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Old 08-23-2013, 05:45 AM   #1
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Diesel vs Gas?

I need some input from the experts.

I've owned 2 5th wheels (1996-1997), a Class C motorhome (1997-2007), and currently on my 3rd 5th wheel, I bought it new in 2007. I'm ready to go back to a motorhome.

I've decided I want to see how I'd like a class A. I have no problems with the bigger vehicles. Currently, I drive a charter bus part time, so I have no issues with a 45' bus, or air brakes.

My thoughts are to buy a used, relatively inexpensive, class A, and use it for a couple of years to see if I/we like it. We will probably only use it 4 or 5 weeks of the year. My kids (2 daughters) are grown, but MAY occasionally go with us. I'm self employed full time and not retired yet.
A new motorhome is in the plan & I need to decide on a class c or a.

My big question here is, do I want diesel or gas?
I'm very familiar with both engines. I run both in my plumbing & electric service trucks, digging equipment, & personal vehicles, etc.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:01 AM   #2
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Well driving a charter you have an insight.
How big do you want to go, how fast do you want to get there, do you feel it is worth the premium for a diesel?
Oh, do you live in hills/mountains.
Living in it and touring no problem diesel for the long run, occasionally using it............
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:10 AM   #3
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If you're just going to try an A for a few years and barely use it like you describe, I see no "need" for a diesel. Since you are familiar with the maintenence differences and costs of the two, then that's a personal and/or monetary choice.

DPs do ride better and are quieter up front. They of course cost more than gas, new or used. I have no idea if they hold a better percentage re-sale value when bought used vs gas.

Whatever you decide, I can't imagine anyone perferring a C over an A based on my experience with both. We spend 5-6 months @ year in our A, but only travel 4-5000 miles, so a diesel hasn't been a needed consideration.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:26 AM   #4
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IMHO certainly class A. You don't mention numbers, ie: DW, pups, cats etc. all equal a need for space. Since your a coach driver my feeling is you may not be satisfied with a C and most likely not a gas class A? There are many 8 to 10 year old DP's out there at a reasonable cost. In our case we made the mistake of not purchasing our maybe last coach first! Cost us time and money. Just saying! Have fun in your search!!
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:37 AM   #5
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IMHO the best values are in a used DP. We purchased a 10 year old 38' DSDP at a very reasonable price / lower than any new class A, then went to Spartan and put 10% of the purchase price updating and renewing all the fluids and wear parts. We now have a solid coach that should last another 10 years. For us the traveling is as important as the destination so the diesel pusher choice was obvious. New is nice, but my total investment is still under the cost of the smallest of Class A's and we're happy campers! -- Tom
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:44 AM   #6
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Save yourself a pile of money, and rent a class A for a week trip. It won't matter whether it is gas or diesel, just the class A experience you get will tell you if its right for you. You have went between the class C and 5vr trying to find a happy medium. The C is probably too small, and the 5vr is not real convenient, but has lots of room.

I'm sure you feel the class A will give you all the good points of either.

With your level of use, the only reason for a DP is because you just want it. Both gas and diesel have good floor plans and amenities.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:48 AM   #7
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I would add that when considering gas vs. diesel it's not only the engine you're talking about. It's the chassis! The engine is only half of the package? The other half is braking ability, especially downhill with the exhaust brake available, air suspension vs. springs, front engine vs. rear, chassis components rated for weight generally well in excess of what you need vs. marginal at best, and the list goes on....

I agree with the comments regarding the value in an older DP.... just make sure it has a slide out.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
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If budget allows, go diesel. A high end quality used diesel is a good choice.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:32 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forum.

You can use our search feature and find enough reading material on this topic to keep you busy for a month.

IMHO, there is rarely a way to financially justify a DP over a gasser Class A. Yes, they are much nicer to drive and ride in but the absolute best justification to buy a DP over a gasser (IMO) is because you WANT one.

Living in Oklahoma, you're not faced with the mountain driving you'd see out west.

For your purposes, I think the Class A over C is the best choice too.

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Old 08-23-2013, 12:13 PM   #10
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Have to say, I agree with RickO 100%.
Quote:
IMHO, there is rarely a way to financially justify a DP over a gasser Class A.
Especially for you if you are only going to use 4 or 5 weeks a year, a DP becomes an even bigger hole over a gasser.

