I tow my 32' with a 6.0 Excursion no problem. If you do your homework on the 6.0 and look the vehicle over real well there are a lot of deals out there. Good luck finding a 7.3 that is not run down. I was in the same boat a couple of years ago. Wanted a 7.3 for reliability, but just couldn't find one. After a 9 month search, found my baby. I love this truck! Plenty of towing power, room, and I get just under 20 mpg at 70 on the HWY (towing not as good)!
2004 Ford Excursion Limited 6.0
1990 Sandpiper 32 foot Tow Camper, undergoing restoration
Is your complaint about the V10 lack of power or gas mileage ?
Lack of power. The close to double fuel mileage I would expect from a diesel when towing would be nice too, but its more about the lack of power for climbing some of those steep grades.
Lack of power....interesting. I have not driven a V10, so I don't know anything about them. We pull several different trailers ( heavy goosenecks ) with a F350 DRW 6.0 PS, and for sure, it's a strong pulling motor.
The neighbor had borrowed our truck one weekend, and it came to be that we needed to pull the small two horse bumper pull trailer, so we used their Excursion with a V8 to pull it. I'm not sure which V8 it is, but oh lordy was it underpowered with the trailer back there (with two horses ) and 5 adults in the in cabin. Used a lot of gas too.
But all in all I would have guessed the V10 to be pretty strong, but I guess not based on your comments.
The killer on diesel now is that at least around here in the midwest, it costs 20 to 30 percent more than regular grade gasoline. There goes a big chunk of the savings from better mpg.
A lack of power will occur with ANY naturally aspirated (non-turbo diesel) at altitude... Remember that with this type of motor you will lose 3-5% power per 1000' of altitude... AT 10,000' in the Rockies, you could be down as much as 30-50% in power... The only way around it is a turbo diesel...
2000 Ford F-250SD, XLT, 4X4 Off Road, SuperCab
w/ 6.8L (415 C.I.) V-10/3:73LS/4R100
Banks Power Pack w/Trans Command & OttoMind
Sold Trailer - not RV'ing at this point in time
Lots of good information being posted, especially about engine capabilities. Isn't the vehicle weight and final drive train of greater importance, though? I've towed a few different types of trailer with greatly disparate weight and handling capabilities and it always seemed to me that the size of the towing vehicle was more important than the engine's capabilities. Sure, no one wants to struggle up every rise on the interstate or wear out an engine that is asked to perform up to the edge of it's power capabilities, but being pushed around on corners or having the towing vehicles rear end fishtail constantly is a much worse experience, IMO. Safety could be an issue, also. If I had to tow 7500 lbs. and get to my destination in a relaxed state, there wouldn't be an SUV under me. I'd opt for a Crew Cab truck if passenger numbers are important.
You'll want something with at least 1400 pounds of payload. That won't be a Durango, Lexus, or even the Sequoia. Check the driver's door for the yellow tread act sticker to confirm. 3/4 Ton Suburban is what I recommend with the Expedition EL second.
A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009 2011 Suburban 2500 6.0L 3.73 pulling 2011 Heartland North Trail 28BRS 2012 VW Passat TDI
We have/had 2 rear living layouts. That nice big window in the back is for sure a draw to the floor plan. I have learned this floor plan and how it loads, most the hard way... It loads towards the tongue.
Here is our first one. A 2003 K2500 Suburban, 6.0 with the 4.10 rear axle. This was to replace the 1500 Tahoe we had that ran out of rear axle capacity for the camper. The camper loaded was 6,200#, non slide low rider and 27 feet.
Here as FYI I calculated on this floor plan what gear added/subtracted from tongue weight. Just multiple the gear weight x the factor to get added/subtracted TW.
As far as pulling that truck was rated at 16,000# GCWR. Camper, truck, some camping gear in truck, DW and I weighed in at an avg. of 13,900#. This gave me a 2,100# reserve pulling capacity that is affected by wind drag of the TT, hills etc. The truck did a real good job pulling, had no problems where ever I went here on the east coast. This camper ended up with a 1,200# loaded TW.
