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I'll never forget this...


hex0rz

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SO, the big day had came...My job finally called me to leave town and head out for the work. Took a while to pack and get everything situated. Seemed all like a blur to me!Biggest struggle me and the wife had was trying to figure out wha absolutely had to be packed and what did not. I made it a goal to not exceed 1k lbs. in goods. We did our best. We set out, weighing EVERYTHING! It was probably the most time consuming part of it all!We finally reached a final weight of 880lbs! Under our 1k lb. goal. But I saw it as a good thing to have less, as we will obviously have extra weight when we move it again after living in it for a while. Things like groceries, etc.So we strived to get out of town and into our rv spot by Saturday night. HA! Still packing... we did not finish pasking until 1am and then got up at 9am. Beat tired from work and packing from previous days.Finally got going at about 3pm on the evening of SUNDAY! Our black tank was about 2/3 full as well. Extra weight in front of the trailer axles. Wanted to hit the CAT scales again and also wanted the black tank empty as well. Found a REALLY nice rv park on the way. In fact I wish we would have been there for my last job! :duh:So I got there and paid the dump fee. Hooked up my new dump system, the SEWER SOLUTION! Its quit the setup! Thats another subject! I gotta tell ya, that black tank made the truck a bit squirrely! It was UNBELIEVABLE the difference that dump made!Hit the scales after! Heres the numbers:Truck:Front: 4200 Rear: 3000Gross: 7200Combined:Front: 4160Rear: 6400Trailer axles: 10940GCW: 21500As you can see, pin weight was 3400 lbs! Thats my fault for not properly distributing the weight. Next time we move, were putting alot of out clothes, etc. in the toy hauler area...So, after all this we still has a good 200 some odd miles to drive! Took I-90 west towards Seattle from Spokane. Took about 2 hours or so to get to Moses Lake. Had about 1/4 tank left. So I stopped off for fuel.BUT!This trip was not without flaws...VERY BAD day to pull this billboard! I will let you in on a secret... I grew up in Spokane, then gravitated east to Idaho. Never went west in Washington!BOY! I never realized how flat, and deserted it was in central washington! Sagebrush everywhere! We ran into agricultural areas along the way, but it was mostly sagebrush! WHERE DID MY TREES GO!!! :banghead:I could not help it.. I started cursing and a cussin'. I wanted to turn around and tell my boss I'm not working in this hellhole! But, it helps when you have an important person in your life that relies on the money, too... sigh.There was a portion of the road hat dipped down and goes under a bridge. But right before we took that dip, WHOA!!! Outta no where, the strongest gust of wind hit us like never before. I literally thought we were gonna end up on our side! So I hit the trailer brakes and got that thing back on track. I never knew I could react so quick!So we got into Moses Lake. Went to a Safeway to fill up. I'll tell you this, just as quick as we arrived, is just as quick as I wanted to LEAVE! I see the turn to pull into the safeway parking lot, start favoring the inside lane for a wide turn, slowing down. Guy was in a ford truck wanting to turn into traffic. Still had room to pull in. Outta NOWHERE here comes this broad in her little car! :mad:EMERGENCY STOP! FULL BRAKING! I stop feet from her car, traffic is stopped, people are just pulling up right behind her like, I'm a friggin; prius!BACK UP WOMAN! :nono: I could see the utter shock on her face as she almost met her demise by a freight train on pavement. Funny noises were made by the truck, and I was sure everything in the trailer was thrown forward and probably broke. Finally got to the pump. Had the wife check the trailer, nothing important moved or was broke.My sister was there and it was the last time I would see her, her husband, and my new nephew for a while. Time was running tight and I had a very sour experience in that town...We get back out on the road, heading to Ellensburg, to then cut south for Yakima! Little did I KNOW! :ahhh: The GEORGE!!!I tell ya, I cannot believe what I got myself into! Wind was just NUTS! We hit the george, ohhh crap... Start going down the grade and whattya know! The columbia river! I