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Old 02-20-2015, 08:47 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by HambonesBBQ View Post
I have had Dodge 3500 dually and replaced that with with a Ford F450 King Ranch. The Dodge was a great truck but I needed more when towing thru the mountains in NC. The F450 was amazing. Horrible fuel mileage but would tow up any hill (4.88 rear end). The other benefit of the F450 was the front end geometry. The way the suspension is set up the wheel cut was very sharp and it maneuvered like a much smaller truck.
How does the Ram 4500 or 5500 compare to the F450 or F550? The towing specs on the Ram looked higher than the Fords.

The one thing I've noticed is the slight cost difference between the F450/4500 and the F550/5500 but the towing ability is considerable higher with the 5x. Everything else between 4x and 5x is basically the same.

The other thing I was thinking is going with a 4x4 instead of a 4x2. Costs more but gives more options on where you can tow.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:43 AM   #58
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Yes, wish I would have known what I know today. Not being computer savvy as many are and not knowing of videos showing comparison tows, it's easy to make a costly mistake. There is such a diverse difference between the different models not to mention the different brands. Also appears, and I am surprised, how many buy the 2500 series just mainly for "butt haulers". lol Used to be, they were only purchased to haul and tow. Still, think that with the proper gearing and a few different computer programs available, a owner could get the best of both worlds. I know they use the excuse of emissions and mileage for what is designed and sold, but anything 2500 and up don't even estimate mileage. Know if I could design a computer, could do better on mileage and performance. Also, what was said about rpms and fuel mileage is not altogether true. By gearing down, increased my fuel economy by well over 2 mpg towing, same or better in town(15 to 16+) and empty in the higher mountain ranges, about the same, 15 to 16+. As for rpm, now tow "easier" at about 1000 to 1500 less rpms. Also, not the constant down and up shifts that I had before. Don't need more engine power but better control of the power that it has. Just my thoughts. PS. wish I could mate Aisin trans with the 6.4 Hemi. lol
Yea it is true, you even prove it in your example above. You changed your gear ratio so your motor runs at less rpms and gets better fuel economy as a result. Less rpms= less fuel= more distance traveled per gallon burned. Problem when towing is if you're under powered you downshift which= more rpms= more fuel burned to produce those rpms= less distance traveled per gallon burned.

However I'm a little confused because your problem and your fix don't make any sense. You say you now have lower rpms which should make your downshift problem even worse, unless you were comparing 5th gear rpms before the change to 6th gear rpms after the gear ratio change or something, haha!

Also most comparison videos you'll find aren't really reliable, every manufacturer shows their truck "winning" cause they never test similar equipment. For example when you see Chevy winning the fastest tow up the hill test it's cause they use a Chevy with 4.88s and the competition with 3.42s to overcome Chevy engines lower hp and torque output.

It really depends on how much weight you're trying to pull at what speed. All three trucks are capable but if you want to do it with the best one capable of pulling the max towing capacity up the hill the fastest you will want a Ford or dodge which both dominate the Chevy in the torque department by quite a lot. Current gen 2015 diesel outputs are Chevy at 397 hp 765 torque, dodge is 385hp and 865 torque while Ford is 440 hp and 860 torque. The Chevy is still gonna make it up the hill, just not as fast and it will use more fuel.

Torque is a really important number when towing heavy loads. For example I have a Ford with a 3.55 ratio and I tow around 10,000 pounds. At 65-75mph on most hiways and freeways my rpms are sufficient to hold 6th gear even going up large hills but if I end up in some podunk state with a slow 55mph hiway speed limit it lowers my rpms(and torque output) and if I encounter large hills I have to downshift to maintain speed. If I had a Chevy, constantly traveled that slow through large hills or towed 20,000 pounds a 3.73 or 4.10 gear ratio would reduce downshifts but then I'd get worse fuel economy going 70 so it all depends on how much you want to tow how fast and percentage of time towing vs driving empty to find the right rear ends ratio to best meet your needs.

if you're short on torque the gear ratio can help make up for it at the cost of lower fuel economy when driving empty but possibly better fuel economy while towing if you can hold the higher gear consistently.

I don't quite understand how or what sort of better control you think would make a difference for not downshifting, it's pretty simple, more torque= more power= less downshifts. You can't get something out of nothing with only a different computer program and you can't get better mpgs and better towing ability with the same gear ratio, you gotta pick the one you plan to use the truck for most. They've spent millions of dollars designing their trucks and they all want the best since they compete with each other, if there was improvement to be had they would utilize it.

Chevy tends to go for the higher mpgs market and sacrifices hauling and towing capacity as a result. Ford on the other hand has always went for the workhorse market being more durable and better capable of higher hauling and towing capacities at the sacrifice of a mpg or two. Dodge has just been trying to get a transmission to last past 10,000 miles and keep their trucks from falling apart before they hit 30,000 miles for the last 20 years, haha! I kid I kid, they were previously competing with Chevy for the mall crawler market but now it appears they are stepping up their max capacities trying to compete with Ford in the workhorse market.

