Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

HafDressage
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Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby HafDressage » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:45 am

Last year I bought a 2017 2 horse Gooseneck Sundowner. I've been using my trainer's truck, but now it's time to purchase my own truck. Soooooo...I'm lost.

She has a Dodge 3500 dually diesel with airbrake that is awesome, but also hard to find used. So, my question to you guys:

1. What do you haul with and like?
2. Do you also prefer the airbrake system?
3. What are your thoughts on diesel vs gas?

Really any information would be helpful. Thank you in advance! :)

Literiding
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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby Literiding » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:09 am

HafDressage wrote:Last year I bought a 2017 2 horse Gooseneck Sundowner. I've been using my trainer's truck, but now it's time to purchase my own truck. Soooooo...I'm lost.

She has a Dodge 3500 dually diesel with airbrake that is awesome, but also hard to find used. So, my question to you guys:

1. What do you haul with and like?
2. Do you also prefer the airbrake system?
3. What are your thoughts on diesel vs gas?


By "airbrake" do you mean a compression (Jake) brake? A compression brake is something quite different than an airbrake. Large trucks and semi-trucks use airbrakes as the primary stopping system rather than hydraulic fluid. The compression brake is used to slow down but becomes less effective as you slow.

For good advice, you need to give us some idea of how often you trailer, the highways you use and the terrain that you routinely drive through. Driving in Kansas is a whole lot different than driving in the Rockies all the time.

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby HafDressage » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:47 am

Literiding - Thanks for your response! Soooo I'm not sure what I mean with the brake. In her truck, if you let off the accelerator, the break kicks in and you barely need to actually apply your foot to the brake until you are relatively slowed down. After hunting online, I would say that perhaps it's what they call an "'exhaust brake???"

In terms of my trailering needs. Probably once or twice a month, mostly within 2.5 hours, but probably occasionally 4-6 hour trips (maybe once or twice a year). I live in the deep south, so no snow or ice and not really hilly either. I think I've decided that I want 4x4, but where I really have no clue (or moreso lol) is about the gas diesel difference. Also, I'm leaning towards the Dodge/Ram trucks, but those suckers are hard to find. Really all of these trucks are hard to find without a million miles on them already.

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby khall » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:22 am

Haf I live in GA, I pull a 2 H GN straight load with an F250 diesel '07 two wheel drive. I love this truck, love the diesel. When we buy again I may look at the Chevy diesel, Never a Dodge fan so will not go that route. I have never wanted a dually just too big especially since I drive my truck for daily use as well. What you are talking about is not braking but downshifting with the tow/haul transmission. My truck will do this when I engage tow/haul on the transmission. A friend just bought a '16 F250 diesel 4X4, man that is a BIG truck.

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby StraightForward » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:25 am

How big of a gooseneck? Just 2-horse with a dressing room, or bigger?

I have an 2000 F250 V10, and will probably buy the same in a newer version when it's time. I've had it for 9 years and knock wood, it's been very trouble free. It brought my Featherlight trailer home from Colorado through a snow storm, and I took it over Donner Pass a few years ago to pick up a horse, and have always been happy with its performance. I know a lot of people are die-hard diesel truck fans, but for me the extra expense and hassle doesn't seem worth it (issues with cold; noisy and stinky), since I don't haul heavy, and rarely go long distances.
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Code3
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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby Code3 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:16 am

I pull my 3 horse slant with a 99 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel. I use an electric brake controller and have made runs from western Oregon to Reno and to the California Bay Area. If I were regularly going over steep mountains with a full load I’d want a 3500 but for my regular use of mostly local trips the truck pulls great. I joke that it is actually happier when it’s pulling. Even though the truck is 19 years old it only has 146,000 miles on it. I will say, though, that it drives like a truck where the newer vehicles are more responsive. It has the Cummins diesel, which I like. My mechanic is a fan of the Allison transmission in the Chevys but I don’t have any experience with them. Have fun shopping!

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Fatcat
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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby Fatcat » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:46 am

We recently replaced our 94 dodge cummins with a 2016 dodge cummins 3500, not a dually though. We bought it used with 12 k miles, we were acually looking for a 2500, but this was such a good deal we got the one ton. It has the Jacobsen compression brake, and I love it! I took a trip to pick up a pony and had to wind my way through the Gorge hills to Goldendale WA and back, and that thing basically drove itself. It automatically downshifts and uses the automatic compression brake to keep you at your desired speed. Man is that a sweet feature! I pull a heavy 3 horse steel slant, and I didn't even notice it was back there. I made an 8 hour non stop trip to get the pony and I wasn't even fatigued when we got home, it's just like driving our SUV all day. I'm now a believer in the saying " There's no such thing as too much truck".
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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:54 am

I have a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel 4WD, less than 150K miles on it. I pull a 2 horse bumper pull with dressing room with it and it doesn't know it's back there. I live in mountainous terrain--I can't actually go anywhere from here without going down and up and over a mountain pass.

I think what you are referring to is overdrive on an automatic. It makes towing so much easier, particularly downhill, which is pretty important to me!

The Dodge, as I have mentioned before, has a wonderful Cummins Diesel engine, which is The Best Thing for towing, and I love driving it. The rest of it is total, total crap. We've literally replaced every other part on the damned thing except the engine and the steering wheel. (Yes, even the seats...) It's riddled with rust and the top coat is peeling off the hood, so it looks pretty ghetto. But it is paid for, and I shall have to drive it 'til the wheels drop off.

