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Old 12-03-2015, 12:55 AM   #1
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Need comments on new truck

I currently have a 2005 F-350 Gas 5.4L which tows my 9500 lb (actually weighed it) fifth wheel. It has worked OK but does strain on the hills and hates to go past gas stations. I am thinking of updating to newer TV, looking at 3/4 & 1 Ton from the big three. Newer gas engines seem to have a lot more capacity if you have the right axle ratio. I really don't want to go to diesel. I know that diesel lovers will say that it is the only way to go, but I can't justify the extra cost and maintenance (average less than 8000 miles per year).
So today I looked at a nice F-250 Lariat (loaded) with 6.2 gas and 3.73 rear end. I was looking for 4.30 axle, as it has about 25% more towing capacity. Either axle has more towing capacity than my current truck, but I am wondering whether I should go for this one or keep looking until I find a 4.3.
I am not in any rush and my current truck runs fine. And I know that newer ones will probably be just as thirsty. But they have bigger fuel tanks, so maybe I can stop at every other station.
Any thoughts? Is there any body with this combination? How do you like it?

Thanks for your input.
Gary
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:06 AM   #2
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Extra cost, yeah, you're right there. But, ...

8K mile/year is fine for a diesel. As long as it gets hot enough each day to heat up the oil, you can get the oil changed once/year and do the fuel filters every other year, and have all kinds of power for pulling. A modern diesel will pull that sub 10K trailer like a dream, and the engine brake will control your hill descents very nicely.

I only bring this up because maybe you really haven't thought this through. Maybe you have, maybe you haven't. I also cannot see in your signature (because you don't have one) where you are from or where you like to go to, which could help the decision making/advice/opinion process.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:15 AM   #3
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I've had two pickups that I pulled trailers with. The first was a GMC with the 5.3 engine.

I moved up to a GMC with the 8.1 and that made quite a difference. However they don't make the 8.1 anymore.

I think you are wasting your money buying a 6.2 gas engine. I've driven a couple diesels pulling trailers and they are remarkable.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:02 AM   #4
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omg Gary.....DURAMAX my friend nooooooo other choice...I have had a 03..09....2011...these trucks r the best!!!!.....chevy 2500 or a 3500 .....best on the road!!
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tollyman View Post
Either axle has more towing capacity than my current truck, but I am wondering whether I should go for this one or keep looking until I find a 4.3.
I am not in any rush ...
Then don't buy that F-250. If you insist on a gas engine, then continue shopping until you find an F-350 SRW with 6.2L and 4.30 axle. The F-250 would be right on the borderline of being overloaded with a 9,500 pound 5er that has about 1,900 pounds pin weight, and the F-350 SRW has 1,500 pounds additional payload capacity. The 3.73 axle will be okay, but merely okay, not great. Truly great would be the PowerStroke diesel, but the gas engine with 4.30 axle would have plenty of power and torque to get you over the pass without drama.

Finding a used F-350 SRW with gas engine and 4.30 axle will probably be a real challenge. Most people that want that much truck will insist on the diesel, so not many gas SuperDuty pickups are available. Most available with that powertrain will be fleet vehicles with work truck trim and driven by uncaring hired hands. The alternative is to order a new one from the factory with exactly the options you want to pay for.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:16 PM   #6
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I've towed with Cummins the last 20 years or so but the new gas rigs are interesting, and an auxiliary gas tank would be an easy addition.

I would test drive them all.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:34 PM   #7
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When climbing a 6% grade with a heavy load one option is a gas pot screaming at you or a low RPM Diesel Humming away or descending that same grade white knuckled with the gas pot of confidently descending with an exhaust brake engaged Diesel.

Easy choice!
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:56 PM   #8
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omg Gary.....DURAMAX my friend nooooooo other choice...I have had a 03..09....2011...these trucks r the best!!!!.....chevy 2500 or a 3500 .....best on the road!!
Chevy is far from the best. However, all new(er) 2011+ Diesel trucks are great for the most part. Instead of me just saying Ford is the best you should drive them and pick for yourself. I'd lean more towards a 2011+ 6.7 Super Duty personally, but that's just me.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:12 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the input. The more I look into these towing capacities, the more confused I get.
If you look at Ford F-350 4x4 gas conventional towing (ball hitch) there is very little difference (2.5%) between 3.73 and 4.3 rear ends. (12200 vs 12500). But if you use that same combination for fifth wheel towing it goes to 12000 vs 15000. A 25% difference. I can see fifth wheel hitches having more towing capabilities, but why 2.5% vs 25%.
And if you look at 2015 GMC 3500HD with std box crew cab, 4.1 axle, gas engine ball hitch is 13000. Same truck with diesel is 13000. No difference gas vs diesel.
Same GMC truck for fifth wheel is 13900 lb for gas, but 17100 for diesel.
What gives?

