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Old 01-19-2018, 09:47 AM   #21
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2002 22' International CCD
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Diesel. Anything but a Silverado—I have one and after four tows to the dealership, at home and on the road, I still don’t have reverse, it’s sitting in the driveway. Come to find out Silverado is known for TRANSMISSION CONTROL MODULE problems—my local dealer tried to fix it three times!
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:47 AM   #22
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Wait there is more coming 37 mpg

This is a game changer ;Turbo- Super Charged Boxer engine can be tuned to run on gas or diesel 37 MPG ( prototype )

https://youtu.be/UxON-HIlz5E?t=7s
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:52 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by DocJim View Post
Sold our diesel and bought a gas F250 XLT Crewcab.
Very very happy. We live in the Canadian Rockies and it tows really well.
No DEF, warms up quickly in our chilly Canadian climate, $10,000 cheaper and much lower maintenace costs.
The new Ford Superduty is a much taller truck. We installed a BedSlide Classic that makes loading and unloading a breeze.
https://www.bedslide.com/

Would not go back to diesel.
Just to keep things in balance. Went from a F-150 ecoboost to an F-250 with the "Big Honking Diesel" when we got our 30' Classic.
I will never go back to a gaser should we even downsize the Airstream. Love the awesome power and torque, love sitting up high, love the worry free descent on in the mountains. I even enjoy driving it solo and avoid driving the car. And I could care less about the extra cost of purchase and maintenance, its one of my favorite toys. There is a great German proverb " The Last Shirt Has No Pockets".
Full disclosure, spent my working life in infrastructure construction, to me the diesel smell and sound are perfume and music.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:55 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
If you want a Toyota specifically you will get a gas engine...
If not, any of the other manufacturers have both gas and diesel engines.
But I am a hard headed Toyota fan...
Curious what your AS classic weighs (loaded), we are very happy with our Toyota products (Highlander/Lexus ES). Considered a 5.7 Tundra, but wasn't sure how it would tow our 32'r @ 7450lbs loaded. We tow with an F-250 SD right now with no problem except for the ride quality in the truck (it is a truck I know)... Jim
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:55 AM   #25
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I've had both. I traded my Duramax that I owned for 7 years and bought an F150 Ecoboost which I have now owed for three. They both did/do a fine job pulling my 28 Safari, even up the mountains here on the east coast. Of course, the diesel does it with a bit more ease, but the EcoBoost has plenty of power too. Almost as much as diesel pickups had in the early 2000's. Plus for me, it's a lot more enjoyable to drive the F150 on a day to day basis. The Ecoboost engine is a bit like a hot rod. Lots of fun. That said if we get to the point where we were doing extended trips out west, up and down the Rockies etc. I think I would go back to a diesel for the ease of climbing the hills. I certainly would have a 3/4 ton truck on a trip like that in order to carry all of the junk I would likely be taking with me. If I went diesel, I would also want one with an exhaust brake to help going down, diesels don't "engine brake" the way gassers do and without an exhaust brake you are totally dependent your normal brakes when going down mountains and steep hills. The brakes can do the job, but an exhaust brake will help a lot.

Other points: I am someone who has and does own German and other Euro cars over the years. After owning a diesel, I tell people if you are the kind of person scared away from driving one of those cars due to perceived repair/maintenance expenses, I would stick with a gasser. They are much cheaper to keep for the average person. Repair and maintenance on a diesel pickup is very much in the realm of MB, Audi, BMW costs. But then, if you are like me, you might be willing to pay the freight for a "nicer" (at least to me - domestics are pretty darn good these days too) vehicle, in this case, a diesel truck that might better serve your needs. BTW my Euro cars have been of much better quality/reliability than the equally expensive Chevy Dmax I owned. Fortunately, I think GM has addressed some of the quality problems and I believe it has gone up in recent years. I will say that so far I have been fairly impressed by the quality of my F150 Ecoboost.

Also note that the current diesels are more complicated than ever. The fuel and DEF systems can cause expensive problems (just check out the forums I listed below). Some folks do well with them, others not so much. It think it is more important than ever to keep up the maintenance on them. But it also seems a bit like the luck of the draw.

