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Old 06-13-2021, 07:21 AM   #1
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DP vs Gas RV - Recommended Driving / operating or storing?

Good morning !

I am somewhat new to the Class A game as I have owned one for two years only taking local 2-7 day trips. We recently completed a 3 week trip from WA to NM which was great but towing my Jeep, windy weather pushing the RV over the road has got me to thinking to upgrading to a DP.

While there are marked difference in the cost of buying and operating/maintaining a DP, the question I have is more along the line of what is a an acceptable yearly usage of a DP. I have heard/read that if your are full timing RV, a DP is a great way to go but to let is set for an extended period of time, it is not good. I would assume this is true of all mechanical things.

We are most likely a couple years away from extensive use of a coach during
a 12 month period, but if a bargain were to be found, what is suggested in operating/maintaining a coach to ensure issues don't creep in from inactivity?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:00 AM   #2
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The decision to buy a DP is based on "Want" or "Need". If you are going to tow an 8-10,000# trailer, a DP is needed. We only take a few trips a year to an off road rally or a campground for a few days. We rarely spend more than 30 nights a year in the coach. Yet, we have driven 77,000 miles in 8 years. Most of our miles are driving from our WI home to our AZ home in the fall and back in the spring with a side trip to ID to visit a daughter. All of those miles could be done in a car or plane. However the DW does not like to fly. Traveling in the MH is more enjoyable than a car and for us, traveling in a DP tag is better than a GP.(Gas Puller)

My point is that there is no set rule for choosing a DP over a GP. For most, it comes down to "What do I want and what can I afford?" No need to justify your choice to anyone but yourself. We could do everything with a GP, but, we "Wanted" a DP. What do you really want????

My coach sometimes will sit for 3 months with nothing but the tires covered. The solar panels keep the batteries up to 100 %. In 25 years of MH ownership, I have never found the need to start everything up just to let it run. Our farm equipment including diesel and gas would sit idle for six months. 20 KW 440 volt 3 phase generators would remain on the diesel power unit out in the field till spring. No issues in over 2 decades. Keep it polished, under cover if possible and regular servicing is all that is needed.
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:09 AM   #3
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Probably the most common recommendation is to take the coach for at least a 20-30 mile drive every month or two. That will bring the engine, fluids and tires up to operating temperatures. Starting and idling the engine in the driveway for 15-20 minutes is not recommended. Of course, when the coach is taken in for service, for example, it will be started, driven into the service bay and then shut down. The opposite happens after the service is performed. So, occasional short run times won’t destroy the engine.

Similar recommendations apply to the generator as well. Run it for an hour or two, with a load, every month or two. Of course, neither the engine or generator will self destruct if left to sit for 3, 6 or even 12 months.

There are theories along the lines that only full-timers or people who intend to drive tens of thousands of miles each year should buy a DP. Yet some full-timers sit for months at an RV park. And how many 10 year old DP’s have 300K miles on the clock? In some parts of the country, coaches get put to bed in October and won’t see the light of day until April.

Many opt for a DP for the improved ride, overall build quality and higher towing capacities, among other attributes, even if they don’t plan on being in the coach for 6 months out of the year or driving 50,000 miles a year.

Following a few basic guidelines should keep the coach in a ready to go condition.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
The decision to buy a DP is based on "Want" or "Need". If you are going to tow an 8-10,000# trailer, a DP is needed.

My point is that there is no set rule for choosing a DP over a GP. For most, it comes down to "What do I want and what can I afford?" No need to justify your choice to anyone but yourself. We could do everything with a GP, but, we "Wanted" a DP. What do you really want????
A Super C can easily tow 8-10K.

Where did you get the sense that the OP is trying to justify the purchase? Werenít they just asking for some general usage and storage guidelines?
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick.Winters View Post
Good morning !


Snip

I have heard/read that if your are full timing RV, a DP is a great way to go but to let is set for an extended period of time, it is not good. I would assume this is true of all mechanical things.

We are most likely a couple years away from extensive use of a coach during
a 12 month period, but if a bargain were to be found, what is suggested in operating/maintaining a coach to ensure issues don't creep in from inactivity?

