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Old 01-02-2017, 09:57 PM   #1
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Diesel vs Gas systems quality

So we all know there are a million parts in these homes. While I have owned several RV's, I know boats better and will use this comparison. My 1995 Cat has a $150 pump on each fish box while the newer boats have $20 pumps. Pretty much the same for all the components on these boats. I hear the guys on forums complaining about these new boats ad nauseam.
I am wondering if this is the case on the older diesel Class A's. After literally hundreds of hours of research, when I think I've made my mind up on an older diesel, I see where I can get an 6 to ten year newer gas rig for the same money. But I wonder if the newer rigs have cheaper componants such as heaters, pumps etc. I think I understand the ride and chassis longevity difference and am setting that whole issue aside for now. My question is do they put the same quality components in the gassers and are the old diesel house componants of better quality than the new gassers? I am looking at Tiffin, Monaco and HR, Newmar and a few other good coaches. Also, thanks to all of you for sharing your wisdom.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:53 PM   #2
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Everyone's view on this subject is different, some like the quality of the older units, gas or diesel, and some like all the latest electronic's, and the new, period!
You will have to go thru a bunch of the older, well made MH's and see for your self! And then go thru the newer one's from the same manufacture, and make up your own mind!

I bought older, and it fit's, just what i was looking for! Very good quality, top of the line ride and handling, plenty of power, just a real nice touring coach! Not too long, not to short, plenty of room, storage, comfort! Work's for us!

A lot of it has to do with how much you have to spend, and what your specific need's are? I also think a lot of people overlook the Carrying Cap. before they buy, and after they load it up, and head out, then complain about how bad it drives? Or can't figure out why they are having tire problem's?

And putting the chassis aside between gas and diesel, that is a huge, Huge, part of what is different between the two? They all pretty much use the same appliances, although, the diesels will have the top of the line, and have the extra things like W/D, ice maker, dishwasher, hydrohot heat and water, auto start generator, diesel generator, on and on!! And the cabinet quality is different between the two also, not so much in the top of the line, but, i am one that thinks the older coaches, had the best wood, solid wood doors, solid wood cabinets, not just the doors, dove tail joints on the drawers, on and on!

So, i think you will have to see for yourself! Get out there and drive them, sit in them, open and close the drawers, sit on the toilet, get in the shower, see if you fit? Relax on the couch, can you sit and see the TV comfortably?

Hope this somewhat helps?

Enjoy the search! Rail!
Retired, and "Always on Holiday!"
1996 Monaco Windsor 38PB, "Mona" 275 HP., 8.3 Cummins, 3060 Allison 6 speed, 2001 PT Cruiser, "Bailey"
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:07 PM   #3
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Prior post was great. I felt that buying an older diesel rig was the better route mainly because it was better in the first place. Better built on a much better chassis. Mine is a bus chassis, I'll never wear out this rig. Plus I've got solid wood cabinets, walls and even interior doors are solid walnut. You won't find that on most rigs...
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:28 PM   #4
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I agree with the earlier posts, but am adding my 2 cents as I just went through the process for the RV I just purchased. I was looking at the Winnebago diesel and gas models. When looking at class A's there are three levels of gas, the Vista, Sightseer and Adventurer, with Adventurer being the most expensive. The Diesel models includes the Forza, Journey and Tour models, with the Grand Tour being the most expensive. I found there some overlap in quality between the lines, with the Adventurer in the gas models and the Journey in the Diesel models being on par, for the most part, when it comes to the quality of the coach, including the wood, furniture and features. Of course the Journey is more expensive than a comparable Adventurer due to the Diesel engine and chassis.
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:29 AM   #5
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Yes the older model RV's seem t be better built than the newer models, but I will also say that there were more brands and builders back in the day so the level of build quality is what made them stand out when comparing then to each other.
There was also more component venders out there also. This is where things get sticky if you buy and older unit. Then repair/replacement parts may not be available any longer. A lot of the high end RV's had one off designs or components that were used because they had one. Some of those things can't be repaired or even replaced without a complete redesign due to space.
Now as far as cost of components, the MFG's are now using the same across the whole line due to cost and less confusion when one goes bad. They don't have to carry 3 or 4 different brands or models so it keeps upfront cost down.
I agree the older high end RV's due use higher end wood, solid doors and real wood cabinets but even they have gotten to the point to having to use real wood laminates in order to save on weight, but the quality is awesome and so is the price.

Personally and older DP that has a great record book of all the maintenance performed on the engine and transmission would be a way to go. Then all you need to do is have the inside updated with new TV's.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:16 AM   #6
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I agree withe the previous well written posts. We were looking for an older DP to suit our needs. We are looking to full time in few years were load capacity was high on the list. A lot of the older DP units have low hours/ miles that have been well cared for over the years. The well manufacturers that that made it through the down turn are the preferred; were they can support parts and repairs. I do believe that people have a certain degree of comfort with either diesel or gas based on what they have been accustomed to.
My advise is to research as much as possible, ask as many questions and look at as many coaches as you can. Each one is different, but you will know which one is the right one once you walk inside.
Mike and Family
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:06 AM   #7
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Hmmmm, A little different spin on the gas vs diesel debate.

