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Old 06-07-2005, 03:19 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Mobile
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M.O.C. #3918
We Have the Cart Before the Horse

We bought the 3670RL because we found a good price on it, before we got a truck. Now we're trying to decipher the language you knowledgable people speak, and are trying to figure out how much truck we need. We definately will be carrying it over mountains, as we're quite fond of the US and Canadian Rockies.
We're thinking we need either an F350 Diesel Dually or Dodge Ram equivalent. Besides these possibilities, we don't know half the language we're reading on your postings. Could someone give us a basic list of what we need to include?
Thanks. Bob and Bonnie
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Old 06-07-2005, 03:44 PM   #2
stiles watson
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M.O.C. #2059

I am pulling my 3670 Big Sky with a 2002 F250. If you get a F350, especially a new one, you will have all the truck you need. This years model F series has beefed up the load capacity and towing capacity over the competition. Who knows, the others may catch up in 2006. Another feature is the built in brake controler in the F series. One feature many of us are adding to the diesels is an exhaust brake to help in the mountain decents.
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:26 PM   #3
Seasoned Camper
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M.O.C. #2953
Well, we bought 2002 Dodge Diesel Cummins Tubro. Then we went looking for what we could pull with it. We found out that anything the had out there was pretty much pullable. All the dealers said we definitely had the truck. Now I don't know if that was because they wanted to sell us a RV, or they really meant it. So we next just looked for what made us happy, and that was the 3400RL. You will find that the guys on here are all in love with their trucks. And their rigs. So you need to go on a comparison shopping day. Check out the two (Ford F350 & the Dodge Cummins Diesel). I do know that the Dodge isn't as loud as it use to be. Do you want a new truck? We put the Gayle Banks Brake system on our with the trans lock that locks the torque converter up and we are very happy with that. We got a few other things, but most of all we found out that there wasn't much more that we needed.Did you think about a hitch? These are the main things that need to be gotten just to get the darn thing home!!!LOL
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Old 06-07-2005, 05:14 PM   #4
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M.O.C. #116
Welcome to MOC. This is a modified copy of an earlier post.
I feel there are only three basic facts affecting TV selection; how much weight will it be carrying, how much will it be towing and the total weight of the fully loaded system. There are seven basic numbers and a comfort/risk factor involved. Four are easy, they establish the vehicles design parameters and are available from the manufacturer; Base or "dry " weight of the truck, payload capacity, towing capacity and gross combined weight rating, GCWR. The other numbers available are subsets or details of these basics and only serve to confuse the issue in my opinion. Three are your resposibility to get [commercial scales]: fully loaded weight of; the truck [includes topped off with fuel, personnel, pets, hitch, and "stuff", without the 5er], the 5er [axle weight], and pin weight [the weight of the loaded truck at the rear axle with the loaded 5er hooked up minus the loaded truck rear axle without the loaded 5er hooked up]. There may also be a significant difference on the trucks front axle, with and without the 5er. Valid estimates could be used as could numbers reported by other users to get a "feel" for your situation.

How much it will be carrying [actual payload] equals loaded weight of truck, minus dry weight plus loaded pin weight.
How much it will be towing equals loaded 5er axle weight.
Total system weight equals combined loaded weight of truck and 5er.

Your selection will depend on your comfort level with the numbers you generate [loaded numbers] vs the design capacities. Non-weight related factors are involved also. Either of the 3500's you are considering will work.

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Old 06-07-2005, 06:13 PM   #5
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Lots of great info in this thread. I might add that any of the currently available diesels from the Big Three will do a great job for you. If you prefer gas, the Ford V10, the GM 8.1L V8, or the Dodge V10 (not available on the new ones) can do the job.

I might also add that those of us using the Ford with the TorqShift with Tow/Haul do not see a need for an exhaust brake. I think the Allison in the GM trucks is similar on grade braking. An exhaust brake would give you even better downhill braking but I've had both the gas V10 with the older tranny and this 6.0 Powerstroke with the TorqueShift and this diesel holds speed downhill better than did our gasser, and that's with the same Montana in tow. This is my opinion. Go whichever way makes you more comfortable.

As point of reference, we are towing more weight with our Montana than the GVWR max on the 3670 with a new F250 and are within GCWR and tow ratings. We are over on the truck's GVWR, however. I've also added airbags because I did not get the camper package that adds the extra leaf on the F250 that the F350 has. The airbags bring the truck back to level. It otherwise has a slight squat. Our pinweight is 3300. With a 3/4 ton you may or may not need airbags or overload springs. With a 1 ton it is unlikely you'd need them.

Your thoughts of going with a 1 ton are good. Either of those you mentioned should do a great job for you.

Good luck and congratulations on the new Montana!

I can provide urls to tests if you really care about that. It will show you which is currently king of the hill. But that can change with the next generation of each truck. And the bottom line in all those tests is that all the brands can do the job. Lots of good choices out there.

