The HD update is not slated until the 2018 model year. 2017 will be the 1500.
I stand corrected. I'll order a '19 then!
I hear that all the time at work. "I am going to buy next year when.....changes". I understand that, but in a competitive business, something better is always just around the corner.
Congrats on the new truck! I hope it treats you well.
The only thing I don't like is the Sirius '"Fin" that they put between the cxlearance lights. But GM and Ford have done it as well. Can't believe that all 3 would save a nickel to not have to run the wire to the rear of the cab.
Such a small complaint on an otherwise awesome truck!
^^Not sure if you are critiquing the placement, or the way they run the wires. It is my understanding that they moved the placement of the antenna for better reception - less chance of interference from a cab over camper or such.
I would check back for construction before you go Hwy 9. About 5 miles is under major construction right now, and it is TERRIBLY rough. That is the reason I came back from Steamboat to Denver via Hwy 40 this last weekend.
Also, what specifically in Northern Colorado are you wanting to explore? Kremmling is ok, but an area like Steamboat (or Granby for that matter) would be better IMO.
Just drove that stretch last night. They are paving on the Winter Park side of the pass, but I am sure that will be completed by the time you are talking. It is steep, and lots of hair pin turns, some as slow as 20 MPH.
I pull my fishing boat that way up through November. As was stated, if it snows, it usually doesn't last too long that time of year. If you go in the early part of your time frame, you might still catch some of the fall colors.
Love the Cummins, but the engine braking in that vintage isn't very good.
I know you said that the exhaust brake isn't in the cards, but if you are towing a lot in the mountains you might reconsider.
I added the Jacobs to my 03 as one of the first options. I could tow 16000 pounds down Eisenhower in Colorado without hardly ever using the brakes. If you go that route, find a local Cummins service shop. They will do the Jacobs for about half what the Dodge/RAM dealer will charge.
I picked up a 2003 Suburban with the 8.1 this year to pull my boat. In my experience, the 8.1 was hard to find, but it has performed well. I think resale down the road will be much better with the bigger engine.
My biggest complaint is MPG (probably not a surprise). With the Burb, and a mix of towing a 6500 pound boat and mixed driving, I am at 9.74 MPG for the 5000 miles I have driven it. Best MPG was 12.71, and the worst was 7.08.
Few things seem to get more negative posts on this site than towing tandem. People usually come out of the wood work telling you that you are a danger to society by doing this, an accident waiting to happen, and are quick to tell you laws from some on line souce (that is usually inaccurate), and that your insurance isn't going to cover you when you inevitably cause an accident.
My experience is that if you are set up correctly, and drive responsibly, and plan ahead, your trips will be trouble free.
As I stated earlier, I have been towing tandem for years (probably more than 15 now). I had a custom welder fabricate a hitch when I first bought my current 5er new 13 years ago. And the 5er before that had one as well.
Towing lighter weight trailers I don't even notice that it is back there. I have a 16' aluminum fishing boat, probably weighs around 2500 pounds (likely less). I can't see it back there, so a rear camera would be nice, but it isn't needed. The difficulties can be when you need to get fuel (why I have my aux tank), when you are going into a tight campground (when going to a lake, I drop the boat off at the boat ramp parking lot on the way in), or if you get into a situation when you need to back up (that can be big trouble).
Bigger trailers are a different story. I also have a ski boat. Old one weighed about 5500 pounds, new one is closer to 6500. With a lot of tongue weight, all the expansion joints in the highway, or any rough road, are amplified up to the truck. There will be a lot of chucking, and a ton of stress put on the trailer. I actually broke my hitch last year (not a catastrophic failure). This year I had the hitch and back of my RV beefed up to the tune of nearly $2000.
After all of that, I decided to take a 2nd vehicle when pulling the big boat. Still do the small boat without thinking about it.
You sound like you are considering a smaller trailer, which I don't think would be much problems. My take aways are as follows.
1. Spend money on they hitch with a quality fabricator. Not a bolt together job.
2. Consider adding an aux fuel tank or replace standard tank with a bigger tank in the truck if you are going off the interstates
3. Some sort of air ride will improve the ride in the truck. I added an TrailAir pin box. If I were starting over, I would do true air hitch in the back of the truck.
4. Always plan ahead, know where you are camping and fueling. I have seen people back up, but I have a hard time with it.
5. Rear view camera behind the 5er woudl be nice, but not necessacary.
6. Tandem axle utility trailer will tow much better a single axle
And, perhaps most importantly, ignore all the naysayers out there, and be safe and have a good time.
In before the troller starts throwing stones.
4000 pounds shouldn't be much of a struggle for ANY of the V8s (or comparable engines) in the newer trucks. If you like your Tahoe except for the power, consider a newer one with the 5.3 and 6 speed tranny. BIG improvement over what you are currently driving.
In regards to the RAM, that 5.7 will tow it VERY well. Me personally, if I was only towing 4000 pounds, I would probably go EcoDiesel.
By sticker, I assume JustLabs means MSRP. I am sure there are some people that pay that, but for most, (and I would assume the OPs dad), there is a difference between MSRP and out the door price.
And I am sure you can build the other two brands trucks to get a similar, or higher, MSRP.
^^^If you aren't getting the brakes to activate when you are backing up, and you do not have that solenoid, and are not using a manual reverse lock out switch on the trailer, you should check to make sure that the brakes on your trailer are functioning. I don't know how you could back up with surge brakes without them activating if you don't have the manual lock out or solenoid.
Congrats on his new ride.
New prices are high, but all the new trucks seem to be holding their value very well. I really don't know why someone would buy a late model diesel right now - asking prices seem to be very close to what a slightly skilled negotiator can get on a new truck.
It is nice to have diesel prices down. As a boat owner (as well as the 8.1 Burb), it would be nice to see the unleaded prices follow.
In regards to truck stops always being more expensive, that simply isn't the case around here. The prices at the truck stop on I70 at the exit for my house, are always the same as they are anywhere else. I notice the same is true when I am traveling across the state. Maybe $0.10/gallon difference at times. But I am willing to pay $2.50 (or Jim's $12) for added connivence, and not having to worry about pumps and entrance/exits to the fuel station that are set up for cars and not 60 foot rigs.
I picked up a similarly equiped, but in better shape, 03 Burb earlier this year. That 8.1 is hard to find. If the body damage isn't too bad, I would say go for it (although looks like you already are in that process).
My Burb has been good to me in the short time I have owned it. They are thirsty beasts though.
If you don't have reservations, and are trying for a state park, you might have some trouble with availability. Also, many of the National Forest Campgrounds close on Labor Day.
Depending on where in the state you are going, here are a few that you might want to consider.
Sylvan Lake, outside of Edwards
Taylor Park Reservoir, north of Gunnison
Shadow Mountain/Lake Granby, outside of Granby
Steamboat/Pearl/Hahns Peak Lakes outside of Steamboat Springs
Lake Dillon, outside of Frisco