I am new to cold weather coming from AZ and now in Utah and also my 7.3 is the first diesel I have ever owned and only a few months at that, so not much experience to add. I started mine up tonight and it was 8 degrees out and it struggled a little bit but wasn't too bad. I run Archoil additive in my oil and gas, and I think I've noticed it running much smoother and starting much easier. Not sure if anyone else uses this but I think it was well worth the money and its obviously easy to do. I have 209k on my van.
I have Kat's heater pads on my oil pan and on the transmission. If I am out and away from an 110v outlet I just fire up my Yamaha generator and plug the heaters in for about 20-30 min. and we are good to go. I also put in the Ford Diesel additive as well.