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Old 12-30-2018, 09:56 AM   #1
EricHarmon
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Ford F350 configuration question

Hello all,

I'm getting ready to purchase a new F350 to use in towing a new Montana 3121RL. This is my first truck ever. I have been configuring online, and also went to my local Ford dealer yesterday. I'm going with a 4x4 F350 Limited Dually, Long Bed 4.10 Limited Slip Axle Ratio. I'd really prefer to have the 2x4 for lower cost, better gas mileage, and I think lower insurance rates; but I figure because I'm going to be towing a heavy trailer, I should go with 4x4 just in case I ever need it. I don't expect to be doing much boondocking - mostly staying on paved sites. But, as I've seen other people mention, it's better to be safe than sorry, and get the 4x4 just in case.

My question is this: I see there's an FX4 Off-Road Package for $400. When I click on the "Information" button on Ford's web site, it shows this:

"You’ll want these features if you’ll be traveling off-road in earnest: Hill Descent Control™, specially tuned shocks, transfer case and fuel tank skid plates, and unique “FX4 Off-Road” box decal."

Well, I certainly won't be traveling off-road in earnest. But, I will occasionally be traveling through mountains or less-than-stellar roads (Rockies, Smokies, Alaska, etc.) and the Hill Descent Control has me wondering if I would need this package. I'll be getting the ultimate trailering package, which has the trailer brakes, and I know the truck has an engine brake as well, so I'm a little lost.

Could someone please educate me? Thank you so much!

-Eric
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:24 AM   #2
sourdough
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If you are buying the truck to tow primarily you don't need the FX4 package IMO. The hill descent, if like any of the vehicles I've had/have with it, is for off road and won't do you any good on the highway. The engine brake will. The 4x4 option, again IMO, is the way to go. There are times when it comes in very handy even if you're not "boondocking". I've always gotten skid plates but I used to ALWAYS go off road as far as I could - but no more so now they are just something for convenience (maybe) but not a necessity. "Specially tuned shocks" are for off roading - you would be better off with the shocks that come on the 350 standard. The FX4 "decal"? Maybe if I was 20.....
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:30 AM   #3
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Gas or diesel? If the rv is 12k lbs or more I'd recommend the diesel. If getting the 4x4 check bed heighth as compared to hitch height, Ford seems to be very tall.
Just curious, why only Ford? The other manufacturers also have great tow vehicles!! Some might say better! Just my .02 cents!
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:31 AM   #4
EricHarmon
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Sourdough,

Thank you for the reply! I definitely do not want that dumb decal on my truck, and I was intending to remove it if I needed that package. I’m so glad to know I can skip the offroad package :-)

Thank you again.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:36 AM   #5
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Travelin Texans,

Definitely diesel. And I looked hard at the RAM. I like the Cummins and the air ride. I like the Ford tow technology better. I spoke to a lot of people, who have had one or the other or both. Finally settled on the Ford.

If I could build my own, I’d do the Cummins, the Allison, the air ride, Ford’s tow technology... At the end of the day, I had to make a decision.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:14 AM   #6
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Obviously you'll have plenty of truck/1 ton to tow that 5th Wheel set up.
It is totally personal preference in truck brands when it comes to diesels...as they all are so close in power/torque output-you can't go wrong with anyone of them IMO.
I currently love my F150 Ecoboost for towing, but wouldn't hesitate to move up to a diesel if I decided to go 5th Wheel.
My first choice would be Ford, only because I like the trucks setup.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:20 AM   #7
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Also I would most definitely go 4◊4 and the Off Road Package is just a bonus. You may never use the downhill decent, but it is their with
skid plates and better shocks.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:30 PM   #8
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I'd post up you questions to the H
Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forum. Lots of knowledge their. Also great info on how to save money on Ford extended warranty.

