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Old 01-01-2015, 08:44 AM   #1
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Entry Level Diesels - good jump from gas or not?

Love my Canyon Star bunkhouse, perfect for us now as we only put 2k miles on per year but when we retire in 5 years we will probably look to jump to a larger coach. At already 40 ft, the next step is a diesel - and the prices of entry level units (like Ventana LE & Alegro RED) are very tempting.

That said - I have 2 questions. First, will the entry level jump to diesel wow us over our current gasser? Second - is there a huge diff in the diesel features between entry level and say a luxury level? Features in question - suspension, brakes, handling, performance. It seems pretty obvious the more you pay, the more HP you get(and torque) - but what about the other features?

Is a Ventana LE going to ride as nice as a King Aire - other than the diff in engine HP/torque?
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:07 AM   #2
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Around the block from me, two lovely 40+ dps have been sitting for months and just recently left for what seems to be a couple of weeks of vacation, I'm guessing. I can't quite comprehend buying a long dp and letting it sit, unused at a storage lot, for long periods of time...Wow.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred061164 View Post
Love my Canyon Star bunkhouse, perfect for us now as we only put 2k miles on per year but when we retire in 5 years we will probably look to jump to a larger coach. At already 40 ft, the next step is a diesel - and the prices of entry level units (like Ventana LE & Alegro RED) are very tempting.

That said - I have 2 questions. First, will the entry level jump to diesel wow us over our current gasser? Second - is there a huge diff in the diesel features between entry level and say a luxury level? Features in question - suspension, brakes, handling, performance. It seems pretty obvious the more you pay, the more HP you get(and torque) - but what about the other features?

Is a Ventana LE going to ride as nice as a King Aire - other than the diff in engine HP/torque?
MHO.....The more money spent on "Anything" is going to provide the "WOW" factor........
As far as the ride, your question, No.........Different chassis and a lot of weight differance........If you have never been inside of a King Aire........might want not to look Large WOW factor with a WOW factor price tag............
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:22 AM   #4
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Our MH usage is limited now, but in 5 years we plan to use it much more than our current 2k per year. That's when we are thinking diesel. You make a very good point - if we don't use it a lot, might as well bank the money and keep our gasser...
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:13 AM   #5
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MHO.....The more money spent on "Anything" is going to provide the "WOW" factor........
As far as the ride, your question, No.........Different chassis and a lot of weight differance........If you have never been inside of a King Aire........might want not to look Large WOW factor with a WOW factor price tag............
I had horrible results with all my freightliner chassis.. even the 40'r...

but , I wonder about this little 33d by Fleetwood,and wonder if they built/tuned to the lighter weight..i drove one un loaded...seemed better than the prevous smaller discovery,bounder and expedition models I have owned...




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Old 01-01-2015, 10:40 AM   #6
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You must be talking to me. I recently traded my Canyon Star in on a Tiffin Red
We love the diesel and would not go back The problem I had with my gas unit was no dealers near me would work on it I had to drive 2 hours to get it worked on The other thing I like about the diesel is when you push the brake you stop and not just slow down.As far as the LE or the Red goes I have had no problem with power I have a 38qra.The inside of my Canyon Star 3642 was built much better then the Red.We love our new diesel but I did not see paying another $50,000.00 for the next step up You will love the Red or the LE go and drive one
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:24 AM   #7
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Another option is to buy a used coach from a high end builder, and end up with much more coach for the same money.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:48 AM   #8
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Rodney - that's good info to know. I just need to bite the bullet and test drive a DP. My Canyon Star is limited me to 5,000 lb toad, which is a bummer. I really want to tow a 1/2 ton pickup but that puts me over the limit.


I'll give a DP a try - thanks for the info. My brakes really perform poorly on my gasser.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:07 PM   #9
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A diesel pusher chassis will be a step up in terms of noise, ride quality, weight carrying capacity, and low end performance, but whether it's a WOW! or not depends on what rows your boat.

Everything else is what the body (coach) maker does with it, and your Newmar gasser is already pretty nice. But since you want "more", i.e. greater tow capability and perhaps more amenities, I suggest that you look at used mid-high end models. You get more & better of everything while still at a rationale price.

