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Old 05-07-2016, 08:35 AM   #43
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Wayne, fuel usage as one of the many considerations selecting our new truck. We can expect 15-17 mpg towing and 28-30 solo. We can control some of this with good driving habits. Yes the Ecdiesel option cost a little more than the gas Hemi (as does servicing), we took the up front cost in favor of long-term fuel economy.

Fuel is cheap right now but fuel prices are unreliable, it's probably short-sighted to rely on cheap fuel. We usually make annual 6,000 to 8,000 mile trips about the country plus our daily fuel use when traveling and at home. The fuel cost of doing this could double almost overnight, maybe more than double, who knows. We are trying to think ahead.
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:15 AM   #44
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Thanks, all! Great perspectives, wonderful advice! I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and time!


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Old 05-07-2016, 09:26 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by wbrisett View Post
This is the one thing a lot of folks also forget. With the ease of towing with larger engines and higher gear ratios, you'll get different MPG. We're averaging around 11.5 - 12 MPG with a GMC 1500 and our 23d. But looking at the various RV forums you'll find folks who use a 2500 as a tow vehicle tend to get one or two MPG better. That's not much, but it adds up. When it comes time to look at new vehicles, I'm seriously considering a 2500 (or looking closer to the 1500 Diesel that RAM offers).

Wayne
you may want to compare payloads on the Ram echodiesel vs other 1/2 tons.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:12 AM   #46
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you may want to compare payloads on the Ram echodiesel vs other 1/2 tons.
Yes, we did and concluded the coil spring suspension Ram would provide the soft ride for us and our Airstream we wanted. We also noted the suspension attachment points to the frame were slightly wider than other 1/2 tons, providing a little more stability when we needed it.

We noted 3900 lb axles on our Ram and 6900 lbs GVWR indicating the axles have nearly 1,000 lbs capacity over the GVWR if the truck is loaded evenly. We loaded both our truck and Airstream accordingly, and then put on several hundred pounds of garden material for her mom on the first leg of our trip. With our FC 25 and ProPride hitch a quick trip through the struck scale showed our axles near evenly loaded and below capacity on each. With our tire pressure set to maximum we have no concerns there.

The first leg of the trip put us somewhat over GVWR but evenly below axle and tire capacity. In Arizona and New Mexico mountain and interstate driving the combination rode smoothly, engine/transmission braking excellent, and 8-speed transmission shifting for grade changes barely noticeable. The ProPride hitch ensured absolute stability, one finger steering but I used two just in case. That leg of the trip 14.7 mpg.

After unloading the several hundred pounds of garden material at her mom's and helping her for a week, I snugged up the w.d. bars for a little more even wheel well measurements, but no scale available. We resumed our trip of about 3,000 miles touring the country and a stop at Jackson Center. The truck continued to perform beautifully and gave us the nice ride, rock solid stability, and great fuel economy we were looking for. The difference of a few hundred pounds removed from the truck was zero.

That's our real world experience with our new Ram Ecodiesel, couldn't be more pleased. Fuel usage we can normally expect 15-17 mpg towing in decent conditions, and 28-30 mpg solo.
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Old 05-07-2016, 12:31 PM   #47
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We struggled over this question a bit and quickly came to the conclusion that a 3/4 ton diesel pickup was the way to go. Bought an F250 and have been very pleased. While an F150 will come close for your rig, at minimum you will have little flexibility on what you load on the trailer or truck. You will need WDH, remember that adds weight as well. Safety descending while towing is a huge factor; exhaust brake on diesel is awesome. Just towed ours on I40 W of Asheville, NC and never hit the brakes on downhills.
Also, I use ours as a daily driver in the city with no problems.
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Old 05-07-2016, 01:30 PM   #48
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Thanks! I appreciate the reply!


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Old 05-07-2016, 05:56 PM   #49
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Look at the FTL Ike Gauntlet challenge. The 2.7 ecoboost smoked the ecodiesel. The ecodiesel couldn't get above 50 mph with a 7500lb trailer. You will love driving the F150 as an every day driver. It will definitely handle your Airstream. Lots of diesel loving nay sayers on this forum. DEF problems, (emissions) are driving diesel owner owners crazy from all brands, but especially Chevys. Good luck
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Old 05-07-2016, 06:16 PM   #50
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There's lots of gas guzzlers that can smoke the Ecodiesel on the Ike Gauntlet Challenge. So what, that would account for .001% of our driving. We'll stick with our Ecodiesel for it's combination of excellent ride, fuel economy, and handling.

And the things that can't be quantified, among them overall drivability, comfort, smoothness, beautiful design in and out, no quirky design elements, and we like it a lot.
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:04 PM   #51
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There's lots of gas guzzlers that can smoke the Ecodiesel on the Ike Gauntlet Challenge. So what, that would account for .001% of our driving. We'll stick with our Ecodiesel for it's combination of excellent ride, fuel economy, and handling.

And the things that can't be quantified, among them overall drivability, comfort, smoothness, beautiful design in and out, no quirky design elements, and we like it a lot.
I am happy for you. Everyone has different needs. We live in Colorado so we drive these passes all the time, not just .001% of the time. You have really downplayed the expense of diesels- the added maintenance, DEF problems and expense, limited fueling stations, and usually- after 100k warranty is up comes the injectors and turbo's that go out.
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:31 PM   #52
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We're gambling the smaller diesel will do as well as the two VW TDI's (turbo diesels) we've driven over the last 17 years, neither of which have been in the shop for any repairs. We'll see, the emissions controls are increased.

