Question Of The Week

The Best Diesel Fuel Additives for RVs and Campers

The question of best fuel additives for truck camper rigs set off a firestorm of passionate reader responses both for and against the popular products.

This week’s Question of the Week was, “Do you use a fuel additive for your truck camping truck?”

After reading through the 84 responses, we found the top 5 diesel fuel additives are Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost, Stanadyne Injector Cleaner, Opti-Lube, Howes Lubricator Diesel Treatment, and Lucus Upper Cylinder Lubricant.

“I do not use fuel additives, but I run the truck every two weeks when I’m not traveling.” – David Weinstein, 1999 Ram 3500, 5.9 Cummins, Diesel, 2005 Arctic Fox 1150

“With the lack of lubrication properties of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), I add a quart of two-cycle oil to each tank of fuel.  My research indicated that it’s the most cost effective treatment for restoring lubricity.” – George Bennett, 2006 Chevy 2500HD, LB7 Duramax Diesel, 2015 Wolf Creek

“I use Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost.  It’s a total injector cleaner and performance improver.  The Max HP Formula of Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost is loaded with cetane, detergent, and a lubricity improver to provide peak diesel performance.  I have been using it for as long as I can remember.” – Craig Miller, 1999 Ford F350, 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel, 1999 Lance 11.5

“I just don’t feel fuel additives are necessary on a newer truck.” – Steve Stewart, 2015 Chevy 3500HD, 6.0 Liter Gas, 2012 Arctic Fox 992

“I only use diesel exhaust fluid (commonly called DEF), as required by our overseers in Washington.  I would not use it if it wasn’t required.  At the advice of a very good diesel mechanic, I do not use any additive.  Ford also does not indicate the use of it.” – Glenn Yauney, 2013 Ford F350, 6.7 Liter Diesel, 2000 Arctic Fox 1100

“Yes, I use Lucas fuel injector cleaner.” – Ronald Fithen Sr., 2005 Ford F350, V10 Gas, 2015 Lance 855s

“I use Opti-Lube in my fuel.  I do a lot of city and short trips and the additive helps.  There seems to be less regens and smoke when I use it.  The engine also seems to run smoother.” – John Evans, 2010 Ford F250, 6.3 Liter Diesel, 2016 Lance 825

“Over the years I have tended not to believe in additives.  I had a sailboat with a diesel engine that was having injector problems.  The diesel repair shop rebuilt the injectors and recommended using Stanadyne Diesel Fuel Additive.

When I got my truck it was the first year that would safely burn low sulfur diesel.  The sulfur in diesel provided lubrication for the injectors and injector pump.  I figured the extra lubrication from the additive couldn’t hurt even though I noticed no difference in performance.

After a few years I noticed a very slight vibration at idle at startup.  I tried a bottle of Stanadyne Injector Cleaner.  The vibration went away, so now I put in a bottle every six months.  I’m trying to make my truck last as long as I can because of the price of a new one.” – Bryce Dillree, 2007 GMC 2500 HD, 6.6L Duramax Diesel, 2013 Wolf Creek 850

“I use Amzoil Diesel injector clean on every second tank refill.  I average 14.5 liters per 100 kilometers.  I have a truck camper on the Ram, plus I’m towing with a Jeep.” – Ben Boulet, 2006 Ram 2500, 5.9 Liter Diesel, 2012 Lance 855S

“I’ll go a few miles out of my way for Top Tier rated gasoline.  If high detergent gas isn’t available, I have a few bottles of Chevron Techron in my camper.  By the way, non-ethanol premium provides the lowest cost/mile of any gasoline.  I test every vehicle we buy; car or pickup.  The in-dash mileage calculator is usually optimistic.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 6 Liter Gas, 2012 Lance 1050

“None.  I had a 2001 with 200,000 miles on it.  Now, our 2006 Chevy has 230,000 miles. Neither has had any work done on the engines.” – Ernest Wallace, 2006 Chevy 3500HD, 6.6 Liter Duramax Diesel, 2005 Lance 881

“I just recently had to have the EGR sensor system serviced with only 26,000 miles on this truck.  Apparently this is a common problem on this truck, as Ford just sent out a letter stating they will be covering this problem for up to 120,000 miles on my vehicle.

The service advisor told me the best way to prevent the problem was to add a cetane booster which would help keep the EGR system cleaner.  So yes, I am now on my first tank with the Power Service Diesel Kleen additive.  Time will tell.” – Don Brown, 2014 Ford F350, 6.7 Liter Diesel, 2014 Lance 855s

“I use Power Service Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost.  I use it to keep injectors clean, for top cylinder lubrication, and for the added cetane.” – John Wells, 2011 Chevy 3500, Duramax 6.6 Liter Diesel, 2012 Chalet Ascent S100F

“Yes, I use Stanadyne Performance Formula although I may check into the Archoil offerings.  Snake oils?  Most likely, but relative inexpensive insurance.  In reading articles from mechanics, they are not always helpful, especially when you find they are also peddling a specific product line as, “the Best Patent Medicine around”.