Since the smallest King Aire is a 45 footer and the biggest Ventana LE is 38, the King Aire is going to ride better, with its much greater weight, tag axle, etc. Probably quieter inside too, with better sound deadening and so on. But to better answer your question, yes the higher line coaches do spend more money on the chassis and gain some benefits, e.g. an Independent front suspension (IFS), side radiator, and easier maintenance access. They will also have more underside mechanical features, maybe a powered genset slide or air leveling as well as hydraulic. Maybe not really a WOW, but the little things can add up.

I would say beware of really entry level diesel pushers - they skimp on everything to get a DP at as low a price as possible. The RED is a nice enough coach, but not in the same league as a Phaeton or Bus. And avoid the FRED diesels for the same reason. The only thing you get with that is the diesel engine - it is otherwise just a gas chassis on steroids. Nothing at all wrong with a FRED chassis, but if you are looking to move up from the present rig, that isn't going to do much except give better low end power.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:37 PM   #10
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A diesel pusher chassis will be a step up in terms of noise, ride quality, weight carrying capacity, and low end performance, but whether it's a WOW! or not depends on what rows your boat.

Everything else is what the body (coach) maker does with it, and your Newmar gasser is already pretty nice. But since you want "more", i.e. greater tow capability and perhaps more amenities, I suggest that you look at used mid-high end models. You get more & better of everything while still at a rationale price.

Since the smallest King Aire is a 45 footer and the biggest Ventana LE is 38, the King Aire is going to ride better, with its much greater weight, tag axle, etc. Probably quieter inside too, with better sound deadening and so on. But to better answer your question, yes the higher line coaches do spend more money on the chassis and gain some benefits, e.g. an Independent front suspension (IFS), side radiator, and easier maintenance access. They will also have more underside mechanical features, maybe a powered genset slide or air leveling as well as hydraulic. Maybe not really a WOW, but the little things can add up.

I would say beware of really entry level diesel pushers - they skimp on everything to get a DP at as low a price as possible. The RED is a nice enough coach, but not in the same league as a Phaeton or Bus. And avoid the FRED diesels for the same reason. The only thing you get with that is the diesel engine - it is otherwise just a gas chassis on steroids. Nothing at all wrong with a FRED chassis, but if you are looking to move up from the present rig, that isn't going to do much except give better low end power.
your coach is a Spartan???
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:52 PM   #11
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I could be wrong but my understanding is that a Red is limited to 5000 lbs towing. You need to check on that since you want higher tow rating.
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:03 PM   #12
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While we never had a gasser mh, we did pull a TT with our Tundra for several years before we went to an entry level diesel dp (2008 Safari Simba). Of course, the difference was night and day. I would suspect that the difference between the gasser and diesel mh's would also be quite different. The diesel is quieter, heavier, better ride, much more torque for hills, much better CCC, more storage, better towing capacity, better mpg, and the list goes on and on. However, they are more expensive to purchase and maintain.

Our entry level coach served us well, and after six years and almost 40,000 miles, we traded up to our 42' tag axle Phaeton mainly for the additional room inside and better accessories.

We spend 5 to 6 months a year in our coach, so our reasoning for a larger coach is obvious. You will have to weigh your requirements to determine if a diesel dp is worth it to you.

Good luck

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Old 01-01-2015, 01:03 PM   #13
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Rodney - that's good info to know. I just need to bite the bullet and test drive a DP. My Canyon Star is limited me to 5,000 lb toad, which is a bummer. I really want to tow a 1/2 ton pickup but that puts me over the limit.


I'll give a DP a try - thanks for the info. My brakes really perform poorly on my gasser.

The RED has a 5000# hitch. The Phaeton has 10,000# and the Bus 15,000#
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:56 PM   #14
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Hi fred061164,
Please consider you may be approaching the next coach from the wrong direction. For me, the three most important items are:
1. Floor Plan - Usually the wife's choice. If she does not like it, do not buy it.
2. Will the coach carry you, all your people and all your stuff? This is CCC or NCC depending on the Brand. (GVWR minus UVW)
3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? GCWR minus GVWR and the receiver weight rating.

Once the above mentioned items are good, one can make the decision as complicated as one wants to make it. Notice the fuel used is not on the top 3 list of things to be sure about. I am in the process of getting the exterior (2015) and interior (2016) of our coach refurbished.
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