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rbertalotto

Diesel to Gas? Yes/No??

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Here’s the situation. I have a 2006 Dodge 2500 4x4, with 5.9 diesel, 193,000 miles. Love the truck, but just not comfortable trusting it on long tours. I recently retired in Feb and just completed a two month cross country trip of 9000 miles towing my 20’ Grey Wolf 19rr toy hauler ( 6000 pounds ully loaded)

I simply want a new truck...I drove a 2018 Dodge diesel and was greatly impressed on how civilized diesel trucks have become in 12 years.

But I have lots of concerns with added complexity of particulate filters, extra fluids, computers, etc. And price of a diesel option.

I keep reading how the modern gas engines are competitive with past diesels.

I’m considering a Dodge 2500 with 6.4L gas, 4x4.....

I have zero intention of ever going to a larger trailer.

My question, has anyone gone from diesel to gas with my size trailer and where you satisfied or was it a big, costly, mistake.

Any comments would be appreciated.  Thanks!

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Look up the weights on the RAM charts.  I think the gas eng has a bigger payload because the diesel is a lot heavier.  But, torque difference is pretty big, diesel being better.  Then there's the transmission and drive gear ratios that come into play big time.  Gas engine would probably be ok unless you do a lot of mountain/roads with steep grades, then you would want that diesel/torque.  Diesels are a little more to maintain, but if the torque is needed, it's a trade-off.  IF sometime down the road you end up going with a bigger trailer, the 3/4 ton truck would not be able to handle the load legally.  You said you don't plan on it, but plans change.  I prefer over-kill the first time rather than loosing a lot of $$ on the selling of this truck to purchase a bigger one.  That's why I went with the 3500 DRW.  But, it's your choice.  Just my one cents worth.

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Thanks...Good advise! I already have a 5.9 Diesel so I'm well aware of the towing performance over the gas motors. My last two trucks (GMC with 5.3L and a Ford with 351ci) were both horrible tow vehicles. But since then with 4 speeds becoming 6 and 8 speeds and the HP and Torque increasing dramatically, I'm thinking Gas might be a new consideration. We'll see!

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Quote

Look up the weights on the RAM charts.  I think the gas eng has a bigger payload because the diesel is a lot heavier. 

Interesting...Exactly the same trucks at the dealer today. One Gas and the other Diesel. Only difference was the Diesel had 18" wheels and the Gasser had 17". Other wise just engine difference

GAS = 3120 pound payload on door jam yellow sticker

Diesel = 2130  pound payload on door jam yellow sticker

Diesel has nearly 1000 pound payload deficit...... 

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16 minutes ago, rbertalotto said:

GAS = 3120 pound payload on door jam yellow sticker

Diesel = 2130  pound payload on door jam yellow sticker

Diesel has nearly 1000 pound payload deficit...... 

Diesel is very heavy, did not realize almost 1k, but it is a much heavier engine.  This weight has to be subtracted from the trucks payload.

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1 hour ago, rbertalotto said:

Diesel has nearly 1000 pound payload deficit...... 

Could be that they have the same GVWR but did you check the towing weights? I'd expect the diesel to have much higher. 

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For mountain and other high altitude driving the diesel will perform much better than gas.  A naturally aspirated gas engine will lose about 3% of power for every 1000 feet in elevation.  The turbo and way diesel fuel burns in the diesel virtually eliminates this loss.  

Edited by Randyretired

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Based on your OP I'd choose gas over diesel for an assortment of reasons. As I read the opener a second and third time my mind went into spreadsheet mode with columns of pros & cons for each motor and the tally favored gas.

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So...Now to find a 2500, crtew cab, short bed, 4X4 with 6.4L AND 4:10 gears in color WHITE...Not easy!

And it needs to come in at $33,000 delivered......I bet if I wait for the summer doldrums it will happen.....

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I'm not aware of your parameters, but generally there are things that our truck needs to have and things that we would like to have on the truck. Examining these items and discovering room for flexibility may reveal more trucks for you to choose from. For example, payload is essentially the same and towing capability increases by about 2K lbs with 4:10 gears over 3:73, but is the later more readily available and consider that with 4:10's your at 46% and with 3:73's your at 55% of the towing capacity, approximately, a nice margin in either case. It seems easier to find 4X4's than to find 2X4's, but with the latter cost goes down & capability numbers go up, but again, you may need 4X4 for your forays. Be flexible and have a two or three hour drive search area radius and perhaps you'll find what you need. All the best to you.

