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Old 07-25-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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A new Tow Vehicle - Buying Decisions

Was time to buy a new TV. Thought I'd share my buying experience as I've been out of the new truck market for a very long time.....the F-150 I use to tow our 25' Airstream is 11 years old at 150K miles, and our diesel Chevy retired practically an antique.

I will only buy American trucks and wanted a 2WD, with limited slip or locking differential.

I figured on getting a turbo diesel stick-shift (a blast to drive) or, a 1/2 ton with a 9-10K towing capacity (I like towing the Airstream with our 1/2 ton).

First some internet searching: Which brand? This turned out WAY EASIER than I thought, but for all the wrong reasons....

> Chevy/GMC has the looks, but whoa! GM is basically owned by the government now. How freakin' depressing is this? - Chevy, now run by union bosses and corrupt DC politicians. There is no way I am going to buy a truck from a state-run car company. Shove it GM!

> The Dodge MegaCab dually comes with a stick, the awesome Cummings diesel, and was the coolest looking truck I found! But the news here is as bad or worse than GM. I find out these guys screwed their bond holders, gave their assets to the unions, sold-out ownership to a foreign car company (Fiat), and confiscated dealerships from political enemies and gave them to political allies. Ciao Dodge!

> Hello Ford! Ford is now the only free-market American car company left, so I headed out to visit the dealers. Here is what I drove:

- 2010 F-150, ~9300 lb towing capacity, payload package, 5.4L, LSD, integrated trailer sway and brake controller, automatic (no more sticks on the F150)
- 2011 F-250, 6.7L Diesel, integrated trailer sway and brake controller, new 6 spd 6R140 TorqShift automatic (no more sticks on the F250)
- 2006 F-250 (with 30K miles), 6.0L diesel, LSD, integrated brake controller, automatic
- 2010 F-250 (with 17K miles), 6.4L diesel, LSD, integrated brake controller, stick
- 2010 F-250 5.4L gas, LSD, integrated brake controller, stick
- 2011 F-250, new 6.2L gas, integrated trailer sway and brake controller, electronic locking differential, new 6 spd 6R140 TorqShift automatic (no more sticks on the F250)


Sorting through them,
- The 2010 F150 made my short list. It is an exceptional truck, super comfortable ride, high towing capacity, and the integrated sway/brake controller system is a great option for towing. This is close to an ideal tow vehicle for the Airstream IMHO.

- Diesel F250s: The 2011 F250 with 6.7l diesel is an awesome truck to drive - hands down. Even for a committed stick driver, the new 6R140 TorqShift shapes up to be an ideal towing transmission (more on this tranny later). But sigh, it has a $45K price tag and it comes with all that Urea/EGR garbage. The 2010 6.4L stick diesel was also impressive, at much lower price than the 2011 but I would have to spend money and void the warranty deleting the DPF and EGR cooler. The 2006 F250 looks good, seems to have sorted out the 6.0L problems by 2006, it is a bit sluggish with an automatic (til the turbo kicks in!), esy to delete the EGR cooler but the price was right so it made my short list.

- Gas F250s: I would have thought the 5.4L gas motor was a bit small for an F250, but combined with the 6sp manual transmission the 2010 F250 gasser would make for a very nice Airstream TV. The 6.2L gasoline motor in the 2011 Superduty caught me by surprise - it was impressive to drive. Lots of torque and horsepower, even with the automatic it puts the 5.4L to shame. It likes to rev - the power seemed to kick in at about 2500 and kept going. The gasser comes with the same 6R140 TorqShift that the monster 6.7L diesel uses - and once I figured out how to use the settings, I became more impressed. Seat of the pants, this truck feels a lot like the 6.0L diesel automatic. It has a a factory fully locking differential for those slippery situations. You just turn a knob on the dash and it locks solid - disengages automatically if you forget.

I decided to buy the 2011 F-250 with the 6.2L gas engine. I like the power and torque with none of the diesel hassle and expense. There is a lot of information on the Ford site and early reviews, but it is clear that Ford has made towing the high priority the 2011 Super Duty. They have integrated the trailer braking system, vehicle braking, sway control, transmission control. I really like the new 6spd transmission and its manual options for towing. The F150 was a VERY close contender for me but the F250 has a far better tranny, more usable power even with the weight difference, and...I got the F250 for a great price. The F150 has integrated trailer/sway systems too, so once it gets this 6.2l gas engine - wow, look out!

I put about 300 miles on the F250 yesterday to break it in. Got a bit over 16mpg mixed driving. Next week we hope to pull the Safari up through the mountains. I'll post about that.

Thank you Ford for keeping the American free market alive - you have my loyal business!

