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

DewTheDew 02-11-2021 02:46 PM

jcl; just to point out that Dieselgate was a financial bonanza to those of us who owned those impacted vehicles. I was paid about $10k for my troubles, which consisted of a trip to an Audi dealership and getting a nice new car to drive for a couple of days. The alterations had minimal impact on the mpg (it went from about 40 down to 38 mpg). We eventually traded it in and were given a good price. But I get your point; someone had to pay for it!

Gibson3798 02-11-2021 03:03 PM

If he's so focused on the pennies, it's likely he's missing the most important equation.

jaybauman 02-11-2021 03:06 PM

Brian

I am not surprised by your neighbor's conclusion, but maybe because it fits into my own confirmation bias.

One big factor for me is depreciation, or lack thereof, of the diesel variants. In 2015, I purchased a new Duramax. Five years later, I traded it in to the same dealer for only $16,400 less than I paid for it new. Maybe it's because the truck was immaculate or well-maintained or maybe because, well, everyone loves some big diesels here in Texas. For whatever reason, I got tens of thousands more on trade than I would have gotten with a gasoline, which means I more than recovered the initial diesel upgrade costs.

I also think DEF is a red herring. With both Duramax trucks and my 2017 BMW X5 diesel, the DEF expenses are negligible contributions to total cost of ownership. Raising the deductible on my vehicle insurance policies saves me more money than I ever spend on DEF in any given year.

As for increased maintenance costs, I am not seeing a huge difference between my previous vehicles and my current diesel ones. I pay slightly more for oil and of course fuel filters, but there's not much other stuff that seems to be different for me.

Towing my 30-foot TT all over the country and averaging 14-15 miles per gallon is a pretty good equalizer. And did I mention resale value? :-)

Capt who 02-11-2021 03:24 PM

I bought a diesel F250 knowing it may well cost more in the long run, if it does so be it. I like the power, I think I will like the exhaust brake ( never had one ), the ability to climb mountains at the speed limit with trailer in tow. It is a bigger vehicle than I am use to but the ride isn't bad and with just under 500 mi on it I am getting 23 mpg around home. Another big factor is that my wife likes it.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DewTheDew (Post 2460038)
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....).

The general case is covered by the several TCO studies available, all placing equivalent diesel variants as the lower total cost by an average of $2,000 - $5,000 and a range of $0-17,500. Even the closest specific situation evaluated had it as a wash. No examples in any of the papers had any of the diesel variations behind. The average of course represents the general case of which you speak. jcl's observations about events affecting diesel vehicles in recent years are interesting and entertaining but none of it affects the analyses performed nor would it have an effect on any newer TCO studies performed today as all of those kinds of issues happen frequently in the broader scheme of the global vehicle market and when taken as a whole get figured into average TCO so long and the cross section of vehicles selected adequately represent the market as a whole.

I agree the neighbors analysis is very specific to his situation but it's interesting (if accurate) for this forum since it is focused on towing as the use case. The combination of his analysis and the published papers being consistent is interesting again for this forum because they both contradict the common viewpoint expressed here that diesel vehicles for towing are extravagances that do not pay out.

Jay, your experience mimics my own and exactly comports with my neighbor and the published papers. If it looks like a duck......

Mollysdad 02-11-2021 03:53 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.

Amen, brother.
When I had my MH, I never kept track. I knew roughly that I could take a limo to my destination and stay in the Hyatt Regency for what I paid to use the MH a month a year.
Do I regret it? Not a bit.:lol:

KK4YZ 02-11-2021 04:15 PM

The point is (probably) moot
 
I think all of his calculations, correct or not, are for naught.
I predict that one of 2 things will happen:

1) theyíll spend a year traveling around and decide that the RV stuff isnít for them and sell everything early.

Or,

2) theyíll find they love Airstreaming so much that they keep it up beyond the planned 5 (approx) year period.

At this stage of the game get what youíll enjoy and donít sweat the small stuff.

JonDNC 02-11-2021 04:33 PM

Tow Vehicle Total Cost of Ownership
 
TCO of an Airstream and F350 peanuts compared to a 47í sailboat.

I donít even think about it... cheapest form of full time travel Iíve ever owned.

