Tow Vehicle Suggestions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-04-2011, 03:55 PM   #1
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Name: John
Trailer: 2006 Bigfoot 25RQ
Florida
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Tow Vehicle Suggestions

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
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Reliability

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?

We have had only one vehicle for the last 11 years.

Though I know nothing about trucks, we've towed 7-11 months a year for 10 years and in tow vehicles we have two primary requirements, reliability and operating costs. I would put reliability first.

For us, though different from your situation because we can get by with a smaller tow vehicle, we want the vehicle to be capable of comfort when not towing. Half of the miles we drive on our travel adventures are exploring miles (not towing).

I like having four wheel drive because we are often on unpaved roads in remote areas. Though ours isn't as significant a 4 wheel system as the one you're considering it has rescued us a couple of times over the years.
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
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?

We have had only one vehicle for the last 11 years.

Though I know nothing about trucks, we've towed 7-11 months a year for 10 years and in tow vehicles we have two primary requirements, reliability and operating costs. I would put reliability first.

For us, though different from your situation because we can get by with a smaller tow vehicle, we want the vehicle to be capable of comfort when not towing. Half of the miles we drive on our travel adventures are exploring miles (not towing).

I like having four wheel drive because we are often on unpaved roads in remote areas. Though ours isn't as significant a 4 wheel system as the one you're considering it has rescued us a couple of times over the years.
Two wheel drive trucks generally are more economical, cost less to buy, weigh less and have a greater tow capacity. You may need 4WD for something, but not for towing. Limited slip would be a good choice however.
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
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?

We have had only one vehicle for the last 11 years.

Though I know nothing about trucks, we've towed 7-11 months a year for 10 years and in tow vehicles we have two primary requirements, reliability and operating costs. I would put reliability first.

For us, though different from your situation because we can get by with a smaller tow vehicle, we want the vehicle to be capable of comfort when not towing. Half of the miles we drive on our travel adventures are exploring miles (not towing).

I like having four wheel drive because we are often on unpaved roads in remote areas. Though ours isn't as significant a 4 wheel system as the one you're considering it has rescued us a couple of times over the years.

Great points. We actually hope to spend 1/3 of our miles towing and the rest exploring or getting to river put ins/take outs which is another reason we are strongly considering a 4x4. Our go to vehicle for our adventures right now is our Subaru Outback. We've owned 4x4s in the past but don't plan on extreme off road driving/rock crawling. We do like the idea of off the beaten path, maybe fording a small stream, camping. We love the mountains immensely so we'll probably spend a great deal of our time around them.

An option is to get a 3/4 ton van and add a quigley 4x4 system. That bill really stings since the upfit will be over 12k! No matter what vehicle we get it will also double as a makeshift bedroom from time to time so the Van makes that a wee bit more palatable.


-John
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:02 PM   #5
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Two wheel drive trucks generally are more economical, cost less to buy, weigh less and have a greater tow capacity. You may need 4WD for something, but not for towing. Limited slip would be a good choice however.
Yeah, we have Limited Slip on the 2wd options list. We're probably over thinking it since we are trying to get a vehicle that will handle every situation possible. Barring scoring a military prototype of a post apocalyptic survival vehicle...

-John
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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John, If you do go with a Diesel you will ultimately need 4x4 to keep from getting stuck all the time, the Deisel engine weighs the front axle down so much that it sinks in any less than perfect situation. I had a 2005 Chevy 2500 HD with the 6. something gas engine and it was getting less than 10 mpg so I traded it for an '04 3500 with the Duramax and everything was better.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:59 PM   #7
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John, If you do go with a Diesel you will ultimately need 4x4 to keep from getting stuck all the time, the Deisel engine weighs the front axle down so much that it sinks in any less than perfect situation. I had a 2005 Chevy 2500 HD with the 6. something gas engine and it was getting less than 10 mpg so I traded it for an '04 3500 with the Duramax and everything was better.
Have you had any problems with the Duramax? I like the Cummins 5.9 too. We are considering getting an 06/07 Diesel. With the Dodge it will have to be a 3500 as their 2500 doesn't have the payload capacity we need.

Also, what MPGs are you averaging?

-John
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by John Fazio View Post
Have you had any problems with the Duramax? I like the Cummins 5.9 too. We are considering getting an 06/07 Diesel. With the Dodge it will have to be a 3500 as their 2500 doesn't have the payload capacity we need.

Also, what MPGs are you averaging?

-John
Unfortunately I Traded the Duramax in '07 for a Dodge with the new 6.7 litre Cummins, what a mistake. I don't remember the mpg on the Duramax but I never had any trouble out of it. The Dodge made a trip to Texas pulling my big fifth wheel and when I got back to Indiana it spent over a month in the shop because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:04 PM   #9
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Toyota Tundra can be configured for 9700 lb tow, 1640 lb. payload... if that helps.

Greg, what did they ever find was the problem with your Dodge?
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:24 AM   #10
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Unfortunately I Traded the Duramax in '07 for a Dodge with the new 6.7 litre Cummins, what a mistake. I don't remember the mpg on the Duramax but I never had any trouble out of it. The Dodge made a trip to Texas pulling my big fifth wheel and when I got back to Indiana it spent over a month in the shop because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.
The 2007 emissions standards created quite a few problems for the diesels which is another reason we are shopping 06/07 diesels. I figure a Dodge 3500 with the 5.9 or a Chevy/GMC 2500 LBZ.

-John
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:30 AM   #11
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Toyota Tundra can be configured for 9700 lb tow, 1640 lb. payload... if that helps.

Greg, what did they ever find was the problem with your Dodge?
I just don't think a 1/2 ton will do it. 10% tongue and 1000lbs of stuff exceeds the payload. Even if I squeaked in under the payload having the truck so close to max all of the time would wear it out. We would love to be in a 1/2 ton but I just can't get it to work.

-John
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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Some of the tow ratings are pure fantasy. My Tacoma is rated for 6,000lbs. You won't catch me towing/hauling more than 3500. Most of the tow ratings I assume are determined on flat ground, no wind, no altitude. I wouldn't buy a tow vehicle with a rating at least 25% over my true load. The more the better IMO. There is more to it than just HP. Gears, bearings, and other parts are sized to a certain load. Go too light and you have heating problems and premature wear.

For a trailer that big I would be looking at one tons, but that is just me. I travel during offseasons frequently, and find myself in all kinds of situations. 4X4 is a must for me. My tug has 4.56 gears and airlockers front and rear so I have the option of fully locked all wheel drive. I use it all. I hate digging and walking. These options are strictly personal though.

David
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Toyota Tundra can be configured for 9700 lb tow, 1640 lb. payload... if that helps.

Greg, what did they ever find was the problem with your Dodge?
Two of the computers were arguing with each other, seriously they were telling each other what to do and they were fighting each other. The Cummins techs came down from Columbus, In and figured it out.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:31 PM   #14
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The 2007 emissions standards created quite a few problems for the diesels which is another reason we are shopping 06/07 diesels. I figure a Dodge 3500 with the 5.9 or a Chevy/GMC 2500 LBZ.

-John
And the 2010 emission standards were so tuff that Caterpillar Diesel stopped building over the road truck engines all together.
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