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Well, we've jumped right in and bought ourselves a 29 ft travel trailer.  We've been talking about doing this for quite a while and,  with this pandemic and all that goes with it, this seems like a good time to take the plunge.  Having never owned one before, we need to figure we need to figure out what we're doing before we take it out on the road.  Our goal is to cruise around the US for a few months so I think the learning curve will be a bit steep.  That's where you fine people come in.  i have been perusing this site and have already learned quite a bit.  Be prepared to be bombarded with newbie questions!  I guess the first order of business will be to buy a truck to pull this thing.  Anyone have a 3/4 ton truck for sale?  :)

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Welcome to the forum. You might want to look into Escapees RV Boot Camp to short cut your learning curve. Not eliminate it.

Other than that, ask away.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to help as much as we are able. You are probably thinking right in considering  a 3/4 ton truck, but just to be sure that your truck will serve well, check out the trailer weight calculator from Changin Gears. 

 

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LOL!  A 3/4 ton sounds like a good starting point.  And no - don’t know anyone who has one for sale.  I do know a number of people who have recently bought them, when they found their 1/2 tons either undersized for a new trailer or like me - ran into payload capacity issues.

I’m a firm believer that one should buy more truck than they think they need.  I’m on my third TV in 5 years.  I started with a marginal TV that worked for 2 years until I started dry camping and needed a second battery and generator, which put me over the tongue weight rating and cargo capacity of the JGC.  Bought a well matched 1/2 ton truck that did great until I sold the house and went full-time.  Then I was at or over the GVWR of both truck and trailer.  This time I skipped the 3/4 tons and went to the F350, figured I’d rather have an overkill truck than to find myself buying a new TV if/when I replace my current trailer.

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Have a f-350 dually 2004 with 109000 miles in new condition 6.0 bullet proofed newer tires and front end suspension. We are in junction city Kansas now. Truck is like with all options. 14500

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8 hours ago, Danandfreda said:

We are in junction city Kansas now.

My parents moved to JC just after I graduated and lived there the rest of their lives. 

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15 hours ago, SWharton said:

Welcome to the forum. You might want to look into Escapees RV Boot Camp to short cut your learning curve. Not eliminate it.

Other than that, ask away.

What is this boot camp you speak of?  Is that the RVers Online University I see on the right side?

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Glen and Cathy, I would not limit myself to a 3/4T, keep in mind a 1T single rear wheel is exactly the same size, with higher weight ratings.

Edited by Ray,IN

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We are in a new campground in junction city right next to the Smokey hill river. Grandview plaza is right out of the park gate, capital of the rolling stop traffic ticket. It’s about 1every twenty minutes. New campground all full hookups 2/3 pull through 90 ft long Smokey hill rv park landscaping is supposed to start next week check it out if your in the area

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10 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

Glen and Cathy, I would not limit myself to a 3/4T, keep in mind a 1T single rear wheel is exactly the same size, with higher weight ratings.

Good tip.  At the risk of opening Pandora's box, what are the opinions of gas vs. diesel?  Is the extra cost of a diesel worth it? 

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There are advantages and disadvantages both ways.  You’ll get lots of opinions from both sides, claiming they have the best option for their needs.  Diesel engines may cut down on payload, the engines are heavier (I say may because it depends on options for the vehicle).  So often it comes down to personal choice, when there’s not a specific need that one or the other would play a part.  Bottom line is that both will pull trailers, when you have a properly sized TV to tow it with.

I chose a gas engine (Ford’s new 7.3L engine with the 10 speed tranny) for a rather minor reason - I once camped next to someone who fairly late one night, as they were trying to make a wedding and were a little pressed for time, accidentally put gas in a diesel engine.  They were quoted a huge repair bill by the dealer to fix it.  Since I could easily see myself doing the same thing (I’ve never owned a diesel), I decided that I’d stick with gas.  Dumb reason, but on the other hand, the new 7.3L seems to get the job done and basically loafs with my little trailer, even with all my junk.

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We have had both diesel and gas. Currently we have a gas MH, 22,000 lbs) and are very happy. Easy to get service when needed. The price differential is why we went with gas, we can buy a lot of gas for the price differential. Years ago there were reasons to get diesel but I don't feel any longer.

 

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15 hours ago, Danandfreda said:

capital of the rolling stop traffic ticket

One of my favorite stories: A cop stopped his former English teacher for making a rolling stop. He told her, "That sign is a period, not a comma."

Linda

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4 hours ago, Glenn and Cathy said:

We plan on doing quite a bit of boondocking.  For those well versed in that task, should I be looking at 4WD trucks or will 2WD suffice?

There are lots of stories on the internet about problems with 4WD, I'm not one of them. I've owned 2 4WD trucks and never had a problem with either that was connected to 4WD.My first was a 4WD 1T Chevy dually, now I have a 1/2T  4WD Chevy Silverado that I tow with our MH. I do think electronic 4WD is easier to use than manual transfer case 4WD.

