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Old 02-01-2016, 10:22 AM   #15
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My response is if budget allows go diesel. You will not be disappointed.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by barmcd View Post
Given the same size and weight coach, I can't imagine any gas engine outperforming a diesel in any parameter. The diesel should accelerate faster, tow easier, maintain speed better on grades and get better fuel economy than a gas powered coach. And it'll do all that without screaming along at 5000 rpm to get up a hill. The trade off is upkeep on a diesel will be higher and repairs will generally cost more.
Acceleration is determined by horsepower to weight ratio. Given the same size and weight coach, the one with the greater HP will out accelerate the one with lesser HP, regardless of the fuel type. This assumes a properly optimized power train ( proper gearing) for each vehicle. Yes, people like driving high torque engines, because you don't hear the engine spin or downshift as often. It can be worth sacrificing a small amount of HP for torque, but you need to make a conscience choice of what you are trading and what the end result will be.

BTY: Caterpillar used to publish a discussion regarding hill climbing ability. HP was the determining factor. Doesn't matter were it comes from.

To the OP, it should be noted that not all DPs are created equal - or gassers for that matter. While most have air ride, not all do. Some diesels are pretty low end, although not as low as the lowest end gassers. I remember Allegro had a pretty low end FRED (front engine diesel). Compared to my parents Allegro Bay gasser, it was not nearly put together as well. There is some overlap in the highest end gassers, to the lowest end diesels - pushers or FREDs.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:00 PM   #17
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Acceleration is determined by horsepower to weight ratio. Given the same size and weight coach, the one with the greater HP will out accelerate the one with lesser HP, regardless of the fuel type. This assumes a properly optimized power train ( proper gearing) for each vehicle. Yes, people like driving high torque engines, because you don't hear the engine spin or downshift as often. It can be worth sacrificing a small amount of HP for torque, but you need to make a conscience choice of what you are trading and what the end result will be.

BTY: Caterpillar used to publish a discussion regarding hill climbing ability. HP was the determining factor. Doesn't matter were it comes from.

To the OP, it should be noted that not all DPs are created equal - or gassers for that matter. While most have air ride, not all do. Some diesels are pretty low end, although not as low as the lowest end gassers. I remember Allegro had a pretty low end FRED (front engine diesel). Compared to my parents Allegro Bay gasser, it was not nearly put together as well. There is some overlap in the highest end gassers, to the lowest end diesels - pushers or FREDs.
Even if HP is equal, the diesel should outperform the gas engine because most, if not all, diesels since 2000 have had some version of Allison's six speed transmission. Transmissions in gas powered coaches over that time were predominately 4 or 5 speeds.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:08 PM   #18
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Even if HP is equal, the diesel should outperform the gas engine because most, if not all, diesels since 2000 have had some version of Allison's six speed transmission. Transmissions in gas powered coaches over that time were predominately 4 or 5 speeds.
If horsepower is equal then the diesel will have more torque. I've never had a gas powered A class pass me in the mountains.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:08 PM   #19
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At high altitudes, a diesel engine looses more power than a gas engine, HOWEVER, most diesel engines are turbocharged. Because the turbo has a lot of headroom, it dramatically makes up for the loss in air density, such that you typically have no loss of power at high altitudes.
I don't know of any modern diesel engine used in RV's that doesn't have a turbo.
A gas engine can do very well in a lighter rig, ours weighs over 46,000#'s UNLOADED and close to 50,000 loaded up, then add the Ody and we're looking at 54,000#'s or so. Still way under our 64,000# GVWR though. I don't think a gas engine will work for us or any other heavy rig.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:57 PM   #20
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a gas powered MH can't tow what the bigger diesels can. I can't imagine that a diesel would out accelerate a newer gas coach on flat land either but, their torque will keep them going uphill better if, powered correctly
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:09 PM   #21
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I don't know why anyone ever asks this same question over and over. Gas is for little toys and diesel is for bigger toys. I see it this way. Most big gassers need at least mid-grade if not high grade fuel. Compared to diesel - Heck there is no reason if the weight needs diesel not to go diesel. Today REG gas and Diesel are $1.59 per gallon. Mid grade is $164 and high test is $170. Come on be realistic.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:13 PM   #22
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As has been pointed out, small coaches are going to be gas powered and do fine. I can remember having a thrilling time cooking the brakes an an old Winnebago C cab in the Va mountains. Lots of fun there. Larger coaches will be diesel simply because gas engines can't handle the weight.

