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Old 05-13-2024, 07:58 AM   #1
BML
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2500HD - diesal or gas?

I'll be in the market for a new tow vehicle and wanted some opinions... Diesel or Gas?
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Old 05-13-2024, 08:20 AM   #2
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Both will do job. I currently have an older diesel. I would be hard pressed to ever go back to a gas motor in a truck even with the risk of emission system failure in the newer diesel trucks. The gas trucks are likely to have less problems and cost less than their diesel counterparts but there is a difference in performance. If your budget allows go diesel.

Besides the torque of the diesel engine the exhaust brake in my Dodge is top notch. It really helps control the load on a descent which is critical for towing. The truck still has the original brakes from 2009 and 133k miles. My truck gets used for daily driving and towing duties of the Airstream, gooseneck stock trailer and utility trailers.
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Old 05-13-2024, 08:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BML View Post
I'll be in the market for a new tow vehicle and wanted some opinions... Diesel or Gas?
You’re buying a new HD tow vehicle. You’ve already answered your own question. Diesel.
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Old 05-13-2024, 08:24 AM   #4
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BML, this has been discussed across multiple threads. I suggest you use the Search bar and read through the results.

I see you have a 28’ Pottery Barn, congratulations on that! A HD gas truck will tow your trailer without any issues. If money isn’t concern, a diesel will do a better job towing in mountains. We’ve towed our 27’ Globetrotter with a gas RAM in the Rockies and maintained speed going up and down the mountains.

Pluses of a gas: Higher payload, average 900# more. Less expensive, about $10K less. Less maintenance cost, no 10K mile fuel filter changes, less oil to change.
Minuses: Less torque, no turbocharger in high elevations, less range.

Pluses of diesel: Effortless towing due to nature of diesel. Longer range. Minuses: Higher initial cost (some recouped in higher resale), lower payload due to heavier engine. Complicated emission system including DEF cost.

When we bought our truck, the salesperson said unless we’re towing over 10K pounds, a gas will be fine. He was right.

YMMV
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Old 05-13-2024, 09:05 AM   #5
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Gasser would do just fine. Sure, it'll struggle a bit in the mountainous areas, but still doable. If I had to do it all over again, I'd have gone diesel. I know there are cons, but the plusses far outweigh the cons. One is nearly 1000ft/lbs of torque at 1600 rpms. Even at 3500+RPMs on a non-heavily modified gasser will you come anywhere near those numbers and it's my understanding that those numbers are the ones that count when towing at increased grade. At 28', if you plan on a number of mountain trips, doubt you'll do any better than a diesel.
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Old 05-13-2024, 01:02 PM   #6
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well said and I do plan on mountain driving, out kids live in Colorado and are planning our first trip there when we get upgraded tow vehicle. thank you
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Old 05-17-2024, 12:01 PM   #7
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I've towed 10k miles per year, the diesel has been well worth it with that kind of mileage. If you are towing significantly less, a gas truck might be fine.

Capability wise, I was just in a caravan with a combination of trucks that included gasser HD's towing trailers for an eclipse viewing. We had to make huge 7000ft climbs and descents, and everyone was towing loaded for dry camping. Everyone was able to make it just fine. The gassers had to stop for fuel more frequently, and I'm sure they were revving a lot more, but I don't think you will ever be stopped from going somewhere with a gas truck.
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Old 05-17-2024, 12:06 PM   #8
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Diesel puts a heavy cargo weight penalty on a HD truck. If you've decided to go diesel, get a 3500/350 for not a lot more money.

My 2 cents, gas for a 2500/250, diesel for a 3500/350. Not throwing shade at diesel 2500/250 owners.
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Old 05-17-2024, 01:10 PM   #9
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I chose diesel for my previous 3/4 ton 2017 F250 and my current 2024 GMC 2500HD. I considered a 1 ton with the GMC but the almost 3000lb payload of the 3/4 ton, even with the diesel, was more than I needed. I also saved almost $3K on the purchase price and the ride should be a little kinder to us and our trailer than with a 1 ton.

This topic has been discussed about as much as anything else on the forum. I'll just say that I love the effortless tow capabilities of the diesel, especially at altitude, and its increased efficiency. I also like the convenience of being able to use truck lanes for fueling with the trailer in tow. Yes, there are additional maintenance and upfront costs. With regard to maintenance, I do routine stuff myself which helps in that regard. As for initial cost, when I traded in my Ford the diesel engine added almost $7K to the value of the truck per dealer book. Since I paid $9K for the option in 2017, I got the benefit of the diesel engine over 7 years for $2K which seems worth it to me.

