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Old 06-21-2022, 06:02 AM   #1
Rocketsled
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The impossible TV question: F450 vs 3500hd

In another thread, I mentioned the China Bomb that took out our bumper pull Toy Hauler, what I didn't mention was the puckering experience of driving across South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado...again...with massive wind gusts, again, that had me constantly on guard...again....and now I'm looking forward to another trip to Laramie to pick my son up from school...any bets on what the wind is gonna be like in Wyoming?

After the tire scare I mentioned how stressful it is driving the rig in the wind and we started initial discussions of getting what could be the last tow vehicle we'll ever buy.

The next rig planned is a two axle 5th wheel toy hauler under 40 feet. We don't intend to live full time, and that gets us into the kinds of parks we like to camp in.

We're also in a position to wait a bit...chip constraints are easing, the economy is cooling off a little, the current combo is perfectly adequate

But it could be the last tow vehicle we'll ever buy. (TLTVWEB)

We're a Chevy family, but I figure as it's TLTVWEB I should look at the alternatives. I also understand the impossibility of getting an unbiased comparison. The F450 has the great turning radius, the big sunroof, and a strong following...and I've also seen them fully-contented to be $15k more than a similar Chevy.

I've heard positive reviews of RAM's products, I've heard X35XX's are sometimes more capable that vehicles with 4's 5's and higher.

So I guess the question is: Has anyone jumped brands and found a substantial improvement by doing so, or are they all pretty much interchangeable at this level?

Bonus question: Will a DRW be a more stable tow vehicle pulling a bumper-pull in a crosswind?
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Old 06-21-2022, 06:53 AM   #2
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Rocket, all will do the job. You simply will get what you pay for within reason. Keep in mind that all trucks starting with the 4500, 5500, 550, 650, will be detuned if you order diesel. Order an F450 without the box, ready for a commercial body, and you get a detuned 6.7. Big customers want their trucks to be on the job a long time, not with their drivers racing up and down the road. Luck with your search.
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:19 AM   #3
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Have a F350 Dully now. My 2005 3500 Dodge with a Cummins eventually got the Exhaust Drone as the Muffler got worn out. It slowly creeps up on you. They may have cured it by now, who knows.
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:20 AM   #4
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They will all pull your trailer. Each has advantages and disadvantages. I think I would be happy with the Cummins in a Chevy.
My Ram has a Torsen differential, and I really don't like it. It jerks and grabs a little just backing it out of the garage. After several hours towing on the interstate in hot weather it feels like it will just leapfrog into the ditch after stopping for fuel.
I don't like the Fords diesel design with all the components stuffed in the valley of the V-8. But I sometimes wish I had gone to their F450 now that I'm towing a 40ft 5th that is pushing 18,000#.
I'm not crazy about the idea of the Isuzu engine in the Chevy and GMC, even though I haven't heard of any particular issue.
Pay yore money and take your choice.
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Old 06-21-2022, 08:08 AM   #5
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I'm a GM guy, had 2 GMC duallies towing 16.5lb 5th wheels for 10+ years fulltime, 300k miles between the 2 trucks with only a couple minor issues that were taken care under warranty, wouldn't hesitate a second buying another.
If I were looking for a new truck tomorrow I'd start with the Ram 1st, IMHO the best looking truck out there with a Cummins diesel that's been around longer than either of the others.
I drove Fords 200+ miles daily for 30+ years at work, only my opinion, would never own one. The ride, the handling, fuel mileage & the worst seats I've ever sat in were the main reasons, my opinion. If the F450 rides stiffer than the F350 I don't know how you can stay in the seat without your feet in stirrups. Altough I have not driven any models in the last few years, so again JUST MY OPINION!
I do believe any of the big 3 duallies would do a good job, your choice!
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Old 06-21-2022, 08:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
I'm a GM guy, had 2 GMC duallies towing 16.5lb 5th wheels for 10+ years fulltime, 300k miles between the 2 trucks with only a couple minor issues that were taken care under warranty, wouldn't hesitate a second buying another.
So you just jogged a memory loose. I would have said our '17 2500HD has been pretty trouble-free with just a glow plug and a couple of block heater recalls...but then I'm forgetting the 3 bearings in the driveline they replaced under warranty. (3/4 and 1-ton GM vehicles get a 5 year 100,000 mile warranty on the drive-line)

