When you said this:
Originally Posted by Alan Wilson
... my wife has a lot of neck pain which revealed a crushed disk after a doctor visit so riding and bouncing in our PC gets to be a little uncomfortable if we drive very many hours at a time.
I immediately thought... get the DP!
We purchased our first 35' gas Class A in December, 2012, and have already traded it in for a 40' DP. Our situation is different than yours; we had multiple reasons for the switch. Nevertheless, I cannot emphasize enough that the ride in the DP in terms of smoothness, and conversation-welcoming quiet (lots of driving hours!), and all around comfort should not be underestimated. I took a bit of a "hit" when I traded in that new Gas
. That stung, but I would do it over again.
One other suggestion if your are still on the fence.. is it possible for you to RENT a DP and a Gas and take them for a long drive--as long as you see yourself driving as you travel? That may give you a realistic idea of just how these coaches are "in real life." They all drive nicely around the block, but after 5+ hours, it's a different story.
BTW--we are not retired. We drive ours mostly for long weekends within 6 hours of home. But we did take that gas coach on a 3000 mile, 18 day summer trip with the kids. My longest drive was 9 hours. I enjoyed those driving days better than if we were in the minivan, kids directly behind me, but I will say that the noise got on my nerves. Further.. my wife really could only tolerate that loud engine "dog house" for short doses--most of her time was spent on the couch further back. If you envision long conversations with your wife as you drive, consider the noise level (particularly if either of you has less than perfect hearing).
I agree with you and others that the DP's are more complicated--partly because they tend to have more/fancier features. I'm fairly handy and interested in all of these systems, so it's no bother to me. But if you think you will rely on RV shops to 100% handle all of your system problems, this is a consideration. Buying a slightly used coach, regardless of gas vs. diesel, could be a great advantage because the first owner worked out the new-coach-bugs.
One final note.. most master bed rooms are located in the rear of the coach. Take note of how much overhang there is behind the rear wheels in the gas RV's compared to DP. Usually with the same size coach, the gas has far more overhang. For us, that meant it was much easier for me to quickly acclimate to driving the gas RV. The gas coach was a piece of cake to drive. On the down side though, anyone sitting in that bed was airborne when going over bumps that I would never have guessed would do that! The leverage was amazing. The DP ride is smooth as silk from front to back... but the longer wheel base makes it a little more challenging to drive. Not a big deal, but some.