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Old 01-01-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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Share your experience...please.

Well, we're coming down to the wire...hubby retires on February 23rd and we have to decide which motor home to buy. We are definitely going used, as price is a factor. But we're still stuck on gas vs diesel and Ford vs GM.

We're going to keep it around 34 - 36 feet.

What has worked for you? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Barbara
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:24 AM   #2
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One more question

Forgot to ask in the above post...we've been told that a small block diesel isn't worth considering and that we would be better with a gas model...if we can't afford the big block diesel.

Any thoughts about that?

Thanks again
Barbara
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:46 AM   #3
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You will get many opinions because each person has gone through the same process as you are now and we have all come to many different answers, and most are the right answers for that person/couple, as each has their own paramaters as far as use, preferred interior amenties and money available.

I will tell you that we began with a desire for a DP based on our intended use. We looked at a lot of MH's all over the east coast and many more online. We ended up with a used DP on consignment in an adjoining state. We drove about 7 hours but it was well worth it. We have had it now for 3 years and it has been wonderful. We show dogs so camp at shows about 15 long weekends a year. We are not fulltime yet (still working) but would have no problem doing that in this coach.

Good luck with your search. There are many more experienced folks here that can give you a lot of technical stuff, which is an amazing resource. I just thought I would share where we ended from our decision making and search.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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We went through the same decision process.

We made a list of what we were going to be doing, how much stuff we had to carry (CCC), what we'd be towing and where.

There are some great gas motor homes out there but for the length we ended up wanting and towing up to 7k lbs in the Rockies our decision was made for us.

Then it was the floor plan and amenities and initial cost to figure in, that was the fun part.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:10 PM   #5
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The comment about big vs small block diesel is confusing. In the size range you are considering most are gas powered front engine designs. There are a small number of "FRED" or front engine diesels out there, but not many used as they are a relatively recent development. Most rear engine diesels are powered by Cummins diesels, with Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel, and more recently Navistar engines making up the rest. The FREDs I know of use the smaller Cummins, either a 300 or 340hp version.

Given a choice with no costs attached I'd always take the diesel, but having said that the premium is about $8,000 over the gas engine. Diesels use less fuel, but in the US diesel is more expensive, diesels produce more torque, which helps if you are pulling a vehicle behind you, and they have longer service intervals, but diesels tend to cost more per service.

If you were looking at one of the super class C motor homes you would be looking at a Duramax in the Seneca or an International Diesel in the Nova. These could be called "small block" but to say that these are not exceptional powerplants is silly.

I will say that if I was looking in the lengths you are considering I think I would probably go the Super C route over a small A.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan DeBruin View Post
You will get many opinions... We ended up with a used DP... We have had it now for 3 years and it has been wonderful. We show dogs so camp at shows about 15 long weekends a year. We are not fulltime yet (still working) but would have no problem doing that in this coach.

Ditto, 'cept we are celebrating our first year, out RV'ing with friends! In fact, I'm fireside right now

If there were a Consumer Reports for used RVs, no doubt this year's Best Buy would be the 2001-2004 DP for $40-50K. In other words, a $200-230K MSRP for a fifth its original price.

Unless you're parking it for long periods; then, I'd look at gassers, more tolerant of extended periods of no driving.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AloraDanin View Post
Forgot to ask in the above post...we've been told that a small block diesel isn't worth considering and that we would be better with a gas model...if we can't afford the big block diesel.

Any thoughts about that?

Thanks again
Barbara
I would beg to differ with the information that you've received but we are probably not using ours in the same way that you will yours.

We've had our 5.9 Cummins now for 8 years this month. I'd be willing to stack it up against any gas engine for overall economy. We get around 10mpg, more if I can keep it to 55mph. While many of the parts are more expensive to a lot more expensive than the gas engine equivalents, overall maintenance costs are in line with our passenger vehicles with me doing the work myself.

From a performance perspective, ours is no NASCAR competitor. But we climb large hills very well and I love the air brakes over standard hydraulics. An air bag ride would be better but with some modifications, our chassis handles and rides pretty well.

We have a buddy with a 32' gas chassis. His is nice but I would never trade with him. Our cargo carrying capacity increase of what he can handle alone would seal the deal for the small diesel.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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Barbra, Welcome to the forum and good luck with your decision. You will get lots of opinions and advice here.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AloraDanin View Post
Well, we're coming down to the wire...hubby retires on February 23rd and we have to decide which motor home to buy. We are definitely going used, as price is a factor. But we're still stuck on gas vs diesel and Ford vs GM.

