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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If you had roughly 15,000 as a budget. I have a daily gas saver/beater that I drive, so this would be used specifically for hauling my boats and rock crawler around. I'm hoping to get into something that would last another 5 years or so, and reliably as this would mainly be used for vacations, wheeling trips, and other camping trips. I currently tent camp but could see myself getting into a bigger trailer/camper down the road especially if i had a truck capable of pulling my crawler/sxs at the same time. I've got an old tired 1999 F250 now with the v10. Body is hit pretty bad by rust, and I'm looking to get into something I can feel safe about making a trip reliably without worrying on spending my whole time off wrenching on the side of the highway.

So although I don't "need" a diesel, I could definitely find use for one. I would be better off going that route rather than trying to buy another truck in a year or two to accomodate a larger load. I have big plans to head all over the country in the next few years and would be using this truck to pull a good sized load to do so.

I would likely be heading south to buy one, as anything in that price range up here is rusted and will going down hill fast. Ideally would like to get into something "newer", as the newest vehicle I have ever owned has been a 2003 F350. Thoughts right now as follows:

  • Going to be higher miles regardless, diesel probably more sustainable
  • Would love to keep even a diesel around the 200k miles mark (+/- 50k depending)
  • Really looking to stay around 15,000, could potentially bump up to 20k if needed
  • Prefer as stock as possible. No lift kits, stretched tires, gaudy bumpers, etc
  • Open to possibility of a deleted truck with exhaust, short of that not interested

Due to my needs, I am finding that I am most likely to get into an older powerstroke (2011-14). 6.7 is preferred. I want to stay away from the Ford 6.0s and 6.4s, as well as most Dodges. I am open to a duramax of some sort but they seem to hold their resale value a bit better despite the bodies oftentimes being a bit rough.

Thoughts, experience, any trucks for sale?
 

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My 2004 duramax turned into a money pit and a rust bucket. I drove it from 150k miles to 175k miles and a lot of problems along the way. Plus that whole time diesel was more expensive at the pump and I really didnt NEED a diesel. Sold it off and got a 2008 2500hd from Florida with the 6.0 and could not be happier. For DD purpose, I will not go back to a diesel truck.


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You are not gonna find a 6.7 close your price range. A nice one is usually starting at 25k. And heading south for a clean one is gonna be more expensive. I’d say ur gonna have raise ur budget. No clean diesel gonna be cheap these days. Good luck though man. I’m still rocking my 2001 f250 7.3. Cab corner just starting to go, thought of selling it but I know I can’t replace it



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F-U-CANCER!!!
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Maybe try going on craigslist and fb marketplace and start looking around Texas. I find the Houston area to normally be pretty decent for availability and pricing. There will be a risk involved, but I have done it and not had trouble. If you can find something there you should at least get away from the rust we have to deal with. It will also help your resale if you keep it 5 years and then do it again....
 

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Budget aside, there is no comparison between a gasser and diesel when towing a heavy load. If you are towing a single place trailer around 7,000 pounds, no problem with gas. When you get into a double up trailer with 2 rigs pushing 14-15,000 pounds, diesel all the way. Until I can no longer afford it, I will never go back to gas.
 

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I think
My 2004 duramax turned into a money pit and a rust bucket. I drove it from 150k miles to 175k miles and a lot of problems along the way. Plus that whole time diesel was more expensive at the pump and I really didnt NEED a diesel. Sold it off and got a 2008 2500hd from Florida with the 6.0 and could not be happier. For DD purpose, I will not go back to a diesel truck.


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This is exactly what I was going to recommend. I have the GMC version of this truck in a half ton and love it. Getting the 3/4 ton with a 6.0 should handle anything you need and the 6.0 has fantastic reliability.

EDIT: Whiterhino is right, if you are going to be towing 14-15,000 pounds then you would be well advised to get a diesel.
 

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Budget aside, there is no comparison between a gasser and diesel when towing a heavy load. If you are towing a single place trailer around 7,000 pounds, no problem with gas. When you get into a double up trailer with 2 rigs pushing 14-15,000 pounds, diesel all the way. Until I can no longer afford it, I will never go back to gas.
The difference between my 2004 LLY duramax and my 2008 LY6 6.0 gasser towing a TJ and a 4 door JK in a 30' enclosed trailer was not that significant. New truck has better control of the trailer, old truck did have more power to pull it, but the gasser did just fine for me. Really the only place the diesel truck did better for me was acceleration, everywhere else is very comparable.

