I’ve relied on this site for assistance on many occasions and I’m doing it again. However, I need specific advice this time. I am looking at purchasing a new tow vehicle and I need some unpublished information.
The vehicle under consideration is a 2012 Ford F-250 with the 6.7L diesel. It will be a Super Cab, 4X4, short bed, with 3:31 gears, 6 spped auto, and manual hubs and transfer case.
Questions for those that own a similar vehicle (I’m not looking for information on other brands or different configurations.)
1) What size fuel tank is in this truck? I’ve read 26 gal with the short bed- is this a fact as I currently have a 37 gal tank in my 2006 short bed?
2) What kind of range do you get with this size tank? This is not a mileage question but a question of range for both normal commuting and then towing. If you know, with accuracy, your mileage please lists it also.
3) How many miles do you have on your truck? I have owned two trucks with this same configuration and both didn’t hit their optimum mileage until 40,000 miles.
4) In checking, I can't find an oil preesure gauage (only some electronic menu thing showing oil life - what the heck) there is what appears to be a oil temperature gauage, is this correct - no gauage?
4) Have you had any maintenance issues?
Thank you for helping me understand these new trucks and having a base for comparing. I have not decided if I want to replace my paid off 2006 with 145,000 miles or not (never had one problem). Your help may lead me one way or another. Thanks
The 3.31 gears are awful tall for towing. You didn't mention what size your trailer is, if it is on the light side you should be OK, if it is a heavy one or is very tall, you might reconsider the gear ratio.
2010 Ram 3500, Crew Cab, Long bed, 4 x 4,Dually, Lights & Siren!
I was checking the Ford site...3.31 are std, 3.55 optional on the 2012 F250. According to their towing guide, the max towing capacity is the same whether 3.31 or 3.55. In that case, go with the 3.31 ratio andd get a little better fuel mileage.
2010 Rockwood 8280WS
2008 F250 CC Lariat SB 6.8L V10
I would not be concerned with negative comments about the rear gear ratio. With the amount of torque generated by this unit and the 6 sp auto it is a non issue. The newer 6 sp autos are a game changer on the old way of thinking about rear gear ratio and 4&5 sp autos. The effective ratio in most of the actual gears of the 6 sp will be better than an old 4 sp with much more rear gear.
Mine is a long box duallie, so somewhat similar. Fuel tank is small; I replaced mine with aftermarket from Titan. I tow a tall 18k 5th. Mileage ranges from low 7's in the mountains to high 9's on the flat. Wind is a huge variable. Long term average is about 8.7 mpg towing. I have 35k miles on the truck and have noticed some improvement, but I started driving slower and this is a big factor also. I don't think there's an oil pressure gauge but to be honest would have to go out and look. Engine & tranny temps are on gauges and more accurate temps available in the info center. I've had no maintenance issues at all. Checking around the web and in particular the Tow Vehicle section here, a problem has surfaced with the high pressure fuel pumps (HPFP's) on these vehicles. The particular Bosch pump is shared with GM and VW and all have had failures on a very small number of vehicles. There are reports that Ford is denying warranty claims in some cases but rather than me writing here, you should do your own reading. I am not particularly worried. My truck has been absolutely fantastic thus far. It pulls and runs great. My biggest complaints:
-the sunroof lid doesn't fit very well. I can see a bit of daylight around it.
-If I get a tire pressure alert (haven't yet) there is no way to see which tire it is. Competitors have this covered.
-Lack of leg room in the front seats, especially the passenger. My wife had more room in our old Expedition.
-FX4 sticker on the box looks scratched up (it isn't).
I have friends with the truck you're considering and they love it. They get better mileage than me but their trailer is a lot lighter and of course the gearing & tires and truck weight helps them.
I had a 2011 F250 6.7 Scorpion diesel in the Crew Cab short bed 4X4 with 20 inch wheel option and 3.55 E-Locker axle. I kept that truck 19k miles and it needed it's 3rd set of tires. I will explain that later as well as why I got rid of it.