I'd just as soon not buy new, but in this market a 2 year old used truck is about the same price, and I'd just as soon have the additional warranty.
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Old 06-21-2022, 08:28 AM   #7
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Several years ago we traded our first Chevy 3500 dually long bed diesel for a brand new one (in my signature below). Nothing was wrong with the old truck, except it had a fiberglass body and the bed fenders were spider cracking and I was afraid I'd hit a bump and half the side of the truck would fall off. Replacing cost $4000 a side.

We found our perfect truck. (and yes, it has been). Back then, we still had a bumper pull 31 Springdale travel trailer. Even though the truck had only 17 miles on the odometer, I insisted the dealership let me tow my trailer with it before I signed the dotted line.

Before doing that, I measured the hitch height and it was identical, so my weight distribution hitch easily worked with the new truck. I drove the trailer over to the dealership, unhitched, hitched up with the new truck and went for a 15 mile test drive. Both my wife and I took turns driving. We drove a sample in town and interstate. It towed magnificantly!

We went back, signed the dotted line and towed the trailer back home with it. Absolutely no regrets. It's been a fantastic truck. The next trailer was a bumper pull Outback 35 feet, and then the next was our current 41 foot fifth wheel. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? I didn't have to trade tow vehicles again when we moved up to a longer and heavier trailer! We got the right one that has lasted us all these years, and we hope, until we have to "park it" forever!

So, my advise, if the dealership will let you, see if they will let you tow your trailer before you actually purchase the truck. Then you'll know for sure!

And.... after we got the trailer home, a week later I was reading the manual and read we should have driven the truck 500 miles before towing to break it in properly. Well, it didn't seem to affect anything, and quite obvious, the dealership wasn't concerned about that either.
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Old 06-21-2022, 08:41 AM   #8
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all of the big three trucks are good choices as far as i’m concerned…but the f450 gets the highest marks for overall looks and turning radius …

although i have the black on black night edition ram dually and i have never had a vehicle get more stares and thumbs up then this one at the campground and driving around town…

i chose it mostly for the cummins engine that is a proven engine in the boating world and heavy equipment…i figure they must be doing something right for it to be in so many different kinds of vehicles…also i was looking at fords and chevys and they had slowed production to where it was impossible to find one
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Old 06-21-2022, 10:24 AM   #9
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all of the big three trucks are good choices as far as i’m concerned…but the f450 gets the highest marks for overall looks and turning radius …
NGL, that sunroof looks pretty amazing, too. But the High Country Chevys are all in the $80k range and a King Ranch F450 was...$115k !? Perhaps it was dealer markup...
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Old 06-21-2022, 11:36 AM   #10
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NGL, that sunroof looks pretty amazing, too. But the High Country Chevys are all in the $80k range and a King Ranch F450 was...$115k !? Perhaps it was dealer markup...
yeah it looks like a markup…if you get the king ranch 450 it’s already optioned pretty good…add adaptive cruise and a few other things and its still below 90k…a fully optioned limited is less then 100k on fords website
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Old 06-21-2022, 11:45 AM   #11
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the only thing that scares me about ford is if i decided to keep the truck for a long long time and god forbid needed to replace the engine …id be stuck with the dealer because the entire cab has to be removed to replace the engine…i just rebuilt my old hemi and did the job myself…don’t think id tackle removing a cab…although it would be easy after that …hmmmm

if i was keeping the truck less then ten years it probably wouldn’t matter
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Old 06-21-2022, 12:12 PM   #12
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I've got a 2017 F350 DRW 6.7L that I've put nearly 300,000 miles on, mostly delivering RVs around the country. I recently spent 12 hours in a 2021 F450 6.7L pulling my own campers - one TT and one 5er.