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Old 06-07-2005, 06:49 PM   #6
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I pull my 3670 with a 2002 Chevy Duramax 2500HD. It does a great job.
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:37 AM   #7
Bill and Ann
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M.O.C. #1493
As Doug (DHenry) says the Duramax diesel with the Allison trans. does the job. Just be sure you have the tires replaced with 265's instead of the Std. 245's.
Sreigle: The last time I was over the scale I was at 14100 lbs. What is the weight of your unit?
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Old 06-08-2005, 05:02 AM   #8
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M.O.C. #2018
Congratulations on the new Montana and welcome to the forum. Good luck on your search for a tow vehicle. Don't know about all the weights, etc. that the guys talk about, but we tow our 3255RL with a '96 F250 power stroke and my guy says it pulls like there's nothing back there. The people here on the forum are very knowledgeable, and as you can see, they will be able to answer some of your questions about tow rigs. Good luck and happy travels.
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Old 06-08-2005, 06:01 AM   #9
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M.O.C. #20
Bill, we put it on a CAT scale a couple of weeks ago and it came out at 14,360. Pinweight is 3300. It sounds like you are heavily loaded, also. Ours is 60 pounds over the 14,300 GVWR of the 3295RK so ours is going on a diet now that we're near our kids and have their basements for storage. I was really surprised since last time we weighed, maybe 18 months ago, it was 13,980, pinweight 3120. We offloaded some things after that and started carrying less freshwater. But it's time to pare it down some more.
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Old 06-08-2005, 10:50 AM   #10
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M.O.C. #1757
Bob, Welcome to our forum. I can't say enough for my Ford F-350 Turbo Diesel with tow/haul command control already built into the truck. My truck with dual real wheels I feel is in a class all by itself. Good luck with your Montana.
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Old 06-08-2005, 02:38 PM   #11
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M.O.C. #3918
We appreciate all the feedback and are amazed at the helpful response to our total confusion. There will be a lot more questions! Right now our Montana lives in Myrtle Beach and we live in Mobile, AL, so we can't weigh it.
Bob and Bonnie
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Old 06-11-2005, 05:28 PM   #12
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M.O.C. #3937
I just completed a 12 state, 3600 mile trip from Jacksonville, Fl to Bangor, WA with the 3400RL and 2005 F350 Dually. I waited for 05 to buy the ford for several reasons: built in brake controller, Tow Boss Pkg w/4.3 rear end (F350 only), F750 chassis w/ improved turning radius (less 5.1 ft), and redesigned transmission. The GCWR is a whopping 26000 lbs which allows me to pull up to 18k. I like overkill, my trailer is 14k loaded. I had no trouble during the trip; the highest mtns slowed me down in speed some, depending on how much speed I was able to build prior to ascent, but the Tow Haul mode (improved shifting during slow speed + engine/transmission braking on downhills) allowed me to make the journey appear easy. The dually improves your stability and increases your pin wt capability. The truck is nothing but impressive.
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Old 06-12-2005, 05:12 AM   #13
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M.O.C. #409
We also bought our Montana before we bought the truck. We have a 3350RS which comes very close to all the maximums for the 2001 Chev 2500HD with the Duramax/Allison that we finally purchased as a tow vehicle. So far we have pulled only east of the Mississippi but have had no trouble on the three mile grades on Interstate 87 south of Westport. We can maintain 60 mph going up and without braking we can stay under 70 mph coming down. The Duramax /Allison is a great combination, and I know that the newer GMs as well as Dodge and Ford offerings give even better torque than ours.

We did look at a Dodge 3500HD dually with the Cummins turbodeisel before we bought and were very impressed with it but figured that we would be driving the TV at least 40% of the time without the Montana and didn't want to have to deal with the dual rear wheels then.

You haven't mentioned whether you are considering 2 wheel or 4 wheel drive. We got 4 wheel and have been very thankful for it on a number of occasions.
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Old 06-13-2005, 05:51 AM   #14
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Michael, we have the '05 Ford also but ours is not a dually, not tow boss, is an F250, 3.73 rear gears, rated to tow 15,400 with 23,000 GCWR. As you said, the '05 with 6.0 powerstroke and the torqshift with tow/haul does an awesome job. We're towing 14,360 (cat scale weighed recently) and have done so up and down 8% grades. By the way, the brakes are also larger on the '05 by a considerable margin. I think you meant F550 frame rather than F750 but in any case it's an outstanding frame. That tow command brake controller is something you have to experience to believe how smooth it is, as you know. Truck and trailer stop as one unit.

One of the nice things is that all three manufacturers build truck, diesel and gas, that can do an admirable job towing the Montanas. While we each have our brand preference, we do agree the "others" also do a good job. It's really nice to have that many choices. Our Administrators are also good at making sure no "brand bashing" is allowed in this forum, and I think we all appreciate that. They still let us talk about how much we like our favorite brand, though! The nice thing is they're all good!

You have an outstanding truck. I'm sure you'll enjoy it and the way it handles your Montana! Post pictures when you can.
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Old 07-29-2005, 08:33 AM   #15
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M.O.C. #607
believe it or not that's the smartest way to do it. that way you don't buy the wrong truck. we did the same thing as you.
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:29 PM   #16
Old GI
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M.O.C. #4308
We have a 2005 F-350, Lariat, Crew Cab FX4, DRW, 6.0 V-8 turbo diesel w/Torqshift 5-speed auto transmission, tow boss/tow command package w/4.3 ratio limited slip axle, dual batteries and alternators, heavy duty service suspension w/rear stabilizer bar. Whew, I had to pull out the window sticker to remember everything this truck has. This truck pulls my 2955RL Montana so easy I think I'll get a bigger Montana. We latch onto the Montana with a Reese 16K fifth wheel.
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Old 08-04-2005, 02:17 PM   #17
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M.O.C. #4075
I pull a 2980 with my 2500HD duramax chevy 4x4 and it handles it very well. Trailer weight dry 10,660.
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