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Gas or Diesel

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Just drove back to Texas from Arizona on Interstate 10. Regular gas was around 2.15 to 2,25 per gal. Diesel was 3.09 to 3,29 per gallon.

Now I am no mathematician, but it seems crazy to buy a Diesel truck with that much difference in fuel prices, initial costs and maintenance cost.

I am trying to figure out which gas engine truck to pull a fiver (12500# loaded). The ford V10 would seem to be the best option but i am not sure that it is even available in the F350

Any and all comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks 

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I pull a heavier trailer than that with a Ford F-350 V-10 and have for 8 years full-timing. But 2010 was the last year that Ford put the V-10 into a "normal" pick-up truck. Their big gasoline engine after 2010 has been the 6.2 liter V-8 which seems to be a fine engine as well. 

Many folks seem to prefer the diesel trucks and they certainly have more "grunt". But as you note you pay for the both up front and in maintenance costs. As far as fuel costs go they do get better mileage than the gasoline motors and that will make up for much of the difference in fuel price that you've noted. 

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Two equal trucks, one gas, one diesel, diesel will get better mpg. Believe fuel cost a wash between them. Diesel has way more torque also. Fuel prices vary though. I have seen diesel less that regular gas. 

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It all boils down to personal preference. I owned a gas Ford Excursion and a diesel Excursion. I'll never tow with a gasser again. A diesel powered vehicle just tows better. 

You say that maintenance is higher on the diesel but I'm not sure I agree. Yeah, IF something fails it might cost more but that diesel will out last the gas engine. 

Ultimately it is what makes you happy. For me, I like my diesel....especially the one I have now. Of course my loaded trailer weighs about twice what yours does.

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And you are right, the initial cost is higher but the resale is much higher also.  I went with a diesel.  

I would think the maintenance might be the same or less as a diesel truck now has an exhaust brake saving your brakes and giving you MUCH more controll going down grades.

Edited by rynosback

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For me Diesel seems to be the best option. Payload an mpg. 

PIck a gas station price for reg gas an their price for diesel.  Now fig go on a 1000 mile ride. Your prob going to find out

that cost less on the over priced diesel. 

Breakdown cost more expensive for diesel compared to gas jobbers. But on average many less breakdowns on diesels.

Initial buy of a vehicle cost more for that diesel.  But it probably comes to you either pay now or pay later. 

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Agree completely with all of the above so I won't repeat it.

I'll just add that, generally speaking, the overall duty life far exceeds that of a gasser as well. At 50k miles a diesel is just "barely" getting broken in. In the long haul, do you want to buy 2 gassers or 1 diesel?

On the practical side... the only real gripe I've heard from those making the switch was from those that had only ever owned gassers and were used to doing their own repairs. Moving to a diesel does have a little bit of a learning curve and they found themselves having to rely more on profession help ($$).

Not that they had any regrets, but something to consider in the first little while after making the jump.

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3 hours ago, Yarome said:

On the practical side... the only real gripe I've heard from those making the switch was from those that had only ever owned gassers and were used to doing their own repairs. Moving to a diesel does have a little bit of a learning curve and they found themselves having to rely more on profession help ($$).

Given the complexity of today's gas engines I am not sure that there is really much that a home mechanic can do on a gas engine that they couldn't do on a diesel, which is changing and checking fluids, battery maintenance, etc. Some modern gas engines even require special tools just to change the spark plugs. The on board computers/controllers, which control everything, are pretty expensive to replace and expert level for repairs.

Edited by Chalkie

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What mx costs???  I have just over 84K on my 2011 GMC 3500. 

I change the oil/filter when the DIC tells me to.  That is about every 13k-15k.  It costs around $65 with a dealer coupon, which I always seem to have when needed.  I bet a gasser would have at least 2 oil changes in 13k-15k and the cost would total out about the same.

The DIC tells me when to change the fuel filter.  That has been about once every 3 years.  

2 trans fluid changes based on mileage and use.  IDK if a gasser would be the same, but seems it likely.  

Still have the original brake pads and they still have plenty of life left in them.

I have thought about a gasser for the price difference as well as the fuel cost differences, but then I tow my 5er in the mountains and there is simply no way.  A gasser may be fine on the flat and rolling hills, but you get into the mountains...good luck.  

