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Old 03-10-2018, 08:07 AM   #1
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Range Between Fill Ups

We have a 2016 F-150 XLT with 5 1/2í bed pulling a 34í trailer with a loaded weight of 8120 lbs. I want to upgrade to a F-250 (or Silverado 2500) to reduce the jerkiness caused by passing trucks and sometimes cars. The F-250 would also allow carrying more weight. My dilemma is should it be diesel or gas and what will the impact be on the range until the next fill-up.
Currently with our 36 gal tank and averaging 10 mpg we can easily cover our nominal distance of 275 miles between campgrounds without refueling. This allows us to stop at the interstate rest areas and avoid hunting for gas stops. Some rest areas are quite nice for walking the dog and a picnic lunch. If we get a 34 gallon gas F-250 Iím guessing mileage drops to 7 mpg which means refueling along the way. If we get diesel Iím guessing at least 10 mpg which avoids en route fill-ups. Note we normally do 60 mph.
So diesel would work except there is a complication. Being retired I no longer commute and now mostly use the truck for short trips around town. I use my wifeís Mini when parking is a problem but otherwise itís the truck. This past year I clocked 10,000 miles total of which maybe 3,000 was trailering.
My concern is I donít think a diesel would like the short trips around town where it barely gets warmed up. With gas we need en route fill-ups which is also undesirable. The third option is to do nothing and keep the F-150. By the way, we are going out west this season from Maryland and the F-250 definitely would be nice in the Grand Tetons, Bryce, and Grand Canyon, etc. Any thoughts how to solve my dilemma are appreciated.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:15 AM   #2
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For what its worth, today's diesels are far better at handling the driver who does lots of little short trips. Yes, it likes to be taken out for a long stretch but those times you're pulling the camper a total of 3000 miles per year, you and the truck will be mighty happy.

If the initial cost of a diesel is not your main concern, I would definitely recommend it.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:18 AM   #3
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Rent an f250, pull ur trailer on the highway and see if there is enough difference to justify the large output of money.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:44 AM   #4
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I upgraded from a 1/2 ton to a diesel 1 ton. Haven't look back. Was wondering why I didn't do it earlier.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:50 AM   #5
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We pull our Wildcat fifth wheel with a 2017 F-250 6.7 diesel. We usually go close to 300 miles which takes us about 4.5 hours at 65 miles per hour. There are many variables that will affect these numbers, but that is about our average.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:09 AM   #6
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FWIW. I have a 2012 F350 2WD CC 6.2L gasser. It has 35 gallon tank. Towing our 8000lb + Wildcat TT from Ohio to Florida panhandle and back this winter averaged 11.4mpg according to the onboard computer. Not the mountains out west but some good hills in KY and TN. Usual speed 60-65 mph. Actually a little better than my previous 2008 F250 5.4L gasser. It would average 9.5mpg towing. I only tow distance once a year, couldn’t justify diesel cost. Every truck and towing situation will be different. You may want/need diesel.
I like the idea rent one see if you like it.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:14 AM   #7
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I have a Chevy 2500 diesel with the 36 gallon tank. I get 11 to 13mpg towing our 10K or so 5er. I end up getting about 400 to 450 miles per tank. I get 17 to 19 not towing.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:16 AM   #8
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FWIW. I have a 2012 F350 2WD CC 6.2L gasser. It has 35 gallon tank. Towing our 8000lb + Wildcat TT from Ohio to Florida panhandle and back this winter averaged 11.4mpg according to the onboard computer. Not the mountains out west but some good hills in KY and TN. Usual speed 60-65 mph. Actually a little better than my previous 2008 F250 5.4L gasser. It would average 9.5mpg towing. I only tow distance once a year, couldnít justify diesel cost. Every truck and towing situation will be different. You may want/need diesel.
I like the idea rent one see if you like it.
I had a gas 2500 for a week when my truck was in the shop. Man that thing got maybe 14 mpg on a good day. May not be an issue since it's not your daily driver. For me if would kill me on my 60 miles round trip to work and back each day.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:30 AM   #9
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If I had to commute 60 miles a day I'd buy a car. And keep the truck for trailering
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:36 AM   #10
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I had a gas 2500 for a week when my truck was in the shop. Man that thing got maybe 14 mpg on a good day. May not be an issue since it's not your daily driver. For me if would kill me on my 60 miles round trip to work and back each day.
Around town my F350 also will only get 13-14 mpg. Truck does get over 16 mpg highway empty. Thatís what I average driving 45 miles to campground during summer. I also use the truck to tow boat but itís only 3500 lbs. I am pleasantly surprised the truck does get better mileage than I expected for a 1 ton. From watching the forum many of the gassers are not. And youíre right, not a daily driver since I retired
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:48 AM   #11
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My Ram 3500 gets 22 on the highway and 16 around town. 3.42 rear end. Pulls my 41ft 5th wheel great. 11-12mpg towibg.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:57 AM   #12
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My F350 diesel gets 14-15 around town as my daily driver. Just got back from 1600 mile trip towing 12,000 pound fifth wheel, got 10 down, 11 back.

