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Old 02-22-2014, 12:41 PM   #29
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Some say no extra cost for a diesel. Hmmm. Just go down to your local dealer and ask how much an oil change will cost on your DP Vs gas. I would say if you pull into an RV park and you feel better because you have a diesel Vs the guy in the next space that has a gasser just buy a DP. Both will get you there.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:56 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by wyorancher View Post
Some say no extra cost for a diesel. Hmmm. Just go down to your local dealer and ask how much an oil change will cost on your DP Vs gas.
I think the way I have heard it best stated, is that the costs diesel vs gas are a "wash". Yes the diesel holds more quarts of oil, but then it can go more miles between changes vs gas. Diesels generally get better mpg, so that savings has to be factored in as well. The engine brakes on big diesels work so well, that brake pads generally last longer than on gas units.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:51 PM   #31
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Braking is a big reason I bought a DP.

I can't comment on comparing air brakes vs hydraulic, and when I bought my new DP I didn't know about grade brakes on gassers, but I did know that I wanted to be able to STOP >32000 lbs when descending one of our steep grades here out west so I wanted an engine brake.

It's a great sense of security for me to be able to flip a switch and feel like I've thrown out an anchor behind me to slow me down as much as I like.

It does get a little dicey descending a steep grade in the rain though when the engine brake can't be used.

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Old 02-22-2014, 03:20 PM   #32
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All these comments about engine braking made me wonder...

You all understand that gas engines just naturally provide engine braking -right?
No engine braking device needed.

Diesels have no butterfly valve like a gas engine's carb or EFI intake manifold...so engineers invented the engine brake. That is why there is no manifold vacuum on a Diesel for accessories like in gas engine vehicles

Sure, old automatic transmissions on gas engines would just coast under reduced throttle, but that is a thing of the past.

I can down shift my 8.1L w/ Allison 6 speed all the way down to walking speed, with or without the Allison "Grade Brake."

The answer to the OPs question - to me - is "There is no replacement for displacement." Up to the current max of 6.8L there are only small differences between gas and Diesel. If you want more power than about 350HP and 440ft/lb of torque, then you MUST pick a Diesel.

Safe travels
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:32 PM   #33
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Sure, old automatic transmissions on gas engines would just coast under reduced throttle, but that is a thing of the past.
Steve, about what year did this begin to change?

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Old 02-22-2014, 03:51 PM   #34
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Steve, about what year did this begin to change?

Rick
The first truck tranny I had that allowed what I would call "real" down shifting was a '81 Ford F150. And there was a '80 Chevy w/ 454 at my work that would down shift too...that was a HotRod of a truck!

I remember my folks had a '75 El Dorado Class C (Chevy 3500 cab/chassis) that provided limited down-shifting...but it was NOTHING like current models.

I am sure the "car guys" can quote specifics...my opinion is only based on limited experience...but a gas engine with a manual tranny will naturally engine brake while downshifting. A Diesel needs an engine brake of some sort to do that.

Safe travels
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:59 PM   #35
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Diesels generally get better mpg, so that savings has to be factored in as well.
While diesels do better most of the time, the cost for diesel at the pump is substantially higher... In my area of NY, the cost difference between unleaded regular and diesel can be as much as 70 cents a gallon. That is a factor that can in some cases offset the the savings...
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:04 PM   #36
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U can be on the road all the time and still be parked 95 percent of the time advantage gasser
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:41 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
All these comments about engine braking made me wonder...

You all understand that gas engines just naturally provide engine braking -right?
No engine braking device needed...

I can down shift my 8.1L w/ Allison 6 speed all the way down to walking speed, with or without the Allison "Grade Brake."



Safe travels
I don't mean to be abrasive, but having owned a Workhorse Chassis motorhome with an 8.1 Vortec gasoline engine and Allison 5 speed, I can't agree with your statements.

I now own a motorhome with a Cummins ISL 8.9L diesel, equipped with a 2 stage Jacobs brake. There's no comparison. This is factual experience.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:01 PM   #38
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After my years in both types, the proper answer is:

Yes, what ev, and I dont know (third base!).

You have a decision to make. I made mine. Best wishes!
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:08 PM   #39
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We started with a 32' gas MH in 1994. Then traded for a 36' DP. What a great improvement in ride quality and economy. There was structural problems with that Discovery and in 1998 went back to a 36' gas with a tag. One long trip and I was kicking myself for be so dumb as to go back to a gasser. The ride with the tag was nice, but the noise and lack of torque for the hills was an eye opener. It had the 454 chevy with the Banks system. It only took one year for me to get back into a diesel pusher again. After that we never looked at another gas rig. Some may like them, but we want the better quality ride with all of the other benefits of a diesel 43' tag bus. If the budget can stand it, go with the DP. If not, the gasser will get you there too.

