Help - Gas vs Diesel in Denver

t_jolt

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Hey Guys,
Im stuck over analyzing things again, and I need some help. Currently my ride is a Titan XD with the diesel (550 torque). I do mostly city driving, with 10% being towing (avg 20k total miles a year). My toy hauler is a 3010 spartan bumper pull. 34ft long and 11k ish loaded. My truck does ok with it (7-8 mpg currently) but on inclines and hot weather (100+) it will over heat and it works hard to stay at 60-65 mph.

Im having a hell of a time try to decide on the gas or diesel motor. i know the diesel will pull no problem and far better then what I have today. The gas difference in price though works out to break even in 6 years with diesel. Now I havent been able to tow or even test the 7.3l with any thing close to the options I want. Any one towing a huge Toy hauler or TT bumper pull? not a 5th wheel cause thats cheating ;) I know the gas would be best for most my driving (kids, activities, shorter trips) but im concerned that with losing 100 lbs of torque, that will make towing that much worse. It is a wind sail with it being 12ft tall. Hence why im concerned with it. If it was a dump trailer etc, I would have fewer issues going gas.

Thoughts? idea's? Anyone with a gas want to break in a motor and tow some weight? ;)

Thanks
 

plethoragreen

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Elevation had a partial influence on my engine choice. I'm to your North at 6,200 ft which is about 1,000 ft higher than Denver. I drive half the miles you do in a year and don't have the same towing requirements you do either. I wanted to get away with using 85 octane at this elevation which makes the fuel savings argument even more in the favor of the gasser (5 Star Tune 85 daily tune).

I built a calculator to input driving miles and fuel cost/mileage information and it will calculate the break even point. I am at 23 years break even on the diesel so not worth it for me. With your miles driven and towing I'd have more justification for going with the diesel I just myself could not get there with how I'm going to drive/tow.

 

BacaraTremor

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When I drove through Denver and the big mountains on 70, it stayed in 10th gear on my diesel not towing. I wouldn’t own an NA motor if I lived in the mountains. Just my 2 cents. I love being able to smash those mountains without missing a beat. Even towing it was insane how it holds 8th gear in the mountains with 12k toy hauler.
 

plethoragreen

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When I drove through Denver and the big mountains on 70, it stayed in 10th gear on my diesel not towing. I wouldn’t own an NA motor if I lived in the mountains. Just my 2 cents. I love being able to smash those mountains without missing a beat. Even towing it was insane how it holds 8th gear in the mountains with 12k toy hauler.
I would have thought that too to a certain extent. However, the TFLTruck Ike tow test pretty much made it a moot point to me. I've driven this road many times (not towing) but wouldn't have any worries doing it if I needed to. Everything else would be easier which means the 7.3L would handle everything else just fine. If you were doing it every day I'd agree it would change things. Few times a year... nah.

 

modified

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I've gone back and forth between the Powerstroke and Godzilla as well.

1. MPG - Although it doesn't make financial sense, I think getting 12-13mpg towing vs 8-10mpg is a big difference. When driving through west Texas, it's nice to have a little extra range even though you might not need it. Traveling unloaded is even better. I'm not stopping for anything if the kids are sleeping. That normally dictates all of my stops 😁

2. Exhaust brake. Sure nice to have while going down mountain passes!

3. Power! 1,050 lb-ft of torque!

It's a tough choice, and at the end of the day I don't think you can go wrong either way. That new 7.3l is a beast and there have been many positive reviews on it.
 
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t_jolt

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Yeah, I actually ran your calc and my break even was 6 years. with updated maintenance and gas prices on my location. I think what I really need to do, is just borrow one and hook it up and go for a drive and see how it handles. I have a feeling thats the only way im really going to know.
 

thevol

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I think the 7.3 would perform similar to the XD Cummins, hopefully without the overheating lol. If you are looking for better power and range I would lean towards the diesel. After I compared the engine bays of the 7.3 and 6.7 I was sold on the 7.3, just so much simpler. I also keep my trucks for a long time and do most of my own maintenance.
 

ANVIL_01

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I would suggest test driving both.


