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Trying to decide on a tow rig...

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by Shaggy, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    OK, so I'll hopefully be buying a tow rig as soon as next month. I will most likely be buying a new truck. Choices are really between an '05 F350 or a GMC Sierra 3500. The Chevy is so butt-ass ugly that I can barely look at it so I sure as hell won't buy one, unless it's such a screaming deal that I can't pass it up. I thought about buying one and then finding someone with a new Tahoe that wants to trade front clips, but that would be a huge hassle. I would like a Dodge but the crew cabs are too small and I'm not going to wait another year for the Megacab to come out.

    Right now I am leaning towards the Ford over the GMC, mainly because I can get a manual tranny but still get the leather and all that stuff. I'm a little worried about the durability of the Fords though, I've heard of some issues with the 6 liter engines, but I'm not sure if they really have it figured out or not. I really like the way the GMCs look, but they seem to be alot pricier than the Fords too.

    The plan is to eventually put a slide-in camper in the truck and be able to tow my '78, so we're talking 4500 lbs in the bed and another 7500 or so on a trailer. I plan on getting a crew cab longbed dually in either truck.

    Comments, opinions or suggestions please...
     
  2. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    So my rig is Buttassugley egh?

    I guess you don't want to hear my comments then?
    heheheh J/K we are all as differnt as the rigs out there:D

    I have been researching the slidein camper & towing issue lately. Total weight seames to be the major issue. Some of the fully loaded slideins stick way out pass the bumper so you want to think about that too. My first thought was to get as much camper as I could afford but now I will have to get someting lighter like a popup slide in...for my uglyass 2500HD
    Whatever you do get the Diesel all that weight you WANT a diesel.
    Good Luck
     
  3. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I love my 03' Chevy. It does everything and then some for me.

    You seem to be leaning towards the Ford, thats ok too. In my limited circle of friends, (compared to the internet world) every guy that has the new 6.0L Powerstroke says its terrible. Two people I know have had ford buy them back. Lots of troubles.

    I like the autos that both Chevy and Ford are offering. I am an auto guy, but if you are dead set for a manual, thats your call. The allison has been holding up very well in the HD.

    I recently drove a 6.0L and was not impressed with the interior at all. It, IMO, is still cheap ford interiors. The seats in my Dmax are much more comfortable. The overall interior is just plain better in the GM's IMO. The motor was strong, but its power curve was different than my HD. It seemed to be a higher tq curve than the Dmax, dunno if thats good with a trailer or not.

    IFS in the GM's is again IMO superior to the solid axle for long towing trips. Unless you plan to lift the ford, the ifs ride is hands down the better choice.

    The price issue is really about the same for the two trucks. A stickered 48k truck can be had for 39ish at the GM dealer.

    Drive them both, see which one you like better, they are both good trucks benefitting from the diesel wars. I do hear about more problems with the ford though...

    Take it FWIW, just one guy's opinion. ;):D I looked at both real hard and chose GM. If I can help with any more questions lemme know.

    Regards,
    John
     
  4. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I would take the 2005 ford over the GM HD anyday. IMHO it's a more solid truck. Far as I know the problems with the 6.0 have been delt with and fixed and the new toqrue shift tranny seems to be holding up. My neighbor has a 2004 Harley edition SD with the 6.0 and I drove it after helping him install an 80HP chip. It was fairly quick but I honestly wasn't all that impressed with the 6.0. The special editon black leather interior in his Harley HD looks "cheap" compared to the black leather interior in my '01 dodge cummins. The GM trucks do have a nicer interior hands down but the rest of the ford is better IMHO mainly because of the new front coil suspension and 6k front D60. I also like the new brake controller in the dash, that was good thinking.

