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Old 07-31-2008, 06:21 AM   #1
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Good Morning all,
This my first post. I'm anticipating my retirement in the next 2-4 years and this explosion in the price of diesel has thrown my desire of a 5th wheel/pickup out the window. My revised plans are now a motor home/toad.
I've been looking at every thing I can find as to gas or diesel pushers but Linda thinks if we can get a recent technology gas engine it will be "less expensive". This is not the way I think, but I would love some feedback. I guess my question is If you were to buy today, would you choose gas or diesel and why?

Thanks in advance, Jack
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:21 AM   #2
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Good Morning all,
This my first post. I'm anticipating my retirement in the next 2-4 years and this explosion in the price of diesel has thrown my desire of a 5th wheel/pickup out the window. My revised plans are now a motor home/toad.
I've been looking at every thing I can find as to gas or diesel pushers but Linda thinks if we can get a recent technology gas engine it will be "less expensive". This is not the way I think, but I would love some feedback. I guess my question is If you were to buy today, would you choose gas or diesel and why?

Thanks in advance, Jack
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:58 AM   #3
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I brought a entry level MH in 07, four winds 34 ftclass A and it is gas and it has been up mountains with no promblem. Now that being said I have a goldwing motorcycle and had to get a trailer to pull it has could not put a lift on the back but a diesel mh I could have.But I like the gas MH and it is cheaper.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:35 AM   #4
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Hi Jack & Linda, welcome to the forum.

To the best of my knowledge the only gas pusher chassis available for motor homes to date that accommodates slide outs is offered by Workhorse.

We have a gas coach, and if we were to buy a NEW coach today without question we would opt for a gas powered coach preferably a pusher IF we could find a floor plan and wardrobe space comparable to the one we presently have.

Why:

1: Initial cost

2. Gasoline is less expensive than diesel, although diesels get a bit better fuel mileage.

3. Maintenance cost lower in my opinion, and I can do my own, with exception of transmission service.

4. Won't log sufficient miles to where we need an engine with a life expectancy that exceeds 200k + miles.

That's about it.

Jim
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:01 AM   #5
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Jack

Welcome to the list, and good luck with your plans!!

We are fulltimers. If I were buying a new coach today I would buy diesel because we want a 39' or 40' coach and I have not seen a gas coach in that size range with a decent carrying capacity. They have improved in recent years, but I personally still would not go over 35' in a gas powered rig. Also with a diesel, the service intervals are much longer so I don't have to find a place to change oil, etc as often while traveling.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:04 AM   #6
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Jack,

It all comes down to personal preference and your pocketbook. As said, a gas coach will cost you less and the fuel costs less. Although the maintenance is more expensive with a diesel, the service intervals are less frequent.

I had two major reasons for switching from gas to diesel: I wanted a softer air ride suspension and I wanted more towing power. I got both and I am glad we made the switch.

Like you, I had trouble convincing the DW. One day I told her, "I need you to go with me to this RV dealer and see the diesel pusher that I just left a deposit on." She gave me a hard time, but now thanks me for forcing her into it.

My coach was a year old when I bought it and I paid about the same as a comparable new gas coach would have cost me.

Good luck with your decision.

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Old 08-01-2008, 04:15 AM   #7
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I am in a gas coach right now but I think my next one will be diesel and here is my logic.

gas: 7.5 mpg
diesel: 11 mpg (based on the posts I have seen)
diesel gets 46% more mpg

gas price: $3.79
diesel price: $4.59
diesel is only 21% more expensive

If you call the extended length (or holds its value better) of the diesel engine a "wash" against the initial greater cost than I think the diesel makes more economic sense (or at least this is how I am justifying it to myself)
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:39 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your thoughs,

For us currently, the front runner is the Pace Arrow 38P w/King Bed. It is Gas and it is drop-dead gorgeous while being under $200K. Add a Yaris or Corolla and is sounds like a good combination to me.
Well I'm off to Old Orchard Beach in Maine for a week of camping w/ friends.
Stay safe, don't fall in the camp fire!
All the best, Jack
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:05 AM   #9
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I'm one of those who claims a bit higher mileage on our diesel pusher but have to honestly say it is around 10mpg, not 11. Part of the equation is the power to weight ratio. We are a very light 19.5K traveling weight and are only 36 feet versus many diesel coaches at 40 feet and 38K pounds. DPs in that range have larger engines than our 5.9 and probably average no better than 8 mpg.

I recently ran some numbers for a friend of ours with a gas coach versus ours for the same 2,000 mile trip.
At $3.59 for gas and 7 mpg the cost is $1,025.71. At $4.79 for diesel and 10 mpg, our cost for the same trip is $958.00. For a 1,000 mile trip, the numbers are $512.86 versus $479 for our diesel. We are planning a 4,200 mile trip soon and would save $144 versus the gas coach for the same mileage.

The more weight that you add and the faster you drive, the more of an effect there is on mileage. I try to run right around 62mph because my VMSpc rolling mpg indicator tells me that is my best fuel economy. If I push it to 70mph, we drop off to 9 mpg quickly.

