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Old 09-05-2014, 10:28 AM   #57
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Got to say from a Europe where we've have been using diesel for everything for the last 20+ years there is a fair amount of anti-diesel luditism going on, in fact the sort of thing you would see 30 years ago over here, rather sweet really.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:40 AM   #58
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Got to say from a Europe where we've have been using diesel for everything for the last 20+ years there is a fair amount of anti-diesel luditism going on, in fact the sort of thing you would see 30 years ago over here, rather sweet really.
Diesel is less of a slam-dunk in North America because gasoline prices are frequently slightly lower than diesel which helps offset the additional fuel efficiency, plus it's only recently that a decent selection of diesel passenger cars are being imported. The impression of many US passenger-car buyers is that diesel is best for trucks or other heavy-duty applications, but that will change as the selection of vehicles increase. Regardless, diesels are a popular option for RVs because in the US they are often large and heavy (much larger on average than RVs in Europe) and work best with a diesel drivetrain, although in the US that often includes a true truck chassis which further increases cost. Given the distances driven in the US the added durability/longevity and greater fuel efficiency of a diesel drivetrain often makes it a better option even at the higher cost, but again it's not as open-and-shut a case as it is in Europe, hence the debates you see here.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:34 PM   #59
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Actually diesel is more expensive than petrol over here too, but both are a lot more expensive full stop.

What's weird is that over here in many ways imported American RV's could be considered more attractive if they are petrol rather than diesel because then they can be converted to LPG which is about 1/2 the price so overcome a lot of the diesels mileage advantage AND there are more and more Low Emission Zone cities which in effect ban large diesels (or at least charge them upto $400 a day to use them in the city).

Of course we just accept the fact that a petrol engine won't last as long (but the house bit is likely to have rotted away with our climate well before either the petrol or diesel engine gives up the ghost).
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:43 AM   #60
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The last few pages of this thread have gone beyond silly. I don't now where in the world $20,000 for a gas/diesel purchase price differental (or any of the seemingly random numbers in this thread) came from but in apple-to-apple comparisons in vehicles where both a gas and diesel option is available (such as 3/4 or 1-ton pickups) the diesel option costs around $5k more.


The Sprinter was only offered in a gas version for one year (didn't sell well vs. the diesel) but in that case the price differential was similar. And in those cases you hardly even need to use fuel savings as a justification because much of the purchase price difference is usually recovered at time of resale.

We're not talking about pickups, we're talking about ~25' Class C motorhomes.

The $20k figure comes from the MSRP's of Motorhome manufacturers who make a similar unit in both gas and diesel. In the case of my example, Itasca. The similar Navion (M-B Sprinter diesel $111k - $117k) and Viva (Fiat Ducato gas $88k - $89k) units. A $20k to $25k price difference.

The issues raised were the blanket statement that a diesel was going to save you money, in most cases they cost far more in the end including resale. If one browses the resale ads the asking prices just support the idea that diesel commands much (if any) higher resale price. The combination of competition to sell used equipment and a lack of people willing to pay a big premium have all but eliminated the price difference the last few years.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:19 AM   #61
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We're not talking about pickups, we're talking about ~25' Class C motorhomes.

The $20k figure comes from the MSRP's of Motorhome manufacturers who make a similar unit in both gas and diesel. In the case of my example, Itasca. The similar Navion (M-B Sprinter diesel $111k - $117k) and Viva (Fiat Ducato gas $88k - $89k) units. A $20k to $25k price difference.
Those are two different vehicles, different models, different manufacturers, and add the differences in the coach itself and the numbers become even more jumbled. The diesel option probably is some component of the difference but there's no way to know precisely how much along with so many other variables. If you want to compare the 'cost of diesel' then the only meaningful way to do so is to compare two of the same make and model with diesel/gas being the only differences as that is the only way to net out all the many other factors that go into vehicle pricing. So... if you compare the gas and diesel-powered versions of the Ducato, the pricing difference is... less than $5k.

And with respect to resale, by and large resale value of any specific vehicle with the diesel option is higher, it's just a fact and a logical one at that for many reasons. I'm not going to debate that with you because you've clearly made up your mind, others can come to their own conclusion.

As to which is more expensive to operate, there will be some crossover point based on miles driven (if you give any credence to the 'gas/diesel' threads it is somewhere between 80 and 80,000 miles depending on the biases of the speaker) but in reality the number will be dependent on the individual circumstances and vehicle so blanket numbers are virtually always wrong in this context. And again, all of this is assuming that increased MPG is the only reason people prefer a diesel drivetrain and that isn't correct either.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:42 AM   #62
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I agree that this discussion began to stink. I just want to address one issue about the supposed better fuel efficiency of diesels. As I said before that is not really the case when taking about like sized Class A or even many cars. For example my current RV is a 38' Gasser, the one I owned before that was a 37' DP. Here are the #'s from driving these two units over 10,000 miles. NOTE: The gasser has towed a car for 93% of it's miles and the DP towed a car for 84% of it's miles. The gasser is also loaded to bear for full-timing while the DP was only a part-timing rig.

