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Diesel vs Gas towing

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Old 06-02-2018, 08:52 PM
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Default Diesel vs Gas towing

I tow a 27' cat at about 7k load with an excursion diesel. I am currently putting a new oil cooler in the truck so decided to rent a 2500 to tow it yesterday. They gave me a gas 2017 f250 on a 4 inch lift. Looking at the truck I thought it would be an awesome tow. Surprisingly, it sucked. My diesel EX handles it much better. Any insights on this? You think the lift made much of a difference?
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:02 PM
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You were surprised the gas truck under performed?
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:03 AM
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And I'm sure that lift didn't do that truck any favors when it comes to towing. But yeah, even 7,000 lbs- diesel will smoke gas all day long.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:30 AM
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My Ex diesel is the ultimate tow vehicle. The only thing that will tow as well is another 3/4th ton diesel.
I think a lift kit will change the dynamics of towing and necessitate resetting up the hitch. My stock Ex does o.k. 4 wheeling considering its size and the look of a lifted truck does nothing for me.
Gas trucks tow o.k. assuming they are rated to tow the load. I can never get used to the roar of the engine going up a hill. Even though I know I am doing no damage I ease up on the gas pedel and end up poking along.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:43 AM
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Diesel= Eco-Diesel all day long only towing 7000lbs
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:09 AM
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You were surprised? Just because 95% of these boneheads on here think a half ton gas will tow anything and everything doesn't mean they are right... I don't care how much weight you have behind, the simple truth is that gasoline tows like ass against diesel.

I've towed more with gas than diesel until I got my first diesel last September. Now when I tow with any gas I feel like a pig , and my boat is only 4,000lbs. Mainly with my 5.3, but ive towed it once with my friends 2013 ram/5.7 hemi. Didn't make a difference. I'm happy to own a diesel and won't be going back to gas. I'd advise you to do the same especially if you are hauling 7,000lbs like that. Most I've had behind my truck is 8,000lbs and I'd be ashamed to haul that around with a gas.....
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:56 AM
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I owned a 7.3 for 10 years and towed a lot with it. Given the choice, I'd take a modern day gas 3/4 or 1 ton truck any day.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cajflynn View Post
You were surprised the gas truck under performed?
Yes I should have taken a pic. It looked perfect. This new truck was jacked up, 4 wd, the back didnt sink at all with the boat on. It looked like the perfect tow setup. But there was a major difference actually towing. The EX I barely know its there. This truck I KNEW I was pulling a heavy load every minute of the drive. I'm curious as to specifics why diesel would out perform. Does the engine just have that much more kick?
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisbtr View Post
Yes I should have taken a pic. It looked perfect. This new truck was jacked up, 4 wd, the back didnt sink at all with the boat on. It looked like the perfect tow setup. But there was a major difference actually towing. The EX I barely know its there. This truck I KNEW I was pulling a heavy load every minute of the drive. I'm curious as to specifics why diesel would out perform. Does the engine just have that much more kick?
Torque... I'm not sure what engine the gasser had, but from what I know the modern day HD gas engines have mid 300's up to mid 400's on torque (i think, I'll have to look it up.) Diesels today have upwards of 900. Even the older diesels (first Duramax for example in 2001) was putting out 500lb/ft of torque.

Other thing is, diesels put out their max torque at MUCH lower RPM than gassers do.. That's why when you're towing up that hill in 6th gear at 65mph only turning 1500rpm, you see that guy next to you with a gasser drop 3 gears turning 5,000 RPM going 50mph.... Max torque in a gasser is around 4,000rpm usually, maybe even higher.. In the diesels it's usually mid to upper 1000's on RPM. They'll work a lot less harder which in turn, will last you longer and get you better MPG. Horsepower will get you TO the wall, but torque will push you THROUGH the wall.

People think the extra $9k for the diesel option is just a complete waste of money.. Thing is though, you get that money at trade in/resale. I'll bet you that Excursion of yours with the gas is worth half of what yours is with the diesel. The gas HD trucks don't hold their value worth a shit. Because I'd say most people come to the sense that if they're going to get a truck FOR towing, might as well get the diesel/transmission FOR towing as well..... But I guess that's not the way some folks think. You'll see the diesel powered HD trucks out sale the gas HD trucks 7 days a week. Then when those knuckle heads buy that HD truck with that big gas hog underneath the hood, they wonder why it won't sell when their same truck with the Duramax/Powerstroke/Cummins sold the same day it was put on the market.
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by twollman View Post
I owned a 7.3 for 10 years and towed a lot with it. Given the choice, I'd take a modern day gas 3/4 or 1 ton truck any day.

