Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (
-   Tow Vehicles (
-   -   Any TV off road type tires? 2016 F-250. 250 vs 350? 6.7 Diesel or 6.2 Gas? Need help! (

Danattherock 07-11-2015 12:22 PM

Any TV off road type tires? 2016 F-250. 250 vs 350? 6.7 Diesel or 6.2 Gas? Need help!
Read every old post I could find and no specifics were found. I'm considering a 2016 Ford F-250 or F-350 4x4. Plan is to later buy a 28' FC twin or 30' FC bunkhouse. Looks like 6-7k lbs depending.

Not sure on diesel or gas, read all the old threads but they are pretty outdated in some regards as they pre-date the 6.7 diesel. Any opinions on that would be most appreciated. Been online for days and I'm more confused now than when I started.

We will use the F-250/350 off road a good bit kayaking, tent camping in remote areas, and on the beach at Cape Hatteras surf fishing. We also take our whitewater rafts and flatbed raft trailer to Johnson City and Bristol, Tenn floating and fly fishing. Many ramps are improvised muddy pull offs, requiring 4x4. A priority of the truck is also of course towing an airstream, but it's wearing many hats. We enjoy remote places and solitude. I will need some tires with off road performance, which the mainstream towing tires are lacking.

It will be a daily driver, light use in rural town, 10 miles into town daily. Will be taking Airstream into Smoky Mountians of NC and Tenn monthly or more often for weekend trips. From our area, that means 3-4 hours of 65-70 mph highway riding, and 1-2 hours of 45-55 mountain roads of varying grade. We will be taking a National Parks type 2-3 week trip each summer. Yellowstone, Glacier, Arches, Bryce, etc. We go to Outer Banks in fall surf fishing and camping, driving on beach, Cape Lookout and such. That's our main use for the truck.

I'm not familiar with trucks and need some direction with these questions...

Any good off road tires that will still have good performance towing on highways?

Any reason to get F250 rather than F-350, or vice versa?

Any reason to spring for the pricey diesel over the 6.2 gasser?

As usual, thanks for any insights.


pappy19 07-11-2015 12:34 PM

Michelin LTX MS/2's E rated tires will give you the best of both worlds, off road and pavement, plus if you rotate every 5k (or even better get a full set of Centramatics) they will last you a very long time. I have used them regularly on my F-250's with super results.

Regarding the new 6.7 diesel, none better, but figure on an additional $8,500. for that engine plus oil, filters and urea for an additional $200 every change. Compared to the 6.2 V-8 at no additional charge and $30 oil change with a $15 fuel filter every 15k, it will take a long time to make up the difference in the mileage (about 4 mpg better on the diesel), not to mention the higher cost of diesel. All that being said, the new Ford diesel 6.7 is 440 HP and will rocket down the road.

tjdonahoe 07-11-2015 02:48 PM

For a daily driver , either chevy 6.2 or a dodge with the hemi gas.......:D

McDave 07-11-2015 03:45 PM

I recently bought a 2015 F-250 6.7 L diesel. So far I'm really loving it. I went into the dealer specifically to test drive the F-250 gasoline model, but the salesman "insisted" that I at least try the diesel. I had time, so what the heck. Over the next few days, I test drove the Dodge, the Toyota, and the Chevy. I couldn't get the F-250 diesel out of my mind. The gas model had more features, so the price difference wasn't as much as it would be in an exact side by side comparison, but the diesel had everything I was actually looking for, and a few other things Ford throws in to enhance towing capabilities. So in the end, I rationalized that the better fuel economy of the diesel would pay for the extra up-front cost over the life of the truck, and in the mean time I would be enjoying the better performance. So I don't know if I should tell you to do a side by side test drive or not; if you're like me, you'll probably like the diesel better, and then you'll have to decide. If you never try the diesel, you would probably be happy with the gas model.

