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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are getting into 5th wheel camping, last summer we bought a leftover 2020 5th wheel camper for a screamin deal. The only downside (and we knew this) is that it's too heavy for our F250 gas truck. The F250 has been a fantastic truck (2013 with the 6 2 gas) but the camper's GVWR is close to 17K lbs . So... we've ordered a 2021 F450 crewcab to pull the camper.
We're excited...but I gotta learn the nuances of maintaining a diesel truck. I'm mainly concerned about:

  • Emissions systems; DPF, DEF, EGR.... how do you keep that junk working?
  • DEF. I've read that stuff goes bad in about a year and to keep the DEF tank low if you don't drive it a lot of miles? And the crap will even freeze?
  • Fuel filters; how often do you change them?
  • Is it "bad" to drive these trucks around town without pulling a load? Does this plug up the DPF?
  • Conventional wisdom on synth vs conventional oil? These aren't the lazy diesel engines in our tractors, the 6.7 Powerstroke is now 475hp and 1050 ft-lbs of torque!

I've owned and own diesel equipment but never a diesel truck, I know many of you guys have a lot of experience...would love to hear your thoughts!

AJ
 

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The emissions systems on the newer trucks are night and day from the early years of DPF/SCR/EGR systems. If you're working the truck, and you will with a 17k load, you shouldn't have many issues.

DEF fluid will freeze at 12 degrees(according to the interwebs), it's 67.5% water. I live in Texas so I can't comment much on freezing weather. It did recently get around 0 degrees here and I suppose it thawed out on its own. I don't know, I didn't go outside! If you're towing, it's going to use DEF enough that you probably wont need to worry about it expiring.

I have a 3/4 ton cummins that I daily drive. Pretty short distances mostly. We do pull a 7k travel trailer maybe 5 times a year. 30k with no issues yet. I should work it harder probably but it is what it is. I am also an auto/diesel repair technician so that not as big a deal to me as it may be to most folks.

I change my filters every 10k. Some may argue that its overkill but to me, it's worth it. Having clean fuel is the most important thing about a modern diesel. The high pressure pump tolerances are so tight that contaminated fuel can really end in a very expensive situation. Like 10-15k expensive. If the pump grenades, the entire fuel system requires replacement. And I mean everything that fuel touches.

I use conventional oil in my Ram. Rotellla 15w40. I think ford may call for a 10w30 diesel spec oil. Use what your owners manual recommends as far as the API rating. Other than that I think its personal preference.

Enjoy your new rigs! My family is from the Buffalo area. Still have family in N. Tonawanda/Amherst/Kenmore.
 

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keep it in a garage👍🏻. and not sure where you live but if you get snow, rinse it off regularly during the winter to remove the salt from the frame. If you don’t, your body will rust out before anything else.
 

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My wife and I are getting into 5th wheel camping, last summer we bought a leftover 2020 5th wheel camper for a screamin deal. The only downside (and we knew this) is that it's too heavy for our F250 gas truck. The F250 has been a fantastic truck (2013 with the 6 2 gas) but the camper's GVWR is close to 17K lbs . So... we've ordered a 2021 F450 crewcab to pull the camper.
We're excited...but I gotta learn the nuances of maintaining a diesel truck. I'm mainly concerned about:

  • Emissions systems; DPF, DEF, EGR.... how do you keep that junk working?
  • DEF. I've read that stuff goes bad in about a year and to keep the DEF tank low if you don't drive it a lot of miles? And the crap will even freeze?
  • Fuel filters; how often do you change them?
  • Is it "bad" to drive these trucks around town without pulling a load? Does this plug up the DPF?
  • Conventional wisdom on synth vs conventional oil? These aren't the lazy diesel engines in our tractors, the 6.7 Powerstroke is now 475hp and 1050 ft-lbs of torque!

I've owned and own diesel equipment but never a diesel truck, I know many of you guys have a lot of experience...would love to hear your thoughts!

