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RE: settle an arguement

We currently have a TT but I've heard that a 5th is easier to tow.....we have a 2015 F350, single rear wheel, crew cab, 4x4, 6.2 gasser. I say we should look at 5ths that are 10,000 or below. He says we can go higher. I've towed both. My old TT with a Chevy 6.0L gasser then my current Ram with 6.7L Cummins and then later a 5th wheel with the Cummins. There are definitely advantages to both types of trailers. Hitching up a TT isn't a big deal. Some say it is and that's why they go with a 5er, but I never really had a problem with it. 5er's are pretty easy to hitch up but a mirror or camera certainly helps. The biggest difference is turning and steering. Neither is bad or good, just different when it comes to taking corners and backing into camping spots. One other thing is TT's can tend to be lower and easier to get in and out. 5er's tend to be taller and have more steps both into the trailer and also into the front bed area. As others have said, your F350 is rated for 12,000lbs at least. That's fine, but I see your location is Northern California which means some decent hills, valleys, and elevation changes. Because of that, I'd say you stay under that 12,000lbs range for your truck. Sure, it's RATED for that or more, but climbing steep inclines will make that gas motor scream. Yes, that engine is built to rev and will do it well for a long time, but I can tell you when I had my Chevy, listening to that engine rev at 4,000RPM as I pulled up long hills got very tiring. There is absolutely nothing wrong with towing up to the engineering limits of the vehicle but hearing the engine rev for long periods of time can get old pretty quick.
LIKE2BUILD 11/12/20 06:42pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 2018 Chevy 3500HD

Yes, I am looking at the Chevy for future possibilities. We have a TT now, but still consider going back to a 5er. When I bought my 2017 I didn't do as thorough research as I should have. My 2017 (SB, SRW, 4x4) only has 2,300 lbs cargo capacity, which limits the size of a 5er. I believe the Chevy has around 5,500. I like to play within the rules, but if you look closely at your Ram, the 10,000 GVWR is just a number so they can call it a 2500. On your door sticker you'll see FAWR is 5,750 and RAWR is 6,000. Combined you have "real" GVWR of 11,750. I know the weight police are preparing charges against me for say this, but your RAM only says 10K GVWR for the badge, not the real limit of the truck. What's interesting is my 2014 is even higher, I have a 6,000FAWR and 6,500RAWR :E Your base rear axle weight is 2,900 and with a RAWR of 6,000 you actually have 3,100lbs of capacity and max trailer weight of 17,000lbs. If the 5er's you're considering exceed these values than that I'd say look into a dually. However, don't underestimate the capacity of your truck. If you like the current truck and find a 5er that matches the specs then I'd say keep the Ram. But, if you want to go bigger and need the dually capacity then by all means get the 3500HD to give you that safety factor. Our previous 5er was 37' and about 12,500lbs fully loaded. The truck pulled that trailer just fine all through the Rockies, was very stable, I had plenty of power up the inclines, and the exhaust brake was AMAZING on the declines. I never measured the actual pin weight but calculating 25% I was about 3,100 lbs on the hitch. I never felt unsafe or over matched by the trailer. But again, if the specs of your (potential) trailers exceed the RAM then it's worth looking a higher capacity trucks. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/06/20 06:36pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 5W40 or 15W40 in 6.7 CTD?

Sounds like a perfectly legtimate explanation to me. If this is the case, gotta wonder what specific issue in that 6 mo. to 12 mo. MTBF/OCI data pushed their warranty costs high enough to warrant a 6 mo. OCI? Hhhmmm . . . $$$$ is part of the explanation. They are hoping you bring your shiny new Ram back to the dealer for that 6 month service. They are going to charge you $150+ for an oil change that costs less than $85 for oil and filter. Oh, and there's always the up-sell of other services that a lot of people buy once they're in the door. KJ This is true as well! And there are many gullible owners than do not know any better that will follow suit without question Service departments are a big money maker for dealerships, and it's all about the up-sell. We looked at a Camry years ago and the salesman told us all about the reliability, longevity, etc. Then when we started talking numbers it turned to the amazing service department and extended warranty purchase options. Service? Extended warranty? Wait a minute, didn't you just tell me these cars are extremely reliable? It's all the same game. Get you in the door, get you on the hook to buy the vehicle or pay for a service, then start adding all the little things "you really need" to make it complete. The worst game is to get you in the middle of a service then they bring you some part (or call you) and convince you something else must be done to drive the car away. Now they really have you behind the 8-ball. Sure, there are times when you start the work and find something else connected that has to be done. But to a great degree that middle of the service, dire warning is just part of the up-sell game. That's one primary reason I've done nearly all of my own service and repairs for years. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/05/20 01:55pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 5W40 or 15W40 in 6.7 CTD?

