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Post Info TOPIC: New Dodge 3500 DRW or Used Ford 450 DRW


RV-Dreams Community Member

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New Dodge 3500 DRW or Used Ford 450 DRW


Plan on going full time next year.  We have decided to search for used Mobile Suite 36TKS or something similar.

I am going to buy the tow vehicle first and have narrowed the choice down to a new 2011 dodge 3500 DRW 17" tires 4WD basic truck cloth seats or I have found a used 2008 one owner F450 DRW 2WD 19" tires, with 30K miles leather seats and other nice to haves.

Pros and cons appreciated? 



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As you are going with the Mobile Suites, they tend to be heavier than the other brands.  (Jo and I have a Mobile Suites 38TKSB3.)  With that in mind, I would suggest the Ford F450 over the Dodge.  When I was researching for tow vehicles, I found that even the Dodge 4500 series unable to tow what the F450 could pull.  I even had a Dodge salesman look at their books.  As soon as he found out that his truck didn't have as good a capacity, he started trying to bash the Fords.

I don't know if you have been on the SOITC (Suites Owner's International Travel Club) forums, but a gentleman that does a lot of weighing of RV's at rallies has posted a list of his findings.  Here is a link to a forum thread that has another link to a pdf file of his findings.  Pay close attention to the comments at the bottom of the document.  In it, he mentions that 100% of SRW vehicles were towing something over their rated weights, based on the door sticker.  For DRW vehicles, about 60% of them were over their weights.

http://www.suitesowners.com/forums/showthread.php?1754-2010-weight-chart

If you are not a registered forum member and can't download the pdf file, let me know via private message with your e-mail address and I'll send it to you that way.

While we've not pulled our Mobile Suites much, the F450 has absolutely no problems in pulling it.  In addition the "Tow/Haul" feature of the transmission and the 19 1/2 inch wheels really helps in handling and stopping.  I used to pull a lightweight fifth wheel with a F250 and it strained more than the F450 with the Mobile Suites.

However, I would still recommend you look to the ratings of the vehicles, especially the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight ratings.  The Dodge 4500 was several thousand pounds under the Ford F450 when I was looking.

Terry

EDIT:  After writing the above, I realized I forgot to mention something else about the F450.  It has an excellent turning radius.  I've heard others refer to what the steering is supposed to be called, but as usual, I can't remember it.  Our F450 is a full three feet longer than what our old F250 was, but turns in about the same radius as the F250.  I'm not sure that the Dodge's steering is as good.  It's been years since I drove a Dodge product, especially something that big.


-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Wednesday 9th of February 2011 07:43:09 PM

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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



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Dodge guy here but even though in my opinion Dodge has the better engine I would buy the F450 to pull anything that heavy.I have seen MANY Mobile Suites being pulled with 3500 Dodges but feel the F450 is better suited.Notice I couldn't even get myself to say****.wink.Wow that was hard to doashamedashamedashamed.

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Another Dodge guy here and while I have the utmost respect for Racerguy's positive contribution to this blog I am not so sure I am willing to concede the choice to the used 2008 F450. It is rated to tow 24,500. The new 2011 Dodge 3500 is rated to tow 22,700. The dry weight of a DVR 36 TKSB3 is 13,400. Either tow vehicle will easily tow it. The advantage of the Dodge of course is that it is brand new and comes with a full warranty. The F450 is "used" and therefore has wear and tear on it. The Dodge comes standard with an electric brake for towing and standard with an exhaust brake for the motor. I do not know if the F450 comes standard with an exhaust brake. And, of course, as Racerguys has indicated the Dodge comes with a Cummins diesel - a much better engine. The last thing to consider is the mileage you can get. I believe you will find the Cummins is superior. In any event whatever you choose I wish you the best in your new adventures.

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Hey Frayfl go to this site http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ram-heavy-duty-upgrades-deliver-class-leading-torque-and-towing-115661874.html - very informative

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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With all due respect to all, do not make a truck choice based on "towing weight" capacity without taking into consideration the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight ratings.  I have seen trucks pulling trailers that were pulling "under" the towing weight but were over-weight on total weights.  Also keep in mind that GCVW should include all fluids, passengers, and cargo.

