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Old 06-24-2018, 09:13 PM   #1
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Question for you diesel guys...

I am looking for a used TV and have come across many nice Cummins and 7.3L Fords and a few Duramax. I have had diesel cars but never a truck and have owned and own gas trucks.

So my question: assuming the truck is in good condition and is well maintained what would the max mileage you would consider? I know it is a general question but Im just trying to decide where to draw the line.

I wont even pose the gas vs diesel question...
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:20 PM   #2
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To me, it would depend on the age of the truck..
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:22 PM   #3
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If it's well maintained and in good condition, 150,000 miles is just broken in for a diesel pickup. I'd want an oil and trans fluid analysis done before buying, just to identify if there are any problems looming.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:27 PM   #4
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I would draw a line at nothing older than 2011. I know that is not what you are looking for but in 2011 for example the Chevy 2500/3500 really improved their frame and redesigned a much better truck. In 2011 Ford introduced their in-house built 6.7 liter diesel engine. Ram also made improvements in 2011.

I would try to swing a 2011 or newer Ford, Ram or Chevy diesel if I could.

If I couldn't, I would look at gasoline powered newer rather than pre 2011 diesel.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:23 AM   #5
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I would draw a line at nothing older than 2011. I know that is not what you are looking for but in 2011 for example the Chevy 2500/3500 really improved their frame and redesigned a much better truck. In 2011 Ford introduced their in-house built 6.7 liter diesel engine. Ram also made improvements in 2011.

I would try to swing a 2011 or newer Ford, Ram or Chevy diesel if I could.

If I couldn't, I would look at gasoline powered newer rather than pre 2011 diesel.
Right on tuffr2.

OP: We started out in the same boat - with a 2005 F-350 6.0 Diesel with 150k miles. I thought the same thing you did - High mileage for Diesel is fine, the things a tank, what could go wrong, damn this is all I can afford ($14k). And man it was a mess.The thing was in the shop pretty much monthly. We called the first year of our adventure the "Ford dealer cross country tour".
Now, SOME of that was due to it being 6.0 (TLDR DONT GET A 6.0) but much of it was wear items that break when you REALLY START WORKING an old truck that were not anything to do with that infamous International engine. Transmission sensors, Alternators, CAC boots and tubes, Y-Pipes, Brakes, Leaf springs, ball joints, power steering pumps. All of these are common parts, but the older truck you get, the older those parts on it are...These things will bite you in the A$$, and because the word diesel is present in the sales order, it will all cost about 2x what you expect. The newer trucks are only getting more complicated, and more expensive to fix$$$$.

Basically the way I look at it was it wasn't necessarily the 6.0 that let us down, it was the old wore out truck I had to put up with to even afford a diesel on a small budget in the first place that let us down.

When its your house, and your wife, and your in the middle of BFE with no support - reliability is absolutely key. You can't borrow your friends car to get around. You can't leave the dealer until that part is fixed. That sightseeing trip you booked? Can't go....truck needs to go to the shop again....I guess you can Uber to the grocery store? Campground reservation has ended and there is no where for you to park after tomorrow but no truck? Hmm..

Buy what you can afford, but don't cheap out on your first diesel...it will bite you....if you can't afford one under factory powertrain warranty, get as new of a Gasser as you can. You'll get all the "new" benefits, and still have plenty of power.

Also - happy to send you the list of items we had to replace to keep that truck going will full timing towing a 16k 5th wheel if you want to see what it looked like.
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:36 AM   #6
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mrgray - good job describing all the other things that can go wrong that do go wrong.

My friend had an old Ford 7.3. The engine never broke but everything else did. He replaced everything thing on that truck except the engine block.

2011 is when I use the term 'modern diesel engine'. I had experience driving a 2011 Ram 3500 dually (my friends) and my 2012 F-450. Both trucks drove nice and were very powerful and amazing, were comfortable. The Ram towed a 40' 4 horse trailer with living quarters. The F-450 towed 37' 5th wheel used to snowbird so it was packed heavy. 2011 marks the 1st year that the diesel engine start to be built to be quieter. Not clicking and clacking as much.

If I was looking for a pre 2011 diesel truck I would stay away from Ford and lean toward Ram and then Chevy. 2011 or newer I would look at Ford, then Ram then Chevy but since 2011 the trucks are very close in capability and reliablity. I would plan on replacing ball joints and injectors.

