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Old 05-13-2016, 08:36 AM   #1
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The age old topic: gas v. Diesel

So, the truck I'm looking at, Silverado 2500HD has both. But, their towing limits are the same, 13,000lbs.

I've read plenty on the advantages of both. The truck would be a family vehicle for the next 1.5-2 years before we hit the road, so lots of short trips and no towing.

I've found 2 possible trucks: a 2014 gas with 37,000 and a 2011 diesel with 117,000 on it. Asking price is within a few hundred of each other. My usually philosophy on buying is to not look at anything with more than 50-60K on it. I know diesels last longer.

Is it better to go with the newer gas, or are the miles on the diesel not a concern?


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Old 05-13-2016, 09:12 AM   #2
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It depends how much you want to tow. If you are near the max, the diesel would do it well. Diesel exists because of better fuel efficiency.

You have a tough decision, I like my diesel but I also know how people treat their vehicles. 117,000 miles gives them a lot of opportunity to abuse the truck.

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Old 05-13-2016, 09:49 AM   #3
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Need info,,, what weight&length TT, what gas engine, overall condition of trucks, how much and where do you tow.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:25 AM   #4
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The age old topic: gas V diesel

Trailer we're looking at is 10,500lbs, max, 36 feet long. May be looking at a slightly smaller/lighter trailer as well, around 9,000lbs max.

The gasser has the 6 L V8 engine and is in excellent condition. Haven't seen the diesel in person, but same dealer so I expect similar condition.

The miles on the diesel concern me, but that's partly due to my lack of knowledge and experience with trucks.

When we start towing the trailer, we'll be full timing it, but probably staying in one place for 1-3 months at a time before moving on.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:46 AM   #5
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When you travel, do you like to hurry up and get there, or are you a laid back flower sniffer?

When it comes to regular maintenance intervals, or you a penny pincher, or will you spend any amount of money to maintain your vehicle and keep it running well for a long time?

Will fuel costs bother you and keep you from travelling, or will you go no matter what?

If your answers to these questions are hurry up and climb this hill, any amount of money is good for maintenance, and fuel costs won't matter, than go ahead and get the diesel. You'll love the way it pulls the trailer, especially up a hill, and performance will be acceptable for daily driver use.

If you're a penny pincher, flower sniffer, and the possibility of wild swings in fuel costs are something you just can't stand, the gas engine will probably be OK.

No, I am not using any real world analysis to help you make a decision. You will also have to ask your spouse, if you have one, how they feel about the above questions, as they might have a strong opinion on the matter.

Me, I'm single. I got the diesel. I hope I get a half million miles out of it. It pulls the trailer up a 6% grade at the speed limit, and can even accelerate. It has an exhaust brake and coming down that 6% grade I don't even touch the brakes. You can't get that from a gas engine pulling near it's limits, nope.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:24 PM   #6
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There will be no comparison in their towing capabilities, no matter what it says on paper. The diesel has more HP and 2X the torque. You would really notice the difference in the hills. The diesel's tow rating is only limited by the trucks suspension. Whereas, the gas engine is maxed out in the 2500HD.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:28 PM   #7
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Well, for the next 1.5 - 2 years you would probably enjoy the gas, but once you start towing, diesel is the way. I know this from my days of hauling a horse trailer (F250 Diesel). Wish I still had that truck!!! Fortunately, for my hybrid, my Tundra does a decent job, but oh those grades!!!
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:55 PM   #8
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The engine might last but the rest of the truck is very used when over 100 thousand. The seats and gizmos start to break, brake and steering components are also worn. I've had both types and would go for the newer truck.
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:28 PM   #9
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IMO, I'd go for the newer gas 2500. This based on what you say will be limited towing miles... Now for us,,, My 2500 Duramax is a true pleasure to drive with a 5th wheel behind... This last trip we went up Yarnell Hill in AZ,,, up to 20% grades, hairpin turns,, never broke a sweat... Came down the same way, never a thought about overheated brakes. And DW actually smiled when we'd pull out on a hill to pass a slow truck etc.. (priceless) Different strokes,, thats why they make both... I might add as you see in the two you are looking at, a deisel "usually" holds its value better than a gas motor,,, if you are into trading every couple/few years...
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:50 PM   #10
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Our 93 Dodge W250 Cummins has 286k miles on it and is still going strong, but the trans, rear diff, and many other parts have been rebuilt or replaced.

I will always prefer diesel for long travels and those engines will usually far outlast a gasoline engine, but the engine isn't the only thing that wears out.

Just my 2c.

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Old 05-13-2016, 02:56 PM   #11
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I would check the history of the diesel truck and inspect it very closely to see if it has been modified and possibly returned to stock. If it has not been tampered with and is in good shape, I would buy it before the gas powered truck.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:18 PM   #12
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You answered it. 36 ft, 10K+ pounds, full time. Get a diesel.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:30 PM   #13
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I traded a late model V8 Ford gas for a 6.7 diesel.....best decision I could make. Towing is a non-issue now. Like others state, I can accelerate up hills, coast down the same hill without excessive braking, pedal is not to the floor anymore, and less stress on the engine. Engine oil, trans and coolant temps are way down compared!
Good luck with your decision.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:58 PM   #14
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No one has mentioned payload yet, so I'll throw that into the fray. For two similar trucks, the diesel engine will weigh a lot more and reduce your payload by that amount. For a 1 ton that's less of an issue, but for a 3/4 ton with that size trailer you might be looking at getting close to the maximum gross weight on the rear axle as well as the GVWR on the truck. You didn't say "fifth/5th", so I assume it's a bumper pull trailer.

Google mine the estimated curb weights and GVWR and axle GVW for both trucks to get the payload. Estimate the pin weight of your trailer loaded. If the factory/website gives a number remember that's "dry weight". You'll add a LOT to that weight with your water and propane tanks full, groceries, beer, soda, etc. Whatever is left is what you've got for the family, dogs, gear, etc. Here's an online tool to estimate tongue weight.

I just bought a 2002 Dodge 2500 4x4 Auto Ext Cab Short Bed Cummins... so I made the decision with both the diesel and 4x4 to lose some payload. But I'm going to be solo about 99.9% of the time I'm towing (other than a 2 1/2 pound "guard dog" Chihuahua), and the other .1% of the time it'll probably be my 110 pound daughter (who has another 110 pounds of luggage of course). You have to do the math for yourself with both vehicles and based on your family with your expected loaded weight on truck and trailer. Don't forget to add the weight of any hitch gear you add such as a weight distributing hitch (if you need it). If you throw an ice chest in the bed of the pickup truck loaded up that's another fifty pounds or so off the top. Going with a "monster truck" big tire look? Take off another two or three hundred off your GVWR.

Don't forget to consider the tires. If you're at your gross weight for the rear axle you're pretty close to maxing out the tires as well.

I'm not saying you shouldn't under any circumstances exceed the load plate data, but you should certainly know it if you do it and be aware of the ramifications, both technical and legal.

Just food for thought!


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diesel, gas

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