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Old 12-28-2015, 11:16 AM   #1
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Banks Vs Diesel

Looking for some experienced owners input. Buying first used RV(35' or so)(price point around $35k) to travel for a year(or longer). I like gas with a Banks and my wife thinks a diesel would be best if we get into some hills. Talking to a couple diesel guys they talk about torque and that a gas is a lot louder than a pusher? And if it's a gasser without banks that a V10 is the only way to go? So some real life input as to why one over the other would be appreciated.

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Old 12-28-2015, 11:40 AM   #2
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I preferred workhorse over the ford chassis/v10. Drove better, quieter, better ride etc...... It was a $5-10k upgrade when the coaches were new and was totally worth it.

To me the biggest plus with a diesel isn't the noise, ride etc.... But getting fuel. The DP's can go sometimes twice as far between fill ups and you can hit truck stops. So many gas stations are not setup for RV's. They are to close to the building and when the RV has a toad it can't fit... Plus low roof over pumps often times we can't fit in. Can be a complete pita. We would always mark in our atlas where gas stations are that we could use so the net time we are in the area we knew where to go.

There are numerous threads on this topic as well... Most DP owners don't understand why someone would want gas and most gas owners think DP's aren't worth the added cost. My last RV was a gas bounder 38p workhorse chassis, I am searching for a 2005-2008 diesel pusher

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Old 12-28-2015, 11:42 AM   #3
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It's not just the fuel type, but one of many factors to consider. A diesel pusher of course has the engine in the back, far from the driver and co-pilot. It's also built on a much stiffer chassis, probably air bag suspension and air, or air over hydraulic brakes. The transmission is most likely an Allison, known for robust durability and almost being 'bullet-proof.'

A V-10 is obviously a Ford chassis and product. The engine is in front, almost between the driver and co-pilot. It has plenty of power, but has to rev much higher to get that power, thus much more noise. While I've always been a fan of the V-10, recently troubles with wheel bearings, king pins, vibrations, etc. make me less a fan of Ford RV chassis. Without Workhorse in the game to keep Ford trying, they seem to have slipped a bit. (my opinion)

A diesel engine reaches full torque at about 2,100 rpm. A V-10 reaches peak torque at more than twice that, horsepower at @ 5,500 rpm. Having driven V-10s and diesels at low and high elevations, the diesel will keep it's power at higher elevations than a gas engine, unless the gas engine has a turbo. The higher the RPMs, the higher the noise, whether it's next to you or 25 feet behind you.

Maintenance costs on a diesel are more, but they do last longer and are built for miles. Adding a Banks kit to an RV does little for performance. It's like lipstick on a pig, it appears better but does little but empty your pockets of money for little increase in performance, mileage, or longitivtiy. If you want a sports car, buy one. If you want to travel in a mobile house and haul some toys with you to distant outdoor playgrounds, buy an RV and relax getting from point A to point B.

When it comes to grades, downshift and you'll climb them. You won't set any records, but you'll have time to see more. Going down, an exhaust or jake brake in a diesel will retard speed better than a gas engine's transmission brake.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:03 PM   #4
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Do recommend searching a bit on gas vs diesel, as you will find many informative threads with lots of good info on the differences.

I feel Bob gave you some good info. And I'll add a few more things to consider:
-Chips are available for V10 or 8.1's, as away of getting a bit more power out of them, if needed. As well as Banks.
-Same comment on diesels too. Though if purchasing, figure out what you feel your load hauling and towing needs will be first, and make sure the rig you buy has adequate Power to Weight Ratio to support the job. Does not need to be the biggest engine to support you. Say a mid size block diesel (Cummins ISC, ISL or CAT C7, C9), could have more then adequate power for the weight of the coach you may like. Especially when you drop down to under 40' and with say more entry or mid level models, they just don't have all of the goodies and as sophisticated suspension/chassis that soo much weight.

A contrary comment on gas vs diesel maintenance, is especially if you do your own regular LOF's. Costs are about the same, as the Diesel can typically go all year on one oil change or 15K miles, where as on gas you may do two or three changes due to miles in that same timeframe.

