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Old 05-12-2016, 10:24 PM   #1
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Advice Needed - Gas or Diesel

Hello All,

I just joined IRV2 and would like some advise on your experience with Gas Coaches. We want to purchase our first RV within the next month or so and we are struggling with the dalema of going with a Gas Coach or a Diesel Pusher.

Our budget is about 500.00 month so I know we will have to get a used pusher but we have found we can afford a new gas coach for that monthly payment.

We love the mountains and plan to do a lot of cross country travel (based in TX).

Our concern is does the V10 have the power and is the ride comfortable in a gas coach. We plan to tow a jeep Cherokee, we have 2 teenage boys and a dog.

For those who started with a gas coach and have traded up to a pusher what was your experience regarding the trade in value - I'm concerned about being upside down in a few years when I try to trade up to a pusher.

Thanks for your advise and sorry such a long message!
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:22 AM   #2
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Well do a search and you will find about 1000 threads on this topic 😜 Don't buy new. It's nice to do that, but these rigs depreciate like a rock. Why waste your money?? Most rigs are so under-used a 5yr old rig looks damn near new. Buy and save the money!! I've got a 300hp Cummins diesel. Real smooth and quiet. Not any faster than a gas rig up hills. Good luck...


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Old 05-13-2016, 12:36 AM   #3
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We haven't had a gas rig since our '98 Santara we traded off in 2000 on our first DP, so I'm not sure anything I say means much right now.

As to depreciation, we put enough down on this last one so we'll never be underwater. Every motorhome we've had (except the one we now have) has been new so we did lose a lot of $ over the years.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:05 AM   #4
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Do your research, and to do it right it will take more than a month, but you will end up with a MH that you love and keep for a long time rather than one you grow out of and soon want another one. Buying a MH is not like buying a car, there are a lot of things to consider. Floorplans, amenities, storage, CCC/NCC ect. all need to be considered so you don't end up with something that doesn't work for you.

We went with a new gas model for a variety of reasons. On the gas vs diesel, there are many threads....read all the posts on the one headed "the truth about diesel pushers", I think it's on the Class A MH forum. There are numerous posts including mine where people put in their opinions.

Our MH drives great, handles well, does not get pushed around by wind or big trucks, is relatively quiet inside re the engine noise and has plenty of power to go wherever we want. There is a lot of bad info out regarding the gas MH's, but the reality is they can/will go anywhere a diesel will. Just make sure you buy a brand that has a quality build. I can do all my own maintenance on a gas engine and it is no more difficult than doing it on a car.

New vs used is a whole other debate. We bought new because that's what we wanted and we got a great deal. Depreciation is way over exaggerated and if you do your research you will find one that best fits your needs and budget. If you buy used "buyer beware". They can still look all bright and shinny, but make sure you have it inspected by an independent MH inspector, no matter how new, or how little miles they have on it. Some people get in over their heads when they buy these things and don't take proper care of them, which can cost you more money down the road. You can find some gems out there but it takes time, don't rush into anything, new or used. I'm always a little suspicious when someone is selling a 1 or 2 year old MH with a few thousand miles on it. Are they just trying to dump it because there is a quality issue, or they just didn't like it, either way be wary. There may be valid reasons, but again that will take time to find those.

You need to read all the pro's/con's re the different brands here on the forum and then go look at them for yourself. Everyone's definition of quality is different, but at the starting base price for the lower end MH's, a few thousand dollars more will make a big difference in quality, size, and your overall enjoyment of the MH. Keep in mind the ballpark discount off MSRP on a new MH is 25% +/-. Don't go for the bright shinny object, or let a salesman who really doesn't care what you need or know much about MH's talk you into buying anything. They all look great on the lot, drive as many as you can and you will notice a big difference in both the ride and the quality of the build.

