Originally Posted by SteveH
Those fuel mileages may be true, but it does nothing for the added cost of the fuel itself, oil change costs, fuel filter costs, and fuel addative costs.
The other thing is, I am not going to buy an eight year old truck with a million miles on it, with no creature comforts, just to get a few percentage points better fuel mileage.
Then, I've heard it said, "there's two things men will lie about...fuel mileage and sex".
This is long, but it may help.
One may wish to trade every few years. With that, no comparison of numbers is relevant, on any sort of truck, one versus another, as depreciation alone kills any idea (much more the reality) of "economy". Longest life with lowest cost and highest reliability was my yardstick when I set out to buy a truck.
And my analysis has been correct in so far as it extends.
If one's plan is to tow the TT but 5-10K annually over a period of no more than 6-7 years, then I will be the first to agree that a diesel may not make sense. Nor a truck, for that matter, if it has no income-offsetting or income-generating use (per IRS rules). The high propensity of rollover-caused injuries, alone, make it a poor choice
, not when so many other vehicles can be fitted to to tow an A/S (as with what we did in younger years, what CAN AM does now) with better combination and solo performance. So, anticipated use over time & miles should be the overriding TV calculation.
And I expect my approach to both trailer and truck is different than yours, perhaps of many on this board. My retort above about "wrong brand" was goading, but only by taking advantage of the idea that we are all in competition on this subject of mpg. We're not, unless a particular definition fits us both.
I see A/S ownership as being three groups. And let's use Harley owners as a comparison:
- The first loves shiny & cool. A good excuse for a party, a good time. The Rolex riders.
(That otherwise bogus term, lifestyle
differences among these three).
- The second are those who wish the longest term, lowest cost method of high-perfomance travel. The largest group, I suspect, both represented here and not (sheer numbers). Those for whom the Harley is the primary mode of transportation
(but the smaller of the above two, instead of the largest).
- Third are those for whom an classic aero all-aluminum trailer is as much their home as any other construction-type. But mobile. The analogy here is to extra-legal business-men for whom a Harley and tattoo's are tribal signifiers of consequence.
In this light, mobile and long-term low cost TT/TV with high performance means the same: a necessity.
Of these (or another construction) which fits?
I've run the numbers I generate against those of others. All types. I corresponded with a man who had my same spec and near-model year truck, but with a gas motor; in a similar climate & terrain, who used it in the same way (same trailer type plus annual towing miles of same). Importantly, he kept, as I do, extensive records. Very few keep records worthy for comparison purposes. One must take into account: truck brand and specification, climate, and terrain
to make any of it meaningful.
I found that -- against that man -- so long as diesel was no more than 50-cents/gl higher than gasoline, the immediate fuel cost was the same
on a cents-per-mile basis. The differences (his being an automatic, mine a manual) and the shorter working life of a gasoline engine
were the largest differences. And which play out over longer ownership. Once that gasoline motor loses power -- and it will -- working it hard will have a deleterious, cascading effect on all other systems. A new engine (and other expensive repairs) cancel any benefit to the gas motored truck above and beyond the intial purchase price differential.
My mpg numbers are consistent with more than a half-dozen reporting owners around here (28-34' trailers) with the same basic truck. And, if we include earlier Duramax trucks, there are even more. The problem is that there is more to truck ownership than towing mpg.
A comparison of factory maintenance schedules -- hard use -- show that the difference is not so high between gas & diesel if one bought the correct brand, specification and year model.
The diesel can be less. Mine certainly has. And my parts/supplies cost -- compared to what is shown above -- is lower. The advantage of a CTD is not
illusory, while the statement that "they" are all about the same, just pick your brand, is.
The comparison of reliability/longevity matters more. Much more. Higher mpg is icing on the cake (and great for jabbing the MaxiPad and Powerjoke owners).
You may fib about your fuel mileage -- per tank highs, or lows, are fairly meaningless -- I track every gallon used. And have improved my use
of the truck to burn less fuel to accomplish the same work over time. Fuel burn is a useful indicator of overall truck condition: any increase of 10%, alone, is cause for investigation. It's been my interest for forty years or more to use less fuel (beating EPA estimates on mpg was always easy), and I did a lot of homework over a lot of years. And have been a commercial driver for long periods. Call others a liar if you will -- that man in the mirror -- but some of us work at this from a standpoint I think unfamiliar to you.
