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Old 06-01-2012, 09:49 AM   #1
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Tow Unit

I currently have a 2010 Nissan Titan with the "big tow" package. We pull a FR V-light 30 WRKSS with no problem (with the exception of fuel economy). We hope to move to a fifth wheel later this year. I have looked at all major brands of 3/4 ton trucks but none indicate the fuel mileage. I have also read some negative or poor reviews of the reliability (mainly Ford) of the trucks. I did however find many Ford 7.3 trucks that just will not die. Apparently that was the best product they ever made. The Dodge 2500 looks great but the tow capacity is approx 1500+ lbs less than the other two major products.

Can any of you assist me with information on the dependability and fuel mileage of your tow unit.


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Old 06-01-2012, 09:53 AM   #2
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I have a 2008 F-250 that I bought new. Runs like a champ! The only thing I have done is scheduled maintenance. With the 5.4 liter I get just under 16 MPG.

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:08 AM   #4
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me 2002 excursion 7.3 diesel, lifted, 37" tires. 13.5-14.5 MPG. 147K miles. One trans rebuild.

Buddy, 2002 7.3 diesel f250 lifted 35" tires 22mpg! (verified, I borrowed his truck for a week once) 210K miles, one trans rebuild

Other buddy 2001 f250 stock height and tires 7.3 10-12mpg. 115k, replaced injectors once, trans stilll stock

We cannot find why there is such a difference in milage. All are chipped. Mine has a DPTuner, 02 has a Hyperchip (blech..) and the o1 has a bullydog

The 7.3 f-250 is probalby the finest combination of truck and engine out there. The cummins dodges are hell-for-stout, but the actual truck leaves a lot to be desired from the reliability aspect. The GM duramax is also very reliable and you should live as long as a 4l80e or Allison transmission.

Avoid the 6.5 gm diesel. Its a great engine, but way down on power compared to the newer ones. Avoid the 6.0 Ford. avoid the dodge with the NV4500 trans. They have a nasty habit of trying to engage 2 gears at the same time.

However, with all that said, after reviewing all 3 new trucks (courtesy of coworkers)... If I was buying a brand new one, the Ram 2500 diesel would be the one.

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Old 06-01-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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Thanks COWRACER. I agree with everything you said. The Dodge 2500 has been pulling heavy on me. I've been a paramedic for 35 years and we have been through many ambulances. The Ford 7.3 is and will always be the work horse. The 6.0 was junk and the new 6.7 have had some issues with the turbos and transmissions. The GM product is nice also but for the money the Dodge ( that I have never been a fan of) is looking very good and at this point they don't require the exhaust additive.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by brw549 View Post
The Dodge 2500 looks great but the tow capacity is approx 1500+ lbs less than the other two major products.
Tow capacity isn't the best way to rate trucks as they're all limited by payload capacity before they're ever approaching their towing capacity. That is, most 3/4 ton diesel trucks can only carry a 2000 lb pin weight without exceeding the truck's GVWR...a 2000 lb pin weight would be a 10000 lb 5th wheel loaded.


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Old 06-01-2012, 10:32 AM   #7
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I agree, I think I have found that the pin weight on the dodge was around 2400 lbs or so...if I am not mistaken. I'm not sure about the other two.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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The Cummins engines in the Dodge can't be beat, but the transmission doesn't hold up real well and the body has rust issues. The Duramax is almost as good as the Cummins, and the 6 speed Allison is as robust a transmission as you can get.

The truck that you want will be a Ford chassis and cab with a Cummins engine and an Allison transmission. If you can't find one of those (or can't afford one) see 10 Best Used Diesel Trucks (and cars) - Diesel Power Magazine

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:06 PM   #9
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FYI. this is a 2011 test.. 2012 test about the same. YOU BE THE JUDGE. I won't turn this thread into the sandbox... Ford GM DODGE argument.

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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Mileage, well that all depends. If I really have time to kill and run 60 MPH give or take I can get real close to 12. Now if I'm on vacation and the object is to get there I can, 15 MPH over any speed limit is not an issue and my mileage will be +/- 10 MPG, up or down hills it don't matter.

My old TV a 1993 Suburban with a built 454 was 6 to 8 and it required hi test gas. So I'm ahead of the game with my fuel squeezer.

With out the TT and running around 22 on the hi-way at 65.

And my some what twisted view, if I was really worried amout mileage, I'd be staying in a motel and driving a Cruze.

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