Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum Should I buy diesel or gas truck?

Viewing 27 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #49120
      Morgan Sheppard
      Participant

      So I thought I had my decision made! This coming fall we are going to order a Host Cascade truck camper. It has a dry weight of around 3500lbs. In the next week however I want to finalize my order of a 2021 Dodge Ram 3500HD dually. I was convinced that I was going to order the gas model because of the greater payload capacity (6700lbs as opposed to 5750 with the diesel). However as I have been digging deeper and getting closer to decision making time I am not sure. Obviously the diesel gives much more power and torque but I have also been told by people in the know (I am not one of those, complete newbie!) that the extra weight on the front axle because of the diesel will help in levelling out the total rig weight. Because I want to minimize the sway and roll though I want to stay below the listed payload capacity by a good margin if possible. The combined weight of myself and my wife is about 340-350lbs. I am assuming the loaded weight of the camper including water and propane will be around 4500-4800lbs. Add in any extra goods in the back seat of the truck and I should still be at a total payload of around 5400lbs. From those of you who have done this for years are my assumptions realistic? Any thoughts on the diesel vs gas decision would be appreciated.

    • #49121
      ardvark
      Participant

      I think it is excellent, you are considering all the weight rather than the dry weight. The argument gas versus diesel has gone on forever and you can find those arguments all across the Internet. I am normally a gas person, but that is some impressive weight. I will tell you that on a long steep grade when my 6.2 is in second or third gear it is screaming. Not worrisome, but it sure is irritating. If you were hauling less weight, I would vote gas all the way, but in a heavily loaded dually, diesel gets my vote. 🙂

      Ardvark

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #49124
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I carry an Eagle Cap 995 loaded with water, etc. at about 4950# on a Ram DRW, 4×4 Cummings crew cab and crossing the Sierras and towing is no problem whatsoever, but be advised to check on the Host weight because as I recall they dont count the added weight of the slide-out because it’s listed as an option…

      Phil

    • #49140

      My 2018 Ram 3500 dually with both the Cummins and Aisin transmission has a load capacity of 5479. It’s a Larimie trim level. Plenty of power currently pulling a 16000 lb 5th wheel. Pin weight is approximately 4000 lbs, factory air system works great. Trim levels have lots to do with load capacity. 3.73 gears.

      Jim
      (Researching)

    • #49168
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Nothing pulls like a diesel (it’s in the physics – lol), but emissions equipment peripherals can trigger check engine lights, added maintenance, and potentially, even the dreaded limp mode (Ugg!), though I believe that DEF has taken some of the ‘heavy lifting’ off the under hood stuff (lessening EGR dependency) by chemically treating NOx within the exhaust tract. Still, more pollution devices require more servicing ($$) than a gasser… Depending on one’s situation, Fords new torquer 7.3 gasser offering might be a viable alternative, but when it comes to heavier campers, long grades and towing, only time and more reporting will tell…

      Phil

    • #49251
      Jefe4x4
      Moderator

      Morgan,
      Your dilemma is universal.
      There is a lot to consider.
      Below is a rough outline of the 55 minute spiel I gave at the 2021 TCA Rally last week in Quartzsite AZ.

      The final version is 10 pages fleshed out with supporting info and commentary, and will eventually show up as a piece on this website.

      I wish there was a way to PM you as I could send you the finished product.

      GAS or DIESEL: CONSIDERATIONS

      Fuel cost.
      Fuel availability
      Fuel tank size
      Running out of fuel
      Diesel Penalty at purchase
      Gas Penalty at purchase
      Your age and how it affects your purchase
      How long will you own the truck?
      State fuel taxes
      Power and Torque:

      “Hands down the diesel, warts and all, has the advantage here. In my survey of owners, the dividing line between success with a diesel or gas engine gravitates to the weight of 15K pounds. Above that GVWR or GVWR of a trailer or 5th wheel, the diesel is king.
      Below 15K pounds, a gas engine like the 7.3L Ford, GM 6.6 gas each with a new 10 speed trans, or Fiat/Chrysler 6.4L Hemi will handle whatever you’ve got, with the Fiat/Chrysler being the least capable.”

