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Old 04-02-2024, 04:23 AM   #41
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Glad I stumbled onto this thread.

We haven't taken any trips that required worrying about fuel but will be heading west this summer.

With 30 gallons on the Powerboost and usually 8- 9 ish mpgs towing, I was planning on 200 miles per leg but maybe I should cut that back to 150. I can live with that. I planned on carrying 5, strapped in the bed and still do. Some of the places we plan on, are fairly remote.
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Old 04-02-2024, 04:54 AM   #42
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You don't need a diesel for a trailer of that weight. A 3/4 ton gasser will do fine. Look mainly at CCC as that varies a lot among brands.
Op is looking at a 1/2 ton baby diesel not the big daddy diesel. They are more worried about distance between fuel stops.
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Old 04-02-2024, 09:43 AM   #43
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Diesel

I donít know the answer to your question but Iíll give you a tip that was hard earned by my daughter and son-in-law just last week: GET A FUNNEL!! There is a funnel you can buy that is specifically for filling up your truck from the truck stop 18-wheelerís pumps. Daughter and SIL were in MS and could find NO stations with auto diesel. All the station had was a paper funnel. My SIL ended up doused in fuel from the process because there was no air hole in such a funnel and at some point his truck burped it back out at him! Ugh! Iíve noticed some truck stops have no diesel at the auto pumps, but will have 1 pump in the truck area labeled Auto diesel. Still, BUY THAT SPECIAL FUNNEL!

Another side note about National Parks. Some National Parks do not have spaces sized for big travel trailers. You may find yourself camping outside the state park and driving in for day trips. I found this to be true in Estes Park Colorado.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:03 AM   #44
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What other folks are getting this fuel mileage?! Some alternate universe? No more than 9(nine) mpg is all you're gonna get even if you restrict your speed to 50mph or lower. And that's on level roads. A diesel isn't going to magically bump your towing fuel use above 10mpg. And you're stuck with diesel even when not towing.
- Chuck
Just sold my 2015 Ram 2500 4wd CTD a couple of months ago. Although it weighed 7500#, that truck consistently got 12-14 mpg, depending on terrain, when towing our fifth wheel and 22-23 mpg on Interstates when not towing. On a 1,000-mile non-towing trip from Denver to Chicago, I got a calculated, not gauged, 22.7 mpg.

But don't forget to check the max. trailer frontal area specified in the truck owner's manual. I didn't before buying my first travel trailer. I found the manual said the frontal area should not exceed 60 sq. ft., but my trailer was 64 sq. ft. And that small difference made 65 mph hills on Interstates a problem for that gas V-6!

More important than the mileage was the Ram diesel's turbo and exhaust brake because we live in Colorado. The turbo loses <1% of its power per 1,000' increase in elevation; a non-turbo engine loses 3% per 1,000'. So, a 350 HP turbo diesel still has ~320HP at 10,000', but a 350 HP non-turbo engine has only 245 HP. That's why we always passed the 5.0L F-150s with 20' trailers when towing the fiver up the 6% eastbound grade to the 11,000' Eisenhower Tunnel. And our diesel exhaust brake was a literal lifesaver when towing the fiver down grades like the 10% US 14A grade from the Bighorn Mtns. to Lovell, WY.

For us, neither the diesel range nor DEF were ever a problem here in the West. I have lived in Colorado for 60 years, 50 of which I had no cell and no Gas Buddy, and I worked in every Western state. After 5 trucks, small and large, I have never run out of fuel, never had any problem finding fuel stations, and never had an auxiliary fuel tank. As for DEF, if the DEF gauge was below 1/2, we bought a 2 1/2-gallon jug at Walmart when we stopped for groceries. Every town in the West with a Walmart has DEF!

So, the bottom line is that the OP will be just fine in the West with whatever truck-trailer combination he decides to buy. The Wild West is no longer unsettled and hasn't been for 100 years! Yes, there are long distances between towns on some Western "blue highways" like US 50 in NV (the "Loneliest Highway in the US") and US 2 in eastern MT, but it's not likely the OP will be on either of those.