I am actively involved with one of the big Ford diesel forums and we keep pretty close track of our trucks. The 331 axle you are looking at will get around 18-20mpg empty on the road. The 355s get about 16.5-17mpg. The axle ratio plays big on mileage but all ratios pull great because of the massive power the 6.7 makes. Most of the 355 guys would buy 331 if they could do over now that we know. This is all based on pulling normal camper loads up to 40 feet. Yes, that is what I said, the 331 will pull a 40 footer just fine, even in Colorado!! It will use 4th gear some and 5th a lot but will do the job at any speed you choose. The 355s just don't get into fourth much unless you are passing.
Problems, , , , yep there are a couple. Any 6.7 you buy new will need software updates. Ford will not do these updates until after the truck is sold which means a trip back to the dealer for you. No cost to you but a PITA. If you buy a truck built in the last month or so (May 2012) it could be up to date on software but there is currently a recall campain going on for most models of the 2011 2012 6.7 to address a bug that could throw the truck into a limp home mode and limit your speed to 50mph. This would be a real issue if it happened on a Sunday drive or you were miles from the dealer. The latest update also deals with transmission shift pattern and is a good improvement which kinda makes you happy you took it in.
The 6.7 and Torqueshift trans are a great pair. I don't think it will beat a Dmax in an empty drag race but very close. Towing trailers and this truck is right at home and will run with the pack, if not lead it.
But there is still one big issue with the new Super Duty that has not been talked about yet. They are heavy machines. I mean very heavy. My CC sb weighed 7880 with full fuel (26 gal). After my wife and I got in (and 5th wheel hitch in bed) the truck weighed 8220 lbs!!! With a GVWR of 10k, you can do the math. An F250 or even F350 SRW can not scale a 5th wheel trailer legally!! Oh yea, the truck pulled my 5er just fine. But I was 1400 over weight and that is a huge ticket in any state!!! The Super Duties are too heavy to scale large loads that match the trucks ability??
Sure, if you read the Ford ratings for this truck you will see it can pull 16k, and it certainly can. Just don't let a ton of that go onto the truck or you are illegal. I have never saw any 5er that did not put at least 1800 lbs on the truck. It gets confusing when you read all the literature about weights and capibilities but the bottom line happens at the scales and I have been there.
Your Ford dealer (or GM or Dodge) will brag all day about how much the truck can pull and your RV dealer will tell you the RV is "3/4 ton friendly" but the bottom line is at the scales and you should really research what you are buying. The bottom line is that most all 5th wheels, except the very smaller ones, now-a-days will require dual wheels to be legal. Heavier trucks and campers are combining to make SRW trucks too small.
I know this is a sore subject in RV forums but it is the facts. Guys that weight their rigs on scales know I am telling it straight. You don't need a degree in debate or math to figure this out, , just go to the scales and weigh it!!!
Now, the Ford F350 SRW is available with a GVWR of 11400 as an option. This would pull many of the 5ers legally, but just barely. If you are going to be pulling a larger 5th wheel trailer, you should be looking at a dually. Sorry.
OK, now more about that 355 E-locker axle. This axle is wide open when unlocked. It automaticly unlocks at 30mph regardless of the switch position. This means while you are moving at speed all 800lbs of torque are being delivered to one wheel and one wheel only - the right rear.
I pulled a 6k lb TT toy hauler that was 12 feet tall and square front end. At 65 mph the wind load was pretty high so as the truck moved down the road, the wheel slipped constantly. Not much, never loose spinning, but enough to eat a tire in 2500 mile trips. I did it twice. Ford replaced the tires once under warranty and at 19k miles I was trying to get them done again. The dealer, my tire supplier, and I all knew the culprit was that open axle and the load it was pulling. The tire did just fine under normal driving but when I took my annual trip to Sturgis, the tires gave up.
Then, last December I took delivery of my new Fuzion toy hauler and found the F250 was not enough truck (legally that is - it was awesome pulling) so I traded for a dually. I have no doubt at all if I was still pulling this new 5er with the open axle it would be just fine. The weight of this camper would control the wheel slip much better than the TT did. It only put around 900 lbs on the truck but had high wind drag.