If you happen to look at gas powered trucks. Ford used a 5.4 litre that was a dog and a 6.8 V10 that was a real gas hog. I would vote for the much more powerful V10. In 2011 Ford used a 6.2 gas engine. Ram used a more powerful 5.7 Hemi then in 2013 started to use a 6.4 hemi. Chevy uses a very reliable, but kinda weak 6.0 litre engine.
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:53 AM   #7
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Wow! Thanks guys this is a real eye opener. Mrgrayaz, I was definitely thinking the way you did.

Time to regroup!
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Old 06-25-2018, 07:17 AM   #8
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I have 1999 7.3 in my rig, great motor turbo charged , but it's slow and not much in the power department
300,000kms and going strong
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:20 AM   #9
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My friend that had the 2011 Ram dually also had a 1999 Ford F-250 with the 7.3.
He said the two trucks were night and day. Said the 7.3 took a long time to spool up any power while the Ram was instant. Just like my 2012 Ford. Very little to no turbo lag.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:14 PM   #10
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Wow! Thanks guys this is a real eye opener. Mrgrayaz, I was definitely thinking the way you did.

Time to regroup!
The big thing you gotta realize is towing a camper is literally the hardest thing you can tow for a truck. They are heavy, with terrible aerodynamics, so you're working the truck MUCH MUCH harder then the average guy who tows around a flatbed trailer or a boat once or twice a month.
Add in the fact that your towing nearly every day, or every weekend, as a full timer and now you've got your recipe for truck disaster. Your average recreational owner won't ever put the kind of loads a full-time RVer will on their truck- and so you will find allllllllllllllllllllll the gaps in their maintenance .

Even if you got the perfect truck, and the Diesel engine is amazing, your now driving a old high mileage Domestic product - which can be quite eye opening if you haven't done that before. (I had only driven Japanese vehicles previously) They literally fall apart around the engine....

On the other hand, my 2017 F-350 6.7L Powerstroke is a AMAZING Tow vehicle, absolutely incredible capability, (and car payment!) - smooth, quiet, powerful, comfortable, and I can set the cruise at 75MPH and go! Its also amazingly complex, and I just open the hood and wonder....

I will probably own until the day....the warranty runs out. At which point I will dump that disaster waiting to happen on the next guy and get a new one....
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Old 06-25-2018, 07:10 PM   #11
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I am trying to put myself in your situation. I would need to look at a few trucks, the older diesel trucks were simpler no doubt. You could actually put gasoline in the truck and not destroy the engine. Can't make that mistake now.

The older Dodge Cummins diesel engines I think had around 550 ft lbs of torque. That is still more than today's gasoline engines. If you can find a clean truck I would think 150k miles or so would still have a lot of life in it. I know people that found nice clean trucks but it took them a few months to find it.

I had a 2012 Ford 6.7 Diesel that I did not have any problems in 6.25 years. I bought the truck new. All the bells and whistles still worked.

You drove diesel cars so you are not afraid of diesel ... like I am.
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:48 PM   #12
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This is all very helpful. Right now I can only hit the road once or twice a month. I am pulling at max capacity with my current tv (1500) so was considering something for limited use. I can’t boondock BC the full water tank puts me overweight. I don’t know that I need diesel but at a price point for a 4th vehicle in th fleet that will see limited use, I’m looking at high mileage gas or mid mileage diesel. Both are a risk.

On top of that, the older 250/2500’s only have slightly more capacity than my current tv.
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Old 06-26-2018, 06:36 AM   #13
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Hmmm, based on your last post, what's your budget? How about a "fly and buy" on a V10 F-250 Crew, decent miles, appears to have been the dedicated tow rig for the 5th wheel in the picture.
https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/invent...ting=210568935
You can see I'm a fan of the 6.8L V10, gas mileage not so hot, but legendary reliability and tow capacity. With your trailer, wonder if you could do the job with an Excursion? 18,000 GCWR and 10,000 trailer weight, using 6.8L V10. (page 23)
http://hillerford.com/resource_libra...0excursion.pdf

https://greenville.craigslist.org/ct...624062981.html
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:42 AM   #14
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I have not looked at the V10 but all of those are in budget. I want to be able to tow a 10,000 pound trailer, that is the gvwr of the Fox, with w 2 adults in the TV. That gvwr is with over 2,000 lbs of gear. Id have to do the math on the excursion.

Very useful info!
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