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Old 12-11-2018, 10:02 PM   #1
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Newer Gas RV vs Older Diesel RV ($60K - $90K Range)

I read a bunch of older Threads on this subject, that got too off topic for my tastes, so I thought I would start a new thread to help "Smart Buyers" decide on which way to go when it comes to buying a "newer gas RV vs. an Older Diesel RV in the $60K - $80K price range. (And under $125K if you are thinking of buying a brand new gas rig.)

For starters: I don't think you can really open a dialog/debate about gas vs diesel, because that's like comparing apples and oranges!

And the same can be said for comparing 28' or 32' RVs with a 38' or 40' motor homes. (With emphasis on "home.") I.e., when you spend a month or more in a small RV -- boy that is a lot different then spending a month + in a 40' RV (gas vs gas; and diesel vs diesel).

Then you need to consider how many miles you are traveling? ...And if you are not driving very much, or going very far from home, then gas is probably just fine. Especially if you need a smaller RV to get into a county park or 90% of the California beach parks.

So you need to buy for your needs. And, when you look at most of the 40' Diesel RVs on the road, most seem to be operated by couples; while most families seem to driving Class "C" RVs and or gas Class "A" RV in the 32-36 foot range (with or without kids). In fact, you can typically sleep more people in a 26' Class "C" than you can a 40' diesel RV. (3 sleeping areas vs. 2.)

Of course, budget is always the biggest deciding factor, but this is my position: I would always buy a 2004-2008 Diesel 40' RV over any new or newer gas RV... every day of the week; and for lots of good reasons; most of which involve creature comforts and reliability concerns.

...But yes, driving an RV cost more per mile in fuel, because diesel fuel is more expensive in today's market, and because diesels only get about 7-10 MPG. But I don't think driving a diesel cost more to maintain. (Albeit, it might.) Fundamentally, diesel engines and suspensions are made to go 500K miles vs. gas suspensions that will fall apart much sooner (80K miles???).

Alternatively, what value to put on luxury, comfort and safety? And diesels deliver all those advantages over a gas rig in my opinion.

Further, you can debate the pro's and con's of owning a one diesel coach vs another diesel coach; just like you can debate one gas coach over another gas coach, but I doubt any gas coach (year vs. year) would ever beet a diesel -- in any category -- including depreciation if you are shopping for an RV in the sub $100K range.

Meaning this: If you buy a 2004-2006 diesel RV (by a manufacture still in business today); you can find a beautiful 40' DP in the $60K-$80K range.

Plus, I bet that 15-20 year old diesel coach will maintain its value much better than a $80- $125K newer gas coach... and for a less money you can have a much better ride, comfort, luxury, and look as most higher quality RV have full body paint.

As for costs of ownership, gas vs. diesel, I thing we are really talking about the costs of maintaining all the accessories (water heater, jacks, slides, etc.) and here again, the diesel will probably come out ahead of a gas rig. But you might be surprised why this is the case?

Gas RVs rattle and bounce a lot more than an air ride diesel RV suspension; and what rattles and vibrates more... breaks down faster!

...And when compare the quality of cabinetry, flooring, and quality of hardware used -- you will always find these item don't last as long in a gas coach (newer and older), because the gas rigs almost always and everywhere use cheaper and of lesser quality materials and hardware.

...On the subject of cabinetry, which is very important, whether we are talking about hardwood vs. plywood vs. composite MDF; you really need to compare coach manufactures to each other, rather than compare cabinetry quality on a gas vs. diesel; but in general a cheaper made coach has lesser quality cabinetry "for sure."

When it comes to comparing the fuel costs: This boils down to weight vs. horsepower. Ergo, a diesel is 24,000 lbs. on the low end and 40,000 lbs on the other end, with 300HP to 500HP respectively. That meas you can only expect to get between 7-10 MPG on the highway. (And CAT vs. Cummins is really not a factor when making a buy decision.)

