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Old 10-04-2013, 07:00 AM   #61
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Each brand certainly has it's fans, doesn't it? my old die-hard Ford truck uncle in east texas now drives and loves his big Toyota.

In any case, I can't find a big SUV with the Cummins in it, so it's a moot point for me personally. The 7.3 has maintained this reputation as the best for 20 years now. The Dodge truck platform? Not so much. They figure out how to get the paint to stick to them yet?

Interesting that I'm not seeing much here in the way of Duramax defenders.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:00 AM   #62
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I'm not in a diesel/gasser debate, either. I considered all the comments here, and elsewhere, and decided we want an Excursion with the 7.3 Powerstroke. I've got a new hitch for the trailer, haven't even installed it yet. The Reese anti-sway thing. I forget the model. Bought it thinking I would need it. Towed the trailer from Houston to Dallas to Taos to Ft. Collins..no issues with sway at all. And those were rented F-250's.
Hey Gringo, If you get the Excursion, you might want to install the REESE for the weight distribution. The anti-sway is a bonus. If you load the EX up with heavy gear in the back and hitch up the 27FB you'll pull a significant amount of weight from the steer axle to the drive axle and overload the drive axle. It will drive OK on the flatlands but may put you in a bad spot in emergency maneuvers. Here's a post where I detail my setup which has been working great. Note the scale numbers on the steer and drive axles with and without the REESE hitch. Post 127 in the Airstream Forums > Airstream Restoration, Repair & Parts Forums > Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches
visited CAT scales - the numbers are in... Thread.

www.airforums.com/forums/f238/visited-cat-scales-the-numbers-are-in-17984-10.html#post1105856

BTW: When the Reese wears out I'm budgeting for a pro-pride.

Now, we've hit two of the three lightning rod debates on the forum (Tow Vehicle and hitch choice) in this thread, not counting the government shut-down thread which was shut down last night ironically, I might as well engage the third and tell you I replaced the original GY Marathons on my 27FB with BF Goodrich P235/75 R15 108T XL and love em. Now, that oughta do it! HA!

I think the EX is great gas or diesel. I loaded 1000 lbs of railrod ties in mine and took them to the recycling center a few weeks ago. They have a scale there and I was at 9600 lbs on arrival and 8600 lbs empty. The EX rides much better fully loaded with RR ties or hooked up to the AS. Unfortunately the charge is 17 cents a pound to discard creosote RR ties so as awesome at the load capacity is, it's not so good when you're pay 17 cents a pound!

Again good luck on your search and spend the bucks for Car Fax Too much or too little history on Car Fax indicates a problem with the vehicle.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #63
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cool, and thanks for the link. I do intend to set the hitch up. I just never got around to it when we were renting and borrowing trucks to tow with. We've been lugging it around with us in the trailer for two seasons now. I think I lost the instructions.

I definitely want to set it up for the TV when we get it. It will be nice to have a setup, finally, where everything is set to work together and I don't end up doing all this last minute running around trying to find wrenches to change tow balls and trying to find a stinger with the right amount of drop etc. By the way, were DO you find a wrench big enough to take the 2 5/16 ball off? I ended up buying a pipe wrench and a big cheap adjustable at Harbor Freight. sucky tools.

On the gas vs diesel, I am not knocking gas engines ( no pun intended). I certainly like the lower cost of the V-10 and I have a lot of gas engine building experience.
But our AS lives in the Rockies. Not in Tennessee, or Louisiana or Texas. It starts it's day at 5,000 ft. elevation and our property is at 7300 ft. For the foreseeable future we plan to explore the mountains, every season. No interest in anywhere else. We get all the "coast" we can handle, living on this little island. So I am interested in a truck that I can leave sitting for one or two years at a time, without worrying about the fuel. I also want something that will pull us up and down the Rocky Mountains, and to go where the Class A's can't. 10,000 ft will be common. I think the choice is obvious. And I don't particularly dislike the RAM trucks, but we quickly saw the benefit of the big-A SUV for our own scenario.. Dodge doesn't make one. End of decision process.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #64
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We've been lugging it around with us in the trailer for two seasons now. I think I lost the instructions.

By the way, were DO you find a wrench big enough to take the 2 5/16 ball off? I ended up buying a pipe wrench and a big cheap adjustable at Harbor Freight. sucky tools.
You can find reese installation manuals online
Reese

Yeah, I did the same thing. Bought a super big adjustable wrench at Orchard Hardware. I little bit better than Harbor Freight.