To the OP: buy whatever best fits your lifestyle--truck and trailer! After all, you will be driving that truck a lot more without the trailer than towing it. If using the truck as a daily driver, get a comfortable truck that fits that purpose and then get a trailer that will tow best with that truck. If your local diesel fuel is consistently 50+ cents/gallon more than regular gas, you may be better off with an Ecoboost V-6 F-150 than a 3.0L Duramax.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:13 AM   #45
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A diesel works for everything. They pull and they last. 10k extra is the smartest money you can spend.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:52 AM   #46
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When touring Canada I was burned twice in my planning when two gas stations I planned to use were no longer in business, but were shown on Google Maps as in operation. Fortunately, I was on a MC and only had to worry about myself and not a handicapped wife and two dogs.
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:14 AM   #47
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Not doing it to save money. But the 3L diesel option costs the same as the 5.3L V8, and if I do get 30% better milage it is at least a wash in terms of $$.
I think the concern is range between fuel stops rather than cost for fuel? My experience with gas engine trucks is that I have averaged about 8 MPG. The problem with the 1500 is the 22 gal tank. Some Math. I have a gas Ram 2500 with a 31 gal tank. 31x8=248. I like to keep 75 miles worth in reserve which works out to 9.4 gallons so usable without cutting into that would be 21.6 gal ◊ 8 mpg = about 173 miles. To be safe I try to keep it to 150 miles. So what mpg would the 1500 with 3.0 diesel need to get in order to duplicate my range? To go 248 miles on a 22 gal tank you would have to get 11.27 mpg. To keep my 75 mile reserve, you would only have 15.3 usable without cutting into the reserve. 15.3x11.27 = about 172.

Can you really get 11.27? I doubt it but I'll let someone who actually has one tell you that.

But to me the larger tank size of a gas 2500 trumps the better mpg of the 1500 diesel as far as range. Now, if you step up to a 2500 or 3500 diesel, there is usually a larger tank at least as an option. On the Rams, you can get a 50 gal but you have to make sure you get that option. On the other had, the standard 31 gal tank means the HD truck diesel would actually beat the gas engine truck on range...same tank but better MPG.

All that said, 150 miles per tank has been working for me. I usually dont want to go longer than that without a stop anyway. Out west though, I keep a bigger reserve and don't pass a gas station without stopping if there is any doubt. The key is to not be in a hurry, plan ahead and relax.
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:43 AM   #48
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Newcastle

One caution: if traveling from the Black Hills through Lusk, WY, fill up In Newcastle. Towing a Ďwallí up that loooong hill into the windÖ.

Donít ask me how I know!
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:59 AM   #49
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On my 2012 RAM 2500 CTD, I have a 35 gal tank.
Heading west on I80 from Arkansas back to California, my worst tanks mpg was 9.66 calculated. That was pulling a 9500# 12'6" high 5th wheel into a VERY strong headwind.
I used 25.366 gallons to travel 245.1 miles. This means I had 10 gallons or 90ish miles to empty. That was the WORST I have gotten towing.

Going east on I40, same trip, my best tank mpg while towing was 16.88 MPG. I went 252.3 miles and used 14.947 gallons. This was with a tailwind.
These are real numbers, manually calculated. I used GasBuddy and OpenRoads apps to identify targeted stops for fuel, bathroom breaks etc. I was never concerned with running out of fuel.

P.S. I did have 10 gallons of diesel loaded in the front of the 5th wheel as insurance as I was not sure what to expect with this truck and trailer combo.
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Old 04-02-2024, 12:08 PM   #50
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Last two summers we did a couple of similar trips, from CA to Glacier NP, once through Utah and Colorado towing a trailer getting 16mpg with a 19 gallon tow vehicle, so the absolute maximum range was 300 miles, realistically we were fuelling up at most every 200 miles. And last year we did a similar trip to Glacier NP going through WA with a different trailer getting about 10mpg, so the range was at most 190 miles and were filling up every 100 miles or so. It's definitely an inconvenience but not an issue. We were in the remote parts of Utah or Nevada we would just fill up almost every time we saw a gas station.
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Old 04-02-2024, 12:31 PM   #51
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The distance from Tonopah, NV to Caliente, NV is 200 miles of mountainous, curving, 2 lane, with possibly no fuel in between. Sometimes there is fuel at the Little Ale'Inn on the extraterrestrial highway, but you can't count on it. If you are going to travel in the west, carry extra fuel. If you are buying a new truck, get the largest fuel tank available,
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Old 04-02-2024, 12:42 PM   #52
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Bottom line is that if you are on an Interstate or major highway, you will be fine doing a minimum amount of fuel stop investigation.

