Let's play the F-250 game!

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:29
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OK - let's assume we are joining the F-troop! Yikes, the costs go up and the size. On the 4x4, little choice! If you want a 6-spd manual you get a single cab (internet base $71,000) and only seats three! To get either the super cab ($75,100) or the crew cab ($77,600) seating 5, you have to accept the 4-spd auto. Thoughts!? What Ford options/upgrades should be considered? What after-market options/upgrades should be considered? Thoughts on a canopy so that it can be built out as a camper when not towing? Thanks F-troopers. I haven't converted yet; however, your thoughts on these issues will be very helpful to me and to the others in the same quandry TGINTL
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:31

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:31
We have the twin cab F250 with 7.3l T/D. fitted with Ute tub. We have the auto and after towing with it wouldn't even think of going for a manual vehicle. They are just so comfortable to drive, with lots of leg room front and rear, and you arrive at your destination refreshed because they are so easy to drive, even with a large caravan in tow. There only downfalls that I see it, is their large turning circle, and that when you go to shopping centres you have to park and walk a bit further than you would in the smaller Toyotas and Patrols. They just don't make car parks big enough, but I have seen a single cab F250 in a multi story carpark. Ford accessories fitted are full length side steps, snorkel, and towbar Other extras fitted. Techonsha Prodigy brake controller (I think this is the best available) Carryboy canopy. Little hard to dust proof around ute tailgate. Also gets very hot inside so not suitable to use to sleep in. TJM bull bar with winch and driving lights UHF radio HF radio CDMA car kit and external radio Reversing camera with screen fitted in overhead consul Good window tinting Rust proofing which also acts as very good road noise sound proofing. Long range 225lt second fuel tank in tub behind cabin. You will find that you can tow your Bushtracker most places that you want to go to, and where you can't you will only be away from the comforts of your mobile home for a few days, so I would recommend you do what we do and carry a good tent in the back with folding stretchers and foam mattresses. With the F250 type of vehicle you have the advantage of having lots of room to be able to carry sufficient water and all your camping equipment in the tub so that you can go away from the Bushtracker if you wish, and still have lots of comfort. You would have to be intending spending a lot of time away from Bushtracker to consider having a camper fitted, and then if you did you would compromise your ability to go on bush tracks. When towing we travel at 100km/h and nearly always the auto is in overdrive. Where there are a few hills I just push the overdrive button off and leave it off until out of the hills. When going down steep hills I change back to 2nd or 1st gear and the engine compression works pretty good, with little braking required. When not towing the cruise control maintains 100 or 110 over all the hills without hesitation because the engine torque is so high, and when towing with overdrive off can maintain 100 over most highway hills. Brian
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Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:32

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:32
This is my first time user on the message segment of the BOG. Regarding Canopies for the F250. We have ordered and it is currently being built a canopy for an F250 Crewe Cab with significant extras. During the first 6 months of this year I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be visiting Sydney & Melbourne from Brisbane virtually every week on business, and utilised some of the time to investigate both Caravan manufacturers and Canopy builders. Eventually decided on the BT (20 foot van which will be delivered prior to Christmas) (no hard decision regarding the Van as nothing came up to the BT) and also visited many Canopy Manufacturers.... These were interesting, quite a few good manufacturers, but many made it hard when it came to customizing and getting something non standard. Found a small operator in Warrigal Victoria whose workmanship is superb, quality of product is excellent and pricing not over the top. Having made the decision to get the canopy in Warrigal, we decided to investigate the F250 & aftermarket supply from Warrigal. To ensure that we would not be overcharged because we were "out of towners" we built up a "spec and tender sheet" for the F250 including all the aftermarket stuff, and got a price from Brisbane for the total package which included freighting the vehicle to Victoria for the fitting of the canopy (Freight cost $750 so pretty reasonable). Lo and Behold we saved approx $5,000 on the total package. The canopy is supplied by "Metal Form Industries" (not on the net as they have a religious reason for not having computers and faxes), but notice that he is now advertising in 4WD magazines. The canopy unit base price from memory was approx $5800 or thereabouts. We have added all sorts of options to it and end up with a unit that has a combination roof and boat rack on top with rollers etc, 240 litres of water (fitted between the chasis) 60 litres potable which will be supplied via the BT if we only have access to doubtful water plus 180 litres of general use water, plus 2 HD pull out storage drawers on each side plus 3 pull out bases for the Waeco fridge, Honda Genset and Outboard motor. It also has storeage tubes for full length beach fishing rods. There are separate "under floor" storeage units (2 each side) with the rear two tapered to ensure the exit angle is not compromised, and two spare wheels attached to the rear of the canopy (no rear entry to the canopy to reduce dust entry ). The dust sealing of the unit is exceptional (and one of the reasons I selected MFI as the supplier). The "sea gull" type opening sides are also sealed at the hinges so that no water falls onto yourself or the internals of the canopy when the side is lifted up. To finish this long storey, we also found the local aftermarket 4WD guy exceptional as they supply all brands and despite his buying power disadvantage (because he is not an exclusive agent for any of the majors) has saved us lots of $'s and his knowledge of what is available/what is practical has enabled us to feel very confident that what we are getting is a good deal & will be very practical (compared with discussions with approx 12 different aftermarket suppliers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne),,,,, for example as part of the fitout we have a plug in point for a 120 or twin 80watt solar cells to handle the second battery system in the F250 (to handle the fridge, lights etc).. (This solar cell can also be plugged into the BT if needs be) plus many other extras. If you are considering a canopy, I would recomend at least talking to Dallas at MFI Warrigal 03 5622 3884....... and if you have not ordered the F250 talk to Anthony at Valley Motor Group in Warrigal. Between the three suppliers Steves 4WD 03 56222300(, Valley Ford and Metal Form Industries, they make a great combination to supply a final unit with sound advice, and competitive price. Sorry for this long verbage, but it has been an important exercise for us with the combination of sorting out the options for the BT and F250 it has been a bigger and more extensive exercise than building the house (which we are now organising a modification to fit the F250 into and still have a small workshop). Find a bush ghost AussieBushGhost
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:33