Heads up, the rear living campers load to the tongue. Look at the floor plan. The kitchen is over the axles but the majority of the storage is forward of the axles. This loading drives the tongue weight up. There is not much storage behind the axles to counter balance it. This is not a bad thing, just something to understand when selecting a TV.
Your Jayco has a 5,425# dry weight with a 635# dry tongue. That is 12% dry tongue weight. I see Jayco put the axles in a good location to not let this get to high once loaded. Expect you will put 1,200# of stuff in that 31 foot long camper, less fresh water. Expect the tongue weight to go up 400# into the 1,050# area. This will put you in the 15.8% loaded tongue range which balances out well for stable towing.
In my case my 1st camper started out at 14.5% dry tongue and went up to 21% loaded tongue. Thus the issue on the 1500 Tahoe.
I later upgraded that first rear living non slide camper to the super slide rear living TT we have now. Kept the Burb for a while until later I upgraded to my F350.
Our layout is similar and is 32 feet long to your 31 footer
However mine is not built on the light weight setup and is a 10,000# GVWR camper. Dry is is around 7,150# with a 960# dry tongue. After loading and shifting weight, I now have a 1,400# tongue and 15.2% loaded tongue and 9,200# GVW. The height of mine should be close to yours.
The 2500 Suburban from year 2000 to 2006 could handle a 1,200# loaded TW with some stuff in the truck and 2 adults. Even some older 2500 Burbs can too. On the new camper I knew the Burb was TW limited and pulling limited and a new TV would soon come. We used the Burb for a while and only loaded the camper partly to keep the TW down to 1,200# and not go over the 16,000# GCWR.
There is a difference in the 2 campers and it is not the length I'm talking about. The new slide camper was taller, can catch more wind and that wind affected the truck more then raw weight. Towing it home 500 miles from the dealer I was at around 14,000# GCW. Camper and truck where close to empty but my weights where where I was with loaded older camper. I for sure knew that extra 8" in TT height was there. The truck did OK out on the highway. Not as good as the lower camper but OK. And I did end up in trouble in the back hills of PA coming home. There is 2,500 ft elevation here on the east coast and I found it...
Never ran out of engine, ran out of transmission cooling. The series of hills would not let up and she over heated. This sealed the deal that a new TV was in my future. We loaded it to 15,800# GCW and used it here in the flat lands of central Ohio for about 4 months. It did alright but I knew for sure I was not going to southern Ohio with it, like Old Man's Cave area in Hocking Hills.
If you are wanting a new SUV, the 2500 Suburban or Yukon XL is the choice and about the only choice. The GCWR will be 16,000# and is the highest they offer. Make sure you get the right options to get it that high. That is the 6.0 with the 3.73 rear end. Any 2007 or newer has that option.
Any Suburban or Yukon XL 2007 or newer will be limited to a 1,000# tongue weight with a WD hitch. The truck receiver cannot be changed that is all GM gave us.
If you are on the used market, year 2000 to 2006 Burbs can handle a 1,200# tongue weight with some gear inside and you can upgrade the receiver. Watch the engine and rear axles size again looking for that 16,000# GCWR or larger. The 2005 V10 Excursion with the 4.30 rear end can do a good job for you. It has the higher rated receiver and LT tires. Needs a rear sway bar and a Road Master active suspension upgrade but then your good to go.
There is not a lot out there now in the SUV towing world new that would do well with that camper in my opinion and from my experiences. GM and Ford put the axe in that in 2005 and 2007. If you go with a 1,500 SUV, sooner or later you will not be a happy camper.
As FYI, when I changed from the SUV world to the crew cab short bed PU world I found you can buy a whole lot more truck as a camper hauler then any SUV ever for less money. Don't rule it out just yet as an option.
Good luck and hope this helps
* This post was
edited 01/22/12 08:47pm by JBarca *
John & Cindy
2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver
2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)