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Old 10-05-2021, 08:32 AM   #1
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DP or Gas towing Honda Odyssey

We’re looking to buy a MH and trying to decide the best option for our budget of <$30k which obviously limits us to older models. We’ll be dolly towing a Honda Odyssey which will come in just under 5k lbs with the dolly. I found a 97 Tiffin Allegro 40’ bus with a Cummins engine/Allison transmission that lists a GVWR of 26k and GCWR of 31k which would indicate a tow capacity (if fully loaded) of 5,000 lbs. However for the same price or less we could get a gas unit at least 5-7 years newer. I would assume the DP would do a better job towing even if the capacities are the same, but I’m hoping for some input on this. We will mainly be using it to travel between NY and TN so no very steep grades. Is the diesel worth it here?
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Old 10-05-2021, 09:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by what2do View Post
We’re looking to buy a MH and trying to decide the best option for our budget of <$30k which obviously limits us to older models. We’ll be dolly towing a Honda Odyssey which will come in just under 5k lbs with the dolly. I found a 97 Tiffin Allegro 40’ bus with a Cummins engine/Allison transmission that lists a GVWR of 26k and GCWR of 31k which would indicate a tow capacity (if fully loaded) of 5,000 lbs. However for the same price or less we could get a gas unit at least 5-7 years newer. I would assume the DP would do a better job towing even if the capacities are the same, but I’m hoping for some input on this. We will mainly be using it to travel between NY and TN so no very steep grades. Is the diesel worth it here?
Hopefully, you’re handy with repairing things yourself with either of the choices you mentioned. It may be overwhelming otherwise. I’m sure others will comment.
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Old 10-05-2021, 12:34 PM   #3
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DP or Gas towing Honda Odyssey

NY to TN…… a bit more specific? Full timing? Snowbird? Sometime camping?
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Old 10-05-2021, 12:48 PM   #4
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NY to TN…… a bit more specific? Full timing? Snowbird? Sometime camping?
Currently live in NY, moving to middle TN. Will primarily use the MH for trips back to NY and Canada to visit family. We won’t be living in the RV for extended periods.
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Old 10-05-2021, 12:58 PM   #5
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Hard choice. Both will get you anywhere you want to go in North America on paved roads with the Odyssey along for the ride. A Tiffin Bus is hard to beat but at 24 years I would have some concerns and it has a lot more stuff that is going to demand your attention and maintenance budget.

I would probably go with the Bus but I also have a bias for Tiffin products. If you had your eye on a 2006 or newer Allegro Open Road the I would go with it instead.
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Old 10-05-2021, 04:31 PM   #6
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DP or Gas towing Honda Odyssey

Quote:
Originally Posted by what2do View Post
………I found a 97 Tiffin Allegro 40’ bus with a Cummins engine/Allison transmission that lists a GVWR of 26k and GCWR of 31k which would indicate a tow capacity (if fully loaded) of 5,000 lbs. However for the same price or less we could get a gas unit at least 5-7 years newer…….

Quote:
Originally Posted by what2do View Post
Currently live in NY, moving to middle TN. Will primarily use the MH for trips back to NY and Canada to visit family. We won’t be living in the RV for extended periods.
Generally, you are choosing between a 20-25 y/o diesel and a 17-20 y/o gasser. All other things being equal, to me it’s a no brainer. The DP will excel in towing, performance, quality of ride (quietness!), handling. The Tiffin bus (and good DP units from some other manufacturers) were fairly high end machines when new, and the quality of construction will carry through into reliable longevity. Very few gassers, if any, fit that description. After 15 or 20 years of travel a gasoline engine is likely in the twilight of life, while a diesel of that type (if reasonably maintained) is still in its prime.
That said, both machines will require age related care. Parts DO wear out, and diesels generally cost more to care for.
From your description it sounds like you’re somewhere around middle upstate NY, and your travels will involve a lot of I-81. That means maybe some of the Adirondacks, but certainly some respectable grades going through PA. In those environments either machine would do the job, but the diesel’s torque would make life easier, and you wouldn’t have to go deaf with that 4000 rpm engine sitting right between you!
Short answer— the DP will cost you more to maintain, but will likely be more reliable and a nicer travel. If you think your budget can support this, I would go with the diesel.

Good Luck!!!
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Old 10-05-2021, 07:29 PM   #7
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For the type, location and frequency of your driving, I think the gas engine will suffice. The diesel engine is best for frequent and long-distance traveling, but you're talking about < 1,000 miles each way, which IMO is not long-distance traveling.
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Old 10-05-2021, 10:41 PM   #8
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With your budget, I would consider a gas motorhome, possibly a Tiffin or Newmar. My only reasoning is that the maintenance/repair on a gasser may be more economical. You will still be getting an older motorhome either way, and I would suggest you have it inspected and checked out before purchasing. That way you may have an indication of expected repairs.
I have nothing against diesel, they just seem to be more costly to maintain.
Hope you find a good one that works for you.
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Old 10-05-2021, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by what2do View Post
We’re looking to buy a MH and trying to decide the best option for our budget of <$30k which obviously limits us to older models. We’ll be dolly towing a Honda Odyssey which will come in just under 5k lbs with the dolly. I found a 97 Tiffin Allegro 40’ bus with a Cummins engine/Allison transmission that lists a GVWR of 26k and GCWR of 31k which would indicate a tow capacity (if fully loaded) of 5,000 lbs. However for the same price or less we could get a gas unit at least 5-7 years newer. I would assume the DP would do a better job towing even if the capacities are the same, but I’m hoping for some input on this. We will mainly be using it to travel between NY and TN so no very steep grades. Is the diesel worth it here?
Your assumption is correct.
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Old 10-06-2021, 06:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by what2do View Post
We’re looking to buy a MH and trying to decide the best option for our budget of &lt;$30k which obviously limits us to older models. We’ll be dolly towing a Honda Odyssey which will come in just under 5k lbs with the dolly. I found a 97 Tiffin Allegro 40’ bus with a Cummins engine/Allison transmission that lists a GVWR of 26k and GCWR of 31k which would indicate a tow capacity (if fully loaded) of 5,000 lbs. However for the same price or less we could get a gas unit at least 5-7 years newer. I would assume the DP would do a better job towing even if the capacities are the same, but I’m hoping for some input on this. We will mainly be using it to travel between NY and TN so no very steep grades. Is the diesel worth it here?


Between odyssey weight of around 4,500 lbs and trailer around 500 lbs you are max or over most gas’s MH. Just because it may have a 5,000lb hitch doesn’t mean it can handle it.
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Old 10-06-2021, 11:25 AM   #11
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I would get a gas motorhome with the workhorse chassis in that price range it should be in much better shape than the diesel. The word course won't even know that Honda is behind it when your trailering little slower up the grades but that's all.
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Old 10-06-2021, 04:09 PM   #12
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I am a gasser driver that’s gone cross country and climbed the Rockies and Utah mtns several times. Mine has performed perfectly. However, generally the only time I tow is going to Florida for snowbird season and use a tow dolly with my Ford Escape. No problems and don’t even know it’s there unless I pull a bonehead move turning into a short parking lot. I do understand dps are a better ride and have the torque for heavier towing. However maintenance wise unless you are a mechanic yourself find a good diesel truck person in your area. Although gas may be simpler I would suggest a good reliable person for that also. As everyone has said get someone to inspect whichever unit your interested in. Tiffin and newmar are mentioned for the quality of their cabinetry and build. Although mine is a lower end model it has held up well for 65000 mi.
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