But, if you read the various subjects on how fuels are formulated, you come away even more confused.  OEM provided owner’s manuals usually recommend not adding anything to fuel or oil, but of course they are in the business to sell vehicles.  Vehicle longevity claims are not always in their best interest, but they do sound nice in their advertising.

I’m a skeptic at heart, pessimistic most days and totally expect this response to be edited.  All the spelling, grammar and punctuation errors are mine.” – Mark Bench, 2015 Ford F350, 6.7 Liter Diesel, Shopping, but likely a Hallmark Everest or Alaskan.  Previous Lance owner.

“No additive.  I don’t see a need for it.” – John Rand, 1999 Ford F250, 7.3 Liter Diesel, 2012 Arctic Fox 990 and 2016 Northern Lite 9.6

“Power Serve.” – Peter Wood, 2006 Ford F350, 6.0 Liter Diesel, 2001 Bigfoot 3500

“I use E-ZOIL Diesel Aid+Cetane purchased from my truck repair company.  They repair large equipment.  The instructions say for maintenance to use 1 ounce per 15 gallons, and for performance to use 2 ounces per 15 gallons.  I always use 2 ounces.  I also have a programmer for the diesel recommended by my truck repair company.” – Chip Collin, 2002 Ford F350, 7.3 Liter International Diesel, 2014 Chalet DS116RB

“I do not use a fuel additive.  I do, however, make certain the fuel tank stays full in the winter and that the truck at least starts and runs once per week.” – Keith Kreutzer, 2005 Ram 3500, 5.9 Liter Cummins Diesel, 2005 Hallmark Guanella

“I use Diesel Kleen at about a half cup for my 20 gallon tank.” – John Cash, 1991 Ford F250, 7.3 Liter Diesel, 1998 Lance Squire

“Every six months or so there might be a sale on injection cleaner at a two for one price, so I will put in a bottle, but that’s it.” – Frank Niehus, 2007 Ford F350, 6.0 Liter Diesel, 2007 Arctic Fox 1150

“We have not used an additive.  We are new to having a diesel engine verses our gas one.  Next time we do an oil change, we will inquire at the dealership about using an additive.  It wasn’t mentioned to us when we bought it.  We were told to use pure diesel only and oil changes regularly.” – Hazel Green, 2015 Ford F350, 6.7 Liter Diesel, 2008 Northern Lite 10.2

“I use Hi Performance Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant.” – Billy Mackaill, 2014 GMC 2500, 6.6 Liter Duramax Diesel, 2016 Northstar Laredo

“Yes, but I’m not OCD about it!  I’ve talked with many diesel mechanics and have finally set my opinion that using a diesel fuel additive may or may not help your engine.  Why?  Think about it!

The main reason, as the oil company marketers claim, is that using a diesel additive will lubricate all of the moving parts within the diesel fuel system.  It also helps stabilize the fuel when your rig is in storage for long periods of time.  The additives coat the mechanical parts and, with this lubrication, prolong their life and allow these parts to function more efficiently.

Again I say, “think about this!”  Diesel fuel in and of itself is an oil.  Spill some on your garage floor, step on it, and you’re on your butt before you know what hit you.  So why add a lubricant to an oil?  It does not make any sense.  That’s one school of thought – don’t use any additives because you just don’t need them.

On the extreme other side of the school are the owners, not the mechanics, who would not fail to add 8 ounces of their favorite additive at every fill up.  That’s just a crazy waste of money.  So where I fall is, after every 1,000 miles, I add one bottle, 8 ounces, of my favorite additive to my tank.

My favorite being Opti-Lube XPD Formula Diesel Fuel Additive.  I buy it by the gallon and use some 8 ounce containers that I purchased early on.  I just refill them as I go.  This is a very cost effective way to cover the inconclusive data that swells around whether or not to use an additive.

Lastly, let me add that I know some diesel owners that have never used any additives and have with 200,000+ maintenance-free miles.  Go figure!  Happy trails.” – Dan Daddieco, 2015 Ram 3500, Cummins Turbo Diesel 6.7 Liter Diesel, 2015 Eagle Cap 1165

“I have never used an additive but, it does sit for four months during the winter.  I did not realize that algae will build up in diesel fuel.  It always starts up in the Spring and, I always have it serviced at Ford dealer where I bought it in the Spring.  They know it sits for the winter and have never suggested an additive.  Should I be using one?” – Steven Kafka, 2003 Ford F350, 6.0 Liter Diesel, 2005 Lance Max 981

“No.” – Bill Gage, 2003 Ram 2500, 5.9 Liter 24 valve Diesel, 2008 Northstar TC650

“Yes, I use Lucas Fuel Treatment with injector cleaner and fuel conditioner additive and have found that the regen comes on a lot less if I use the Lucas than if I don’t.  It gets a little better fuel mileage.” – Jerry Cunningham, 2010 Ford F450, 6.4 Liter Power Stroke Diesel, 2016 Host Mammoth

“I always use an additive.  I have used Amsoil, Power Service and Howe’s over the years.  There are several options depending on the seasons.  I also try to avoid the Minnesota veggie fuel if possible when we are staying in our general area.  I have never gelled up in the winter due to blending and additives.  That makes me happy!” – Dave Miller, 2015 Ford F350, 6.7 Liter Diesel, 2003 Bigfoot 10.6E

“I do not use any type of fuel additive.  My truck camping truck is also my daily driver and never sits for more than one week, so there is no need for an anti-algae additive.

