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#1 highaltidude

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 02:57 PM

The wife and I gave Marc and Toni our deposit on a V1 last year.  Since then we've been busy getting the truck ready.....

 

We started off w a new Ford F-350 super cab long bed w the 6.7L diesel.

With the redesign on the 2017 trucks, we got a good deal on a "left over" 2016.

It was pretty "plain", so we added clear bra, tinted windows, heated seats, nav system, back up camera, and remote start.

It's been to Marc for the installation of the flat bed, ARB air system, air bags, and rear sway bar.

We had our local 4x4 shop instal a TrueTrac in the front (e-locker already in the rear).

I've added the front leveling kit (springs), Icon shocks, tires/wheels, front brush guard, and front fender flares.

 

We're snowmobilers, so the truck/camper will be used to tow an enclosed trailer so we can camp at around 10,000-11,000ft elevation here in Colorado.

 

We're excited!!!

 

Chuck

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#2 ranchero

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 09:32 PM

Nice looking truck!   I'm biding my time in a Sportsmobile. I'm in Salida. Would love to see your truck and camper when you get it!



#3 highaltidude

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 07:14 AM

Nice looking truck!   I'm biding my time in a Sportsmobile. I'm in Salida. Would love to see your truck and camper when you get it!

 

 

The tow vehicle that I sold to go with the truck/camper was an E-350 with a Quigley conversion.  We thought real hard about whether our travel plans would be better served with a camper interior installed in the van, or getting a V1.

 

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#4 Nomads365

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 08:07 AM

We're excited!!!

 

Chuck

 

I just have to say how much I like your forum handle!  :D

 

Our recently acquired 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 will go to XP sometime in the next few months after they get the flatbed ready and decisions are made on suspension mods etc. Gonna be an awesome transformation! 



#5 highaltidude

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 04:24 PM

Another trip up snowmobiling.

Twas a bit on the chilly side....

Yeah, that's a -21 degrees....

We're expecting to really test out the V1....

 

Chuck

 

 

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#6 Nomads365

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 06:20 PM

Brrrr, we'll take our planned Mexican weather over sub-zero anytime! 



#7 highaltidude

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 10:49 AM

There's been some discussion of truck carrying capacity, and GVWR in another thread, so I thought I'd make some comments here...

 

Unfortunately, there's a big difference between being legal, and being safe.

I ran into this issue when making the decisions on how to set up my truck.

I'll use tires and rims as an example.

I bought a pretty stock 1 ton (Ford F-350) truck.  It came with a GVWR sticker on the door jamb.

I took off the stock rims and put on heavier rated rims, with 2" more offset.  This gives the truck a wider stance and better stability in cross winds with a camper.

I took off the stock tires (rated at 3,400lbs each) and put on 35" Toyos (rated at 4,100lbs each).

I know the Toyos weigh more than the stock tires.

So while my truck can now handle any given load in a safer way, it weighs more and technically is now supposed to carry less payload.

 

This same issue occurs when deciding whether to add the Icon suspension, air bags, and rear sway bar......

All these will enable you to carry weight safer (or safely carry more weight), but will probably put you over the GVWR on your door jamb when you have a loaded camper.

 

So I have a silly question for those that have done extensive traveling with a truck/camper combo, especially border crossings.....

Have you ever been directed onto a set of scales (by some bureaucratic authority) where your actual weight was compared to your GVWR????

 

Thanks,

Chuck

 

 


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#8 PNWXP

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 01:01 PM

Have no idea but would love to hear an answer to your question.  I have an XP V1 on order and was leaning toward a new RAM 3500 SRW because of the 4,400 lb factory payload rating rather than getting an older pre-DEF model with a 2,760 lb factory rating.



#9 highaltidude

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 07:34 PM

Have no idea but would love to hear an answer to your question.  I have an XP V1 on order and was leaning toward a new RAM 3500 SRW because of the 4,400 lb factory payload rating rather than getting an older pre-DEF model with a 2,760 lb factory rating.

 

 

4,400lbs is a crazy good payload number.  I wonder if that's calculated on a "dry weight"?  Are there Dodge Truck forums where someone has put a truck like that on a scale to get an actual unloaded weight (although full of fluids and such....) to compare against the GVWR???

 

Chuck



#10 ramblefeet

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 06:54 PM

After seeing that 4,400 lb figure last night, I played around with http://www.ramtrucks...n/towing_guide/and could almost get there with this setup: 

 

Ram 3500 Big Horn, 5.7 liter V8 HEMI VVT, Mega, 6'4", Auto, 4x4

 

The Mega cabs seemed to have higher payloads.  I've never owned anything bigger than a KIA Forte, so I don't know anything about trucks.  I'd love to see some discussion about what's best to buy for a V1.