AJ
Congrats for doing it correctly - getting the right truck to pull your fiver. I have had a diesel for many years, all Fords and been around diesel tractors most of my life.
- Your emissions will be fine as long as you pay attention to your maintenance and it does need to be run hard or for longer periods every now and then if you are not towing.
- DEF - generally, you should get about 6-7000 miles out of a tank of DEF, but will vary depending on how you drive the truck. I average about 7000 a tank and use mine for way too short of a drive to work every day. I am in the process of getting a daily driver and reserve the truck for farming and hunting (for the most part).
- Fuel filters - every 10K is a good routine. The manual may say 12-15K. I do every other oil change for how I drive my truck and change my oil.
- I have never had a problem running my diesels for short distances every day for work - I do get them to full running temps every week. Your results may vary depending on exactly how you drive.
- I see oil as a personal preference. The important part is to change it on schedule. I use synthetic (AMSOIL) with great results. I have used AMSOIL for years in everything I have.

If there is one thing I recommend not mentioned is fuel treatment. I have used treatment for every ounce of diesel fuel I have gone through in my trucks with zero issues. I firmly believe it takes good care of your fuel system and improves your fuel mileage. Again personal preference, I use Opti-Lube, the year round version. They have a summer and winter specific versions which may be beneficial to your area of the country. There are a ton of them out there, so some homework is in order. But use it.

I have seen many complaints about the valve stems on the dualies, check them carefully and regularly. Most that have had problems, had them replaced with an aftermarket.

Check out some FB groups and/or forums for good information on owning and maintaining your truck

Best of luck and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe you answered your own question.

I'd get a beater to use as a daily driver.
We have the daily drivers covered. (y)

Here's the deal....the truck's main purpose will be pulling the camper, but that's not going to translate to more than maybe a few thousand miles a year at most. I plan on driving the truck to work occasionally and other random tasks just to drive it more often and keep fresh DEF in the tank. But it would be unloaded, and some people say diesels don't like that?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
keep it in a garage👍🏻. and not sure where you live but if you get snow, rinse it off regularly during the winter to remove the salt from the frame. If you don’t, your body will rust out before anything else.
Spot-on. We live in Western NY so our pickup trucks spend the winter parked in the shop. Our 2013 F250 is so clean underneath if I told you it was a new truck you'd believe it. I have a 10 year old Camry (most reliable vehicle I have ever driven) and the wife has 10 year old Escape for most of our driving.
I hate....HATE road salt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Congrats for doing it correctly - getting the right truck to pull your fiver. I have had a diesel for many years, all Fords and been around diesel tractors most of my life.
  • Your emissions will be fine as long as you pay attention to your maintenance and it does need to be run hard or for longer periods every now and then if you are not towing.
  • DEF - generally, you should get about 6-7000 miles out of a tank of DEF, but will vary depending on how you drive the truck. I average about 7000 a tank and use mine for way too short of a drive to work every day. I am in the process of getting a daily driver and reserve the truck for farming and hunting (for the most part).
  • Fuel filters - every 10K is a good routine. The manual may say 12-15K. I do every other oil change for how I drive my truck and change my oil.
  • I have never had a problem running my diesels for short distances every day for work - I do get them to full running temps every week. Your results may vary depending on exactly how you drive.
  • I see oil as a personal preference. The important part is to change it on schedule. I use synthetic (AMSOIL) with great results. I have used AMSOIL for years in everything I have.

If there is one thing I recommend not mentioned is fuel treatment. I have used treatment for every ounce of diesel fuel I have gone through in my trucks with zero issues. I firmly believe it takes good care of your fuel system and improves your fuel mileage. Again personal preference, I use Opti-Lube, the year round version. They have a summer and winter specific versions which may be beneficial to your area of the country. There are a ton of them out there, so some homework is in order. But use it.

I have seen many complaints about the valve stems on the dualies, check them carefully and regularly. Most that have had problems, had them replaced with an aftermarket.

Check out some FB groups and/or forums for good information on owning and maintaining your truck

Best of luck and have fun!
Awesome input!