Having been a service writer at a Dodge dealer, as well as having Cummins engine training, I was advised against the use of any type of additive, especially on a 24 valve Cummins.  My son-in-law has a late 1990s 12 valve Cummins.  He also has never used additives.” – Bob Watts, 2011 Dodge Ram 2500, 6.7 Liter Diesel, 2000 Fleetwood Angler 8

“Yes, I use a fuel additive.  Over the years I have tried almost every brand but settled on one that has actually improved my miles per gallon.  On average I get 1.5 to 2.0 miles per gallon better both unloaded and hauling/towing.

I use Power Service Diesel Kleen +Cetane Boost Injector Cleaner and Performance Improver (grey can).  I add proportional amounts with every fill up.” – Tom Adams, 2001, GMC, Sierra 2500HD, 6.6 Liter Diesel, 1998 Northland 10-foot

“I burn regular diesel and 20% biodiesel depending on who has the lower price.  I occasionally add Lucas fuel stabilizer to the regular diesel.  I have 190,000 and it’s running great.” – Ron Williams, 1997 Ford F250 SD, 7.3 Liter Powerstroke Diesel, 2003 Lance 1010

“I use Power Service in a grey bottle (for warm weather).” – John Godfrey, 2012 Ford F350, 6.7 Liter Diesel, no slide-in at present (but a 32 ft fifth wheel)

“No.  I have used a fuel additive in the past to increase the cetane but the current truck has ample power and needs no increase in power for our use.  The algae you mentioned in the article has me thinking about using an additive for that purpose, especially when the truck is not driven for a while.” – William Chiles, 2015 Ram 3500, 6.7 Liter Diesel, 2013 Lance 1050S

“We do not use any fuel additives in the truck.  One of the reasons we purchased a gas engine was to eliminate higher costs of diesel maintenance or fuel additives and diesel fuel related issues.” – Paul Stewart, 2006 Chevy 3500, 8.1 Liter Gas, 2000 Summerwind

“I use a cetane booster that I purchase from the local Ford dealer.  After a lot of urging, I now buy my fuel from name companies like Chevron, 76, Texaco or whatever.” – Steve Timmings, 2003 Ford F350, 6 Liter Power Stroke Diesel, Four Wheel Camper Hawk SC

“I use Power Service in a grey bottle with every refueling.  I use the regular amount listed on container.  I also use Biobor from West Marine, Power Service from Walmart, or Tractor Supply in late fall.  My vehicle is not a daily driver.  I use it only for projects or recreation.” – William Mega, 2001 Ford F350, 7.3 Liter Diesel, 2000 Lance 835

“The problem with our domestic diesel now seems to be lack of lubrication for the pump and injectors.  With my 2002 Powerstroke I used Walmart two-cycle oil at a mix of 100 /1.  I sold that truck at 100,000 miles with no fuel system problems at all.  With my 2015 Duramax I try to maintain a minimum of 2% biodiesel.  I blend either B10 or B20 depending on availability and the season (things tend to get cold here in western Wyoming).

I try to buy 5 to 10 gallons of B100 when it is available to use as an additive when on the road since biodiesel is hard to get in some areas.  I keep the B100 in my cool basement and have had zero issues with algae or deterioration.

I do not ever intend to run biodiesel as rich as B20 even though my truck is officially sanctioned for it.  Scarring tests show that the greatest lubrication improvements can be achieved with as little as 2% biodiesel.

I don’t drive the truck a lot in the winter, but so far Howes has seemed to prevent gelling for me.  Pump failure seems to be a rare but expensive proposition as it takes out the injectors and complete fuel systems, usually after the warranty is up.  I guess we all pay our money and take our chances.” – Robert Benesh, 2015 GMC 3500, Duramax Diesel, 2004 Alpenlite 850

“We have added Opti-Lube to all of the diesel trucks we have owned since 2009; a 2009 Dodge 2500, a 2012 Silverado 3500 HD dually, and now a 2015 GMC 3500HD dually.

We add it every fill up, and use it year round since the truck is my winter commuter vehicle as well as our summer truck camping workhorse.  We also tow a 20-foot enclosed trailer with mountain bikes, gear, water, fuel, and a RZR (or motorcycles or racing Miata).  The diesel truck is needed and loved.

