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Old 09-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
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Somewhere , California
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Lightbulb Best used TV for $10-20k for 10k# towing & mpg

This forum has been incredibly helpful as we get ready to begin our maiden airstream voyage. So thanks in advance.

Here's my question. We're looking to balance mpg and a towing capacity of 10k+ pounds (28' Safari) for a used vehicle in the $10 - 20k range. The vehicle will be our daily driver as well TV, hence wanting to get the best mpg possible. We will be hitting mountain passes, though not that frequently. Any suggestions of make, model, and year to look at?
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:04 PM   #2
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Start an Excel table. TV makes and models down the first column, Year, GVWR, mpg (city, hwy, towing), Airstream/length towed, etc., across the top row. You'll get many, many responses. Results will be interesting.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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Most vehicles in that price range are going to be too wimpy or too fuel hungry. You can buy two cheap vehicles one small and one large cheaper than finding and maintaining something like a 10-15 year old diesel which can get into repairs approaching what you paid for the vehicle. I already had a couple of cars and a small truck when I bought a 2000 V10 Ford Excursion for $7000 with 94k on it. I can buy alot of gas for the extra $33 k a newer truck would cost and I don't drive it everyday. If you get a 10 year old gasser most of them will get 15mpg or worse empty. My Excursion get about 10 mpg empty and not much worse than that towing. It has a 4.30 rear end which makes it drink the gas. You can get them with a 3.73 rear end but they don't have a bigger trans cooler and towing mirrors. A buddy has one with the 3.73 rear end and he get a few mpg better mileage than me empty. Since I bought it mainly to tow I don't care so much about the bad mileage driving around.

Perry
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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Perry, how is that V10 on the Excursion? I've been shopping around for an Excursion just for towing also. I'm leaning toward the Power Stroke Diesel, but curious to know how the V10 works for you?

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J & G
So. Miami
1990 / 29' Excella
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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FLCrackers - Good idea. Here's a google doc that lists Make & Model for 2010 by towing capacity in descending order. It's simply the data from onlinetowingguide.com arranged into something more readable. I'll probably create a separate doc to track specific makes, cost, and details as I research a bit more.

Perry - I suppose I'm looking for the least bad option.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
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Cool spreadsheet!
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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It works just fine. The V10 is a good engine and will last as long as a diesel. It has no problem pulling my trailer. The maintenace is pretty minor but I did spend about a $1000 on tires and a bigger trans cooler and a few other odds and ends.

Perry

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Originally Posted by J&G22argosy View Post
Perry, how is that V10 on the Excursion? I've been shopping around for an Excursion just for towing also. I'm leaning toward the Power Stroke Diesel, but curious to know how the V10 works for you?

Regards,
J & G
So. Miami
1990 / 29' Excella
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:54 PM   #8
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If you are looking for an excursion to pull with don't get anything other than the 7.3 diesel. It has plenty of power for pulling the mountain passes and will get a lot better milage than the V10. It will probable run 3 to 4 thousand more than a gas motor but you will get 16+ MPG plus will last many more miles than the V10. Not uncommon for the 7.3 to go 500,000 miles without much more than general maintenance done on them. I have a 2001 F350 with the 7.3 that I tow campers for a living with. I have 275,000 on it and have had to do nothing other than oil changes and just general repair. I do get 16+ mpg loaded and it is completely stock except I took the muffler off and straight piped it. You can spend a couple thousand on it and put an air box, 5 inch exhaust and a tuner and it is not uncommon to get up toward or a little over 20 MPG
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:35 PM   #9
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I am biased. I have an 08 5.7L double cab Toyota Tundra and love it. It was way ahead of the competition when it came out in 07- Powerful motor, 6 speed tranny, 18" tires, big abs 4 wheel disc brakes, large back seat with real doors and windows. It is a great daily driver other than it being HUGE, just like the other 1/2 ton trucks. I get 18 solo on the road easily and get 13.5 towing my 66 Tradewind, but you have to keep your foot out of it.

It may be hard to find one for 20k; you may have to deal with a high mileage one, but I think that would be ok as long as it had been well cared for.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:41 PM   #10
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I also might try to find a 3/4 ton diesel that is about 10 years old. If you are going with a Ford get the 7.3L diesel. It will tow well, it just won't be as good of a daily driver as the Tundra and won't be nearly as civilized.

Dan
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:33 PM   #11
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An Excursion or van or truck with a 7.3L diesel is my vote hands-down! We have two and they are powerful enough to tow our airstream while hauling ten of us up mountains without even slowing down, plus they get great mileage and are incredibly reliable.
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:18 AM   #12
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The 7.3 is a good motor but it is hard to find a fresh one and yes you might get to 500k but then again you might spend $10k on repairs because the last owner did not take good care of it and now you have to catch up on 10 years of maintenance plus whatever the lack of maintenance did. On a diesel that gets expensive and all the other crap you have to deal with is not worth the extra mileage you get. When you figure total cost it is not much better if any than a gasser.

Perry

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Originally Posted by panheaddale View Post
If you are looking for an excursion to pull with don't get anything other than the 7.3 diesel. It has plenty of power for pulling the mountain passes and will get a lot better milage than the V10. It will probable run 3 to 4 thousand more than a gas motor but you will get 16+ MPG plus will last many more miles than the V10. Not uncommon for the 7.3 to go 500,000 miles without much more than general maintenance done on them. I have a 2001 F350 with the 7.3 that I tow campers for a living with. I have 275,000 on it and have had to do nothing other than oil changes and just general repair. I do get 16+ mpg loaded and it is completely stock except I took the muffler off and straight piped it. You can spend a couple thousand on it and put an air box, 5 inch exhaust and a tuner and it is not uncommon to get up toward or a little over 20 MPG
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:45 AM   #13
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IF (and that's capitalized on purpose) you can find a well maintained or already bulletproofed 6.0 (late 03-05) PSD in the excursion, jump on it. The bad rep these engines have is somewhat justified, but the ones that are well taken care of are absolute beasts, with more power, torque, better gas mileage, and a lot quieter that their 7.3 counterpart. Just do your research before hand.

The 7.3 is a known and proved rock solid engine, no doubt, but it'll be a LOT easier finding the 6.0, and you can use it's reputation as a bargaining chip. If you get a good one, you'll have a hard time keeping the smile off your face.

Just make sure you bring a Scan Gauge II with you for the test drive.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:58 AM   #14
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6.0 is a good engine once the EGR crap is removed. If you live in a nanny state like California you can't remove it. The 7.3L has looser restrictions. I don't trust the modern diesels because of all the extra EPA crap on them that buys you nothing but more $$$. The problem with any of these is you don't know what sort of redneck go fast mods have been done and what the truck has been through. What you want is to find an old guy that used the truck occasionally and it was taken to the dealer for regular service and was never modded for more HP. If I were full timing, I might consider a diesel but for a few long trips a year and lots of short local trips a gasser is fine. It is not like someone is timing you from point A to point B. If it takes you a hour longer to get over the mountain on an all day trip who cares. Why do geezers that drive 55 MPH need a 500HP truck with 600 ft-lbs of torque. It is like these idiots that spend $50-100 k on a fast car and never drive it past the speed limit or take it up a mountain a 80+ mph.

Perry
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