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Old 03-28-2005, 08:33 AM   #1
Montana_3423
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Hello and Help!!!!

A Happy & Blessed Easter to all,
We thought we would take a minute and introduce ourselves. We are the Roadrunners2. (Betty and Ralph). We have just joined the Club. We have been married 42 years; we have two children and 4 grandchildren. We live in Northern California.

We are not new to camping or RVing. We started back in the 1970s when we organized a camping club in Delaware. We didn't even have anything to camp in at the time and we were the club presidents. Since then we have camped using tents, tent campers, pickups, and travel trailers. However we have only camped sporadically in the last 20 years.

Being semi-retired we thought we'd get back into RVing again so we bought a 2001 Montana 2750 RK (11,000 lbs loaded). Our next challenge is to buy a truck and hitch to pull it. Needless to say we're excited and anxious to try it out.

So as part of our introduction we are asking and hoping that you folks would share some of your wisdom about 5th Wheeling.
I have been a Ford kind of guy so I am leaning in that direction for a used diesel truck, but I am open to suggestion. We have questions regarding long vs short bed, crewcab vs supercab, 8 cyc vs 6.0 cyc diesel engine, brands of hitches, 4WD vs 2WD, whether to have a slider hitch or not. We will take delivery of our rig in about three weeks so we would sure appreciate some of your insight and wisdom so that we can make the best choice possible. I am just beginning to learn my way around this website so I thought I would throw our questions out there.

We are also looking at an extended warranty for the Montana. We are looking at Ford Easycare vs Warranty Experts, leaning towards the latter. Any experience with either?

That's it for now. Thank you in advance for the help and advise. May be will meet up on the road some time. Thanks again, The Roadrunners2, Ralph & Betty.
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Old 03-28-2005, 09:13 AM   #2
Wordsmith
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First of all, welcome to MOC! This forum abounds with friendly people who might be able to give you some insight! I, too, am new to the world of 5ers, and the people here gave me plenty of good advice when I first joined.

As you can see from my signature, I too am a Ford guy, but that said, any of the big three diesels will be able to do what you want. Since you are a Ford guy, though, I will throw out the idea that if you can swing it, the 2005 Ford Super Duties are rated to tow more and can come with the trailer brake already installed in the dash. I highly recommend it. Obviously, if you go with a long bed truck, the slider is not a must, but I would suggest that if you go with a short bed—as I did—that you should also go with a slider. Then you have to make a decision on manual or automatic; in fact my first ever post at MOC was on this topic. I decided to go the automatic route with the 16k Pullrite SuperGlide, and am grateful that I did. It earned its keep upon trying to back the Montana when I first brought it home. It Is pricey at over $2k installed, but I look at it as a one time insurance policy and ticket to a modicum of peace of mind. I went the 4WD way, even though there will be limited need for it here in the South and I most likely will not take the truck off road very much, but it was on the truck I liked, so I went with it. I would suggest before you do anything, however, that you investigate the hitch weight of your unit. That will most likely point you where you need to go in regard to your truck. With the heavy hitch weight of our 3295RK, I do not have a lot of head room with which to work, and that is a worry.

Hope that helps a little; let us know when you get the truck and take that Monty out on your first trip!
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Old 03-28-2005, 09:48 AM   #3
toolmanroy
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Welcome to MOC. Hope you will note the Lake Siskiyou get-together scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. You do not say how far north in CA you are. We are in southern Oregon. Roy was a diesel technician (Ford dealership) for years so we pretty much stick with the Ford line and have been happy with our 2001 diesel. We have a long bed.
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Old 03-28-2005, 11:40 AM   #4
Sunshine
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Congratulations on the Montana and welcome to the forum. We have a 2000 3255RL that we pull with a 1996 F250 Power Stroke, automatic, long bed, Reese 16k hitch. Hubby says the Montana pulls like a dream. His cousin has a 2004 F250 crew cab with 6.0 Power Stroke and automatic transmission. He really likes his truck, but it's got the short bed and he pulls a smaller 5th wheel with a sliding hitch - wishes he had a long bed though. I know you'll get plenty of information on tow vehicles from the forum. Keep us posted on your adventures.
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Old 03-28-2005, 12:58 PM   #5
stiles watson
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Glad to have you join the Montana Mania. The forum is a great place to gather valuable information before you have to experience it first hand. As to the Ford, you'll get no arguement from me. Mine does the job admirably. Look forward to you posting about your great adventures.
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Old 03-28-2005, 06:46 PM   #6
faeb and genb
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I think any of the 3 will pull it. I would go for the long bed if you have space for it. if not go with slider hitch. I popped the back glass out of my other short bed truck. Good luck & happy camping.
Gene
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Old 03-29-2005, 01:48 AM   #7
padredw
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Since you are leaning toward Ford, I don't think you would go wrong. I respect the experiences of our friends on this forum who drive Fords. On the other hand, if for any reason you find a good deal on a Chevrolet, I can testify that you would not go wrong that way either. We have used two Chevrolet 2500 HD pickups. The first used gasoline fuel. Our present one is a Duramax with Allison transmission. On the basis of our experience I would have no hesitation to recommend this as also a good choice.