So I think you can see you have a lot of work to, but if you take your time and do it right you will find a MH that fits your needs and you love. That's how you save money and avoid the depreciation, is by buying what works best for you in the beginning rather than rushing into something that you regret. There are gas MH's out there that will definitely fits your needs, and are within your budget. Good Luck and remember looking for one is half the fun.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:51 AM   #5
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If budget allows, go diesel and buy used.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:24 AM   #6
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We traded in our 31' Class C gasser on a 35' DP last year. Our Class C had a Ford V10 power plant. The V10 is a great engine. We pulled a Jeep Wrangler TJ two door with no problems. However, it was always very loud in the cab because you are sitting right on top of the engine. Be patient in the mountains. The V10 will get you there, but you will definitely not be the first to the top. Plan on going 40-45 mph up grades. The V10 will still be screaming like a banshee all the way to the top, just watch you temperature. We drove our Class C gasser from Texas to Alaska and back without a single maintenance item. We did get the oil changed in Alaska.

We are enjoying our DP. The V10 had 305 hp while our DP has 340. Diesel engines have much more low end power and are better suited for towing and travel up grades. It is also more quite in the cab.

Your working within a budget, as most of us are. I will tell you that the maintenance on a gasser is much, much, much less expensive than a DP. The mechanical maintenance on a gasser is similar to that of a car (other than all the other camper parts): oil, lube, every 5k or every 12 months, along with the other regularly scheduled maintenance items.

DP's also require maintenance, just be will to pay $500-$750 a year, depending on where you take it. You can do it yourself, if you have the know-how and the tools. You must also keep great records to maintain the warranty if you buy new.

You really can't go wrong either way. Do your research, buy the one you like and fits your budget, and have fun.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:39 AM   #7
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Welcome to IRV2.

Your question regarding gas vs. Diesel is one of the most discussed on this excellent forum. However, in between the thoughtful responses are those who claim their choice is the only choice and one is wrong for even thinking of anything different. Use the SEARCH function to read many threads on the issue, and search out the well presented comments about choice of power. Your choice should be what is best for your use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAVLTYME View Post
Hello All,

I just joined IRV2 and would like some advise on your experience with Gas Coaches. We want to purchase our first RV within the next month or so and we are struggling with the dalema of going with a Gas Coach or a Diesel Pusher.

Our budget is about 500.00 month so I know we will have to get a used pusher but we have found we can afford a new gas coach for that monthly payment.

We love the mountains and plan to do a lot of cross country travel (based in TX).

Our concern is does the V10 have the power and is the ride comfortable in a gas coach. We plan to tow a jeep Cherokee, we have 2 teenage boys and a dog.

For those who started with a gas coach and have traded up to a pusher what was your experience regarding the trade in value - I'm concerned about being upside down in a few years when I try to trade up to a pusher.

Thanks for your advise and sorry such a long message!
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:54 AM   #8
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Some other items to consider, a front end engine (regardless as to whether it is gas or diesel) has to get the power to the rear wheels (unless you are looking at an older GMC which was front engine, and front wheel drive, but I digress). Anyway, most front engine coaches are rear wheel drive, and the drive line runs from the engine back to the rear end. This takes up space where a rear engine rig will have storage, so as a general rule of thumb, rear engine, more storage, front engine, less storage.

Also, with a diesel engine, you will most likely have a diesel generator (although some use a less expensive, propane generator), generally mounted in the front, so while driving, people in front, engine (and noise) in back. While sleeping with the generator on, people in back, noise in front! Actually, the diesel generator on ours isn't that loud even sitting in the drivers seat. Diesel generators also typically use less fuel for rated output, and have a service life with regular maintenance of about 20,000 hours according to Onan.

We owned an older class C with a Ford gas engine, and now have a Class A with a Cat diesel. No comparison, either drive train, ride, comfort, and quality, but they are kinda apples and oranges.

Bottom line, research, buying new or used, have an outside inspector look over (yes, even for new), and if buying new, don't sign the final paperwork until all items found on inspection are corrected. Yes, I mean all items. Once you drive it away, unless you are dealing with the minority of Dealerships out there who continue to take care of their customers once the check is cashed, you will probably end up spending weeks, or months getting warranty repairs completed, or just end up paying and/or fixing it yourself.

If purchasing used, get BOTH a chassis and a coach inspection, and insist on maintenance records. If no maintenance records, then assume that no maintenance has been accomplished, and price accordingly.