A gas engine 2500HD will do fine, but I'm sold on diesel for towing.
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Old 05-17-2024, 01:30 PM   #10
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You payload is pretty good for a 3/4 ton diesel. I've seen much lower.

If I were retired and pulling the trailer all over the place most of the year, I'd strongly consider a diesel.
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Old 05-17-2024, 03:54 PM   #11
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As Mike indicated, this topic has been widely discussed. F250 vs F350...not a huge distinction, I think. I have 2300 lbs available in my F250 diesel King Ranch...others with the diesel 250 have more than I do, but 2300 is way plenty for me, and I like the ride.
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Old 05-17-2024, 04:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by S1njin View Post
You payload is pretty good for a 3/4 ton diesel. I've seen much lower.

If I were retired and pulling the trailer all over the place most of the year, I'd strongly consider a diesel.
Yeah, I was surprised by the GMC payload. My 2017 F250 Platinum diesel payload was just 2160lbs so I thought I'd need to shop 1 ton GMC's. But when I discovered that even the fully loaded diesel 2024 2500HD Denali Ultimate had a 2988lb payload I decided that a 3/4 ton would be more than enough.
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Old 05-17-2024, 04:52 PM   #13
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After over 3 million miles driving an 18 wheeler I will tell you that the diesel pushers are suited better for towing.
Yes…gas burners will do it, but it isn’t a matter of can they do it. It’s a matter of how they do it.
Diesels are built for loads….compression, torque, cooler internal temp….
Watch what happens to your tachometer when you are pulling a load with a gas burner. It requires more rpm’s, which lowers fuel mileage, increases internal temp, causes more wear and tear on the engine.
Diesel pushers, on the other hand, will pull a hill much more efficiently. Less RPM in a higher gear, won’t lose as much power in the pull, runs cooler internal temp, way better fuel mileage.
Today’s diesel engines are built way better than the ever have been. As a matter of fact, with the advent of DEF, they are cleaner burning than the gas burners.
Yes, they cost more. But if you tow a trailer like I do (over 10,000 miles per year with my RV) you will have a tow vehicle that will last much longer than a gas burner. I promise you that a gas burner will wear out much quicker than a diesel.
Gas is cheaper than diesel. True… However…. I can get 13mpg with my 22 Ford F250 6.7 Powerstroke pulling my trailer. My F150 5.0L V8 Gas burner could only get 8mpg pulling the same trailer.
Bottom line…If you only go out a few times a year on mostly flat highways then don’t spend the extra money on a diesel. But if you get gone and stay gone all over the country you will save money in the long run with a diesel.
That’s what I think.
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Old 05-17-2024, 07:09 PM   #14
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There's so much that goes in to this decision making process....evidenced by the near endless discussion of the topic at hand.

I had a great deal on a Ford. I know a couple guys that work at the dealership. I didn't want to risk a big ticket repair of a diesel out of warranty....I knew I'd be keeping the truck for quite a while.

7 years and just now ready to break 100k miles. Another 7 years on the 6.2 Ford gasser? Probably.

I run short trips, fire it up, go 10 miles, shut her down, 2x day, 5 days a week. Not any more, but I did before I retired. Is that hard on a diesel?? Some say yeah, heck, I dunno.

Weight? My 6.2 F250 has a payload of 3,111 pounds. I took that in to consideration upon purchasing.

Oh yeah, there's no debate for me, the diesel engines in these pickups will run quieter, smoother, and give better fuel mileage, and are great for engine braking in mountain driving.

That being said, I towed our 30 footer a bit over 9k miles around a couple western states last year, including Wolf Pass , and that 6.2 with the 4:30 rear simply walked the dog up and down anything Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, or Montana threw at it . That screamin' V8 didn't bother me a bit, and my wife never complained, HAHA!!!

Any Ford dealership in all the land of the USA has a wrenchman that knows how to work on that 6.2, and parts are plentiful. That V8 is reported to shell out 300k+ miles....if ya keep a truck that long. Makes me ask, how long would I keep an 800k mile diesel if I run 100k miles in 7 years?

