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Old 02-17-2012, 11:10 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by barts View Post
Well, if we're going anecdotal...

This year I had the first "non-wear-item" work done on my 1996 F250 diesel - a new water pump, and a leaking fuel pressure sensor I replaced myself for $30. After 176K miles, that seemed just fine to me.

- Bart
That is not typical - but good that you've had a solid truck. My dad's gone through 3 Ford diesels... a 94 was the first (previous they were all Ford gas). It ate batteries every 2 years (cold winters), and ended up needing a transfer case and tranny fairly early in it's life... > $10K for that repair. The 98 was a hopeless case... injectors and fuel pumps... His latest is a 2006 which has been doing OK for him so far.

He tows a 28 SOB that weighs in at > 10,000.

Anyway... my point is, if you buy a heavy duty truck, expect heavy duty bills when the time comes. Maybe it never comes, and you are lucky...

Toyota Tundra fuel pump $110... 6.0l Ford injector pump $875. (both from cheap online parts place). Injectors $270 for the Ford... $40 for the Toyota.

You have to do the math for each application and see if the cost of a diesel are going to pay off in the long run. If I was towing something big, frequently, had cash, and kept a vehicle under warranty... I'd go diesel. You take such a big hit on diesels when you sell them... as everyone has to price in the 'what if it needs work' factor.

Gas motors aren't so magical to diagnose issues...
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:21 AM   #44
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The increasing complexity of diesel engines is a side effect of the EPA putting more and more restrictions on emmisions. The cost of repairing a diesel is enormous. The parts are extremely heavy duty and the engines weigh over 1000lbs. I got rid of an older F350 (1992) because it was going to cost me a couple $2000 just to get it reliable again. I can repair a gas engine myself if I have to. Gas engines today last a long time. All the extra stuff you have to buy for a diesel to keep it going is expensive as well. Yeah they get better miliage but the extra expenses to maintain one and higher fuel prices made them unattractive to me, at least the worn out ones that I could afford to buy. My motto is if you can't fix it yourself you don't need to be driving it.

I will be replaceing the clutch on my Ford Ranger this weekend. It only lasted 215,000 miles.

Perry

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Originally Posted by tpi View Post
My '99 F250 7.3 was good especially the engine for reliability. The only repair was the differential needed rebuilding at about 100K miles. I sold it at 120K and the water pump needed replacement for second owner.

But one of the things which pointed me to the Tundra was the increasingly complex nature of the diesel engines. Fuel systems operating at 30K PSI, aftertreatment systems, rapid change and progress (can the techs keep up?) and general underhood complexity. Repairs on these engines out of warranty can be incredibly expensive. I do not need diesel for middleweight trailer.

So for me it came down to gas engine 250, the Tundra, or the Ecoboost. Most likely any one of them would have been fine for my 25 (it isn't a triple axle toyhauler). The Tundra works great, all I could have hoped for.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:37 AM   #45
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Well, if we're going anecdotal...
We always do.

The Tundra is the least reliable Toyota we've had. 70,000 miles and it needed new front rotors and the fake chrome around the grille has had to be replaced twice. The chrome (actually plastic) thing cost us $50 for labor the 2nd time—Toyota paid for the rest although out of warranty. I don't remember the cost of the rotors—that was around 60-65,000 miles. The Tundra is made in San Antonio and has the highest percentage of US made parts of any of the full sized trucks. Maybe that's why all the repairs. Our other Toyotas have ranged from $0.00 in repairs to a hundred bucks or so. We don't think the SR5 seats are very comfortable (we put in sheepskin covers and that helped a lot) and I've been told the leather seats aren't any better. The steering feel is a bit numb, but Toyotas are like that and we haven't had any problem because of it. To me, it is just more subtle. The front end handling is a lot better than the 1st generation Tundras.

Whatever you think of CR's reliability ratings, they are about all we've got. Tundras always have better ratings than the others. When I was a lot younger I could drive junkers, fix them with a Swiss Army knife wherever I was, and that was fine. I don't want to fix vehicles anymore and don't want to get stuck by the side of the road with a trailer.

The gas engine has tremendous power. Some people with the supercharger have done 0-60 in less than 5 sec., but the stock 5.7 L. engine is really, really fast. It uses regular gas. The transmission works very smoothly. As I've said, most of it looks built as if they were going to bring out a 3/4 ton a year or two after it came out, but with the Great Recession decided not to.

Rumors persist the Tundra will have a diesel engine, possibly from Toyota's Hino division. I am guessing Toyota doesn't want to go that way. An alternative is to get the Tundra with the 4.6 L. engine and the supercharger—sort of comparable to the Ford EcoBoost. I talked to someone who had that combination and he said fuel mileage was much better than he'd expected. Toyota doesn't promote this option and it costs around $4-5,000 at a dealer. I don't know how much cheaper the 4.6 V8 is compared to the 5.7 V8.

