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Old 05-18-2023, 11:00 PM   #1
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Opening a can of worms

I want to ask a question. I know that there are some strong opinions and each driver will know she or he is the right answer but here goes. Diesel or gas pickup to tow a 5th wheel. First of all letís assume the truck can haul the RV, exceeds all weight and size restrictions and can perform safely on the road. Either one is well maintained and will not be driven over 150,000 miles. The owner is a full time RVír.

Why buy diesel?
They cost more to buy. Cost more to repair. Cost more to fill up. Have the added cost of DEF fluid. Less likely repairable on the side of the road by a shade tree mechanic.

My gas truck is just over 107,000 miles, Iím starting to plan on replacing at the end of this year and will, probably, buy a late model used truck. I really would appreciate input.
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Old 05-18-2023, 11:16 PM   #2
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Moved thread from the General Community Discussion section to the Towing and Tow Vehicles sub-forum since the OP's questions are specific to that sub-forum and not general questions.

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Old 05-18-2023, 11:24 PM   #3
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Mine costs $55 a year more than a gas truck in maintenance.

The Ram until I think 2018 had a lifetime warranty on the motor.

Hd truck parts cost more than half tons.

DEF use is minimal not towing. About 1.5 cents per mile towing

No comparison on towing difference. Hands down diesel.

Exhaust brake is great on hills. Really easy.

Fill ups while towing are easy. Long trailers are scary at service stations. Many are simply impossible.

Resale on used diesels is generally higher. When I researched in 2015 you pretty much got your money back. Check out car value guides.

Their mileage is likely 30% better maybe more towing. I get over twenty empty. 11 towing 14,000 pounds. We typically go almost 300 miles between fill ups.

In the last twenty years diesel was cheaper than gas. Likely not forever.

If you tow a lot then diesel. Ocassional towing, not so much.
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Old 05-19-2023, 06:08 AM   #4
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I just made the shift twice diesel to gas back to diesel. Maintenance cost is always part of the discussion. Oil changes are part but letís be honest most of us remember oil change every 3k now gas motors can go 10k per most manufacturers some oils claim 20k . Diesel is just under that 7.5 to 10k if doing yourself not much price difference as most gas wants synthetic now. Every 15k fuel filter change on a diesel so letís say average driving then just about every 12 months extra $50 to 75 depending on truck and where you get filter. DEF depends on use I got 3k on my truck it didnít come with a full def tank I havenít added any yet.
On road not towing I get 20+ in mpg diesel but here it is higher than gas. I got 13.5 on good day with gas motor. Best I got towing gas was 8.5 that is a bad day towing in the diesel. Fuel is easier to get ( not worth 10k extra) My gas truck did great but I just like the diesel.
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Old 05-19-2023, 06:15 AM   #5
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I have used gas and diesel for pulling RVs and hands down diesel is my preference.

Maintenance - Diesel cost more than gas but that can be curbed if you do some of your own maintenance as I do. Oil changes. Fuel filters. Etc.

Repairs - Diesels can be more expensive but that isn't to say newer gassers aren't. These days most everything is electronically controlled and in much tighter spaces. With my old 6.0 I replaced injectors, pumps, FICM, etc myself. Today with my newer 6.7, not sure I would attempt it and I'm very mechanically inclined. But then again on my wife's 2018 gas Explorer, the engine compartment looks daunting compared to my 1997 F150.

Operating Costs - DEF fluid is negligible IMO. Uses more when towing but not a gosh awful expense. Fuel --- right now diesel is about 50 cents more a gallon that gas in my area. 2021 was terrible at 6+ bucks a gallon compared to gas which was significantly less. But remember there was a day when diesel was much cheaper than gas. Who knows....maybe we'll get there again someday.

Other reasons I prefer diesel: 1) Exhaust brake really helps with maintaining speeds and reducing brake wear 2) Torque - - love the pure power 3) We get 10-11 MPG on our diesel while with the gasser we got 7-8 MPG and 4) Resale value
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Old 05-19-2023, 06:41 AM   #6
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"In the last twenty years diesel was cheaper than gas. Likely not forever."
What???
My guess is diesel is not going below regular gas again....
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Old 05-19-2023, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
"In the last twenty years diesel was cheaper than gas. Likely not forever."
What???
My guess is diesel is not going below regular gas again....
Funny, bizarre thing we noticed the last few weeks. We travel to Tucson/Phoenix area a LOT (kids and grandkids).
Fuel in AZ lately is much more than in NM. In the Tempe area we noticed several stations where diesel was cheaper than the lowest octane gas. Just a few cents, but cheaper.
Odd, very odd. I should have taken pictures.....
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Old 05-19-2023, 09:39 AM   #8
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In April we saw prices of diesel lower than gas. Oklahoma or Missouri diesel was cheaper.

The reason is the evolution of gas. The manufacturers have been forced to blend all kinds of stuff in their gasoline. Differs by state. Costly. Drives up the cost.

