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RV Adventure

My wife recently found a 29 foot fifth wheel RV in beautiful condition and at a reasonable price, and we bought it. Well…my 2001 Dakota that I love isn’t truck enough to move that 11,500 pound baby anywhere. Researching trucks that could do it is a little frustrating. Sounds like the Fords have plenty of power but get terrible mileage (not that I expect much), and I’ve never been impressed with the ride of a Ford compared with the good old GM Fisher Body rides or even my Dakota. Sadly, there are a lot of nasty comments on Edmund’s about the Dodge 2500’s having clogged sensors and going to the shop over and over again. Not much negative about the Chevy or GMC 2500 HD’s. I may save a little by getting about a 2007. I really don’t want a dually (four tires cost enough!)But are the Dodge trucks really that bad? I don’t really like diesels because of the noise but I understand they are quieter now and get better mileage. I don’t expect to be challenging Rocky Mountain State Park with this thing, but it would be nice to cruise the Ozarks, maybe head down toward the Gulf, or over to our pals north of Atlanta. So there are a few pretty good hills ahead. Any advice out there on which truck to look for?

With any trailer that weighs more than 10,000 pounds, I would get a dually. I am not a fan of Dodge myslelf. I would be looking at Fords and Chevys with a turbo diesel.

You might even consider a small day cab commercial truck from Freightliner with a single dual axle in the rear instead of two axles, although you might need to get a special license to drive it. Whatever you do, don’t get a Volvo. They have the worst transmissions. A Mack truck (if you can find the right one), might even have an automatic transmission.

Check out some RV magazines. They now make tow vehicles that are something in between a pick-up truck and a commercial truck that are specifically made for RVing. I can’t remember who makes them.

I’m not sure the 2500’s are big enough. I’d look at the 3500’s or F-350’s if you go with Ford. You definately have to go diesel. A gas motor will get horrible fuel mileage. A diesel motor gives you much more torque at lower RPM’s which is what you need to tow a heavy trailer.

If you must stick to a gas motor the Ford V-10 can handle the load. Your mpg with the trailer hooked up will be like 4 mpg. That’s where the diesel will pay for itself. It will get twice the mpg when towing.

A 2008+ F-250 Superduty Powerstroke is rated to tow 12,500 pounds. Thats getting close to your 11,500, close enough to question whether 11,500 is loaded or empty?

As for MPG, “What the heck do you expect?” There are no hard numbers as to what a Ford will get vs GMC vs Dodge because this is an awfully hard number to measure. Remember its a truck, MPG running empty is almost meaningless because its a truck and its supposed to be carrying things. Power requires fuel, the more power you use the more fuel you will use.

Also, its a truck, so its going to ride like a truck. Test drive and compare for yourself. These are real trucks and not pseudo cars like your Dakota.

All 2007+ diesels will get poorer MPG than older models due to the latest EPA tiered regulations in effect.

When doing my own research last year the big ding against Dodge was the automatic transmission. Also many of their “crew cab” models had very short legroom in the back. There are some new Dodge trucks with crew cabs nearly as large as Ford’s.

I bought a 2008 F-250 Superduty Powerstroke Lariat 4x4 on year end closeout. Only wish there had been an 8’ bed on the lot to choose from.

And of course I wish it would get 30 MPG, but if it did I would complain that it didn’t get 40 MPG. Just as I’m complaining my Prius only gets 50 MPG when the EPA said it would get 60 … :slight_smile:

Towing a 6,000 pound un-aerodynamic toy hauler at 70+ MPH on winter diesel produced 8 MPG. At 65 MPH with a bit more aerodynamic toy hauler (and more experience) I’m seeing 10 to 12 MPG. Running empty at 65 to 70 MPH is about 17 MPG.