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Old 10-14-2014, 10:04 AM   #1
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New Tow Vehicle - Opinions Please...

I am thinking of getting a new tow vehicle. My 2000 F250 7.3L that I have owned since new is a great rig, but I would like something a bit more modern. I will probably stick with Ford, as I have had great luck with them, and I am thinking a F350 crew cab this time. Here's the question...

Gas or diesel? I know how much power the diesel's have, but I wonder how long it is going to take to break even on the additional $8000+ expense. We tow a 2012 25' Flying Cloud that when loaded is in the 7,500 pound range, and a boat that is less than 5,000 pounds loaded. I also will probably keep a Four Wheel Grandby pop-up camper on the truck. It weighs around 1,800 pounds.

I'd really like to hear from the folks who are driving gassers that are similar to what I am thinking of. How's your climbing ability? What kind of mileage are you seeing? Do you like the ride?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-14-2014, 10:38 AM   #2
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You have already broken even and that 7.3 will outlast anything you can replace it with. I get her a new paint job and may upholstery if needed and keep her till the bottom rusts out.

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1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 10-14-2014, 10:40 AM   #3
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Went from a 2005 F250 Diesel that was expensive to maintain and gas up to a 2014 Ram 6.4 hemi that is great. You do notice that the diesel is stronger when starting from a stopped position, but after that there is no real difference. I like diesel, but it is expensive in the long run.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:44 AM   #4
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I have a GM 2500HD gasser pulling our 25 Safari with a loaded weight of 6300#. We often travel heavy in the truck bed is why I have a 2500HD.

I have considered a diesel every time I trade trucks. I would buy a diesel if I needed one for our use. My gasser has a tow rating of 13,000# with almost 3000# payload. I have read many pro and con discussions about diesels and just can't buy a modern diesel. We tow our trailer to Yellowstone most years and do not have any trouble in the mountains with our rig.

I believe your 7.3 power stroke is a much more reliable and fuel efficient diesel engine than any on the market today. I also believe that the newer gassers in the 250 / 350 trucks have more horse power and torque than your old 7.3. The fuel systems on the new Ford diesels appear to have the potential for major expense to the owner.

Why are you thinking of a 350 vs. a 250? Single rear wheels or double?

Good luck in your decision process.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:48 AM   #5
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Just for grins have you searched the classified online for what your 7.3L is selling for in your trucks condition?

I bet you could sell your 7.3L pretty easily.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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Just my opinion, but if I didn't NEED a Diesel, I wouldn't have one. They are expensive to buy, expensive to feed, and expensive to maintain. However, they do pull.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:22 AM   #7
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Ahhhh. Another diesel vs. gasoline thread. All in fun, I predict that there will be as many opinions as there will be posters in this thread!
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:58 AM   #8
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New Tow Vehicle - Opinions Please...

And I predict that there will be more posters than opinions in this thread, but that's just my opinion... Wait, crud...

Someone in one of the recent previous threads actually did the math on gas vs diesel cost to operate. I forget which way it went, because I was busy arguing for the best coffee maker for your camper at that time...

I'm towing with a 2000 F-250 5.7 liter gas engine... It's what I had already, so it's what I tow with. Hoping I get another 14 years out of it.

Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:12 PM   #9
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stepping into the discussion.

Do you need a pickup truck ? What do you want from your vehicle when not attached ?

I love Diesels, but I wouldn't own a 7.3L pickup truck unless I was in Construction.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:37 PM   #10
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IMHO keep the 7.3. Ford has not made a diesel that matches to the quality of the 7.3. If I were to go for a new diesel it would be the Cummins. We have 175,000 on our 7.3 and at least 50% is towing a 20,000 LB. 5th wheel. Towing our 25' International is like there is nothing behind us.

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Old 10-14-2014, 12:45 PM   #11
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You probably will not break even at todays fuel prices. 70 cents is a pretty steep differential in price to overcome. But.....I would get the diesel anyway if you are going with the 350. You will get some of the difference back when you trade. The new Ford diesels seem to be a great truck. Do you carry the camper when you pull? 1800 lbs plus 800 lbs hitch weight I see the need for the 350. Not sure the diesel versus gas is just about operating cost. Might come down to how much you use it. You will not make up any difference with it sitting in the driveway. We have put about 140000 on our Dodge Diesel since 07 and I am quite happy with it as a choice whether we have "broken even" or not. I am also quite willing to let those who do not want a diesel not to have one. On caravans I just pull over and let them buy fuel so we can go on.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:47 PM   #12
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The one ton may be the way to go to give you lots of GVW, particularly since you plan to carry the camper.

One small point in favour of the diesel, the price differential between fuels have narrowed recently. Diesel fuel in our area is now slightly lower than gasoline for the first time in many years.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:19 PM   #13
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I bought a new 3/4 ton gasser. I kept it less than a year then it for traded a half ton gasser. I considered a 3/4 ton diesel, but could not justify the cost for my use.

My opinion:
Anything over half ton with a gasser, never again! There is not enough pull power and there is way to much fuel used. There is about 1,300-1,400 lbs difference in curb weight the 1500 and the 2500 trucks I had. The similar gas engine/transmission has to overcome that additional weight, so it is less efficient in the larger vehicle.
A half ton vehicle with a gas engine is fine, but only if what being hauled/towed works within its lower capacity. With any truck 3/4 ton or larger, if I were purchasing one, I would go with the diesel engine.
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:18 PM   #14
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