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Opinions please on truck selection.

5106 Views 75 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  josh/mr2
Ok guys I trust your opinions so here is my situation. My family and I are getting ready to buy a fifth wheel to live in for the next roughly 1-2 years. We are looking at 40' toy haulers ie Fuzion 402 or one of there other models with a average dry weight of 13,500lbs. Now I am not rolling in the dough I'm active duty navy with some mild debt so the solution of going and buying a massive 4500 truck is out the question or a semi.

So looking at the tow ratings in the dodge pamplet it looks like getting a 08 3500 LB 4x4 with the 4.10 gears will put me at being able to tow 16,800 lbs. I am unsure on which truck to buy a dually, or LB 3500 single, or even a 2500 LB and add the rear air ride. When I spoke to the salesman at the dodge dealer he thinks that the 2500 with bags will be fine but he also doesn't suggest the 4.10 gears he suggest the 3.73 gears and a manual tranny for either the 2500 or the 3500. I looked at a 2500 4x4 LB big horn with 3.73 and the 6 speed truck today they have it priced at $32,495.

I'm stuck here I know that the 2500 can get the job done but I've be told that since the truck is not rated for that much weight there could be legality issues down the road. What do you guys have to say about this?
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if you want to save some money, try geting a 5.9l and youll get about 4-5 extra mpgs...and that really adds up:$:
 

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Did you say he doesn't suggest the 3500? Why would that be?

The Mega is great but I'd rather have a longbox if I'm pulling a 5'th. I'd also probably take a close look at a dually if I'm gonna pull such a large trailer.
 

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I would try to a get a 5.9l 3500 duelly 5or6 speed no mega cab cuz with the 5th wheel you have to get a sliding hitch or something the cost a good bit.The 2500 would be very unstable with the much weight imo,I have a 2500 and with a 11k pounds on my car trailer its alot of sag in the back of my truck
 

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are you going to be mainly in a park?, or traveling?, If you are going to stay stationary i would be fine with a 2500 5.9, but and its a big but, if you plan on traveling much, that much weight scares the hell out me with anything except a 3500 dually, you get to swaying and its like your surfing down the highway, with your family on the board with you
 

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I gotta tell you... I am being honest as a full time RV'er.

I have the 3500 single rear wheel and I have been trying since my first couple of pulls to figure out how to get more capacity in the rear tires. I have airbags with my 3500 and I needed them even with the overload springs. I did get the quad cab long bed and with the new style of front caps on the Heartland Cyclone, the Keystone Fuzions and the Raptors the long bed isn't as necessary as it used to be. They have designed them for short beds. I really like having the long bed but it causes some wind issues because of the setback of the pinbox since they are designing them for the short bed trucks. enough wind issues that I am looking for wings to try and move my bug line up higher on the front becaue with no wind I get 10-12MPG hand calculated and if I hit headwinds I get 7-8. I would say that those numbers were a fluke but it has happend on more than one pull with more than one tank of fuel.

If I had to buy again I would probably get a 2006 5.9 mega cab dually. I would deal with the slider hitch for a while until I could spring for the long bed conversion just because I like long beds. I would get the manual like I have and the 3.73 gears. I am actually going to gear down and put the 3.42's in mine as soon as I can. I can tow just fine but I am overloaded with my 38ft cyclone. Mostly on the rear tires. I was 610 lbs overloaded on the rear axle tires when I weighed on my trip to El Paso last month. I can get by with the Nitto Dura Grapplers in the 285 size and still technically meet the weight ratings but I still want the extra security of the dually or I am going to get 19.5 wheels.

I have pulled up and down Alabama and all the way over to El Paso, TX and back over to Dallas. I have pulled my camper over 5,000 miles this year and still have several more thousand to go. I have a smarty on my 5.9 and the muffler delete and it pulls better than it handles. I have airbags and would do that again even with the dually because it levels the truck back out even with just a little bit of air and it accomplishes two things. First it picks the back end up and puts the headlights back somewhat normal and secondly it keeps the back from squatting and puts some more weight back over the front axle like a weight distribution setup would do. I also have an exhaust brake that is dang near *mandatory* with the manual tranny and this heavy of a load. I crossed the scales on the way to El Paso at 25k even truck and trailer fully loaded. Just so you know. that means my trailer was 16,885 lbs. My truck weighed 7640 with me in it and the tank full before I installed all my hitches. 275lbs in hitches and my 200lb brother subtracted from 25k puts me at that number.


