Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-10-2013, 04:29 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Posts: 77
Ford Excursion info?

After three seasons of renting and borrowing tow trucks, we've decided we need to buy one of our own. Our trailer is 27 ft. long and gross on it is at 7700 lbs. We live on a small island in the Caribbean area most of the year, and only need a truck for the late summers up in Colorado. We keep the trailer there in Fort Collins.

I hoped that an Expedition would do the job, as we've owned one and loved it But even if I squint my eyes and hold my mouth just right, it ends up being a half ton truck. I'm thinking of buying an early 2000's Excursion with a 7.3 diesel instead.

We'd only put a couple thousand miles a year on it, and it would sit in storage the rest of the time. I'm trying to figure out if it's too big for what we want. We want a big SUV, a big diesel, and four wheel drive. No pickup trucks. From what I can see, there aren't that many choices. Too bad there are no 4x4 diesel vans around.

Does anyone have an Excursion info or warnings I should look out for?
__________________

__________________
Blog from the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
2Gringos is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-10-2013, 05:23 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
BCooke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,523
You might be better off on one of the Ford forums. Powerstrokenation.com is one, thedieselstop.com another BCooke over there (both) also but have not been over there lately. The last engine many ford guys loved was the 7.3. You will find many places they still bring premium dollars. I know the guys that have them love them and are upset that they did away with them. Other than that, I got nothing for you.
__________________

__________________
2017 F350 Lariat Diesel Dually, White, Hitch Kit.
2013 Dutchman Voltage 3200 Epic II 5th wheel.
BCooke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
SmokeyWren's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 3,326
An Excursion (or X-Car) is basically an F-250 with a station wagon body. For 2003 model year, they came in trim lines XLT, Eddie Bauer, and Limited, and with engine choices of 5.4L V8, 6.8L V-10, and diesel. The diesel was a 7.3L with 4R100 tranny from beginning of Excursion production in model year 2000 thru the early 2003 model year ending in October, 2002. Then the diesel was a 6.0L diesel with 5R110 tranny from October 2002 until end of production in the 2006 model year.

Don't expect a 5.4L to be a decent engine for towing. It's not. The V-10 is fine, if you don't mind buying lots of gasoline. The 7.3L was a wonderful trouble-free engine that could be pumped up to around 300 horses without reducing reliability or longevity.

The weak point in the 7.3L Excursions is the 4R100 tranny and torque coverter. I fixed my '99.5 F-250 by having a bulletproof Brian's Truck Shop (BTS) rebuild at about 106,000 miles. A BTS rebuild will cost you around $5,000 today. An alternative now is a Ford HD4R100 rebuilt tranny available from any Ford dealer. Those are almost as good as a BTS, and cost less than $4000 installed.

I have assisted a few people find nice 7.3L Excursions, but the price is high compared to other similar age vehicles. Expect to pay around $15,000 for a nice 2002 or 2003 with around 150,000 miles. The best place to find one is in the southwestern USA, from Texas to Arizona.

One disadvantage is the enviro-freaks hated the Excursions as being too big, too heavy and extravagant grocery getters. But that's what you want for a tow vehicle, so I just ignore those environmental extremists.

However, don't expect you can tow a huge TT without being overloaded. Like any large SUV, you can either tow a heavy trailer or haul a wagonload of people and gear, but not both at the same time without exceeding the GVWR of the Excursion.

GVWR of a 4x4 diesel is 9,200 pounds, and GCWR is 20,000 pounds. But you'll probably run out of GVWR before you get close to the 20k GCWR.

Excursion diesel fans hang out on the Excursion forum at
Power Stroke Excursions - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
__________________
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
SmokeyWren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2013, 08:50 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Posts: 77
Thanks for all the info. I see that the payload of the Ex is essentially about 1520 lbs. I think we're okay, there. Two people, couple folding bikes, inflatable kayak and maybe a little Honda 2000 eventually. Maybe 600 lbs including a cooler and two lawn chairs. 770 lbs tongue weight. I see what you mean about it adding up quick. Still, within spec.

I've noticed the prices for the 7.3s to be higher. I've been looking in the 12K-ish price range so far. Mileage in that range seems to hover around 250,000. Am I being optimistic to be thinking that any major issues would have been dealt with by the time an engine got to that many miles? Do you know of any age/mileage related problems that make so many people trade them in at 250K?

