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Old 12-15-2014, 07:34 PM   #15
Vintage Kin
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Fort Worth , Texas
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Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
Curious about your cruise control comment...
I can always out perform my cruise control by getting higher mileage numbers, mile after mile. I can anticipate hills, I can slow down when necessary and the difference is at least a mile per gallon better. Even over the long haul my numbers are better...
Again, just wondering
Call it "in the interest of science".

Over thousands of miles CC is superior. That any of us may turn it off in traffic, in the hills, etc. is beside the point. KENWORTH and the big diesel engine manufacturers -- in a business where they are interested in 100ths of a mpg -- have studied all of what goes into fuel economy. CC is better.

For comparative purposes, the use of CC takes away the irregular uneven driver patterns of throttle use. Yes, I "know" how to do it and understand the point made. But todays CC is a far cry from what we had in 1967.

So, if I had this truck and was wishing to offer useful information I'd search out and correct all the mechanical relationships with the combined rig (not done 97% of the time), scale it carefully and use recommended tire pressures, and run at a speed below the point where air resistance takes off.

That way nearly anyone can duplicate the test. Correct for weight of the combined rig given the same trailer type. And the rest of us can help make guesses to provide a corrective factor for climate and terrain.

Probably most towing will be done in the warmest months. And a sufficient amount of non-mountainous travel will then "reveal" what can be said for the range of mpg seen by owners of this trailer brand under those stated conditons. Tom gets X and Mike gets Y and we can "see" the differences in combined rig weight plus colder/hotter and versus sea level or High Plains.

The end result would be the cents-per-mile calculation. When diesel is $3.50/gl it appears an EcoDiesel can tow one of our trailers for (fill in the blank) cents-per-mile fuel cost.

Likely that would be a few pennies difference between owners at most. Then the comparison to a gasser under otherwise similar conditions applies. A range, and then factoring the 30% premium diesel price.

The other uses of the truck (solo, city and highway, number of annual miles, empty or loaded, etc) make for undrstandable confusion on what it costs to operate.

My guess is that the ED pickup will be somewhat better versus a gasser in towing with the fuel price correction. But that it will shine for the driver who operates it solo with the goal of highest mpg on highway. That low annual towing miles versus high solo non-stop travel will be the "sweet spot" for owners.


1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:18 AM   #16
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I am sure you are correct about the costs of operating the diesel on a fuel cost basis. My "concerns" with this truck are two; the first being its payload capacity (pretty low...) and the other being long term cost of maintenance. It does not take much to offset the savings attained by good fuel economy with repair bills.
I have no idea how this engine will fare in time but it will be interesting to watch.

I personally love diesels and I would love to see more in "half ton" trucks.

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Old 12-17-2014, 12:21 PM   #17
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2015 Ram 1500 diesel truck


Dialing in the hitch on a scale is job one. With that done I wouldn't be too concerned.

Repeatable, verifiable mpg results are easy if conditions are optimized. That'll make maintenance and repairs stand out more. Driven for economy also means driving for longer life and reliability. One can barely separate these things.

The irony of a more efficient vehicle is that most will not take the savings. Jevons Paradox. Instead they'll drive it harder faster farther. And abuse the vehicle thereby.

The discipline of looking for economy means achieving the same ends but with less fuel. Combined trips is Number One and then driving reduced miles at a higher skill level is Number Two. No left turns. No idling. Not hard to achieve but most are unwilling to co front the teen driver within who still has hold of the wheel. Etc.

Good luck
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:43 PM   #18
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Chelsea , Michigan
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I know that Ford is working on a diesel for the new aluminum F-150. Not sure when it will be available but probably not until the 2016 model year. You can bet they will be monitoring the sales results of the RAM 1/2 ton diesel and act accordingly. I'm sure that GM is also looking at this.

1/2 tons trucks are great vehicles for towing just about any Airstream model provided you don't exceed the carrying capacity (payload) of the truck and use a properly set up WD/AS hitch. 1/2 tons offer a good compromise of safety, convenience and drive-ability when compared to 3/4 ton trucks. Adding a diesel to the picture makes a 1/2 ton a real winner!

We opted for a 3/4 ton F-250 Diesel because we needed an 8 foot bed and the payload capacity (we travel 8 to 9 months of the year for extended trips and carry four bicycles.) If I could get what I want to fit in a 1/2 ton diesel I'd do it in a heartbeat!

Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
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