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humboldt jim posted 10-01-2001 11:44 AM ET (US)   Profile for humboldt jim   Send Email to humboldt jim  
Don't know if this is the correct forum for this topic but here goes: I am considering trading in my T-100 Toyota for a truck that can pull my 22' Outrage further, better...

I am considering the new Chevy S2500. Any truck aficionados out there who may know what the best truck is on the current market (ie, price, gas mileage, track record, towing capability). I would like a truck that can make the northern Cal.>Mexico run (approx. 1500 miles one way).

Dr T posted 10-01-2001 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
I would tend to go with a Ford F-250 Superduty with automatic and diesel. You should be able to use 3.73 gears with reasonable mileage. The Big Fords (and Dodges) are really set up to pull a bit better than the Chevys (A totally subjective opinion).

We have found the Fords to last a bit longer when used for ranch work in West Texas (which includes a fair amount of towing overloaded trailers).

blackdog posted 10-01-2001 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog

The new GM DuraMax diesels look awesome. Alison 6 speed automatic. Check out the link above, but I think they achieve close to 20mpg (FAQ) Not bad for 2500

Quiet, smooth and comfortable.

I have a Toyota Tacoma TRD. Very Nice truck but it rides awful, worse when pulling the boat. I get almost 20 Mpg. So if I could have a 2500HD quad cab with the same Mpg…

humboldt jim posted 10-01-2001 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for humboldt jim  Send Email to humboldt jim     
Thanks guys. I was leaning towards the 2500 diesel. The cost may be prohibitive though, although with gas prices near 1.90/gallon, it would eventually pay for itself.
GAwhale posted 10-01-2001 04:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for GAwhale  Send Email to GAwhale     
While we're off topic. What is the best all round value for a four door, eight cylynder SUV to pull a Montauk sized boat?

I heard an ad on the radio for 0 per cent financing or $3,000 cash back on a Ford product. Business must be way off as a result of the WTC crises. Probably a good time to make a deal.

Sounds tempting, however I've never gotten rid a a car that wasn't giving me problems. That's the point I'm at with my Taurus Wagon.

maverick posted 10-01-2001 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
Hi, Jim -

I'm on my 2nd Powerstroke Diesel (PSD) Ford. 1st was a 96 F350 4x4 crew; 2nd and current is F250 2x2 crew cab. Both have proven to be excellent trucks. Both MPGs: 16-18 city/hwy, up to 20 on hwy unloaded. Loaded-pulling 18.6 Outrage: 12 city, 14 hwy, maybe a bit more depending on A/C, RPMs, etc. NO problems, will PULL PULL PULL!!! Grrrr!
Many of my horse trailer pulling friends have Ford PSDs, and some have Dodges, which are also quite good, and get 1-2 MPGs better than Ford, but a slightly less amount of torque (about 500 lbs vs 550 lbs, methinks). Chevy diesel? I would be leery of 1st year out of anything, especially an expensive package like you mentioned. Fords especially have a good name, quite proven track record, and the Powerstroke diesels have excellent resale value. I'll definitely buy another Ford PSD when (and if) I ever wear this one out. 60,000 miles and no problems to report. Best, Mav

acseatsri posted 10-01-2001 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
A friend has F450 with PSD, tows 14000 pound travel trailer, towing almost 40K miles already. Doesn't use it but for towing the RV. That's my vote. Another friend has Dodge with Cummins, 50K miles. Never heard so many rattles in a vehicle this young in my life. Engine will outlast vehicle.
triblet posted 10-01-2001 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
GAwhale, you don't need eight cylinders to
pull a Montauk. My '95 Nissan Pathfinder
(3.0L V6, 170HP, stick shift) was fine, though
I did have to down shift to 3rd on the REALLY steep
freeway hills. My '01 Pathfinder (3.5L
four-cam V6, 250HP, stick shift) does the
same hills in fourth or fifth. The V8
Explorer, BTW, is only 240 HP. And, BTW,
it's not the stick shift. Nissan gives the
automatic PF a higher towing capacity
5000 pounds vs 3500).

Your Montauk rig should way around 2000

This is my third Pathfinder. The first one,
an '87, got 130K miles, the worst that
happened was an electric window winder died.
The second one, the '95 got 130K miles, the
worst that happened was a burned out light


Dr T posted 10-01-2001 07:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
In general, automatics get higher gross combined vehicle weight ratings than manual transmissions. It is the torque converter that does the trick: It effectively allows an infinitely variable gear ratio (with in limits) in the lower gears.

Just make sure your transmission fluid stays cool.

One other advantage: Automatics don't have a clutch to burn out.

