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Old 03-09-2008, 09:22 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Westfalia
See, we live in the mountains, and a turbo charged diesel (with an exhaust brake) is exactly what we need. Non turbo gassers just work too hard at 11,000 feet.

BillTex, thanks for the fuel cost analysis. The timing is prefect for us as we will be getting a new truck in the next week or so.

I would say this still depends on what you are towing. A 3/4 ton gasser can tow a 19ft Bambi all day long at 11,000 feet, I would have no problem towing my 24 Argosy with the Hemi at 11,000 feet( some gassers have good engine breaking). Now if I were towing it on a normal or frequent basis at 11,000 feet or towing anything larger even infrequently then I believe a diesel would be more practical. So really a lot of this debate comes down to need, you also have to factor in preference as well as cost. If you need a diesel then a gasser will never be a good value. For me I tow 12 times a year or so and maybe once in two years would I tow at anything near 11,000 feet, most done at less than 6000 feet and my trailor only weighs 3400 pounds so I have absolutely no need for a diesel. Everybody has a different story and a different need.
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:58 PM   #58
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[QUOTE=Westfalia]...we live in the mountains, and a turbo charged diesel (with an exhaust brake) is exactly what we need.../QUOTE]

westie

i get the forced induction at altitude thing, no doubt.

but explain why an exhaust brake is better than shifting down on long declines and so on...

also how does exhaust braking play into using the trailer brakes for some of the stopping power...

and what about all those 'no exhaust braking' signs i c in near populated areas...

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:24 PM   #59
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Don, do you have a 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive? Do you have 3.73 or 4.10? I would expect that the megacab would get the same mileage as you posted. Right now i do 95% of the driving, i think with a bigger truck i would feel safer when i ask my wife to drive. (kinda) lol With such a long trip coming up, i'll be dead tired without a break. Thanks George
Sorry George, took a break from life for a couple of days for some surgery. It's a 4 wheel drive 2500 with the 3.73 rear end and the Dodge 4 speed automatic. I can't nit-pick the Chrysler automatic. It pulls well, shifts smooth and I don't notice the lack of fifth or sixth gears.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:40 PM   #60
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2air, the exhaust brake in the Dodge is very quite, not like a big rig, and also engages somewhat gradually, lessening noise. I doubt that using it in a no exhaust brake zone will get noticed.

As for WHY, if you are in flat land, it's not necessary at all. Since diesels don't have throttle bodies, you don't get compression braking like you will in a gasser. Also with an auto tranny, most will unlock the torque converter when you let off the throttle causing an increase in downhill speed with your trailer load. On steep mountain passes (especially of the two lane variety), without an exhaust brake or compression braking, you'll end up needing to ride the brakes most of the way and risk over heating them on TV and trailer alike. I can't tell you how many people I see on the big climbs that have over heated that brakes. The tell tale white clouds of smoke always give them away.

No, you don't NEED an EB, but having one to help take the load off of the brakes can only help.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:44 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Westfalia
...Also with an auto tranny, most will unlock the torque converter when you let off the throttle causing an increase in downhill speed with your trailer load. On steep mountain passes (especially of the two lane variety), without an exhaust brake or compression braking, you'll end up needing to ride the brakes most of the way and risk over heating them on TV and trailer alike...
you are buying a new truck right?

since 05 on the fords and around the same time on ge'em the automatics (98% of the trucks made are auto now)...

have tow/haul mode and tranny programing that changes this issue significantly.

on the fords an inclinometer? measures grade, IF it's 5-6% or more the tranny automatically shifts down.

touch the brakes while going down hill (regardless of grade) and the tranny will shift down again...

that gear (3rd or 4th) is held until the go pedal is pushed or the grade flattens.

i think the torque converter clutch stays closed/locked during this time.

the feature works very well, i've crossed dozens of passes with a 10klb+ trailer in tow and made many long decents...

with only touching the brakes occasionally. often these downhills stretches are done at 50 or 55 (or much slower) without braking 4 miles...

and while all the carsnsuvs are riding the pedal and big trucks are smoking pads...

these tow/haul set ups are really amazing, if you haven't driven a truck with it, please do!

i've never seen any climb in tranny temps and the truck/trailer are still both on original brake pads (50K+ miles towing)...

so does the dodge only have engine braking or is this in addition to a tow/haul tranny feature?

the integrated brake controller is also an amazing gadget, which again both ford and the other guy now have.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:53 AM   #62
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it looks like the torqshift will also down shift IF the truck is accelerating while 'coasting'...

according to the the intellidog.com website (http://intellidog.com/dieselmann/home.html)...