We're going to keep it around 34 - 36 feet.

What has worked for you? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Barbara
If you're going to take a few trips a year, I'd go diesel. I've owned both and made the same 1200 mile one way trip with both of them. The diesel pusher handled and drove so much nicer than the gas chassis. For me, it all came down to how "safe" the rig was because I had my whole family in it. The brakes were better, steering, and handling too.
Diesels are more expensive all the way around, but if you want to enjoy driving instead of fighting the wind, semi truck passing, engine noise, etc. get the diesel pusher.
However, I'm not that familiar with the newer gas chassis, they may handle better than the older ones.
And for what it's worth stay away from the Cat C7 and the hassles affiliated with that engine.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AloraDanin View Post
as price is a factor. But we're still stuck on gas vs diesel

Thanks
Barbara
Then simplest answer, buy diesel if you can afford it.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:08 PM   #11
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Hi AloraDanin,
Forgive me for being bold, but you are stuck on the wrong points. Forget the chassis and the motor. For the engine (whatever fuel) the maximum weight you want the engine pulling is 100 lbs per HP. The lower pounds per HP the better.

The bottom line is floor plan sells the coach. That is the show stopper. All the other items may irritate from time to time, but if the floor plan does not match your RVing life, it will be the coach from hell every day.

If you can, the Tampa RV Super Show is from January 11-15 in Tampa, Florida. If you come, book time to stay the entire show. This is the larges RV show in the USA. I go every year. Go to Florida RV Trade Association - 2012 Florida RV SuperShow for details. I highly recommend this show for those considering buying a coach. Every coach maker is there with plenty to show. To give you an idea, Newmar had 48 coaches there last year. They sold over 30!
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:05 PM   #12
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Where are you going to be traveling and how much time will you spend, part-timers or fulltimers? If you are going to be doing 5K or less per year, mainly in the east, then a gasser will be fine. 10K or more and in the west fulltiming, pulling a car, then I'd say a DP is the way to go.

Why are you limiting yourself to that length? If it is because of state/national parks, first most have sites that will take bigger coaches and 2nd, most state parks are becoming too expensive for fulltimers. We thought we would be spending time in state parks - haven't been in one in years. We do like Corps of Engineers parks (which are well built and accommodate big rigs with ease), and once in a while a national park.

For fulltiming you need to think about CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) of about 1500# PER PERSON. It can be done on less, but the extra capacity will be appreciated if you are fulltiming.

Also do you want a w/d onboard or not. Personally that was one of my must haves - - I hate schlepping to laundromats - - and have the DP means that we have the space and carrying capacity for it.

Barb
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AloraDanin View Post
Well, to decide which motor home to buy. We are definitely going used, as price is a factor. But we're still stuck on gas vs diesel and Ford vs GM.

We're going to keep it around 34 - 36 feet.

What has worked for you? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Barbara
Just went through this earlier this year. If you don't have diesel driving experience it is a whole different world. Suggest a driving/maintenance school before buying. If getting a used MH, don't get in a hurry when you have one you are interested in. Check out the recalls on the unit, and ask for verification that they have been done. Check the laws on driver's license and towing procedures. Carry someone knowledgeable to listen to the salesman's spiel about the unit...they will lie to you. Get everything in writing or you are on your own after you leave the lot. Make sure to get all the owner's manuals...with wiring schematics if possible. Check tire dates to plan for replacements. Not trying to discourage you, but don't get rose colored glasses when looking at used RV's. Brick/Stick homes require inspections when selling...this will be your home, too.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:03 PM   #14
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Ditto, 'cept we are celebrating our first year, out RV'ing with friends! In fact, I'm fireside right now

If there were a Consumer Reports for used RVs, no doubt this year's Best Buy would be the 2001-2004 DP for $40-50K. In other words, a $200-230K MSRP for a fifth its original price.

Unless you're parking it for long periods; then, I'd look at gassers, more tolerant of extended periods of no driving.
When you say parking it for long periods of time...how long do you mean? We're not sure what we'll be doing...full-time, but not sure how much driving how much parking.
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