If you want higher mpgs you can reduce weight, improve aerodynamics, reduce friction with better quality oils in your engine and differentials, reduce rolling resistance by getting narrower tires and so on that will provide miniscule gains but ultimately having more power and thus reducing downshifting will provide the largest gains.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:46 AM   #59
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We were going to buy either an F250 or an HD2500 that she would drive as a daily driver, and it would tow our new 5th wheel (16,000 lb Cedar Creek) but I think she's agreed to buy a dedicated dually that will only be used for towing. Now to find out what's out there a couple of years old, and the only remaining issue is the proper rear end. We're on the east coast and she wants to tow this monster as far as Alaska......so...the hunt begins. Suggestions?
Splurge for the F350 if buying new anyway, it's about $600 more than the F250 and has higher payload and towing capacities. It will be the best $600 you ever spent
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:02 AM   #60
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I agree with road dogs. I spent 3 months researching trucks, weight ratings and options and my wife and I have spent a year researching 5th wheels and attending 5 RV shows.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:42 AM   #61
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Smile Truck Selection

Think today, there is a more diverse selection of trucks and claims of towing capabilities than ever before. Then, throw gas vs. diesel into the mix. Do think, from what I know now, that watching some of the "fair" tow comparison videos that are available will tell you a great deal about what you want and or need. Not all the comparisons are fair, but there are a few that are. Think the only thing that I'd bet on is that the "Haul Weight" comparisons are about the same and near what is advertised. As for gearing and engines, there is a big difference and the only real way I see to be somewhat accurate in getting what you think your getting is by watching the videos that show the side by side comparisons and also tell you about the gears that are available. Word of caution though, research the transmission gearing as well as the differential gearing. Hate to say, that's really where it's at. By viewing both diff and trans gearing combined plus watching the gearing in 1st thru 4 gears not just for the ratio but also how close or far apart the ratios are can be "everything" when towing the higher end loads as well as the grades. Call me crazy, will bet in a couple of years, the truck with the "lower" gearing will command more on the resale market. Especially in the Ram brand. Google "gear ratios" and enter the different transmissions available and think you will see where I'm at. As to what was asked earlier about gearing vs. rpm, vs. mileage, by gearing down, I essentially put the top gear on the bottom plus the mph difference between the gears was lessened. Now throw in the power factor and that's why I can get better mileage, power, and the lower rpms to accomplish the same tow demands. What I've lost is 6th gear essentially which unless running with the truck empty and lower elevations, "I" feel is lost. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:10 PM   #62
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I gotcha. I tow easily in 6th gear consistently but my truck is newer and my load is lighter than some. It even holds 6th gear going up most mountains, only downshifting for very steep grades or at slower speeds where rpms are too low to provide sufficient torque.

In older trucks the tow haul button essentially locked out the top gear or overdrive but in New trucks they are made to tow in 6th gear and the tow/haul button changes the shift points so it holds the previous gears longer and eliminate shifting too early and requiring a downshift again to regain power.

You should easily be able to hold 6th gear on flat land with a newer truck even pulling 18,000 if you have the right rear end gear ratio.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:40 PM   #63
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Here is my observation.

Using my calibrated ScangaugeII trained me how to get the most power and energy off my standard shift F250. I can drive all day at 50 mph on direct gearing or high and get 32 mpg and plenty of power. Now shift to overdrive and increase the speed and the mileage gets better at 65 mph. With same mpg empty. Done it many times.

Now pulling the trailer (15000lbs). I see 20 mpg at 30 to 40 mph on high and keep there till 55 mph. Then shift on overdrive till 70 mph. Mileage average 14 mpg on fairly flat terrain. To keep the speed constant I use a programer set at 412 HP. It allows me to keep the turbo pressure at or bellow 10 psi. Any pressure above 10 psi just drops the mileage as far down as 4 mpg. While doing the same hill at 10 psi boost and loosing 5 mph the mpg is always above 10 mpg. Thus keeping the speed and economy at the same time. For me before programing max economy was at top rated torque at around 1900 rpm. With programing because the max torque happens at higher rpm the fuel mileage can be best at higher rpm.

Thus on level 3 my max mileage efficiency happens at 2600 rpm. Giving me power to pull any load efficiently on high gear only. But I do feel much better using overdrive with less engine noise.

Unless you program a ScangaugeII for the style of truck and drive conditions you cannot find the max fuel mileage or max efficiency. Rule of thumb is max efficiency and power do not relate. But max torque and efficiency does. I would tow on 5th gear and shift manually using the turbo pressure.
And drive on 6th and let the truck shift on its own for unloaded travel.
Remember tow haul setting is for maxx power and efficiency is out.
No way any engineer that program these trucks knows what the operator will do. That's why programmers are so useful. And I am sure that when done right it works fine and safe. Been using one for 8 years on the worst diesel I have been told for 8 years.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:47 PM   #64
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The only way you're getting 20-40mpg pulling 15000 pounds is coasting down a hill, lol
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:58 AM   #65
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The only way you're getting 20-40mpg pulling 15000 pounds is coasting down a hill, lol
Best thing is to tow from one fill up to the next fill up with someone posting those numbers and see how much each of you use.

Been there done that, and no I don't get that kind of mileage.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:54 AM   #66
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The only way you're getting 20-40mpg pulling 15000 pounds is coasting down a hill, lol
Could be talking imperial gallons?
otherwise no way ,chips and programers have a way of spoofing the DIC mileage readout,giving false positives.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:34 AM   #67
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I had a guy with the same truck as mine ask my mileage towing 28K combined 11RAM I said 9-9.5 hand calc AVERAGE he bragged heavier load and getting 15. I said "that's nice".
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:41 PM   #68
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I had a guy with the same truck as mine ask my mileage towing 28K combined 11RAM I said 9-9.5 hand calc AVERAGE he bragged heavier load and getting 15. I said "that's nice".
Nobody is getting 15MPG pulling that much weight
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:54 AM   #69
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Nobody is getting 15MPG pulling that much weight
They install a box and then go by the false readings. Oh well fairy land much be nice.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:25 AM   #70
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They install a box and then go by the false readings. Oh well fairy land much be nice.
My truck is tuned and mileage is within .1 every time I hand calc, I think they just lie, lol
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