Here is some more information on the 2011 Super Duty
First Look: 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty - PickupTrucks.com Special Reports
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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I think you have customized your thought process to match your final decision. There are many other good tow vehicles to choose from, for as many good reasons.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:58 PM   #3
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while politics and big biz/government gyrations MIGHT impact a lotta new vehicle buying decisions...

posting YOUR views on THAT crap will only invite OTHERS to post their views from the crapper...

which will REdirect this thread toward the drain (see da no politics TOU notations)

a simple "i went with the brand that didn't take the money" might have been clear enough...

or simply focus ON the machinery, as you've nicely done in the rest of the post.
____________

regardless, driving and looking at a lotta trucks is a good thing when shopping and buying.

the 1/2 ton fords are VERY nice and capable, but the new 250s ride as NICELY as last generation 1/2s.

the dodge/ctd has some nifty features and reliable mota and should cost LESS to maintain.

the new ford gasser 250 is very nice and has plenty of juice.

the operating costs should be LESS than the new sludge burner, without considering fuel/mpg issues.

and the GAS 250/350s have MORE PAYLOAD capacity than the same truck with a diesel.

i agree COMPLETELY that the blue oval badged trucks are TOTALLY ready to tow

and without upgrading or the need to ADD basic tow gear.
________

good looking blue truck, once you've logged a few 1000 miles give us an MPG report on your setup ...

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
while politics and big biz/government gyrations MIGHT impact a lotta new vehicle buying decisions...

posting YOUR views on THAT crap will only invite OTHERS to post their views from the crapper...

which will REdirect this thread toward the drain (see da no politics TOU notations)

a simple "i went with the brand that didn't take the money" might have been clear enough...

cheers
2air'
those are the facts I discovered and they greatly affect the long term viability and integrity of these companies - valid purchasing decisions for me as I keep my trucks a long time
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:13 PM   #5
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Thank you much for the report. I'll be in the same boat in the next year or so when the Suburbans wear out. I have always been a GM truck guy, but for the same reasons that you state, I may not be in the future. My next TV is going to be a LB pick-up as we want to get a pop-up truck camper to take side trips in. We are also pulling a 25FB (7400#) and are anxious to hear how your new Ford gasser does.

Brian
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wayward View Post
those are the facts I discovered and they greatly affect the long term viability and integrity of these companies - valid purchasing decisions for me as I keep my trucks a long time
Exactly. A new tow vehicle is in my immediate future and I will not consider GM or Dodge for these reasons. I will likely purchase my first new Ford soon.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
I think you have customized your thought process to match your final decision. There are many other good tow vehicles to choose from, for as many good reasons.
Can't say I didn't...........however I reallly wanted the answer to be that bright red Ram MegaCab with a Cummins diesel and manual transmission.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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I luv to see all the modern technology that is showing up on the newer pickups.

However all this dated excessive chrome on the front end is right out of the 50's / 60's.

Also thinking the boxy front end needs some trimming with some aerodynamics in mind. Placing a barn door in front of a stream is just wrong.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:35 PM   #9
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the front end is based on the superchief concept truck circa 06...


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MOST of the chrome is bright work (plastic with shiny layer) so it's not heavy stuff...

and the fleet/lesser trim models have lots of BLACK PLASTIC instead of shiny stuff,

while the 'king ranch' version has cheesy gold (adobe) painted trim.

still the nose IS a lot to accept, i like it but then again i REALLY like the superchief concept.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...tml#post204124

cheers
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:49 PM   #10
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Moderator hat on:

The report on the truck choices is much appreciated but extended political discussions are not fare for this forum. Just sayin....

Pretty new truck btw.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:53 PM   #11
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Hi to all. . . I just bought a 08 F250 FX4 V10 gasser (see profile) to pull my NEW 05 Safari 25.............yes, finally have an Airstream....... The Ford is a good looking truck (imo), I really didn't want a diesel, and I've bought my last Toyota. I like that they didn't take the money' also. And boy, those '11 Fords are EXPENSIVE ! I'll be driving from Atl to Tucson to get the AS next month sometime and I'll buy lunch for any of you in my path . Can't wait to get this adventure started ! Thanks for all the good info I find here almost everyday . Regards, Craig
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:51 PM   #12
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> Chevy/GMC has the looks, but whoa! GM is basically owned by the government now. How freakin' depressing is this? - Chevy, now run by union bosses and corrupt DC politicians. There is no way I am going to buy a truck from a state-run car company. Shove it GM!
Whoa there! Get your facts straight. GM has paid back the govt. bailout ahead of schedule and will be offering an ipo shortly.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:06 PM   #13
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Whoa there! Get your facts straight. GM has paid back the govt. bailout ahead of schedule and will be offering an ipo shortly.
Uhm, no. You should probably acquire your facts from a source other than a GM commercial.

GM repaid its loan with another government loan. And to this day, government owns 72.5% of General Motors.

FOXNews.com - Lawmakers Accuse GM, Administration of Misleading Public Over Loan Repayment

Not exactly a stable company that I want to invest my money in.
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DesertHawk View Post
Hi to all. . . I just bought a 08 F250 FX4 V10 gasser (see profile) to pull my NEW 05 Safari 25.............yes, finally have an Airstream....... The Ford is a good looking truck (imo), I really didn't want a diesel, and I've bought my last Toyota. I like that they didn't take the money' also. And boy, those '11 Fords are EXPENSIVE ! I'll be driving from Atl to Tucson to get the AS next month sometime and I'll buy lunch for any of you in my path . Can't wait to get this adventure started ! Thanks for all the good info I find here almost everyday . Regards, Craig
Congrats Craig! - you're off to a fine start and an excellent road trip.

I've been seeing some favorable torque/power comparisons between the new 6.2l and the V-10, which has a pretty loyal following. I think I read that the V10 now is only available of the heavy stuff like the f450.
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