For even more info than you will get on here, I would suggest some of the dedicated brand/diesel truck forums such as The Diesel Place for Dmax and the Powerstroke forums for Ford. You will get a lot more input and yes they get into the gas vs. diesel too. There are also forums for the 1/2 trucks such as the F150 forums.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:59 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
... Engine braking of a diesel is more effective due to higher compression but also wears engine components. It's back pressure, and the energy comes off in the form of heat.
Diesel engines do not provide engine braking like a gasoline engine does naturally. Non-turbo diesel-engined vehicles can coast in-gear for longer than an equivalent gasoline engine. In fact the high compression releases more energy when the compressed air is allowed to 'spring' back when the fuel flow to a diesel is cut off when coasting.

However, most diesel trucks can use other means such as "compression release brake", known as a Jake Brake, or an exhaust brake which uses a butterfly valve in the exhaust to create back pressure, or exhaust obstructions like a turbocharger, EGR or DPF to provide braking when off the throttle.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:59 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by LAWBC View Post
This is a game changer ;Turbo- Super Charged Boxer engine can be tuned to run on gas or diesel 37 MPG ( prototype )

https://youtu.be/UxON-HIlz5E?t=7s
Interesting stuff, but to be clear...Not a dual fuel engine, and not a "boxer". This is feasible, but I believe emissions will be a real challenge, particularly with gas version. The mentioned oil consumption, will exacerbate the emissions issue.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:08 AM   #28
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So, I had a first generation Nissan Titan (gasoline 5.6 liter) that towed my 31' Airstream over 80000 miles without fail. Going up a big hill out west, 3rd gear and 3600 rpm would give you a comfortable 60 mph. Loud and gas guzzling but, how often are you climbing a big old hill? On more reasonable terrain, easy peasy and about 11 mpg on average.

My new TItan XD has a 5 liter diesel. It climbs the big hill with less fanfare. It also descends nicely. It is ridiculously quiet, solid and capable. It averages about 13.5 mpg towing, 19 on the highway, 17 in town.

But, oil changes (I do my own) are $75 bucks for the diesel, $35 for the gas. Fuel filters for the diesel are $90 every 10000 miles. I get about 1200 mpg on DEF (about$6 a gallon). So the diesel is a skosh more expensive for routine stuff.

