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Old 12-22-2009, 07:46 PM   #29
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About new (later '07,'08,'09,'10 year models), the Diesels DO NOT get better fuel mileage than gasoline rigs.

I recently traded an '07 1/2 ton GMC truck with the 5.3 Liter gas engine for an '08 3/4 ton GMC truck with the Duramax Diesel engine, and in all aspects to date, it gets worse fuel mileage than my gas truck. It gets worse mileage around town, and worse mileage on the road at simular speeds, and it gets worst mileage towing a small trailer. I've not had the oportunity as yet to tow the Airstream with the Diesel. It does have lots of power, however.

The thing is, these model Diesel trucks by law now must have a Diesel Paticulate Filter (DPF) in the exhaust system, part of the new emissions control, and that restriction, plus the systems need to regenerate itself about every tank of fuel, is killing the fuel mileage. The DPF is actually a very fine screen wire filter that removes the black soot from the Diesel exhaust, and as you would think, gets plugged up with the soot. At that time, the system goes into a regen cycle where the 'puter adjusts the injector pump timing, and richens the mixture to the point that the exhaust gets super hot, and burns the soot in the DPF to ash. This cycle plus the restrictive nature of the DPF is what is killing the fuel mileage in the newer Diesels. I have reports from drivers that have removed the DPF, and reprogramed the 'puter of getting an increase of 6 mpg, and by the way at a cost of about $600. By the way, doing so is illegal, and voids the truck's warranty.

My gas truck got 18 mpg on the road... the Diesel gets 16.4. The gas truck got 16 around town (I live a ways out and my "around town" is simular to some's road), and the Diesel gets 14.5. My gas truck got 15 towing our small Casita TT, and the Diesel gets 14.5.

Then, you can figure all the increased costs to service the Diesel. Unless you've experinced it, you wouldn't believe.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:01 PM   #30
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If they are still manufactured, you can look into a light duty 3/4 ton truck with a V8 gas engine. Mine gets 14+mpg without the trailer, and about 10 towing. It has the bigger brakes, but a somewhat softer ride than the 3/4 ton HD models. And our trailer is the same model and year as Aage's.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:02 PM   #31
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I tow a 28' with a GMC 1/2 ton regular cab, short bed with a 5.3 liter 4x4 engine and have plenty of power. An extended cab with the same engine will weigh about 1100 lbs more - so the regular cab with the same engine has more power to pull the trailer because it's not lugging the extended cab. I get 20 mpg without the trailer and about 12 towing - even in the hills of NH. The regular cab is a great truck, very quick and lots of pep by itself, easy to handle - so check out the various brands and pick one based on how comfortable the truck is for you. You don't need a big honking sledge hammer to drive a finish nail!
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:46 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
We tow a 25' FB with an '07 (2nd generation) Tundra. Never have had any problems. The 5.7 L. engine has lots and lots of power. I expect it would tow a 27' just as easily.

I think you'll have to look around quite a bit to find a cab with the extended option. Tundra does have a standard cab with an 8' bed. I know you don't like extended cabs, but the standard cab is uncommon and may be harder to get a good deal on. It has more payload than our DoubleCab. The Tacomas are larger than they used to be—more like the 1st generation Tundras—and might also be an option for a 23'. They get better gas mileage than the Tundras. We buy Toyotas for their reliability—I don't want to fix trucks anymore or even have to bring them to a dealer when under warranty.

The Tundra or any full sized truck can be a pain to park. The sonar option does help a lot, but you can't shrink the truck when you are not towing. The Tacoma is still pretty big, but not quite as big.

Gene

i am going to look at a tundra Gene. i know someone that has one and loves it. if i cant find what i am looking for i will order it. i know you can order the regular cab.
i dont mind driving a regular cab, 8 ft bed truck. i did drive one for 17 years before i got the car i have now. i never worry about parking.... i just park at the end of the lot and walk into stores. always looking for a chance for some excercise. LOL

parking was never a problem anywhere....not that i found
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:56 PM   #33
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Once again thanks all. you have given me alot to think about. LOL i have talked to so many truck dealers on the phone today. i made appointments to get in to see as many as i can before friday.

i am looking forward to seeing what kind of deals they are going to want to make me.
i think the closer i get to the end of the years the sweeter the deal is going to be...in fact..... dec.31st should be an interesting day to go truck shopping. LOL

i have already had the dodge dealer knock off $1900 to get my attention.... so who knows what else is comming.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:30 PM   #34
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AnnieD, welcome to the VC Highlands country. You have lots of A/S neighbors.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:45 AM   #35
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I got my 2005 Dodge Cummins because that's what I always wanted, and I'm not getting any younger..... Certainly I don't need it to tow my 16' CCD, or for going back and forth to work - but it works just fine for those tasks. Driving solo it will do 21 mpg on the freeway, and 16 to 17 mpg back and forth to work (mix of freeway and stop n go). Towing it will do 16 or 17 mpg on the freeway, and when I'm on I80 in western Wyoming it will pull the Three Sisters hills at 65 mph (my typical max towing speed) without downshifting, and if I do have to slow down, I can accelerate back up to 65 with no worries.

I read the posts about the stiff ride from a 3/4 ton chassis (nothing to do with a gas vs diesel engine) and trouble with the trailer frame bending, or rivets working loose. I'm on my second Airstream and have not experienced this problem, but it's something to think about as you decide.