The 7.3 was like 195 hp and not all that much torque either. Pretty dependable, old school diesel that would just go and go but pretty much a slug as a daily driver and didn't really get that great mpg either. But it willstill pull a trailer much better than 95% of the gassers out there. I haven't even driven a diesel newer than my 2002 dmax but I have driven several 7.3s and there is just no comparison... and that's going by a dmax with 300 hp and 520 lbs*ft. Just think what 445 hp and 910 lbs*ft feels like on a new one.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:11 PM
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All about that torque
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:12 PM
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Itís not the lift. Itís not hitch geometry. Itís tires. Iím sure because it was lifted it also had oversized ties. Oversized tires significantly raise the final drive ratio which absolutely kills tow performance.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisbtr View Post
I tow a 27' cat at about 7k load with an excursion diesel. I am currently putting a new oil cooler in the truck so decided to rent a 2500 to tow it yesterday. They gave me a gas 2017 f250 on a 4 inch lift. Looking at the truck I thought it would be an awesome tow. Surprisingly, it sucked. My diesel EX handles it much better. Any insights on this? You think the lift made much of a difference?
It isn't the lift it is the gas motor. My company Owens a few diesels and gasser Ford's not even close. Would not consider buying a superduty with a gas motor except for base model work truck

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Old 06-04-2018, 02:56 AM
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In addition to the weight, its also the aero drag. Your cat sits much higher on the trailer than most v-hulls. V-hulls drop down between the trailer wheels. Cats have the hulls sitting above the trailer wheels. This pushes the boat above the truck and causes a lot of drag and it goes up with the square of velocity. Going from 50 to 70 mph doubles that amount of drag. I have pulled by cat with both a 6.0L gas and a duramax, and it is a night and day difference.
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:45 AM
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FWIW, Iíll be the dissenting opinion in this hunt. We tow our 4000 lb Panga w/t-top, a 5000 lb enclosed cargo trailer, and our 28í, 6800lb Airstream very successfully with our Ď15 F150 w/egoboost. 😐

In fact, we just completed 2&1/2 days of towing the Airstream from central Florida to Northern WV, up some pretty hairy 2 lanes I wouldnít want a bigger camper on, and lots of interstate. We followed/led an older much heavier Avion silver bullet trailer towed by a Ď16 Ram CTD, and I could go up and down 5-9% grades with him no problem. He gets 14+ mpg doing it, I get 12+. But, I have a smoother riding daily driver. Of course I have to downshift to 4th to maintain speed upgrades, and down to 3rd to hold speed down, but at 4500+ rpm or so down it doesnít sound like its coming apart. Heís grinning while his exhaust brake holds his speed down.

Not disparaging the diesel folks, I run an Ď05 F250 6.0 regularly, but I do prefer the latest gen F150 for safety, amenities, and ride. The key to 1/2 towing capability is the spec out of the truck. You need MaxTow, the longest wheelbase, the right gears, etc. But I firmly believe in a 1/2 ton for sub 9k loads for our use.

Hope this helps.

on edit: 5-6% grades in VA/WV.... sorry, small keyboard

Last edited by Buckyss20; 06-04-2018 at 01:39 PM. Reason: Correction
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:52 AM
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You're saying your truck pulled 9% grades no problem? I love my truck too but I would never make a statement like that.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cajflynn View Post
You're saying your truck pulled 9% grades no problem? I love my truck too but I would never make a statement like that.
Must be the grades were only a tenth of a mile long.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Manoverboard123 View Post
You were surprised? Just because 95% of these boneheads on here think a half ton gas will tow anything and everything doesn't mean they are right... I don't care how much weight you have behind, the simple truth is that gasoline tows like ass against diesel.

I've towed more with gas than diesel until I got my first diesel last September. Now when I tow with any gas I feel like a pig , and my boat is only 4,000lbs. Mainly with my 5.3, but ive towed it once with my friends 2013 ram/5.7 hemi. Didn't make a difference. I'm happy to own a diesel and won't be going back to gas. I'd advise you to do the same especially if you are hauling 7,000lbs like that. Most I've had behind my truck is 8,000lbs and I'd be ashamed to haul that around with a gas.....
Pretty strong words for someone who doesn't know what the fuck an EGR looks like.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:21 AM
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The problem most gas truck owners make is towing in too high a gear. I tow just fine with my 6.0 gas Chebbie and a 3.73 rear gear..I just use 5th or 4th. I also don't tow long distances regularly with a big trailer. Anything over 10-15% serious towing (6000 lbs or more), certainly warrants considering a diesel. However, I've made it well over 500,000 miles without NEEDING a diesel.
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
The problem most gas truck owners make is towing in too high a gear. I tow just fine with my 6.0 gas Chebbie and a 3.73 rear gear..I just use 5th or 4th. I also don't tow long distances regularly with a big trailer. Anything over 10-15% serious towing (6000 lbs or more), certainly warrants considering a diesel. However, I've made it well over 500,000 miles without NEEDING a diesel.
For me this is dead on. Frequent distance, especially distance at interstate speed, is the determining factor making diesel necessary.

I'm running a 1/2 ton, and frequently run it maxed out. But this is strictly for farm type use, on secondary roads, rarely exceeding 55 MPH. Truck doesn't care one bit. Put that same load on the interstate and even attempt to maintain speed with traffic, and it is very much less than ideal. I know plenty of cattle farmers running late model 6.0 GM or 6.2 Ford duallys, hauling very heavy. They do just fine for moving around tractors and getting a load of cows to the sale, but literally never see the interstate.
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