The Opti-Lube was highly reviewed and recommended and has served us well.  You can even get it in small travel bottles.  On the road it is easy to add with each fill up.” – Tracy Schuster, 2015 GMC 3500, Duramax Diesel, 2012 Lance 992

“I started using Archoil shortly after I purchased the truck in September, 2015 with 224,000 miles.  I did not have the truck long enough to solidly say using it made a difference.

I purchased the truck with a 2003 Bigfoot camper on it.  It was an affordable package but I knew I had better take extreme care of the high mileage truck to avoid any regrets.  I did end up having the transmission rebuilt five months after I purchased it.  It was not unexpected and I actually have more peace of mind knowing I can take long trips hauling the camper and trailer with a new and properly maintained tranny.  I will keep using Archoil in the fuel and oil until something better comes along.” – Bill Ortiz, 1999 Ford F350, Power Stroke 7.3 Liter Diesel, 2003 Bigfoot 25c 9.6

“No. If you use good gas from the get go you won’t need any additives.” – Timothy Chapell, 2013 Ford F150, 3.5 Liter Ecoboost Gas, 2013 Palomino SS-1251

“Another excellent question, as Charlie and I have the same motor.  You have to remember that the 7.3 PowerStroke was designed in the 1990s and, to use Charlie’s words, sulfur embedded for lubrication was the diesel you bought.

On the first round of emissions we got the Low Sulfur blend, and then another round of emissions and we got the Ultra Low fuel blend.

Now if you want to believe the government, this new fuel would not harm older diesels still running.  But, we are passionate about our diesels and I just thought a cetane booster additive was best for the 7.3 PowerStroke.

I have been running a four-part additive/cetane booster mixture for my 7.3 PowerStroke as soon as the first round of reduced sulfur fuel came into existence.  They are all purchased off the shelf and through years of experimentation, have come up with what I think is best for my PowerStroke.

Today’s newer diesels are designed to run on this new ultra low diesel fuel.  My question to my fellow diesel owners is, “With the introduction of Bio Diesel now seen at many stations, how much are you losing in the mile per gallon department?”

I just came back from a 3,800 mile trip to Florida and I suffered a 20% drop on fuel mileage.  My normal 12 to 13 miles per gallon dropped 10 to 11 miles per gallon depending on conditions.” – Mike Tassinari, 2002 Ford F350, the best diesel on the planet – the 7.3 Liter Diesel, 2016 Lance 1172

“Ever since diesel fuel was reformulated here in California, I’ve heard many horror stories about the older diesels having injector pump and injector failures (leakage and excessive wear) due to non-fuel lubrication.

I’ve read that even the newer diesel trucks designed with low-sulfur fuel in mind have premature fuel wear issues.  I started using ATF as an additive in my 1983 Ford (same engine, non-turbo) and racked up over 200,000 miles on the original i.p. and injectors before selling the truck.

I’ve read that the usual lifespan is more like 100,000 miles.  So, this worked.  I bought the 1993 last year.  This truck with 115,000 miles had sat for about ten years, so it had a number of fuel delivery problems (dirty tanks, rotted injector return lines, leaking lift pump).

I only got 5,000 miles out of a new fuel filter before it plugged and the engine lost power.  I used Diesel Purge to clean the injectors.  This seemed to help restore lost power.  I will be using a commercial additive, such as Diesel Kleen, or Stanadyne Injector Cleaner and replacing filters often from now on.” – Alan Keith, 1993 Ford F250, 7.3 Liter IDI Turbo Diesel, 1997 Lance Squire Lite

“I have used Lucas products in all of my vehicles since the early 90s after racing and an incident of overheating a 460 Ford motorhome and not losing the engine because of additional lubrication due to the additive.

All fueled vehicles and equipment run with Lucas fuel additive as well as crank cases with lubrication additives.  Diesel or gasoline both having additional additives in the form of alcohol cause considerable headaches for storage as well as fuel mileage.  I have found cleaner running as in emissions and oil cleanliness with these additional products.  I also work on my equipment if it is possible.” – Eric Devolin, 2007 GMC 3500, 6.6 Liter Diesel, 2006 Adventurer 106 DBS

“No. Our engine odometer is at 62,000+ miles, and we have had no problems.  Living in Taxifornia has its headaches.  We can’t legally modify our rig’s engine to get more mileage and power.  The fuel we buy seems to be fine.  It has plenty of power to haul the camper and tow our trailer over the High Sierra range.” – Mike Kolinski, 2012 GMC 2500, 6.6 Liter Duramax Diesel, 2012 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

“I use Power Service Diesel Kleen with Cetane Boost.  I have been using it for most of its life.  My truck currently has 110,000 miles on it.  My truck sounds and runs like the day I purchased it.  Whether the additive has anything to do with that or not, it makes me feel better because of this new fuel that is on the market now-a-days.” – David Donovan, 2007 Chevy 3500, Duramax Diesel, 2012 Chalet TS116

“I use Howes Lubricator Diesel Treatment.” – Jay Brower, 2013 Chevy 3500, Duramax Diesel, 2014 Chalet TS116

“I use the Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost additive when I’m on long trips and during extreme cold weather.” – Norm Cushard, 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 3500, 6.6 Liter Duramax Diesel, 2016 Palomino HS-8801

“Yes, I always use Howes fuel additive all year for every other tank fill, as well as a cetane additive.” – Paul Kalson, 2012 Ram 3500, 6.7 Liter Cummins Diesel, Soon to Be Arctic Fox 992

“I never had any reason for using additives, nor will I knowingly purchase biodiesel.  I have been a professional diesel technician since 1973 and am currently a certified instructor for Detroit Diesel.

