F250 Fuel Usage

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 01:28
ThreadID: 122479 Views:3594 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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I didn't want to hijack Homeboy's thread, but have noticed a lot of you own F250s for tow vehicles.

I'm currently looking at perhaps purchasing a BT (as per my previous thread) and I'm interested in why so many F250s.

I currently have a LC100 V8 manual, which I would have thought would do the job nicely. Do I need an F250?

Also can anyone give me any fuel usage figures while towing and not towing for the F250, please? Please specify engine size and transmission.


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Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 02:30

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 02:30
Your Cruiser will do it, and is probably the right tow vehicle, up to a point.... The Fords just do it better and get better fuel economy when towing a big van. Your Cruiser will be very thirsty with a V-8 Petrol... I own a diesel 100 Series, and currently an F-250, both up there in the best equipped around, and own a 22' van myself.. The following analysis is fair, and I would say pretty accurate, and shared view of the majority of the 100 or so F-250s towing Bushtrackers... And almost all are towing with the 7.3 Powerstroke turbo diesel and most have the Automatic, as is my own. This is a fairly comprehensive analysis from just about all perspectives:

In the past, I have owned an F-350 for three years and went all over out Bush with it… I still own two Cruisers… Now, at 20', even 21', Toyota is still in the running.... However, there is another real issue in towing a larger van: It is not about off-road, all four wheel drives are a tractor in low range off the road. It is more of a safety concern on the highway... The Toyota is not a full sized tow vehicle for larger vans, on the global perspective, only here... It is an issue of the length of wheelbase for leverage on the van at high speed, when you have to make a radical maneuver to avoid an accident or a spilled load or a Bullock or something... The wheelbase of the Landcruiser runs out of safety margin somewhere around 21’... Even my own 100Series Landcruiser is up on its maximum limit with my 22’ van and it is just not safe if something happens to cause a radical move at 100 kph.. There is just not enough leverage to do it safely with the wheelbase of a Landcruiser, and that is where the F-250 or F-350 Ford, or Chev or Dodge trucks really shine. Each 10% increase in wheelbase gives about 100% more leverage on the caravan due to the fulcrum effect… Incidentally, the overall reports are that they get better mileage when towing as well. So, with your best interests in mind, you should consider the larger American tow vehicles for the long wheelbase issue, for vans from about 20’ and up. While Toyota will do it, up to 21’ with caution, Fords will just do it safer, and with more comfort, more power, more brakes, more room, and better fuel economy. Toyota is better if one is returning to life in the city, for parking. But if one is making a Lifestyle change out of the city, you would have to consider the Ford F-250 or F-350, or a fully imported Chevrolet or Dodge. The advantage of Ford is now a nationwide Dealership network and support in Australia.

So let’s be fair to both. I am not pushing Ford or Toyota, but here is I think a very fair analysis of the two in all categories of concern like extreme 4x4, comfort, fuel economy, “Driver Fatigue”, and most important of all: Safety. Sometimes I find that the arguments against Ford usually come from the camp that does not own one… In listening to an opinion from anyone who has not owned one, keep in mind that some of these opinions might be like the Aesops Fables of the Fox that could not reach the grapes so they must be sour…? What are we talking about? Extreme bone jarring 4x4 fossicking or pig hunting? Or long range travel? My Ford surprised every Toyota Owner that saw it in action, and in the Tractor Pull category it wins hands down.

