Welcome Guest Login or Signup

New Posts | My Topics | Profile Forum | User Settings | Subscriptions
Post Reply
Optimal Tow Vehicle
Total Views: 2467 - Total Replies: 9
Jan 18 2011, 12:02 am - By hhuntington2

Hi We are planning on hitting the road in June.  We are hoping to find a trailer in the 30-35ft range.  I'm currently looking at Dodge Ram 2500s and Ford F250s, both in diesel.  I'm curious to get folks views on each and also to find out how important 4 wheel drive will be.  We hope to do a fair amount of boon docking.

Thanks for any info.
Jan 18 2011, 1:03 am - Replied by: travelfables

I love 4 Wheel drive. It is a wonderful thing when you are in slippery rain, in muddy fields, or in the back woods.
Diesel is a good idea.(these vehicles tend to last longer), plus you can do cool veggie-oil conversions on them or run Bio-diesel.
What ever you get make bloody sure it has a HEAVY DUTY transmission-cooler (not a wimpy one), an engine oil cooler would be a nice add on as well.
You can have your mechanic install these or do it yourself, but have them installed before you tow much.

Careful with older Dodges (80-90ies), the transmissions in them are not so hot. Newer Dodges have fixed some of the issues.
Jan 18 2011, 5:39 am - Replied by: LiveWorkDream

I'm partial to Dodge, because we have one (2006 Dodge 2500 4x4). The Cummins engine is simply the best diesel engine available, it doesn't get any better or more powerful. My Dad is a retired Cummins mechanic, and he agrees. If you have the option to get a 2007 or later, do it. The newer models have a built in jake brake which is RAD and will save your brakes. I wish ours had one of those doo-dads.

We have over 90k miles on our truck (65 are ours, mostly towing). Whenever we've climbed steep passes, in every case we have passed Fords, diesel pusher buses, and gas-powered motorhome. We treat our engine with respect, get it maintained regularly, and it pays us back a thousand times over. Cummins. Kicks. Ass.

About the Cummins and biodiesel..another reason we leaned toward a truck/5er combination was to have the ability to make our own fuel and buy biodiesel on the road, which we've done. While it's great having the option to use biodisel, in reality it's increasingly difficult to find and when you do it's at least 2x more than #2. And if you're going to make bioD, you better know what you're doing or you risk messing up your engine pretty badly. We've seen it happen to others, thankfully not to us. Cummins will approve of the use of 5 percent bioD but nothing stronger. Anyone who does use up to 100 percent bioD will not admit that to a dealer when engine work needs to happen (rarely).

FYI you don't need to convert a Cummins diesel to run biodiesel, you only need to do that for SVO, straight veggie oil use.

About 4x4....get it. We go offroading a lot in our 24' fifth wheel, taking it to some pretty crazy places. The 4x4 has saved our butts more times than we can count, especially during the spring rains in Texas. If you plan on boondocking way out in the sticks, don't skimp and get it.

See, I told you I was biased. Good luck!

Working and Living Our Dream Life
Jan 18 2011, 5:39 am - Replied by: KevsKnight

I am not a truck guy, but I recommend doing your own research when it comes to towing capacities and different towing methods - so as to not rely on the salesman. Don't ever trust "you will be fine - you can easily tow this!". Make sure YOU look it up.

Good luck in your search!


I have washboard abs. They are just hidden under 50#s of laundry.
Jan 18 2011, 10:13 pm - Replied by: hhuntington2

thanks for the great feedback.   I'm still listening if anyone else has more advice to add.


Jan 23 2011, 12:32 am - Replied by: InPursuit

Do you have a 5W or trailer already?

Assuming you will be working while RV'ing and that work calls for having (and actual and practical need) a HD 4WD pick up then by all means do buy one. But I'm gonna suggest you would be better off with a small commuter car to get around in the towns and cities you'll be going to.

So if you don't already have a 5W... start looking at A's.


Mar 12 2011, 12:32 am - Replied by: Craze

Can you give us some details on the weight of your suspected trailer(s)? A lot of your truck obviously depends on what you're hauling. I'll tell you that the 250 range of trucks these days is not near as capable of stopping big loads as they would lead you to believe. Safety is always my major concern when hauling, so I may seem a little over the top, but after looking all over for a truck that could pull and stop my rig, I had to go for the MDT route. These can actually be cheaper than a regular "truck" and be built much better for what we do with them. Of course, the drawbacks are there as well. Around town driving when the trailer isn't on can be a bummer, and gas mileage can be a little worse as well depending on your travel style and overall load. 

My summary would be to just think it all out and plan well before going in on a truck that might not meet your needs now or in the near future. 
Jun 07 2011, 8:41 am - Replied by: BlueRoadBlogger

We have a 2500 Dodge 4x4 with the 12 valve CTD.  It has an automatic trans and the heavy-duty suspension package from the factory.  We did not go looking for a 4x4 intentionally, in fact we had figured there was no way we could afford one given our budget.  BUt it was a great deal and we couldn't say no.  The price plus the fact I have only owned ONE truck in my life that wasn't a 4x4 didn't hurt the decision either.

We chose he Dodge after 6 months of research and discussion on various diesel boards.  We would love to have the CUmmins in a 1997 Ford f-250.

We are glad we didn't go after a dually.  The 2500 with the 8800 lb suspension works just fine with our 13K lb Coachmen 5er.

Tim and Mary

1998 Dodge 2500 4X4 CTD

1998 Coachmen Catalina 320 RKS






Jun 07 2011, 2:10 pm - Replied by: hhuntington2

Thanks Tim and Marry.  What year is your dodge?  I've been looking at an '04
Jan 15 2013, 7:14 pm - Replied by: TheSampsons

Ford's 2010+ 6.7 Diesels have really outdone the
competition the past few years. If your looking at new go Ford 250 PS. Stay
away from used international fords that are pre 2010.

Post Reply

*** NuRVers.com ***