Yes, maybe I will look at diesels, if I can find a sweet deal. I haven't ruled them out completely.

1bigmess mentioned signatures. I'm still trying to figure that out. But FWIW I am from Vancouver Island. We have done a few trips to CA & AZ, and hopefully plan to go again. But not this year. And with a newer truck.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:18 PM   #10
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Just thought I would point this out since the "get a deezle dood!" Recommendations came out right away- OP is not interested in an oil burner for obvious reasons.

Back to the original subject- the 6.2 we tested was great with 4.30s, so-so with 3.73s. We ended up with a 6.4L Ram with 3.73 and are quite happy, but it was a close decision. Interior feel is what swung us. As long as you keep an eye on the GVWR either should be fine with your 5er.Hope that helps a little!
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tollyman View Post
If you look at Ford F-350 4x4 gas conventional towing (ball hitch) there is very little difference (2.5%) between 3.73 and 4.3 rear ends. (12200 vs 12500). But if you use that same combination for fifth wheel towing it goes to 12000 vs 15000. A 25% difference.
That's because the limiters are different.

The limiter for a tag trailer is the stock factory receiver. The receiver is rated for a max of 12,500 pounds gross trailer weight. So the tow rating cannot exceed the weight capacity of the limiting component.

But an F-350 SRW optional fifth wheel hitch is the Reese Elite 5er system, rated up to 25,000 pounds max trailer weight. So the hitch is no longer the limiting component that holds down the tow rating to 12,500 pounds. Some other component is the limiter that holds down the tow rating to 15,000 pounds for 5er towing. Engine power and torque, transmission, or driveshaft, differential, axle shafts, axle bearings, brakes, or something in the drivetrain is the limiter that has a max weight capacity of 15,000 pounds gross trailer weight.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:28 PM   #12
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I'm getting 14 mpg towing my TT... that's up from 8.5 or so with the F-150. I'll NEVER go back to towing with a gasser.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:47 PM   #13
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I use a f250 as a daily driver. My commute is 10 minutes. In the winter, the engine doesn't always get to temp before I park it, neither does the tranny in the summer. I do about 14000km per year. 5000-7000 of that is towing a 7000lb TT. For me, the 6.2L and 3.73 was the right choice, no regrets. I get 9-10mpg towing at 70mph and 14mpg city/highway driving. For the one larger hill I crossed last summer my gasser happily churned at 4000rpm for 20 minutes and the engine and tranny oil temp didn't budge. Going down the same hill engine compression and 3rd keep me off the brakes. Annual maintenance cost: $50. I would never recoup the cost of the diesel in fuel savings. If I lived in Denver and towed a 10000lb 5er then my choice would have been different. Now can I please ask all you yanks to stop buying all our good Canadian metric used cars at a 35% discount, there isn't a clean 2 year old Ford Edge to be found for the missus!

I think my payload is 2800lbs, with a diesel it would have been 1700lbs and the fuel tank would have been 26G instead of the 36G I have now, basically I'd be stopping just as often for fuel... I probably would have had to get an F350 as a diesel to get the right payload and it would have had to be registered as a commercial vehicle requiring more expensive insurance and an annual safety inspection.

Tranny never takes 6th while towing, I'd probably need the 4.3 for that.

My f150 5.0 burned less gas towing but it had a Leer cap so probably a lot less drag while towing.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:21 AM   #14
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I've got a F250 Lariat crew cab--last of the 7.3's. We added a 60 hp tow and 80 hp econo mode with a D-P tuner and it's very strong.

The price of new diesel pickups in the last few years have shot thru the roof. But if I was buying today, I would buy one of the Big 3 diesels with one of the lesser cabs--comparable to the Ford XLT. The $8K price difference for the leather just about offsets the price of the diesel engine. And the lesser truck equipped properly is a plenty decent looking and comfortable vehicle.

Few that ever go diesel will ever go back to gas engines--if towing heavy or far.
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