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Truck Owners, towing and camper trailers.

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by daveswoodhauler, Jul 14, 2009.

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  1. boostnut

    boostnut Member

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    When looking at the chevy's keep your eyes out for a Z71 (if you're looking for 4wd). They typically have the towing package with a hitch, 7 pin connector, and trans cooler. I'll also agree that the prodigy brake controller is the way to go. If you're not comfortable installing it yourself than I wouldn't think it would cost much to have a mechanic put it in, it takes less than an hour for joe homeowner to do one. Do your homework, look at the durability and typicall life of the 5.3 offered in the chevys. There are many, many 5.3 litre trucks running around with 200K+ on them. Tells me GM got something right.

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  2. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Just a quick second of the 2500 v 1500 suggestion. Considering you will have a truck, it would be nice to have some weight capacity. The 2500 also are far better for hauling trailers, and generaly last longer too.
  3. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Yup, I am really looking at the 3/4 ton models....this truck is going to be my ride for a long/long time...and although the trailer right now is a 21 footer....it might be a little larger down the road when the boys get older.
    Plus I'll really like the piece of mind when putting some heavy stuff in the back and not having to worry about it as mush as I would with a 1/2 ton.
    Thanks for the help
  4. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I tihnk your making a good decision there.

    Way better to be over trucked than under trucked. I contemplated the F150, but knew I really wanted a gooseneck trailer, so opted for the F250 and haven't looked back. Got that goosneck, too :)
  5. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I've got time on my hands....so plenty of time to look and I am no rush.
    Actually hoping that gas prices take a "temporary" climb, as I would love to see the prices I saw on trucks last May/June/...crazy prices...wish to see them again. My current ride is appx 9 years old...and I'm thinking the truck is going to be around that timeframe as well...probably more.
    My wife is going to hate driving the beast....but then again, I am not crazy about driving the minivan either :)
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Okay then one more thing, if you're looking at 3/4 or one ton models always buy the one ton in a single rear wheel configuration. It is the same truck as the 3/4 ton but it has more than 1000 lbs extra payload capacity. That's worth a few extra bucks since that could be almost double the utility. For example, my F350 weighs 7500#s and has a GVWR of 9900 for a payload of 2400#s. That's great. If I had the same truck in an F250 with the 8800 lb GVWR then I could only haul 1300# which is not even a single ton of pellet fuel, not even a half cord of firewood.

    Another very important thing is the bed height. You mention 9 year old trucks and my F350 is 9 years old. The bed height is very very high from the factory. The chevy product is much lower. This makes loading firewood and motorcycles much easier.

    My 2000 diesel F350 gets the same or better mpg as my 1998 chevy K1500 with the gas 350 did. It actually gets 20-30% better mileage when towing.

    We love the ford crew cab, it's very big and my two girls have plenty of space.
  7. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Highbeam...I'm basically looking at models 2004-2007 or so....the 9 years is basically how long plan on keeping it.
    Good thoughts on your experience though...right now, I am debating between the super cabs and the crew cabs. (Need to fit 5 at a min)
  8. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I have the Super Cab ( I think that's what they call it) seats 6 with center console lifted & suicide doors. Not a ton of leg room in the back, but then I'm tall, and have the seat back about as far as it can go.

    [​IMG]
  9. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I have the 3500 single rear wheel. It will hold more weight of firewood than there is room to stack it. I run the E rated tires. Not only do they hold more weight, they are less likely to get a leak. I like the fact that my weight capacity is larger than my cargo area(utility bed).
  10. deck2

    deck2 Burning Hunk

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    I test drove at least 20 different trucks, with the wife and kids and I noticed that the crew cab was a lot bigger than the ext/supercab trucks, I also like not having to open the front door to open the rear door!

    We drove Dodges, Toyotas, Fords, Chevys and even a Nissan and the GMC had what I wanted with very little mileage and no wear and tear. Plus the Dealership gave me the right price and replaced the factory tires with 25K with new E-Load tires. This is the first time that I have bought a Car/Truck and felt like I got a good deal. Not to mention I justified buying it to the wife buy using it to help heat the house. Plus I finally don't have to keep looking under the truck to check the spings after loading every armfull of wood! :)

    I had the oppertunity to drive my old truck (97 Ranger/Mazda B-4000) last weekend (my brother in law now owns it) Boy was that thing small. I couldn't believe that I used to drive that matchbox. To be fair though I hauled a lot of wood and towed a lot of miles with it.
  11. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    The crew cab was the one thing that I wanted that I don't have on my F-350 but I feel like I got a good deal on the extended cab and it is a good compromise. I'm not in the back seat that much so I don't notice the amount of space/legroom much but I do know that I can't put my 9 month old daughter's car seat in the middle of the rear seat and still raise the console to seat three across in the front. I would have been able to do that with the crew cab but since it is more of a work truck to me, the need to do that hasn't occurred.
    If you are looking at Ford in the model years you list, do some research before considering the 6.0L diesel (late 2003 production until early 2007 models). It has a rather questionable reputation. Some owners that I know have experiened only minor problems. Others are just nightmares to hear about. It sounds like you would probably opt for the gas engine but I wanted to throw this out just in case.
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    The 6.0L is a toss up. I have one I bought new and have had very little problems with it, in almost 125,000. My friends 04 has been troubled with little gremlins for the past year or so, but that's because chooses to go to a local mechanic instead of a diesel tech(There's a BIG difference) and he doesn't do ANY maintenance on it. Other's are exactly what JeffRey stated. Head gaskets, head gaskets, and more head gaskets... Ford will warranty it under 100,000 for $100 or you can get the factory extended for 7yr/200,000 and it costs nothing. Then again, I personally know 2 people with Duramaxs that lost their motor's with less than 50,000, both were warrantied but they both got rid of them for Fords soon after. If you are a little more flexible in the years you may want to look at the 1999-2002 Ford's with the 7.3L. They are the same body style truck as the 2003-2007 with minor exceptions. I have seen a few with low miles. Very relieable with the exception of the CPS which Ford recalled. Again research and you will find more info.