I do a lot off off road hunting and fishing, and it times it can get pretty rough on some unmaintained logging roads in the mountains, have been a gas engine guy my whole life.

I have only ever had to use my disconnecting sway bar 3 times in 5 years on the Power Wagon to get out of something, and to be honest, the first two times where to test it, also the winch could have gotten me out as well, so I have determined I didn't really need that disconnecting sway bar or the front lockers (Power Wagon Vs Tremor ). What I did need is towing now that the kids are older and want boats and travel trailers and the Ford Tremor just checked all the boxes and then some add the ability to configure the Tremor as you want it from both an functional and esthetic stand point and you cannot go wrong! ( Also Ram is crap quality at least my last PW was and I would not drive a ram or another FCA product if it was free ever again )

After test driving both the Tremor Gas and the Tremor Diesel, it was diesel hands down, just the feel and performance was fantastic. Test drive them both and get what right for you. Logically I probably should have got the gas if I mathed it out, bit that Diesel is welcome to the big boys truck club to the max!
 

2020Tremor

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That is a tough question. The 6.7L will definitely have no problem with your trailer. I went through the dilemma as well ended up getting the 7.3L. Will find out if it was the right decision this weekend. I am pulling a 25’ Pure Sport trailer (extra height snowmobile V-nose top car hauler frame) at about 9500LBS loaded. Only hitting about 6300 Ft elevation though. If you were closer I would definitely volunteer to help test the 7.3L with your trailer.
 

Shitzoo

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Here in WY, The wind blows sometimes..:cool:. I had a 6.2, I know different engine, but... if you tow ANYTHING, and you run into a 60 mph headwind, you're going to wish you had a 6.7...
 

Chuck

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I have the 7.3L. Put 15k behind it the other day (dont tell Ford). Skid steer several attachments and heavy 22' bumper pull trailer. Pulling 55-70 mph. Did fine, several large hills in north Louisiana. Would kick down a couple of gears and start picking up speed climbing hills. Note I only pulled it about 30 miles. I did pull my 22' party barge about 4 hours up into Arkansas foothills. Weighs about 4k. Big damn para sail. Didnt know it was back there. The biggest thing is the 4.30 gears help tremendously. If you are concerned with mpg that is what they make Honda's for (then again you dont see many Ridgelines pulling toy haulers 😉). Gas mileage is as good if not slightly better than my 2010 f150 with the 5.4 and 35" tires, plus I have way more truck. Avg 12 mixed. 14.5 hwy. If worried and have the money get diesel, that thing is a beast. My 2...
 

sroemmich

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What gears do you have in the rear of your XD? I pull 7-9k with my 7.3 with 4:30's and have been nothing but impressed.
 

richtor

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Here in WY, The wind blows sometimes..:cool:. I had a 6.2, I know different engine, but... if you tow ANYTHING, and you run into a 60 mph headwind, you're going to wish you had a 6.7...
7.3 is like twice the power of the 6.2.
 

Cliff1620

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I’ve driven both and while the 7.3 is an awesome engine, once you drive the 6.7, it’s hard turning back. The power is just awesome! Plus the MPG was a seller for me. I’ve seen 21 mpg on freeway driving in this truck. I’m averaging 18 right now ans I definitely do more city than highway driving. The 7.3 is thirsty....
 

Fredc

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I will preface this by saying that I am leaning toward the diesel. but two friends of mine who are mechanics and know the heavy duty engines well - dont like the ford diesel. They Like the Ford gas engines for reliability and ease of working on them. They are encouraging me to go with the gas option. They love the Cummins diesel... you would likely get a different opinion from every mechanic you would ask. I really enjoyed driving the diesel - the acceleration is awesome. But it comes at a heavy price. Seems like most people on here are happy with their choice. Would be great to hear what you ultimately choose - I haven’t ordered yet...
 

sroemmich

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Drove both, no doubt the diesel is ridiculously powerful, and will do the work easier. That being said I went with the gas, I think anything under 15k and you will be happy with it. It pulls better than any gas engine I've driven. Pulling 8k-9k pounds at 65-75 I've seen a real 10 mpg and pulling the same loads up 7% grades it does it easily at 3600 rpm. Would the new diesel do it better? Of course it would, but I don't need it, and definitely don't need to spend the extra money. If this engine lasts I think ford has a winner on their hands.
 