You never said what you are pulling so I can only tell you my experience and the facts I paid to learn. It was not fun to trade a $55k truck in at 18 months and 19k miles. I lost a lot of money but I am covered now and can pull my rig without worry of DOT scales. Yes, they are starting to pull us in around here when they see big 5ers on SRW trucks. Smokey knows we can't scale them with these new diesels.
As far as mileage goes - what are you pulling??? My 355 axle pulled a pontoon boat at 12mpg, 65mph. It pulled my Fuzion toy hauler, 14.5k at 65 mph and got 7.5mpg. The 331 axle will be around one mpg better. The 430 axle in my new dually does much worse at 6.7 at 65mph pulling the Fuzion and only about 13.5-14 empty at 65mph. As you can see, and you can verify this on any Ford diesel forum, the axle ratio makes a lot of difference on mileage but has little effect on pulling power. Go for the 331 axle unless you are moving bulldozers around!!!
The Super Duty Ford is a very nice truck, but then, all three brands are building great trucks. I had a Dmax GM before I bought that 2011 F250. The 2012 F450 I have now is just as nice, and even stronger with the 430 gears. It is way more truck than I need but I did not like any of the F350 duallys that were available when I traded.
The F250 you are asking about will take around 1800 lbs legally after you get in. If you haul a lot of people then you will not be able to carry much in the bed. If you go up to the F350 with 11400 GVWR you can take 1400 more load. This would allow about 3200 lbs on the truck and would haul a 5er and family but will be at the legal limit. If you plan to add an aux fuel tank in the bed (and you will) a 60 gal will weigh over 500 lbs and there goes your limit for a 5er. You really need to know a few things before you buy if you want to stay legal.
Like I said, SRW verses DRW will start a war in most RV forums but the truth lies at your nearest CAT scales. The new trucks are getting so heavy you need to go bigger to be legal. The new diesel engines are making so much power you can pull just about anything you want, , , , as long as you don't get pulled over!!!
I have owned two Ford 6.7 diesels. I do not know what you are going to pull but I know this truck will pull it. Buy the 331 ratio unless you are pulling huge trailers. YOU are the one that makes it legal so shop smart and be safe.
One last comment - - both of my trucks took about 2k miles to fully seat the brakes. The first 500 miles are kinda scary if you need to stop quickly!! Be sure to get lots of miles on a new Super Duty before you load up. Once the brakes break-in, this is a very sweet truck!!!
2012 Fusion FZ310 Monster Edition
G614s all tires
2012 F450 Ultimate Lariat
DuraFlap flaps all 4 corners
60 gal aux fuel tank
Reese 18K 5th wheel
Wow a very thorough answer mowdoc. I didn't know there is a law stating its illegal to tow over the trucks ratings. A couple of coworkers own 6.7s both F350 and SRW. One guy has a 2011 & hasn't had any problems. The other guy owns a 2012 and has been stranded twice w/his wife and young children. 1xfor the software update as you mentioned & the other for a temp sensor.
I would forget the F250 for pulling a big fifth wheel. It just doesn't have the payload capacity, GVWR or RGAWR. The F350SRW is the minimum truck for pulling bigger fifth wheels and the dually is preferred.
'11 F250 Supercab 4wd short bed diesel XL
'11 F350SRW Supercab 4wd short bed diesel XL
'11 F350DRW Supercab 4wd long bed XL
13,000 GVWR (13,300 for 2012)
You can see how the payload capacity of the trucks jumps up immensely with each step up in truck model. The cost difference between truck models is minimal, usually about $500 or so per step up. On a $40-60,000 truck, an extra $500-1000 for the right model truck is peanuts to pay. The payload capacity gain is huge.
The above numbers are for the base model XL trim levels. Subtract about 500 lbs from the payload capacity for a decked out King Ranch trim model.
Then further subtract out the weight of passengers, hitch installed on the truck, any other aftermarket equipment you intend to put on the truck, as well as any other cargo you intend to haul in the bed or cab for the trip. Figure about 1000 lbs off the payload capacity for all that. So now the F250 is down to about 1500 lbs payload capacity for carrying the hitch weight, once everything else is taken into consideration.
Forget the F250 and go straight to the F350, preferably the dually.