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Old 07-21-2009, 04:23 AM   #1
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2000 34' Limited S/O
Jamestown , North Carolina
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Ford Excursion Diesel

We have an 06 Dodge 3500 Cumins Diesel which is a great TV. My wife would prefer an Excursion Diesel because of the interior room and storage. I would like some advice on the qualilty of the Excursion Diesel and the capacity of towing a 2000 34 Limited with Sofa SO.
2000 34' Limited with Sofa Slide
06 Dodge 3500 Cummins Turbodiesel 4X4 Quad Cab Hensley Hitch Pressure Pro Centramatics
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:35 AM   #2
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We towed a '94 Limited tri-axle with our 2000 Excursion 6.8L V10 4WD with a 3.73 rear end for several years. Once I added a rear body anti-sway bar and radius rods, and E range tires, it was a very competent tow vehicle. I wouldn't have wanted any shorter wheelbase to tow the 34 footer though. Interestingly, I averaged about 16mpg highway without the trailer with the big Ex. I'm only averaging about 14mpg with my 5.8L Titan!

The 7.3L diesel is considered to be pretty bullet-proof. I haven't kept up on the later diesel offerings from Ford. FWIW the V10 gasser was more than adequate and up to the task of towing the 34. If you find one you like at a price you're willing to pay, don't pass it up just because it's a gasser.

I just re-read your post... you've got the 34' with a slide. That puts your tongue weight over 1200 lbs... too heavy for the Excursion. It's got fairly light rear suspension, with a 1,000 lb tongue weight rating. Our '94's tongue weight was about 900 lbs.

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Old 07-21-2009, 06:39 AM   #3
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2007 31' Classic
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my 2005 excursion has a 1250 tongue 12500 pull hitch on it from the factory.the truck is rated to pull 11000 lbs.i have modified my suspension by installing timbrens on the rear and bilstiens all the way around.truck pulls and rides like a dream.have the 6.0 diesel completely stock and keep up with all maintenance and this truck has not seen the dealer in 65000 miles.the horror stories on the 6.0 were early 2003 and 2004 models and people that chipped their trucks. with my hensley i am probably pushing 1000 lbs of tongue towing combo i have ever had.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:58 AM   #4
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I love my Excursion. I've had no problems with my 6.0L and I love the way my X tows. For the combo you mentioned you would need to beef up your rear suspension but it would be worth it.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:56 AM   #5
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The big question is are you considering a 2 wheel or 4 wheel drive. If a 4 wheel 04 or 05 you will have to rebuild the rear suspension by adding a after market sway bar and with the heavier trailer most likely F250 springs. The 4 wheel Excursion has some serious wandering question. I have removed maybe 90% of this problem with front and rear Hellwig sway bars, Billstien shocks, and switching to Reese Straight Line bars. The balance of the problem is most likely in the Ford steering box and the factory lack of Caster angle on the front end. Good reports have come in from those who have replaced the steering box.

All in the 04 Ford Excursion is now about 75% of the TV of my 97 Suburban 6.5 diesel. I road in the Suburban I drive the Excursion.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 07-21-2009, 07:56 AM   #6
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I have a 2000 Excursion 7.3 diesel with 173,000 miles on it and tow a 25 foot Safari with it. My little Safari has a 6300 gvw. The Excursion is rated to tow 10,000 pounds and would tow that much with ease.
I towed my 12,000 lb 30 foot boat for short distances with the Excursion. The engine had enough power but I didn't have sway bars and only surge brakes so I would not tow long distances or mountains with the rig.
My Excursion has been by far the most trouble free and reliable vehicle I have ever owned.
Ford stopped making them in 2005. Low mileage 2005's are hard to locate and pricey.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:11 AM   #7
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I've got a 2002 Ford Excursion 7.3L Diesel, using it to tow my 2006 28' International CCD. I love the combination of the two. I did add Bilstein shocks, a rear sway bar and power-slotted brake rotors. I also added the Roadmaster Active Suspension to the rear. Plenty of power, good handling and stopping, and all the cargo space I could want.

