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Old 01-18-2015, 05:07 PM   #1
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Gas or Diesel

I'm going to be buying a 40 ft. 5th wheel toy hauler. My truck is going to be a crew cab dully.
Dully in case I have a blow out. But can I have a gas engine to pull such a large toy hauler or do I need a diesel engine. We're going to be full time RVers. Up rooting and moving around about every 3 months. What are your thoughts.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:26 PM   #2
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Let your experience and wallet be your guide.
For max capacity and longevity, we acquired a Dodge DRW 3500 with the venerable Cummins 5.9...but...

Modern gas engines can provide high power and long life and new Diesels are burdened with DPF and DEF systems.

So IMHO, the decision is not as clear as it used to be.

Best luck
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:29 PM   #3
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Look at the towing specs for the big three, probably not much more than 24-25000 gcwr . W/ a 40 ft. TH will probably be north of that upwards of 30,000 as is mine. A gasser will do it but you need torque of over 700 lbs !
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:10 PM   #4
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Either gas or diesel would probably get the job done. However, I would go diesel for several reasons. I have a '13 Ram 2500CCLB with the Cummins diesel and really like it. My dad and brother both have older ones ('03 and '06) and they really like them as well.

The biggest reason I went with diesel was fuel mileage. My truck is my daily driver and round trip to work is over 50 miles. I'm getting about 20mpg or better in mixed driving unloaded. In the summer, I was getting about 22-24mpg. My '04 Ram 1500 with the small V8 (not hemi) was lucky to get 11mpg. And I have a buddy with a '14 Ram 1500 with the hemi and he is getting about 12-13mpg. I was getting 12mpg while towing a 35ft travel trailer loaded down for a week of camping last summer. I'd hate to think what that would be with a gasser...maybe 6-8 mpg at best?? Diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline, but still. When you do the math, I'm still ahead.

The DEF is essentially a non-issue as far as cost or inconvenience. I fill the tank about every 5000 miles...so just a couple times a year...for less than $15 each time. Its really no big deal to me.

Oil changes are more expensive with 12qts per change. But, they are only required every 15k miles or 6 months, versus 6-7 qts every 3000 miles for a gasser. So diesel is ahead cost wise and convenience wise.

Fuel filters can get expensive though. My truck has 2 of them that cost nearly $100 total for the pair. They need changed about once per year (15k miles). Prices are coming down on them though now that there are more of them out there.

The new diesels run very clean and quiet. So no nasty diesel smell or that loud rattle like the old ones. Even after 20,000 miles, the inside of my exhaust pipe is clean...no soot at all. And even with my foot in it, I can't even hear the turbo spooling up...which is actually kind of a bummer.

Yeah, diesel trucks cost more up front...about $7800 in my case. But you get that back and more when you sell. Take a look at used truck prices gas vs diesel. So I'd call that a wash at worst, and I think I'll be ahead ultimately. Plus historically, diesels last pretty much forever. Time will tell how the new emissions stuff holds up though.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:15 PM   #5
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For the extra cost of a diesel engine. You can buy lots of gas and oil changes for 8-10k. I pull a 40ft newmar kountry aire. Very heavy rig. I pull with a gmc kodiak c4500. 8.1L Gas engine. I average between 7 and 8 mpg loaded. About 26k combined as a guess maybe more.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:37 PM   #6
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This is highly debated topic I've come to find. After a bunch of my own research and experience here's what I've come up with.
Diesel (in Tx right now)=$2.51/gallon
Gas """""""""""""""""""""=$1.61/gallon
With these figures and my towing mileage of 8mpg with a 8.1L gas motor towing 7500lbs and my Dad towing 10k with his 06 5.9 cummins at 13mpg he saves $22 in fuel over 10k miles or $44 at 20k which is probably the most a full timer will do in a year.
My dad's cummin cost $109 for an oil and filter change. My 8.1 cost $36. He changes oil every 10k, I chage every 4k miles.
My dad's fuel filter can be had for $20 and changed every 10k. Mine costs $10 and gets changed every 25k.
As far as pulling power, I have to drop to 3rd sometimes and he rarely drops to 5th.
As far as longevity, My 8.1 has been tested for 250k and well everyone knows a cummins can go 500k easily if just basic maintenance.
For the weight of a 40ft toy hauler, get the diesel. No gas motors today can compete if buying new. If not, look for an 07 classic GMC/Chevy with the 8.1/Allison. With low miles it will probably be $20-25k. Diesel will probably be $30-35k. At least here in Tx anyway.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:08 AM   #7
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With my daily commute and other driving, I put on almost 20,000 miles per year and my truck is averaging about 20mpg in mixed driving, non-towing. I actually get a bit better than that, especially in the summer, and only tow a couple times per year. But for easy math, lets use 20mpg avg for the year. So I bought about 1000 gallons of diesel last year. Diesel in PA is about $3.09 right now, so I spent $3090 in fuel. Now, if I were getting the 12mpg that my buddy is getting with his half-ton Ram Hemi, I would have bought 1667 gallons of gasoline at $2.29 (current price of regular in PA) and spent $3817. That's a savings of $727 per year. If I keep the truck 10 years, I've pretty much made up for the initial cost of the diesel engine, all the while enjoying the better performance, especially while towing, that the diesel provides. And when I go to sell the truck, I get pretty much all of that money back (if not more) because the diesel truck 200,000 miles will sell for a lot more than the gasser with similar miles. KBB has the difference in value for a 2005 Ram (10 yrs old) as about $4600 between a diesel and gas. Looking at actual used trucks for sale, it seems the price difference is even higher than that.

