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Old 09-23-2020, 02:25 PM   #1
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Seeking Advice: New Gas or Used Diesel?

I'm pretty sure this question has been beaten to death in many forms, but never let it be said I was one to pass up a dead horse.

My wife and I have begun talking about our next rig. We currently have a 2005 Newmar Mountain Aire gas rig that has served us pretty well, though we aren't all that much in love with the floor plan (TV placement and recliner right behind the passenger seat being the biggest complaints).

At one point in our discussions, we talked about the possibility of a gently used DP but of late, we're more focused on the idea of a new gas coach. The main reason is that we aren't that mechanically inclined and, therefore, worry about the cost of regular upkeep on a DP. However, after watching some YouTube videos featuring some older Newells and Prevosts (which we are not considering), I have begun to wonder whether a used DP might work for us in spite of our lack of mechanical aptitude.

Here are our desires and goals (as I understand them - my wife may interpret some a bit differently):
  • usable for fulltime living
  • 35-feet or under (I'd like to do some boondocking and dry camping and think would be a little easier with a slightly smaller coach, plus neither of us wants something really long)
  • decent cargo carrying capacity (3,000 lbs. or more) with easily accessible storage bays. Our current coach has the majority of storage compartment doors under slides, and I don't bend as well as I used to.
  • good interior storage - we plan to bring two, maybe three guitars with us and need places to store them while traveling. We'd also like a pantry or plenty of overhead cabinets that would allow us to craft our own pantry area
  • TV visible from sofa and at least one chair (DS or PS perhaps) without having to be a contortionist or having to make frequent trips to a chiropractor or massage therapist
  • decent wardrobe storage that is easy to get to. Our current wardrobe is on the back wall of our coach and is difficult to get to even when the bedroom slide is extended because of the narrow space between the closet doors and the bed
  • at least 5,000 pounds towing capacity. We will either be towing our 2008 Jeep or (more likely) our 2020 Equinox
  • free-standing table and chairs rather than booth dinette
  • ideally, decent kitchen counter space for food prep, although I can think of ways to work around that.
  • ability to easily upgrade to four lithium batteries
I'm sure there are other things that might fall under some of the items I've listed, but that's a start.

At the moment, we are focusing on the Tiffin Open Road 32SA, The layout seems to be closest to what we want, and Tiffin allows a few customizations to get it even closer, plus we love the way the exterior storage compartments are laid out to the point of utilizing space above the batteries and propane tank for storage, something we haven't seen elsewhere.

We had considered the Newmar Bay Star 3401 and 3408 but the way exterior storage was set up, along with the wasted bay in the battery bay eliminated them from consideration.

Our budget is around $150K, perhaps a bit more for the right coach. We won't be buying for a little while (one to two years, probably), so we'll have time to hear about any horror stories with the new F-53 chassis and V8 engine (which we like the idea of). We'll also have time to change our minds multiple times only to change them back.

I'm sure there are things I'm missing or should be thinking about, but they aren't coming to mind at the moment. Feel free to enlighten me on any of those, and I welcome any advice people care to offer. Thanks.
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:52 PM   #2
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I would take a used DP over any new gasser every time! JMHO
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:09 PM   #3
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I would take a used DP over any new gasser every time! JMHO
I couldn't agree more. Gas will get the job done but it is working hard. A diesel just gets it done in stride.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:18 PM   #4
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We were fortunate to find a gently used Newmar Ventana 3433 a few hrs ago, we consider this one of our better moves / finds.
Only you can decide if the layout etc works for you but this DP has more than met our expectations and driving a Newmar w Comfort Drive has been a very pleasant surprise and improvement. I don't subscribe to many of the negatives posted re shorter DPs... ours handles very well.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:24 PM   #5
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I couldn't agree more. Gas will get the job done but it is working hard. A diesel just gets it done in stride.
Gas engines have to suck air in to make power, so they need to spin up.

Diesel engines are force feed air at 20+ PSI to make power. They don't spin up, because they would fly apart due to the heavy components.
When they are working that hard, they're not doing it in stride.

Ride next to a diesel working hard, not 30 feet ahead of it, then make a comparison.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:13 PM   #6
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The consensus, as I expected, seems to be a used DP over a new gas coach. That being the case, what are the options for a DP at 35-feet or less in length for the budget of $150K or less? My wife is convinced there aren't a lot of options for a short DP, and I can't remember seeing one that had a floor plan I liked, although it has been a while since I looked at any DP floor plans. Plus, as I mentioned, we are not mechanically inclined, so I'm sure maintenance costs will be higher.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:17 PM   #7
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We currently have a Minnie Plus travel trailer., When my wife retires we want to do more traveling, at that point we're going to upgrade to a class A.

I've talked to people at the campgrounds that we frequent and watch as much as I can on YouTube.

