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Author Topic: Gas or Diesel?  (Read 1119 times)

Tebpac

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Gas or Diesel?
« on: February 10, 2018, 07:44:14 PM »
Not sure if this is where I should be posting but wanted to get some thoughts on getting a different TV.  We currently have a 2012 Toyota Tundra  with the 4.6L V8 which has a max tow of 7900lbs.  That obviously limits us to certain travel trailers.  We had picked one out but life stepped in and we had to hold off on the purchase.  We are now in the position of planning our purchase over the next year or so.  (give or take)  My wife and I have been discussing the possibility of trading out our current TV for another that can handle more weight for towing.  I've been looking at 3/4 ton trucks as well as the Ford F150 with the max tow pkg.  I've read up some on the diesel vs gas engines.  Our plans would be for short trips (weekends to 1-2 weeks off traveling) with the eventual plan of long term travel.  Most likely, we would buy used.  I guess my question would be.........what's the thoughts of engines for towing and longevity.  (We usually keep our vehicles forever)

Todd
Todd B
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donn

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 08:10:17 PM »
You need to settle on what and how big of trailer you really really want.  TTs by their nature you can tow more with less.  Fivers because they drop 20% of their weight directly over the rear axle require more truck.  Ecobosts seem to do a good job.  But to get top end towing capacity requires certain packages.  And their prices seem pretty high for what you get.  2500 series either gas or diesel are built stronger, stronger frames, axles, tires, and wheels to name a few.  Properly equipped 2500 will always out tow the best of the 1500s.  2500 gas motors are great for towing but when getting to their limits tend to suck fuel.  Diesels  will get betyer fuel economy both towing and non towing.  But initial cost can be a bummer.  Again, figure out how much weight you want to tow and pick a TV to handle it with plenty of room to grow.

grashley

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 08:40:51 PM »
Donn gave excellent advise.  The short answer is ...  it depends!
If traveling in mountains, diesels have advantages of lower rpm to reach max torque.
Diesels will get better mileage, but fuel is more expensive and the truck will cost $8,000 more, new or used.
For larger campers, the diesel becomes more desirable with more low end torque.
Diesels like to go long distances.  Short trips around town never allow it to get warmed up or get the carbon burned out of the exhaust.  If this will be an every day driver with short trips, the gasser may work better.

I would recommend against the F250 / 2500 and suggest the F350 / 3500 SRW.  The truck dimensions within a manufacturer are virtually identical.  New prices identically equipped are less than $1,000 difference.  Used prices are closer.  Payload and towing capacities are significantly larger.  For a very small investment, the size of TT you can safely pull becomes almost unlimited.  If you ever wanted a FW, the F350 / 3500 is really needed.  Larger FW would need a F350 / 3500 dually.

With all that said, I have a F350 SRW diesel.  Pulling my new to me 13,000 # camper across Kentucky hills, I barely felt it back there.  With cruise set at 62 mph, the diesel maintained that speed +/- 2mph up hills and down hills, purring along at under 2000 rpm the whole trip.  It also gets few miles without pulling the camper.  It is not my daily driver.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 08:42:37 AM »
Good advice above. The one thing that I would like to add, is for any given truck, adding the diesel option cuts available payload. Just wanted folks to be sure to consider that in their decision.
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Tebpac

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 03:32:56 PM »
Thanks all!  Lots to consider.  The TT we were looking at was a total of 7000lbs GVWR.  Our plans were to stay under the that load even though our TV stated 7900lbs towing weight.  Now that we have time to think about it, my wife is wondering if we were skimping on the camper to match our TV?  We both liked the Apex we were looking at.  Currently not interested in a 5th wheel but that could change.  Overall we were looking for a couples camper in the 23 to 25 ft range.  Partially due to TV size, and being able to fit the trailer into State Park/National Park Campgrounds.  At this point, I'm unsure of  trailer size but getting in the zone to look at a used TV that could handle a bigger trailer if needed. 

