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Old 08-10-2010, 07:31 AM   #1
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Is it stupid to get a diesel rig only for vacation use?

Well, I'm still info-gathering on the future Class A purchase. And, still looking at both (new) gas and (lightly used) diesel.

Here's my current dilemma -- We are only going to use this rig for vacations. I'm not worried about "price" so much as I'm worried about which one will "hold up" better for this specific, more infrequent, type of use.

Stupid question, but would I "harm" a diesel more than a gas unit if we only use it for vacations, primarily in the summer months? I'm guessing that would not be the case (some full timers park for looooong durations, then drive infrequently) but I'm just not too sure....

If a gas rig is sitting more, I know you can put an additive in the fuel to help, but no idea what (if any) protocol I'd have to do for a diesel that sits.

Thanks, in advance, for your patience as I ask all these dumb questions!!!

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Old 08-10-2010, 08:12 AM   #2
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I believe there is no difference in Gas or Diesel when it comes to sitting for prolonged periods of time - for both it's bad. There are additives for diesel and gasoline for long storage. Either way you go you should still 'exercise' the units monthly (just like most standby generators). I would be more concerned with all the equipment inside, such as stove, refrig, water pump, A/C's, etc etc. sitting without use.

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Old 08-10-2010, 08:13 AM   #3
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Your questions are identical to the ones we asked before we bought our diesel. Both units can sit for a while without any major damage. The one bit of advice that we got was to put a biocide into the fuel tank before storage to keep the algae from possibly growing in the diesel tank. Other than that bit of advice the storage routine is basically the same for both gas and diesel. We have just gone from gas to diesel and so far we've been very pleased with our decision.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:18 AM   #4
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The choice for Gas or Diesel:
(1) Cost
(2) RV Size
(3) Power
(4) Preference
(5) MPG
(6) Longevity
Fleetwood Providence 2008 40e
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:44 AM   #5
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There is no easy answer to your question of diesel vs. gas since it all revolves around your personal taste and the type of use it'll get. Each has it's own strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, I bought a diesel because I drive a lot in mountainous areas and diesels have a big advantage there because of the engine torque. I drive long distances, often 12 hours a day, and a diesel pusher drives more like a car (albeit a really big one). Part of the reason for that is the air suspension that soaks up the bumps and divots. I drive major highways, not back roads, where size could be detrimental. I want the generator in the front where the gas engine would be so that I don't hear it running at night when we're sleeping out on the road. We're not into camping so I'm not concerned about getting into tight campgrounds where the gas model might have an advantage. I like bigger tank capacities so I don't have to fill and dump as often. I also like the additional storage space underneath so we can be more self sufficient for longer periods.

Can the same thing be done with a gas engine coach? Sure, and depending on what you'll be doing it might be the better choice.

Storing a diesel engine rig is no big deal. Fill up the fuel tank as full as possible and add some biocide to prevent algae growth and you'll be fine. Whether you have gas or diesel you'll need to fire both up and exercise them once in a while.

Take your time looking around to find what you like and drive both to see how they handle. Anytime you trade a RV you'll take it in the shorts so the key is to make wise decisions and don't do that very often. This will be the only chance you'll have where you don't have to trade or sell something outright before you can buy something else.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:05 AM   #6
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Hello. You mentioned summer vacation. Is that two weeks, a month or so? One thing to consider is what you plan to do, where you plan to park, how much "stuff" you need to bring, how cozy you and your travelling companion(s) want to be and thus how large of a unit you need.

Many state and fed parks can't handle the larger units. Some state parks have areas for larger units, but the more natural/secluded sites may only support 25-35' units. Let the How/what/where determine size of the unit which may better determine gas vs diesel. Just a thought.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:32 AM   #7
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I'm a fulltimer and only recently got a diesel because I needed more living and storage area. I traveled coast to coast and to Alaska in my 2000 Itasca Suncruiser 37' V10 on a Ford chassis. Today's gas engines have 50% more power and coupled with an Allison transmission compete very well with diesels. If your handy, a gas engine is easier and less expensive to maintain. Based on how you intend to use your RV you will not be disappointed with a gas engine. Just get a coach with a good quality interior and floor plan, a quality transmission and chassis all the storage area you can get, and you will smile when you think about the $20K-$30K you left in the bank.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:09 AM   #8
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If cost of ownership isn't a major concern, go with a diesel.
Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 08-10-2010, 10:35 AM   #9
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I had similar questions when we made the diesel vs. gas decision 5 years ago. I still work full time and we travel 5,000 -6,000 miles per year. However, we do take longer trips and try to go 'West' whenever we can so mountain driving and the overall driving experience was a factor for me.