Good Luck

Found a 2002 7.3 EX on ebay with 132K on Ebay this AM for 15K. Looks like my investment is holding it's value! Ford : Excursion LIMITED 7.3 | eBay
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #65
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Trying to decide on a hitch for my 2014 30ft Flying Cloud ( Jan 2014 arrival). My considerations are: 4 Point Equalizer, Hensley, Or Propride. Tow vehicle is 3/4 Duramax Diesel. Dealer also mentioned a Dual Cam Reece? Hanks in advance for assisting on this.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:13 AM   #66
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yeah, dual cam reese. Now I remember. That's what I bought. And haven't needed. still going to install it, though.

How far you reckon we can drift this thread?
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:34 AM   #67
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Yup, now that I mentioned government Shut-down the mod squad will be here any minute to redirect. Time to vacate the thread now that you've made your choice. Hey Luigi, head over to Airstream Forums > Airstream Restoration, Repair & Parts Forums > Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches > Hitches, Couplers & Balls thread for hitch discussions. I like my Reese but want a pro pride just like I like my Harley but want a Ducati. Capisci?
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:28 AM   #68
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Oh Gringo, one more thing since you mentioned high mountain roads where class A's fearcto tread, not sure about gas excursions (perry can report) but my 7.3 EX has leaf springs in the front instead of coil which limits the turn radius of the steer wheels so the EX and trailer combo have a tight turning ability just a little better than the Queen Mary. Doesn't bother me but I've gotten used to envisioning / ensuring a way out of a facility or road before entering. I think the F250s have coils on the front.

Brad
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:40 PM   #69
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Oh Gringo, one more thing since you mentioned high mountain roads where class A's fearcto tread, not sure about gas excursions (perry can report) but my 7.3 EX has leaf springs in the front instead of coil which limits the turn radius of the steer wheels so the EX and trailer combo have a tight turning ability just a little better than the Queen Mary. Doesn't bother me but I've gotten used to envisioning / ensuring a way out of a facility or road before entering. I think the F250s have coils on the front.

Brad
All excursions have leaf springs up front. The 250s switched to coils in 05.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:46 PM   #70
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I sold my 34' Limited in July (because of my age) so I am without a trailer, but I still lurk here a bit.

I'll preface by saying, when it comes to buying a vehicle I tend to be very exhausting in my research. Having said this, there is a point at which it becomes, “analysis to paralysis!” Remember, everything you read on sites like this is someone's opinion. This opinion cannot be totally objective but is colored by our own experience with a given brand or engine. Since I've had a career as a pastor (not known to be a very high paying profession) I've had to carefully balance my wants against financial realities. Although I'm a lifetime tee-totaler, I often describe myself as “having a champagne appetite on a beer budget.” I've had some of the best cars and trucks available, but always used (after all, when you drive away from the dealer they're all used anyway).

For what its worth, here are some of my methods when buying.

1. Determine what type and/or capacity it will take to do the job.

2. Evaluate the family budget to determine how much we can reasonably spend. Different families have different tolerances about debt, or if they're borrowing, how much debt they can afford to service. For thirty-five years we've chosen to live with no debt except a home mortgage. This greatly influences how we evaluate a needed vehicle. Example, Our main car is an '01 Lincoln Continental bought three years ago with 50K actual miles at a cost of $6,750. We kept our 140K '95 Continental for my wife to drive (it was bought in 2001 with 39K for $10,000 and is the best of all the fifty cars I've owned in my lifetime). Each of the cars has allowed us to have luxury and reliability that is far beyond what we could afford new.

Our TV since 2001 has been a '96 Dodge Cummins 5 speed manual, club cab. I bought it from a widow when the truck had 84K on it. I have absolutely loved this truck! It is a fantastic combination of power and fuel economy. With the 4.11 gears it doesn't do quite as well on fuel mileage as some but the power is awesome. Fuel mileage towing has reached as high as 18mpg (very rare), but most of the time was 14.5 – 16. As someone already observed, it is noisy, but for the diesel enthusiast it is a sweet noise! I've never regretted buying it.

3. If possible, take plenty of time to search for the right vehicle. When you're under time pressures you don't always make a wise decision.

4. When you find the one you think is right check it thoroughly. Do a CarFax report to see its history. If you like it and it passes the CarFax research, pay to have a professional mechanic do a thorough inspection. If the owner won't agree to this there is probably a reason to walk away. And if you're looking at a diesel be sure the mechanic knows diesels (this is really important!!).

5. Realize that it will be a rarity that whatever you buy will be perfect so expect to spend some money to do whatever small stuff has to be done when you first begin to use it.

