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Author Topic: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?  (Read 561 times)

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Dan_Lockwood

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Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« on: October 10, 2018, 02:54:09 PM »

I know a lot depends on how often etc that you pull, but I'm not sure which really to look for in a used truck.

Okay, I'm thinking that at first I will probably NOT have a toyhauler, but want to plan on something sized correctly to pull a triple axle upwards or around 21k# fully loaded.

So 1 ton first off and probably DRW's.

I'm setting my purchase limit at $40k and looking for under 100k miles, preferably in the 50k to 75k range.

Now to my question.  With diesel soooo much higher around here than gas, this is never going to be a payback diesel over gas.  It's going to be I WANT diesel to get it.

And guys say, but diesels last so many miles and 200k to 300k is nothing on the motor.  But what about the rest of the truck????

I'm not new to mechanical items and was service manager at a Chevy/Pontiac dealership for almost 15 years.  I was at the helm when the NEW Olds diesel 350" hit the Pontiac cars and light trucks.  Then the 6.2L diesel hit, which was a great improvement over the 5.7L Olds derivative.

But I don't want to have to do much to it to keep it going.  I don't plan on driving it anywhere near what I do now as I'll be retired shortly after I purchase a truck and it will be our second vehicle and not a daily driver.

I'm a believer that when pulling, the diesel will be a better motor for torque etc, but a gas motor will do basically the same, but just a bit slower maybe.  Then when I'm just out cruising gas is so much cheaper than diesel and on a 1 ton I doubt that I'll be getting more than say 4 to 5 mpg better on a diesel.

So that's why I'm asking here to the guys that are doing the pulling and just driving too.

What say ye?

Thanks in advance, I'm sure!
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Dan

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 05:17:49 PM »

I only run premium in my vehicles and here in VA, it runs the same as diesel price wise.  As for how the mileage is, my DRW 2001 Dodge 4x4, consistently gets 19.8 to 19.9 MPG around town, empty; towing 10.5-12.5 MPG with a boat with a 3 axle trailer.  Newer Rams mpg seems to be around 14.5 around town last I checked and towing seems to be around 11-11.5.  Hopefully others will chime in.
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2ROWDY

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 05:36:39 PM »

I tow a lot for work. 90% of the time a gas would be fine. I've had Duramax and Dodge(Ram) Cummins. I've been strickly Cummins since 2004. I get 17 to 18 mpg with a mix of city/hwy and 11-12 mpg  towing. That is pretty close to towing anything unless I have a really strong head wind. Which in west Texas it happens.
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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 08:46:53 PM »

I have a friend with both a gas and diesel pickups they pull with. They run Late model Chevy's he hates pulling with the gasser after getting out of the duramax. He complains about how much less torch the gas motor has and how long it takes the rev up. Overall its a bigger chore to pull with the gasser in his opinion.
I have had 06, 11, and 17 Ford Powerstrokes. The 11 and 17 are tremendous upgrades from the 06. Lots of power and they drive like a car. Lots of longevity and power. More hp and tq than most folks need on the highway, but really nice we it comes to towing.
40k and less than a 100k will be doable but not real easy. I got 39k for my 11 with 100k on it when I traded it 13 for a f150.
I drove my 06 to 185K miles and got 50% of my original purchase price back when I traded in the 11 Powerstroke. That pickup actually made me some money since I got paid mileage from my employer. So in my opinion the diesel option is probably the best option when it comes to power, resale and reliability. I'm not sure you'll own a gasser enough cheaper to warrant buying one. Unfortunately it takes more money to participate in the diesel market, but I still think it's the better option.
How many dollars a year would you actaully save in fuel and fuel economy by having one vs the other?
Supershooter
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Dan_Lockwood

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 08:15:44 AM »

I used some very crude figures for fuel costs and mileage and it does not look like a great pay back based on fuel costs alone.

Diesel @ 18 mpg and fuel @ $3.00 = $0.17/mile (100,000 miles $17,000)

Gas @ 12 mpg and fuel @ 2.50 = $0.21/mile (100,000 miles $21,000)

That's $4,000 over 100,000 miles, so it pays back some, but not all that much.  But I'm not sure that the mpg numbers in newer trucks aren't maybe a bit closer together.  If that's the case it may be only $2,000 to $3,000 over 100k miles.

