1,020,000-Plus Miles on this Road Trip Truck
MAY
09

You know how everyone thinks their baby is the cutest on the planet? Truth be told, there are many of us who feel the same way about our vehicle. Okay, it’s probably more about believing ours is the best, thanks to reliability, performance, comfort and being fun to drive. But in some instances there is indeed a cuteness factor (hey, we’ve heard it from Focus owners with our own ears!), but we’ll go with the more user-friendly, looks matter too.

Therefore, it’s hard to argue with Gary Mueller when he says, “I don’t think I could be happier with a truck” when he speaks proudly of his baby, a 2002 Ford F-350 Super Duty®. The pickup has more than 1,020,000 miles on the odometer, and Gary has no plans to stop packing on the miles while towing RV campers throughout the U.S. and Canada. And why would he even consider it? The truck keeps going and going and going and….

But let’s journey back a few hundred thousand miles.

Gary retired from Ford in 2000, and in the six years leading up to it, he worked overtime as much as possible because he wanted to travel North America and invested the money in stocks to earn more on his savings. Then the market crashed and Gary lost 70 percent of what he calls “fun money.” The dream seemed dead. But a friend was seeing the country on the cheap by towing large RVs and delivering them to buyers. Gary tagged along as a passenger, then signed on for the gig himself, buying a new truck – that aforementioned Super Duty.

Gary says the Super Duty gets about 20 mpg with its Power Stroke® engine while delivering the RVs, and “as long as I can keep getting 20 mpg, I’ll keep hauling. That’s the only way it makes economic sense,” since he is responsible for most of his expenses. He says his driving habits also contribute to the outstanding gas mileage; he avoids fast starts and stops. If weather conditions create too much drag, he parks it. He keeps the rpm near 2,000 whenever possible while generally staying between 60 and 62 mph. “I will see the same people pass me two or three times a day. They’re going 70 or 80 mph, and have to keep stopping for fuel.” He also maintains the truck; the oil has been changed more than 100 times and the tires have been replaced 10 times.

Gary says another reason he has been able to log more than 1 million miles is because of the truck’s comfort. It has cloth seats and the XLT package, which includes power seats, windows and mirrors. “I wouldn’t have been able to put so many miles on it if I was uncomfortable.”

He  travels between 600 and 800 miles on most days and has been to 48 states and seven provinces in Canada. He doesn’t know how many RVs he has hauled over the years, but there have been about 40 in the first four months of 2011. The RV trailers he tows start at around 11,000 pounds; the 2002 F-350 Super Duty had a maximum fifth-wheel tow capability of 14,400 pounds. (The 2011 F-350 Super Duty has a maximum fifth-wheel tow capability of 22,600 pounds.)

Even Gary acknowledges the special bond some owners have with their vehicles. “This truck isn’t just a truck; it’s an extension of me. I take care of it and it returns the favor. I see no reason at all to think about retiring it.”

Do you have a story like Gary’s? We want to hear it! Click here to go to Your Stories where you can post yours and read the other Ford stories.

Related Tags
diesel
f-series
high mileage
odometer
power stroke
super duty
towing
travel
v-8

