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Old 08-11-2017, 06:07 PM   #1
Jaymxr
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Full-time with 19 yr old truck

Hello everyone, I'm new here, I'm glad to see there's a forum for Montana owners. I'd like some input from those that are full-time with older trucks. My wife and I will be full time RVs in 7yrs. I'd like to here from those full timers who tow with older trucks. My F250 currently has 97k and will be 19 yrs old when I leave to go full-time. My truck is in excellent condition with every upgrade possible to help my 6.0 be as reliable as possible. I'd love a new truck but the price and long term reliability worries me. I'm just wondering if keeping my 19 yr old truck is even possible to tow full time. Any advise is much appreciated.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:33 PM   #2
cpaulsen
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We full-timed with my 01 Ford F350 till this last year when I traded up to an 08. Friends of ours did it with their 99 Dodge till this year when they finally retired. Neithof us had any problems with out trucks. I would go for it. Both of ours were V-10's.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:41 PM   #3
WaltBennett
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I've an eleven year old 6.0 that started out with only 28k miles on it five years ago. Other than two alternators, one injector and an internal high pressure oil line, it's been fine for 45k miles, over two thirds pulling our Monty (it IS eleven years old after all). I followed the advice of a retired Ford engine assembler and had the cooling system flushed right after buying it. Also added a cooling system filter and change that every other oil change. We don't full time, but do take extended vacations going cross country - this one is three months worth.

I don't pull over 70 mph even down hill and try keeping the boost to 10 - 15 psi or less. With an old air deflector, we get a good 12 mpg. If you don't put your foot to the floor unless you have to, it should be fine. Don't forget that these same engines (minus the egr & oil cooler!) in school buses lasted up to 400k miles.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:59 PM   #4
TLightning
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Age is not as important as past maintenance...and, can it handle the pin weight and total weight of a Montana. If you have or getting a new Montana, since the newer F250s even with added capacity are over weight, my guess would be that a 19 year old F250 would be way over weight.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:57 PM   #5
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I had a 6 L 2003. I got rid of it at 40,000 miles because I didn't won't bulletproof it. They are the same engine that's in school buses. The difference is the school busses produce way less horse power. What happens to engines is the head bolts aren't strong enough and the head will lift just enough to allow it to leak. If it was me I would rather have the 6.7. If you bulletproof it that is a whole different story. They become a very good engine.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:44 AM   #6
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I admit I'm a bit envious seeing newer trucks but it's not in the cards right now. As long as you're ready to deal with breakdowns if they occur, because even a newer vehicle can break, I am in the "run what you brung" crowd.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:24 PM   #7
1retired06
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20 year old trucks can be good or bad depending on how they were maintained. My advice, be prepared to spend some money on occasion. You did not indicate what you were going to be towing, or mileage anticipated.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:13 AM   #8
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I would be more concerned about being able to haul the montana safely as the 5th wheels have a lot of hitch weight. Mine has 3480# and i don't think you would have enough tire capacity to handle that kind of weight. I always believe in having some safety factor built in. As for as the 6.0 if you keep it maintained you should be ok but the 6.0's don't have a good reputation. If you could upgrade to a little later truck with the 6.7 then it would be great but if the finances aren't there then you have to do what you have to do. Just keep you a little maintnance fund and you should be all right. Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:14 AM   #9
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I tow are 2955RL with my 2000 F350 SRW long bed 4x4 I bought it in 2002 with 60,000 miles on it. I can afford a new truck, but I can't justify it. As far as I'm concerned the 7.3 is the best motor built. Yes it would be nice to have a new smelling truck with all the new bells and whistles like my wifes car. But I have 180,000 miles on my ford only major repair was a new tranny. at 104,000 miles. I spent an extra $3000 on the the trans. rebuild for towing. I get asked about 3 or 4 times a year if I would like to sell my truck, people want the 7.3 THIS IS ALL JUST OPINION. However when I buy a newer trailer if it's to heavy to safely tow with my 2000 F350 then and only then will I be shopping for a new truck. I won't sacrafice safety for a truck I like!
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Old 08-14-2017, 05:12 PM   #10
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I had a 2001 F-250 and towed a 2880 Montana. The F-250 for tha year had a 8800 GVW. Very wimpy.
Your F-350 only had 9900 GVW for 2000, plus they were a heavy truck. My
F-250 was about 1000# over the pin weight of the truck and needed air bags to level out. F-250 SRW's had no carrying ability even for the smallest Montana's.