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I too had always had gas engines over our 20+ years of rv'ing and always thought the same way regarding the cost of a diesel engine and fuel cost. But, 2 years ago we purchased a GMC Denali with the diesel engine and Allison transmission. On our first trip I was blown away by the power, torque and fuel mileage. I could never go back to a gas engine at this point. 

I am pulling around 15,500 pound 5th wheel. Our fuel mileage literally doubled and towing is so effortless. It doubled for both towing and non-towing. I am never worrying about upcoming hills and getting a running start or having to grind along in 2nd gear up a hill. And having the built-in exhaust brake is amazing on coming down the mountains. We went out West last year for 3 weeks and it was just an incredible towing experience. I could drive longer and farther because the driving was not tiring me out. I have had zero mechanical issues. I do the oil changes when it tells me to, add def when it tells me to and that's it.  My gas engines always seemed to have something stupid to fix. 

Regarding the fuel costs, for the most part I find diesel to be close or not too much higher. And only having to stop and deal with gas stations half the number of times that I used to is great!!

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The diesel engine will cost about $9,000 more then a gasser. That is a lot for diesel fuel! I still buy it for about $2.40 per gallon with gas being $2.15. I don't buy diesel fuel at the truck stops, Flying J, Pilot or Loves, their prices are about 30 or 35 cents more then I can find on Gas Buddy. Even with the discount of 8 cents, they are a lot more. I also start my day with a full tank and when I stop for the night or longer I unhook my pickup from my fiver and find lower cost diesel without the fiver. I try not to buy diesel on the road if I can help it.

I had an issue buying diesel in IN. If you go to the truck part of the station they will not sell you any without some type of fuel tax number that can't be setup at the pump. When I went in to find out about that they said go to the auto section and use the diesel there. I looked it over and wouldn't try it. Additionally, IN has the worst potholes on their Interstates and it looks like they don't even try to fix them!

 

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I agree 100% with remoandiris and capt307. Mine truck is same as remoandiris, and so is maintenance  record although I am only at 64,505 and trailer is about 17,000#. A 40 gal aux tank allows me to pick and choose fueling options. Only had one computer-related issue, replaced under warranty and they gave me a car to drive around for the overnight it took to get the part.

As for special tools to replace spark plug, real trucks don't have them anyway.

Happy trails!

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Bought my first diesel a 2005 Ford f350.  Loved the look and feel but at 72000 miles the motor went TU coming back from AZ.  It has the 6.0 motor.  I paid cash for the truck so could not see trading it in with a bad motor so had it bullit proofed and it's super strong now BUT....got the bug and bought a Volvo road trackter class 8...Wowsers...what a difference.  Now the 6.0 is used to most ly go shopping or work around the house.  The Volvo is my choice hands down for haulin my TH...paid 21k for the 2005 Ford PLUS $4100.00 to fix the motor.  No thanks to fomoco.  Bought the Volvo 1997 for less then 10k and have not looked back since.  I have a Corvette but never have the urge to drive it more than once or twice month.  The diesels....I drive all the time.  Love em but will only pull my TH with the Volvo.

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8 hours ago, whj469 said:

The diesel engine will cost about $9,000 more then a gasser. That is a lot for diesel fuel! I still buy it for about $2.40 per gallon with gas being $2.15. I don't buy diesel fuel at the truck stops, Flying J, Pilot or Loves, their prices are about 30 or 35 cents more then I can find on Gas Buddy. Even with the discount of 8 cents, they are a lot more. I also start my day with a full tank and when I stop for the night or longer I unhook my pickup from my fiver and find lower cost diesel without the fiver. I try not to buy diesel on the road if I can help it.

I had an issue buying diesel in IN. If you go to the truck part of the station they will not sell you any without some type of fuel tax number that can't be setup at the pump. When I went in to find out about that they said go to the auto section and use the diesel there. I looked it over and wouldn't try it. Additionally, IN has the worst potholes on their Interstates and it looks like they don't even try to fix them!

 

Where are you getting the numbers that a diesel is $9k more than a gas?  What base or what numbers?  It also depends on weight.  We're towing 25000lbs.  Even a F450 gasser won't be able to haul the weight uphill at a decent speed.

