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F350/250 crew-cab w/short box - a family car or not - looking for input

denisddenisd Posts: 11
edited March 7 in Ford
I like suburbans, but my wife doesn't. So she
came up with the thought of a 4-door pick-up with a
removable canopy. She can use the bed for large
garden work etc (major green thumb!), and it would
work for hauling us + 2 small kids (4 & 2)on
regular trips to the family cabins, camping,
skiing. A standard bed is huge for around town,
but a short bed is only 21" longer overall than a
suburban. Am I nuts, or is this a viable
alternative to the "everyone has a suburban".


  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    I'd take the F250 for those purposes. You're correct -- not only is it a viable alternative, its quite a nice one. They're becoming increasingly popular around here (Dallas/Fort Worth). In your position, I'd go for the V10 rather than the diesel.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,496
    or if you can wait a year, the Ford Excursion (based on the Super Duty Crew Cab) will be available.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • Will the Excursions be released spring of 99? Now that I have my SD, my wife wants to trade in her 95 Lumina APV for an Expedition, but I'd like to wait and see what the Excursion is like.....
  • We have the SD CrewCab as the family vehicle that tows. The SD CC eliminated the need for a suburban(Thank you, Ford). My husband got his pickup, I get the volvo wagon. It's a win/win situation.
  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    Er, moving to the Excursion would defeat the purpose of getting the SD for the bed.
  • trap2trap2 Posts: 19
    I had an '88 GMC reg cab 8'bed 4x4 w/snow plow. When I bought that truck I didn't have any kids, now I have two. Now, when we would go camping with the kids I would drive my truck loaded with coolers, firewood and my 5yr old son and the wife would drive her car with our 3yr old daughter. I was going to get a suburban for around town and camping and keep the truck for plowing and hauling. I didn't like the idea of having three vehicles or loading the suburban with firewood or bringing home a dead deer in the back. Ford fixed all those concerns....I got rid of the GMC and bought an F350 crew cab short bed 4x4 and put a western snowplow and a hard tonneau cover from A.R.E. on it. Get the crew cab!
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,496

    Supposedly the load floor behind the rear seat of the Excursion is supposed to be damn close to the length of the short bed - the truck is reportedly much longer than a Sub. If that is true, then I would imagine an Excursion would be a little better to live/work with than a capped Crew Cab shortbed. The accessible (and lockable storage area, along with the probabllity of a split bench rear seat makes it a little more versatile.


    I heard the first public viewing will be at the Detroit Auto Show in January, but I wouldn't look for one before summer 1999.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    More versatile, but much less useful for the garden work (or anything else messy) that was specified in the original question. Remember, a suburban was already ruled out for just that reason.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,496
    agreed, stanford - maybe Ford will recognize the messy market and offer an all vinyl cargo area...

    I'm certainly not trying to denounce the Crew shortbox, but GM went after the luxury SUV market with the Sub. I know I'll be looking for a crew for my next truck - the stuff I tend to carry isn't messy, but would require an over-height cap, or an open bed.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • At a recent auto show Ford showed an Expedition-based concept truck called the Expedition Himalaya. AutoWeek magazine ran a photo and brief article on it a few issues back (can't find the mag, so don't know which show). It is a hybrid SUV/pickup; that is, the back is open like a pickup bed, but is attached to the rest of the vehicle. Also, there is a removable bulkhead/rear window that separates the passenger compartment from the bed. Chevy is rumored to be coming out with a similar concept. I suspect that this may be the "next big thing" in trucks with production models coming in the not to distant future.
  • DavyddDavydd Posts: 121
    The December 21 copy of BusinessWeek magazine has an article on the Ford Excursion. It's 230 inches long (10 inches longer than a Suburban.) They call it the new beast on the block.
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    Sound like a Hummer take off to me
  • I have driven a F150 XL 4.9 short bed for 5 years.
    Love the truck, its used in my engine business and hauls some of my Four kids and their friends around to schools and activies. I reconized the need for more room but still needed the bed for my business needs.
    The F250 SD Crew Cab fit the bill exactly. After stacking up the pricing (XL VS XLT) I opted for a XLT SB V10 with a bunch of nit pick extras approved by the Wife. I see the CC as the New emerging family SUV as it serves many personalites. I look forward to using it till the last kid leaves home.
  • gmacegmace Posts: 31
    Our crew cab long bed is the perfect family vehicle. I can't believe a suburban is shorter than a shortbed crew cab. I would tell any friend of mine that said "my wife wants a crew cab and I want a Suburban" to get his husband to pick out their next vehicle. ; )

