October 11, 2014 (Jim) – Today we picked up Gulliver; now we have both the fifth wheel and the truck to pull it.
You’ll notice from the wet ground it was a dreary day today, but that did not dim our mood because we were anxious to get one more step closer to starting our adventure. That step was a big one. How did we select this specific truck? Pretty much how everything else in this stage of our lives has come about; it just fell into place when we needed it.
We bought Sydney first so we would know the towing capacity of the truck we would need. Empty Sydney is 9.5K lbs. and will hold at maximum capacity 2.7K lbs. So the gross weight we needed to haul is 12.2K lbs. So we started looking for trucks that would haul 13K lbs. or more. We looked at Ford F350s and F250s, Chevy Silverados, GMC Sierras, and Dodge Rams. Some of these trucks would haul over 30K lbs., a bit of an overkill. Also the prices were upwards of $60K for the newer ones, no where near our price range. So I did what I always do when looking for something important. I went to a subject matter expert. The person I know who knows the most about trucks, hauling capacity, and what is good and bad – my son John.
The first thing John told me was that after 2005 a lot of truck companies changed to a 6.0 liter engine. They didn’t work well, and it took them a few years to work out the bugs. So he said I shouldn’t consider Chevys between 2006 and 2007, Fords between 2006 and 2008, and Dodges between 2006 and 2009 that had the 6.0 liter diesel engine in them. He also said to buy a diesel because a regular gas engine would get 6-8 miles per gallon pulling the RV where a diesel will get around 15. Great, the majority of the trucks that were in my price range were these exact trucks. So John and I started searching and passing finds back and forth through text messaging. Angela really got a kick out of that.
Well, we actually found one that sounded good at a dealership in Lebanon, TN. That was on a Friday, so Angela and I set-up to go visit the dealership the next day. We were driving to the dealership and Angela gets an idea. She says “I’m going to call my dad and ask him about the size of his truck and it’s pulling capacity just to have something to compare to the one we are looking at today”. I said that sounded like a great idea and she called and got the information. We drove on and finally got to the dealership. As we pulled into the parking lot Angela’s phone rings; it’s her dad. Would we consider buying his truck? WHAT!!! We never considered it. Not only had we not considered it, it had never even crossed our minds. So here we are on this guy’s lot to look at a truck and we have this to think about. Turns out the truck we wanted to see was sent to an auction so we had time to discuss this other opportunity with her dad before we went back to the dealer.
Turns out we worked out a deal with her dad and everyone is happy. John called that night and I asked him what he thought about a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 with a 5.9 Liter Cummings Diesel engine. He said sounds great, asked a few more questions then asked how much. I told him a few thousand more than we actually paid and he said “buy it”. I told him we already did and let him know we bought it from Angela’s dad. So that’s how we acquired Gulliver. Today we went to Alabama to pick it up.
Talk more later… Jim