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Ok, so after the pummeling I took for mentioning towing with my wife's new 1/2 ton we discussed options for towing. Honestly I don't even have the time or money to buy or use a damn camper until after I graduate in the Spring. Until then the 1500 does fine towing my 4000lb TJ.

I got the go ahead to once I am done with school to purchase a dedicated tow rig. The idea is to purchase a used, taken care of truck (mileage not important if its easy miles) with of course a diesel.

One thought was to buy a truck with a wrecked bed and remove it in favor for a built bed for holding gear/tools/spares/etc. Of course it doesn't need to be wrecked to build a bed but it would reduce costs quite a bit.


Back to the topic. The two trucks I am looking at are older (1998-2000?) Dodge 2500s or (1995-2000?) Ford F250s. I don't know where to find info on what years are the best as far as the diesels go. I would prefer the Dodge but since the older Cummins were not available in crewcab trucks that makes it more difficult to carry kids. What year for the Cummins and PS should I be looking for? Sorry if this is a common queston but some pointing in the right direction would be helpful

Thanks for any help.
 

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Im running a 01 F350 7.3 and love it..... IMO pick the truck you are most comfortable in. Ford/Chevy/Dodge everyones got opinions about them! I have had NO PROBLEMS with mine loaded with a 11.5 cabover towing a 6-7k trailer.
Just my .02 :flipoff2:
 

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Find the newest 3/4 or 1 ton single rear wheel (or dually if you're interested in a TH/big goose ever in the future) diesel with the features you want (a/c, cruise, quad cab, tranny, etc) and at a mileage you can afford and tell everyone to get bent.
 

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Find the newest 3/4 or 1 ton single rear wheel (or dually if you're interested in a TH/big goose ever in the future) diesel with the features you want (a/c, cruise, quad cab, tranny, etc) and at a mileage you can afford and tell everyone to get bent.
to add to the above

Find one with higher than average miles for it's year, but not excessive. I'd stick with the SRW and not mess with the DRW.
 

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As far as 2nd Gen Dodges go in that year range... you are looking at a 24V Cummins with the exception of a somewhat hard to find '98.5 with a 12V. For the 2nd Gen 24V trucks, '01.5 is the most desireable in my book. It's a little outside the year window you listed, but worth looking into. It just seems like they got the bugs worked out by then and the '01.5 has 4 wheel disc brakes. The '02 model year seemed to have more problems and many think it's because Dodge knew that was the last year for that body style and "used whatever was laying around" to get rid of the remaining parts in the warehouses. I don't know if there's any truth to that and I have no experience with an '02.
 

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As far as 2nd Gen Dodges go in that year range... you are looking at a 24V Cummins with the exception of a somewhat hard to find '98.5 with a 12V. For the 2nd Gen 24V trucks, '01.5 is the most desireable in my book. It's a little outside the year window you listed, but worth looking into. It just seems like they got the bugs worked out by then and the '01.5 has 4 wheel disc brakes. The '02 model year seemed to have more problems and many think it's because Dodge knew that was the last year for that body style and "used whatever was laying around" to get rid of the remaining parts in the warehouses. I don't know if there's any truth to that and I have no experience with an '02.
Hogwash. My 02 has had zero issues for its 90K miles.
 

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with regard to the Ford options you listed

ford started the powerstroke in '94 but only with a stick shift they also offered the IDI diesel in '94 with a turbo, full release of the PSD in '95 there are some minor changes to the trucks through the old body style (94-97) but none significant enought to rule out another.

The downside the the F250 trucks is the twin traction beam D50 front end. most users end up swapping this out for a D60 which was under the 4wd F350 trucks. but this is an easy bolt in operation so not extemely difficult.

From the factory you could not get a DRW 4WD F350, there are some aftermarket conversions but none from Ford. All 4WD F350's are Single rear wheel Long bed trucks, with your choice of cab configuration.

in '97 Ford offered an F250 CC SB truck, these are relatively rare and are generally well taken care of since most who purchase them bought them to tow 5vers or wanted a truck but needed to haul the family.