Unless you are in a position to do the work yourself, the diesel maintenance costs will be significantly more than the gas coach. There are more things (example:air brake filters) and the individual costs will be higher ($150-250 for an oil change on the diesel). The lower frequency of 1 year, 15K miles for the diesel engine oil change doesn't always help. I'm told that the performance of many of the new gas coaches rivals that of the DPs but have no personal experience on that.

When we bought, we were looking for the most solid power train that we could find and the Cummins/Allison combination seemed to offer that. We had rented gas coaches two different times and both broke down with transmission problems. It is not a fair comparison between a rental RV and a privately owned one but we felt that the longevity of the diesel power train would be better.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:13 AM   #10
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Hi Jack & Linda, welcome to iRV2.

We opted for gas because we just couldn't afford a diesel. A similar level diesel coach, although maybe a little bigger, would have cost us $30 to $50k more. That being said, our coach is on a W24 chassis and has a CCC of about 3600 lbs, which is higher than some diesels we have seen. We are very happy with our choice.

There is another option today that wasn't available when we bought our Allegro Bay and it is the FRED - FRont Engine Diesel. This gives you some of the advantages of a diesel like better fuel economy, but without as much expense. A motorhome on a FRED will probably cost $12 to $15k more than a gasser. Of course, with a FRED, you give up things like high GVWR and air bag suspension. Everything is a trade off. You are doing the right thing doing your homework early.

Another new option is the Workhorse UFO chassis. This is a rear-engine chassis currently available only as a gasser, but there are plans for a diesel. This chassis is priced in a similar range as the FRED. I have driven a UFO, and the handling is fantastic. It is very quiet. I don't think too many manufacturers are building on the UFO (Winnebago is for sure) because it came out right before the fuel crunch hit and most manufacturers are reluctant to spend money developing new models in difficult economic times.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:36 AM   #11
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Our first coach was a 2006 37 foot gasser on a W24 chassis. It was a great coach with sufficient power but had some drawbacks. It was constantly shifting between gears even on the smallest hills and the cooling fans constantly turning on and off were annoying to say the least. The major problem with a 37 foot coach on a W24 chassis is the wheelbase is not long enough to stop the rear from swaying in the wind or when a truck passes. It was a hand full at times. We switched to a 40 diesel coach with 8 air bag suspension. The power, ride and handling are no comparison to the gasser. Granted, significant more money, but in todays ecenomy, lots of really great and almost new coaches are on the market CHEAP. Just my opinion!
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:02 AM   #12
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I agree with the comparisons posted. I have a 36'DP with the same chassis as chasm11 and I get 10MPG. I bought this relatively small and lightweight DP seven years ago new and would never go back to gas. I am not knocking the new gas chassis because they are quite good I understand. What I have become really attached to is the rear engine. I had an old P-30 gasser and hated to noise up front. My air brakes are excellent and perhaps a bit stronger than hydraulic brakes. Certainly they are much better than my P-30 hydraulic brakes. I would not be without an exhaust brake and that takes a diesel. If I were to buy another MH I would look at used upscale ones. The cost of new MHs now seem outrageous to me. I have found that upscale MHs offer more ease of maintenance with better located and centralized components. Of course upscale MHs offer plush interiors which doesn't hurt either.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:39 AM   #13
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I tried a Fred on a 37 ft motorhome. It was much slower than my gasser W22 in acceleration, it was noiser, it had NO airbags and the engine or exhaust retarder didn't realy work.
If you consider a gasser get at least a W24 as it has better brakes amd GVW. I find that my W22 will pass a DP on a hill but not on the flat.
If I was to buy again I would like a DP for the air ride and exhaust braking
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:25 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Our first coach was a 2006 37 foot gasser on a W24 chassis. It was a great coach with sufficient power but had some drawbacks. It was constantly shifting between gears even on the smallest hills and the cooling fans constantly turning on and off were annoying to say the least. The major problem with a 37 foot coach on a W24 chassis is the wheelbase is not long enough to stop the rear from swaying in the wind or when a truck passes. It was a hand full at times. We switched to a 40 diesel coach with 8 air bag suspension. The power, ride and handling are no comparison to the gasser. Granted, significant more money, but in todays ecenomy, lots of really great and almost new coaches are on the market CHEAP. Just my opinion! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I agree w/ you. We traded an '07 FW Southwind 37C (38') on a W-24, w/ an 8.1 Vortec. I had to add a complete Banks system, and it did pretty well going down the road. We decided to trade it, even though it only had 8500 miles on it, for an '08 FW Providence 40X DP. No more yelling to hear each other, air ride is sooooo nice, and handles like a dream. In the Southwind, after 400 miles, we were beat. We would just stop and hit the rack. Driving The Providence, on our 1st day, we went 505 miles, and stayed up another few hours and watched TV !! Plus, we wanted to go longer, and the new one is 42', and has a much better floor plan. W/ a gasser, 38' is about as big as you can go. I guess it's all about what you can afford, after all is said and done. Just take the time to weigh all the variables, drive as many as you can, and buy the best you can, w/ the budget you have. Robbie
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