Got a good deal on a Ford super cab F150 with a v-6 and automatic overdrive. The second seat worked OK for those times (rare) we needed room for 6. The v-6 gave me good mileage, 18.4 to 19.2 mpg. Remember 95% of the time I was on the freeway, but some was stop and go.
I drove that for a couple of years until we got the “get ready for full timing” bug. We had already decided on a 5th wheel, so we thought it would be prudent to have a paid-off truck before we started. By this time my commute was 14 miles each way, some town, some rural.
The Dodge Ram 3500 single rear wheel Cummins Turbo Diesel (CTD) was our choice. 1) we wanted the max tow capacity (in 2003 Dodge had it over Chevy/GMC or FoMoCo) 2) in 7 years of pre-retirement driving it would just be getting broken-in at about 85,000 miles 3) the CTD has a rebuild cycle of 350,000 miles 4) it would get about the same mileage as the F150 and although we didn't know it at the time 5) the more we drove it and the longer we had it, heck we just liked it more and more. We changed from Ford people to Dodge Ram people in just 3 years.
Life changesThere has been some discussion on gas vs. diesel of late on one of my forums. This is what I “think” I've learned.
with a diesel there is no joy that can be matched with a gas engine (that gets more than 6 mpg anyway) i.e. Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor syndrome Arr arr arr. Oh. Oh. Oh.
I would NOT have been afraid to tow my trailer anywhere, come back home and do it all again
with bio-diesel you can thumb your nose to any Prius while towing 16,500 lbs. of whatevertheheckyouwant
and most amazing to me, get better mileage, even comparing light weight F150 fuel efficient v-6 against the highest towing Dodge Ram 3500 auto with 4.10 rear end – on the highway the v-6 got 18.8 mpg, the Dodge Ram CTD 22.4 mpg