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Old 11-03-2013, 10:12 PM   #1
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New TV - 3/4 Ton Dodge or Ford?

I'm torn between the excellent quality of every Ford I've ever owned and the reputation of the Cummins in the Dodge. I have a couple of friends with the Rams, and they seem pretty happy so far, though both are fairly new. Chevy and GMC are out for me for my own reasons, which I'll keep to myself. I have never owned a diesel before and I would very much like to know real world experiences including mileage, (towing and not), service costs, repairs, options, and general quality.

I really don't want a bunch "mine's better'n yours" BS so if that's all ya got... please save it...

Thanks in advance...
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:16 AM   #2
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are you buying used or new. That's a huge factor because i would personally never buy a used ford 6.0L or the 6.4L. A used cummins, i would have no problem buying, and if you are buying really used, the engines are easier to work on. Pretty much every diesel mechanic knows the engine like the back of their hand. The problem with the older dodge trucks is the actual truck itself sucked but it's not that bad where i wouldn't drive it.

The new dodge trucks have come a long long way. Complete package now, and the cummins hasn't changed drastically over the years. Whereas the ford 6.7L is still a new engine because ford dropped Navistar and is now making their own design.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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I bought a 2013 Ram 3500 with the cummins a little under a month ago. I have been very happy with the truck and its trim package (Laramie) save for the Uconnect system. My bluetooth has been spotty (taking it into the dealer this weekend, expect it to be resolved without issue) but other than that no issues. The Laramie package is outstanding and affords every creature comfort you could imagine for long drives. I have not towed our new trailer yet, we pick it up this weekend. I'll repost once we get the new rig and I put some miles under it towing. I'll be going up the Cajon pass here in CA towing a 40" 16,000 toyhauler so that should be a solid first test of towing ability with the Cummins.

I did tow our old 31" TT, it was as if there was nothing behind me. The Ram's have integrated exhaust brake and also "smartbrake" assist which both kept the rig at a constant 55 going down the Cajon pass here in CA when I was towing our old trailer.

Can't say enough how nice the Laramie interior is. Heated leather in both front and back with the front seats ventilated also for AC. Heated leather steering wheel. The driver can scroll through just about any piece of information you want in real time on the screen display in the gauge cluster. Anything from current oil pressure to trailer brake gain. Really a superb interior.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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I posted part of this in another thread on buying a gas or diesel engine pick-up truck.

Now as far as cost go fuel is $0.23 and maintenance is $0.06 per mile for the diesel; this includes all oil, fuel filter, transmission oil/filters and differential fluid changes.

Now as far as none towing mileage I normally am between 14.5 and 20 MPG most of my mileage is city and rural driving with occasional highway driving too, that is where the 20 MPG comes in. When towing my mileage is mostly 10.5 to 12 MPG depending if I am on relatively flat land or mountain roadways.

One vote for the Cummins engine is the relatively less complexity of the engine package. There are less moving parts in 6cyl vs 8cyl, the turbo is not buried in the valley of the engine and the Cummins 6 Cylinder is basically a truck engine in a pick-up truck body. Now if I remember correctly the 6.7L is basically a re-bored 5.9L engine with over 75% commonality of parts. The 5.9L engine have thousands of them over 300,000 road miles on the engine and still running strong so the 6.7L should be just as good.

Now what would I buy to replace my current TV if I was in the market for one? I would buy a 2014 RAM Cummins 6.7L truck with the AISIN transmission in it. You will have two components that just don’t break. Most Cummins engines have around 300,000 miles on them before overhaul and the AISIN in the C & C trucks have never needed to be rebuilt from what I can find out.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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You don't say what you're towing, so let's assume for the moment that a 3/4 ton truck is going to be able to tow your RV without exceeding any of its GCWR, GVWR or GAWR ratings.

With that assumption in mind, I'll say that either the 6.7L Ford or Ram powertrain would make for an exceptional towing machine. As far as my personal experience is concerned, I've towed with Rams since 1996 (a 1996 8.0L V-10 dually, a 2002 Cummins HO dually and my current 2011 Cummins dually) and have obviously been pleased with the service they've provided since I keep coming back to them. The build quality of each has been exceptional, and I've never had to walk home or drag a truck in on the hook.