Bottom line: You can't go wrong in selecting the 'make' of your tow pickup. I prefer the regular 'long' bed as I use the pickup around our homeplace, and I don't have to worry about any special hitch. The 3/4 ton (2500/250) handles our Montana without any strain. The Duramax (diesel) has been entirely worth the money for us. I hope you will find encouragement in all of this.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:23 AM   #8
Bob Pasternak
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Hello Roadrunners2, welcome to MOC. You can see,you'll get a lot of advice on "best truck". You just need to ask yourself what you want day in, day out. Do you live in "snow country and is it a daily driver". If so, a 4WD isn't a bad idea. You'll notice I have a 4X2 Long Bed. I use it only to pull the 5er and in 2 years and 32000 miles, I've not had a need for four wheel drive. Long verses short; You will lose ride quality and stability with a short wheel base/short bed. 3/4 ton verses 1 ton; a properly set up 3/4 will pull nearly anything Keystone makes. Keep in mind many cases, a 3/4 will PULL more than a 1 ton. The 1 ton will HAUL more. 6cyl. verses 8; there is a third fewer moving parts in a 6 cyl than an 8. Cummins has a design life of a minimum 300,000 miles and they have been known to go a million. Another thing, I've been places with the 3/4 (Like the local car wash) that a dually wouldn't fit and the turning radius is shorter on a 3/4. Peole will talk about power also. Keep in mind torque is what turns the wheels. All in all they are all good vehicles a capable of doing the job. Just my thoughts on it.
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Old 03-29-2005, 03:03 AM   #9
Montana_3423
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Bless and Thank you all for your warm welcome and for putting forth your wisdom, experience, and advise. It is all helpful and great food for thought. You've already helpped us from making a couple of mistakes. We'll let you know what we come up with. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area so perhaps we'll see you on the trail some time. Again thank you. Roadrunners2.
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Old 03-29-2005, 07:25 AM   #10
Countryfolks
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Roadrunners2; 2750 or 2950? The '05 2950RK has an advertised pin wt of 1880 lbs and GVWR of 12280 lbs [dry wt=8620 lbs].

There's more info in the "Tow Vehicles and Towing" forum. The thread "Which tow vehicle is best?" may be of interest.

Keep in mind, you will probably have a total pin weight of about 2200/2500 lbs when you're ready to roll. The payload figure includes the weight of fuel, passengers and all other cargo, including the hitch and pin weight of the trailor.

Bob; I beg to cordially differ on the towing caps of 3/4t vs 1t towing. According to Dodges 2005 job rating charts the max trailor wt for a 3/4t is approx 13600 lbs [reg cab 4x2 LB TD], for a 1t it is approx 16300 lbs [quad cab 4x2 SB SRW TD].
The max payloads for the 3/4t is approx 3250 lbs [reg cab 4x2 LB gas] and for the 1t approx 5200 lbs [reg cab 4x4 LB DRW TD]. There is some overlap depending on model/engine. This is probably different for the other brands. I mostly agree with your other comments about the 3/4t but I prefer a 1t DRW for these heavy 5ers.

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Old 03-29-2005, 09:10 AM   #11
padredw
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This evidently does vary by manufacturer. I remember that when we bought our 2500 Duramax, it was rated to tow slightly more than the comparable 3500. I just looked it up. These are specifically for fifth wheel towing the 2500 Extended Cab Turbo Diesel is rated to tow 15,700 as Fifth wheel. The 3500 Extended Cab Turbo Diesel is rated to tow 15,200 as Fifth Wheel.

Here is my reference:
http://www.trailerlife.com/towratings/01towingguide.pdf
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Old 03-29-2005, 09:18 AM   #12
padredw
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The reference above is for the 2001 which applied to my pickup. Here is the latest, but the ratings are the same:

http://www.trailerlife.com/downloads/04towingguide.pdf

Remember, these are 'tow ratings' only, not load, and they apply to Fifth Wheel only.
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:33 AM   #13
Countryfolks
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Good info, shows a broader picture. To bad they didn't include the payload and rear axle weight ratings data also since it is as important, probably more so, than what they are showing. A person would think it wouldn't be any trouble to include them in their chart, they already have the info in front of them. I wonder if there IS a complete collection of this info available; engine/trans/rear axle ratio, payload, rear axle wt rating, max trailor wt, GCVR, GVR, etc., for each of the big 3, all in one place.
Isn't the published data normally applied to tag-a-longs and is something higher for 5ers?