Sounds like a perfectly legtimate explanation to me. If this is the case, gotta wonder what specific issue in that 6 mo. to 12 mo. MTBF/OCI data pushed their warranty costs high enough to warrant a 6 mo. OCI? Hhhmmm . . . $$$$ is part of the explanation. They are hoping you bring your shiny new Ram back to the dealer for that 6 month service. They are going to charge you $150+ for an oil change that costs less than $85 for oil and filter. Oh, and there's always the up-sell of other services that a lot of people buy once they're in the door. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/05/20 09:17am Tow Vehicles
RE: 5W40 or 15W40 in 6.7 CTD?

. . . Another point for me is oil change frequency. The manual says to change oil every 15,000 miles or 500 hours and I don't even come close to that mileage in a year. So, I just change my oil once a year and with the 5W40 I'm covered for any temperature range and I don't have to worry about it. KJOur 2016 Ram Cummins OCI is 15,000 mi., 500 hours, or 6 months, whichever comes first. Your profile says you have a 2014 Ram Cummins. Is the OCI different for the 2014's? You're right, it does say 6 months. However, I'm comfortable with the additive packages in the synthetic oil and use the 1 year time frame. When I changed oil this summer I had only put 5,200 miles on the truck since July of 2019. If I would have changed oil at 6 months it would have been less than 25% used (on a mileage basis). KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/04/20 11:49am Tow Vehicles
RE: 100K mile preventive maintenance

2005 Dodge CTD 2WD finally approaching the 100K mile mark. I've owned it since new and have done periodic routine maintenance. At 50K I preemptively replaced the water pump, serpentine belt, tensioner and pulley. Now at 100K I'm wondering if I should look at replacing any of these items again. Any other items that I might look at replacing? At minimum I'd change the belt again just due to age. Was flushing the brake lines part of your periodic routine maintenance? If not, I'd do that for sure. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/02/20 07:39am Tow Vehicles
RE: 5W40 or 15W40 in 6.7 CTD?

This is what the owner's manual says: https://i.imgur.com/9DWEdh7.png width=640 I went down the same path wondering which to run when I first got my Ram. The easy answer is run synthetic 5W40 since the arrows point to infinity in each direction. When I first got my truck I went to my local dealer for some Jeep parts and while there asked them which oil they use for servicing Cummins engines. The guy turned around and pointed at stacks of Rotella T6 5W40 on the shelf and told me that's what they put in every single 6.7L truck. I know, DEALER can be a 4-letter word, but if they are using this oil for trucks under warranty then I'll go with it. Another point for me is oil change frequency. The manual says to change oil every 15,000 miles or 500 hours and I don't even come close to that mileage in a year. So, I just change my oil once a year and with the 5W40 I'm covered for any temperature range and I don't have to worry about it. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/02/20 07:31am Tow Vehicles
RE: Time to retire the 7.3 OBS?