"Finally, to help maintain vehicle speed when desending a grade and help increase brake pad longevity, the transmission will downshift automatically. If the computer senses vehicle speed increase with the accelerator released, it will downshift to the next lowest gear. If vehicle speed continues to increase, the computer will command the transmission to downshift again. The grade braking downshift mode will be deactivated if the Tow/Haul mode is deactivated or the accelerator is depressed."

when the truck has slowed sufficiently to allow the shift, it can go as low as 2nd gear? i think.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:12 AM   #63
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Mrmossy, you must have missed the earlier discussion on the actual cost most folks pay for the diesel upgrade (this was on another thread). No one in their right mind pays “sticker price” for anything. I paid a little more than $3k for the diesel/Alison upgrade on our Chevy.
One good trip with this combo convinced me it was worth every dime.
As noted, turbo charging, as far as I know only available on diesels as a factory option in the US, is indispensable at altitude (not really a concern for me living on the “best coast”). As outlined in my analysis, the cost advantage of diesel is minimal in day to day driving, much better on the highway and, when towing, the economy becomes significant.
With your Argy, clearly diesel is not needed. (But you sure would like it if you tried it!)

2air, you are right about T/H. The Alison is so intuitive it is scary. Just a dream to tow with. Inclines, quick stops, etc just put it in T/H and let it do its thing! (I am sure the new 6 spd Ford must be similar). Barely use brakes on declines…

Not everything in life can be cost justified. If so, we would not be pulling Airstream’s around. Sometimes we get things just for the fun of it…

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Old 03-10-2008, 08:57 AM   #64
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I think one of the big hang ups is proper use of gears in a gassser. I am a performance marine guy, think nothing of running a small block at 4 grand for hours. They love it. So, on these past 2 trips going nationwide, in heavy climbing and downhill runs I ran over 60 mph uphill in 2 nd gear at 3900 rpm. I passed semis, motorhomes you name it. Going down hill the same thing brakes for curves only. It never lost a beat, and as the altitude increased it needed more fuel. I think the problem is most feel they are hurting the drivetrain. I submit it does no harm and letting the engine rev is harmless. It ran sometimes in Colorado, Wyoming and NewMexico for 45 minutes and more at 3900 plus with no issues. Temp needle was steady. On the open road most times at 2300 going 65 in 3rd or 1900 in overdrive if real level.

The new series of half ton trucks set up for towing are just impressive, and come a long way even in the past 5 years. I understand Diesel for the 15klb and up fivers, and the comfort level they give to the owner who feels he tearing up his gasser over 3000 rpm. Each his own, but lease a new gasser as I have done for 2-3 years before shelling out the big bucks. You will experience a worry free tow, let it rev, work it hard and turn it in for a new one. You just might do what I am considering--buying the damn thing.
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:57 AM   #65
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I've seen a lot of talk about diesel vs. gas from a cost perspective but to some folks the cost isn't the biggest issue. In today's world we need to start becoming concerned about our reliance on foreign oil. Towing Airstreams vs. 14 foot tall 5th wheels is a heck of a good start.

I got a diesel because I would be burning less fuel - plain and simple.

I towed with a 4.6 liter F-150 and got no higher than 7 mpg. I'm getting between 13 and 14 mpg with the diesel Excursion. That's a savings of 65 gallons of fuel every 1000 miles.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:06 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by safari 28
I think one of the big hang ups is proper use of gears in a gassser. I am a performance marine guy, think nothing of running a small block at 4 grand for hours. They love it. So, on these past 2 trips going nationwide, in heavy climbing and downhill runs I ran over 60 mph uphill in 2 nd gear at 3900 rpm. I passed semis, motorhomes you name it. Going down hill the same thing brakes for curves only. It never lost a beat, and as the altitude increased it needed more fuel. I think the problem is most feel they are hurting the drivetrain. I submit it does no harm and letting the engine rev is harmless. It ran sometimes in Colorado, Wyoming and NewMexico for 45 minutes and more at 3900 plus with no issues. Temp needle was steady. On the open road most times at 2300 going 65 in 3rd or 1900 in overdrive if real level.