GAwhale posted 10-01-2001 07:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for GAwhale  Send Email to GAwhale     
Chuck - Your advice is always very good. I'm still really in the dreaming stage.

That said, I still say the bigger the engine the less it must work. In the South the heat is a big factor. I was thinking of going with an American made SUV (cheaper to buy and maintain). I must admit I commute to work with a 1996 Honda Accord and it's great.

Dr T posted 10-01-2001 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
The Accord is American made with a Honda nameplate.

Given the heat in the south, make sure that the truck you get has a lot of cooling for the transmission. On advantage of the heavier vehicles is that the cooling is standard.

By the way, Trailer Life magazine is an excellent source of information on tow vehicles. This month there is a comparison test of small 4 door pickups (Chevy, Toyota, and--I think--Nissan).

Interesting point of reference.

simonmeridew posted 10-01-2001 09:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
This has the making of a Ford/Chevy arguement.

In any event I traded my T-100 in on a Tacoma almost 2 years ago. V-8 with Auto and factory trailering pkg. Tows my Montauk etc (2000 pounds on a gravel pit scale) very easily. 15 mpg towing this.
The very first thing I towed with the Tacoma was a 23 foot SeaCraft, probably 6500 + pounds with gear and trailer, to North Carolina and back 2000 miles. Never did quite get 10 mph, more like 9.8 mpg. But pulled it with no problem, no overheat, but it did slow down some in our Vermont hills.(I don't like to floor it up a hill). For me, reliability is a big factor. I never did have a warrantee repair on either the T-100 or the Tacoma. (I got a notice that the factory trailer wiring needed a recall repair this month). Don't get me started on the thousands I spent on the Ford Bronco repairs through the years. And yes the Tacoma is US made, Indiana I think.

B Bear posted 10-01-2001 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Humboldt Jim
What ever you decide on get the "Tow Package". This normally consists of, external oil cooler, external transmission oil cooler, limited slip transmission and a heavy duty cooling system. If nothing else it will make your engine last for a long long time.

Quite honestly any decent 4 wheeler, someone that actually goes off road, will have all the mentioned goodies above.

Diesels are made to tow. They get the same mpg towing, not towing, around town or on the highway. They are expensive. They are exempt from emissions testing in most states. I am not sure about California. Worth while if you do a lot of towing, boat, horse trailer, travel trailer or fifth wheel and will not even grunt on a grade, this could be a major consideration. Diesels are mostly offered on 3/4 ton and above.

The new V-8s for the newer trucks are getting better gas mileage with more HP than before. A 1/2 ton with a tow package would be fine for most towing and hills, and give a better everyday ride.

Right now I have an older 1995 Chevy Tahoe with 4WD and tow package with 110,000 miles and still going strong. I also go off road, the Tahoe has an inch higher ground clearance than the Ford Expedition. The Ford Pick-ups I believe have the higher ground clearance than the Chevys. Heck, all the makers have new models now, just don't buy the first year of anything.


blackdog posted 10-02-2001 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
By the way this new Duramax engine has been tested for something like 2 years and is already in the medium truck platform for GM so it is tested and tried…I think it was available in 1998 so almost 3 years on the market…
So I wouldn’t worry about it being a new engine, it is much heavier than needed in a ¾ ton and up truck. The whole rig is beefed up. Different rear trans…. It is really medium truck platform with light truck body…
300hp 510 ft torque …whoo haa!……..…

I would price one and of course drive one…Try the GM Web site.
Buy the way Diesel fuel is a little more expensive around my way, $1.69 this morning compared to Gas $1.39
Not trying to make this a Chevy vs. Ford thing. I have owned both and a Toyota.


Ventura16 posted 10-02-2001 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
I have to put my .02 in for the Dodge Durango as an excellent choice for a moderate-sized, but very powerful tow vehicle.

Our Durango with 5.9L V8, full-time 4WD transfer case, and 3.92 rear axle, is tow-rated at 7350#. It easily pulls our vintage Airstream travel trailer (about 6000# loaded). When I tow our Ventura 16 (about 2500# loaded), it doesn't even know it's there. The Durango has a wheelbase almost as long as a Tahoe or Expedition (which are much larger vehicles) and that really helps towing stability.

I average 12-13 mpg when towing...slightly better around a vehicle that is easy to drive in city traffic and can be parked anywhere.


humboldt jim posted 10-02-2001 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for humboldt jim  Send Email to humboldt jim     
Good advice guys. I am having my GM dealer price the Chevy S2500 duramax, allison transmission package. Presently, I have a 94 6-cylinder T-100 pulling my hulk of a boat and trailer. A little slow on the hills!
blackdog posted 10-02-2001 12:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Go Jim!!!
Try this site. You can actually see who has what on the lot, sticker price .....
GM buy power

dfmcintyre posted 10-02-2001 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Jim -

Regarding a 2500 to pull a 22 Outrage. Your probably overdoing it at bit. The 1500 series will pull a 22, or for that matter a 25 Revenge without much problem. I used 1500 series 2wd for a number of years while hauling a 25 Revenge, and a close friend used a 2wd 1500 Surburban to haul his 25 Revenge W/T, that weight even more then mine.