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Old 03-29-2005, 10:54 AM   #14
padredw
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That would be helpful. Don't know about all the rest, but here is the info on "conventional towing" (pull trailer) for the Extented Cab, Long Bed, Turbo Diesel Chevrolet: 12,000 for the convention towing, 15,700 for Fifth Wheel. The format of these charts is complicated and hard to read, but I'm pretty sure of these ratings.
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Old 03-29-2005, 06:53 PM   #15
Bear Hunter
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Welcome Roadrunner2, you have joined a great bunch of good folks. As you can see we have a Chev 1ton dually with the D/A and long bed. What ever you choose as long as you go 3/4 and up will do the trick. This is my 4th diesel. 3 Chev and 1 Dodge, all but the present were 4x4 3/4 long beds. I choose the 1ton dully this time because of the high profile of the Montana. Just a personal preference. Having the long boxs just gives one less thing to worry about when backing. Also I have had 1 4.10 rear end and 3 3.73s. The present is a 3.73 and it does just fine for me. I did notice that Chev now has a 4.10 in the 1ton which it didnot have when I got my 02. The only reason I have not tried a Ford is the height of the 4x4. The Power Stroke is a fine engine. Bottom line get what you and the Misses are most comfortable with.

SEMPER FI
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:26 AM   #16
Joyce H
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Ralph & Betty, Welcome to the MOC. Thanks for taking the time to post and introduce yourselves. Always nice to see new members jumping right in with their questions. Really not much we can add to the above information you have received. I believe everything you asked has been covered. Welcome back to the RV world. Enjoy that Montana!
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:54 PM   #17
Montana_3423
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All thanks again for all the valuable input. I like this group already. Any input on Extended Warrenty? Someone asked about our hitch weight. According to the Montana spec for the 2750 RK it is 1450, dry weight 7510, Carry capacity is 3490. I better lose some weight. Being that I am looking for a used truck I am thinking about forgoing the 4WD for now, as I do not see us doing any winter camping. I am also leaning towards a 4 door Super/Extended cab LB vs a crew cab LB to keep the length down. Any input on that. I will also make some time to look at the "Towing" forum. Thanks again. Roadrunners2
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:19 PM   #18
padredw
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Sounds like good thinking to me. We have the extended cab rather than the crew cab for the reason you suggest (length). Lots of our fellow members disagree with me, but I see no use for the 4 wheel drive. In our use that would be a needless complication. We do not drive or tow in ice or snow (or mud fo that matter). I am well aware that others see 4 wheel drive as a valuable configuration.
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Old 04-08-2005, 07:39 AM   #19
sreigle
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We've been away from MOC for a month and have tons of posts to catch up on. So I confess to not having thoroughly read all the replies in this thread. So, if I repeat what others have said, please forgive. I did see Wordsmith mentioned that all three mfrs make diesels that do a great job and I agree with that. I also prefer Fords and will continue to do so as long as they continue to be so trouble-free for me (an exception I'll mention below). We've towed this Montana (13,980 lbs) with a 2001 F350 supercab shortbed V10, a 2003 F350 supercab shortbed 6.0 diesel, and now a 2005 F250 crew cab shortbed 6.0 diesel. All three were excellent. Our 2003 had one of the very early 6.0's, before the bugs were out. We had problems with it just up and stalling. They finally fixed that and it was fine after that. Other than that we're pretty much trouble free. One thing I really like about all three Fords, among many other things, is that none of the three EVER required any addition of oil between 5,000 mile changes (diesel. changed gas engine oil at 3000) and all were always at the full mark when it was time to change the oil. And we do a lot of heavy towing. I also love this builtin brake controller and the grade braking of the Torqshift automatic you get with the 6.0 PSD is fantastic. I do not see a need for an exhaust brake. I believe the GM transmission is similar in that respect. In any case, you'll do just fine with any of the newer diesels. Also, the Ford 7.3, predecessor to the 6.0 is a strong towing engine. The other brands are good, too, but I have no experience with them.

We tow with a shortbed and it's never been a problem. I do recommend a slider hitch if you go shortbed. The nose of the Montana is rounded, giving you considerably more turn range than many fivers. We've had to use the slider just four times in nine years of towing, including more than two years of fulltiming. But when you need it you'll be glad to have it. If money is not a concern, the Pullrite SuperGlide sliding hitch operates automatically and is a great hitch. We have the manual hitch and that's fine but someday I'll have the superglide. I have to wait for this hitch to wear out before I can justify the expense, though.

4x4 vs 4x2. Lots of opinions on this. Our '99 was 4x2 and I never felt the need for 4x4. The '03 and '05 are 4x4 and I have found it very handy at times. We have had a couple of sites we would not have got out of without 4x4 (hard rains making it muddy). I also found when we need to run up on several inches of blocks to level the rig, 4x4 low range is fantastic. Pops the Montana right up there with no revving of the engine as you normally get with an automatic transmission.

By the way, the '05 Ford SuperDutys have tow ratings to 19,200 and GCWR to 26,500. The F250 goes to something like 17,000 tow rating (would have to dig out the book to verify exact number), but I know GCWR is 23,000 and GVWR is 10,000, more than last year's F350 even. As equipped, ours is 15,400 tow rating, 10,000 GVWR, 23,000 GCWR.
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