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-   -   Tow Vehicle Total Cost of Ownership (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/tow-vehicle-total-cost-of-ownership-219264.html)

featherbedder 02-11-2021 10:15 AM

what is price of ownership when of tv pur. new 21 yrs. ago now has 72,248 miles. pretty hard to fig. cost as fuel and labor is always changing.

pjshier 02-11-2021 10:30 AM

The TCO unspoken rule
 
When I owned airplanes, we had a rule: If anyone starts adding up the total cost of ownership, they are immediately out of the club until the medication kicks in.

Randonneur 02-11-2021 10:40 AM

Brian:
I wonder if you would mind posting your buddy's actual analysis, numbers and all.
Also, could you reference how you get the peer review papers that you mention. As an academic, I use many databases to do research, but the research to which you refer is beyond my expertise.
Both steps would be helpful for the conversation. Scientists like to see if they can replicate studies.
Thanks,

Eric

nswhite 02-11-2021 10:43 AM

I have a '15 Silverado 2500HD with a Duramax/Allison combination. Love it. It gets 14-15 MPG while towing. 19-20 city. Definately can go further on a tank of fuel than on my previous TV.



There are long 6-7% grades around here. The trans holds the speed with no problem.



My previous TV was an '05 Suburban with 8.1 liter Vortec. I would white knuckle it on the same grades. Downshifting didn't help so I was touching the brake.



I have not kept up on gasser technology and don't know if the current generation is better on grades than my 'Burban.



Choosing a good TV is a personal decision.

BobnGayl 02-11-2021 10:46 AM

Two comments on this post. First, as I understand gasoline chemistry and energy content "regular" 87 octane gasoline actually has more power per gallon than "premium" 91-93 octane. This is because the benzene used to increase octane has less power per volume than gasoline itself so adding benzene dilutes the gasoline. This wasn't the case when lead was used to increase octane, but in no-lead gas, benzene is used. Octane increase is necessary to prevent preignition in high compression engines, not for more power. E85 has much lower power per gallon because alcohol has lower power per volume, similar to benzene. Doing the math, cheaper E85 actually costs more, or at least as much as "regular" on a power basis.

We bought an Audi Q5 to give my wife a safer winter vehicle in 2014. I debated at the time between the 3L gas version or the diesel TDI version. They had comparable performance and we did not find any real negatives with the diesel in terms of exhaust odor or garage stink. The 3L gas engine required high octane gasoline. I did the math and we went with gas because at the time premium gasoline cost 20-30 cents more per gallon than regular while diesel was quite a bit higher. Costly mistake for 2 reasons. First the gas companies changed the pricing schedule and now premium costs (in my area) 60-75 cents more per gallon. Diesel here is about 20 cents more and in the period between 2014 and now, has ranged from actually cheaper to about 70 cents higher. Factoring in the better mileage available with the TDI engine, the diesel option would have been far better.

Another issue was VW-Audi cheating scandal. They ended up paying owners of TDI engine powered cars a lot of money to settle the suit. So all in all buying the gas powered Q5 has cost us many thousands more than the TDI would have. So trying to calculate future costs based on current pricing is an iffy proposition. At least in my opinion.

Ken G 02-11-2021 10:48 AM

Diesel depreciation
 
Contractors and tradesman will pay much more for diesel trucks as they might not care so much about how they look but know they can run $500,000 miles. I know of more than a few examples.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randonneur (Post 2459948)
Brian:
I wonder if you would mind posting your buddy's actual analysis, numbers and all.
Also, could you reference how you get the peer review papers that you mention. As an academic, I use many databases to do research, but the research to which you refer is beyond my expertise.
Both steps would be helpful for the conversation. Scientists like to see if they can replicate studies.
Thanks,

Eric

I'll ask him if I can have a photo or electronic version when I see him next. I should have gotten it before I posted, thanks for asking.

There are several papers that are public domain. Others are fire walled pay sites. I agree with your desire to verify and replace. I used to post links frequently but have been accused of cherry picking or favoritism and worst, get personal attacks for the associations or cross links so frequently so I try to avoid that these days.