So let's compare apples to apples; 35-38ft class A rigs. I happen to have a 38ft, 350hp Travel Supreme DP so I'll compare the numbers to a comparable gas class A, the Newmar Canyon Star. The Newmar and Travel Supreme share similar build styles (aluminum wall framing with household insulation, 16 inch on center studs, thick fiberglass outer walls, etc.)
The Canyon Star (CS) rides on a Ford 26,000lb chassis (GVWR) with a Triton V10 motor making 320HP (according to Newmar) or 362HP according to Ford. According to Ford it puts out 457ft-lbs of torque.
My Travel Supreme rides on a Spartan Mountain Master chassis with a 31,000lb GVWR and produces 350hp and 1,050ft-lbs of torque.

Empty weight on the Newmar is advertised between 20,000lbs and 22,000lbs. Empty weight on my rig (tanks full, fridge/closet/pantry/basement/black and grey tanks empty, cupboards full) is right at 26,000. That is a weight disparity of between 3,500 to almost 6,000lbs depending on which Newmar you choose. Of course if you take the washer, dryer, and chest freezer out of my rig the difference comes down by a fair bit. I'm also including the weight of a full 100 gallon water tank, 150 gallon fuel tank and 35 gallon propane tank.

The Newmar has a GVWR of 26,000. That leaves between 6,000 and 3,500lbs for cargo, people,fresh water, etc. It has a GCWR of 30,000lbs. That's a towing capacity of only 4,000lbs.
The Travel Supreme has a GVWR of 31,000lbs and a GCWR of 41,000lbs. With all of my tanks full and all of my silverware, dishes, cookware, etc. already in my coach I still have 5,000lbs of leeway for food, toys, people, clothes, etc, and 10,000lbs of towing capacity.

Horsepower wise the power to weight ratios of the two coaches are close enough for it not to make a difference. The torque figures however tell a different story. So basically, if you're looking at a 35-38ft class A then, ceteris paribus, go with the diesel.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:17 PM   #23
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But you folks are all focused on a 40 ft, 40,000 lb beast that will not fit in most of the parks we frequent or fit in the driveway. That is why the whole argument is rather pointless. As folks keep saying, figure out what you need/want in a house and your decision will probably be made for you. "Better" is not a defineable term by itself. What is better for one person is not necessarily better for somebody else.

FWIW Since Scatterbrain and I were typing at the same time. He would take the DP, I would save 10's of thousands taking the gas, not need to upgrade my drivers license and not have a problem being too heavy for my driveway. My version of better. Not his. That is why "better" is a nebulous term.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:26 PM   #24
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Gas vs Diesel

Let me know when and where the race is. The only rule is same power to weight ratio, with additional bilge rocks added to even it out.
Then these threads can die in peace.
I'll meet the contestants in the next town. At the light!
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:33 PM   #25
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I'm with you Dave. I will catch them at the light - I hope. Since it is not a race and I like to do a bit of sightseeing while driving most gas or diesel coaches can and will pass me.

The question in itself is a good question. IMO it is a question that should be asked after you pick out the coach that will work for you and you want. But only if it is offered in either gas or diesel. Not aware of any models that have that as an option.

Ours happens to be diesel because it only came that way. Next door neighbors is gas, because it only came that way. He likes to drive faster than I do so likely I would be catching up with him if we were to travel together. Just agree on a destination for the end of the day and away we go.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:58 PM   #26
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Here we go again on the "Gas vs Diesel" subject............surprised a Moderator did not step in to align this thread, as they do.........The OP simply asked about the "Drive-ability" between the two...........and now we are set to drag race them and which one has the most HP
And he has not been back in 25 posts..........

Quote: Can anyone tell me the differences in the drivability of a gas vs a diesel motorhome?
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:03 PM   #27
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Well power is part of the drive-ability. I assume they are asking about the total package not just how the steering and ride works?

Can you tell us what add on's, stablizers, etc the gas coach is equipped with?
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:12 PM   #28
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Well power is part of the drive-ability. I assume they are asking about the total package not just how the steering and ride works?

Can you tell us what add ons the gas coach is equipped with?
You did not quote me Gordon, but I assume you are asking me?
As far as I know, they come with no add-ons, as everyone that buys a gasser is looking to buy steering stabilizers, sway bars, and other equipment to help make the "Drive- Ability" a better experience for them. There is thread after thread on this subject on driving control issues with brand new units.
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