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Old 09-06-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
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Diesel. Is it worth the extra money and why?

I have learned so much from all of you. I can't wait to get more expo experience so I can contribute also.

We have finally decided to move up to an F250 from our trusty F150 and now we are trying to decide on whether a diesel is really worth the expense. So far the braking capability that one 5wheeler told us about makes a good case. We are not planning to exceed the weight recommendations as we are pulling a light and intend to continue to do so. Any thoughts from you more experienced full timers. Thanks


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Old 09-06-2014, 01:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jkn1946 View Post
We are not planning to exceed the weight recommendations as we are pulling a light and intend to continue to do so. Any thoughts from you more experienced full timers.
Getting a bigger truck means a heavier trailer now becomes an option and at some point a diesel becomes a better tow vehicle. That cross-over point is different for each of us, depending on miles per year, finances, weight of trailer, driver's age/health, etc. Many people try to judge the diesel option based on cost, yet don't use the same basis for picking other options. When buying a tow vehicle, buy the best power train, frame, suspension that will more than cover your towing needs for the next 10 yrs, then add the other options that you can afford. The best towing investment is one that results in the least driver stress while towing and at the end of the day, you don't do something stupid trying to park the trailer.
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:57 PM   #3
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The best towing investment is one that results in the least driver stress while towing and at the end of the day, you don't do something stupid trying to park the trailer.
+1 Well put.

A lot depends on how often you tow, and how far.

I was driving diesel pickups when people would laugh and point at you, I got it, I was ahead of the curve. But these days the HP race has brought on too much emission controls, cost and complexity and high maintenance costs that I'm done with 'em. My last two have been gassers and they've done fine for my needs.

Do you need a diesel?
Full time, long haulin', Yeah
Can write if off on your business, why not?
Just have deep pockets and want to keep up with the other guys? Go for it!

A few weekends a year and a couple of hundred miles? Nah.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #4
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I tend to disagree with the previous, for mileage reasons diesel is no worse the gassers. Your pulling power, longevity of motor life is much much better then gas.. Also if you are going up to a F250, it would be very foolish to go gas if for nothing else resale value. I had a friend that went with the gas on his f250 and had a terrible time getting rid of it. Even car lots didn't want it unless he was go to sell real low. Hope this helps. Not saying it's right. It's just my experience. Happy Trails.
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:14 PM   #5
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Longevity used to be an advantage, but now the gassers go 3 times the miles they used to, so it's not so much the advantage it once was.

Resale value... heck yeah. The diesels hold their value way better. But... I sure have enjoyed picking up the last two gassers used for about half what the same truck would have cost me with a diesel....

You see low resale value, I see BARGAIN!

I only drive my pickup to haul or tow, keeping a high dollar engine cooped in the barn 300 days of the year doesn't work for me.

I guess when you really get down to it this is about the same conversation as "Do I need a 4x4"... Of course we all know the answer to that is... DEFINITELY !
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dayle1 View Post
Getting a bigger truck means a heavier trailer now becomes an option and at some point a diesel becomes a better tow vehicle. That cross-over point is different for each of us, depending on miles per year, finances, weight of trailer, driver's age/health, etc. Many people try to judge the diesel option based on cost, yet don't use the same basis for picking other options. When buying a tow vehicle, buy the best power train, frame, suspension that will more than cover your towing needs for the next 10 yrs, then add the other options that you can afford. The best towing investment is one that results in the least driver stress while towing and at the end of the day, you don't do something stupid trying to park the trailer.
Great post with valid points.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:28 PM   #7
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I bought a 2003 F250 7.3 diesel new, and finally got around to buying my first fifth wheel. I had to buy a lighter fifth wheel trailer than originally intended in order to not overwhelm my truck's Pin weight carrying capability.

I generally believe that if you're going to tow 10K or more, go with the diesel. If you're going to ever step up to a fifth wheel, go 1 ton. If you're towing a 9K or less trailer, you're okay to go 3/4 ton gas engine.

I especially like all of the 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks vs. 1/2 ton trucks. They're just built so well and they have the suspension and brakes to really do the job. 1/2 ton trucks are sprung like a Crown Victoria, and really don't have heavy weight carrying capabilities.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:02 PM   #8
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I'm on my third diesel, all fords. The government is doing everything they can to ruin diesel trucks for RVers. The technology is now so hi tech that most dealers have no one there who really know these trucks. The mileage advantage diesel used to have is gone. I get around 9 towing and that's up from 7 or so with my 08. The low price of diesel we used to enjoy has also gone it used to be well below regular gas and now is well above it. Starting with the 08 MY diesel pick up trucks became a very risky deal. It is unwise to even own one out of warranty. You can run up a 7 or 8 thousand dollar repair bill very easily. Still I love em and I bought a 2014 in Febuary after a drunk old woman wiped out my 2008. The out the door price was SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, tax included of course. And, that was nearly ten thou under sticker. You can of course get a base truck cheaper but not under 50 thousand or so. I tow a very heavy Mobile Suites (17,000 lbs or so loaded) and the diesel is almost mandatory.