Sure there are some extreme end differences: If you are into extreme fossicking or pig hunting and a smaller van say 18' then Toyota is still King. And if you were coming back to the City parking after short trips, then Toyota is still King… And in those sizes of vans under 20’, Toyota is still the king and you do not have to spend the big money on a new Turbo Cruiser, when there are many advantages to buying a good second hand Cruiser for half the money. I will list the engineering reasons to you if you request it, on our Bushtracker email, but we are getting off the track here with the advantages of a second hand cruiser over new, when we are talking about Fords and such… While Cruisers are still Number one, for smaller vans; with 21 or 22' or larger van and long distance travel, you need to look at the Ford... Ford wins hands down on things like the comfort zone and fuel economy. In many cases our Customers were a Toyota Man to the core. But towing long distance, battling fatigue, power, safety, comfort, about 90 or so have shifted to Ford... The Toyota is still king in the 4x4 Clubs and out pig shooting, but the longer wheel base comfort of the Ford means that after 8 hours towing where you would tired in the Toyota, you are still fresh in the Ford.... In extreme four wheel drive, you would arguably be better off in the Toyota, but how much are you going to do? Weigh that against how much towing and travel you are going to do, In favour of the Ford. And you would be shocked at just where my F-350 really went, in the extreme- Most would not even go there with their Toyotas… My Ford with the 7.3 litre, had awesome power only restricted by the rubber on the ground. In low range it was a tractor and would pull the van anywhere in the dry at an idle. In some conditions, in fact, because most of the Forestry mud bog holes were made by the shorter wheelbase of Toyota or Nissan, the long wheelbase of the Ford meant that either the front or the rear was out of the bog hole as it went through. Yes, because I did extreme 4x4, on my Ford I built a dual leaf spring bolt on cage between the chassis rails for my Ford in Australia to protect the transfer case. I also did a minor lift in the suspension and added air bags in the front to carry the winch and extend the suspension travel.... With these mods, in the end, I took it to places that were worse than most people with LC and Nissan would want to go. So you can do it. Another myth is narrow tracks, but I again did not find this an issue. Toyotas do not run on rails and all the wheel tracks of dirt tracks are almost a metre wide on each side where they wander all over the road. I did not find the little bit wider body of the Ford to be a problem. Lets get back to some real important issues, because in reality, I think the off-road is a 1% issue, in comparison with the Comfort, fuel economy, Driver Fatigue, and Safety issues at hand.

On the issue of "Comfort", I offer this proof: One of my Customers went on a two day Outback 4x4 exploration and covered about 1500 km in two days with me in my 7.3 litre Ford. Here is a Guy that is such a Toyota Enthusiast that he has even upgraded his Toyota Turbo Diesel to the first custom firewall Turbo 6.5 Detroit Diesel in a Toyota around.... Plenty of 6.2 V8 diesels added to Tojo, his was the first new 6.5. And even He was impressed by how well we travelled over rough ground and the power and performance of the Ford..... He just felt physically less tired than in the Toyota as well, and reported that we did the trip about 10% faster each way… I have owned at least 6 Cruisers from stock to custom with various suspension upgrades, and there is just no way that the short wheelbase of the Cruiser compares with the longer wheelbase of the Ford for Comfort... The Cruiser hits the rut, and with any speed the front suspension has not recovered when the rear suspension hits the rut and that is where you get the famous "Buck"... The longer suspension for instance in the Ford, is a longer interval, and this is a well known fact that it is just more comfortable... Hands down, I have owned both for a long time, and Chevy trucks and a Dodge, and there is no comparison, having owned a half dozen of each over the last 35 years, longer wheelbase is pretty well accepted as being more comfortable by almost anyone that has owned both.

The next thing I think should be emphasized is the Driver Fatigue... The little Japanese 4 litre engine is struggling a bit to get out of the way of traffic on the highway and hills when towing. Most people are tensing up trying to urge it along up the hills and such... Where the big Ford is comfortably running along passing them.. Also, with the Ford and it's increased leverage on the caravan, it is also indisputable that it has more control on the van... Less tension and stress on the Driver, means you are happier and rested on arrival...