Thanks in advance

From your question it sounds like you're asking if a Diesel engine motorhome will have more maintenance issues if left un-used vs a gas motorhome. I really don't think there is much difference. Any engine, gas or diesel if properly maintained and serviced will operate fine with occasional use. Many DP's that are 15 yo have less than 75,000 miles and operate fine. Proper preventive maintenance is a better indicator of longevity.

So in my opinion there are other reasons to consider when comparing a gas vs diesel motorhome.
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Gloves View Post
A Super C can easily tow 8-10K.

Where did you get the sense that the OP is trying to justify the purchase? Werenít they just asking for some general usage and storage guidelines?
You're absolutely correct. A Super C can pull up to 20K. However, he did not ask about a Super C. The OP was referring to his class A gas coach and wondering "what was the acceptable yearly usage of a DP". Gee, That sounds like he's looking for some number that makes owning a DP ok/justified. Then even though he's not currently looking but "if a bargain were to be found" ,,,,,,,,,, That sounds to me like if he found the right answers, he would buy a DP. In other words, if he could justify it, he would act.
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:47 AM   #7
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Gasser upgrades...

Front end alignment(to add 5+deg positive caster for added directional stability), a rear trac bar(BlueOx) and a set of Koni FSD shocks tamed our previous W-22 gas chassis. Those three upgrades helped negated most of the 'tail wag', caused by side gusts from crosswinds and passing trucks and took care of excessive porpoising at bridge and concrete uneven expansion joints.

Although we are very happy with our current DP, I'll have to admit I miss the lower maintenance cost of the gasser. I could change engine oil in both generator/chassis engines, all oil/fuel filters in both, and lube the chassis for well under the price of the diesel's main air filter. That said, I doubt we could go back to a gasser.

As an aside, with our gasser's above upgrades, we also towed a 2 door Wrangler on two different 5&1/2 month long trips(one to AK) with no handling problems.

Seafoam or Stabil additives should help keep fuel fresher for longer storage.
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Old 06-13-2021, 01:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
You're absolutely correct. A Super C can pull up to 20K. However, he did not ask about a Super C. The OP was referring to his class A gas coach and wondering "what was the acceptable yearly usage of a DP". Gee, That sounds like he's looking for some number that makes owning a DP ok/justified. Then even though he's not currently looking but "if a bargain were to be found" ,,,,,,,,,, That sounds to me like if he found the right answers, he would buy a DP. In other words, if he could justify it, he would act.
Interestingly perspective. I just didnít read that much into it. The thread topic and the final question were pretty specific in being about inactivity and mechanical issues.

True, he did not ask about a Super C, which is a viable alternative for towing 10K or more. He also did not ask how he could justify the purchase.
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kid Gloves View Post
Interestingly perspective. I just didnít read that much into it. The thread topic and the final question were pretty specific in being about inactivity and mechanical issues.

True, he did not ask about a Super C, which is a viable alternative for towing 10K or more. He also did not ask how he could justify the purchase.
I guess Rick will determine what is meaningful to him. I hope my comments were helpful.
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rick.Winters View Post
Good morning !



While there are marked difference in the cost of buying and operating/maintaining a DP, the question I have is more along the line of what is a an acceptable yearly usage of a DP. I have heard/read that if your are full timing RV, a DP is a great way to go but to let is set for an extended period of time, it is not good. I would assume this is true of all mechanical things.


We are /were in similar situation that you describe.
We have snowbirded in FL for a few months each winter and don't do a lot of other trips throughout the year as we boat in summer and in NE season is short so we focus on boating as much as possible.
We don't put a lot of miles on the MH and boat is winterized & shrink wrapped in winter.
Both used to be gas but we upgraded to diesel several yes ago and are pleased with the upgrade on both.
If the additional cost is not an issue I dont think you will be disappointed. Given proper maintenance and care leaving a diesel sit for periods of time is no worse than a gasser IMO.
Many will state a gasser is the same as a DP once parked so unless driving lots no real benefit to a DP. I absolutely love the drive & handling of our Newmar Ventana with Comfort Drive and feel much more relaxed after a typical 6 hour day.
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Old 06-13-2021, 03:42 PM   #11
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- To add to my OP, the other considerations is the superior comfort of the air bag ride versus my existing WH suspension which bounces/leans at every crack or uneven concrete road surface or RV-truck passing in either direction.