      MPG
      MILES OF TRAVEL EXPECTED
      ENGINE WEIGHT and effect on payload
      COST OF MAINTENANCE and ADDITIVES
      RELIABILITY
      LONGEVITY
      SPEED you travel
      TERRAIN: high altitudes? Flat or mountainous?
      BREAKDOWNS
      SHORT TRIPS effect on gas vs. diesel
      RESALE VALUE

      Here is a comparo of gas and diesel engine specs:
      The important discovery here is how only the Ford 7.3L gasser retains most of its torque as the rpm’s drop. The GM is next, with the Fiat/Chrysler 6.4L falling off the torque chart.

      2020 Chevrolet 6.6L gas V-8 engine with direct injection,
      rated at 401 HP @ 5200 rpm
      Torque peak 464 @ 4000 rpm falling to 345 @ 1600 rpm

      2020 Duramax turbo diesel L5P engine,
      rated 445 HP @ 2800 rpm. and dropping going up.
      rated 910 TQ @ 1600 rpm. and dropping going up.

      2020 RAM Hemi 6.4L gas truck engine,
      rated 410 HP @5600 rpm
      rated 429 TQ @4000 rpm dropping like a rock to 100 #feet @1600 rpm.

      2020 Cummins 6.7L H.O. turbo diesel ISB engine,
      rated 400 HP @ 2800 rpm
      rated 1000 TQ @ 1800 rpm

      our retiring sled:
      2001 Cummins 5.9L H.O. turbo diesel engine, 6-speed manual
      rated 245 HP @ 2400 rpm
      rated 505 lb-ft TQ @ 1600 rpm
      with big torque all the way down to idle.

      Brother John’s sled:
      1999 Ford 7.3L Powerstroke turbo diesel engine, 6-speed manual
      rated 235 HP @ 2700 rpm
      rated 500 TQ @ 1600 rpm

      Ford 7.3L gas V8
      rated 430 HP @ 5500 rpm
      rated 475 lb. ft. @ 4000 rpm
      dropping to 405 TQ @ 1500 rpm
      looking at the torque curve it barely drops @ 1500 rpm

      Ford 6.2L gas V8
      rated 385 HP @ 5750 rpm
      rated 430 lb.-ft. @ 3800 rpm dropping to 200 lb. ft. @ 1500 rpm

      2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.

    • #49273
      Morgan Sheppard
      Participant

      I appreciate the responses to my enquiry. Upon final review I have decided to go with the Dodge Ram 3500 HD dually gas version. One of the main reasons I did not go with diesel is that in the off season I am going to be using the truck as a daily driver and I live in a cold climate (Lower North Shore of Québec, Canada right on the Labrador border). There will be lots of cold morning where I start the truck and drive a couple of minutes to work and stop it for hours at a time. This, apparently is not a good thing to do with a diesel! I have been told by many people that the Dodge Ram gas engine is probably the least capable of the big 3 but ultimately that is the way that I decided to go (mostly because of the luxurious interior compared to Ford and GMC). Hopefully I will not regret my decision!

      Thanks!

    • #49274
      ardvark
      Participant

      I am glad to hear you are moving ahead with your decision. I think the worst mistake anyone can make is to make a choice based on what someone else said they should do. 🙂

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #49338
      Peculierboy
      Participant

      Morgan,
      I think you will be fine with your decision. We have a RAM 6.4 / Aisin transmission and carry a Host Mammoth on a 4500 and it does 90% of what we need perfectly. Crossing some of the taller mountain ranges fully loaded means manually controlling shift points, but that is a small price to pay to not have the cost or complexity of the Cummins. For us, the choice has worked out well.

    • #49745
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Just spoke to a Nevada Utility worker guy (NV Energy) while at the gas pump… He was driving a 2018 Ford F-550 with an extended length utility body and a bucket lift. I’d noticed that he was filling it up with gas, so I asked him if it was a gasser and he said yes…Wasn’t sure about engine size but he said that it was gutless on the highway and going up a hill but gets by ok otherwise because it spends most of it’s time running easy in the city. He said their previous rigs were all diesel but NV Energy had too many emission problems due to slow city speeds and many hours of engine idling while using the bucket lift powered by the PTO…Obviously, lots of low speed soot being produced (due to EGR), while very few opportunities at regeneration…

      Surely this commercial market requirement is why Ford saw fit to develop their new 7.3 high torque gasser…JMO

      Phil

    • #49817
      Jefe4x4
      Moderator

      Phil, the 7.3L Ford gasser did not come out until Jan/2020 or so.
      The Ute Worker must have been driving a Ford 6.2L gasser.
      *************************
      Today, Mike has in his inbox the final edit of the spiel i presented at the Quarzsite II Truck Camper Adventure Rally.
      It’s called,
      GAS or DIESEL: What to consider.
      This is a hot button issue and I’m anxious to see what reactions we get when folks are confronted with the mountain of info I researched for the piece.
      jefe

      2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.

