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Old 05-29-2016, 12:09 PM   #1
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Gas vs Diesel Engine

Ok I know this is been debated a ton but want some fresh opinions. Took our first long trip this weekend and got killed on gas. I have a 2013 Ford F150 with the 5.0 V8 and we got about 8 miles to the gallon. Pulls our trailer fine however does struggle a little on hills. Stopped at a weight station and we were at 12,140 total with all our gear, the family and a full tank of gas which is still under the max capacity of the truck. My DW said we should consider a diesel and I almost pulled into the first dealership I could find before she changed her mind.

So my question is would the diesel give me better gas mileage? I know the towing would be better but the mileage definitely needs to increase for me to justify the purchase. And the next quest would be Ford, Chevy or Dodge? Would love to hear the pros and/or cons from your experience since all I have ever owned are F150s. Thanks in advance and let the debates begin.
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LJS1211 View Post
Ok I know this is been debated a ton but want some fresh opinions. Took our first long trip this weekend and got killed on gas. I have a 2013 Ford F150 with the 5.0 V8 and we got about 8 miles to the gallon. Pulls our trailer fine however does struggle a little on hills. Stopped at a weight station and we were at 12,140 total with all our gear, the family and a full tank of gas which is still under the max capacity of the truck. My DW said we should consider a diesel and I almost pulled into the first dealership I could find before she changed her mind.

So my question is would the diesel give me better gas mileage? I know the towing would be better but the mileage definitely needs to increase for me to justify the purchase. And the next quest would be Ford, Chevy or Dodge? Would love to hear the pros and/or cons from your experience since all I have ever owned are F150s. Thanks in advance and let the debates begin.
12,500lbs sounds a bit high to me for an F-150.....tho you didn't mention what you were towing

The diesel will always get you better mileage in the hilly country as the torque curve will be better. After I got burned on my first TV (RAM 1500 Hemi), I said never again and bought a RAM 3500 Diesel Dually. I've never looked back.....
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:23 PM   #3
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My 10 yr old diesel will average 12 - 12.5 mpg towing roughly 17-18k
I've seen as low as 11 in the mountains and as high as 13 going to the beach.
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:36 PM   #4
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Max towing capacity is to me a sales gimmicks. What you need to use us the yellow payload sticker to find how much "trailer" you can haul. You will most likely be out of payload long before you hit the max trailer that the car company posts. (using the appropriate % tongue to trailer weight ratios)

I get 13 to 14 towing a 8000 or so lbs trailer with diesel. Got 9 with the same trailer in gas. Same fuel economy between the both when not towing.



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Old 05-29-2016, 12:46 PM   #5
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I did a three hour trip a few weeks ago with my 5er, pulled by my 3500 cummins.

Last year the same trip with my F350 V10.

Almost double the fuel economy with the cummins.


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Old 05-29-2016, 01:00 PM   #6
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12,500lbs sounds a bit high to me for an F-150.....tho you didn't mention what you were towing
So, that is only a 6,000 trailer. The 13 F150 Screw is a hair over 6,000 lbs alone. Yes, you would get a little better MPG with a diesel. You didn't say how often you tow or if you use the truck for other things. An Ecoboost wouldn't be struggling on those hills, but the 5.0 doesn't pull quite as well. If it makes you feel better, get a 250. If not, you are fine pulling that trailer just take your time.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:05 PM   #7
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Our 2007 Duramax 2500HD avgs 11mph pulling 11.5k 5er. If we have a bad headwind all day I've seen it drop to 8.5 and with a tailwind 13mph.

Empty we get 21 hiway and 16 city.

My 1/2 ton gas trucks pulling 8k or less avg 8mph with the range from 5 to 9. And they were always screaming up hills or against a headwind.

Will your fuel costs greatly improve? Not really. But your towing experience will increase for the better 1000 times.

What brand? Whichever one you like, I don't see any real difference between the big 3 as far as towing. I like the ride and cabin comforts of the chevy plus they are usually cheaper. Dodge still rides too rough for us. We don't like the cabin interiors of the Fords plus they are usually the most costly.

We have been looking at new diesel trucks (probably a 1 ton this time) but so far haven't find a deal that makes me want to give up our old reliable 2007.

Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:04 PM   #8
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Fuel economy should be better but the improvement will never offset the cost of a diesel. Saving fuel is not a reason why one buys a diesel. One buys it for the torque and impressive towing performance. I've yet to find a hill here in Colorado where my F350 struggles.
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:40 PM   #9
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My 2016 F250 6.7 gets 17-18 city rural and 19 hwy. Add the 5er and 11-12 towing 11,200# 5er. My F150 was getting 19-20 city rural and 9.3 pulling a 7000# TT. Fuel savings will not pay for that $8400 diesel option but you get it back at trade in.
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:51 PM   #10
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I have had a 2012 3500 Cummins, 2008 duramax, 2012 ford f350 in that order. Did not have the Dodge long enough to comment on durability, but I was most impressed with the duramax engine and fuel economy while the Ford to me is definitely better at handling our trailer(13k lbs 5r) but my Chevy was 2500 short box and the Ford is 350 long box.

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Old 05-29-2016, 04:42 PM   #11
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Keep an eye on the prices.. I got my duramax for $3K over the cost of the same 2500 6.0 (or whatever their gas motor is). I was getting a 2500 anyways. the 4K off the usual 7k option sealed my fate.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:29 AM   #12
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Fuel economy should be better but the improvement will never offset the cost of a diesel. Saving fuel is not a reason why one buys a diesel. One buys it for the torque and impressive towing performance. I've yet to find a hill here in Colorado where my F350 struggles.


