I will say that if I could buy a Suburban with a diesel, I would do it. I would prefer a 1/2 ton with capabilities slightly exceeding my current Suburban. I feel that the 3/4 Ton and up market is well served by the big 3 with crew cab trucks. Maybe a Baby Duramax kinda of thing. I understand Ford was working on something like this for the Expedition/F150, but it may be on the back burner.
I would love to get 22-24 MPG on the road while still having the ability to tow 5-6K lbs. I'll bet such a machine would still get 15-16 while towing a load like that. I currently get 8-9 MPG towing my 5K LB Boat.
For me, I just like the expression on peoples face when I tell them I get 8.5 MPG. OK, honestly the gas is the best choice for me right now. I do 5 year leases and my next one will most likely have to be a dually diesel. More time to take more frequent and longer trips. But the 8.1 allison goes way beyond my expectations in every way.People who group the 8.1 with other gas motors and pulling power, Just have plain not pulled 12000 lbs with it and are clueless. And that includes the v10, Which I owned a e350 and it was no comparison. come on guys, 100 cubes smaller and ten little pistons.
Owning and operating a semi for six years, I still don't really want to go back to diesel. Living up north and daily driving it, I like Gas over diesel because Its nice and warm in the winter with a push of my remote start. Plus It sounds way cooler with 500 cubes and the allison. My previos truck was BB 3/4 suburban and It was a real work horse. Drove the wheels off of it pulling trailers its whole life. I think all of new smokers are great. I'm sure they will be even better when my lease is up in 4 years. Can't loose.
I had a F150 small V8 3.55 rear end. I could not maintain hiway speed at with any kind of incline. with out almost redlining the engine. That is here in wiscons in,let alone in the rockies where we're heading. I spent almopst 9 months looking before I bought the Mighty DMAX. I will not go back to gas as it stands now. 21 mpg not towing, 16.6 towing. and in 1.5 years I have only had 2 weeks when gas was cheaper than diesel. I have yet to find a hill I can't maintainn hiway speed on. The only down side I have found is the front awning support rod gets just a little diesel soot on it . None on the camper.
Ahh There is nothing like the sweet aroma of diesel in the morning. It is also GRINS when I beat the little rice rockets off the line at a stop sign and watch them suck my DIESEL SMOKE
I drive the truck in my sig line. It is a '98 Silverado, ext cab 4x4 with the Vortech 5.7. This truck has more power than I could ever know what to do with.
I think the important thing to remember in the gas vs diesel conversation also directly relates to who is doing the buying. Using myself as an example, I am 24 yrs old, just graduated from college (Kansas State, Go Wildcats!!!), just got married, and bought a house. There are not enough used diesels on the market, to get any kind of a good deal on. I got into a 98 Silverado (beautiful truck!), with fairly low miles, with payments in the $250/month area. No way could I have found a diesel for this much. I pull a 21' Hybrid camper, a 28' pontoon boat, and a jet ski numerous times during the year (not all at once). A 1/2 ton is plenty big enough for these jobs. I won't be hooking onto any 35' 5'ers anytime soon, so I don't need the big power.
At this point in my life this truck is perfect for me. It looks good, the wife loves it (She even gave me permission to put on a flowmaster exhaust!!), it's cheap, and runs great!!
If you are a full time RV'er then I have no doubt that diesel is the way to go. I'd be willing to bet that there are plenty of people in my shoes, who are just starting out and would like to go camping 5 or 6 times a year, but who also can't afford to buy the huge trucks and campers.
The small block gassers have their niche in the market also. It's just not the same niche as the diesels. For people just starting to get into RV'ing, the small or big block gassers work just fine.
By the way, I get 18mpg empty doing 75-80 on the highway (not 65-70), and 11-13 towing either the camper or the boat, at 65-70 mph. (I get 17 pulling the Jet Ski, but that doesn't count). These numbers are very comparable to any stock diesels out there. And yes, I know that my speed will slow down pulling campers in the mountains. This has been said to me many times. And yes, we do have hills in Kansas also, just not 12,000 ft high ones. :-)
P.S. I wouldn't back down from to many diesels, sitting at a stoplight revving their engines at me. I'd go head to head with them, and probably be able to run away from them most of the time. That 350 Vortech will really run!!