....This was a very hard decision.....I decided that it's best to let this one go. The front suspension was in need of quite a bit of work. The AC was not working, interior is pretty tired, windshield is broken, tires are getting thin, and brakes are probably due soon. In the meantime, I bought a 2006 5.9 Cummins in exceptional condition yesterday. It has brand new tires, AC blows cold, interior is in excellent condition, body is excellent with no dents and great paint, all glass is good, 103,700 miles on the clock. These are always tough decisions, but in the end I think you went the right way. I'm all for keeping old things running rather than buying new(er) if I can help it. In situations like your truck, there comes a point where you have to find your point of diminishing returns. If you aren't able to do the work yourself, all the repairs your truck needed would add up quickly. Even though you upgraded about 10 model years, the truck you bought is still 14 years old. When I buy a used vehicle I like to do the following so I know I'm starting off with a 'fresh' vehicle: 1) Coolant flush and fill 2) Transmission: drain, replace filters, band adjustment, refill. DO NOT POWER FLUSH!!!!! 3) Filters: air and fuel 4) Oil Change with filter 5) Axles: drain and refill with quality gear lube. 6) Brake Fluid: Flush the brake lines with fresh DOT3 fluid. If you can't do this work yourself it will cost a decent amount but I bet you can find an independent shop that will do this for a fair price. I like to do all of this stuff because I don't assume the previous owner maintained it properly. At 100K miles your truck is right at the mileage (and beyond in years) when all of these service items are needed anyway. None of this will guarantee is problem free, but it's definitely a good insurance policy so you can be confident the routine stuff is all covered. There is one small common issue in the front axle you'll want to have inspected. The right side CV Joint (u-joint) will go bad over time and will click or clunk. It's not an expensive fix and won't leave you stranded, but you just need to watch it and make sure it's all good. Just ask the shop to look it over when you have the the above preventative maintenance work done. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 10/26/20 08:21am Tow Vehicles
RE: Unlikeliest of engine swaps!!

I admire anyone that takes on and completes a project like that. Very impressive effort for sure. It looks like the 6.4L Powerstroke is going to leave a lot of owners with empty hands. If you've ever watched videos of the PowerStroke Help guy you'll see he stopped working on 6.4's completely. Here's the video. So the fact this guy abandoned the 6.4L is no surprise. Personally I'm not sure I would have chosen an old Detroit Diesel because of both the noise and the pollution, but he seems to have had the parts and the skills to make it happen. More power to him and I hope it works well for a long time. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 10/16/20 10:47am Tow Vehicles
RE: Tuned Towing Comparison on Duramax, Cummins, Power Stroke

With the 400HP to the wheels STOCK on all three and around 1.000 TQ why in the HE!! would you screw with your warranty??? I'm in the same boat, although not so much regarding warranty, but just simply the power numbers. Is there seriously a legitimate need for more power with those factory numbers? I know the little kid in us comes out and bigger, faster, more powerful lights up our eyes. But really, isn't that enough power for all the average Joe's using a pickup? My 2014 Cummins makes 370HP & 800ft-lbs and that is more than enough power to comfortably pull up to (and maybe a little over ;) ) my tow ratings. At 400HP/1,000 ft-lbs with the right chassis these new trucks can tow ridiculous amounts of weight. Also, the horsepower is equivalent and the torque is about 70% of what Cummins advertises in the ISX400 engines used in Class 8 trucks. Seriously, we basically have Tractor-Trailer level power available in a consumer truck. I know durability and other elements are different but from a straight power perspective the modern trucks can just about stand toe to toe with a semi!!!! Now, if the OEM's (0r aftermarket) could develop technology that will keep my same power but boost my fuel economy by 25% or more then we'd really be talking about something. We have crazy amounts of power and the new trucks run extremely clean so let's start putting a greater focus on efficiency.
LIKE2BUILD 10/16/20 10:40am Tow Vehicles
RE: Decided on a truck after MANY months.

At the end of the day I simply couldn't turn away from Ford F250 7.3 with 10spd auto. When I first saw your post about "7.3 with 10spd auto" I thought wow, this guy bought a pre-2004 7.3L PowerStroke that's been modified with a newer transmission. :S I keep forgetting about the Godzilla 7.3L gas engine. If you're not driving that much and just need the towing capacity this will do everything you need. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 10/15/20 12:26pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Peak Blue Platinum DEF

.....Law says It is not appropriate to leave the concentration percentage (or identity of the ingredient(s)) blank in Section 3 of the SDS. Where a trade secret is claimed in accordance with § 1910.1200(i), a statement that the specific chemical identity and/or exact percentage (concentration) of composition has been withheld as a trade secret is required in Section 3 of the SDS. See 1910.1200(i)(1)(iii). so if there are "trade secret" ingredients a statement must be made. and the SDS for this"platinum DEF" contains no such statement. therefore ALL indgredients must be listed, and all they list are urea and water. So, curiosity got the best of me and I emailed Peak directly and asked them. Below is the response: Please note that the chemicals used in the additive package in Blue DEF Platinum are proprietary. In addition, while Safety Data Sheets often list most of the chemical constituents that make up a particular product. They are not intended to be a comprehensive list of ingredients. Only the hazardous ingredients that are present above certain thresholds are required to be listed. Sincerely, PEAK Technical Product Support So they are stating they aren't required to list the proprietary products in the SDS. KJ So my statement was correct :) Yep. I guess I'm just too accustomed to working in a lab where the reagents and mixtures we purchase are 'normal' lab grade and therefore have all components listed on the SDS regardless if they are considered hazardous or benign. I thought at minimum, even if it's proprietary, that they had to claim the % of the mixture, but I guess not.
LIKE2BUILD 09/24/20 04:27pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Peak Blue Platinum DEF

