About to buy a truck; should I go with diesel for less QRN?

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by AK5B, Oct 10, 2021.

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  1. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Egads. Another reason to stick with gas.
     
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  2. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for your input, too. I am eager to hear all I can. If it ends up that we buy new and I have a choice in engine size I would opt for the smallest V6 or turbocharged 4 banger; don't really need anything so big if it can be avoided. I pulled up to my usual gas pump the other day and saw that the previous user had put exactly $100 of gas (about 37 gallons) in his or her tank which was a real eye-opener to me. I don't look forward to having a gas guzzler in that regard---but we do what we have to do, right?

    I currently drive a 4-cyl Scion xB that I love; very dependable and fun to drive. A few years ago I took all of the passenger seats out so I can haul stuff like buckets of sand (for the "sandscaping" of our back yard, island-style) as well as have enough room to do some car-camping on occasional cross-country trips. (I put the front passender seat in/out as needed when travelling with the xyl, of course).
    IMG_9722CC.jpg

    The last cross-country trip I took was to fetch a lot of my dad's things before we put his house on the market this summer, and I didn't have an inch of extra space to do the car camping thing on the way home:
    FabensRestStopSatAug28.jpg Could have used a big pickup truck here! At a Fabens, Texas rest area.

    I figured I packed up my car with about 1500 lbs. of stuff (including 8 tables, a microwave oven, 150 feet of heavy-duty garden hose (plastic hose reel is on top of roof), two Elfa storage racks, small ladder and heavy-duty hand truck that I brought with me, extra tools, potted plants, 4 small chairs, hundreds of large prints and assorted large (mostly unframed) art pieces, a ceramic bird bath, a rollaway bed, three Turkish carpets (unfortunately not the flying kind), two large suitcases full of framed art/photos, a tripod, a clothes hamper full of kitchen stuff, silverware from three family generations, bags of foreign coins, books, gardening tools, metal yard art, and god knows what else---so much stuff I spent weeks sorting through and cramming into every available nook and cranny inside and outside I can't recall all of it now.

    I need to go back to California once I get our truck to fetch the rest that I put into a storage unit and then my cross-country hauling days should be over. :D So if we end up with a smaller truck like a Toyota Tacoma or older Land Rover I'll also buy or rent a trailer to accomplish that task.

    If I buy a trailer it would be an open type of utility trailer that I could possibly put a small crank-up tower on for weak-signal VHF/UHF stuff, but I will digress on that subject for now...

    Thanks again for all the input, every bit counts!

    73,

    Jeff
     
    K0UO likes this.
  3. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page


    Thanks for a very different take on things, Ed, but I don't see myself doing that, realistically speaking.

    I don't even know the differences between the F150, 250, 350 and IIRC, a F450 yet. Also figuring out the trim packages which is almost mind-boggling. It's kind of like the new cable tv with a thousand choices.:DAnyway, we'll be checking them out sometime next week when my wife has a day or two off work (nearest Ford dealer is 40 miles away, nearest Dodge/Jeep is 11 miles, so we'll make a day trip to town for the Fords).

    73 and thanks for the good suggestion---it's just not right for me at this time.

    Jeff
     
  4. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Btw, I think I was getting about only 9 or 10 mpg in my Scion so loaded down (normally about 20-23mpg). I got stopped by an Arizona State Trooper who was worried that I might hit a bump and everything would go flying...

    Showed him how I had everything tied/strapped/chained down and he let me off with a written warning.
     
  5. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're so right it could be today/ it is not if it is going to happen on a diesel/ but when it's going to happen. Just too much pollution crap. Now in the U.S. you can't delete any of it legally. I'm still driving a diesel but I keep cash Reserves/ just about every repair runs in increments of Five grand$$$. Fuel exhaust filter system 5 grand/ fuel rails 5 grand/ turbocharger 5 grand and I have seen a fuel pump go and wipe everything out and take 15 grand.
     
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  6. AG5CK

    AG5CK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep. The metal debris from a fuel pump failure can be a disaster. Even a little dust between tight tolerances at 30,000 psi is a big deal. I remember Cummins discouraging the use of pumice hand soap in some training I took years ago.

    Even before common rail fuel systems the 3126, C7 and C9 Cats would start eating injectors when the pump started making metal. I've known old powerstroke owners that seemed to be constantly replacing injectors. I suspect they were failing for the same reason since they use the same type (HEUI) of fuel system The only fix it to replace it all and flush the metal out.

    Draining the water separator regularly is a good thing. Just don't forget to cycle the key or whatever is needed to prime the filters before starting it. Fuel lubricates the high pressure pump.

    Changing filters too often isn't good either. A dirty filter filters better than a new one. Every time you remove a filter or drain plug you let something it. When you do cleanliness is extremely important. Lazy or ignorant technicians shouldn't be changing fuel filters anymore.
     