At a minimum - get what you need (plus a nice rating margin for safety and towing performance and comfort) - nothing wrong with going bigger if that's what you want.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:50 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD View Post

I read the posts about the stiff ride from a 3/4 ton chassis (nothing to do with a gas vs diesel engine) and trouble with the trailer frame bending, or rivets working loose. I'm on my second Airstream and have not experienced this problem, but it's something to think about as you decide.
I found there was no merit to the "over-trucking"/"over-hitching" theory.

My experiment is documented here:

Here's my airforum thread:
Measuring forces at the hitch

I also condensed my findings on my blog:
Measuring Forces at the Hitch

In short, "heavy-duty", or more accurately, "properly-rated" hitches and vehicles, DO NOT 'transmit' appreciably increased forces to the trailer, over lighter torsion bars and/or softer suspensions.

The OT/OH theory intrigued me, because like many urban myths, there's just enough to it to make it seem plausible (e.g. killer bees from mexico, California breaking off into Pacific, Y2K Armageddon, government fixing healthcare)- but under quantified scrutiny, it's simply not credible to assume negligible increases in acceleration with "heavy-duty" suspension and/or "heavy-duty" torsion bars, causes structural failures in our Airstreams.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:31 PM   #37
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Bigger is not necessarily rougher...

In regard to the notion that having a big diesel truck will pound your small trailer to pieces, I would offer my opinion that that is not necessarily correct.

I towed my 5,000 lb or so 19 footer for years with a Ford Ranger, extended cab 4x4 rated for 5,600 lbs towing. Being 80% or more of capacity, the ride was rough and the days were long.

Wether it is related or not, I even had a total of 5 rivets pop inside (Jackson Center replaced them for no charge).

Then in 2008, for a variety of reasons (not just for towing my Airstream) I moved up to an F-350 Super Duty extended cab 4x4 with 6.4 L Diesel.....

What an absolute dream to tow with. The ride is 100 times gentler as it just floats down the road, and to beat an old cliche to death "you don't even know the trailer is there".

Part of that is because the F-350 has nice huge springs on the rear, but the first 3 inches or so are super soft for a gentle ride. Even with the Airstream on you never get down into the heavy, harsh springs. You ride down the road and the trailer gently follows along. Far, far smoother than the Ranger.

At nights when we get to our campground everything is still exactly as we left it that morning - all the items in the frig are still on the same shelf, the box of crackers in the cabinet is still upright. Back when we towed with the Ranger that was not true as things were always tossed around so I know it rode much rougher then.

Plus you have the added benefit of just poking your toe down a little and running whatever speed uphill or downhill you should. I had no issues with towing with my much smaller Ranger, it did the job just fine, just slower and rougher.

But having had the 2 very different vehicles there is no way I will ever go back, the Super Duty Diesel is just so much more comfortable to tow with.

best regards, Dave W.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:46 PM   #38
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Even if you really live IN Virginia City the !/2 ton should be OK, if a mite short-winded at the top of the grade. The Cummins could yank that AS over the Rubicon!
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #39
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Your proposed diesel, is more for towing the Queen Mary.

All you need is a 1/2 ton truck, or an equal.

Andy

Agreed. With my 1/2 ton ford, with the little 4.6 v8, I hauled a 3000lb, 16 foot gooseneck with 8,000lb of cattle routinely. It struggled up hill, but it did it, and I'm sure it would have preferred a little old airstream. Occasionally I hooked it up to a borrowed hay trailer that would hold 8, 1-ton bales. 2000lbs x 8 = start off in 4 low.

I have a diesel now, and it's seriously overkill for my 29 foot AS, but it's a must for my heavy hauls. The 1/2 ton was much more enjoyable as a daily driver.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:48 PM   #40
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About new (later '07,'08,'09,'10 year models), the Diesels DO NOT get better fuel mileage than gasoline rigs.
Depends on the truck. Sometimes you just get a lemon mileage wise.

My gas v8 got 14 on the highway at best. My diesel averages 18, and I've had up to 23 on flat highway.

Additionally, when pulling a load, my gas truck dropped to around 8mpg. My diesel drops to average 16.5.
(Edit: both my gas and diesel trucks compared are/were 2002 model Fords. Both 4x4 with BFG All Terrains)

For most people though, the bottom line is if you tow a lot, or put on lots of highway miles, go the diesel. If it's mostly your around town commuter with the occasional highway trip, go gas. If you pull through the mountains a lot, get the diesel.

With the increased maintenance costs, etc., diesels don't begin to break even and outdo gas dollar wise until you've put on what, around 150,000 miles?
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:38 PM   #41
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Dang, there's some streets in Virginia City I'm skeered to do with my truck empty, on a dry day! How's those bobsled runs this week?
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:30 AM   #42
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Depends on the truck. Sometimes you just get a lemon mileage wise.

My gas v8 got 14 on the highway at best. My diesel averages 18, and I've had up to 23 on flat highway.

Additionally, when pulling a load, my gas truck dropped to around 8mpg. My diesel drops to average 16.5.
(Edit: both my gas and diesel trucks compared are/were 2002 model Fords. Both 4x4 with BFG All Terrains)
Seems you answered your own question there, Airbassador. The Diesel particulate filters didn't show up on the scene until late 2007. Before that, Diesels did get significantly better fuel mileage than gas rigs, if driven conservatively.
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