Here is one search phrase that turns up some material. "total cost of ownership diesel gasoline vehicle" variations of that also turn up more articles. I ran several search variations to be sure there were a good number of papers and blogs and articles. Good luck. Will post the numbers when I get them.

pmclemore 02-11-2021 11:18 AM

"Where to find gently used?"

Why, on this forum, of course. I was looking to replace my 2004 Duramax with 235k miles for a newer version. Found a 2011 Sierra Denali Duramax with 52k miles just last May, for a fair price. I love it.

Pat

wulfraat 02-11-2021 11:25 AM

When I last did the math our 2017 3/4 ton diesel truck came in at just over $0.25/mile to operate which included fuel, maintenance and tires I believe. That did not include depreciation or insurance cost IIRC.

Our 2012 Infiniti Qx 56 (1/2 ton gas SUV) came in at $0.16/mile

Our 2018 Tesla 3 was in at < $0.05 / mile (not trying to make this an electric vs gas debate (lets not go there) just adding that point of data because we happen to operate 3 vehicles in our household using all 3 forms of fuel / energy)

I need to go back and find that file with the calculations ... but I watch the pennies carefully ;)

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 12:18 PM

Your operating cost numbers may well be correct wulfraat but they are not apples to apples because they are very different vehicles with different characteristics and purposes. Furthermore as you noted they are only part of total cost of ownership. For the purpose of this thread they are incomplete.

Its fine to bring in costs of an electric vehicle if it is capable of safely towing a 27' trailer along with the typical gear a long distance multi week camper would bring and the cost figures apply while towing including charge station fees and the cost of journey delays while waiting for the vehicle to charge. Towing, the per mile electric costs will be between 12 and 20 cents. Cost of diesel will be about the same at 14 - 22 cents. Gasoline about 17-25.

DewTheDew 02-11-2021 12:25 PM

This sounds reasonable but of course your neighbor's inputs are important. Self maintenance. Mostly towing. Lots of driving. Buying gently used (which makes perfect sense; buying a two-year old vehicle removes a huge hit from buying new). It's tougher to say if perhaps a gas engine might see additional strain (analysis of towing versus non-towing miles). Of course it also makes assumptions of costs today versus costs in five years (diesel vs gas cost). I am fortunate enough to have sufficient funds that I bought what I wanted in terms of towing performance and bought a F250 diesel (though I needed to buy in 2019; might have been different once the 2020 7.3 liter came out for Fords). I am not rich, but I'd rather have what I want even if it comes out $10k more expensive over a decade.

The point being; the analysis for HIS situation may indicate the superiority of diesel but for a different situation that may not be true. So I doubt his research is faulty and likely the experience of others on here with the opposite conclusion are likely also correct. And the variables for EVs are too large at the moment to make a reasonable projection/analysis, IMO.

jcl 02-11-2021 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2459993)
Your operating cost numbers may well be correct wulfraat but they are not apples to apples because they are very different vehicles with different characteristics and purposes. Furthermore as you noted they are only part of total cost of ownership. For the purpose of this thread they are incomplete.

Its fine to bring in costs of an electric vehicle if it is capable of safely towing a 27' trailer along with the typical gear a long distance multi week camper would bring and the cost figures apply while towing including charge station fees and the cost of journey delays while waiting for the vehicle to charge. Towing, the per mile electric costs will be between 12 and 20 cents. Cost of diesel will be about the same at 14 - 22 cents. Gasoline about 17-25.

It is also fine to bring in costs of an electric vehicle if it is capable of replacing all but 10 trips per year. That ownership model includes both an efficient vehicle for all but towing/hauling use, and a (presumably used, lower cost) vehicle for towing purposes. The towing vehicle would be parked most of the year, and then the analysis (diesel vs gasoline) for that vehicle should also consider that the negative impacts of low use/low load are generally greater on diesel powered vehicles than gasoline powered vehicles.

Hans627 02-11-2021 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pjshier (Post 2459934)
When I owned airplanes, we had a rule: If anyone starts adding up the total cost of ownership, they are immediately out of the club until the medication kicks in.

