DEF usage for road trip - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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DEF usage for road trip

I am planning on a 2500 mile round trip coming up later this month. 1k of that will be empty running down the interstate. The return trip will be with around 9k lbs of trailer/bronco and tools. The truck has 1k miles on it now and I have never filled the DEF, but I don't want to run out on this trip in the middle of nowhere, KS.

I'm new to the DEF thing. My wife's X5 uses it, but it gets topped off when the dealer services it. Now that oil changes are no longer free there, I'll be doing the filling of it as well.

Thanks!

2017 F-350 CCSB 6.7L
[old]2002 7.3L PSD, 6spd, 4x4 Off-Road, Super Cab, Short Bed, ARE Topper, SCMT Autometer gauges, Tymar, 4" SS aero-turbine exhaust, & WW.

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 07:40 PM
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A different forum has threads indicating that 2017s are using about 2 gals of DEF for every 100 gals of diesel used.

Just our experience based on mileage: We at just over 5,000 miles on the truck now (oil changed Monday). I've added 5 gals of DEF since we purchased the truck in Feb, and we're slightly above 1/2 tank of DEF now. We've towed just over 2,400 of those 5,000 miles.

Hope this info helps! David

2001 F250 7.3L PSD Lariat CC 4x4; Sold Jan 2009
2009 F450 Pickup Lariat Plus w/Nav, 4X4 Off-Road Pkg; Sold Feb 2017
2017 F350 6.7L PSD CC DRW Platinum 4x4

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davydee View Post
A different forum has threads indicating that 2017s are using about 2 gals of DEF for every 100 gals of diesel used.

Just our experience based on mileage: We at just over 5,000 miles on the truck now (oil changed Monday). I've added 5 gals of DEF since we purchased the truck in Feb, and we're slightly above 1/2 tank of DEF now. We've towed just over 2,400 of those 5,000 miles.

Hope this info helps! David
OK, correct me if I am getting this wrong, I am assuming the DEF was full when you purchased it so you started with 7.5 gal.
iSo you're saying in 5K miles where almost 1/2 was towing you went through roughly 9ish gal (7.5 gal DEF tank plus 5 gal (you added) = 12.5 gal (total added) minus 3.75 gal (approximate half tank left) = 8.75 gal used) of DEF? If so, then you are getting like 555 miles per gallon of DEF, does that sound about right?

I have a 7300 mile round trip, all towing, coming up in a couple months and just wonder how much DEF I might go through, to add to the trip budget.

John P.
'17 Magnetic F-450 Lariat Ultimate called "Maximum Overkill"
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 08:11 AM
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Yep, except I'd say we used about 7.5 gals in 5,000 miles. Sorry I wasn't clearer! Of course your experience may differ as we're old farts and travel at about 60-62 mph or so. I generally put 2.5 gals in when the gauge reads half a tank. (I have added the DEF gauge to the My View page.)

Like you, we're new to this DEF. First 2.5 gal was from Ford where we also bought the flexible nozzle. Second was Blue DEF at Walmart that came with it's own nozzle. We're at Onan Elkhart this morning having some serious maintenance performed on our generator. I just noticed they've got DEF. If it wasn't pouring down rain, I'd probably buy that and put it in the truck while we wait.

Whatever you decide, enjoy your truck and rig. We do ours. DW has claimed our truck as "hers" and she's named it. Except for backing up, she's driven the whole time the trailer's been hitched to the truck.

David
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2001 F250 7.3L PSD Lariat CC 4x4; Sold Jan 2009
2009 F450 Pickup Lariat Plus w/Nav, 4X4 Off-Road Pkg; Sold Feb 2017
2017 F350 6.7L PSD CC DRW Platinum 4x4

2011 MS 36RSSB3 w/vanity slide and a nice 4,285 lbs of hitch weight
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Last edited by davydee; 05-04-2017 at 08:12 AM. Reason: grammar...for once it wasn't spelling
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! So tell me, does DEF get used more or less with hard towing?

Looks like I may not need any for the trip, but perhaps one container wouldn't hurt to take along.

2017 F-350 CCSB 6.7L
[old]2002 7.3L PSD, 6spd, 4x4 Off-Road, Super Cab, Short Bed, ARE Topper, SCMT Autometer gauges, Tymar, 4" SS aero-turbine exhaust, & WW.

'73 Bronco 351 SEFI, 35's & Locked!
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 03:32 PM
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I wouldn't trust the gauge.

Buy some DEF, top it off (full), and carry a 2.5 gal box with you on your trip.

Ive had DEF on trucks before they had DEF gauges, and usually 4-5000 miles before its an issue.

Im going 2500 miles RT in July and will fill it full, and carry 2.5 gallons w me and I probably won't NEED it, but will have it.

Worse case, your truck will go into limp mode if you do run out.

2017 F350 6.7 Platinum CCLB DRW
2012 F250 6.7 Lariat Ultimate CCSB FX4
2012 F150 Ecoboost FX4 CCSB FX4
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 05:02 PM
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I wouldn't trust the gauge.

Buy some DEF, top it off (full), and carry a 2.5 gal box with you on your trip.

Ive had DEF on trucks before they had DEF gauges, and usually 4-5000 miles before its an issue.

Im going 2500 miles RT in July and will fill it full, and carry 2.5 gallons w me and I probably won't NEED it, but will have it.