had a :pray: warrior in my passenger seat. You would not know it by looking at her cause I woulda thought I died or something as I thought I musta been looking at ghost!We pass a sign going down the grade, "Bridge windy"!:ahhh: OH crap...THEN once we make it down, start going across this crazy long bridge, across the columbia, we see what was then in store for us! I have no idea what % the grade was, probably 6%. But for MILES!!!! I did not seriously think we were gonna get up it!Started climbing this beast of a mountain, slowing down, hit the hazards and started dancing with the gauges...Pyro was at a sustained 800-1100 degrees. Boost was peaked at 25psi. Coolant temp was probably about 210 degrees. Speed about 45mph and 2-2500k rpm.Trans. temp was between 170-220. Some portions of the grade just seemed to bog the truck down more than other portions. Was losing rpm's and speed and you could hear engine slowing down. Got into the throttle a little more and the TC unlocked. Geared down, got the rpms up, speed same. EGTS fell to 800 but trans. temp climbed to 220.Let that go for a few minutes and then let out of the throttle a little and TC locked back up. Trans. temp fell, EGTS rose to 1100.Kept going back and forth until we finally peaked the grade.. Rest stop was at the top. Took it and let the truck cool down. Especially me and the wife! WHEW! Yep, windier than crap at the top. No wonder they had dozens of windmills! Quit the sight to see!Managed to make some small talk with a couple truckers to ask about the other side of the grade. Said it was more gradual and not as steep. :hyper: YAY!I was gonna crap myself if I had to go down something like that!!!Finally got to ellensburg. Started cutting down south and had to hit ANOTHER COUPLE grades! :cry:Definitely nothing like the one afte the columbia river! It was more manageable, but still very uneasy.Finally got into Yakima after the last grade into town. WHAM! Whats off in the horizon? VOLCANOS! Duuude....Why, lord, why? :(Did I mention, this job is 3 YEARS!!! :ahhh:Got our RV spot pre-approved. Got the trailer backed in, no problem! Wow, theres something new for me, lol! Got the basic hookups done and jetted off to walmart! WOW!I will tell ya, this whole thing definitely comes as such a culture shock and lifestyle change! I feel like I'm in another country!Worked 34 hours in the last 3 days, though. Thats why I'm here! :spend:I think I might wanna go to another RV park if I can though. Dogs cannot even have an area to run, etc. Dirt lot for just bathroom area. Must be leashed all the time. Pretty restrictive rules... ugh.Well, just experiencing a huge learning in all this. Fridge in the kitchen is too small, for sure! I was expecting that though. But a fullsize was only available in the triple axles....I wanted to pack our fullsizer in the toyhauler or our chest freezer but that was gonna put us over on our weight goal... So we may bite the bullet and get a small 5 cu. chest freezer for meat. Wife is doing good adjusting, and probably better than me!Showers are my biggest peeve! I took out the waterflow restricter in the head, but they still got me! The fitting that comes out of the faucet is reduced greatly. Dunno how I can change this...Water heater is GREAT! I think its 12 gallons. Still have not seen the light on to heat the water...Needless to say, stressful past few days, for me. Looking forward to getting some rest!!I have come to the conclusion:1. I buy a gooseneck adapter and ask the boss to use his 96' 3500 12 valve dually 5-speed to relocate when needed, OR2. I'm gonna look into trading for a dually. You heard me... Theres a place in Puyallup that I may consider. They are pretty good at selling used trucks that are older, but LOW miles. I found a few from them a few times with trucks in the late 90's with less than 100k miles! I don't want a newer year range truck. I would buy an older one like this, but less miles! That would be my little gem! But if I gotta buy a truck AGAIN, its gonna COUNT!!!After this trip, there is NO WAY I wanna move this thing again in the conditions I did!I cannot even imagine trying to do it in the winter!I'm definitely gonna look at alternative routes that are flatter and less stressful. Even if it takes longer! It took me almost exactly 34 gallons one-way! I got a rate of 10mpg! Talk about windy and steep!I bet the injectors are clean, though!!! :thumb1:

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Sounds like one hell of a trip!!! I always tell myself ill never do it again.....then I end up doing it again. Life really is about the journey or at least that is what I tell my self :) Better windy and smells like cow___, than Iowa and windy and smells like pig___! :lol:

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Sound like a white knuckle of a trip. :rolleyes:As for the 1 ton the only thing it will do is aid in stability a bit but you'll still experience the wind pushing and pulling. That because of the pure size of the profile. As for the pulling power or transmission that won't change. That was another reason why I chose the manual transmission and a exhaust brake. I knew the purpose of the truck was going to be pulling heavy and auto are just not design for it out of the box.This is one of the few reason I did not opt for a 5th wheel. Because of the overly large profile and typically heavier RV. Question, What is your over length and height Hex? So far I've not recorded any fuel mileage below 13 MPG ever in all 217K miles of the truck life.I don't think so much the truck is to blame it the profile and weight of the RV.

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The wind is a killer of all deals, I see 10 mpg regularly while towing trailers due to 20-40 mph winds on a regular basis. We too have very long grades not as steep as you guys in the mountains but several miles long coupled with the winds kills any hopes and dreams of good mileage loaded or not with or without a trailer.Your story sounds like it was all due to beginners fright and overthinking it all.An old saying I love..............."Don't worry about the mule, just load the wagon". Quit worrying about the weights and everything else, a few hundred LBS is not going to matter. You didn't have a single number that would have needed the stop to cool things down you were in complete normal operating ranges on everything.

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Next time your truck lugs too much to remain in OD, try backing out of the throttle a little and hit the OD button. This will drop you to 3rd but will keep the converter locked vs the truck downshifting on its own and remaining unlocked. This will keep your trans temp down and transmit all your power to the wheels, much better than in an unlocked condition. The only thing you will need to keep an eye on is your egt's with the converter locked, but 9 times out of 10 that is the best way to go. And don't be shy to run the ol girl up to 2400+ rpm's, you won't hurt a thing. you will see a drop in egt over lugging it in OD and believe it or not use less fuel. Towing with the 47 is a bit of an art with the wide gear ratio

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All very good advice above, though I know nothing about towing with an auto. The wind is going to blow even a dully around. Our rv's are near the same size and when its blowing out you just have stay concentrated on the driving. No way out of it. We have stretch of I40 near Asheville NC about 6 miles long at 6% to 7% grade. Up is no brainer. Down is a bit differant, keep it slow. It is much easier to stay under control at slower speeds. I still have pucker marks in my seat from the first few down grades like that I made. Its just a matter of getting used to it.

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I agree DRipley, it's almost a shell shock the first few times your hooked heavy and does take a little getting used to. But that's a good thing, the ones that aren't scared and brag are the ones that worry me. It just goes to show that you CARE, and are PAYING ATTENTION. Nothing wrong at all with that.

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I suppose if one starts out later in life with things like these brings out the extra cautious side of folks. I was driving semis and everything else with tires at 12 years old on the farm so It kind of second nature for me, hard to sit in someone else's shoes an imagine some things like this for me. The laws have changed a lot now but when I was 16 I could legally drive our farm semi without a CDL within 100 miles of home as long as it was for our farm use and not for hire.My wife is the same way, she has jumped in other peoples vehicles and backed in large boats at boat ramps over the years just to get them the heck out of others way so they don't make more people mad and cause damage to theirs or others rigs. Once they see how good she is at backing up our big pontoon they don't have a problem with it.One would be amazed at the looks of AWE and compliments she gets while maneuvering at the docks.:thumbup2:

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A 12 yrs old driving an 18 whewheeler and you weren't the least bit scared? :stuned: That puts you in the realm of the man upstairs, that or you were staying in a Holiday Inn Express at the time :lmao:Seriously though, I wasn't too far behind yoU at 14 when I began working for my grandfather in the summers during hay season on his ranch in Wyoming. I remember pulling hay wagons up out of the river bottom that were way too heavy for the 79 Chevy 1 ton 4x4 with a 4 Speed I was in and being absolutely terrified. The only thing that scared me more was the thought of telling my grandfather I couldn't do it or anything else he asked me to do. He was a hard man to please and I was damned if I was gonna disappoint him in any way if I could help it. I remember having a conversation with him years later and admitted to him for the first time how scared I was doing some of the things he asked me to do those first few summers I was there. He knew all along.

