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Old 01-18-2018, 10:46 PM   #1
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V10 Verses V8 Verses Diesel Pusher

Hey All, so I am looking into getting a new coach (class A). I currently have a 1994 Rexhall that has the P30 chassis with the V8 454 Chevy. She only has 45,000 miles and when we got her she had 25,000 miles. She runs like a top and is fun to driver, though a bit of work because alot of the rubber is dry and stiff. We have been looking at a diesel pusher but I am curious about how the V10 compares to the Chevy V8. The Ford chassis are much more affordable and easier to maintain.
One of my concerns is the towing. When we are going uphill with our toad attached the olde Chevy bogs down quite a bit. Pulling a 5 or 6% grade gets down to about 20 to 30 mph. Our car is about 2800lbs.

What has your experience been as far as the power is concerned on the V10? If you have experience with both the diesel pusher and the V10 which do you prefer?

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickNau View Post
Hey All, so I am looking into getting a new coach (class A). I currently have a 1994 Rexhall that has the P30 chassis with the V8 454 Chevy. She only has 45,000 miles and when we got her she had 25,000 miles. She runs like a top and is fun to driver, though a bit of work because alot of the rubber is dry and stiff. We have been looking at a diesel pusher but I am curious about how the V10 compares to the Chevy V8. The Ford chassis are much more affordable and easier to maintain.
One of my concerns is the towing. When we are going uphill with our toad attached the olde Chevy bogs down quite a bit. Pulling a 5 or 6% grade gets down to about 20 to 30 mph. Our car is about 2800lbs.

What has your experience been as far as the power is concerned on the V10? If you have experience with both the diesel pusher and the V10 which do you prefer?

Thanks for the advice!
We had a P-30 chassis on a 36' coach,
Trying to keep it to "stay put" in the lane was always a challenge (similar to the fomoco chassis that most have been forced to do the CHF and swaybar additions to) and the spring ride with sagging steel leafs/front coils were an issue. gas mileage sucked!
Good sized grades did indeed make it struggle.
Given the choice of a gasser 36' or larger compared to a 36' or larger DP with the much more robust suspensions...
The DP wins hands down, PLUS air ride,air leveling,exhaust brake (or in our choice of manufacturer) hyd. transmission retarder.
Now for maintenance costs..gasser vs diesel
The gasser will do oil/filter/and other regular stuff every 3000 miles or so.
The diesel will do the same every 10 to 12,000 miles or so.
In the end the accumulated expense evens out or at least within spitting distance from one another.

Until you have actually driven an air ride DP, you will not know exactly what those differences are ..and they can (depending on your prior experiences) be really an eye opener....
I will not get into a pissing match about one mfg over another on which is best.

All mfg's have good and bad points
We have been more than satisfied with our choice.

Happy Hunting
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I was a truck driver for 20 years so I know the difference between a nice air ride suspension and springs with shocks. I appreciate it!
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:03 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I was a truck driver for 20 years so I know the difference between a nice air ride suspension and springs with shocks. I appreciate it!
Nearly 50 years for me.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:51 AM   #5
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We have a GAS RV because we couldn't afford the diesel. Another item not mentioned is this.

The cost of diesel service is a lot more than a $50 oil change and air filter for a gasser. When some DP engines require 30 quarts (7.5 gallons) of oil that can get expensive. Then you have to dispose that oil if you change it yourself.

I do all my own service to cut costs.

As far as I have read on these forums the diesel service is not something that can be skipped or extended beyond a reasonable distance. The gas on the other hand can go 6, 8 or even 10,000 miles between oil changed with no adverse effects.

The initial cost of a gasser versus the DP (maybe $20,000 to $30,00 higher) is a point to consider. Buying used could also positively affect that financial decision.

The ride on the DP and driving comfort with the engine noise behind you is a plus as well.

Ir really boils down to the cost factor for some. We never even looked at a DP because of that.

The Triton V-10 engine especially with the latest 6-speed has all the power you'd ever want or need. Many have reported how they can and do pass most DP on the grades. That's just what I read and experienced.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:10 AM   #6
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Everything TeJay said;

I currently own an early Ford F53 with a 275 hp V10.. The V10 has evolved with three versions. The newest version is now more than 10 years old and puts out a nice 365 hp.

