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Diesel 79 68.10%
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Gas or diesel 11 9.48%
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Old 11-07-2022, 10:14 AM   #1
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Class A Gas Versus Diesel - Our first Motorhome purchase

Hi Class A RVers.

I have started a search for purchasing a Class A motorhome and have done enough research that we need a 36 to 40 ft motorhome.
We are a 30 year boat owners and have had it with the winterizing routine and costs to store a large boat. We are in the process of selling it. We use to RV and will both be retired soon. WE LOVE CAMPING. I have much experience in maintaining Cumming Diesels 450HP Marine Engines. I am not opposed to purchasing diesel. My issue is operating costs versus quality of a coach and ride. Would love to hear from gas and diesel owners. Pros and cons.
Denmo
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Old 11-07-2022, 10:57 AM   #2
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It all depend on your budget. Rear diesel is ideal if cost is not a problem. How much are you actually going to drive it? While sitting at a campsite both make the same noise. The number one consideration is the floor plan. You will hate it a whole lot more if you get a floor plan you don't like just to get the power train you wanted. Fuel mileage in a diesel will be slightly better but the maintenance will eat up that difference quickly. If you are going to doing a lot of driving in it then I would definitetly go diesel. I have a 2000 Workhorse with 7.4l and the noise is not all that bad. I usually drive 3-4 hours and then stay for a week and drive back home. Lately it has been less than a thousnad miles a year with the projects at home and to a certain extent the gas prices. Everyone's needs are different.
If you plan to live in it any extended amount of time do not go less than 36' and 38' would be way better. My 32' would be way too small to do more than we presently do.
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Old 11-07-2022, 10:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denmo View Post
Hi Class A RVers.

I have started a search for purchasing a Class A motorhome and have done enough research that we need a 36 to 40 ft motorhome.
We are a 30 year boat owners and have had it with the winterizing routine and costs to store a large boat. We are in the process of selling it. We use to RV and will both be retired soon. WE LOVE CAMPING. I have much experience in maintaining Cumming Diesels 450HP Marine Engines. I am not opposed to purchasing diesel. My issue is operating costs versus quality of a coach and ride. Would love to hear from gas and diesel owners. Pros and cons.
Denmo

We spent years with a 31" gasser then changed to a 33' diesel pusher. Your choice depends on what you want to do with it. Operating costs-
The Gasser was 9 tons, the diesel is 13 tons so a direct fuel cost comparison is tough. The gasser tended to get 8-9mpg the diesel tends to get 10 mpg. The basic maintenance is more expensive on the diesel but the intervals are further apart. The parts can be higher but the Cummins 340 doesn't seem to need any.
The ride quality is much better with the DP nut some gassers have a good ride too. NO engine noise with the Diesel Pusher. Only windshield noise.

The ford Gasser had better acceleration on a freeway on ramp. The Diesel can climb most mountains without making a commotion about it.
For me the difference is in the mode of travel. We circle the country annually. We like the more relaxed "bus" ride and the long engine life. Someone with more shorter trips might like the gas model. Happy trails!
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Old 11-07-2022, 11:05 AM   #4
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Have had 2 gasser and now DP. Also prior boaters for 30 yrs... 20 w 2 gassers and now diesel Mainship.
Gas MHs and boats served us well and we cruised a LOT and enjoyed our time very much.
Our DP MH is small 34 ft Newmar Ventana and really appreciate driving it. Quiet ride and Comfort Drive the major plusses. As many say... once it's parked they are very similar. I would say a lot depends on how many days / hours you plan to drive / ride vs use it parked. I would certainly favor a DP if full timing or driving lots of mtns. If shorter trips & less mtns a good gasser will serve its purpose.
DP maint will be higher but if you are use to Cummins maint (and DIY?) it may not be a deal breaker. I dont have firm #s but would say educated guess is,DP annual maint is between 5X - 10X what a gasser might be. Towards lower end if DIY and higher end if farm everything out.
If you have the budget you will not regret having a DP but if the added $ stretches the budget I'd sooner put it towards more travel and enjoyment.
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Old 11-07-2022, 12:27 PM   #5
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I don't think the type of fuel is the deciding factor. The deciding factor is how you'll use the coach and how often. If you're an occasional weekend RVer, go locally and don't have a need to haul a large toad, trailer or boat, then a gas coach would make the most sense.

If you want something for long trips, heavy towing and more stability on the road, than a DP is probably your best choice.
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Old 11-07-2022, 01:47 PM   #6
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Two different viewpoints here, assuming initial cost not a big factor.
Gas - cheaper to purchase, cheaper to operate and maintain, in most cases assuming you stay on top of required maintenance plans. It is noisy when going up or down grades, does not have a real engine brake, and the overall ride is a bit disconcerting due to roll, sway and pitch and you'll swear the dashboard is about to fall off, sometimes (we had a 2019 Tiffin 32SA). The suspension system on the F53 chassis, IMO, leaves a lot to be desired, stock.

On the DP side, it is a quieter, more relaxed ride due to engine in back and air bags. We have a 2017 Tiffin Red 33AA with the Cummins ISB 6.7 / 360 HP and comparing annual maintenance costs to the 32SA we had, I'm within a $150 of service cost.

