OT: Towing vehicle

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

User avatar
willjordan
Posts: 1083
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Concord, NC

OT: Towing vehicle

Post by willjordan » Thu Feb 13, 2003 2:45 pm

I'm planning on replacing my 92 Dodge mini van with a towing vehicle and an economy vehicle. The towing vehicle will tow a liteweight travel trailer and have to carry any trains in its cargo area.

One of my neighbor's is selling her daughter's truck. It's a 79 GMC35 Sierra Classic 3+3 with a V8, 4speed, towing package, and 2 fuel tanks. Asking price is $2200. Condition looks good, good tires, 120k miles.

There are a number of things I'd rather buy -- like a diesel, or something smaller-- but this is at the top end of what I can afford at the moment. My wife spotted it and likes the crew cab.

My concerns are about the price and how much fuel it will really use. I think it would work, but should what sort of mileage should I expect to get. I can live with 12-15, but not with 6.

Any ideas?
grace & peace
will

[url=http://willjordan.com]Will's Web Pages[/url]

willy

Only one "Dodge"

Post by willy » Thu Feb 13, 2003 3:20 pm

Find yourself a dodge with a Cummings in it. For the year you mentioned the price is correct. A Dodge diesel will get you 16 mpg with a 16000 pound payload. No one else can touch that, I looked (this from a chevy man).

-willy-

User avatar
Mikado14
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 6:47 pm
Location: Pughtown, Pa

Re: OT: Towing vehicle

Post by Mikado14 » Thu Feb 13, 2003 3:42 pm

Will,
IMHO, putting the words economy in the same sentence with towing vehicle would be an oxymoron. Any vehicle that would be towing a combined weight in excess of 3,000 lbs will decrease the mileage. If the trailer is square or should I say, not aerodynamically styled, well, there goes more of the mileage.

However, the truck you describe, "It's a 79 GMC35 Sierra Classic 3+3 with a V8, 4speed, towing package, and 2 fuel tanks. Asking price is $2200. Condition looks good, good tires, 120k miles." , is a known gas hog. I have a '78 GMC 35 Sierra series w/dual wheels (the one your talking about should also). Mine has a 350 with 4 speed, 4 wheel drive and dual tanks, towing package and 5th wheel in the bed. By the way, the dual crossover valve is a continuous source of problems. The nice thing about the truck is that it has no emissions other than a vapor recovery. Here in PA it is not necessary to have emissions done since I have it licensed in excess of 10,000 lbs. I see that you are in CA, this might be a consideration and it may not. My dual tanks are about 20 gallons each, that is 40 gallons combined. If I could get 500 miles from a fill up, that would be good, but then, I do have 4 wheel drive which will reduce it some, but not much.

I will say this much, the 350 is easy to work on since there is no computer and only electronic ignition. It has a four barrel carburetor as should the one you are looking at. It will be a QuadraJet and they do love to drink. They are touchy to rebuild but once you get the hang of it, it ain't bad. Even if you don't trip the secondary's, it still loves fuel. It's the gear ratio that GM put in these.

Ok, where does that leave your question. Well, I can say that probably, from my experience, you will probably get about 12 on the pike, or highway. When it comes to local, about 8. The decision is yours as to where you will be driving it and how much. But remember, look at the work it will be doing. It has a crew cab, a bed for storage and you will be towing a trailer. There is always a trade off. If you were to buy a new comparable truck like it, you would be looking at 40k to 50 k.

With the mileage you say it has, you could spend a lot of gas in travelling and still be ahead of the game for the use you have intended.

One more thing, that model and year was notorious for rusting above the front wheel wells, the cab corners and the rocker panels. I replaced mine once already.

Oh, when driving, remember the dual wheels hanging out on each side in the back. A friend who used mine wasn't so carefull [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/grin.gif"%20alt="[/img].

Good Luck Will

Ron

User avatar
UnkaJesse
Posts: 4090
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 10:29 pm
Location: Tennessee, Obion County, Town of Troy

Re: Only one "Dodge"

Post by UnkaJesse » Thu Feb 13, 2003 8:10 pm

Willy, I see you mentioned Dodge Cummins engines there so I have to stick my oar in as you probably expected! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smile.gif"%20alt="[/img] My 1993 Dodge Cummins when not towing, gets the same mileage as my wife's Pontiac Transport, IE: 21 MPG. This is hard to swallow since the mini van weighs almost exactly half what the mighty Dodge does! With 9000+pound fifth wheel trailer, I get almost 11MPG. The use of a fifty wheel trailer by a steam locomotive hobbiest is not a good idea as I have found out. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/crazy.gif"%20alt="[/img] The fifth wheel hitch itself limits what you can haul in the bed. Even by turning my RRSC American crossways, I would still have to remove the stack to prevent the nose of the trailer from hitting it in a tight turn. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/frown.gif"%20alt="[/img]

Unka (sometimes I wish I had a pull type trailer instead of 5th wheel) Jesse
"The same hammer that breaks the glass, forges the steel" Russian proverb

User avatar
UnkaJesse
Posts: 4090
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 10:29 pm
Location: Tennessee, Obion County, Town of Troy

Re: OT: Towing vehicle

Post by UnkaJesse » Thu Feb 13, 2003 8:18 pm

Ron, About that rust you mentioned. Will is fortunate to live where roads don't have to be salted, cause they don't got no snow. This means that while Will cannot build a steam powered snowman as you did, he will be getting what is probably a rust free truck. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/laugh.gif"%20alt="[/img] Truck is probably a gas hog as you say, but depending on how much and how far he has to haul his goodies, he might still come out ahead with the cheap truck in the long run. As for me and my family, we will continue to drive the mighty Dodge Cummins, which although a 93 model, has only 84,000 miles on it. Ain't broke in yet! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smirk.gif"%20alt="[/img]