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:33
AussieBushGhost, I take it your F250 is a cab chassis with a tray and then the canopy, from the description of the pull out sides. I think most of us have gone for the tub, and then put a canopy on that. Sounds like you plan on chucking the business trips and doing some serious travelling. Brian
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Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:34

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:34
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Reply By: Luvntravln - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:35

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:35
Well F-troopers these two new BOGers have joined the F-troop brigade today! After a long day of negotiations with various dealers, we finally concluded at 6:00pm at David Nutter Ford in Berwick. The F-250 4x4 Super Cab Pick Up XLT 7.3L TD V8 with snorkel, 3500kg heavy duty towing gear and heavy duty load level gear, Carry Boy canopy color coded with all of the upgrades, and tub liner came in "substantially" under $80,000 and "close to" $75,000 out the door. I didn't realize when I started this "hunt" that Jackie's friend was the owner's wife! I was asked not to "publish" the price. If interested in a similar price call Sean Scully (03 8768 2261) and tell him Jay Gould of the BOG referred you and you will be treated similarly. I would be interested in any recommendations you might have regarding these treatments: Crystal Glaze ($660), Interior Protection ($590), Electronic Rust Inhibitor ($730), and Window Tint ($495 - no charge if part of the package). Regarding the Carry Boy, is it strong enough to carry the part of the weight of a tinny on rollers across the canopy and the roof of the cab? Vehicle upgrades: Brian, can you tell me a little more about the long range second tank: construction etc. Are the stock wheels on the F-250: I believe Goodyear Wranglers: LT 265/75R 16E "good" and do they match the BT wheels? I can obtain a $150 credit per wheel and change to a different wheel to match the BT. Any other suggestions to upgrade and make the F-250 moere usable would be greatly appreciated. cheers, tgintl
AnswerID: 560052

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:36

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:36
Jay, Congratulations on the choice. You won't be sorry with the F250. The alloy F250 wheels have a Ford retail price of about $700 each but I purchased some for the van for $400 each at Eagle Truck Wreckers, Dandenong. I have alloys all round. The steels are about $120 retail. The Carry Boy canopy is rated to carry 150kg on the roof. The shape of the canopy however means that the rear support bar on the roof of canopy has a lot of overhang if you are fitting a Rhino Rack boat loader, that has to have the rear of the boat loader in line with the bumper bar. I put an additional 25mm Aluminium tubing support from rear bumber to rear of boat loader and this made everything very secure. Because the canopy on the tub, and cab flex at different rates, you cannot have them joined by a boat rack, so the boat will have to be entirely supported on the Canopy. At least that is what I was told when I bought mine. I think you will find that the car dealers make a lot of money selling all these protection items that aren't really necessary. When they tell me that you should have then I say "Are you telling me that Ford has put inferior paint, or interiors and now we have to pay extra to fix it?" I like the Tint-a-car FORMULA ONE Tint as it does prevent a lot of heat entering and 99% UV, and they always seem to do a very good job. Some of the car companies use cheaper version when they do it in the deal. For the 4 doors ours cost about $250. I'm told that the electronic Rust protector works, but have never seen anyone that has it done. We had the spray on bitumen type rust protection put under ours, and this has the added benefit of sound proofing the vehicle.. Cost about $350. As for the fuel tank, It is made from Stainless Steel, and has a fill tube to the rear of tub. Turist Bob has his fitted just behind the cab the same as ours but he has a filler cut in the side of canopy (I think) just above the vehicle fill point, and this make a neater job of it. Brian
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Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:37