#11 PNWXP

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 07:09 PM

The RAM website is tricky to use,I've spent way too much time there lately.  I can configure a 3500 SRW, crew cab, 4x4, 8 foot bed, payload is 4,480 lbs.  Meg cab reduces payload total as does going to the 6" bed.  A new dually is over 5,000 lbs. 



#12 Nomads365

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 06:32 AM

I don't know the exact weight differences, but your payload is going to be less with a diesel engine vs. a gas. The diesels simply weigh more, thus less payload capacity. But you'll give up a bunch of torque and horsepower by choosing a gas engine. There's a reason big trucks and tow rigs all have diesels. 



#13 ramblefeet

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 06:00 PM

It seems like the advantage of diesel is torque, horsepower, longevity, and resale value, but you pay for that up front with a much higher purchase cost, maybe some loss in payload, and diesel is between $.20 and $.40 more expensive per gallon.  If you buy anything post 2006, you have a lot of apparently problematic emissions control stuff that needs dealing with.  My sense in reading the forums is that diesel maintenance is a significantly higher cost over a reasonable life span.  There is also the issue of cold weather starting - I live in MN, and diesels seem to always be running whenever they are filling up at a gas station.

 

Assuming my details are right (and please correct me if I'm not), are the advantages of a diesel worth the downsides in the specific case of it being used to carry a V1?  

 

I'm having a hard time imagining that more torque and horsepower is going to make much difference for this specific use case, but I don't have any real world experience with either gas or diesel trucks.

 

I appreciate the commentary so far - thank you!

 

And if I'm hijacking this thread, I apologize and will be happy to have it moved somewhere more appropriate.



#14 PNWXP

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 07:40 PM

Marc would be the most qualified to answer in respects to your specific question on use to carry a V1.  In my case I'm looking for a combination that provides the most torque, true medium duty transmission the Aisin, and exhaust braking.  Overkill, probably; not the cheapest, definitely; most complicated, for sure.

 



#15 Nomads365

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 06:36 AM

Really it depends on how you plan the use the truck. In our case it's unlikely the truck will ever be used without the camper. That may change when we're done with our travels, but its main purpose will be for hauling the camper around, hopefully with a good portion of that time being spent off-road. The camper will be our home. Others may use theirs more like an RV, getting away for weekends or weeklong trips, and need to use the truck for a daily driver. Their requirements for a vehicle will be very different than ours.

 

Modern diesels can handle the cold just fine. Diesels use glow-plugs to preheat cold combustion chambers to aid in starting, adding just a few seconds to your engine starting time. A block heater is also common in colder climates, keeping the engine block warm overnight by plugging it into an A/C outlet. There's no shortage of diesel trucks and heavy equipment in places like Alaska and the far-northern reaches of Canada. 

 

I'm also looking forward to using the exhaust brake (like a Jake brake but different) on my truck to assist in slowing the fully-loaded truck/camper. It's free braking power, helping to save wear on my brake rotors and linings, and you'll only find them on diesels.

 

I haven't really looked into the gas vs. diesel mileage figures as we chose the diesel for other reasons (stated above, plus the legendary reliability of the Cummins engine), but I suspect we'll be getting better mileage than we would with a gas engine. When you factor in the planned hundreds of thousands of miles we plan to travel it will be worth the minimal hassles of diesel over gas.



#16 highaltidude

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 06:49 AM

 I'd love to see some discussion about what's best to buy for a V1.

 

 

Don't believe anyone that tells you "what's the best"....

:-)

 

What you have to do is figure out what your needs are, how you are going to use it....

Example:  I picked up a "year end" 2016 Ford F-350 to use as the base vehicle for my V1.  I've got about 8K miles on it right now.  Over 6K of those miles have been pulling a trailer.  It dictates my engine choice...  (diesel)

Example:  It's just my wife and I, no kids, no pets, no grandkids (yet).  So I went with a super cab, long bed.  

 

The truck I picked was the right one for ME, and may be the wrong choice for most everyone else.....

 

Chuck



#17 highaltidude

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 06:58 AM

There is also the issue of cold weather starting - I live in MN, and diesels seem to always be running whenever they are filling up at a gas station.

 

 

 

 

You are either a "diesel guy", or you're not.....

:-)

 

I usually let my diesel idle while filling up to let it cool down.  Maybe I've just come off the freeway?  Maybe I'm pulling a trailer?