The new series of half ton trucks set up for towing are just impressive, and come a long way even in the past 5 years. I understand Diesel for the 15klb and up fivers, and the comfort level they give to the owner who feels he tearing up his gasser over 3000 rpm. Each his own, but lease a new gasser as I have done for 2-3 years before shelling out the big bucks. You will experience a worry free tow, let it rev, work it hard and turn it in for a new one. You just might do what I am considering--buying the damn thing.
Safari28…another country heard from!

That is certainly another point of view, although many would consider it not financially astute. As this is (was) a gas mileage post; can you let us know what you are getting for mpg driving like this?
Turning in a leased vehicle with undue wear and tear can lead to significant costs (My Buddy just lost thousands on a returned mini-van-ouch! And they were not “hard” on this family/commuter car.). I am not so sure you are not already “shelling out the big bucks” in the long term. But, if you’ve got deep enough pockets, leasing may work.


I hope you are also monitoring the tranny temps with that kind of driving. Last I checked GM ½ ton trucks did not have a tranny temp gauge available (not even as an option) and not sure what adding one would do to your lease agreement. Not sure about Ford ½ tons.

Many of us buy trucks to last a long time (we keep our vehicles for 10 years for example) so I tend to more careful in selecting my vehicles and in how I treat them.

Anywho…thanks for another perspective. Goes to show; there is more than one way to skin a …

Bill

p.s. Please let us know where you turn in your vehicles.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:29 PM   #67
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Ford would never consider towing a 6400lb trailer excessive in any way. The only thing to worry about is the frontal surface area. Not even a issue with any Airstream. Ford dealer told me if it breaks they will tow the a/s in as well/ he was the commercial lease manager and knew the lease down to the fine print. I was upfront on the use of this vehicle and wanted no surprises. The only real turn in issues at the end of a lease are dents and excessive mileage/ or a filthy interior. Never worried about trans temps as the needle never moves. Mileage was 12.1 on 15k miles of towing. Immediate checks vary from 18.5 to 6.3 on the computer. E85 about 2 mpg less but usually 50 cents / gallon less than unleaded.Usually a buck less than diesel!! I have changed the oil 3 times at 15k miles total. Trans fluid perfect. Ford dealer does the 29.95 oil change to keep thing on the up and up. Damn thing works and no problems. SIMPLE.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:56 PM   #68
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'I hope you are also monitoring the tranny temps with that kind of driving. Last I checked GM ½ ton trucks did not have a tranny temp gauge available (not even as an option) and not sure what adding one would do to your lease agreement. Not sure about Ford ½ tons.'

Bill, i have a digital read out on my 07 silverado.
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:49 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinLoaf
I've seen a lot of talk about diesel vs. gas from a cost perspective but to some folks the cost isn't the biggest issue. In today's world we need to start becoming concerned about our reliance on foreign oil. Towing Airstreams vs. 14 foot tall 5th wheels is a heck of a good start.

I got a diesel because I would be burning less fuel - plain and simple.

I towed with a 4.6 liter F-150 and got no higher than 7 mpg. I'm getting between 13 and 14 mpg with the diesel Excursion. That's a savings of 65 gallons of fuel every 1000 miles.
The numbers you use need to be adjusted. It takes about 20% more oil to produce diesel then it does gasoline. Also what abouit MPG when not towing? Since I only tow one weekend a month on average and my non towing MPG is very good (18+), I use less oil with my gasser then I would with a diesel. If I was full timing, it would be different.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:00 PM   #70
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The numbers you use need to be adjusted. It takes about 20% more oil to produce diesel then it does gasoline. Also what abouit MPG when not towing? Since I only tow one weekend a month on average and my non towing MPG is very good (18+), I use less oil with my gasser then I would with a diesel. If I was full timing, it would be different.
Very good point AZ. Here is how a 42 gallon barrel of crude breaks down.
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