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Old 07-31-2015, 11:30 AM   #43
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I'll throw this out there. I have a 1/2 ton truck (5.7L Approx 400HP, 400FTLBS,) and a 7,200# AS. I have not yet found a hill bigger than the truck but perhaps my perspective is a bit different.

On the steep grades the traffic pattern changes. The unladen vehicles tend to maintain their speed in the left lane while the big trucks settle into the right lane. If a middle lane exists its a mix of vehicles traveling at all speeds doing excessive lane changes.

I read a post on here some time ago about "the vacation" starts when you leave the driveway not when you arrive at your destination. Reading that post changed my driving habits. I've slowed down while towing and I'm less likely to pass. What's the rush, where already there (on the vacation not the destination).

So, when I'm on a steep grade I'm not basing my speed on what my truck will do. I'm basing my speed on which lane I'm in and how much of a hurry I'm in. I'm not in a hurry anymore and ALL of the closes calls have occurred when I've been in a lane other than the right lane.

The close calls: It seems like the sport cars including the minvans that try to act like sport cars, bob and weave the middle lane. I've never have issues with the big rigs. they might cut it close but they signal their intentions and are not reckless. For the most part I tend to tuck in with them and drive as they drive. Conditions permitting, I'll pass a bunch of them only to them pull up next to me at the next rest stop. Tour busses do pretty well so sometimes I'll run with them.

For me, on the steep grades, the right lane is usually the right lane especially going down hill.

This thread isn't about lane selection but my point is ANY truck/engine configuration on your list will be fine in the right lane and perhaps the right two lanes. In my opinion the left lane is attainable and undesirable anyway.

John
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:38 AM   #44
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I have always believed in buying the best vehicle for the hardest job it will do. A diesel engine is for "working" , gas engines are for driving. If your buying a vehicle and it's only about $$ then find the smallest, cheapest most disposable POS you can and just go about using it till it crock's and get another one.

A point on towing stablity gas to diesel. The 6.4 Hemi puts ruffly 400-450lbs on the front axle and 6.7 Cummins is about 1200lbs. That is a lot of counter weight you can't make up with a gas engine.

2015
Mega Cab 4x4 diesel base weight 8,073 - front axle weight 4,969 -rear weight 3,104.

Mega Cab 4x4 6.4 gas base weight 7,098 - front axle weight 4,056 - rear 3,041

A diesel truck is more than just about the engine everything comes into making it a better tool for the job. The almost 1000lbs over the front axle makes for towing stability unmatched by the gas. Gas trucks do a very good job, but I want excellent job. Why would you want to settle on something that can only be safer. Driving it as a daily driver only makes you more comfortable and more familuar with it so "when" something happens towing you are better prepared to handle it because you have a more intimate knowledge of "your" truck.

Just my 2 cnts.

Joe D
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:47 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Not Done View Post
I'll throw this out there. I have a 1/2 ton truck (5.7L Approx 400HP, 400FTLBS,) and a 7,200# AS. I have not yet found a hill bigger than the truck but perhaps my perspective is a bit different.

On the steep grades the traffic pattern changes. The unladen vehicles tend to maintain their speed in the left lane while the big trucks settle into the right lane. If a middle lane exists its a mix of vehicles traveling at all speeds doing excessive lane changes.

I read a post on here some time ago about "the vacation" starts when you leave the driveway not when you arrive at your destination. Reading that post changed my driving habits. I've slowed down while towing and I'm less likely to pass. What's the rush, where already there (on the vacation not the destination).

So, when I'm on a steep grade I'm not basing my speed on what my truck will do. I'm basing my speed on which lane I'm in and how much of a hurry I'm in. I'm not in a hurry anymore and ALL of the closes calls have occurred when I've been in a lane other than the right lane.

The close calls: It seems like the sport cars including the minvans that try to act like sport cars, bob and weave the middle lane. I've never have issues with the big rigs. they might cut it close but they signal their intentions and are not reckless. For the most part I tend to tuck in with them and drive as they drive. Conditions permitting, I'll pass a bunch of them only to them pull up next to me at the next rest stop. Tour busses do pretty well so sometimes I'll run with them.

For me, on the steep grades, the right lane is usually the right lane especially going down hill.

This thread isn't about lane selection but my point is ANY truck/engine configuration on your list will be fine in the right lane and perhaps the right two lanes. In my opinion the left lane is attainable and undesirable anyway.

John

That post nails the modern problem of mountain ascents.

The morons keep it at the speed limit despite commercial and other traffic slowing. The word "stupid" does not adequately describe this behavior. I've seen traffic jams!

Not so long ago NO ONE could maintain the limit across the Rockies. Traffic was better behaved, especially as the fuel penalty was enormous.

It's the definition of "speeding" which has little to do with set speed, but with conditions.

A closer speed to the slower traffic means far more reaction time & distance.

75-80% engine load on a climb is a good point. Hell, in the big truck, gearing down enough to still be able to accelerate is a truly ancient rule for ascents.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:53 PM   #46
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Thanks for the great replies. I've learned a lot.

John, that's a particularly impressive post. Thank you. I'm certainly more interested in the journey, rather than the destination. It's on the wall in my kitchen, literally.


I don't mind slowly going up steep grades and such. I'm not buying a truck to go racing. Just want a safe and relaxing trip while towing Airstream, to the extent possible.

The primary reason I started this thread was to let you more experienced guys tell me which motor would be more reliable, given my driving style, in the years to come.


