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Old 11-15-2010, 05:38 PM   #1
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Which truck to buy

Hello,

We have decided to bite the bullet and buy a different truck to pull our 2009 Rockwood Ultralite 2501SS (GVWR - 6700lbs). We feel that our 2004 Ford F-150 5.4 XLT is underpowered. We tend to load the back of the truck with quite a bit of weight - generator, bikes, wood, coolers etc... as well.

We are looking at a 2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD SLE 4x4 and a 2008 Ford F-350 Diesel. They are both near the same price (Ford - $2500 more). The truck we buy will be my husbands vehicle which he will drive 4 kms to work everyday during the week. We only camp maybe 30 nights a year - mountains (Rockys) and flat (prairies). We would pull nothing but the trailer.

I know that diesels are better towers, but this one is probably overkill for what we need. Plus I hear diesels cost more to maintain.

The Chev is gas, but I worry that maybe it will turn out to be underpowered as well. It is 4 years old. Plus it is an SLE but does have the tow/haul button.

We are test driving both tomorrow.

Then there is the whole issue with Chev vs. Ford. Don't want to go there as I think both are okay (Hubby likes Chev, I like Ford).

Which truck would you go with...?


Giselle
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:44 PM   #2
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Both should be fine for your application IMHO.
I think you would be very happy with either one.
The diesel DOES cost more to maintain.
Oil changes are a real shocker if you don't do them yourself.
However at 100,000 miles the diesel is just getting broken in.

If you think for even a minute you might want a bigger camper, I would go with the Ford, even with the higher maintenance costs today. Finding a diesel equipped pickup around here is like "hen's teeth."

If you are happy as "two peas in a pod" with you current camper the lower costs of the gas engine (stock motor should be fine for your small ultralite) will more than make up for any lower gas mileage while towing.

Good luck with which ever you choose. I like Ford (no bailout money) and GMC (quieter diesels) equally well.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:45 PM   #3
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You will get 1000 answers. Buy the one you like best whether by colour, options, tire brand etc.
Either one will be overkill but everyone gets 2 foot itis so you will have the TV for the next trailer. Should the next one be a 5th wheel go F350.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
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You will get 1000 answers. Buy the one you like best whether by colour, options, tire brand etc.
Either one will be overkill but everyone gets 2 foot itis so you will have the TV for the next trailer. Should the next one be a 5th wheel go F350.
Now this is a good answer.. Its what YOU want

I myself have a Chevy 2500HD diesel, But I'm pulling a 30ft 5th wheel, and the wife does tend to Load it up with enought stuff to last a year
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:41 PM   #5
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If you feel the 5.4 Ford is underpowered, I doubt that you will be happy with another gasser; even if it is a 6 liter. A good friend of mine pulls exactly the same trailer as yours with a 5.4 Ford with no issues . . . . It may just be that your expectations while towing are too high? Just a thought . . .
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:42 PM   #6
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I drive a Chev 2500HD. I pull a 30 TT andgo where I want when ever I want. As for the oil changes, you can go 10,000 miles, I change every 6000 miles it costs $54.
so not much different than a auto change every 3000 miles at $29. A fuel filter is a different story, $150 every 15000 miles.
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:00 PM   #7
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Hello gizzys
If I may offer some comments.
I am in a similar situation of selecting a new tow vehicle. Some of the items I include when looking at vehicles (that have ruled out a couple of them so far) are the on going costs such as – Insurance, costs of routine maintenance items such as oil, filters, trans/diff(driveline) fluids, brakes, tires etc. you may also find info from Fuelly | Share and Compare Your MPG usefull.
Both your choices are very capable vehicles that should meet your towing needs very handily; there are a couple of things you may want to keep in mind for the commuter role.
As a diesel owner, I can say they are very good distance vehicles (I run a 1000k a week) and costs are much less than an equivalent gasser when used consistently in high load/distance conditions. The down side is that frequent short runs are hard on them and could increase your maintenance costs significantly. The other item you may want to consider is winter operations, diesels have much less waste heat when compared to a gasser, and as such may not be as comfortable without auxiliary heat sources ( my commuter has heated seats + a small electric heating system tied the cabin heater).

Regards

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Old 11-16-2010, 06:24 AM   #8
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I have to echo what sreddy has mentioned and our climate can get pretty cold so I think a diesel would not make you very happy. Take a read on the link I posted below. Gasser HD trucks don't need to make any appologies for their performance. We took our 2500 megacab 4x4 on a 6000km trip to Ontario this summer and power was not an issue. Proper gearing with an HD truck is very important so if going with a gasser get 4:10's at the minimum and with the new 5 and 6 speed trannies the gearing really doesn't affect your mileage that much any more.

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Old 11-16-2010, 06:56 AM   #9
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Just buy a new F250 gas model. As someone said a deisel for short commutes is not the answer.
Love our V10 but it does have an appetite for gas.
New V8 should be much better
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:48 AM   #10
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I have the same trailer, and I did have a 2004 F150 with the 5.4. I was not happy with that truck for towing the trailer. I just bought a new 2011 F250 with the 6.2L gas engine. This truck is night and day different for towing the trailer. I also use this truck for everyday commuting. I get about 11 MPG towing and about 14 MPG for every day commuting. I think with this truck you get the best of both worlds. I am very happy with it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:27 AM   #11
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Well, I am a Ford guy, but I going to have to say something about the 2008 Super Duty diesels.

