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Old 12-05-2022, 11:23 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle upgrade

I just traded in my Canyon 2.8 liter diesel for a low mileage Ram 2500 6.7 Tubo Cummins. OMG, what a ride! Like a rocket sled. Not sure why I waited so long.

The Canyon was okay—really no vehicle squat and handled my 6500 lbs okay. It was similar to 1/2 tons I have owned except superior torque on hills. But I was envious of the mileage and handling from the HD diesels.

Last week on the last day of the month, I took my Canyon into a dealership who had a good number of used 2500 and was willing to deal. Finally I see the light—Holy cow does it ever have the power along with surprising mileage. I averaged 24 mpg without pulling and I suspect I should average 17 pulling my trailer. Finally, cross country trips are in the works. Can’t wait for Spring!
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Old 12-06-2022, 01:16 AM   #2
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Perfect real life comparison of the two TVs and the value an HD truck adds to the towing experience.
My son has a Colorado which I’ve driven - great truck, but no way would I think about towing a 6500# travel trailer with it.
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Old 12-06-2022, 09:47 PM   #3
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Glad you are enjoying I owned 3 Cummins and a power stroke loved truly loved them all but the best empty mileage on hwy was 21 in the 2016 power stroke 3:55 rear. My average is probably 15mpg towing 9.5. Diesel pulls smoothly better but unless I spent more time towing than driving. I would by gas.
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Old 12-06-2022, 11:22 PM   #4
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I believe the newer HDs diesels have raised the bar on mileage. The newer Duramax 6.6 has the best mileage and a larger 36 gallon tank. The Ram Cummins 6.7 newer (20-22) are also better on mileage than earlier years. But they only have a 31 gallon tank. I believe the new Powerstrokes are rated third in mileage but have massive torque. It’s amazing what can be done to improve horse power and torque with turbo chargers. Question is who really needs 475 hp and over 1050 lbs of torque. And who can afford these? Obviously they must have a market. If I had an unlimited budget I would buy a new HD Duramax 6.6 Denali but I ended up with a 2020 Ram Cummins Big Horn with 28k miles. It’s rated at 370hp and 850 lbs of torque which is all that I will ever need in the Western States. I’m sorry but diesel torque leaves gas engines trucks, I have driven, gasping for air and lower gears. Even my 2.8 Duramax Canyon could make a steady climb and minimize downshifts with its exhaust brake. I wouldn’t be surprised if the regulators don’t get involved with the battle for better torque and higher tow ratings however—GM/Ford/Ram are not too far from CDL licensing and big rig classification on their newest high output diesels. I would hate to have to stop at weigh stations for a MiniLite! Ha
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Old 12-07-2022, 05:54 AM   #5
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I believe the newer HDs diesels have raised the bar on mileage. The newer Duramax 6.6 has the best mileage and a larger 36 gallon tank. The Ram Cummins 6.7 newer (20-22) are also better on mileage than earlier years. But they only have a 31 gallon tank. I believe the new Powerstrokes are rated third in mileage but have massive torque. It’s amazing what can be done to improve horse power and torque with turbo chargers. Question is who really needs 475 hp and over 1050 lbs of torque. And who can afford these? Obviously they must have a market. If I had an unlimited budget I would buy a new HD Duramax 6.6 Denali but I ended up with a 2020 Ram Cummins Big Horn with 28k miles. It’s rated at 370hp and 850 lbs of torque which is all that I will ever need in the Western States. I’m sorry but diesel torque leaves gas engines trucks, I have driven, gasping for air and lower gears. Even my 2.8 Duramax Canyon could make a steady climb and minimize downshifts with its exhaust brake. I wouldn’t be surprised if the regulators don’t get involved with the battle for better torque and higher tow ratings however—GM/Ford/Ram are not too far from CDL licensing and big rig classification on their newest high output diesels. I would hate to have to stop at weigh stations for a MiniLite! Ha


Yes pulling hands down the diesel wins in abilities. I was in no way putting down a diesel. As you mentioned if money wasn’t an option I would still be driving my 2021 Ram 3500 DWD Laramie with HO Cummins 3:73 rear and 50 gallon fuel tank. I loved this truck but the only time I used it as a truck was when I towed. It became hard to justify writing that monthly payment for my truck to sit in the driveway. While I drove a beater to work and back. The last month I owned the truck before I traded I drove it less than a mile. Having gotten my new trl in September of last year between work and trl being in repair I towed it just 4 times. I only have 1 trip in my Ford I put the stats below. My Ford pulled trl just fine.

Ram non towing mpg 14.5 to 15 on hwy towing 9.7 average
Ford non towing 13.6 to 14 hwy towing 7.5 .
On my trip the difference between gas lowest 2.78 average was probably 3.10 diesel lowest price 4:10 highest $5.29.

