I have to say a lot of good info here for sure..
As for the difference between diesel and Gasser being some 6K's that is the MAIN reason for buying a good used 2003er. I have only bought ONE new vehicle and that was some 25 yr ago..
I find getting a good used car, truck is much less expensive in the long run.
The 2003 i was looking at 2003 DODGE RAM 2500 CREW CAB LARAMIE W/CUMMINS 5.9 TURBO DIESEL
looked to be in good overall condition judging by the pictures. After seeing pictures and then the real thing i have figured how to look at pictures to get a good sense of the condition. For 14K OBO this thing a good deal. KBB shows it at $13.3K to $13.8K plus all the work done recently is a plus.
IN looking at Kens numbers the MPG is about same for gas as diesel overall with pulling power going to the diesel and towing at 1 to 3 MPG better as well.
I have been paying attention to weather on national scale more over the past couple years and it seem to me when going from east coast to west you run into two main issues..
1.) when you get about to OK City you are going UP hill to the continental divide.
2.) Most times the wind is coming from the west so you are more likely to be going against the wind as not.
coming back is downhill and down wind
I guess it depends on what you like.
I was also looking at the Buick enclaves. They are a 15mpg overall suv with towing around 12 mpg according to stuff i have read on andy thompson in canada's site. The 2008 models with 104K run around the same $14K mark as well. non towing they are more to the 22 mpg range which might be a bit higher than the 2003 diesel.
so it a tit for tat deal in my mind.
One thing i do like about GM cars/trucks is daytime running lights.. Not sure why more manf are not making ti standard on EVERY vehicle.. too many idiots not turning on lights at dark, not dusk, but dark and during rain..even cops it seems.