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Old 09-15-2017, 08:49 AM   #1
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Gas vs Diesel

I keep going back and forth on trying to buy the last coach first (I know, will never happen) and not sure it can happen due to where we are in life. One thing that keeps coming up is the horror stories I seem to read about driving a gas coach. Seems that to make them even somewhat comfortable to drive one has to put a lot of money into them. Is this over blown, somewhat true?

We think a Baystar 3113 would be great for us over the next 4-6 years and then when the wife stops working, going to a diesel. Don't want to get a gas coach and regret it after a few trips. Any thoughts are appreciated. By the way, it's just the wife and I.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:27 AM   #2
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I keep going back and forth on trying to buy the last coach first (I know, will never happen) and not sure it can happen due to where we are in life. One thing that keeps coming up is the horror stories I seem to read about driving a gas coach. Seems that to make them even somewhat comfortable to drive one has to put a lot of money into them. Is this over blown, somewhat true?

We think a Baystar 3113 would be great for us over the next 4-6 years and then when the wife stops working, going to a diesel. Don't want to get a gas coach and regret it after a few trips. Any thoughts are appreciated. By the way, it's just the wife and I.
We started with a gas motorhome back in the early 90's, then upgraded to a diesel. The difference is huge. Drivability, quiet, carrying capacity etc. Maintenance is higher in a diesel but imho the benefits are worth it.

I would suggest purchasing a two or three year old diesel coach. Especially since you are only going to keep it a few years, the used makes a lot of sense over new (big depreciation hit the first two years.) If you are concerned about repair cost, just purchase yourself a service agreement to cover you for the four or five years you expect to own it.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:32 AM   #3
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We started with a gas motorhome back in the early 90's, then upgraded to a diesel. The difference is huge. Drivability, quiet, carrying capacity etc. Maintenance is higher in a diesel but imho the benefits are worth it.

I would suggest purchasing a two or three year old diesel coach. Especially since you are only going to keep it a few years, the used makes a lot of sense over new (big depreciation hit the first two years.) If you are concerned about repair cost, just purchase yourself a service agreement to cover you for the four or five years you expect to own it.
X2 Diesel all the way!!! Also, totally agree on the used comments above...buy 1-4 years old coach FROM A PRIVATE SELLER! Dealers will tell you anything to get that thing off their lot!
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:38 AM   #4
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They make gas RV?
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:42 AM   #5
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They make gas RV?
:danc e:
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:54 AM   #6
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We bought a Canyon Star gas MH and it has been great. No "horror" stories here. It was ordered with sway bars/ track bars ect, and with the heavier chassis at the time(26K). It drives great, has plenty of power and gets us everywhere we want to go. Newmar does a great job of engineering the MH to the chassis, which makes a big difference in the ride and handling. The reason we went with a gas MH was I can do all my own maintenance on the gas engine where I do not think I could on the diesel, and I hate to leave my MH anywhere if I don't have to.

They are all pretty much the same once parked and just as comfortable depending on the amenities it has. Ours is well equipped and I can't really think of anything else we need for "camping" or traveling. Good luck with you decision, it's a highly debated topic with no right or wrong answer, just what works best for you considering your needs.
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:00 AM   #7
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I'll offer specifics that are about the gas chassis...the Diesel fans will surely make their point known.

First...in case it isn't known - since 2010, there is only 1 gas chassis available to the North American RV Class A makers - Ford's F53, see:
https://www.ford.com/commercial-truc.../f53-motorhome
These are suspended by leaf springs w/ solid front axle and have no OEM airbag alternatives, running a 6.8L V10 engine.

Before 2010, Workhorse offered alternative chassis' with GM power plants up to a monster 8.1L (496cu.in.) engine.

*The 2016 Ford F53 got the time tested 6 speed from the Super Duty truck lines. This totally changed how the engine acts under load and reduces the high RPM runs often experienced in the past during mountain driving.