If you are on backroads, you will have to fully research fuel stops and probably carry extra fuel.

I usually carry 10G of extra fuel when going new places and following backroads. While rarely needed to enable me to make it to the next fuel stop, they have saved me many times from having to drop the trailer to fuel the truck in small town fuel stations that are inaccessible for RVs.
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Old 04-02-2024, 12:56 PM   #53
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Living and RV's all over the West has never really been a problem for me. Stay on the paved roads and you will find gas. Except for perhaps Utah. On I-70 just past the last exit for Green River you will see a sign that says next gas 160 miles.
Green River to Salina is 107 miles. Green River exit is # 160. Perhaps this is where you are confused.
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Old 04-02-2024, 01:53 PM   #54
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Well I don't have a diesel but I do have a 36 gallon tank. That said, prior to our Mt Rushmore trip, I made sure to note just about every gas station along the routes I'd be taking. Even then, if I was getting low, I'd fill up earlier if I saw a open one I liked. I planned for 10 mpg, and that's about what I got for the most part while towing. Diesel or not, that is what I'd plan for. Then its easy to look along your route and see where the gas stations are at.

I will say, once I got to our campsite and unhooked, mileage went up considerably. I don't know if it was the gas, elevation or some combination thereof, but I was getting easily 3-4 mpg more than I would typically get at home. Even after we have got back until now, its up about 1 mpg.
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Old 04-02-2024, 06:29 PM   #55
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Green River to Salina is 107 miles. Green River exit is # 160. Perhaps this is where you are confused.
We travel W on I-70 in the MH frequently as #1 son lives in Las Vegas. We leave Denver with a full tank and generally fill up again at the truck stop in DeBeque Canyon (just E of the bridge over the Colorado River at Palisade). It has a car (low pressure) diesel pump on the island next to the building. Then we fill again in either Salina or Fillmore, whichever Gas Buddy says is cheaper. That allows us to bypass Green River, which always has the highest prices along that stretch of interstate. But we don't have to wait that far for a restroom break since every scenic overlook W of Green River has a restroom. The views and geology are great at every overlook (and I'm a retired geological engineer). Plus we always need a break from driving and a leg stretch by then anyway!
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Old 04-02-2024, 08:09 PM   #56
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We travel W on I-70 in the MH frequently as #1 son lives in Las Vegas. We leave Denver with a full tank and generally fill up again at the truck stop in DeBeque Canyon (just E of the bridge over the Colorado River at Palisade). It has a car (low pressure) diesel pump on the island next to the building. Then we fill again in either Salina or Fillmore, whichever Gas Buddy says is cheaper.
We drive that section of I-70 frequently as well. Not sure how you would pass through Fillmore on the way to Vegas without some major backtracking
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Old 04-02-2024, 08:28 PM   #57
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Oops, you're right. We stop in Richfield or Salina for fuel. We found a great new RV park southwest of Richfield on one trip. It is called Monroe Canyon RV Park and has a very good owner-manager-builder-maintenance man named Jordan.
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Old 04-02-2024, 09:55 PM   #58
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A gasser is going to magically drop your towing fuel use to 10mpg. And you're stuck with a gasser even when not towing.

FTFY.
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Old 04-03-2024, 10:16 AM   #59
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Distance to a gas station is not the only issue. It has to be a gas station that you can maneuver in and out of. I really don't want to have to disconnect my trailer somewhere nearby, or on the side of the road to get gas.
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Old 04-05-2024, 09:23 AM   #60
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Carrying extra fuel in separate tanks is dangerous. Just keep your tank over half. Diesels make it easty. I only have a 32 gallon tank now, the old Ford had a 35. Rural Nevada, and Utah are as rural as it gets. No problem finding fuel if you take advantage of stations along the way.
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