Sounds like a good rule to me! :)

jcl 02-11-2021 12:42 PM

I last did a diesel/gasoline comparison for an SUV purchase around ten years back. The diesel option then was around five thousand dollars more, but they reduced it to a few thousand in a special promotion, so it seemed worth considering. I had had several diesel vehicles prior to this, but got rid of the last one in 2003. For this analysis, I used local fuel prices, and also considered the fuel prices for the regions we travelled, mostly Western Canada. Diesel fuel prices were more seasonally volatile here (they were and are impacted by heating season, and thus demand for that class of fuels). I corrected for that. For resale values, I considered the lease residuals the vehicle manufacturer was using, even though it was a cash purchase, and also five or six vehicles available on the resale market locally, all three years old. The diesels were worth less used than the gasoline models, but that was just for that type of vehicle, a premium SUV. YMMV. Scheduled maintenance was equal for both alternatives, since it was included for five years with both vehicles.

The payback period for the diesel was 85,000 km. To break even. I would have owned it longer than that, but the uncertainty in the analysis over an extended period of time meant that I didn't trust it six years out. I bought the gasoline version.

It is impossible to do an EV TCO calculation today. All I know is current energy costs. In the past year, I have paid for charging once. Free Supercharging will run out for me late this year, but for now, I have paid $1.11 in total charging costs. To travel the same distance as that single partial charge enabled, in my last gasoline vehicle, would have cost $7.20. And of course, there were no free fill ups for the rest of the year.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DewTheDew (Post 2459995)
This sounds reasonable but of course your neighbor's inputs are important. Self maintenance. Mostly towing. Lots of driving. Buying gently used (which makes perfect sense; buying a two-year old vehicle removes a huge hit from buying new). It's tougher to say if perhaps a gas engine might see additional strain (analysis of towing versus non-towing miles). Of course it also makes assumptions of costs today versus costs in five years (diesel vs gas cost). I am fortunate enough to have sufficient funds that I bought what I wanted in terms of towing performance and bought a F250 diesel (though I needed to buy in 2019; might have been different once the 2020 7.3 liter came out for Fords). I am not rich, but I'd rather have what I want even if it comes out $10k more expensive over a decade.

The point being; the analysis for HIS situation may indicate the superiority of diesel but for a different situation that may not be true. So I doubt his research is faulty and likely the experience of others on here with the opposite conclusion are likely also correct. And the variables for EVs are too large at the moment to make a reasonable projection/analysis, IMO.

Well his situation was one driver for this post. I mentioned the other. His case, if correct has the diesel 3/4 ton about $12-15k cheaper then the next option, but I'm also curious about the general cases covered in the papers that have the range of savings between 0 and $17.5k depending on particular situation and the average savings at $2-5k.

Happy also to look at a realistic towing case of your choosing, because unless it is cherry picked, I doubt it will come out opposite with another vehicle saving $12k over diesel.

On EV's the only large unknowns are future costs driven by demand and economies of scale. We have to eliminate speculation and use what we know unless someone can bring an economic model that mimics the likely path of EVs.

To jcl's point on using a different ownership model, I am good with that also. Let's better understand the model, confirm it is realistic and then put some numbers to it and see how it does.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcl (Post 2460003)
I last did a diesel/gasoline comparison for an SUV purchase around ten years back. The diesel option then was around five thousand dollars more, but they reduced it to a few thousand in a special promotion, so it seemed worth considering. I had had several diesel vehicles prior to this, but got rid of the last one in 2003. For this analysis, I used local fuel prices, and also considered the fuel prices for the regions we travelled, mostly Western Canada. Diesel fuel prices were more seasonally volatile here (they were and are impacted by heating season, and thus demand for that class of fuels). I corrected for that. For resale values, I considered the lease residuals the vehicle manufacturer was using, even though it was a cash purchase, and also five or six vehicles available on the resale market locally, all three years old. The diesels were worth less used than the gasoline models, but that was just for that type of vehicle, a premium SUV. YMMV. Scheduled maintenance was equal for both alternatives, since it was included for five years with both vehicles

The payback period for the diesel was 85,000 km. To break even. I would have owned it longer than that, but the uncertainty in the analysis over an extended period of time meant that I didn't trust it six years out. I bought the gasoline version.