The 94-97 trucks are not intercooled but intercoolers are relatively cheap and easy to add to them as long as you stay away from Banks & ATS. Early '99 trucks had a smaller turbo and have less aftermarket support than later superduty trucks.

Depending on how much power you want to eventually add to the truck you will want to stray away from the later 7.3 superduty trucks since they have Powdered metal rods which tend to come apart in moderate to high HP applications, but are plenty for stock or slightly modified. The SD trucks will ride better unloaded when compared to the OBS (94-97) trucks due to the shackle being on the front of the front springs. But there are kits to swap this around which give about 4" of lift.

Oh and there are no '98 Ford diesels
 

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After having 2 quad cab Dodges and 1 4 door. I say buy as much truck as you can afford the first time around. You are going to mod it and/or fix stuff on it. It's going to save you $$$ in the long run. I wish I had spent the $$$ and got a 4 door or mega cab last time around. But here I sit with a quad cab truck that has a small back seat with $7500+ in mods and fixes. Sure the truck only has 100k on it and I only owe $6k on it. So by next year I will be payment free. But everytime I have to go somewhere with people I cringe because the back seat is small. You have to factor in kids also.

If you are handy and have time I have seen a few wrecked Dodge 4 door and mega cabs go for less than $20k with under 75k miles on them.

Here's 2 examples:

http://www.truckdb.com/itemDetail.aspx?iIID=997&iPID=53&iCID=103&s=4&v=1

http://www.truckdb.com/itemDetail.aspx?iIID=994&iPID=53&iCID=103&s=4&v=1
 

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From the factory you could not get a DRW 4WD F350, there are some aftermarket conversions but none from Ford. All 4WD F350's are Single rear wheel Long bed trucks, with your choice of cab configuration.
Umm...Bullshit..

I can walk across town and point out a dozen 1987-97 F350 DRW 4x4s. Granted, they are all cab and chassis......
 

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How many miles of use per year?

Dedicated towing, or DD use as well?

You say kids - how old?


You can do what you want - but having a $20k+ truck sitting around collecting dust to be used for towing once or twice a month is simply a waste of money.

It may look cool, or whatever - but that is not what you asked about.

So IMHO, the best truck for a "dedicated tow rig" is one that is as cheap as possible that meets your towing needs. Period.
 

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I've seen some great deals on old PennDOT or Turnpike Internationals or Sterling 6 wheel crewcab dumps. Not exactly the family cruiser but but that will tow anyting I could ever imagine needing to tow with out going to a tractor. Drop the dump body and put on a flat bed or what ever.

BTW we had a hot looking momma show up and deliver stone to us the other day in her Kenworth triaxle. Baby in the car seat in the passenger seat. Now thats what I call a "safe" family truck. F*** the air bags, just get an 80K truck to protect the little ones. :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys, that is exactly the type of info I was looking for.......although some of it conflicts a bit. The year models I mentioned where only approximate as I have no idea between generations, hence the questions.

The rig would most likely serve as a part time DD/tow rig since I would drive my jeep also but I like having at least 3 vehicles in the chance one becomes inoperable.

To answer your questions DRM I would like to make 10-12 trips per year or so and none of them would probably be under 500 miles one way. I would also like to be able to cruise to Moab (from extreme SETX) without worries.

I only have one child at the moment but plan to have another in a few years. My boy is only 3 months and can't go with us right now anyways. Thanks for the great tips, I just want to make sure and stay away from the "problem" trucks. Yeah, I know, they are all problem trucks. Open to all advice.
 

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I have had two long bed ext cab 'BR' dodges, one a 96 V10, one a 2000 with a 360. Both 4x4s. Very comfortable for the 10 hour drives. My buddy had a 99 with the cummins, so between the three, I've logged a lot of miles in those.

The big motors really do eat the transmissions. My V10 is in the process of killing its 2nd trans, but buddy had to replace his in less than 50k miles, even the trans case. My V8 never skipped a beat in 60k miles, though.

