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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone else here driven their PM while fully loaded down? I mean including a trailer, so you are not just at Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), but at or close to Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR).


I am currently at 12,000# and am absolutely shocked at how well the (diesel) ProMaster is dealing with all this weight.




I've known that BoB weighs in around 7100# to 7300# right now, depending on what I'm carrying. I figure it's probably going to be closer to 7800# when I finally finish the build (someday).

I headed down from WA state to SoCal with a 6x12 UHaul trailer. Time to bring some family stuff north, its been in storage for way too long. Headed south I weighed the setup at a roadside truck scale in Oregon. Came up with 7600# for the van and 1800# for the trailer. Figure it probably had at least 100# tongue weight, maybe 200. So... 2000# for the trailer (it is a double axle, and solidly built).

This put me at 9400# combined weight. The extra 2000# combined with the bit of extra wind resistance and I was a bit slower on the hills, and faster going down, but overall not too bad.


Now headed home with a full load, I am just 500# from my GCWR of 12,500#. I've kinda gotten used to the idea of driving 3.5 tons of vehicle around, no big deal. But now I'm rolling down the road at 6 tons. Six. Tons. Yeah, there's lots of ways to get an RV setup or semi-commercial rig with a pickup and gooseneck that will weigh lots more, but c'mon...

I've been cruising up central CA at 60mph, and amazingly still getting just over 20mpg. Admittedly, that is dropping now that I've climbed up past Lake Shasta. I'm reminded of one of the early diesel proponents here, Adrian, and now I can understand his commentary on just how nice the diesel PM does pulling a full load.

The rig is definitely slower to get going, and I always have the Tow/Haul turned on. That makes one HUGE difference in how it shifts. Going up and down hills. The trailer has hydraulic surge breaks, so I've learned that I have to brake moderately hard to engage them, but once they do that's four extra drum brakes. While I haven't had to do a panic stop, there have been some quick ones for fast changing red lights, and the stopping is quite nice.


Overall though, I'm also mostly impressed with the diesel. It has been pulling great. Downshifts to 5th around 55mph on a hill, and then to 4th around 45mph. But for all the little rises and overpasses, holds 6th no problem. I've never driven the gasser PM, but I do wonder how much shifting it would be doing with a full load (and its GCWR is only 11500#, 1000 less than the diesel).
 

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Thanks, this aspect of the diesel is seldom mentioned. I keep saying it’s like a freight engine on a midnight run- it just hauls!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm partway through Oregon now. Still doing the same shift points at 55 and 45mph; off cruise control and not flooring going up hill, keeping engine load reasonable. After the climbs around Shasta I'm down to 19mpg.

Enjoying the plateau right now. Staying at ~4600' elevation. Its in the trees so it feels like its a steady slight uphill, but its not.
 

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.....cut.....

Overall though, I'm also mostly impressed with the diesel. It has been pulling great. Downshifts to 5th around 55mph on a hill, and then to 4th around 45mph. But for all the little rises and overpasses, holds 6th no problem. I've never driven the gasser PM, but I do wonder how much shifting it would be doing with a full load (and its GCWR is only 11500#, 1000 less than the diesel).

Are you suggesting that a lot of shifting is a bad thing? If so, why have we gone from 4-speed to 9~10-speed automatics in a relatively short period? Don't you think powertrain engineers are counting on these new transmissions to shift a lot more often?
 
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