2 COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE
James P Great article, just to show that on long trips, slowing down will get you there just as fast and alot less wear and tell on the truck, i believe the 20 mpg if he is only going 60 to 62 mph. remeber largge loads means slow down.
6 months(s) ago via
Brandon Bergs I was told that Chevy trucks last a long time and one had 700,000 miles on it, but compared to this thats nothing! And it is build FORD tough....and that is TOUGH! (for the record, I do not like Chevy I will always drive a Ford)
3 year(s) ago via
Zach Wallace the 6.7 liter disel gets that while towing 15000 pound easily and the def helps the engine become more fuel efficent it gets the best disel fuel economy out there
3 year(s) ago via
Jason Beno You have to love the old 7.3L Powerstroke, there's nothing that engine won't do. :)
3 year(s) ago via
Bob Hessel 1,020,000 miles? that's nothing! My '99 Ranger has OVER 2,000,000 and still kickin' it! But alas it is time for a new vehicle. Hmmm, I wonder what I'll get this time?
3 year(s) ago via
Roy Taylor I wish I still had my 2001 Taurus. Best car ever made!!
3 year(s) ago via
David Datskiy now thats built FORD tough !!!!!!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Brian Peaden -carl Sure he gets 20mpg, he has a 7.3. Try it in a 6.0, 6.4 or 6.7 or any other modern diesel. You will never get 20 towing in ANY diesel because of all of the pollution equipment that they added. 15 hours(s) ago via Wrong Carl, 23 mpg average 2004 F-250 supercab 4wd from reno nv to seattle wa. 6.0L powerstroke Its all in how you drive it.
3 year(s) ago via
Brian Peaden 97 F-250 Powerstroke, 307000 miles driven in town, start, stop type use. To be honest, i think it makes more power now than it did when it was new. I love my Ford! btw, not the only one in the family, one of many and they are all great!
3 year(s) ago via
Danny 20mpg!! My audi a6 1999 quattro gets 15,5mpg with 2.8L V6 combined:'( Maybe i should drive a truck for saving some gas huh?
3 year(s) ago via
corey Ford should give him a new one... and give me the 7.3!
3 year(s) ago via
David Venditto keep on trucking!!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Andrew There is no way he gets 20 mpg towing 11,000lbs or more trailers. I refuse to believe that. Maybe 20 mpg unloaded, but not towing that much weight. We have a 2002 7.3 that tows our 32 ft Holiday Rambler that weighs about 10,500lbs and we get about 11 mpg. The physics behind moving that much weight leads me to not believe he gets 20 mpg towing that much weight.
3 year(s) ago via
Steve Bailey Jr Spark plugs in a diesel? Thats too funny. XD
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Connor Strohm thats amasing and it is built FORD TOUGH
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Marshall Logsdon there's a truck like this that comes to our dealership for oil changes, and it has a little over 1,100,000 miles on it.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
carl Sure he gets 20mpg, he has a 7.3. Try it in a 6.0, 6.4 or 6.7 or any other modern diesel. You will never get 20 towing in ANY diesel because of all of the pollution equipment that they added.
3 year(s) ago via
Mike Benevento Try doing this with a 6.0L, he would have traded it in a LONG time ago.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jim Dyer My 1976 f-100 is still going no major drive line problems and still uses no oil .I paid $3687.00 for it new what a deal I love my American Ford.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Wayne Burns Only in a FORD !
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jonathan Yeomans I pray to catch up to this guy with my 7.3, only 800k more to go!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Andy Stadelman How is your fuel? A buds truck with stage 4's and a adren. HPOP was not enough so he is running 2 pumps.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ryan Tyson Head studs ats trans and turbo stage 4 hybrid injectors afe intake and fads fuel supply
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Lane Mathison Thats a 7.3 for you !
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Chris Luepke I just hit 195,000 on my '02 Ranger edge
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Colleen Aune Nowicki Love Gary's story.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Andy Stadelman Ryan, what have you done to your 7.3?
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Andy Stadelman Take a stock 7.3 park it for 6 months and take any 6.0 stock or built and park next to the 7.3, the 7.3 will out-do the 6 cause the turbo on the 6 will be froze in place!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ryan Tyson 6.0 powerchokes are and where a waste of money my 7.3 with 500 RWHP will challenge a 6.0
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Andy Stadelman A 6.0 is a powerstroke!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Lindsays Faith ~ Mustang for America's Favorite Trail Horse Good to hear! Ours is an '01...~170,000 miles..you are our inspiration! =)
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Colin Gilbert A bulletproofed 6.0 will out do any powerstroke
