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Old 12-05-2012, 10:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
nibs
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Never owned a diesel, but thinking about it???

Hello everyone! New to the forum and looking for advice from those with much more knowledge and experience with diesel than I have. I'm considering a new, bigger truck, and want some feedback as to if I should/need to go diesel or should consider 3/4 ton gasser.

My current truck is '05 RAM 1500 Hemi. I used to only use it to tow my 22' Glastron ski boat, but bought a 27' fiver last winter. The 5th wheel is a Keystone Sprindale 249FWBHSSR. Dry weight 6301lbs, and carrying capacity 1804lbs, with a pin weight of about 1150lbs. I've had the truck and 5th wheel fully loaded and weighed at a truck scale. I was just barely within my GAWR, which is generally my biggest concern. I have the weight slips in my truck, but can't recall off hand how heavy the whole load was.

I live in Kansas, so it's mostly flat, but I towed to Arkansas and Oklahoma and Missouri last year. Any slight hills and I'm working that 1500! The Hemi has power, but I'm sure I'll burn through a transmission this year if I keep towing the 5er, not to mention brakes, etc. I have a tranny and oil cooler and LOVE my Ram! But don't want to tear it up and have lots of $$ in repairs. It's pushing 80k miles now.

I'd also like to be able to take the family camping in Colorado, Georgia, etc, but am not sure I want to tow more than 400 miles or so with the 1500. So I've decided to look at 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. Initially only 3/4, but keep finding killer deals on 3500/350s. The thing is that I do drive this thing around town also. I have a motorcycle that is my primary transportation 4 months of the year, but have to drop off/pick up kids and stuff and would have to do that in the truck unless I bought a $1k cheapo for around town, which is an option.

If I tow only in spring/summer mostly and tow a ~8200lb 5er, and want to be able to tow long distance, but still need to be able to drive around town, should I be considering a diesel or stay with gas? It's legal to tandem tow in Ks also, but my wife thinks that is crazy!

Lastly, are there any major issue that I could be overlooking? I will do my own upkeep unless needs very specialized tools or something.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like you are a perfect candidate for a diesel to me. The difference towing is amazing. I make a 1200 mile tow one way 2 times a year plus some local towing and I used to tow with a Yukon XL and it was work. The engine raced and downshifted at even the slightest incline. The diesel drops in to 6th gear and never downshifts unless you really get on the trottle to pass. I thought when I bought my diesel it was going to be louder on the highway, but it is just the opposite. The Yukon would race at 3000 rpm and roared in the cabin, the diesel is runs at under 2000 rpms and is much quiter.

I always joke and say the question is no longer "Can I tow it" but "How fast do you want to go"
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's not just the difference in towing, but in all around power and torque. Want to guess how many Hemi Dodge pickups have fallen to my Duramax?
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
nibs
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Thanks for the quick replys! I found a 2007.5 2500HD (new style) at a local dealer website, but when I called them, they said they sent it to KC to auction. They offered to bring it back, but I worry that if they sent it to auction it was either a PITA, or had some wear and tear the pics didn't show. Otherwise I'd think they'd be trying to sell it on their lot. It's a big local Ford dealer, but they have every tuck known to man. Any specific things I should be worried about in GM, or any truck line?
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You don't need a 1-ton (or a dually) for the fiver alone, but if you can get one for the same amount as you suggest you may be looking at for a 3/4 ton you'd be silly not to jump at it. Parking and around town driving is an adjustment at first but its really not that big of a deal once you get used to it, and going "too big" isn't a bad thing when towing, and saves you having to upgrade In years ahead if you decide to go with a bigger trailer.

If you're looking seriously at the double tow then given the weights you're looking at a diesel is a no brainer, as is a 1 ton IMHO because of its inherent ability to handle weights better.

There is zero question you will be totally blown away how much better a diesel tows, especially if you're considering the double tow. However, how much you tow (and if you're seriously considering the doubles) is really is still a big deciding factor on whether or not going diesel makes sense, but I think you're on the right side of the math there.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've seen some F350 SRW in with around 80-100k miles for just under $20k. Found a 2500HD that I love the pics of, but haven't seen/driven it, 2007.5 and it's $24k.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm hesitant on the Ford though. Have read TONS of horror stories on the 6.0L and lots of horror stories on the 6.7L CTD in dodge.. So I'm trying to find a GM, but harder to find. Maybe because folks are keeping them.?
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nibs View Post
I'm hesitant on the Ford though. Have read TONS of horror stories on the 6.0L and lots of horror stories on the 6.7L CTD in dodge.. So I'm trying to find a GM, but harder to find. Maybe because folks are keeping them.?
Yep, the 2006-2007 GM Duramax trucks are a hot commodity right now because they are the last of the pre-emissions truck (No DPF or DEF).

Could you tow that camper with a gas 3/4 ton? Sure. But if you tow it with a diesel first you will NEVER go back to gas. Towing with diesel you will see much better mileage, less driver fatigue, less truck fatigue, higher resale, more reliable, etc. The biggest problem you have towing with diesel is the need to look in the mirror from time to time to make sure the load is still back there.

I have towed this guy over 70K miles. It weighs 16,500 loaded and I locked the cruise at 75-80 mph most of the time.

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
nibs
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It's difficult to find a GM in the $20-$25k mark that isn't really high mileage or 10 years old..
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would say if your looking at a GM go diesel not the 6.0 motor. My dad had an 08' 6.0 and it sucked the fuel. I would honestly put my 12' up against any other stock diesel out there.
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