I use my truck as a daily driver back and forth to work in the colder months. It's only a 2.5 mile ride one way.  So not a lot of time to warm a diesel up.   I ride my motorcycle from March to November whenever I can which keeps the mileage down on the TV.  I do use it for hunting purposes and tend to need my 4x4  in the winter months.  One of the things we'd like to do is take our motorcycle with us.  Currently, the payload on the Tundra is minimal once we get 2 people in there with stuff and the hitch weight.  My wife wanted to put the bike in the back of the truck and then use it to explore the areas we travel to barring inclement weather.  I'm now considering a toyhauler but don't want the gargantuan ones and don't want the ones that don't separate the kitchen/living area with the garage area.  Oy..... The plans are to go out West eventually and tour around out there so we'll need something that's got the torque to pull the mountains.   Are all F350's dually's?  Like the looks of them but not practical for me for being the "go to work/grocery getter". 

Thanks again for all the advice.  I will have to go over it with my wife tonight and start checking off "wants and needs".  LOL, my head was spinning when we were looking for a TT! ;D
Todd B
2017 Ford F250 SD Crewcab 4x4 6.2l V8
1996 Coleman Bayport Popup (SOLD)

RedandSilver

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 04:28:00 PM »
Quote
Are all F350's dually's?

NO

My neighbor has a F350 SWR Gas
He tows a 5th wheel if not towing his Tri-Glide around in his trailer
And uses it as a daily driver many times.
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steveblonde

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 04:57:19 PM »
A 250 or 2500 is the same size body etc as a 350 or 3500 BUT some 350s come as a dually but to give you an idea my old 3500 single rear wheel had a payload of 3700 lbs my new 3500 dually has a payload of 5200 lbs some 1500 lbs more because of the dual wheels
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 04:59:41 PM by steveblonde »
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grashley

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 08:38:33 PM »
As stated, F350 comes in SRW or dually;  gas or diesel.  Same for Ram and Chevy/GMC.  Mine is SRW diesel with 3543# Payload.  Used F350 SRW are easy to find.  The Chevy/GMC and Ram versions are less common on the used market in the midwest.

Your current TV will be fully maxed out with a 7900# TT.  That number is generated by the advertising dept, and assumes no options except Max Tow, just one passenger - the driver at 150#, full fuel tank, and no cargo.  The weight of all passengers and cargo in excess of that 150# driver must be deducted from max tow weight.  The weight of all options on the truck must also be deducted.  (Beginning in 2015, TWO 150# passengers are included).

Clearly, the Tundra will not handle a bike in the bed AND a TT.  A small TH should work.  If you can keep the TT under about 7,000# and not take the bike in the bed, I suggest you keep the Tundra for now.  It will meet current  needs as I read them and save some money, too.  If you get out on the road and feel you want a bigger TT or truck, THEN upgrade, with some experience behind you to guide your choices.

One other option may be to get a 10 year old compact car for your daily driver when the bike won't work, and the huge truck you want for a TV.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 08:41:03 PM by grashley »
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Tebpac

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 05:34:43 PM »
As stated, F350 comes in SRW or dually;  gas or diesel.  Same for Ram and Chevy/GMC.  Mine is SRW diesel with 3543# Payload.  Used F350 SRW are easy to find.  The Chevy/GMC and Ram versions are less common on the used market in the midwest.

Your current TV will be fully maxed out with a 7900# TT.  That number is generated by the advertising dept, and assumes no options except Max Tow, just one passenger - the driver at 150#, full fuel tank, and no cargo.  The weight of all passengers and cargo in excess of that 150# driver must be deducted from max tow weight.  The weight of all options on the truck must also be deducted.  (Beginning in 2015, TWO 150# passengers are included).

Clearly, the Tundra will not handle a bike in the bed AND a TT.  A small TH should work.  If you can keep the TT under about 7,000# and not take the bike in the bed, I suggest you keep the Tundra for now.  It will meet current  needs as I read them and save some money, too.  If you get out on the road and feel you want a bigger TT or truck, THEN upgrade, with some experience behind you to guide your choices.