Modern diesel injection systems are precision, expensive, and designed to operate with pure Ultra Low Sulfur fuel.  Why would anyone add something that could possibly damage this system?  Reading the Detroit Diesel fuel recommendations, additives increase operating costs and provide no benefits.” – Charles Wade, 2016 Ram 3500, 6.7 Cummins High Output Diesel, 2016 Northern Lite 10-2 EX CDSE

“We have used a cetane additive in the past, but not in the last year.  We were averaging 11 miles per gallon with aggressive tires.  I changed to highway tread and lost one mile per gallon.  Maybe its time to add some juice.  For me, diesel is the only way to go.” – Phil McEachen, 2000 Ford F350, 7.3 Liter Powerstroke Diesel, 2008 Okanagan 117DBL

“I use Berryman’s Chemtool in my tank along with Sta-Bil for ethanol gas to keep the gas fresh.  The Berrymans cleans the injectors with the stored gas.  I might take the truck out three to four times a year, crank it and let it run for twelve minutes every two weeks.  I have a company car so the truck is pretty much used for the camper now.” – Steve Lowery, 1999 Toyota Tacoma, 2.7 Liter Gas, 2010 Travel Lite 690FD

“This is a complicated question, and really does need some informed opinions.  As we are faced with ever increasing restrictions on emissions, the manufactures are faced with a series of quick fixes.  The latest is causing a lot of issues in regards to engine life span and, ultimately, the cost of ownership.

As past lubricating components of diesel fuel are being phased out because of the emissions that they cause, the new diesel truck owner is being faced with shortcomings in lubrication of the fuel system that can cause huge repair bills.  With the alloys and special seal compositions, everyday fuel additives may not be the answer.

Additives that chase water from tanks and fuel lines can contain alcohol type chemicals that are a no-no for new modern diesels.  There are additives available from your dealership that fit your engine.  Don’t mess with off the shelf additives unless you are knowledgeable of what your needs are and the ingredients within.

Adding a fuel additive to your tank at fill up to improve lubrication and keep things in the fuel system healthy can add up to a noticeable expense, but is well worth it if you plan to keep the truck for more than just the warranty period (like most of us).  A damaged high pressure fuel pump can cost thousands to replace and it’s something that the professional long haul truckers can put over a million miles on with out issue.

In conclusion, we are concerned by what we do to the environment.  What sort of a planet are we are leaving to our kids to deal with?  So reducing emissions is a good thing.  Putting the burden of possible expensive repairs on us because of poor techs and quick fix solutions is not a good thing.  Paying uber dollars for a modern diesel camper hauler that may fail long before it should is becoming common place.” – Wes Hargreaves, 2016 Ford F450, 6.7 Liter Powerstroke, Diesel, 2006 Snowbird 108DS

“I use two-cycle motor oil at one ounce per ten gallons of fuel.  It’s TCW3 from Walmart.” – Butch Bird, 2001 Dodge 3500, 5.9 Cummins, Diesel, 2000 Lance 1010

“Yes, we use the Stanadyne performance additive.  The truck runs better with it and we get a slight improvement in our highway mileage.” – Eddie Fort, 2006 Ford F350, 6.0 Liter Diesel, 2016 Hallmark Everest

“I do use additives.  Being in the family owed automotive repair and service for 40 years, we see problems with our fuels of today and how they effect the performance of both gas and diesel engines.

BG products makes additives for both diesel and gasoline engines.  I have customers with 6.0 and 6.4 Liter Ford diesels which our known for EGR problems.  I have used BG 244 in these trucks with great success.  I will say these additives can be expensive but the alternative can be more costly.  I use BG244 mostly in the cooler months when idle time on diesel trucks is longer for most owners due to colder temperatures and the need for heat.

The rest of the time we recommend BG248 which is a good cetane booster and helps with lubrication of injectors and pump.  They also make a gasoline additive which is also costly but does a very good job on carbon build-up which is very common in fuels with ethanol added.

