Dan, I faced this decision about a year ago when we bought a new Northstar Laredo camper. Jeanie no longer wants to drive the 6-speed manual. So I started to look around for another truck with an outomatic. I don’t have enough time left to drive the life out of another diesel so we looked at the new Ford gas 7.3 V-8 with the new auto trans. Seems there is an oiling or oil pump issue and at the time Ford took it off-line.
To your point, I would always get the most heavy duty package available from what ever manufacturer you choose, most of it concerning the drivetrain and engine reliability. From my perspective, factory installed parts have fewer woes than aftermarket parts in terms of reliability.
Remember, you can never have too much truck for a camper.
It’s really a toss up as to which way to go, leaning toward buying the factory best as a start.
Our 505 pound feet TQ, 2nd generation Cummins is marginal when towing or with a heavy camper, and you must use all the gears, but it just keeps on going. Having less power is a plus in my book as it puts less strain on the drivetrain under grueling conditions and things are less likely to break.
Did you read the trip report?
regards, as always, jefe
2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.