Currently using a 1500 Surburban for towing a 21 Outrage, which is lighter then your 22.

The towing button on the shifter in the new GM lineup is great, by the way. Changes shift points. Don't know if that's an option only available with the towing package, ut at any rate, you'd want the towing package.

Best -Don

reelescape1 posted 10-02-2001 03:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
I pull my 90 22 OR w/twin v-4's, galv trailer...2000 Chev x cab z-71, 5300 auto, 3.73, not a problem. The tow/haul switch keeps the trans in gear longer. Great set-up!
TightPenny posted 10-02-2001 03:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
But the beef in the 2500 makes it so much easier to do the towing or everything else. It will last longer.

I use a 1988 diesel 2500 automatic to pull my Montauk and snow plow. (No, not at the same time). The truck was originally my brother's. I would prefer a standard transmission over the automatic, but the price was right.

kingfish posted 10-02-2001 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I've been hauling my Outrage 22 all over creation (S. MI to North Channel and back; Key West and back; Savannah, GA and back, Cincinnatti and back, etc.) with a '99 Yukon (1/2 ton), 350 c.i.d, set up for trailering. No problem, except sometimes it's been difficult to maintain ludicrous speed through the mountains. Realistically, it has done a terrific job and I've been very pleased.

My lease just expired, and being subject to the two-foot-itus bug *and* the more horsepower and higher torque at lower RPM bug, I had every intention of ordering a Yukon XL 2-wheel with the 8.1 L behemoth engine, figuring with that rig, I could pull up Pikes Peak and never go below 70 and never run higher than 1500 rpm or so...

Anyway, my dealer talked me into a new Denali (1/2 ton), 6-litre with the towing package (in fact it has *everything* - comes that way - only option you can get that it doesn't already have is a sunroof). I picked the new Denali up last week and promptly drove 520 miles up to the North Channel to bring our family boat back home for the winter. It's a 25' Parker Sport Cabin and I figure it goes an *easy* 1500 pounds more than my Outrage on the hoof, maybe more, plus it's a helluva lot wider (9'-6") and a helluva lot taller, both acting to give a way bigger face to the wind while towing.

The Denali towed the Parker WAY better than the Yukon towed the Outrage. The higher shifting points in tow/haul mode are such that you leave a stop light without even knowing you've got 5,000 or 6,000 pounds behind you. I like to run along about 75 mph and I did find that it couldn't sustain that speed in full overdrive (down around 2,000 rpm) without "searching" and dropping into a lower gear until it got up to speed and reverting to highest gear, then slowly losing speed only to kick back into a lower gear again. So I drove in third, about 3,000 rpm, and it never wavered on any hill between Little Current, Ontario and Battle Creek, MI.

I'm looking forward to towing my Outrage with this new rig like it isn't even back there.


humboldt jim posted 10-02-2001 05:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for humboldt jim  Send Email to humboldt jim     
My affinity for a new diesel is in part due to the outrageous price of fuel. Gas prices recently "dropped" to a 1.90/gallon for 87 octane. We have seen prices as high as 2.00 in the last few months. Meanwhile, diesel prices remain around 1.50 gallon.

Given the economy of the diesel engine relative to gas, it will literally pay for itself. I have heard the Chevy S 2500 with duramax diesel engine averages around 20mpg without a load.

I agree with TightPenny, while the 2500 may be more than enough of a truck to pull, the light load will translate into less maintenance.

Louie Kokinis posted 10-02-2001 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
humboldt jim: I pull my 22 with a 1 ton dually diesel. I never drop below the posted speed limit unless I want to. Sometimes I forget the boat is behind me.

Sounds like your leaning towards diesel - good choice. My recommendations (all diesels) would be

- a 1 ton if you're going to be adding a camper down the road - 3/4 is fine with no camper (don't think diesel is an option with a 1/2 ton)
- or an Excursion diesel if you don’t require the pickup


grizzly posted 10-02-2001 11:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for grizzly    
h jim,

Go for the 2500 Duramax. You'll love it and it will last forever.

I have a '99 GMC Suburban 2500 with the 454 cubic inch gas engine. I tow a 5,000 pound trailer (a sailboat) with the truck loaded with six people, a big dog, lots of gear, 4 bikes, etc. No sweat. My truck is so tough I am convinced it will run 15 or 20 years without a major rebuild.