*The new transmission also got an improved Tow/Haul mode to maximize the natural capability of the V10 engine including engine braking.

*Newmar uses the best GVWR and Wheelbase for each model line...there are 6 chassis' and 7 wheelbases ranging from 16,000lb - 26,000lb and 158"-252". This is important to provide the best ride with a reasonable OCCC.

*Newmar preps the stripped chassis in-house to provide tailored out rigging and frame support for each model line. This is important to prevent noise and unwanted movement under the house structure.

*Maintaining and using a front gas engine chassis is exactly like a pick-up. There are no hyper-expensive routine maintenance events. And the emission systems are time tested and perfected with no special additives or systems needed like the new Diesel DEF/DPF systems running under the RV.

*Gas engines are whisper quiet in all driving situations except those where the RV is climbing an extreme incline.

Finally, I submit that because of the F53's capabilities, the ONLY comparative Diesel is those chassis' with the smallish 6.7L Cummins ISB or the very rare Cummins 5.0L V8 (Tiffin exclusive). Any other comparisons (i.e. ISX, ISL) are just apples vs. oranges...because those Diesels have such superior power.

The other differences between a gas chassis RV and a Diesel RV are easily seen in the price point. This difference can be experienced during a test drive. Go take a test and you will immediately see the difference.

Best luck
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:16 AM   #8
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,,, One thing that keeps coming up is the horror stories I seem to read about driving a gas coach. Seems that to make them even somewhat comfortable to drive one has to put a lot of money into them. Is this over blown, somewhat true? ,,,
Over blown. New owners want a top heavy, leaf sprung, 30+ foot, 20,000+ pound, front high revving engine vehicle to drive like the family grocery getter and cost under $120K new. There are after market improvements for a gas chassis that help and if you buy them all your total investment will still be way under a comparable diesel coach. Even so it's pretty hard to beat the sound of a low revving engine 35 feet away and airbags between you and the road surface along with other features a diesel will have that a gas coach can only dream about.

If your budget will support then by all means get a diesel particularly if your travel plans include a lot of road time where a diesel will out perform a gas rig. If not the line between a gas and diesel is starting to blur a bit ONCE you arrive at the camp ground. The Bay Star is good coach but a Canyon Star will put you into a coach causing the blur.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandss View Post
I keep going back and forth on trying to buy the last coach first (I know, will never happen) and not sure it can happen due to where we are in life. One thing that keeps coming up is the horror stories I seem to read about driving a gas coach. Seems that to make them even somewhat comfortable to drive one has to put a lot of money into them. Is this over blown, somewhat true?

We think a Baystar 3113 would be great for us over the next 4-6 years and then when the wife stops working, going to a diesel. Don't want to get a gas coach and regret it after a few trips. Any thoughts are appreciated. By the way, it's just the wife and I.
You really don't describe the type of use you are contemplating. It does matter. If you plan to use the MH for relatively local and short-term trips, a quality gas MH may serve you well. OTOH, if you are planning long trips and extended stays, you would probably be better served by a diesel coach.

And, there are some options you may not have considered. First, the newer Newmar gas coaches are pretty well built and do use, as noted by a previous poster, the Ford F53 platform. Then, while not a Newmar product, there are a number of Mercedes Sprinter-based Class C diesel motorhomes in the 24' range. Finally, there are the Class A diesel pusher coaches.

Before buying our Newmar Ventana LE, we had a Sprinter-based Class C and it was great for the shorter trips and stays. Fuel mileage was good, towing capacity (Honda CR-V) was good, it was quiet and just an all-around nice rig. Our decision to replace it was based on our need for something a bit larger for longer trips and stays.

The point I am trying to make is that you need to consider what you expect from a coach before making a decision. It isn't just as simple as gas or diesel.