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Was a tandem axle truck with a 25' grain dump body and a tandem axle pup trailer with a 20' grain box, I was probably pretty nervous the first few time when I was a young lad, More so that I was going to loose an arm if the wheel slipped out of my hand with a full load of wheat pulling out of a soft field, was a 1970 IH with a straight piped 6-71 Detroit, 10 speed tranny and NO POWER STEERING :pray: It was a dump the clutch mash the go pedal and put the other foot on the dash and pull on the steering wheel as hard as I could and hope I didn't loose a grip or power out as it would have torn my arm off if it did.

Man I was in heaven when we sold that truck and got a 1979 Mack, endless power compared to the old IH and power steering to boot. :woot:

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During my service time of the fire dept. I've learned quite a bit about driving heavy trucks and high profile vehicles in the mountains of Idaho. First few times it will spook you when wind catches the truck or coming down a grade and all that weight is pushing you. All I can say is take example from the big trucks most of them slow down big time in high winds, and travel up and down grades slowly (<35 MPH). Most of our fire trucks are ranging from 15K pounds to over 60K pounds. But you got to remember the length and height of the RV is like the tail wagging the dog. The 2 extra tires might make it a bit more stable... Think about it CajFlynn is towing even bigger boats that are heavier with a bumper pull trailer and does it all with a 3/4 ton truck.

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I know CajFlynn had invest quite of bit into that truck to make it do what it did. Yeah its a automatic trans but beefed up. Also running smaller 17" tires to keep the stability. etc...

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2 weeks ago I went on my annual dirt bike thing and a guy asked me to drive his truck down there so he could ride his harley. It was a 2005 F250 5.4 auto. POS to say the least. I think you all know that you use the first half of the pedal for driving and the last half for passing..or at least I do. His was the last half the entire time or it wasn't moving, floored to go up hills. Anyways he has the biggest slide in camper he could get and its just marvelous to drive. When you turn, the whole truck rolls to one side a lottt, its very top heavy. The wind pushes it wherever it wants and you really have no control other than aiming for the center of the road. That's all you can do, so you just sit back, relax, aim for the center, and let the truck do whatever it wants. It is going to blow all over the road and this and that, you can't stop it, so don't try so hard. Let it do its thing and just constantly correct it, slowwwly.. Don't jerk it back straight, just widen your tolerances up a lot on where the truck should be at in the road. Without a trailer you can hold a 1 foot tolerance between the lines easily, with the trailer, let the lines be the tolerance. I mean its that simple, you can't control it as precise with a trailer, so understand that, get over it, and let it do its thing and drift around and dont be afraid of it. Your mirrors are wider than it (should be) so if the mirrors aren't going to hit the oncoming cars, then the trailer wont, so dont worry about it. It's just like in the sand with my dirt bike. When you turn, the bike pretty well just washes out and feels like you just turned on ice, but it is just sliding a little to get a little burm to have some traction to turn, like 5" of sliding, and that freaks everyone out. If you watched me ride you would never see my put my feet down and I am completely relaxed and you will watch the bike slide all over the place. It's normal, its going to happen, understand it and don't worry about it. If all else fails and you really want a good lesson, drive something much harder. Something with a big slide in for example haha. If you try and parallel park a semi and eventually get the hang of it, then how easy will it now be to park a prius.... By doing something much harder, things easier become MUCH easier. I used to think my ford was hard to drive until I drove my dodge, then I went back to my ford and it was like I was in a little car that I could park on a dime if I wanted. Same thing when I got out of that guys PITA F250 and got in my little jeep. Face the challenge! Understand it. It's just a trailer and some wind lol.

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The wind is a killer of all deals, I see 10 mpg regularly while towing trailers due to 20-40 mph winds on a regular basis. We too have very long grades not as steep as you guys in the mountains but several miles long coupled with the winds kills any hopes and dreams of good mileage loaded or not with or without a trailer. Your story sounds like it was all due to beginners fright and overthinking it all. An old saying I love..............."Don't worry about the mule, just load the wagon". Quit worrying about the weights and everything else, a few hundred LBS is not going to matter. You didn't have a single number that would have needed the stop to cool things down you were in complete normal operating ranges on everything.

