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Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

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  • Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

    I need a truck or suv that can tow a 6000 pound 24' airstream. A 1/2 ton is ok but 3/4 is better. I want bi-fuel and am looking at used OEM ford f150s f-250s as well as chevy silverados & suburbons. I have seen dodge durangos as well. I have learned that the Ford bi-fuel valves and systems have many problems. What kits have had good reliability and what kits should I avoid. I am looking at used vehicles and need to know what model/year is best. Thanks and thanks for this amazing resource!

  • #2
    Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

    partybaron,

    I'll be the first to jump in on this one. Here are two suppliers of aftermaket systems I'd recommend.

    BAF in Texas has conversion kit's for the Ford line. See: http://www.baftechnologies.com/Home.html

    Next, Baytech in California has the GM line covered. See: http://www.baytechcorp.com/

    Good luck and I commend you on your decision. Oh, did I mention that natural gas has an octane rating of 110-130? Should be great for towing.

    b/r,

    afvman

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    • #3
      Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

      I am hoping to find a vehicle already coverted. Are these kits that are OEM as factory equipment?

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      • #4
        Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

        partybaron,

        OK, here's another option if you haven't already tried it. The GSA frequently has public auctions all over the U.S. and they still have some NGV's in the fleet.

        Check: http://www.autoauctions.gsa.gov/ for the closest location.

        Do a sort on 'fuel' and the CNG vehicles should come up grouped together.

        Good luck,

        afvman

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        • #5
          Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

          Using the search feature revels several threads where this has been discussed. Not all results are applicable, but you can sift the wheat from the chaff. Here's the link; http://cngchat.com/forum/search.php?searchid=350950

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          • #6
            Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

            Go with the 3/4 ton, take it from an old trailer tower. Check the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) to get the total loaded weight the truck can handle (truck, trailer, and all the crap you want to carry). My aunt has 7,000 lb 5th wheel she hauls with a 3/4 ton Ford with an 5.4L gasoline engine and it does very well. Can't speak for the GM product, no experience.

            You would be happier with a 4:10 axle and the smaller (5.4L) engine, but 3:73 will work. By all means go with the Bi-fuel. My rig is a 7.5 on gasoline and lp and I have no problems towing a 16,500 Lb package on either fuel -- miliage sucks.

            Good luck

            Larrycng

            P.S. No comments about the "old" in old trailer tower AFVman

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            • #7
              Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

              Ford F150 "7700" bifuel pickups are common on EBAY and other gvt sources- they are heavy half ton trucks specifically set up for towing/hauling up to 7700 lbs. gross. (include 5.4L triton engine, heavier duty tranny, brakes, wiring, wheels/tires, etc) The two I have are fine towing trailers, but Ive yet to tow anything heavier than 5000 lbs/ 700 tonge wt. I use a weight dist hitch and class v hitch for a 30 ft travel trailer and occasionally a boat.

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              • #8
                Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

                Sounds like you are in the ball park, go for it

                Larrycng

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                • #9
                  Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

                  Just stay away from any Ford Bi-Fuel with a compuvalve system. IIRC. The last 2 years of OEM Bi-Fuel Fords did not have the dreaded compuvalves.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

                    Personally Iv had no problems with the compuvalve- but Im curious, what did the later oem's use instead, and what years were they?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

                      rtry9a check this thread :
                      http://cngchat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1863

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                      • #12
                        Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

                        Just keep in mind that towing when on CNG will result in decreased performance, (less power on CNG, due to effectively lower engine capacity). This will end up causing the 'towing hit' to mileage to be even greater on CNG than Gas, seriously cutting into the potential cost savings. You might want to run the numbers and check, but in many situations, it might be cheaper to tow with a 3/4ton diesel. (especially if you will be paying for the bi-fuel conversion).
                        1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
                        2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--

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                        • #13
                          Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

                          I've got a 3/4 ton 2001 LT Suburban with the 8.1 liter engine converted with a nice sequential kit. 15GGE and plenty of power for towing. Its for sale. I'll PM you.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

                            I agree that you shouldn't use anything lower than a 3/4 ton. I hauled FEMA 29' campers that weighed 6300 pounds with my Chevy 2500 and with the 6.5 diesel it took everything it had to keep going down the road. The biggest problem is WIND and I don't mean from a windy day. If you're hauling a 24' camper its usually taller than your truck so you'll be pushing through the wind. Expect MPG to be half as when not hauling. Consider yourself lucky to get 10 while hauling it and the lighter duty trucks usually don't come with a heavy duty transmission and trans-cooler.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Reliable used bi-fuel tow vehicles - what systems are good?

                              Originally posted by joemccleery View Post
                              I agree that you shouldn't use anything lower than a 3/4 ton. I hauled FEMA 29' campers that weighed 6300 pounds with my Chevy 2500 and with the 6.5 diesel it took everything it had to keep going down the road. The biggest problem is WIND and I don't mean from a windy day. If you're hauling a 24' camper its usually taller than your truck so you'll be pushing through the wind. Expect MPG to be half as when not hauling. Consider yourself lucky to get 10 while hauling it and the lighter duty trucks usually don't come with a heavy duty transmission and trans-cooler.
                              Not to argue or anything, but a f150 7700 has the best of both worlds, a smaller vehicle with heavy duty frame, tranny, engine, wheels, brakes, and tranny cooler all designed for towing/heavy loads. The bigger truck has some disadvantages too, including extra weight and bigger frontal area, perhaps a longer wheelbase that makes backing more difficult.

                              imho, A very important towing consideration, often ignored, is how far your ball sits behind the rear axle rather than spring stiffness (3/4 rating). The closer the better.

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