Sometimes it's that I've just started it up and I"m trying to get the engine oil flowing.....

 

Problems with cold weather starting are usually preventable.  If you know you'll be parking in cold weather, put some extra anti-gel in your fuel.  How are your batteries?  Cold weather is death to an older battery.....

I've not had to start mine colder than about -20. 

And when I travel, I carry a battery charger and 100' extension cord.

 

Diesels are higher user maintenance.  You can't just start em up and go.  But for me, the advantages are more than worth it.

I've had diesels in my tow rigs for about 30 years....

 

I should mention, my bias towards diesels is because I'm lucky enough to be able to have it as my "extra" vehicle.  I might not like it so much if I had to use it as a daily driver.  Then the PIA stuff might outweigh the advantages driving it across country.....

 

Chuck



#18 ramblefeet

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 07:03 AM

I do see lots of posts about "what's the best", and the diversity of those posts is why I'm trying to find people with needs similar to mine so I can take advantage of their knowledge and experience.

 

Thank you for the information that you are all providing.  The reasoning behind each of your decisions is really helpful.

 

Towing a trailer seems like a great use case for low RPM horsepower and torque, and I completely get going with diesel in that case.

 

My specific need will be - purchasing a truck around the end of 2017.  It will be used for carrying a V1 full time as my only residence.  It's possible I'll have a female to share my V1, but it's possible I won't.  Life is funny that way :).  No pets, no grandkids (also "yet"). 

 

My intent as far as off road will be to explore things like the White Rim Trail (which about 30 years ago I made a start on with a rental car - it was an adventure) but nothing much more challenging than that.  I'm picturing boondocking as being the norm for at least the first 10 years, just to keep from drawing down retirement funds too quickly.

 

Again, thank you!



#19 ramblefeet

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 07:09 AM

highaltiidude - your latest post just popped in when I posted mine. :)

 

I've suspected that diesels are higher user maintenance, but it's been hard to get a definitive statement from someone - thank you for that.

 

Do you think you would need a dual battery setup in a diesel for reliable operation?  It seems like a common option that is offered on the trucks I'm looking at.



#20 Nomads365

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 07:15 AM

Dual batteries were stock on my 2007 Dodge 3500.



#21 Paul

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 08:55 AM

One of the big considerations for us was fuel economy. I don't think that the slightly better fuel economy will ever pay for the extra up-front cost of the diesel engine. It's that the 2-4 extra miles-per-gallon add a lot of range on a tank of fuel. We average right around 14 MPG with the V1 on and loaded (2011 F350 diesel). A friend with a similar F350 gas engine gets around 9-11 under similar conditions, sometimes less. Even assuming a 3 MPG benefit, that's 180 miles of extra range with our 60 gallon tank. If you're not planning a lot of long back country treks that may not matter. It gives us some extra comfort and confidence knowing that range is there. With the fuel economy that some of the Dodge 5.9 Cummins folks are seeing that range is even greater. I think Marc said he got 18 MPG in a customers Dodge going from Grass Valley out to Overland Expo a few years ago. 

 

Your Mileage May Vary,

 

Paul



#22 ramblefeet

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 09:21 AM

Thanks Paul - I hadn't really considered range as an issue. 

 

Let me rephrase what I think you are saying, just to see if I'm tracking correctly  - with a 60 gallon tank, a gas truck will go around 600 miles, and with a diesel it will go roughly 780 miles?

 

Given that, mpg is about 30% better and cost per gallon is about 10% worse, so diesel comes out ahead on the fuel cost metric as well.

 

Do you know if the difference in mpg is due to loading?  In other words, for an unloaded truck, is gas mpg closer to diesel mpg?  That seems to make sense to me if diesels could drive more favorable gears under load due to the greater torque and horsepower.

 

As a data point (and because I'm really intrigued), what is the longest back country trek you have done?



#23 highaltidude

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 09:10 PM

 

 

Do you think you would need a dual battery setup in a diesel for reliable operation?  It seems like a common option that is offered on the trucks I'm looking at.

 

 

I am unaware of any V8 diesel pickup that does not come with dual batteries standard.  You need that much juice to turn the motor over to start it.

 

You will never be able to justify a diesel by doing math.

Either you like the performance or you just don't need it.....

 

While the MPG gap between a diesel and a gasser may not be that big in just normal driving, the gap gets larger the harder you work it.

Put on a camper, hook up a trailer, and there may be a 50% difference in mileage.....