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  7. NG1H

    NG1H XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have driven diesel cars and trucks since the Reagan administration. Personally I love them. But I also used to drive a fairly substantial number of highway miles a year.

    I also have spent several decades reviewing operating costs of fleets of light trucks, both diesel and gasoline powered.

    Unless you have a specific need like long distance heavy towing it is tough to justify a diesel from a financial standpoint. It isn't _that_ much more expensive but the costs are higher unless you plan on keeping your vehicle for 400k miles.

    The little 1/2 ton trucks like the F150 get much better fuel economy, provide a better ride, and are cheaper to maintain at least for the first 100k miles.

    As to brand (oh boy, this will get great) here's what I've seen in the past:

    1/2 ton - Ford F150 and Toyota products are the best choices. Just note that some of the Toyotas get poor mileage.
    3/4 & 1 ton - Ford Super Duty (except for the 6.0L diesel) and GM HD trucks are both good products. The GM HD line doesn't seem to get a lot of love, perhaps due to being tarred by their lower quality lighter lines, but for a work truck they compare favorably to the Fords.
    Don't get a Dodge. Yeah, yeah, blah blah Cummins blah blah. A great engine. But it is in a Chrysler product. I've seen trucks that literally disintegrate after 100k miles.
     
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  8. NG1H

    NG1H XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That is a good choice. For a few years (in between diesels) I drove light SUV type vehicles and had both open and closed trailers. It give you more versatility, much better fuel economy when not towing, and is easier to load than a pickup. Downside is storage when not in use.

    My experience:

    Open trailer gives you more versatility when carrying taller objects, can be easier to store, is lighter and easy to move/hook up, and when not loaded high you can still see out the rearview mirror.

    Enclosed/Box/Van trailers are usually better made and, well, it does rain sometimes.

    Trailer brakes, yes, even for little trailers, are a very nice plus. I would go with electric brakes. Yes, more to maintain but it isn't that big of a deal but you get more braking force. The mechanical brakes don't work unless the trailer is actually pressing against your vehicle pushing it forward. Get a good quality brake controller.
     
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  9. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you very much for your experienced observations; they ring true with what I've been hearing recently. The real estate agent that handled my dad's house has a F250 diesel with the longer bed that we had the use of part of the time I was there. He hauls his 12,000 lb boat up the California Coast sometimes and prasied the Fords highly. We talked about different brands and my desire for a reliable vehicle and my intitial first choice of something like a Tundra or an F150. His overall ranking was as follows:

    Toyota
    Ford
    Dodge Ram
    GMC
    Chevrolet

    I recall the KBB (or maybe Consumer Reports or something like that) gave a similar ranking in their Top 5 as I recall.

    I soon came to the conclusion that I can't really go too wrong here as long as I do my homework and find a low-mileage example that's been taken care of.

    The only older models I am considering are the 1990s--early 2000s Land Rovers or a gas-powered Hummer (H1 or H2 w/ an original Humvee as a slight possibility). Otherwise I will aim for new or nearly new. The plandemic is throwing a monkey wrench into the brand-new scenario with so many dealers complaining about lack of inventory and the semiconductor shortage... so buying new may not happen at all.

    I am still very undecided and may end up getting a smaller Toyota like the Tacoma w/4WD for my wife and a Jeep Wrangler hardtop for myself (unless I can score a very good condition Land Rover at a higher cost). I am also keen on the Fords with smaller gas engines---I don't need a gas hog per se. But if everything else is what I want then I suppose I can live with a big V8. Hey, we only live once!

    The trailer choice is more likely to be the open type and I would pack the two piece china cabinet and some other smaller wood /upholstered furniture well for the long trip home. It usually snows or rains every trip I take to California somewhere along the way---but I might actually get more use out of an open trailer back home on the Gulf later on.

    (Toying with the idea of getting a kayak or small boat to try out maritime mobile around our numerous calm bays and inlets---I love operating portable and taking advantage of all the saltwater so close). So this whole scenario I am delving into has a good deal to do with hamming. I have been too busy the last couple of years to be as active as I used to be and I want to start working on my DXCC again.

    Driving up to San Antonio tomorrow and back in the afternoon (400 miles RT) so will quit rambling now and hit the hay.

    Thanks again for your useful insight; it's very much appreciated!

    73,

    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
  10. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The newer generation of so called “1/2 ton” pickups are actually more like 1 ton in their capabilities. Huge strides have been made since those monikers were used decades ago. The friend I mentioned who bought a new F150 to replace his old 7.3 diesel F350 has been very pleased with its capacity and capabilities for the occasional heavy use, and it’s very quiet and comfortable . Meanwhile he gets great mileage (lightly loaded) and doesn’t have to put up with any of the idiosyncrasies of diesel, and repair costs are lower.

    I’m keeping my old 7.3 F350 for the occasional load of materials or for hauling junk to the landfill - hey, it’s paid for!
     
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