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Old 08-05-2020, 11:30 AM   #1
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New Truck Purchase Imminent

So, due to used car pricing, our situation has changed and it is now more advantageous to make a move in the next 30-60 days. Looking at the 3 Majors in the 350/3500 DRW configuration.

I know biases will come into play, but looking for thoughts and opinions, especially from those that own any of the 2020 350/3500 trucks.

Thanks everyone in advance!
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:27 PM   #2
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All three trucks have been vastly improved for the 2019/2020 model year.

GM - new high strength steel frame, improve engine cooling, much higher capacities than in 2019. 10 speed transmission is new

Ram - 2019, new high strength steel frame, new 6.7 Cummins engine block with iron infused with graphite. New improved towing capacity.

Ford - new improved diesel engine with 1,050 pound feet of torque on all their diesel engines, new improved steering with electric assist. Same frame as in 2017 which is advertised as 98% high strength steel. 10 speed transmission is new.

Back in January I test drove all three in SRW configuration. I fell in love with the GM trucks with the 2,000lb weight hitch receiver and payloads. The Ram mega cab felt a bit clumsy to me. And did not match GM in payload. So GM was my pick until I test drove the Ford. After I test drove the Ford that was my pick. It drove like the F-150. And was very powerful.

Ford throws a monkey wrench into the mix with the F-450 pick-up.

Options that are brand specific:

GM - heads up display.
Ram - Factory air suspension
Ford - key pad entry

It will not be easy to pick.

Good luck
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
All three trucks have been vastly improved for the 2019/2020 model year.

GM - new high strength steel frame, improve engine cooling, much higher capacities than in 2019. 10 speed transmission is new

Ram - 2019, new high strength steel frame, new 6.7 Cummins engine block with iron infused with graphite. New improved towing capacity.

Ford - new improved diesel engine with 1,050 pound feet of torque on all their diesel engines, new improved steering with electric assist. Same frame as in 2017 which is advertised as 98% high strength steel. 10 speed transmission is new.

Back in January I test drove all three in SRW configuration. I fell in love with the GM trucks with the 2,000lb weight hitch receiver and payloads. The Ram mega cab felt a bit clumsy to me. And did not match GM in payload. So GM was my pick until I test drove the Ford. After I test drove the Ford that was my pick. It drove like the F-150. And was very powerful.

Ford throws a monkey wrench into the mix with the F-450 pick-up.

Options that are brand specific:

GM - heads up display.
Ram - Factory air suspension
Ford - key pad entry

It will not be easy to pick.

Good luck


I appreciate it. Iíve researched extensively. I really like the looks and interior of the Ram, but I feel how the truck drives is what is most important. We are looking at higher trim levels and I think Ford and GM fall short in the interior category, by a long shot. I hear the Aisin transmission is rough from some, but have a friend who loves his 2019. I have always loved the Cummins I6. GM has the best reliability track record, Ram continues to improve year over year and Ford varies from year to year.

The DW and I are driving all 3 the same day (Monday). All 3 are outfitted the way we would want one, for the most part. Laramie Longhorn Ram (HO and Aisin), F-350 King Ranch and a GMC Sierra Denali.

I like car sales and COVID-19, no sales guy that knows less about the truck than me trying to talk my ear off while Iím trying to test drive.
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:04 PM   #4
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Compare the payloads for the upper trim levels to be sure you'll have enough.

I looked at the Fords and the RAM. And I just purchased a 2020 RAM 3500 Tradesman, nicely equipped with the 8.4 infotainment system. I do not like leather seats, and cannot fit into a truck with the sunroof, so unless specifically ordered, I will not buy a upper trim. The navigation that comes with truck is not as good as my Garmin RV for routing.

I also found payloads for the RAM Laramie and the RAM Limited were 800-1200 less than my Tradesman. I looked at the decals on about 20 trucks in my area. I have a payload of 5400 pounds for my 2020. The only one I found higher was a 3500 dually with a standard cab, 8ft bed and 2x4.

Comparing RAM to Fords,I found more in the RAM for the money. I prefer the Cumins diesel. because of my diesel mechanic friends.

I'd venture to say that 90% of folks who buy any brand will not see any major issues with regular maintenance.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:18 PM   #5
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I have a 2020 Gmc AT4 crew cab srw 8' bed 3500 has about 10,000 miles so far with no issues. My toy hauler has a gvw of 17,000# pulls it with no issues. Smooth as can be however if I were going to get a drw I would get the Ford 450 mainly because of the turning radius makes it easier to park and back in the trailer.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:49 PM   #6
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My 2012 F-450 was easier to park than my 2017 F-250. I live on a dead end street with a turnaround at the dead end. My F-450 could turnaround there easy but my F-250 can not. I have to back up and try again.

The F-450 with the adaptive steering option would be really something.

You also get larger brakes, lower gearing, and heavy duty 19.5" commercial tires.

The lower gearing (4:30) with the 6 speed transmission was not a good solo highway cruiser but I think the new 10 speed would fix that.
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:37 PM   #7
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My 2012 F-450 was easier to park than my 2017 F-250. I live on a dead end street with a turnaround at the dead end. My F-450 could turnaround there easy but my F-250 can not. I have to back up and try again.

The F-450 with the adaptive steering option would be really something.

You also get larger brakes, lower gearing, and heavy duty 19.5" commercial tires.

The lower gearing (4:30) with the 6 speed transmission was not a good solo highway cruiser but I think the new 10 speed would fix that.


Canít find one within 500 miles...
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:55 PM   #8
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I agree, was going to recommend a F-450 to a friend but Car Gurus came up with not many options and all were expensive.