--------------------GAS------------DP
MPG----------------7.2------------8.6
$ per Gal---------$3.48---------$3.83
NOTE: Since gas prices fluctuate I took AAA average gas and diesel price for the country.
$ per Mile-------$0.483--------$0.445
6000 miles $----$2900--------$2672.09
Yearly Maint------$123-----------$565

YEARLY TOTAL--$3023-------$3237.09
Total per mile----$0.504--------$0.540




If you want to compare cars let's use a brand new VW Jetta (that was brought up earlier) it's "claimed" mileage is 39 MPG. We can compare it to my old 2008 Hyundai that has averaged 35.4 over 115,000 miles of use.

--------------------Hyundai---------VW
MPG------------------35.4-----------39
$ per Gallon---------$3.48--------$3.83
20,000 miles $----$1966.10-----$1964.10

The diesel VW will save you a whopping $2.00 a year (assuming 20,000 miles driven per year) or basically $1.00 for every 10,000 miles driven.

Once you do the math you will find out that comparing apples to apples diesels supposed mileage superiority gets eaten away due to the higher cost of the fuel. Plus “if” you ever need repairs on a diesel . . . . . .

BTW this isn’t diesel hating, I owned two and would own another one again. I flew a ‘diesel’ (Jet A) plane for years and my catamaran had two marine diesels in it, so I don’t have any hatred of diesels but I think the numbers speak for themselves.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:23 PM   #63
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And with respect to resale, by and large resale value of any specific vehicle with the diesel option is higher, it's just a fact and a logical one at that for many reasons. I'm not going to debate that with you because you've clearly made up your mind, others can come to their own conclusion.



As to which is more expensive to operate, there will be some crossover point based on miles driven (if you give any credence to the 'gas/diesel' threads it is somewhere between 80 and 80,000 miles depending on the biases of the speaker) but in reality the number will be dependent on the individual circumstances and vehicle so blanket numbers are virtually always wrong in this context.

And again, all of this is assuming that increased MPG is the only reason people prefer a diesel drivetrain and that isn't correct either.

Actually I have a fleet of diesels, both large and small, I love them. Would I ever try to make blanket statement that they're the best choice for everyone? Nope!

As you said, 80k miles before it's a break-even proposition. Look at the used m/h's up for sale and see how many of them have +80k miles on them. Not very many in the under 10 year old category, and there isn't generally $5k between similar units, gas and diesel in that category either. There used to be, but not any more.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:08 PM   #64
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As you said, 80k miles before it's a break-even proposition.
Actually I said if you believe Internet lore it is between 80 to 80,000 miles, depending on the bias of the person providing the number. It probably can be anything you want it to be if you try hard enough.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:21 PM   #65
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Actually I said it was 80 to 80,000 miles, depending on the bias of the person providing the number. And of course either extreme is probably silly.

Actually if you read StevenSteph's post above you'll see that most of what people spout about diesels is 'salesman's sermon' most of the time. In the real world there's really very little difference for someone who doesn't drive many miles a year as is the case with the typical motorhome owner.

Buying a vehicle because of it's 'million mile' chassis and then driving it just a few thousand miles a year and trading up after 10 years isn't financially wise.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:29 PM   #66
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Buying a vehicle because of it's 'million mile' chassis and then driving it just a few thousand miles a year and trading up after 10 years isn't financially wise.
I don't think anyone buys an RV to demonstrate their financial wisdom, or at least I hope not.

Anyway, amazingly enough there seem to be a huge number of owners happy with their overpriced, hard-to-sell, smelly, 'same mileage as gas' diesels. People are so easily fooled.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:30 PM   #67
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I don't think anyone buys an RV to demonstrate their financial wisdom, or at least I hope not.

Too true, too true.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:51 PM   #68
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I don't think anyone buys an RV to demonstrate their financial wisdom, or at least I hope not.
^^^ my nominee for one liner of the day!
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:21 PM   #69
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While it may be a good one liner it is not necessarily true. If you stay with the under $100,000 list units and pay a bit of attention to where you stop they can be as effective cost wise as doing the motel/restaurant route for travel. Of course if one just stays home...

As far as the gas/diesel issue goes I see it as folks who spent the extra bucks justifying their choice. They got a shorter unit than I want with a more limited towed capacity at a higher price than our 30 ft gasser. The simple truth is that there are no mid size diesel choices available. When they come up with an equivalent of the Ford F-450 chassis we can look at a real comparison.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:49 PM   #70
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If you stay with the under $100,000 list units and pay a bit of attention to where you stop they can be as effective cost wise as doing the motel/restaurant route for travel.

I'm not convinced on that one. I do a lot of travelling by SUV for business.

If I'm trying to get somewhere I do ~700 miles a day. Using $0.50 / mile for gas in my motorhome that's ~$350 / day in gas. My V8 SUV costs ~$0.20 / mile in gas, 700 miles would be $140 / day. That's a difference of ~$190 / day in just gas. If I'm going to say Florida, that's 1,400+ miles each way, so 4 x ~$190 or ~$760 difference in just gas.

With a $70 / day difference between CG & motel a 14 trip (12 nights away from home) would be a $840 spread, so now the m/h is up $80.

If you allow even $100 / day (free brekkie at motel and 2x lunch + dinner for 2 people) that's another $700. Now the m/h is up $780, even if you did this 4 x a year that's still only a little over $3k a year.

I find it hard to believe that a possible $3k / year versus the cost of a "under $100,000 list" motorhome is really comparable.
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