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:37
Dear Jay Long range fuel tanks for "F-250" Fords. To the best of my knowledge at least two are available at simular priceing and both include twin filling points from the existing point much like the Nissan. They can be purchased from LRA of Lilydale Vic or I am sure ARB have them Roger & Cherryle
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Reply By: Luvntravln - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:38

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:38
Hi Brian, thanks for the congrats! Bit scary Alloy wheels: Any reason to change the stock wheels? Canopy: I have attached a picture of the MIF canopy that Bob Lemon was referring to in his description of the "garage" he was outlining. Strong enough to carry a boat, seals out the dust, and the basic shell including removal of the tub (and disposal of the tub too if you can't sell it to anyone) is $6000 for the SuperCab. Basic color is white so we have change our F-250 to white (saves $2000 matching colors). I will be going with Bob on 12 Dec to see his "garage" and will take lots of photos and decide what aspects will work for us. Takes about 3 weeks to build one of these MIFs. Thanks for the advice on the "extras" - will do the tinting and the rust inhibitor only and put the funds into the canopy! Fuel tank: Did you consider upgrading the Ford 144lt tank to the ARB 235lt tank? Is your tank merely a large storage tank or is it plumbed into your primary tank? I will be coming to Brisbane 19 Jan to visit with Steve and sign on the dotted line. Perhaps we can get together and you can teach me the finer points of BT design before my meeting. Going to Phillip Island on Monday to see Wayne's BT. Good price - yes; however, there is just the two of us and the interior would require a lot of reworking. Thanks for the continued assistance. Angie sent me several photos of your BT as well as many others. Really like the light woods and the color scheme. Like to see your BT in person, if possible! Cheers, Jay
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Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:39

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:39
Regarding the electronic rust prevention I used the E.R.P.S. system on my F250 after fitting systems to my last "5" 4x4's. In consultation with the manufacturer I did go over board with the number of pads fitted and as a consequence needed the larger unit. I fitted 6 pads to the chassis and 14 to the body ... taking nearly 45 metres of convoluted tubing to cover the wiring. Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
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Reply By: Tassietracker5 - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:40

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:40
Gday tgintl, good buy on the 250. I have the 7.3lt crewcab XLT and use it as an every day vehicle around town(small town Hobart) but once you are used to the size and the poor turning circle you find they are easy to drive and very comfortable. I have added TJM snorkel, ARB Deluxe Sahara bar with 15,000lb warn, 4in Alloy carry bars that a future canvas canopy will go over with boat above and ARB front and rear diff locks, these work great especially when towing heavy loads on step building sites. The only comment I have on the F250 is the paint on ours scratches easily and Ford had it tested by an independent paint supplier to Ford and they have told me that for some reason it appears the car may have been sprayed up to three times this may be why my paint scratches very easily. They have recomended a full respray. I am now awaiting the final outcome from Ford. Otherwise a very comfortable and easy to drive car. We also have had the audio visual upgraded in the car to have a AlpineCD, Mp3 stacker with sep DVD player with screen in back with IR remote headsets for the kids with Alpine head unit in dash that is a pop out screen which we can watch DVDs or use for the Camera on the back of the Bushtracker when we get it. Rod
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Reply By: Andy1 - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:41

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:41
Jay I think what Brian means re the wheels is that BT do not match the Ford F250 alloys on the van but, I have been told, use a steel type, possibly similar to the F250 spare. Unfortunately we had our BT fitted with Toyota wheels so carry two F250 spares seperately. I have just purchased four used F250 alloy wheels so that we can rotate the spares with all alloys. The dealer I purchased from would not split the set (of 4) so now have two spare "spare" wheels, may come in handy one day. Also now have two steels if any one is interested in these. Any one with an F250 & BT on order should look at www.tradingpost.com.au , Victoria, type in "F250 wheels". There was a set of four for $600 this am which is less than we paid. Andy
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Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:42

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:42
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