This isn't my first truck or SUV, and I advise you to stick with highway tires, rather than off-road tires. Get highway tires with MS ratings, of course, but not really aggressive off road tires, because they will reduce your fuel efficiency, increase your noise level, and make for a rougher ride. I'm going out on a limb here and thinking that if you really needed off road tires, you probably wouldn't be asking the question. Since you are asking the question, you could probably get by with highway tires rated MS with tread a little on the aggressive side for highway tires.

With the F-250 suspension, the ride is already a little rougher than I'm used to in my old Tundra, and it would be rougher still in an F-350. So unless someone who knows a lot more about these things than I do convinces you that you need a 350, I would lean toward a 250.

slowmover 07-11-2015 04:26 PM

Bridgestone Duravis 700


Michelin LTX A/T2

Both are well regarded in oilfield here.

More aggressive is not likely to be good on road. But

Cooper Discoverer AT3

Is favored by some here for roads that tear up tires.

Just remember that open shoulder means a real compromise.

Goin camping 07-11-2015 11:35 PM

I had on my 4X4 F 250 diesel and now on my suburban 3/4 4X4. B.F. Goodrich ATs.

Great tire for low noise, long lasting and very good off road traction out here in the desert.

BoldAdventure 07-12-2015 10:35 AM

I'm running Toyo Open Country AT/2 and they're great E rated tire. 60K warranty too. Very low noise and excellent off road. I offroad in Moab and southern Utah the most, but we also do a lot of mountain access roads, fire trails and such.

carlose 07-12-2015 11:05 AM

Off Road TV-F250/350 and Tires
I had a 2008 F250/6.4 and now have a 2014 F350 6.7, crewcab.6.5' bed. Pulling a FC 30' with the 6.4, I could not get more than 10.5 mpg on level road. I just finished a 2800 mile road trip, Oregon to Jackson, WY, drove all through the Tetons and back, averaged 16.5 for the trip(19+ on the road without trailer)... much better than the 6.4. The diesel is very quiet and has the power when you need it. The F350 handles the 30' with ease and you barely know it's behind you. Get 18 inch wheels, as you have better tire choices, not so with the 20 inch wheels. All off road tire are good, just depends on how much road noise you want to deal with, when not off roading.
Hope this helps, love my F350 6.7:)

CRH 07-12-2015 11:05 AM

I have used BFG AT tires for over 20 years. I get excellent mileage. I got 89k out of a set on my Toyota. They are very quiet on the highway. They do good in the mud. They do great in the snow.

reelfastgreg 07-12-2015 11:34 AM

driving on the beach with aggressive tires is going to lead to sinking the truck right up to the skid plates.

Drathaar 07-12-2015 11:45 AM

The folks on Expedition Portal (or at least I think it was there) did a comparison of tires for off road use. The Cooper AT3s came in as the best off road, followed by the BF Goodrich if I recall correctly. I have the Coopers on my 2000 F250, and they seem fine. I made two trips from Northern Oregon to Death Valley pulling the Airstream, and one to Lake Powell with the boat. They are a little bit louder than the Michelins on my F350, but have performed well on the road. I did manage to drive a sharp piece of shale directly through the tread, but considering the shape and sharpness, I don't think any tire would have held up to that rock. The bad thing was I didn't realize the tire was down, so I ruined the sidewall, too.

Here in many parts of the west, the Toyos are well regarded, too. I think that much of that reputation has to do with the wonderful service that we get from Les Schwab Tire Centers.

Ag&Au 07-12-2015 11:58 AM

My expeience with All terraiin tires.
My truck originally came with a Goodrich mud and snow rated, but basically a highway appearing tread. When they wore out, I replaced them with Michelin AT tires. I was annoyed right off the bat because the tread lugs were so tall that it made the steering wander. I had everything else that could cause this effect checked and/or adjusted with no improvement. After about 5,000 miles or so the effect diminished and the truck's steering stability returned. However for the whole life on the tire on the truck their road noise was annoying.

I replaced the ATs a year ago or so with Michelin LTX MS2 tires and have been very pleased with them. No excessive road noise, and handling is great.

Looking back on it all, I realize, although I take the truck (without trailer) on some pretty rugged roads and drove in a lot of snow with all three tires, I never felt the AT tread was enough better than the LT tires with MS rating, that they were worth the noise when on the highway.


