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Old 04-16-2016, 02:36 PM   #1
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Maintenance costs of diesel vs. gasser

I've crunched numbers for usage and distance for the Class A I want (currently own a Class C and 5ver). Seems like many think a diesel will cost more to maintain vs. a gasser. I think a diesel might be overkill for my needs. Still, I'm wondering what the costs might be monthly or yearly?

Since justifying the costs of running an RV seems pointless, I think justifying buying a gasser because it'll be cheaper for my needs, also seems pointless.

Maybe a DP is just quieter and the ride more comfortable regardless of how much it's driven and that might be the reason some buy a DP.

I'm not wanting to throw money at a DP, so, does anyone really know how much more it'll cost for a diesel?
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:54 PM   #2
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"DP is quieter and the ride is better" is not a Univeral truism. I did not think my Excursion was particularly quiet or had a great ride. My Discovery is a completely different story. I would frame the argument in terms of how big an RV are you looking for. In the 35' or less range, I'd say gas is the way to go. When you get to 40' or so, the choice is really only diesel.

There is simply no argument that DP's are more expensive to maintain. If gas is "good enough", go gas. Tons of folks love their gassers. We like our 40' diesel monster. I enjoy driving it and when we get where we're going and open it up there's tons of space inside.

Frankly, I think issues like maintenance costs and how many MPG you get just don't factor into the equation. If you do the math, RVs don't make any sense at all.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:00 PM   #3
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Diesel costs more to maintain, no doubt. How much more? It would take a whole study to determine the amount. Diesel takes more oil, filters are more expensive, tires are bigger (more expensive),....the list goes on and on. I had a gasser, and I like to drive a LOT. I don't spend much time in any given location. That means long distance driving, and over some pretty steep mountain passes.

Some reasons for selling the gasser, and getting DP, is the torque DP has, and the ease with which it climbs with minimal noise. The gasser I had was screaming on the long climbs, and being pushed side to side by passing OTR trucks. Big DPs are like commercial buses (and one never sees gas driven cross country bus!), they can go all day long (and then some), without effort, or strain.

For someone that uses his coach once or twice a year, plans on staying in CGs,......gasser might be the right choice. Since I use mine as I do, I wanted constant speed (flat, or climbing), more water capacity, bigger tanks (fuel, black, and gray), less noise, comfort drive (provided by airbags), and since I don't want any slides either, I wanted 40' coach minimum, (45' would be even nicer).

To find out the exact difference in costs, the study would have to be conducted on two identical vehicles (in size, engine power, and driven by the same family, over period of time). Not easy to do. Someone that has newer gasser, and needs to pay for every service to be done by the shop, pays for all parts at retail, will pay more than someone who services his own coach, buys parts wholesale.........we are all different, and so are our coaches.

And there is also "want" factor to consider. I might need only a Jeep Cherokee to drive in the snow, but I have Range Rover (I certainly don't "need" it!). How much each of us is willing to spend on something he/she "wants", is very individual decision.
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:56 PM   #4
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If you have someone else do all of the work and you do all of the recommended preventative maintenance, budget about $2200 per year for maintenance. This includes tire replacement at 7 years.
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:28 PM   #5
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Unless you're going to budget for an engine or transmission blowing up, the routine stuff costs about:
$3000 for tires every 7-10 yrs
$ 600 per yr for the routine oil & filters change
$ 300 every 3-5 yrs for the other fluids & filters

all in my DP has averaged about $1200 per yr over the last 10 yrs (for routine maint items, not repairs, modifications & upgrades)

In the big picture, the cost of maint is not much of a factor in choosing gas vs diesel in my opinion
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:42 PM   #6
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Routine maintenance wouldn't be a concern to me, a problem of any magnitude would be my concern. There was someone here who had a recent rebuild due to a filtering issue, and the cost was almost three times more than a gas motor replacement with new.

That's what I find concerning, but also must admit I look at diesel coaches all the time and I love the early 2000's Beavers and the gorgeous woodwork.
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:28 PM   #7
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Routine maintenance wouldn't be a concern to me, a problem of any magnitude would be my concern. There was someone here who had a recent rebuild due to a filtering issue, and the cost was almost three times more than a gas motor replacement with new.