In a few months the Quarter Horse Congress might be in Columbus Ohio. If they have it this year there will be a lot of trucks for sale there.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:42 PM   #9
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What about cab and chassis and add a bed? The gvw is a good bit higher on the c&c trucks typically. Ford used to just add a 4 inch or so filler panel to cover the gap on the c&c trucks ordered with beds.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:44 AM   #10
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What about cab and chassis and add a bed? The gvw is a good bit higher on the c&c trucks typically. Ford used to just add a 4 inch or so filler panel to cover the gap on the c&c trucks ordered with beds.


We are looking at upper level trims. Not entirely against it, but the security of an actual truck bed is nice. I prefer the look of a bed over a custom flatbed, but thatís just me.

With a 16,500 lbs. fifth wheel, I think even with the lower payload brought by the higher trim level, Iíll still have plenty to play with. Iím going to verify, but most DRW trucks should have at least 4500 lbs. of payload. Thatís at least 1300 lbs. for bodies (400 lbs.), the dog (70 lbs.), a hitch (100 lbs.) and a generator (110 lbs.).

This RV is brand new. With the plan that we have, weíd be looking at a new truck around the same time weíd be looking for a new RV.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:15 AM   #11
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Agree the flat bed looks bad, but there are hauler beds that I think look much better than a pick-up bed. The tailgate on a pick-up bed and a 5th wheel don't play well together. Lots of times the tailgate gets crushed. A truck with a fancy hauler bed gets a lot more looks from people than a normal pick-up truck that you see 100's of times a day.

I believe the Cab Chassis will usually have things that the pick-up truck does not. I think it would be worth while to research. One thing I saw on the 2011 Ram Cab Chassis was a larger fuel tank and different (more) payload capacity. The engines are also tuned for longevity.

But you might be right about the trim level as most Cab Chassis will not be the upper trim levels plus they are harder to find. I have never seen a Cab Chassis at my local Ford Dealer.

Oh - I read on a Ford truck you can order it from the factory. From the factory they will send it to an outfitter for the hauler bed. From there it gets sent to your dealer for delivery to you. Now that is kinda cool.

Agree, any new DRW truck will have at least 4,500lbs or more of payload.
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:41 AM   #12
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I don't RV with my pickup, but I do haul equipment and boats. In '17 I shopped all three. Fell in love with the F450 for the cavernous cabin and amazing turning radius (can't really determine how they tow on a test drive). The DW and I saw it on the lot while looking at 350s and took the 450 for a drive, just for curiosity. The truck sold itself.

It is quiet, brutally powerful, and an amazingly stable towing platform. However, the lower gearing makes it thirsty, and the ride is remarkably stiff. It is my daily driver, and my preferred travel vehicle if we are going on a long trip, with or without a trailer.

My only regret is buying the XLT instead of the Lariat. At the time I did not want to do without the front center seat. Unfortunately, the cloth seats and console are very susceptible to stains and needs a fair amount of care. Leather would be nice.

PS. At 40000 miles the finish on the running boards began to blister and peel, and the clear coat on the wheels began to fail around the valve stems. Both of which would have been covered under the 3yr/36k mile bumper to bumper. It is a pity ford would allow such ridiculous QC issues to diminish such a nice truck!
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:07 AM   #13
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I don't RV with my pickup, but I do haul equipment and boats. In '17 I shopped all three. Fell in love with the F450 for the cavernous cabin and amazing turning radius (can't really determine how they tow on a test drive). The DW and I saw it on the lot while looking at 350s and took the 450 for a drive, just for curiosity. The truck sold itself.

It is quiet, brutally powerful, and an amazingly stable towing platform. However, the lower gearing makes it thirsty, and the ride is remarkably stiff. It is my daily driver, and my preferred travel vehicle if we are going on a long trip, with or without a trailer.

My only regret is buying the XLT instead of the Lariat. At the time I did not want to do without the front center seat. Unfortunately, the cloth seats and console are very susceptible to stains and needs a fair amount of care. Leather would be nice.

PS. At 40000 miles the finish on the running boards began to blister and peel, and the clear coat on the wheels began to fail around the valve stems. Both of which would have been covered under the 3yr/36k mile bumper to bumper. It is a pity ford would allow such ridiculous QC issues to diminish such a nice truck!


Thanks for this! I will see if anyone has one coming in anytime soon.
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:40 AM   #14
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Agree the flat bed looks bad, but there are hauler beds that I think look much better than a pick-up bed. The tailgate on a pick-up bed and a 5th wheel don't play well together. Lots of times the tailgate gets crushed. A truck with a fancy hauler bed gets a lot more looks from people than a normal pick-up truck that you see 100's of times a day.

I believe the Cab Chassis will usually have things that the pick-up truck does not. I think it would be worth while to research. One thing I saw on the 2011 Ram Cab Chassis was a larger fuel tank and different (more) payload capacity. The engines are also tuned for longevity.

But you might be right about the trim level as most Cab Chassis will not be the upper trim levels plus they are harder to find. I have never seen a Cab Chassis at my local Ford Dealer.

Oh - I read on a Ford truck you can order it from the factory. From the factory they will send it to an outfitter for the hauler bed. From there it gets sent to your dealer for delivery to you. Now that is kinda cool.

Agree, any new DRW truck will have at least 4,500lbs or more of payload.


So the build feature on Ford didnít show me options for bed choice. The top trim level allowable is Lariat, which I find somewhat stupid. You cannot choose the Lariat Ultimate package, either.

Although more expensive, it might be a better choice to remove the bed after purchase, if I decided to go that route.

Iím definitely going to measure bed height of these trucks. I know Iím looking for 6Ē of clearance between bed rails and the fifth wheel. Clearance on level ground of my fifth wheel is 66Ē.
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