In my recent travel from Knab UT to Prescott AZ, a wind storm of steady 20-30 mph with 50 mph gusts for 6 hours is no bueno! Watching the other DPs on the road, they just appeared to keep truckin along with nary a tilt-bounce.

One other is feature is the front entry of a DP versus the side entry of my Pacearrow just results in a cut up floor plan.

If I could add one more item, I have really come to dislike the vacuflush system on my coach. Is this system becoming more common than the typical gravity drain? I am in the process of rebuilding my bellow and replacing the duckbill valves, hoping that will improve the vacuum of the system, but all in all, would be glad to be rid of it 8-)

Thank you all for you comments and observations - What a great group of fellow RVers!
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:22 PM   #12
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The ride quality is unmatched. Weíve driven in high winds and not even realized it until we stopped and got out.

Our DP has a mid-door or mid-ship entry. We actually sought out that feature, although it would not have been a deal breaker had we found a front door entry coach that suited our needs. We enjoy entering an open area with the kitchen to the left and living area to the right. Groceries land right in the kitchen without having to snake around the passenger seat or risk whacking your head on a TV. And a bathroom visit doesnít require a walk though 3/4ís of the coach. The door is also covered by a large awning rather than a small, or no, awning over a front door. We can pull the car under the awning and stay completely dry in rainy weather.

Another slight benefit is reduced wind noise at the passenger seat, with the elimination of the door in that area. On our particular coach, the mid-door option affords a dual fuel fill feature, both driver a passenger side, that is not available on the front door models. One final, potential benefit which we hope to never use, is a front end impact that would yield a front door inoperable.

Just food for thought as you begin your search.
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:22 PM   #13
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Hey fellow Washingtonian! We just started wintering in AZ three years ago. Not able to go for the 2020-21 season for reasons other than C-19. So, our new to us 2014 DP has been getting short hops around the state since April of 2020. We REALLY love our 36' DP in comparison to the 31' class C we had. I really don't think a diesel is going to be any more problematic than a gasser for your intended use.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick.Winters View Post
Good morning !

I am somewhat new to the Class A game as I have owned one for two years only taking local 2-7 day trips. We recently completed a 3 week trip from WA to NM which was great but towing my Jeep, windy weather pushing the RV over the road has got me to thinking to upgrading to a DP.

While there are marked difference in the cost of buying and operating/maintaining a DP, the question I have is more along the line of what is a an acceptable yearly usage of a DP. I have heard/read that if your are full timing RV, a DP is a great way to go but to let is set for an extended period of time, it is not good. I would assume this is true of all mechanical things.

We are most likely a couple years away from extensive use of a coach during
a 12 month period, but if a bargain were to be found, what is suggested in operating/maintaining a coach to ensure issues don't creep in from inactivity?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick.Winters View Post
Good morning !

I am somewhat new to the Class A game as I have owned one for two years only taking local 2-7 day trips. We recently completed a 3 week trip from WA to NM which was great but towing my Jeep, windy weather pushing the RV over the road has got me to thinking to upgrading to a DP.

While there are marked difference in the cost of buying and operating/maintaining a DP, the question I have is more along the line of what is a an acceptable yearly usage of a DP. I have heard/read that if your are full timing RV, a DP is a great way to go but to let is set for an extended period of time, it is not good. I would assume this is true of all mechanical things.

We are most likely a couple years away from extensive use of a coach during
a 12 month period, but if a bargain were to be found, what is suggested in operating/maintaining a coach to ensure issues don't creep in from inactivity?

Thanks in advance
They’re both giant fiberglass sails moving through the wind.

Before someone mentions weight, think of the news stories of 80,000lb semi trucks being blown over in high crosswinds.
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