    • #49819
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hey Jefe, thanks for the update as I’m sure lots of folks are really looking forward to your findings – and right you are Sir, the ‘2018’ NV Energy F-550 gasser utility truck could not have been Ford’s new 7.3 gasser beast…

      Phil, making do in the High NV Desert – lol

    • #49822
      Mello Mike
      Keymaster

      I’m going to stay with my 2013 Ram 3500 Cummins 6.7L diesel truck. Yes, I did have the dreaded DEF limp mode issue, but I’m hoping now that my system has been serviced that I can go another 7 years without an issue. Keeping my fingers crossed.

      2021 Bundutec Roadrunner
      2013 Ram 3500 4x4
      2015 Toyota 4Runner

    • #49823
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well thanks to learning about the dreaded DEF pump-tank issue, I’ve switched from the standard recipe DEF (lol) to Peak Platinum formula which is claimed to help eliminate clogging issues, though I can only find it at O’Reillys…

      BlueDEF PLATINUM™

      Phil

    • #49890
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I was just checking out online a new Ram 4500 Chassis Cab, CC, 4×4, 6.7 Cummings with 16.5 GVWR and noticed the offer a manual regeneration option ($245) and a automatic idle timer shutdown option ($250), obviously to satisfy the commercial market…

      Phil

    • #50027
      Ken5g
      Participant

      This is an interesting thread, having just bought a truck to haul a NL10-2 camper. Having always been a Ford guy and preferring diesels, the decision for me was how much truck do I need, f350 or f450, both dually? I ended up buying the f450, for the 6,000 lb payload. I will also tow a small boat over mountain passes with the camper on, and the f450 gives me more capacity. My offroad adventures will mostly be limited to dirt roads at least for now, but I like reading about others’ exploits with their rigs.

    • #50028
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Can the F 450 be had with a regular truck bed??….If not, did your go with a flat bed??

      Thanks,

      Phil

    • #50029
      Ken5g
      Participant

      The f450 is the biggest model that comes with a pickup bed. The f550 and beyond are sold cab and chassis.

    • #50031
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thank you!

      Phil

    • #50547
      Squish
      Participant

      We got a great deal on a 2000 F350 7.3 truck with a bigfoot camper. Truck was stock and only had 80k miles on it.
      My dad got a great deal on a 2000 f350 dually v10 with only 60k miles.

      Mine is the first diesel I’ve owned but I’ve been around a lot of them over the years everything from a terrible diesel rabbit, up to the latest and greatest modern post DEF rigs.

      What I don’t like about diesels
      the up front cost 10k in some cases
      The decrease in payload.
      The dramatic increase in service cost (I have to buy my oil by the gallons now)
      The noise and stink (I have a predef trucks)
      The rolling coal redneck association with the engine.
      The sky high cost of fuel CA raised diesel tax dramatically a couple of years back.
      The slowness off the line, while it will climb anything our 7.3 doesn’t do it fast

      What we like about diesel
      Ours was cheap, we paid less for our whole rig then most people pay for just the truck with the miles and condition we got.
      It climbs anything
      It has an 8 foot bed
      It gets 13-15 mpg loaded or unloaded
      Domestic parts are much cheaper than import parts
      That’s about it.
      When this truck goes it will be replaced by a gasser most likely.

      For us, the initial cost, the ongoing service costs, the fuel costs, the weight penalty, and the environmental concerns, noise and air pollution, cold weather hassles, and finding fuel hassles do not outweigh the tiny amount of fuel savings and slightly better performance of a diesel.