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Old 11-04-2013, 10:41 AM   #6
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IMO it's just a matter of taste. Which one feels better. Styling, etc. I was a Ford guy for the most part of my life. I bought my 1st Ram last year. 2012 Ram 2500 CTD CC LB 3.73. I traded in a 2010 F150 super crew 5.4. So far the Ram with 15,400 miles on it has been everything I expected and more. Power is more than enough for my 5'er (9000lbs). Overkill at times. I get 17.5 running 70mph on the freeway. 18-19 running 55-60 in the mtns. 10.5-11.9 towing. I don't have the DEF tank so my oil changes are more frequent than the DEF equipped CTD's. The new 2013 DEF Rams should be better.
Main reason I went with the Ram was the Cummins motor, and the fact that Ram makes a darn good truck now a days. Ram also was offering $10,000 off MSRP at the time. Local Ford dealers weren't as generous. I've only had one warranty issue and that was the OEM brake control. Never worked from day one. Replaced under warranty and still didn't work right. Replaced it with a Tekonsha and have been happy since.
IMO you really can't go wrong with either. Ram has revamped their frames and increased payload and towing ratings greatly.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
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I own a 2005 dodge Ram with 154K on it. only problem so far was a new rear end and a radiator.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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Sorry, I didn't give enough info. I tow a TT, not a 5er. It weighs about 6200 loaded. I do not intend to trade RVs any time soon. I tow with an '11 F-150 with the newer 5.0 V-8. My TT is almost 30' long and I get pushed around a bit on the interstates by winds, truck turbulence, and so forth. Hills sometimes push her down to third gear and 4K rpms for a minute or two but she is always able to maintain speed, so far. I will be traveling a lot in the next few years, but this will also be my daily driver for the next 4 years until retirement. My commute is about 40 miles each way into the north side of Ft. Worth so unloaded mileage is important. I am a bit disappointed with some of the mileage figures I an seeing. I have had some tell me they get 25 on the interstate, and some tell me as low as 18. Some tell me it's 12 in town and some claim as high as 18 in town... hence my bewilderment. Pulling mileage seems lower than I'd hoped, as well. I get anywhere from 9.2 to 10.5 pulling now with the gasser. I was hoping for some improvement there to help me justify this trade in my own mind... and I ain't gettin' there... Don't get me wrong... I don't want sunshine blown up my skirt... so thanks for the info that's been posted.

I will be buying new, but with few frills. As long as it's reasonably comfortable, I don't need all the bells and whistles. I will be buying on a plan we have at work so the deal is basically set before I get there...

So, please keep the responses coming, I need all the info I can get so I can make my choice... which may include to just keep the F-150 and go on about my business for now.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:49 AM   #9
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The Ford or RAM question is loaded...we all have our personal preference and brand loyalties to deal with.

That being said, I'll say upfront, that I'm a MOPAR guy. Have tried other brands and they all left bad impressions and now I don't stray. You will be hard put to find a better diesel than the Cummins straight 6's. They are used everywhere and there is a reason for that; reliability. Parts? Not an issue, no matter where you are, there are parts available handy. The AISIN transmission is good, but, the 68RFE is no slouch and it was the only transmission available that would handle the high output torque of the Cummins HO option.

As for mpg? That, too, is extremely variable. The diesel, any brand, will give higher mpg's than an equivalent duty gas engine, but, the higher cost of diesel, IMHO, makes that a wash. In my experience, having owned both gasser and diesel tow vehicles, the cost of fuel comes out about the same. However, the diesel, at more mpg (towing or not) means that I can go further on a tank of diesel than I could on tank of gas, making it seem like I was doing better fuel cost wise than was actually true when I looked at fuel cost for the month. In a strictly towing vein, the higher mpg of diesel is attractive, but, may actually be an "illusion" when you figure the cost differential of gas vs. diesel. If the price differenctial is around 30%, I figure it is a wash...as the diffential falls (gas gets closer to diesel) the diesel mileage comes out ahead, if the spread is greater, then the edge would probably go to gas. I've never done the math, except as rounded in my tiny brain, but, that is what I've always gone with...