6. Whether new or used, the secret to being satisfied over the long term is to be committed to good maintenance. I do most of my own because I enjoy it and it costs a little bit less. As the old Fram commercial used to say, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later!” When you are looking to buy watch for signs of good maintenance. Its nice if the seller can show some sort of records.

7. Once you pull the trigger and buy the vehicle, quit looking! You'll always find something that will cause you to wonder if you could have done better. Just enjoy your ride.

Since I'm not replacing my trailer I have no need of my truck so I have it advertised for sale (just under $10,000). Just sayin' . . .

Gene
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Old 10-04-2013, 01:00 PM   #71
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And I was about to email you when I saw it's a 2 wheel drive. Dang. A truck from a sober preacher who bought it from a widow ( who only drove it on sundays to church, right?)

Oh well. It's a pickup truck. We're liking the SUV concept, and no compromise on the 4 wheel drive. I should show you some photos of where we are planning to install two full hookups on our property. It's across a pasture, behind some boulders, and down a hill.....

I bet someone on this forum is interested, though. Good luck, Padre!
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #72
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Gringo,

RE: comments about a sober preacher. The first time I ever rode in excess of 100 mph was in a 1953 Lincoln in the summer of 1957 on the way to Vernal driven by a sober preacher from Provo! He was my sister's father-in-law.

Gene
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:48 PM   #73
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you mean Provo, Utah, right? Funny you say that. The island we live on is Providenciales, but everybody calls it Provo.

If I'm going to share the road with preachers who drive 100 mph, I just hope they're all sober ones.

And I bet you know the song about the plastic Jesus already.

another question for you experienced used TV pilots...
A lot of the photos I am seeing online show the wear and tear on the front seat edges. Especially the driver's seat. Some of the pleather ones have big rips in them. Have any of you guys had the bucket seats in a big Ford ( or Dodge!) reupholstered? Any ideas what that should cost?
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:46 PM   #74
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Evidently not....
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:41 PM   #75
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another question for you experienced used TV pilots...
A lot of the photos I am seeing online show the wear and tear on the front seat edges. Especially the driver's seat. Some of the pleather ones have big rips in them. Have any of you guys had the bucket seats in a big Ford ( or Dodge!) reupholstered? Any ideas what that should cost?
A few of the blokes in the Excursion forum have installed these skins as an aftermarket option with very good success.
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:35 PM   #76
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A few of the blokes in the Excursion forum have installed these skins as an aftermarket option with very good success.

Nice. Of course the application software says it's not compatible with an Excursion.
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:37 PM   #77
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Nice. Of course the application software says it's not compatible with an Excursion.
Yeah, I assure you, they are though. All super duty's stuff is a direct bolt (front seats at least) with the Ex.

They also have some leather ones that aren't two toned as well but they're around $450 if memory serves.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:42 PM   #78
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First of all, I want to complement everybody who contributed to this thread for keeping it civil. The "Truck Wars" threads have gotten to be pretty boring. This is a good read thread with useful info. Thanks guys. We recently went on our search for a new TV. Here's the background and the results.

We typically put only 3k to 5k per year on the TV. Not a lot, so maybe gas mileage is bit less important. We were more looking for a reliable, comfortable truck. Wanted a 3/4 ton, have been towing with a '98 Ford F150 XLT Lariat for the past few years and it's just getting too old for the task (it's also for sale, btw ).

We found a 2002 F250 4X4 V10 gasser, 7 foot bed that appears to have been pampered fairly well. 152k miles on it when we picked it up. Very comfortable ride for a Super Duty truck. Tows the Airstream like it's not even there. Since we bought it (early August) we've towed twice. Up to the Georgia mountains (about 300 miles round trip) and up to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (about 750 miles round trip). Could not be happier. Love this truck. A buddy looked at it and said it's a "truck to last a lifetime". A bit optimistic, but if we can get 8 to 10 years good service, I'll be happy. Purchase price was $10k. Reasonable, middle of the blue book (depending on what you want to believe on the internet).

Only drawback is that the mileage is really bad. 10-11 MPG towing, even worse around town. But then, we don't use it as a daily driver, so I'm good with the MPG's.

Good luck on your search.

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Old 10-05-2013, 09:09 AM   #79
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Attachment 197076

Evidently not....
my Exc passenger seat has been like that since I bought it. I use a leather conditioner so it hasn't gotten any worse.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:40 AM   #80
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If you do wind up considering a 5.9 Cummins, be sure to check for the known problems: possibility of cracked blocks (known as the "53" block I think), pins that can back out and cause bad damage (the "dowel pin" syndrome), failed fuel lift pumps that can cause inadequate fuel delivery and very expensive damage to high pressure fuel pumps.
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