Two last items, applies to both new and used. Batteries, and date codes on tires. Tires have a rated life expectancy of about 7 years. They are expensive. A "new" coach may have two or three old tires on it. Factor that into price, take price of tires, if three years old, take 3/7 of the cost off of price, or insist on new tires, less than 6 months old.

Batteries, if not properly maintained(and most on a dealers lot are NOT properly maintained, new OR used), insist on NEW batteries in a new coach, with verified manufacture dates, and a written warranty, on a used coach factor replacement into price, until battery health can be verified by disconnecting/removing, and having tested.

Good luck, and safe travels on whatever you decide!
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAVLTYME View Post
Hello All,

I just joined IRV2 and would like some advise on your experience with Gas Coaches. We want to purchase our first RV within the next month or so and we are struggling with the dalema of going with a Gas Coach or a Diesel Pusher.

Our budget is about 500.00 month so I know we will have to get a used pusher but we have found we can afford a new gas coach for that monthly payment.

We love the mountains and plan to do a lot of cross country travel (based in TX).
Based on the above statement, and your monthly payment expectation your best bet is probably a good used DP. I think you probably would have a larger selection of quality used DP than Gas coaches in the size ( I own a GAS coach BTW) that you will need to carry 4 people and a Dog. I think I got an excellent deal on my new coach and put up 30% and my payment is still not $500/mo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAVLTYME View Post
Our concern is does the V10 have the power and is the ride comfortable in a gas coach. We plan to tow a jeep Cherokee, we have 2 teenage boys and a dog.

For those who started with a gas coach and have traded up to a pusher what was your experience regarding the trade in value - I'm concerned about being upside down in a few years!
IMO if you are already looking at trading up in a "few" years, slow down and just find the coach that meets your needs for your travel and family size that you will enjoy for the next 5 to 10 years, you wont be concerned about the depreciation under that scenario as much.
When I bought my coach there were a lot of things I considered but one of them was always I planned at least 5 years in my coach before I had to decide to go full time and possibly trade up or maintain part time and the coach I have now.

Good Luck and
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:20 AM   #10
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Thank you all!

Many, many thanks to all of you for responding. The comments were very helpful and I will research the other Posts regarding Gas vs DP.

We have been looking now for a month or so and thought we had a good deal on a 2013 with 15k mile Thor Palazzo 36.1 but got cold feet when in doing some research noticed there were a lot of concerns about the drive mechanism of the Slides. We really love the Palazzo layout though -especially the overhead bunk.

We will be patient and do our research - it is good to know the gas option is reliable and has the power to get us where we want to go!

Thanks again to all for your advice!!

Marc
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt.brown View Post
We traded in our 31' Class C gasser on a 35' DP last year. Our Class C had a Ford V10 power plant. The V10 is a great engine. We pulled a Jeep Wrangler TJ two door with no problems. However, it was always very loud in the cab because you are sitting right on top of the engine. Be patient in the mountains. The V10 will get you there, but you will definitely not be the first to the top. Plan on going 40-45 mph up grades. The V10 will still be screaming like a banshee all the way to the top, just watch you temperature. We drove our Class C gasser from Texas to Alaska and back without a single maintenance item. We did get the oil changed in Alaska.

We are enjoying our DP. The V10 had 305 hp while our DP has 340. Diesel engines have much more low end power and are better suited for towing and travel up grades. It is also more quite in the cab.

Your working within a budget, as most of us are. I will tell you that the maintenance on a gasser is much, much, much less expensive than a DP. The mechanical maintenance on a gasser is similar to that of a car (other than all the other camper parts): oil, lube, every 5k or every 12 months, along with the other regularly scheduled maintenance items.

DP's also require maintenance, just be will to pay $500-$750 a year, depending on where you take it. You can do it yourself, if you have the know-how and the tools. You must also keep great records to maintain the warranty if you buy new.