I've started using Stanadyne Performance treatment in my 1025r, I was planning on adding the same to every tank of fuel in the 6.7, is that another good choice?
 

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It's an aluminum body truck. The salt won't affect it near as much as steel.

Change the oil. I change mine every 5k miles. That may seem silly but I'm on my 4th 6.7 ford and all of them have made it to 250k with no engine issues. Change fuel filters every other oil change. Pour the DEF in the DEF tank and don't worry much else about it. The tank is heated so it won't freeze.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
The emissions systems on the newer trucks are night and day from the early years of DPF/SCR/EGR systems. If you're working the truck, and you will with a 17k load, you shouldn't have many issues.

DEF fluid will freeze at 12 degrees(according to the interwebs), it's 67.5% water. I live in Texas so I can't comment much on freezing weather. It did recently get around 0 degrees here and I suppose it thawed out on its own. I don't know, I didn't go outside! If you're towing, it's going to use DEF enough that you probably wont need to worry about it expiring.

I have a 3/4 ton cummins that I daily drive. Pretty short distances mostly. We do pull a 7k travel trailer maybe 5 times a year. 30k with no issues yet. I should work it harder probably but it is what it is. I am also an auto/diesel repair technician so that not as big a deal to me as it may be to most folks.

I change my filters every 10k. Some may argue that its overkill but to me, it's worth it. Having clean fuel is the most important thing about a modern diesel. The high pressure pump tolerances are so tight that contaminated fuel can really end in a very expensive situation. Like 10-15k expensive. If the pump grenades, the entire fuel system requires replacement. And I mean everything that fuel touches.

I use conventional oil in my Ram. Rotellla 15w40. I think ford may call for a 10w30 diesel spec oil. Use what your owners manual recommends as far as the API rating. Other than that I think its personal preference.

Enjoy your new rigs! My family is from the Buffalo area. Still have family in N. Tonawanda/Amherst/Kenmore.
As funny as it may sound, a lot of my concern (or at least why I'm asking) is that our truck will not be driven daily, it will sit parked over the winter and won't get a lot of miles on it. So my worry is not driving it enough could be bad. So if a tank of DEF can last 5k - 7k miles, and we only put 3k miles on the truck in a year, I could end up with a ruined DEF system.
 

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I can't add much to the diesel part of this but my $0.02 is:
Newer vehicles are better at sitting for extended periods of time (vs. 80's and 90's), but I still make a point to drive our vehicles once a week (two weeks tops). We only put 5,000 miles a year (give or take) on our 2500HD 6.0 gas, probably half of that is towing.

I'm looking at the baby max diesel Colorado, so thanks @AJgrn78 for asking. Good information!

PS, congrats on the truck!
 
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So if a tank of DEF can last 5k - 7k miles, and we only put 3k miles on the truck in a year, I could end up with a ruined DEF system.
If that is a concern, only partially fill the DEF tank.

Driving it once a week is a good thing for it. Take the long way home and once it is up to temperature, romp on it a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can't add much to the diesel part of this but my $0.02 is:
Newer vehicles are better at sitting for extended periods of time (vs. 80's and 90's), but I still make a point to drive our vehicles once a week (two weeks tops). We only put 5,000 miles a year (give or take) on our 2500HD 6.0 gas, probably half of that is towing.

I'm looking at the baby max diesel Colorado, so thanks @AJgrn78 for asking. Good information!

PS, congrats on the truck!
Thank you!

If it were not for the 5th wheel camper, we wouldn't be getting a truck like this, our gas F250 has handled everything we've thrown at it (including towing our 5th wheel home!) . But with that camper, our 250 is over its payload / GVWR and the 6.2 was buzzing to pull some steep hills.
We are way behind the rest of the world with smaller diesel vehicles, its cool to see the compact and 1/2 ton diesel trucks coming out!
 
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If that is a concern, only partially fill the DEF tank.

