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Old 12-04-2012, 08:17 AM   #15
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Buy the DP, you and your DW will not regret the purchase. If you go gasser get the top of the line! IMHO.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:20 AM   #16
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Flat land or less than 5,000 miles per year, gas.

Mountains or more than 5,000 miles per year, diesel.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:41 AM   #17
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Hi WeakSignal,
How the coach is powered is a distant decision, far down the list (my list) of things to consider. Like previously posted choose the floor plan that works for the wife,,,,,then you. Consider only 40' or longer coaches. As a full timer, you'll spend the vast majority of time living in the coach, not driving it. Go to 1999 Country Coach Magna - RV & Motorhome Classifieds to see an example of coaches available in the iRV2 classifieds. This coach should be in great shape. RV Wizard (Mike) is a certified RV tech.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:06 AM   #18
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Thanks to all ....

Want to thank every poster but not sure how to do it ???
You've given me alot to think about.
DP seems to be the way to go for the better rig ... we hope to travel alot.
Thanks again...all very informative suggestions AND in such a short time which I didn't expect.

Watch for me ... I'll be the guy BLOWING the HORN!!
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:23 AM   #19
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Going from gas to diesel for me the engine brake was a major improvement over the tow haul feature.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #20
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Want to thank every poster but not sure how to do it ??? In the bottom right corner of everyones post is a "thanks" button. You may leave a comment on their profile page by clicking that button.
You've given me alot to think about.
DP seems to be the way to go for the better rig ... we hope to travel alot.
Thanks again...all very informative suggestions AND in such a short time which I didn't expect.

Watch for me ... I'll be the guy BLOWING the HORN!!
We are going through this same process of selecting a MH.
Gas-powered MH's seem to have a maximum tow rating of 5,000#. Diesel MH's are mostly 10,000# tow rating. Either of those depend upon actual scale weights, not published paper weights.
We have found a few gas-powered MH's with a washer/dryer, but they are all close to 37', that is too much weight for a gas engine to consider towing in mountains.
Gary echoed what we have been advised. First find the exact floor-plan that suits you BOTH, if it doesn't fit you both, neither of you will actually be happy. This is a huge investment for most (us), trading in a year of two is not an option simply because you will almost certainly become upside down on your finances.
For instance; nearly all DP's with an east/west bed layout have a step between the bed and rear of the MH.This step, while OK for most, makes that too cramped for a 6' person to stand erect. We found a DP that we fell in love with, but DW vetoed it because she recalled how I complained of a previous 5er we owned with that same issue. Now the bed must be North/South layout in a DP for us to even bother to look further.
Most DP's have the living room layed-out so you have to sit looking sideways at the TV, not good if either of you have arthritis, or similar problems.

While I much prefer a DP, we have begun looking at gassers because we like their layouts better. Gassers have their own set of problems, like one guy who had to replace his 8.1 Chevy because the crankshaft broke into 3 pieces. (there appears to be an issue with "tight rings" with this engine). His out-of-pocket expense was in the 14-16 thousand dollar range. My cousin had a Ford-powered MH, which he constantly complained about.
DP's; If something breaks it is usually more expensive. Caterpillar is considered the most expensive diesel engine to replace/repair. For instance, the Cat C-12 is a strong heavy-duty diesel engine, and costs around $35,000 for a new crate engine installed in a MH. As for problems with that engine_ on the diesel-powered boat forums there is talk about the class-action lawsuit over the 3196 and C12 CAT engine problems.
The bottom line for us is, floorplan first, quality next, power unit third.
We have a lot to learn about this, but we will take our time and get our choice right the first buy. Both of us have fingers crossed on this
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #21
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Caterpillar is considered the most expensive diesel engine to replace/repair. For instance, the Cat C-12 is a strong heavy-duty diesel engine, and costs around $35,000 for a new crate engine installed in a MH. As for problems with that engine_ on the diesel-powered boat forums there is talk about the class-action lawsuit over the 3196 and C12 CAT engine problems.
The one thing I can say positively is that if you believe everything you read on this and other online forums you will probably be afraid to buy anything, gas or diesel. Remember, what you read is usually written only by unhappy people. For example, as far as I can tell, the referenced Cat class action suit ended in the 2009 with a decertification.

