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Old 11-08-2012, 11:41 AM   #1
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Diesel or Gas 5K/yr

Weighing upgrading to a newer MH. With fuel prices looking $5+/gal in the future
wondering if I should be looking for a gasser instead of a dp. looking to spend mid 30s, that should get me a 99- 2001 mid level DP or a 2002-2004 gasser. At 64 we plan on a few 5000 mi. or more trips the next couple years, but if fuel gets too high might be more local trips maybe 4-5 k per yr. At fewer miles I've heard a gasser is often the better choice,but I have been looking foreward to the better handeling & ride I've been hearing about with a DP. I've been driving 80s Southwinds since 1996 so gassers don't worry me, but I've heard low miles on a DP leads to other problems. Just wondering?

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Old 11-08-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
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The answers depend on the individual. Speaking for myself I had a gasser that I enjoyed but now have a DP. I would have a hard time going back and the price of fuel wouldn't swing it one way or the other. As far as problems with low mileage coaches it's important to check out the maintenance records, storage conditions, etc. of the coach you are interested in. An owner that has kept meticulous records and has treated his coach well is more important than the miles, be they high or low. Any time I have compromised on what I wanted I always ended up regretting it. On top of that, there aren't any of us getting any younger.

In the end you'll just have to add up the pluses and minuses of each and make a decision that is right for you and your family. Good luck!

Bob Adams
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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I had a 1988 gas coach, it got less than 7MPG, I serviced the chassie 2 times per year. I now have an entry level DP I get over 10MPG. Service once per year. Cost is a little higher. 5 gal oil, oil filter, and fuel filter. I did not see a big increase in maintenance. I just purchased a filter for the air drier cost approx. $160 every 3 years. Trans filter every three years.
Fuel cost is less. 90 gal diesel tank, go approx 700 miles between fill ups. Ride much better. I would not go back to a gas coach.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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I purchased my DP when diesel was 5 bucks a gallon if it does we're will gas be 4.98. I would purchase what I want and not try to predict the future. I my opinion when someone post about the difference between DP's and gassers it's comparing apples to oranges just choose what fruit you like.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #5
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A lot depends on how you plan to use the motor home. If I were contemplating full-time living, and putting more than average miles on the coach, and needed the extra usable weight capacity that a diesel provides, than by all means consider the DP. On the other hand, if the RV is used just a few times a year for vacations, etc., then the added expense of owning and operating a diesel becomes less practical than have a gasoline engine. We use our Ford V-10 Challenger for trips to Maine in the summer and to Florida during semester break during the winter. The coach serves us well, and meets our needs and exceeds our expectations as far a livability and cost to operate and maintain. So, the intended use should be an important consideration when making the decision as to gas vs. diesel. Good luck with whatever you choose.

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Old 11-08-2012, 06:46 PM   #6
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Gas is much cheaper to repair, like a blown turbo on the DP could cost you close to your 30 grand. DP trans repair, hold on. All depends what you are doing with the unit.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #7
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I was just concerned if a 300-350 hp turbo diesel needed more than 4-6 thousand miles a year to keep from rotting, my previous diesel experience was my sail boat with a 25 hp garden tractor engine & 5-6 hrs a month was about the same as it would get in a garden tractor.I think i'd rather have the heavy duty deal,than another over loaded 1 ton truck.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:42 PM   #8
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To me the gas vs. diesel thing is more about the quality of the ride, the cabin sound level, the power, and the exhaust brake for handling down hill runs......

I doubt anything will rot running 5K a year. What might get frustrating is changing oil that only has 5K on it..... You'll be timing out most of your maintenance items rather than changing due to mileage.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:49 AM   #9
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There's no doubt that a DP drives / rides better than a gasser but IMO, floorplan is MUCH more important. If you are going to be towing, towing capacity might be an issue as well. Going from a newer gasser to older DP probably means giving up one or more slides. Maintenance / repairs is more on a DP (with both, you'll probably be doing oil changes once per year. Most shops probably charge $75 for oil change on a gasser, $300 for oil change on a DP. With a DP you need trans fluid change every 2 years (approx. $300) or 4 years with TranSynd oil (approx. $500 I think)). Other expenses on DPs include air dryers, multiple fuel filters, etc.

If you're considering a DP, check your state regulations as you might need to upgrade your drivers license which isn't that big of a deal but can be a pain (I'm in the process of doing mine in Ontario, Canada. So far $100 for a medical, $135 for the tests (hadn't realized I could have saved $50 by doing them together) and now I'm looking at $300 to rent a truck to do the test with plus time off work to actually go do the test. My wife will probably have to do the same.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:56 AM   #10
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I'm with ahicks - the advantages of a DP are only partly due to the diesel. Rear engine (less noise) and air suspension are big factors. If all other things were equal, the diesel would be the best choice, but they are not equal because the DP will cost significantly more to maintain. You may get better fuel economy on a 36 ft DP vs the same size gasser, but at 5000 miles/year that is insignificant savings - maybe a little over $100/year.

A 34-37 ft gas chassis rig in the 2002-2004 years will handle well and should deliver a steady 8 mpg. It will likely have two slides whereas a 1999-2001 DP is more likely to have only one. But you could probably get a 38-40 ft DP for the same price, so maybe gain a bit of space that way.

The gasser makes the most sense for your intended use, but there is no denying the DP would give you a bit more satisfaction if you can handle the extra several hundred $/year in maintenance costs.

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diesel, gas

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