Worse case, your truck will go into limp mode if you do run out.
I agree with everything you posted, and plan to carry DEF in my toolbox. The only argument (if you'd even call it that) would be your last comment about worst case being going into limp mode. I find that thought to be the most dreaded thing in the world: Towing a heavy camper, on the shoulder of a highway or slow lane with 4 ways going with a truck load of ANGRY wife and 2 young kids, and hell my luck it would happen during rush hour just after paying a toll, lol. That sounds like hell on earth to me, lol...
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davydee View Post
Whatever you decide, enjoy your truck and rig. We do ours. DW has claimed our truck as "hers" and she's named it. Except for backing up, she's driven the whole time the trailer's been hitched to the truck.

David

Way cool! My wife is 5' even and drives a Miata, but she get a big grin on her face driving our rig too. Power seats, power pedals, and integral brakes made all the difference.

Current:
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  • '11 Ford F-350 King Ranch Crew Cab long bed 6.7l V8 (400/800)
  • '08 Ford F-350 King Ranch Crew Cab long bed 6.4l V8 (350/650)
  • '04 Ford F-250 King Ranch Crew Cab long bed 6.0l V8 (325/560)
  • '01 Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab short bed 6.8l V10 (310/425)
  • '99 Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab short bed 6.8l V10 (275/410)
  • '97 Ford F-150 XLT Supercab short bed 4.6l V8 (220/290)
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 1SlowFormula View Post
I agree with everything you posted, and plan to carry DEF in my toolbox. The only argument (if you'd even call it that) would be your last comment about worst case being going into limp mode. I find that thought to be the most dreaded thing in the world: Towing a heavy camper, on the shoulder of a highway or slow lane with 4 ways going with a truck load of ANGRY wife and 2 young kids, and hell my luck it would happen during rush hour just after paying a toll, lol. That sounds like hell on earth to me, lol...
I (basically) trust the gauge, and I'm VERY glad they have one now. My '11 would only report "OK", "less that half", and "almost out", not good enough.

The center console will pop a message when it thinks you're within 500 miles of empty on DEF. So, yeah, you COULD have a long box or add-on fuel tank and over drive that on one tank, but unlikely. Carrying a 2 1/2 gallon cube might be worth it for peace of mind.

Current:
  • '17 Ford F-350 King Ranch Crew Cab long bed 6.7l V8 (440/925)
  • '06 Yamaha FJR1300AE motorcycle
  • '03 Thor Jazz 2850BH Fifth Wheel

Past:
  • '11 Ford F-350 King Ranch Crew Cab long bed 6.7l V8 (400/800)
  • '08 Ford F-350 King Ranch Crew Cab long bed 6.4l V8 (350/650)
  • '04 Ford F-250 King Ranch Crew Cab long bed 6.0l V8 (325/560)
  • '01 Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab short bed 6.8l V10 (310/425)
  • '99 Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab short bed 6.8l V10 (275/410)
  • '97 Ford F-150 XLT Supercab short bed 4.6l V8 (220/290)
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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I'm picking some up for my trip tomorrow. I'll check it before I start for home!

2017 F-350 CCSB 6.7L
[old]2002 7.3L PSD, 6spd, 4x4 Off-Road, Super Cab, Short Bed, ARE Topper, SCMT Autometer gauges, Tymar, 4" SS aero-turbine exhaust, & WW.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 12:23 PM
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3000 miles with a large camper (5000 pounds) in the back. DEF gauge says about 5/8 full. Bought a cube to carry. Manual says 7.4 gallon DEF tank - as I remember from looking it up a few days ago. Will wait until says below half then add the cube.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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I picked up some motorcraft DEF as well as their fuel treatment for my trip. I should be ok. But your mileage figures could be a good rule-of-thumb

2017 F-350 CCSB 6.7L
[old]2002 7.3L PSD, 6spd, 4x4 Off-Road, Super Cab, Short Bed, ARE Topper, SCMT Autometer gauges, Tymar, 4" SS aero-turbine exhaust, & WW.

'73 Bronco 351 SEFI, 35's & Locked!
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 08:38 PM
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Just a thought after recently returning from a 2300 mile road trip w/ my '14 f350 6.7, half with the truck empty towing an empty 14' enclosed Cargo trailer, and half towing a full trailer and full pickup bed (Telecom equipment)... My mileage (and DEF usage) started out normal, in the 18+ MPG's range, then tanked to 11 MPG's in a stiff Nebraska crosswind... I picked up my load in Wisc and headed back home in a stiff headwind the whole way, at which point my DEF warning came on... I added 5 gallons of DEF at that point and had to add it again before I got home... Moral of the story, you never know what you are going to run into (wind in this case) that causes your mileage to tank and your DEF usage to spike... It's cheap enough that you can buy a 5 gallon container and keep it in your bed somewhere for emergencies, or even a 1 gallon or 2.5 gallon which will suffice for a few hundred miles...

'04 F250 KR - '14 F350 Lariat -
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Wow. OK, I will be headed across MO, KS, & most of CO, so I am expecting wind!

2017 F-350 CCSB 6.7L
[old]2002 7.3L PSD, 6spd, 4x4 Off-Road, Super Cab, Short Bed, ARE Topper, SCMT Autometer gauges, Tymar, 4" SS aero-turbine exhaust, & WW.

'73 Bronco 351 SEFI, 35's & Locked!
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 11:56 PM
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Toting a large, heavy truck camper I get 10 mpg diesel and 500 mpg DEF.
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