The consensus seems to be, the used diesel pusher is favored over a gas rig. My budget is a little less than yours I'm looking into the 100 to 130 range. In my range, a diesel pusher at best would be 2008 or 9. I've also looked at the new Bounders with that big new Ford 7 L. While the Bounders aren't as fancy, they are tastefully decorated and I like the floor layout. The Bounders are also sharp looking, and the bath and a half is neat.

So anyway that's my dilemma, a quality motor coach that is a dozen years old or brand new state of the art technology that is still quite nice and I don't have to be a millionaire to afford repairs.

I'll be following this thread interested to see what others think.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cdoorider View Post
We currently have a Minnie Plus travel trailer., When my wife retires we want to do more traveling, at that point we're going to upgrade to a class A.

I've talked to people at the campgrounds that we frequent and watch as much as I can on YouTube.

The consensus seems to be, the used diesel pusher is favored over a gas rig. My budget is a little less than yours I'm looking into the 100 to 130 range. In my range, a diesel pusher at best would be 2008 or 9. I've also looked at the new Bounders with that big new Ford 7 L. While the Bounders aren't as fancy, they are tastefully decorated and I like the floor layout. The Bounders are also sharp looking, and the bath and a half is neat.

So anyway that's my dilemma, a quality motor coach that is a dozen years old or brand new state of the art technology that is still quite nice and I don't have to be a millionaire to afford repairs.

I'll be following this thread interested to see what others think.
We also like the look of the Bounders, though cargo carrying capacity is a concern, especially for full-timing. We just watched a video on the 2021 Bounder 35K bath and a half model. It only has 1,626 pounds of cargo capacity, and a beefier chassis does not appear to be an option, as it is on the Tiffin gas coaches.


The cost of repairs is also a concern for us since we also will be paying for regular maintenance in all likelihood. We could probably handle it but the perceived lower cost of maintaining a gas coach appeals.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:00 PM   #9
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The higher maintenance costs of a DP are sort of a mis-conception IMHO.
Now when it comes to major repairs, that's a completely different story.
I can honestly say the regularly scheduled annual maintenance on our DP has been only slightly more than our old gas rig, but I do all the labor myself. One thing I haven't had to do is spend thousands just trying to make it stay in its own lane or handle somewhat acceptably.
I'd say if you plan on doing any serious long distance traveling the DP can't be beat.
Better handling, quieter, smoother, higher CCC and better fuel mileage has been our experience. That said, there are times we miss the smaller gas rig for those little local campsites we used to frequent.
I guess that's why RVs come in all flavors, something you'll ultimately need to decide for yourself. Good Luck.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:06 PM   #10
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I'd say if you plan on doing any serious long distance traveling the DP can't be beat.
Better handling, quieter, smoother, higher CCC and better fuel mileage has been our experience. That said, there are times we miss the smaller gas rig for those little local campsites we used to frequent.
I guess we kind of want it all. Our current gas coach has us a bit spoiled in that it has over 3,200 pounds of CCC (with a combo washer-dryer that we never use). The length is just over 35 feet, which is as long as we want to go. If it were a bit newer and had a bit better layout in the living area, we'd probably stick with it. We just don't like the TV above the dash and a recliner directly behind the passenger seat. All in all, though, it's been a good coach for the five years we've owned it.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:19 PM   #11
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I guess we kind of want it all. Our current gas coach has us a bit spoiled in that it has over 3,200 pounds of CCC (with a combo washer-dryer that we never use). The length is just over 35 feet, which is as long as we want to go. If it were a bit newer and had a bit better layout in the living area, we'd probably stick with it. We just don't like the TV above the dash and a recliner directly behind the passenger seat. All in all, though, it's been a good coach for the five years we've owned it.
Tough to beat Newmar quality. Probably about one of the only gas rigs I'd consider myself. I've yet to see a perfect layout that works for both of us lol...not even sure if DW and I could come up with one without major conflict. We're considering a newer DP in the same length also, but have yet to find anything any better than our current ol reliable, which fortunately we both still love.
Maybe a televator with a fireplace ILO the passenger recliner could save you a ton of money.....
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:24 PM   #12
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Maybe a televator with a fireplace ILO the passenger recliner could save you a ton of money.....
It's a thought, although I'm not sure if the coach will be up to full-timing when we're ready to hit the road in three years as it will be closing in on 20 years old. I'm also not sure a televator will fit in that space. The recliner is not that wide and sits in a somewhat narrow space between the passenger seat and the entry door, but I'll have to take a look.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:29 PM   #13
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Here is one of the most sought after coaches out there, hard to find. !0k hitch and 37' with a 400 Cummins and under budget.

https://www.premierrvservices.com/20...h-allure-37-2/
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:35 PM   #14
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Well, for us anyway, that extra space on the passenger side in a DP with a front door entry was a big selling point. Plus both sofas make into beds for the little ones.
Decisions, decisions.
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