Next Question: Diesel vs. Gas F350

mrfoamy

Mrfoamy
For someone who seldom expects to tow this would seem a no-brainer, but consider the following arguments:

The diesel offers extended range, which has several advantages. That range really helps when a few hours of slow off-road are involved with the 34 gallon tank in the SCab. I know because I had a 2012 diesel SD. That range helps avoid an aux. tank or exterior containers. Even when adding an aux. tank the even greater range with diesel offers opportunities to take advantage of low fuel prices.

And who doesn’t love torque? Hauling a 3,500# camper in 4WD in high mountains the turbocharger makes driving so much more pleasant.

Sure, the $8,000 up-charge is discouraging, but you save $1,000/year on fuel cost. Then after 8 years of saving fuel you can resell the truck at a premium (I suspect). No, it is not a good financial transaction, but that up-front expense nearly washes out.

Weight, the diesel engine weighs about 500 lbs. more. That is a dead-weight cost with no advantage.

Any other thoughts on why not to buy the Super Duty diesel? Or other reasons to order one?
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
Sure. Went down that exact road last winter.

diesel:
+power, but it's excessive. The gas option has plenty of power with the 4.30 gears. Maybe even the 3.73 if you tow, lightly.

+range is great. But usually useless. Great when towing, since half the stations in the US are a bit tight for big trailers. Doesn't really apply to expo though.

+ fuel mileage is 2mpg better everywhere. But if you expect to save money with a diesel truck, you're going to be disappointed. They're more expensive in the long run still. All the #'s people calculate are fudged to make them feel better about their choices as their wallet drains. I have only seen fuel savings on very heavy trucks like f350 DRW, f450/500. In that case they're so heavy that the gas engine just plain suffers too much.

-it sucks for short trips in the winter. I never commute with my truck. It's a grocery getter, and weekend warrior. A diesel would not be happy under that kind of use. And it gets cold here.

-500# penalty??? hahahahhahaha, try closer to 1000#. A diesel f250 is useless. The diesel eats into the GVWR badly. That weight hurts off road in slick conditions. It's not uncommon for a diesel 350 to have gas 250 cargo ratings. So watch out for that. A diesel 250 can't carry a slide in camper or 5th wheel, it can only tow TT's and haul lightweight campers. A gas 250 can just skate by with 3100# cargo capacity. I know you only mentioned a 350, but I wanted to throw that out there for others. But even still, watch your weights. Options eat into ratings on the F350/450/550's as well.

Check the door sticker before you buy anything if you're hauling a slide in camper.

-fragile modern fuel systems. Gm uses a same/similar pump. Do a search for how many people have $12 000 fuel system repairs. It's way, way too common. Meanwhile, the gas engine is tried and true technology. A complete gas long block swap is $8 000. The new 6.7 is on par with the D max, and Cummins. But the nightmare stories still exist on all three forums. If you use the truck mostly unloaded, there is a distinct pattern that those trucks have far more failures, while hard working trucks are absolutely more reliable.

Bottom line for me: If you need the diesel, you minus well step up to a DRW as well. SRW, especially F250's are better off with the gas engine.

Pro tip: Stick to the XL and XLT. Avoid the adaptive variable speed steering at all costs. The regular models are pretty tried and true. The high end models come with new technology, and the warranty problems that come with it.
 
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adam88

Explorer
One downside you need to remember is that the diesel engine weighs about 500# more, which means reduced payload by that amount. If you are carrying a 3500# camper, after you add in stuff (clothing, food, equipment etc), passengers, water, fuel, propane, etc. you will probably be close to 5000#.

To me, a gasoline has always been the obvious choice for hauling, while a diesel is the obvious choice for towing heavy loads.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
I'm trying hard to resist a Camplite 6.8 made for 1/2ton short beds. 2000# IIRC. That means with just food water and ultralight backpacking amount of cargo puts me maxed out on my GVWR.

Capri makes a nice uber lite camper as well. I'm wet east coast, so FWC pop ups don't work for me.
 

kpredator

Adventurer
My work truck is a f-250 gasser
I just purchased a f-350 6.7 xlt
I plan on hauling a camper in it
Probably a RV when we retire
I’ll never own anything but a diesel for
My personal rig.
 

mrfoamy

Mrfoamy
Buliwyf,

Thanks for the fuel system alert. I still use my 2012 in my business but my driver is well acquainted with water separator and filter maintenance. My guess is that many owners don’t monitor this religiously and neglect may account for 80% of the problems. We will double our efforts here, though.

