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Old 10-01-2022, 04:26 PM   #1
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Top Gas v Base Diesel

I will be upgrading from out travel trailer to a motorhome around the beginning of the new year. Based on the way the market may be heading in the next 6 months to year we are looking at a mid to high end gas class a, but given the discounts that might be on the horizon, would it be worth the look at some entry level diesels?

We are in no means in that market given there current ridiculous price hikes, but if things turn around, curious if itís even worth a look based on maintenance costs, fuel, ride, comfort, etc.

We currently donít travel very far when we camp, but my retirement is about 4 years out so things will expand as we get closer.

Just trying to get the true pros/cons if itís worth the extra money. We are by no means Newmar Dutch Star/Ventana and above customers so please keep that in mind.

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Old 10-01-2022, 04:58 PM   #2
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Five years ago we were shopping for a new Class A motorhome - upgrading from a large Class C. We faced the exact same dilemma. We looked at the very top of the gas Class A motorhomes and the very bottom of the diesel pusher Class A motorhomes.

The prices were close and both met our budget, but the diesel was still about $20,000 more expensive.

For us the gasser was much nicer inside and had everything we wanted. The DPs were lacking in real amenities even though they cost more. Then with more research we learned of the significantly higher maintenance cost with Diesel RVs.

We drove the two and the diesel was quieter and did ride better. But the gasser wasn’t horrible.

We decided to go with the top of the line gas coach and we are constantly happy we did. The Coach interior is the equivalent of a $100,000 more expensive diesel and we spend time living in it more than we spend time driving it.

Whatever you decide don’t buy a motorhome that you are not totally happy with. Shop around and see as many RVs as possible.

PS. We average 10,000 miles a year in our Adventurer and spend about 4- months a year in the RV. We’re finishing a 5-week 2,500 mile trip today. Our longest trip has been 4,500 miles over 45-days.
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Old 10-01-2022, 05:01 PM   #3
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From what you describe, a high end gas model would be my choice. It's hard to advise someone else without knowing their skills, needs and wants. I've owned 3 gas and 5 diesel coaches. I just sold the last one. For short to moderate trips, the gas is the most practical and most efficient. We even did a 4000 mile trip in our 1993 34' Adventurer 25 years ago and had a great time. We switched to diesels, partly for the ride, but also because we wanted to tow more weight and we were doing 10,000 miles per year. I would start out with whatever size you want in a 3-4 year old gas unit. It might be just what you need. If not, you could get most of your investment back for a different one. Take it slow and go kick some tires. You'll know when you have the right one. Remember, you will be "Living" in it a lot more than you will be "Driving" it. Good Luck
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Old 10-01-2022, 06:54 PM   #4
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Those two responses couldnít have been better. Thanks for the input. I am constantly going back and forth, then the prices go up and up, but I have a feeling they will go down and down over the next year so I want to get my ducks in a row. Just wish Newmar and Tiffin donít keep going insane with their respective prices. Kind of wish the bottom drops out on all the gouging.
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Old 10-01-2022, 07:03 PM   #5
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34 ft Southwind, Bounder, Adventurer are my picks on gas motorhomes
New discounts are going to get better soon. I see 150-160,000 soon. Especially with the winter season here soon. Incentives will be pushing these out.
My 2004 Southwind was $84,000 new, but the new ones are much better with a better chassis and Ford V8.

As for entry level diesel, I don’t see any I can recommend at the prices that they are at currently. Entry level Diesels we’re going for $180,000 in 2019-2020.
Now, you’re looking at $220,000+. Not worth it.
If they get back to the $180,000 level, then it might be ok to jump in.

As for used its Russian roulette
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Old 10-01-2022, 07:09 PM   #6
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I have owned both, a high end gas coach and a entry level pusher. I found there was little differance in ride. Distance per fill-up was about double with the diesel. If you normally travel short distances, a high end gasser ust might be your best option.
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Old 10-01-2022, 07:48 PM   #7
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You donít explicitly say, but seem to imply you want to buy new. You can afford a much better made diesel if you simply buy used.

