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Old 12-29-2014, 02:48 PM   #15
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The flat floor, no dog house to lift a bum leg over, noise, comfort, just a few of the reasons a diesel works better for me. If i were worried about the cost of fuel, i would be in a car.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:55 PM   #16
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If you are considering a diesel vs a gas motorhome, you are making a big mistake if you only consider fuel economy. In addition to better performance, a diesel has a better chassis, brakes, ride, and handling. The diesel is quieter and has more range. Bigger tanks for fuel, water and waste. Better occupant amenities in most cases on the diesel. More batteries, better inverters, and on and on. You have to consider the whole package, not just cost per mile.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:33 PM   #17
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I can't agree with the few comments saying "if you have to worry about the cost of gas than don't own a motorhome."

I own a 35k (when bought) class A gasser, and plan on retiring in three years. I don't drive, or plan to buy, a half million mansion on wheels. Fuel costs are a major factor in our long term travel planning, and retirement goals.

Some people here talk as if everyone owns a new 500k motorhome and so they doesn't need to worry about budgeting anything because they are RV'ers. Looking around the Catalina State Park RV campground where we are spending the week, I'd say my RV is more expensive than 80% of those parked here. Obviously many RV'ers also live on a budget similar to mine.

While I envy, and certainly don't begrudge, those who's financial situation allows such a Cavalier attitude towards fuel costs, please don't assume that such indifference is the average RV'ers option.

There are many, many more ways to enjoy this hobby/lifestyle than from behind the wheel of a new luxury motorhome. All types of RV'ing choices are equally valid, and no one here is more equal than anyone else. No one needs to be told by anyone in this forum to "get a car if you can't afford the cost of fuel." It's very unfriendly, to say the least.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:52 PM   #18
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The fuel that powers the coach doesn't even make my list of considerations when choosing a coach. First coach was in 1978. All my coaches have been gas powered except the one I now own. What fuel powers the coach makes no difference to me. What does make a difference is, in order of importance:
1. floor plan (mostly wife's choice)
2. Will the coach carry me, my people and all my stuff? This is CCC or NCC depending on the coach manufacturer.
3. Will the coach tow what I want to tow?
If a coach passes these items, then we move into the details (you know, it is where the devil resides).

When all the livability, storage and creature comforts have been decided, the fuel that powers the coach is what it is.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:54 PM   #19
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I haven't been here long, but it seems to me that rather than saying "poor folks go away," the "if you have to worry about the cost of fuel" comments are really saying, however bluntly, that fuel is a small percentage of the total cost of operating a motorhome, and the choice of gas or diesel has such a small effect on the overall cost that it cannot be the primary consideration when purchasing a home on wheels. Mine is a diesel, but it's not about cost.

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Old 12-29-2014, 06:17 PM   #20
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"And let's face it, the least cost path to owning a motor home is to not own one... "

The least cost is not the most important factor as I understand it, but a good match with ones intended usages is the real issue. And this is made very difficult by the recent changes to the gas models, both in suspension, hp, and cargo carrying capacities, tow capacity, and home qualities.

If you go back, say ten years ago, the gas vs diesel argument is quite clear.

However, I really don't think it is quite so clear anymore and the cost gap between gas and diesel for new mhs seems to have expanded from what I can tell as the practical gaps have gotten narrower.

The cost effectiveness of a diesel, if it was cost effective and many seemed to say they got one because they wanted one, not that it was cost effective, seems pretty well lost now unless you are clearly over 40 feet. Now, I'm no expert, but its getting harder to argue that it is better to buy an older diesel in favor of a new gas, unless you clearly are going full time and want 40+ feet.

The fact I plan to travel on the lower side of daily miles and low number of connected travel days, doesn't make the decision easy by any means and I'm not happy that if I focus on buying a Newmar, on any given day there have been only two NVdp 33 or 34s out there to chose from, and both have, as far as I'm concerned, lousy floor plans I would need to diy out.

And hey, so what if at 125k miles and likely more I need to stick a new engine in a gasser??? At the current pricings I could do that several times and still be ahead.

As as far as being part of the diesel in-groups, I could care less about that.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:00 PM   #21
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I can appreciate keeping costs down.

but I don't think you can have a serious argument about engine/fuel costs if you are talking about buying new.

My 15 year old diesel has still cost me less than all but the most basic new gas Class A total in the 3 years that I've owned it.

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Old 12-30-2014, 04:21 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmachine View Post
I haven't been here long, but it seems to me that rather than saying "poor folks go away," the "if you have to worry about the cost of fuel" comments are really saying, however bluntly, that fuel is a small percentage of the total cost of operating a motorhome, and the choice of gas or diesel has such a small effect on the overall cost that it cannot be the primary consideration when purchasing a home on wheels. Mine is a diesel, but it's not about cost.

Mike

I agree that's true but only when comparing against the cost of fuel vs the cost of a new vehicle. In 18 months I've put about $6000 in fuel into my used class A, which is just short of 20% of the vehicle cost. At this rate by the time I've paid the RV off I'll have spent an additional 50% of the vehicle cost on fuel alone. That's not insignificant vs the cost of the motorhome.

Of course you are right that the same $20,000 in fuel cost is a somewhat insignificant percentage compared to the cost of a new luxury class A rig, maybe 5-10%. My point remains, what percentage of RV'ers drive such expensive vehicles compared to the far more modest and ubiquitous rigs you see filling the campgrounds. For them the fuel vs vehicle cost argument isn't something that is so so easily dismissed.