 

If I were putting the camper on a truck that would either be daily driven, or driven on lots of short trips, I'd probably go with a gasser.

Modern diesel emissions systems like to get hot to work right.  The people having problems with their diesel trucks tend to be those that drive them 10 miles each way to work.  Diesels like to be driven long and hard....

 

Chuck



#24 ramblefeet

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:56 PM

Sorry for the break in conversation - I had a long weekend snowshoeing off the grid, and a long day today catching up with things as well as recovering. :)

 

You are really helping in giving me the details of the things I should be thinking about.  I especially appreciate the statement "If I were putting the camper on a truck that would either be daily driven, or driven on lots of short trips, I'd probably go with a gasser".

 

I don't know quite yet if that will be the case or not, but it's good to have something that definite from someone who has experience.  Thank you.

 

Kind of bringing back around to your original concern.  How much do you think you might be over your GVWR?  I had hoped that having a 1-Ton truck would make that less of a concern, especially after reading about all the people with wood and aluminum campers on 1/2 ton trucks in other forums.



#25 mrfish

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 04:22 PM

Bear in mind when you consider either gas or diesel that the Cooktop, heater and hot water heater are all diesel powered in the XP

#26 ramblefeet

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:22 PM

mrfish - that's a good point - thank you!



#27 RoamingRobertsons

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 09:33 PM

Bear in mind when you consider either gas or diesel that the Cooktop, heater and hot water heater are all diesel powered in the XP


We still use our flatbed too much right now but in a few years when we go full time, our first stop will be to get our XP appliances plummed to the 62 gallon tank for the truck rather than the 3 gallon. Then I can carry two Scepter cans of diesel in the fuel compartment which will easily put my range over 1000 miles in a pinch.
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#28 mrfish

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:04 AM

Really it depends on how you plan the use the truck. In our case it's unlikely the truck will ever be used without the camper. That may change when we're done with our travels, but its main purpose will be for hauling the camper around, hopefully with a good portion of that time being spent off-road. The camper will be our home. Others may use theirs more like an RV, getting away for weekends or weeklong trips, and need to use the truck for a daily driver. Their requirements for a vehicle will be very different than ours.
 
Modern diesels can handle the cold just fine. Diesels use glow-plugs to preheat cold combustion chambers to aid in starting, adding just a few seconds to your engine starting time. A block heater is also common in colder climates, keeping the engine block warm overnight by plugging it into an A/C outlet. There's no shortage of diesel trucks and heavy equipment in places like Alaska and the far-northern reaches of Canada. 
 
I'm also looking forward to using the exhaust brake (like a Jake brake but different) on my truck to assist in slowing the fully-loaded truck/camper. It's free braking power, helping to save wear on my brake rotors and linings, and you'll only find them on diesels.
 
I haven't really looked into the gas vs. diesel mileage figures as we chose the diesel for other reasons (stated above, plus the legendary reliability of the Cummins engine), but I suspect we'll be getting better mileage than we would with a gas engine. When you factor in the planned hundreds of thousands of miles we plan to travel it will be worth the minimal hassles of diesel over gas.


Call me stupid. I've been driving my truck for over a year and alway thought the exhaust brake was used when pulling a trailer.

#29 Nomads365

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:11 AM

I just see it as free braking power. Mine is wired to go off when either the gas or clutch is used so it can pretty much remain on all the time, though I don't do that. I just use the gear shift mounted switch when needed. You can also use the brake to warm up the engine faster when it's cold out...just leave it on while the truck is idling. I read it in my brake manual so it must be right!  :lol:



#30 highaltidude

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:33 AM

The exhaust brake is a tool.  You decide when to use it.

 

On a Ford, it defaults to "off" when you start the truck.  You have to turn it "on" each time you want to use it.

 

I use mine a LOT, towing and empty.  But I live in Colorado and there's a fair amount of hills to descend here.....

 

I had not read about using the brake to speed warm up though......

 

Chuck



#31 Nomads365

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:12 AM

I had not read about using the brake to speed warm up though......

 

It's a nice feature. Don't know about later models, or automatics vs. my manual, but it seems to work fine. It just forces the engine to work a bit during the warm-up idle. No objectionable noise either.

 

Video here showing it on a truck like mine.



#32 highaltidude

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 04:17 PM

Snowmobiling season is over.

 

Time to break out the dirt bikes.

Rode at around 8,000ft today.  Pikes Peak (14,000ft+) still has quite a bit of snow on it.

 

I'm a bit worried about being able to see the trailer once the camper is installed....

I guess a quick peek with the back up camera......

 

Chuck

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