Idk, much of what you say is is directly contradicted by the peer reviewed University papers. How do you reconcile that contradiction? Is your purpose to suggest the studies are wrong?

It is impossible to do an EV TCO calculation today. All I know is current energy costs. In the past year, I have paid for charging once. Free Supercharging will run out for me late this year, but for now, I have paid $1.11 in total charging costs. To travel the same distance as that single partial charge enabled, in my last gasoline vehicle, would have cost $7.20. And of course, there were no free fill ups for the rest of the year.[/QUOTE]

One can do a TCO for EV's. TCO models include a host of assumptions. For an EV you just have to use todays costs and with no market force adjustments. We can speculate all day long what market changes might do to the TCO of any vehicle. We can say the range of uncertainty is higher for EV's but not much more. You suggested a different ownership model, let's run it. Also if you believe the diesel to gasoline research papers are wrong, let's talk about where they went wrong.

DewTheDew 02-11-2021 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460007)
Well his situation was one driver for this post. I mentioned the other. His case, if correct has the diesel 3/4 ton about $12-15k cheaper then the next option, but I'm also curious about the general cases covered in the papers that have the range of savings between 0 and $17.5k depending on particular situation and the average savings at $2-5k.

Happy also to look at a realistic towing case of your choosing, because unless it is cherry picked, I doubt it will come out opposite with another vehicle saving $12k over diesel.

On EV's the only large unknowns are future costs driven by demand and economies of scale. We have to eliminate speculation and use what we know unless someone can bring an economic model that mimics the likely path of EVs.

To jcl's point on using a different ownership model, I am good with that also. Let's better understand the model, confirm it is realistic and then put some numbers to it and see how it does.

For the EV, I would guess that at this time the biggest variable is resale. The technology is changing so quickly that a six-year old vehicle may be obsolete so some extent. Charging costs will vary in unpredictable ways as well.

I am not arguing this analysis, but pointing out that these peer-reviewed papers (as a scientist I love this) may be making assumptions that are not well suited for this situation. You asked "what is he missing" and I suspect he isn't missing anything. It's just perhaps a specific outcome rather than a general one. Certainly I came out ahead on my A6 diesel, in part because of the Audi and Bosch payments though (speaking of unanticipated variables....).

I actually had always figured that if you drive 6 years and 100,000 towing miles then the diesel would make great sense financially. I would have guessed it was close to a wash, but I would have been surprised if the gas engine came out ahead.

OTRA15 02-11-2021 02:08 PM

OT

:blink:

Is there a pandem goin' roun' or sumthin?"

Lots of free time . . .

:D

jcl 02-11-2021 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460012)
Idk, much of what you say is is directly contradicted by the peer reviewed University papers. How do you reconcile that contradiction? Is your purpose to suggest the studies are wrong?

I don't think it is difficult to reconcile at all.

I think it would help to back up to consider the value of theoretical models. As often stated (by people other than me), all models are wrong, but some models are useful.

Leaving aside math errors, it comes down to assumptions. My analysis didn't in any way contradict the University of Michigan TRI paper, as one example. I haven't pulled other studies, that one was easy to get. And it fits your criteria of being from a university. They used a different set of assumptions. They didn't use fuel prices relevant to where I live and travel. They didn't use maintenance costs relevant to a vehicle with all scheduled maintenance costs included for 5 years. They didn't use resale values relevant to my reality, and they used US auction sale prices as a starting point, which I wouldn't have done. That doesn't make their study wrong, as long as they used the correct auction sale prices, it just makes it less useful, or less relevant. They didn't use the actual premium charged for a diesel engine in the two vehicles (gas and diesel) that I was considering, they appear to have used average purchase transaction prices from a survey and deduced diesel premiums. I can simply look it up and have a correct price delta relevant to what I am purchasing. They based their analysis on what they call "clean diesel" as if that is or was actually a thing. The courts found differently. The study was from 2013 and 2015, and looked back to 2012 prices. All of the diesel cars, and many of the SUVs, included in the study were later pulled from the market because as it turned out, they weren't actually clean. So we would need to consider refunds, replacements, buybacks, and so on in the analysis for those. The study noted that it was very difficult to analyze other than what they called medium duty pickups (250/350 class for ease of reference) due to lack of survey respondents.