There's also an idea that if you use 100% of you equipment rating to haul your trailer you will have issues.  None of the 2500/250- 350-450/4500 diesel engines and transmissions are made to run at 85% load continuously.  I tow 15000-20000 miles a year with the HDT.  If I used a pickup style class truck, I'd be buying a new truck every 2 years.

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For mountain driving the turbo in a diesel engine will limit power loss.  A naturally aspirated gas engine will lose about 3% for each 1,000 feet in elevation.  Diesel has around 30% more energy per gallon than gas.  Diesel engines cost more to purchase and require some type of engine brake to hold back as well as a gas engine.  Each will tow up to the rated capacity.  The resale value of a diesel is higher but probably not high enough to recover all of the difference.  I like diesel but we are all free to choose.

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3 hours ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

Where are you getting the numbers that a diesel is $9k more than a gas?  What base or what numbers?  It also depends on weight.  We're towing 25000lbs.  Even a F450 gasser won't be able to haul the weight uphill at a decent speed.

There's also an idea that if you use 100% of you equipment rating to haul your trailer you will have issues.  None of the 2500/250- 350-450/4500 diesel engines and transmissions are made to run at 85% load continuously.  I tow 15000-20000 miles a year with the HDT.  If I used a pickup style class truck, I'd be buying a new truck every 2 years.

What do you mean where are you getting the numbers on a diesel?  What- you think a diesel and gasser are the same price?!? Price 2 new trucks- one diesel and one gas. You don't think there's a price difference? And why would you tell me you can't run a diesel for any extended time at 85%? Eegads man- where you getting your info? And 15-20K a year is a lot for a truck? Isn't 12-15K a year about average?

Mountain Home AR- regular is $2.24 a gallon; diesel is $2.29 a gal.

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10 hours ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

Where are you getting the numbers that a diesel is $9k more than a gas?  What base or what numbers?  

Go to any of the Big-3s home pages and find the link that allows you to build and price a vehicle.  GMs Duramax Plus pkg (includes the Duramax, Allison, exhaust brake and a few other doo-dads) is nearly $10K. 

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I bought a 2016 Chev 3500 DRW and priced both diesel and gas engines.  Not really a good comparison as the diesel is the Duramax/Allison combo and the gas is the 6.0Vortec/6L80 combo.  Not close in power or durability but the diesel was $8500+.  Since this was to be my work truck and not towing much, I chose the gas.  Those 6L Vortec engines are GOOD.  But not a match for the Duramax for towing.  I have a Duramax also in another truck and totally different truck but different purpose too.  I prefer to tow with the diesel.  My 5er gets towed with an IH 4700/DT530/Allison/Stalick.

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In 2003 I got our 1st 5er. A 31' Sunnybrook. Towed it with a 3500 Chev w/6.5. 3 years later got a 99 f550. Then got a 37 Cardinal. Then in 2011 got the Volvo 610. Got the 43' Mesa Ridge in 2015. Totaled it in 2017. The only saving me was 19k of Volvo truck. Then got a 2017 43' Mesa Ridge.  After towing with it for 7 years and especially after our western run last Sept, Oct, and Nov 6k miles in  8 wks the truck really shined going up those mountains in the far left lane and going down on the other side w/jake brake. What a safe feeling. And the temp never even got warm I can see over what ever is in front of me. And it is built to STOP 80K So it is a personal choice. But once you climb in the cab of a big Diesel truck you know that is what you want to tow with.     Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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Perhaps this video will be helpful in choosing between gas & diesel...

For your particular circumstance, skip to 4:15 where 3/4 & 1 ton trucks are addressed, before this mark involves 1/2 ton trucks.

 

Edited by rm.w/aview

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One of the reasons for the huge disparity between gas and diesel prices is that the feds set up a program for trucking companies to charge a fuel surcharge for per mile based on a base fuel cost they set and is calculated weekly based on crude prices. So it doesn't matter anymore to the trucking industry, like back in the 70's. I have seen it as low as 18 cents and higher than 40 cents per mile, and eventually comes back to all of us in the cost in hard goods.

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