Please enjoy you truck I am not bashing just providing my experience.
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Old 12-07-2022, 11:31 AM   #6
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I didn’t take it as bashing, just good conversation, Moose074. Hope I am not coming across argumentative—just trying to share some of my research. My point is diesel technology has changed just in the last 3 years and diesel mileage is making the HD trucks, with their superior torque, worth checking out. And my other point (maybe hidden in the “too long” post) is Ram may have more lower priced models (ie Big Horn/Tradesman) that still sport the Cummins turbo diesel-especially late model used ones which makes the new fuel efficient diesel more affordable than I used to think. Have a great holiday season in TX -be safe and think about us freezing our tails off in the NW.
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Old 12-07-2022, 12:10 PM   #7
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I have a 2021 GMC Sierra 4X4 with the baby Duramax 3.0 litre. I average around town (which is semi rural where i live), around 24MPG. On the highway close to 30. Much better mileage than a comparable V8 gas rig. Towing my Rockwood 2109 Mini Lite (~6000#) I get around 15-16. And living in the Sierra I have all the torque and power I need. And, unlike most of the country, diesel is actually cheaper here than gas.
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Old 12-07-2022, 01:06 PM   #8
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Looks like the Sierra 3 liter is a perfect match for your MiniLite and terrain. And if diesel is cheaper and represents 20% more energy per gallon than regular gas there is no question—the GMC Sierra Duramax is a great rig. So my guess is that it’s not that the diesel is cheap it’s that the gas price in CA is so high!

My MiniLite is just a little heavier than yours plus if I add fresh water the tongue weight exceeded my payload in my former 2.8 Duramax Canyon—so I needed to jump to a HD 2500.

One interesting thing I learned at the local GMC dealership is GM will not be putting the 2.8 Duramax in the ‘23 Canyon or Colorado-only offering a 2.7 liter gaser. Apparently it was a decision made a few years ago but they had a massive military contract to fill which is now done. And they also said the 3.0 liter is scheduled to be eliminated in the 1/2 tons after ‘24. So hang on to your 3 liter the value is going up. I owned a eco-diesel 3 liter 1/2 ton Ram when they first came out and enjoyed excellent mileage. I know the equivalent GMC does even better.
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Old 12-07-2022, 02:58 PM   #9
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Glad you are enjoying I owned 3 Cummins and a power stroke loved truly loved them all but the best empty mileage on hwy was 21 in the 2016 power stroke 3:55 rear. My average is probably 15mpg towing 9.5. Diesel pulls smoothly better but unless I spent more time towing than driving. I would by gas.

My 2012 Power Stroke consistently gets 21 MPG when driving empty. Towing I average about 11 MPG depending on terrain of course.
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Old 12-07-2022, 10:46 PM   #10
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My 2012 Power Stroke consistently gets 21 MPG when driving empty. Towing I average about 11 MPG depending on terrain of course.


That 21 would be 1 better than my best with my 2016 power stroke it did get the best mileage out of all the diesels I owned
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Old 12-07-2022, 11:51 PM   #11
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I recently went from a 15 Silverado 3500 duramax SRW. I could routinely get 20-21 mpg empty, and 8-10.5 towing a 17000 pound fifth wheel. Truck handled load just fine (love those Timbrens), but rear tires were very close to their max. I loved this truck, but the decision was made to jump up to a DRW. I found a used 19 Denali duramax which showed excellent care, in Arizona (trucks are cheaper there than in CA). This has the current version of the duramax--L5P--vs the old trucks LML. New truck has tons of power and torque. But, now I can only manage about 17.5 empty, and barely got 9 towing. Truck weighs 1200 pounds more, but all that power seems to use more fuel. I drive the trucks exactly the same. There is also two more tires on the ground which i am sure causes more drag to overcome. It also does not handle nearly as well empty. I hate understeer. And now we have sold that heavy fifth wheel and replaced it with a new Rockwood Signature 8291RK. Tomorrow will be the third attempt to take delivery. Hopefully the dealer actually finishes our PDI list in the morning. I will wait until next fall to decide whether I still need a dually. Biggest issues for me is that it won't fit in a carwash, and the handling. Ride is better than the last dually I owned, a 2007 Ford.
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Old 12-13-2022, 04:37 PM   #12
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I have a 2015 RAM 2500HD 6.7L Diesel, 31 gallon tank, stock truck other than a throttle booster - 370HP with 800lb-tq. (if it has the maxtow package then: 385HP with 865lb-tq. = meant for the 3500 size trucks).

