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Old 06-07-2007, 07:03 AM   #1
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I currently tow a 2000 Sunnybrook 30 foot fifth wheel with a 2001 Dodge truck with a V10 engine. My mileage is not good and I am considering making a change in an effort to get a mileage improvement. My fifth wheel has aluminum siding and the front end is not very aerodynamic and pushes a lot of wind at 60 mph. The new Sunnybrook I am looking at has a smooth, contoured gelcoat front end which should offer less wind resistance. The only problem is that the dry weight is about 750# heavier than my current rig. Am I likely to see any overall mileage improvement with this new rig or would the added weight vs aerodynamic improvement be a wash?

Another thing I am considering is upgrading my truck to a 2007 Ram diesel. The upfront cost of both upgrades would be roughly the same.

Any comments from you experienced folks would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Jerryg
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:03 AM   #2
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I currently tow a 2000 Sunnybrook 30 foot fifth wheel with a 2001 Dodge truck with a V10 engine. My mileage is not good and I am considering making a change in an effort to get a mileage improvement. My fifth wheel has aluminum siding and the front end is not very aerodynamic and pushes a lot of wind at 60 mph. The new Sunnybrook I am looking at has a smooth, contoured gelcoat front end which should offer less wind resistance. The only problem is that the dry weight is about 750# heavier than my current rig. Am I likely to see any overall mileage improvement with this new rig or would the added weight vs aerodynamic improvement be a wash?

Another thing I am considering is upgrading my truck to a 2007 Ram diesel. The upfront cost of both upgrades would be roughly the same.

Any comments from you experienced folks would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Jerryg
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:33 AM   #3
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When we were towing a 13,500 lb Jayco Designer XL 3610RLTS, we got 6.5 MPG with our 1996 Dodge Ram 3500 V10/47RE/3.54 dually running from Houston to Fredericksburg, TX in the Texas Hill Country. With no changes other than the truck, our 2002 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins HO/6-speed/4.10 dually got 11 to 11.5 MPG pulling the same 5th wheel over the same route.

The truck will make a lot more difference in fuel economy than anything you can do to the trailer.

Rusty
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:13 AM   #4
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I would agree with Rusty. You will see more benefits in the long run by upgrading the truck than you will the trailer. You will get better mileage both towing and not towing, and finally diesel is cheaper than gas again, not to mention the improved towing performance of the diesel.
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:23 PM   #5
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If you want a diesel for the power, the noise, the smell or the longevity, or even because you just want it, then by all means, get a diesel.

But whatever you do do not justify it thinking it will be more economical. Paying for the $5,000 premium to get the engine, the dual batteries, big alternator, $100+ oil changes, triple expensive and multiple fuel filters all but make it impossible to recoup your money through improved mpg. Even if diesel were to stay cheaper than gas (which I highly doubt) it will take you multiple six-figures of miles to break even.

I am not discouraging the acqusition of a diesel, heck I got one and I have a grin on my face that hasn't faded in more than a year. I am just saying make the purchase with your eyes open. If you are looking soley for the reason of economy, a diesel purchase may not get you what you bargained for.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:58 PM   #6
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You will be suprised what just slowing down to 55 MPH will do to fuel mileage. Wonder why you can never obtain/sustain the EPA estimated fuel mileage? The vehicle is driven on a closed course at a constant 48 MPH to get the highway figure.
Trading vehicles or trailers to save money on fuel is not sound money management. If you need a new one anyway, by all means go for it.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:31 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jperry29:
If you want a diesel for the power, the noise, the smell or the longevity, or even because you just want it, then by all means, get a diesel.

But whatever you do do not justify it thinking it will be more economical. Paying for the $5,000 premium to get the engine, the dual batteries, big alternator, $100+ oil changes, triple expensive and multiple fuel filters all but make it impossible to recoup your money through improved mpg. Even if diesel were to stay cheaper than gas (which I highly doubt) it will take you multiple six-figures of miles to break even.

I am not discouraging the acquisition of a diesel, heck I got one and I have a grin on my face that hasn't faded in more than a year. I am just saying make the purchase with your eyes open. If you are looking solely for the reason of economy, a diesel purchase may not get you what you bargained for. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I agree with this post 100%. Add to it, $750 for one bad injector replacement. I love my diesel but they are not purchased for economy reasons.
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:39 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of the good advice you guys. When I step back and think about it, my diesel desires are based largely on emotion. My current truck has only 52K miles and is in good shape so I have no immediate need for a change. I have decided to sit back and wait untill the new Cummins 6.7 and the 6 speed tranny have a few years of road warrior testing. Maybe by then, a change will be more justified.

Meanwhile, yesterday I gave in to gentle persuasion from my better half and signed the papers for a new 30 ft Sunnybrook Brookside fiver so at least my wife is smiling.

Thanks
Jerryg
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:15 AM   #9
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Congrads on the new trailer.

I currently own a turbo diesel and like it. But if I were to buy a new truck today, I would most likely go with a gas motor. Any more with diesel fuel costing more than gas, diesel motor being a very cold blooded in winter and not as driveable vs. gas in cold weather, added cost of maintainance, ect...

I do like the power of the diesel for towing. But turbo diesels are a $8000 upgrade, I can buy a ton of gas for that.
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