    Also agree with Dixie...I'd also rather have more truck than not enough. I went with the 250 because at the time I really only needed a 1/2 ton. But after test driving the gas vs. diesel it was a no brainer to go with the diesel. The biggest downfall for any of the diesel today are the emission equipment. The diesel engine isn't the cleanest of creatures and it doesn't liked to be choked down with EGRs, filters, and cats.

    Keep us posted on what you look at and if you find anything good!
  13. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Just got back from Home Depot.

    Get an 8 foot bed

    My neighbor bought a Dodge with a 6 foot bed, and he's smashed his back window twice with his camper. Really regrets not getting the 8 footer :)
  14. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Ditto
  15. deck2

    deck2 Burning Hunk

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    Looked at a crew cab with the 8ft box, but man was that baby long so I decided on a 6ft box most often I am using the trailer anyways.
  16. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Think toting around plywood & sheetrock, lumber, etc.

    It's going to be wayyy longer with the truck & any extended cab, anways. My rig is 39'. At that point, 2 feet less makes no differance in turning, etc. If you ever put a gooseneck/ 5th wheel hitch in it for oh, say a different trailer, a 6' bed isn't going to cut it. And you won't have broken windows ;-) Some times you have to purposely jack the trailer to get into a tight spot. Truck & trailer will not collide with the extra length. Well, they could, but that's a rarity :)

    You get used to it in a jiffy. It's cool. people get their cars out of your way. When the lane channels from 2 to 1, you slide over and take up 1/2 of each lane and no one passes you. Except the occassional crotch rocket :coolgrin:

    An 8' bed was at the top of my list when I was starting this process.
  17. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    If your contemplating a diesel... try and find A Cummins 12 valve with the inline bosh fuel pump. You will have a real reliable winner. My 1997 Dodge has over 300,000 and not a hiccup. My environment is harsh and the truck has proven well.

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  18. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I've been contemplating getting a box truck or panel van instead of a pickup... I don't care for the fact that a pickup is open and essentially gives no secure storage for tools or cargo... OTOH, a 12-18' box truck w/ one of the small diesels seems like it offers lots of capacity, the ability to tow a large trailer (if needed) and security for whatever you are hauling...

    I have a friend w/ one of these who quite regularly loads it up and hooks it to one of his dual axle dump trailers with a couple cords of wood in it, and no problems. May not be the fastest thing in the world, but so what... (Remember the bumper sticker - I may be slow, but I'm ahead...)

    Gooserider
  19. deck2

    deck2 Burning Hunk

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    Hey Goose, If I was only going to use it to move things a box truck would be the ticket, but I don't want to drive a box truck to work or take it to the grocery store or take the wife out to dinner in it.
  20. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Agreed, the GF has her own car, and I have the bikes for most running around... The truck would basically be just as a working vehicle for scrounging wood, and getting my hands on those items that we can't pick up otherwise...

    Gooserider
  21. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    My next truck will be a OTR truck with a sleeper and a dump. My 03 F350 only gets 8-10MPG. I'm sure 450HP turned down to 350 will get 10 MPG around town.
    Repairs I can't do myself (specialized tools) on my 350 are eating me up. I can put tires and brakes on a big truck for the same or less than a 1-ton and they last about 4 times as long.
    When my wife and I go out to dinner or shopping I always schedule a wood delivery to go to the same general area so mileage isn't a huge concern. The life of my vehicle is. Right now big trucks are a dime a dozen and repos are even cheaper.
  22. deck2

    deck2 Burning Hunk

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    ilikewood started this post just thinkin of gettin a 1/2 ton pick-up and now we have talked him from that to a commerical dump with a sleeper :coolgrin: If i try to pull that one over on my wife and I would be lucky to get the woodcart in ilikewood's avatar !!
  23. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I had to get rid of my FILs single axle dump because my insurance company wont let me put anything over 14000 lbs GVWR on my policy unless its an RV. I got $5K for his International 25999 GVWR in good shape. Painful. I suppose the dump trailer is more appropriate for my purposes anyway.
  24. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    You can buy some fleet maintaned, good condition late model OTR trucks right now around 10 years old & 500,000 miles for around $10-15K. It's nothing for a OTR truck to go 1,000,000 miles anymore.
    I was at an auction a month ago and watched a '93 Western Star (top of the line truck) day cab (no sleeper) go for $3200. Needed minor work, new set of tires and a frame blast and paint.Nothing I couldn't do in my shop.
  25. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Actually, it was a test to see how off post the topic would go.
    I am very surprised that the idea of purchasing a 40' Winnebego with a tow behind dump/rolloff trailer has not been brought up yet :)
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