LesMesa 07-12-2015 12:06 PM

If you intend to use the truck for some off road driving, I assume you're looking at a 4x4 only. ALMOST all of the 4x4 Super Duties on the lots in my area of Texas are diesel with the FX4 package. Due to heavy discounting, I don’t think the diesel really added much cost to the purchase price.

I purchased my F-250 FX4 with the 6.7 in April and love it. I wasn't interested in a gas engine but didn't see any gas 4x4 models on the lot of the dealership that claims to sell the most Ford trucks in Texas.

Others may not agree - but I do not agree with the comments that show up throughout the forums claiming diesels have higher maintenance costs. This is my third diesel (currently two out of three vehicles are diesel), and sure the oil changes cost more, but they go much further between oil changes and in my experience have less issues than gas engines. The cost of DEF fluid is negligible. Not sure how long you plan to own it, but check out the resale value of diesel vs. gas.

In answer to your questions:
Any good off road tires that will still have good performance towing on highways?
If you get the FX4 package, the Michelins that come with the truck work well. If you want a more aggressive tread, I’ll add another vote for the BFG A/Ts.

Any reason to get F250 rather than F-350, or vice versa?
Unless you’re pulling a huge fifth wheel, the F250 is plenty of truck and will have a slightly better ride.

Any reason to spring for the pricey diesel over the 6.2 gasser?
Torque, fuel economy, resale, more of a heavy duty engine, better towing the mountains… Diesel can be more expensive in the winter months when refineries switch to heating fuel oil. Ford used to (not sure if they still do) recommend that gas engines use premium for towing. Even in the winter, I doubt you’ll see diesel more expensive than premium, though it may be close.

Hope that help and good luck choosing your truck.

linebackng 07-12-2015 12:51 PM

Tires and TVs
I travel the same territories that the writer does, running the beach at Cape Hatteras, off-road while deer hunting in western North Carolina, driving my TV to the West Coast (Oregon, Colorado, Utah, etc.) with and without the travel trailer, and using it as a daily driver. I agree that the Michelins M&S are the ticket, in part because you have to take the tires down to 20 ppi to run the beach. You definitely don't want any tires with sidewalls that are too stiff as running them low at the beach will definitely cause them to fail.

I have a Toyota Sequoia Limited which, in addition to having a perfect 4-wheel drive (NOT full-time which would wear out tires 1/4 faster), has a factory load-leveler feature. That allows me to back up to my trailer, push two buttons to lower the receiver hitch, slip the ball under the trailer hitch, then push one of the buttons again and raise the ball until it is seated in the hitch. Incredible feature!

My 2005 Sequoia (130K miles) has the 4.7 liter V-8 (same displacement as the GM 283 cubic inch) and it hauls my 28-foot trailer (6,000 lb) like a breeze. I run 55 to 65 mph and get 10-12 mpg pulling the trailer and 16 to 18 mpg on the road without it. I use Mobile 1 oil exclusively and only change oil every 10K (sometimes 12K) and this vehicle does not use a quart of oil between oil changes. In preparation for Hatteras, I add a big fishing rack on the front and rod racks on the top and carry four people and luggage.

I never figured out why there isn't more discussion about the Sequoia on this AS site. I have never had a better vehicle. I keep everything up to date on it and repairs are very few, even though I run the beach at Hatteras three or four weeks a year and live in the snowiest part of the Appalachians where we occasionally approach 100 inches of snow a year (Boone). You won't beat the durability or the economy of this vehicle compared to the costs of oil changes, fuel, and purchase cost of a diesel. I bought my used Sequoia with 40K miles on it already, had a trusted Toyota mechanic check it out, and have never been sorry. I give it my highest recommendations as a TV.


linebackng 07-12-2015 01:03 PM

Tires and TVs
BTW, I got 70K miles on my last set of Michelins P265 70R M&S on my Sequoia, very similar to what I got on my 4-Runner Michelins. Just don't get a rough tread as they won't work well on the beach. My Michelins are quiet as any road tires I ever had, but I keep them at 40 ppi except when running the beach. Cheers.