You really can't go wrong either way. Do your research, buy the one you like and fits your budget, and have fun.
Hello Matt,
Thank you for your comment. I noticed you have a Palazzo. We love their layout and found a deal on a 2013 36.1. How has your experience been with this coach and have you had any issues with the slides?


Thanks,
Marc
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:10 AM   #12
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I, like the OP, will soon be looking at buying a coach so I read everything I can about Gas vs diesel.

I do however have some experience with diesel engines. My boat has two Cummins 330 B series engines. These engines are very good and considered one of the better brands in that size range. But as good as they are they do need maintenance and that can get expensive. Example, a turbo costs $1600, to rebuild a turbo cost $1200. An oil change takes 14 qts plus the oil filter, plan on spending $75 if you do it yourself, twice that if you hire it out. A rebuilt engine from Cummins, called a Cummins reman will run about $20,000 + installation costs. Don't ask how I know.

That being said the diesel engine is considered by many to be more reliable and will run forever if properly maintained. Reliability is more important in a boat than a coach.

I was advised by a friend that has a DP that if your travels will take you to mostly flat terrain like here on the east coast, then a gas will save you money and do the job well. Other considerations; DP generally have a better ride due to air suspension and better braking due to exhaust brakes. Generally from what I've read, DP's are built better, the home part. Over 35' generally looking at a DP but there are exceptions.

So the dilemma as I see it is to choose between a newer gas model with all the latest gadgets like lane watch sensors, LED TV's, some located outside but which still has some depreciation to contend with or an older DP with CRT TV's, B&W back up camera's, worn carpet and older styling, but a better quieter ride, more climbing power and better braking and most of the depreciation paid for by the PO.

Please post what you end up buying.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:00 AM   #13
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Glad you joined us here in the forum.

Look for a nice used diesel. In the long run you won't regret it.

Happy Trails!!!
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:45 AM   #14
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For 500$/month gas is the right rational choice. It is cheaper to buy and to maintain. You will travel exactly the same places and even more because you will have more money. You will have more money to change the old TV, to put a better inverter, to add a tow bar and bracket on your car, to add solar panels and make improvements.

If you buy it for the show then Diesel is the way to go. You will travel less but in the campground you will spend more time explaining to gaser's owners like me that went in New York, Florida, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, etc, etc, how powerful you DP is. And if you are not lucky you will tell this kind of story I heard: my two manifold overheated so much, they had to replace them with a few more things and I paid 17000$US to be back on the road again. And don't forget, the leather after 7-8 years look old in a DP, the TVs look too heavy, the accessories look no more white but yellow and you will have no money to change them. I have a friend who has a DP Allegro bus 2008. He was so thrilled to show me the inside. Everything was old and yellow, he had cracks on the ceramic but I did not tell him. He never asked to visit mine but if he had (a DP owner will never offer to visit your gaser even if he invites you to visit his DP and this will tell you a lot about the kind of person that normally buys a DP and their true motivations), he would have seen what a modern motorhome, with washing-machine, new ceramic toilet, with nice new ceramic floor, nice leather new windows blinds, 900w solar, 2000w true inverter, etc, etc really looks like IN THE INSIDE. After the visit he told me he was no more expecting to retire at 55 in 8 years. Guess what, I travel three months per year with my five kids and he does only 3 straight weeks plus some weekend. I am same age as him and I could retire in 3 to 5 years.

500$/month means nothing. I would suggest a DP only if you have already the equivalent of 1.2 to 2.4 millions for your retirement (no matter your age, because everybody should be free). Up to 1.2 millions I would go gaser.

Here is the rule:

Asset under 300 000$ : don't buy a RV and use a tent.

Asset from 300 000$ to 1.2millions: buy a used gaser or less.

Asset over 1.2millions: buy a young used gaser or a young used DP.

Asset from 1.5millions to 2.4 millions: buy a young used DP.

Over 2.4 millions: buy a young used gaser because you finally know what is the value of money and how difficult it is to accumulate.

So ask the question to your total asset not your montly budget.

N.B.: If you receive a pension, then this is the equivalent of an asset. Each 1000$ per month of pension compares to a 150 000$ to 200 000$ in asset in my opinion.
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