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Old 11-14-2013, 07:44 PM
m5guy m5guy is offline
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Boat: 2018 Mastercraft X26 - 6.2L
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New Tow Rig - Diesel HD or Gas

What a great problem to have! My current tow vehicle for our 2013 X55 is off lease - it's a 2012 Sierra Denali half ton. It has done a commendable job pulling nearly 8,000 pounds of boat, trailer and gear around this past summer. We made a few long highway trips up north to Crystal Lake and Torch Lake and it definitely worked hard holding 70+ up the hills - but did a decent job. It's time for her to move on to a new house.

I'm not a fan of either the Ford or Ram trucks - we've driven both and they're not in the cards - personal preference.

The new redesigned 1/2 ton Sierra's are now starting to ship in the Denali package. Basically the same drive train as my old Denali with a bit more HP and more than a bit more torque. I imagine this truck will do as well, if not better, than the vehicle it replaces.

...however, this spring the redesigned 2500HD's are being delivered - with the same Duramax Diesel power train (~400HP / 765ft/lb Torque). I have a short term vehicle option to get me through to the release of the new HD should I want to wait for the spring option.

I only use the truck to pull the boat in the summers and to haul miscellaneous stuff for our yard/house. Nothing significant on the hauling, but occasionally put a big load of river rock or fieldstone in the rear. I have a sedan that I drive during the warm months here in Michigan (both of the warm months) and put that away for the winter and drive the truck. 35 miles one way to work on 2-lane county roads (55mph). Averaging 10k miles per year on the truck - 2 yr 20k lease on the current truck.

In the past, I've owned a 3/4 ton Silverado and a bunch of 1/2 tons. 3/4's can be a little harsh on the road unloaded but understand the dynamic. I have never owned a Diesel. We drove a 2014 (old body style) this past week and it was quiet, well mannered and had TONS of low end grunt.

Anyone with experience in both the gas and diesel side of a 3/4 ton with a perspective on direction? If I go gas, I'll just pick up a 1/2 Denali in the next 30-60 days if I can find one. If I go Diesel, I'll hold tight for 6 months and get one in the spring - in time to start launching the X55! Looking for perspective on both the towing side as well as day-to-day manners for winter driving. i.e.: Does it heat up well on cold winter mornings??? Is the 3/4 ton Diesel overkill for pulling the X55?

Like I said at the start - what a great problem to have! Cost of Diesel vs gas or vehicle acquisition cost is not a significant factor. Opinions???
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:03 PM
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clrussell clrussell is offline
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Honestly for what you do if get a gasser. I own a duramax diesel and love it. I do tons of work on duramaxs as in upgrades. However for your use I don't think you would enjoy the diesel. Now if your like me and haul something a halfton is not capeable of at least 2-3 times a month then I'd say go for it. Here diesel is $0.70 higher a gallon, plus on the new trucks they require exhaust fluid which I'm still not sure was someone's best idea but that's another topic. In short get another Denali half ton if you liked your last one
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:15 PM
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soacj soacj is offline
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My experience is not in a GM HD, but for what it's worth:

Gas 3/4 ton--Handled typical loads (boat, car on trailer, tractor on trailer, etc.) well IF you didn't mind it revving to the moon on hills or pulling out in traffic. Bad fuel mileage empty or loaded. Ride was firm, but not uncomfortably so. Felt like a truck.

Diesel 3/4 ton: Basically does not care what you put in or behind it. There's nothing like pulling a hill in the left lane, in top gear, passing slower traffic with 10K pounds (obviously less in the case of the boat) on a trailer in tow. Fuel mileage on a 55 mph country two lane 35 mile trip (you described my commute to within 5 miles) is excellent. Loaded mileage is 3-4mpg better than the gas equivalent. Ride was the same, if not a bit better than the gas truck (heavier diesel motor).

The diesel takes about 8-10 minutes to get up to temperature on my commute.

Cost of diesel in proportion to gas sucks nowadays, but if you're a "car guy", the diesel will make you smile. Higher resale is the icing on the cake, although that's not a factor if you're leasing.

Last edited by soacj; 11-14-2013 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:04 PM
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scott023 scott023 is offline
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The Denali gasser will serve you very well. Based on what you said, I think the diesel will be overkill.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:35 PM
bobx1 bobx1 is offline
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I had 3 F250 diesels and finally switched to gas. I (and probably lots of folks that have diesels) never really needed it but when I purchased my first one the engine upcharge was not too bad, the price for fuel was significantly cheaper than gas, and there was not a bunch of emission controls to screw up the engine. Get a diesel if you want it but based on what you described, you don't "need" it.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:32 PM
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zsqure zsqure is offline
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Diesel 3/4 ton. The gasser is for carrying your clubs to the club.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:57 PM
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98 Saleen Cobra 98 Saleen Cobra is offline
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Diesel.. I've had gassers, you get ****ty gas mileage all the time.. Granted diesel is more expensive, but I serious towed 12k lbs with my truck up hills with ease.. it's rediculous
98 Cobra - Custom Engine - Foxlake Racing - Accufab Racing - Holley Dominator ECU - Racepak IQ3 - Griggs Racing - Vortech - Kooks - Weldon - T56 Magnum - Built Rear End - HRE's - Baer - C&R - E-85

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Old 11-14-2013, 11:47 PM
roadster02 roadster02 is offline
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My vote, diesel. Makes gas trucks feel like toys. I could never go back to gas. The hardest thing about driving a diesel, is wiping the smile off of your face!
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:18 AM
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[email protected] spicergregg@yahoo.com is offline
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I vote Duramax. I have an '08 crew cab longbed 2500 HD. I live in the mountains in Colorado and tow an '85 S&S with an older heavy truckbed camper. I don't notice anything when I tow and still get about 12 mpg loaded up here. And it rides so smooth people can't believe it's a truck. I'm pretty sure the truck will outlast me as well.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:50 AM
jschildm jschildm is offline
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I don't think you would regret the switch to diesel. Set the cruise and roll .... done. Diesels are now quiet (for better or worse), ride like a car, and are beasts, so I see little down side. I might be a biased opinion though.
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