I used the Chevy dually to tow a 16,000# 5er, and wet grass was a problem in 2WD when backing under the hitch; in 4WD low it was a piece of cake to ease under the hitch, even backing uphill.

Edited by Ray,IN

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7 hours ago, Glenn and Cathy said:

We plan on doing quite a bit of boondocking.  For those well versed in that task, should I be looking at 4WD trucks or will 2WD suffice?

I use 4WD's mainly so I can tread lightly off road not rip and tear when traction is not optimum.  

I use 4WD a lot when towing in winter driving conditions on road.

I use 4WD driving on loose gravel when the truck is empty because it is a manual and the diesel torques punish the rear tires on loose surfaces. 

A modern 4WD is a pretty efficient 2WD on dry roads. 

A modern 2WD with traction control & locking differential can get you moving in a lot of poor traction situations.  It is not very efficient at higher speeds climbing a slippery mountain grade while towing.

Long wheel base 2WD trucks ride really nice as a rule.

The independent front 4WD of Chevrolet and GMC trucks generally rides better than the solid axle Ford and Ram trucks, but the independent front truck does not maintain it's front ground clearance  as the suspension compresses. 

Well cared for 4WD's should always pay back the cost of the 4WD option when you sell it. 

Edited by noteven

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2WD trucks usually have more payload than 4x4, assuming otherwise identical trucks.  

My F150 was a 4x4 because I decided I wanted the ability to get out of my driveway in winter, if I needed to (at that time I also owned a 4x4 Jeep).  That truck had an auto setting, where the truck provided power to all wheels but the front was not locked to the back by a transfer case.  I found that very useful when I was on a sloped gravel driveway and pulling out on a paved road.  Even with my TT and all my junk, my rear wheels would occasionally lose traction a bit.

My F350 only has a transfer case, so I have to be more careful how I use it.  I no longer own the house, and hope I don’t do much snow camping, but I still like having 4WD at times, to keep the rear wheels from losing traction.

My trailer is fairly low, so I’m not about to take it way back on technical 4x4 roads - my trailer would bottom out before I went very far.  But I could run into snow and mud, it’s nice to have 4WD.

If you do get a 4x4, make sure you understand what 4x4 does, how it works and what conditions where it’s useful, and especially when NOT to use it.

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2 wd drive gets you in trouble..4wd gets you out 🙂

Gas vs Diesel   -  One other thing to keep in mind is fueling when towing... your overall length of tow vehicle plus trailer may not be conducive to pulling into a  gas station  with islands set up for regular car traffic and the truck lanes will typically not have gas pumps  just diesel and DEF

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Unless you plan to boondock on pavement, a 4x4 would be my only choice.  I spent 12 years in the southwest and learned, albeit slow...., a 2x4 anywhere but pavement leads to a lot of digging.  If you go that route, make sure you have some good tires, a good jack or 2, a couple good shovels, some tow-rope (for when a good samaritan stops by and gives you a tug out of your hole), etc.  Also will note, a good 4x4 can get good and buried too!  (Don't ask... LOL)

Saying that, I've drove alot of tractor/trailers in sand/mud and a few other places without getting stuck but, when I did... whoa.......

I will add, unless you think you will need extra torque on a small truck, I would avoid a diesel, in the long run, gas is easier on the pocket, especially when you get into servicing/repairs.  Upkeep on my truck is not cheap.

 

Edited by NDBirdman

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16 hours ago, palmeris said:

2 wd drive gets you in trouble..4wd gets you out 

A good friend of mine back when we lived in WY and did a lot of back country camping, fishing, & hunting used to say something slightly different. 

"Having 4WD enables one to get much farther from help before he gets stuck or breaks down."

Whether you have 2WD or 4WD, the ability of the driver to read terrain and the skills he has are far more important than the capabilities of the vehicle driven. No matter what vehicle you own, if you spend enough time going far enough into the back-country, you will have both experiences. 

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42 minutes ago, Glenn and Cathy said:

So you're sayin' I need to put a winch on my truck?

Not really. I do wonder if you need 4WD for a tow vehicle. I have owned several 4WD vehicles over the years, 2 of them while living in WY where we went far into the back country and the first CR-V that we towed while fulltime was an all-wheel drive so had some off road capabilities. There are some serious off-road folks RVing but most of them do that with one of the smaller 4WD units since the trucks that we typically tow larger RVs with are really too large for much serious off-road travel. There is always the justification for a thing of "I want it and can afford it" which in my opinion is a valid reason. If it were me, I would get a sound truck to tow with and there are many very good choices currently available. I currently tow with a 3/4 ton rated, diesel truck but it is 2WD and thus far I have only 1 time been in a situation where 4WD was needed. I don't do much boondocking so that might increase the justification, but even a 4WD truck isn't going to make your RV one that will deal well with rough terrain. When we were in Australia, we saw many RVs that are designed for off-road travel but that sort of design has never sold well in the USA. 

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