When we upgraded from our 30ft Mirada (also a V10) We originally looked at DPs, specifically for build quality. After doing a lot of research and looking, we discovered we could get the same quality in a gasser, so refocused on looking for Ford F53s. We just could not justify the addition cost of owning and maintaining a DP over a V10.

One BIG advantage is parts and availability. I can walk into any auto parts store in the U.S. and walk out with the part I need. i.e. We had a starter go bad a couple years ago, The nearest parts store had one, $100. We were on our way in less then an hour.


I tend to drive the mountains manually. i.e. we just transitioned the tehapaci pass on US58 in Calif, When I'm climbing up the 6% grade, I shift the trans into 2nd and do the climb at 45 mph with about 4k rpm.. At high altitude, I-70 Eisenhower Tunnel, elevation 11,000 ft. I usually do the last couple miles in 1st gear, at 25 mph and 4k rpm.

ThThe newer V10s should be able to make these climbs easier as they have more power and a couple extra gears.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:21 AM   #7
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I'm running heavy all the time towing a 4-runner also heavy. Did the tehapaci pass last week at 4500 and 55, got down behind a truck one time and took a bit to get back up to 55. I am passing most DPers that are towing. But in all reality on pass's and many long hills you are only on them for 10-15 minutes out of a 3-6 hour drive day so it doesn't mean a whole lot.

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Old 01-19-2018, 10:42 AM   #8
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I think youíre asking a question thatís difficult to answer at best, and all but impossible to answer at worst.

Starting with the V10 gas engine there have been 4 different versions used in class A motorhomes over the years. They range in horsepower from 275 to 362. In addition, they have been paired with 3 different transmissions. The 275 and 310 hp versions were paired with a 4-speed transmission. The 262 hp version was paired with a 5-speed transmission, and the current 320 hp version is paired with a 6-speed transmission.

To further complicate things the same engine and transmission combination is used in motorhomes varying in weight from 16,500 lbs. to 26,000 lbs., and lengths from 24í to 39í. There will obviously be performance differences when using the same engine and transmission combination in a 24í motorhome weighing 16,500 lbs., and a 39í motorhome weighing 26,000 lbs.

As for diesel power, not only are there multiple manufacturers, there are a variety of engine sizes, and a number of different horsepower ratings. The Cummins 5.9 for instance has been produced in at least 10 different versions ranging from in horsepower from 160 to 325, and torque output from 400 ft. lbs. to 601 ft. lbs. Cummins also makes 3 additional different displacement engines currently available for class A motorhomes. Each of these engine sizes also have a number of different horsepower and torque ratings.

Over the years Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar, and others including Mercedes Benz have made diesel engines for class A motorhomes. Each has made a number of different displacement engines with multiple horsepower and torque outputs.
Long story short there have been so many different engine and transmission combinations available over the years itís difficult at best to make an accurate comparison.

As for personal experience we're on our 2nd motorhome with the V10. Ours is nearly an apples to apples comparison in that the first one was the same brand, model, and length as our current one. The first one had the 310 hp engine and 4 speed transmission. Our current one has the 362 hp engine and 5 speed transmission. Both have pulled the same 3,750 lb. Jeep Wrangler.

Our newer one is quieter, rides better, handles better, and pulls the hills better. Personally I see no need to move to a DP. We have all the performance and comfort we want.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:29 AM   #9
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I have had a 28' V8 454 Mallard, and a 36' F53 V10 Bounder and now a 43' DP.
And that's the order I would put the experience.
The biggest jump was to the DP. Just getting started with that chapter, but like what I have seen so far.

It's really not fair to make those comparisons as they were all diff vintages and sizes.

Yes, lots more $'s in each maintenance. And just put $400 in diesel in it. But it has no problem getting up and over any mountain towing heavy stuff.

Fuel mileage has been something like 9-10mpg for the 454 (I think...quite a while ago), 8-9 for the Bounder, and 7.5 or so for the DP. But the DP was towing 8,000lbs and was completely weighted down with tools and equipment. With the generator on the whole trip. So almost a worst case for the DP. If the HydroHot was working at the time, that would have been on too

All fluids and filters on the DP was about $2500 in parts (youch). But I don't expect to have to do that in one shot ever again.