I got a deal I couldn't refuse on the diesel so I bought it. I like it and my wife loves it but, if I had to do it over again, I think I would go gas as I hate standing in the puddle of diesel fuel that seems to be adjacent to every diesel pump in America and gas is 40-50 cents cheaper a gallon and easier to find.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:09 AM   #29
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1985 31' Excella
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I was in the auto repair bis for over 3 decades , worked on just about anything auto , truck , commercial .
There are lots of combinations to match your needs , you have to make your own choices depending on lots of issues .
I will give my choices / reasons .
For Airstreams [ they tow easy ] not much need for lots of tow options , until you start adding weight , hills etc.
But I would prefer a diesel , but to get what I want , requires older truck - diesels where intended to be more efficient & simpler , generally they are 30% more fuel efficient .
The simpler part is the older mechanical fuel injection , no ignition system - comparing the same years , Cummins 94-98 to gas , the part alone for a tune - plugs , wires , cap & rotor can cost well over $100+++ , then labor .
The life of a well maintained engine is much longer with the diesel .
To keep the apples & oranges - the diesel has double the torque of a gas --- towing .
Then once you have more torque , you can can have more choice with gear ratio [ differential ] now you can really improve you millage .
With a diesel you could easily use something close , or lower to 3;53 - this gives better mileage , with the torque of the diesel , where-as with the gas , you need closer to 4;10 , less milage .
So adding the 30% more efficient diesel and then the lower gear ratio , you can have towing a trailer milage as high as 18-22 mpg , no loss / slow down etc.
With longer life , and the ability of using home-made fuel - for about 20 yrs. I used / made bio-diesel , this was good for the engine and reduced emissions and the cost was as low as about $0.50 per gallon for me , I knew other got down to $0.20 per gal.
The trick is having the knowledge and ability to know what yrs. are best .
The 94-98 Cummins is the way to go , a straight 6 diesel has more torque than the same yrs. of the V8 diesels , another advantage , then fewer parts and more room for mechanic so less labor .
So depending on your specifics - you choose .
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:11 AM   #30
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1993 34' Excella
andalusia , Illinois
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I am solidly in the diesel camp. Horse power, torque, and you can rack up a lot ov miles. On steep inclines there’s no comparison. I will never tow with a gas truck again.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #31
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2017 30' Classic
Grapeview , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesbuford View Post
I bet no one has ever asked this question!
I am a complete "newby" planning to purchase a used 25-28 foot Airstream.
My wife and I plan to take off a year from now and spend at least a year touring the USA, staying in National Parks and seeing all that we can.
I will definately go to the Rocky Mountains and want to be sure we have a reliable vehicle that will slow us down on the steep declines. We also plan to live full time in our Airstream for at least a year and hope we can keep going for many more years.
MY QUESTION:
DIESEL OR GAS?
I have looked at a 2018 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4X4 with a Vortek 6.0L V-8 with a 6 speed Automatic Heavy duty transmisson THAT IS NOT A DIESEL, and a GMC 2016 Sierra2500 Crew Cab 4WD that is a Diesel.
The dealerships are telling me that the new high displacement gas engines are just as good as the diesel, and that they can handle even a 8,000 pound 28 foot Airstream easily. Two different salesmen at the dealerships say I am overdoing it with the GMC Diesel, and that the large gas engine can handle up to 14,000 Pounds. Any advice would be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance for your sage advice!!!
Oh boy, most likely you will be receiving over load input on your questions. W/40 plus years of towing experience I can only offer what I have experienced. Have owned mostly Fords, one GMC, currently Ram. Big blocks and gassers for years, all 3/4 tons, 4x4, and long beds. 2016 we went looking for a new TV (in hopes of last TV we buy) to pull our 2017 30' Classic. We looked at all makes, engine types, and configurations. The new TV's are amazing what they can do and what they offer. Best bang for the buck for us came down to 3500 HD Ram w/6.7 Cummins, Laramie 4 door long bed 4x4 hard shell canopy, and every bell and whistle one could ever use. Towing we are between 12 mpg and 17 mpg. Not towing we are between 18 mpg and 22 + mpg. Our TV pulls so smooth and w/such little demand from the Cummins. After a year and half, there is no question in our minds, for us we bought the best bang for the buck TV, no regret on make/model, and configuration . This is not to say other makes are lesser or better. Buy what you are happy with.

Best regards and safe travels
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:25 AM   #32
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2005 28' International CCD
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We towed 28-30' units with big SUV gas engines for 12 years, very good except going uphills (steep grades were very slow). Switched to F250 diesel 3 months ago resulting in much better mileage, dramatically more power, rougher ride. I wish I had made the change 12 years ago.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:29 AM   #33
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Forgot to mention our 3500 is NOT a Dually, SRW (single rear wheel).
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:30 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by SCOTTinNJ View Post
If you do go diesel, consider a 3500. The engine eats up a lot of payload on the 2500. With the lighter gas engine you can stay with 2500.
We made our first trip west with the Intl. 27FB in 2017 towing with a 2015 GMC Denali 5.3L gasser. When ordering the new vehicle I decided to try a 2018 F250 Platinum Diesel for reasons cited in this and other subject strings.

I'll withhold comment as to whether this was a good decision until ordering the next truck in 2021. This said, I did want to pass on a comment regarding a 3/4 ton vs. a 1 ton model. Cost difference is minimal, and I was leaning towards the 1 ton because of the extra load capacity. The Ford dealer acknowledged that a one ton truck carried more, but pointed out that resale would be better on a 3/4 ton, as dealerships in our area see a larger demand for this rating truck. I'm no expert and don't know if this is really true, nor do I know if this would be the case in states over than Wisconsin. In any case, the 3/4 ton will be finally get here at the end of February. Time will tell as to whether I made a good decision.