Depends a lot on headwinds.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:08 AM   #13
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If I had to commute 60 miles a day I'd buy a car. And keep the truck for trailering
Yeah two expensive for me to just keep a car to tow.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:21 AM   #14
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Yeah two expensive for me to just keep a car to tow.
60 miles a day at 10 MPG... You could buy a decent commuter car for that
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:23 AM   #15
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60 miles a day at 10 MPG... You could buy a decent commuter car for that
Or I could buy a 2500 Duramax 😀

My gas Ford gets 10-12 MPG empty
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:25 AM   #16
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Just Flip a Coin in regards to Gas or D! We always are ready for a Break WAY before we need FUEL! Could care less about "Range/Mileage" while Towing to many variables to influence need for Fuel! Big Issue is the Fuel gauge,if it says 1/2-1/4 Tank it is time for Fuel,not 1/4-empty zone! Retired and traveling is about "Smiles not Miles"! Youroo!!
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:25 AM   #17
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My diesel is about 20 months old and has 8K miles. It only tows and is liking it just fine. No problems what so ever.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:37 AM   #18
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60 miles a day at 10 MPG... You could buy a decent commuter car for that
Yeah but I get almost twice that in my truck. I actually get better than my wife's small suv.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:38 AM   #19
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I'm pulling a 5000 lb Mini Lite with a Silverado 2500HD gasser. Works just fine for me. We basically use the truck for towing. It's 20 months old and has 7K on it. It has a 13K towing capacity pulling a 5K TT. So I've got lots of "margin."

Reasons I DIDN'T get a diesel: Biggest is that I couldn't see tying up $7-10K in capital for something that's not really necessary for towing a smaller TT and for not a lot of miles, when it could be in an investment account making money. 2nd reason is just that I'm very familiar with gas; don't know much about diesels. 3rd is concern with potentially high maintenance costs (you'll get lots of opinions on this, too).

IMHO, a lot of folks here have diesels "because they want one," not necessarily because they "need" one. Some will freely admit it, but some try to "rationalize" it.

One other thing to think about: you're currently pulling 8K lbs. If you think you'll ever get something bigger, you'll probably want a TV that can handle whatever you might move up to.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:39 AM   #20
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Rent an f250, pull ur trailer on the highway and see if there is enough difference to justify the large output of money.
100% agree. I had a jerky towing TT. Went form an F150 Max Tow to a Ram 2500 CTD CC LB. Still had the same jerky tow. Not saying that will be your case but sometimes they don't design TT's very well.
As for mileage goes most diesels will get maybe 11-12 mpg towing. If you have a 36 gal tank thats 396 miles at 11 mpg. Not really enough to justify the $9000 for the diesel option. You might squeeze another 30 miles out of a tank.
Also make sure you get the right configuration. F250's have 3 different tank sizes. Now the 48 gal would be really nice.
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