Just as I shopped and argued about a percentage point or two on the financing, because over the long haul that small interest point added to a serious chunk of change, keeping mindful of the milage cost benefit of gas vs diesel totals up to a pretty thick roll of cash over time too.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:32 AM   #23
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I agree that's true but only when comparing against the cost of fuel vs the cost of a new vehicle. In 18 months I've put about $6000 in fuel into my used class A, which is just short of 20% of the vehicle cost. At this rate by the time I've paid the RV off I'll have spent an additional 50% of the vehicle cost on fuel alone. That's not insignificant vs the cost of the motorhome.
I understand your point, but there are many costs missing from your equation. Maintenance, repairs, storage, campground fees, insurance, etc., grow with the size of the MH, probably at a much larger rate than fuel costs.

I traveled for 15 years in a Volkswagen Westfalia camper van. I did all of the maintenance and repair, and didn't include the cost of tools or my time (lots of it) in the equation. The Westfalia was also my daily driver, used for commuting, shopping, etc. I owned no other vehicle (not a good strategy, but that is another discussion) so much of the cost of travel was offset by the theoretical savings of not owning a car. In this context, fuel costs were a very high percentage of the total. If, however, I assigned a reasonable value to the time I spent maintaining and repairing the Westfalia, and compared that to the cost of a reasonably reliable and fuel-efficient car, the fuel cost would shrink dramatically as a percentage of the total.

People purchase and use RVs for different purposes, and count (justify, rationalize?) costs in different contexts. The least expensive thing will always be to not buy an RV and to stay at home rather than traveling. Once you are committed to traveling, it's easy to see that some of the travel costs (food, for example) can be significantly lower than traveling without an RV. In the overall picture, I don't think that the difference in cost per mile driven is much different for gas or diesel, and that small difference is insignificant to the bottom line.

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Old 12-30-2014, 05:40 AM   #24
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I don't see any difference in cost with diesel or gas. I've owned two gas coaches. Got 6 or 7 MPG. I've owned two diesel coaches. Got or get 10 MPG +. So the difference in in millage will equal out the cost.

Now anyone can make whatever reasons to buy a gas or a diesel. But the fuel most likely can't be any issue. Lots of reasons to buy a gas and just as many reasons to buy a diesel.

Russell
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:09 AM   #25
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Do they make Gassers W/Rear engine?
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:15 AM   #26
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Do they make Gassers W/Rear engine?

At one time Workhorse built a UFO (universal fuel option) chassis that was available either as gas or diesel. I'm sure the gas was the 8.1 Chevy and I assume the diesel was the Cummins ISB. I'm not sure who built coaches on it but I believe Tiffin did.


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Old 12-30-2014, 07:37 AM   #27
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I have read more of these gas/diesel arguments on the forums than I should admit. I made my choice years ago and time has rewarded that choice.

The real choice between gas/diesel is really made in other arenas. If you are serious about adopting some facet of the motorhome lifestyle then there are a number of questions you should explore.
1. How will you use your motorhome?
2. How many people will you regularly have with you?
3. Will you primarily be hooked up at a commercial campground or state/national park or dry camp?
4. How long will your trips typically be?
5. The new/used issue will have to be addressed also.

Each of these questions, when answered, will generate many more question.

Once you have a good practical handle on these issues, you will start looking to the motorhome market. You will visit dealers and shows. You will climb in and out of many coaches. At some point you will have a short list of potential motorhomes that will fit your needs and desires.

When this happens the gas/diesel debate will be solved. If your ideal coach has a GVWR of above 26k pounds it will be diesel. If below that weight, there will be many gas choices and a few diesel. If below 20k pounds the choices will be mostly gas. The real difference in gas/diesel is not because of their fuel requirement but in the manner in which they do their work and their capacity to move weight.


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Old 12-30-2014, 12:15 PM   #28
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This discussion has a number of murky pieces that never get resolved.

If I look at a Newmar Bay Star 3103, basically a 32 ft chassis with the 362 hp V-10, its pretty obvious that the V10 is a great engine for that rig. The rig is built on a 22,000 lbs chassis and has a 4k difference between GV and GC. So, with a light toad and using it for vacations, it really should be considered an excellent choice. I think suspension issues are fairly well moderated, such that you are gonna have a good time with it. I think quite a few gas owners will likely be buying new, but not all.

A Tiffin Breeze diesel 32 gives you a choice on how to work the compromises, especially if you buy used, otherwise you take a big new prices hit, hidden by using a loan to buy it.

At least you know that if the Mercedes Sprinter doesn't work for you, you have a Tiffin diesel a bit longer if you are committed to diesel.

Somewhere around 35 feet is where it becomes confusing, as at 40+ feet there are no reasonable arguments as I can see because all that weight comes in to play as to overwhelm the gas engine.

The problem as I see it, is that it is one thing for owners that own the gas 35+ feet to be happy, another to know the long term consequences of using the V10 somewhere near maximum effort with that mid range weight.

If you look at a Canyon Star 3650, basically 37 ft on a 26k chassis, you see great NCC of 5,211, but a drop off of the GC-GV to 4,000 lbs. No question Newmar would not build it unless it worked, but again, the compromises are still there and murky over the long term and that V10 has to be working a lot harder, which is why the drop off of tow capacity beyond GVWR.

At that pushed edge, you find mixed reviews of the gas owners, though again the suspension issues have largely been moderated, but the gas engine is being pushed to the max.

Of course, one of the hidden issues is not knowing the actual weight on the axels from the brochures. Again murky.
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