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Old 08-18-2021, 08:34 AM   #1
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New Truck - It's a jungle out there

I am just starting to research this Tow Vehicle forum. We are thinking about replacing our '09 Ram Diesel - tough to do but maybe necessary. And, now the dilemma: 1/2 ton gas vs 3/4 ton diesel (or gas?). We now have a 2019 FC 25RB, I think wt is about 7000#. Apparently there are some 1/2 ton gas options that will pull our 25'. I'm just started going through posts. Interesting stuff to consider. A new diesel engine is easily a $10,000 upcharge over a comparable gas. And what about costs of driving diesel vs gas? We live in Texas so flat land driving is the norm. But we like to go west now and then and appreciate the way our diesel gets us up and over the occasional 9,000 feet. I guess my current mileage is low side of 14mpg.

Just pondering. Need to start looking at internet. Ford, GMC, Ram. And the pandemic -- I hear that's made truck buying worse?
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:44 AM   #2
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The compromise that everyone faces is "a 1/2 ton with not much payload vs a 3/4 ton with lots of payload and initial cost, but is harder to get in/out, park, live with."
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:55 AM   #3
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I would start with considering how you will use the vehicle. Will it be a daily driver, with some short trips, or will it be a dedicated tow vehicle? Do you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area?

The Big 3 all make reasonable trucks. It comes down to personal preference, and for me at least, the dealer support, which can vary.

If you have concerns with power loss at 9000 feet, then a turbocharged engine makes sense, whether it be diesel or gas, as they don’t lose power to the same extent at altitude. If that is a very occasional situation, then less of an issue.

The payback period for a diesel 3/4 ton over a gas model can be over 100,000 miles, considering purchase price premium, resale value, fuel price, maintenance costs, and the time value of money considering you pay up front for the diesel, and recover that later. And that is to reach break even. Diesels rarely provide a financial payback if not in commercial service, and so are often purchased for other reasons.

A half ton can do fine with that trailer, if it is spec’d right, and you have reasonable expectations for how much cargo you are going to bring along.

Yes, current supply issues can be a challenge.
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:21 AM   #4
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1/2 ton is a car..I been running the ram. Diesel 3/4 ton 4x4..20-21 empty…12.5-14 with the 13 31’ Classic…
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:45 AM   #5
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You'll get opinions here all over the map. We have people towing a trailer like your with everything from Teslas to 1 Ton trucks. Lots of people here like the F150 with the Max tow package. You might also check out the Nissan Titan trucks. Others go the 1 Ton route to cover all bases. I went with a RAM 2500. For me the choice was gas or diesel. Taking cost out of the equation (because if you leave it diesels will always lose) I would have gone gas or diesel if I could find a truck on the lot with the options package I liked (Laramie with all the creature comforts). But all that were out there locally were diesels. Love the truck. It drives like a dream and pulls my 25' GT like nothing I've ever towed. The other compromise you make between Diesel and gas is Payload. I think my max payload is 2300# and with a gasser it would be 3100#. Not an insignificant number if you have lots to haul in terms of people and gear. The 3 of us travel fairly light. I fill up the bed of the truck, but its all light stuff. If I were hauling 3 kids and bikes and kayaks and whatever I would probably eat up all that payload pretty quickly.

Diesel fuel costs more than gas out my way (20-30 cents a gallon). But I'm less concerned about fuel costs than I am about range. With a slightly larger tank (2 gal) than a gas truck and getting about 13 MPG towing, I have a range just north of 400 miles per tank. Makes a difference when you don't want to deal with finding a trailer friendly gas station on the road or having to use truck stops.
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Old 08-18-2021, 11:06 AM   #6
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Be prepared for slim pickings and sticker shock no matter what you choose. We just bought a new F250 and the dealer up charge over sticker was ridiculous. We found the dealers in our neck of the woods simply will not negotiate, and you are just in a take it or leave it position.
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Old 08-18-2021, 11:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sterlinghick View Post
Be prepared for slim pickings and sticker shock no matter what you choose. We just bought a new F250 and the dealer up charge over sticker was ridiculous. We found the dealers in our neck of the woods simply will not negotiate, and you are just in a take it or leave it position.
Same here. I guess it's karma for all the times I told dealers to shove it and walked away only to have them call me the next day and end up closer to what I offered than to what they were asking.
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Old 08-18-2021, 11:53 AM   #8
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TankerIP, I don’t envy your situation. My retired neighbor works part time for a local Ford dealer and said the few trucks on the lot have a +$10K line item added to the sticker. A semi delivered pickups the other day - with one computer chip. They swapped the chip from truck to truck just to get them off the transport. They’ll sit until more chips show up.

We debated the diesel vs gas on a 2500 Laramie but I couldn’t justify the $10K adder since the 6.4 gas with the 8 speed will do the job. Three seasons of towing and I’m not disappointed including trips in the Rockies. Plus, as others have stated we’ve got almost 3000 payload. Mileage is between 10-11 MPG unless you’re in the mountains. Sweet spot seems to be up to 67 MPH where trans drops into high gear.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 08-18-2021, 12:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jeffmc306 View Post

We debated the diesel vs gas on a 2500 Laramie but I couldnít justify the $10K adder since the 6.4 gas with the 8 speed will do the job.

