Commuting with your tow rig

Jeffncs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Wake Forest
I bought a Mazda 3 for my 50 mile round trip x 5 days. Ive had it for 6 years and piled >100k miles onto it. To date, I’ve only changed the oil, tires, struts and shocks. I look at it as keeping that mileage off my truck… avoiding the monthly truck payment and keeping that mileage to hauling, towing etc.

Doing the math, it made a lot of sense for my situation.
 

Caver Dave

Just holdin' it down here in BFV
Moderator
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Hooterville (24171)
WFH FTMFW. My big challenge us running the Cummings enough to keep the fuel fresh. (Especially tough since it makes fuel ya know.).
^^THIS^^

1 week shy of exactly 2 years and have only been in the office ONCE in that time (just to pickup new hardware).
My old commuter 2004 BMW 330xi has seen 160 miles in that time *FOR SALE*
The rest of the "fleet" gets used as needed, but that ain't been much... fired up the SuperDually this weekend (after months) for the 1/2 mile roundtrip to the shop to retrieve a couple hog panels...
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
WFH FTMFW. My big challenge us running the Cummings enough to keep the fuel fresh. (Especially tough since it makes fuel ya know.).
I don't DD my truck either, so I have to make sure I occasionally drive it. It typically sits 2-3 weeks between trips, and sometimes sits for a couple of months.
 

SFROMAN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Location
APEX, NC
I had a 150 mile a day round trip for work and quickly realized I needed to get a daily driver.
For me it made total sense because although I love my truck I hate to put useless miles on it. I rather put towing miles on it.

But even Better the cost saving for me was a bonus.
I bought a Honda Fit for $5k with 100k miles and it averages 34 mpg.
39,000 miles / 34 mpg = 1142 gallons per year @ $3.50 = 4,014 for gas per year or $335 per month

My truck on the other hand.
150 miles per day x 5 days per week = 750 miles per week = 39,000 miles per year.

At 16 mpg ( I get around 14 but we will stick to your numbers) = 2438 gallons @ $3.50 per = $8,533 for diesel in one year or around $700 per month

This does not include tires, oil change, oil filters , fuel filters, trans fluid, trans filter, all these costs are a fraction of the cost on my little Honda.

Icing on the cake. I no longer have that commute anymore so I have rhe choice to keep it and give it to my son or daughter to drive to during high school or college or I can sell it for exactly what I paid for it and would probably get it in todays economy.

All the while I avoided putting unnecessary miles on my tow rig and saved me quite a bit of cash. After the first year the car had already paid for itself in savings.

Any way sorry for the long post but I hope my experience helps you make a more informed decision
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
This thread is what made me decide to go ahead and get my S10 back on the road. I've had it since 2009 and it was free. I'm $928.09 in to it right now. Still going to replace rotors, wheel bearings, calipers, pads, and hoses up front. Drums, shoes, wheel cylinders, and hardware in the rear. Gear oil, transmission oil, and all the front end joints. I think I may be able to keep it under 1500...or at least 1800. Plus, it's kinda fun to drive and doesn't need 93 octane or diesel fuel, parts are cheap, it's old/doesn't require an inspection, and it's small, but can still do truck things!

There's also sentimental value to it too. My dad's buddy's widow will be glad to see it driving around. I've been thinking of calling it "The Polish Express". His last name was Grushinski :D
 

OnlyOneDR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Location
R
Since my tow rig has a bed it is more useful than a car or SUV any day of the week. I make random stops to places all the time buying stuff where I wonder "how do people with cars do this?" Then I see someone loading lumber through the back window of a sedan and I tell myself "yeah, can't do that."

I drive it multiple times a week; I do not commute but I know stuff goes to crap from sitting around too much.

