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Old 07-10-2013, 01:02 PM   #1
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Replacing TV. Input?

Looking to replace my '03 Dodge Ram 1500 4.7L V8. Good truck with good highway mileage but a little under powered and poor mileage when towing my TT. I've narrowed my choices down to two trucks and I'd appreciate any input based on your personal experience. Keep in mind that this truck is a daily driver commuting 84 miles round trip Mon-Fri so decent highway mileage is important.

First truck is an '04 or newer Ford F150 4x4 crew cab with the 5.4L. I see a lot of guys towing TTs with these and I'm definitely sold on the looks. My TT GVWR is 6500. Would this be a good TV? What type of highway/towing mileage can I expect? What's the price/difficulty of regular maintenance? Any issuses or other things I should know?

Second is an '02 or newer Ford F250 4x4 crew cab with 7.3L diesel. Diesel is good for towing but is it a good commute vehicle especially with diesel fuel being higher? What kind of mileage could I expect to see towing/highway? I know maintenance costs on a diesle can be high. Any major problems with this particular motor?

Keep in mind that I've narrowed it down to these two because they are within my price range of under $16, 000.

Thanks
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:17 PM   #2
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Welcome to the JOF, you should find it informative, interesting, and sometimes helpful!

Since the gross weight of your TT will be 6500 lbs when fully loaded, using 13% of that shows tongue weight of 845 lbs. The half-ton trucks SHOULD be capable of towing that but you need to check the total GVWR capacity of the truck (usually posted on a sticker on the inside of the driver's door), AND see if you can get an actual CAT scale weight of the truck to see where you stand. There's no doubt the 3/4 ton truck will be more than adequate, especially with the diesel. However, Ford had issues with their diesel engines when they went from the 7.3 to the 6.6 in mid-year of the 2003 lineup. In our area, any Ford truck with the 7.3 commands a premium price compared to those with the 6.6. And, having said that, I have no idea what kind of mileage any of these trucks turns in on regular commuting use. Just remember, you'll have to pay a premium, twice for a diesel: once for the engine, and second each time you fill it up, since the fuel now runs $.30-.50 more per gallon than gas. Both premiums should factor into your decision. Please do post back to let us all know what you decided!
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:09 PM   #3
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I would also check the F-150's gear ratio, a 3.73 would be desirable for towing with the 5.4L.

Bob
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:09 AM   #4
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If you plan on going 200k plus the 7.3 would be the choice, 100-150k go 5.4. The added cost of the fuel is outweighed by the mileage. Larry ps routine maint is also more $
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmurphy View Post
when they went from the 7.3 to the 6.6 in mid-year of the 2003 lineup.
Ford went to the 6.0 mid 2003, which did have some issues. I have a 2006 that has been a great truck (there are countless threads that discuss good and bad, so I'll leave that out of this one).

To the OP - for your trailer, I would get the newest half tone you could afford as I think one could pull your current trailer without any problem (and do it better than your current rig). Regarding your trailer, are there any upgrade plans in the future? If so, a 3/4 ton may be the way to go, or you could get into a newer half ton that is rated for a bigger trailer. The problem with a 7.3 F250 is that the newest ones are 10 years old, and most are well past 150k miles. Unless you just stumble across a great deal, I wouldn't even search for one. You could get a 2005+ F250 for quite a bit cheaper, but you need to do your research to know what you're getting into.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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As a former 26BH owner, that was a great starter trailer for us, however we wanted something with more living space. If you are planning an upgrade in the future a 3/4 ton might be a better choice. As most posters in the towing section of the forum will tell you, you can't have too much truck!
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:35 AM   #7
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My wife towed 4500# with an '04 5.4 and got just over 13, but it wasn't a TT so wind resistance was less.

I believe the 7.3 is considered by many as the best pickup diesel ever made. Mine has just over 100k and has had no maintenance expense other than routine. Routine is not that expensive unless such things as buying 15 qts. of oil instead of six or seven is an issue. I know it can be, as it once would have been for us.

I'd avoid a 6.0 or 6.4.

But if you can find one that you feel confident hasn't been abused, you can expect hundreds of thousands of miles out of it. My neighbor just moved from California and is going to have to sell his '02 dually with only138k, if I remember right, because up here he has to have 4WD. A bargain for someone!
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:20 PM   #8
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I know this is much later but I ended up purchasing a 1997 F350 4x2 with the 7.3 Powerstroke. Great truck and NO SMOG! I am getting 20+MPG on the highway. Haven't towed the TT yet but we're leaving in two weeks so we'll see how she does.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:27 PM   #9
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My 5.4 is a good engine but it's no powerhouse and fuel economy is poor. You may not seen the improvement you're looking for over your Dodge.

The 7.3 has a good rep but it's been a while so you would have to look carefully to find one that's been cared for.

I would avoid the 6.0. It can be a good motor but this article will give you an idea what it takes to make it one.

http://m.trucktrend.com/features/tec...?__federated=1
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaJBI View Post
I know this is much later but I ended up purchasing a 1997 F350 4x2 with the 7.3 Powerstroke. Great truck and NO SMOG! I am getting 20+MPG on the highway. Haven't towed the TT yet but we're leaving in two weeks so we'll see how she does.
NICE!! I had an old body style like that and it was a GREAT truck. Just buy a crank or cam (i cant remember which one) position sensor and through it in your glove box (as I think those were the biggest problems of the 7.3L). You will absolutly love how it tows. You wont even notice the camper behind you! Good luck! Dave
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