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum279/

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Old 12-30-2018, 01:15 PM   #9
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Eric, why the 4:10 gears? If you tow primarily in the mountains or plan on upgrading to a bigger RV I understand. But the 2019 F350 4x4 is rated to tow 27,300 lbs. with the 3:55 gears. I'm just thinking of the fuel mileage. You have over 900 ft/lbs. of torque so you may not need the lower gears.
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:21 PM   #10
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Hi Eric
I think that truck is a fine choice. I would also suggest a look at the 450 as the money is not much different but the turning circle is somewhere around 8í smaller. It has much bigger brakes and 10 bolt 19.5Ē wheels. The downside is there is not a lot of tire shops that keep stock in that size. How many times have you needed to replace a tire on the road? None for me. This truck only comes with 4:10 gears. Iíve heard some comment that it makes it up with the 19.5Ē wheels but the rolling diameter is about the same as a 265/70 17.
So on to my opinion. Iím not much for offroad but I do get the requirement for it in a tow vehicle. I have needed to use it a few times to pull up a steep gravel/dirt driveway during a turn around on a mountain road. Without it I would have been stuck! I will only buy a 4WD vehicle for that reason. Skid plates and hill descent...yup!
Hope this helps, good luck.
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They have many features and upgrades, more than I can list, so much, did I mention they are well equipped, I donít know if I have enough room here....and I really donít think you care anyway, so nope
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:21 PM   #11
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Where's the GM love?
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:35 PM   #12
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77...
Ha ha!
I do own a capable GMC. I don’t think it compares in any catagory to a DRW 350 or 450. Reality requires an appreciation of what is, so I do. It may be my next truck when the time is right. I just think big trucks and are cool anyway and the 450 is the best of them I think.
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Truck & trailer...yes
They have many features and upgrades, more than I can list, so much, did I mention they are well equipped, I donít know if I have enough room here....and I really donít think you care anyway, so nope
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:33 PM   #13
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Where's the GM love?
I use the Edmunds review for Big 3 . For the money the diesel is way better deal then a new gas truck. The GMC comes out on top for diesel trucks from the Edmunds review.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:48 PM   #14
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I use the Edmunds review for Big 3 . For the money the diesel is way better deal then a new gas truck. The GMC comes out on top for diesel trucks from the Edmunds review.
If you have a link that would be helpful. I've not read anywhere that a diesel pickup is a better deal than a gas truck for general use. Also, remember that Edmunds is generally iffy on their projections, and, they are the ones that rated the Honda Ridgeline as the best mid size pickup over the Tacoma and Colorado.....I've been in a Ridgeline.....
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by EricHarmon View Post
Hello all,

I'm getting ready to purchase a new F350 to use in towing a new Montana 3121RL. This is my first truck ever. I have been configuring online, and also went to my local Ford dealer yesterday. I'm going with a 4x4 F350 Limited, Long Bed 4.10 Limited Slip Axle Ratio. I'd really prefer to have the 2x4 for lower cost, better gas mileage, and I think lower insurance rates; but I figure because I'm going to be towing a heavy trailer, I should go with 4x4 just in case I ever need it. I don't expect to be doing much boondocking - mostly staying on paved sites. But, as I've seen other people mention, it's better to be safe than sorry, and get the 4x4 just in case.

My question is this: I see there's an FX4 Off-Road Package for $400. When I click on the "Information" button on Ford's web site, it shows this:

"Youíll want these features if youíll be traveling off-road in earnest: Hill Descent Controlô, specially tuned shocks, transfer case and fuel tank skid plates, and unique ďFX4 Off-RoadĒ box decal."

Well, I certainly won't be traveling off-road in earnest. But, I will occasionally be traveling through mountains or less-than-stellar roads (Rockies, Smokies, Alaska, etc.) and the Hill Descent Control has me wondering if I would need this package. I'll be getting the ultimate trailering package, which has the trailer brakes, and I know the truck has an engine brake as well, so I'm a little lost.

Could someone please educate me? Thank you so much!

-Eric
So looking at F350 6.7 diesel with auto and 4.10 gears, maybe 3.55's, SRW or DRW?
your Montana has the following specs;

Key specifications - 3121RL FIFTH WHEEL

Shipping Weight 11,895#

Carrying Capacity 4,455#

Hitch 2,350#

Length 35' 0"

Height 13' 4"

Granted 4,455# of Payload is a big payload for a non TH, but you could easily be at 14,000# to 14,550# might consider a DRW.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:02 PM   #16
sourdough
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So looking at F350 6.7 diesel with auto and 4.10 gears, maybe 3.55's, SRW or DRW?
your Montana has the following specs;

Key specifications - 3121RL FIFTH WHEEL

Shipping Weight 11,895#

Carrying Capacity 4,455#

Hitch 2,350#

Length 35' 0"

Height 13' 4"

Granted 4,455# of Payload is a big payload for a non TH, but you could easily be at 14,000# to 14,550# might consider a DRW.

