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Old 08-09-2014, 08:29 PM   #1
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Cool Diesel Pusher vs. gas

Is there any benefit to a gas engine over a Diesel Pusher ?

we have found 3 RV's two are Diesel Pushers

two are 2000 Discovery 37-V diesel pushers which are basically the same one with 47000 and the other with 59000 miles and lots of extras both around $35K

the third a Itasca with a gas engine in mint condition,

2003 Itasca Suncruiser with 48000 miles and also loaded also about $35K

all 3 with two slides and the works, all about the same pricing and mileage although the two pushers are a little longer

Any thoughts and or pros and cons of the pushers vs gas

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Old 08-09-2014, 09:05 PM   #2
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IMHO, the only advantage of a gasser is the cost and ease of oil changes... everything else favors the diesel pusher. I've had two of each type, and would not go back to a gasser.

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Old 08-09-2014, 10:25 PM   #3
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So many variables, short w'end use with maybe 1-2 longer trips per year, gas will offer more luxury and features. Longer trips and towing, definitely DP. Oil changes etc, remember you will do x3 in the gas vs the DP. Once you drive a DP, you would never go back to gas.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:28 PM   #4
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Getting a diesel or gas sometimes is decided by how many miles you will be putting on it every year. As mentioned ease of maintenance and cost of gas is a big factor for many. We started out in a gas and after 4 years traded it on a diesel. We also will not go back to a gas rv. With the gas our fur babies got very nervous with the noise of the engine when the cooling fan would kick in. Now they enjoy going places and are relaxed.
When it comes down to it, no matter what anyone says, it is your decision. Never base your decision on what other people say. There are those that would never own a gas, and then their are those that will never own a diesel.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:35 PM   #5
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I loved my gas Southwinds, couldn't see the extra cost for a diesel pusher, Then I drove one. Don't look back,quiet enough to converse with wife while driving uphill, oncoming 18 wheeler on 2 lane doesn't require white knuckle steering corrections.
2000 DSDP, 3894,Freightliner,330 Cat, 07 Jeep Commander 4x4toad.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:07 PM   #6
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Probably an irrational decision for me, but if just love having 1200 ft./lbs. of torque in the back while I quietly enjoy the scenery as we drive up front in the comfy cockpit of a class A coach. I'm sure there are great reasons for a nice V10 gasser as well.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:52 AM   #7
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Compartment storage: is another pro or con depending upon which brand or model you look at. Typically, BUT not always there can be more storage space and carrying capacity available on the diesels versus the gasoline coaches.

Towing capacity: In most cases (not all), the diesels will have a higher tow/hitch rating available
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:02 AM   #8
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We had a couple gas powered MHs for almost 20 years. My biggest dislike of gas coaches is the long rear overhang.
There was to many times the rear was dragging when even doing simple things like trying to buy fuel.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:38 AM   #9
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I recently went through the same decision. Since it was our first coach and I was more familiar with gas engines, I elected to go with a gas unit (I also plan to do a lot of my own maintenance). It also allowed me to go several years newer at the same price point. The cooling fans do kick on, even on the highway if the load is high. I think for us, it was a good choice. If we ever traded it in, not sure what I would do at that point.

Now that I am retired, I would love to take a diesel mechanics course but the courses seem to be so expensive I probably won't.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:57 AM   #10
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the two types we are looking at the initial purchase cost are basically all in the same range, there would be not huge bump in buying the DP

2000 Fleetwood Discovery 37 2 SLIDE - $35,000.00 (same price with other Dp)

2003 Itasca Sun Cruiser $35,000.00

all 3 have about the same amount of mileage on them, roughly from 49,000 miles to 59,000 miles.

I also looked around and on NADA and the price for the DP's is in the ballpark and around the country on RV trader there are many in the 30K to 40K price range of the same make and model.

With that said, will 35K buy a good reliable DP or is that basically asking for problems. I know all depends on the individual unit but all look to be in mint condition and well taken care of also the DP's have air suspension, will this be a softer ride ?

