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#1 12-03-2012 20:26:36

Strawman
Helper
Registered: 04-12-2009
Posts: 15

Tow vehicle dreams

I am thinking of what kind of tow vehicle to put on my vision board.  I want something with similar utility to my Suburban but with enough power and stability to tow a trailer with two Jeeps loaded.  Can I even tow two Jeeps on a ball hitch trailer?  All the ones I see are goose neck.  I want something that will seat six people comfortably so that means three rows of seats.  The only thing I have seen that comes close would be the Diesel Ford Excursion.  Maybe I could stretch a Willis panel wagon body over one of those chassis. Any other ideas?

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12-03-2012 20:26:36

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Re: Tow vehicle dreams

#2 12-03-2012 20:43:59

james
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Registered: 10-05-2008
Posts: 90

Re: Tow vehicle dreams

At the risk of offending someone out there whos a Ford fan, the Ford diesels have MAJOR issues. Its too bad the Cummins wasn't available in an SUV. You are good at wrenching, and taking on projects- you could always look for diesel Excursion with a bad engine (lots of them out there!) and swap in a Cummins. Check out www.fordcummins.com for some info. Not cheap to do, but ny picking up a fairly low-priced used 12 valve Cumins motor (the most fuel efficient and reliable version) and a cheap Excursion, you could have well under $5000 between vehicle and motor. That frees up money for a swap kit. Too bad its so far from you, there was a local guy who was looking to unload his Excursion with a blown diesel, I think it went out for scrap though. Nobody around here has money to buy a replacement diesel engine, and the Fords are particularly expensive because they are in demand for replacing bad engines.

As for towing, you shouldn't have any issue finding a trailer for pulling two XJs. Even at 4500 lbs. each (a stocker weighs around 3300 iirc, so I'm leaving a lot of room for extras), you are only talking 9k lbs. Whats the length of an XJ, around 16'? Factoring in rear overhang, you could go with a trailer as short as 30'.

I just found this 2-car trailer, 34' long:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/New-2-CA … 4837dd1b64

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#3 12-03-2012 20:50:38

nads
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Registered: 05-29-2009
Posts: 89

Re: Tow vehicle dreams

Dodge Ram 3500, with that much weight, i'd probably go dual-rear wheel, but single wheel would do it. Get the crew cab (true 4 door model) and you wont lack for space. Need to keep stuff dry? Get a tonneau cover for the bed. You can find a trailer that's not a gooseneck,

I, personally, would look for a last model second generation Ram. The '01 and '02 models had rear discs - a huge improvement...but they can be retrofitted to earlier trucks. With the late model year, you'll get the 24V truck, which is a great engine, but not quite as fuel efficient as the older 12V models. You really can't go wrong with a Cummins powered truck, assuming it's been well maintained. One caveat. Get 4WD. Regardless if you never suspect you'll need it. With the diesel engine up front, you can get stuck on a fairly flat lawn, if it's the slightest bit damp. All the weight is over the front axle, and the rear is unloaded, which means zero traction at the rear wheels. Try to back up a slight incline unloaded and there is dew on the grass and you'll find you just spin...

There's really nothing else, other than the Excursion, that comes close to one of those big trucks for pulling that kind of weight. I'm not a fan of the Fords, having driven them, though perhaps they're new 2011 model will be a lot better - its got some nice features, we'll see if they can pull it off and build a good truck.

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#4 12-03-2012 20:58:06

james
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Registered: 10-05-2008
Posts: 90

Re: Tow vehicle dreams

Just keep a stack of lift pumps on hand for the 24v. My buddy bought a '99 (against my advice) and 3 months after getting it the lift pump went out. Nearly $400 later for an upgraded aftermarket pump (name brand, was supposed to be more reliable than stock) he drove the truck for about 3 weeks and the injection pump went, most likely because the lift pump starved it for fuel. $1800 later for an upgraded, more reliable injection pump. Less than a year after putting the lift pump in, it went out on him last week. Not sure if it will be covered under warranty, but if it starved that injection pump for fuel, he'll be out another $1800 there.

There really isn't any good argument for going 24v. With a $100 fuel plate the 12v will make more power than a stock 24v, get better mileage, and parts are MUCH cheaper...on the rare occasion you actually need to replace something.

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12-03-2012 20:58:06

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Re: Tow vehicle dreams

#5 12-03-2012 21:00:09

nads
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Registered: 05-29-2009
Posts: 89

Re: Tow vehicle dreams

The only argument for the 24V, is that the truck chassis itself is newer, and most likely with fewer miles. No, the engine won't care...but...the rest of the truck will die long before that cummins will. Finding a low mileage 12V truck in good nick is going to be hard these days...finding a newer one is more likely. Hence, my "argument" for a 24V. But I agree...if it were me...and my dollars, I'd find a 300-400k mile truck, with the 12V. Throw on a huge brembo brake kit all the way around, get it repainted, restuff the seats or replace them, fix all the niggling stuff, add a fuel plate, and drive it another 300k miles...

Most people wanna get in and just drive though...so in the interest of finding one that doesn't need that much work...i'd defer to the later model, albeit with the 12V. I'd be adamant they install a FPG, and keep a lift pump in the truck. They are a known issue, and I do miss my '00 Ram 2500 CTD a lot...but...alas, it was wrecked.

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#6 12-03-2012 21:01:35

Jose
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Registered: 04-13-2009
Posts: 28

Re: Tow vehicle dreams

diesel excursion would be nice. the V10 would work too, just drinks a little more. a full size truck with a crew cab should seat 6 comfortably as well. those cabs these days are pretty big.

I've seen 30' bumper pull car haulers before. might have to step up to a 2 5/16" ball though. new Ford duallies come with a 2 1/2" receiver hitch.

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