rhagfo, you are right, I am more on an automatic driver, and have been mostly for over 50 years. The truck I had was de-rated due to the manual and had a 3.42 rear end. I felt it was not as good a puller as my previous 2003 GMC D/A combo and the mileage was not getting better over the time I had it, it was getting worse. On top of that, my wife didn't want to drive the manual transmission and I found it difficult to back looking over my shoulder having to keep both feet on the pedals. Even with the taller 3.42 gearing the mileage on this truck was less than the old GMC. By the way, I learned to drive using an old three-speed manual with a first gear stump puller so I do know how to drive a manual, I just didn't like it as much and was displeased with the results, overall.
Boy, you Canadians get taken to the cleaners on trucks, don't you? Sorry about that. I don't think our depreciation around here is near that much. I bought a 2011 Dodge Ram diesel crew-cab long-bed in Sept. of 2011 and traded it in June, 2012 for my GMC. My depreciation was about $2,000 from what I paid for it to what I got in trade. They sold my old truck in five days, don't know what they got for it.
I don't watch much Nascar, but I do root for #24. He seems to be a pretty good driver who, mostly, is a gentleman on the track. I guess it's because he's so old, like me, only a little bit younger, about 30 years.
4x4ord, do you really mean the truck depreciates $8,000 per year? That would mean that after about 7 years your truck is worth nothing? I'm not necessarily doubting you, more worried about the depreciation on my GMC.
The owner's manual on my 2012 Ram said 650 ft. pounds of torque. Based on my experience, I would think that was right. The Ram really bogged down when I was trying to pull my FW and boat together, like I had done with my old, 2003, D/A combo. Really had to get on the accelerator and put it in first gear to get going. No easing it out like with the D/A combo that I had, or the new one that I bought after nine months.
transmz9 left a couple of links for a couple of Rams, a gasser and a diesel that are similar in price. The diesel does not quite have the amenities of the gasser, but still the same price. I couldn't find a rear end number, but would think the gasser would have a 4.10 and the diesel would have a 3.42. Probably get about the same towing experience with either one. I was unhappy with my 2012 "derated" Ram diesel with the six-speed manual and a 3.42 rear end, but some people probably won't be.
I pur mine in the curb side storage area in the front of the FW. Fits perfectly, a little hard to lift out and put in, but not insurmountable at this time. I try to remember to turn the fuel cap to off and also try not to spill any fuel in the area.
If you get to Grand Teton, you might also take a boat cruise on Jackson Lake. They have regular cruises that go out and around Elk Island, over to Moran Bay in the shadow of Mt. Moran and than back to the marina. They also have lunch and dinner cruises that go to Elk island for lunch or dinner on the shore looking over the lake to Mt. Moran. Jenny Lake is beautiful, but you can get a bit closer to the base of Mt. Moran on Jackson Lake. We generally, in the three trips there each year, fish at least part of the time, in Moran Bay. One of the prettiest spots we have been to in our lives. Although we haven't been everywhere.
I had a 2012 Ram Diesel with crew-cab and long bed with a six-speed manual. Thought it would be a great truck for us, but after towing our Jayco HT 26.5 RLS to Zion and back came to a different conclusion. The diesel is a bit underpowered since it has the manual and is not the HO engine. When we took our trip to Zion, we got around 11.9 on the way down there, drove around a bit to St. George and Bryce Canyon unloaded and then back home. When getting home, overall mileage was down to 10.9 and a subsequent fill-up and three trips to a lake about 40 miles away yielded around 10.2. When I hooked up our boat behind the FW was when I really felt the lack of power in this engine. Also, and this is a personal problem, when backing up with the manual, you have to keep both feet on the floorboard to work the accelerator, clutch and brake when backing looking over your shoulder. This was more difficult to do than I wished for. Also, my wife was unwilling to drive the truck with the six-speed manual. So, we traded back to a GMC crew-cab, short bed with D/A combo. Now, we get, generally right at 12 mpg when towing our boat and trailer together and have gotten as much as 13.6 on our trips. I also no longer feel the least bit underpowered. For what you are pulling, that truck will certainly do a good job, just pointing out what I experienced when buying this 2012 vehicle.
I bought a Jayco HT 26.5 RLS in 2012 to make sure my truck, at the time, would tow it comfortably. When looking at the various FWs, I wanted one that was no longer than 30' and pretty light. I think the previous poster was pretty right-on, most of the "lite" FWs are usually shorter. I think the construction is pretty much the same as far as floor thickness, wall thickness and insulation factors, the roofs seem to be about the same construction. However, one of the things the owners' manual said was that the HT line was not suitable for full-timing. We did spend 20 nights in our FW on a trip this spring and don't quite understand why they said that. We did get the "arctic" package but not double pane windows but otherwise the "R" factors are the same as on heavier, bigger FWs. We have two slides, but the bedroom slide is a smaller, wardrobe, slide with four cabinets so it would certainly be lighter than a bed slide, I would think. As far as carrying cargo, one of the other posters said 3,000 lbs for the lite ones and mine says about the same, but my delivered weight was around 7,200 lbs so I only get about 2,750 lbs of cargo capacity. Don't know how in the heck I would ever get than much stuff in the FW. When we bought it the manual said they would void the warranty if we put a hitch on but now they sell them with a hitch. We went ahead and had one fabricated and it has worked fine when towing our boat behind the FW. Now that we are out of warranty anyway, it doesn't make a bit of difference. The biggest thing might be the lower framing. The I-beams that are used in the LIte brands might be a bit less robust than are the ones used in the heavier ones. Don't know that for sure, but when we got our hitch put on, the welder reinforced our framing about four to six feet from the rear towards the axle.
covetsthesun, in your situation, your husband is going to have to start withdrawing from is IRA pretty soon, per Federal law. Taking a look at an annuity makes some sense in order to start taking out the Required Minimum Distribution(RMD) after age 70 1/2. Just make sure you go with a very good, stable company with a great rating. Don't tie up all his money in an annuity, that way markets of some type will also help with your balances in the future. I am not a financial planner, but am in a somewhat similar situation as your husband. My RMD will kick in next year.
I believe the biggest concern would be your fuel mileage when not towing. All-wheel drive gets a bit worse mileage than does 4-wheel drive since you are turning both axles most of the time with all-wheel drive. Other than that, shouldn't be much difference.
If you were up to traveling a little farther to see fireworks on the Fourth, come on out to Lander, Wyoming. We have a nice little parade for the Fourth, the oldest paid rodeo in the US and fireworks from around 8:00 to midnight on the Fourth. While it might not be as spectacular as Boston, New York or DC, most of the fireworks are not paid for with your tax dollars, they are private people celebrating the Fourth in a wonderful fashion. I know, that's a little far for you to drive, but just though I would put in a little plug for our wonderful, patriotic city out here in the West.
DREADED DOUBLE POST!!!