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Old 06-06-2016, 03:35 PM   #1
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Diesel pusher. What's the adavantage?

Newbee here. In the market looking around. Prefer Class A or C, 30' or less. Why do so many RV people want one of these? Is it they have more power, get better mileage, need less maintenance? Do they cost more than a gasoline engine of similar HP? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:20 PM   #2
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There are many threads on this subject with plenty of debate. The diesel chassis MH will generally give you a much better ride than the Gas MH both in both drive and engine noise. And for the most part they can pull a heavier load. That is not to say though that Gas Chassis MH's are any less of a value, or that you can't get most of the same amenities, nor do they not make any that have a great ride and less engine noise. The bottom line is you get what you pay for. In the size you are looking at I would seriously consider the Newmar Baystar's or the Tiffin Allegros, as they are high end Gas MH's and have a great ride, with very little engine noise compared to some other Gas MH models.

As to the maintenance, no matter what anyone tells you there will be more maintenance to worry about on a Diesel chassis MH and it will be more expensive. The Gas MH chassis is basically the same as doing car maintenance. I do all my own oil changes and other maintenance, which is fairly cheap to do, and normally twice a year based on how many miles we drive. If you can do an oil change on your car, it is even easier on a MH in my opinion. The maintenance on the actual House of the MH is pretty much the same no matter what you buy, depending on the quality of the manufacturer.

Which is better is all up to you, how you are going to use it, your needs(ie type of Toad ect)and how much you want to spend. The equivalently equipped and size Ventana model with the diesel chassis, was about $100,000 more than what we paid for our Canyon Star Gas MH. They will all get you the same places, and once in a CG they pretty much all do the same things. There are some features you get with the diesels like air bags for a better ride and leveling, some better heating systems, ect, but the ones in the newer Gas MH chassis work just fine too.

Good luck, do your research like you are doing and then go out and see/drive as many as you can and you will see the differences both between Gas/diesel, as well as the quality differences between brands. Again you get what you pay for and spending a little extra on the front end will save you money down the road.
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:20 PM   #3
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There's a reason you don't see many large trucks powered by gasoline engines. The torque generated by a diesel engine means it simply outperforms a gasoline engine when it comes to propelling large/heavy vehicles.

As you look at what's available in the RV world ... gasoline engines are most prevalent in models that on the smaller (lighter) end of the spectrum. Conversely, the larger (40+ foot) coaches are virtually all diesel pushers.

A diesel coach typically costs more to purchase than a comparable gas coach. Maintenance tends to be more costly - however this tends to get blurred a bit by the differences in the maintenance schedule (i.e., an oil change in a gas powered coach is less expensive than for a diesel pusher - however you'll need to change the oil in a gas powered coach twice as often).

For us - our desire to have the living space afforded by a 40+ foot coach meant that a diesel pusher was the only way to go.
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:40 PM   #4
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The big factor in going with a DP for me was the quietness. I grew up running diesel engines in most every type of vehicle. Gas engines turning at 5-6000 rpm's are just not relaxing to me. This is just personal preference. Other factors like GVWR and towing capacity might require a heavier chassis that a DP will provide. You will probably have a hard time finding a 30 foot DP if that is what you are looking for. Gas units are cheaper to buy and maintain. No one is saving money getting a DP unless it's driven 500 miles a day and even then the numbers might be close.
If quietness, ride comfort, weight capacity, handling, 30%+ better fuel economy, engine braking and all the other things a DP chassis give you are not vital then go with the gas configuration.
Floor plan, size and budget are more important factors in a search. Just watch out for larger gas units with very low cargo capacity. GVWR minus empty weight are sometimes pretty close.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebignewt View Post
Newbee here. In the market looking around. Prefer Class A or C, 30' or less. Why do so many RV people want one of these? Is it they have more power, get better mileage, need less maintenance? Do they cost more than a gasoline engine of similar HP? Thanks in advance.

30' or less, the gas/diesel argument is not very important. If you go for something built on a Sprinter chassis it will be diesel. Most everything else will be on a Ford gas chassis.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:27 PM   #6
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Drive a DP and you will realize the advantages. Hands down better in every way. There is more maintenance involved, but is doable if do your own car maintenance. It will be about 2-3 times as much per year for annual maintenance. However well worth it for what you get. Fuel mileage is also a lot higher and don't have to contend with cars to fill up.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by thebignewt View Post
Newbee here. In the market looking around. Prefer Class A or C, 30' or less. Why do so many RV people want one of these? Is it they have more power, get better mileage, need less maintenance? Do they cost more than a gasoline engine of similar HP? Thanks in advance.
If 30' is your limit there will be very few diesel pushers available. None that I am aware of but there may have been a few built.

There are numerous models built on the Sprinter chassis but they are front engine.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:41 PM   #8
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Have you ever had an RV before? Id suggest maybe renting one. Rent a class A and a class C and see which you like.

You planning to use it a lot? Weekend warrior? A few times a year? New, used? Price range? Gives people an idea things to suggest
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:43 PM   #9
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Used, when I retire we'll use it a lot, week to month long trips. My wife ain't going long here. We saw some nice Thors at a show in Phoenix that were 28 feet. No kids of course. Maybe a couple dogs. I could go 80 grand. But I prefer quality over room. I guess no diesel pusher for that short, I see that it may not matter at the 12k lb weights.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:48 PM   #10
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My experience with gas and diesel rigs pretty much matches the input so far. If you're out there camping already don't be bashful about stopping to talk with RV owners in campgrounds - I've never met one yet that didn't like to talk pros and cons. Yup - me too!
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:25 PM   #11
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Used, when I retire we'll use it a lot, week to month long trips. My wife ain't going long here. We saw some nice Thors at a show in Phoenix that were 28 feet. No kids of course. Maybe a couple dogs. I could go 80 grand. But I prefer quality over room. I guess no diesel pusher for that short, I see that it may not matter at the 12k lb weights.
Yeah, forget about diesel pushers in that length, and price.

DP's can come with very expensive features that just aren't available with gas!
10,000 and 12,500 Watt generators, diesel boilers for water and coach heating.
There is just a way more to a DP, that makes the price much higher than a gas powered M.H.
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:42 PM   #12
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You state you're 'newbies' looking at a 30' or less. A diesel is not for you. Get a more reasonably-priced gas (used preferred for your first). More than likely, it will not be your last RV. After you've traveled in it for a few years then decide if your way of traveling warrants a diesel.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:55 AM   #13
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I didn't know anyone made a 30' DP!
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:47 PM   #14
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In short: a DP is quieter, especially climbing hills. The air suspension give a smoother ride. They typically have a heavier chassis than a comparable gas unit which usually relate to better handling in wind and less suseptable to semi push.
Fueling is easier as you can use the truck lanes at truck stops; easy in and easy out.
The Tiffin Breeze is an example of the smaller DP being made lately.
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