Fuel today was $2.40 gas and $2.99 Diesel per gallon.
It's probably going to cost same in fuel to drive to Fla than to fly. But it's all part of the experience. And so is the DP. My wife has a different perspective but is warming up to RV'ing it

I think I am maxed out on size as I can just barely navigate my circle drive through the trees...about two inches to spare with the DP w/ tag up and a couple Reverse / Drive maneuvers. I think a couple of trees will be sacrificed for breathing room.

I have now been inside and outside every nook and cranny of all three and there is a significant difference in the DP's quality and scale. As it should be considering the cost.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:18 PM   #10
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Imagine that. Another Gas vs Diesel thread.
There are so many of these threads. Ugh.
There are so many opinions out there it is really up to the individual.
I went from a DP to a gasser.
The new gassers (V10 and 6 speed) are worth your time and effort to take one for a ride. <3,000 lbs and you really won;t notice it a whole lot back there.
The noise difference is almost moot at this point as the insulation one higher quality gassers is very good.
A gasser is not quite a DP regarding ride but you can make it pretty close for not so much money (<$1k) and you won't have to worry about the added maintenance on the air brakes and air system.
Talking about maintenance, just take a look at the cost of a 30k interval on a DP. Then think aboutIF something goes wrong at any point in your ownership. Hope you have 3k for that interval maintenance cost and hope you have 10k+ should something go wrong with that there diesel engine or tranny.
DP wins hands down on braking. Not a whole lot you can do for a gasser except fine tune your toad brakes to work a little quicker than normal. But that will wear them down sooner. I set mine at normal and just drive slower and leave more space. That's just fine for me. I'm in no hurry being retired.
If you have the $30k-80k more to buy a DP go for it. If you are not independently wealthy (like me) than a gasser will suite you pretty well.
Only you can decide what is important and will make you happy for years to come...
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickNau View Post
Hey All, so I am looking into getting a new coach (class A). I currently have a 1994 Rexhall that has the P30 chassis with the V8 454 Chevy. She only has 45,000 miles and when we got her she had 25,000 miles. She runs like a top and is fun to driver, though a bit of work because alot of the rubber is dry and stiff. We have been looking at a diesel pusher but I am curious about how the V10 compares to the Chevy V8. The Ford chassis are much more affordable and easier to maintain.
One of my concerns is the towing. When we are going uphill with our toad attached the olde Chevy bogs down quite a bit. Pulling a 5 or 6% grade gets down to about 20 to 30 mph. Our car is about 2800lbs.

What has your experience been as far as the power is concerned on the V10? If you have experience with both the diesel pusher and the V10 which do you prefer?

Thanks for the advice!
I had P30 , I have a V10 now, I don't like diesels RV ,so GO for the P30....
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:28 PM   #12
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As stated lots of threads on the gas vs dp topic

The newer gas coaches drive and handle a lot better vs what you have. Not quite DP comfort but still a huge step up. My dad had (sold it 2yrs ago) a rexal rexair which was 36ft and I assume had the same engine/chassis vs what you have, I believe it was a 1996 or 1997. My now x wife and I purchased a 08 bounder 38p which was on the workhorse chassis thus came with the Allison 6spd trans. The difference between those 10 or so years was huge, much easier to drive in every way. Yea still kind slow going up steep grades with or w/o a toad but the $50 a year oil change was nice. Actually the only complaint I had with the coach was it needs another 150hp to get me up the hill..... I have that same complaint with my Jeep Wrangler

A DP or gas rv will cost the same, if you have a $50k budget you can find either coach at that price. One will get better mpg, one will cost less for yearly work, one will give power to go up hills faster, one will be easier to drive and the list goes on.

If on a budget the more you drive the more the DP has the advantage. If you do not drive much every year then the gas coach will be a lot less to maintain.
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:03 AM   #13
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Our Ford on a 38 foot, 22,000 pound chassis, without toad drops down to about 55 on a 5-6 degree grade.
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Old 01-20-2018, 09:52 AM   #14
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No doubt that DPs cost more to buy & maintain.
If it's within your budget I don't think you would regret having a DP.
That said... your mileage #s don't seem like you are going far. So annual DP costs go up if you abide by the 12Mo or x miles.
Having had A P30 w 454 a WH W20 w 8.1 GM and Allison tranny and now a DP w Newmar /FL Comfort Drive I don't think I could go backwards... but that doesn't mean it's right for everyone. .. only you can decide based on your must & want list.
I do love the Allison trannies... anything else is a compromise in my book.
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