The F450's GCVW is rated at 33,000 lbs.  I would venture that the Dodge 3500's GCVW will be much less.  Again, if you can, look at the pdf document referred to in my first post to see how easy it is for a truck to be overloaded.  Having been a professional truck driver in the past, both 18-wheeler and bobtails, I cringe at times to see what people are towing with their trucks.

Terry


-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Thursday 10th of February 2011 09:19:49 AM

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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



RV-Dreams Family Member

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With the same great respect I would point out that the GCVW for the 2011 Dodge 3500 is 30,000 lbs - more than adequate to tow a Mobile Suites 36 TKS. Frayfl, once again, I suggest that you look at the site I posted on my second posting in this thread. Obviously I am a Dodge guy and Terry is a Ford(or at least a F450)guy and we will push our biases. I do, however, encourage you to get accurate informatiom. Check out the site I have provided. Also it is easy to get accurate in formation on the 2008 F450 on line. Combine that with my previous comments and then make your decision. I think, in the end, you will be happy with whatewver decision you make. Good luck!

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Again, with all due respect, I wonder where that 30,000 GCVW came from.  The link below is to a pdf file which is Dodge's own brochure for the 2500/3500.  It lists the 3500 DRW as a lot less than 30,000 lbs.  Can you point out to me what I am missing?

http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/pdf/2011_ram_2500_3500.pdf

I must confess that when I was doing my research for a tow vehicle, I looked at Dodge, Ford, GM and MDT's.  If I remember correctly, when I looked at the Dodge 4500 series, their GCVW for that series was only something like 26,000 lbs.  That is when the Dodge salesman started trying to bash the Fords.  Now, that was almost 2 years ago, so things might have changed in the capacities of the Dodge pickups.

Terry


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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Check the site that I posted in my second post in this thread. I am sorry that you have to type it long hand or copy and paste; I do not know how to imbed a live link. With some respect it is very clear what the new 2011 Dodge 3500's GVCW is!

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Again, with all due respect, I must insist on a close study of the information available.  My link was to the actual Dodge brochure for the 2500/3500 series trucks.  The link provided to PR Newswire takes one to a news release.

The news release speaks of adding a Max Tow package to the 3500 to increase its GCVW from 24,500 to 30,000 lbs.  However, I cannot find any reference (yet) in the Dodge brochure where it says that a Max Tow package will increase the GCVW by 5500 lbs.  That information is most certainly NOT in the chart showing the weight capabilities.  If it isn't in the brochure, why would the news release proclaim otherwise?

I am not trying to "bash" Dodge products.  I have personally owned a few of them, although none of their trucks.  I would really like to see some definitively detailed information from Dodge that the news release is actually true.

If I find the information in the brochure, I will gladly share that information with all on the forums.  I just need to get a little more time to read the brochure "cover-to-cover" to see if there is another reference to the Max Tow package increasing GCVW.

Terry


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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Terry,

This is not the first time an autombile has made modifications in the middle of the model year. You will find that that is what has happened here. The only caution I would give Frayfl is to insure he is buying a 2011 model that has this modification. Surely you are not suggesting that Chrysler is issuing a false press release...that might be a little bit paranoid. Remember what the OP's original question is "a 2011 Dodge 3500 vs a 2008 Ford F450" not a "2011 Dodge vs a 2011 Ford F450". My input to Frayfl might be entirely different if it was. As well, remember the question put by the OP is in relation to a Mobile Suites 36 TKS. The new Dodge 3500 is more than up to the task.

Brian

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Brian,

Like yourself, I believe that everyone should be fully aware of how a particular product is equipped and how that procuct will best benefit the buyer.  So, we are in complete agreement with that issue.

As for the PR Newswire story, I have no idea as to whether they are contracted to Dodge for the purposes of issuing press releases.  I have no clue as to who PR Newswire is.  In my past, among so many other things, I used to be a student of journalism and even wanted to be one.  Thus, as time has gone on, I have definitely seen journalism shift from presenting only the facts to an industry that is suspected daily as to its veracity.