"Percentage points?" If an generic diesel truck, solo, sees but 15-mpg overall calendar average, compared to my 22-mpg average, then the difference over 300k miles at $4/gl is $26,000. That's just in fuel, with no depreciation or other disincentives to trading every few years.
It's a given for an ordinary American man that his two highest costs in life will be a home mortgage and transportation if he has to buy automobiles
. (We may now add to that the scandal of higher education). So it behooves me to choose well and wisely. My truck was built 8/03 -- and with depreciation schedules generally showing a bottom at 15-years (when dealerships and chain parts stores reduce inventory on model years) I expected to keep this truck in use that long, or to 360k miles; roughly 2018. I now see that this truck will surpass that due to it's low overall cost per mile of ownership & operational expenses (you do know yours, right? As a cents-per-mile calculation?) and expect to carry it further than this in both time & miles. Any major repairs are easily subsumed by this low overall cpm.
Living on the US Gulf Coast, with the ever-present threat of hurricanes with attendant mandatory evacuations
makes a high mpg truck able to pull a variety of heavy trailers a necessity in my mind. Insurance would never completely cover the cost of loss of a home. (Etc.) The more expensive-to-operate 1/2T I owned previously falls fatally short in ability on this examination.
This truck and trailer (now, the future one) are not toys for us.
Lubrication to offset ULSD is a misunderstanding of the fuel. If one wants to "make" premium fuel, fine, but some investigation into the topic will reveal that it is otherwise unwarranted. (And that there are additives with a long track record, and a low per-gallon cost). One should consult big truck engine manufacturers on this.
"Million-mile"? Granted that a B50 life -- MTBO, Mean Time Between Overhauls
-- Ford or GM is 250k miles, while a Cummins is 360k. This isn't partisanship, but the way the engines were designed. The number of TSB's on Ford/GM diesel engines indicates (not suggests) that this is the case (beyond other references). It may be that a Dodge doesn't ride as well as a GM (acknowledged as best, perhaps) but that does not mean that one cannot go to the aftermarket to improve this. Again, with a lower overall cost, one can afford to make some changes
. Without cpm penalty in comparison to other brands is the salient point.
Texas is indicated as being the "home" of diesel powered pickup trucks, that availability, spec, etc, are harder to find elsewhere. This is true. And South Texas is the state epicenter. One does not find GM trucks in commercial service nearly at all (only RV'ers), and Fords (due to their incredibly poor reliability record for nearly ten years) are not often used to "tow heavy". It is Dodge, again, and again, and again that is selected by individual and small fleer owners to tow heavy loads commercially: an 8k-lb empty 40' GN trailer with a 15k-lb load on it is common in oilfield hotshot. A 3-400k-mile truck at 3-5 years of age.
One has the opportunity to ask owners. Some are actually quite conversant with business numbers as regard a vehicle. Many are not. But trucks out-of-service due to unscheduled repairs & maintenance (a business killer) are quickly sold or traded. Dodge is the one to have. This may change as time goes on, but it has been reliable choice for many, many years now.
I would suggest -- as in the above -- to apply a larger context to TV comparisons. Fuel economy is but one cost, and one in which making trade-offs is worthwhile to some owners (if indeed the trade-off is real
) has to be seen against fixed costs which decide and win any comparisons.
And, as also in the above, the only realistic comparisons are against what other TV's one might choose
as against a pickup truck. These are major, the truck differences minor.
It is not how I feel about it, it is about what it costs me.
Same for trailers, over the longest span of time. If we only intend to use one for about ten years, it is harder (by no means impossible) to justify the expense of a new A/S. But used aero aluminum trailers are an excellent choice as we all know. As are also
some brands/specification of pickup trucks. For the very long term, and hard use.
We paid cash for used truck & trailer. And spent about $10k before I ran out of things to do. This was under $40k total. Had we bought a comparable A/S our initial and
repair/upgrade costs would have been higher. Try seeing your combination in this light -- over projected years of use -- is what I am suggesting in main. For my purposes of business and personal use -- past and present -- this model has worked very well on a $$ basis.
One must decide whether these are assets
to ones family, or just high dollar toys. After that, all the rest is easy. For us, TT and TV should both, as a "matched pair" be capable of a 400k-mile life. Which is why I read both here and on Dodge forums to keep abreast of problems, solutions and potential upgrades. Other enthusiasts (as a catch-all term) may have different motivations (and be in the majority), but we learn from all of them to improve what is important as we see it, and as we use it.