Unka (who can't understand how he made "tool and die worker", maybe he was "set up" ahead of time as we said at the GM&O) Jesse
"The same hammer that breaks the glass, forges the steel" Russian proverb

User avatar
Paul_Mulford
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2003 6:17 am
Location: Flint, Michigan, USA

Re: OT: Towing vehicle

Post by Paul_Mulford » Thu Feb 13, 2003 8:18 pm

Willy I had a similer truck, 1977 3/4 ton camper special with an automatic and 4X4, it also had the dual 20 gal tanks. Things I did, Cam, not too wild but one that upped horsepower in the 3000 rpm range, headers to get it to exhale, aluminum intake so that it could use that cam. I also removed the radiater fan and installed a electric cooling kit less load on the highway. I often towed a 9600 lbs travel trailer and got arround 10mpg with that rig and 14 arround town, my biggest problem was with alternaters going south because of the ampasity of the fan. Oh by the way I did not have airconditioning on that truck.

willy

Re: OT: Towing vehicle

Post by willy » Thu Feb 13, 2003 9:42 pm

I agree with you Jesse. My 96 Ram 3500 dually gets a meager 24 mpg. I could squeak out a whopping 26 if I kept it below 50mph. Yet I must confess, it is a lot of fun to set it at 55 and drive through the Berkshire mountains, at first everyone is passing me like I am standing still, yet halfway up, they all look like they are in a parking lot and that cummings L6 is purring like a kitten.

-willy-

User avatar
Tom_Wade
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 10:15 pm
Location: Hope, Indiana

Re: OT: Towing vehicle

Post by Tom_Wade » Thu Feb 13, 2003 10:10 pm

Wish I had a Cummins diesel. Actually, if you're getting 6 mpg, I have to envy you. My old Dodge Ram van gets about 4 mpg, and the heater doesn't work.
But anyway, since I work in Columbus, Indiana, and work only a block or two from a Cummins plant, I must take a little bit of pride in your bragging on the Cummins engines.
Do you guys remember when the Cummins Special won the big race at Indy, way back when? For you southerners, that's the second race on Memorial Day, for the boys who can afford fenders.
Of course, this must be the perfect time to throw in an unabashed plug for one of our local drivers, Tony Steward. He had hisself a purty good season last year.
He's down at Daytona now, blowin up motors.

User avatar
Michael_Az
Posts: 407
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 10:07 am
Location: Southeastern Az

Re: OT: Towing vehicle

Post by Michael_Az » Fri Feb 14, 2003 12:53 am

Guess I had better jump in and brag about my 94 Dodge Cummins that I bought new. Everyday driving I get 19 mpg and it is 4X4, with 88,000 miles. Now I'm going to tell everybody something that even the Cummins owners won't beleive. I put it on a dyno and it is putting over 400 hp to the ground. No, I'm not kidding, it really does. It left the factory at 175 hp and yes I've done quite a bit to get the hp. The surprising thing is, its very quick. Anyway, some advise about any pickup is to check the gear ratio, 4:10 ratio will cost you about 3 mpg and also auto tranny and also duelly, not to mention 4x4. I think you might get a fairly nice older Dodge Cummins for $10,000 but it won't be mine!
Michael
Saimp 2 HP 10 X 44 mill, #2 Cin Horz Mill, Cholchester 13" lathe, LeBlond 15" Dual Drive.

User avatar
Mikado14
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 6:47 pm
Location: Pughtown, Pa

Re: OT: Towing vehicle

Post by Mikado14 » Fri Feb 14, 2003 1:06 am

Geez Guys,

Will said that $2,200 was about at the top end of what he could afford.

All this talk about Cummins Diesels is like hanging steak in front of a hungry man. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/shocked.gif"%20alt="[/img] [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/grin.gif"%20alt="[/img]

Harold_V
Posts: 17694
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Only one "Dodge"

Post by Harold_V » Fri Feb 14, 2003 1:59 am

Yep!

I agree on all accounts, including the tongue type trailer. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/cool.gif"%20alt="[/img]

Fifth wheel trailers and locomotives don't make very good companions. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/frown.gif"%20alt="[/img]

We have two of those Cummins diesel Dodges. The '94, a 3/4 ton standard cab, auto, gives us 22 MPG at 70 MPH on the freeway. Because we tow with our '99, I have no idea what it might provide towing, but I'm one thrilled dude to be getting that kind of mileage after driving our '86 GMC 1 ton 4 X 4, air, auto, 454 engine, 4:10 gears, and a whopping 10 MPG with a stiff tail wind and no load. Hook up our 26' tongue type trailer? Hell, it dropped as low as 5½ MPG, but on a good day, no head wind, we could get it right up to almost 6½. We sold that truck in beautiful condition in early '00, only 67,000 miles on it.

As I stated, we tow with our '99 1 ton Dodge, which we bought as a cab and chassis. I had a 10' box put on the back, looks like a small delivery truck. Some day I hope it gets used to haul the UP Northern I have planned to build for what seems an eternity.

Wish I could say we're getting 16 MPG, but I can't, but we're sure pushing 15. Imagine going from 6½ to almost 15! Paid plenty for the truck, but it will see me to my dying days, even if that happens to be 20 years down the road. I'm totally sold on the Dodge and Cummins combo. It performs only slightly less than the old 454, and gives over twice the mileage. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smile.gif"%20alt="[/img]

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

User avatar
biscuit
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 8:54 pm
Location: Fla

Re: OT: Towing vehicle

Post by biscuit » Fri Feb 14, 2003 10:55 am

What ever you get make sure its a long bed even at that it won't be big enough
I thought about getting a used high cube van like Ryder rents
Biscuit

Post Reply