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Old 12-05-2021, 06:52 PM   #1
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Cross Country - Buy new truck?

I own a '08 Dodge 2500 Cummins with 205,000 miles. I want to drive from the East Coast to Yellowstone in Sept of 2022. What advice do you have for preparing the truck for the trip? (We own a Forest River Vibe, with an EW around 7,100 lbs.) The truck AC is broken. The electronic fuel injector light is illuminated. Truck still has the original tranny. We've replaced some rusted brake lines and redone the whole front end and replaced the water pump summer of '20. I don't want to break down on this trip. What suggestions would you give for preparation of this truck for a cross country trip pulling the Vibe?
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Old 12-05-2021, 07:00 PM   #2
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Not sure what you are after here. Only you know if your maintenance schedule has kept up with the suggested intervals.
Many of us have diesels older than that with more miles. I would not think twice about going on a long trip with mine and actually just got back from one.
If you are not sure about yours, take it to a trusted shop to go through it. Have them check all fluids, belt, idlers, tensioner, tires, run diagnostics on injectors, etc.
Even if you buy a new truck, that does not mean you will have a problem free trip.
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:37 PM   #3
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Kinda sounds like you want to justify buying a new truck. Nothing wrong with that, if you can afford it. They are stupid pricey right now.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:24 PM   #4
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It sounds like you've got an itch. If you are unsure that enough can be done to make the truck not break down on this trip, or if the money put into it may be more than you want to deal with, well, it may be time to scratch that itch. Like tuckerdog said, the trucks are a bit on the high side right now, but there are some deals still to be had out there. So it's really a personal decision. Plunk out the money to get the current issues fixed, and hope others don't pop up, or go new, and even if something pops up, it will be covered under warranty. It's a tough one, and I wish you luck.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:45 PM   #5
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Buy a new one but while your at the dealership look at all the new trucks getting major repairs done. Nothing is a sure thing. This of course comes from a fool who buys new every few years and every time I say it’s the last time, and is is until it’s not.
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Old 12-06-2021, 07:19 AM   #6
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Just towed our 5vr about 11,000 lbs a little over 1000 miles with 1999 Ford F250 7.3 Powerstroke. Truck has 217,00 miles on it. I do all the oil and filter changes myself. Had front suspension work done this past summer as well as the tranny serviced at a shop I trust. I would not hesitate changing the oil today and heading out to the west coast from the east. Things can happen to any vehicle but as NMWILDCAT said above, only you know the ins and outs of your truck.
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Old 12-06-2021, 11:45 AM   #7
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Diesels are dependable if they are taken care of.
New fluids, new filters including fuel filter, replace hoses and belt.
Good tires, decent brakes, rebuilt front end, Down the Road.
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Old 12-06-2021, 12:23 PM   #8
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Something to be aware of for the upcoming year and DEF fluid. This may or may not impact the availability and prices of DEF but could be an issue.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/06/b...od-prices.html
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Old 12-06-2021, 01:14 PM   #9
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I've noticed at my local Wal*Mart that SuperTech DEF is in short supply and more frequently the shelves are empty.

I was lucky the other day they must have received a shipment so I purchased it was the same price as normal $7.88 for 2.5 gallons.

Fast forward to yesterday and I notice the shelves were bare again so I asked an associate and they said they haven't been receiving as much as they used to and when they have it in stock it flies off the shelf.
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Old 12-06-2021, 06:39 PM   #10
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I agree with others as far normal service, check out why light is on and take care of that. The A/C with that mileage I would replace the compressor, receiver/drier, condenser and orifice tube. Most all those parts are easy and inexpensive since they are mostly if not all Chinese these days. Plus those laminar flow condensers can’t really be flushed completely.
I could make a list but it would say if not recently done all the time.
Like some said check the idlers, belt. The modern belts are checked with a gauge and not by just crack checking.
Idlers, I take a cold engine and run it for 10-15 minutes at a fast idle then shut it off. Using an infrared heat gun shoot the center each one and if one is much or radically higher than the others then just change them all.
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Old 12-06-2021, 08:47 PM   #11
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We have a '97 F-250 7.3 diesel with only 140,000 miles, we WERE going to pull our 26 Salem Cruse Lite from Seattle to Iowa and back this last summer so i spent $7,000 in New Tires Brakes and tranny rebuild with a new Billet torque converter, because like you I didn't want to get stuck in the middle of no place! BUT we didn't even make it out of the county when the OD light started blinking a fault code, so we had to turn around unload the trailer cancel 12 rv park reservations, load up the car and off we go again CRAP! our 1st big post retirement trip shot to hell! and take the truck back to the tranny shop to replace the bad heavy duty torque converter after we got back home, So I am HOPING next March or April we can leave the northWET and head south and east to N.M. Texas. Miss. Nashville, MO. Iowa, and back home about 6,000 miles and 27 days, However I am smelling raw diesel, Maybe bad OEM fuel Pump? so here I am at the same dilemma as the original poster, keep pouring MORE money into our good old workhorse OR spend $100,000 Freakin DOLLARS on a new truck? With all that said I guess I will get a new fuel pump (OrEM or Electric?) and maybe injectors, new LED head and Tail lights, and just hope for the best! but kinda plan and budget for the unexpected still a whole lot cheaper than $100,000 FREAKIN DOLLARS!!!
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:28 PM   #12
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Fixing the old stuff can go a long ways with those new prices , especially in states where the license and sales tax cost a bundle and the license increase lasts for years. Of course the insurance is higher too. I have a pre-def and non add on egr system truck. So I am staying with it.
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Old 12-06-2021, 10:27 PM   #13
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Welcome to the forum.