If you get a single rear wheel anything I would recomend an air ride hitch. It takes a ton of stress off the truck and could save you a blow out because it softens the bottoming out of the camper and truck when you hit big bumps. I invested in a used one and it has been worth double the money that I paid for it.


That is my $.02. I live the same lifestyle and I do enjoy it, but had I known then what I know now I would have sucked it up and gotten a dually even though I don't want one for daily driving.


*Edit* I would also make sure you have gauges. I have been much hotter than I expected even stock than I ever would have thought. I have a manual tranny and installed the tranny temp sending unit and it is a lot hotter in that manual than you would believe.
 

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Thanks for the great input luckyhat!!!
 

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Whatever you get, just know that you are going to have to deal with it for time to come. Read up on both the 5.9's and the 6.7, get educated on what your dealing with.

On a side not with a mild box/turbo back you can get the same hp/tq out of a 5.9 that a 6.7 has. And if your hauling all the time you may want to consider a set of gauges.
 

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First of all I want to say thank you, I was also active a Marine 5 years. Next I pull a 29 foot fifth wheel with a 22 ft boat behind it, if you buy anything go with a dually lots more stable than any single tire, I do agree with the 3:73 rear gears, and Manual...........the mileage thing is questionable yes a 5.9 is better fuel mileage out the gate, but my rig towing the train I get 14mpg running 70, my fifth wheel weighs 10k dry, boat roughly 4 or 5k. Now towing a boat I get 18 mpg running 75. and buy its self I get 20 city, and 24 highway.........The 08 6.7 cummins is a awesome rig when it comes to power, but if you leave it stock fuel will eat you up at 14 mpg, 16 highway.....that emissions stuff kills fuel economy........so if your going to keep your diesel stock go with 5.9 Manual only, if your going to modify go with the 6.7 power house..........Believe me if you are going to tow that heavy toy haller get at least a 1 ton dually of any breed ford, dodge, or Chevy. I am cummins bias so can't advise you there. The single wheels are good if you aren't tow anything big.........they eat tires fast on heavy loads, and I pass them like they are standing still in the wind due to not being stable. Best wishes on what ever you decide your the one towing and buying fuel what ever you do, do not listen to the Dealer they don't know nothing except selling, there is allot of knowledge on this forum, just have to pick where to ask the questions...............anyone else feel free to chime in any help:thumbsup:beer

Look at it this way if you go big then there will never be a need to upgrade! I vote for 1 ton dually:$::beer
 

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First of all I want to say thank you, I was also active a Marine 5 years. Next I pull a 29 foot fifth wheel with a 22 ft boat behind it, if you buy anything go with a dually lots more stable than any single tire, I do agree with the 3:73 rear gears, and Manual...........the mileage thing is questionable yes a 5.9 is better fuel mileage out the gate, but my rig towing the train I get 14mpg running 70, my fifth wheel weighs 10k dry, boat roughly 4 or 5k. Now towing a boat I get 18 mpg running 75. and buy its self I get 20 city, and 24 highway.........The 08 6.7 cummins is a awesome rig when it comes to power, but if you leave it stock fuel will eat you up at 14 mpg, 16 highway.....that emissions stuff kills fuel economy........so if your going to keep your diesel stock go with 5.9 Manual only, if your going to modify go with the 6.7 power house..........Believe me if you are going to tow that heavy toy haller get at least a 1 ton dually of any breed ford, dodge, or Chevy. I am dodge bias so can't advise you there. The single wheels are good if you aren't tow anything big.........they eat tires fast on heavy loads, and I pass them like they are standing still in the wind due to not being stable. Best wishes on what ever you decide your the one towing and buying fuel what ever you do do not listen to the Dealer they don't know nothing except selling, there is allot of knowledge on this forum, just have to pick where to ask the questions...............anyone else feel free to chime in any help:thumbsup:beer

