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Old 05-14-2019, 10:58 AM   #1
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Downsize and Diesel to Gas

We are thinking of getting a smaller and much newer RV but are afraid we will regret it. My question is:

Have any of you gone from a older (in our case, 2004 Newmar Northern Star) 39 foot or so diesel pusher to a 34 foot gas? We are looking at the Newmar Baystar 3409. Was it is good or bad decision?

We are retired and we take long and short trips. In the summer, we take longer trips of a month or so. In the winter, we take trips of 1 to 2 weeks. We have been traveling about 10K miles per year.

Reasons why we would do this:
Get a newer RV. Some day, our house systems will go (air conditioner, refrigerator, etc).
Go smaller so we have an easier time finding RV spots and it is easier getting around.
Tired of carpet.
Better TV viewing angle.

Reasons why we should not do this:
We have really improved our coach. Sidewalls replaced and repainted, Source Engineering shocks and stabilizer, Source Engineering hitch saver, much too much to list.
We like traveling in the coach - we do not know what another coach would be like.

Any experiences that would help are welcome.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludmilla View Post
We are thinking of getting a smaller and much newer RV but are afraid we will regret it. My question is:

Have any of you gone from a older (in our case, 2004 Newmar Northern Star) 39 foot or so diesel pusher to a 34 foot gas? We are looking at the Newmar Baystar 3409. Was it is good or bad decision?

We are retired and we take long and short trips. In the summer, we take longer trips of a month or so. In the winter, we take trips of 1 to 2 weeks. We have been traveling about 10K miles per year.

Reasons why we would do this:
Get a newer RV. Some day, our house systems will go (air conditioner, refrigerator, etc).
Go smaller so we have an easier time finding RV spots and it is easier getting around.
Tired of carpet.
Better TV viewing angle.

Reasons why we should not do this:
We have really improved our coach. Sidewalls replaced and repainted, Source Engineering shocks and stabilizer, Source Engineering hitch saver, much too much to list.
We like traveling in the coach - we do not know what another coach would be like.

Any experiences that would help are welcome.
We haven't done exactly what you are considering, but we did go from a large 5th wheel (38') to a 24' Class C, then 35' Ventana LE and now 40' Mountain Aire. We wouldn't consider reversing course at this point.

The diesel-to-gas switch would be a no-go for us; less power in the hills and a whole lot more noise with the high-revving gas engine. Downsizing the living space might work for us IF we could find the right floor plan. We moved up in size because we sometimes spend 2-3 months in the coach and didn't feel comfortable in the smaller spaces.

The decision is yours, obviously. Just giving you our perspective on the proposed move.

TJ
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:08 PM   #3
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We are doing the opposite.
We are upgrading from a 35' Gas coach to a 40' diesel because there will be enough space for us to travel a couple of months at a time. Once I drove the diesel there was no way I was going back to gas. MUCH better ride and much quieter.
Just my .02
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:47 PM   #4
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Downsize and Diesel to Gas

We have slowly climbed up in size over about 30 years, and the comfort is very difficult to compromise.
Going from air ride to iron ride would make us simply quit the RV life!
Have you driven your future bump-rider yet?
TVs can be moved!
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
We have slowly climbed up in size over about 30 years, and the comfort is very difficult to compromise.
Going from air ride to iron ride would make us simply quit the RV life!
Have you driven your future bump-rider yet?
TVs can be moved!
Same here, now at 45' but since the late wife's death I've considered going smaller but I like this one and just spent $40,000 on engine repairs and suspension upgrade, very little of what I could get back at resale. I'm 72 now so my days of RV'ing are limited to maybe 10 years.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:03 PM   #6
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We are doing what you are considering, and for many of the same reasons.
1. Tired of driving long rig and even longer with jeep wrangler behind it.
2. Moved to east coast, roads are winder, smaller, hiller, hard driving long coach on them, and getting into some SP, NCG, Appalachian Highway, etc. will be easier.
3. Driving smaller one will be easier, got all new stuff so no issues upgrading, fixing, etc. won't be like older one, which is something breaks each trip.
4. Have great house, hate lot, nothing perfect. So like you short trips in Summer, maybe longer trips in Winter, but smaller rig, easier to load, unload, and get ready for any length trip.
Our new one is Ventana 3407, wanted to stay with DP, because the noise of the gas engine up front drives GF nuts. She said she would stay home if she had to listen to that noise, so that is the reason (she really wanted shorter one from the beginning), but that is another story. Keep her happy, then I am happy.
TEST DRIVE FRONT ENGINE GAS RIG MORE THAN ONCE-NOISE make sure you don't mind the engine noise. Drive it up steep hills, so it has to downshift and rev up. Don't buy from camping world.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:08 PM   #7
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Downsize and Diesel to Gas

We went from gas to diesel, we donít see owning another Gasser for all of the reasons list above, noise, air suspension, air brakes, power and comfort and donít forget Comfort Drive.
Wish you well with your decision.
How about a few year old Ventana?
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludmilla View Post
We are thinking of getting a smaller and much newer RV but are afraid we will regret it. My question is:

Have any of you gone from a older (in our case, 2004 Newmar Northern Star) 39 foot or so diesel pusher to a 34 foot gas? We are looking at the Newmar Baystar 3409. Was it is good or bad decision?

We are retired and we take long and short trips. In the summer, we take longer trips of a month or so. In the winter, we take trips of 1 to 2 weeks. We have been traveling about 10K miles per year.