The most loaded I have done was with my present 96. Me, the wife, and our son (2yr old in car seat at the time) in the front seat, my 3 beagles in the back seat, a weeks work of home-away-from-home stuff in the long bed, and a 7000 lb Kubota on the flatbed. It wasn't uncomfortable at all. I have had 5 adults in those trucks several times.

To me, the dodges had a nicer interior than the old square style fords, thats just personal preference. I have a few friends with the fords, and those guys get 300k+ out of the powerstrokes with little problem.

Either would suit you well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have had two long bed ext cab 'BR' dodges, one a 96 V10, one a 2000 with a 360. Both 4x4s. Very comfortable for the 10 hour drives. My buddy had a 99 with the cummins, so between the three, I've logged a lot of miles in those.

The big motors really do eat the transmissions. My V10 is in the process of killing its 2nd trans, but buddy had to replace his in less than 50k miles, even the trans case. My V8 never skipped a beat in 60k miles, though.

The most loaded I have done was with my present 96. Me, the wife, and our son (2yr old in car seat at the time) in the front seat, my 3 beagles in the back seat, a weeks work of home-away-from-home stuff in the long bed, and a 7000 lb Kubota on the flatbed. It wasn't uncomfortable at all. I have had 5 adults in those trucks several times.

To me, the dodges had a nicer interior than the old square style fords, thats just personal preference. I have a few friends with the fords, and those guys get 300k+ out of the powerstrokes with little problem.

Either would suit you well.

Thanks, good to know. The only real reason I am considering Fords is because of the available 4 door. Not too worried about storing gear because by that time everything should be able to go in the camper/trailer. I just picture myself and wife with 2 kids fighting in the smallish backseat of the dodge. Maybe a newer cummins with the crewcab is a better option, although more expensive. I found quite a few 2500 dodges in the year range with 90k-150k miles for aroud $12k-$14.5K and that's what I was looking at spending. Who knows what prices will be like for diesel fuel and trucks in a year or so when I'm ready to buy.
 

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I thought you didnt have enough money to buy a camper, but now youve got enough for a $12k+ tow rig that gets used 12 or so times/year?

I'd buy a single axle road tractor and tow my shit. Fawk all the crew cab pickups and happy owner powerstrokes. Think Late 80's mack r model, gooseneck trailer:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I thought you didnt have enough money to buy a camper, but now youve got enough for a $12k+ tow rig that gets used 12 or so times/year?

I'd buy a single axle road tractor and tow my shit. Fawk all the crew cab pickups and happy owner powerstrokes. Think Late 80's mack r model, gooseneck trailer:eek:
You need to STFU, quit padding your post count and read a whole GD thread before you spew your dribble.


Oh yeah:flipoff2:



I suppose you didn't read the part about this being a future endeavor.....
 

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I am going to go with DRM on this one. I don't think once a month really creates a need for a dedicated tow rig. And with Diesel at 5$ a gallon?!?!
Sounds more like you need a nice DDer with decent gas mileage (as opposed to diesel) that can get your towing done safely once a month.
I am biased, but your needs have Tundra written all over 'em.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am going to go with DRM on this one. I don't think once a month really creates a need for a dedicated tow rig. And with Diesel at 5$ a gallon?!?!
Sounds more like you need a nice DDer with decent gas mileage (as opposed to diesel) that can get your towing done safely once a month.
I am biased, but your needs have Tundra written all over 'em.

Now if they could just make them to where they weren't so damn ugly:D

Seriously though, I'm fairly certain I would need at least a 3/4 ton for what I want to do. Not ignoring your or DRMs advice, I am taking it all into consideration and will have to make that decision down the line.
 

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I wouldn't trade my QC CTD for the world. It'll tow anything I could ever need to hitch up. While still getting respectable, not stellar mileage. I'm at 160K in just under 3 years with only maintainance items. oh, mabey that's because I have a cluth and not a slushbox.
 
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