The adaptive variable speed steering seemed like an expensive but interesting option…but I like your point about reliability. And yes, the gas engine is the safer choice.
Ford says the weight difference is about 500#, 1,100# for the diesel and 600# for gas engine.

My camper is 3,500# fully loaded - from a weigh scale. SRW no problem. The 2012 was perfect with this load. Especially over 9,000 and 10,000 ft passes.

My 2012 diesel got about 16 mpg with my camper at 70mph. That is 2-3mpg better than my 2000 F-150 5.0 gas engine, and surely there is a greater improvement over the 6.2, probably closer to the theoretical 25%. But that’s conjecture. Anyway, I’m not planning to save money, just offset somewhat the purchase cost.

The truck is a mostly dedicated overland camper, so always loaded. The supplemental heater in the 2012 made cold weather not an issue, and based in Southern California I am not concerned. I’m glad you raised all these points but diesel still seems like an attractive option.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
The adaptive steering has fits with lift kit's. And if you pop off the pitman arm with the battery connected, it'll spaz out and wind up the wires within it's self as it tries to maintain preload to reduce play. Very expensive to fix.

Some 350's only had 3500# capacity. So watch out on those stickers. I think the drw I test drove had a 4000# rating.

That's just the extra engine wt. Don't forget the dual batteries, dual alternators, heater, DEF tank, 10r140 trans, Dana rear axle, emissions controls etc. etc.
 

mrfoamy

Mrfoamy
"dual batteries, dual alternators, heater, DEF tank, 10r140 trans, Dana rear axle"
Yeah, that is definitely several hundred pounds.
 

Dalko43

Explorer
-500# penalty??? hahahahhahaha, try closer to 1000#. A diesel f250 is useless. The diesel eats into the GVWR badly. That weight hurts off road in slick conditions. It's not uncommon for a diesel 350 to have gas 250 cargo ratings. So watch out for that. A diesel 250 can't carry a slide in camper or 5th wheel, it can only tow TT's and haul lightweight campers. A gas 250 can just skate by with 3100# cargo capacity. I know you only mentioned a 350, but I wanted to throw that out there for others. But even still, watch your weights. Options eat into ratings on the F350/450/550's as well.
The diesel F250 is handicapped because its GVWR has a hard limit. For whatever reason, the OEM's seem to restrict the 3/4 tons to a 10k GVWR limit. The diesel F350 (SRW and DRW, 4x4) is within a few hundred lb's of the gasoline variant in terms of payload. You're not losing much payload at that point, and even if you can haul a slightly higher payload with the 6.2l gasser, I don't know why you'd want to.

A diesel F-250 is rated for 5th wheel towing, and as well can have the camper package added to it. As long as as the camper+vehicle weight is below the vehicle's GVWR, the camper should be fine in the diesel F-250. If you want to carry a very heavy camper, get the F-350.

The diesel's added weight seems like a disadvantage on paper, but I think most owners would be hard-pressed to find an area where a gasoline F-250/350 could make it through that a diesel variant couldn't. Neither vehicle is ideal for going through soft sand or deep mud, but they'll both get through primitive roads just fine, albeit with some pin-striping.
 
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Wallygator

Adventurer
Sure. Went down that exact road last winter.

diesel:
+power, but it's excessive. The gas option has plenty of power with the 4.30 gears. Maybe even the 3.73 if you tow, lightly.

+range is great. But usually useless. Great when towing, since half the stations in the US are a bit tight for big trailers. Doesn't really apply to expo though.

+ fuel mileage is 2mpg better everywhere. But if you expect to save money with a diesel truck, you're going to be disappointed. They're more expensive in the long run still. All the #'s people calculate are fudged to make them feel better about their choices as their wallet drains. I have only seen fuel savings on very heavy trucks like f350 DRW, f450/500. In that case they're so heavy that the gas engine just plain suffers too much.

-it sucks for short trips in the winter. I never commute with my truck. It's a grocery getter, and weekend warrior. A diesel would not be happy under that kind of use. And it gets cold here.