Engine noise was a concern, is there a lot of engine noise on long hauls with the gas under your feet, the DP being in the rear i would imagine you hear nothing .

all things being equal if you had two models you were looking at in the same price range which would be your first choice?

forgot to mention the DP's both have Cummins 275 HP engines built on Freightliner chassis'

Itasca has 8.1 Workhorse egine (chevy i think)
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:12 AM   #11
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I bought new gas model for under $100K, something one can not do with a DP.
I was looking at buying a great condition used DP, but my mechanic talked me out of it.
They are 'better' in all accounts....if you use them.
But with the additional cost of maintenance, he thought for my purpose (mostly short 1 hours and long 3 hour trips) it would be unnecessary. He knows the way i take care of things and thought buying a new gasser would be the best...for me.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:25 AM   #12
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Diesel or Gas

I am new to a diesel MH, have had 2 gas before. I initially got a diesel because of longevity. Granted this is all new to me, but I find diesel engines to be very picky and costly to maintain. This is just my observation. With my gas, if there was bad fuel or water in the fuel, not a problem, easy fix etc.. Also the expense of fixing problems is far greater. with diesel. Not sure if I would make the same decision again. IMO
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:33 AM   #13
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3 years ago, when I went through this, and we were looking at about the same kind of money. We decided diesel because of the air brakes, the way larger GVWR that I would never have to be concerned with regarding what we carried aboard, air suspension, much heavier running gear, the bullet proof Allison trans, and the exhaust brake (simply AWESOME in the hills!!). The extra confidence gained coming down BIG hills after using that nearly worth the price of admission itself.

From a more practical standpoint, most would not argue the diesel has better resale value - especially when looking at something with 100k+ on the clock?

Regarding diesel and doing your own maintenance? You don't have to know how to overhaul it. The brakes are different. You'll likely want to learn about those, and maybe get a rough idea of the rest of the air systems (air bags, ride height adjusters, air dryer), but that's about it.

Which way would I go again? I would say diesel, in a heartbeat.

Gas or diesel, when talking a coach of this age, don't let the price of a set of tires surprise you. Know where you are at there going into the deal. And be super careful regarding water intrusion damage. That problem caused me to turn on my heels and walk away from more than half of the coaches I looked at in this age and price range.

Best of luck on your search!
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:36 AM   #14
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I am not sure that the maintenance on a DP is significantly more in cost or effort for that matter than a gas engine.

I do most of the maintenance on my personal fleet of vehicles, and about 2 1/2 years ago we bought our first MH- a 2006 Damon Astoria DP. I figured no reason to be intimidated by the Cummins diesel.

Oil changes- instead of buying 5-6 quarts of Mobil 1 Synthetic at Wally World for $25, you are buying 5 gallons of the stuff for $130. Pour it into a five gallon bucket and buy a hand pump from Harbor Freight to put it in the oil inlet, NBD. Figure another extra $10-15 for the Fleetguard oil filter over the best quality Fram for the gassers at WM. But when you are vigilant in your maintenance schedule, you are changing the gas engines oil every 5,000 miles to 15,000 miles for the diesel. Figure the little money you save on the expendables is more than eaten up in the value of your time as you are changing the oil two more times in the gas engine- buying the oil, dragging out the oil receptacles and drip pans, recycling the oil, etc. etc. Change the oil at the end of the season, store it, and then forget it, and we put 15K miles on our DP per season (I think that is a lot...).

Fuel filters are the one area more frequent in a DP, but again, when you really look at it, it is easier by far on the DP than my cars. They hide those damn fuel filters in my car, and they often require special tools to disconnect the fuel lines. The DP- it sits very nicely right in the open in the rear bay, twist off, fill new filter with diesel, twist on. For the increased frequency with which you do this on a DP, it sure is easy.

The transmission requirements are about the same- put in Synthetic, and you are likely done for 50,000 miles or more. Air filters- sure more expensive, but you are also changing them less.

Chassis lube every 3,000 miles, sure, but that is $50-75 that I happily farm out....

For the comfort and yes, convenience and ease of maintenance, we sure enjoy our DP.

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