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Old 02-13-2014, 10:04 PM   #15
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Service costs maybe maybe not

It depends on your service interval. Gas engine, maybe every 3,000 miles, is pretty conservative. Diesel, 15,000 is considered very conservative. So take that gas service times 5 and see where your money comes out. Just cause you can service a gas engine yourself, doesn't automatically mean you can't service a diesel. I service mine. All you have to do is educate yourself a little.

It really comes down to what you want to spend. I haven't seen a motorhome yet that the engine was worn out either gas or diesel. The coach wears out long before the chassis.

The biggest problem I see, the way they are driven. Most people I see try to drive them like they drive their car. It is a truck and they are driven differently than your family car, or even your pick-up. Truck drivers don't expect to take every mountain grade like all those cars that are passing them. You don't mash your foot to the floor and hope for the best. You do some gear selection, watch your rpms, keep it in the power band, don't over rev the engine, watch your temperature gauges. You remember that you are at the helm of 30,000 pounds or more, and you have to control it. You become a driver, not just someone hanging on to the steering wheel wishing you had 500 horsepower instead of the 350 you really have.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:52 PM   #16
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If the price is right the miles may not be a big factor. A friend of mine bought a class c two years ago with 120K on the clock but the previous owners had taken great care of it. He's been all over the pacific northwest and had no mechanical issues.

It's a 2001, 24 footer with a good floor plan and it gets 10 MPG. He only paid 10K, which isn't even a down payment these days.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:29 PM   #17
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The truck makers are making a big deal on their new diesels but if you do the math payback on a pickup truck is 8 years versus a gas. That would be more on a motorhome. And who keeps one 100k miles anyway

I'll stick to my V-10 thank you 10 MPG on level roads and will bull my car hauler no problem for a couple of miles a gallon.

I was on another board where the conversation reverted to some saying if you cant afford a diesel you might as well stay home. Come to find out the guy was only driving about 3k miles a year so he didn't have a clue but had $$$$$$$

Buy what your $$$$$$$ can make you happy with!!
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:27 PM   #18
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I think the OP was already satisfied with what he got, but because this is the 'C' forum, I dont' think anyone else has chimed in that has a 'C' diesel, or at least that wasn't clear. I mostly agree with the past few posts, that maintenance costs didn't really figure into my checklist, as was stated, the maintenance intervals are longer for most fluids at least (in a a diesel). And, I do it myself (another part that I enjoy), except when having to get to one of fuel filters which is conveniently tucked under the firewall. I've heard that most of the Class A's don't have great engine access either though.
Its probably a blanket statement to say its cheaper or more expensive per mile. Depends on how much you drive, and where, and how much load. I'm a fairly heavy 27 foot with two slides, 2007 Four Winds front engine turbo diesel 'C', and when loaded (with toad) and driving out west with a lot of mountain grades, I expect my mileage is considerably better than a V-10, though the power difference is probably negligible. I plan on doing about 10K a year, as I'm about to retire.
My other criteria was to get into a used unit, and private sale to get as much as I could for my dollar. I think I achieved that when I bought a year ago. Buying new I agree you may take more of a bath on resale. But I also noted that when the odd good deal on units like mine came up (remember, they are relatively rare, they did command a higher price than gassers, and they didn't last long - I know, cause I missed a couple). Of course buying used you have no warranty comfort and you want to have the unit checked out well by a reliable source.
And yah, rent both types to see what suits...it may come down to something entirely different such as floor plan. Its really personal taste in the end, as there are too many variables to consider. I'm happy with my choice and wouldn't have it any other way.
Oh, the noise factor. Yes, noisier, but I'll admit I'm a bit of a strange duck in actually 'liking' the sound of the diesel engine (and I knew that prior to buying).
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:31 AM   #19
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Diesel maintenance

