2007 Ford E-350 Super Duty w/16-Foot Long, High Cube
What can I say, it had to be done. I confess to using a bunch of fuel, so hold me accountable if you must
LSS, I had to move some antiques, family items, and general stuff from my Dad's old house near Akron, Ohio to my place in Kansas City. Generational stuff from my Grandparents house built by them in 1932 had accumulated over the years, and my Father lived there for a while. So, now Dad is downsizing and distributed stuff to me and retained a few items for his new place.
So, using the "Smallest vehicle for the job mentality", I started out with my Mom's '93 K2500 Extended Cab, Long-Bed 4x4 Chevy Silverado Farm Truck with the 350, auto, and 4.11 rear with plans for a trailer. But, it had some mechanical concerns. Enter the Hyundai Entourage Minivan (like the Kia Sedona -- 3.8L DOHC V-6 -- fast, good quality, thirsty). Good sized cargo with the 3-row folded flat and the 2 middle seats pulled. But it soon became apparent I was in WAY over my head.
So, it was off to Penske for real truck (IMHO, the best truck rental agency -- 3 rentals over the years at top quality). So, I got the 16-foot (12-foot model sold out) box truck. They generally use GMCs, but I got a Ford this time (previous rentals: 20' International Diesel with hydraulic lift for a local move and when I came to KC in '99, a 16' GMC to tow my Civic at the time + stuff). I won't diss U-Haul too much, but trust me, don't go there
I'm fairly familiar with the E-Series chassis -- many Ambulances in my past jobs were E-350s and one E-550.
I'm not sure how to review this...
Here's the size in a GMC
Like this from the box forward
OK -- not your typical review: It's a rough ride until you get it loaded. My guess is that the GVW was close to the max at 10,000 lbs. loaded or so.
Outside: Well, I think it looked good. I like the enclosed headlamps over the sealed beams of the past few years. 2008 sees a huge redesign to match the F-Series Super Duty. Not a big fan -- maybe too nostalgic.
Specs: 2007 Ford E-350 Super Duty Cutaway Chassis with Superior Manufacturing 16-foot high cube box.
Engine: 5.4L SOHC, 3-Valve "Triton" Modular V-8 rated at 300 hp and 365 ft-lb torque. Transmission: 5-Speed Heavy Duty with Tow/Haul mode (helped to auto-downshift for slowdown and held the revs higher before shift for better response. Chassis: Ford E-350 (formerly Econoline) with "dualie" rear axle.
Interior: Down to business. 5 large cupholders, good seating position, lots of room. Captains chairs with recline made the 15-hours bearable. The stereo, although a 2-speaker setup, was rather good.
Downside: NO CRUISE! That got old after a while.
The Drive: Loaded, it drove better. Good stability, but some rocking in corners required opposing steering inputs to stabilize: classic Ford 1-ton front end response. Otherwise, the mirrors provided blind-spot coverage and a good picture in the large mirror. No close calls, thankfully. If needed, it was equipped with 4-channel ABS.
Power was abundant. Driving sensibly, it would bog down on hills and require a downshift to 4th or 3rd as any normal truck. One downside, with the tow/haul button: O/D or 5th disengage was absent -- just D, 3, 2, 1. Around town, it would navigate around curbs well and keep up with traffic. Overall, an impressive package that would pull when needed and shift to O/D and calm down at cruise. You could get close to 10 mpg if you really tried, but it very tiring and traffic didn't help. Some momentum was needed to get a jump on hills, or the transmission kickdown would start "guzzler mode".
Over the 800-mile long-stretch, the goal was to keep the speed down. Using the SG, a few things became apparent. It was governed at 75, so downhill runs were common for momentum. The electronic throttle seemed to manage the inputs better than my foot while at max speed, but not as efficient as 60 mph and less wind resistance. A compromise was met to gain a 9.19 mpg average. I know, a big OUCH. But, it did a necessary job, did it comfortably, reliably, and easily. A Diesel would've been nice, but wasn't available until the heavy iron sizes (20' +).
Some hypermiling techniques: DWL up hills (couldn't help it), slower speeds at times for wind resistance, and some low-speed EOC in a traffic jam for 1.5 hours in St. Louis. <--- Yeah, that really sucked (fuel too...).
The painful reality (stats):
Local trips in Barberton, Ohio to Canton, Ohio
One-Way: Canton, Ohio to Columbus -> Indianapolis -> St. Louis -> KC/Home (I-70).
18-Hours of Operation
Avg Speed: 48 MPH
Overall Economy: 9.1-9.2 MPG
Hopefully, I can make some fuel efficient choices in future rentals, to offset the consumption -- it stings to have used so much fuel, but duty called.
I just pushed a 30+ mph headwind for 350 miles with a bulky load in the box of the F150. 11 mpg.
Sorry to hear about the blast of headwind. It seems like I've been fighting that same scenario all summer in the Midwest. Luckily the winds were calm for this trip -- just some light rain towards the end. Also, I didn't use the A/C much, which hopefully helped by a slim margin.
But yeah, the aero of the thing was its biggest weakness -- just a big brick. The power and gearing seemed to fit the task, though. For example, it wouldn't downshift to 1st until speeds were 3 mph or less, so you could keep rolling and use 2nd to get going again. The gear selector also forced gear hold in 3rd on down -- so you could start out in 3rd! Don't know why, other than in ice/snow, but I let the transmission sort it out with the tow/haul mode selected in D. Not knowing much about it, the last thing I needed was an overheated tranny.
Even with an estimated full payload, all SG parameters were within normal limits, until the jam in StL. IATs were up in the 140's with the key-off and on. I only coasted at speeds under 5 mph for obvious reasons. Even still, there was enough brake force after the vacuum was used up, to give it a firm squeeze to comfortably brake. That part of the trip killed the FE for sure. I finally rolled into the driveway at 1 a.m. Long day...
I rented the GMC equivalent a few years ago for a move from Georgia to Texas. I towed my Civic hatch behind on a car carrier. Other than the lack of noise insulation it was a great vehicle. Very confidence-inspiring to tow with.
I got a 3500-series GMC 16-footer with dual rear wheels and the 6-liter V8. It had more than enough power most of the time. If I floored it at the bottom of the on-ramp it would be doing about 55-60 by the time I had to merge. It had no trouble maintaining 75 mph on the highway, though I did have to give it full throttle and a kickdown to maintain speed up long grades.
I averaged 10 mpg over 1000 miles, not too bad when you consider that I was hauling all of my worldly possessions and about 5000 lbs of Civic/car carrier.
Rented an F250 with the "old" 260hp 2v 5.4 Triton to tow our show car up to a car show years ago. Car's about 2900lbs, plus a ~800lb trailer for 3700lbs. An F250 was probably overkill, but it was the only one they had and it was still cheaper than what others were renting F150's with 4.6's for. There was some very heavy traffic leaving the Bay Area, but after we got over the Sunol Grade and Altamont Pass, it died down. All told, we managed just over 13mpg.
My Dad right now has a Dodge Ram Mega Cab 4x4 Hemi as his DD which also tows our boat and Airstream trailer we're picking up this weekend. Although branded as a 1500, it's really built on 2500 (or 3/4 ton) componentry, so this is a big, burly, heavy truck. Unloaded, he manages about 11.5mpg and I can eke around 13mpg, again no freeway time, just bumpy country roads and in-town driving on rolling hills.
'67 Mustang - out of commission after an accident
'00 Echo - DD
'11 Kia Rio - Wife's DD
'09 Harley Nightster - 48mpg and 1/4 miles in the 12's