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Fatcat
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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby Fatcat » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:59 am

No, she really is talking about exhaust or compression braking. The new Dodge diesels offer this as an option on their trucks, and it works slick! Ours has this feature in addition to the Towing mode which disables overdrive.
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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby Sunshine2Me » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:05 pm

I have a 1999 F350 v10 dually. It's a gas truck. It's actually a bigger truck than I was looking for, but I was buying used and it's what I could find. It's only got 90,000 miles. It was a construction company truck so the body is pretty beat up but it pulls great.

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby Tuddy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:23 pm

I have a 2004 Dodge 2500. Cummins engine. You will never beat a Cummins.

I have been in a 2017 Chev Silverado with the Dirtymax, er, Duramax diesel, and if I could take that cab and put it over a Cummins engine, my life would be complete.

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:25 pm

Fatcat wrote:No, she really is talking about exhaust or compression braking. The new Dodge diesels offer this as an option on their trucks, and it works slick! Ours has this feature in addition to the Towing mode which disables overdrive.


Oh, nice... I haven't seen this yet!

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby highoctane » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:18 pm

I don't have a horse trailer currently, but I pull a 24' enclosed car hauler with our '97 F250 diesel. Total tow weight is about 9-10k. I've used it to pull both bumper pull and gooseneck horse trailers in the past, though.

Gas vs diesel: Nowadays, the horsepower/torque ratings are impressive for both. It comes down to cost, really: a diesel will (generally) get better mpg than gas (generally). BUT a diesel engine will also (generally) last longer than a gas engine (generally). Diesels can be more expensive to maintain. Diesels also do much better in extreme hot or extreme cold environments...if you run your a/c a bunch and get stuck in traffic with a gas truck hauling a trailer, it'll struggle. Diesels don't care lol. So it really depends on how long you're keeping the truck, what diesel/gas costs, your driving habits etc etc. If money is no object, I would buy a diesel, hands down.

As far as brands, I'm a Ford gal, but the Dodge and Chevy trucks are ok too. Just make sure their GVWR (tow rating) is at least 1.5x what you ever plan on towing with (and include the weight of a fully loaded truck). DO NOT - let me emphasize this - DO NOT EVER buy a Toyota for towing. Just don't.

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby Code3 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:02 pm

Moutaineer wrote:I have a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel 4WD, less than 150K miles on it. I pull a 2 horse bumper pull with dressing room with it and it doesn't know it's back there. I live in mountainous terrain--I can't actually go anywhere from here without going down and up and over a mountain pass.

I think what you are referring to is overdrive on an automatic. It makes towing so much easier, particularly downhill, which is pretty important to me!

The Dodge, as I have mentioned before, has a wonderful Cummins Diesel engine, which is The Best Thing for towing, and I love driving it. The rest of it is total, total crap. We've literally replaced every other part on the damned thing except the engine and the steering wheel. (Yes, even the seats...) It's riddled with rust and the top coat is peeling off the hood, so it looks pretty ghetto. But it is paid for, and I shall have to drive it 'til the wheels drop off.


Sounds like we have essentially the same truck with the same mileage with mine being a year older. I’ve heard similar complaints about the Dodges, but mine has no rust and no major issues/ repairs. I must just be lucky.

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby heddylamar » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:15 pm

Mom had a 1996 Dodge Cummins Diesel. Like Moutaineer, everything but the engine needed work or replacement. But, we knew that when it was purchased -- our resident diesel mechanics all said the engine would out perform Dodge's shell.

Nearly 10 years ago, she replaced it with a Chevy 2500 gas engine, shorter bed + extended cab. Her trailer has remined the same Gore 2H gooseneck with tack. The Chevy is a beast, and the human comforts far outweigh those of the Dodge or my base model Ford.

I've been happy the last 10+ years hauling with my Ford F250 v10 gas engine, regular cab + long bed. It's a perfect fit for my Hawk 2H bumper pull w/ tack. It's also (kinda) small enough I can park in select DC parking garages, and the 4wd is a necessity.

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby HafDressage » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:10 pm

Thank you everyone for your responses!!! I read everyone's posts and did a ton of online research. Soooo drumroll....

I bought a truck! I actually wasn't planning to buy one so soon, but the dealership I went to had 2 trucks that fit my parameters and they were ready to play ball.

So, I tried a 2015 Ram 2500, gas, 4x4, V8 hemi with only 7,000 miles on it and factory warranty, and a very pretty 2014 Ford Lariat F-350 diesel with 79,000 miles. The Ford was about 8K more in list price than the Ram, but also needed new tires in probably the next few months and a gooseneck hitch installed (so about 2K more immediately). Test drove both, really liked both. Sweated it out for a while.

Ultimately, I decided on the Ram. I was concerned that the diesel would not fair well with limited driving (have heard their engines do best with driving them regularly) and was concerned that it would have more expensive maintenance over time (I almost fell out of my chair when they told me the price of an oil change for a diesel truck). For me, I'm not likely to haul more than an hour or two once or twice a month and so the diesel just seemed like overkill for my needs. Still, I had trouble walking away from the more powerful truck.

Hopefully I made the right choice. I have 5 days to change my mind and then, of course, I can always trade in if long term it doesn't meet my needs. In the meantime, I'm SUPER excited. It is an amazing AMAZING sense of freedom and independence to not have to rely on others to haul me. Coordinating schedules, messaging about rides, feeling guilty about borrowing trucks be gone! :) :) :)

Again thank you all for your advice, it was invaluable! :)

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Re: Trucks! Need help/opinions on tow vehicles

Postby kande50 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:36 pm

Fatcat wrote:I'm now a believer in the saying " There's no such thing as too much truck".


I'll say. We bought a GMC 4500 in 2003 because we were going to a lot of wagon trains back then and liked to put a wagon in the back of the truck (with camping gear and feed for a week) and tow a 16' trailer with 3 horses.

First truck we had that didn't have to slow down on the hills. :-)


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