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Old 07-21-2009, 08:58 AM   #8
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2005 30' Safari
Pfafftown , North Carolina
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We just bought a 2002 Excursion 2wd with a 7.3 L diesel. We tow a 30' bunkhouse which tips the scales at 8000 + lbs. We used to tow with a GMC 2500 HD Duramax/Allison crew cab LB which required a 6 inch drop stinger on the Hensley for towing. With the lower ride of the Ex, we now use a 2 inch rise stinger and have not experienced the infamous Hensley bump during braking. With the GMC we would also "feel" the trailer pushing and pulling the tow vehicle during cruising. Now we often joke about whether we are towing anything at all behind the Ex.

In the spirit of full disclosure, we did have a few problems that needed to be fixed, even though the Excursion had only 31K miles on it when we bought it in May 2009. All of the seemingly unrelated problems - the door ajar light staying on constantly, automatic door locks not locking, automatic headlights not coming on - were determined to be the result of a bad VSM (vehicle security module). The service guys at the Ford dealership correctly diagnosed and fixed the problem by replacing the VSM, and we haven't had a single issue since (after 5K miles of towing).

We upgraded tow vehicles because of an increase in family size that the GMC couldn't accommodate. The Excursion carries 3 adults, 2 kids, a dog and an irate cat with ease, with still room in the back to carry stuff. And that's just on the inside - we also carry 4 bikes and our Holland grill on the roof rack.

You will not be disappointed with an Excursion - we think it's probably one of the best moves we ever made.

Paul and Miriam
2005 30' Bunkhouse "Nedapedalua"
2002 Ford Excursion 7.3L Diesel 2WD
2007 Interstate
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:10 AM   #9
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I cant speak for the Excursion body or suspension, sounds like the guys before me have pretty much answered those questions. Depending on how that 7.3 was service Id say go for it. We have the F350, crewcab, longbed and use a Reese duel cam Straightline Hitch with 550 lbs bars .We get a soft ride on both ends,we love the setup.
Only thing I have done to the 2001 is Batteries and a waterpump and brakes we are now at about 80k miles.
We love it,in fact we DON"T OWN A CAR, just two trucks F150 and F350.
Good Luck With what ever you decide.
Roger & MaryLou
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
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May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
The big question is are you considering a 2 wheel or 4 wheel drive. If a 4 wheel 04 or 05 you will have to rebuild the rear suspension by adding a after market sway bar and with the heavier trailer most likely F250 springs.
I have an '05 Ex Limited gasser (V-10, 6.8 Liter - 415 cu. inches), and it DID come with a fairly heavy duty factory installed sway bar.

One of the weak links of the Ex is it's weight limitations. As per the pic of the door post certification at the bottom of the page see that the rear axle is only rated for 5,250 lbs.

When I last weighed at a scale (31' Sovereign, 875 lb tongue weight, combined stand alone axle weight 6,460 lbs) the lightly loaded Ex (grill, EZ-Up, cooler, but no driver, dogs, or passengers) had 3,840 on the front axle, and 3,760lbs on the rear axle (7,600 lbs total). The maximum vehicle (Excursion) weight is 8,900 lbs.

See my various weighs below:

At the #2 setting above (seems to be a "sweet spot" for towing), I have a total of 8,340 lbs on the Excursion axles. This leaves only 560 lbs for driver, any passengers, plus the 100 lbs or so of dogs and dog "stuff" we usually travel with.

To borrow a quote from a Math Prof of a particularly horrid math class I was required to take back before the days of hand held calculators, "it is intuitively obvious that..." the Excursion is near the Ford qualified weight limitation of 8,900 lbs.

A diesel model would have a slightly heavier front axle loading, but also may have a slightly heavier axle rating.

Bottom line, to answer the original poster question, on paper anyway, a 34' Slide Out would probably exceed the stated weight limitations of any Excursion, diesel or gas.

Having said that, the Ex does a great job of handling the 7,335 lbs of Vintage Airstream, has a great ride, and is a real joy to drive - I will not comment on gasoline mileage here, other than to say it is in the single digits while towing and the mid teens while light. The Excursion is a heavy, softly sprung vehicle, and, if not pushed past it's limitations, makes a great tow vehicle.
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