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Old 10-14-2014, 10:04 AM   #1
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New Tow Vehicle - Opinions Please...

I am thinking of getting a new tow vehicle. My 2000 F250 7.3L that I have owned since new is a great rig, but I would like something a bit more modern. I will probably stick with Ford, as I have had great luck with them, and I am thinking a F350 crew cab this time. Here's the question...

Gas or diesel? I know how much power the diesel's have, but I wonder how long it is going to take to break even on the additional $8000+ expense. We tow a 2012 25' Flying Cloud that when loaded is in the 7,500 pound range, and a boat that is less than 5,000 pounds loaded. I also will probably keep a Four Wheel Grandby pop-up camper on the truck. It weighs around 1,800 pounds.

I'd really like to hear from the folks who are driving gassers that are similar to what I am thinking of. How's your climbing ability? What kind of mileage are you seeing? Do you like the ride?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:38 AM   #2
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You have already broken even and that 7.3 will outlast anything you can replace it with. I get her a new paint job and may upholstery if needed and keep her till the bottom rusts out.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:40 AM   #3
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Went from a 2005 F250 Diesel that was expensive to maintain and gas up to a 2014 Ram 6.4 hemi that is great. You do notice that the diesel is stronger when starting from a stopped position, but after that there is no real difference. I like diesel, but it is expensive in the long run.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:44 AM   #4
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I have a GM 2500HD gasser pulling our 25 Safari with a loaded weight of 6300#. We often travel heavy in the truck bed is why I have a 2500HD.

I have considered a diesel every time I trade trucks. I would buy a diesel if I needed one for our use. My gasser has a tow rating of 13,000# with almost 3000# payload. I have read many pro and con discussions about diesels and just can't buy a modern diesel. We tow our trailer to Yellowstone most years and do not have any trouble in the mountains with our rig.

I believe your 7.3 power stroke is a much more reliable and fuel efficient diesel engine than any on the market today. I also believe that the newer gassers in the 250 / 350 trucks have more horse power and torque than your old 7.3. The fuel systems on the new Ford diesels appear to have the potential for major expense to the owner.

Why are you thinking of a 350 vs. a 250? Single rear wheels or double?

Good luck in your decision process.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:48 AM   #5
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Just for grins have you searched the classified online for what your 7.3L is selling for in your trucks condition?

I bet you could sell your 7.3L pretty easily.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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Just my opinion, but if I didn't NEED a Diesel, I wouldn't have one. They are expensive to buy, expensive to feed, and expensive to maintain. However, they do pull.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:22 AM   #7
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Ahhhh. Another diesel vs. gasoline thread. All in fun, I predict that there will be as many opinions as there will be posters in this thread!
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:58 AM   #8
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New Tow Vehicle - Opinions Please...

And I predict that there will be more posters than opinions in this thread, but that's just my opinion... Wait, crud...

Someone in one of the recent previous threads actually did the math on gas vs diesel cost to operate. I forget which way it went, because I was busy arguing for the best coffee maker for your camper at that time...

I'm towing with a 2000 F-250 5.7 liter gas engine... It's what I had already, so it's what I tow with. Hoping I get another 14 years out of it.

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Old 10-14-2014, 12:12 PM   #9
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stepping into the discussion.

Do you need a pickup truck ? What do you want from your vehicle when not attached ?

I love Diesels, but I wouldn't own a 7.3L pickup truck unless I was in Construction.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:37 PM   #10
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IMHO keep the 7.3. Ford has not made a diesel that matches to the quality of the 7.3. If I were to go for a new diesel it would be the Cummins. We have 175,000 on our 7.3 and at least 50% is towing a 20,000 LB. 5th wheel. Towing our 25' International is like there is nothing behind us.

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Old 10-14-2014, 12:45 PM   #11
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You probably will not break even at todays fuel prices. 70 cents is a pretty steep differential in price to overcome. But.....I would get the diesel anyway if you are going with the 350. You will get some of the difference back when you trade. The new Ford diesels seem to be a great truck. Do you carry the camper when you pull? 1800 lbs plus 800 lbs hitch weight I see the need for the 350. Not sure the diesel versus gas is just about operating cost. Might come down to how much you use it. You will not make up any difference with it sitting in the driveway. We have put about 140000 on our Dodge Diesel since 07 and I am quite happy with it as a choice whether we have "broken even" or not. I am also quite willing to let those who do not want a diesel not to have one. On caravans I just pull over and let them buy fuel so we can go on.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:47 PM   #12
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The one ton may be the way to go to give you lots of GVW, particularly since you plan to carry the camper.

One small point in favour of the diesel, the price differential between fuels have narrowed recently. Diesel fuel in our area is now slightly lower than gasoline for the first time in many years.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:19 PM   #13
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I bought a new 3/4 ton gasser. I kept it less than a year then it for traded a half ton gasser. I considered a 3/4 ton diesel, but could not justify the cost for my use.