Remember that the rated towing capacity includes the weight of all the people and gear in the truck as well as the weight of the trailer. If you tow 5,000 pounds and your truck is rated to tow 6,000, that means that your family and other gear will probably push you over the limit. My Suburban is rated to tow 10,000 pounds. I think with my boat and all the people and gear I haul, I am around 7,000 pounds over the weight of the vehicle itself, a comfortable margin of safety.

GM builds better trucks than Ford and Chrysler IMO. The way to verify this is to look at the used commercial pick-up truck market (i.e 3/4 and one ton). Also talk to someone who runs a fleet of commercial vehicles. What I found is an almost universal preference in this market for GM and significantly higher resale value for a used GM commercial truck vs. Ford and Chrysler.

If you do some more digging, you will find GM puts a different transmission (the 4L80) in the 2500 and 3500 series trucks than the one in the 1500 series (the 4L60). The 4L60 has its detractors who say it is not engineered for heavy duty towing (sorry kingfish this is the tranny in your new Denali). No problems with the 4L80.

The new Duramax comes with an Allison transmission (Allison is a different company from GM). The Allison is a new thing for GM but Allison has an impeccable reputation in the HD truck market.

One other comment. If I did not need the space and HD hauling capacity of my Suburban, I would seriously look at the full size Toyota trucks (the Sequoia and Tundra). These are well built units with beautiful V8 engines.

Those are my honestly held opinions. No, I am not a GM dealer! Go ahead and flame away if you wish.

Dr T posted 10-03-2001 12:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
There is one item yet untouched in this thread: The maintenance required of a Diesel vs that of a gas engine.

Gas engines are relatively maintenance free compared to diesels. They also start easier in COLD weather.

There are several maintenance items required on diesels that gas engines do not have (water separator) and they tend to be much more sensitive to fuel quality than do gasoline engines.

On the other hand, Diesels will run forever if they are well tended, get great fuel mileage, and will pull stumps. There is a learning curve, however, if you have never had one. Make a couple of the wrong mistakes, and you will be looking for a diesel owners forum like this one for Whalers.

jimh posted 10-03-2001 12:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
On the door frame of my 1995 GMC Suburban 2WD (1500), a sticker explicitly warns that OVERDRIVE is NOT to be used when towing, when climbing steep roads, or when heavily loaded. The owner's manual seems a little wishy-washy on this topic, but this sticker makes it clear. No OVERDRIVE when towing!

I have the 5.7L engine, the 3.73 rear-axle, and the heavy duty towing package, which produces a tow rating of 7,000 pounds.

We are hauling the 20-Revenge on a heavy tandem axle steel trailer, and I would estimate the total towed weight about 5,000 pounds maximum. This puts me right where I like to be, about 75% of the maximum rating, giving me plenty of room for people and gear in the vehicle.

hauptjm posted 10-03-2001 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    

My '99 Blazer has the same warning. A friend in the service dept. of a local dealership said never use anything but 3rd for towing. Now that Chevrolet has come out with the "towing button" on the gearshift, he says use the transmission as you would any other time. Apparently, this switch not only changes shift-points, but overrides the overdrive as well. Interestly, when you think about it, when we trailer in 3rd, we lockout the OD, but of course use the same shift-points. His comments have been nothing but positive on this newer system. He also said the older Subs and Tahoes have had their share of transmission problems. Maybe it was caused by improper use during towing!

LarrySherman posted 10-03-2001 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
You guys have got me going. I'm thinking of trading in my 2000 Expedition (5.4 XLT, no towing package), fot the 2500HD crew cab. Can you get the DuraMax in an SUV?
blackdog posted 10-03-2001 02:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Not confirmed but I read on a message board there may be Class action suit pending against Ford for selling trucks with tow pkg’s without upgrading the radiators. The tow pkg has a larger radiator 1.5” inches compared to 1” on the standard
ledfoot posted 10-03-2001 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for ledfoot  Send Email to ledfoot     
Here is the last word on trucks: I work in the Chevy Truck design studio in Detroit (Warren Tech Center). I have driven all of the current offerings.

The Ford is good and has a proven track record. Future Fords will have CAMLESS technology. Also on the horizon is a V6 diesel.

Dodge has a brand new truck out now and should be the class of the field - except the 1 ton diesel is still the old body style for another year, meaning the oldest and least refined of all current trucks. Watch for a CATERPILLAR connection for the next diesel.

The Duramax/Allison Chevy or GMC is the best riding, best handling, best mileage truck out there. You will not be disappointed. In one or two years, both Ford and Dodge will most likely have a better product, but at the moment, its all GM.