As a side note to the OP. It really doesn't matter what any of us like or don't like. All you are getting here is prejudiced opinions. We all like what we have. You need to take everything said with a grain of salt and look for the floor plan you like and go drive them. You might start with a gas unit, but don't be surprised when you trade it for a DP some day. See,,,,,,, another prejudiced opinion.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:55 AM   #40
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The first truck tranny I had that allowed what I would call "real" down shifting was a '81 Ford F150. And there was a '80 Chevy w/ 454 at my work that would down shift too...that was a HotRod of a truck!

I remember my folks had a '75 El Dorado Class C (Chevy 3500 cab/chassis) that provided limited down-shifting...but it was NOTHING like current models.

I am sure the "car guys" can quote specifics...my opinion is only based on limited experience...but a gas engine with a manual tranny will naturally engine brake while downshifting. A Diesel needs an engine brake of some sort to do that.

Safe travels
On the bold, I will respectfully disagree. With no help from combustion, the diesel's very high compression will slow it every bit as quickly, if not more quickly, than a gasoline engine. The gas engine's carb butterfly is no more effective at aiding this process than the diesel's butterfly located in it's exhaust. In fact, there is SO much engine braking available with diesel, the use of the diesel's exhaust valve is made optional?

To back this up, ask around regarding how often, or even if, a DP driver has ever needed a brake job? This speaks for the amount engine braking available, as well as the size of the brakes?

Regarding the quote indicating an air brake is on or off, I was actually nervous about that due to previous experiences with air brakes. Not because they were "on or off" but because they could be REALLY touchy when lightly loaded. What I found is that on a motor home anyway, that fear was completely baseless/total nonsense. The brakes are modulated/controlled every bit as easily as hydraulic brakes are. Also, my experience has been special driver's licenses are generally not required when driving a private coach and not for hire. Though I suppose if you were nervous about that you could do some checking regarding your own locality?

I will say that air brakes are different. Due diligence will have you teaching yourself about how they work and proper practices no doubt!
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:09 AM   #41
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I don't mean to be abrasive, but having owned a Workhorse Chassis motorhome with an 8.1 Vortec gasoline engine and Allison 5 speed, I can't agree with your statements.

I now own a motorhome with a Cummins ISL 8.9L diesel, equipped with a 2 stage Jacobs brake. There's no comparison. This is factual experience.
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On the bold, I will respectfully disagree. With no help from combustion, the diesel's very high compression will slow it every bit as quickly, if not more quickly, than a gasoline engine. The gas engine's carb butterfly is no more effective at aiding this process than the diesel's butterfly located in it's exhaust. In fact, there is SO much engine braking available with diesel, the use of the diesel's exhaust valve is made optional?
(Sic air brake discussion)
This is GREAT! Perfect illustration of what I was highlighting.

I invite everyone's attention to this write up...this author does a great job describing the big differences between engine braking in gas vs. Diesel engines.
How Jake Brakes Work

And the article describes how a jake break works too...much more involved than a butterfly valve in the exhaust stream.

What is not mentioned is that there is some back-pressure in a modern Diesel afforded by the turbocharger...but this is very moderate. Lacking a turbo or any engine braking device, a Diesel engine will almost free wheel under no throttle.

Just to provide a real experience, my current truck (Dodge w/ turbo Cummins 5.9) has a little engine braking...my old truck ('91 Ford w/ non-turbo IH 7.3) offered NO engine braking.

About the 8.1L/Allison vs. 8.9L w/ 2 stage jake brake...not really an equal test. But the performance of the 6speed to downshift to a walking pace is factual.

Safe travels
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:22 AM   #42
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Hills

If you live in an area or visit places with steep hills......

After barely making it up some of the hills floored and in 1'st gear for years I finally tried a diesel.

My benchmark hill is the entrance to a county park in the redwoods near us.

Gasser - 28 foot class C. 6 MPH full throttle, 'Oh crap we're not gonna make it this time'.

DIesel - 35.5 foot class A. 10k pounds heavier and towing a 3000# car. 26MPH without flogging it. Usually in 3'rd gear.

FYI: the diesel is 40 cubic inches smaller than the gasser.

Not to mention the retarder. Smoking brakes on a long downhill are a thing of the past for us.

If I didn't have hills a gasser would be OK. But everywhere I go has hills so the answer was simple. And since I do most of my own maintenance the cost differential is minor.
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