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Old 08-14-2017, 05:32 PM   #11
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Contrary to the reputation of the 6.0, if you have bulletproofed and have no issues, drive it. I had one and it has plenty of power. Traded to a 6.7 PSD because I lost the oil cooler and no fix. But it was a great truck.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:14 PM   #12
Mel B.
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Originally Posted by Twopetes View Post
Contrary to the reputation of the 6.0, if you have bulletproofed and have no issues, drive it. I had one and it has plenty of power. Traded to a 6.7 PSD because I lost the oil cooler and no fix. But it was a great truck.
Can someone explain to me what "BULLIT PROOFING MEANS"
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:52 PM   #13
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I own a 2001 Ford F250 long bed. I bought it from an older gentleman who bought it new. I even got the window sticker. It has the V10 with 4/30 rear end. He put a Banks Trans Command on it. It had the hitch and was wired for electric breaks. It was a 'turn key' deal. The big thing is it only had 12,000 mi on it when I bought it 7 years ago. I've since had a Banks Power system and installed a better rear end cover. I've also added an auxiliary gas tank (40 gal). I paid cash for the truck...(HATE having payments). Being 16 yrs old it still only has 60,000 mi on it. The only thing against it is it's gas so the mileage will be a little rough, hence the added fuel tank.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:02 AM   #14
Denny and Angie Miller
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A new truck is in our near future. We started with a pop up and a new 2001 V8 Dodge Dakota. Sold the pop up and bought an 04 Cougar fifth wheel and 98 GMC 3500 gas 454 with 48xxx original miles in 2007, thinking we "would never be limited by our tow vehicle ever again"...fast forward to 2017, we buy new HC 353RL and realize on the first trip there is no way our current truck is gonna cut it....it works ok on relatively flat roads north of here, but in the Missouri ozarks the truck is over worked. The truck only gets 2500 miles a year on it and is hard to justify a new one unless it's the daily driver. We are afraid to get a newer used diesel not knowing its history. Being 15yrs from retirement and my DW is 5 yrs away we decided to get a new one before the year is out...we only have one trip out left this year, a 10 day trip to Branson, MO next month...after that my work schedule prevents any outings until next season.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:06 AM   #15
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Wife wants to go to Branson MO. It's on our 'Bucket List' of places to see. BTW our 'unit' is the 2017 Montana High Country 310. We bought it last October and picked up this Jan.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:13 AM   #16
Denny and Angie Miller
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Originally Posted by donc1212 View Post
Wife wants to go to Branson MO. It's on our 'Bucket List' of places to see. BTW our 'unit' is the 2017 Montana High Country 310. We bought it last October and picked up this Jan.
We are getting 6 mpg with the 454, no modifications except a K&N air filter....what are you getting?
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:44 AM   #17
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Can someone explain to me what "BULLIT PROOFING MEANS"
The 6.0 engine initially came with some poor engineering that let to failures. Ford blamed International who in turn blamed Ford. (Drove our 6.0 for close to 100K miles without issue). Bullit proofing is installing after market fixes for those issues. If you do a search, you will find multiple manufacturers with multiple fix packages. I never had any issues, so not familiar with those fixes.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:51 AM   #18
donc1212
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Never bothered to check it.....would it matter? After many years of doing the River Thing (1981 GMC 3500 crew cab dually with a 454 towing a 21 ft Jet Boat) that's about what we got.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:04 AM   #19
donc1212
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To 1retired06: I'm assuming when you say 6.0 engine you're talking about the 6.8L V10. I've put 50,000 mi on mine (a lot of it towing my unit) and haven't had any problems with it. Ford stopped using this power plant and people really were upset so they brought it back, only I've heard it's not quit the same power plant for the Ford trucks.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:10 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mel B. View Post
Can someone explain to me what "BULLIT PROOFING MEANS"
On a 6.0 ford it generally means replacing the head bolts with studs, better head gaskets or 0 ringing the heads, heavy duty EGR cooler or EGR delete, and several other "tricks". Basically making improvements to known week areas. You can figure spending $6 to $10k depending on how thorough the shop gets. The labor is intensive, as the cab is usually removed to facilitate the head removal. Still way cheaper than a new truck, although you never know when that 50 cent part will leave you stranded. Unfortunately with the constantly increasing complexity of modern engines reliability seems to be decreasing since the implementation of modern pollution controls. FWIW some Ford diesel experts consider the 6.0 once "bulletproofed" to be superior to the 7.3 and 6.4. Mike
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