-500# penalty??? hahahahhahaha, try closer to 1000#. A diesel f250 is useless. The diesel eats into the GVWR badly. That weight hurts off road in slick conditions. It's not uncommon for a diesel 350 to have gas 250 cargo ratings. So watch out for that. A diesel 250 can't carry a slide in camper or 5th wheel, it can only tow TT's and haul lightweight campers. A gas 250 can just skate by with 3100# cargo capacity. I know you only mentioned a 350, but I wanted to throw that out there for others. But even still, watch your weights. Options eat into ratings on the F350/450/550's as well.

Check the door sticker before you buy anything if you're hauling a slide in camper.

-fragile modern fuel systems. Gm uses a same/similar pump. Do a search for how many people have $12 000 fuel system repairs. It's way, way too common. Meanwhile, the gas engine is tried and true technology. A complete gas long block swap is $8 000. The new 6.7 is on par with the D max, and Cummins. But the nightmare stories still exist on all three forums. If you use the truck mostly unloaded, there is a distinct pattern that those trucks have far more failures, while hard working trucks are absolutely more reliable.

Bottom line for me: If you need the diesel, you minus well step up to a DRW as well. SRW, especially F250's are better off with the gas engine.

Pro tip: Stick to the XL and XLT. Avoid the adaptive variable speed steering at all costs. The regular models are pretty tried and true. The high end models come with new technology, and the warranty problems that come with it.

Diesel-

+ Diesels are just cool. Tons of power. Tons of torque. Fun to drive.

- massively greater price over a similar gas model. If the gas mileage difference was the only variable it would still take well over a decade to recoup this diesel option price. Other variables are, oil changes (the diesel holds a lot of oil), diesel fuel is more expensive, and you if don't you know how to work on one you always have to hire a mechanic or pay dealer cost for repairs/maintenance. Even if you know how to work on diesels, the Ford diesels are designed so the body can be removed in order to work on the motor...can you do this in your driveway?? In short, you will never recoup the cost of the diesel. In fact as mentioned above it will actually cost you more over the life of the vehicle than a gas model

- pretty much confined to the USA since Mexico does not have the low sulphur diesel everywhere. Also when you get a bad batch of diesel it causes issues so you may as well carry fuel conditioner with you constantly and pay for a filter system in between the tank and engine...this means more money outlay just to run the diesel.
 

jonathon

Member
My work truck is a 2017 F250 with the 6.2 gas and Torqshift G transmission. Mileage sucks, but it’s driven hard. Best I’ve seen is 10.5 mpg with mixed but easy driving. Keep in mind to get anywhere in Oregon you’re going up or down a hill, not much flat here outside the Willamette Valley. Other than the mileage it’s a fantastic truck. 22k on the clock and no issues. The Torqshift G is a great transmission. This truck likes to rev and the transmission programming keeps the engine in the power when loaded.

That said, I’m looking hard at a 6.4 Hemi for my personal truck. I’ve driven one a few times now and it definitely appears to beat the Ford at the MPG game. I think the MDS system does make a difference, especially when empty.
 

ttengineer

Adventurer
Longevity, power, durability, simplicity etc. all reasons to choose a diesel over gas.

Especially if you delete. I don’t know much about the Ford 6.7, I’m a Cummins guy, but there is no reason that, if well taken care of, a modern diesel can’t go half a million miles.

Yes it holds a **** load more oil and maintenance can cost more up front, but if you do your research and adjust accordingly, there is no reason you can’t have a bomb proof setup, as long as it’s deleted ... EPA crap causes a whole lot of different issues.

I often agree with @Buliwyf, but on this I feel he’s wrong.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

FordGuy1

Adventurer
If you could get a v-10, That would be a good way to go. The Ford 6.2 sucks in a Superduty. The 6.7L is awesome to drive, add a 60 gal fuel tank and it is a great truck.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
A 6.2 super duty is light years ahead of a 6.8 super duty.

Really no comparison. The 6.2 super duty is far more truck. Larger axles, larger brakes, much better trans, and comparable engines.
The 6.2 might now have the low end grunt the 6.8 has, but it has the power. Just have to let it breath (RPM)
The 6.2 will also return better fuel MPG.

As for maintenance, anymore going with diesel is quite the financial gamble.

As a simple example.... I could replace and entire long block in my 6.2 SD for roughly the same cost as set of injectors on a 6.7 SD
 
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