    After driving all three brands I honestly think the dodge is the best truck from the grille to the bumper and I really like my dodge cummins. :waytogo: But agree that the back seat is not as nice as the ford or GM which is important to keep the little ones from kicking your seat. ;)
     
  5. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    Different strokes, Burtman! My brother has an 04 HD and loves it, I just can't get used to that front end.:crazy:

    The main reason that I'm getting the longbed dually is so I can get a real slide-in camper. My only limitation will be getting one that doesn't stick out too far in the back. I'll get an uber-hitch like Friz's and be good to go. You're limited with the short bed too, it puts the COG of the camper behind the rear wheels so it makes it that much harder to tow anything heavy.:frown1:

    I do like the interior on the GMs, although I have to say that even though the Ford and GM are similarly sized interior-wise, the Ford seems larger. I would be OK with the Allison in the GM, but I've heard that the Torq-shift in the Ford is still a gear hunter, even in the '05s. I wouldn't get the manual in the GM because they use a crap-ass aluminum case ZF that can't handle the torque of the D-max, if you get the manny then you also get 60 fewer lb-ft of torque.

    I think what it's really going to come down to is when I'm ready to go I'll go start test driving trucks, whatever I find that really tickles my pickle is what I'll go with. In the grand scheme of things I'd prefer the GMC, but I'm not sure if that's the way it will go. Oh yeah, I'll be getting a diesel for sure, I won't even consider a gasser for a tow rig.

    Other things that I like/dislike about the two trucks -

    GMC likes - available DVD system, satellite radio, it's a GM product, nice stereo and climate control system, comfy memory seats.
    GMC dislikes - dually fenders one peice with bedside so they'll be real pricey to fix if I ever smack one, no good manual trans available, butt ugly steel wheels are the only ones available on the dually ($48k truck with grey painted steel wheels??)

    Ford likes - I can get a real (no fiddly dials on the dash) transfer case, manual trans and solid axle, integrated brake controller is sweet, highest payload capacity of all the 1 ton trucks available
    Ford dislikes - it's a Ford, poor reliablility on the engine in the past, not as many creature comforts available as on the GMC, seats are kinda firm

    I would like the Harley edition Ford if there were about 1/10th as many HD sheilds. Seems like they festoon every available surface with the things. I dig the blue one with the flames though.:D
     
  6. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I was just kidding Shagadelic. I got use to the 'Mad Chinaman' look, the 05 has a higher hood like the 2002 had and that helps the looks alot. I didn't get my rig for looks anyway. The ride in my rig is sweet, stock stereo rocks loud seats and climate control works great, the DIC (Driver Information Center) is fun to play with. It tells you the range you can drive for how much fuel is in the tank, fuel millage, gallons used, hrs drivin, all kinds of information. You can customize your rig for when you unlock it(horn goes off or lights flash or both and visa versa when you lock it) oil life, stuff like that. I have 4K+ on it already in two months, I dirve it everywere. My long bed has a spray in linner too for hallin wood and stuff.
    I almost got a dulley but changed my mind, well my budjet had alot to do with it too.
    Eaither one you get you will love it I'm sure..the choice is all you baby:xmas:
     
  7. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    Hey, the new bulgy hood does make the front of the Chebbies look better! I may have to go take a peek in person to see what I think... :D

    If anyone needs me I'll be down at the truck dealerships.:p:
     
  8. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Wait For The Megacab.
     
  9. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    I would, but I don't want to wait another year for a truck.
     
  10. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    6 liter Ford is junk, and as far as I know, 05 is the last production year it's going to be offered.

    Get a Cummins. :grin:
     
  11. Hustler

    Hustler 1/2 ton status

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    I looked for a while for a good tow truck and came up with the Chevy. I know you said you don't like the looks of them. I have an 03 1 ton crew cab dually 4x4 w/ DMax and love it. I say pass up on the Dodge, they still have transmission problems and Ford has engine problems. GM is the only manufacturer that really don't have any problems with their trucks.
     
  12. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Come on...Duramax isn't the most durable diesel out there...add in independent front and an elevated price tag, and it's got it's share of problems. If you're 60 and want something that's lower and rides like a car, sure....but I do believe Shaggy's looking for a truck!