2020Tremor

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I’ve driven both and while the 7.3 is an awesome engine, once you drive the 6.7, it’s hard turning back. The power is just awesome! Plus the MPG was a seller for me. I’ve seen 21 mpg on freeway driving in this truck. I’m averaging 18 right now ans I definitely do more city than highway driving. The 7.3 is thirsty....
I have not tried the current 6.7L with my trailer but the previous version was not that great on fuel mileage. The new 7.3L has been pretty close to my buddies old 14 6.7L, within 1.5MPG. With the 10 speed and improvements to the 6.7L pretty sure the 7.3L won’t get near as good of mileage but don’t know the actual gap with my application. For me the extra $8500 price difference will buy a lot of gas. I have driven the new 6.7L and considered it briefly but ultimately comes down to personal preference and application. If towing near max a lot then in my mind diesel is a easy decision. If towing in the middle then it is a tougher decision in my book. I have a lot of friends and coworkers with the 6.7L and driven them quite often and wasn’t in a hurry to run out and get one for my self. If the 7.3L hadn’t come out would still be pulling with my Chevy 8.1L, which is the thirstiest. I am a sucker for a big gas V8 and the 7.3L fits that bill for me with great power. There are plus’s and minuses to each choice and is great to have the choice.
 
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Chris21667

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Every mechanic is going to say something different... What they like not what they find easy to work on ... My buddy was a diesel tech at Ford and says the 6.7 2nd Gen were awesome had 300k miles on the work truck but never saw a 6.2 over 200k in the same work trucks but he likes the Cummins but after he drove the 3rd Gen 6.7 and says it feels better and I can get 26 mpg going 60 on the highways empty ...m my f150 with the 5.0 2012 can get 17 to 19 doing the same things and diesel is the same price if not cheaper then Reg ... Got diesel at 1.90 yesterday and it was 2.21 for reg .... But I got the diesel for towing more then highway mpg but damn it gets awesome mpg
 

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PapaRaptor

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Just made a trip from Wisconsin to Pagosa Springs went thru Denver and up 285 to Fairplay. Loved the 6.7 power in the mountains. When you roll flat on the Plains and there is no traffic the engine really builds MPG However when you get azz hats going slow in the left lane and you speed up and slow down your MPG drops like its a 7.3.

I really think you will be happy either way. Lower cost with the 7.3 plus you can add an exhaust system that will sound awesome.
The 6.7 will give you a powerful quite ride with 1050 lbs of torque and the engine brake was just amazing going down the mountains with a small trailer. almost worth it just for that.
 

dmcgaugh

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If it helps, I‘m coming from a similar place as you. Currently pulling an 8800 lb. travel trailer with a 2016 Titan XD Cummins. I’m getting rid of the Titan because the drivetrain warranty is about to expire, Nissan and Cummins have abandoned the engine and I just had an EGR cooler fail that almost left me stranded with trailer attached and 75 miles to the nearest dealership.

My experience and lingering concern with the 5.0 Cummins has me set on the 7.3 While I’m sure Ford has their act together with the Power Stroke more than Cummins/Nissan, the simplicity of the 7.3 has won me over (no DPF, SCR, or EGR), so I’ve ordered a 2021 F350/7.3.

Power-wise, for medium weight towing, I look at it like this: the 7.3 is within 10-15% torque and nearly 40% more HP than the 5.0 Cummins. Torque is great for towing, but so is HP (look at the way the gas XD beat the diesel going up the Ike). The torque on the 7.3 also starts pretty darn low for a NA gas engine. So, I think the 7.3 is going to be really comparable to the 5.0. It will rev higher, sure but it’s made to.

Heh, I’ll come back here and confirm my desktop theory when my 2021 arrives.

One thing I have to give Nissan credit for, the base SL trim package is much better appointed than the base Lariat trim package.
 
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