I bought the heavy fiver before all the diesel stuff changed. Back then my 2001 F250 with a 7.3L diesel was good for 300,000 miles and it got 11 MPG pulling the Mobile suites. But I really needed a DRW for that trailer and bought an 08. If I could turn the clock back I would have kept my 32 foot Cardinal and my F250 truck. I tell you all this to tell you that diesel is great, but very expensive and getting more so every year. Unless you intend to pull a lot of weight a lot of the time I would suggest you might save a lot of bucks with a gasser.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:42 AM   #9
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If you don't live in California or somewhere that does yearly emissions tests you can remove that crap for a couple grand and pick up a couple mpg and increase the lifespan of the vehicle, that complex exhaust system is usually the first thing to break and is a few grand to replace, well worth doing an emissions delete if you plan to keep it past 100k miles
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:06 AM   #10
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Yes you can. And in truth it will improve the truck beyound your wildest dreams. However, it's not for everybody. On my 08 I deleted the DPF (diesel particulant filter) and added a tuner. Cost when I did it was around $1000 total, DIY. Last fall I towed over Mount eagle TN. I had left the tuner on the wrong setting (believe it or not it was called the "tow" tune by H&S) Anyway, I knew not to tow in anything above stock tune but had a senior moment and just forgot. Bottom line is I blew a head gasket. I took it to power stroke specialist in Buford GA. the very best ford diesel guys on the planet. Got out of there for 5500 bucks. Ouch. Moral of this story, be very careful with tuners on diesel trucks. Also know that the price for a tuner and pipe now is around 2100 bucks. And for what it's worth no one is making a tuner for the 2014s yet. At least I haven't found one.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:49 AM   #11
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stanleyz is right on the money. Listen to him!
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:35 AM   #12
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I went through this same debate with myself 18 years ago. Back then the price penalty for diesel was 20 - 25% over a similar gas rig. Leaving weight capacities out of this (they should be very important to you, but I'll assume you know that and will have that in mind when you do purchase) I think you need to realistically consider how you will use the truck.

Diesel usually makes sense for a commercial operator, someone that puts 50 - 100k on a vehicle each year, based on the typical longevity of the diesel. Most of us, however, won't put much more than 12 - 15k miles on the odometer in a year, if that. At that rate it would be 10 - 15 years before I'd expect any major overhaul would be needed on a well maintained gas engine, and possibly more. And the mile or two extra you may get out of a gallon of diesel will be offset by the higher cost of the fuel (that's reversed from 20 years ago). I can't speak to the maintenance cost difference of a gas vs diesel pickup, but I can tell you the cost of maintaining our DP is significantly higher than any of our gas coaches. Yes, the trade in value of the gas will be less down the road, but you will have paid significantly less on the front end.

Bottom line, get all the power you need (I always suggest you strive for 20% more rated power than you think you will use) and if you can achieve that with gas, it's a much less expensive option.

For the record, I ended up with a Dodge V10 gas. I never regretted that decision and, at the time, it actually had a higher, by about 400 lbs, if I remember correctly, tow rating than the same truck with a Cummins diesel.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:14 PM   #13
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Honestly I'd still drive a diesel even if I didn't pull any trailers, lol!
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:21 PM   #14
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In an F250 you will loose payload by going with the diesel option. I'd suggest the F350. Most 3/4 ton diesels only have around 21-2500lbs of payload with a diesel. Gas they can be near 3000lbs. If you're thinking 5th wheel then you need payload. Not so much with a TT.
As an FYI I drive a 12 Ram 2500 CTD. I tow a 9000lb 5'er. We tow about 4000-5000 miles a year. I put about 7000 miles on it non towing. After factoring in mpg and maintenance it's a wash over my last F150 5.4.

If you tow in the mtns or hilly areas then the diesel is the only way to go. If you live in FL or TX I'd go gas up to 11,000lbs. I live in Oregon and love the way my CTD handles all the mtn passes. Cruises down the freeway @64 turning 1700 rpms with the cruise on. Never shifts down tll I hit a step grade. Pulls most grades in 6th on the freeway. Runs in 5th thru the Cascades all day long. 11.5 -12 mpg's as well.
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