So no, I am not saying the study was wrong. I didn't check their math. It looks incomplete. Lacking sufficient data. In retrospect, given Dieselgate a few years later, probably of limited value for the cars and SUVs included in the study. Perhaps better for the pickups, although they note that the Ford engine issues from years prior complicated their analysis. It was also sponsored by a diesel fuel system manufacturer, who was promoting "clean diesel" at the time (aka greenwashing) but was later implicated in the diesel emissions scandals. Their sponsorship doesn't in any way make the modelling wrong, but the potential for bias should be disclosed.

Overall, I would just say that the study was of lower value than my own study, to me, for all those reasons. If a person was purchasing one of the listed diesel vehicles, in 2015, at an average US purchase price, it could have had more value. Until Dieselgate, of course.

When I went to the UMTRI website, the studies show up in a search, but have been pulled from the university site. Perhaps for the reasons I note above. I don't know.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460012)
One can do a TCO for EV's. TCO models include a host of assumptions. For an EV you just have to use todays costs and with no market force adjustments. We can speculate all day long what market changes might do to the TCO of any vehicle. We can say the range of uncertainty is higher for EV's but not much more. You suggested a different ownership model, let's run it. Also if you believe the diesel to gasoline research papers are wrong, let's talk about where they went wrong.

We are back to wrong vs useful. It depends on which EV we are talking about. Yes, one can do a TCO for a Model 3, Leaf, or similar, with more confidence, if it has been in the market for three or more years. The analysis will have more vague assumptions than we might like to see. It is much more difficult to do one for a vehicle to tow an AS27, until such a product becomes available. Best estimate would be for a tri motor Cybertruck, when pricing, range, etc are confirmed. But one still won't have resale value. And maintenance would be a SWAG. So I while I agree that one can do a TCO model for a BEV used as a TV, it falls into that category above, regarding how useful it is.

You note that there are uncertainties about future prices. Agreed. But if one is comparing gasoline and diesel, both being fossil fuels subject to similar tax structures, I suggest it is a manageable risk to compare several years out, as market changes are likely to impact both similarly. But the same isn't true IMO for looking several years out for BEV vs ICE. It is changing too quickly. And even with non BEV models, I think the impacts of increasing emission controls will matter for the diesel side of the equation. Imagine if one built a TCO model for a diesel pickup prior to 2010, and then bought a vehicle in the first few years of those more complex, failure prone, costly, etc add on emissions controls. Now rinse and repeat. That cycle is likely to continue with diesels, more so than gasoline models. Which is why some manufacturers pulled out of the market. The ones that decide to stay will have to deal with those sorts of issues, and I don't think it will be without cost to the consumer. Which won't make the models wrong, but it is very likely to make them less useful.

Full disclosure: I spent a career with a diesel engine and heavy equipment distributor. Sales, service, parts, financing, and often, sales and service agreements that established long term operating contracts or cost caps (up to 60,000 operating hours, from memory). Those service contracts could include scheduled maintenance, or all unplanned failures, or simply be component life guarantees. The most complete ones were termed "power by the hour" and covered pretty much everything. We did a lot of modelling. And we backed it with contracts. Not for pickups, but starting with engines in the same class as the 6-7 litre ones under discussion, and ranging up to very large ones, whether industrial engines, power generation, marine, mining equipment, or whatever. The principles are the same as are under discussion here.

jcl 02-11-2021 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 2460041)
OT

:blink:

Is there a pandem goin' roun' or sumthin?"

Lots of free time . . .

:D

Yes to both. And it is cold outside. :)


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