I understand the pulling power of the diesel and I know that it's nice to have, but I don't see us pulling all that much versus using the truck empty or very light loads.  But....... having it when needed is still worth something.

I appreciate the feedback guys, thanks!

Just another question about SRW versus DRW trucks.

Capacity wise there's not a lot of difference, but I've read that when towing a larger 5th wheel that the DRW give more stability.  But I've seen many SRW F-350 Super Duty trucks pulling very large 5th wheels.

I owned a Chevy C-3000 DRW CC back in '84 when I was service manager at the Chevy/Pontiac dealership.  Back then all you could get for a large motor was the gas 454 with the Turbo 400 trans, no O/D back then.  I pulled a large 2-horse with living quarters and as I remember, I got about 8 mpg loaded or empty... :(

Sorry for rambling again.
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Dan

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 02:39:51 PM »

Towing 20,000 + lbs. the diesel will run around a gas every time.  Just the torque difference is what makes the difference when pulling heavy weight.

I'm going to attach a weigh slip.  It's one of those individual weigh slips (the kitchen side of a toyhauler will always weigh more than the other side).  My triple axle Grand Design Momentum 376TH is 42' with 5 slide outs plus my bike in the back.  Loaded, just the trailer came in at 21,025 lbs. so in the ball park of what you're talking about towing. 

I pull it with a 2014 Ford F-350 Crewcab, Longbed, FX-4, Dually.  On this weight slip you'll see that even though each individual wheel and hitch pin weight were all under the maximum, the overall GVW on my truck was over by 125 lbs. and the overall GVW on my toyhauler was over by 1,025 lbs. and that's with a dually!  I've since shed some weight but I have everything I own in here.  We are full time RVers and have been ocean to ocean in the past year.

Mileage is what it is when you're pulling this kind of weight....but it isn't bad when we're running empty.  Rode up to Yosemite National Park yesterday and as we came out of the north entrance, I noticed diesel fuel was $4.89 Gal. so I refer to my Gas Buddy app often.  I try to fill up when I'm unhooked because diesel is much cheaper at a regular gas station than it is at truck stops.

I will suggest that with Ford, do not get one older than the 2013......you want the 6.7L which has proven to be a real work horse .  This motor was designed in house by Ford and the tranny was designed to go along with this motor.  I just cleared 90,000 on this 2014 that I bought used and no issues.  Regular oil changes every 7,500 miles and I use full synthetic since I'm pulling weight so often.  The $$ is determined by the level of comfort and bells and whistles.  You can get an XL or XLT for less than you can get the Lariat pkg. that I have and my Lariat is less than the King Ranch.  It's all just a matter of choice if you're trying to stick within a  budget.....newer truck for the same price will be a lower model without all the bells and whistles.  How somebody takes care of a truck, service records, etc. determines a lot for me.....so I bought from a used truck from a private party that had all the service records. 

By the way, most RV Mobile Techs are also qualified to pull fluid samples (oil, tranny and coolant) in any vehicle.  I even did the oil in my bike at 50k miles.

I'm not an RV Mobile Tech. however, I did go to RV Maint. Tech school in Texas last winter and I stayed on for the training to become certified as a Level 1 and Level 2 RV Inspector certified through NRVIA.  Took all of that training more to know how to work on my own RV.  Sure don't claim to know it all but if you're looking at a unit and have any questions, just shoot me a PM.  I would suggest getting it inspected by an RV Inspector (one that's certified, not a shade tree RV mechanic) prior to doing the paper work.  It's money well spent.   They'll spend 6-8 hours going over, under, around and through that RV and then a couple of more hours generating a report with photos, etc. and they will complete fluid sample analysis on the generator oil, also....if you'd like (as well as any truck you're looking at buying).

Fluid analysis is the next best thing to tearing a motor all the way down to see what's going on with it.

Hope I didn't overwhelm you with all of this.  Just trying to help.
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JCZ

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 03:58:49 PM »

I forgot to post my weigh slip....
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Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence.  Remember...it's the journey, not the destination!