The combination of reliability, big engine, good towing numbers, made the Tundra an easy choice for us. I keep wondering whether the Big Three will come out with more reliable trucks, but it doesn't seem to be happening yet.

Gene
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #46
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FWIW JD Power just released a dependablity study of 2009 pickups. I think these studies have some noise in the system (compare the GMC and Chevy trucks for example), but they generally point in the same direction.
Ratings | J.D. Power
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:42 PM   #47
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Maybe I should give the Excursion another look. The only reason I hadn't seriously considered them was due to their age and lack of any inventory near by.

I found this 2005 that looks interesting.
Preowned-Inventory Bob Valenti Automall Mystic CT

Far from me, but I'll be down in CT next month.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:28 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by tpi View Post
FWIW JD Power just released a dependablity study of 2009 pickups. I think these studies have some noise in the system (compare the GMC and Chevy trucks for example), but they generally point in the same direction.
Ratings | J.D. Power
Be sure to read the press release too, otherwise you might think it is about 2012 models, not 2009.

It seems the newer GM models—post bankruptcy—are doing a lot better in reliability than the older designs. The Silverado and one of the Ford trucks (150) rate behind the Tundra (best of all) and the others (Nissan, Dodge) are still behind. I forgot about the JD Power ratings; thanks for posting this tpi.

Gene
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:36 PM   #49
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I have gone down the route where I am right at the max when towing and decided this time around it wasn't going to happen. It is not worth the anxiety while driving. We decided on the F250 SD diesel and we are happy with it. The ride is surprisingly good and I have great confidence in it when towing in the mountains. I like the Toyota products but the Ford was the best option for us.
Good luck!
Now I am not the "power person" in my family, but in a non-technical sense I would also like to weigh in for the Ford 250 diesel. The computer kicks in the extra power needed for uphill draggin' and it never even slows down hauling our loaded 34' Ltd over mountain passes. Here in SE Idaho, we can't go anywhere without going over a pass, so that was important to us.

And my husband is a "toolie," takes every tool known to mankind, so we carry a lot of weight and bulk in the back of the truck, too, and it just never blinks: keeps right on haulin'.

Four-wheel drive doesn't seem necessary until you need it: at the Intnl last summer a vintage trailer got stuck in the mud (you remember the swamp the vintage group was in: appropriate 'cuz our trailers are among the lightest, I guess) and its TV was 2-wheel drive; just not quite enough power to pull it out, and this was a small trailer, too. So a 4-wheel driver ran a tow rope and pulled them both out. Our F250 pulled our 34' out of soft, wet earth when the truck and trailer were both axle deep in it (used a board or two, too). So don't underestimate the value of a little extra power; better to have a little backup, IMHnontechnicalO.

And it is a very comfortable ride, doesn't ride "like a truck" at all. We have the full crew cab with the short bed, and I drive it as my summer vehicle: comfortable to ride in, comfortable to drive: I strongly recommend it.

Vivian
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:41 PM   #50
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Another plus on the diesel side is resale. 150,000 miles doesn't even rattle most people. Thy are just getting worn in by then. Longevity. If you do decide to trade in a gasser with 150,000 miles get ready to take a huge hit on trade in value.

Love the 4x4... A necessity for me. I have been places where it is defiantly needed. I also have helped more people than I can count.

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Old 02-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #51
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Suburban

Why not consider a Chevy or GMC Suburban 3/4 ton? We tow our 27' w/ a 1500 ( 1/2 ton) and while the weight is at the upper end of our Sub's rated capacity, it's fine. A 2500 model has more capacity and would operate at less of its rated tow weight and GVWR.

The Sub is fully enclosed, has "living room" capacity, very quiet, and rides beautifully. It runs on regular, which out here in CA is a LOT less expensive than diesel.

Also, you can find a pretty broad selection of used Subs on the market.

My $.02.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:00 PM   #52
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Tim, honestly when you speak of a Tundra (1/2 Ton) and a F-250 ( 3/4 Ton) it's almost as if you're comparing apples to oranges. Sure, the Tundra is going to 'ride' better than the F-250, simply because the Tundra wasn't built with heavy-duty springs, transmission, axle, etc.
IMO if you're going to be anywhere near the tow limit ratings of the Tundra with trailer, occupants, water, propane and all of the stuff you'll need to be full-timing, I believe after a year or so with the Tundra, you'll be experiencing worn out parts on the truck.
Living simply is easy to say, until you realize that you need clothes for 2 people for a variety of weather conditions. I've got full-timer friends who live simply, and still haul around 17,000lbs of trailer with their F-550! If you live by their motto "One thing in, One thing out" maybe you'll be ok. Before you head out, no matter which tow vehicle you acquire, I recommend you take both to a truck scale to be sure you're not overweight for truck or trailer. Good luck on whatever choice you make, Derek
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:31 PM   #53
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Why not consider a Chevy or GMC Suburban 3/4 ton? We tow our 27' w/ a 1500 ( 1/2 ton) and while the weight is at the upper end of our Sub's rated capacity, it's fine. A 2500 model has more capacity and would operate at less of its rated tow weight and GVWR.