I would have to agree (as much as it pains me) that a diesel coach will typically be built with a stronger structure (thicker walls, fiberglass, insulation, cabinets, doors, etc.), suspension and powerplant. Also, the older DPs are probably built differently than newer ones. Better? I don't think it is is fair to generalize. You would have to pinpoint a specific year and model and compare to another specific year and model. As a general statement, items built after '08 ten to have gone down in quality due to the great recession. Personally think things are coming back but that is all subjective. Others will disagree.
As far as systems go? I have the same water heater in my gas Bounder as does a diesel that costs $50k more. Same shower, same stove, same micro, same fridge, same lousy L couch, same solid surface counters, same LED lights, etc.
I analyzed things ad nauseum too. Was it worth it? Maybe. I at least know what I bought. In the end I am pretty happy with my new gas coach. I do not expect to replace it for a long long time (unless I win the lottery but I am not counting on that, you know, a dollar and a dream...) In the end that's what matters for you too, to be happy.
Chances are you will never find the perfect coach. You will need to compromise here and there. Kinda like being married...
I don't make it much on here anymore so will not see your reply to my comment. Drop me a direct message and when I come back on I will see it.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:38 AM   #8
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get what's best for you

I've owned both. Went to a gas class A over the diesel because of cost. My Challenger has everything we need. Maybe it can't tow 15K, but I don't own anything that needs to be pulled that weighs over 5k.

Older vs Newer in Quality, that's varies. Good rigs are good rigs. Junk is junk. Both groups have both. Don't kid yourself, after dumping tons of monies on my DP, I got rid of it for a towable. Lemons are out there.

Gas vs Diesel - milage. I get 7 MPG @ $2, my DP got 9 @ $2 (in the early 80's). Now diesel is more, while mileage went down after reducing the sulfer contents. To me = a push. But I will note, DP have more torque for the hills and most have more HP.

Get what is best for you. Just remember, maintenance gets expensive.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:04 AM   #9
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I tend to agree with many that many, if not most, of the newer models are built with much cheaper grade materials than they were 10, 15 or 20 years ago or more.

We went with a gas RV because of cost. We were not ready, nor able, to spend the money on a DP at this time, and may never be. But what we got was good for us, I paid cash for it, and we'll use it until we're tired of it, and try to sell it for what we paid, or at least not lose too much on it, I hope.

We don't really need to tow anything big, or maybe nothing at all either, so that was a big factor for us as well.
Ray & Julie
'97 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 34', and lovin' it!
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:23 AM   #10
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I think newer Freightliner chassis are better. Reliability and mpg. Slides are more dependable now. We have many more amenities than our gas coaches. All new coaches handle and ride better. We have no major issues, but many minor ones I can handle. I would not go back to a older coach.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:26 PM   #11
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The biggest obstacle for me when looking at an older diesel is that even though I know it was probably built better than any new rig that I would be looking at in an affordable price range for us, it looks very outdated as far as colors and materials used other than the wood finishes. Plus most older rigs in our price range have smaller beds and we would want a king! I still spend a lot of time checking the internet for older RVs that may interest us, and I consider how much time and expense it may take to update everything and possibly squeeze a king bed into the bedroom where a smaller bed currently is, but the expense and effort to remodel is a big concern for us.
Steve & Nancy
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:33 PM   #12
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Here's something to read.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GAS vs DIESEL which is best-w-intro.pdf (79.6 KB, 322 views)
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:57 PM   #13
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I bought an older DP (see signature line) and found the GCWR minus GVWR is only 4000lbs - that is my biggest disappointment.

My unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) on the sticker shows 22000lbs - that is fuel, oils, and coolant. Does not include water, cargo, occupants, propane or dealer accessories.

NCC - Net carrying capacity is 2,850lbs - that is passengers, cargo, water, propane, tongue weight of toad etc...

GVWR is 24,850 - maximum vehicle weight
GCWR is 28,850 - is maximum weight with toad - so toad can only be 4000lbs max. This meant I needed a new toad to go with the RV.

So diesel does not automatically add up to more cargo carrying capacity. If I were to do it again, I would look more closely at these numbers. Everything in full timing depends on what you can take with you.

I haven't gotten my actual weights yet as the rig is still in the shop with intermittent no start (TCM or ECM is hozed). Once I get possession I will check all of the weights and see where I am. Probably not enough capacity for me to sit in the chair to drive it!
Jim Aka RV-Writer
8 year US Navy Veteran - Lifetime VFW Member 1998 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 37CDS (38 footer) DP 2012 Honda CR-V AWD under 4000 lbs Blue ox Aventa / Baseplate / Air Force One
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:03 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by marjoa View Post
Here's something to read.
That's a good synopsis. Lot's of great (and fair) information.
Thanks for posting.
I don't make it much on here anymore so will not see your reply to my comment. Drop me a direct message and when I come back on I will see it.
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diesel, ems, gas, quality

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