Driving it once a week is a good thing for it. Take the long way home and once it is up to temperature, romp on it a little bit.
That's our plan, keep the DEF tank low so that it stays fresh. Even though it's basically synthetic piss...
 

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I don’t know why there is no drain or petcock on DEF tanks on Ford/GM/Ram trucks equipped with diesel motors. Some people (like me) are low mile owners. I can’t go through a tank of DEF in 12 months. I had many issues with DEF in my last Duramax and it caused several NOX sensor failures. For that reason I hang onto my 2012 Ram Cummins which currently has 17,000 miles on it....last year for no DEF. I have been in the car business on the service and wholesale side for many years, and have seen more Diesel/DEF issues from lack of use than “overuse”. Most of those issues could have been prevented by having the ability to drain out old DEF fluid. You are best off only filling it with what you plan to use up.... including the initial fill that the dealer will do when it arrives and the do your pre-delivery inspection.
 

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My 250 sits most of the time and will go a month or more without moving. It runs like a champ with low miles after 4 years. Dont worry about the use it or lose it deal. Ford has a pretty decent warranty program. Youll most likely run outta time before mileage and by then youll know enough about it to know what to do. Look at the Powerstroke Diesel forums and talk to them guys, They'll keep your truck running good
/
 

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Awesome input!

I've started using Stanadyne Performance treatment in my 1025r, I was planning on adding the same to every tank of fuel in the 6.7, is that another good choice?
I know that Stanadyne is used by many. Like I said, personal preference. I like the cetane booster and conditioner in one and if your truck is going to sit alot during the winter, conditioner is a must. Someone who gets fuel regularly may be fine with just a cetane booster. You can get them separately. And get your fuel from someplace that pumps a lot of diesel, likely to be fresher and cleaner. As you travel, most stations that service big rigs turn their fuel over quickly, so those are best and they have lots of room for truck and trailer.
 
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Secondary fuel filter, search "fuel lift kits" and read up.
Depending on the kit, mine goes through a large CAT fuel filter (like a semi) before it goes to the smaller OEM filter.
 
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Secondary fuel filter, search "fuel lift kits" and read up.
Depending on the kit, mine goes through a large CAT fuel filter (like a semi) before it goes to the smaller OEM filter.
check with the ford dealer first, they told me it voids your warranty if any thing goes wrong, still waiting to put one on.
 

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Here’s my 2 cents. I live 45 minutes east of you. Get it under coated at a Rust Stop place. You may not intend to drive it in the winter but it could happen. Better to be protected than not. I wouldn’t recommend Zebart. I don’t care for the way it dries and turns into a shell. Rust Stop uses Fluid Film I believe. My 06 Dodge has no rust and I drive it way more than I want to in the winter
Don’t lose any sleep over the DEF They have designed freeze expansion into the tank. If it works like every other def system today when you key of the def pump will reverse and pump the lines dry It even opens the injection nozzle to dry it out It will probably have a quality sensor in it but that is mostly for the people who try to run water in it or fill the little tank with diesel. It will go bad I have been told but I haven’t seen it yet. Where I work we have rental units that sit outside in the sun rain and cold with def in the tank. Some for over a year. No issues with def quality.
Fuel treatment is really a matter of choice. Stanadyne make excellent products. I use Lucas oil products. John Deere sells a good product. Up to you I guess.
Engine oil is another personal choice and will start just as big a debate as fuel treatment. Unless they have changed things Ford will recommend a 5w40 oil. It will say that conventional oil is fine but if used for severe duty to use synthetic and stretch the oil change out to 7500 miles. My F550 service truck weighed 22,000 pounds all the time. Since that’s over the GVW for the truck I considered it severe duty. We ran synthetic in it. Another tech at a different location had the same truck similar weight. They ran conventional oil. Both engines lasted about the same amount of time. The other truck did eat more turbo’s than mine but I think that was driver more than oil. Personally in your situation I would just run conventional oil and change it at 3000 miles.
I wish you luck with the new ride.
 
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