Anyway, each person's usage, needs, and wants, are different. I like my v8 gas HAWG!
I'll keep pumpin' 87 octane in to her.

Some days though, gee, I do wish I had a new GMC Diesel, for real
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Old 05-18-2024, 01:11 AM   #15
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I also have a Ford 6.2/4.30 truck. I have no complaints. Mine is a F350. I have 4100 lbs of payload.
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:10 PM   #16
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You can put in a bigger diesel fuel tank that will stretch your towing range to maybe 3X the gasser.

I traded my 2020 F-150 for a 2022 F-250 because the 1500# of payload wasn't enough for our 3000 mile trips. I had bought the cart before the horse. Agonized over the 250/350 and gas/diesel decision. Settled on F-250 gasser in the final moments while sitting at the dealer's desk.

It works for us. Its 3000# of payload was the reason. It strains a little on hills but the 10-speed transmission can accommodate a lot of climbing. Diesel would do a much better job. We are mostly flat-landers at the moment but that could change. Mileage between 9.5 and 12 when towing. I used to worry about fuels stops but with a little experience it works out.

A local Ford dealer is offering me $57K as trade-in. It is tempting to take the trade then agonize over the decisions again.
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:25 PM   #17
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What is a bit of a shame with the 3/4 ton trucks is that the big 3 got into a displacement battle with their diesel engines. All of them over 6L - - completely overkill.

Diesels have a power AND efficiency advantage over gas engines, provided you don't throw efficiency out the window by making the engines oversize.

GM uses a 3.0L in-line 6 cylinder turbodiesel in their 1/2 ton Silverado/Sierra. That engines puts out gobs of power and delivers very impressive fuel efficiency. If the Big-3 would scale back their 3/4 ton diesel engines to a more reasonable size, they would all have plenty of power in reserve and yet offer very improved fuel economy. A turbodiesel engine in the 4-5 liter range would more than do it.
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:50 PM   #18
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I've had diesels, they are great. most of time. Expensive oil changes, emissions problems, finding someone who can actual work on one is why I went back to gas. If you are towing only an A/S then gas is more than enough. Lot stronger engines these days. I have a 24 chevy 3/4 ton with 6.6. Just don't ask about the brake disconnect problems with GM.��
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Old 05-26-2024, 09:21 AM   #19
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I have a 2017 ram diesel. It has 125,000 miles on it. Half those miles are pulling my Avion trailer.
A few weeks ago I got my truck back after having both catalytic converters ($8000 for just a converters) replaced and a number of sensors. including a $500 sensor for my turbo. $13,000 later, my truck runs better than it has for years.
Would I get another diesel? To be determined. Probably not.
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Old 05-26-2024, 09:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mejess1964 View Post
After over 3 million miles driving an 18 wheeler I will tell you that the diesel pushers are suited better for towing.
Yes…gas burners will do it, but it isn’t a matter of can they do it. It’s a matter of how they do it.
Diesels are built for loads….compression, torque, cooler internal temp….
Watch what happens to your tachometer when you are pulling a load with a gas burner. It requires more rpm’s, which lowers fuel mileage, increases internal temp, causes more wear and tear on the engine.
Diesel pushers, on the other hand, will pull a hill much more efficiently. Less RPM in a higher gear, won’t lose as much power in the pull, runs cooler internal temp, way better fuel mileage.
Today’s diesel engines are built way better than the ever have been. As a matter of fact, with the advent of DEF, they are cleaner burning than the gas burners.
Yes, they cost more. But if you tow a trailer like I do (over 10,000 miles per year with my RV) you will have a tow vehicle that will last much longer than a gas burner. I promise you that a gas burner will wear out much quicker than a diesel.
Gas is cheaper than diesel. True… However…. I can get 13mpg with my 22 Ford F250 6.7 Powerstroke pulling my trailer. My F150 5.0L V8 Gas burner could only get 8mpg pulling the same trailer.
Bottom line…If you only go out a few times a year on mostly flat highways then don’t spend the extra money on a diesel. But if you get gone and stay gone all over the country you will save money in the long run with a diesel.
That’s what I think.
Excellent post. You covered all the bases. I would add that when I drive my 3/4 ton Duramax in hilly mountain regions in tow/haul mode, with cruise control switched on and the exhaust brake activated, my DW says I smile more and my knuckles are not white.
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