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Old 08-27-2015, 02:18 PM   #11
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Plowtoy, I filled my 7.3 up two days ago @ $2.399. Most stations around here are in the 2.70s and 2.80s for 85 octane gas. Add 15 cents for 87. Station nearest my home is $3.299. Even that one is less for diesel @ 3.099.

To be fair though, the last year or so is the first time I can remember diesel being cheaper than gas since my first diesel in 1980.

But really, 6.0? Okay. Yugo! Beat that! lol
Maybe we are just behind the times.... The 6.0 is the best I can compare it with right now. We don't run any Dmax or cummin's and ford never put the newer diesels in the van chassis (they used the 6.0 until 2010). You may still be getting better mileage in your 7.3, but I would almost bet its a wash after you figure out the additional money you are spending on maintenance, unless you are skipping out on that part. How's your oil pan? That was a $1200 repair on our 03 7.3L.


I think that people only see the fuel mpg's of a diesel and never bother to see what it actually cost to keep one maintained. Its kind of like the person who goes out and buys a brand new very fuel efficient car to save them gas money, when the car they were driving was paid for and getting 30 mpg's, it doesn't make sense. The money you save on gas in the new car isn't enough to make the car payment...
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:35 PM   #12
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I am meticulous when it comes to maintaining my '02. Maybe that's why I've had no diesel related problems.

I had no idea the 6.0 was kept around that long in any model.

One practical reason for my liking diesels is it doesn't lose nearly 30% of its power up here.

But the real reason to go diesel is the same for going Harley - I gotta have it!
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:43 PM   #13
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I agree with Plowtoy. You should buy a diesel because you need a diesel to do what you need done. Not because you think it'll save you money (in the long or short term). My HD truck is a gasser because that fits my usage pattern, and because I didn't have the coin to lay out on a diesel. My gasser is the right tool for the job I need done at this point in my life. If I had a usage pattern that supported a diesel requirement, I would get a diesel, but NOT because I'm looking for some kind of money savings; because it would be the required (best) tool for the job.
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:50 PM   #14
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I am meticulous when it comes to maintaining my '02. Maybe that's why I've had no diesel related problems.

I had no idea the 6.0 was kept around that long in any model.

One practical reason for my liking diesels is it doesn't lose nearly 30% of its power up here.

But the real reason to go diesel is the same for going Harley - I gotta have it!
Other than pedestal seals and oil pans, the 7.3 was an awesome engine (ive had 2). I guess to each their own, im just trying to make a point that a diesel isn't always necessary to the op. As far as the 6.0, Ford thought it was such a great engine, they put it in the hardest chassis to work on it, for a longgggggg time. I will say they have gotten better in the later models, but still not a 7.3. Its been awhile, but ive driven in the mountains of CO. I do remember the power loss of the old 2.5L Chrysler going up to Estes and the national park ;-)
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:38 PM   #15
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The few extra qts of oil isn't a great expense and they all have fuel & air filters. There is several K up front when buying but the maintenance difference, peanuts. If you pull any mountains there is no comparison pulling. How many Gasser 18 wheelers you see? The big companies buy them because they last a million miles with maintenance.

As a side Plowtoy: what issues with oil pans & pedestal seals? Should I be watching for something? The new diesel prices I'll keep payed for old cause I don't like payment.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:15 PM   #16
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The few extra qts of oil isn't a great expense and they all have fuel & air filters. There is several K up front when buying but the maintenance difference, peanuts. If you pull any mountains there is no comparison pulling. How many Gasser 18 wheelers you see? The big companies buy them because they last a million miles with maintenance.

As a side Plowtoy: what issues with oil pans & pedestal seals? Should I be watching for something? The new diesel prices I'll keep payed for old cause I don't like payment.
Oil pans on the 7.3s (in the nbs trucks) liked to rust through. Really a problem in areas that receive a bunch of snow and ice melt is used on the roads. Pedestal seals were pretty common to leak on the turbos, which made for an oily mess. And lets not forget about those IDM's that like to fail (those can get expensive).

Im not trying to ruffle any feathers, but how many big rigs do you see pulling RV's should be the question (not many). Its not apples to apples, when your talking pick up's and occasional towing. As stated above, the tow vehicle is just a tool. You should use the tool that fits your needs. If a diesel fits your needs, then you should get a diesel. if a gasser fits your needs, get a gasser. If a big rig fits your needs, get a big rig. It would be kind of pointless for me to buy a big rig to tow my pop up, and at the same time, it would be pointless to put a hitch on my Impala to pull my 31 footer, when my Tahoe can get the job done...

Maybe the op left out some important info, like what other uses the truck will have when not pulling the camper, and what kind of terrain they will be traveling. Im not arguing that a diesel is a bad idea, but I am arguing that it may not be necessary and feel I have given some points that might back that up.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:44 PM   #17
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Thanks for the info on the 7.3 knock on wood I have had no issues. I wasn't trying to say diesel was the only way, I towed with a 300ci six in a Bronco years back. Where I am I do see big rigs towing TT's by changing the 5th wheel, my neighbors one. In his words I pay 20K for a rig that will tow anything and not slow down or 45K for a new truck that I have to add stuff to. Not for me I'll keep the P/U it does all I ask of it.
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:37 PM   #18
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Methinks we got a bit off topic. We do need some more information. Does the OP have any experience towing? If not, then a one ton is likely to make him feel more confident than a lesser vehicle. Typically a longer wheelbase truck is going to be more stable than a shorter one. If you don't have towing experience, I might look for a longer wheelbase truck in a 3/4 or one ton model that is rated for your load, both payload and towing weight (that is generally a subject in itself). That will help keep you more stable on the highway. As far as diesel vs gas, I personally prefer diesel, but a big block Chevy or V-10 Ford can do a pretty good job also. Personally, I tow a 42 foot seismic that weighs 19,000ish with a 2000 F-350 crew cab dually long bed 4x4, so I like the diesel. And we are full timers, so always on the road.

Based on what you said, I would look for more truck than you need for this camper. When you are shopping, know your trailer's hitch weight and is gross vehicle weight. The unloaded weight is pretty meaningless. If you stick with that while new to towing you will have fewer "white knuckle" moments and can build confidence. You are not buying for a straight line easy drive. You are buying for the time you are half asleep and a semi blows by at 80 mph. That will cause white knuckle moments and raised blood pressure with the wrong vehicle. As far as brand, it's largely personal preference and you will learn through shopping what each brand's weak points are.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:45 AM   #19
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snip... You are not buying for a straight line easy drive. You are buying for the time you are half asleep and a semi blows by at 80 mph. That will cause white knuckle moments and raised blood pressure with the wrong vehicle. As far as brand, it's largely personal preference and you will learn through shopping what each brand's weak points are.
IMHO, this is some of the best advice there is. I wish I had heeded it when we were buying. I'm one of the many who put the cart before the horse, then had to get a bigger horse. In the end it worked out, but I could've avoided a lot of heartache if I had listened better. Such is life sometimes...
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:18 AM   #20
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That reminds me. At 100k miles a Ford Expedition is supposed to get new plugs. So the local Ford dealer charges 3.8 hours at $144/hr. And that's JUST labor! Wonder if they charge extra for the labor to extract a plug that breaks off, as they're famous for doing?



A good tech shouldn't break them off in the head, if he knows what he's doing. They make a tool for it now and if you do it right, you can do it without it.
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