Gas rigs don't fair much better in terms of MPG, but then again a gas RV only weighs between 12,000 lbs to 16,000 lbs. (I think.) And you are talking about 26' to 36' in length. That said, a 3 MPG difference should be thought of as a 30% premium on fuel costs. Therefore, buying fuel for a diesel rig will cost you 30% to 40% more vs. a gas rig. (But will that break the bank? Probably not. It's just annoying to accept ever since Honda came out with cars that got more than 20 MPG in the USA... and now we are all spoiled and expect more.

As for going green... forget it! Gas or diesel you are going to be melting an iceberg somewhere around the shores of Greenland ... faster than not driving one at all!

...Back to basics: In fact, you can almost correlate a diesel RV's price to how much it weighs. Now isn't that interesting!

...Once you have owned a few diesel RVs you will come to understand this fact. And then... you will notice that wheel size and tire size also get much bigger on the more expensive diesel RVs. (Just like getting a side radiator, but I digress.)

So if you want the best ride on the road (at any year) then get a diesel RV with a 22.5" wheels and not a diesel rig with 19" rims!

As for gas rigs with spring suspensions? They don't even make the grade when it comes to comparing their suspensions to a diesel air ride suspension.

This gets us to a few bottom line (no debate) issues:

1) When you buy a diesel you do it to get an air-ride (split rail) suspension more than any other benefit! It's the difference between "Soup" and "Nuts," if you get my drift when comparing a diesel to a gas suspension.

2) Once you drive a diesel with "independent suspension" you will not want to own another diesel RV without it. (Much better ride and turning radius and comfort -- every time you enter a parking lot or driveway slope.)

3) Residential refrigerators are an important upgrade too if you are on the road a lot. (Of course, that's not really relevant to this thread's topic, but I thought I would through it in, because I would never own a 10+year old RV with a gas refrigerator again. It's unreliable and firetrap!)

4) Gas rigs are better if you need to get into county parks where larger diesel RVs (over 32') cannot; and that excludes most if not all diesels except a Sprinter (which is not my taste, because it's just too damn small). However, everywhere else in the USA I am so glad I am driving a 40' diesel pusher!

CLOSING COMMENT: I once owned a 2002 National Diesel 38' coach. And thought that was a great coach (10 MPG) until I started driving a 2004 Itasca Horizon 40' diesel. This includes workmanship in almost every category. And despite the fact I only get 7 MPG iin my heavier and bigger Winnegago (as a trade-off) I am willing to accept that added cost no problem. And I drive 7,000 miles /year! Which is on the higher side. So yes, I pay more in fuel, but the air ride, luxury, and reliability/safety is well worth it!

5) If you don't drive very far, why do you care about MPG (gas or diesel)! So I think you should drive whatever type of RV you like... in the budget you set for yourself (gas or diesel)... but definitely you should look at an older diesel vs. buying a new gas RV. (MOST DEFINITELY!)

Further, my 2005 Winnebago/Itasca Horizon (40AD) has 85,000 miles on it and it runs and rides like new! ...I sincerely doubt any gas rig can survive that test of time. And if it does, boy that's a lot of bouncing around! That's why most gas RV reach their end of live at 10-15 years of age, where most diesels just need some love to keep them going another 50,000 miles!

Bottom line: Once you drive a diesel RV you will never want to go back to wanting to drive a gas rig again!

...Your asset will not depreciate as fast if you buy a 2004-2008 diesel, and you love owning it.

... And don't worry about driving a bigger coach. That concern goes away after 100 miles and 3 or 4 back-in exercises.

Gas or diesel, there is no better way to see our beautiful country! ...I just prefer diesel over gas 1000:1 so if there are any gas owners who want to rebut what I have said, that should prove interesting.

And for you other Diesel owners, would you ever own a gas RV again?

END.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:05 PM   #2
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I may have missed your point.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:12 PM   #3
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If he is trying to sell a DP over gas he missed the targets.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:15 PM   #4
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My point is that an older diesel RV is 5x the value... dollar for dollar... vs. a newer gas RV.

Feel free to make your point if you have one.

You might start with the point I made: Many county parks in California and elsewhere have a 32' size limitation. ...But I personally have never had a problem visiting National Parks and I have been to a bunch.