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 04:32:18 PM »

At 20,000 lbs, you will definitely want the diesel.  I think the diesel motor is a lot like four wheel drive - yes it costs more to buy, but the resale is also a lot greater and you will get your money back then.  I have had a Chevy with the 6.2L gas and max towing package and now have a Duramax.  The difference in towing is night and day. 
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Dan_Lockwood

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2018, 08:43:26 AM »

JC, your experience is greatly appreciated.  I'm sure that I will have questions as this plan continues to develop.

Thanks everyone else too.

The truck will be first and I may not get a toyhauler for a year to two afterwards.

My thought process was that 90% of the time the truck would not be loaded, just a personal people mover so to speak.  So gas would benefit me more in those conditions and when pulling with gas, I would just have to take it slower for that limited amount of time pulling.

Am I still thinking this all wrong?  I cannot count on diesel fuel or gas to be as low everywhere as it is locally here in MO.  But most of my driving will be here in MO.  At least for the next few years or more.

I've got a LOT of reading to do and searching the used truck market.

I'm not against flying out to anywhere to buy a truck.  So are there different areas of the US that trucks of this size etc are a bit cheaper?  I know years ago if you wanted to be a Corvette, CA was the place to buy them as they were less popular compared to the European higher end cars, thus a lot cheaper used.

I think for $40k I should be able to get a good used truck with some bells and whistles, maybe not a King Ranch, but a Lariot might affordable.

Keep in mind that it may be another model year before I buy, so the '13 and later Fords just dropped in price a bit more...

Thanks again guys for all the very valuable advice and information.

Have a great weekend.
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Dan

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 08:59:15 AM »

Hey Dan, I know when my boss of a few years ago made the switch to full time RV retirement life, he searched all over the place and ended up finding the best new and use truck variety in Kentucky, mainly around the Lexington and Louisville areas.  He said due to all the high end horse ranches in that area and therefore a good overall selection of new and used F350/450 (he was looking specifically for Ford).  He also noted quite a few options Chevy/GMC/Dodge wise, too.  We have some large, domestic brand dealers in East TN but he bought his in Lexington, KY.

May I also say if you do go Ford, JC is correct in looking for the newer, Ford designed Powerstroke.  Avoid the 6.0 Powerstrokes at all cost...money pits.

I've had the 6.4 in my 2009 F250 and loved that truck.  We bought it specifically for pulling a camper...a plan that never developed.  Sold it to a guy in Georgia that did pull campers and he's got over 200,000 miles on it now still going strong.  Best riding 3/4 ton I've ever driven.

Had a 1998 Dodge Cummins that was a joy, too (engine, not the truck).

If I could put the Dodge Cummins with the GM/Allison transmission in the new Ford F250/350 body, I'd have my truck for life.... :2vrolijk_21:

My two cents (and that's about all it is...):  If you plan on not purchasing your camper for a few years, I'd wait on the truck, too.  No telling what, new, improved changes could be coming down the road in as little as your 2-3 year timeframe.  Also, if you wait a couple years to buy the truck, the 2017/2018 trucks would have depreciated enough to have a newer truck when your ready to pull.  If you buy now, that truck will have aged another 2-3 years before it ever sits in front of that pull behind or under that fifth wheel.... :nixweiss:
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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2018, 12:28:57 PM »

Dan you can do a permanent search on Auto Trader web site.  Create a search and then click on "save this search" and every time a new ad comes in with the truck that you're looking for, you'll get an email notifying you.

I have a permanent search on my CVO Ultra Classic on Cycle Trader.....just so I can stay up with the market and also have a permanent search for the new BMW B and BMW Grand America motorcycles.

Again, if you go with Ford make sure it's got the 6.7L.  I've already read comments from diesel mechanics that it's a better motor/transmission than the Dodge Cummins.  Since 2012, it's building a reputation fast.