Thanks again. I'll definitely go check out the other forum. I'm hoping to locate a truck somewhere in the US before we come back up in mid December. Ideally, Colorado where our trailer is stored. Also have been considering looking for a truck in the Houston area, and using that as an excuse to visit my folks. Buy a truck in Texas and drive it to CO. Might find one that had never seen road salt or worn a snowplow.
__________________
Blog from the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
2Gringos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Spinner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 292
We towed a 29' TT with a 2000 excursion v10 for many years. I HATED driving it around town because it got bad gas mileage, was a pain to park (door dings, large turning radius), rode rough empty, BUT it was a GREAT tow vehicle. It was stable, no sway, lots of power, lots of room for long trips and dependable.

Just my $0.02 worth.
__________________
Spinner & Gang
2000 MADP ISC350 2003 Jeep Liberty toad
"Working towards the next vacation!"
Spinner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2013, 06:21 AM   #6
Member
 
golfmedik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Auburn, GA
Posts: 51
For any of the Excursions, to get the best towing vehicle, I would suggest changing the soft,sagging springs out for V/B code F250 springs.Very easy mod to do yourself if you can turn a wrench. It is an expense of around $900 but you will not believe the ride quality change of the truck. Both loaded and unloaded. A rear sway bar added to the older 20000-2002s and you have a fantastic tow vehicle. As they say on the Ford-Truck Enthusiasts forum, the most capable SUV on the planet ..
__________________
2016 Montana 3790RD Legacy & 2008 Vortex 26FS Toy Hauler
2013 F350 DRW 4x4, 6.7L Edge CTS, B&W, Viair, AirBags
2001 Ford Excursion Limited 7.3L 4x4, V/B Springs
golfmedik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2013, 10:33 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
SmokeyWren's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 3,326
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Gringos View Post
Am I being optimistic to be thinking that any major issues would have been dealt with by the time an engine got to that many miles?
Other than engine, an Excursion is just another truck. It has lots of parts that simply wear out with age and miles. Brakes, shocks, turbo, fuel pump, water pump, pinion seal, and on 4x4s the front end. The 4R100 tranny and torque converter is good for about 100,000 to 150,000 miles before it needs rebuilding or replacing. So if you pay a premium price for a 7.3L, don't expect to never have any repairs of normal wear parts.

Ford says the engine itself will last 250,000 miles with "normal" maintenance. But normal maintenance is awful maintenance and care compared to doing it "right". Expect the engine to last at least 400,000 miles with excellent maintenance, no idling, and always let a hot engine cool off to 300 before you kill the engine. And there are reports of some engines lasting over 500,000 miles.

There was a 100,000 mile engine warranty on the diesel engines, so yeah, Ford should have fixed anything wrong with the diesel long ago. But owner/driver care is a factor.
...Idling a cold engine for more than a few seconds causes "wet stacking".
... Shutting down a red-hot engine without allowing it to cool off first results in coke in the turbo bearings, and thus a short life for the turbo.
...The cooling system requires the exact right coolant - not just plain ole antifreeze.
...The motor oil and filter should be changed based on used oil analysis (UOA). On mine that meant an oil change interval (OCI) of 5,500 miles. (Ford recommends an OCI of 3,000 miles for 7.3L used for towing, but UOA will show that's a waste of good oil.) And you must use "good" diesel-rated 15w40 oil, such as Shell Rotella T or Chevron DELO 400 or Havoline URSA. Synthetic oil is a waste of money without lots of special procedures to increase the OCI, so I usually ran Rotella, available at Sam's Club and Costco.
...Diesel attracts water (from condensation in the fuel tank), and water in the fuel will ruin the injectors. The stock fuel filter/water separator is a good one, but you must maintain it properly by draining the water every oil change, and changing the filter every year or so.
...And injectors wear out too, even if you don't allow water in the fuel, so don't be alarmed if you have to replace one or more injectors.

