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