On Safety: Yes there is just plain less stress on the Driver, not just for power and comfort. It is an issue of the length of wheelbase for leverage at high speed, when you have to make a radical manoeuvre to avoid an accident or a spilled load or a Bullock or something... The Ford just has a tremendous amount of more leverage on the van, a really huge difference that results in a substantial safety margin that could make all the difference in the world… The wheelbase of the Landcruiser runs out of safety margin somewhere around 21’ or 22’... Even my own 100 Series Landcruiser is up on its maximum limit with a 21’ van. Over about 21’, and there is just not enough leverage to do it safely with the wheelbase of a Landcruiser, and that is where the F-250 or F-350 Ford, or Chev or Dodge trucks really shine.

And on fuel economy, incidentally they get better mileage when towing as well. All report that they are getting an improvement in mileage over Toyota when towing, as your foot is all the way into the Toyota, where the bigger diesel in the Ford is just not working as hard.. Mind you, the Ford is the worst of the big three, reporting around 14-16 miles per gallon towing a big van.. Chev and Dodge are reporting better, with the Cummins diesel in the Dodge holding the record for the best… But still, the Ford has a Nationwide Dealership network for backup, and people are reporting that 14-16mpg towing a big van, some reporting more. Put it another way, we would have had 80 or better converts to F-Series Fords from Toyotas, and none to my knowledge back the other way. Probably the worst downside to the F-Series is the turning radius. You have to get accustomed to three point turns in the Bush or in the City, but I would say it is no problem and after a while you get used to it . I only sold my Ford to get a 15 tonne horse truck as I travel with 5 Quarter Horses, pulling my van behind… In the City, my Wife still drives a 100Series, but I drove mine around the city for three years, you get used to it, and I know which one is safer in an accident..

Now there is one other disadvantage, about the only one besides city parking which you can get used to, and that is that the Ford has a terrible turning radius.... But again, it is just an adjustment phase of six months, and you are so used to doing three point turns that you do not even think about it... You do not do a u-turn on an average street, you would back into a driveway and do a three point turn. At a big light, you swing a little left and wide to do a u-turn... You can get used to it. And when you drive one, it will feel big, but you get used to that and it is now your accepted norm... One more thing, I sure know which one I would want to get in an accident with... With my Toyota, if they pull out in front of me I am in trouble... With my Ford, if they pull out in front of me they are in trouble... is the feeling...

Hope this has been a help,
Kind Regards from the Ranger….

AnswerID: 567976

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 03:39

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 03:39
One more thing to ponder... Maybe 80,90 "Converts" from Toyota, Nissan, and not sure any headed back down the other way...

But again it really depends on you... 18' van? Probably a waste, stay with Toyota... Even 20' or 21', what have you got to lose to give it a try first? But if it is 20' or 21' you are thinking of, or larger, 500 km with your Toyota, then do it with my Ford, and I know which one you would pick.. Hands down.
Regards, da Ranger..
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Follow Up By: cvtripper - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 04:03

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 04:03

Thanks for the essay, but I guess I asked for that! LOL
Thant must have taken you all afternoon!

OK, so you use the same argument I have been using for years re: LC versus a Pajero/Jackeroo/XTrail etc., i.e. long wheel base = more comfy ride; bigger engine = less load, better fuel economy; larger weight = safer when towing large loads. So it sounds like I haven't been feeding people bs. ;-)

The slant now is the van size and above 21/22ft, the F250 rules.

Now, I must say I don't disagree your points that the F250 would be a better tow vehicle; I've drooled over them at caravan shows, but I must get back to my question and perhaps I can be more specific:

I live about 70kms north of Sydney.
I often travel to Sydney (but could use another vehicle if necessary)
I'm looking at a van in the 19/20ft range - nothing bigger.
I'm (only :-) 42 - so I have too many years left in me yet to let me retire and tour around full time, although I would love to. I have a trade and a couple of degrees, but not sure if my current profession of writing computer software would support an indefinite working holiday like trades might.
I already own the LC - it's 3 years old and still runs like new, so can't see any point just yet in trading, but will within the next 2-3 years before the warranty runs out.
My current fuel usage towing a 16ft "offroad" or semi-offroad, or whatever you would call it, that has an ATM of 2200kg, is about 24 litres/100km. I travel at the posted speed limit. (I know if I tarvelled at 90km/h I could probably reduce this). I have towed smaller vans and the fuel consumption is not much different. Fuel consumption not towing is 15.5-16 litres/100km.
The engine is 4.7litre V8, not the 4 litre DOHC 6. (I did own an 80 series petrol before this and the V8 fuel consumption is lower, I also owned a Jackeroo 3.5l V6 before that and the fuel consumption was 17-18 litres/100km - backing up the argument of the more hp, less work, less fuel used.

I don't really intend taking the BT too far of the track: accessible beaches with hard sand, dessert runs across corrogated roads, black top etc. I just like the offroad vans as I believe they handle the dirt and corrugations a lot better than the onroad vans, they have better ground clearance for taking into ungraded areas even if only a few hundred metres, and aborb the bumps better without shaking everything in the van to pieces. Perhaps I don't even need a BT? Am I better off with a Kedron or Pheonix or the like?

OK, question is do I NEED an F250 to tow a BT?

FollowupID: 845488

Reply By: cvtripper - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 04:04

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 04:04
Sorry, your postback beat mine, so you probably answered part of my question.
AnswerID: 567977

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 18:51

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 18:51
Your question to me "Do I need an F-250 to tow a Bushtracker?" The answer is obviously NO... 19-20' Landcruiser is still Number One... Coming back to park in Sydney? Landcruiser is still Number One.... Only traveling part time, Landcruiser is still Number One... Stick with your Toyota..

Mind you, if those conditions change, the F-250 takes over. It will also get far better fuel economy than your v-8 petrol Cruiser... The averages reported to me, are about 20-22 litres per 100 towing with the F-250 with a big van, better with a smaller one.

So, do you need an Effie, of course not. Particularly living in city parking. But travel full time? Or living in the country? Or towing a larger van over 20-21'? The F-250 is King, cheaper on fuel, safer, more comfortable, less driver fatigue, no comparison.

Regards from the Ranger....
FollowupID: 845489

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 09:14

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 09:14
If you check out the finish of a Kedron and Phoenix and compare them to a Bushtracker, you get much better value for money with a BT than you do with the others.

We have a 21ft BT with a tare weight of 2500kgs and if loaded with all 5 water tanks full we are about 3400kgs. We used to tow it with a 2001 Landcruiser 4.2 lt T/D Auto at around 95kph and used 25lts per 100km. Towing the same van with an Auto 7.3lt V8 T/D F250 at 100 to 105kmp we usually average 22.5lts per 100km. The big difference is that the Ford allows the driver to be far more relaxed than what the L/C did, and you can drive for hours nd not get fatigued.

Fuel wise when not towing on a highway run the L/C was about 8.5 km / lt and the F250 is about 7km / lt. So the L/C T/D was better when not towing but the F250 is better when towing.

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Reply By: cvtripper - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 23:43

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 23:43
Thanks for that Brian. The fuel usage is more where I would have expected it to be for the F250. I'm surprised at your figures for the LC TD - most people quote seemingly remarkable figures like 16l/100km while towing....

On a slightly different note, does the BT factory close on Tuesdays? I've been trying to call all day and all I get is BUSY tone. Tried the fax number and I get a record message saying the number is unavailable.
I've sent a message through this forum and also via email but haven't had a reply.

Have BT closed down overnight? (although I did see a reply from the Ranger this morning). Might have to give Roadstar a call.... ;-)
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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 00:58

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 00:58
They are always open Monday to Friday from about 7am to 6pm. I see that Steve has been quiet today, so someone may have dug up the phone cables, as there is major roadworks taking place nearby.

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Follow Up By: Turist - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 02:08

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 02:08
Confirmed, phone lines cut, no e-mail, no fax.
BT will contact you.

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Nobody is getting any younger.

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