As my father always used to say, "everyone is entitled to his opinion, but his advice and a nickel would have only gotten you a cup of coffee in 1945"
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:48 AM   #35
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diesel all the way

I am on the Diesel side. #1 reason is the exhaust brake, Every time we get to a big downhill section, my wife in the passenger side sets the exhaust brake - and we smile at each other. Love it. Also - we don't find any appreciable difference in gas mileage whether we are towing or not -- where our Friends tell us their Ford gas truck gets in the single digits when they tow.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:55 AM   #36
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I am on the Diesel side. #1 reason is the exhaust brake, Every time we get to a big downhill section, my wife in the passenger side sets the exhaust brake - and we smile at each other. Love it. Also - we don't find any appreciable difference in gas mileage whether we are towing or not -- where our Friends tell us their Ford gas truck gets in the single digits when they tow.
I Get 10 towing 13 not towing, on regular gas. Overall average is 12.9 since I owned it. (I'm careful, and drive like an adult).
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:09 PM   #37
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Andy Thomson owns an Airstream Dealership in Canada and writes a monthly article on towing for a Canadian RV Magazine, RV Lifestyle. His credentials are well respected in the Airstream forums.

He wrote an article a few years ago comparing 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton trucks for towing and touched on the subject of Diesel vs Gas.

Its a good read, you can access it here:
http://rvlifemag.com/towing-half-ton-three-quarter-ton/


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Old 01-19-2018, 12:11 PM   #38
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Since no one has mentioned Ram trucks, I thought I'd drop my two cents on the subject. Having been a lifetime Dodge/Ram owner, I bought my first diesel in 2006 and I'm still towing with it. I tow a 1982 Excella 34 footer like it's not even back there. I can pass slow moving vehicles on a hill and get around 14-15 mpg towing and 20-21 when I'm not. My truck has around 85k miles on it and it still has about 15k to go before the engine warranty runs out. Maintenance costs have been light except for the grand I spent on a new air conditioning system that quit. Even then, dividing my total costs over the nearly 12 years I've driven the truck I can't complain.

If you are thinking diesel, but don't like the idea of having to buy DEF then get the 6.7 liter Cummins and you don't need it. The Ram Cummins is the only diesel engine that runs clean enough that they aren't required to use DEF. Check it out. I've driven Chevy's and Fords and to me, there is no comparison. When I finally decide to buy a new truck, you can bet it will be a Ram.

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Old 01-19-2018, 12:27 PM   #39
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Had a 2000 Dodge diesel and the body rusted off the frame, it pulled like a beast and didn't know the AS was behind it.

I purchased a 2016 F-150 super cab with the 3.5 Eco Boost because Mother Ford said it will pull 11,400#. It will pull it fine, it just wouldn't stop it to my liking. Plus I got a whooping 7 - 8 mpg pulling our 30' FC.

I went out and purchased a used 2010 Chevy 2500 W/T with a 6.0 gas and it has a 3.73 rear. I get 9.5 mpg pulling the AS and it stops.

Did I enjoy the diesel, you bet, did I enjoy the cost of repairs as it got older, hell no.

I am a fan of the older diesels without all the EPA crap on them.

Case in point, I went camping with our neighbor who pulls a 30' Rockwood with a 2013 Duramax, his DEF heater took a crap and the truck wouldn't drive over 15 mph. I ended up towing my rig home and going back to get his. It took the Chevy dealer over a week to get his truck repaired. The repair wasn't cheap either.
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:05 PM   #40
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Hello

You can go either way, gas or diesel, and get the same results as far as pulling power goes. The difference is the cost of maintenance and the fuel mileage. You have to get a big gas engine to compete with the Cummins of Duramax. (I'm not a Ford person but some swear by them)

The gas engine will cost less to maintain but the fuel mileage will be terrible.
The diesel engine will cost more to maintain but the fuel mileage will be a lot better.

My Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins and my sons Duramax both get at least 16-17 mpg when pulling a good size load. (RV or big boat). A buddy of mine has the Silverado 2500 with the 6.0L and he does good to get 10 mpg under a load. Another good thing about the diesel is you can get the engine brake to keep you slowed down on the downhill side of the mountains (saves a lot on the pickup brakes).

Be sure and compare apples to apples. A half-ton gas powered pickup will get better fuel mileage than the 3/4 ton gas powered when empty but when pulling the AS the 3/4 ton will do better on fuel.

Good Luck
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