And Bob, did you mean diesels reach their full "HP" at 2100RPM? As most diesels in DP's, reach their full "torque" at say the 1250-1400 RPM range. Of course variable by engine and year. (My peak torque is about 1300RPM, and peak HP is about 1950-2000RPM. On a 2004 ISL CAPS era Cummins.)

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Old 12-28-2015, 12:14 PM   #5
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I recommend to get the MH with the floor plan your wife likes.
Then take whatever motor is in it.

I looked for 2 years for a replacement MH. Found the one I liked the floor plan in.
It happened to be a DP. I would have bought it if it had a gas engine.

13 years later I am still happy with it. After doing some interior changes.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
And Bob, did you mean diesels reach their full "HP" at 2100RPM? As most diesels in DP's, reach their full "torque" at say the 1250-1400 RPM range. Of course variable by engine and year. (My peak torque is about 1300RPM, and peak HP is about 1950-2000RPM. On a 2004 ISL CAPS era Cummins.)

Happy hunting,
Smitty, you're correct, MOST diesels reach torque peak well before HP peak. There are so many variations, tuners, etc. that I was afraid to be too specific. The VW diesels I've owned have all been different, whether turbo equipped or not. In general, a new 'ear' must be developed to know when to shift (only had manual transmissions) because higher RPMs doesn't mean faster acceleration, shifting up to next gear is best at torque peak regardless of when you reach top HP.

Having driven a number of V-10 Fords and 8.1 GMC vans from Ohio to Wyoming then in and around the Tetons, they do best climbing when RPMs are 'screaming' for best torque.

On the maintenance you are again correct, diesel intervals are usually extended, but then again a gas engine takes about 5 quarts where my 5.9 Cummins 12 v diesel takes over 17 quarts. An air filter for my engine is over $120. Yes, the intervals are longer, but especially those that don't do their own service will get sticker shock.

Speaking of service, while the Ford V-10 is common to RVs, trucks, and vans, many report of service problems. Many dealers don't want to service RVs even though beneath the body the engine is identical to what's found in trucks and vans.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:01 PM   #7
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It's going to depend what you're driving. How big of an RV are you going to buy?

I haven't owned the Chevy. I've owned the Ford V10 - both banks and non-banks versions. Later is better, when you can get into more gears, get away from the plug issues - both of which are completely do-able in your price range.

These will net you 7-8.5 mpg in most cases.

You typically get a lot more quality with diesels - in most cases, although there are some class-Cs available in both diesel and gas. The quality is usually on the coach side.

Diesel costs more to maintain. Gas costs less to maintain, but if you buy a big one, say 28+ feet and 10+ feet tall, many dealers can't touch it anyway (no bay big enough) - so you're in the same boat.

Gassers can be notorious for handling issues, which can be sorted out in most cases. Make sure you drive it on the highway and pass/get passed by some semis. If they don't handle right, they can be exhausting to drive.

One thing I will say about diesel - they're all turbo. Which means they altitude compensate. Gas cannot altitude compensate. So if you haul in the mountains, you're going to lose a lot of power with altitude if you've got a gasser...
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:02 PM   #8
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Everyone has made very valid points. having have both diesel and gas (current) it's all a matter of what suits you the best. Diesels have more torque. Mileage costs break out about even (IMO) after fuel, maintenance, etc. I had alot of problems with my diesel, so it went don the road. Others made it 100s K without a single problem. I do most of my own maintenance and have for over 35 years. So going to gas just made sense for my family. The #1 thing I would recommend, get the floor plan that the wife likes. Happy wife = happy life. #2 tunes work, no matter what other say...period. Best of luck.
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:44 PM   #9
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Triker56 and NMRVer hit the nail on the head - tranquility at home beats an empty wallet every time. Get something that the wife loves. Just remember that you are buying both a new car and a new home. $35K doesn't buy very much of either and much less when trying to buy both. Spending a year on the road is a BIG endeavor and you need to spend it where you want to be and not waiting in the shop. You might also want to think about a Class C as you may get more for your money.

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