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Old 07-30-2015, 11:01 PM   #21
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Does my intended usage warrant going with diesel?

I mean really, how much time do most of us spend climbing steep inclines at highway speed while pulling our Airstreams?

My little 5.3 L Chevy will pull every grade between Little Rock AR and Tucson AZ at 70 mph. (+)

Now I will say that on hwy 77 between Tucson and Globe there is a long stretch of 8% grade that I pull at 35 or 40, in the worst part, but I can live with that.

8% is not going to happen that often for me. As it is, I pass all kinds of big trucks on the grades so I am cool, for certain not the slowest thing on the road.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:01 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Danattherock View Post
Thanks for chiming in man. Was hoping you would. What is it specifically about newer diesels that makes them more accommodating to stop and go, shorter trips, sort of driving? Thanks for any additional insights.

Dan
I am a Cummins guy and have perpetually researched them in the various Cummins forums since about 2002, and have owned one for going on 12 years. And since the release of the 6.4 Hemi, I think I've read just about everything there is on it, and have chatted with many folks who own the 6.4.

But to answer the question, with the DEF trucks, they are also using less EGR than on the 2010-2012 trucks which is infamous for choking these engines. In these model years, long haul trucks did much better than their daily driver counterparts. Short trips and daily driving haven't proved problematic in the 2013+ trucks.

I think the Hemi is a great option for a lot of people and their towing situations, and myself, I am on the fence between the two engines should I have to replace my current truck. I would love to get the Hemi as it's a much easier truck to own, but I'm terrified of the buyer's remorse that hits as you're screaming up the side of a mountain at 5k RPMs.

I will also add that if you go with the 6.4 Hemi, get the 4.10 gears. But for mountain use, I think you'll be much better served by the diesel.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:03 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
Lol,where did you come up with this?Without torque you could have 1000hp and the vehicle can't pull itself much less a trailer.
High school. Almost 50 years ago. In the interim, there was a career in the diesel engine business, and developing fuel systems for highway trucks. And driving commercial trucks, for a while.

With low torque and 1000 hp you would have relatively high rpm. You would need to invent some device, like a multi ratio transmission, to convert the high flywheel rpm to wheel speed.

There are a couple of specific engines in Ram trucks under discussion. Check the hp ratings, and then come back and explain how the ones with the lower power ratings (the diesels) have more power.
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Old 07-31-2015, 03:14 AM   #24
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Does my intended usage warrant going with diesel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
I mean really, how much time do most of us spend climbing steep inclines at highway speed while pulling our Airstreams?

My little 5.3 L Chevy will pull every grade between Little Rock AR and Tucson AZ at 70 mph. (+)

Now I will say that on hwy 77 between Tucson and Globe there is a long stretch of 8% grade that I pull at 35 or 40, in the worst part, but I can live with that.

8% is not going to happen that often for me. As it is, I pass all kinds of big trucks on the grades so I am cool, for certain not the slowest thing on the road.

For spec'ng a TV, this is the right approach. A slow grade climb should be considered a norm. It's irrelevant to what matters which is control of the descent speed.

So far as I'm concerned, an engine that never gets worked doesn't last as long. A good climb under load beats an Italian Tuneup any day. Sitting at near redline for long minutes is a good sound. It's doing exactly what it is designed to do. Full use of the powerband.

If one is sitting on the fence then the 4.10 gearing covers the acceleration/speed maintenance "issues" while towing. With the low annual miles the OP proposes it isn't much of a penalty as it would be for someone with a significant commute.

Whatever the OP winds up buying, the words in these two posts are by experienced truck drivers. The former has a lighter rig than the OP, and the latter a more comparable one.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:40 AM   #25
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I just don't understand the need for such a huge TV.
Just don't get it.
I don't have the facts and figures at my finger tips here but would guess that the 3500 diesel you are looking at has twice the towing capacity needed to pull a 27' trailer.
That big truck with 80 psi in the tires and heavy duty suspension is going to be a behemoth to drive and a dreadnought to ride in.
It would beat you, your trailer and the contents to death.
I've been driving 3/4 ton pickups for 30 years.
My daily driver is a 2500 HD Chevy with the 6.0 gasser.
I pull a 12K trailer with it frequently - have pulled it all over the country.
It does just fine for power, handling and control of the load.
But it is a rough riding darned thing and 8 hours in it leaves you far more tired and beat up than the same number of hours in my buddy's Chevy 1500.
I will always have a pickup. But I do long for the day when I retire and can downsize to a lighter pickup.
It's your money, your call. But I would suggest you seriously consider whether you really need such a gargantuan truck to pull an Airstream.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:41 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by kry226 View Post

I would love to get the Hemi as it's a much easier truck to own, but I'm terrified of the buyer's remorse that hits as you're screaming up the side of a mountain at 5k RPMs.
While my insights regarding towing are quite limited compared to yours, and others here, this is at the very center of my concerns. The old saying comes to mind, you don't know what you don't know. Makes it easy for folks like me to buy too much truck.