Look at it this way if you go big then there will never be a need to upgrade! I vote for 1 ton dually:$::beer
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well thanks guys a lot of good input here. The only issue I've noticed with going with a 5.9 is the pricing compared to the new trucks. I've got two 5.9 mega cab dually's forsale in my arear both are asking 35k one has a few aftermarket items on it and has the manual. He needs to sell it asap but I'm still sitting on my suburban that needs to go for me to get my tow truck. The dealer here in town yesterday did not have any dually's so I didn't see what price was on those new a while back they were marked the same as the SRW. I appreciate you guy's help.
 

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I looked on ebay and there are several on there that aren't that much. If you don't need the mega then I would get the quad long bed.

eBay Motors: Dodge : Ram 3500 (item 320269954338 end time Jul-12-08 09:56:17 PDT)

The other thing that I forgot to mention is to be selective on your tool box choice if you are towing the 5th wheel. I have always had the over the rail toolbox and I still love my over the rail toolbox but it is making it hard to find the kind of wind deflector that I want to put on it. If you aren't going to be towing that much then it may not be worth it but it is something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok I went over to the dodge dealership down the road and this is what I found. It is a Bighorn edition SLT 4x4 DRW it's a automatic with 4:10's. Basically it is cloth with power driver seat, auto tinting mirror with bluetooth, auto sliding rear window, satelite radio. I think that pretty much covers the options.

Now I drove this truck using that 6 speed auto locking gear thing down a steep hill with the jack brake and I never had to touch the brakes at all. That truck was awsome. I was pretty much sold on the manual I drove the other day till I drove that. As far as price goes after all rebates I'm looking at 38,000.00 If I do go with it I will try to work them down but what is your feedbacks on that particular truck. Oh the difference in price between SRW and DRW is only like 1,400 bucks.

Josh
 

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I would go with the manual tranny even though the 68RE is a nice tranny. If your sold on the 6.7 then get the DPF/EGR Delete kit for sure or your mileage will be terrible. Also, I think the 4.10 gears are unnecessary. 3.73 will be just fine. 38K is steep right now. Look in the SE TX area and you can find a better deal. I don't know where your located but if you can find a cheaper deal then it may be worth it. Make sure you go into the buying process willing to back out. As long as you have the upper hand you'll be okay. Set a max price you will pay and don't budge.
 

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I'd want a manual tranny as well and I definitely agree with everyone on the dually suggestion. I'd seriously consider going slightly used, used Diesel trucks are really cheap right now, i'd let somebody else take the depreciation hit and go used.
 

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I bought a brand new truck and a brand new camper and after the fact I wish I had gone used for both to a point. I would definitely look for a used camper. I freaking hate having so much to fix on a brand new camper and there are no lemon laws for 5th wheels where I am from. Only lemon laws are for coaches with motors.


I would seriously look at a used truck. Be able to finance more and put the necessary upgrades on it that make it work for you. Go ahead and spend the money on an exhaust brake and whatever other things you need on it. Mine extras were spent on a good 5th wheel hitch, airbags and the exhaust brake. Everything else is just extra for me.

I would stay away from the 4.10's if you get the manual. I would honestly look for the 3.42's if you get the manual. I have the 3.73's with the G56 and I am considering changing to the 3.42's
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Well the difference in price between a truck here in the Seatle area and SE Texas would have to be 3,000 dollars plus difference in price for me to even consider purchasing a truck that far from here. What is the DPF delete kit? I've seen people discussing that but I don't quite understand what it is, and how will that affect warranty? Do you have any expierece with driving and towing with a 08 6.7 manual/auto? There has been a lot of changes with the Auto speed tranny since the auto with the 5.9.

What about 2wd or 4wd? I know I will never take this truck off roading so what type of advantages and disadvantages would there be with or without it.
 
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