Introducing...Shredder! Our 2017 F250 Gas Truck

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Updated November 24, 2018
meet shredder

We were super bummed to leave Lake Mead but we just had to get this truck figured out. The plan was to get to the Phoenix area, settle down and figure out if we’re making an appointment with Bulletproof Diesel or going truck shopping. We both were leaning towards bulletproofing it and crossing our fingers that it would last another 5 years. 

We found a sweet spot in Buckeye just a little southwest of Phoenix where we set up camp and planned to stay the week. 


We had a nice quite day or two and even went into town one evening ‘just to look’ at trucks to see what our options were. The kids loved checking out all the new trucks, but we weren’t sold on having a car payment. It’s been YEARS since we had any debt and we weren’t excited about the idea.

Laundry day came and the kids and I went into town. The truck had been starting for us just fine since we left Lake Mead so we were leaning towards bulletproofing the old truck. While the laundry was washing I called my dad to ask his advice about what we should do. Fix the old truck or just get another one. At this point there were equal amounts of pros and cons for both choices and we were just stuck. Either way we’re stuck with some sort of payment. With all the repairs we had the last few months (that never fixed the issue) we were already in the hole abound 6K. Add another 11-12K to bulletproof it and hope it lasts us another 5 years…that’s about half of what a brand new F250 would cost us.

Dad tried his best to stay out of it, as there was really no right choice in this matter. I said goodbye to dad and went to get the clothes out of the dryer. The kids and I got back in the truck to come home and wouldn’t you know….the CHECK ENGINE light came on. 

I backed up and then put it in drive and got out of the parking lot onto the main road and pushed the gas, but something’s not right. I can’t go over 30 MPH and I’ve got to get on the interstate to get home. I call Jonathan and we’re just both super stressed out at this point with the whole truck issue. I’m 12 minutes from home and 10 minutes from the Ford dealership we visited last night. I decide to pull over and run a test to see what the code is. Of course it was what we thought, something related to the EGR which is what would have been fixed had we gotten it bulletproofed.

I drove to the dealership to see what they thought and they said they’re at least 3 weeks out before they could even look at it. I drove home and Jonathan and I just started unloading the truck. It was time. We had to get this taken care of. 

Within 45 minutes we had called the Ford dealership we visited the night before and told them Jonathan was on his way. This truck has been a heavy weight on our shoulders for the last 4 months so we were more than ready for a change. 

In the rush of things, Jonathan forgot his wallet (luckily we could text images of licenses and documents) AND we couldn't find the title to the old truck. I looked everywhere.

looking for truck title

Then realized that it was back in Knoxville with Jonathan's parents. We were able to get that overnighted and it wasn't an issue for the dealership, thankfully. 

We finally came to the realization that we are going to have some sort of a payment either way. We are either paying for a new truck or we’re paying a ‘maintenance payment’. As much as we drive, we need something that is reliable and doesn’t give us an ulcer every time we try to start it. 

While a new truck payment does suck, it’s so nice to not be stressed out about this anymore. We can now be camped in the middle of nowhere with much less anxiety about the truck.

So, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Shredder! (Yeah, still on the TMNT kick)


He’s a 2017 F250 STX FX4 with tow package.

Why did we switch to gas? Because the maintenance on our last 2 diesel trucks was through the roof! Like, crazy expensive. We just couldn’t do it anymore. This truck is more than capable of towing our 7200lb home and we love it. Ada insisted on a ‘black truck with black wheels and jacked up really high’ but… those modifications will have to wait. 

ada driving

We got as close as we could get to black. It’s a metallic gray and we’re super happy with our choice. 

The back seat has much more leg room for the kids so that’s a bonus.

back seat

I was worried we would loose storage since the seats go all the way to the back. (our last truck we were able to keep quite a bit of stuff behind the seat). However, we actually have much more storage with this truck. The seats flip up easily and have lots of room for our tools. We were able to fit more stuff under the seats which means we now have more room in the bed of the truck. 

back seat storage

Ignore the dust and dirt, that's just part of living on the road. Especially when we're winter desert dwellers. It's just never going to stay clean...

The only complaints we have is...cloth seats instead of leather, and the lack of usable cup holders up front. While there are cupholders under the middle seat, we have to have a kid sitting up there and his feet are right where the cups would go. I do miss the easy clean up of the leather but we’ll get used to cloth, I guess. Honestly, I’m just thrilled to have a truck that starts on the first try!

Next up, some much needed accessories to get us back on the road...


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Ashley Longnecker

About the Author

Ashley Longnecker is the fiercely independent tattooed and dreaded half of Tiny Shiny Home. She's a woodworker, photographer and maker of delicious baked goods. She loathes schedules and makes every day an adventure.

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Posted January 22, 2018

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