This is not a GM ad, I could acre less which truck you buy, but that's my 2 cents...

hardensheetmetal posted 10-03-2001 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for hardensheetmetal  Send Email to hardensheetmetal     

I agree with everything you said, I just read an article about Ford coming out with a new modular (8 cyl chopped down to 6 cyl) diesel to take the place of the 7.3 International. They claim this new motor will be available in F150 P/Us and E150 vans.

I have owned five trucks with this motor (turbo and natural) including an F350 and an F450 currently, and have had not one major problem with the motors (the trannys are another story).

Jim, if you do go for the diesel, keep in mind the added expense of upkeep (as someone else already stated)The Ford (IH)7.3PS takes 15 quarts of oil. Its $60 to $70 every oil change unless you do it yourself. I don't know about the Chevy, but the increase cost for the diesel in the ford was around $4000.00, correct me if I am wrong, but it will take you 10,000 gallons of gas to make that up at a .40 difference in price between G and D.


kingfish posted 10-03-2001 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I think I have been generally outranked here with high-end towing savvy and experience, so I'm not going any further in that direction...*but* so far as the comment your friend in the local service department made about the new tow/haul mode button overriding Overdrive - either he is mistaken, you misunderstood him, or that system is not working correctly on my new Denali. The shift points are clearly different, but overdrive is still there when in tow/haul. I had, even in tow/haul, to wind up using third gear at speeds above 70 to keep the transmission from hunting.

grizzly posted 10-03-2001 08:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for grizzly    
Some additional points:

1. GM is not yet building the Suburban/Yukon/Tahoe in the 2002 model year with the Duramax. There is hope/rumour it may come in 2003. The old style Suburban/Yukon/Tahoe (up to '99) offered the old GM 6.5 litre turbodiesel (the same engine is still found in the Hummer), so there is reason to hope the new Suburban/Yukon/Tahoe will get the new Duramax.

2. The Duramax engine was introduced in the 2500+pick-up/light truck chassis for the 2001 model year. It is actually the product of a joint venture between GM and Isuzu.

3. The Allison transmission is a 5 speed (automatic), not a 6 speed as mentioned above. The reason GM has mated this transmission to the Duramax is because of the massive torque of that engine (over 500 lb/ft). GM felt that its own HD tranny (the 4L80) could not handle the torque of the new Duramax.

4. I don't agree with the comment above that diesels require more maintenance than gas engines. It is true the diesels are very sensitive to water in the fuel, so you have to be religious about fuel filtration. Diesels may require more frequent oil changes (easy to DIY). But basically they are very simple engines which require little other maintenance and will outlast a gas engine by a significant margin. It is also true the economics of a diesel only make sense over the short/medium term if heavy commercial use is involved, because of the significantly higher initial cost.

5. I used to own a 27 foot lobster boat with a six cylinder Volvo turbo diesel. That was a beautiful engine, reliable and very easy to maintain, and it ran forever on very little fuel. Diesels are idealy suited to heavy displacement hull boats because they put out large amounts of torque at low RPM's. The same characteristic also makes them well suited to trucks. You wouldn't want one in a sports car, though.

Louie Kokinis posted 10-03-2001 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
I have to agree with Grizzly. I bought my diesel new in 98, to date it has cost me total $2370 to maintain ($790/year).

Broken down

Oil $720 (240 / yr)
Fuel filter $120
Tires $900 (changed all six)
Brakes 350
Diff and Tranny Fluids 280 (its a 4x4 so this includes front and rear)

I have a K&N filter, so there are no air filter costs. The only savings (if any) would come from oil and fuel filter changes, but I can't see myself using cheap oil or not replacing the fuel filter. I use Mobile Delvac engine oil and nothing but synthetic in the diffs and tranny.


Louie Kokinis posted 10-03-2001 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
PS My Whaler maintenance (including trailer) is over $1500 annually. Add bait, boat fuel, and refreshments into the equation it easily dwarfs truck maintenance.


dynomark posted 10-03-2001 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for dynomark  Send Email to dynomark     
Don't rule out the Toyota Tundra for a great all around truck that is very reliable, has an excellent ride, rated #1 for the offset crash test and has a V8 for those times you need the extra power. Granted it may not have the towing capacity of the bigger diesel powered trucks but it is rated at 7500#. I've had excellent results and couldn't be happier with mine. The fit and finish is top notch and the ride is much quieter than either the Ford or Chevy.
hauptjm posted 10-04-2001 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    

Almost all of my towing experiences with heavier (non-sailboat) craft has been limited to the Gulf Coast area where we have virtually no hills to speak of. That might explain the lack of 'hunting'. As far as OD, he said in the towing mode it should be prevented. Now maybe there is a speed factor as well. Maybe the OD kicks in at some higher speed due to programming (like at 75mph or higher). Of course, I know you wouldn't be traveling above 75 now would you?? Just kidding! I'm not sure about this now, so I'll check into it, because I'm considering a 2002 Submarine now that I have a second rug-rat coming.