    • #50653
      Phil
      Participant

      Recall fords V-10 gasser (with pistons the size of beer cans) that comes on many a class C motorhome, most likely has less power than their new 7.3…

      Phil

    • #50705
      Mello Mike
      Keymaster

      In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Jefe’s article just published on this website.

      Gas vs Diesel: 23 Considerations Before Buying Another Truck

      2021 Bundutec Roadrunner
      2013 Ram 3500 4x4
      2015 Toyota 4Runner

    • #50885
      Jefe4x4
      Moderator

      I should let you know that the new Ford 10 speed trans (10R140) has hit a speed bump. It is not on a recall but has a known problem (one of the planetary gears) in units sold between certain dates.
      My F-350 is not within the inclusive dates, so i should be O.K.
      The Chevy version of this 10 speed is also having some teething problems in this regard.
      This is not unusual for a new product to have a “period of adjustment”. The good news is Ford has a good track record of standing behind their product.
      jefe

      2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.

    • #51718
      beanstelk
      Participant

      This question is very relevant today. It seems to me that from the economic point of view, diesel engines are much more economical both in maintenance and in operation. I work with technology and can compare which is better. Recently I was looking for diesel engine parts, then I can say that I found on the yanmar diesel engine parts catalog where you can find a spare part by number and buy it much cheaper than I would have had to service a gasoline engine.

    • #51759
      Jefe4x4
      Moderator

      beanstelk,
      Your depiction of diesel engines is about 20 years too late.
      Plus, Yanmar diesel tractor and boat engines and parts, cheap as they are, cannot be used in trucks.
      I had several low maintenance diesels 1983-2001, and our 2007 Kioti diesel tractor which just ducks the DEF requirement. They fit your description very well.
      But not the current crop.
      Diesels produced for trucks after about 2006 or 07 have myriad CARB hurdles and clabbed-on tanks, plumbing, hardware, and additives to pass smog muster.
      There is and was an on going ever increasing amount of maintenance, some of it very expensive in diesels built after 2006.
      A major service to a Ford 6.7 diesel can cost more, much more than a brand new 7.3L Ford V-8 gasser replacement engine.

      2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.

    • #51806
      WyoBull
      Participant

      I am very happy with my 2017 F350 and 6.2 gas engine and 3.73 gears hauling my Northern Lite 8.11 SE. Yes, where I live here in Wyoming, there are times when I am going up steep grades in the mountains and hauling my ATV trailer loaded with the ATV, coolers etc. I might wish to have the diesel but at the end of the day, I am not in a race.

      My truck is also my daily driver and outside of hauling my camper and pulling my ATV trailer, I rarely have any other trailer connected to it that could possibly justify me having a diesel. My previous truck was a 2016 F250 with the 6.2 gas engine and I ordered it with 4.30 gears. When I upgraded trucks (long story but was due to not having enough payload) the only thing I could find without ordering a truck had 3.73’s. To be honest with you, the difference between the two rear ends is not enough that I wish I had 4.30’s today in my F350.

      That is my 2 cents for what it’s worth, which is probably not even 2 cents. LOL

      2017 F350 Super Duty 4x4, CCSB, XLT Premium Package, 6.2 gas, 3.73 rear end, GVWR 11,300 lbs, Payload 4226 lbs, Silver Ingot, Camper Package, Split bench front seat, Upfitter switches, LED Box Lighting, Rear Step Tailgate, Air Lift 5000 Ultimate Airbags with Air Lift WirelessAIR on board compressor kit and remote, Torklift Upper Stableloads, Torklift tie downs w/ Fastguns
      2017 Northern Lite 8.11 QC SE

    • #51816
      ardvark
      Participant

      The diesel versus gas debate has been going on in every forum I have participated in as long as I can remember. Wouldn’t it be great if we had something similar to guide us when choosing a spouse or deciding on a job? The thing I like best about lists is they always bring me to the exact conclusion I was hoping to find! 🙂

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #51820
      Phil
      Participant

      The diesel versus gas debate has been going on in every forum I have participated in as long as I can remember. Wouldn’t it be great if we had something similar to guide us when choosing a spouse or deciding on a job? The thing I like best about lists is they always bring me to the exact conclusion I was hoping to find! 🙂

      Why hasn’t someone come out with marriage insurance?? Lol 😂

Viewing 27 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.