Cost? A diesel will cost a premium "up front", but, in my experience, I've always recouped the investment at resale or trade-in. Demand for a used diesel is always high in my area. Diesels last longer, so, a purchaser usually has more faith in the remaining mileage of diesel over a gasser. A diesel, even when used for "work" is usually in better shape than a gasser used for the same purposes (diesel = work). I would be much more confident in getting 200,000 miles off a used diesel with 85,000 miles on it than I would a gasser given the same circumstances. Cost of maintenance? I've heard that a diesel is higher, but, again, in my experience, I haven't seen it. There is definitely more oil to put in, but, there are other costs that aren't there in a diesel. Others can argue that point, but, the "value" of diesel, to me, (the ability to tow almost anything easily) far outweighs any "extra cost" of owning a diesel, and there probably is, but, I doubt if it is that much more expensive for the value received.

I won't tow with anything but a diesel since my first one...it is just so much easier and more comfortable. The diesel in towing, is doing what it was designed for, while a gasser can do it, it isn't what it was designed for and will do it at the expense of wear and tear and lower fuel efficiency. As for the Ford or RAM issue? Again, I'm a MOPAR man, but, I recommend that you actually go and test drive each, if you don't have a personal preference, and pick the one that you find most appealing in interiors, ride and serviceability (if you do your own) since you'll be the one spending the most time in it.

Those are the reasons I tow diesel and I personally like the RAM setup, but, they are my personal likes and perceptions; no science or true mathematical calculations used, but, so much of life is based on perceptions and those are mine.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:02 PM   #10
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At the dealer I work for we have multiple fleet accounts. Most of them have went with the new Ford 6.7L powertrain. They use them for heavy work every day and found them to be very reliable (at the dealer in general also). Very few issues over the 500,000 that have been sold in since 2011. These fleets have a mileage range of mid 100k miles on them to very low miles with 3000 hours. Obviously gas mileage is a concern but it is hard to compare to work trucks in various uses. However on this forum, seems like all the diesels out of the big three seem to get pretty much the same mileage when towing.

The 6F140 transmission in the superduty is starting for a reputation of being as bullet proof as the now replaced torqshift5 5R110W. A few minor issues with some shift solenoids on the first production runs but again that was pretty minor.

A local medical company in this area has moved pretty much over to the international medium truck chassis for ambulances but they have also purchased some F550's for fleet work also. They have been very impressed with the performance and total package.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:57 PM   #11
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I have had the Ford 7.3L, 6.0L, 6.4L and now the 6.7L diesel motors. Interestingly if you read the forums, each motor was a piece of crap until the next motor came out. Then the previous motor was the best. I never had a problem with any of them. They all had plenty of power and got reasonable MPG towing ans solo. The eception to the MPG was the 6.4L, but as I went over 70K miles, the MPG's started to pick up. When I traded it I was getting 16 solo and 10 towing. I now have the 6.7L and I think it is the best of the bunch. With 38K miles, I am now getting 15 solo and 12 towing. With 4:30 rear, I think that is respectable. However I was expecting higher number. My 6.0, 6.7 ran with 4:30 rear gears (my 6.4 had 4:88's). All three pulled like a raped ape thru mountainous terrain. Although I never crossed the Rockies, I did get as far as Billings, MT from the east coast.

I also had a 2002 GMC thrown in the mix with the DuraMax diesel (I forget what size that was). Paired with the Allison tranny, it was a great combination. My only problem was that the lowest rear gear they put in was 3:73 and I struggled on some of the hills in PA with my 5er. I can't imagine how it would have done thru real mountains.

Only Cummins I ever drove was in a Fire Truck which doesn't count in this discussion.