Reasons why we would do this:
Get a newer RV. Some day, our house systems will go (air conditioner, refrigerator, etc).
Go smaller so we have an easier time finding RV spots and it is easier getting around.
Tired of carpet.
Better TV viewing angle.

Reasons why we should not do this:
We have really improved our coach. Sidewalls replaced and repainted, Source Engineering shocks and stabilizer, Source Engineering hitch saver, much too much to list.
We like traveling in the coach - we do not know what another coach would be like.

Any experiences that would help are welcome.
Iím sure thisíll quickly devolve into another gas vs. diesel thread, but I would go drive the Bay Star. Youíd be very surprised at how quiet they really are. Despite the posts above, you arenít going to need a kidney transplant every time you drive it. It wonít sound like a Pratt & Whitney radial engine inside the cabin while youíre driving it. It will have enough power to reach speeds above 25mph.

Things you will be able to do in the Bay Star:

Spend about $40 at autozone for oil and a filter and do your own oil change.
Never have to worry about DEF again
Get gas at any gas station
Be able to walk into any auto parts store and get parts for the chassis
A large network of ford dealers across the country to get warranty work
A 5 year 60,000 mile chassis warranty with 5 years of roadside assistance

Iíve driven mine through the mountains of West Virginia towing a 4500lb minivan more than once and Iím alive to tell about it. And Iím not afraid to do it again.

Seriously though, if youíre thinking about it go check one out. You may love it, you may hate it. But youíll be the only one who can make that choice.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:37 PM   #9
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Downsize and Diesel to Gas

We did not do that exact thing but we did go from 45í to a 33í New Aire and love it. We do not miss the extra 11 feet much at all. We dropped from bath and a half to single bath, a saving of 6 feet and the fireplace is under the China cabinet with the TV on a televator in front of a window for the other 5 feet. So we still have almost all the same features except a king bed and it is a lot easier to maneuver and park in fuel stations, parking lots and RV parks. We love our choice but are going back bigger(2whole feet!) with a king bed and 450 hp in our 2020 New Aire 3543.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:26 PM   #10
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We went from a 43 ft Ventana diesel pusher to a 30 ft Baystar. After buying a house in Florida we no longer needed a 43 ft motorhome. However. on our way back to Indiana from Florida with our two dogs I said I would never stay in those crappy hotels again that accept pets so we bought the used 30' Baystar. There are advantages and disadvantages to both obviously and I was concerned about buying the Baystar but it has been great. Has plenty of power. In fact I guarantee you I can run circles around my 43' diesel going up mountains. Our gas motor home has plenty of power. I don't think the brakes are as good as the air brakes on the diesel but they are adequate. Going down hill which was my biggest concern is easy with the tow mode. The Ford transmission coupled with the Triton engine do a great job. Mileage is bad with both being in the 7 to 7.5 range. Maintenance on the gas motorhome is a breeze and I do it myself. On the diesel I always took it to Gaffney.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Massparanoia View Post
Iím sure thisíll quickly devolve into another gas vs. diesel thread, but I would go drive the Bay Star. Youíd be very surprised at how quiet they really are. Despite the posts above, you arenít going to need a kidney transplant every time you drive it. It wonít sound like a Pratt & Whitney radial engine inside the cabin while youíre driving it. It will have enough power to reach speeds above 25mph.



Things you will be able to do in the Bay Star:



Spend about $40 at autozone for oil and a filter and do your own oil change.

Never have to worry about DEF again

Get gas at any gas station

Be able to walk into any auto parts store and get parts for the chassis

A large network of ford dealers across the country to get warranty work

A 5 year 60,000 mile chassis warranty with 5 years of roadside assistance



Iíve driven mine through the mountains of West Virginia towing a 4500lb minivan more than once and Iím alive to tell about it. And Iím not afraid to do it again.



Seriously though, if youíre thinking about it go check one out. You may love it, you may hate it. But youíll be the only one who can make that choice.

ď A large network of ford dealers across the country to get warranty workĒ
I did not find this true at all, I found very few Ford dealers that will work on a class A motorhome.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:50 PM   #12
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“ A large network of ford dealers across the country to get warranty work”
I did not find this true at all, I found very few Ford dealers that will work on a class A motorhome.
I can throw a rock from my house and hit 3, but your results may vary.

Conversely, if I had a spartan chassis motorhome there are only 4 motorhome service centers in Virginia the closest of which is a 60 minute drive on a good day.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:58 PM   #13
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All - I also think the "any gas station" is untrue as well. Some of those awnings on those older stations are really short, he could tear the thing down. And I don't care how quiet someone says it is, YOU need to drive it and see if it is quiet for YOU.
If you have shop you can do your own service, my problem was not doing the service, it was where to get rid of 29 quarts of oil. Now, have no place to do the work, and having Cummins do it or freightliner, will keep people working, they will lube it, even the driveshaft and steering knuckle, and then I have a history on it, in case we have issues and someone wants to be snotty. You will like the DP's just not the price.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:21 AM   #14
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When we were in our 2014 gas coach (37') we really liked the floor plan and spent about 4 to 5 months traveling in it.

The pluses were generally that it was cheaper to run and maintain.

The negatives were that it didn't handle well in wind. Fueling up at regular gas stations was an experience at times. As soon as the Ford V-10 saw a hill coming up it would start downshifting and screaming so loud all conversations stopped.

I would seriously test drive several gas coaches prior to doing anything. And any test drive would have to be over at least some hills and even maybe in some moderate winds.

If we ever feel the need to down size it will probably be to a fiver or TT. As far as the gas Class A goes......been there done that.
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