Tow Vehicle Decision

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Scott Idaho, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Scott Idaho

    Scott Idaho New Member

    try ing to decide on a tow rig for a 5000# 5er that has a gvwr of 8100#. I like the 1/2 ton Chevy Z71 with the HD suspension and 5.3L/4.10 gears. I also obviously like the 2500 HD with the disel. Does anybody have advice on if the 1/2 ton can do it SAFELY. I only tow about 4-6 times a year and only over a couple of passes. Longest trip is 4hrs and all others are about 2hrs mostly flat.
    Please Help. Thanks Alot.
     
  2. s.harrington

    s.harrington Senior Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    If you are pulling 8100 lbs you should get a 3/4ton. For fuel economy it should be a diesel. The better diesel right now is the ford super duty. The chev duramax doesn't have the power per size ratio, and the dodge has a bad torque converter.
     
  3. kirkl

    kirkl New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    I would pick the ford last. dont know where you come up with your info. Id either go with the Dodge with auto or 6spd- the auto is holding up well by the way- from others on truck forums or the duramax with the allison. Stay away from ford. Ive got the dodge with the 6psd and love it.
     
  4. kingrv

    kingrv New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    THe perfect tow vehicle hasn't been made yet. The Dodge doesn't have a transmission that is beefy enough to be a tow vehicle you need the Allison, but the Duramax doesnt' have the power that the Cummings has. The Ford has the Cab and much better comfort than the other two, so give me the Ford CAB, the CUmmings Engine, and the Allison tranny and you have the perfect vehicle. But today you have to make a choice and the clear cut choice in tow vechile is the FORD Diesel.
     
  5. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    You want the Dodge with a 6spd manuel. It will tow a mountain up the hill and have fun doing it. I've had 2 Dodge Cummins diesels and love them. No mechanical trouble with the Dodge diesel and if you get the six spd manuel you won't have any drive train problems. All diesels and V-8's with auto trans have more problems towing than the manuels. However if you won't be towing that much, you can get by with the Dodge 4spd auto. It is an older designed 4spd that has been beefed up to match the newer High Output Cummins. If you are towing 8,000lbs you really don't want a V-8. From all I have read you definately don't want a Ford 6.0 liter power stroke Diesel. They are bad news. If you can't find it in your heart to buy a Dodge, by all means go with the Duramax. :) :) :laugh: :clown:

    P.S. See Ford 6.0 Diesel Problem this forum.
     
  6. kirkl

    kirkl New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    If you want to be loosing turbos and everything else thats going wrong with them buy the ford. The duramax has plenty of power for what you would need it for and then more but the cummins is best in my opinion. And the beefed up 48re tranny is holding up fine. Theres guys on another truck forum pulling 15,000 lbs regulary with his and it has 150,000 miles on it with no hiccups. Stay away from the ford. Do what DL said and look at this topic http://www.rvusa.com/forum/main/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3743
     
  7. 4play

    4play New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    I had a 1/2 Extended cab Chevy pulling a very simular weight trailer & it did ok,but with 8100lbs you'd have around 800 lbs tongue weight, that doesn't leave much payload for a 1/2 ton GVWR.
    I now have a 3/4 ton Dodge (brand not the issue here) & the difference is night & day. I feel much more confident in my ability to control the trailer. I love my diesel, but truthfully if you are only going to tow ~6 times a year you'll never save enough on fuel to offset the purchase price. If you do decide on the diesel, Dodge, or Chevy, Ford has some very serious drivetrain issues right now.
    I have a bud with an '05 6.0 & it has yet to get better than 15mpg empty, his old 7.3 had a much better drivetrain. The best vehicle I've seen is the Ford with a Cummings conversion from an outfit in California.
     
  8. kirkl

    kirkl New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    If your not worried about mileage and since you wont tow much I would go with a 3/4 chevy with the 6.0L or 3/4 dodge with the hemi. A lady I work with has a 3/4 hemi and 25ft trailor and she says it pulls great. Same thing a guy i work with said about his chevy 6.0L pulling a 27ft 5ver.
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    My GMC 6.0L pulls about 6500 pounds fine on the flats, but strains getting it up hills. For 8100 pounds, I wouldn't go smaller than a HEAVY 3/4 ton. Diesel should get up the hills better, but if you don't do it often and don't mind going slow, a mid-size gas engine may do it for you.
     
  10. Scott Idaho

    Scott Idaho New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    What kind of fuel economy does the 6.0L Chevy get? Is it just about the same as the 8.1L?
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  11. kirkl

    kirkl New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    Scott, this is just hear say from other truck forums i read on but some of the guys with the 8.1L get only a couple miles less per gallon that the 6.0L. some claim to get the same or real close. fuel economy ive heard is 12-15. The guy I worked with that had the 6.0 got about 13-15. said he got 16 on freeway a few times. Again, this is what other guys on forums have said so take it for what it is worth.
     