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
My 2004 duramax turned into a money pit and a rust bucket. I drove it from 150k miles to 175k miles and a lot of problems along the way. Plus that whole time diesel was more expensive at the pump and I really didnt NEED a diesel. Sold it off and got a 2008 2500hd from Florida with the 6.0 and could not be happier. For DD purpose, I will not go back to a diesel truck.
Yeah, I hear you there. I really don't want an older truck for that reason. I feel as though the newer gassers are pretty much equivalent to an older model. That being said, this truck would not see DD use and likely won't for foreseeable future if not the whole time I own it.
You are not gonna find a 6.7 close your price range. A nice one is usually starting at 25k. And heading south for a clean one is gonna be more expensive. I’d say ur gonna have raise ur budget. No clean diesel gonna be cheap these days. Good luck though man. I’m still rocking my 2001 f250 7.3. Cab corner just starting to go, thought of selling it but I know I can’t replace it
I've actually found several already and haven't been searching too hard or very long. I hear you on replacing yours, it is a tough spot to be in. I could finance a truck to raise my budget, but really don't feel comfortable doing that on something that won't see use on a daily basis. Kind of old school in wanting to pay cash.

Maybe try going on craigslist and fb marketplace and start looking around Texas. I find the Houston area to normally be pretty decent for availability and pricing. There will be a risk involved, but I have done it and not had trouble. If you can find something there you should at least get away from the rust we have to deal with. It will also help your resale if you keep it 5 years and then do it again....
This is good information, thank you. Not opposed to travel by any means. I definitely like the forethought towards retail, so definitely interested in this idea.

Budget aside, there is no comparison between a gasser and diesel when towing a heavy load. If you are towing a single place trailer around 7,000 pounds, no problem with gas. When you get into a double up trailer with 2 rigs pushing 14-15,000 pounds, diesel all the way. Until I can no longer afford it, I will never go back to gas.
This is my concerns, I regularly hit 10k+ already and I haven't even touched a second rig or brought my sxs along with the wheeler anywhere. I feel as though I'd be selling the truck in a year or two to get into something more capable if I went with a gasser after my first few trips out of "flat land" territory. Being that it won't be a daily driver/commuter I'm not as concerned with maintenance cost/depreciation at higher miles.
 

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I'm not old, honest...
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The difference between my 2004 LLY duramax and my 2008 LY6 6.0 gasser towing a TJ and a 4 door JK in a 30' enclosed trailer was not that significant. New truck has better control of the trailer, old truck did have more power to pull it, but the gasser did just fine for me. Really the only place the diesel truck did better for me was acceleration, everywhere else is very comparable.

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I have owned a 2000 5.3 gas, 2004 6.0 gas, 2007 6.2 gas and 2011 6.0 gas.
I have owned a 2015, 2017 and 2020 Duramax.
I also owned 3 different motorhomes with gas engines which were geared extremely low for heavy rigs.
NONE of the gassers would hold a candle to ANY of the Duramax trucks pulling big trailers.

This is my concerns, I regularly hit 10k+ already and I haven't even touched a second rig or brought my sxs along with the wheeler anywhere. I feel as though I'd be selling the truck in a year or two to get into something more capable if I went with a gasser after my first few trips out of "flat land" territory. Being that it won't be a daily driver/commuter I'm not as concerned with maintenance cost/depreciation at higher miles.
Towing is a whole different world when you start getting into the mountains. Michigan is a non issue. However, KY, TN or through the rockies suck with a gasser that gets pulled down in speed. My V10 motorhome would hold 45 mph going thru KY and 25 tops in Colorado. With the Duramax, set the cruise any speed you want and it won't vary more than 3 mph on any highway.
 

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The only other thing I can think to add, would be if you do find a deleted truck, find out if they still have all the pieces to make it stock again, just in case. With the enviro-nazis having the ear of current administrations, you may need those old parts to pass an inspection at some point.
 

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Horsepower is a measure of power, not torque. So the diesel "feels" like it has more power motoring around town, but if it's a 400hp diesel and a 400hp gasser... if you let the gasser sing it's going to do the same shit. Only it usually weighs a few hundred pounds less in the engine alone. You just have to realize that the diesel is done by 3500rpm and the gasser is just starting to make real power. You just have to be OK with listening to a gasser spin at 2200-5500 all day instead of a rattle of a 1600-2200rpm diesel.

