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Old 04-16-2016, 07:50 AM   #11
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I have a diesel, only bought it because I got a great deal on a used. Unless you have a need for a diesel, the modern gas engines are GREAT options. Plenty of power and decent fuel mileage towing and empty. The extra cost for the diesel engine, the added cost for DEF, more expensive oil changes, etc can really add up.

For a lot of people, it doesn't make sense to buy the diesel unless you NEED it or you really WANT it.

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Old 04-16-2016, 08:06 AM   #12
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A diesel gives you gobs of power, pretty amazing levels of power. The current crop of diesels offered by the big 3 is far and beyond what was available 10 years ago when comparing stock engines. My 15 F350 is night and day different than my 04 350 even though it's basically the same truck. Extremely quiet and can hardly even smell the diesel anymore. The pollution control took care of that.

The big thing to consider is COST. Both initial and long term. Is the power worth that cost? It is to me, but isn't too everyone. A gas engine will still get the job done.

Maintenance is a big one: I spend right at $100 for oil change supplies to do it myself. 14 quarts of oil and $20 filter at Wal-Mart. I'd hate to see what a dealer charged. Fuel filters-$50 (bought online for lowest price) and should change every 20,000 miles or so. Diesel Exhaust fluid - another expense, I go through 10 gallons in around 5,000 to 7,000 miles. The diesel exhaust filter will need to be cleaned or repaired somewhere north of 100,000 miles, unsure of that cost. Air filters on this model are reasonable. Rest of the maintenance is normal for trucks.

Repairs are EXPENSIVE! Seems like everything diesel mechanic is x3.

I for one don't buy the fact that you'll ever recover the additional $$ spent on a diesel. I think those that say you do are trying to justify a decision. Same thing with longevity. Gas engines last a long time if you care for them. I think either will outlast the truck if taken care of properly.

Diesels aren't for everyone or everyone's budget. I like mine and I like driving it. When we drove a class C last fall in the search for a new camper (5th vs C), I was so underwhelmed by the driving experience in the C that we opted to get a new 5we. I like towing with it even more! Last year driving through the Colorado mountains was an amazing experience between the power and the exhaust braking. I wouldn't be without one, but that's me.

2016 Jayco Eagle HT 29.5BHDS (ordered 12/30/15, delivered 3/8/16)
2015 F-350 crew cab, short bed, 6.7L PSD, Pullrite Superglide 3300 hitch
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:09 AM   #13
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Gas vs diesel is one of the great debates. And will be forever.

What isn't up for debate is that diesel is a much much better engine for towing. Diesels get better fuel economy. Diesels are more expensive.

The debate is almost always around if you "need" a diesel, which clearly most of us don't need it. Or if the extra cost is justified.

However if your budget can support don't even think twice and get a diesel. They is nothing like towing with a diesel.

As far as the extra cost---
- Fuel typically becomes a wash. Diesel frequently cost a few cents more per gallon but provides better economy especially while towing.
- routine maintenance does cost slightly more, the fluid capacities are larger so you need to buy more. If you take it to a oil change place you are likely paying $100 not $50. This little extra expense a few times a year is nothing in my opinion.
- the initial cost for a diesel is higher, but that always comes back when you sell the tuck.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:18 AM   #14
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I have no dog in this fight, as I tow with an older gas engine...

I make 7.3, 6.0, 6.4, most 6.6, and 5.9 diesel owners cry when they learn i can out tow them.

I put minimal investment into it to make more power, and the dyno sheet proves it.

I dont have to buy diesel, nor will i ever have to worry about expensive parts dying to keep the engine running.

That said, diesel is generally more robust if you maintain it to manufactures standards

Gas engines are easy to maintain to most peoples standards. I fix things by trade, so i tend to keep things better than dealer. V10's for the win!
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:13 AM   #15
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Add available exhaust brake to Robbbyr's list of diesel advantages. One diesel disadvantage that he noted, I'll expand on. When you DO find a fuels station that has diesel available, it's often not configured so that you can get your truck and trailer in and out safely, especially if it's a "busy" place.... I try to fill-up at truck-stops when traveling with the trailer in-tow, but ofter they can be $0.25 per gallon more than a nearby gas station selling diesel... something about extra "road tax" charged to truckers, Im told......
Be Safe, and Everyone Goes a Home,

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Old 04-16-2016, 10:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cariboocreek View Post
For me when going down a steep grade and the exhaust brake kicks in and I decelerate going down hill, re-affirms my diesel decision every time. When I am climbing the same steep grade and doing 65 mph under 2000 rpm also re-affirms my decision.

Yep they cost more.

