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 > Best truck for Northern Lite 10-2

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specta

utah

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Posted: 11/16/19 04:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ardvark wrote:

The last three trucks have been Fords; the two before that wore a GM badge. Never had a problem with any of them. I think we all buy what we like and then think up rationale to explain why we did what we did. [emoticon]

My wife and I have a simple system of deciding what to buy. We look it over and say "if we buy this instead of that will we be happier", if the answer is yes we buy it, if the answer is no, we don't.

Had dually diesel, now run SRW gasser. Seen lots of elevation out West, never had to get out and push yet. [emoticon] Local Ford dealer tells me 60% of the trucks they sell (not including F150s) are diesel. Lots of big loads being hauled I guess. [emoticon] Wondering if the new 7.3 would make us smile. Still talking that one over!

Our gasser does use its transmission to haul us up the grade, but those grades all got a downside to em and there are even a few spots that are kinda flat if I recall correctly. [emoticon]


Lots of good points there.

I'm more than pleased with the 6.0L in my Chevy.

If I were to buy a new truck I would look at Fords and Chevys.

My heartburn goes back a long time when I worked at a Dodge dealer dealing with factory reps and I swore I'd never buy a Dodge and I never will.


Kenny
2011 Chevy 2500 HD 6.0L 4wd
Regular cab. The best looking trucks.
1995 Lance 945 Onan QG 2500 LP
6580 lb truck 10540 fully loaded


Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 11/16/19 06:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take my conjecture a bit tongue in cheek.
Weigh all your priorities including budget, wants, needs, future value, etc.
not a clear cut answer.
Yes you can haul it with a 25 year old pickup or a new F450 powerstroke, safely.
All BS aside, I’d get a dually for full time camper hauling at that weight.
Everyone got caught up in the rest of the BS, me included, but brand -wise, it’s pick your favorite flavor. All are super capable and equally reliable IMO.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

specta

utah

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Posted: 11/16/19 06:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Years ago my daughter asked me if she should buy a Ford, Chevy or a Dodge. pickup.

She was expecting me to tell her to buy a Ford because that's what I had always driven.

I told her to go drive all three and buy the one she liked driving the best.

Not so sure if one is really any better than the other.

TxGearhead

Texas

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Posted: 11/16/19 07:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having owned both, my perception is the Ram is a high torque lower RPM traditional diesel. My Ford felt more like a high revving hot rod truck engine. Strangely I prefer the feel of the Ram. No issues with the 2 Rams I owned. The Ford(2012?) had to be re flashed twice and didn't help the issue of at the worst possible time, like pulling into heavy traffic with the boat, it would cough, spit, and fart until just before I got run over, and then decide to run.
I bought the Ford diesel because I just couldn't stand screaming up hills, getting passed by18 wheelers, then flying downhill and passing the same 18 wheelers again, and again, and again.
Get a diesel dually and put a big sway bar under the rear and get on the road.


2018 Ram 3500 CC LB DRW 4X4 Cummins Aisin Laramie Pearl White
2018 Landmark Oshkosh
2008 Bigfoot 25C9.4
2014 NauticStar 21 ShallowBay 150HP Yamaha
2016 GoDevil 18X44 35HP Surface Drive

TCjeff

Montreal

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Posted: 11/16/19 09:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like your way of thinking ardvark. For me so far, the Ram makes me the happiest. I like the looks. I also like the Laramie trim.

So it might be a Ram CC LB DRW 4x4 Cummins Laramie, just like TxGearhead but the 2020 model. I would consider used, but all the good ones get shipped to you the US for some reason. Also, I wouldn't really be able to tell if its been beat up or not.

TxGearhead, you mentioned a rear sway bar. What about rear air bags? My camper dealer is recommending power adjustable air bags, controllable while driving both up and down and side to side for $2300CAD plus tax. It's a lot of money but I get that you want the truck to ride level. Are they really necessary? If, so, are there cheaper options out there?

JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 11/17/19 06:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dually!! No choice
Diesel!! Not just for the torque, but for the diesel braking.

Consider moving up from a 350/3500 to 450/4500 or 550/5500. With a 350/3500 you will still need to consider Timbrins or something similar. I would skip the airbags. I tried those initially and had poor results. They made the sway worse and one broke after a few months of use.

Chevy, Ford or Ram will work. I lean towards the Ram primarily because of the CTD. Don't worry about DEF. It is a minor nuisance. You can find it everywhere for less than $15 for 2000 miles of driving.

ardvark

Bristol, TN.

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Posted: 11/17/19 07:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A final thought about seeking opinions about what to buy.

"I can never tell someone else what they should do, but I can always explain the choice I made based upon my own use".

For example, we use a SRW gasser because:

1. My wife absolutely hated the dually given parking and driving in heavy traffic such as when we winter near Naples, FL.
2. Our Northstar camper wet weighs 3,500 pounds, well within the capacity of a single rear wheel.
3. We like the reduced maintenance costs of gas and the cost of lower mileage for us is simply not a factor.
4. We are on the road for 3-4 months at a time, but not constantly and the camper can not stay on the truck as we use it for day-to-day chores.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. Everyone has their own list of what is important and less important and it may not be rational given we are all human!