Gas vs diesel who cares, they both work buy the one you want but I can tell you the torque when accelerating and the engine brake sure work for me.

And for grins I just did a search for 2018 F250 Platinum gas vs diesel. Gas what few there were were 55-60 with reasonable mileage Diesel was 65-75. So half the upfront cost at a minimum will be gotten back at resale.

kscherzi 02-11-2021 05:31 PM

The Airstream and truck are for pleasure. Counting pennies takes away the pleasure. His exercise falls into the "if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it" category.

Talking about spending money and calculating returns, try flying airplanes for a hobby. I did this in my cessna piloting days. There is no return on investment but for the joy. Anyway, that's how I looked at it, and if I had otherwise, I would have never tried it. You only get to live once.

JonDNC 02-11-2021 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kscherzi (Post 2460116)
the airstream and truck are for pleasure. Counting pennies takes away the pleasure. His exercise falls into the "if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it" category.

Talking about spending money and calculating returns, try flying airplanes for a hobby. I did this in my cessna piloting days. There is no return on investment but for the joy. Anyway, that's how i looked at it, and if i had otherwise, i would have never tried it. You only get to live once.



exactly

jcl 02-11-2021 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460075)
The general case is covered by the several TCO studies available, all placing equivalent diesel variants as the lower total cost by an average of $2,000 - $5,000 and a range of $0-17,500. Even the closest specific situation evaluated had it as a wash. No examples in any of the papers had any of the diesel variations behind. The average of course represents the general case of which you speak. jcl's observations about events affecting diesel vehicles in recent years are interesting and entertaining but none of it affects the analyses performed nor would it have an effect on any newer TCO studies performed today as all of those kinds of issues happen frequently in the broader scheme of the global vehicle market and when taken as a whole get figured into average TCO so long and the cross section of vehicles selected adequately represent the market as a whole.

It is challenging without some more clues to determine which peer reviewed studies you are referencing. I only found the U of Michigan TRI study (2013, and corrected/updated in 2015) and you mention two, so I am not clear if the two are in fact the same study. It would also be good to see something more recent, if it exists. The issue with these industry sponsored studies is that the industry has moved on from promoting diesels in many cases, so there may not be something newer.

It isn’t a university study, rather an industry one, but this fleet study comparison was current in 2015. It wasn’t positive on the diesel option. Rather than just accept or reject their conclusion, it may be helpful to see their reasons.

https://www.government-fleet.com/156...ers-know-about

Here is one that is more current. Vincentric is an automotive data analysis firm. They analyzed cars, SUVs, vans, and pickups, in 2018. Some of those have been pulled from the market, but the trucks are still available, and they analyzed 324 models.

Quote:

As to pickups, not a single truck met the study criteria for being cost effective when equipped with a diesel engine.
Full report:

https://news.pickuptrucks.com/2018/0...ial-sense.html

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 07:24 PM

The last time I provided a link I was flamed as a conspiracy theory follower and maligned and laughed at so you'll understand when I decline. Perhaps in the future it might be better to address the content rather than the messenger.

There are several industry studies and studies from associations that promote the diesel fuel industry available also as you noted, but I don't put much stock in these unless they provide their methods and data.

I was unable to find any detailed information about vincentrics "statistical" methods so I have no way to validate it. Statisticians have a way of torturing the data till it tells them what ever the customer wants to hear. Did you find any details on their methods? It is not a peer reviewed paper so one can't accept it on the basis of third party review. The link is an article about the study, it's not a "full report". Unfortunate, but if we can't validate it, I suppose it belongs in the dust bin, with the other infomercial articles.

As to Jon and KS suggesting it is not useful to have accurate cost information, I can't see that rationale. Who wouldn't want to be told which option under consideration is likely to save them $15k?