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Has anyone found empirical difference in towing and non-towing fuel mileage between 4:10 and 3:73 gears. I would think they push the 373 because it might get better MPG while unloaded. But then again, 3/4 ton trucks do not need to comply with CAFE ratings and no numbers are given on the window stickers.

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7 hours ago, rbertalotto said:

Has anyone found empirical difference in towing and non-towing fuel mileage between 4:10 and 3:73 gears. I would think they push the 373 because it might get better MPG while unloaded. But then again, 3/4 ton trucks do not need to comply with CAFE ratings and no numbers are given on the window stickers.

I owned a 6.4L Bighorn 2500 with 3.73s and averaged about 14.4 over 12,000 miles.  I traded that truck foe a 6.4L Powerwagon with 4.10 gears and it averaged 13.4 over 14,000 miles.  I drive in a conservative fashion, so those numbers could esily have been lower.  I traded the PW on a SRW 3500 with a Cummins.  The SRW Cummins only comes with 3.42s.  It averaged 9.5 towing a 14,000# 5th wheel and 19.5 hand calculated on the highway.

Hope that helps you some.

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If you are 100% sure you will stay at your current towing limit, or lower, it would be a easy decision for me.  I would go with the gas.  What is the savings?  $7,000.....$9,000?

Resale can be a little better with a diesel but it sounds like you keep your trucks for a long time anyway so that probably isn't a factor for you.  

 

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2 hours ago, rbertalotto said:

Thanks for the real world MPG numbers

We started out towing our 4000# GVWR travel trailer with a V-6 powered SUV that got 22/23 mpg when not towing and an average of 11 mpg when towing. We now tow that same travel trailer with a 3/4 ton diesel truck that gets about 19 mpg when not towing and got 14 mpg towing. We then added a shell to cover the bed and we now get 15+ mpg towing. 

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Interesting....I recently added a cap to my current 2006 Dodge diesel and on this trip I saw an increase of near 2 mpg!  Last year on the same trip I had a soft tonneau cover that blew off in a wind storm in Texas. MPG went down about 1 mpg with an open bed. Because of my trailer jack I couldn't put down the tailgate to let the wind out!

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7 minutes ago, rbertalotto said:

What theory....open tailgate?

That one and the bed cover thing.  They, and others, did extensive testing using bed covers, camper tops, open beds with open and closed tailgate.  Actually, the only improvement they saw was with a closed tailgate and no bed cover of any type.  Using a wind tunnel, they showed that air turbulence within the open truck bed allowed outside air to pass over the top of the truck with no decrease in aerodynamics.

I'm trying to remember the name of the college which did the most testing in this area, but can't.

https://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/pickup-truck-gas-mileage-tailgate-open-closed/

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/driving-tailgate-fuel-consumption/

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f22/leave-tailgate-up-better-gas-mileage-11678/

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/08/pickup-truck-tailgates-and-fuel-economy/index.htm

Edited by chirakawa

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16 hours ago, chirakawa said:

 They, and others, did extensive testing using bed covers, camper tops, open beds with open and closed tailgate.  Actually, the only improvement they saw was with a closed tailgate and no bed cover of any type.  Using a wind tunnel, they showed that air turbulence within the open truck bed allowed outside air to pass over the top of the truck with no decrease in aerodynamics.

I had a 2X4 at the rear truck bed to keep the 30 gallon tote without top & milk crates (for food store runs) in place at the rear.  When the tonneau top was rolled up and the 30 gallon tote was empty, the tote would always end up inverted & at the front of the bed. It would seem that there was some eddy effect occurring in the truck bed. 

Edited by rm.w/aview

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2 hours ago, rbertalotto said:

During these tests were they pulling a trailer with a 10' X 8' sail being pulled through the air at 70mph?

I'm not going to debate with you.  I presented you with some test based information, you do what you want with it.

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13 hours ago, chirakawa said:

I'm not going to debate with you.  I presented you with some test based information, you do what you want with it.

And this my friend is what is wrong with our country today.  If someone reads something then it is 100% true with no variable or possibility of being wrong or fake.  

Wind tunnel test, yea right.  I guess if you were always driving in those perfect conditions in an unloaded test vehicle and not towing anything then that could be a great guideline to follow.   Some things need to be taken with the "grain of salt" or dismissed altogether.

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