That is my personal experience.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:02 PM   #12
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I can only give my opinion, which may not be worth 2cents, but here it is. I have just gone from a 1500 GMC Z71 gasser to a lightly used Dodge 2500 4x4 diesel. My trailer comes in at 9400 lbs. It was too much for the 1500 and I was getting 7 MPG towing. I now get 10+ MPG and the truck doesn't rev like the gasser. My trailer is much heavier than yours so your MPG should be better. Not a lot better, but I'm still learing to -"step lighter" on the throttle than I had to with the gasser. I used to get 13 MPG around town solo with the Z71, I now get 15 - 17 MPG with the Dodge. It offsets the cost of fuel and I have a truck I feel WAY MORE comfotable towing with.

I pourpously looked for a Dodge 5.9L to stay away from more of the emissions stuff that is put on todays trucks. That would be anything before 2007.5 when they went to the bigger motor. I prefer the 2004 - 2007.5 years myself, and found a 2006 with low mileage (73,000 miles) when I bought it. It had NOT had a brake controller installed yet (wires still tucked in factory spot with dust on them) and NO goose neck or 5th wheel hitch ever installed. I'm very happy with what I have now.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:30 PM   #13
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Yes, as long as you are within the GVWR, GCWR and GAWR for a 3/4 ton truck, drive them both and take your pick on what you like and the deal you can make.

many 3/4 ton trucks on the dealers lots have high speed road gearing...like 3.31 or 3.08 axles. For towing, you really should get a 3.7s axle.

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Old 11-05-2013, 07:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by K-Star View Post
I have had the Ford 7.3L, 6.0L, 6.4L and now the 6.7L diesel motors. Interestingly if you read the forums, each motor was a piece of crap until the next motor came out. Then the previous motor was the best. I never had a problem with any of them. They all had plenty of power and got reasonable MPG towing ans solo. The eception to the MPG was the 6.4L, but as I went over 70K miles, the MPG's started to pick up. When I traded it I was getting 16 solo and 10 towing. I now have the 6.7L and I think it is the best of the bunch. With 38K miles, I am now getting 15 solo and 12 towing. With 4:30 rear, I think that is respectable. However I was expecting higher number. My 6.0, 6.7 ran with 4:30 rear gears (my 6.4 had 4:88's). All three pulled like a raped ape thru mountainous terrain. Although I never crossed the Rockies, I did get as far as Billings, MT from the east coast.

I also had a 2002 GMC thrown in the mix with the DuraMax diesel (I forget what size that was). Paired with the Allison tranny, it was a great combination. My only problem was that the lowest rear gear they put in was 3:73 and I struggled on some of the hills in PA with my 5er. I can't imagine how it would have done thru real mountains.

Only Cummins I ever drove was in a Fire Truck which doesn't count in this discussion.

That is my personal experience.
We have had a fleet of ford service trucks, usually about 20 trucks on hand at any given time. The reason is because the ford dealership is right across the street, so they would actually come and pick the trucks up for service. The 7.3's were fairly reliable. The 6.0's were horrendous for reliability. We only bought one 6.4L but it was fairly reliable, just sucked down diesel like nobody's business. We then switched to Ram trucks and haven't had any issues with the engines. Just a problem with the interior evaporator clogging( we work in dusty environments).




But for the OP, have you considered a new Hitch???? A Hensley Arrow or Propride 3P hitch should solve your problem. It projects the pivot point over the rear axle, so it'll tow like a fifth wheel. An F150 should have no problems towing 6200lbs.

But if you did want a 3/4 ton truck, shop around. Ram and dodge in general seems to offer the most discounts, like $5k-$10k off MSRP price. I see on cars.com you can get a crew cab brand new for about $36-$40k with the 6.7L cummins. You can get a single cab for about $34k. That's typically optioned down with just power windows and door locks.


Also if you are really really concerned with fuel economy, the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel should be the best MPG tower for that kind of weight. Motorhomes with similar sized engines and total weight usually get about 20mpg, factor in the extra wind drag of a TT, it shouldn't be much less. I'm waiting till spring to see what the actual towing MPG of the ecodiesel will be.
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