Towing Experts and Service Techs

Discussion in 'The Choo-Choo shop' started by Buicksky, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Buicksky

    Buicksky Gold Level Contributor

    Experts , Techs, Looking for advice. I am in the early stages of upgrading the Wife and Daughters horse trailer and will be needing a 5th wheel capability . Currently have a F150 with Eco Boost Crew Cab 5 1/2 foot bed so that's not going to get it . I also have a 24 foot enclosed car trailer and felt on the edge when towing that fully loaded. The wife is from a Ford Family but is open to GM as well. We have never owned Dodge but are looking at all options. I want them safe when I am not along for the ride so will be looking at New and nearly New options. Considering 3/4 ton 4 wheel drive because there always seems to be mud along with horse outings. Bed Length will probably be 8 Foot vs 6 1/2 foot because of the 5th wheel but not sure which is necessary. I am leaning towards Diesel even though I have no diesel knowledge / skills . I believe Diesel will provide better Mileage but at what cost. Gas engine is in play as well but believe diesel is a better long term ride since I would like to get 10 years out of this Vehicle. Looking for service issues with Diesel Ford vs Diesel GM . Thanks for any suggestions comments and real world advice. Tony
  2. Andrew Sury

    Andrew Sury Well-Known Member

    I have to recommend a 2500HD Duramax. For 1 reason. Allison transmission.
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  3. Pro69GS400

    Pro69GS400 Well-Known Member

    I have a 2015 Chevy 2500hd with the Duramax, and Allison trans. Its 4wd. I’ve had the truck since new and have only had it back for service other than normal maintenance 1 time. It has been an outstanding truck and is a beast for towing and hauling. I’ve had my share of trucks through the years and this is by far the most Comfortable and most powerful best truck I have owned. I have 60,000 miles on it and I am just now getting to the point where I have to replace the original tires and the dual batteries which aren’t cheap. Everything on the truck is still like new including the brakes. The initial cost is high for the diesel options but for towing and hauling it’s hard to beat em. Nothing is cheap to, repair or replace imo but well worth it. The only time it has needed a repair was when it threw a check eng light and it was a faulty heater in the DEF tank system. It was under warranty and evidently there was service bulletins on them and they replaced the whole tank. Oil changes are closer to $100 and I’ve replaced the fuel filter already which was close to another $100. Drive train is still under warranty even. The trailer brake control, tow mode, and exhaust brake works beautifully together to make towing a pleasure and not a white knuckles experience. This has been my experience as an owner not as a tech. Fuel mileage has been 19/24 mpg and diesel has been steady around $2.70 a gallon.
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  4. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    Buddy uses his 04 chevy pulley to pull a 53ft gooseneck, has the max bone stk...get about 14mpg when towing it........has living quarters and hauls his racecar in it.

    I would say get the longest wheel base possable, much more stability. The 8 ft bed makes it easier to not need a slider of offset hitch.

    It's my opinion when towing you cant have too much truck under you.

    The gas motor will be cheaper to buy but have less towing torque, the desiel will cost more when repairs do hit

    Have another guy I work with had a 3 y/o ford, motor went out b4 100k but did get it warranted.....older guy, that mostly drove it like a car......has a 1 y/o chevy and says the dmax is feels like it has more power, better mileage, and quite than pstroke
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  5. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    The duramax and allison combo is entering its 21st year of production. I believe GM has it pretty well sorted out these days. I also think GM has the nicest riding truck too with the best creature comforts too.
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  6. TORQUED455

    TORQUED455 Well-Known Member

    For towing there is nothing like a diesel. Cummins probably has the best out if the 3, but it is still surrounded by a Dodge. The 6.7L Powerstoke is no slouch and is miles ahead of the 6.0/6.4 Navistar's that it replaced. And the L5P is better than any of GM’s Duramax IMO. I do, however, like the way the Ford shifts better than the Allison, although the Allison is very reliable.