I'm not trying to point out that Diesel RVers can afford to drive a diesel. Just the opposite. I think "Smart Buyers" should look at buying a larger (and older diesel) RV... and many buyers don't, because they think it will cost more to own a 40' diesel or a larger/diesel RV is more difficult to drive; which is not true in both cases.

Depreciation is the cost killer and anything new is going to depreciate a ton. And that includes both gas and diesel new coaches.

This thread is not about buying new coaches. This is about buying used in the sub $125K range. So don't make it about what you drive vs. what I drive. And try to think about what you would do different or what advice you have for someone with less experience they yourself.

The forum is all yours.

*** In the interest of transparency, please include what you drive and why you like driving it (perfect for your needs) if you elect to give advice on this thread.

*** And if you are a buyer, then please ask your questions so other others can respond with their points of view.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:35 PM   #5
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I think one point you missed was towing. got to get some for the rest of it
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnprsd View Post
My point is that an older diesel RV is 5x the value... dollar for dollar... vs. a newer gas RV.

Feel free to make your point if you have one.

You might start with the point I made: Many county parks in California and elsewhere have a 32' size limitation. ...But I personally have never had a problem visiting National Parks and I have been to a bunch.

I'm not trying to point out that Diesel RVers can afford to drive a diesel. Just the opposite. I think "Smart Buyers" should look at a larger (and older diesel) RV... and many buyer don't, because they think it will cost more to own a 40' diesel or is more difficult to drive; which is not true in both cases.

Depreciation is the cost killer and anything new is going to depreciate a ton. And that includes both gas and diesel new coaches.

This thread is not about buying new coaches. This is about buying used in the sub $125K range. So don't make it about what you drive vs. what I drive. And try to think about what you would do different or what advice you have for someone with less experience they yourself.

The forum is all yours.

*** In the interest of transparency, please include what you drive and why you drive it if you give advice on this thread.

*** And if you are a buyer, then please ask your questions so other others can respond with their points of view.
I thought you were debating with yourself...
Nice pitch, and mostly in keeping with what I've been reading here for the last few months.
I'm sure someone will be along to take the gasser side.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:52 PM   #7
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I couldn't agree more with the original post. These are the points I try to make to people! Nicely said. But to each their own.... different strokes for different folks.....
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:33 AM   #8
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My only thought is that we have 2 friends with the V10 Ford and both have had engine failure to the tune of $12K... I assume its from lack of proper care... I personally will stay with my diesel unit....
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:46 AM   #9
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Bottom line: Once you drive a diesel RV you will never want to go back to wanting to drive a gas rig again!

...Your asset will not depreciate as fast if you buy a 2004-2008 diesel, and you love owning it.

... And don't worry about driving a bigger coach. That concern goes away after 100 miles and 3 or 4 back-in exercises.

Gas or diesel, there is no better way to see our beautiful country! ...I just prefer diesel over gas 1000:1 so if there are any gas owners who want to rebut what I have said, that should prove interesting.


Totally agree!
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:10 AM   #10
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I don't know about the gasser side but the OP is nothing but the same old same old. You want a DP then everything else sucks in comparison. That is the only way to justify the cost. I laughed at the $12,000 for a gas engine. Ask MrD how much money one can pour into a diesel. Your money, your decision. Just don't try to convince most of us that it is as good as you wish it was.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:54 AM   #11
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What's the difference in insurance rates?.....same driver, same driving record....
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
I don't know about the gasser side but the OP is nothing but the same old same old. You want a DP then everything else sucks in comparison. That is the only way to justify the cost. I laughed at the $12,000 for a gas engine. Ask MrD how much money one can pour into a diesel. Your money, your decision. Just don't try to convince most of us that it is as good as you wish it was.
I agree.In my case money was not the deciding factor,but practicality was.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:12 AM   #13
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Two years ago, we bought a 2004 Newmar MADP 4016. So, I guess I agree.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:13 AM   #14
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Gas coach suspension won’t “fall apart” at 80K miles. My suspension looks as good today as new.
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