I think the closer the OP's planned usage is to someone's posting, the more valuable their input. My posts may not have much value because the OP is planning a different pattern of usage along with other factors. Others may be in the same boat.

Again no right or wrong, but some sort of "best fit rule" for the OP's truck and camper combo may apply. [emoticon]

* This post was edited 11/17/19 07:15am by ardvark *

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 11/17/19 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ram might be my first preference too but I’m stuck on the the fact that somehow Ram can’t do better than a turn of the century transmission yet in their diesels. However the 8 speed behind the Hemi is a world class trans.

Getting a dually, you’ll have a legit 4klb + payload. I’d haul the camper before springing ( no pun intended ) for airbags. Put the combo together and see how she handles. Sway bar and possibly some stable load type deals may be all you need. If you do find you still want airbags, they’re a easy no drill, 2 beer job and I think the auto level/cab control feature is just extra complication and not necessary. If you’re hauling the same load then you won’t really use on the fly adjustment. No need. You can buy a set of bags for like $500 usd. I’d get basic u fill em bags and if I had to spend extra $, it would be for a quality onboard air compressor that would air up tires too. Or a small 120V air compressor that you can stash somewhere and use at full duty cycle to air tires and or bags as needed if you have jaunts with no camper. Or just need air.

Siletzspey

Shedd, OR

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Posted: 11/17/19 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With a 2018 9'6" QSE NL, my 2015 F350 6.2 gasser is plenty good, but the SRW is running at 104% of GVWR and 96% rear tire/rim capacity when modestly loaded up with gear. With a 10.2, I'd go DRW.

--SiletzSpey

swines

New Mexico

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Posted: 11/17/19 11:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to figure out the weight of the camper including water, propane, food, clothes, people, dogs, etc. The manufacturer should be able to provide the camper "wet weight" - and then you have to figure personal items, food, etc.

Size the truck to fit the load. With the camper you've described, I'd get a dually based on my experience with two different campers. I have had a Bigfoot 1500 and a single rear wheel truck (F350, crew cab) and it handled the weight with no problem.

After about 10 years I moved up to a Bigfoot 2500, 10.6 which is about the size of the camper you're getting. The SRW did not handle the weight comfortably. There was a lot of side-to-side rocking of the vehicle in certain conditions. I sold the truck and got a dually, F350 crew cab and the camper has been on three different F350 crew cab dually trucks.

I prefer diesels and all of my truck have been diesels. The reason is not the weight, but the wind resistance of the camper at highway speeds. Going into a strong headwind (20+ mph), I can see the fuel mileage drop 2-3 miles per gallon - that's how much of a load the wind can make on the entire rig.

I travel the western states and if you couple the headwind with going uphill it's actually quite a load on the vehicle. The diesel handles the load with no strain making the driving experience much better. No down shifting, no high motor revving, etc. The motor just hauls the load uphill with a headwind without laboring in any way. I like that.

As for manufacturers, you need to ask if the manufacturer has a "camper package." Some manufacturers do and it adds sway bars, different shocks, automatic power disconnects to the vehicle battery and a few other items. The vehicle is also certified by the manufacturer for camper usage.

One thing you may want to take into account is that the 7.3 liter Ford gas motor will only be available with a 4:30 rear end when it is introduced. Depending upon the 10-speed transmission's gearing, that may make for high revs at highway speeds. But, since no one has tested the truck with the 7.3, and the reviewers that currently have the trucks to drive only have them with the understanding that they will make no comments on the driving experience until January 2020 when the truck is officially released. So, no one knows the truck's performance with that motor, RPM at highway speed, etc.

As a contrast, I have a 3:55 rear end and a six speed transmission with my diesel and that puts the engine RPM at 1850 at 75 MPH which is about 200 RPM above where the torque plateau starts on that motor. Because it's making lots of torque it rarely downshifts going uphill.

I would also suggest getting air bags regardless of whether you have SRW or dually. They don't increase the load carrying capacity but they come in extremely handy to level the truck once the camper is loaded.

You can also use the air bags to level the truck front-to-back when parked and also side-to-side if you get a system with individually controlled air bags.

I also use the air bags to make loading and unloading the camper easier. As an example, I raise the camper to give me clearance above the truck bed with the air bags at 5 psi. I back the truck under the camper and then inflate the air bags to 75 psi - that puts the bed of the truck in light contact with the camper. I then only have to drop the camper down about 3-inches to get it seated on the truck bed.

I do the reverse when taking the camper off. I inflate the air bags to 75 psi, extend the jacks down to the ground with no weight on them, then raise the camper about 1-2 inches, drop the airbags to 5 psi which gives me about 3-inches of clearance, and drive out from under the camper.

Have fun with shopping for a new truck and enjoy the camper.

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