    With that said, I purchased a new 2018 Sierra Denali 2500HD L5P in 2018, and it’s a very nice truck. It needs a new DEF module (throws an error code when it gets low) and now the engine oil pan gasket (sealer) is leaking because the bolts loosened up, so off for some warranty work soon. The LML’s had the leaky oil pan sealer too, but those pans were easy to get off because they were small. The L5P’s have a long part like a traditional pan which will require the front diff be removed to replace. The General seems to be a slow learner. They should have Loctited the oil pan bolts.
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  7. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    Yes a slow leaner....they are still using tons of plastic parts in the cooling system..........heat+plastic+dexcool= leaking cooling system at just about 100k on the money
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  8. Buicksky

    Buicksky Gold Level Contributor

    Thanks for all the reply's and opinions Please keep them coming . We made the move on the trailer and now need to secure a truck and 5th wheel set up by March 10th so I continue researching and gathering information. I feel Diesel is the way to go. We like the GMC , I have never owned a Mopar but feel they have improved but was warned today about some electrical issues. We have owned 3 F 150's over the years with mostly good service but they have all been Gas powered. The Wife is open to change which has surprised me.
  9. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    I would stick with the oil burner for towing.......even a wimpy desiel like my 2000 6.5l tows better than the 454 i had or my 6.0l I have in my 3/4ton burbs.

    It seems like ppl that just drive their trucks without turning them up have much less issues than those that are.

    I think they all have some issues with the DEF systems in 1 form or the new emissions and regen systems are another issue with all the particulate filters and such stupid things.

    It's when ppl want the trucks to be racecars when all the big issues come.

    The repair cost to the oil burners seem to be more...........
  10. Buicksky

    Buicksky Gold Level Contributor

    Yes I will either have to learn about Diesel repair or pay for the shop rates. Spoke to a Friend that put a second Turbo on his 1 ton Dually and he burned a hole in one piston and has since put it back to stock. As he said to me, don't Hot Rod your Tow Vehicle.
  11. TORQUED455

    TORQUED455 Well-Known Member

    You really need to know what you're doing with the tune or find someone reputable to do it, or best yet, leave it alone! We have fought some LML emissions issues, not only un-tuning them, fixing the damaged engine (cranks, pistons, etc) and trying to repair the emissions, but trying to repair emissions problems on the un-tuned ones too. Not fun, and a lot of battles were lost but we would eventually win the wars. 2011's were the worst, and the second one we saw turned into a "case-study" where we stopped charging the customer and we learned on his truck. I had a Ford dealer call wanting to send me a 6.7 Powerstroke mess that they tried fixing. N.F.W! Fix it yourself, you are the dealer lol!
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  12. Steve Reynolds

    Steve Reynolds SRE Inc

    Have you checked out the new Ford 7.3 gas??? I looked at them at the Chicago auto show and talked to a few folks about them. I'd give it some consideration..... at least try one out. I've had diesels from all 3 brands. I didn't love the Cummings as much as I liked the Duramax...… Ford was OK. But I have to say..... my 2005 Chevy Dually 8.1 gas towed just as well as any of the diesels. The only issue with the 8.1 was the fuel mileage.... it was terrible.... but then again with a cost difference of $5-$10K you can buy one hell of a lot of extra fuel, not to mention the maintenance issues. Do the math..... how many trips and how many miles will it take to recoup the extra money spent up front. If I were in the market for a new tow vehicle, I'd seriously look at the new 7.3 Ford......especially with the new 10 spd autos, (Ford/GM venture).
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  13. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    I wanted the 8.1l in my 2500 yukon, just couldn't find a nice one in my price range, I have a 6.0l, it for sure does not have big block torque........but once I got settled on the idea of it needing to pull at 3500 up hills not 2500, it gets the work done, I just have to let it work at its pace not force it to work at mine

    I only get about 11 mpg driving it like a car around town and empty on the highway about 14/ the smaller 6.0l gas doesnt do any better in mpg than an 8.1l should do, or my older 98 454 burb did
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  14. GSX 554

    GSX 554 Gold Level Contributor

    I too have a 6.0 in my 2000 Silverado 2500 . Yes I wanted the Diesel but couldn't see the extra $5,000 when I bought it . And now with the price difference of Gas and Diesel I'm glad I got the 6.0 Gas engine . Plus now with having to add DEF .

    My truck WORKS and is not a look pretty truck . It plows snow , pulls trailers and hauls whatever I ask from it . Yeah gas mileage is like 11 mpg around town and maybe 14 on the road but its a truck . But it will do all of those things with 87 octane fuel . Once in a while it will get a treat of 89 . All that at a price per gallon that is 30 to 40 cents less than diesel . I won't get there as fast as a diesel and it may take me a little longer , BUT I get there .
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  15. Brad Conley

    Brad Conley Super Moderator Staff Member

    Couple of things:

    I have both a diesel (2003 Excursion with the 6.0) and an 8.1 (2003 Workhorse chassis on a 38' Winnebago Adventurer) so I think I can speak with some authority. There's also a '85 GMC rollback with a 455 Stage 1, but that's another story.

