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Old 11-18-2018, 04:22 PM   #1
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Diesel vs Gas - Clarifications

I've done quite a bit of reading on RVing but still have some questions. Wife and I are selling our home and plan to live in a 5th wheel. We plan to live in it until we find the state we want to eventually reside. Our plan is to pull to the Carolinas, live in each state for 6 or so months to see if we like the state. We aren't going to be doing tons of traveling. We just don't want to rush to buy a house. Once we buy, we do plan to travel but I don't know how much - how can you know? LOL For now, will mostly park and hit a few states (east coast) to see if it's the one.

The one we picked is 37' and weighs 11,500 dry. I'm looking at a 1 ton but can't decide on gas or diesel. Not rich but I have towed uphill while watching the speed-o drop rapidly (undersized vehicle). Not fun.

I read a general guideline is if you are towing heavy (what is heavy?) or spend your time in the mountains, go diesel. The truck will also be our only means of transportation.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:27 PM   #2
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A one ton is the correct choice. If you want a smile on your face every time you tow something heavy, get the diesel engine. If you want lower up front costs, get the gas engine. Although the diesel costs more to purchase, you will recoup a large portion of the additional cost when you sell it as compared to a gas engine.

I don't think I've ever heard of anybody who went from a gas to a diesel and regretted it. Most of these people say they would never go back to gas. I'm one of them.

I spent years in the slow lane climbing hills with underpowered gas trucks. I won't go back to that again. Then again, I live out west and we have hills to climb. If I spent 98% of my time driving on flat roads....nah, I'd still get the diesel!
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:35 PM   #3
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Get the diesel and delete it. Most of the costs involved with a diesel are emissions related. The fuel costs are a wash due to the increased economy and the additional purchase price will be recouped at selling time.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:47 PM   #4
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Interesting way go determine where to live. I guess it will work as good as my way. Read which states do not have a state tax. It was that simple for me. I will also say my plan was to do a lot of travel. Different area of the country every 6 months.

That did not happen. Not even close as you develope friendships. Then RV Parks need to be booked 6 months in advance. So for us, we went back to the same park year after year.

Point is, you never know and plans change.

On another note - model year 2020 there will be a skew of new trucks. Rumor has it both Ford and Ram will have a new 7.x liter gasoline engine for their heavy duty trucks.

I had a 2012 diesel with gobs of power and smooth easy towing. Since 2012 diesel engines got more powerful.

Moving a few hundred miles every 6 months you can get by with a gasoline powered truck but everyone should own at least one modern diesel just to experience that towing power.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:26 PM   #5
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Hi, jmartin104, and and to our campfire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmartin104 View Post
The one we picked is 37' and weighs 11,500 dry. I'm looking at a 1 ton but can't decide on gas or diesel. ...
I read a general guideline is if you are towing heavy (what is heavy?) ...
Heavy is more than about 60% of GCWR or 75% of GVWR of the tow vehicle.

Example: The Keystone Sprinter 3570FWLFT has 11,500 dry weight and 14,000 wet and loaded weight. As a full-timer, you'll have the truck and trailer loaded to the gills for an interstate move, So you're going to be loaded very heavy. With 20% pin weight, you'll be adding about 2,800 pounds of payload to the tow vehicle.

So you not only need a dually, you need a diesel dually. You'll be very disappointed if you try to tow a 14k 5er with a gas engine
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:46 AM   #6
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Depends on the gas engine. My 8.1L gas engine moves the Teton (trailer axles 17k, pin weight 5700) nicely. Engine and gearing have so much to do in scheme of things. Diesel with to much gear is as bad as a gas engine and not enough. To much gear and the diesel is screaming at redline. To little gear and the gasser is lugging.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:26 AM   #7
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Interesting way go determine where to live. I guess it will work as good as my way. Read which states do not have a state tax. It was that simple for me. I will also say my plan was to do a lot of travel. Different area of the country every 6 months.

That did not happen. Not even close as you develope friendships. Then RV Parks need to be booked 6 months in advance. So for us, we went back to the same park year after year.
Great point! We had not considered that. Our plan was if we got to an area for 1-3 months and did not like it, we could just move on.

I have asthma and allergies so living in that state to test my reaction is an unfortunate reality.


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Point is, you never know and plans change.
Exactly! And that's the big challenge we are facing here and it's a huge change.