Think of an RV like a houseÖ..buying a ďusedĒ house is pretty normal. Buying a used RV that has been well cared for can be in many respects better than new, as all the defects from the factory have been taken care of already.
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Old 10-01-2022, 08:35 PM   #8
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Having owned a higher end gas 36í class A, a mid entry level DP and now a luxury DP, I canít imagine going back to a gas coach. Now having said that, I think it depends on what your travel plans are. I do think that if you are going to primarily travel locally and maybe stay put for a while, then a gas would probably make better sense. Thatís how we used our gas coach and it worked out great. I would urge you to consider a used coach, regardless if gas or diesel. They usually have the bugs worked out, taken significant depreciation, and were built better than anything being built today. You get a bigger bang for the buck in my opinion. You should also do a lot of research, have a ďmust haveĒ list, and look and drive several of both. Buy what makes sense for you and what fits your needs and budget. Personally, knowing what I have learned over the years with ownership of different coaches, Iíd suggest you consider buying an older, well maintained and cared for luxury high end quality DP than a new gas coach. When we were deciding what to buy, I did a ton of research and made a decision to purchase an older DP even though we could afford newer and higher priced because of the best build manufacturers and years. We love everything about our Ď07 Monaco Holiday Rambler Navigator 45í w/tag and 525 Cummins. Quality and workmanship is insane and no problems whatsoever. The Ride, drive and quietness is amazing. I smile every time I drive it. Built before the Great Recession and COVID build issues, no DEF or DPF. Most likely this is our last coach as we are close to retirement, unless I find a deal I canít pass up on a used Newell. 👍Tough decisions to make but good luck!
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Old 10-01-2022, 09:52 PM   #9
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These are all good point, we went with gas 38” motor home we are both retired now but we do have a commitment my wife and I pastor a church and we only go camping about 5 times a year and we do one long trip, so gas work for us.

Now, on that same note we have look at the Super C and we love it but right now it’s out of our budget so that’s why we went with the gas motor home for now. If the time is right and they come down some more and if it within your budget, I would say go for it.
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Old 10-02-2022, 06:27 AM   #10
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Go to YouTube and search "gas or diesel motorhome". Lots of videos. The one from Matts RV Reviews does a good job explaining the differences and concludes that for a majority of people contemplating this, the gas motorhome will meet their needs.
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:43 AM   #11
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We have been very happy with our gas Newmar Canyon Star. We have had entry level coaches in the past and while they were OK for occasional use, I would not want to full time in one again. Our CS is much better insulated and set up for colder weather. Everything is more accessable for service and its just built much better.
We could have afforded a diesel, but we have had far fewer issues than our friends with diesels have had. We are more than satisfied with the way it drives and have not made any suspension modifications.
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:57 AM   #12
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For your current camping style, I would suggest that you get a used, mid-level, 34-36 foot gas motorhome. It will do everything you need it to do. After four years with it, when you're ready to retire, you'll probably want to try something different anyways. People say to buy your last RV first, but that rarely happens. Look at you. You're moving from a trailer to a motorhome!
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Old 10-02-2022, 08:10 AM   #13
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I looked at this equation when shopping for a new motorhome two years ago. I was comparing the Tiffin Open Road gas line to their entry level RED 340 series DP. In the end we split the difference - purchased a gas coach and then had the Liquid Spring suspension added front and rear. This solution was less expensive than the RED 340 and we like it better. The LS suspension ride quality is better than entry level diesel air suspension.

The main factor is a preference for the size and floor plan of the gas coach over the diesel. That’s subjective personal preference. Objectively each has advantages, but I tend to favor the gas coach. It has more basement storage than the entry level DP - both have straight rail chassis so no full pass thru storage but the layout of the gas coach makes better use of it. Both have 5k towing limits. Both have about the same power/weight ratio. The diesel has a larger fuel tank and better MPG so a longer range. But with current gas vs. diesel pricing the gas coach is less expensive to drive and has good enough 500 mile range. Water and waste tank sizes are about the same. Interior quality is about the same. The diesel chassis has a few advantages - more wheel cut, engine brake, engine noise in the back, generator in the front. But I find the gas engine is not audible 95% of the time; there’s only wind and tire noise. And I tend to think the Ford chassis is more reliable than the Freightliner diesel - admittedly based on subjective impression from a few years of hanging around Tiffin forums.

Stepping up to the next level diesel in the lineup everything improved - nicer interior, more towing, more OCCC, but came with a near 50% premium over the gas+LS option. Just not into RVing enough to be interested at that point.

So far satisfied with our gas chassis. We spend about 100 nights/year traveling in it.
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:34 AM   #14
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We had a gas coach for a short period of time (4 months)and upgraded to a diesel. Features being the same, I wanted better braking and towing power. In the short time we had the gasser I was never comfortable with itís braking capabilities. I feared approaching a stop light at 45 MPH. The gasser was also very limited in towing capacity. I never upgraded the suspension which can be done but it brings the high end gas coach close to an entry level diesel in price. Since youíre not in a hurry, youíll have time to explore the differences for yourself.
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