A word of caution.....if you're going to be pulling a trailer of any kind....think really long and hard about it.  On all the RV forums, those guys that got the gas motors (or got the 3/4 ton instead of the 1 ton dually) are dumping bucket loads of money into them to get them to at least be respectable towing down the road....all kinds of engine mods, after market suspension mods, etc.   A very wealthy, wise older woman that I respected a lot told me many years ago "JC don't ever settle for something less....you'll never be happy.  Always reach for what you want....make sacrifices in other areas if that's what you have to do to get what you really want....and you'll always be glad that you did".   That's why I'm a poor guy that's been riding CVOs since 2003, driving a truck I like and pulling my house down the road.....living the dream in retirement!   Not lookin back!!
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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 06:19:55 PM »

in my opinion not based on $$$ if, u buy the gas its only a matter of time til u trade for the diesel. 21000# is a diesel load. i have several different diesel trucks in my line of work. that tow that amount of weight. no gasoline engines. drw is ur best bet also! anything, u considered may work,but with 21000# plus truck 30000#or more do u really want to try it. i know from experience i do not.Forget the $$$ buy the tool that works if u possibly can. all three brands will do what u want in a diesel truck. good luck!!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 06:22:57 PM by smkymtnboy »
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Toofast_28

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 07:48:19 PM »

21k lbs, no question, diesel.
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Dan_Lockwood

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 11:00:49 AM »

Dan you can do a permanent search on Auto Trader web site.  Create a search and then click on "save this search" and every time a new ad comes in with the truck that you're looking for, you'll get an email notifying you.

I have a permanent search on my CVO Ultra Classic on Cycle Trader.....just so I can stay up with the market and also have a permanent search for the new BMW B and BMW Grand America motorcycles.

Again, if you go with Ford make sure it's got the 6.7L.  I've already read comments from diesel mechanics that it's a better motor/transmission than the Dodge Cummins.  Since 2012, it's building a reputation fast.

A word of caution.....if you're going to be pulling a trailer of any kind....think really long and hard about it.  On all the RV forums, those guys that got the gas motors (or got the 3/4 ton instead of the 1 ton dually) are dumping bucket loads of money into them to get them to at least be respectable towing down the road....all kinds of engine mods, after market suspension mods, etc.   A very wealthy, wise older woman that I respected a lot told me many years ago "JC don't ever settle for something less....you'll never be happy.  Always reach for what you want....make sacrifices in other areas if that's what you have to do to get what you really want....and you'll always be glad that you did".   That's why I'm a poor guy that's been riding CVOs since 2003, driving a truck I like and pulling my house down the road.....living the dream in retirement!   Not lookin back!!

I've been doing some reading on the early 6.7L Ford's.  It appears that there were some fuel system issues and they would rust out and that the filter and or the water separator was not up to snuff to remove all the water that appears to be a diesel fuel issue.  In '15 I guess Ford redesigned their fuel system.  They didn't admit to any previous issues but made it a point that they had a "new" system that was better.

Sounds like Harley... :)

I know that historically some motors tend to perform better and last longer, or have fewer issues.  So for my budget I'm not sure what I'll end up doing.

The gas version looks appealing due to fuel costs and diesel mpg is not that much better while driving unloaded.  I know that Linda and I will NOT be doing what you're doing, but see us maybe hauling to the south and spending a few months, then back home in the off seasons and then maybe haul up to MI and spend the summers.  So to and from with LOTS of unloaded driving in between pulls.

So with gas I know that pulling a huge 5th wheel will just take longer to get there.  I'm sure my old '76 FLH Shovelhead could pull our little Tag-a-Long trailer with riding two up, but it's just going to take a LOT longer to get where we're going, but I'm sure it would do it.  It's just a matter of how important getting there faster would be.

I'll continue to do my homework and plenty of reading.  I've got a year to look.  I really do appreciate the input by all here and I know that if money were not an issue, the diesel would be the "best" choice.

Also maintenance on a gas truck is tons cheaper than with a diesel truck.  There would be no monetary advantage of a diesel, it will never give you a payback over the gas.  Other than in satisfaction of hauling effortlessly and getting better mileage while pulling a load.

So you either want a diesel or you don't.  At this point I'm just sure which side of the fence I'm on.  I will continue to keep an open mind about it and maybe the right deal will fall into my lap.

Thanks again guys and have a great weekend.
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Dan

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Re: Fuel - Diesel or Gas?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 07:29:16 PM »

In your consideration of Diesel vs Gas: think about performance while towing in a mountain state. Hands down Diesel is the winner. It may cost a bit more, but when the gas guys are in working like hell your motor is hitting it's own. The 5.9 Cummings I have in a 2007 Ram that I have owned since new continues to impress me each time I tow, best truck motor I have ever owned. For me if getting a truck for towing or a Class A, I don't even consider gas, it really is that much better.
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