No question that a DP is more costly to maintain overall. No question that modern gas coaches have equally nice amenities/floor plans and good engines/transmissions. Diesel rigs generally can handle more weight and almost always have higher tow ratings if that is a factor (what you want to take along and what you want to pull behind you). I love to drive and, for me at least, it came down to the overall driving experience. The handling, quiet ride, and power of the DP was what made the difference for me. Also, the hope that a gently used DP would last long enough to take us into retirement.

I strongly suggest that, after you decide on a floor plan that meets your needs, you take the time to drive both gas and diesel coaches. Take both on a variety of road surfaces. Drive on an interstate and let big trucks pass you. If you will be spending a lot of time behind the wheel getting to your destinations, the overall driving experience should be a factor for consideration.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:44 AM   #10
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Here's my current dilemma -- We are only going to use this rig for vacations. I'm not worried about "price" so much as I'm worried about which one will "hold up" better for this specific, more infrequent, type of use.
For use only on vacations, wouldn't a trailer be more suitable for you? There's much less maintenance on a trailer than on a MH even when you factor in the truck's maintenance.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:48 AM   #11
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You will find that once you own a motorhome, you will use it for more than 'vacations'.

- sleeping area for guests
- long car trip to the casino or to a wedding
- mobile office for Little League sign ups on a cold March day
- place to hang big sign in front of school during blood drive
- trip to Cabelas where you can shop all morning in fishing, go take a nap, and then go shopping in hunting during the afternoon
- a warm, very comfortable place to spend the night when your wife gets mad at you!

We 'grew into' our diesel after owning a 29 ft Class C and a 35 foot class A. It is way better driving a diesel but initial cost is much higher.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:53 AM   #12
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:28 PM   #13
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IMHO, since your main concern is not price but how one will "hold up" vs the other, regardless of whether it's the chassis portion or house portion of the MH, I would think if you properly prepare for long storage and then properly prepare for use, there is not much of a difference.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:00 PM   #14
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WOW! Thanks everyone for such fast replies! Great advice as usual!!

I'll try to answer some of the questions I was asked:

We have a really nice TT now (and assorted tow-ables for the past 10 years), but definitely want a class A in about a year or so for just so many reasons - really basically related to overall comfort and convenience. My better half wants a jeep toad, so that will be a part of all this too (remind me to play the lottery, will ya?! )

I do, however, want our move-up to be a 'smart' one for us -- just not too sure what that is yet (I'm sure you've all gone through this process too!), so right now I'm trying to eliminate what we don't want. I was afraid that by asking my original question, that might have ruled out a diesel, so I'm happy to find out that it has not. So far, I think our range is in higher-end new gas and/or entry (or mid-range used) diesel territory. Pros and cons to all of those options, and I'm sure I'll have some more questions forthcoming!

We'll both be working full time for at least the next ~18 years, so I want us to have something that will complement our lifestyle as best as possible.

Our "vacations" will consist of long weekends throughout the summer time, some farther-away trips to more NASCAR races (go Mark Martin!), and the additional long trip(s) to, say, Disney in Florida (I'm in NJ), etc., etc. We'd have to really bank our vacation time to get out West (I must get to Devil's Tower some day since I'm a Close Encounters fan!). I am completely foreign to the whole national park scene (only been to one in Delaware, and we had full hookups like a regular campground - so not really the true experience).

Back to the original question -- I think as long as we do prepare either our future gas/diesel rig for the respective down-time, I think we'll be ok, and that's been GREAT news for me to hear!

Many, many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!! Thanks and please keep any more suggestions/advice coming! Heaven knows I need all the help I can get, LOL!!

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