Yes the Ecodiesel does have a 100k warranty, that's much more than most.
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:08 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
There's lots of gas guzzlers that can smoke the Ecodiesel on the Ike Gauntlet Challenge. So what, that would account for .001% of our driving. We'll stick with our Ecodiesel for it's combination of excellent ride, fuel economy, and handling.

And the things that can't be quantified, among them overall drivability, comfort, smoothness, beautiful design in and out, no quirky design elements, and we like it a lot.
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We're gambling the smaller diesel will do as well as the two VW TDI's (turbo diesels) we've driven over the last 17 years, neither of which have been in the shop for any repairs. We'll see, the emissions controls are increased.

Yes the Ecodiesel does have a 100k warranty, that's much more than most.
I'm sure it will do great. The company I work for has had nothing but trouble with the emissions on their duramaxes. My boss is a real chevy guy through and through. He has reached his limits though lately. One was in the shop for 3 weeks recently. I had a 2007 that I loved, but once they went to the tier 3 emissions they really went down hill. As I understand it the ecodiesel has been around a long time. I hope they got their def issues worked out before they brought it here. I still think it is under powered for pulling in the mountains a lot. Just my opinion which is worth very little!
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:05 PM   #54
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A better way to deal with mountain driving is not a larger engine, but a lower axle gear. We bought our Ecodiesel in Arizona where most of the Ram 1500s on the lot had the 3.92 axles, rather than the standard 3.55. The opposite of the flatlands.

That is because we spend nearly six months of the year in the Southwest states, traveling in all of the western states to and from. Few of the interstates consist of long, steep grades above 10,000', and when they do it may take us an extra minute to two. On the steep secondary roads 50 mph ascent is fine as well.

Without the trailer in tow, we have more engine torque than we ever need, and the 8-speed transmission makes transitions hardly noticeable.

Although we love this truck, there are a variety of half-tons available today to solve any but the extreme mid-size Airstream towing needs. Quality hitching and setup is indispensable, and optimal adjustment and balancing of Airstream loads will make it work very well. To get a little more truck payload capacity, decrease your Airstream's hitch weight; 10-12% of total weight is recommended, more than 1,000 lbs exceeds Airstream's stated limitation.

The functional differences between 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton is growing smaller. !/2 tons are getting stronger engines, better brakes and greater weight capacity. Some can outperform some 3/4 tons in each category.

Maybe you don't really need 2,000 lbs extra truck weight, high center of gravity, vague recirculating ball steering, heavy unsprung axle weight, stiff ride, or engines that never use half of their capacity to tow the mid-size streamlined, low center of gravity, independent suspension Airstream that is probably the most stable, best towing travel trailer we paid good money to own.

Maybe you do, but do your research. There are important differences that are not expressed in the weight comparison charts.
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:06 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
A better way to deal with mountain driving is not a larger engine, but a lower axle gear. We bought our Ecodiesel in Arizona where most of the Ram 1500s on the lot had the 3.92 axles, rather than the standard 3.55. The opposite of the flatlands.

That is because we spend nearly six months of the year in the Southwest states, traveling in all of the western states to and from. Few of the interstates consist of long, steep grades above 10,000', and when they do it may take us an extra minute to two. On the steep secondary roads 50 mph ascent is fine as well.

Without the trailer in tow, we have more engine torque than we ever need, and the 8-speed transmission makes transitions hardly noticeable.

Although we love this truck, there are a variety of half-tons available today to solve any but the extreme mid-size Airstream towing needs. Quality hitching and setup is indispensable, and optimal adjustment and balancing of Airstream loads will make it work very well. To get a little more truck payload capacity, decrease your Airstream's hitch weight; 10-12% of total weight is recommended, more than 1,000 lbs exceeds Airstream's stated limitation.

The functional differences between 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton is growing smaller. !/2 tons are getting stronger engines, better brakes and greater weight capacity. Some can outperform some 3/4 tons in each category.

Maybe you don't really need 2,000 lbs extra truck weight, high center of gravity, vague recirculating ball steering, heavy unsprung axle weight, stiff ride, or engines that never use half of their capacity to tow the mid-size streamlined, low center of gravity, independent suspension Airstream that is probably the most stable, best towing travel trailer we paid good money to own.

Maybe you do, but do your research. There are important differences that are not expressed in the weight comparison charts.
I think everyone appreciates your candid assessment as a owner of an ecodiesel that it is not ideal for towing in states like Colorado. Thank you.
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:24 AM   #56
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Wayne, fuel usage as one of the many considerations selecting our new truck. We can expect 15-17 mpg towing and 28-30 solo. We can control some of this with good driving habits.
Which is quite a bit better than I'm getting with my 1500 GMC w/ 3.5L V8 and 3.42 setup. Solo (city) is 18-19, towing 23D is 11-12. But with the truck only being a year old, I wasn't willing to get a different tow vehicle. That being said, when time comes to look at another TV, the ecodiesels are high on my list to check out. I sold my RAM to get this GMC and unlike a lot of truck owners, I have zero brand loyalty. I go for what works best at the time for my needs.

-Wayne
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