I know that I'm in the minority here, but that's ok!! :-)
1998 Chevy 1/2 ton Silverado
5.7L Vortech V8
23' 1996 Sun Lite Koala
Hmm-m, real reasons? No, didn't get down to nickles & dimes of it all. Approaching the 6th decade of life, and needing a strong truck ~ went shopping. Stumbled onto a DuraMax while looking for a 6.0L GM gasser and was told the DuraMax eng was designed for GM by Isuzu. I've a healthy respect for Japanese engrg and studied on it a spell not to mention the Allison transmission having a well established reputation. Looked at Dodge Cummins then went to the NHSB website and looked at the registered complaints of the big 3 trucks. Approached/spoke w/strangers at the gas/diesel stations etc. So, what w/that admittedly mild/lite research and the need to have a durable fullsize truck that has the ability to do anything I may/may not call upon it to do ~ I purchased a diesel. Not sorry ~ don't even feel pressured by the bean counters to justify it nor to argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin ~ I did it because that what I wanted. If this doesn't fit in w/the anticipated outcome of this yet another thread ~ Go ahead and delete it. Still when the sun goes down ~ me be happy and thats what really matters.
Lots of gas trucks feel powerful when they're unloaded but fill up the box and small blocks work like SOB's just to get moving. I threw forty bales of hay in the back of my 3/4-diesel and it motored up to highway speeds easily.
To get comparable performance out of a gas motor you need a big block and then you will notice a difference in fuel consumption--the big block gasser will blow thru about 50% more fuel in all conditions.
Diesel motors, cared for, last a long time but you should get over 200,000 miles out of a big block gas motor too.
Around here diesel is about 85% the cost of gas.
Personally, I'd rather have a used diesel truck than a new gasser.
My wife and I are still relatively new to the RV world. We bought our TV, a new Ford Excursion 2003 6.0 PSD 4x4 in November 2003 and our trailer in December of 2003. Our trailer weighs 8500 lbs fully loaded. So far we have been on two trips using the RV, 6 weeks to Florida in Jan/Feb and 6 weeks to the 4 corners area during May/Jun. All starting from Long Island New York. The Ex now has 21000 miles on the clock, 14000 have been put on towing our trailer. Before these purchases, I had never towed anything before. I spent months lurking here to sort out the best kit for our needs prior to laying out any cash. The performance of the rig has been outstanding. So far, none of the glitches which are supposed to infest the PSD have appeared. (I always follow the service intervals and use Ford dealers)
During our Florida trip, I averaged just over 12 miles per gallon towing. During the 4 corners trip, we averaged 11 miles per gallon towing. Another advantage of my Truck is that it has a 44 gallon fuel tank so I can get a days towing out of it. Around town in New York we get 17 miles per gallon non-towing and 21 miles per gallon non-towing on the open road. These numbers are achieved at or “near” the speed limits.
Out west, we passed so many gas engined trucks towing TT’s or 5’ers, Gas class A’s and 18 wheelers while ascending the steep hills that we lost count. All the guys I met in the camp sites who owned gas trucks wished that they had a diesel. We are not intending to be full timers but we do intend to take many long trips to explore this great country so given our mileage figures and the fact that we intend to explore most of the mountain areas, a Diesel was our natural choice. The reason we bought an Excursion in that this is the only car we own and my wife did not want a truck bed as a daily drive. The X is the only SUV with a Diesel. I can also add that the Tow Haul Mode is a superb transmission and also a great safety feature. From what I gather, when speaking to the GMC owners, the Allison Transmission is just as good/better! But of course only available in the Diesel Trucks.
So, in conclusion, if you are considering high mileage and/or high altitude driving, in my opinion, a Diesel is a must and with Tow Haul/Allison a decided safety advantage when descending the hills. If your RV life style or wallet does not fit this profile then buy gas and you will certainly be able to enjoy your RV lifestyle but in my opinion you will miss out on a great and safer towing experience.
Brian/Esta + Sophie Blue Front 'amazing' Amazon Parrot
Allegro Bus 2006
Saturn Vue,BlueOx Aladdin,Roadmaster Addabrake
Dolphin W22 Chassis
Ford Ex 4x4 6.0 PSD 2003, Hensley, Mountaineer 325FKBS