One other option may be to get a 10 year old compact car for your daily driver when the bike won't work, and the huge truck you want for a TV.

Thanks again.  And thanks to this forum and the library, I did a lot of number crunching.  I ended up weighing my truck with a full tank of gas, myself and any tools and junk I keep in the vehicle, at a CAT scale.  Got my number there and added my wife's weight and maybe some extra stuff that we travel with. (Food, drinks, etc) Plus the hitch weight (and weight of the WDH) of the TT we were looking at.  Didn't leave room for much in the bed for stuff let alone a bike.  Would like to be able to put my canoe racks on and take a canoe but that would be it for the truck. 

I've been told not to wait for "the perfect" situation because it may never come?  Keeping to the budget is all important.  That's why I've thought of doing the above and travel now and upgrade later.   Decisions, decisions.....
Todd B
2017 Ford F250 SD Crewcab 4x4 6.2l V8
1996 Coleman Bayport Popup (SOLD)

grashley

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 06:33:55 PM »
Very wise choice togged things weighed.  Now you KNOW where you stand!  Stay within known  limits and GO FOR IT!!!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2018, 06:49:40 PM »
Sounds like you have things under control.  Some other factors to consider is diesel fuel is messy and smelly and doesn't evaporate like gasoline when it's spilled.  Next time you're in a gas station that also sells diesel, look at the stains around the diesel fuel handle and the concrete underneath it.  Now imagine tracking that into your truck every time you fill up.

The light duty diesels in pickup trucks really don't last longer than gas engines, they just have more stringent maintenance requirements.  If you change the oil in a gas engine as frequently as the diesel requires, the gasser will last about as long.  And the diesel takes 2-3 times as much oil per change, for example the 7.3 Powerstroke in my pickup needs 15 quarts, the new 6.7 uses 13 quarts.  Compare this to 6 quarts used by the Ford V-10.

Diesel fuel contains about 25% more energy than a gallon of gasoline, so you'll automatically get that much more MPG in a diesel vs. a gas engine.  But diesel isn't the cheap fuel it was 10 years ago, most places it's now about that much more expensive than gas so the cost per mile is about a wash.

Your 2.5 mile commute will also be very hard on a diesel, especially in cold weather.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 06:58:26 PM by Lou Schneider »

Brokeass Boater

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 08:56:57 PM »
Went from a gasser dually to a diesel, have never looked back. Even paying more per gallon, I'm getting much better economy under load that the diesel is cheaper on a trip with the better mileage over the gas rig we had. And I don't sweat it pulling long grades now, that's the real pay off,,,gregg
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Tebpac

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 05:29:19 PM »
Appreciate all the input.  Will keep you posted.
Todd B
2017 Ford F250 SD Crewcab 4x4 6.2l V8
1996 Coleman Bayport Popup (SOLD)

Boonieman

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2018, 03:21:16 PM »
   I totally respect Lou and his opinions on here, but I respectfully disagree about longevity of diesel vs gas engines. Gas engines require higher RPMs to achieve the equivalent torque, which adds to wear. Not to mention lubricicity of diesel fuel is much more than gasoline. Dont believe me, do an internet search.
   A diesel 4x4 is almost useless off road due to the weight of the engine, it just sinks. On hard surfaces for snow, etc, just fine. Upfront diesel truck prices much higher, but on the back end, the trade in value is higher.
   For towing in hilly terrain, the engine brakes on the newer generation diesels is hard to beat. And towing uphill, no comparison. But for short camping trips with low towing requirements and a daily driver, a gasser option is hard to ignore....especially with initial cost considerations.
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steveblonde

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2018, 05:33:00 PM »
i find that Diesel prices are higher in the winter than gas but cheaper in the summer here in Alberta BUT we pay way more than you do in the states anytime
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Boonieman

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2018, 06:48:39 PM »
  Yeah, I have friends in the Birdtail Reserve in Manitoba Canada. They smoke, and the price of cigarettes there is crazy, let alone fuel. I think I would have to quit!! But even at that, I have the highest regard for Canada.
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Tebpac

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2018, 05:22:17 PM »
" But for short camping trips with low towing requirements and a daily driver, a gasser option is hard to ignore....especially with initial cost considerations."