To the OP @Clubbs you need a Gear Vendors overdrive on that thing. The Cummins will love lugging (that is where diesels are most fuel efficient) and you can enjoy a quieter ride. Dodge 4/5/6-Spd Auto - Gearvendors
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
Nooo they don't like to be lugged. That makes the EGTs rise and puts more load on them at lower RPMs without enough exhaust flow to spool the turbo and push more air in with the fuel. They've got a happy spot, just like any other motor. The key lies in finding it.
 

jeepinmatt

..l.
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Location
On the internet
Nooo they don't like to be lugged. That makes the EGTs rise and puts more load on them at lower RPMs without enough exhaust flow to spool the turbo and push more air in with the fuel. They've got a happy spot, just like any other motor. The key lies in finding it.
Meh, maybe not lugging, but my Cummins at 1100-1200rpm is about as happy as my Powerstroke at 1500-1600rpm.
 

Darkbloodmon

Active Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Location
Concord, NC
The Cummins will love lugging (that is where diesels are most fuel efficient) and you can enjoy a quieter

When was lugging ever a good thing? 1500 and just above on the street or down shift, 2000-2100 on highway 65-70mph. Dependent on final drive and tire size.
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
Meh, maybe not lugging, but my Cummins at 1100-1200rpm is about as happy as my Powerstroke at 1500-1600rpm.

You can definitely run them lower if it's a VGT truck.
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
Any time it's at too low of an RPM to make boost, you can hear it struggling, watch EGTs rise, or see it black smoking at a low RPM.

Like the 3rd to 4th gear jump in my K30 if I don't wind it out in 3rd.
 

UTfball68

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Location
Granite Quarry
I feel like this is appropriate #gaslyfe

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83oldyoda4x4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Location
Randolph co, NC
My 6spd could have used another gear, on 35s. It would get great mpg on the back roads 60mph or so. 75mph it would drop significantly. When i briefly ran 37's it felt great gearing wise. Not sure why you need 2k plus rpm empty on the highway.
 

jeepinmatt

..l.
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Location
On the internet
My 6spd could have used another gear, on 35s. It would get great mpg on the back roads 60mph or so. 75mph it would drop significantly. When i briefly ran 37's it felt great gearing wise. Not sure why you need 2k plus rpm empty on the highway.
Mine with 4.88s and 225 stock tires, it was nearly 3k rpm at highway speeds :rolleyes:

Now with the 285s it's closer to 2500 and the truck doesn't look like it skipped leg day :laughing:

Actually drove it 50 miles round trip to work today and got a solid 11mpg at 85mph :(
 
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Clubbs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Location
Blounts Creek
My evic used to say 21 mpg with the factory tires and 3.42's. Switches to 295's and now it stays between 19 and 20. Evic says my average speed is high 50's. And my commute is mostly 65mph with about 20 miles of high 70's. Looking into an emissions in tact tune, hence the other thread I started, but the idea of someone else changing fuel, timing, boost, and not really having a clue what they did has me very hesitant... If fuel goes to $6 not sure what I'll do.
 

83oldyoda4x4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Location
Randolph co, NC
My evic used to say 21 mpg with the factory tires and 3.42's. Switches to 295's and now it stays between 19 and 20. Evic says my average speed is high 50's. And my commute is mostly 65mph with about 20 miles of high 70's. Looking into an emissions in tact tune, hence the other thread I started, but the idea of someone else changing fuel, timing, boost, and not really having a clue what they did has me very hesitant... If fuel goes to $6 not sure what I'll do.

I think i remember reading the intact tuning was hell on the Def system. Uses a ton of def and more regens. But had some better power.
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
A 5600 would solve that problem lol.

Duane

Good luck finding one. I also use a GM 205, so that wouldn't work out very well.

FWIW, I drove it to SC in December and got 19 mpg on the way home running 85 mph. I was good with that!
 

CLRracer

Mopar Nut
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Archer Lodge
Good luck finding one. I also use a GM 205, so that wouldn't work out very well.

FWIW, I drove it to SC in December and got 19 mpg on the way home running 85 mph. I was good with that!

Yeah I've been loosely watching for one, or a G56. Neither one is cheap, but I do have a 29 spline 205 already so that will help.