pist2348 posted 10-04-2001 03:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for pist2348    
I tow a 22' Outrage WD with a Tahoe diesel.
I just picked the boat up in Conneticut to NJ and the truck pulled it effortlessly at 65-70 mph. I highly recommend the diesel. It is powerful and gets 18-20 mpg. I have a friend with the Duramax that truck is amazing.
maverick posted 10-07-2001 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
I pull my 18.6 Whaler with my Harley Davison. A little tough gettin' it rolling, and pretty tricky trying to stop, but on the bright side, all of that keeps my mind off which pickup truck to buy. heh heh Mav
JBCornwell posted 10-07-2001 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
A note for those with smaller Whalers. My son and I both tow our Montauks with ML320 Mercedes. These vehicles start, new, in the upper 30s, so I'm not talking a lot more bux than the diesel deluxe pickups. I am talking a LOT more comfort.

They are rated for 5000lb. (with brakes). Mine has logged about 10,000 miles in the last 3 years with Sunshine III behind, averaging about 15mpg (90+ octane) and cruising easily at 70-75mph where legal, except in steep mountains. The 5speed Auto is excellent at selecting the correct ratio for what is happening. There is no such thing as wheelspin on the steepest, slickest ramp.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

masbama posted 10-07-2001 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
I tow my Montauk with a new V6, 2WD Toyota Highlander with tow pkg. WOW! Perfect tow vehicle for this boat. 220 hp and 222lbs of torque!
whalerron posted 10-08-2001 11:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
Before I get started, let me say that I have owned a diesel Ford and it was great. That truck could pull a house! If I have the extra $6K available, my next truck will have the diesel option!

If you are going to buy a diesel truck, buy a 2001 model. Apparently, starting sometime around October 2002, the EPA has mandated that all diesel engines sold in the US must use Exhaust Gas Recycling (EGR). This is done in all gas engines. With diesels, it presents a major headache for the manufacturers. They need the intake air to be cool. Cool air is more dense than warm air and therefore, more air is available for combustion and this is critical in a diesel. The problem with EGR is that the intake air is mixed with recycled exhaust which can be much higher than 300 degrees. This causes 3 problems. First, less air is available for combustion because of the density issue. Second, if the engine has a turbo, the turbo is subjected to much higher temperature intake air which turbo manufacturers have not had to account for yet. Third, the engine itself will need to dissipate more heat. The heavy truck manufacturers are all wrestling with this issue right now. They have all spent many years shrinking down the front ends of the trucks to make them more aerodynamic and this has meant smaller radiators. With the new requirement, all new diesels will be faced with overheating issues. You absolutely must be wondering why ford is going to stop production on a great engine like the 7.3 PSD. It is most definitely one hell of an engine! But, they cannot keep it cool enough with the new EGR systems and so they are working on 2 new diesels. A small 6 which I think is around 5L and a small 8 which I cannot remember the displacement of but it is alot smaller than the 7.3. I would not want anything to do with an EGR Diesel engine until at least its 3rd year of production. It will interesting to see what kind of hoops the manufacturers jump through to get rid of the extra heat. Can you spell R-E-C-A-L-L? Here is an optimistic view of the EGR systems.

Also, if you have a diesel, be vigilant about testing the antifreeze regularly. Diesels have an additive in their antifreeze that prevents cavitation within the engine block. The internal vibrations of the diesel cause cavitation in the cooling water and this will literally eat holes in the cooling passages just like cavitation eats a boat propeller. This is nothing new and all diesels are faced with the problem. But, if you buy the litmus paper , check the antifreeze often and add more "additive" as needed, cavitation will not destroy your engine. It's interesting that the big 3 don't put much emphasis on this maintenance. You actually gotta look for it in your owner's manual.

Also, coming soon to a gas station near you in 2006, as ordered by the EPA, is "Low sulfur" diesel. The oil companies have been screaming bloody-murder about this because they claim they don't have the technology to efficiently make low sulfur full. The EPA, in their infinite wisdom, said "Bull" and they approved the mandate. The oil companies are saying that this could almost double the price of diesel but I doubt it. The question is, how much will diesel go up because of the "low sulfur" mandate?

On the positive side, if you properly care for a diesel engine, it will last easily over 200K miles. There is no match for their torque and horsepower and because of this they are perfect for towing. It seems like the harder you work a diesel, the longer it lives. Your biggest problem with a good diesel may very well be trying to find a transmission that it won't destroy within 80K miles.

