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Old 11-12-2013, 04:56 PM   #51
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I just joined the Forum today because we are considering purchasing a Class C. We are just retired, and on a small pension and are being told by many people that this lifestyle has become very expensive with the price of gas now and getting low mileage. We were thinking of this, because we have two dogs and would want/need to bring them with us. We realize Rv'ing is a lifestyle, but do the saving on restaurants and hotels really justify the cost of gas, maintenance and insurance.

Hi welcome We too joined today, we have a Palomino Puma 5th wheel 295BHSS (33ft)
This subject has always intrigued me because truck manufacturers never publish the MPG of a truck.
But bear with me, Before buying our great trailer, we researched what truck to buy and should it be Gas or Diesel?

Our research showed, although you loose a little pulling power the Gas motor was the most cost efficient.
After looking around we found a 1996 GMC DRW with a 454 and 4.10 rear end tow equipped and with only 58000 verifiable miles on her.
First thing we did was put her in and have all fluids changed filters changed and any problem areas rectified. Then to emissions of which she sailed through with very low readings.
One thing we have done from the start is work out MPG per fill up, only I drive and I drive a steady 55 to 60 mph.
We used her solo and potted around locally then went to Iowa city to look at a trailer which remains with the seller who is still trying to unload it. Our overall Mileage was 10.8 using 87 octane gas, (However in Iowa they also have Ethanol which is cheaper but the MPG is a lot less). We then went solo to Clebourne Texas and bought out Puma. the MPG on the return was again around 10.2. Using an Old Mechanics advise I switched to 89 octaine with hopes of improvements.
Our first real shakedown was to Key West via the I 10 and the hills of South Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to Florida. the average MPG was again 10.3 and twice 10.9
Now when we bought the truck it also had a wing on the roof, I have heard they are useless but I 'm still playing on that one. But I did adjust it so at a straight line from the hood to the top of the trailer is a straight line.. Which means no bug lines, which in my mind confirms the wind is deflected over the trailer instead of hitting a solid wall. On the return we came back via Georgia and the I 20 to the I 10 etc and the MPG was mostly 9.8 and 3 time 10. 6. However strong winds I assume account for the drop of nearly 1 mpg.


Here are a couple of other things of interest,
1. Diesel is more expensive than Gasoline and in Dallas it was a $1 per gallon more for Diesel. Although Florida was expensive for both I did see Supreme Gas more costly than Diesel!
2. Maintenance, a typical oil change is around $100 verses $56 for my 454 with synthetic mobile 1
3. Diesels are typically noisy and dirty.
4. As from 2010 Federal Law requires DEF to be added to all Diesel Engines on Big Trucks. DEF = Diesel Exhaust Fuel it is a separate liquid that cleans exhaust to match EPA requirements. My understanding is all 2010 and newer Pick Up Diesels are also supposed to use the additive. Although no one I have spoken to said they use it??

I know your question was about a Class C but hopefully this will help.
I would not swap my truck and we love out trailer.
Do you intend towing a car? if you are you'll still have running costs on that vehicle, where as with a trailer you can drop it and use the tow vehicle to act tourist...

I am still playing with the wing , I think if I move it back more towards the trailer it will reduce drag. The other thing I am trying is I have a truck bed cover which I plan being able to half close up to the 5th wheel when towing. So I will see and let you know.

Good Luck

Edit,
89 octane didn't seem to increase MPG but has improved pulling power with lower RPM..
Should I try 91 or 93 Octane???
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:37 PM   #52
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Hmm... I'm in Burleson (DFW area) and I've never seen diesel be a $1 more per gallon than unleaded gas.


Anyway, I digress...

We have a (totally stock) 2007 F350 4x4 DRW Supercab 6.0L diesel, with auto and 3.73 gearing.

Calculations are being done by filling the tank, driving it (at least half a tank), filling the tank and dividing miles driven by gallons to fill. (I'm a pretty easy and smooth driver)

Empty, running around (30-50mph) and on the freeway (60-70mph) it gets about 14mpg
Towing a 36' 11,000lb trailer at about 60-65mph, it gets about 9-10mpg.

Now we just bought a 15,000lb (approx, loaded) 5er and we are about to tow it on a 1,200 mile trip. Hoping to get at least around 10mpg.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:49 PM   #53
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A 3.73 is quite typical for a diesel that has 400hp and 800ftlb of torque. My GMC has the same gearing and will pull my 42', 14klb 5er driving 68mph at 1700rpms all day long without dropping out of overdrive. I average 10.5-11mpgs. Also, DEF is Diesel Exhaust Fluid(not fuel) and is added to a separate tank, and is not mixed with the fuel. You could put your nose to the tailpipe of my truck, and be hard pressed to tell it was a diesel.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:58 PM   #54
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...You could put your nose to the tailpipe of my truck, and be hard pressed to tell it was a diesel.
But you might smell rubber duck excrement.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:58 PM   #55
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A 3.73 is quite typical for a diesel that has 400hp and 800ftlb of torque. My GMC has the same gearing and will pull my 42', 14klb 5er driving 68mph at 1700rpms all day long without dropping out of overdrive. I average 10.5-11mpgs. Also, DEF is Diesel Exhaust Fluid(not fuel) and is added to a separate tank, and is not mixed with the fuel. You could put your nose to the tailpipe of my truck, and be hard pressed to tell it was a diesel.
X2 well said.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:06 PM   #56
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My 08 duramax has 3.73 ear as well. Pulls my 10000 lb or so 5er just fine. I'm fairly certain my oilburner and 3.73 will pull as well as gas and 4.10 gears. Probably even better in mountainous terrain.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:18 PM   #57
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But you might smell rubber duck excrement.
Shouldn't you be packing for FL or something!
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:20 PM   #58
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Fyi- on duramax 2500 and 3500s 3.73 gears are the only ones available factory.
For gm 6.0 gas they have 4.10 only on the 2500 and 3500s, the 1500hd had 3.73 gears with the gas motor.
The gas gearing may have a come up with another different option within the past couple years, other than the 4.10s but im not aware of them at this time.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:24 PM   #59
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Shouldn't you be packing for FL or something!
You just take care of my adopted granddaughter!!!!!

Give her a big hug for me!
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:28 PM   #60
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Fyi- on duramax 2500 and 3500s 3.73 gears are the only ones available factory.
For gm 6.0 gas they have 4.10 only on the 2500 and 3500s, the 1500hd had 3.73 gears with the gas motor.
The gas gearing may have a come up with another different option within the past couple years, other than the 4.10s but im not aware of them at this time.
You can get the 4.10 in a Chevy/GMC from factory on the 3500 Dmax, at least it was available in '11. No reason it shouldn't still be available.
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