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Old 04-15-2016, 10:18 PM   #1
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Diesel vs Gas

Just return from our first trip with our 29' 2016 Jay Flight. I think we are pretty close to our maximum weight for our 2010 F150 as our trip had a few exciting moments and bumps. Looking to move up to a F250 or 2500HD for a safer ride. I was going to stick with regular gas as I thought diesels were noisy and required more maintenance. But as I review forums and after talking with our new snowbird friends, I think we should consider the diesel. I have no experience with diesels. What are some of the pros and cons?


2016 29RKS
2010 F150 4x4 5.4L
E2 WDH w/sway bars

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Old 04-15-2016, 11:06 PM   #2
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Pros- Tourque and HP, engine braking, longevity, maintains value better. MPG's

Cons- emissions and all the troubles that come with the new regulations making manufacturers put more and more stuff on the engine and need for DEF, higher PM costs, higher initial purchase price (about 8 grand for a Ford 6.7), fuel price per gallon is more (at least in PA where I live.)

Many say you get the investment back over years of service but I don't really buy into that. I could run a gasser for a long time before I see any true savings driving a diesel.

All this said I owned a 2012 Ford Super Duty with the 6.2 gasser and traded it in for a 6.7 diesel........no regrets!

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Old 04-15-2016, 11:11 PM   #3
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I bought a 2500 a few months ago, 6.0l gas Sierra, love it but if money was not an option I'd be driving a duramax. I'd love the torque but for me it made no sense. Only tow 25 times a year, and most of the miles I put on my truck are short commutes to work.
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2009 Silverado (gone and missed!)
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:53 PM   #4
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Prepare for the onslaught, this is certainly a topic with varying opinions! Here are a few of my observations.

Diesel engines are more thermally efficient than gasoline engines.
Diesel engines are usually hundreds of pounds heavier than gas.
Obviously more expensive to purchase.
Higher torque output generally advantageous in heavy towing applications.
If engine has SCR system, requires another consumable (DEF) in addition to fuel.
Service intervals cost more due to increased oil capacity, but may be extended compared to gasoline engine.
Newer diesel engines are much quieter and less "smelly" than in the past, but they do make more noise and odor than gas engines.
Diesel fuel not available at every service station, you want to buy if from a facility that turns over its fuel regularly. Not unusual for "old" fuel to attract water and can grow algae in tanks that sit.
May be more difficult to start if left out in subfreezing weather without having block heater plugged in.
Not every dealership has a "good" diesel technician.
Usually better resale value.
Properly maintained, a diesel generally will "last" longer than a gasoline engine.
Usually have greater highway "range".
Pulling identical loads, a diesel will generally get better mileage.

Generally a vehicle can be optioned with a gasoline engine capable of towing most "moderate" applications with a purchase price less than a diesel engine vehicle. Generally fewer discounts available on diesel vehicles.
Fuel available at every gas station.
No DEF to carry or add.
Are limited in ultimate payload and towing capability.
Resale usually not as high.
"Total cost of ownership" is generally less for gasoline engine vehicle.

Many who own diesel tow vehicles do so out of personal preference, not that a gas engine vehicle could not do the job. Obviously for very large/heavy trailers a diesel may be the only way to accommodate the weight, but in many cases a diesel is not "required" to do the job. And the higher purchase price and preventive maintenance costs may never be recouped in fuel savings alone.

I have a (diesel) motorhome, but if I did tow a TT and money was no object I would take a diesel every time!
Rob R.
Akron, OH
2014 Seneca 37TS
Toads: 2014 Ford Explorer Sport or 2013 Ford Focus ST
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:02 AM   #5
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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.
2013 Ram Longhorn 3500 Crew Cab 6.7 Turbo Diesel, Aisin Transmission.
2014 Jayco Eagle Premier 351 RSTS, Mor/Ryde Suspension and Pin Box, 17.5" wheel upgrade, 18k Pull Rite hitch.
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:24 AM   #6
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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.
2010 Jayco Hybrid EXP21M
2013 Toureg TDI
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:24 AM   #7
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It all depends on ones needs. For me a diesel makes zero sense for me right now. I tow maybe 10 times a year mostly within 100 miles. The truck is also my daily driver to my job about 8 miles away. For the 2 maybe 3 times a year that a diesel would benefit my towing, I'll pass. When I'm retired and traveling the country then I would definitely consider it. But for now I'll deal with the very occasional rpm run up.

Also, keep in mind a diesel does not automatically mean it can handle heavier loads. If you're considering a gas vs. diesel 3/4 ton single wheel rear axle, most times the diesel version will actually have less payload capacity than its gas counterpart. Sometimes a lot less. The diesel engines are heavy and take away available payload.

Lot of things to consider. For me I'll wait to get a diesel when I'm looking at 1 ton duellies to pull across country. Those are a whole different animal.

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Old 04-16-2016, 06:49 AM   #8
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My personal opinion is that our federal government has ruined the diesel pickup with all of their silly new emissions requirements.

The Big 3 are making their gasoline pickups better all the time. The new Ram 6.4 is a beast.

My hauler is probably the least fuel efficient vehicle on the road. It's a 20 year old Chevy with a 454. However, it meets my needs just fine for the couple thousand miles per year I need it to pull my fifth wheel. I can set my cruise on 65 and it maintains it fairly well. Nobody needs to be going any faster than that pulling a camper.

If I was out there on the highway hauling stuff every day, I'd want a diesel, but I don't haul stuff nearly that often. I don't see myself ever owning a diesel, but I won't condemn anybody because they want one.

A nice, clean, low mileage 5.9 Dodge diesel truck would make anybody a great hauler, but those are pretty much extinct. All used diesel trucks around here have been rode pretty hard and they all have over 200,000 miles on them.

This brings me to one more thing about the diesels. While the engines and transmissions in these trucks will last virtually forever, the rest of the truck will wear out just as fast as their gasoline counterparts.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:24 AM   #9
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I did an analysis Based on my driving pattern which includes about 40% of my annual miles towing and the rest mixed (highway and city) no tow. I save a bit of money on fuel versus a gas engine simply due to higher fuel mileage of diesel. However, that alone does not offset the higher initial cost. It would take 20+ years to achieve a positive payback. However, I will likely have a higher residual value when I sell the truck, more than offsetting the initial cost.

My conclusion from all of this fancy math: don't buy the diesel to save money. Buy it for the towing comfort. All the hype about DEF is overrated in my opinion. Every once in awhile I put a few gallons in. Maybe I am a lucky one, but I have had no extra ordinary expenses due to a diesel.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:56 AM   #10
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I have the F250 6.2 gasser. We just purchased a 32 ft HT fiver, 10,000 lbs. Just got back from a 1200 miles round trip to the mountains of NC with it. Average mileage was 10.6. Never had issue with hills. Of course these are the Eastern Mountains not the Rocky's or Sierras.
Should I bought the Diesel? In another year or 2 after retirement, yes. Right now I drive 5 miles to work & have 6 traffic lights & 2 stop signs. I was concerned I would 'kill' a diesel with those type of travel conditions.
These are the choices you may have to make. I am happy with my choice. Heading to Colorado & Arkansas in July. I'll let you after that trip!

2015 Ford F250 Lariat SD CC STDB
2015 Jayco WhiteHawk 27DSRL (Sold)
2017 KZ Durango D281RLT.
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