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Old 07-31-2015, 05:46 AM   #27
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One important consideration between 2500 and 3500 is your real axle gear ratio! In recent years, now with ALL auto transmissions on the Ram 2500 you are limited to the 3.42:1 rear axle gears. Factory option 3.73 or 4.10 are no longer available! This may be more important on the gasser, as the diesel has more torque to deal with the taller 3.42 gears. So if you want more towing torque on a gasser, that may be a good reason to go with the 3500 over the 2500 - just make sure you order that option if you're going special order, or if buying off the lot just make sure you know what it comes with.
CORRECTION - It's the Cummins that's available with only the 3.42 in a 2500. The gassers still have options for 3.73 and 4.10. If you want those in the Cummins you need to go with the 3500.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:47 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post

I mean really, how much time do most of us spend climbing steep inclines at highway speed while pulling our Airstreams?

For us, it will be every weekend we use ours. Smoky Mountains of NC and Tenn have some pretty steep grades. Again, it's not just the paved roads, it's the secondary roads that lead to other places of interest camping, fishing, etc. Lots of gravel roads and such. May be fine with Hemi, but hard to say. Really hard to make a decision like this without having towed anything heavy in mountains. That video didn't help, but I conceed that was a rare scenario, and 12k lb load. Nearing double what we would tow.

If anyone is familiar with the 45 mile stretch between Asheville,NC and Johnson City,Tenn, that's one of my main concerns with Hemi. Constant up and down, my Tahoe screams and hunts for gears, not towing.


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Old 07-31-2015, 05:50 AM   #29
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But it is a rough riding darned thing and 8 hours in it leaves you far more tired and beat up than the same number of hours in my buddy's Chevy 1500.
The coil spring suspension in the Ram 2500 is like riding in a car. It's GREAT. Our F-250 was like riding in a punching bag, but I could drive the Ram all day. I even considered taking it on a road trip last weekend, instead of my car. And I love my car. And the truck tows our trailer beautifully.

To the OP: I've said several times that if something happened to my car, I wouldn't mind driving the truck around town, despite its size, because it's just so comfortable. I would strongly recommend test driving a 2500.

One nice thing about the Cummins is that after it broke in, we started getting things like 22 mpg while solo at 65-70 mph on flat highways, and 15 mpg while towing. The fuel is still more expensive, and maintenance is more expensive, but great fuel mileage helps offset those costs, too.

I don't think you'd go wrong with a gas engine - certainly the maintenance is cheaper and it's cheaper to buy. We went with the diesel even though we don't use the truck that much (11 months in and we only have ~7600 miles on it), and we're happy we made that choice, but I don't think we'd regret the gas engine, either.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:52 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by amm3824 View Post
CORRECTION - It's the Cummins that's available with only the 3.42 in a 2500. The gassers still have options for 3.73 and 4.10. If you want those in the Cummins you need to go with the 3500.
With 3500 SRW all I see is 3.42. Only choosing DRW allows 3.73 or 4.10. This is assuming Cummins/AISIN.

If buying 6.4 Hemi, I would buy 2500 with 68RFE and select 4.10 rear diff most likely. All I have read suggest that gear would offer better pulling power. Especially in mountains.

Only reason we were looking at 3500 was AISIN transmission. Which requires diesel. If buying gasser, we will get 2500. Looks like about $11k less expensive assuming so.


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Old 07-31-2015, 05:55 AM   #31
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With 3500 SRW all I see is 3.42. Only choosing DRW allows 3.73 or 4.10. This is assuming Cummins.
That sounds right. I guess I can't trust my memory on these configurations anymore.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:55 AM   #32
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If you are going to be on the back roads and byways you aren't going to be driving at 70 mph freeway speeds where you need so much truck. You'll be doing 55 - or even less - and 3/4 or even a 1/2 ton will suffice.
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:17 AM   #33
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Sitting at near redline for long minutes is a good sound. It's doing exactly what it is designed to do. Full use of the powerband.