    However you are half right when you say dodge has transmission problems, but only if you're stuck in the lazy world of auto shifting in a truck. Get a real Dodge with a NV5600, CTD, 4x4 for 5K under what you could get the Chevy for, and take the wife on a cruise to the mediterranean with what you've got left. You get a better truck and a happy wife!

    :D
     
  13. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I know the Chebbies are butt ugly, but what about the GMC Sierra's. I really like the look of them.
     
  14. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    First off, dodge does not have transmission problems anymore, the 48RE is a damn good auto, not to mention Dodge is using the NV5600 that is the strongest manual in all three, much tougher than that aluminum box GM uses that requires lower computer settings on the dmax. :laugh: I also remember the earlier Dmax with internal injectors that were lining up at the dealership with oil pans full of diesel. ;)

    I personally don't like the ride of IFS. My dad's '98 burb is just too floaty and sways easily. I love the firm and solid feeling my strait axled dodge has.

    Ford had engine problems but they are supposedly fixed. My neighbor hasn't had a prob with his Harley edition SD 6.0.
     
  15. ramjet gmc

    ramjet gmc CK5 Staff Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    i like the ford allso get the 2004and up 6.0 and the new auto trany a killer combo and the d60 i think that is only in the f350 my ford X has the D50 the outer and tubsare d60 but the inside axels are smaller so look in to it if you look at a f250

    good ford site http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthreads/
     
  16. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Hmmm........the 48RE is a "good" transmission? It's basically a beefed up 47RE.....which is a beefed up 46RE. In any case the major downfall is the fact it only has 4 speeds, which is not a great idea for the narrow powerband of the Cummins.

    For the 5600, let's just see how much longer Dodge will use them.........I bet for only another year or so before they go with something better (that's not made by New Venture Gear)..............that should tell you how great the 5600 is!
     
  17. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I spend a lot of time over at TDR.com. Ever been there? Those are the guys that actually have the 47RE's, 48RE's, and the NV5600. Both the 47 and 48 RE's seem to hold up excellent with the ATS converter and VB combo with the 48 being able to handle a little more than the 47.

    I haven't heard any problems what so ever about the NV5600. I have heard numerous people here refer to it as the "manual of choice." Haven't heard one complaint about them over at TDR.com (remember, the guys that actually have them) and seem to be nearly industructable. Dodge has also come out with a 5 spd auto. It's the 545RE or something like that and is behind the hemi in the new power wagon. It is far too new to get any idea if it's any good or not.
     
  18. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Even though I don't currently own one, I have more experience (technical and driving) with Dodge trucks than probably most people over at TDR.

    The 545RFE is a great transmission, but not rated to handle anything close to the current model Cummins.

    "Both the 47 and 48 RE's seem to hold up excellent with the ATS converter and VB combo...........". Hmmmm, modify a brand new truck to keep the transmission together??!! If the trans were decent in the first place you wouldn't have to do this..........................
     
  19. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Great, now hopefully dodge will make an HD version because if it can't handle cummins power than it is worthless to most of us.


    Actually it's to keep them alive and perfectly happy with a big box. They seem to handle 400HP and 800 ft lbs and even more just fine with just a VB and torque converter upgrade on a good shape stocker.
    I haven't really heard much of the auto's failing behind stock cummins. It's the bombed ones with stock trannies that are obviously having a hard time and guys pulling heavy loads constantly. I have a stock cummins with no power adders and have no problems with my 47RE.
     
  20. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    I havent seen any problems with the Duramax strength wise. Ive seen 1 replaced, and that was back in 2002 when they first came out. And dont pull any crap out of your ass about the aluminum heads. Ive seen duramax's come in with next to no coolant in them, AND pull temps close to 270* while towing without a problem(problem truck, its a long story, but it was from a bad air box design that pulled too much hot air from the engine compartment) Plus you cant beat the Allison for a stock auto tranny compared to the other trucks. If I remember correctly its internal hard parts dwarf both dodge's and ford's HD auto trannies.
     

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