So additives are not as bad cost wise when you consider the price to replace all 8 injectors in a 6.6 Liter Duramax can be as high as $8,000.  But when towing heavy loads, for me, it’s diesel all the way.  Preventive maintenance is the best thing anyone could do especially when you look at the cost of new trucks, gas or diesel.” – Kevin Brenner, 2003 Chevy 3500, 6.6 Liter Duramax Diesel, 2010 Lance 1181

“Yes, I use Power Service, ULSD Formula.” – Bruce Moses, 2006 Chevy 3500, Duramax Diesel, 2009 Lance 1191

“Yes.  I did a fair amount of research when I bought the truck a few years back in anticipation of buying a truck camper.  Although I have not purchased a unit yet, I follow this publication and other sources on campers.

The best numbers in terms of lubricity for diesels I found was a product called Opti-lube.  I believe it can only be purchased online.  I purchase it by the case and carry a jug with me in the truck.  I only add it to every other tank.  I do my own minor maintenance of all filters and oil.

I believe they sell a fuel stabilizer for those parking their trucks for a while.  For those of you that have access to private aircraft supplies, there is a product that prevents the formation of algae.  It is called Prist.  I used it for years in a Cessna Citation.  In addition to preventing algae, it also keeps the fuel from gelling.

My friends who drive long haul trucks do not use any additives.  According to one guy, they go through so much fuel it would be coast prohibitive.  Hope this helps.” – Bob Melehan, 2006 Dodge Ram 3500, 5.9 Liter Cummins Diesel, Looking for a camper

“I use Power Service and Howes fuel treatment.  You can hear the difference in the engine without the fuel additive.” – C. Ramsey, 2012 Chevy 3500, Duramax 6.6 Liter Diesel, 2014 Adventurer 116DS

“Yes, I use Diesel Kleen.  I use the grey bottle in the summer, and the white bottle in the winter.” – Rich Elmquist, 2008 Ford F450, 6.4 Liter Powerstroke Diesel, 2008 Host Everest

“I have used Stanadyne Performance Formula since my truck was new.  It does seem to help my diesel run with less noise.  The product was recommended by my diesel mechanic, but I haven’t seen mileage improvement and I really can’t say it’s helping with the longevity of my truck.  Like many Ford 6.0 Liter diesels, I have had to replace my head gaskets and water pump.  However I don’t believe the additive would have helped with either problem.” – Henry Yoneyama, Ford F350, 6.0 Liter Diesel, 2012 Arctic Fox 990

“No.  I never heard I was supposed to use a fuel additive.  I thought your 1998 Dodge was supposed to be unbreakable.  They say my engine is only a little better than the 6.0 Liter.  I have not had to pay for repairs this far with 99,000 miles.  I bought it used, but Ford fixed something twice and that was a long time ago.

I change oil every five to six thousand miles and the fuel filter every other oil change.  It’s expensive, but cheaper than an engine.  I hope this is my last camper truck, but if not I will look for a gas engine in my next truck.  There are not too many available in duallies used unless a work truck trim level is desired.” – William Foley, 2008 Ford F350, 6.4 Liter Diesel, 2007 Arctic Fox 1140

“Yes, experience has shown us that Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector cleaner has been a very viable product.  Our Ford was purchased new in 2000 and has 184,000 miles on it.  Its usage has been as a recreational vehicle for two 35-foot fifth wheels and 4,000 pounds of a truck camper with a Jeep in tow.  We have traveled the lower forty eight, Canada, and Alaska.  The truck has been maintained to perfection in accordance to the manufacturer’s specifications.

We began using the Lucas product when the truck reached 100,000 miles, and supplement our fuel with the required amount every four fill ups.  In many conversations with diesel owners and mechanics, the Lucas product was recommended to improve the injector longevity and performance.  The only repairs to the engine have been a water pump, alternator, and serpentine belt.  Otherwise the truck has performed flawlessly.  There have been no problems with the fuel injectors or fuel delivery systems.  In my mind, the value of the fuel supplement has been proven and cost justified.” – Warne Todd, 2000 Ford F350, 7.3 Liter Powerstroke Diesel, 2005 Lance 981 Max

“Yes, I use a fuel additive from Opti-Lube.  I’m not even sure that an additive is needed, but this one from Opti-Lube is supposed to increase the lubricity of the modern low sulfur diesel fuels, and therefore increases the life of the very expensive fuel injection pump.  Who knows if it actually does any good?  But it costs less than $1 to treat a tank of fuel, so I figured it can’t hurt to use it.” – Buzz and Sherri Merchlewitz, 1998 Dodge Ram 2500, 24 valve Cummins Diesel, 2015 Hallmark Ute

“All my advice is not to use additives as that they are not necessary.  I’m advised to keep the RPM up around 1,800 to keep the exhaust gas hot and use clean fuel that’s seasonally adjusted for the temperature.

Purchasing fuel from retail pumps with good sales volume should ensure clean fuel and the correct cetane rating adjusted at the refinery level for seasonal temperature changes.