That's what I find concerning, but also must admit I look at diesel coaches all the time and I love the early 2000's Beavers and the gorgeous woodwork.

The way I see it, there must be an economic advantage to diesel, as there are so many busses and over the road trucks that get 750,000+ miles before a rebuild is needed. So many farm tractors as well are diesel. For catastrophe insurance, try to purchase an extended service contract, then you could sleep easily.
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:28 PM   #8
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Hey thanks everyone for all that. My post brought up some similar questions from 2014 threads so it's all confirming what I was thinking. There are some CA state parks I want to get into so need to stay under 35'. Great responses though and thanks again for your feedback. Leland
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:40 PM   #9
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We bought a gas powered MH for several reasons but one of them was the fact that I can do all my own maintenance. The chassis maintenance is really no difference than a car. Two oil changes a year, cost me $45 to do my self, and lube. Gets me under the MH to check everything else out. Our Canyon Star, drives great, has plenty of power, has a smooth ride, tracks well and does not get pushed around by wind or big trucks. Our floorplan works great for us with the bath and a half, and two slides. The actual maintenance of the MH part should be little difference between gas or diesel.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:50 PM   #10
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It all depends as to why a diesel would cost you more to maintain then a gasoline motor home. You change the oil and filter once per year and if you do it yourself it is not expensive. It costs me around eighty dollars for five gallons of Rottella Shell and the best Napa oil filter for a 3126-E Caterpillar engine.

Grease all the fittings on the chassis and you will not even use a cartridge. Air filters are like every three years or when you see that vacuum gauge go up and they are through the internet from Racor for $125.

The reason why I say that it all depends because what does cost more on a diesel then a gasoline engine is if it breaks down. Parts are more expensive, but you got to realize that the diesel engine will last three to five times longer then a gasoline engine. But if nothing breaks down I can not see why it would be that much difference in costs.

Gasoline engines have many more moving parts then a diesel engine and they do wear out faster. They are a high reving engine and parts wear out faster. They need spark plug changes, catalytic converters, oil changes more often and most now days you have to use synthetic oils which are not cheap. New gasoline motor homes use big 22.5 tires just like diesels.

So I am not sure weather there is that much difference in maintenance between the two.

One thing that does make a whole lot of difference and this is why we buy diesel coaches and that is the ride. JMHO!
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:56 PM   #11
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Maintenance costs of diesel vs. gasser

I have a DP because I like it. Had 2 gassers. I like my DP. If I only did 2500 miles per year, it would be my DP for the joy of the ride, and the other obvious attributes.
That's about it for now


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Old 04-16-2016, 08:02 PM   #12
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It would cost me $90 if I paid a shop to do a synthetic oil change on my 08 Bounder 38P, workhorse chassis or $35 ish if I did it myself

X Inlaws discovery stated yearly oil change was $300 ish and depending on what all was needed would top out around $700 or as someone mentioned above $100-$150 going the diy route plus air/fuel filters

Tires - when I priced out tires for my 38P last summer it was just shy of $4k for the same diameter 22.5in that DP's use.

Unscheduled work will also cost more with the DP and you visit truck repair centers vs a Chevy or Ford dealership.

DP do ride and drive better however some gas coaches ride better vs others gas A's. I would say all newish class A gas ride and drive much better vs a class C
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:05 PM   #13
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Just had my annual diesel maintenance at Speedco.

$200 for 17.6 qts of oil, engine oil filter, 2 fuel filters and lube.



I do the generator oil and filter myself, but that's a wash whether you are gas coach or diesel coach.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:12 PM   #14
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I've never look at my MH as something I need to get cheap with. I bought it because it fills my needs. It has power on hills towing a heavy load, it's quiet, it rides great on air suspension. I suppose it would be like buying the car that gets the absolute best MPG, but you don't like it! If it cost more to operate, so be it, it's what I want.
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