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Old 04-28-2012, 03:09 AM   #1
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Gas or Diesel

I am sorry for asking this question because I know this is ask a lot of time. I will be purchasing a class a rv. I am just confused. I will be retiring in 12 years but I want to enjoy traveling now. I live in california and will be taking a trip to Disney World in my motor home when I buy it. After that trip I will only be making a few trips to the east to visit my brother within that 12 years before retirement. The motor home will be parked most of the time and maybe used twice a month on local west coast camp sites. I will probally do more traveling all over the US after retirement. Should I buy diesel now or gas since the motor will be sitting around and not being used. Help please. I want to hear from RV people not salesmen.

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Old 04-28-2012, 04:53 AM   #2
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For the amount it sounds like you are going to be using it for now I would get a gas coach. As your traveling may expand after retirement you could consider a diesel then. This is JMHO.

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Old 04-28-2012, 05:15 AM   #3
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Twelve years worth of depreciation, weathering, and sitting on a gas class A is a lot less costly than the same on a initially higher priced diesel class A.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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Gas, for your needs.
Gary Brinck
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer
Gas, for your needs.

Greg & Lynn (Full-Timing)
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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I'm a big fan of diesel but IMO for your needs gas is the way to go.

Just make sure you get the carrying capacity you'll need for those longer trips and enough tow capacity for whatever you are going to want in the way of a toad.

In 12 years you can reevaluate and go with whatever meets your needs then.
The above post is just my experience/opinion which is worth exactly what you paid for it.

'05 Lance 845/'06 F-250 or '99 Alpine 36SDS Usually towing an '01 Wrangler locked on 35"s or moderate '98 Cherokee on 33"s (rear locker only)
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:44 AM   #7
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Using the same criteria listed above for buying a gas MH for use until you retire you should be driving a used Kia as your daily driver, living in a 800 sq ft home, and eating only beans and weenies until you retire.

Let's really look at what the poster asked. In the next 12 years he plans at least 4 cross country trips (Disneyworld and a few trips to the east to visit family) AND "maybe used twice a month on local west coast camp sites.". How many average motorhome owners use their MH 24 times a year? That's pretty heavy usage compared to the units sitting in my neighborhood.

The suggestions given ignore the comfort and ability of the diesel vs gas. We weren't told that cost was a deciding issue. We don't know the maintenance ability or desire of the OP. We don't know if he's contemplating new or used.

My advice is go and sit in and drive a few. See what comfort level you want. Do you want to have to go looking for a new(er) unit when you get close to retirement or do you want to buy a great rig now and keep it for 20 years? I rode with a screaming engine under the cowling next to me at work for 31 years, I certainly don't want to listen to one on vacation or in retirement. Maybe that wouldn't bother the OP or maybe it would. (no I don't believe the new gassers are as quiet as a diesel pusher)

After doing your homework on floorplans, and size and driveability, and a price check of what interests you, then you'll have a much better idea of what you want. If indeed price is the big factor, then gassers are cheaper. Long term, you might be happier buying a used diesel pusher now and enjoying the lifestyle with a little more comfort between now and then.

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Old 04-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #8
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Another vote for the gas coach. Being in a similar situation (years from retirement, usually short weekend trips, etc.), I saw the value in the savings of purchasing a well equipped gas coach last year and have not regretted the decision.
Andy & Cheryl & Mini-Poodle Sonny
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:27 AM   #9
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Floor plan and budget...

We made our decision when balancing out these factors. For us it came out gas. We didn't find a floor plan that we liked in a diesel at our price ranges given our research. Certainly given enough time and patience, maybe we could have.

That being said, I think there are some extraordinary bargains to be had in both gas and diesel so I go back to floor plan and budget.

Yes, there are the usual other factors such as the difference in maintenance costs of a diesel vs gas. That has to be looked into. There are the performance issues. If you do a lot of big climbs or high altitude driving, diesels have advantages.

From everything I have seen, the advantages of the diesel come at a price tag when comparing them to gas. BUT...as bucks2 brings into the discussion are the other factors. To my knowledge, you can not get some of the ride qualities in a gas coach that come with a diesel. Ride, noise...

So, I think the trick is to not get diesel envy (trust me, I have it a times. LOL) but to drive, drive and drive coaches that meet your floor plan and budget parameters. In the end it will be you and your family wanting to make the best choice.