You sure got that right WaF about NoDak. Of the 20 trips I've made there over the years, the wind is always blowing hard out of the NW or West when we're traveling up there!!! I drove into 40+ sustained West winds going up only a couple years ago. Thank God we weren't driving up there during that wind storm last year that had 60+mph sustained winds with regular gusts to 80mph. I've only had a couple times where the wind actually "pushed" me home. I always seem to find a South wind for our drive home!!!???:banghead::ahhh::smart:
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Welcome to Central Washington and yes you have two option for the basin Windy or windy and smells like cow ____.

I'll take the smell of cow crap over the wind! :lol: I'm curious how bad this is gonna be for me in the winter... I thought the palouse region was bad...

Sound like a white knuckle of a trip. :rolleyes:

As for the 1 ton the only thing it will do is aid in stability a bit but you'll still experience the wind pushing and pulling. That because of the pure size of the profile. As for the pulling power or transmission that won't change. That was another reason why I chose the manual transmission and a exhaust brake. I knew the purpose of the truck was going to be pulling heavy and auto are just not design for it out of the box.

This is one of the few reason I did not opt for a 5th wheel. Because of the overly large profile and typically heavier RV. Question, What is your over length and height Hex? So far I've not recorded any fuel mileage below 13 MPG ever in all 217K miles of the truck life.

I don't think so much the truck is to blame it the profile and weight of the RV.

I noticed at times how tense mybody was. My left hand was gripping the wheel so hard, it had cramped up and was tingling.. MY back was screaming at me for being so tense and just not laying back in the seat.

I also was hoping a 1 ton dually would also allow me load the rv to its GVW. I'm learning to live without, being in this trailer, but I still need a few more things to make it a year round possibility... Although, I have not found any dodge trucks that are rated to pull a 16450 lb. trailer...

I'm not sure about overall length. Whatever a quad cab short bed is plus 37' 8" trailer... Yea, the trailer is like a friggin' billboard! But there is no way I could settle for a travel trailer. What love can do to a person! ...sigh.

The wind is a killer of all deals, I see 10 mpg regularly while towing trailers due to 20-40 mph winds on a regular basis. We too have very long grades not as steep as you guys in the mountains but several miles long coupled with the winds kills any hopes and dreams of good mileage loaded or not with or without a trailer.

Your story sounds like it was all due to beginners fright and overthinking it all.

An old saying I love..............."Don't worry about the mule, just load the wagon".

Quit worrying about the weights and everything else, a few hundred LBS is not going to matter. You didn't have a single number that would have needed the stop to cool things down you were in complete normal operating ranges on everything.

Yep, I need to tow it in these sort of things more, so I know what I and the truck is capable of...

..lol, saying the truck needed to cool down was more of an excuse for me to stop at the rest stop so I could get out and walk around and go pee... :lol:

Next time your truck lugs too much to remain in OD, try backing out of the throttle a little and hit the OD button. This will drop you to 3rd but will keep the converter locked vs the truck downshifting on its own and remaining unlocked. This will keep your trans temp down and transmit all your power to the wheels, much better than in an unlocked condition. The only thing you will need to keep an eye on is your egt's with the converter locked, but 9 times out of 10 that is the best way to go. And don't be shy to run the ol girl up to 2400+ rpm's, you won't hurt a thing. you will see a drop in egt over lugging it in OD and believe it or not use less fuel. Towing with the 47 is a bit of an art with the wide gear ratio

The whole trip, I had the OD lockout on. I tried having the OD on and I noticed the EGT's would just stay too high. So I left the OD locked out... Also, with my tow/haul valve body in, its probably going to drive differently than a stock 47e...

All very good advice above, though I know nothing about towing with an auto. The wind is going to blow even a dully around. Our rv's are near the same size and when its blowing out you just have stay concentrated on the driving. No way out of it. We have stretch of I40 near Asheville NC about 6 miles long at 6% to 7% grade. Up is no brainer. Down is a bit differant, keep it slow. It is much easier to stay under control at slower speeds. I still have pucker marks in my seat from the first few down grades like that I made. Its just a matter of getting used to it.

So do you think a dually would really not be worth getting, instead upgrade this truck with more add-ons to make it pull better?