Here's a link a discussion of the reliability of the C-12 that is a bit more objective: c 12 cat reliabilty and longevity - The Combine Forum

BTW FWIW I don't think anyone would buy a brand new engine even if you did have problems, since rebuilt engines and used ones can be gotten at far lower prices. These types of "fear" statements don't do anyone any good.

If you decide on a diesel there are a few things like oil changes that are a bit more expensive because of the size of the engine. But that's a once a year expense and you're talking of a ~$200-300 extra dollars. Sure, major repairs can be more expensive than on gas engines, but there's no reason you should expect to have to do the horror story repairs you read about. Remember, a well-maintained diesel should be a 500,000-1,000,000 mile engine before a major overhaul is needed.

IMHO nothing beats the quiet and comfort of a big diesel 40' behind you as you cruise the highways and climb the mountains. If you can afford it I would definitely buy one.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #22
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... Remember, a well-maintained diesel should be a 500,000-1,000,000 mile engine before a major overhaul is needed.

IMHO nothing beats the quiet and comfort of a big diesel 40' behind you as you cruise the highways and climb the mountains. If you can afford it I would definitely buy one.
yeah ok. If youre doing that kinda mileage...anything but a bus chassis would be considered foolish.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #23
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Air suspension is one such feature that is on DP MHs because most have air brakes, but there's no intrinsic reason why a gas MH couldn't have it.
Cost, since you'd have to add a compressor, storage tanks, air dryer and assorted braking bits. Then, if you wanted air suspension you'd have to add the valving, suspension bags etc. That woudl go a long ways to closing the existing gap in chassis cost to the manufacturers.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:57 PM   #24
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That is why I went to a DP in 2002. I didn't trust the 454 for long trips. anymore.
And traded it off. No plans on trading the DP off with 100,000 miles on it.
Had a 454 for a looooong time. It was grand!
Now, a Fred with Allison. Love, it is. Next upgrade: DP
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:10 PM   #25
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Hi,
Go with a Winbnebago 35-38' gas job and you will be happier as gas is cheaper than diesel and maintenance is cheaper too.

Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:18 PM   #26
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Checking ebay, I find even late model Diesel RV available.
Guess I don't even know much about Gas engines anymore since fuel injection, etc. BUT I have no idea how to evaluate or what can go wrong with a Diesel motorhome. Wife and I have been camping in a very small (20') motorhome for the past 20 years all over the north east. Want to sell the house and go full time with a 30' to 35' 2008+ camper. When I find what I like, I would travel to it for inspection before purchase. I will also avoid buying a reposessed unit. Any other buying help, suggestions, advise would be appreciated.
Big question? how much money do u want to spend? 30-35 is pretty SMALL to full time in.Most all 2008 and up Diesels are 40+ long.So gas is your most logical choice because 90% of 30ft area MH are gas.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:23 PM   #27
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Hi,
Go with a Winbnebago 35-38' gas job and you will be happier as gas is cheaper than diesel and maintenance is cheaper too.

Good luck!
not agreeing with maintenence being cheaper but the MH purchase itself is like A 100K cheaper for sure
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #28
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That is an age old question. You can buy a nice new Gas MH for 120 to 130k after at least a 25% discount. That same money can buy you a 2005 to 2007 used DP probably with tube TV's and worn dingy carpet. I looked and looked at both. I probably would have bought a gas MH just because they are nice enough for me. If you had the same 20' MH for 20 years you will really like the new MH's. Fyi - you can buy a really nice gas MH (2008 -2009) for about 85'gs. Winnebago Adventurer or Fleetwood Southwind or Pace Arrow are two that I was leaning toward. I however ended up with a 5th wheel and diesel truck. I want to live in 1 place for the 4 1/2 cold gray months.
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