Agreed.  We would want to spend the first year camping around our state and the northeast initially.  Our eventual hope is to head out west but we'd need more truck for that with the mountains.  Our truck only has a 26 gal tank as well so fill ups would be often.  Using the the formula in the Library, I came up with this.
Truck weight with one passenger, full fuel tank, misc items 5860
Wife              =  120
Stuff                  =   50
Trailer tongue weight  =  570
Total laden weight     = 6600 (GVWR = 6900)

Trailer
Dry weight              = 5022 lbs
Water                   =  138 (1/3 tank for travel)
Propane                 =   80 
Stuff                   =  500( honestly likely more than that...1000?
Total weight of trailer = 5740 (more stuff xtra 500lbs 6240) (GVWR = 7000)

Gross combined weight   = 6600 + 5740 - 570
                        = 11770 (GCWR = 14000)

Not sure why you have to minus the tongue weight but there it is in a nut shell.  My best calculation of keeping the rig down  to 10% below the top pulling capacity is around 6100 to 6500lbs.  (Am I overthinking this?)

Gas mileage btw 8 -10 mpg?  (from what I've been reading) leaves 208 to 260 miles to travel.  Of course that's bone dry. 

Either way, we'll need to upgrade the TV in the coming years to head out west.  That we know.  After going over your responses, I'm pretty sure of the direction I might go.  We'll see what the future holds. 

Thanks. 
Todd
Todd B
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Patnsuzanne

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2018, 05:37:02 PM »
For what its worth, we started hauling our trailer with an 11 Tundra with the 4.6 engine. Weighing the trailer on the CAT scales found it weighed in at just over #6,000. The truck did ok in the flatlands, but we wanted to be able to haul it to the mountains (east coast) so we upgraded to a 16 Tundra with the 5.7. It made a world of difference both because of the bigger engine as well as the upgraded suspension package. Weve hauled from Florida to the Great Lakes, the Canadian boarder, Maine and lots of points in between and the truck/trailer combination has performed very well. That being said, a move to a 5er would be well out of range for that truck.
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grashley

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2018, 07:06:15 PM »
Todd,

Your calculations appear correct.

The TT tongue wt is included in the truck gross wt AND the actual TT weight obviously includes the entire trailer, including weight transferred to the truck as tongue wt when connected.  No need to count it twice!  When you weigh individual axles while everything is hooked up, the TT axle weight will be less than the entire TT weight,   by the weight carried by the truck.
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BRex

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2018, 11:26:32 AM »

While we are at it, what kind of tires should we buy, Goodyear or Michelin?
And also, Amzoil or Mobil 1 motor oil in our gas or diesel?
How about those Fords, Chevy or Dodges?
5th wheel, TT or motorhome?


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SeilerBird

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2018, 11:29:21 AM »
While we are at it, what kind of tires should we buy, Goodyear or Michelin?
And also, Amzoil or Mobil 1 motor oil in our gas or diesel?
How about those Fords, Chevy or Dodges?
5th wheel, TT or motorhome?
Well that was really rude. Does it make you feel like a big man?
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Tebpac

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2018, 05:02:04 PM »
 ;D

While we are at it, what kind of tires should we buy, Goodyear or Michelin?
I've always been a fan of Goodyears but I could be talked into others...

And also, Amzoil or Mobil 1 motor oil in our gas or diesel?
Mobil 1.....period

How about those Fords, Chevy or Dodges?
Never been much of a Chevy or Dodge fan but the new Chevys look good.  Still gonna stick with Ford though.  My 97 F150 lasted 15 years without one mechanical problem.  Rust on the other hand was a different story later in it's life.  The Tundra I have now was a scratch I needed to itch. 