- ron

blackdog posted 10-09-2001 10:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
So basically if you are not going to tow every day it seems like the extra cost of a diesel truck and maintenance will not pay off? Correct?
I mean I certainly will not tow everyday but the added MPG will not pay for the extra costs associated with buying, fueling and maintenance.
I still don’t get the extra maintenance though. I grew up on a farm with diesel and gas tractors. Only problem with diesel was in the winter but over all far superior to gas powered in ever way. We just drop the oil and changed the fuel filters. My uncle John still has the Case 730, 4-cylinder diesel that he bought when I was born in 1965. Never rebuilt the engine!
Louie Kokinis posted 10-09-2001 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
Blackdog: I posted 3 years maintenance figures above. Any tow vehicle should be properly maintained, gas/diesel is irrelevant - diesels do not cost more to maintain unless they are not properly maintained to begin with. They are more sensitive to proper maintenance, but they are also more reliable, perform better, cost less to operate, and love to be under load.


noswah posted 10-09-2001 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for noswah  Send Email to noswah     

Cat diesels have no equal, someone mentioned that Catapillar was coming out with a engine for 4 wheelers. Back in the early 70's a Cat. 4 1/4 diesel would go a half a million miles before one would even think of doing a major overhaul. If I were in the market I think I would wait to see Cat's offering.

I had a O92 series Detroit in a Peterbuilt and after the first hundred thousand miles you filled them up with oil and checked the fuel. Not literally, but they were know for leaking oil, most mechanics gave up on the gaskets and just rebuilt them with silicone.

The only diesel I have ever seen come close to the Cat's in the mountains were the old R model Mack wih maxadyne diesels, Detroits and Cummins weren't even in the race. Just my thoughts.

whalerron posted 10-09-2001 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     

obviously you haven't driven a 16 liter Mack E9,
Now if they only could figure out how to get one of these into Ford or a Chevy pickup!

LarrySherman posted 10-09-2001 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
This is the coolest thread. I've already called around looking for a duramax or a powerstroke.

The aux gen set on subs is 1300kw. It's powered by a Fairbanks-Morse 12 cyclinder 24 piston dual crankshaft diesel. It turns 850 rpm at full load. Now that's TORQUE.

When we would snorkel with the diesel running, the planesmen really had to watch their depth, because when the head valve closed, the diesel would quickly darw a vaccume in the boat. Gave you a nasty headache. After you ran it for a hour, the ops compartment would be about about 120 degrees for 6 or so hours until it cooled down.

humboldt jim posted 10-10-2001 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for humboldt jim  Send Email to humboldt jim     
Man, you guys have been awesome keeping this thread up while I have been shopping around. Here is where I am at:

The local Chevy dealer priced himself out by not giving any flexibility on the S2500 duramax/allison tranny combination. $42K! I did test drive her, and she's a beaut, but not to be at that price. Since I have never had a problem with my Toyota trucks, I decided to try the new Tundra. The I Force engine they come with is the same engine you would find in a Lexus. 245 Horsepower (250 outside of California), 4 speed auto. Maximum towing weight-7000 lbs. Took iot for a ride, and it felt just right. Lots of giddyup! Since this dealer is willing to negotiate, I think I have myself a deal. Fully loaded the SR5 model is going to cost me around 30K. The mileage will be about the same as my 6 cylinder T-100, 17 and 14 mpg.

Thanks for the feedback fellow Whalerites

grizzly posted 10-10-2001 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for grizzly    
h jim,

A great choice of truck, IMO. The engine is superb and the Toyota build quality will help it last for years.

Please post us with your impressions once you tow your boat with it.

blackdog posted 10-13-2001 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
By the way , 4 door version of the Tundra should be out for 2003.
Tallydon posted 10-17-2001 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tallydon  Send Email to Tallydon     

Great site and I thank you for hard work in maintaining it. Now, I own a Tundra V-8 2wd extra cab and have 42 k on it. I tow a Dauntless 16, about 2,800 lbs including trailer. I usually pass others pulling boats on my way back from the coast. Its like I really don't have a boat back there. No problems breaking at all. The only time I know I have a boat back there is when I hit a bump and I can feel a little bit of tongue weight.

No problems to speak of so far. My Toyota mechanic said that this V-8 is the same one that is in the Landcruiser, approximately a $55,000 vehicle. He also said that if I maintain it, I should be able to get over 250,000 miles on it without any major expense. He has seen many with that type of mileage on the Landcruisers and Lexus sedans. The motor is built tough. I always use the overdrive and it holds speed when the cruise control is on, even going up hills. Yes, we have hills in North Florida. Good luck with your selection and purchase.

