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Old 07-21-2015, 12:59 PM   #1
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Gas versus Diesel

I'm looking to buy a 34-36 foot motorhome,I've been going to all the dealers im my area and some say diesel is the only way to go and some say gas. One salesman said if you drive 400 to 500 miles in a day in a gas machine you will be worn out but in a diesel you will still feel fine. hoping someone out there can enlighten me to the truth. Thankyou Ken (Pawnidad)
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:04 PM   #2
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Kind of true.
BUT it totally depends on what you plan on doing. Lots of travel? Then a DP is better, if you're going to snowbird and move twice a year then a gas unit would be a better choice.
Another factor is that in that size range it will be harder to find a DP.
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pawnidad View Post
I'm looking to buy a 34-36 foot motorhome,I've been going to all the dealers im my area and some say diesel is the only way to go and some say gas. One salesman said if you drive 400 to 500 miles in a day in a gas machine you will be worn out but in a diesel you will still feel fine. hoping someone out there can enlighten me to the truth. Thankyou Ken (Pawnidad)
I have put 16 hours in in a day in my diesel coach, would have needed a week to recover in my old gasser, the stability and predictable handling make a huge difference, I have to say the lack of a screaming engine on long up hill pulls adds to the relaxed drivability imho.

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Old 07-21-2015, 01:14 PM   #4
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In those lengths the selection of the chassis makes all the difference in the drive-ability, IMHO. I am not familiar with all the newer gasser chassis in these lengths but older ones that I drove really wore me out. Wandering, porpoising, harsh riding, etc.

There may be some newer gas chassis (Tiffin Allegro Open Road?, others?) that resolve some of my dated information.

Diesels pushers (or FREDS, Front End Diesels) in that length tend to have chassis design that are specific to or support the increased weight of diesel engine and provide handling and drive-ability.

My thoughts,
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:32 PM   #5
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I just sold My 2015 Canyon Star. (quality issues) It handled very good even in windy conditions and the newer chassis ride is very good also. I now am on my 3rd DP. Absolutely no comparison in power. The gas would drive circles around any DP I've owned. 300 Cummins, 350 Cat and now a 350 Cummins. The V10 Ford will hold speed on almost any hill while the DP's will lose several mph. I really liked my Ford gasser but was extremely disappointed in the coach quality and workmanship.
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:52 PM   #6
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ride wise, generally, its the difference between a greyhound bus and a u-haul truck, almost.

The truck chassis can be tempered down (depending on the chassis) so that it drives and rides a lot better, but I don't think you'll ever get it to the DP level. I drive a lot, and after making some basic handling improvements on the F53 chassis, its acceptable to me (after doing the CHF and getting tires and air bags inflated properly, its significantly better ride and handling.

Another point - Generally, the DPs are of higher quality, more systems, better construction, and they have a corresponding price tag.
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:04 PM   #7
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I just sold My 2015 Canyon Star. (quality issues) It handled very good even in windy conditions and the newer chassis ride is very good also. I now am on my 3rd DP. Absolutely no comparison in power. The gas would drive circles around any DP I've owned. 300 Cummins, 350 Cat and now a 350 Cummins. The V10 Ford will hold speed on almost any hill while the DP's will lose several mph. I really liked my Ford gasser but was extremely disappointed in the coach quality and workmanship.
my experience differs, just weighed coach at 35K plus 10K car trailer with car and bike in, 370 ISL with allison 3000, I have to say I am always doing the passing of trucks and gassers and other diesels, i cant ever recall being past by gas coach on any hill, I have been passed by more powerful DP, prevost, sigs, navs etc with ISM's or series 60's, when I say passed, I drive at 65mph period, not in a race by any means, I let the cruise and tranny decide what she does and never had an issue.

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Old 07-21-2015, 02:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pawnidad View Post
I'm looking to buy a 34-36 foot motorhome,I've been going to all the dealers im my area and some say diesel is the only way to go and some say gas. One salesman said if you drive 400 to 500 miles in a day in a gas machine you will be worn out but in a diesel you will still feel fine. hoping someone out there can enlighten me to the truth. Thankyou Ken (Pawnidad)

Ken, I've never driven a gasser, but I'm continually amazed at how comfortable our DP is to travel in! Back when we had a 5er, I could drive for several hours and my back, tail, and legs would be hurting so bad! Now I can drive all day and be totally comfortable when we get there!