I’ve not had algae problems in my 30 years running diesel tractors, but understand the problems come with wet fuel from drums or farm tanks or other contaminated sources.” – John W. Hallett, 2011 Dodge 3500, 6.7 Liter Cummins Diesel, 2014 Bigfoot 9.6 LB

“I drive a GMC 2500HD diesel and the manual says not to use additives.  The Car Talk Guys on NPR also cautioned against using additives.  Additionally, my wife’s car is a Toyota and they too say not to use additives.  I’m thinking they are all hype, but of course it does work because they do sell.” – Al Stebbins, 2016 GMC 2500 HD, Duramax Diesel, 2005 Northern Lite 8-11 Queen

“I periodically put in an injector cleaner about every 5,000 miles, if I remember to buy it.  I haven’t done anything else and I have owned diesels for about fifteen years.

I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where the temperatures routinely get to thirty below zero.  I plug the truck in when I am home, but have come out of work at these temps and the engine has always started.

I see that Lucas has a particulate filter cleaner and I will likely throw a bottle of that in once over my next trip.  The only problem I ever had was when I inadvertently filled the truck with 20% bio-diesel and it clogged the injectors.  I did need to go to a GM dealer and have them do a more extensive clean-out.  I had used bio-diesel in the past on my old Dodge with the Cummins with no problems, but this engine clearly doesn’t like it.  The challenge is that not all pumps are clearly labeled.” – Steve Merrill, 2009 Chevy Silverado 3500, 6.6 Liter Duramax Diesel, 2007 Lance 992

“I use Ford Cetane Booster.” – Jon Hunstock, 2008 F250, 6.4 Liter Powerstroke, Diesel, 2014 Northstar Arrow U

Racor diesel conditioner

“I use Racor ADT 1116 Conditioner Plus.  A good diesel mechanic friend of mine did not specifically recommend this product, but did encourage me to use a conditioner that improves the lubricity of the fuel.  He says that since the sulfur was removed from the fuel he has seen an increase in fuel injector failure due to the decrease in the fuel lubricity.

In addition to containing lubricity additives, the Racor product I’m using claims to improve fuel economy, prevents corrosion, stabilizes fuel quality during prolonged storage, and contains a Cetane Improver.

I have used this product for about the last 38,000 miles starting when I had about 30,000 miles on the truck.  I have had no engine related problems, but would not have expected to in a relatively low mileage truck.

So I look at using the additive as preventive maintenance hoping that the cost and minor inconvenience of adding it at each fuel fill up will add up to cheap insurance.

I want to note that I am down to my last bottle.  I decided to order more only to find out that it is no longer produced and the manufacturer does not have a replacement.  I plan to continue to use a fuel additive, but will need to do some research to determine which one.  I’m looking forward to seeing what others are using.” – Eldon Rhodes, 2008 Chevy 3500HD, 6.0 Liter DuraMax, Diesel, 2011 Lance 1050

“I always use a fuel additive with every fill-up.  I have a 35 gallon tank and fill it when I know it will take 25 to 32 gallons of diesel.  With a diesel, it’s never a good idea to run out of fuel.

With each fill-up I add 8 ounces of Power Source Diesel Kleen Cetane Booster, the gray bottle for spring, summer, and fall driving.  I use the white bottle for winter driving and storage.  I always carry one 32 ounce container.  If we plan on more than two thousand miles for a trip I’ll always have the gallon container.

There are so many places we’ve stopped to fill-up and I sometimes wonder how long their diesel fuel has been sitting in their storage tanks.  That’s why I like to add a fuel additive.

During the winter months I always keep the tank completely full to help keep condensation forming and I will add 12 ounces of Power Service additive for each fill-up.  I also keep the block heater plugged in so it makes for much easier starting.  I drain the fuel filter after about 5 tank fills.  That’s just another maintenance item that needs to be kept up.  With 89,000 miles on the truck, I know I have a lot of life left in this camper hauler!” – Roger Odahl, 2008 Ram 3500, 6.7 Liter, Diesel, 2004 Eagle Cap 950

“My trucks primary use is the truck camper, so 75% of the miles are on hills and curves.  I use 90 or better when I obtain gasoline to gain a better timing advance through the computer sensing valve knock.  I also add Marvel Mystery oil in colder weather, which is a great gas stabilizer and cleaner.” – Walter George, 2015 Ford 350, 6.2 L, Gas, 2015 Lance 1052

“I do not use any additives.  My owner’s manual says not to use fuel additives other than those recommended in the manual.  I didn’t see any noted!  It also mentioned that the warranty may be voided.  I am very interested to the feedback on this question.

Before purchasing our current truck and camper we had a Chevy 1500 gas and a 22′ holiday trailer.  While it performed okay on level roads, it was awful going up hills especially in the mountains where we like to camp and fish.  I always swore that my next truck would be a diesel.  We now tow a 3500 pound boat with our truck and camper and the hills are no longer a problem.  I agree that initial investment is more, but you can recoup most of that on resale.  Diesel is also priced a bit lower and I get better fuel economy especially when fully loaded.  No way I would go back to gas!” – Roger Geisinger, 2013 Chevy 3500, Duramax, Diesel, 2013 Northern Lite 10-2

“I worked on diesel engines for 36 years.  The newer engines are common rail high pressure fuel systems.  They require a clean fuel system.  Water is the biggest problem and can destroy the system if not treated.

