Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-27-2006, 12:30 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 27
I have a 96 Dodge with 35K on it. V-10, Auto
but I only get 6.5 mpg when towing the 5er.

We are going to travel quite a bit in 2 yrs when I retire and I was wondering if I should get a 2WD 6.0 Diesel for better MPG?
I heard I could expect 15-20 mpg.

Im not sure if I should buy a used truck or bite the bullet and get a new one.....

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Pontihack is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-27-2006, 12:30 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 27
I have a 96 Dodge with 35K on it. V-10, Auto
but I only get 6.5 mpg when towing the 5er.

We are going to travel quite a bit in 2 yrs when I retire and I was wondering if I should get a 2WD 6.0 Diesel for better MPG?
I heard I could expect 15-20 mpg.

Im not sure if I should buy a used truck or bite the bullet and get a new one.....

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Pontihack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2006, 01:06 PM   #3
Administrator in Memoriam
Hitchhiker's Avatar

Appalachian Campers
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Buladean, NC
Posts: 8,128
You might get 15-20 mpg downhill and with a strong tailwind provided you aren't towing anything. My diesel and the three I had preceding it would only get that sort of mileage when not towing. The new ones are closer to the 15 mpg number than to the 20 mpg.

Add a trailer with a large frontal area, some significant weight to it and a late model light duty diesel be in the 9-12 range. If your '96 Dodge is in great shape and will handle the loads you're contemplating, hang on to it and buy the extra gas it'll take to run it.

You can buy a lot of gas for what one of these new diesels sell for these days.
'11 GMC Acadia SLT AWD
'11 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Extended Cab
Hitchhiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2006, 02:00 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
TXiceman's Avatar

Vintage RV Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Oklahoma Boomers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Full Time, TX Home Base
Posts: 17,139
Blog Entries: 21
I agree with Richard. My 4.10 axle 7.3L get 10 to 11 mpg towing and maybe 15 to 16 mpg solo.

My brother has a Dodge Cummins with a 5 speed stick and he gets 22 to 23 mpg solo at 75 mph.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
TXiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2006, 03:08 PM   #5
Senior Member
TTT1953's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Richlands, NC
Posts: 732
Blog Entries: 1
On the highway, solo at 70 I get 22 mpg. Pulling my 5er loaded (~11500 lbs.), 62 mph avg I get ~ 13 mpg. Around town with a lot of stop and go, expect 13 or 14 mpg. I had a gas F350 and this is my 2nd diesel. I would never go back to gas. I've been over the hills in New England and up to the top of the Rockies while pulling and I love the performance and power of the diesel. If you intend to travel a lot, and to go over the mountains, go with diesel.
Tom & Carol - Ruger, our Silver Lab
2008 Monaco Monarch 30SF
2012 Jeep Wrangler
TTT1953 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2006, 06:27 PM   #6
Senior Member
Jeff_in_The_Dalles's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Dalles, Oregon
Posts: 544
I'd have to say that I really love my diesel (Cummins). If I keep it around 65 or under, solo, it will return over 20.

Pulling the 5th wheel fully loaded at 65 and faster, or over steep, winding road I will get about 12. Lower speed with less weight in the 5th wheel I averaged 14 on a trip to the coast and back.

I've talked to people towing similar loads with gas trucks that barely got half my fuel milage. Also there are bunches of diesel pickups with several hundred thousand miles, all towing, with no problems. Though today's gas engines are good, I think diesels generally have a longer life with that kind of load.

Though there is a significant investment up front, if you go to kelly blue book and compare the value of a 5 year old gas truck to the value of a 5 year old otherwise identical diesel, you are likely to get nearly all of that price back when it comes time to sell.

Also important to me is that it's just fun to drive. I like the way it runs better than a gas engine, especially towing.

Lastly, just my personal opinion, but I'd avoid the early 6.0's, and either go mid 05 or later 6.0 or one of the later 7.3's if you go Ford.
Dodge Ram dually laramie 4x4 w/jake, B&W, Brakesmart.
Kit Patio Hauler 394F toyhauler 5th wheel
Camo 680 Rincon, Green 500 Foreman, Blk twincam Roadking
Jeff_in_The_Dalles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2006, 03:26 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
RustyJC's Avatar

Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Cypress, Texas USA
Posts: 8,851
Towing our previous 5th wheel with a 1996 Dodge 3500 V-10/47RE automatic with 3.54 axle ratio, we got the same 6.5 MPG you're seeing. Changing out to our current Cummins HO/6-speed with the 4.10 axle ratio (see signature) and pulling the same 5th wheel over the same route, mileage increased to 10.5 to 11.5 MPG. The hills that had the V-10 in 2nd gear at 3500 RPM to hold 55 MPH were easy prey for the Cummins in 6th gear at 70 MPH.

As far as ease of towing and fuel economy, my experience says the diesel is a hands down winner. Having said that, if you're willing to live with its limitations, our V-10 never left us stranded or failed to do the job.

