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Old 11-12-2012, 01:08 PM   #1
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Need to Buy a Tow Vehicle

Will be pulling between 15,000 and 16,000 lbs (fully loaded) 5th wheel.

Current thinking is a Ford F-350, turbo charged deisel, dual axel.

Don't believe we need 4 wheel drive, but needs change over the life of the vehicle.

Our home base will be Texas (DFW) and while we'd probably travel to places like Montana, Colorado, etc. it's more likely that would occur between spring and fall; not in winter.

Thoughts? Recommendations?
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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You probably mean dual wheels, not axles and it will likely be a good package. My gross trailer weight is 15,500 and the Dodge handles it nicely. Ford would be comparable.

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:24 PM   #3
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16K is going to be top end for most 1 ton duallies. IMHO I would be looking for a F450/F550 Ford or a 4500/5500 Dodge or a MDT. Used MDT can be had nicely outfitted for the same or lower prices as new F450.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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The new F350 DRW has a GCWR or 30,000# and a GVWR of 13.300#. Our 2012 in my signature weighs 8810# wet and loaded to travel. We are towing a 36' Cameo that has a GVWR of 16,050#. The truck handles the trailer well and has reserve towing capacity.

One note, with the newer Ford DRW trucks and trailers suited to them, you will require a class A (non-CDL) instead of the class C license.

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Old 11-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #5
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Ken,
Do you gross over 26000?
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:41 PM   #6
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Joe, does not matter what you actually gross, but what the vehicle is rated for. My actual gross combined is close to 24000#. In any case, it is not hard to get the class A once you find a DPS office that knows what it is for an RV.

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Old 11-15-2012, 11:19 AM   #7
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Thanks

Appreciate everyone's input. We've done some research on used F-350's, turbo diesel, DRW trucks. We'd like to keep the cost below $30K if possible, but we want a truck that will do the job and be reliable.

The trucks we've seen available (under $30K) are typically several years old (2006 -2009) and have between 75 and 100K miles or more. This doesn't seem to be many miles for a diesel.

If we limit the purchase to under $30k, will this truck be reliable?

We've never bought a diesel. For the F-350, diesel, DRW, what are the things to watch out for when buying a used truck like this? Thanks
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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I can't speak to Dodge or GM, but for an F350--if you looking at the 6.0L powered 350s, you should limit yourself to an '06 or '07, the last two years for that engine model. Most of the bugs were out by then, and it will be up to you to look at the history of the truck. If you find an '08, you should make sure it was built after 01/08 (check the door jamb sticker) to get the model with latest changes, since the '08 was first year for the 6.4L and many of them have had radiator/water pump issues. If you look at '09s, that will be bumping up against the max you want to pay. I had an '07 F350 DRW and it served me well til I wore it out pulling my heavy trailer.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut60
I can't speak to Dodge or GM, but for an F350--if you looking at the 6.0L powered 350s, you should limit yourself to an '06 or '07, the last two years for that engine model. Most of the bugs were out by then, and it will be up to you to look at the history of the truck. If you find an '08, you should make sure it was built after 01/08 (check the door jamb sticker) to get the model with latest changes, since the '08 was first year for the 6.4L and many of them have had radiator/water pump issues. If you look at '09s, that will be bumping up against the max you want to pay. I had an '07 F350 DRW and it served me well til I wore it out pulling my heavy trailer.
Joe
I have an '03 F250 with the 6.0. BulletProofDieselPerformance.com has an Oil cooler and EGR cooler kit that moves the oil cooler to the front of the radiator and increases EGR flow, thusly eliminating the likelihood of that breakdown. I have done both kits and am very satisfied with the outcome.
They are, overall, a good setup. Don't limit yourself if you like a certain rig. Fixes for shortfalls are available.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:38 PM   #10
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You may consider checking out this new web based app called Before You Buy RV. It's supposed to help ensure you're matching the correct towing combination.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:57 PM   #11
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Forget about personal opinion. Look at the specs and figure it out. You are legaly liable for having an adequate TV.

2013 Ford Super Duty | View Towing Specifications | Ford.com
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:48 AM   #12
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F-350 it is!

Thanks everyone for your valuable insights. My wife and I bought an F-350, diesel, DRW. Love it! Have also had a Reese Elite hitch installed and will be taking our first trip New Years weekend.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcakia View Post
My wife and I bought an F-350, diesel, DRW. Love it!
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together.

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:10 PM   #14
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16K is going to be top end for most 1 ton duallies. IMHO I would be looking for a F450/F550 Ford or a 4500/5500 Dodge or a MDT. Used MDT can be had nicely outfitted for the same or lower prices as new F450.
Not according to Ford. A 2012 Ford F-250 SRW 2WD diesel truck is rated at 16,300 lbs. with a 5th wheel trailer. A DRW 1-ton takes that up to 21,500 lbs. and the F-450 with its 4.30 rear end increase the tow capacity up to 24,500 lbs. with the difference being the lower rear end gearing - engine and drive train are identical for F-350 and F-450 Ford trucks.

A Dooley is more comfortable when towing but the other 90% of the time a SRW is easier to maneuver and park. 4WD only reduces the tow capacity with the Ford trucks by 200 lbs. and adds less than $500 to the purchase price and a lot of that if not all of it comes back in terms of higher resale value.

There are two benefits to 4WD, with the first being the much greater traction and it is more than double that of 2WD unless the 2WD vehicle has a limited slip differential, and second that with the low range the truck's engine can be providing full power at roughly a third the over the ground speed which provides for a lot more control.

I traveled this past fall over many dirt roads in Utah and Nevada and without 4WD and diesel engine braking they would have been much harder on me as the driver, on my passenger, and on everything inside.
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