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Old 11-12-2014, 04:03 PM   #1
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What should we buy???

Hello Everyone!

You all seem like a great group of knowledgable people and thought I would ask for some insight.

My husband and I used to own a 35 ft. TT which we sold and want to purchase a Class A motorhome for our family.

We want to spend about $40,000 are going back and forth between gas or diesel. As I have been scouring the forums, I have seen almost everyone rave about the features of a diesel over a gas but also state that they are more expensive to maintain. Also, I noticed that many older diesels in our price range are set up for couples or families of 4. We have a larger family and need more space.

I did happen to find a 2000 Safari Zanzibar 38 ft. with two sleeper sofas and a dinette. Any thoughts on this model?

We are not full-timing and most likely will do local weekend trips and perhaps two week long trips per year.

Is the diesel worth the added cost or should we look for a gas. My husband has driven both diesels and gas Class A's. He prefers driving the diesel hands down but I just don't think we will be on the road thousands of miles a year.

Thanks again everyone! I look forward to meeting/hearing from you.
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:12 PM   #2
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I upgraded from a Winne Brave 1992 gas to a 2002 Winnebago Journey diesel, smartest move I made (thanks to my father-in-law. As he said it's all about the ride, he was right. I have noticed a bit more maint cost, I have done most of it myself, but it has been worth it. BTW, we slept 9 (5 adults) once in the Brave (no slides) and I had 12 (5 adults) in the Journey (many on the floor during a storm). A slide makes all the difference!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:22 PM   #3
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Floor Plan, Floor Plan, Floor Plan - obviously within your budget.

Matters not gas or diesel you purchase. Gas is probably better as it is easier to maintain and they say lasts better under occasional use than a diesel. I think both are good if properly maintained and prepared for the non use times.

Lots of suitable units out there so pick the one you like the best. DH will agree.
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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Your post seems to hit the high points of cost. Diesels will usually cost more to purchase and maintain than similar gas floor plans in RV's.

Many agree, the floor plan is the most important thing. The drive-train choice will be part of that decision...because a 40' RV on a gas chassis is a rare thing.

The drivability issue is not only about the engine, because Diesel chassis most often have airbag suspensions - whereas gas chassis often have more conventional leaf springs.

With a thorough search you will find an education along the way, leading to your choice.

Best luck
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:42 PM   #5
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I agree that floorplan should drive your decision. I would go for the highest quality in your coach regardless of fuel type. High quality stand the test of time and rigors of the road. If you plan to take high mile costal or cross country trips than the diesel ride is worth it. Short to mid range hops should be fine in a gasser. Look for new tires based on DOT codes and not appearance, and service history.
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:56 PM   #6
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You will get more coach for the same amount of money in gas. You are not planning on enough driving to get back the added cost of the heavy duty diesel parts. OTOH you will not be able to tow as much if you need to haul stuff for some reason.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:15 PM   #7
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Agree with others, it is all about floor plan and what you can afford. The debate about diesel versus gas maintenance will go on forever.... Diesel in the long run is superior but for what you describe likely won't gain you anything. Our previous gasser did us just fine for short trips and w'ends.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:57 PM   #8
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Most Class A coaches are set up to sleep two comfortably. There are the rare bunkhouse models in Class A. A Class C with a bed above the cab can be had in both gas or diesel. This configuration can sleep 4 without disrupting your living space.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:54 AM   #9
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Like other have said, floorplan ! But also look at overall condition, possibly maintenance records. Look at many MH and you will start to get the feel on what is a wreck and what has been maintained.
Remember when buying used have a couple extra dollars set aside for repair and maintenance items after you make your purchase. Even after owning ours for four years I have a "repair list" and prioritize on what needs to be done.

Another factor with buying a MH in the 5-10 year old range is tires. Even though the tread might look fine if the tires are getting in the 7-10 year range they will most likely need replacement. Yes, even if you don't travel that far from home ! After all the tires don't know where you are !

We have a gas and travel in the 4,000 - 6,000 mile range, yea some of the DP drive by going up the hills but as long as we get there safe and have something tasty for dinner I'm OK.

Best of luck with your finds, ask questions here as so many of us have and you will find the perfect MH for you and your family.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian-nicola View Post
Agree with others, it is all about floor plan and what you can afford. The debate about diesel versus gas maintenance will go on forever.... Diesel in the long run is superior but for what you describe likely won't gain you anything. Our previous gasser did us just fine for short trips and w'ends.
Ditto........... find something you LIKE and can Afford. IMHO stay away from a manufacturer that is out of business, unless you really get a Great deal. Others will debate this also.

We have been Rving for 35 years in a gas MH and make out just fine.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:22 AM   #11
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Well I'm going to be the minority here. To me it's all about the ride. After having a gas class A for over 12 years I got tired of the engine noise,getting sucked in and blown back by 18 wheelers. I would look for a high end diesel pusher. Set your budget and go back in years.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:37 AM   #12
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Get what you like. Don't be intimidated by the diesel crowd into thinking you won't be happy with a gasser. You can get a very nice one within your budget. 40k won't get much of a diesel. The ones telling you to get an older dp might change their tune when those 15 plus year old coaches start needing expensive repairs. Right now in my area diesel is 1.11 more per gal. than gas. That's over 80.00 less per fill up and my gas gets 8mpg, same as my previous dp's, same size tank. I've owned 2 dp's and now I'm back to a gasser with no regrets.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:51 AM   #13
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X2. A well thought out response...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodz View Post
Get what you like. Don't be intimidated by the diesel crowd into thinking you won't be happy with a gasser. You can get a very nice one within your budget. 40k won't get much of a diesel. The ones telling you to get an older dp might change their tune when those 15 plus year old coaches start needing expensive repairs. Right now in my area diesel is 1.11 more per gal. than gas. That's over 80.00 less per fill up and my gas gets 8mpg, same as my previous dp's, same size tank. I've owned 2 dp's and now I'm back to a gasser with no regrets.
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:53 AM   #14
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Get what you like. Don't be intimidated by the diesel crowd into thinking you won't be happy with a gasser. You can get a very nice one within your budget. 40k won't get much of a diesel. The ones telling you to get an older dp might change their tune when those 15 plus year old coaches start needing expensive repairs. Right now in my area diesel is 1.11 more per gal. than gas. That's over 80.00 less per fill up and my gas gets 8mpg, same as my previous dp's, same size tank. I've owned 2 dp's and now I'm back to a gasser with no regrets.

I guess this was intended for me. Time will tell. I will take my chances. My old gas with a 454 on a good day would get 7mpg. With my new to me diesel on the trip home to ct from purchase point in florida we got 9.9mpg with the dash air on. Ooh and did I mention how nice and quiet and what a smooth ride.
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