2016 Ram Longhorn 3500 Dually 4x4 CCLB, 385/900 Cummins, Aisin AS69RC, 4.10
2014.5 DRV Mobile Suites 38RSSA #6972
Come join us on a TEXAS BOOMERS rally!
RustyJC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2006, 03:55 AM   #8
Senior Member
powerboatr's Avatar
Damon Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: North East Texas
Posts: 3,344
towing our creek
70ish we get a strong 11 mpg. very pleased and great power, leave it in cruise until we get in very hilly terrain.
empty 75 -80 i get 15
USN Retired, Life time member of the DAV.
Enjoying the 2008 Damon Tuscany 4056, no your eyes are fine, there are 6 slides
powerboatr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2006, 08:31 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bryan, Texas
Posts: 611
Yes. It is. Had both. Will only buy desiel now.
charliez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2006, 01:20 PM   #10
Senior Member
Riverdog's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Spokane Valley, WA
Posts: 202
I have to agree with Jeff in the DAlles....if you go with the Ford go with the later 6.0. My understanding is they had quite a bit of trouble with the earlier 6.0 -- I heard over 70 tsb's (technical service bulletins) on that engine. Compared to Chevy's Duramax (which came out in '00 or '01 & has only had a total of about a dozen) and the new Cummins (which I believe came out in 03 or 04) which only had 3 or 4 tsb's.
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD - Duramax/Allison

2009 Komfort Trialblazer 285S
Riverdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2006, 02:53 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: utah
Posts: 145
With my 7.3L ford PSD towing my 5th I get 8.5-9.5, if and only if there is a strong tailwind going down hill will I ever see over 10 MPG.

IMHO, you can buy a lot of gas for what you are going to shell out to upgrade to a turbo diesel.

The diesel does pull better, but it come with a price, diesel around here is approx 20-30 cents more than premium and oil changes are gallons vs. quarts.

Oh ya, my empty MPG are 14.5-18 depending on travel, town vs. open road.
'01 F350 PSD 4X4 CC LB SRW, firestone air bags, bilstien shocks, superchips 60hp, 4" cat back exhaust, front end leveling kit, aux trans cooler
'00 315 wanderer, Honda EU2000
gearman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2006, 05:22 PM   #12
Senior Member
Ray,IN's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North America somewhere
Posts: 12,303
I feel about the same as gearman concerning gas vs diesel. I drive/tow with a Chevy D/A dually and really like it. I've seen diesel fuel prices go from 30cents less that regular to now 33 cents more than regular gas. My estimates of per mile fuel cost is: gasoline @ $2.87 today divided by 6.5mpg= 44 cents per mile; diesel fuel @ $3.14 today divided by 9.5mpg=33 cents per mile. Divide the option cost of a diesel engine by this 11 cents per mile difference to calculate the break-even point. This is only one segment of the diesel vs gasser debate. There is so much more to consider before making a decision on which one to buy, percentage of time towing vs daily driver, where you plan to tow,some find the diesel fuel smell and noise objectonable, etc. Driving a diesel engine in cold weather requires more driving time between start-up and operating temperature. Driving a diesel powered vehicle requires learning new procedures vs gas engine.
I will not trade my diesel for a gasser in spite of my opinions. You'll find out for yourself if you buy one. Your first mountain grade will cause such a smile it takes days to get out the wrinkles.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert theConstitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
Ray,IN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2006, 03:09 PM   #13
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 9
Pontihack I have a 04 Gmc 2500 4wd with 4in magnaflow exhaust,some fancy intake with a k&n filter tuned up with a flashpaque tuner. Also a cooling bar in front of the radiator. Towing a case 570 4wd skiploader on a 27ft. gooseneck trailer, total weight of tractor & trailer is 15644lbs. Driving for economy in hilly and flat country rodes at 1000 ft, to 2500ft. elevation I can get an honest 13.62 mpg. Unloaded in LA. freeway madman mode about 14.70mpg. Freeway heading for northern Ca. on interstate 5 at 70mph 22.32 mpg. I own 3 Duramax 6.6 rigs. 2 internationals with Dt466 and alison trans. 2 ford L9000 and a series 60 detroit powered volvo. All of these trucks have electronic tuners so we can modify how the power is delivered, I suggest you educate your self about all the after engine tuners and find one that will best suite your application. Take your time and read read read then doubt most of it.
rv parker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2006, 04:09 PM   #14
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 27
Hey Guys thanks for the input so far. I can see it isn't as easy a decision as I had hoped.
There seems to be alot to consider and you all opened my eyes a bit. Thanks!

Pontihack is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Diesel Cl A & C ? max49 Damon 9 07-24-2008 08:13 AM
New low-Sulphur Diesel Fuel--Impact on older Diesel Engines Uncle Ben MH-General Discussions & Problems 7 01-01-2008 07:17 PM
Diesel owners and Ultra Low Sulpher Diesel Fuel CyberVet65 Just Conversation 5 02-03-2007 08:31 AM
Looking for diesel MH dsnook Class A Motorhome Discussions 8 02-22-2005 03:23 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:02 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.