.....Law says It is not appropriate to leave the concentration percentage (or identity of the ingredient(s)) blank in Section 3 of the SDS. Where a trade secret is claimed in accordance with § 1910.1200(i), a statement that the specific chemical identity and/or exact percentage (concentration) of composition has been withheld as a trade secret is required in Section 3 of the SDS. See 1910.1200(i)(1)(iii). so if there are "trade secret" ingredients a statement must be made. and the SDS for this"platinum DEF" contains no such statement. therefore ALL indgredients must be listed, and all they list are urea and water. So, curiosity got the best of me and I emailed Peak directly and asked them. Below is the response: Please note that the chemicals used in the additive package in Blue DEF Platinum are proprietary. In addition, while Safety Data Sheets often list most of the chemical constituents that make up a particular product. They are not intended to be a comprehensive list of ingredients. Only the hazardous ingredients that are present above certain thresholds are required to be listed. Sincerely, PEAK Technical Product Support So they are stating they aren't required to list the proprietary products in the SDS. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 09/24/20 02:04pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Peak Blue Platinum DEF

Here's a video on this new DEF. Fast forward to 8:44 for some better details on the product. They cleared up a couple of questions and that this product will not reduce existing build up and the shelf life is the same as the current Blue DEF. Link Thanks for the link. The project leader called it an 'additive package'. I have a hard time believing that since the SDS for this product has NO difference from the old product. Again, this is NOT POSSIBLE because any chemical in the mixture it must be shown on the SDS. They only claim 33% Urea and 67% water on the SDS which means there is nothing else. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 09/23/20 10:22am Tow Vehicles
RE: Wheelbase question

Currently I tow a 37' TT with a Ford Excursion. We are looking at going FW within the next 5-6 years....Conventional wisdom states more wheelbase is better with a TT, but is that true for a FW? I'll need to be getting a crew cab, but a CC 8' bed truck towing a long TT is going to be a bit to get used to until we make the switch to FW. Probably going Ford 7.3 gas, F-350 SRW. From those who have towed both (TT and FW), do you ever wish you had more wheelbase with a FW? I've towed a 34' TT behind a CC, short bed truck and I've towed the same TT behind my CC, long bed truck. Towing behind the short bed was definitely easier but it wasn't like a night and day difference. I've only towed 5th wheels and goosenecks in the long bed so I can't really say how different it might be with a short bed. I can say my CC, long bed RAM feels like a land yacht. I'm fully comfortable driving it just about anywhere, but you certainly need to plan your turns and watch your sides a little more. As others have said, the difference in wheel base between short or long bed isn't going to change how the truck pulls your 5th wheel. The big difference is going to be hitch systems and available bed space when towing. One thing is for certain...... GET THE FACTORY 5TH WHEEL PUCK SYSTEM!!!! You will not regret this decision one bit. Hitch installation and removal is a snap with these OEM systems and you have no rails or other hardware sticking up in the bed. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 09/22/20 09:55am Tow Vehicles
RE: Peak Blue Platinum DEF

Frankly as a retired chemist I'd be more likely to believe this if they explained what miracle additive they are using. Otherwise it sounds like marketing BS. DEF is plain and simple 35% Urea I'm with you, if there was some super special ingredient it would have to be cited in the SDS......and there is no mention of any components in the mixture other than 33% Urea and 67% water. There can be no additives that create the "Advanced System Shield" because by law they would have to appear in the SDS. The ONLY thing that might make sense is if they have simply reduced impurities in the mixture :h I haven't seen an elemental analysis of DEF deposits, but I suppose it's possible if there are mineral salts present in cheap DEF that they could crystalize and build up over time. Or there could be a reaction with trace metals and the urea that occurs under heat that forms crystals. IF I had to guess I'd say the Platinum product just uses a higher purity water source like double distilled water instead of reverse osmosis water. Or, maybe they use a higher purity urea when making the DEF solution. The description says "prevents future deposits" so if you already have chunks in your exhaust this new product will not dissolve them. As for the production of urea, as you stated, it's a synthetic process and is described here: Urea Production Process
LIKE2BUILD 09/22/20 09:42am Tow Vehicles
RE: 6.7L Cummins Engine Brake