Also, we don't even hear the engine noise when driving! We can talk at a normal level or listen to XM. It's wonderful!

I would take an older DP any day instead of a new gasser!
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:35 PM   #9
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It's an arguement that will never be settled as it depends on what compromises you are willing to make. You can get a high end gas for less than the equivalent diesel. You can get a low cost gas way cheaper than any diesel equivalent. Bigger, heavier, properly designed chassis will ride better than the folks who stuff the maximum house on the minimum chassis for the lowest price. You can also get yourself into a licenses change with a heavier coach. Pick your poison. Right now we are looking a bit shorter (30-33 ft) and staying under 26,000 so it will be gas. ;-)
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:01 PM   #10
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Just want to add some facts to this conversation, which has been discussed in depth here on iRV2.
https://www.google.com/search?q=gas+...=14&gws_rd=ssl

There has been only 1 maker of Class A gas chassis since 2010 - Ford, with the F53, V10, 5speed (Torqueshift - will be a 6 speed in late 2016 models) up to 362HP/460ft-lb torque. The F53 is available in several GVWR's and lengths
2016 Ford Stripped Chassis F-53 Motorhome | See All The Stripped Chassis F-53 Motorhome Highlights | Ford.com


Most all Diesel powered RV's under about 38' in length will most probably be powered by the Cummins 6.7L ISB, w/ 5 or 6 speed Allison transmission - up to 360HP/865lb-ft torque...
Like from Freightliner XC:
Freightliner Motorhome Chassis €“ XC-S Chassis | RV Chassis


The big differences in these discussions come from folks that talk about the larger Diesel powered RV's with engines up to 15L...which is not a reasonable talking point due to costs and availability.


Where the differences between similarly sized gas and Diesel RV's become very apparent is in suspension, with most all Diesels being on an airbag system vs. the gas chassis having leaf springs. But, to say a modern gas coach rides like a U-Haul is erroneous. Our gas powered Class A rides very well, equal to any modern SUV.


Finally, there is an obvious price point difference too...so gas powered RV's currently sell at a 4 to 1 margin over Diesel powered rigs.


Shopping will show these things immediately.


Best luck
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pawnidad View Post
I'm looking to buy a 34-36 foot motorhome,I've been going to all the dealers im my area and some say diesel is the only way to go and some say gas. One salesman said if you drive 400 to 500 miles in a day in a gas machine you will be worn out but in a diesel you will still feel fine. hoping someone out there can enlighten me to the truth. Thankyou Ken (Pawnidad)
You are going to get every answer possible and they all can be confusing. 400 miles a day on straight freeways or in mountains? Don't ever listen to the sales person selling the coach. I had a 97 Adventurer and it was not fun or easy to drive for the most part. My new Itasca is a pleasure to drive and it rides nice and is very quiet unless you are going up some hills and then you can hear the engine but still not bad at all. You need to figure out how you are going to use the coach and what you want out of it. For what I use my coach for I would not even consider a diesel rig.
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:07 PM   #12
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One thing to remember. In a DP when you are driving, the noise (engine) is in the back. When you sleep, the noise ( generator) is in the front. In other words, the noise is always at the opposite end of the coach from where you are. In a gasser, you are always on top of the noise.
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:11 PM   #13
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I think it was an '02 Monaco Monarc? It had a Workhorse chassis and an 8.2L gasser. I hated that thing. I bought it off my Uncle who was in his last days. He needed to get rid of it. I live in the mountains and top speed going up was 25-30mph. If I had a crosswind I was all over the road. I'm confident the Ford V10 would have been superior by a long shot. But dear uncle was a GM man. So never a gasser again.


I just completed a 4700 mile trip in our new 5ver pulled by a RAM. Total relaxation!. A DP would have also been good. Just no gasser.
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:46 PM   #14
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The newer gas chassis' provide plenty of power and are extremely stable. A lot has to do with how the actual MH is engineered to the chassis. Newmar does a great job in this respect and you can noticeably see the difference in the ride vs some of the other manufacturers. Our's rides nice, tracks well, does not porpoise, sway or get pushed around by big rigs or the wind. It has plenty of power to climb hills, and has the towhaul mode for descending hills which requires very little braking. Also they put the same quality components in the gas models that they do the DP.


You can easily drive hundreds of miles a day without being fatigued. Our same floorplan in the Ventanna, similar size, equipment and set up, was about $100,000 more in purchase cost. In the end you have to do your research and see what really works best for you both functionally and financially.
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