If they decide to put a 6.6L aluminum version of the gasser V8 in the half tons, it will once again render the non-mountainous use of pulling sub-12,000lb loads with a diesel pointless. Right now the diesels have a slight edge, even though they're on average 1000lbs heavier than the aluminum motor half tons.

If I was going to tow all day, or spend time in the mountains towing more than 10k, I'd think hard about a diesel. If it's less than 10k or intermittent use, it's only $6k for an intercooled Whipple.

I would not buy a diesel truck from Texas, especially if it is white. It will have spent its entire life in West Texas idling for thousands of hours and driving on roads by oilfield workers that drive it like they stole it through moon craters.
 

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Horsepower is a measure of power, not torque. So the diesel "feels" like it has more power motoring around town, but if it's a 400hp diesel and a 400hp gasser... if you let the gasser sing it's going to do the same shit. Only it usually weighs a few hundred pounds less in the engine alone. You just have to realize that the diesel is done by 3500rpm and the gasser is just starting to make real power. You just have to be OK with listening to a gasser spin at 2200-5500 all day instead of a rattle of a 1600-2200rpm diesel.

If they decide to put a 6.6L aluminum version of the gasser V8 in the half tons, it will once again render the non-mountainous use of pulling sub-12,000lb loads with a diesel pointless. Right now the diesels have a slight edge, even though they're on average 1000lbs heavier than the aluminum motor half tons.

If I was going to tow all day, or spend time in the mountains towing more than 10k, I'd think hard about a diesel. If it's less than 10k or intermittent use, it's only $6k for an intercooled Whipple.

I would not buy a diesel truck from Texas, especially if it is white. It will have spent its entire life in West Texas idling for thousands of hours and driving on roads by oilfield workers that drive it like they stole it through moon craters.
 

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I have a good friend who spent the $6 k to turbocharge a 6.,0. He never got over 6 mpg towing. He now has a Duramax.

Yes, I agree, sub 10k trailering is fine with a gasser but gassers suck in the mountains with even a 7 k trailer. Been there - done that.
 

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Diesels don’t rattle much these days. I travel all over and I laugh when a gasser goes by me on say jellico in Tennessee. It sounds like it’s coming apart cranking so many rpms. Them diesels gibby quiet as a mouse


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I have pulled with a diesel for years. Started with a 7.3 IDI, then a powerstroke and now a cummins. Fuel consumption and mountain driving is really where the diesel shines. I went to Utah in June and averaged 15+ mpg towing with the cummins. It'll run all day at 1800 rpm at 75 mph, and as Whiterhino said, heading through the mountains of Colorado it maintains speed in the mountain passes without breaking a sweat. Plus the added feature of an exhaust brake on newer diesels is a game changer in the mountains. There were plenty of times driving down the back side of the Vail pass that I had to hit the gas going down the mountain, as the exhaust brake would bring my truck to a stop if I'd let it.

A little higher budget while being patient will allow you to find a deal. I picked up my '12 cummins a year ago for under 20k
279214
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A little higher budget while being patient will allow you to find a deal. I picked up my '12 cummins a year ago for under 20k View attachment 279214
This about sums it up. I've pulled cross country through all terrain and thousands upon thousands of miles with a gas motor. I understand the different RPM ranges that both types of motors appreciate operating at. For me and where I'm at, I think I'd rather save up a bit longer and get into a nice truck. I think it's just as hard to find a decent gasser that has sub 200k miles nowadays unless you push past the 20k mark. At 200k miles gas vs. diesel I much rather invest in a diesel truck.

TJ that is a nice setup and one I would jump on if I were to find something similar.
 

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I am going to go the other way If I were you I would use that 20 K as a down payment and go buy a new truck. I bought my Ram 17 years ago I have a little over 750k on it and know every mile on her every set of breaks and all 5 transmissions. She has lived a hard life and put up with a ton of stupid shit. My old man has tried to find the low mileage older unicorn but each time he has bought someones polished turd and dumped a ton of cash on top of a bad idea. After his last go around he jumped into a new Ford and it will be his for years to come. At some point you half to ask yourself how much is my time worth when you get 1400 miles from home with a trailer and your unicorn takes a shit on you. I am not advocating spending 100k on a limited or even 80K on a lesser truck but you can clime into a Tradesman with a Cummins and still stay in the low 60's. Now that is a ton of cash but if you hold it forever It works out well over time. I bought the Beast for 32K 17 years ago that is less than 2k per year but I also have around 12k in transmissions most of which were my fault. I find great value in knowing every mile on my rigs we keep up on the maintenance and drive them till the wheels fall off.




RLB
 
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