Duane
 

Lurch830

messin' with sasquatch
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Location
Wilton, NC
I've been back and forth on this topic through the years. $3-4/gallon fuel makes it easy to justify a 35-40mpg DD, and diesel VW prices are exceptionally attractive right now compared to most other vehicles.
Bottom line a $7000 DD would pay for itself in a couple years, IF you only drove the DD. I know this is obvious, but the math only works if the DD is your primary driver. A few years ago I sold my diesel sipping, extremely fast BMW 335d because I was driving my truck 2 or 3 days a week anyway because I needed to haul something or carry my mountain bike, etc (also sold it because I needed to sell it before I got arrested, man I miss that car).

Any tips on what to look for and/or avoid on BMW or VW diesels? I drive my F250 everywhere when I'm not on the clock and a smaller, quicker, better mpg car would be appreciated!
 

jeepinmatt

..l.
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Location
On the internet
Any tips on what to look for and/or avoid on BMW or VW diesels? I drive my F250 everywhere when I'm not on the clock and a smaller, quicker, better mpg car would be appreciated!
The 2.0 liter VW diesels are quick enough to not be boring and have no problem getting out of their own way, but are not exciting from a power standpoint. My 2004 Passat TDI was actually faster and zippy-er than my 2014 Passat TDI. Both rode and drove and handled great, had huge trunks, comfortably carried 4 adults, and easily knocked down over 40mpg highway, and 35-40mpg around town.

The BMW 335d was darn quick when stock, stupid fast when deleted and tuned, but had a smaller backseat and smaller trunk. It was sportier in every way, handled amazing, had great brakes, but also rode stiffer and went through rear tires rather quickly (partly my right foot, and partly because of the 2 degree camber spec in the rear). It regularly achieved 30-32mpg average, and could get in the upper 30s on the highway. You can find them in the sub $10k range with higher miles. I'd try to find one that is already tuned and deleted, as that is an expensive proposition on these cars.

If you're looking for economy, I'd look for a 2011-2015 Passat. Bonus points for a 2015 because they are hard to find and have a next generation engine (diesel gate killed off all future TDIs). You could also get a Jetta if you want a wagon, or a Golf if you want a hatchback. But the Passat is the biggest/nicest/most powerful, and economy is about the same for all 3. The Passat was available in SE or SEL. The SE could be had with a 6spd manual, or 6spd DSG. Mine was a DSG and was pretty good for an auto. The SE comes standard with "leather", heated seats, Bluetooth, backup cam, cruise control, power everything, etc. The SEL is auto trans only, and the only real upgrades are foglights, better leather, navigation, and remote start. All are front wheel drive only. They are pretty good cars and not too difficult or expensive to work on.

If you want to go down the BMW rabbit hole, they are only available in rear wheel drive automatic trans. The main packages are the cold weather package (heated steering wheel, turned me into a puss but I loved it), sport package (useless paddle shifters on steering wheel, nice looking 18" wheels, and the most comfortable seats of any car I've ever owned), and navigation system. This car has the dumbest cupholders ever and nowhere to put your phone. Otherwise the ergonomics are good and the driving experience is great. They are easy enough to work on and actually pretty reliable, especially when tuned and deleted. They were only available in the US from 2009-2011. Very little difference between the 3 years. Mostly just color options, and the 09 and 10 models had aluminum shifter paddles that allowed up or downshifts from either hand, whereas the 2011s are plastic and have downshift only on left and upshift only on right. But the position is poor and I found 98% of the time I just used the shift lever in manual mode anyway, so if i were to ever buy one again, that feature wouldn't matter. But the sport package is worth it for the seat adjustability. Bottom line on the 335d is that rolling coal in a dual exhaust "luxury car" puts a smile on your face every time! :D
 
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Lurch830

messin' with sasquatch
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Location
Wilton, NC
@jeepinmatt thanks that's exactly what I was looking for! I'll probably lean towards the VW due to better mpg & manual trans.
 

jeepinmatt

..l.
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Location
On the internet
@jeepinmatt thanks that's exactly what I was looking for! I'll probably lean towards the VW due to better mpg & manual trans.
I imagine a manual TDI is fetching a pretty penny right now. Have cash and act fast and you should be able to find a good deal though. PM me your budget and what you're looking for and I'll keep an eye out for ya over on this end of the state.
 
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