Good luck with your search!
The difference was $7800 for me. Don't make it hurt anymore than it had to.
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Old 08-18-2021, 12:07 PM   #10
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Sounds like you have a good tow vehicle already, so fix/tune it up and use it for a few years more. Now is not a good time to buy new as it's a seller's market.
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Old 08-18-2021, 12:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondrew55 View Post
The difference was $7800 for me. Don't make it hurt anymore than it had to.
You did okay at $7800 since the diesel will have a higher residual value when youíre ready to trade. For us it was the initial cash upfront outlay that made the gas a no-brainer. Iím sure Iíd be happy with the diesel if it was all I could get. Good friend has a Limited with the Cummins - what a sweet ride!
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Old 08-18-2021, 12:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post
1/2 ton is a car..I been running the ram. Diesel 3/4 ton 4x4..20-21 empty…12.5-14 with the 13 31’ Classic…
What? I have a 1/2 ton and it is NO CAR. I know of no cars that have a towing capacity of 12,300lbs.
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Old 08-18-2021, 12:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
Sounds like you have a good tow vehicle already, so fix/tune it up and use it for a few years more. Now is not a good time to buy new as it's a seller's market.
The Wall Street Journal had an article yesterday that Ford wants people to order vehicles off their website instead of buy them off the lot. And the upshot of the article is this will be the wave of the future for all car producers. The reason is so that they don’t have a lot of vehicles on the lots that no one wants, and also they actually make more profit. This will reduce inventory on the lots.

This is going to be a problem in some respects because there will be no assured way of determining the payload of a pickup with certain options.

Also the upshot is that one will have to “wait” months to get the vehicle.
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Old 08-18-2021, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmc306 View Post
You did okay at $7800 since the diesel will have a higher residual value when youíre ready to trade. For us it was the initial cash upfront outlay that made the gas a no-brainer. Iím sure Iíd be happy with the diesel if it was all I could get. Good friend has a Limited with the Cummins - what a sweet ride!
Did not help with the wife saying "you want the diesel, I know you do. Get the diesel". I don't know if that translates to she wanted a diesel? Whatever, no regrets. If only it had the clearance lamps!
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Old 08-18-2021, 01:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
I would start with considering how you will use the vehicle. Will it be a daily driver, with some short trips, or will it be a dedicated tow vehicle? Do you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area?

The Big 3 all make reasonable trucks. It comes down to personal preference, and for me at least, the dealer support, which can vary.

If you have concerns with power loss at 9000 feet, then a turbocharged engine makes sense, whether it be diesel or gas, as they donít lose power to the same extent at altitude. If that is a very occasional situation, then less of an issue.

The payback period for a diesel 3/4 ton over a gas model can be over 100,000 miles, considering purchase price premium, resale value, fuel price, maintenance costs, and the time value of money considering you pay up front for the diesel, and recover that later. And that is to reach break even. Diesels rarely provide a financial payback if not in commercial service, and so are often purchased for other reasons.

A half ton can do fine with that trailer, if it is specíd right, and you have reasonable expectations for how much cargo you are going to bring along.

Yes, current supply issues can be a challenge.

+1!
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:20 PM   #16
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3/4 ton. Gas or diesel is your preference. The $10,000 premium at purchase will be mostly recovered on resale. The higher cost of maintenance will not be, but is offset by higher mpg.
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:38 PM   #17
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The trailer is a luxury good, so is the truck. Unless I'm delivering them for $$, the quality of the experience is what I need to decide is worth the money - and that's intensely personal.


There really isn't a "break even" on hobby stuff - it's purely discretionary. The Airstreams hold their value better than most, but in the long run, it's always gonna be more cost effective to pursue a different recreational avocation. Kinda like how I spent all my extra $$ on flying when I was in my 20's. Don't regret a penny of it, but I was never under any illusion I was saving money by buying a sailplane vs renting one. (It's just more fun to go XC in your own).

If you like the way a diesel pulls, then you get to figure out how much ($$$) you like it. If you're kinda "meh" about it, the decision gets a lot simpler.
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Old 08-18-2021, 10:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jondrew55 View Post
... Diesel fuel costs more than gas out my way (20-30 cents a gallon). But I'm less concerned about fuel costs than I am about range. With a slightly larger tank (2 gal) than a gas truck and getting about 13 MPG towing, I have a range just north of 400 miles per tank. Makes a difference when you don't want to deal with finding a trailer friendly gas station on the road or having to use truck stops.

Range is an important consideration for me, which is why Iíve had a Titan replacement fuel tank installed in the last two Ram 3500 TVís Iíve had. (Titan 52 gal. vs. Ram 34 gal.)
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Old 08-19-2021, 03:56 AM   #19
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I went through the same thing, but it was before we got the 25'.

Our 2014 GMC 1/2 would have pulled it.

Set out with plans to order a GMC 3/4 ton in December of last year.

Outfitted it on the GMC site. SLE, Gas V8, Extended cab (not crew), towing and many cheap extras.

Came out to a very reasonable price.

Went to a dealership and saw a beautiful Denali HD with everything. Diesel, Allison, loaded.

Told the wife "there's a forever truck".

Went to our dealership and sat down to order.

No discount.

No price given on my truck in trade "until it comes in".

I stepped out and called the "Denali" dealership and asked them if they would give me "X" for my truck in trade.

They said "Hell yes!"

Now I have a new dealership and a much fancier truck for about 10K more than the stripped out thing I was going to buy.

Glad I did it last December!
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Old 08-19-2021, 08:16 AM   #20
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Salinas Dodge

Hi

i just wanted to give a shout out to a great Dodge dealership in Salinas California. Last week we purchased a Durango Hellcat for MSRP. I found that same vehicle before it sold in Fremont California for 30k over sticker. Salinas said it is there policy to never over charge so hopefully you will be a repeat customer.

When I was there I saw Ram TRX trucks, Rubicon 392 and I think a couple of 2500 - 3500 rams. We were not looking at those so I canít give specifics, but it wonít hurt to give Salinas Dodge in California a call. The salesman I worked with was Omar.

Hope this helps

Eric
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