Quote:
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Moving a few hundred miles every 6 months you can get by with a gasoline powered truck but everyone should own at least one modern diesel just to experience that towing power.
Would love to but at 60K for the 5th wheel and at least 25K for a used truck, costs are stacking up.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:29 AM   #8
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BTW, this is the 5er we are looking at. Mostly because it has a dedicated office:

Keystone Cougar 368MBI
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:58 AM   #9
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If you're concerned about costs and evaluating temporary locations for a final place, I wouldn't even consider buying a new 5th wheel. Last year, we were in the market for a new Montana 5th wheel to be delivered to our our campsite. We ended up buying a 2 year old Montana High Country 5th wheel from a couple in the park. We saved over $40K buying used and all the issues were already worked out. My guess is that you will not buy a trouble free new 5th wheel. My 37 foot long 5th wheel has a GVWR of 12,500 and can be easily towed by the Ford F250/350 with 6.2L gad engine. In fact, there is a couple at our park with the exact same model as ours and they tow it from Quebec to Florida each year with an F250 gasser. According to them, they have no issues towing.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:07 AM   #10
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Hey jmartin, welcome to the forum. Interesting concept about traveling to find the perfect place to live. So many of us end up backing into where we live without thought and spend our lives wondering. Many of us never venture from where we were raised. We had friends that built a house on our street, they tired of the rain and sold with the intention of traveling the entire country (not in an RV) and finding the perfect place to live, Hawaii to Maine. Two years later they were trying to buy their old house back.

Won't comment on the truck as you will get plenty of feedback. I will say that if your plans are to visit the Northwest, better make it during the Summer/Fall time frame. Good luck with your adventure.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Depends on the gas engine. My 8.1L gas engine moves the Teton (trailer axles 17k, pin weight 5700) nicely.
But the last pickups with the 8.1K Vortec engines were produced in 2006. The General Motors 8.1-liter engine -- also called the 8100 Vortec - was offered in the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and the Silverado 3500HD, as well as in their GMC Sierra counterparts, from 2001 through 2006. So the newest you can find for sale now will be 13 years old.

Not many folks would want a 13-year-old GM truck as their only vehicle.

The closest competitor to the GM 8.1L is the Ford 6.8L V10. It's no longer available in a pickup, but it is still available in a F-450 or F-550 chassis cab. Finding a used late-model V-10 Ford would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. The used diesels are abundant, but the V-10 gassers are few and far between.

So if you're willing to get down to the nitty gritty to spec out a new F-450 with exactly the color and trim and options you want while working with the fleet department at your Ford dealer, then you can order a new V-10 Ford.

The dealer can have the Ford chassis cab truck "shipped through" an upfitter to add the bed (and other aftermarket options) of your choice - at no additional delivery charge. You can choose any bed you want (and are willing to pay for) from a cheap flat bed to an expensive hauler bed. You can even choose a dually pickup bed, if that's what turns you on. When the new truck is delivered to your dealer, it will be complete with the bed and other options you chose.

An F-450 chassis cab with a dually pickup bed will look and drive and feel almost exactly like an F-350 dually pickup. But if you look close you may notice a 4" spacer between the back the cab and the front of the bed. That's because a chassis cab frame has an industry-standard 60" cab-to-axle (CA) distance but a long-bed dually pickup has ~56" CA.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:49 AM   #12
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I spent years in the slow lane climbing hills with underpowered gas trucks.
While I suspect this is a little bit over the top, if you have an RV you should be going slow especially in the mountains. When you retire you find you actually enjoy going slower.

Advice you often hear for newbies is to buy used to learn about the life style and what you want.

When we returned from working in China and retired, we had no house or car. Our only initial plans were to visit family before deciding where to live. While my previous RV experience was towing with a big V-8 gasser, I found that trucks have gotten very expensive.

We ended up with nice 32' MH with 40k miles for under $10k. We loved living in the MH full time. We loved our MH and only upgraded to a bigger diesel pusher after a idiot in a tow truck damaged all of the basement storage doors while we were stopped.

We rarely stay in commercial RV parking lots. To start with we had two full hook up places to park at no additional cost. Then we bought a lot near the Pacific Ocean that allows limited RV parking with plans to build a house. Next we became grand parents so we started to look for a lot nearby in the desert southwest. We ended up buying a house with RV parking with the kids making mortgage payments to us.

With 4 places to live there are planty of projects while looking for #5.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:24 PM   #13
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The Ford 6.8 V10 Triton engine is rumored to be replaced by the new 7.x litre engine for the 2020 model year. Also a rumor is that the 10 speed transmission will be used in the Ford Super Duty trucks.

It is expected that this new gas engine will reduce slightly the number of diesel engines that are bought.

So if you want a new 6.8 litre V-10 in a Super Duty truck the 2019 model year might be the last year it is available.

Typically manufacturers have a difficult time ramping up production on a new vehicle. I would guess by mid 2020 you will start seeing more Super Duty trucks with the new 7.x engine. It will be interesting for sure.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:42 PM   #14
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BTW, this is the 5er we are looking at. Mostly because it has a dedicated office:

Keystone Cougar 368MBI
That's the 5'er we have and we love it. Not sure I would full time in it, it is not a high end model but I will say the build quality has been more than adequate for our weekend needs.

When we first got it in July I was towing with a Chevy 2500HD 6.0 gas. I started looking for a one ton because the 2500 was over weight. It did pull ok but the payload of @2800 lbs was just a bit too little! So we now have a shiny new Ram 3500HD gasser with a payload of 4323lbs! The diesels are nice but I really can not complain about having a gas engine. The new Hemi 6.4L has more hp and torque too!

Unfortunately we have not towed with the Ram yet as this silly winter thing seems to be taking hold way too early! Anyway good luck with your purchase(s)!
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