The stock 7.3L needs a few tweaks to wake it up and make an excellent towing machine. Dragging an 8,000 pound trailer, mine when pure stock would downshift out of OD for every little bump in the road. But add 80 more horses and problem solved. I had a 4" turbo-back performance exhaust system and Ford 7.3L AIS intake system (air induction system) to reduce EGT, and DP-Tuner 80-tow tune to increase horses and torque. The 7.3L AIS was developed by Donaldson and Ford for use in the Middle East deserts, and works great. Don't leave home without it. Ford dealers maybe can still get it. Try Tousley Ford Parts or Taska Ford for a good discount price of around $220. If not, it's now sold by AMSOIL dealers too, retail price $300:
7.3 L PowerStroke Air Intake System with Donaldson PowerCore

With any tune that adds horses, you must also have an aftermarket pre-turbo pyrometer (gauge for exhaust gas temp or EGT). Drive by the pyrometer when climbing grades, and never allow more than 1,250 F. EGT. It's easy using the go pedal to maintain the EGT between 1,200 and 1,250 on long steep mountain passes, the same way it's easy to maintain a constant speed on your speedometer.
__________________
SmokeyWren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2013, 05:37 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
TDI-Minnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,733
The Suburban was/is also available as a 2500. But for 7700lbs and only occasional use, there really are a lot of options.
I tow with my very comfy and efficient daily driver... a VW Touareg TDI (rated for 7700lbs by chance).
Heck, get a Toyota Sequoia. They're good for 9,600lbs!!
__________________
TDI-Minnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2013, 08:43 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Posts: 77
Where did you read that 9600 lb number? I checked Edmunds for a gen 1 ( 2001) Sequoia, a 2005 ( engine changes) and a 2008 (Gen2) and they say the max towing #'s are 6200 lbs until the 2008 model, when it goes up to 9100. It also goes up above $ 20K. I'm looking at 4x4s in the 12-15K range, driving in the Rockies, and I think I'm leaning toward diesel. I'm not totally against gasoline, but A 6200 lb tow capacity doesn't do it, anyhow.
__________________
Blog from the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
2Gringos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
TDI-Minnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,733
I was thinking of the newer ones. Didn't realize you were trying to stay under $20K.
I would bank on a 2500 Suburban. Up to '99 had diesel, but the gas 2500s built up to 2013 have the bigger engine and are built strong, without having to get a 13+ year old Excursion. Main problem with age being rust, especially in the hitch/frame/leafspring area, unless you find one in the southeast that's never seen salt.
__________________
2013 Winnebago 2301BH-Red
2012 Ram 2500 Megacab HO CTD
TDI-Minnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2013, 01:06 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Posts: 77
Thanks for the info. I'm sure looking at all options. It doesn't make sense for us to buy a new vehicle to sit in storage 10-11 months a year, making only the sounds of high altitude UV exposure and depreciation. We figure we'd put a couple thousand miles a year on it, max. So a used truck with another 50,000 miles in the engine would probably last us for as long as we needed it. I won't still be pulling that trailer around in 25 years.

Not sure what the advantage of a pre-99 Chevy with a Duramax would be over a pre-04 Ford with the 7.3 Powerstroke?

When you say the main problem with the older trucks is the rust in the hitch area, did you mean the Ford or the Chevy, or both? I know some vehicles have their individual aging issues, like spots prone to rust due to dissimilar metals or poor drainage. Door bottoms. The roof of any Dodge Van.

One of the reasons we're leaning toward diesel is the hassles of letting gasoline engines sit for a long time. We have a lot of experience with that down here in the tropics. Especially with carbed gas engines. Diesel fuel is stable for years, isn't it?
__________________
Blog from the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
2Gringos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2013, 01:45 PM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
SmokeyWren's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 3,326
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Gringos View Post
Not sure what the advantage of a pre-99 Chevy with a Duramax would be over a pre-04 Ford with the 7.3 Powerstroke?
No such thing as a pre-'99 Duramax. Before around 2001 model year, they were the awful 6.5L GM diesel that was converted from a GM gasoline engine. That's the engine that ruined the image of diesel engines in the United States after GM installed them in Caddys and big Olds and 2500/3500 pickups. They were so awful that my GM dealer wouldn't even sell them, and wouldn't special order one for me. So I wound up with the wonderful '99.5 Ford/International 7.3L. Thank you, Lady Luck.