Tallydon posted 10-17-2001 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tallydon  Send Email to Tallydon     

No problems with overheating especially in a hot Florida climate. The temperature gauge never seems to move even while towing on a hot August day and doing 65 mph heading home around 3:00 in the afternoon. Heck, I worry more about the trailer tires than the truck's motor.

88 Montauk posted 10-26-2001 01:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for 88 Montauk  Send Email to 88 Montauk     
My father purchased a Silverado HD2500 with Duramax Diesel and Allison transmission. He hasn't had it long but he is amazed at its capability. He pulls a 5th wheel(28ft, an overloaded Haulmark,and a Tractor on the flatbed trailer when at the farm. He said he has never driven truck like it(He has driven a lot of trucks). As far as reliability, the best thing GM did on this is ventured with Isuzu. Isuzu diesels are very active in the commercial market and have a sterling rep for longevity and maintenance. They are pricey though.
violagopher posted 09-08-2003 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for violagopher  Send Email to violagopher     
For all of you considering purchase of a DuraMax diesel in either the Chevrolet or GMC pickup trucks, I would highly recommend purchasing the extended warranty for when the head gaskets fail after the factory warranty has expired. It is not a matter of if they fail, but when they fail. Why GM put aluminum heads on a cast iron block, I will never understand. Yes, they were probably trying to save weight, but have encountered the same old problem that we have seen before in other attempts to try to use dissimilar metals next to each other. The aluminum heads expand much faster under heating conditions than does the cast iron block, putting undue strain on the head gaskets. Something eventually gives and it is always the head gaskets. VERY expensive fix and if the owner keeps the truck, he can expect the same fix about every 100,000 miles!
Ford International/Navistar and Dodge Cummins engines have cast iron heads for a reason. I do not know of an over-the-road big-rig that is running aluminum heads...those manufacturers are going with what works, tried and true.

BOB KEMMLER JR posted 09-08-2003 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for BOB KEMMLER JR    
I'll tell my friend that with his 93 z28 with over 250,000 miles on the stock drivetrain.350 v8, alum heads, cast iron block.
whalerron posted 09-08-2003 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
If you are looking at a 2004 Diesel Ford Truck, do not buy it. I am, and always have been a Ford man. I owned a 6.9 Ford diesel which I really liked and my other 4 Fords have been gas engines. All have been great trucks. But, the new Ford 6.0L diesel is a major headache for Ford. They have been buying some of these trucks back from customers because of major issues with the engines. That engine uses a variable pitch fan in the turbo and the turbo's manufacturer is still having production problems with the turbo. BEcause of its sheer power, the 6.0L Ford diesel will run circles around Chevys and Dodges but this is it's first year release and it has proven to be very unreliable. Wait until Ford gets the problems corrected before buying this motor. Do some searching in the diesel forum on and you can see the kinds of problems that current 6.0L owners are experiencing. It's not pretty. It's a shame because they really did a great job with the 7.3 PSD!

jimh posted 09-09-2003 12:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This is a two year old thread just revived. Please let it rest in peace.

If you want to debate 2004 truck, please start a new thread.


whalerron posted 09-09-2003 07:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     

I just noticed the dates on the messages here. Why is my last post from 9/8/2003 listed as a 2001 post? BTW, sorry about that. I didn't notice the other dates....

alienrob posted 12-18-2003 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for alienrob  Send Email to alienrob     
hey guys ive got one for you..........i have a 2003 dodge w/ the new cummins,it came fron the factory standard w/ the 3.90 rear-end empty, i have been getting 24.76mpg hi-way,21.25 in town and loaded and i mean loaded, 19.79 mpg hi-way and 16.17 in town i pull a 30 ft double glide out gooseneck camper w/ a gvw of 9600 lbs and my bayliner boat behind that not sure what the boat and trailer weigh though. just thought you guys might love these trucks as much as i do with almost 15,400 on it already


Kingsteven18 posted 12-18-2003 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18     
How would you like to tow it 150 mph ?? Check this out !!
Kingsteven18 posted 12-18-2003 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18 Sorry!!
soggy bottom boy posted 12-19-2003 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for soggy bottom boy  Send Email to soggy bottom boy     
Lots of opinion on this thread. I think the originator should buy the largest truck he/she can justify, and get by with if it is a daily driver.

For those of with smaller towing packages, the long anticipated Jeep Liberty with Mercedes 2.8 litre diesel should kick butt! The current 3.7 litre gasoline engine is rated to 5K. I understand the diesel will give more than 75 lbs. of torque than a 4.0 litre. Delivery in 2004, October or November as 2005s. And, 25 mpg.

I'm buying one.


jimh posted 12-20-2003 12:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't understand the sudden revival of a three year old thread.

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