Until recently the manufacture of diesel has gotten more expensive. Supply and demand issues. New taxes. More blending costs.

Likely the cost of diesel will be more than the past.

There are more btuís in diesel. So it should cost a little more.

My diesel is very frugal. The cost per mile for us is less than with gas. We can go farther per tank. Fueling up is easier. Towing we get 30-40% farther per gallon.
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Old 05-19-2023, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
"In the last twenty years diesel was cheaper than gas. Likely not forever."
What???
My guess is diesel is not going below regular gas again....
Dan, diesel in the Phoenix area, is cheaper than regular gas. Has been this way for at least the last couple of months.
I have no explanation.

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Old 05-19-2023, 11:27 AM   #10
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When I was doing my research ahead of my move up to a 3/4 ton pickup I compared gas to diesel. The end result was the upfront cost of a diesel truck was enough sway me to stay with gas. Most other comparable's like fuel and maintenance where pretty equal from gas to diesel when you spread it out across a year's time.

If you can stomach the larger upfront cost of a diesel truck then diesel is the way to go.
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Old 05-19-2023, 01:39 PM   #11
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Today, here in Anchorage, Gas [reg] and Diesel are the same price at COSTCO. $3.69/GL. Haven't seen that in a while.
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Old 05-19-2023, 02:17 PM   #12
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Fulltime RVer with diesel dually and a 12k pound 5th wheel. Currently at 239,000 miles with no desire to replace. One of the biggest advantages of diesel is being able to easily add an auxiliary fuel tank. Carrying 86 gallons at 11 mpg means I don’t have to get fuel with the trailer. The maintenance price gap is not as large as many make it out to be.
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Old 05-19-2023, 02:23 PM   #13
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Today, here in Anchorage, Gas [reg] and Diesel are the same price at COSTCO. $3.69/GL. Haven't seen that in a while.
"Fuel" prices have always been subject to supply and demand. The base prices are determined by feed stock costs, operating costs of refineries, and government mandates. After that its all about how full the storage tanks are. Easier to lower prices to sell more than start/stop refineries.
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Old 05-19-2023, 02:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
Funny, bizarre thing we noticed the last few weeks. We travel to Tucson/Phoenix area a LOT (kids and grandkids).
Fuel in AZ lately is much more than in NM. In the Tempe area we noticed several stations where diesel was cheaper than the lowest octane gas. Just a few cents, but cheaper.
Odd, very odd. I should have taken pictures.....
On the same note we visited our Son and family in California and the Gas and diesel was cheaper in California than Arizona.
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Old 05-19-2023, 02:43 PM   #15
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On the same note we visited our Son and family in California and the Gas and diesel was cheaper in California than Arizona.
Now that is a shock!!!!
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Old 05-19-2023, 03:01 PM   #16
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We were in AZ this past March. Gas in Phoenix was $4.499. That was almost a dollar a gallon more than any gas we bought on that entire trip from NC to AZ and back.
AZ really screws the snow birds.
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Old 05-19-2023, 05:16 PM   #17
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I don't remember where I heard this, but the reason diesel prices passed gasoline prices is because the EPA required the removal of sulphur from the diesel. This increased processing increased the cost. And, destroyed fuel pumps because the sulphur provided lubrication.
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Old 05-19-2023, 05:58 PM   #18
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Started out with a small 5er and a gas truck. It towed okay and mileage was satisfactory. Then I moved to a 34 ft 5er and a diesel F 250. Easy towing, decent mileage, about 10 per gallon. A few years later moved up to a 38 ft 5th wheel, same diesel, same mileage.

The exhaust brake by itself is enough to make me a believer in diesel. About 5 years ago when we started traveling far and wide I had a spare 34 gallon in bed tank installed. Never have to worry about getting fuel on the road. If we stop to eat or for a comfort break/dog walking it's no big deal to use the truck lanes and DEF is there if needed. But I carry a jug of DEF on every trip.


Summation: Diesel all the way.
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Old 05-19-2023, 06:07 PM   #19
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I filled up just this morning at the local Shell station.
Regular - $4.12 gallon
Premium - $4.38 gallon
Diesel - $3.69 gallon
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Old 05-19-2023, 10:55 PM   #20
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Why buy diesel?

My gas truck is just over 107,000 miles, Iím starting to plan on replacing at the end of this year and will, probably, buy a late model used truck. I really would appreciate input.
So, my shade tree mechanic works on my diesel all the time and prefers the diesels. It may cost more to fill up, but my 1 ton pickup gets around 22 mpg empty and around 14 mpg pulling my 15K 5th wheel. It tows it up any mountain I have been on with ease and I can even increase my speed going uphill. But, it is your last sentence above that shows the real difference. You have a truck with 107k miles and are already thinking about replacing it soon. My 2006 diesel has 117k and I feel it is barely broken in. With proper maintenance I plan to see over 300k out of it. It's a no Brainer for me. I wouldn't trade my diesel for 5 gasers.
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