TJ
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:24 PM   #10
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If money is no object , you can afford the initial cost + the upkeep $ repair costs , than the many benefits of a diesel is worth it .
If your in a budget you'll find a gas V8 gets the job done , a bit slower, a bit louder & a bit less smoothly
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:26 PM   #11
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I just traded away a F53 Class A gasser. Besides what others have said having the engine in the back away from me when driving vs that constant noise and heat up front with me would be worth the cost.
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:08 PM   #12
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Gas vs Diesel

I just sold our 2016 CS 3710 and have a 2018 DS 4369 on order so here's my take: the CS is a well built luxury class A MH. As delivered I felt very unsafe in windy conditions, passing truck situations, exiting steep driveways on an angle and in certain down hill turns. I did all of the work myself and added $3000 (parts only)in suspension upgrades that made a world of difference.
Going down a steep mountain road I felt that the brakes were inadequate and stock the tow/haul mode didn't do enough. I added a 5Star tune ($500) and the reprogramming of the tow / haul helped but I found I still had to ride the brakes while descending a steep hill and the engine RPM's would be in the High 4's. I did not feel completely in control.
I test drove a DS 4369 with 3 stage engine braking and Comfort Steer and I was done. Although it was 6 feet longer than the CS 3710 I found it easier to drive.
I do feel that the area you operate the MH in and the load and floor plan are a large variable in the equation.
The starting with Gas and switching to Diesel cost me (with California sales tax) ,depreciation and additions about $35k over the 2 years of use not to mention loan payments that I count as the cost of usage.
As others have said, drive them both, and look at your future plans so that you can make the decision that fits you.
Good luck and welcome to the jungle
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:34 PM   #13
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What kind of RV/camping use do you want will be the primary decision maker. If you live in a city and yearn to spend time in a forest campground than a long diesel will limit where you can go; a 30' gas will give better access to spend time camped in forest to Yellowstone campgrounds. If trailer park living is OK than a long diesel seems the choice. It seems the bigger and more expensive RVs like to stay by Interstates and overnight in the RV parking lot ghettos with level spaces. Rent a RV for a week and try staying in both places and see what you prefer.

In 2009, I spent 4 months in Alaska in a Class B RV. I realized I wanted to be parked in spacious govt parks versus commercial campgrounds. I also knew that as I was getting older I wanted more comfort and less hassle, so I bought the 2012 Bay Star and added the equipment in my signature below. Do you want to spend your RV time in photo A or B where mama moose and her twins are waking up near you as you are starting the coffee pot?
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:43 PM   #14
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I would imagine a lot of the gas coach "horror" stories are from folks that didn't know what to expect. All MH's are top-heavy, swaying, wandering, bumpy, terror factories when compared to your average car, even more so when compared to luxury or sports cars.

It also depends on how you plan to use it. For leisurely travel, say a couple of hundred miles every few days at most (full timing type travel) where you can avoid interstates, wind, rush hour, etc. for the most part, does it matter all that much? If you're a weekend warrior driving 7 hours to the Nascar race or a family reunion at 1pm on a Friday going 75 mph, it might get a little old.

Then there's cost. Buying new? Expect to pay at least $100,000 more than that Bay Star, more like $200K. Buying used? Expect to pay a lot more or get a significantly older model.

Now if you were talking about buying a Thor ACE or Forest River FR3, that would be one thing. You're talking about buying a Newmar Bay Star. They are like mini Dutch Stars, in our opinion. Solid, well-built coaches with good cargo capacity, big tanks and DP style quality and appointments inside and out.

We've got a 3113 on order and we plan to full time. We plan for this to be our "last coach." We don't want to spend $300k on a MH. We want smaller, lighter and more nimble. We're looking to downsize and simplify our lifestyle and the Bay Star is perfect.

If you like it, go for it. Don't let the relative few that complain and whine and are never happy make you buy something you don't want to. Don't succumb to the fear.

And even if you feel the need to add Sumo springs, sway bars and steering stabilizers you're still saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. Buy a DP you don't really want so you might not have to spend a couple of thousand dollars on a gas coach to improve it's ride and handling is false economy.
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