richdonn, I think you'll find your new truck is great. Ours doesn't seem to downshift easily when I hit a hill or want to accelerate. I have to really punch the throttle to get it to shift. That's when it seems like it's just a whole lot easier to flip it out of overdrive. I suppose a person could pick up a used differential at a wrecking yard with a lower ratio (higher number) if you wanted to increase the towing capacity? I think the F150s of that era had two ratios.
I guess if your truck has low mileage, there may not be too many things to worry about but I suppose it may depend on if it's been sitting a lot between usage and if it's been maintained. If it were me, I'd want to look at things that may deteriorate over time like rubber hoses and fittings. Vehicles generally don't like sitting for long periods of time. I've been fiddiling with vintage cars for years but don't know a lot about trucks and specifically what to look for in trucks.
I just installed a new set of Bilstein shocks (myself). Only a few more dollars than others like Monroe. The truck now handles like it's on rails, but I found the original front shocks were shot and rears were only about 50% effective so anything new is going to feel great. Have been wondering about shocks for the trailer, but looking in the mirror, the trailer doesn't seem to bounce that much.
Check out this info. just posted in another thread on FR site: Ford AOD transmission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It says all F-series 93-2003 use the same transmission except for a mod. on trucks with a 5.L V8. I was just asking yesterday about using overdrive or not. You might want to look at the replies, if you haven't yet. Very helpful.
We're still running on the original tires and they still *look* good and have lots of tread left, but we're planning to replace them in July when in Oregon where there's no sales tax. We bought a set there last year for our car and they were 1/2 the cost of anywhere near us.
Sounds like you are in the same boat as us. We are now empty nesters now and don't need a monster trailer with all the amenities. Our 20 footer will sleep 4 but I think the extra 2 spots at the dinette are made for small kids only. Isn't the whole idea about going camping is to spend time outdoors anyway? Maybe if we wanted to hang out long term somewhere we'd want a sofa and a slideout or two, but we are very happy with our trailer, especially with all the interior mods and upgrades I did over the winter. No lack of storage now. Any visiting kids (now adult) have said they'd rather sleep in a tent outside anyway....
I have it figured that we could upgrade to say a 26-28 foot ultralite and still be able to tow it with our truck. I like the idea of a trailer on the smaller side because in the long run we want to do some long distance travelling around the US. A smaller trailer makes for much easier manouvering and finding spots to park. We're not terribly excited about the concept of buying a monster trailer or 5th wheel, being forced into buying a bigger truck and spending in the order of $50K to $100K to get it all. (Am married to an accountant and the most important thing in life is NOT spending money.)
I'm also a newbie to towing an RV. 3 times out now - whoa. About the only thing I have noticed that I don't like, and I am guessing that it is normal, is that when semi trucks and other large vehicles pass, the truck has a slightly uncomfortable sway to it from the wind. The truck does stay dead level with the new shocks though.