Bcc75 02-11-2021 07:39 PM

I really think, as others have mentioned, if one overthinks this and focuses too much on dollars and cents then he will drive himself nuts or talk himself out of it.
The Airstream and the truck are investments for enjoyment and pleasure. I do believe however that an Airstream and a diesel truck will depreciate less than other other similar recreational vehicles and gas trucks. The level of depreciation will be driven by the market. Look where we are at now! If you have a modern Airstream in good condition right now you can just about name your price if you want to sell. Ford closed their Kentucky plant where the Super Duties are made for 2 months last year due to COVID. No trucks were made. When I was truck shopping last September, there were no new 2020 F250ís to be found. The ones that were hitting the dealer lots were sold before they got there. I saw used late models selling at dealerships for more than MSRP of new ones. Thatís supply and demand economics. Those scenarios donít last and will change. Sellers markets will flip to buyerís markets and cycle back again. I almost didnít by my truck or my AS because of this. Not a buyerís market. But then I realized life is too short. Just had to tell myself thatís what I want and I can afford it, so I bought them.
So glad I did!

jcl 02-11-2021 07:47 PM

Brian: Here is some info on their data if you want to review it.

https://vincentric.com/Home/About-Us/Vincentric-Data

They are a subscriber service, similar to Polk. I used Polk a lot in past years, for heavy truck market data.

For the U Michigan TRI study, presumably it was peer reviewed in 2013. It was widely quoted. When it was redone in 2015, they corrected for vehicle trim levels. They were looking at average transaction prices and determining how much more the diesel option cost, and it turned out that higher trim levels cost more and clouded their conclusions. Seems obvious. Wonder if the peer review spotted that? But then, we still aren’t sure if this is the study you referred to earlier.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 08:02 PM

I went to their site before posting. There is nothing available I could find on their approach, method or data.

I suppose I should have but didn't say anything about the government fleet article by Bob Stanton. I'll say now that his analysis is very specific to government subdivisional fleet vehicles, the use case they have, and the unique cost structures so it does not translate to the consumer and towing use case to any degree at all.

On the Michigan study it would be more interesting to describe what difference the adjustments made to the conclusions. I only reviewed the revised version of that particular study so any corrections have no real bearing on my earlier posts.

pmclemore 02-12-2021 08:14 AM

When I'm not pulling my rig with my big honkin truck, I drive to the golf course in it three days a week. About a hundred miles a week that way.

If I buy a sweet little convertible to drive instead, do I have to include that in my total cost of ownership of a diesel truck?

Pat

Jerrylax 02-12-2021 08:31 AM

In any event if I were concerned with the economics of recreation Iíd stay home and watch TV. I went to diesel because it is safer.. a tow vehicle with power to spare and 8000# weight seems a good choice to pull out AS 30 classic vs that beautiful Tundra 1794 we absolutely loved. 2020 GMC Denali duramax and Allison ten speed one ton.

DewTheDew 02-12-2021 09:28 AM

As an aside, though a higher-priced TT or trailer might not depreciate as much, but that extra money is lost to you during that 6 or so years so there is that cost as well.

JonDNC 02-12-2021 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pmclemore (Post 2460253)
When I'm not pulling my rig with my big honkin truck, I drive to the golf course in it three days a week. About a hundred miles a week that way.

If I buy a sweet little convertible to drive instead, do I have to include that in my total cost of ownership of a diesel truck?

Pat


Of course [emoji6][emoji41]

It all goes in that TCO fun bucket, the one that never gets added up...

At least thatís how I do it

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 09:37 AM

In estimating the total cost of ownership for a new generation electric tow vehicle nearly all of the internet analyses use depreciation schedules, and insurance costs from conventional ICE vehicles despite the clear trend for EVs that are far and away more costly on both fronts. The EV accident repair charges are running quite a bit higher than traditional vehicles and insurance charges reflect that. The Cybertruck's stainless exoskeleton is likely to see this in spades. So in my neighbors analysis he is using the average surcharges for insurance. Twice the insurance cost is not unusual. Depreciation is also nearly double, as another poster mentioned. No reason to suspect this will change in the next few years, however there is a good deal of uncertainty so he used a range for both of these costs. The other big cost when towing is the number of extra intermediate overnights and the campground costs for those. He had 35% more non destination overnight stays in his numbers.

Using expected costs as described based on current experience, the EV as a choice is not a contender costing $27k more than the diesel option. By making some assumptions about changes in insurance and depreciation, they get closer, but the EV experience over the past 10 years does not bode well, so you'll have to throw caution to the wind in choosing an EV until a few more years have transpired.


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