The logic or fantasy that if you buy an older model DP over a newer model gasser is even more crazy talk. Think about everything that you surround yourself in your life, other than your wife, is anything that is 10 years older actually better than today's model? Is a 10 year old phone better? Is a 10 year old computer better? Is a 10 year old TV better? Is a 10 year old car better? Is a 10 year old boat better?? Is a 10 year old refrigerator better? Is a 10 year old washing machine better? Is a 10 year old AC unit better.

Of course not, don't buy the myth/fantasy/lie that keeps getting spun and re-spun over and over.

You said you own tractors, I can tell you my 10 year old Backhoe can't even half way keep up with my new one. My 10 year old Skid Steer is a complete piece of junk compared to my new one.

Use common sense, you think 10 year old roof, weather stripping, sealant, caulking, panels, joints, seams, moldings, paint, refrigerant, AC unit, refrigerators, heaters, pipes, plumbing, sub floor, cabinetry, ball joints, gears, shocks, springs, calipers, rotors, etc., has much life left in it? Of course not.

I get buying a 2 or 3 year old rig and using it for 2 or 3 years yourself, that logic works. No way would I ever buy a rig that was more than 6 years old, at year 5 these rigs start needing some serious work. I guess if you are retired and have lots of time on your hands to wrench on your rig, then maybe a case can be made for one older than 6 years. It sounds like you already have a job, so you probably don't need another one.

However, if you want to just go camping, enjoy spending time with your family, and not having to worry about whats going to break on your next trip, do yourself a favor, buy a newer gas rig.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by DegoRed View Post
......The logic or fantasy that if you buy an older model DP over a newer model gasser is even more crazy .....

Of course not, don't buy the myth/fantasy/lie that keeps getting spun and re-spun over and over...,

However, if you want to just go camping, enjoy spending time with your family, and not having to worry about whats going to break on your next trip, do yourself a favor, buy a newer gas rig.
Hey Dago....loved your post...just can't agree with you 100%. If you spend any time reading on this forum you can't help sharing in the misery some folks experience with their NEW rigs.

For example....

......OK, this is the maiden voyage of our 2014 Itasca Sunstar 35F. For me it's the only real way to check everything out. But, wow what a disappointment. It's obvious the dealer did NOT perform a systems check. The Main TV will can not view the DVD player nor can it even see the Satellite input. The Outside TV doesn't see TV does not see the SAT box either. I did do some deep and dirty checks and found out that they didn't even install the HD Video Distribution Center, thus no SAT input. However I can't watch movies in the living room is another story. This is just the beginning of list of things they must fix ASAP. The list grows, another day and a half to go. This coach should not have left the factory this way, yet alone left the dealership....

In our experience, we purchased a 7 yr old DP and full-timed in it for over 2 " trouble free" years.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:08 PM   #12
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Wow..Dago..Loved your post as well. It's good to know there are still people who need to buy everything new!! When we retired "new" went out the window, but we respect purchasers who buy new....and our economy needs it. I don't know what financial position the OP is in, but if this is a temporary purchase for something more permanent later on, "new" means a huge depreciation hit! But then that's just an old "used" buyer's opinion...gas or diesel.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:54 PM   #13
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If gas vs diesel is the #1 debated item here, then new vs used might well be #2.

I had never owned any kind of RV when I purchased my Itasca Ellipse 40FD new in 2007. I wasn't one who always had to buy new, but I'm 6'6" tall and many earlier model rigs didn't have the headroom I wanted. Plus, we thought we'd like to go full time but weren't sure. I know if I'd purchased an older, less comfortable rig I may well have been soured on the entire experience so I wanted to give it a fighting chance.

Having said all of that... with the knowledge and experience I've gained over the past six years, I would certainly buy a gently used DP if there turns out to be a next time.

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Old 08-23-2013, 02:07 PM   #14
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Wow..Dago..Loved your post as well. It's good to know there are still people who need to buy everything new!! When we retired "new" went out the window, but we respect purchasers who buy new....and our economy needs it. I don't know what financial position the OP is in, but if this is a temporary purchase for something more permanent later on, "new" means a huge depreciation hit! But then that's just an old "used" buyer's opinion...gas or diesel.
Actually he said "newer" . To me that means near new. I would buy a 1-2 year old unit. 1st couple of years are the hardest on depreciation and 1st owner can fix all the factory flaws.Perhaps they'll even grow weary/frustrated and sell below value.
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