Now I have a 2008, 6.7L Cummins 2500, Dodge Mega Cab with the 6 speed auto, 4X4, 3:73 gears with 145,000 miles on the OD. I would not hesitate at all driving this truck with my current 5ER, to Yellowstone or anywhere out west. But I would suggest that you address any current issue you have with your truck such as the A/C not working or the fuel injector issue!

Do you have a good code reader to see what the ECM has stored in the ECM such as a AlfaOBD code reader. These are required to diagnose what is wrong.

Also prevent maintenance is mandatory on any haul vehicle. And you need to use quality products such as Fleetguard and or Mopar filters with quality oil for the engine, transmission and axles.

On my truck I change the engine oil every 5,000 miles with a new oil filter being used. The fuel filters (yes, I have two) the factory fuel filter is changed every 15,000 miles the secondary fuel filters is changed every 30,000 miles. The transmission oil and filters are changed every 45,000 miles with both axles having the oil being changed every 60,000 miles. The front suspension is greased every 5,000 miles. I have changed the antifreeze at 60,000 miles which is every 5 years for me. My serpentine belt was changed at 90,000 miles. Brakes where down around 85,000 miles with new shocks installed and steering stabilizer at 75,000 miles.

Yes, maintenance cost money but I have done a lot of this myself and I use a quality repair shop for items I can’t do. Such as brakes and changing the brake fluid in my truck.
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Old 12-07-2021, 05:44 AM   #14
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We have a 2005 Dodge diesel with 220,000 miles and plan on taking it to Colorado this summer.
I would be sure your tires (including the spare) have good tread and are less than five years old. Brakes are good. If you don't have any leaks then just change all of the fluids. I also carry an extra fuel filter just in case I get bad fuel somewhere.
Of course you'll want to get the A/C fixed as well.
We would love to have a new diesel truck. However the prices are just insane.
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Old 12-07-2021, 12:21 PM   #15
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I have a 2002 Ford 7.3 with 180 k on the clock. It is the most dependable vehicle I have ever owned out of more than 35 vehicles.
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Old 12-07-2021, 12:38 PM   #16
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Nothing is guaranteed not to break down on a cross country trip.
For me, it would come down to how much is would cost to get that ac and injector, and other issues fixed vs. the cost of a new truck. It's probably going to cost you some money to get the problems diagnosed.
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Old 12-07-2021, 01:28 PM   #17
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Problems that are no more than an inexpensive inconvenience at home are much bigger issues when on the road. At home, you have the luxury of time to get problems fixed but not so much while traveling, especially with a camper in tow. A break down out in the middle of nowhere will cost you quite a bit for just the tow especially if you need your camper towed as well. That's before the actual cost of the repair plus the need for campground accommodations and loss of time while your truck gets fixed.



Do you think your truck can make the journey without a problem and if not, are you prepared to deal with the money and time costs to get it fixed on the road?
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Old 12-07-2021, 01:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdBoyle View Post
I want to drive from the East Coast to Yellowstone in Sept of 2022.

Another item I forgot to point out and others may have missed this too. I would rethink traveling to Yellowstone in Sept. Some of the park maybe closed in Sept. already and depending on when you are in the park there maybe snow on the roads, and they could be closed for snow removal. I would check out the Web Site for Yellowstone National Park. To find campgrounds and roads that would be opened in Sept.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:00 PM   #19
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Well, there's a lot of good answers here. What about it EdBoyle? Are you still with us?
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timfromma View Post
Problems that are no more than an inexpensive inconvenience at home are much bigger issues when on the road. At home, you have the luxury of time to get problems fixed but not so much while traveling, especially with a camper in tow. A break down out in the middle of nowhere will cost you quite a bit for just the tow especially if you need your camper towed as well. That's before the actual cost of the repair plus the need for campground accommodations and loss of time while your truck gets fixed.



Do you think your truck can make the journey without a problem and if not, are you prepared to deal with the money and time costs to get it fixed on the road?


Excellent point it could get very expensive and I think there is a thread about a person stuck or at least the truck is stuck in Bishop Ca. I can see the flip side though a one time 5k or even 10 k repair bill is still cheaper than an 30 to 100k new truck. That said I don’t have 5k. As mentioned nothing is promised and again very valid point
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