So, I am not accusing Dodge of issuing false stories.  However, the news release refers to the Max Tow package adding 5500 pounds to the GCVW, but it does not spell out what the Max Tow package components are.  Usually, the capacity goes up with a change in structural members or a change in the gear ratio of the differential.

While I am limited to looking online to my breaks and lunch period, I have been unable to find out what structural or gear changes have been made in order to change the weight capacity by that much.

By your own advice, I think everyone should verify what it is that makes the difference.  Are companies capable of "stretching" facts or misleading their customers?  I firmly believe that any company could very well do that, either by error or by intent.  However, I'm not saying Dodge is engaging in either.  I would just like to know FOR SURE what is making that much difference.

Do I prefer Fords?  Yes, because I have had fewer problems with my Fords than I have with all the other brands that I have purchased or driven.  But, I firmly believe in the capitalist system where every company needs to have competition so that every company continues to try to improve their products, thus providing a benefit for their customers.

For that reason, I would like for Dodge and GM to be able to give Ford some competition.  In my case, at the time I was looking, none compared with the capability of the F450 other than an MDT.  However, I didn't want to pay the price for even a used MDT and I was tickled to death to find a used F450 in such good shape.  Being in Oklahoma, I thought I would have to buy a new F450 because out here in the "oil patch" most F450's are REALLY used.

Terry



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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



RV-Dreams Family Member

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After going to Dr Gonzo's link I will change my answer to Yes the Dodge will handle it.The article is clear that the rating is now 30,000 GCWR and I see no reason to dispute that.Dodge would gain nothing with a false press release.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Great dialog on this thread. The most difficult decision to make is matching an appropriate tow vehicle with the right trailer. When I purchase my truck and trailer, I get one shot with no do overs. If I buy an undersized truck, then my retirement is toast. So, to be safe, I should get more truck than needed. I do know that most product specs are somewhat conservative. I suppose one can gamble with the numbers, but not at the risk of lives. As much as I really like the Mobile Suite, I may have to settle for something else.

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I am a Ford Owner (and always will bebiggrin) but here is the info on both trucks listed by the OP.
 
I know for a fact that Ford has a better chassis and drivetrain (except for the 6.0 liter diesel models) than the Dodge.  I worked on cars and trucks for a living so I know the manufacturers weakest links.  The only reason I would consider the Dodge, the Cummins Engine but
that is all the Dodge has going for it IMO. 

Looks like either truck is capable of towing the RV.

Happy Camping:)  
From Dr. Gonzo's link>>>>
Ram Heavy Duty Upgrades Deliver Class-Leading Torque and Towing
 

 

From Ford Truck Enthusiasts Website>>>>


2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty Specifications

http://www.ford-trucks.com/specs/2008/2008-ford-super-duty-1.html

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Prior to our current MH, I always had a 5W with both Dodge or Ford as tow vehicles.  I enjoyed both and they worked well, but I was really sad the day I sold my F350 Quad cab. If the Ford only had a Cummins engine, it would be perfect. I'll jump in here with my two cents worth... which is twice what it's worth blankstare ...and make comments on some other things to consider other than the manufacturer.

I prefer a dually in either case because of the tow stability, but they aren't Wal-Mart up front parking friendly. Then there is the cost of two extra tires. Albiet, if you have a flat on one of the duallys, you can still limp into a shop.

Long beds are essential IMHO. One never has to worry about knocking out a $1000 rear window or 90 degree turns. 

I never understood why one needed a truck with 4WD to tow an RV. Going off road with a 5W is not an option and fuel economy is somewhat less.

The amount of non tow driving might be a factor. I suspect most people spend more time driving around than hauling an RV. My Dodges had a more comfortable ride that the Ford. But neither are Mercedes quality when you have lotsa springs on a  tow package.

Since fuel is probably going to a zillion dollars a gallon, I'd definately want to consider mileage.

Finally, there's the DW factor. One might be prettier than the other. wink











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