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Saturday, July 21, 2012


Hang in there Linda and Howard - you'll figure it out. No need to offer additional advice with all you've got to date. Just watching for your final decision - best of luck during this challenging time.

Advice is usually worth what you pay for it, but maybe you're just over-thinking the whole thing. You either need a new engine or a different truck. You've spent years getting your RV & truck tweaked to go together perfectly. If the truck is in good condition otherwise maybe you should just bite the bullet and go for the new engine. There's always the option of going back to the sticks and bricks, full-time jobs rat race but that doesn't sound like any fun.

Outside the box. Cost/interest sell truck and trailer and buy MH. Jeep becomes your dingy.

Alan & Kathy

Howard (and Linda),
It is interesting that you are asking the same questions I asked when I first started looking at trucks. That is a good sign you are not going to be swayed by public opinion. You already stated no mater what decision you guys make, some folks will think you are crazy, some will support it and others will have no opinion. The best I can offer you is to pray the God give you and Linda the wisdom to make the best decision based on your specific situation. Carol and will be on the side that supports your decision.

Your Friday post had me ROFLMAO - not because I think your situation is funny by any means - but because your description of the thoughts going through your minds sound SO much like several Ron and I have had !! :)

WOW Howard what a lot to think about. My head would be hurting at all the things to consider and the options. Here's hoping it is all behind you in less than a month.

Our thoughts are with you guys as you try to decide which way to go.

I'll toss my 2 cents in and say that it's human nature to discount the truck you have because of the bad experience. It's tough to separate the emotion and loss of confidence when something has let you down. It can be comforting to jump to something different.

Here's one way to look at it - the truck you have was great two weeks ago. It should be even better with a brand new engine. It's set up the way you want it, you know the history of the vehicle, and you know it's been taken care of. That's worth something in my book.

I'd sure be interested in an extended warranty though :)

Best of luck as you decide.

Rich and Holly (we met in Maine last summer).

You two have paid it forward:o)) There is no way your RV-Dreams Family could ever repay all you have given to all of us!! Wish there was some way to help you out other than sending good wishes. But for now, that's what we have to offer. Take care and remember there is nothing the two of you can figure out!!

OOPS... meant to say there is nothing the two of you CAN'T figure out;o)))

I know how you are feeling about your truck problem. About a month ago we had our Class A motorhome towed 112 miles due to a mechanical issue. We lucked out and it didn't cost us a lot for the repairs but it did set us back several days and we had to stay in a motel in a town on the wrong side of the state from where we had planned on being. Anyway, it looks like you are trying to keep a level head about it all and I can tell you that life returns to normal as soon as the repairs are done. Keep your chins up! :)

Hi Howard,
One more tidbit about the 6.o engine...in our Ford with the 6.0, the last time it broke down, stranded us & had to be towed was at 96,000 miles. That was the last straw & we got rid of it. It never got the "bugs worked out", things just got worse with it as it had more miles. :-(

Maybe it is a good thing that you didn't own a motorhome, then you would be out of a home and transport. I know that we are not full-timing it yet, but such situations are one of our considerations as we try to decide between MH or 5ver. I remember a couple years ago reading a blog where the couple's MH blew a engine in Guatemala, got towed to Belize and was out of home for a month or two having that engine repaired. Pluses and minuses to either choice.

Butch really likes the cummins engine in the Ford truck option if the price is right. He perked right up when he heard that idea. You are such a thorough researcher whatever you decide will be right for you.

Given your background, I am pretty certain you have considered a Montana LLC as a possible sales tax workaround. They are not that far away from you, now.

As for choices, you guys put a lot of mileage on your tow vehicle so the thought of an HDT is not inappropriate, Used price points are better and older proven units will continue to hold up. While probably not an even price for a motor swap prices should be much better than for a F450 class anything of the same age.

... And Kelly is wrong. If not, we would all be better at 90 than at 40 and live forever.

Just saying. Thinking kindly of you guys. I know it's not a happier time.


Why does it have to be a Ford? I understand the newer Chevy's are very good.

You could possibly sell your old truck to the people who put Cummins engine in the
Ford trucks. You don't think nearly enough!!:)

I imagine one reason engine rebuilders like to do that is the newer the engine/model year the worse mileage it gets due to increased emissions standards. Hopefully my 05 Ram towing at 11-12MPG and 20-22 driving will last as long as it should. Though I suppose that's not as big a consideration as the little towing most RVers do.