  12. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    The new (2006) Dodge Hemi truck now has a multi-displacement system (MDS). The MDS offers a mileage improvement of 20%. When you are not towing and cruising down the highway the MDS takes 4 cylinders off line and you cruise on the remaining 4 cylinders. At the touch of the gas you are back on with all 8 cyl. :) :laugh: :cool: Sounds good :bleh: .
     
  13. Scott Idaho

    Scott Idaho New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    Kirk,
    I appreciate you honesty. You are right on the 6.0L does not do much better than 15 unloaded hwy and 12-13 around town. The 8.1 is more bang for the buck, but will definately bang the old wallet,
    Scott
     
  14. Just BeClaus

    Just BeClaus New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    Well.. Well everybody has there opinion. Well here is mine NOT a FORD the 6.6 diesel is having a lot of problems... The cummings diesel is great, to bad they wrapped a DODGE around it, and Dodge is having it's share if transmission problems. Now I have a duramax with the allison and I for one can tell you it does have plenty of power. Towing a 29 foot 5th with no problems in the mountains.
    Just BeClaus
     
  15. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    Hey Just Be Claus, that's a good one about the Dodge being wrapped around the Cummins diesel. I've owned 3 Chev pickups and 3 Ford pickup/suv/van. They were all good V-8 vehicles and towed small light trailers well. But they don't compare to my 2 Dodge Cummins diesels. Not even close. My 1995 Dodge only failed to start 1 time in 8 years and 210k miles. The 2 batteries were dead at 5 years and had to be replaced. My 2003 Dodge has 45k miles on it and has never been serviced for any problems, just routine maintenance. Granted the old Dodge 4spd auto has had problems, but my 5/6 spd manuels have not had any problems. Replaced 1 clutch on my 95 at 160k miles. All I can say is my opinion has been formed by super reliability under fairly heavy use. But its just an opinion.
     
  16. burby

    burby New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    check out pirate4x4.com forums. go down to Tow Rigs and Trailers and read a post about peoples tow rigs. The thread started about 2-3 yrs ago, but there's a ton of information from old to new. There's, of course, the Big 3 diesels, and just about everything else people use to tow their built-up odd road rigs. Some of them run the big block V-8/10 and get horrible mileage while towing. Usually single digit figures! But one can't buy a diesel and hope to make up the price difference in fuel savings, 'cause that'll take 1000's and 1000's of miles, but the benefit is an engine that will typically outlast a gasser (under the same conditions) by 100,000's of miles. here is the link I was talking about: http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64563
     
  17. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    Not sure with the cost of fuel at $2.65+/gal that a diesel won't re-coup the extra cost fairly quick if you drive over 10k miles ayear. :clown:
     
  18. we-wants-it

    we-wants-it New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    Hi Scott, I'm not going to tell you what to buy - I'll tell you what I did. I went from a '99 Ford F150 5.4L with a 5500lb 5th to an '04 Dodge Cummins 48re automatic pulling a 9000lb 5th. The Ford was a very reliable truck that I liked very much. The Dodge pulls the bigger trailer easier and gets 15-20% better mileage doing it. I have a fuel mileage chip that gets me 17+ in town, 20+ on the freeway and 11.5 pulling the 5th wheel. I have 15K miles on it with about 5K towing and no problems whatsoever. I paid about $3000.00 less for the Dodge than I would have had to pay for 6.0L Ford. My loaded, leather, crewcab, 4WD Cummins cost me $34250. I WAS a Ford man but couldn't get passed the bad press that the 6.0L was getting. The 9 diesel trucks in my family are: 6 Dodges, 2 older Fords and my diehard bowtie brother's Duramax. All have given good service. Good luck
     
  19. allan16

    allan16 New Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    HI...new here...really good info and seems like everyone is very well informed about their trucks. We're in the market for a diesel pick up and, although I really wish we could get a diesel in a smaller truck, it looks like we'll have to go to the mid size (Ford 250, Chev 25000 or Dodge 2500). Everything I've read and heard confirms your info about the Dodge...reliable, strong, good value. The biggest point for us, and it seems like others, is mileage. Sounds like you've solved some of that problem. Do you mind sharing the brand of the chip you installed?
    Thanks
     
  20. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Tow Vehicle Decision

    Hey allan16, sounds like you are on the right track :laugh: Listening :bleh: Some people don't listen and just go with youthful nostalgia :clown: They let their heart make the decision and not the facts their eyes can see before them. But then you probably shouldn't be listening to a satisfied Dodge pickup owner. We've (Dodge owners)been outed as dealers :) :laugh: :cool: :blush: :clown: :evil: :bleh: :approve: . Happy travels :clown:
     

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