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Old 06-22-2016, 06:28 PM   #15
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1977 Argosy 24
Winston Salem , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 30
Thanks for all the info guys! Sounds like maybe I picked a winner!
I will take care of her for sure. It was a big investment for me and I'm real picky
about maintaining my equipment.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:19 PM   #16
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1970 18' Caravel
College Station , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
Great tow rig. I put over 100K on my 2001 towing a 10.5 k rig all over the US. As mentioned the tranny can be a weak point. In order to make the shifts smooth Ford reduced the line pressure to allow for some slippage during shifting. This increases wear and fluid temp during heave towing. I installed a Gale Banks TransCommand kit which corrected the problem and I never had to go to a Performance transmission like Sun Coast. Also install a Transmission Temp Gauge. I used OD all the time unless I saw an increase in transmission fluid temp. Unless you have service records don't forget to replace differential, power steering and brake fluid. Google Gale Banks TransCommand for more information. Just my TCW. Bob Smits
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:29 AM   #17
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Garden Valley , Idaho
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You can help your automatic tyranny by having your tyranny guy install a Transgo Tugger shift kit. The kit replaces most of her plastic internal parts and also increases the shift pressures which cause tyranny failures. The Banks systems do not have a good reputation with the diesel heads on the Ford Truck Forum.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:14 AM   #18
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I have a 2000 Ex purchased new now with 234k miles.
I have had almost no trouble with the engine and transmission only cheap to fix oil and fuel leaks and cam sensors (fixed by Ford recall). I did have the fuel leak mentioned by Howie E. I just replaced the stock plug.
My trailer is 6300 pounds so the stock transmission does fine. I do replace the fluid at 50,000 miles and the interior filter at every 100k miles.
If your trailer is heavier, you might look at transmission upgrades.
Everything spun by the serpentine belt has been replaced except the a.c. and now it is leaking.
When you get your truck, look at the belt when the engine is running. If there is a wobble find it and fix it. One of the few times, my truck was unreliable was when the power steering pump blew up in an inconvenient place.
Mine is a 4x4 and I have done many front end repairs. I am on my 3rd set of ball joints, 3rd set of shocks, 2d set of hubs (use after market Warn rather than factory) 2d tie, rod, 2 sway bar, 2 bushings ect. 2 W.D. front ends are much simpler.
When you get your truck, drive it. If the front end bangs, it is probably the ball joints, if it wanders, it is bushings or tie rod.
I had to replace the stock brakes early on with slotted rotors and ceramic discs. The stock brakes warp and shudder after only a few thousand miles towing a trailer. Don't waste money on milling the stock rotors.
My truck goes up the same hill in 4rth overdrive at the same speed as it did new.
I wax it occasionally and the finish looks new despite being outside most of the time.
The interior still looks good but the drivers seat is saggy and give me a back ache after a days drive. My next project will be to have the seat rebuilt with firmer foam.
I am in my 70's and fully expect my truck to well outlive me.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:24 AM   #19
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1990 32' Excella
jonesboro , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 245
Don't know much about how powerstrokes except my fleet service guy says probably the best engine ever built for our type towing. He as 2 with over 300,000 on them. He also recommended the kit to eliminate the trans slip. He recommended Howes fuel treatment in every tank due to lack of needed additives in the fuel. I also use amsoil synthetic. Ghg it every 15000 mi. At 180,000 eng still like new. I have a duramax , diff engine but same basic maintenance. Enjoy.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:46 AM   #20
1987 Avion 34W owner
 
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Good Ol' , USA
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,892
Knowing that I would eventually be towing a 34' Avion, shortly after we bought our 1995 F250 PowerStroke in 2010 ( it only had 70K miles on it at the time, 118K now ), I added a 45K BTU transmission cooler that just happened to fit behind the front bumper openings. I would like to add 2 or 3 muffin fans to it to help dissipate heat in slow traffic. I added a drain plug to the tranny oil pan to make it very easy to change at least that much fluid on a regular basis (20-30k miles). A full flush/fill is done every 2nd service. Also added a magnetic in-line filter to the return line as another attempt to coax maximum life out of this tranny.

The truck has done well pulling the trailer in hilly areas. If I ever sense problems in the tranny I'll have it bullet-proofed, but it seems to do well as-is if you keep in mind the design parameters.


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1987 Avion 34W
1995 Ford F250 7.3L PowerStroke

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Old 06-23-2016, 06:19 PM   #21
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Garden Valley , Idaho
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You really need to join the Ford Truck Forum and ask a lot of questions on the 7.3 portion. I've had 2 Ford trucks with the 7.3 engine. I highly recommend Delo 400 15-40 dino oil. Do not use synthetics. If you want the lowdown on oils go to bobistheoilguy.com, and it will show you that synthetics and long term oil changes will kill your engine. When you change the serpentine belt, also change the roller and tensioner. Lots more on the Ford site.
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:46 PM   #22
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2000 34' Limited
1985 25' Sovereign
LaGrange Highlands , Illinois
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 79
bought new 1997 F-250 7.3 345,000 miles pull 34' airstream. I have used Rotella 15-4

The truck U bought is really an over kill for that lite trailer. You could pull it with a much smaller and lighter truck. As as for milage with the lighter trailer your milage would not be bad. My trailer is 12,500 LB and in reality my truck is under powered because I have a 3.55 diff. But it does a good job. Good luck with your new truck & traler.



Quote:
Originally Posted by WHG423 View Post
So, I bought my 77' Argosy 24' back in August. I did not have a tow vehicle at the time. Borrowed my Dad's Dodge 1500 to go get it and drag it home from MI to NC.
Since used that truck on several trips while I saved up and researched what I wanted.
I finally bit the bullet yesterday and bought a 2001 2wd Ford Excursion 7.3 Diesel with 96,000 miles. Never had a Ford, never had a Diesel, but after doing my homework, I think that will do nicely!
Having it shipped from Texas. Can't wait for it to get here!!
Would like to here from any others who have pulled with a similar rig.
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:13 PM   #23
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2005 25' Classic
Lexington , Ohio
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 22
We tow our 32' Excella with an '05 Excursion with the V10 gas engine that we purchased two years ago. This is now our 3rd towing season using it and I've found it to be very comfortable and very capable towing both short and long distance.

Another option to investigate for improving transmission performance/life is the SCT Tuner. We have one and can program for towing, economy, performance, etc. Significantly improves the driving experience even when not towing/loaded.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:01 PM   #24
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Garden Valley , Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiltstream View Post
We tow our 32' Excella with an '05 Excursion with the V10 gas engine that we purchased two years ago. This is now our 3rd towing season using it and I've found it to be very comfortable and very capable towing both short and long distance.

Another option to investigate for improving transmission performance/life is the SCT Tuner. We have one and can program for towing, economy, performance, etc. Significantly improves the driving experience even when not towing/loaded.

I also have The SCT programmer from Mike's 5 Star, BUT, there's that word, it works great on the gas V-10 but do not run any program or tuner on the 7.3 diesel engine. Not that you can't improve the power and mileage, but the problem is when you start a modification, it won't end. One improvement leads to another until you spend $4000 and wind up with a 400 hp beast that you didn't need to tow your Airstream in the first place. Take it from someone that's been there twice with the 7.3. It's a great engine if you basically leave it stock.
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