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Old 12-11-2016, 06:41 AM   #1
cwk
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"Diesel Experience"???

We are in the research phase for a Class A for possible future full-timing. Still a few years off, but we have started visiting shows, dealerships, reading iRV2, etc., etc.

One of the typical questions is always gas vs. diesel. I have my thoughts at this point, but will leave that for a later date as we still need to learn more.

What one poster here on iRV2 said got me to wondering. He seemed to imply that it might be better to consider a gasser, unless one had prior "diesel experience." Even if it was with a pick-up truck, or some other type of diesel-powered vechicle. Maybe I misinterpreted his comments?

What exactly is "diesel experience"?

In the past I have driven school buses, fire engines, fire trucks (including both ends of a hook-and-ladder), larger U-Haul straight boxes, etc. But, all of them have had gas engines. What am I missing here? And, if so, where do I go to gain the information I might need to successfully operate a diesel coach?
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:01 AM   #2
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We have had both. Prefer the diesel mostly because it has air ride chassis which seems to both ride and drive much easier and comfortable.

Diesel does have a higher operating and maintenance cost but to me not that much more.

Not that much difference in operation that I'm aware of.

To me it's more a personal choice
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:10 AM   #3
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I have no idea why one would say that you need "diesel experience" before getting a diesel. Seems counter intuitive and why would getting a gasser first have anything to do with .... well anything?
Any additional learning that might be needed by a diesel vs a gasser is so slight as to not have the slightest consideration.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:12 AM   #4
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This topic gets posted often, it's a financial difference you will need to choose. My biggest advise is to test drive both so you can make up your mind what you prefer and go from there. For the most part there is 2 gas chassis and numerous different diesel chassis so do your homework they do not ride alike.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:19 AM   #5
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You dont need prior diesel experience to own one. That person who said you do probably has watched one to many episodes of ice road truckers.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwk View Post
We are in the research phase for a Class A for possible future full-timing. Still a few years off, but we have started visiting shows, dealerships, reading iRV2, etc., etc.

One of the typical questions is always gas vs. diesel. I have my thoughts at this point, but will leave that for a later date as we still need to learn more.

What one poster here on iRV2 said got me to wondering. He seemed to imply that it might be better to consider a gasser, unless one had prior "diesel experience." Even if it was with a pick-up truck, or some other type of diesel-powered vechicle. Maybe I misinterpreted his comments?

What exactly is "diesel experience"?

In the past I have driven school buses, fire engines, fire trucks (including both ends of a hook-and-ladder), larger U-Haul straight boxes, etc. But, all of them have had gas engines. What am I missing here? And, if so, where do I go to gain the information I might need to successfully operate a diesel coach?

The argument about gas/diesel should be cast differently. It really depends on the weight of the coach that will fulfill your wishes. If the coaches that fulfill your needs weigh less than 24-26,000 pounds then gas power is possible. Once you get above that threshold, then you will need diesel power. If you prefer to think in terms of length, that generally means that gas powered units top out at 38-40' and above that diesel power is necessary.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:49 AM   #7
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We are in the research phase for a Class A for possible future full-timing. Still a few years off,
When you get to your road test drive phase. You will then understand the difference between Gas/Diesel real quick.
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:03 AM   #8
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Too me it's how much ($$$$) is it worth to you. Any nice Class A is a lot of money. You have to be able to use it enough to make it worth while. You also have to know you want to keep this thing for a long time. A gas MH will be wonderful and do every thing a diesel will, but the DP will just be a much nicer experience (and cost more too.)
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:17 AM   #9
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The question is not if a dp is better then a gasser. That is a different debate that the op would like to have at a later date.

The op was told he needs prior diesel experience ie diesel pick-up truck...and the answer is no you do not.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cwk View Post
We are in the research phase for a Class A for possible future full-timing. Still a few years off, but we have started visiting shows, dealerships, reading iRV2, etc., etc.

One of the typical questions is always gas vs. diesel. I have my thoughts at this point, but will leave that for a later date as we still need to learn more.

What one poster here on iRV2 said got me to wondering. He seemed to imply that it might be better to consider a gasser, unless one had prior "diesel experience." Even if it was with a pick-up truck, or some other type of diesel-powered vechicle. Maybe I misinterpreted his comments?

What exactly is "diesel experience"?