    Seriously, I think the crew is more sport utility than a 'burb. The stiffer springs should help decrease the rollovers SUV's are famous for. Still have that high Center of Gravity though. A camper package will give you a rear sway bar for the Fords. Our 350 4x4 CC rides just fine. Take a test drive if you don't believe.

  • For me the CC DRW 8' will become the 'family car'. It will be a go everyplace kind of vehicle (work, supermarket, dinner). I'm moving up from a Suburban because it got too small in the cargo compartment, but needed to keep 4 doors.

    My wife (5'5') test drove with me and was very impressed with how it rode. She normally has an S10 pickup and quickly adapted to the longer length. (But not the DRW - first oncoming vehicle was another DRW on an 18' wide road and she was surprised to realize she hadn't hit either the other truck or the mailbox. Given a few miles though...)

    The size will be OK in our town (I commuted in a 24' box truck for a couple of months), but she goes into the 'city' where her S10 is all the parking space she can find. Take a look at your particular situation.

    Not to stir the pot here but...
    Also take a look at the Chevy if you don't need the "super" duty. I don't have actual specs, but the cramp angle feels tighter and the axles are closer together making it FEEL more maneuverable. I just was disappointed in their weight, torque, and hp ratings, so I'm going Ford.
  • gmacegmace Posts: 31
    If you can live without 4WD consider a van with a limited slip differential. I really considered one but a CC truck has more versatility for my uses. I cut firewood, haul dirt bikes every weekend and expect to have a camper unit by the summer. You have alot of room in a van. Some have seating for 15. They come in a variety of lengths. Dodge used to make a short one. Personally, I'd go with the Fords, new engines and heavy duty E350s are available. Go test drive one. I think they are great vehicles for a family also. I never checked crash ratings, but it is supposed to be illegal to use one for a school bus. I think it was that vans don't have the roll over protection a bus does.
  • chadw1chadw1 Posts: 22
    I have a F250 SD CC SB and I would recommend it to anyone that is looking at a large family hauler. This truck has worked out great for me and my wife on long trips and even just around town. The only thoughts I have are, you may have to park a little farther out than you are used to if you are upgrading in size. I guess I have been spoiled with my wifes keyless entry, but I recommend getting that for the easy of locking and unlocking all four doors. This is a great truck.

    The Feb '99 Truck Trend has two pictures of the Himalaya Expedition and a very brief article. The pictures do make it look like a Hummer spinoff, but much user friendly. These pictures were from the SEMA show in Las Vegas. They also had some sweet concept SD trucks like a 450 with a pick up bed and another 450 CC with a bed for pulling fifth wheels (a must see for serious haulers) and for very serious haulers a awesome new 750.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    If you opt against a pickup and think a SUV is what you want, I'd give the full size van a good look. I was watching a show this weekend on TNN (maybe Motortrend magazine?), and they featured the full size 4wd V-10 Econoline Van. It was fairly impressive and, believe it or not, pretty tough looking. The reviewers liked it. It's not a replacement for a pickup, but it deserves strong consideration over the Suburban and Expedition when it comes to hauling people and cargo.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,496

    Remember the 4x4 van is an aftermarket conversion, and you're subject to someone else's build quality.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    I didn't know that. I'm not talking about a customized van, just the straight Econoline that Ford has been selling for years. If we're talking about the same vehicle, what's the story?
This discussion has been closed.