I'd say continue on the path you are on with doing your due diligence and trying to ask all the right questions. Take as much time as you can and I think it will start to veer in the direction that makes the most sense.

Seriously, -- I see another seminar or two in the making. This is excellent real life stuff that hundreds are all ready benefiting from. And sharing it all is part of what make you two so unique and valuable. Along with all the other benefits or knowing you two good people. Take it a day at a time -- we are all pulling for you!!

Hi Howard
Sounds like you have alot to think about :)
Maybe one of the considerations to take into account is that your engine never gave you any problems and it did not 'fail'. It was underload in a low gear coming down a steep incline with your fifth wheel pushing from behind. The engine over revved and showed all the signs of over reving with the pistons hitting the valves. If you had not come down that incline then your truck would still be running as good as ever so it was really not a failure of the engine.
The last time I cam down an incline in low gear I blew my transmission. I think that there is false information about how vehicles can handle low gear under load and the engine cannot always handle being the brake for the load unless there is an engine brake installed. If you were to go for a rebuilt engine, there are rebuilders that already know the weak areas in the 6.0L engine and rebuild with parts that ensure the engine is stronger and not prone to the manufacturers problems. With an engine like that you still have your truck in excellent condition and a warranty on the engine, plus an extended warranty should anything go wrong in the future.
The rebuilt engine has 0 miles so you have at least another 60,000 miles before any potential problems could arise.
My 2c worth :)

My story that may have some utility...
I finally found/bought my used 05 RAM "deal" in 07 online with a $250 deposit from a reputable dealer in mid-FL (I live in mid-AL)
Feeling cheap and adventourus I rode Greyhound down there. The dealer picked me up in the truck, went back to the dealer for several hours of paperwork and I left for home from there. Spent one overnight stay with my new toy before getting all the way home.
The good deal was it only had 36K miles and was very clean with new tires, rotating ball hitch and "fancy" Westin Brush Guard. Later I discovered no Owners manual (they gave me a GAS Ram manual), no spare tire (or wheel), spare tire winch was busted, cheesy auto store floor mats, and all the tire changing tools were missing. Fortunately, all missing stuff was replaceable "inexpensively" easily online or at my local dealer. The hardest to find was a used/cheap 1 ton dually Wheel for the spare as new ones are $$$. Once I got that off E-Bay, a fellow, nearby Turbo Diesel Register Club member responded to my online plea and gave me a used tire for FREE as he had upgraded his tires. I know you can be just as patient! Good luck!

Howard, for what its worth, 2 months ago we were at Columbia Riverfront RV Park in Woodland, WA. Our neighbor there was a diesel mechanic with a really big Dodge work truck that he used to repair heavy equipment out on job sites. He liked the Cummins the best.

Rick Hervey
2011 GMC 3500HD
2011 Mobile Suites 38 RESB3

The best truck for you is the one you have. Rebuilding its engine, replacing the engine with a new or rebuilt one, or a new to you used or new truck... it is going to cause you to drive it maybe 4-500 hundred miles before you even start to relax and what truck would relax you the most, the one you've known for 7 years and driven for 64K miles already and fits your 5th wheel trailer.

And once you get 'a' truck' you should be driving it some time before taking off dragging the 5th wheel anywhere away from civilization. And you only have about 5-6 weeks to get everything done and be how many hundred miles of the vast unpopulated west from where you are now?

Listening to just the engine in your old truck is much less stressful than listening to and learning another truck, and especially a new to you used one, or even a new one.

I say that based on 52 years of buying many used and new cars and trucks including 2 new and 2 used 18 wheeler tractors, and a used motor home all but 7 years ago and living in it full time for all but one month since we bought it. But then I was a very mechanical kinda kid of the 1950s and learned early on how to 'inspect' a used vehicle before buying it. Of all of the used vehicles, I only had a bad rear end bearing in a station wagon and a transmission eventually broke in a Freightliner tractor with close to 200K miles on it.

It appears that others have suggested this , but I would like to add my thoughts also. A Ford Cummins combo, you have a good truck with transmission, install a Cummins Diesel, http://fordcummins.com/ ,or one of the many others offering this convertion, the 2005/2006 24 valve Cummins 5.9 is a rock solid engine giving exceptional power , 325 hp and 610 ft lbs of towing power. My experience and opinions from many others is this is the best of the recent cummins including the newer cummons 6.7
This setup would give you 1/4 to 1/2 million miles of dependable service with very little maintenance or concern!

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