I'm very new to R/Ving, but I have owned a 39 foot sailboat that is diesel powered for 35 years and sailed and powered extensively in the area between Puerto Vallarta MX, Victoria BC, and Hawaii. Almost all trips have started from San Francisco. I have also been a paid delivery skipper for many years within this area. Contrary to my gut feelings, cruising boat engines take more punishment than land vehicle engines because they are almost fully loaded almost all the time for days and weeks on end. I have read in this post about the difficulty and expense of maintaining a diesel vs. gasoline engine. I have done almost all of the maintenance on my engine. True, it is only 48 HP. But some of the boats I've delivered have had twin 450 HP Cat diesels. My experience is that as long as you give a diesel clean oil and clean fuel, change oil regularly (and even this last is a little flexible) it'll keep running. It doesn't even need an electrical system. Gasoline engines require much more maintenance, much more frequently, and with parts that need replacing.
I haven't done maintenance work on trucks in years, but, as I remember it was much easier than working on a boat because of the ease of access. Although now that I own a Class C I realize that this 79 year old body will not have as easy a job as I did a half century ago.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:03 AM   #20
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First of all I have seen many 3-450 passenger vans with over 200,000 miles on them and they keep running.

The diesel will cost more and you will loose more on the resale just because you paid a lot more money for the coach.

The fuel is about 25% higher on the diesel and maintenance is a lot more.


Agree the diesel motorhome drives nicer and the brakes are great.

I think they are just different animals and yes do not listen to a salesman that was selling cars two weeks ago.
I find it hard to believe that in general the same sales person that sells gas is the one also selling diesels. Fact , most RV dealers ( except for very large ones ) draw a line when it comes to diesel pushers , there is a huge market for week-end campers, fifth wheels whatever , where to owner takes the unit to the "lake" and leaves it there till its reclaimed by mother nature , back to the earth...
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:23 AM   #21
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I'm very new to R/Ving, but I have owned a 39 foot sailboat that is diesel powered for 35 years and sailed and powered extensively in the area between Puerto Vallarta MX, Victoria BC, and Hawaii. Almost all trips have started from San Francisco. I have also been a paid delivery skipper for many years within this area. Contrary to my gut feelings, cruising boat engines take more punishment than land vehicle engines because they are almost fully loaded almost all the time for days and weeks on end. I have read in this post about the difficulty and expense of maintaining a diesel vs. gasoline engine. I have done almost all of the maintenance on my engine. True, it is only 48 HP. But some of the boats I've delivered have had twin 450 HP Cat diesels. My experience is that as long as you give a diesel clean oil and clean fuel, change oil regularly (and even this last is a little flexible) it'll keep running. It doesn't even need an electrical system. Gasoline engines require much more maintenance, much more frequently, and with parts that need replacing.
I haven't done maintenance work on trucks in years, but, as I remember it was much easier than working on a boat because of the ease of access. Although now that I own a Class C I realize that this 79 year old body will not have as easy a job as I did a half century ago.
You make some good points , I too was a sailor and my little Perkins was bulletproof in my Gulfstar 44. I sailed the gulf and the Islands , for years. I have been told my boat is still in use as a charter vessel in the Virgin's. I had it built in 1980 she was a good old boat under sail or power. keeping the strainers clean was the most important thing, cause when the Perk got too hot , it shut itself down , that was it.

The other thing , and you did not directly address this , is For a long time almost all the MHs that has gas engines had overheating problems. These engines were not designed for what they were being used for , namely p/u trucks. The first thing to go was exhaust manifolds , then valves, all related to being over used trying to pull a large box with much wind age up a grade or on the flats for that matter. Over the last 25 years on the road , in all states and Provinces including Alaska and the NWT many times , when ever I came up behind a Gasser it was weaving all over the road , tail waging the dog with so much rear overhang. Some were pulling trailers , cars , boats, whatever. In many cases when one passed me at the fuel stop , later on I would see them aside the road with steam cumming out from under the hood as they were trying to make the grade ahead and only were just beginning....
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:28 PM   #22
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You make some good points , I too was a sailor and my little Perkins was bulletproof in my Gulfstar 44. ........keeping the strainers clean was the most important thing, cause when the Perk got too hot , it shut itself down , that was it.


The other thing , and you did not directly address this , is For a long time almost all the MHs that has gas engines had overheating problems. These engines were not designed for what they were being used for , namely p/u trucks.

In many cases when one passed me at the fuel stop , later on I would see them aside the road with steam cumming out from under the hood as they were trying to make the grade ahead and only were just beginning....
That's strange, I think you're the first person I've come across who's seen that many gassers on the side of the road. You must drive a lot. But then as mentioned with your diesel in the boat, if the rad is clogged or dirty anything will overheat.

