FIRE UP: Nice post. Back in 2011 when I was in the market for a new pickup, I found GM had the most (for 4-down). Any Chrysler products I was not interested in.
I simply like Ford pickups. I would have preferred a F-150, but I can only tow "up to 5000 pounds". So, a smaller truck was the way to go for me.
I have my 2011 Ranger auto 4WD. I had the dealer install the "Transfer Case Neutral Kit"..."Ford only" for $400 installed....I think it's a rip-off, but I wanted it...they got it (ONLY them) so there it is.
Towing that with no problems...also 2007 Chevy HHR automatic. Again, no problems.
My 2011 Ranger....using the BLUEOX baseplate...the very good instructions said I may have to cut some of the fiberglass to make it fit...but I didn't have to.
Cutting anything on a new vehicle can be "traumatizing"...just like the first dent. But after that......
CAN the Ram be towed 4-down with no mods? Can it towed 4-down at all? Check the owners manual before you buy.
All that info....what you can/cannot do SHOULD be in the owners' manual. I know it's not the American thing to do...but reading it does help. Salesmen are interested in only ONE thing. Sell the car. Most likely there is no real training regarding ANY kind of special stuff...except for what is on the sales floor. Ands they, too could care less about "after the sale".
In my case, my 2011 Ranger 4WD was not towable until I put in their (Ford only = $400) "Transfer Case Neutral Kit". Now I tow that pickup witn no problems.
Ford seemingly has little interest in the 4-down towing thing....as evidenced by the very limited number of vehicles that can do it....however, GM, at least in 2011 has the most in the most price ranges.
Once more...i have to say, if you're going to tow 4-down....BUY A VEHICLE THAT CAN DO IT with little or no modifications. At least in my world, buying a motorhome is not an impluse buy...but something thought about for quite a long time....and y'gotta figure out what is needed to make one happy. A "toad" definately can be part of the equation. So...one must RESEARCH.
And what is this lowering the level of the transmission fluid? That mean you have to add the stuff back after reaching your destination? Add/lower/add/lower....holy smokes!
That much of a price difference....I would check the "small print". He might SAY you're getting the best....but maybe you're not.
If it's buying new motorhome, maybe you can get the first year "free". I did.
Needed Coach-Net 3 times in 12 years. Excellent service all three times. Especailly with a blowout in the middle of no-where in Texas.
Cheap insurance at any price.
My "alarm went off" when preparing to leave a cg. Motorhome is 12 years old. All the jacks were fully retracted "jacks down" alarm notwhistanding. Driving back to the house, the alarm and light would go on...and off...and on again, finally stopping after about 15-20 minits. E-mailed POWERGEAR, "Bill" in a return e-mail said it is either the float or low on fluid. (Dextron III). I added a bit of Dextron III, and when leaving for the next trip, no alarm. Fixed. Or so I thought. Packing up after this latest run...same thing. Alarm went off. Jacks were retracted. A few weeks later, while changing the motoroil and greasing the chassis, I discovered oil pooling in the "foot" of the jack on the front drivers' side. Oh, Oh...a leak.
Problem...I could not find any "hydraulic" shop closer than 60-70 miles from the house that MIGHT be interested in a rebuild. All they did were hoses and fittings. Downloading the POWERGEAR pdf on a rebuild, I simply do not have the tools to do it with. So...my last and most expensive alternitive was to order a new jack. Getting the old was off was really not a biggie, the hydraulic fitting came off just fine, but them BOLTS...wow. My 7 gal. 125# compressor and my Harbor Freight impact gun were simply not up the task. Borrowed a friends 200# 20 gallon compressor with his Snap-On impact gun...and they came off like butter. Right tool for the right job. Then off to Grainger for hardened bolts and nuts.
The new jack should be coming in next week. About 550+ bucks. PowerGear, altho a good product, will not sell to me. Only thru a dealer or retailer. They do not offer rebuilding,either...like, for instance, "Roadmaster". And of course, having to go thru a dealer....I wonder what THEIR markup is...when I'm doing all the labor.
Might be consumer unfriendly, but there it is.
Presumabably your F-150 4WD is an older model with a manual transfer case "N" station? The newer ones (like my 2011 Ranger 4WD auto) one needs a "transfer case neutral kit" because the thing is all electronic, and Ford has deleted the "N" station.
Is the Expedtion a 4WD auto? If so, there may be a "kit" that Ford offers. Check it out. Keep in mind, these "kits" are a Ford only item...they know it...and mine cost 400 bucks installed BY Ford.
Ford 2WD auto are not towable 4-down. You need a driveshaft disconnect. g'luck!
Like said above, check the owners manual. However...with one or two Chevy models, even that might not be enough.