During my service time of the fire dept. I've learned quite a bit about driving heavy trucks and high profile vehicles in the mountains of Idaho. First few times it will spook you when wind catches the truck or coming down a grade and all that weight is pushing you. All I can say is take example from the big trucks most of them slow down big time in high winds, and travel up and down grades slowly (<35 MPH). Most of our fire trucks are ranging from 15K pounds to over 60K pounds. But you got to remember the length and height of the RV is like the tail wagging the dog. The 2 extra tires might make it a bit more stable... Think about it CajFlynn is towing even bigger boats that are heavier with a bumper pull trailer and does it all with a 3/4 ton truck.

Posted Image

I know CajFlynn had invest quite of bit into that truck to make it do what it did. Yeah its a automatic trans but beefed up. Also running smaller 17" tires to keep the stability. etc...

I've also noticed that on towing guides, etc. that a 1 ton pulls less than a 3/4 ton... Although, it probably pulls it better and more stable...

2 weeks ago I went on my annual dirt bike thing and a guy asked me to drive his truck down there so he could ride his harley. It was a 2005 F250 5.4 auto. POS to say the least. I think you all know that you use the first half of the pedal for driving and the last half for passing..or at least I do. His was the last half the entire time or it wasn't moving, floored to go up hills.

Anyways he has the biggest slide in camper he could get and its just marvelous to drive. When you turn, the whole truck rolls to one side a lottt, its very top heavy. The wind pushes it wherever it wants and you really have no control other than aiming for the center of the road. That's all you can do, so you just sit back, relax, aim for the center, and let the truck do whatever it wants.

It is going to blow all over the road and this and that, you can't stop it, so don't try so hard. Let it do its thing and just constantly correct it, slowwwly.. Don't jerk it back straight, just widen your tolerances up a lot on where the truck should be at in the road. Without a trailer you can hold a 1 foot tolerance between the lines easily, with the trailer, let the lines be the tolerance. I mean its that simple, you can't control it as precise with a trailer, so understand that, get over it, and let it do its thing and drift around and dont be afraid of it. Your mirrors are wider than it (should be) so if the mirrors aren't going to hit the oncoming cars, then the trailer wont, so dont worry about it.

It's just like in the sand with my dirt bike. When you turn, the bike pretty well just washes out and feels like you just turned on ice, but it is just sliding a little to get a little burm to have some traction to turn, like 5" of sliding, and that freaks everyone out. If you watched me ride you would never see my put my feet down and I am completely relaxed and you will watch the bike slide all over the place. It's normal, its going to happen, understand it and don't worry about it.

If all else fails and you really want a good lesson, drive something much harder. Something with a big slide in for example haha. If you try and parallel park a semi and eventually get the hang of it, then how easy will it now be to park a prius.... By doing something much harder, things easier become MUCH easier. I used to think my ford was hard to drive until I drove my dodge, then I went back to my ford and it was like I was in a little car that I could park on a dime if I wanted. Same thing when I got out of that guys PITA F250 and got in my little jeep.

Face the challenge! Understand it. It's just a trailer and some wind lol.

HA! The trailer is 8' 8" wide! All I can do is keep it in between the lines. Thats probably why I had a death grip on the wheel. Any deviation would pretty much have caused me to be over the line or in the shoulder.

My mirrors, believe it or not, do not allow me to see 180 degrees all the way back. I have to stick my head over further to get a rear view. My blind spots are still okay, though. Wonder if I should/need to get mirror extensions, etc..

...speaking of FORDS! :lmao: I'll start another thread on that one.

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The only 2nd gen dully that has a higher gcwr higher than a 3/4 ton is a manual dully with 4:10 gears. I believe they are rated at 22k. I dont know about 3rd gen and beyond.

I entertained the thought of dully when I bought mine but did not want all of that extra truck since only 5% to 10% of my driving is towing. The camper package overload and rear sway bar help for stability. The stock engine setup served me well for 5 years. About 1 year of that was with the current rv. While the Banks and the rv275 are nice,I still don get from point A to point B any quicker unless I drive faster. Air bags or overloads and a sway bar(if you dont have one) would be the first thing I would do.

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My 96 did not have either and it was a touch bouncy on the rear and not as stable as the 02

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