Dan
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:04 PM   #47
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My wife has no trouble towing our 31' classic with the dodge 6.7 litre, it runs at 1600 rpm at 64mph, I myself don't want an engine on a hard pull doing 4500 rpm, it can't last. We have been coast to coast, to Silverton , Colo., now there is where there are big hills... No problems going up or down....
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:14 PM   #48
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If you intend to keep the truck for a number of years, then yes, diesel is the way to go. That being said, reading your intended use, I'm wondering why you want a 3500 instead of a 2500.
I have to agree with Bold Adventure, why a 3500 over 2500. There is nothing you can load in your AS and bed to substantiate a one ton truck. It will ride too rough and not enough rear suspension road absorption and stress out your AS. Seen this, done this.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:37 PM   #49
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I just finished a two time owner experi nice with Diesel engines, living in Michigan. I am now towing my 25AS with a 2015 RAM gasser. Yes I miss the zillion pounds of torque and superior engine braking. But, I also love the gasser. You mention doing a lot of short trips in your diesel, this is problematic and especially if you live in cooler or cold weather regions. This is the primary reason I now own a gasser. The diesel motor is not your issue it is the EPA regulated pollution systems that are an issue with cold starts and not having enough run time for all systems to come to normal operating temps. My last F250 6.7L, in 140k miles I went through three EGRs and a particulate exhaust system. The exhaust should last 250k and an EGR should be good for 125k on average. That's is a total maintenance costs close to $7,000!!! And it is all because of short commute trips, less than 10 miles, twice a day. Winter makes this even much worse and a common problem up north in Michigan. Michigan does not have auto inspections so most long term diesel owners here do EGR, DEF and exhaust deletes to get around this issue. I have friends in OK and TX, they don't seem to have these chronic issues I mentioned. I also had the same issues with my f-250 6L, two EGRs in 100k. It is not the diesel it is not the brand of motor its the the EPA junk and how they are used. Andbthis junk is expensive. And they like it Hot and Heavy to stay healthy!
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:57 PM   #50
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I made a typo in my earlier post.

"In my opinion the left lane is attainable and undesirable anyway."

Should have been; In my opinion the left lane is UNattainable and undesirable anyway.

Thanks,

John
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Old 07-31-2015, 03:34 PM   #51
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Quote:
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I have to agree with Bold Adventure, why a 3500 over 2500. There is nothing you can load in your AS and bed to substantiate a one ton truck. It will ride too rough and not enough rear suspension road absorption and stress out your AS. Seen this, done this.

Sorry but I own one (my second one in 3 years) and I disagree with you.With nothing in the bed or with my Can Am Outlander Max ATV in the box the truck rides smoother than it did with my 2010 F150 Supercrew wiith my 28ft Airstream attached.The F250 and the F350 ride the same unloaded as they share the same primary leaf spring but as you increase the load the additional springs come into play as needed.A F250 will sag when hooked to a 28ft and the payload is not that much better than a F150.When a F150 is maxed out on payload it has no give whatsoever in the rear suspension when you hit a bump or a pothole (this I know as I towed the same trailer with one for 10,000 miles) the F350 takes bumps in stride and softens the blow.I did install a Airsafe hitch which works as it should and allows the trailer to float even with the wd hitch.1/2 ton trucks could also benefit from the Airsafe.
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:51 PM   #52
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I just finished a two time owner experi nice with Diesel engines, living in Michigan. I am now towing my 25AS with a 2015 RAM gasser. Yes I miss the zillion pounds of torque and superior engine braking. But, I also love the gasser. You mention doing a lot of short trips in your diesel, this is problematic and especially if you live in cooler or cold weather regions. This is the primary reason I now own a gasser. The diesel motor is not your issue it is the EPA regulated pollution systems that are an issue with cold starts and not having enough run time for all systems to come to normal operating temps. My last F250 6.7L, in 140k miles I went through three EGRs and a particulate exhaust system. The exhaust should last 250k and an EGR should be good for 125k on average. That's is a total maintenance costs close to $7,000!!! And it is all because of short commute trips, less than 10 miles, twice a day. Winter makes this even much worse and a common problem up north in Michigan. Michigan does not have auto inspections so most long term diesel owners here do EGR, DEF and exhaust deletes to get around this issue. I have friends in OK and TX, they don't seem to have these chronic issues I mentioned. I also had the same issues with my f-250 6L, two EGRs in 100k. It is not the diesel it is not the brand of motor its the the EPA junk and how they are used. Andbthis junk is expensive. And they like it Hot and Heavy to stay healthy!

That would solve the issues?

Some deletes.

If that's all, great. I've heard of these deletes, but thought is was for performance, power, speed. If getting rid of some emissions stuff will allow more trouble free use of diesel motor for folks like me that are using truck as daily driver and short trips, that's easy enough.

Dan
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:56 PM   #53
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Sorry but I own one (my ... allows the trailer to float even with the wd hitch.1/2 ton trucks could also benefit from the Airsafe.
A WD hitch on a 1 ton?
"...Tell me that it isn't true."
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:00 PM   #54
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Dan,

Those deletes mean the truck wont pass emissions testing...

John
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:45 PM   #55
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Dan,

Those deletes mean the truck wont pass emissions testing...

John

The fine is gigantic.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:03 PM   #56
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Dan, I am not recommending you do the EPA deletes. Yes, it will stop all the issues I mentioned but also increase your fuel mileage ( you have to get a programmer so it knows this stuff is not there). About 15% of your fuel is wasted in the catalytic process cleaning the particulate filter. This is how you go from 14mpg on Navistar 6.4l engine to 21-22 overnight. BUT, it is against the law to override mandated EPA pollution stuff. Yes, people do it a lot. BUT, most live in states where there are NO auto inspections. Also, my dealer told me that doing so on my vehicles automatically voids all warranties, another law I guess. Lastly, my Ford/Ram dealer said they are not allowed to work on vehicles that have had EPA stuff bi-passed not making them federally compliant. So, don your homework first before venturing into this area. I decided not to and went gas.
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