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Old 11-01-2013, 08:07 AM   #11
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I admit to being biased towards Fords, but with that relatively light load and having in mind you're only going to have it a year, and that this is a one-shot big deal trip into the mountains, IMHO the perfect truck for you guys is probably whatever you all find most appealing. Of course, it's an opportunity to see what you think of diesels. I love them, but we tow more weight and live at 9000', and aside from towing the new trailer home, have never been below 5000'.

So while my first thought was, like several other posters, a 3/4 ton diesel, after thinking it over, even a little Ford 5.4 would do the trick at quite a bit fewer $$$. And for this short a term, fuel economy isn't much of a factor. If you look for a reasonably long wheel base, good brakes, rubber and shocks/struts, a decent tow package, you should have a fine vacation vehicle as well as one that will get you comfortably through the rest of the year until you replace it next year.

I think as important as a sound TV is, how you drive in the higher altitudes and steeper grades, both up and down, is at least as important, if not more so. A gasser will lose 3 to 4% of its hp, along with torque, for every thousand foot rise above sea level. That becomes considerable at eight or ten thousand feet. So don't worry about keeping up with the speed limits. Take a deep breath if necessary, drop a gear to keep your rpms up, and enjoy the view as you climb. By the same token, use gears when descending long grades to avoid overheating brakes. Keep a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. You might want to plan on traveling fewer miles per day, then plan on even fewer yet. Especially if you hit weather. Plan for a vacation, not a horse race, and enjoy nature's awesome and beautiful world.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
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Wow.. thanks for all this help! I will pass all this info onto my husband..
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:20 PM   #13
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Best truck to tow a 30 foot jayco..

Retired five years ago and have traveled thru the west the last four years. Some of those 7 degree hills hills are tough on a gasser. The ford diesel has a exhaust brake that helps on the down hills I am sure some of the others have it also. I would also stay away from the 6.0 Fords I had one and had good luck with mine 160,000 miles but a lot of people weren't so lucky. The wife wanted a new fifth wheel this year a Pinnacle 36 REQS so I had to upgrade the truck to a 13 f350 dually 6.7. Traveling and living the dream enjoy your trip.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:32 PM   #14
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I have been through this. I started with a 1500 dodge ram. It was fine on flat ground up and down mountains were a white knuckle affair. The other issue I ran into what is the suspension. The half ton suspension is somewhat soft therefore the combination was susceptible to side wins which call me mom passes. Before replacing the truck I upgraded this suspension by adding timben overload springs and E rated tires and Rancho 9000 shocks. In the end the 5.9 L V-8 engine and Dodge transmission was simply not up to task. I trading in the truck for a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 3500. That had 8.1 L V-8 engine. I have been over 10,000 feet above sea level in that truck with no problems whatsoever towing. The stability and safety change by changing from a 1/2 ton to a one ton was dramatic. I would never go back.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:31 PM   #15
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Best truck to tow a 30 foot jayco..

Hmm strange. The Ecoboost's lack of engine braking ability is what made me trade it in for a diesel. Found this out on I-5 in the Siskiyous and US2 Stevens Pass. Love the Duramax and the exhaust brake.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:58 PM   #16
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We went from 05 f150 to ram 3500 diesel. Towing in the mountains really feels effortless now with a trailer that is the similar specs as yours. Look diesel and at least 3/4 ton. My wife is more relaxed as a passenger than before.
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milw156 View Post
Hmm strange. The Ecoboost's lack of engine braking ability is what made me trade it in for a diesel. Found this out on I-5 in the Siskiyous and US2 Stevens Pass. Love the Duramax and the exhaust brake.
Coming out of the mountains west of Denver on I70 south Golden is a section of road that is a good 5 miles long with 6 degree inclines. The EcoBoost worked great for an engine that size, the only time I had to to use the breaks was a few times toward the bottom of the various down hill sections. I slowed down to 35 and let the engine finish the job. I believe that that section goes from about 8k to 5k feet. I was happy with the results. There were also a lot of other locations where the truck did fine. If I decide to go with a bigger TT, I would have to step up to the next level of truck. Wife had no problems riding shotgun through the mountains.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:49 AM   #18
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Having pulled trailers for many years with gasers and defending them based on a perception and not having real experience with diesels I can say now with experience that these are different worlds. I have to remember that I have an 11,000 lb trailer behind me.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:54 AM   #19
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It's been a year since we traded our HitchHiker ll 29.5 LKTG for our WhiteHawk 27 DSRL. The overall length of the WhiteHawk is close to the HitchHiker's length, but considerably lighter. We bought an '05 Ram 3500 Quad Cab long bed with the diesel engine to tow the HitchHiker because of its weight, and I thought I might downsize the truck. After 6 trips with the WhiteHawk, no way am I getting rid of the Ram. The towing experience is great (still use a WD hitch with sway control because the Ram owner's manual recommends it). Aside from the grunt of the engine, I think the wheelbase is a big factor in how the trailer handles behind the truck. I have more power and torque than needed to move the trailer down the road, but with now empty bed space available and the stress free towing, I'm gonna keep her.....................and she's paid for!
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:25 AM   #20
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As previously mentioned in another post, I feel it is more a personal preference.
Having had a CDL license for 15 years, I am very familiar with the diesels capabilities, and using the engine breaking was essential. I also drove a duce and a half in the army, I have driven light commercial trucks with diesels and as indicated, if we move up to a larger TT, I will have to move to a diesel. But for the amount of weight that the Eagle 284BHS is, the amount/type of mountain driving we do, I am not at the top end of the EcoBoost's towing capabilities and it meets all the requirements that are needed to make it a safe and enjoyable towing experience and a FUN truck to drive without the trailer. And that is using the trans to assist with the down hill breaking. It also performs GREAT for straight line acceleration (14.65 1/4 mile time), not a lot of light duty trucks can do that and you can't knock that, while still getting good gas mileage on the road. Heck, my 65 Mustang gets 10 mpg on a good day, traveling down hill with a 50 mph wind behind me. Ok, so the truck doesn't stand a chance running against the 65, but the truck is a lot of fun to drive.
The EcoBoost gives us the best of both worlds.
95% of our trucks use is level ground travel without a TT behind. The summer only has us going up 4K, to the Blue ridge Mountains in northern Georgia, little effort there.
Have a GREAT DAY!!!
Don
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