5th wheel, TT or motorhome?
I thought we covered this?  TT....  I'll type slower for ya :o

SeilerBird... No worries. I think I answered all of BRex's questions in the quote.  I've been on forums for years now and getting flamed on occasion happens.  I really do appreciate all of the help.  I've researched the numbers and have hopefully done my homework but I always like to get opinions from folks such as yourselves to help shed some light on areas that I may not have considered, being a newbie to TT's.  It's hard when new folks show up and ask a lot of the same questions over and over.  Totally get it.  I've been using the library here a fair amount and the search engine which sometimes doesn't help me find what I'm looking for depending on how I word my query.  Thanks all for the answers that have been provided. 

Happy Camping!
Todd
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 05:08:25 PM by Tebpac »
Todd B
2017 Ford F250 SD Crewcab 4x4 6.2l V8
1996 Coleman Bayport Popup (SOLD)

Charlie 5320

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2018, 06:06:32 PM »
Under the circumstances with you driving so little in the winter, I'd be afraid of buying the diesel. Some of the newer Chevy and Ford heavy 1/2 tons have a pretty good tow rating. Buying TOO big is almost as bad as buying too little. The heavier the truck the rougher the ride, and the less mpg. My son-in-law has a GMC duelly quad cab and I wouldn't own a truck like that. It's ok when he had his 5th wheel but now even when he pulls his utility trailer it rides terrible. If a person is full timing they may be the right choise, if that's all they're used for. Don't sound like to me you are ready to buy your last truck. Buying too big now may make you hate it before you really need it.
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Madcow

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2018, 08:10:32 PM »
There are a lot of variables to consider, and different folks will have different likes and dislikes as well as situational needs.

I like using a 2500 Chevy, because it offers not only significantly more payload than a 1500, everything about it is beefed up.  Frame, brakes, suspension, etc.  And real capability is more than just the engine and trans.  it is a package deal.  But I also like having a flex fuel gasser in it.  I don't do Pike's Peak, Vail Pass, whatever.  Most of my running around is below 5000 ft elevation.  So the gasser does fine.  And being able to use E85 really is icing on the cake.

Even then, I prefer small and light for a TT. Mostly because I prefer off the grid boondocks scenarios.  I don't need to drag around a mobile home.  But with a 3/4 ton, I have oodles of payload left on top of TT and tongue weight. My 2500, full of fuel, two people, and about 200 lb of stuff in the back, weighs in at ballpark 7200 lb.  I still have 2300 lb of payload left.

With E85 at about $1.70 in my area now, and given that the pickup averages about 11 mpg on it (I know that sounds bad doesn't it?), still a diesel version of the same pickup would have to average for all miles (city, rural, Highway, etc) over 22 mpg just to break even on the cost per mile in fuel alone.  Very few 3/4 and 1  tons with a diesel will average 22 mpg for all miles.  Sure, they will bust that on highway miles alone, but on highway only miles, I can pull off 14 mpg with E85.  For a diesel to break even on fuel cost it would have to get 28 mpg highway.  I have yet to see a 3/4 ton diesel get 28 mpg highway except down hill or a killer tail wind.

But that works well for my needs.  There is a place for diesel in certain circumstances.  I use diesels for my commercial needs.  And it is really a PITA when one gets a bad load of fuel, it is sub zero temps out, and the vehicle does a total shutdown along a rural highway at night and you are stuck out there in the cold changing a fuel filter.  I had that happen twice in the same night on Hwy 20 in northern Iowa a couple of weeks ago.  Thanks to a lousy load of fuel in Des Moines.  Even the additive I put in when I fueled didn't help.  I have no desire to mess with this stuff in my personal vehicles also.  I already go thru about 20,000 gallons of diesel per year in my commercial stuff, no need to burn more in my personal vehicles.  And any luster and ooh aah factor about diesel I might have had, died off several decades ago.  It is just another fuel with a specific application.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 08:24:02 PM by Madcow »

Larry N.

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Re: Gas or Diesel?
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2018, 08:29:01 PM »
Quote
And being able to use E85 really is icing on the cake.
In my flex-fuel F-150 I lost about 3+ mpg over using E-10, so it was actually cheaper to use E-10, plus E-85 also has a bit less power.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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