Between the two, I prefer the DP and my wife and I readily admit that (for us) this is what we should have gotten initially. If you are only doing weekend and short trips, then gas will serve you admirably. But, if you are doing long haul, long term, then I would definitely recommend Diesel as the vehicle of choice. As others have said, aside from choice of fuel, layout is the more important factor and if you find the one that rings your bell, then that's most of the problem resolved.
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Old 11-07-2022, 03:03 PM   #7
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I think the reference to "choice of fuel" obscures the crux of the matter. The difference in fuel is a relatively minor difference between a gas motorhome and a DP. Of far more importance are suspension, brakes, overall construction, features and amenities.

Diesel pushers have air suspensions, air brakes, engine brakes, more weight and stronger frames. All this leads to a better ride and better handling. Many of them have tag axles, which further improves ride and handling. Most diesels have more battery capacity, larger generators, and greater fuel, water, and waste tank capacity. All this adds more versatily and allows longer stays "off the grid" or boondocking.

DP's are upscale products in their manufacturers' lineups, and so they tend to have luxury features that are not included on most gas models, such as more storage, power shades, power awnings, power bay door locks, bigger residential refrigerators, upgraded furniture, cabinetry and countertops, heated floors, etc. Overall, the typical diesel pusher is more luxurious in many ways unrelated to the type of engine or the type of fuel. And those differences do not cease to exist when you stop driving. The upgraded interior features, amenities, and storage are available and enjoyable whether you are moving or are parked.

I see no downside to diesel aside from cost, and for some folks, overall size. Bigger size is a plus to some people and a minus to others, depending on your preferences and usage. Cost is cost and it's importance is more a function of the user than of the RV. Diesels do cost more to buy and to own. To some this will be of utmost importance, and to others it will not matter so much.
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Old 11-07-2022, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denmo View Post
Hi Class A RVers.



I have started a search for purchasing a Class A motorhome and have done enough research that we need a 36 to 40 ft motorhome.

We are a 30 year boat owners and have had it with the winterizing routine and costs to store a large boat. We are in the process of selling it. We use to RV and will both be retired soon. WE LOVE CAMPING. I have much experience in maintaining Cumming Diesels 450HP Marine Engines. I am not opposed to purchasing diesel. My issue is operating costs versus quality of a coach and ride. Would love to hear from gas and diesel owners. Pros and cons.

Denmo


This is the most brought up topic gas vs Diesel.
Since you own a diesel boat then you know how much maintaining it cost.
Why did you buy a diesel boat?
The only con owning a diesel is the country is running out of fuel so they say.
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Old 11-07-2022, 03:13 PM   #9
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I'd suggest that you take an example of each for a good test ride before deciding.

Had a lengthy discussion, yesterday, w/friends who just bought their first RV, a barely used small A gasser & they are literally terrified by the ride/drive quality, after only a few hundred miles. Now drowning in advice on how to cure its evil handling....

It's their first, & by far the biggest thing they've ever driven, so maybe it isn't actually that awful for someone w/experience.

My dear, departed MIL used to say, "You'll get used to hanging if you hang long enough."
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Old 11-07-2022, 03:42 PM   #10
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Gas - cheaper to purchase, cheaper to operate and maintain, in most cases assuming you stay on top of required maintenance plans. It is noisy when going up or down grades, does not have a real engine brake, and the overall ride is a bit disconcerting due to roll, sway and pitch and you'll swear the dashboard is about to fall off, sometimes (we had a 2019 Tiffin 32SA). The suspension system on the F53 chassis, IMO, leaves a lot to be desired, stock.
Ford made MAJOR changes to the F53 chassis after 2019. He suspension was improved and the old V10 was replaced with the "Godzilla" 7.3L V8. The ride is better and the engine does not make as much noise (more power at lower RPM) and better fuel economy.

No it does not compare to a diesel pusher.
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Old 11-07-2022, 08:17 PM   #11
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Not gonna vote. There are so many factors and personal choices that an other's preference is not important.
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Old 11-07-2022, 08:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denmo View Post
Hi Class A RVers.

I have started a search for purchasing a Class A motorhome and have done enough research that we need a 36 to 40 ft motorhome.
We are a 30 year boat owners and have had it with the winterizing routine and costs to store a large boat. We are in the process of selling it. We use to RV and will both be retired soon. WE LOVE CAMPING. I have much experience in maintaining Cumming Diesels 450HP Marine Engines. I am not opposed to purchasing diesel. My issue is operating costs versus quality of a coach and ride. Would love to hear from gas and diesel owners. Pros and cons.
Denmo
Spent decades traveling by boat and sold our last one during Covid. A 63’ with twin Turbo Detroit’s. Purchased a gas Class A and it was nice with no issues but coming from a large diesel boat just didn’t feel right. Traded it in for a nice diesel pusher and couldn't be happier.,Feels much more alike to out boating days.
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Old 11-07-2022, 09:01 PM   #13
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If I stop for a night and itís hot out the generator is 42 feet away from me. Going down the road the engine is 42 feet away from me. You an actually hear the tires at 65 mph.

Quieter all the time is more relaxing. Last Saturday drove 370 miles to dinner and 370 miles back home. Wasnít tired after 12 hours driving time. Not sure that would have been enjoyable sitting beside the engine.

Maintenance is no harder than a gas powered vehicle. The parts are just bigger and it takes more fluids (but less often).

Just one personís opinion.
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Old 11-07-2022, 11:24 PM   #14
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Buy an older diesel pusher with a tag axle. Older to avoid DEF issues. There are a lot of low mileage coaches that donít need DEF. Just get an inspection. Iíve had a 38 footer with no tag axle and now have a 40 footer with a tag. The tag axle is much better in crosswinds. The only downside is two more tires to maintain.
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