PS today's modern emissions systems on diesels make them cleaner than traditional gasoline engines
Jim & Kim from Colorado

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Old 04-16-2016, 11:23 AM   #17
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I agree that this debate will go on forever. For us, we bought our first brand new Ram 2500 Diesel and just fell in love with it. We love the massive amount of torque and ability to drag our trailer up a steep hill at 2,500rpm! Going downhill, the exhaust brake was worth the price we pay. As for the DEF fluid, the needle has not dipped below full during normal (non-tow) driving. But, we're not too concerned about paying a bit extra for it. We do realize that the maintenance cost will be higher in the long run, but we figure it's no difference than owning and maintaining a luxury car.
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:55 PM   #18
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I'll toss in my two cents. Towed for years with a gas truck and bought my first diesel in '11. Not because I NEEDED it but because I WANTED it. That being said, I love the torque and the ease that it tows my relatively light trailer. So much so, that I just recently bought my second diesel tow rig. Most of my driving is city and stop and go and I still get decent mileage for a HD truck, and I can attest the return on your investment when you go to trade in. Without divulging to much information, I can tell you that my total depreciation on my '11 with 55k on the odometer was $13k. Now if you really want to stir things up, start a thread about which diesel engine is best! LOL
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:35 PM   #19
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Something I did not mention in my earlier list is turbocharging. Naturally aspirated engines have a proportional power decrease as altitude increases. Doesn't matter whether it is a gas or diesel engine, naturally aspirated engines lose power at high altitudes. However modern turbocharged engines lose very little at altitude due to their ability to cram more air (hence oxygen) into the cylinders. Turbo diesels have existed in PU trucks for some time, but now you have the "wrinkle" of some gasoline engines also available turbocharged in pickups.

So once if you wanted/needed pulling power at 10,000 feet a turbo diesel was the answer, now with EcoBoost the answer for light-to-medium tow requirements isn't quite as clear!

Now I just need to strap on a turbo to my Onan Quietdiesel so I have full output this summer in Colorado!
Rob Ross
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:28 PM   #20
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Yes, the topic that just doesn't stop giving!

But, having said that, I just joined the diesel club, and have NO regrets (other than a monthly auto loan payment again), and LOTS to be happy about when it comes to every day driving, and especially when towing.

I grew up on a TX hill Country ranch, and we always had gas 3/4 ton 4x4 trucks. Our towing consisted of putting cattle into either a 24' gooseneck or a 16' bumper pull trailer. Hardest part of all was getting out of the ranch onto the pavement, it always required 4-wheel low, to negotiate a creek crossing following by a steep caliche hill. Once on the pavement it was 2-wheel drive to the auction barn, usually less than 45 miles away.

Fast forward to more recently, when my spousal unit and I bought a Jayco Whitehawk to tow, usually in TX, but sometimes west, occasionally all the way west to the Pacific. I quickly learned that the 1/2 ton 2011 Chevy was fine in TX; but struggled even on hills not far from Austin. That truck had the 5.3 V8 with 3.43 rear end; but after a trip to the scales I threw up my hands and upgraded to a 2012 GMC 2500 with the 6.0 and 3.73 rear end. And it did an "okay" job, took us all the way to the Pacific and back, but the usual story, it lost a lot of power at high altitudes, so crossing the Rockies involved patience, and tolerating WOT at 5000 RPM quite a bit. (Spousal unit did NOT like that.)

Plus, the 2012 mileage sucked, even on a good day. When towing, it would average 7 mpg on a bad day, and 9 on a good day. Not towing, it would get 13 on a good day, and 11 on a bad day.

So several months ago, I alerted a Chevy truck sales guy I trust that I was looking for a diesel. (He'd tried to convince me 3 years ago to go diesel, but my spousal unit said, "No Way. Too Noisy & Stinky." Hence the gasser.

Anyway, this sales guy calls me 3 weeks ago and tells me that one of his customers from Midland, an oil field services guy, has just turned back in 3 trucks he bought two years ago in the peak oil boom. Now it's oil bust, and he returned them to the dealer. They all were 2014 Silverado 3500HD crew cabs with 4x4, diesel, and all the trimmings. I went to look and wound up buying the "middle" truck, which had 19.5K miles and came with Chevy certification, for $48.5K. (Yes. Ouch. Car payments again.)

We took our trailer out for the first time in a year on April 3, made a short haul to Dinosaur Valley SP in Glen Rose, about 2 hours away; and it truly was the best towing experience I've ever enjoyed. Set the cruise control at 65mph, and the truck never labored, just chugged along at 1600 RPM the whole way, downshifting only when needed for engine braking when descending hills. My spousal unit told me that she really LIKED this truck, that it was not smelly or noisy, and that towing was much easier than in the old truck. (I replied that it would have been far easier and less expensive to do this 3 years ago, but that I was glad we were finally in the "right" truck for us.)

And, fuel economy on the diesel is far better: 17-18 in normal driving; towing on hill country hills ran 11.9 on the trip up; and 10.9 on the trip back, against a headwind. AND, towing stability is rock solid. And, the 1 ton rides no more sharply than the 3/4 ton, another unexpected bonus.

So yes, you have to look at what you have to spend and see if the extra cost of going diesel will work for your budget. Figure $10-11K, or more, especially if you land like we did in the top tier of the truck line. (LTZ, with leather, navigation, all the whistles.)

This SHOULD be my last truck, unless somebody totals the current one. And, as always, your mileage will vary.


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