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Old 12-03-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
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Should I buy a Gas or Diesel RV?

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.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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In the size range you're looking at, you will find far more gas MH available. If you want diesel, you will need to shift your size range to 34 to 38 feet (or larger).

JMHO, Fran
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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Drive both, you will probably decide on the DP. We did and found one we liked!
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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A search here will find threads discussing the pros and cons of each. Many factores come into play - usage, maintenance, purchase budget, and more.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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Wow, where to begin? Smaller 30-35' gassers are okay IMHO. A 38' gasser is really pushing the maximum weight for the Ford and Workhorse chassis'. You'll burn more gallons of gas but at a lower price per gallon. Diesels get better fuel mileage but the per gallon cost is more. Gassers are cheaper to maintain than a diesel (lots of oil and filters with the DP), and when things break they are very expensive to repair.

I find the front engine noise in a gasser annoying; having the diesel motor 35' or so behind you is much quieter. No air brakes with gassers, and you can't tow as much weight. You really need to narrow down your choices in both gas and diesel and then drive both to determine which one you like better, and which one fits your pocketbook better.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:21 PM   #6
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If your wife wants a washer/dryer. You may have to start at the 35' and up.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:23 PM   #7
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The premium you pay to get diesel can be stiff. If you will not be doing over 100,000 miles, gas.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
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Our first MH was a class C with a E450. We put 17,000 miles on it in 14 months.
Was told by a lot of RV'ers that if we were going to travel that much/often we needed to look at a DP.
The Palazzo 33.1 DP is exactly what we wanted. Floor plan is great, length was short for a DP, ton's on power for towing.
What do you plan to do with your MH?
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
The premium you pay to get diesel can be stiff. If you will not be doing over 100,000 miles, gas.
But worth it to us.

OP: Can't possibly tell you which to buy but after RV'ing since 1957 we started buying only new DP's in 2000 and haven't regretted it one bit!
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
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The premium you pay to get diesel can be stiff. If you will not be doing over 100,000 miles, gas.
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.

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Old 12-04-2012, 06:42 AM   #11
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Had both and there is no comparison in the ride with air bags.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:05 AM   #12
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Gassers are cheaper to maintain than a diesel (lots of oil and filters with the DP)
We have a diesel pusher with no air suspension or air brakes. Annual oil change including oil and fuel filters = $ 130.00 all the rest of the maintenance is pretty much on par with a gasser. Gassers need there oil changed every 5000 miles where as a diesel every 15000 or annual so for us maintenance is on par with the gasser.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:17 AM   #13
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Be sure to find the floorplan that will work best for you. As far as gas vs diesel that's a decision you'll have to make after driving both but as already mentioned keep in mind the cost of maintenance for both. We travel about 5K miles a year and find the gas coach works well for us. The ride is good and the noise level is next to nothing. For the 2 or 3% of a trip that I have to listen to the engine rpm engage on an incline doesn't effect us one bit. Good luck shopping and hope you find the coach that works best for you.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:00 AM   #14
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Since manufacturers price DPs as their "premium" MHs, you will find they often have more luxury features than the gas models of the same brand. That's not to say that these features couldn't be on a gas MH, but they simply aren't. 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. Anther such feature is a hydronic heating system (AquaHot or equivalent).

The one place where diesels really excel is at high altitudes. That actually has little or nothing to do with the fact that they are diesels since it is the simple result of them being turbo-charged. But, since there aren't any turbo-charged gas MHs to my knowledge, the bottom line is the same. If you expect to be cruising around the western US and Canada then I would recommend a diesel just because it is easier to drive at those altitudes. At 6,000 ft, for example, a normally-aspirated gas engine loses ~18% of its horsepower rating which can be significant in many cases. A turbo-diesel loses less than 1/3 of that.
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