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matching tow to tow vehicle

I would strongly encourage you to find what seems to be usable AND comfortable RV, find the MAX or gross weight ( don't even think in terms of dry or empty weight) figure you'll be very close to that weight now find a truck that that's 80% of it's gross weight capacity, in other words find the pulling capacity and use 80% of that. For your Airstream I'm figuring that 7300lbs is dry or ''wet'' which? In that weight you're likely to find Diesel 3/4 probably your best option. You can go with a gas truck, as some do, but most wind up wishing they'd gone diesel when they get in the mountains especially not only for power but with that much weight gas will deliver pretty poor milage and still not climb the hills that well. I'm sure there will be gas owners challenge this but as weight goes up the efficiency of diesel comes in. That's why you never see big trucks with gas power or gas locomotives. Buying a RV and learning how to live with it is a real education but it should also be a lot of fun after the first or second setup and take down. I've always thought that if you could set it up and take down in your yard or at least if you're traveling to do it in the daylight the first time or two is best. Best of luck and let us know how you come out. We've only been into RVing a couple of years but have really enjoyed it and met some very good friends. I've learned a lot just asking people with more experience any question that popped up and found them very willing to help, in short there's a lot of great people RVing. Also do as you've done join RV forums and ask questions. Happy camping, Gerry
 

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trading trucks

I just traded my 01 Dodge 2500 4x4 diesel for a 2004.5 3500 4x4 Dodge and am very happy after pulling our 8.5k toy hauler to Utah and back. You have found the shortcoming of gas engines, namely over worked and poor milage if you haul much weight. I've read lots of claims in the various RV and Dodge diesel forums about milage such as '' yeh I pull a 15k 5er in the west at 70 mph and get 15-17 mpg. BS! My old Dodge did pretty well with our rig getting a good dependable 10 if no headwind 9 with a head wind at 60-63 mph. My new truck made the same trip last month with the cruise set on 65 I averaged 11. Plus where my old truck could make 55 on most 6% grades the new one never lost speed at 65. Care must be made IMO when deciding on how the truck should be equipt. If you haul less than 6000 lbs a 3:55 or similar rearend ratio will work but more trailer requires more like a 3:73 or 4:10. I can't speak for Ford or Chevy but if you look at Dodge look under the engine if it's between 1998.5-2001 and if it has a ''53'' block (located on the driver's side just at the front corner in numbers 1 1/2 inches high above the pan) best look elswhere as some of these crack but most don't. Generally speaking diesels with 100k miles have many miles left and shouldn't be rejected on that but do realize that they are more expensive to fix but even though diesel costs a bit more that is way more than offset by its efficiency, read better milage. As to your wife's valid concern I have never had a problem with diesel smell in the cab and with my old truck that didn't have a catalitic converter and little smell even near the exhaust. With the new one with Cat conv you can't smell anything more than you would with a gas engine. I shifted gears for over one million miles and am done shifting so both my trucks were autos but that choice is yours. Hope I haven't gone on too long but that's my 2 cents, Gerry
 
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