We just retired and made a 3-month trip to Alaska. We have a 2001 Silverado Duramax that seems to be developing trouble. (Overheating, loss of air-conditioning, water pump, etc.) Trying to decide whether to keep putting money into the 160,000 miles truck or upgrade?
I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 5.2L (230 hp, 300 ft. lbs torque) pulling a 21' GVWR 5600 lb (3900 lb dry) travel trailer. I get very poor performance up hills (30 mph with it floored, and 4-6 mpg). I prefer gas engines, and am wonder what HP, Torque, and Gear Ratio, I should consider for a different truck? Am not adverse to diesel but the 'other half' hates the smell. Thanks.
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
Newer diesels don't smell as much and if they smoke then there is a problem. When we were looking at our first diesel, the first thing I said to try and get an edge on the salesman is that diesels are loud and they stink. Without missing a beat (he'd probably heard this so many times) he said, "So keep your windows up".
These days with the modern diesel motors even DW will like the ride, the power and the mpgs when you get the diesel and they aren't that loud, stinky or smokey. We are on our second diesel cuz we keep getting bigger trailers.
MPGs will depend on the load, the size of the rig (more wind resistance) and how you drive but it will definitely be better than a gasser. I'll never buy another gasser tow vehicle again.
As far as fivers go, you should do very well with a diesel and less than 6,000 lbs, but buy the fifth wheel hitch to that is over the max towing fifth wheel rating of the truck so you aren't buying hitches per your load. There's nothing wrong with having a higher rated truck and hitch when towing a lighter trailer, but at least when the need arises you can tow something bigger.
Yup, I heard the 6.4 PSD gets horrible mpgs. My BIL has the same engine in his dually and he complains about the mpgs all the time. I have an '06 6.0 PSD and with over 60,000 miles on it, I now get from 18-22 mpgs on the highway (average of 20mpgs) depending on wind and load. When towing 14,000 lbs I get from 9 to 13 mpgs. My BIL tows about 10,000 lbs and gets no more than 10 mpgs ever. But we know whatever we do it's better than a gasser especially with a load.
With the new Ford 6.7L diesel, I heard the mpgs got fixed and they can even tow way more, too. Every new Ford owner I heard from has been absolutely surprised and very pleased with these new Fords. Not bad at all but now being retired, I don't see a new truck in our lives in the future.
I have a 06 Dodge Dually 3500 and 38' fiver. I had a set of gauges put on last week and plan to go up in the mountains this coming weekend. I have been thinking about putting on a Banks or Edge but not sure if it will help with the fuel. I have an Derale Tranny pan and I can already see it keeps the fluid cooler, but I have not pulled the camper since I installed it. I have a 4 inch exhaust and would probally have to go with a 5 inch if I ad some HP. Are the computers worth it in the long run? I cant see how you could have one an not have gauges to watch the EGT.
I am trying to understand dry weight as opposed to the gvwr? I am very new to this. I bought a 2016 apex trailer it says it is 6500 gvwr. I have a nissian frontier 4x4 crew cab and that is right at the max it seems to struggle. I have been to several dealerships and most of the pickups have the v6 motors. I was told that my pickup should tow it because they were made for v6. My motor is a v6 4.0 ltr. I looked at a Ford f140 it has a v6 3.5 and they are telling me it will pull the heck out of it. I am not understanding why my motor is .05 ltr bigger yet I struggle. Can some one help me to understand this?
the dry weight is an empty trailer, no supplies or camping gear. gvwr is the total weight the trailer is rated for, this includes trailer, camping gear, gas bottles etc. the size of the engine is only one part of towing, the gear ratio sometimes means more than the engine, a truck with a factory tow package will have a higher gear ratio, heavy duty transmission, and a transmission oil cooler just to name a few things. most trucks with a tow package also come with a v8 a heavy duty hitch and factory trailer wiring. what is the gvwr on your truck?
there should be an information tag on your vehicle. if the vehicle gvwr is 6500 that is the combined weight of the truck and trailer. I had to sell my v-6 truck and buy one with a v-8 and tow package. if you do get another truck make sure it is a v-8 with factory tow package.