Diesel fuel is a lot better than it used to be.  Additives are regularly added by distributors to prevent algae, caused by water in fuel system.  If you want to use an additive, use 911 to remove water.  I now have a gas engine and use a treatment once a year to prevent water buildup.  Water in gas is just as bad as in diesel fuel.  I think Lucas products is the best.” – Charlie Young, 2013 Chevy 2500HD, 6.0 Liter, Gas, 2012 Riverside 865

“Yes I do.  I use Power Service Diesel Kleen.  A year and a half ago I was in Yellowstone when the engine started running rough.  I don’t know if I got bad diesel, if I was having a gelling problem or what.  I stopped at a station and purchased a small bottle of Power Service Diesel 911.  I dumped the whole thing in and soon the engine was running smoothly again.  I always carry Diesel Kleen with me to add to the tank.” – John Bull, 2004 Dodge 3500, Cummins 5.9, Diesel, 2015 Arctic Fox 990

“I use Amsoil cetane boost, Amsoil injector cleaner on every fill up.  I also use Amsoil injector cleaner with a cold flow improver in the winter.” – Jim Thomas, 2013 F350 Ford, 6.7, Diesel, 2013 Host Shasta

“I use Archoil exclusively.  I use it in my diesel tractor and gas vehicles.  It has increased the fuel mileage and eliminated diesel stiction.  Charlie, go to and watch all his videos.” – Karl Sault, 1994 Ford 2810, 3 cylinder, Diesel, N/A

“I faithfully use an additive with every fill-up and buy my additive from a local Tractor Supply Company store. I  don’t use the truck as often as I used to and it’s not unusual for it to sit unused for a couple weeks.  Still, I’ve never had any issues with starting or running it and I think it’s due to the Power Service additives that I use.

I learned to use additives after many years of experience driving diesel VW Rabbits in the 70s and 80s.  I used to get around 300,000 miles and around 50 miles per gallon with those engines.  Diesel fuel used to be cheaper than gas but that has changed since the US started exporting so much of it.  Also, EPA regulations has turned owning a new diesel into a nightmare so I would most likely switch to gasoline for my next truck.” – Jack Pavie, 1995 Ford F350, 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel, 1987 Real Lite 950

“We use the Motorcraft Cetane Booster and Performance Improver.  I add some to every other fill-up.  I have been using it since we bought the truck new in 2006.” – John and Laurie Brokaw, 2006 Ford F250 Super Duty, 6.0 Diesel, 2010 Lance 850

“We use Optima fuel additive in the diesel that carries our truck camper so that it will not plug the exhaust system.  It is the same that we use in the tractors.  We have used it in the older diesel trucks, but when they are not running as well (usually due to poor fuel) we use Lubricity.” – Tricia Mason, 2009 Ford F350, 6.4 diesel, 2008 Montana Ponderosa

“Yes, we do now, after several thousand dollars of repairs and lots of trips.  We took two cross-country trips to Michigan from Henderson, Nevada and stumbled upon a product called Archoil.  Man, does it work as claimed, if not better.  We were told by a local diesel shop that we needed new injectors.  That was wrong.  We had a problem called stiction on the injectors when it’s cold.  After it warmed up, it ran fine.  It bucked and groaned even with the engine block heater plugged in overnight.  It was October and not really cold out, maybe 40 degrees at night.  The problem was solved.  Feel free to research it online.  It’s well worth the money.  It’s also available for gas engines.” – Robert Baker, 2005 Ford F350, 6.0 Diesel, In Between Campers, Towing a 22Ft Nomad

“I use Amsoil Performance Improver fuel additive once every 4k miles to keep the injectors, combustion chambers and intake valves clean.  I have noticed that the truck runs smoother and quieter.  I’ve also noticed better throttle response.” – Dennis De Ville, 2008 Ford F350, 6.8L V-10 Gas, 2008 Lance 1191

“To provide some addition lube to the CP3 High Pressure pump I put one pint of Supertech TC-W3 2-stroke oil in each tank.  With the low lube of ultra low sulfur diesel, a bit of lube doesn’t hurt.  Since TC-W3 is ashless, it won’t cause a problem when it burns.  The side benefit is that I also use it in the boat.  So, I only have to carry one brand of 2-stroke oil.” – Leonard Pennock, 2006 Ram 3500, 5.9 Diesel, 2002 Eagle Cap 950

“Diesel fuel cetane ratings can vary a lot from different sources.  As stated before, a lot of sulfur has been removed.  There is very little lubricity left in diesel fuel.  Add to that the growing amount of bio-diesel in today’s fuels, and an additive is a must.  I use Stanadyne performance formula.  At $300 a piece for an injector, it seems like a no brainer to me.” – Ross Vlieger, 2015 GMC 3500, Duramax Diesel, Lance 992

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