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Old 11-30-2013, 09:19 PM   #1
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We're starting to look around for our 'new to us' (i.e.used) tow vehicle.

Specifics:
- Budget around $20k (little more for the right one)
- 3/4 or 1 ton truck
- 4x4
- Preferably diesel as we want to keep this truck for a long time (unless gas engines can last as long?)
- Any brand will do (Ford, Chevy, GMC, Dodge, ...)

Question: as I'm starting to look around on craigslist and with used car dealers, what kinda mileage can I expect?
We're new to trucks and diesel engines, so for example a diesel F-350 with 150k miles, does that engine have (if serviced properly up until now of course) a long way to go under normal expectations? I come from the era where a regular car with 100k miles was pretty much ready for demolition!

Thank you!
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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Howdy from Far North... Round Rock..

I have the Chevy 2500, Duramax, 4x4.. 2012.. got it with about 11k as dealer demo.. it pulls the heck out of our 34' Airstream.

I looked at the Dodge.. and Ford.. but the Chevy was most familiar...and I got a great tradein for my other 2 GM products. I couldn't resist the cost...

The Dodge.. well, it's a work truck. Not pretty, not smooth, but effective.

The Ford... well, if they had given me a better trade, I would have gone that route...
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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You could get a new 2013 1/2 ton V8 with full warranty for near that money and it would be overkill for pulling your trailer, and it would cost a lot less to own for the next 300,000 miles or so.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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For under $20.000 you will have to go back a few years to get a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel 4X4. I am a ford man but don't get a 6.0 or a 6.4 ford unless it has documentation showing work has been done to fix all the problems they had. You can go back to a 1999-2002 ford with the 7.3 and now you have a truck an engine that will last many miles. I have a 2002 F350 with the 7.3 that has 301,000 miles and I use it pulling almost everyday. I am planning on 500,000 before I retire this truck. Would not trade it for any 1/2 ton on the market. The big 3/4 or 1 ton trucks you can just about move a mountain with them. The new 1/2 tons they advertise good payload and tow rating but I personally would not tow half of what some of these guys on here are trying to tow with them. I pull commercially for a living and most guys on here that start trying to talk you into these smaller TV only pull a few thousand miles a year and are very lucky they haven't had issues.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:26 PM   #5
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Should have mentioned: we will be buying a truck camper to use for our (possible) trip through Central America as the AS is too nice for that trip. So for the truck camper we need at least 3/4 truck.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:40 PM   #6
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truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by jornvango View Post
Should have mentioned: we will be buying a truck camper to use for our (possible) trip through Central America as the AS is too nice for that trip. So for the truck camper we need at least 3/4 truck.
If you are going through central america some of your fuel might be questionable, I might look at trying to find an older dodge with the early cummins motor in it. You won't have all the electronics to deal with and plus they were a completely mechanical fuel delivery system. A good filter setup and you can get by running some pretty nasty fuel through it and still the engine will live.Many people consider the old 12 valve cummins engines to be the best deisel engine ever built. 4-500,000 miles is very common on those old dodges. Plus any mechanic that can work on tractors or heavy equipment can work on those old trucks unlike all the equipment you have to have just to diagnose a problem on the newer trucks and your mechanic just about has to be an MIT graduate to work on them.
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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You don't need a diesel, or 3/4 ton for your 21 footer. Should not need it for the truck camper either. Maintenance, etc is going to cost more with the diesel also. I love my 2500 Chevy Duramax, but would have a 1500 Chevy with the new 5.3 or the Ford with the Eco-boost if pulling 21feet.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard L. View Post
You don't need a diesel, or 3/4 ton for your 21 footer. Should not need it for the truck camper either. Maintenance, etc is going to cost more with the diesel also. I love my 2500 Chevy Duramax, but would have a 1500 Chevy with the new 5.3 or the Ford with the Eco-boost if pulling 21feet.
The truck camper specifies it needs at least a 3/4 ton truck due to the weight.

I found the following truck. Does this sound like a reasonable price if everything checks out? Any experience with this truck and engine?

---
2004 Chevy 2500HD LT Duramax 4x4 Crew Cab $16,000
6 Speed - Allison Transmission
197k miles
Weatherguard Truck Box, Linex bed liner. After market mirrors that extend for pulling trailer.
Ranch hand full replacement bumpers front and back installed brand new in July, 2012 (Rear bumper has LED backup lights); all new fuel injectors, fuel lines, Air Dog fuel pump, sump, water separator installed in Sept. 2012. (Less than 5,000 miles driven since then); brand new tail light assemblies and wiring installed in October.
Engine has been very well maintained, running synthetic oil. No leaks, doesn't burn oil. Body has some superficial scratches and dings.
---

Thanks,

Jorn
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:25 AM   #9
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Another possibility:


---
2006 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat FX4 6.0L V8 4X4 / B63067X

Mileage: 90868
Exterior Color: White
Interior: Tan Leather
Transmission: Automatic
Engine: 6.0L DI V8 TURBO-DIESEL "POWER STROKE" ENGINE

Price: $21,992

---

At this point I don't know whether the EGR valve / cooler issue has been addressed. Based on my research, this EGR issue seems to be a big recurring issue with this engine.

Any advice appreciated, thank you!
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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Remember the old adage..."I've ...got... A ... TIGER by the tail, can't you see...I won't be much when she gets thru with me...."

I have towed "within specs" with lighter framed and powered vehicle. When the chips are down, SIZE MATTERS... Just sayin.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:20 PM   #11
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Ok, test driving a 2008 dodge ram 4x4 3500 dually with 160k miles with 6.7l cummins. Asking $22k.

How about that price?
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:52 PM   #12
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jornvano,

I'm a Dodge fan, I own 2 of them. The last of the 2nd Gen bodies like '00-02 with a fuel pump upgrade and extra filtration and a manual would make a field repairable reliable tractor with air conditioning for occupants. When you added the Central America twist I think the Cummins deserves an extra point.

Check the '08 Ram that you are looking at, isn't it equipped with the TIPM? Totally Integrated Power Module. Pretty sure that the TIPM can shut you down for some strange reasons. It happened on the '07 we had as a company truck. It's just $$$$ to fix, but the delay might be ???

If you have driven a manual, make sure the clutch is healthy, if in doubt replace it and make sure you're not using any unknown bad clutch habits and you should have a very reliable powertrain. Dodge manuals don't have oil coolers or any stamped steel pans.

And this is as close to a shot at the 6.0L, 6.4L and 6.7L Fords as I ever take. The techs have gotten pretty good at TAKING THE CAB OFF THE BODY to do any major engine work on those trucks. I just spent a little time in a Ford 6.7L this weekend, IMPRESSIVE no doubt. It just got out of the dealership for an exhaust valve set TSB based R&R due to a miss during regen and it took over 1 month for the job to be completed.

Good luck.

Gary
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:26 PM   #13
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160k mileage isn't a concern?

Given good maintenance the engine can last a lot more miles?

Of course, before we buy we'll have it inspected.

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:58 PM   #14
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On any diesel p/u that has some miles on it a simple engine oil analysis can tell you a lot about its internal condition. Test kit is about $20 or so, oil sample mailed in and in days (my experience) you get a report of wear metals, contaminants and more. Easiest to do as an oil change.

If I was looking at a truck, I'd favor zero engine mods, no tuner, no oiled gauze air filter no nothin.
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