My truck's window sticker has under standard equipment: 3.73 rear gear ratio, then under optional equipment (may replace standard equipment) states: the 6-speed auto 68RFE trans with 3.42 gear ratio and then anti-spin differential rear axle. (not 100% sure which of the 2 gear ratios I have lol). But back to the left column under base price it states: the 6-speed auto 68RFE tans included...

without towing I get 21-23mpg

with towing our 41.5' 5th-wheel, we average 10-12mpg

max trailer weight: 17,180lbs

Now the newer ones like 21-22 models are higher in power compared to my trucks year of being a 15 model lol they can go up to 19,920lbs for max trailer weight and 2,600lbs of payload for the 4 door ones, I have a 4 door as well. Now for 2dr diesel its 3,050lbs for payload.
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Old 12-15-2022, 09:53 PM   #13
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I have a 2015 RAM 2500HD 6.7L Diesel, 31 gallon tank . . . .

without towing I get 21-23mpg

with towing our 41.5' 5th-wheel, we average 10-12mpg.
Similar 2015 crew-cab, 4wd, diesel Ram 2500, similar mileage. But ours is completely stock--350 HP, 660#/' of torque. We bought it new to tow our Rockwood fifth wheel. Because we live in the Denver area, we loved having the turbo diesel for the climbs and the exhaust brake for the descents. Took the fiver down some 10-13% grades without using the brake pedal!

We just drove the RAM (without towing) on a 9-day trip to Las Vegas to spend Thanksgiving with our son's family. Stopped at Arches , Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point SP, and Cedar Breaks NM on the trip west. Avg. calculated mileage for the entire trip was 20.1 mpg, including considerable in-town driving in Vegas. Not bad for a 3.5 ton truck!
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Old 12-16-2022, 06:05 AM   #14
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I just traded in my Canyon 2.8 liter diesel for a low mileage Ram 2500 6.7 Tubo Cummins. OMG, what a ride! Like a rocket sled. Not sure why I waited so long.

The Canyon was okay—really no vehicle squat and handled my 6500 lbs okay. It was similar to 1/2 tons I have owned except superior torque on hills. But I was envious of the mileage and handling from the HD diesels.

Last week on the last day of the month, I took my Canyon into a dealership who had a good number of used 2500 and was willing to deal. Finally I see the light—Holy cow does it ever have the power along with surprising mileage. I averaged 24 mpg without pulling and I suspect I should average 17 pulling my trailer. Finally, cross country trips are in the works. Can’t wait for Spring!
Welcome to the club! Now you too know what it means to “have enough truck”!
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Old 12-16-2022, 08:07 AM   #15
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I tow a Rockwood Mini Lite with GMC Sierra 5.3.gasser.. Gassers also have increased torque and HP making this truck economical and fixable and fuel efficient. Albeit Diesels are more powerful but so is their price, maintenance, and costs to repair . .. My 5.3 tows my trailer with ease.. ..and you dont have to remove the cab to fix it..
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Old 12-17-2022, 02:34 PM   #16
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Thanks for the feedback. I can’t tell from those responding if anyone has a HD Ram pulling a travel trailer rather than 5th wheel. Reason is I am gearing up my 2020 HD to tow my Rockwood 2204S. I can’t get into my storage (snow depth) to measure the tongue height currently but I am hoping my Andersen hitch with a 4” rack will have enough drop. My receiver height on my HD is 24.5” to top. Does anyone with a HD pulling a travel trailer have to drop more than 4”?
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Old 12-17-2022, 03:02 PM   #17
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I tow with a 2018 Silverado2500 and I do not have to drop more than 4 inches. I tow a Coachmen Freedom Express 281RLDS. A bit heavier than your trailer and a bit longer. I get about 20-21MPG empty on the road, and a steady 12-13 towing. I towed cross country through Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and a little in Colorado and my mileage remained the12-13mpg. I do not think it is the weight, but the frontal area of the trailer that effects the mileage. I also went from a 2500 gasser to a diesel and it is like Night & Day. Diesel never worked even at 8000 and9000 feet .... Good luck with your new rig...
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Old 12-19-2022, 02:00 PM   #18
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Thanks for the feedback. I can’t tell from those responding if anyone has a HD Ram pulling a travel trailer rather than 5th wheel. Reason is I am gearing up my 2020 HD to tow my Rockwood 2204S. I can’t get into my storage (snow depth) to measure the tongue height currently but I am hoping my Andersen hitch with a 4” rack will have enough drop. My receiver height on my HD is 24.5” to top. Does anyone with a HD pulling a travel trailer have to drop more than 4”?

Blue ox sway pro. If I remember correctly I needed th 9” 9 hole when I switched tow vehicles from the Titan to the 2019 Ram2500 crew 4x4. The 7 hole 9” shank did not have the adjustment to lower the head to the correct height.


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Old 12-19-2022, 06:08 PM   #19
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I've got 9" drop on my Equalizer shank, Ram 2500 4x4, stock heighth. Pull a Rockwood 2906ws..
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