VWill 07-12-2015 02:32 PM

I have been asking myself the same questions. I'm going with the diesel. For the trips you describe I think the diesel will make you much happier.
As for tires, I didn't like the BFGoodrich. The were great for off road and snow but didn't behave well on wet cornering. The coopers are serving me better on my half ton both on and off road and at a better price point.

pappy19 07-12-2015 04:57 PM

The original question was all about Ford F-250/350, diesel or gas, NOT about a TV fight over brands. So if you love your Chevy or Dodge, go start another thread.

Now, the main question regarding the difference in a gas (6.2 V-8) vs the diesel 6.7, is the initial cost plus the additional maintenance costs. There is a definite initial cost of $8,500 for the diesel and the oil change recommendations for both the diesel and the gasser is 7,500 miles. Also, at diesel oil changes, the fuel filters should be changed and urea added. All this costs around $200 at the dealer. It all boils down to " I WANT a diesel", I do not NEED a diesel. The 6.2 gas rig with the 4.30 axle ratio will pull with the best of diesel engines, just not quite as fast (top the hill at 65 vs 75 with a diesel). The other diesel "advantage" is better resale value and it will last 200,000 miles, well so will a gasser. Yes it will have a better resale value but that still doesn't compute with thi initial cost plus the additional maintenance cost of a diesel. I forgot to mention the problem with winter fuel, higher potential for bad fuel & plugged filters, and if that happens the warranty won't pay for the injector failures and lots of $$$$$$.

I had diesels for many years and find no real advantage to having a diesel other than going faster with a lot more headaches.

slowmover 07-12-2015 06:08 PM

The question is about tires on a one ton. And then specifics.

Danattherock 07-12-2015 07:17 PM

Thanks guys. I appreciate all the insights, irregardless of what you drive. With many of the places I go, highway tires will have me stuck. Got Firestone Duellers on our Tahoe now, they have been ok, nothing special. I've got a 81' Jeep CJ-7 with 3" Black Diamond suspension lift and 33's that will go anywhere. But with infant, toddler, german shepherd, and soon to be riveted home base escape pod, the Jeep is pretty much limited to solo fishing and kayaking trips these days.

Regarding brands, the big three, I'm a Chevy guy if a label was worn. Owned a 73' Vette, 99' Tahoe, and now 05' Tahoe. Big fan of Chevy in general and not sure why I haven't compared their trucks to the F-250. I do know why I am not looking at Dodge, bought a brand new loaded DUD about 15 years ago. Biggest baddest custom truck on lot, teakwood dash, custom wheels, etc. Blew motor in 2-3 months due to faulty oil pump I was told. Took a big hit and let them keep it. Turned away from trucks at that point and bought an Escalade.

Flash forward, I'm just enamored by this F-250 and don't know why, will be my first Ford if I buy it. Something about it just speaks to me. The fact remains that I know very little about trucks so I very much appreciate the patience of you guys and gals here as I ask questions that likely bore you.

Anyone familiar with Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires? Sounds like good off road tire with some focus on highway use and towing heavy loads.

Any particular reason to avoid 20" wheels, and stick with 18"?

Any particular 'must have' options I would want on new F-250/350?

How reliable are the navigation systems? I scoffed at idea initially, but wife seems to think it might be nice. We use windshield mounted Garmin that works great now. Is factory navigation up to par, or should we skip?

If anyone has the Titan 50 gallon gas tank, can the computer be reprogrammed to recognize the new capacity? Wondering if fuel statistics remain accurate.

If I hold the pedal to metal going over mountain passes in the new 6.7 diesel, is it true that my truck will really go airborn???



carlose 07-12-2015 10:27 PM

TV Diesel/Tires-Nav and computer
Love the Ford 6.7, as stated before. Nav is great, the 2014-F350 nav lacks elevation info. The computer is very accurate re. MPG, before I accepted the computers figures I checked by doing my own manual calculations and they were right on.:)

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.