racks etc... in/on the tow vehicle. This has us in a 3/4 or 1 ton vehicle. Our goal is to have one automobile.

We have looked at a GMC 2500 Extended cab 4x4 6.0L gas. I was leaning hard towards diesel but it seems the "improvements" to meet the 2007 emissions standards has created quite a few problems and additional costs of operation (for all 3 manufacturers). We also like the 2500/3500 Vans but they are not available in 4x4.

I know there are pros and cons to 4x4, Diesel, 3/4 or 1 ton etc... Since we will be fulltiming and exploring North America what vehicle would you recommend, what configuration and why?

All opinions welcome.

-John
John,

I have a 21RB Bigfoot being tow by F350, 7.3l, 4WD. It seems as it is a lot of truck for the “small” trailer but I do feel there is a trailer behind me.

The best mileage ever I got was with the Bigfoot 9.5’ camper going about 50 mph on flat windy road, it was 22.5 mpg. Towing the trailer is a different story, on steep long hills I am getting about 11-13 mpg and on flat 14-17 mpg. I just calculated that from the last 28 fill-ups I got 14.21 mpg at about 90% towing, primarily hills. I am glad to have this size vehicle for towing even though it could be considered overkill. I would definitely recommend something as heavy for your 25’-er.

I had a few problems with the truck but they were minor. Under warranty the turbo and brake rotors had to be replaced. After warranty a sensor, I think it was a cam sensor, had to be replaced.

If you planning to get used Ford 7.3l diesel make sure that coolant was maintained with anti-cavitation chemicals. All 7.3l had cavitation based cylinder erosion problem which is under control as long as coolant is maintained properly. Only special coolant can be used. I don’t know if newer ford diesels have similar problems.

Recently I priced new Ford, the price was a shock. I will keep mine for long time; it is 1999 with 43k miles on it.

Good luck,
George.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:58 AM   #52
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John,

I have a 21RB Bigfoot being tow by F350, 7.3l, 4WD. It seems as it is a lot of truck for the “small” trailer but I do feel there is a trailer behind me.

The best mileage ever I got was with the Bigfoot 9.5’ camper going about 50 mph on flat windy road, it was 22.5 mpg. Towing the trailer is a different story, on steep long hills I am getting about 11-13 mpg and on flat 14-17 mpg. I just calculated that from the last 28 fill-ups I got 14.21 mpg at about 90% towing, primarily hills. I am glad to have this size vehicle for towing even though it could be considered overkill. I would definitely recommend something as heavy for your 25’-er.

I had a few problems with the truck but they were minor. Under warranty the turbo and brake rotors had to be replaced. After warranty a sensor, I think it was a cam sensor, had to be replaced.

If you planning to get used Ford 7.3l diesel make sure that coolant was maintained with anti-cavitation chemicals. All 7.3l had cavitation based cylinder erosion problem which is under control as long as coolant is maintained properly. Only special coolant can be used. I don’t know if newer ford diesels have similar problems.

Recently I priced new Ford, the price was a shock. I will keep mine for long time; it is 1999 with 43k miles on it.

Good luck,
George.
This is great real life info. I didn't know that about the 7.3 so I'll add that to my checklist. Your mileage numbers fall exactly where my estimates are. I figured 11 towing and 15-16 exploring. Do you use the truck bed for storage? Do you have an approximate weight on your camper?

-John
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:51 AM   #53
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All of the Diesels take special coolant, and cavitation occurs because there is a liner between the block and the piston. Diesels also use different oil and more of it. But the Diesel engine usually lasts longer than the gas engine.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:58 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by John Fazio View Post
...............Do you use the truck bed for storage?
-John
Yes, I use truck bed for storage which is covered with Leer fiberglass canopy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Fazio View Post
.................Do you have an approximate weight on your camper?
-John
The dry weight of my camper was 2,400lb (25C9.6 no basement); it was heavy enough that I installed air springs. No AC. My trailer is about 4,800-5,300 lb.

George.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:27 PM   #55
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John, the GMC 2500 Ext Cab 4x4 with gas 6.0 with 3.10 axle ratio may be a good choice. (GCWR of 20,500 lbs, giving a reserve of about 5000 lbs on the expected GCW.)

If you want perhaps we can look closer at the engine power curve, gearing, and power losses of altitude, grade, etc -- with the torque curve of this engine, the six speed transmission, and towing package it may be a good match with good reserve power.

Obviously with the 6.6 diesel you would have more than ample power, and given your expected miles driven & resale value, you could expect to recoup the initial cost of the diesel option.

Mark
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:16 AM   #56
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Trailer: 2006 Bigfoot 25RQ
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Yes, I use truck bed for storage which is covered with Leer fiberglass canopy.



The dry weight of my camper was 2,400lb (25C9.6 no basement); it was heavy enough that I installed air springs. No AC. My trailer is about 4,800-5,300 lb.

George.

Thanks. This helps me with my projections.

-John
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