There was a design flaw around that time period. You have to pull the cab off of the frame to change the fuel pump. Plus, some of the fuel pump gears are disintegrating, messing up the entire fuel system. It is somewhere around a $4000 job to change the fuel pump, due to having to pull the cab off of the frame, cleaing the injectors, replacing fuel filters, and even cleaning the fuel tank because of the return fuel system.

The reason I know this is I have a neighbor who experienced this soon after he bought his used truck. He was lucky.......Ford did the job under the 100,000 mile warranty. Even though he now has a great running truck (with the addition of an expensive tuning chip), he says he is going to get rid of it before the 100,000 mile mark so he doesn't have to pay for the fuel pump change.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:39 AM   #12
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urrrggghhh, talk about a design defect ! What were they thinking when they designed this truck Four thousand dollars every 100,000 miles adds a lot to the maintenance costs of that truck ....I have a friend considering one, I will give him a heads up.


MTNGUY, with your permission I am copying and pasting your post to another camping forum.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:40 AM   #13
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Proper gearing with an HD truck is very important so if going with a gasser get 4:10's at the minimum and with the new 5 and 6 speed trannies the gearing really doesn't affect your mileage that much any more.
This is a VERY good point and in a used vehicle could be a deal breaker. Unless the owner has the paperwork on the truck he may not even know what the axle ratio is. Until proven otherwise, it would be best to assume the worst 3.55 ratio. A truck shipped with a high ratio axle will give you better fuel mileage NOT TOWING, but a gas truck should have a low ratio 4.10 for better performance when towing,
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:43 AM   #14
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urrrggghhh, talk about a design defect ! What were they thinking when they designed this truck Four thousand dollars every 100,000 miles adds a lot to the maintenance costs of that truck ....I have a friend considering one, I will give him a heads up.


MTNGUY, with your permission I am copying and pasting your post to another camping forum.
That should be fine. I did not anything with a quick search on the web about the problem, so my only experience is what my neighbor had to go through, and what he found out about the problem. Please let your other forum know that this is from a 2nd hand observation.

It will be interesting to see if any members of your other camping forum have a similar experience.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:44 AM   #15
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I had a Chevy Vega once that needed to have the engine pulled to change the rear spark plug. The engine design team did not talk to the chassis design team.

Some smart GM tech figured out how to change it without pulling the engine a few years later by jacking UP the engine and removing the right engine mount, then lowering the engine enough to get a flex wrench in there to remove and install the plug. No idea what his bonus was, but he sure earned it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:57 AM   #16
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Geniuses eh HAHAHAHA
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:00 AM   #17
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Hi Gizzys. I think if it was me, I would keep the F 150 5.4, and put a new rear end gear in there, 3:93, or 4:10- something to that effect, chances are you have a 3:55 gear now. You can also beef up the rear suspension with new HD gas adjustable shocks, and helper springs. That 25 foot ultra lite camper should not be needing an F 350 to pull it! That's why Forest river designed the lite series campers- so that 1/2 ton trucks could pull them. Unless you're trying to climb Mount Everest a lot, these much cheaper mods to your existing TV should and would make a world of difference. (Unless you just WANT a new truck, anyway?) Good luck, Randy
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:06 AM   #18
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8 Km a day will KILL a diesel really fast. They are not made for that sort of driving. For that matter neither is a gas motor. But for your situation I would opt for a gas motor truck.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:11 AM   #19
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Hi Gizzys. I think if it was me, I would keep the F 150 5.4, and put a new rear end gear in there, 3:93, or 4:10- something to that effect, chances are you have a 3:55 gear now. You can also beef up the rear suspension with new HD gas adjustable shocks, and helper springs. That 25 foot ultra lite camper should not be needing an F 350 to pull it! That's why Forest river designed the lite series campers- so that 1/2 ton trucks could pull them. Unless you're trying to climb Mount Everest a lot, these much cheaper mods to your existing TV should and would make a world of difference. (Unless you just WANT a new truck, anyway?) Good luck, Randy
Good suggestions on the final ratio gear change....that is a lot cheaper than a new truck. I have a similar trailer being pulled by an 2006 F150, 5.4 L engine, and 3.73 gears, and it does a good job even in the Appalachians. Even though the new gears won't add to the truck towing figures, it should improve the power to the axle. But 1st, make sure you don't already have the 3.73s

I am not sure helper springs are needed with a properly set up WDH. My truck rides just about level with the trialer hitched up, and the bed loaded for camping. But......I am approaching the GVWR.......that is where a 3/4 ton truck would excel.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:22 AM   #20
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I had never owned a Ford before but when we went full time we need a bigger truck to pull everything. We now have the F350 7.3 Deisel 4x4. Ours had 200,000 on it when we got it and other than just a few small repairs it has been great. We are able to keep up on the highway and have all the power we need in the mts. We are carring everything we own so it's a big load. Very happy with it.
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