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Robert Davis Not even "any" transmission problems and the only reason for the "had" in the previous is the the truck was totaled in a wreck!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jason Richard Woolery Nice.. too bad on losing 70% value on his stocks. He should of bought puts as protection... in that case... he may have MADE 70% on his portfolio when the market crashed. In fact, he could of made much more than that... depending on what strike he bought. Too bad though, I'm sure ignorance is the reason for it. Stories like that are horrible in a way.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Robert Davis One 1997 F-250 powerstroke just turned 153,000 with NO problems and one 2003 F-350 dually (the last 7.3) with 140,000 plus with NO problems and finally a good customer of mine "had" a 2000 F-350 dually with an work body bed and about 13000 lbs of tools welders, winch and generator hauled everyday and 530,000 plus miles with a fuel pump rebuilt and a new alt, that's it! No complaints from this party and a pretty good representation of the "best" powerstrokes made, the 7.3!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ryan Tyson No matter what the 7.3 powerstroke is bulletproof if you take care of just like anyother vehicle! And the transmission problems are because they couldn't build one strong enough for the 7.3! So don't hate
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Mark Mendenhall Ford the Best they never Rest!!!!!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ethan Florian built ford tough
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Roger Sunderlin better watch out obama is going after how many mile you drive.he needs your tax money for votes
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Josh Devine Built for tough.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
James Brija Yes! I'm sick of hearing of the million mile chevy truck! GO FORD!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jake Phillips We need more details. I wanna know how many parts it's gone through, if its an auto tranny, how many of those its had, how much engine work has been done, etc. A million on the odometer doesn't mean much when every moving part has been replaced.
3 year(s) ago via
Tye Eagan Make that 3. Coreections should be corrections.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Charlie Burns Love this! How about that World class automaker! World Class Products now and then! Thanks for sharing your story!
3 year(s) ago via
Tye Eagan Actually 2 coreections are in order here: #1 a diesel engine does not use spark plugs (lmao), #2: the 300 straight 6 is the best Ford engine ever built.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Taylor Michalik Mooseknuckle It hit the million mile mark then she just got broke in
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Philip Hunter I got 60,000 miles on my 6.0 1 head gasket 1 turbo many egrs and oil coolers but thanks to Liberator Diesel no more problems pretty cool a couple back garage mechanics are smarter then the ford engineers ..Still love Ford trucks will be trying one of there new diesels someday :)
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Fang Customs thats my retirment plan!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Andy Stadelman I have a 96 with almost 250K. It runs like a top and i have no plans to replace it! The 7.3 was a great motor but you can thank your gov. for making the auto makers go to crappy new designs.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ericgordon K Romeo Yo my dream drive...
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
chad Wonder how many hub bearings, ball joints and transmissions its had replaced?
3 year(s) ago via
Patrick Malloy I love ford
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Brian Schoenrock A little maintaince goes along way
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Justin Spencer the ih 444e aka the ford power stroke is the greatest motor ever
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ray Berentes What an awesome story to tell.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jay Hamill I just wanna know how many trans rebuilds, seals, bearings, etc, etc... Driving it like a... well... old guy... helps with making stuff last longer, but still, that's a lot to ask out of anything mechanical.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Troy Monus Can't beat the 7.3..Ford's biggest mistake was getting rid of it
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Rinel A Lozada Jesus..... that's a lot of miles.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Vano Beridze It's interested to know if the transmission was changed.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Dominique Beer I'm not a Ford person - my brother is though - All I can say is Nice! :) It's good to hear stories like this :)
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
John Tozzi The guy from Fuzzy Bottom Boats has all the dealer service records.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Garrett Sagatis id like to see proof like his odometer?
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
John Tozzi Fuzzy Bottom Boats had over a million miles on his 95' Power Stroke, I know the Tech at the dealer he bought it from. I believe International has his motor in there archives. My 2000 F-350 Diesel has over 250K on it and runs like the day I bought it.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
John Wood Yeah, 02 would be 7.3. We didn't get the 6.0's in our fleet until 03.
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ezequiel Goggi 8.0
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Shane Stubbs i always wanted a 7.3 powerstroke in my 79 f150
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ryan Clarke I want a job like that
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
Zachary G. Lewis Must be a 7.3L, this should be telling Ford something...
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
John Wood Must not have a 6.0!
3 year(s) ago via Facebook
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