I read things like this and it's confusing. And counterintuitive to say the least. Maybe I'm over conservative. I'm not the guy that does burn outs. Always like speed and owned a few fast cars, 73 vette, Z28, but never thought a motor at redline for any period of time was good. Is that the norm with trucks towing? Maybe I'm more backwards than I realized.

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Old 07-31-2015, 06:23 AM   #34
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If you are going to be on the back roads and byways you aren't going to be driving at 70 mph freeway speeds where you need so much truck. You'll be doing 55 - or even less - and 3/4 or even a 1/2 ton will suffice.

True. There is nowhere in the Smoky Mountains I will exceed 55-60 mph. It's 3-4 hours of 70 mph interstate on way, but I'm not too concerned with that. It's the 1-2 hours of twisty and often steep grades I'm thinking of, 35-45 mph often, 50 mph tops.

But we do plan on taking a 2-3 week trip out west each summer. I don't want to be overly limited on these national parks type trips either.


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Old 07-31-2015, 06:36 AM   #35
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I just don't understand the need for such a huge TV.
Just don't get it.
I don't have the facts and figures at my finger tips here but would guess that the 3500 diesel you are looking at has twice the towing capacity needed to pull a 27' trailer.
That big truck with 80 psi in the tires and heavy duty suspension is going to be a behemoth to drive and a dreadnought to ride in.
It would beat you, your trailer and the contents to death.
I've been driving 3/4 ton pickups for 30 years.
My daily driver is a 2500 HD Chevy with the 6.0 gasser.
I pull a 12K trailer with it frequently - have pulled it all over the country.
It does just fine for power, handling and control of the load.
But it is a rough riding darned thing and 8 hours in it leaves you far more tired and beat up than the same number of hours in my buddy's Chevy 1500.
I will always have a pickup. But I do long for the day when I retire and can downsize to a lighter pickup.
It's your money, your call. But I would suggest you seriously consider whether you really need such a gargantuan truck to pull an Airstream.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I'm not sure what I'm doing at this point. Felt good to get that out. Haha. The only reason I considered the 3500 is because it was required to get the AISIN transmission. That simple. But if going with 6.4 Hemi, I would definitely get the 2500. Test driving the 2500 Hemi and 3500 diesel the other day, both felt great. But I am sure hours later there would be a more noticeable difference.


Dan
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:38 AM   #36
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Since you drove both,hook up your trailer and test them out, the diesel will be going down the road at 1600 rpm.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:45 AM   #37
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Don't have trailer. Buying truck first. Then Airstream.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:21 AM   #38
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It's a dilemma. A vehicle capable of doing many different tasks doesn't do any of them exceptionally well, and a vehicle designed to perform a particular task exceptionally well is lousy at performing the others.

The reason why in most of us who tow RV's have more than one vehicle.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:26 AM   #39
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Dan, another advantage of the diesel, especially towing, and especially in the mountains is the exhaust brake. You only get some engine braking with the 6.4.

By the way, have a lookie here: New Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, RAM Cars for Sale in Caldwell, ID | Dennis Dillon Chrysler Jeep Dodge Dealer in Caldwell serving Boise and Nampa
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:36 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultradog View Post
I just don't understand the need for such a huge TV.
Just don't get it.
I don't have the facts and figures at my finger tips here but would guess that the 3500 diesel you are looking at has twice the towing capacity needed to pull a 27' trailer.
That big truck with 80 psi in the tires and heavy duty suspension is going to be a behemoth to drive and a dreadnought to ride in.
It would beat you, your trailer and the contents to death.
I've been driving 3/4 ton pickups for 30 years.
My daily driver is a 2500 HD Chevy with the 6.0 gasser.
I pull a 12K trailer with it frequently - have pulled it all over the country.
It does just fine for power, handling and control of the load.
But it is a rough riding darned thing and 8 hours in it leaves you far more tired and beat up than the same number of hours in my buddy's Chevy 1500.
I will always have a pickup. But I do long for the day when I retire and can downsize to a lighter pickup.
It's your money, your call. But I would suggest you seriously consider whether you really need such a gargantuan truck to pull an Airstream.
My truck weighs over 7,000 lbs and I couldn't imagine towing my trailer with less truck. Not only that, at 10k gross, most half tons are either insufficient, or are right at their towing capacity with such a trailer. And lighter trucks will never have the capacity to control a trailer like a heavier truck can.

And I will never, as a matter of practice, tow my trailer with anything less than a 3/4 truck. YMMV.
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