I may be wrong, but I was sure the GMC 454 and the Ford 460 (a seriously bullet-proof motor) and the V10 that replaced were designed and built as medium-duty truck motors.

I know in my case the 460 in my C is showing no signs of slowing down with the best part of 200k miles on it, considering it's curb weight is pretty close to its GVWR it's never done an 'easy' mile in its 18 year life.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:45 PM   #23
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That's strange, I think you're the first person I've come across who's seen that many gassers on the side of the road. You must drive a lot. But then as mentioned with your diesel in the boat, if the rad is clogged or dirty anything will overheat.

I may be wrong, but I was sure the GMC 454 and the Ford 460 (a seriously bullet-proof motor) and the V10 that replaced were designed and built as medium-duty truck motors.

I know in my case the 460 in my C is showing no signs of slowing down with the best part of 200k miles on it, considering it's curb weight is pretty close to its GVWR it's never done an 'easy' mile in its 18 year life.
I may have overstated a bit , and , I was talking about older gas coaches or they were not so old it's just been a few years since saw what I described. Regarding the 454 and the 460 it was also used in suburban's and Lincoln's. Not sure what version was put in MHs. In med. trucks those motors had lower compression ratios and less HP., also sodium valves. They were not intended for heavy over the road use ether as they got the power by using lower gear ratios and not higher speeds as often as a MH. The ford v10 was a problem motor right from the start or that was what I was told when I was considering one in a ford P/U. I am sure they have now worked out all the bugs.
There are some real advantages going gas, I did not mean to put them down, just making prospective buyers aware of the negatives also. I would say the largest problem with any gas coach is the wind impact, like headwinds . , a much bigger problem than the motor used in a dump truck. There also were some real bad diesel rigs too. Today it's quite different, it's rare for a 500 hp Cummins and the chassis that is designed for it to be over taxed in a MH. The way I look at it , I want the heaviest GCW I can get. Fighting side winds can make for an unpleasant travel in lighter MHs, I know that, I have had both the last 40 years.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:08 AM   #24
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We own a 14 Winnebago 25' MB Diesel. Looked for a used, but got a 23% discount on new, & got the twin beds & diesel gen we wanted.

We are thrilled with the ride, drive, and 16 mpg-but- it is certainly not as carefree as the gassers we have had before. Special lubricants, Necessary DEF fluids, filters , etc really make it a challenge for DIY-but -can do.

We expected to do our bucket list travels, and move on-but not anytime soon-this is a great go anywhere, park anywhere unit.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:19 PM   #25
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...for a gas powered RV? We recently went to the RV show and talked a lot with the various company reps regarding type of RV...Class A, Class C, Gas powered, and diesel powered.

One of the things that has stuck in my mind concerned gas power: I was told that 100k miles is just about the limit for the gas engine; and, the lack of power when tackling hills is a very negative consideration.

My question...just how much of a negative (if any) is a gas engine? Do the positives outweigh the negatives? I kind of like the fact that it doesn't cost the farm to change oil...I like the idea that gas costs so much less than diesel...and I like the idea that the gas engine costs so much less to maintain.

Thank you for your input.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:31 PM   #26
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I am sitting here rather amused. People are putting out serious money for their MH and nit picking over saving a few dollars in maintenance? It seems also that everyone "crossing" the rockies have not mentioned whether they are towing a toad. A gasser pulling a heavy toad in the rockies and getting 8.5 mpg? I don't think so.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:23 PM   #27
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I am sitting here rather amused. People are putting out serious money for their MH and nit picking over saving a few dollars in maintenance? It seems also that everyone "crossing" the rockies have not mentioned whether they are towing a toad. A gasser pulling a heavy toad in the rockies and getting 8.5 mpg? I don't think so.
Good point, yes I was pulling a Honda Fit.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:29 PM   #28
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When it comes to a gas v10 crossing the rockies with a toad, you can't expect to maintain 70 mph. Stick to the right lane and any V10 will see the top of the mountain. A diesel will get to the top faster, but both will conquer the rockies with the diesels doing it a little faster.

And aren't rv trips supposed to be relaxing? Take you time and enjoy the sights!
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