Also, when fuel prices peaked at about $1.29 higher than they are now, I was saving even more. Those numbers work out to be $4290 in diesel fuel and $5985 in gasoline for a savings of $1695. At that rate, I would make up the cost of the diesel engine in less than 5 years.

So obviously, the more miles you drive and the higher gas prices go, the better the math works out for the diesel. And when you figure you will get the initial cost back when you sell...or at least most of it...the numbers really favor diesel.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:06 PM   #8
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I have a close friend that is a manager at a local dodge dealership and he has driven the new gasoline dually's. He said he wouldn't buy one!
I have a 2008 Ram 3500 4x4 and I would tell you the same...the diesel will pull better and serve you better in the long run.
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:58 AM   #9
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Excuse my ignorance. I'm not good on acronyms. What's a DEF?
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomasjb40 View Post
Excuse my ignorance. I'm not good on acronyms. What's a DEF?
DEF = Diesel Exhaust Fluid

This is carried in a separate tank that is injected into the exhaust system down stream of the exhaust manifold into the DPF Diesel Particulate Filter.

What no one has pointed out at least I did not see anything about how you will fill up this gas engine vehicle with a 40' toy-hauler attached.

I know when I had my 2500 6.0L Gas Chevy truck which by the way only got 6 to 7 miles to the gallon when towing. I could not fit into most gas stations with the 30' fifth wheel attached. We towed only twice with that truck and I told my DW that we either sell the trailer and forget about camping again or sell the truck and buy a truck equipped with a diesel engine. I will never ever tow again until I got a diesel engine truck; end of story.

She is now wanting a newer heavier 5th wheel (our third 5er) so I guess we will be looking at another newer 2015/2016 Ram to replace the 2008 Ram that I have.

Jim W.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
DEF = Diesel Exhaust Fluid

This is carried in a separate tank that is injected into the exhaust system down stream of the exhaust manifold into the DPF Diesel Particulate Filter.

What no one has pointed out at least I did not see anything about how you will fill up this gas engine vehicle with a 40' toy-hauler attached.

I know when I had my 2500 6.0L Gas Chevy truck which by the way only got 6 to 7 miles to the gallon when towing. I could not fit into most gas stations with the 30' fifth wheel attached. We towed only twice with that truck and I told my DW that we either sell the trailer and forget about camping again or sell the truck and buy a truck equipped with a diesel engine. I will never ever tow again until I got a diesel engine truck; end of story.

She is now wanting a newer heavier 5th wheel (our third 5er) so I guess we will be looking at another newer 2015/2016 Ram to replace the 2008 Ram that I have.

Jim W.
This is actually a very good point. I was desperate one time for fuel because I thought I could get fuel at the PA Turnpike Service Station where I had bought fuel the year before. However, to my surprise, they had closed down the service station, forcing me to get off at the next interchange about 20 miles away and find fuel in a high-traffic retail area. There were no truck stops there, so I had to get fuel at a BP station at the regular auto pumps and let me tell you...I had one heck of a time getting into and out of that station without hitting anything with the 35ft TT I was pulling. I actually had to back out of the lot onto a very busy 4-lane street when I left. It was horrible, and dangerous. I actually think if I ever find myself in this situation again, I'd probably drop the camper in a parking lot and go get fuel then come back and get it.

As for the DEF, you can buy it at Wal-Mart and other places for about $6 a gallon or most bigger truck stops carry it at the big-rig pumps for around $2.69/gallon last time I bought it. I think my truck holds about 5 gallons or so and, it varies, but I have to fill it up about every 5000 miles or so on average. I'm a little over 5000 miles since I last filled up and my gauge is still showing about 1/4 tank. I'll probably fill it up this weekend if I get a chance. Before I bought this truck, I was all worried about it and almost bought a used 2012 model, which didn't have it. But now that I've had the truck a little over a year, it's really no big deal.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:00 AM   #12
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The Kodiak truck and 8.1 gas engine are great, but if a person wants to buy something new, both have not been produced for several years. Too bad...

Quote:
Originally Posted by consolenut View Post
For the extra cost of a diesel engine. You can buy lots of gas and oil changes for 8-10k. I pull a 40ft newmar kountry aire. Very heavy rig. I pull with a gmc kodiak c4500. 8.1L Gas engine. I average between 7 and 8 mpg loaded. About 26k combined as a guess maybe more.
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Old 02-26-2017, 06:27 PM   #13
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International 4100, or perhaps the smaller verison on the sportchassis. Cant think of the name off hand. 4500 dodge would be next in line
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:43 PM   #14
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Diesel ,,,, I cant even imagine a gas motor pulling a 5th wheel TH.
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