There was an article I read not terribly long ago about the threshold of cost of ownership for gas vs. diesel. I want to say is was roughly around 20 thousand miles driven a year where the cost of ownership becomes cheaper for a diesel truck versus a gas truck.


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Old 05-30-2016, 09:42 AM   #13
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There was an article I read not terribly long ago about the threshold of cost of ownership for gas vs. diesel. I want to say is was roughly around 20 thousand miles driven a year where the cost of ownership becomes cheaper for a diesel truck versus a gas truck.


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Works for me ~~ my 2016 F250 6.7 was purchased in December 2016 ~~ 7 months ago ~ and just about 17,000 now. I expect to see 30,000 to 35,000 by the 1 year mark and 80,000+ at the 2 year trade in mark.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:21 AM   #14
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:37 AM   #15
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Waiting for my 2017 Super Duty which is the exact copy of my 2000 F350 with all the added new electronics and cameras. Going from the 7.3 to the 6.7. I will greatly miss the old truck..it has been the best truck I have ever had. After 16 years the old F350 will have cost me $800 per year just considering the cost of the truck. I used to be a Chevy guy but the SD has been very good to me. I hope the new truck is going to do as well as the old one. The price is really getting high on the new ones. I could probably live with the gas engine but would not after having diesel trucks since 1995.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:02 AM   #16
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Those that constantly crow about the cost of a diesel are missing an important issue... safety. I was exactly the same position you are in a couple of years ago. My 5.0 F-150 was nearing the end of it's warranty, and was having the beginnings of transmission trouble. I was getting 8 mpg towing and around 21 on the hiway, unloaded. I was pushed around on the hiway by winds and semis, and always felt like I was going to blow the engine on hills. I always felt unsafe being so much slower than surrounding traffic on hills. I could have bought a gas-powered Ram 2500 for less money, but would have been in the same boat all around except for the improved handling of the 3/4 ton truck. I bit the bullet and bought the Ram/Cummins and now get about 21 mpg hiway, unloaded, and 13 - 14 mpg towing my trailer. I change my own oil/filter and fuel filters every 10,000 miles for a bit more than any of the oil-change franchises charged to change the oil/filter in my F-150 every 5,000 miles. The maintenance is really about a wash. I will get more for my truck in resale because of the Cummins engine, but I don't believe those that say I'll recoup all of the cost of going diesel. All that being said... I don't believe I've ever felt better about a decision I've made even 2 years past, than buying a diesel truck. The difference in pulling a trailer is so significant that I'll say I'll never go back to a gas engine for pulling anything more than a bass boat... and some of them are big and heavy enough these days that I'd probably rather have a diesel. I can't say you'll never be sorry you own a diesel, because you may hate it as you drive it off the lot... I can say I'll probably never be sorry... and I really DO wish I'd done it sooner.
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:23 PM   #17
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If what you have tows fine and is safe I can't see a payment 100 percent of the time if you only tow 5 percent of the time. I tow near 25 percent of my miles and do so with a 1 ton Cummins. The beefier truck handles the load better than any half or three quarters I ever towed with and the additional torque maintains highway speeds when climbing grades that the gas jobs can't. Which diesel is a loaded question. I have had them all but will stay with Cummins as long as the run a big in line. The stock torque is crazy. The other brands do have better front suspension systems though.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:11 PM   #18
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2009 GMC 1500 5.3
6800 TT
9-12 mpg


2015 Ram 3500 Diesel
11,800 5er
10.5---11.5 only 5,000 miles, not broke in yet


neighbor has same truck, pulls 6200 TT, he says he get 17mpg. not sure???
would not give up my diesel. thought I saw a post, anything over 10,000 would work better with diesel
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:26 PM   #19
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Gas verse Diesel

Diesel, GMC I have a 7400lb TT and a 12,500 5er used my 1/2 ton to pull TT it struggled in the mountains but with the Diesel 2500 HD Denali I barely new the TT was there
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:28 PM   #20
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gas vs diesel

There is no doubt that diesel gets better mileage than gas and the bigger the load, the bigger the benefit. But let's do an ROI (Return On Investment)

I am driving from San Diego to Alaska in 5 days and will be on the road for 7 weeks logging more than 10,000 miles. Pulling my 27' Stealth toy hauler with fully loaded at about 7000 lbs I will get 8 MPG from my 2008 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L V8 that is rated to tow 9600lbs.

Engine Miles GPM Gallons Cost/gal Total cost
Gas 10000 8 1250 $2.30 $2,875.00
Diesel 10000 14 714 $2.35 $1,678.57

Diesel fuel saving = $1,196.43

So for this very long trip I would save $1200 in fuel costs if I sold my Sequoia for $20,000 and bought a 2 to 4 year old Ford F250 diesel for about $35,000.
So my ROI would be that I would break even after 125,000 towing miles.
(12.5 Alaska trips)
And I would have to live with the noise and smell of diesel and the very different power curves between gas and diesel.

But if I was starting from scratch and planned to tow a real lot, I would by diesel.

Please forgive me and don't jump down my throat if you don't agree with this next part... It is just my opinion as a reliability engineer...

I wouldn't buy Dodge even though the Cummings diesel is the best diesel engine you can buy except for the Mercedes truck diesel which costs a fortune.
I would buy a Ford F250 because they are much more reliable overall than Dodge.

My 2 cents...
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