I remember here on the Forum, something about a mid-year change of transmissions...the car went from towable to not towable (4-down) and several trannys "blew up"...however, GM supposily made good on this.
Research that here on the Forum.
I personally tow a 2007 Chevy HHR auto, and a 2011 Ford Ranger 4WD auto with no problems. The HHR, pull a fuse. The Ranger needed a "transfer case disconnect kit". (Strange,how Ford 2WD automatics are NOT towable 4 down at all.)
Owning a Harley "Dresser"...some 750 pounds...and doing what I thought was complete research on the subject, I've come to a conclusion that:
If you own a DP, these lifts should not be a problem.
If your own a gasser, get a trailer.
Just my opinion after researching....FWIW.
Surely there are the advantages mentioned above. The downsides are added tolls ($$), additional tires ($$) and additional brakes ($$$) additional bearings ($$) and they all require maintainance/replacement from time to time.
If it's worth it to you, go for it. Do you REALLY need the added capacities? Look hard and g'luck.
Tucson is great....and so is most anything around Phoenix. For the winter. Otherwise....TOOO hot.
Yuma is great too! If you need dental work, Yuma is close to Algodones, Mexico. 3 cavities, 1 cap and a root canal: US$1200. That was 4 years ago...and all's well.
I do wish that AZ was closer to NJ.
RESEARCH what cars can be towed 4-down. There are quite a few out there. Don't limit your RESEARCH to "new". Good used cars are out there that can be towed 4 down. So far,my first toad was a used '96 Ford Contour, 5 speed stick. Put that in neutral and go. My next toad was a new 2007 Chevy HHR automatic. Pull a fuse and off y'go. I also toad a (new) 2011 Ford Ranger 4WD automatic. A bit more $$ to set up for towing, but, for me, worth it.
As far as I know, a leased vehicle is limited to milage and woe be to you if you even change the radio! I strongly suggest you BUY. Then it's yours and no worries about "changing" anything.
Beach front? Try reserving at least a year in advance. However...you might get lucky. Happens.
The "tropics" don't really start until your at or south of Lake Ocheekobee (sp).
Check a map and go for it.
IMO...PERFECT tropical winter weather is in the Keys. But be prepared.($$$)
Camping World has everything you need. If you don't care about HD (like me), a DirecTV dish, (1 LNB) tripod, strength meter and compass should come in under $200. Check the 'net too...CW isn't the only place.
You can also go for the big buck auto-aim HD roof things...but, it's your money, spend it as you wish. Watch out for trees with these, tho....the portable setup (above), you can move anywhere your cable is long.
About a year ago, my 5.5 wouldn't start altho it would crank forever. Got advice to pull the gas line off , get a "shorty" and put that in a can of gas...see if it started. The Generac fired right up.
Seems the fuel line had a crack in it due to age/ethanol. The Generac fuel pump works on vacuum, so all it was doing was sucking air.
Usually, to replace the fuel line from the main gas tank, the tank has to come down. Usually. I got really lucky. A long screwdriver and my arm reached the fitting on the gas tank and I was able to remove the old fuel line and install a new one. (From the passenger side of the gas tank) The auto parts store had 2 kinds of gas lines. "Standard" was something like 85 cents a foot. The "Ethanol resistant" was like 2 bucks a foot. The numbers are wrong but you get the idea....and of course, the "Ethanol Resistant" is what you need to buy.
Also, as mentioned above, check the oil. Not enough...it won't start.
After 12 years, one of my POWERGEAR hydraulic jacks is leaking. I've been advised NOT to go the "rebuild" route as the end result can be very questionable.
Which leaves me to buy a new replacement jack. However,I cannot find the cost of one.
I will be removing and reintalling myself, so "labor" is me. What kind of ballpark price am I looking at?
In about 25 years of camping, we've stayed at many KOAs (NJ/Fl/Az) using I-95, I-10, I-20, I-40...and have come across some that are better than others, but never a "dump". That can also be said for non-KOAs on the road.
Using the Trailer Life Directory, most of the time, the ratings are pretty good. Once, however, a 8/8/8 turned out to be, in our opinion, a 2/2/2...but on the other hand, a 4/4/4 rated cg turned out to be one of the most unique places we've ever stayed at. (I guess the 4/4/4 place didn't take the raters out to dinner or something......)
As far as SOREN says (above) that KOA will divide it's places into 3 tiers (excellent, fair, poor)?? (I've never heard this) I wonder how they might describe the "poor" places. Things like "stay at your own risk"? "Bring your own bottled water?"
Yes...franchise $$ is important...but reputaion is more important, IMO. If some KOAs are "dumps", KOA should dump them.
Them "dumps" are what I really wanted to see when "Undercover Boss" went with KOA. But all this guy did was visit the very top-of-the-line and not too far from his home office. Accomplished nothing for the betterment of his company.