The F450 is nice enough - the fundamental difference between the two is that turn radius and I will admit it's pretty nice being able to make a tighter right hand turn when pulling. The newer 10 speed transmission is awesome too. My 6 speed is no slouch, but that 10 speed is smooth.
Otherwise, I couldn't tell the difference between the two trucks while driving down the road.
I really recommend against the glass roof. They have had problems for years and I don't think they've fixed that. The problem is people let them sit closed for extended periods, the heat gets to the seals and when they go to open the roof, it breaks. Very expensive to repair.
The F450 uses commercial tires that reportedly have a habit of tracking in rain grooves on the highway (I didn't experience any tracking issues) and are expensive. They do last at least 100,000 miles though.
The F350 has built in TPMS that causes corrosion of the aluminum wheels. Ford refuses to do anything about it. I have to add air to my aluminum wheels about once a week. The steel wheels are fine.
As far as towing in the wind.
Here's a before Laramie, WY and an after Laramie, WY photo. I don't remember the exact length of the TT, but my truck is 24 feet long bumper to bumper.
The event occurred at midnight. Not fun. I was lucky the coupler popped off the ball though the safety chains held and I had to get cut free. A friend was pulling a 5er further up the road and when his blew over it totaled his truck and broke his back.
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Old 06-21-2022, 06:45 PM   #13
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Holy Cats, wrvond! Thats scary as hell. I keep knocking 5 mph of my speed until things settle down, but I'd imagine if the wind is strong enough, it wouldn't matter.
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Old 06-21-2022, 06:49 PM   #14
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Looking at those flags in the "before" picture would have convinced me to stay put. I know, I know I'm not working so I have the luxury of time.
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:13 PM   #15
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Looking at those flags in the "before" picture would have convinced me to stay put. I know, I know I'm not working so I have the luxury of time.
It’s a long story, but I did sit for 12 hours. I was in a different location that was apparently out of the wind and people stopping for fuel told me it was fine the direction I was wanting to go. As soon as I got up on the highway I knew it wasn’t fine. I had just spotted a cross over to try to make it back when I felt it going over. I managed to get over to the shoulder while it was up on two wheels and it went on over. If I had only been able to make it to the cross over in the median I would have been pointing into the wind and might have made it.
All I know for sure is years later I have a hard time driving in 25 mph winds.
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:17 PM   #16
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Holy Cats, wrvond! Thats scary as hell. I keep knocking 5 mph of my speed until things settle down, but I'd imagine if the wind is strong enough, it wouldn't matter.
You’re right, I was under 5 mph.

These things are all taller than they are wide. Really, I’m amazed they don’t roll over turning the corner!
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:38 PM   #17
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You’re right, I was under 5 mph.

These things are all taller than they are wide. Really, I’m amazed they don’t roll over turning the corner!
I've taken to towing with 100 gallons of fresh water...still not sure that'd be enough.
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Old Yesterday, 05:06 AM   #18
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Well, it can't be said when I fix a problem, I don't over fix a problem.

The 2017 2500 (which, I'll admit, I'm gonna miss) had a payload of just shy of 2000 lbs.

We just brought home a 2021 GMC Denali...it's payload is 5200 lbs. I'm hopeful it's big enough to haul the next two trailers. Possibly at the same time.

While I don't expect it to fully eliminate the wind from the bumperpull, it's got us set up for the 5th wheel that'll replace it.

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Old Yesterday, 05:19 AM   #19
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Congratulations on a good looking truck! Boy, I just glanced at the pic and that front end (particularly the headlights) and thought you bought a Ford until I read the post....had to look again!
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Old Yesterday, 06:01 AM   #20
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Congratulations on a good looking truck! Boy, I just glanced at the pic and that front end (particularly the headlights) and thought you bought a Ford until I read the post....had to look again!
A Ford would never have that ugly of a front end…
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