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stevie

Tow Vehicle Advice

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Hey gang

New here. My wife and I are considering going full time with our infant in a fifth wheel and I need some help picking the right tow vehicle for our needs. We are planning on going with a Grand Design Reflection150 290BH.

I know I will want to go with a 3/4 ton minimum, but was curious if those with experience feel we should throw in the extra $10k for a diesel. I’m leaning towards Ram with the 6.4 Hemi with MDS. We plan on moving once every week or two and would go 400 miles tops. Between travel we would putz around the area and the extra MPG of the MDS would be good to have. My wife also doesn’t appreciate the chatter of a Diesel engine.

If we do opt for a diesel, we would need to move to a full ton to accommodate the payload requirements of the fifth wheel and passengers. The 3/4 ton diesel would just squeak by. Doing the math, and considering the price gap between gas and diesel stays about flat, it would take us 90-100k miles to make up the cost difference. But then the towing ease makes it an even harder choice.

thanks for the help.

 

moved from HDT

Edited by stevie
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With a light weight trailer I don't see the diesel option as so attractive.      Yea the gasser will use more fuel in hauling the camper but, by your own admission the pay back is way out there.    The new small truck diesel engines have issues with emissions systems and maintenance cost that are not trivial.      Personally, I would choose gas for the task at hand, you may want to get a larger camper or sell the whole thing.     As a first go around, don't burden yourself with unnecessary expense.

 

Steve  

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Yeah, we are worried we may want to upgrade, but the 6.4 can manage our bigger dream rig short teen if we do so. To many moving parts to making this a hard purchase.

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So the Ram 2500 with 6.4 3.73 gears and 4x4 leaves about 1800lbs extra towing after factoring in passengers, truck cargo, and max fifth wheel GVWR.

How do the experts feel about that wiggle room? Moving to the 4.10 gears increases tow capacity by 3k. Is the upgrade worth the reduced gas mileage? Is the driver satisfaction that much greater? OEM upgrade is small potatoes compared to the overall cost of the vehicle (<$200) vs thousands to upgrade later.

Edited by stevie
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On ‎5‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 4:08 PM, stevie said:

So the Ram 2500 with 6.4 3.73 gears and 4x4 leaves about 1800lbs extra towing after factoring in passengers, truck cargo, and max fifth wheel GVWR.

How do the experts feel about that wiggle room? Moving to the 4.10 gears increases tow capacity by 3k. Is the upgrade worth the reduced gas mileage? Is the driver satisfaction that much greater? OEM upgrade is small potatoes compared to the overall cost of the vehicle (<$200) vs thousands to upgrade later.

Higher gears may not reduce gas mileage if vehicall was working harder and know has found a sweeter spot. May have to drop a couple mph. My 6.7 Ford diesel will start out at 14-14.5 mpg at 60 mph and will drop from there. It will actually do better in hills than on flat ground. All that power doesn't bother it going up hill and then its just coasting going down the other side. An engine is just an air compressor than needs a ratio of fuel mixed with air to run. More rpms means more fuel

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Have you considered the Nissan Titan XD with the Cummins in it??

On 5/23/2018 at 11:12 AM, stevie said:

My wife also doesn’t appreciate the chatter of a Diesel engine.

They don't chatter very loudly anymore unless they are modified.  I have an LBZ Duramax with some mods and you can hear it, esp when I'm in it, but that is music to my ears.

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forget mpg.

think more in the line of hrs.

and torque.

how slow do you want to pull up that hill?

how many years or miles do you want to get out of the motor?

yes maintance costs. but less than replacments.

most newer diesel trucks are well insulated. and motors clatter is much less than in years past.

so motor noise is lower. even rd noise.

diesel fuel is at almost at every fuel station these days.

for pulling or rd duty a diesel can not be beat. but new trucks at a dealer is going to cost extra. think tax frendly states to buy in. ( south dakota is only 4% sales tax, texas is 6% sales tax).

 

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If you are not set on a new tow rig, there is money to be saved, performance to be increased and fun to be had by looking for a good deal on a used, pre 2006, class 4 or 6 truck. what you might want to look at is a pre DEF/ECM constricted real diesel. I still prefer a stick shift but the current crop of automatic's are impressive, (My bride doesn't mind rowing a gearbox, that helps)

I'm currently towing with an Isuzu NPR (class 4) with the 4 cyl turbo diesel and love it. Primary Tow'd is a 26 foot 5th wheel , but I end up draggin' horse trailers, boat trailers and even a low boy goose neck, It handles them all , nicely. Big disc brakes and a jake brake adds a very safe feel in the hills.  The next big jump might be to a auxiliary transmission. (manual overdrive brownie box)

 

The best part is NO payment book, all the upgrades are done "cash in hand". Right now, i'm only in ~ 14K and all the big ticket items are done

Just another direction to consider

 

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