The Duramax was an Isuzu engine slightly redesigned to work in a GM pickup. On introduction, GM fans were worried sick over the history of GM light-duty diesels, but the Isuzu design turned out to be a winner. So if you get a diesel Suburban, be certain it has the Isuzu engine and not the original GM 6.5L diesel

Quote:
One of the reasons we're leaning toward diesel is the hassles of letting gasoline engines sit for a long time. ... Diesel fuel is stable for years, isn't it?
Well, sorta. The problem with diesel is condensation (sweat) on the walls of the fuel tank, which results in water in the fuel. That's a disaster for fuel-injected diesels. So you must have a good, well-maintained fuel filter/water separator working right, between the fuel tank and the injectors. I helps if the rig is stored in the arid SouthWest and not in a humid area.

One help to mitigate the results of condensation is to fill the fuel tank to the brim before you park it, and be certain you have an excellent "gas cap" that seals tight to keep air out of the fuel tank.

I have a 40-year old John Deere backhoe with a diesel engine. It sits for months at a time, and I've never had any problem with the diesel going bad with water contamination. I owned a Ford diesel towing machine for 12 years, with never a problem with condensation in the fuel. But I live in the arid area of west Texas, where we are spoiled with "but it's a dry heat".
__________________
SmokeyWren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2013, 02:08 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Posts: 77
Thanks for the education. You sure know your stuff. We're actually moderately familiar with diesels. Until about a month ago, we owned four. Two Yanmars in the sailboat, and we've owned two 2006 Land Rover Defenders with the 2.5 l TDi turbo diesels for the past six years. Yes, we are allowed to have newer-than-'96 Defenders here. I could probably drive a dragster down the road here if we wanted to. It's pretty lax. We just sold the Defenders.

I understand about the condensation. We're boaters in the tropics. We've installed Racor separator/filters on every boat we've owned. And we'll be storing the truck in Colorado, where nothing ever rusts or even condenses.
other than on Coors cans.

So, if you had a budget of $15K, what would be YOUR choice for a 4x4 to tow a 7700 lb. trailer? Am I on the right track? We're hoping to find an SUV to do it, but may have to back off to a F-250. If I do, I hope to find one with the short bed and extra cab, and not that long monster with the crew cab and full bed. I gave up trying to park one of those in the WalMart parking lot in Taos last year. Drove around back next to the dumpsters. I think I needed about 600 ft. of straight runway. And two spotters. Just kidding.
My plan is to locate a couple of good possibilities and then just fly up and buy one the second week of December when we're in the USA again. Of course a lot will depend on what's available.

Until someone shows me the error of my ways...and thinking...my choices are still running 1.) Excursion 7.3, 2.) F-250 7.3, and in 3rd place, a RAM 2500 with a Cummins 5.9.

I realize that with this budget limitation, it's going to have 200,000 miles on it.
__________________
Blog from the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
2Gringos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2013, 04:00 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
SmokeyWren's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 3,326
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Gringos View Post
So, if you had a budget of $15K, what would be YOUR choice for a 4x4 to tow a 7700 lb. trailer? ...
Until someone shows me the error of my ways...and thinking...my choices are still running 1.) Excursion 7.3, 2.) F-250 7.3, and in 3rd place, a RAM 2500 with a Cummins 5.9.
None of the above unless you plan to travel extremely light, with nothing in the tow vehicle but two skinny adults. The problem is none of those have enough GVWR to tow much of a trailer without being overloaded.

If you can get by with a SuperCab (or what Dodge calls a QuadCab), and you want a shorty (6.5' bed) then I would want a Ford F-350 SRW with the 7.3L engine. Those will be hard to find and more expensive than the equivalent Dodge or GM. But also hard to find would be the Dodge 3500 SRW Cummins QuadCab. Chevy or GMC 3,500 SRW SuperCab shorty with the Isuzu diesel engine would also be okay.

To demonstrate how ridiculous the hype for F-350 SRW CrewCab shorty 4x4 7.3Ls has become, here's one with less than 50,000 miles, and they only want $23,900 for it.
Ford : F-350 DIESEL 7.3L in Ford | eBay Motors
__________________

__________________
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
SmokeyWren is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ford



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.