The Sub is fully enclosed, has "living room" capacity, very quiet, and rides beautifully. It runs on regular, which out here in CA is a LOT less expensive than diesel.

Also, you can find a pretty broad selection of used Subs on the market.

My $.02.
I think they would be out of our price range... and from what I have found with the used car sites, one is not easily able to filter out the 2500's.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:36 PM   #54
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Tim, honestly when you speak of a Tundra (1/2 Ton) and a F-250 ( 3/4 Ton) it's almost as if you're comparing apples to oranges. Sure, the Tundra is going to 'ride' better than the F-250, simply because the Tundra wasn't built with heavy-duty springs, transmission, axle, etc.
IMO if you're going to be anywhere near the tow limit ratings of the Tundra with trailer, occupants, water, propane and all of the stuff you'll need to be full-timing, I believe after a year or so with the Tundra, you'll be experiencing worn out parts on the truck.
Living simply is easy to say, until you realize that you need clothes for 2 people for a variety of weather conditions. I've got full-timer friends who live simply, and still haul around 17,000lbs of trailer with their F-550! If you live by their motto "One thing in, One thing out" maybe you'll be ok. Before you head out, no matter which tow vehicle you acquire, I recommend you take both to a truck scale to be sure you're not overweight for truck or trailer. Good luck on whatever choice you make, Derek
Thanks for the advice.. this is exactly what I am trying to figure out. If there is big enough difference between the two that it is apples and oranges.

We wanted small and nimble (relatively speaking), which is why we went with the Airstream vs a larger class A or fifth wheel. I think we are fine with the limitations that brings.

I'd love to be able to weigh everything with the trailer, but we are an hour from the nearest car dealership and weight station. Would a dealer allow a 4 hour test drive.. 2 of those hooked up to a trailer? Not to mention I have no brake controller yet.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:31 PM   #55
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I've noticed that since I started camping that many people are unusually focused on buying the absolute minimum level of equipment. They make calculations based on average this and average that. Generally, that works. However, in pulling trailers in my experience, that kind of thinking can lead to trouble because there is a genuine need to "worst case" some factors. Braking ability is one I learned about the hard way.

Not realizing the error I was making, I allowed my sister, a totally novice trailer operator, to drive my Chevy 2500HD and 25' trailer, from Tioga Pass at Yosemite National Park to the floor of the canyon below where the principal part of the park is located, maybe a 7,000' drop in elevation. I was in the front passenger seat while she drove. She was using too much brake and I wasn't focusing on that. Eventually (and too late), I became deeply concerned about braking ability with about 2-3 miles before the bottom of the canyon. There was literally no safe place to pull over or attempt to stop to allow the brakes to cool. I tried to help my sister use the minimum amount of brakes as we barreled down hill. You could really smell the brakes. She was commenting on the brakes weakening. Fortunately, we got to the bottom of the canyon just as the brakes seemed to be near total failure. After we pulled to a little parking space at the bottom, I carried 5 gal. jugs of water from a nearby stream to throw on the brakes. I've never seen such smoke and steam in my life as I cooled those brakes.

Other than to point to my own error in letting my sister drive at the wrong time, my point is that my decision to have a 3/4 ton truck with the very heavy duty brakes may have saved the lives of my wife, my sister and dumb ole me. I just don't think it's worth it to pull a trailer with a 1/2 ton pick up. The brakes on a 3/4 ton pickup are substantially larger and more powerful than those on a 1/2 ton. I literally would not be typing this if I had a 1/2 ton pick up at that time. They will work fine 99.9% of the time, maybe 99.99% of the time. It's that .01% that will kill you.

BTW, after I returned home, I replaced my rotors with high end slotted rotors designed to handle extremely high heat and replaced the OEM brake pads with the highest quality ones I could find.

If someone told me that they would never, ever be in a situation like mine, my only response would be to ask if they are willing to bet their life and maybe the lives of others on that belief.

Don't go cheap!
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:49 PM   #56
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Mister', glad you made it to the bottom of the Valley in one piece. The experience sounds pretty scary.

A couple of years ago we came into the Park on highway 120 from the northwest. Not the same pass, but sure was steep and long. A combination of downshifting and careful braking and we made it fine without brake fade. Same trailer, 1/2 ton truck. Everyone has a different story.

By the way, I wouldn't pour cold water on any hot metal. I would be afraid the metal would warp or crack; pieces could fly off and hurt you, someone else or the truck.

Gene
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