I use the Engine brake on automatic all of the time towing or not. The only time I don't use it is when it is snowy or icy on the roads. Me too. I like to use it to help slowing down to reduce the amount of brake pedal I need to slow down. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 08/25/20 08:10am Tow Vehicles
RE: Picking Up New (to me) Ram 2500 CTD, a few questions

2016 Ram 2500 Mega Cab 4x4 with the CTD and only 50K miles. Picking it up this afternoon. My previous diesel experience was an '05 F250 with the 6.0. With that, there were all kinds of additives .....I'm seeing oil changes every 6mo or 15K miles and fuel filter once a year. Is this good? Synthetic? Should I always use the exhaust brake or only when towing or only when towing grades? No fuel additives needed. For DEF I've always run Peak Blue DEF either in the 2.5 gallon containers or I've used the fill nozzle at truck stops. The one time I used cheap DEF I got sensor issues for insufficient catalyst. After I drained that junk and refilled with Peak I've never had that warning again. Oil should be Rotella T6 5W40, or any other favorite synthetic 5W40 diesel engine oil. The book says you can run 15W40 down to 0*F, or you can run 5W40 synthetic at any temp range. Change interval I use is 1 year or 10,000 miles. I use Fleetguard LF16035 filters. Fuel filters are good for 15,000 miles and I've not seen any age/time limit on those. I used to always change oil and fuel filters at the same time until this year when I realized I only put 5,000 miles on the truck since the last change. Online you can find the combo of both fuel filters for about $90. But I figured if the filters are good for 15,000 miles there's no need to spend that money so I'll run them until I hit the mileage limit. I usually drive with the exhaust brake onall the time. When towing anything I also switch on the Tow/Haul mode. This steps up the exhaust brake when decelerating or going down a grade and greatly reduces the amount you need to use your brake pedal. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 08/21/20 09:12am Tow Vehicles
RE: Flat towing Jeep Wrangler JKU?

Bolt on tow bars are just fine. There are a bunch out there and you can find several here at Etrailer.com tow bars for Jeep JK.
LIKE2BUILD 08/20/20 09:47am Tow Vehicles
RE: Poor Tire Install

Poor 'excuse', when there is no excuse for this. Plain bad workmanship and decisions If that tire was either a radial or bias-ply and the inner tube was the other (there are radial & bias-ply inner tubes), then criminal IMO...and you have a case against them But the cost of going after them might no be worth it to you As a min, report them to BBB and RMA (or whatever tire/rubber associations they fall under) I didn't know they had bias or radial tubes. You learn something new every day. No need to go after them legally. They refunded me for the 2 tires I replaced and they removed the inner tube in my spare so I'm going to call that even. Now, had there been damage to my trailer or if the blown tire had caused an accident then you can bet I'd be right in there faces for mechanical damages + extra. If an accident had happened that would have significantly hampered if not ruined my vacation and to me that would have required compensation. Thankfully none of that happened so the refund was good enough. I suppose I could report them to the BBB or the local Chamber of Commerce. I guess I could also contact the headquarters and ask them if this is a company practice or if this is just something the local shop does. For certain I'm going to speak with my $$ because all of my business will be going to a different tire shop. Not that I'm the biggest spending tire customer at that store, but with all the trailers and vehicles I own there's always something that needs tires replaced or repaired. From now on, all of that my money will go somewhere else. At bare minimum this is a very poor practice and is not something that a 'professional' tire shop should be doing. If they can't get a tire to seat and they determine the problem is the wheel then they need to contact the customer and inform them the wheel needs replaced. In my case, all 3 wheels were fine, they just did a rotten job on the install. By the way Ben, in your signature you ask how many cylinders in your house? Between everything that goes on the road or floats I have 50 cylinders. 10 of those are diesel so only 40 spark plugs to deal with :B KJ
LIKE2BUILD 08/17/20 04:11pm Towing
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