My opinion:
Anything over half ton with a gasser, never again! There is not enough pull power and there is way to much fuel used. There is about 1,300-1,400 lbs difference in curb weight the 1500 and the 2500 trucks I had. The similar gas engine/transmission has to overcome that additional weight, so it is less efficient in the larger vehicle.
A half ton vehicle with a gas engine is fine, but only if what being hauled/towed works within its lower capacity. With any truck 3/4 ton or larger, if I were purchasing one, I would go with the diesel engine.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:18 PM   #14
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:47 AM   #15
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:32 PM   #16
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Why are you considering a one ton truck? Sounds like a 150 or 250 would be big enough. I don't like the ride in the heavier trucks. I have also heard the stiff suspension can be hard on the airstream.


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Old 10-16-2014, 05:44 AM   #17
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If you want a truck buy one like mine. Put airhitch on it with all air ride and buy your last truck first. Million mile motor with an Allison 3000 6 speed. Cummins diesel with a wet sleeve motor. 350 HP 1000 lbs torque. Never affraid of a mountain and have airbrake for down the hill. 11 mpg also
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:22 AM   #18
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No More Fords for Me

My father got a new Ford every two years... and I have had a Ford in my Driveway for as long as I can remember.

Unfortunately in 1987, Rusty Eck Ford represented a Bronco as having a 302 automatic with overdrive. When I got it home, I read the owner's manual and found it had no overdrive. They wouldn't take it back.

That vehicle is the worst I ever owned even though I just sold it with 86K miles on it. No more Fords for me! I recently bought a Toyota Tundra Limited 4x4 with the 5.7 gas engine to pull an '04 22 ft Airstream Safari (dual axle rated at 5600 loaded). My mechanic recommended the Toyota as the least problematic of the trucks, and he owned two to demonstrate his conviction.

I have been exceptionally happy. I know the truck magazines don't favor the Tundra, but going throught the tow vehicle parts of this forum shows a seriously happy set of Tundra owners... add me to the list.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drathaar View Post
I am thinking of getting a new tow vehicle. My 2000 F250 7.3L that I have owned since new is a great rig, but I would like something a bit more modern. I will probably stick with Ford, as I have had great luck with them, and I am thinking a F350 crew cab this time. Here's the question...

Gas or diesel? I know how much power the diesel's have, but I wonder how long it is going to take to break even on the additional $8000+ expense. We tow a 2012 25' Flying Cloud that when loaded is in the 7,500 pound range, and a boat that is less than 5,000 pounds loaded. I also will probably keep a Four Wheel Grandby pop-up camper on the truck. It weighs around 1,800 pounds.

I'd really like to hear from the folks who are driving gassers that are similar to what I am thinking of. How's your climbing ability? What kind of mileage are you seeing? Do you like the ride?

Thanks in advance.

You've read through, by this time, plenty of feedback per your question. So maybe you're getting some pretty good impressions. Maybe not

Notwithstanding the projected 5.0 Cummins Nissan, you have three heavy-lights and one 1/2 ton turbo diesel to choose, three heavy-light gassers, and the remaining light duty gas pickups. They are ALL built to a competitive benchmark that makes any of them very capable when properly equipped. You will find the new turbo diesels with multi speed adaptive automatic transmissions superior to the International 7.3/4R100 four speed in terms of stink, noise, and performance. The 7.3, while virtuous, is an anchor compared to what your money will buy today.

I don't care about brands; they all look alike and are just as cuss-worthy while being serviced. Basically, my advice to anyone that asks is use a Costco membership to get the best price on the most truck you can afford to equip properly; they have a special on GM trucks now, which have the fine DMAX engine for oil, and very competent 6.2 for gas. Or USAA, which has a buying program that is good. Get what I'm saying? I work on the stuff, have since age 12, and it DOESNT much matter what brand, it's all about BUYING and EQUIPPING for towing duty. Get the numerically higher gear ratio with traction aids like locker or passive limited slip. Heavy duty shocks, integrated trailer brakes, compression or exhaust brake (diesel), "tow boss (Ford)" or trailering package, rear camera parking aid (oh God I'd take that ONE option over diesel any dad lol). Match your tow rig to what it is you're towing! The Ram website has a fairly intuitive tool that shows the interrelationship between GVWR, rated towing, and payload. It's ok, but not a replacement for knowing your actual tongue load, and remembering to factor that into the tow rigs payload rating.

If your still reading, good lord, you must be desperate!!!

The Current Ford diesel is an in house Ford design; previous units were IH sourced such as the school bus vintage 7.3. The GM unit is sourced through DMAX, and was a joint venture between Isuzu Heavy and General Motors Powertrain. The Ram used a Cummins B class inline six. For the most part, the transmissions mated to the above engines are much more up to the task of heavy towing (and dealing with massive torque) than the old 4R100/4L80/48R four speeds of the past. The axles, even in the lights, have probably twice the mass from equivalent units 20 years ago. The massive AAM 11.5 is an example of a monster rear axle that is standard in several of the diesel heavies today.

Ok, hope this helps and if in doubt about the truck you're looking at, walk away and ask more questions. That's always free.
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:02 AM   #20
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Might the F350 be overkill even with the pop up camper? What additional stress will be transferred to the AS?
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