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Old 12-04-2013, 04:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cross country move - Diesel vs Gas

I'll be moving across the country soon here and I have basically three options

1. 16ft gasoline truck est. 12mpg w/ 35 gal tank
2. 22ft diesel truck est. 10mpg w/ 50 gal tank
3. Trailer on a sedan that, even without a trailer, struggles to get 30mpg highway

The diesel is about 1.5ft higher than the gas truck.

I have driven a gasoline moving van about 700 miles before. It took something like 16 hours because I could rarely break 60mph, and every time I lost speed on hills or from being cut off, it took quite a while to recover. I wonder if the diesel truck can perform better when loaded and suffer less of an mpg penalty than the loaded gas truck.

I have no idea what kind of mpg penalty or top speed penalty the sedan will suffer with a trailer.

So my question is, what do you guys think is the most economical way to haul a 2 bedroom house of stuff 2500 miles? Keep in mind, driving slower means more hotels, and a bigger tank means fewer stops. Does anyone have any idea what kind of average speed I can expect to achieve?

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Old 12-04-2013, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You're gonna stop more often than for refueling anyway.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would go with the diesel. Bigger tank, and I suspect someone with a light foot can do better than 10 mpg. And diesels are bred to have the torque you need. The only other downside I can see is that diesel tends to be more expensive. But the driving experience is likely to be less frustrating.
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I think you missed the point I was trying to make, which is that it's not rational to do either speed or fuel economy mods for economic reasons. You do it as a form of recreation, for the fun and for the challenge.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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for option #3, what kind of trailer/expected weight and what sedan/engine/trans?
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Frank,

How do you figure I'll be stopping more often than I need gas. I think that depends on which option I choose and hire much liquid I drink.

RobertISaar,

The car is a 2.5L v6 automatic transmission. I doubt everything would fit in a U-haul trailer so in order to do the trailer, I'd have to sell some of the bigger stuff and then rebuy, so there's some loss there.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The car is a 2.5L v6 automatic transmission.
without anything more specific than that, i would avise against it. the acceptable trailer weight the manufacturer lists would probably be half of what you would be hauling. one of the fastest ways to kill an automatic is overloading a vehicle.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The sedan may feel even more underpowered, not just due to the weight of the loaded trailer but also due to its gearing not being the most suitable for heavy duty. Get the Diesel truck, since it has a bigger cargo capacity, a longer range and higher torque which is better for uphill driving.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Trailering is definitely out. I'd have to sell almost everything I own to get the load down. I'm going to go for the diesel. Thanks for all the input.

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