In the past I have driven school buses, fire engines, fire trucks (including both ends of a hook-and-ladder), larger U-Haul straight boxes, etc. But, all of them have had gas engines. What am I missing here? And, if so, where do I go to gain the information I might need to successfully operate a diesel coach?
My first "diesel experience" was my 40 ft tag axle 42,000lb motor home. I turn the key just like my gas vehicles and the starter turns until it starts. I follow the manufacturers recommendations on lube/oil/filter (LOF) changes which include chassis and drive train lubes. In short, yes there is a learning curve but everything is virtually the same. I saw the comment you mentioned and was tempted to "comment" but didn't want to start an argument. Buy the motor home you want worry about the Maint. issues later. I'm very glad my first is a DP!
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:27 AM   #11
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To answer your question about "diesel experience", it depends on what type of person you are. If you are someone that tinkers and maintains your own gas vehicles, it is assumed that you will be doing the same with a diesel coach and diesel experience would definitely be beneficial.
Many gas coach owners have no gas experience, if it starts and runs, then you're good to go. If it doesn't start, then you call someone than can get it started. Exactly the same applies to a diesel coach.
That "diesel experience" comment came from a person that has past "gas experience" and has progressed to diesel maintenance and is the type of person that will be doing some of the routine maintenance on the diesel. There are differences and "diesel experience" would definitely help.
Don't let it scare you off from the diesel ownership.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:33 AM   #12
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Another gas/diesel discussion

Main difference is money out yer pocket.

DP's usually win for air ride, brakes, CCC, towing capacity, torque and engine longevity. But you pay dearly for that. I am so happy of the 10's of thousand's more in my bank account with my new gasser.

I've owned diesel and gas. I now own gas and am happy with it. DP or gasser you're still most likely to have the same problems with the house portion of the RV.
A couple hundred dollars gave my gasser a ride pretty close to my DP. Either way I am happy with the ride. I wish I had more CCC but I am learning to downsize and that's not a bad think. I get around the torque issue by using my gasser HP and I've passed a number of DPers going up grades. Brakes, well, I've leaner to use my transmission tow/haul mode and pretty happy with it. Brakes are not air and I don't think there is a fix for it. I drive slower and am in no hurry. And if you are stupid enough to pull in front of me and cause an accident I have a dash cam to show the police and insurance. 30+ years of driving and never had an at fault accident and plan on keeping it that way.
How many miles are you going to realistically put on your coach? Gassers maintained will easily last 100k+ miles before any major work needs done. Gassers mechanics are sooooooo much cheaper and easier to find. Do you need an engine that will last a million miles when the rest of the rv will not last nearly that long? Do you have the budget to have a diesel mechanic work on it if/when something goes wrong? I don't.

Drive both. Realize that most issues with a gasser can be resolved fairly painlessly except for the brakes (as far as I know) IMO. Buy what is in your budget. In the end that is what made my decision.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:37 AM   #13
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No experience required for diesel.
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:12 AM   #14
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Okay, so we have had gas 'Class C' , wanted more room & wanted auto leveling..purchased a diesel 'Class A 36 ft.' 2 yr later knew we wanted 1 1/2 bath and tag. Researched 4 brands, all diesel because as mentioned ..over 40 ft pretty much means diesel. We bought a 45 ft diesel Class A, new, in 2015.

DH is not a diesel mechanic, and our plans are that all maintenance will for now be handled by chassis mfr service, and / or other 'authorized' providers. Yes, it will be more expensive than DIY oil change and etc...but we also paid chassis mfr and / or other providers for both gas (a C, and diesel prior A). Using others for routine maintence is our choice, and may change over time, everyone can decide how they want to do required maintenance on whichever gas or diesel MH they own.

But, to answer OP question about learning more to care for & drive a diesel chassis, in 2016 we also enrolled and completed the Spartan Motors Owner Training. This was a 5-day/weeklong course and covers all chassis components as well as a certified MH driving instructor for you & spouse. This diesel owner training week is the best thing we can recommend, and classmates with many yr diesel MH experience (including some doing own maintenance) all learned MUCH from experts!

Now, for those who haven't heard...this Spartan training is open to ANY diesel MH brand, and ANY chassis mfr. Even those 'experienced diesel owning classmates' in our training week agree that any DIESEL MH chassis owner would benefit. Buy new or used, but if you buy diesel seriously consider this class as an important step in driving safety and chassis knowledge for your MH future travels.

BTW, Freightliner also offers a class for freightliner chassis owners called Camp Freightliner. And, Lazy Days (Tampa, FL location) also have a Driving Course for MH owners (gas & diesel chassis). So training is available whether you choose gas or diesel.

For us, IMHO, our current diesel choice in a MH concentrated on the technical specs of the chassis, and going to tag & diesel & IFS (independent front suspension), and disc brakes all around, was all that we hoped for in MH travels. Also, as Steve Ownby posted, the weight of the rig is a consideration. In our experience, DH's opinion is the prior diesel (36 ft, straight axle steer 34K weight) was much less enjoyable driving for DH than our 54K rated weight with tag and IFS (11,000 miles in year 1 of current diesel coach FWIW, not full timers). So even within diesel class A's there are pros & cons for size, weight, etc.

So, to the OP original question...shop, drive, research...and choose the coach you and your significant other LIKE and the one that fits your budget. Have fun, enjoy the process and good wishes for your future MH ownership which ever gas or diesel

Safe travels to all
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