Great catch Russ!! I didn't even look that up and should have. Very close to DRW with the load projected...if not in it.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by meaz93* View Post
Also I would most definitely go 4◊4 and the Off Road Package is just a bonus. You may never use the downhill decent, but it is their with
skid plates and better shocks.
I'm actually not even sure what skid plates are, but I will do a quick Google search (I have never driven a truck, other than a test drive, much less owned one, so I'm a total noob in that respect). I hear you on the shocks, but I've actually seen a number of people bashing those shocks - I can't recall if it was on here or somewhere else that I saw that.

I realize it's all opinion, and this is the danger of asking a question: I'll get numerous differing opinions, but I do get your point that for $400, I could add it even if I never have to use it.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:16 AM   #18
EricHarmon
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Originally Posted by Wyldfire View Post
I'd post up you questions to the H
Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forum. Lots of knowledge their. Also great info on how to save money on Ford extended warranty.

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum279/

I will check it out later today. Thank you so much!
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:25 AM   #19
EricHarmon
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Eric, why the 4:10 gears? If you tow primarily in the mountains or plan on upgrading to a bigger RV I understand. But the 2019 F350 4x4 is rated to tow 27,300 lbs. with the 3:55 gears. I'm just thinking of the fuel mileage. You have over 900 ft/lbs. of torque so you may not need the lower gears.
I would much prefer to have the 3.55, to be honest! I always want to be overbuilt, and you're right in that 27,300 is still *well* above the 16,000 lbs that I'll be towing. I asked the dealer about the fuel mileage difference and she said, "Well, the 3.55 is only about 2 MPG better than the 4.10". I think my response was that at 10 MPG, that's a significant 20% improvement on fuel mileage!

I've heard other people say they had a 3.55 (or 3.73) and then went to a 4.10 and saw a significant improvement in towing (uphill). However, I can't say that I remember their specific configuration, so it could be an older truck, or gas, or some other big difference. My fear is to make a mistake on something that can't (easily) be changed - e.g., gear ratio, SRW vs DRW, gas vs diesel, 2WD vs 4WD, etc.

I will definitely reconsider that 3.55, as I've mapped out our itinerary for the first year (east coast) and it's only about 5,500 towing miles. Towing days are more or less limited to 200 miles per day, and then we'll be staying a week minimum in different places before towing again to the next destination. The majority of our miles will be around town, where I definitely don't need towing power.

Thank you for bringing that up, as I think I do need to seriously consider the 3.55 instead of the 4.10 for my needs.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:39 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by lunge motorsport View Post
Hi Eric
I think that truck is a fine choice. I would also suggest a look at the 450 as the money is not much different but the turning circle is somewhere around 8í smaller. It has much bigger brakes and 10 bolt 19.5Ē wheels. The downside is there is not a lot of tire shops that keep stock in that size. How many times have you needed to replace a tire on the road? None for me. This truck only comes with 4:10 gears. Iíve heard some comment that it makes it up with the 19.5Ē wheels but the rolling diameter is about the same as a 265/70 17.
Interesting info. The 450 quite honestly had barely even entered into my consciousness, and I had dismissed it right away. That's really interesting about the turning radius. Yeah, tires would be a bit of a concern for me, mainly for price but also for availability. I remember that I was relieved when I saw the F350 Dually used the 17" tires rather than 20". I will take a peek at the F450 for sure. I'm glad I still have a month or so before I *need* to order :-)

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Originally Posted by lunge motorsport View Post
So on to my opinion. Iím not much for offroad but I do get the requirement for it in a tow vehicle. I have needed to use it a few times to pull up a steep gravel/dirt driveway during a turn around on a mountain road. Without it I would have been stuck! I will only buy a 4WD vehicle for that reason. Skid plates and hill descent...yup!
Hope this helps, good luck.
It helps a lot. Thank you very much!
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