    1) The 6.0 Ford is a great engine ONCE IT IS BULLETPROOFED (ours is). We took it on a 3 hour drive Saturday with an open trailer to get my son his tractor and averaged 19mpg. Not too bad. Towing the enclosed trailer/GSX combo it will get around 12. It is tuned and you MUST keep an eye on EGT's or you'll burn it up in short order. I have 4 tunes and a programmer (Livewire) and the "hot" tune is very, very fast. It will surprise many "performance" cars but will allow EGT's to go over 1200 degrees in short order. The towing tunes are very mild and we never saw above 700 degrees in the hills east of Columbus with the 2000lb trailer and a 3500 lb tractor, almost like a car setup weight wise. It tows like a beast and actually runs and rides better with a trailer hooked up.

    2) The RV all loaded up will weigh a little more than the Excursion/enclosed trailer/GSX combo but not a lot. Fuel economy is 6-10 mpg going down the road which I consider excellent considering. Power is not close to what the diesel has, but regular gas is 70 cents per gallon less so that does take some of the bite out of the difference in performance. When we were looking at campers I tried very, very hard to talk myself into a diesel. Couldn't do it. Cost of fuel, cost of maintenance, etc. I could not justify the additional cost over a comparable gas motorhome. The Adventurer series of Winnebago's is almost a diesel but with a gas engine. Engine is in front instead of in the rear but really built the same otherwise. Oil changes are measured in quarts and not gallons. The 8.1 does NOT have the torque of the diesel and will slow and downshift a lot more, sometimes even for overpasses. But I'm using it for vacation time and really don't care if it takes me an extra half hour to arrive.

    All said, I personally cannot justify the extra expense of a new diesel over gas anymore. If something happened to our Excursion, I would go out and try to find another one and bulletproof it. If I were looking new, that 7.3 gas Ford has got my attention. I would want to drive one first hooked up to my trailer to see what it is like. I know it won't be like a diesel but would want to know if the loss in performance is worth the difference in cost. Probably is.

    I think you have more research to do before signing on the dotted line....
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  16. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    Our v10 in our 2000 motorhome with 28ft enclosed trailer, I assume are close to 25,000-27,000 had plenty of power, ran 70 no issues and handled convention hill in cindy at 60mph after getting cut off b4 the hill causing me to abort my run up.....but only gets about 7mpg
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  17. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    Dont forget that gm has the new 6.6l gas motor coming out as well. Guess its 401/464 @ 5200/4000

    The new 7.3l ford is 430/475 @ 5500/400

    The dodge 6.4l is 410/429 @ 5600/400

    Not huge differences

    I think they are all pushrod motors
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  18. Quick Buick

    Quick Buick Arlington Wa

    Just how often do you really tow? The chevy LS motor is not a bad for towing less than 25k a year. Why spend the money on a diesel.

    DMax is pure junk. Ford was good 7.4 99-2000 only. Cummins Is the only real motor.

    Allison trans has Not made any improvements in many years AKA crap

    Ford trans wish the motor was as the trans

    Asian trans No problems.
  19. Buicksky

    Buicksky Gold Level Contributor

    Yes towing Mileage is a concern I have not checked out any of the Gas models and dislike the fact they don't rate MPG for any 3/4 ton models. Our current 2014 EcoBoost can muscle up and pull a 24 foot enclosed car trailer but got a whopping 5 to 6 MPG round trip to BG so you can see why I have considered the Diesel.
  20. StfSocal

    StfSocal Well-Known Member

    This is a great thread.

    I am glad to see someone brought up the new 7.3 from Ford.

    I think what we are seeing is that due to governmental institutions getting their way, diesels have become less efficient and less reliable. There are more parts to fail, more service needed, and more money needed.

    The glory days of diesels are really 1993-2007, hence why trucks of this era are so damn expensive today.

    I would be interested to see how the new Ford 7.3 does as it is a basic gas big block engine. Power isn't massive, but the torque curve is dead flat. I am hesitant on the transmission only because I hate the 8spd in my Ram. I am sure it is fine though, as i think mine is just a lemon.

    Anyways, I agree that you should honestly look at how much you tow. When the time comes for me to upgrade, I will likely go with a gasser.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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