One last thought...do you really know what you want? I can guarantee you that for Sandee and me we THINK we know what we want and we have bought what we THINK will fill those wants/needs. HOWEVER...we opted our purchase to be with the thought we will keep it but at a price we can afford to upgrade from. Having never even owned a tent, we felt that we couldn't wisely invest in a higher end MH at this point. We have 2 years before we retire and that should be plenty enough time to get our butts on the road, shake the rig down and see if we made all the right choices. If not, we believe we can minimize the impact of a depreciating asset and upgrade. Ya, if we were absolutely positive that we knew what our needs were and could budget for anything we wanted, maybe we might have pushed our parameters out to include higher cost rigs.

It's a bit of a crap shoot unless you have more experience that we did.

Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Gardian Wings earned are GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 DSDP 4320, Spartan MM IFS, 2013 CR-V, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1, Samsung 197R Refer.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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I just went through the decision process. I loved my diesel pickup but when you start considering motorhomes, things get different.

First off, the cost premium for a diesel chassis is enormous. While it is $12-15k in a pickup, it is $30-50 in a motorhome. Second, diesel fuel is $0.25/gallon more expensive in most of the country. And finally, the fuel mileage is no more than 1-3 mpg between the two engine types.

Unless you really need a big (38-45 ft) motorhome where you need a diesel, I think your best bet is going to be to stick with the gas powered ones.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:19 PM   #11
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I have some limited experience, but here is my 2 cents worth... Our last RV was a 38 foot gasser (Tag-axle) and while I loved the floorplan, I really hated the engine noise and the strain on the engine when trying to get that big monster up hills. It made our teeth grind and we were always reduced to almost unsafe speeds when trying to climb hills. We went so far as to plan our weekend get-aways to areas in which we knew we would encounter little or no inclines. And we certainly stayed closer to home.

Last year, we decided that we wanted to use a little our savings to upgrade and while we looked long and hard at newer and more powerful gas models, we eventually found a pre-enjoyed deisel that was perfect. The DP is a joy to drive. I drive it now and I find that with the more powerful engine, I actually feel more confident and comfortable while on the road. I never have to doubt that we will be able to make even the steepest of grades and you need to look at your favorite destinations and think about how long it takes to get there and your comfort on the road.

We are still a few years away from a complete retirement, but we are quite glad that we bought a less expensive pre-enjoyed DP to travel around in now... Yes, the maintenance can be more expensive, but for us it is worth it.

If money is an object now...consider looking at pre-owned DPs. You may find that for the next few years, it would be the best investment. You will really appreciate the deisel if you are traveling cross-country a few times in the next few years.

I do not think that I would ever return to a gas rig unless I were to downsize drastically in size.

Faith and Bob, Bitsy the Papillon and Bosco the Chi-weenie....RIP Truffles
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:04 PM   #12
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Hi Ichatman, welcome to the forum. Decisions, decisions, decision! You've asked and, IMHO, gotten some great advice in return. Only you know your complete circumstances and requiremenst. Spend a lot of time looking and driving the different rigs. Don't overlook a well maintained pre-owned ("used" to us Rednecks) unit. Make a list of the "must have" items you want in the coach you purchase and the floor plan you like best. How many people and pets are going to traveling and sleeping in the coach? Start eliminating coaches that don't me meet the criteria and make a choice from what's left.
Travel well, travel safe,
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:52 PM   #13
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Personally, I'd go used, and diesel. Once you go used, you only have to go a handful of years (3 or 4) older to get a diesel at the same price, and since many were better built to start, the conditions are equal.

Fuel costs will easily balance out, 2mpg doesn't sound like much, but it actually represents 25-30% better mileage, especially if you go with larger gas coaches that will struggle to get 7mpg

And not having an engine roaring between the front seats... that's a big one, at least in places where you do a lot of climbing.

However, the biggest question is... what's important in a floorplan to you? I think it's also the toughest question, especially before you are actually out on the road and seeing what matters to you.

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Old 04-28-2012, 05:10 PM   #14
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our pre-owned diesel bus came with a 2000 year, $700 a month mortgage.
In the interest of getting it over with before I wear it out, I try to pay $2000 a month, and always pay more than a grand.

The op made no mention of budget.
And his projected uasage, right now, is pretty high.

A used, few year old DP was my choice, after 3 years with a very nice paid for gasser. And it is worth every single penny, every dime, every payment, every dollar of interest. It's smooth. quiet. It will climb a wall without us even knowing there is an engine running. And it's big. you could bowl in the salon with the slides open. A full sized bedroom, a real bathroom with a human sized shower.

If you can afford a dp, buy one.

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diesel, gas

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