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Old 02-19-2021, 10:39 PM   #1
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Gas Vs Diesel

New to the forum and looking to purchase a class c rv within the next 6 months. I would like to get your thoughts on getting a Gas vs Diesel unit.
Pros and Cons

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:11 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum

There are a lot of diesel/gas discussions on the forum, so make sure to search around for the many ideas and opinions about both.

From my perspective... and not exhaustive...

Gas Pros
. Great for smaller class c units (sufficient power, easy to maintain)
. Lower cost of maintenance and easy to find service
. Familiarity (similar to gas car engine)
. Somewhat lighter in weight
. Note that any generator will be gas or propane
. Lower relative cost than diesel
Gas Cons
. Lower life span (although doubt that will be an issue with RV miles driven)
. Less power (must run at higher RPMs to get most torque)
. Torque is typically significantly less
. Towing tends to be more limited due to less power

Diesel Pros
. Great for large class c units (more torque at lower RPMs)
. Will outlast the class c (like energizer bunny, keeps going and going...)
. More reliable through greater ranges of hard usage and towing
. Sounds "manly" -
. Any generator will typically be diesel
Diesel Cons
. Higher cost of maintenance and slightly harder to find available service
. Heavier than gas engine
. Harder to start in cold weather (generally, starting is a little different)
. Must use DEF fluid for emissions
. Higher cost than gas (can be more than $10k greater)

Comparable Items
. Will get about the same gas mileage and gas costs about the same
. Have about the same noise level, although different "voicing"

Bottom line is it all depends upon the use. When the engine is paired up correctly for the intended usage, they both can serve well. Basically they are just different and meant to serve different purposes.

I love 'em both, but my gas engine is 707 HP in a Hellcat and my diesel is 1250 ft-lb of torque in a class a DP.
Doug & Nancy Nies
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Daily & Toad: 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:32 PM   #3
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My diesel is 650 hp @ 2000-2100 rpm and 1950 ft lbs torque from 1100 to 1700 rpm.
That adequately moves 52,000#'s of motorhome towing 15,000#'s although I only tow 5,000#' and get 7.7 mpg doing it.
Gas engine won't do that.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:49 AM   #4
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by GolfingRVer View Post
New to the forum and looking to purchase a class c rv within the next 6 months. I would like to get your thoughts on getting a Gas vs Diesel unit.
Pros and Cons

Thanks for your thoughts.
Aw jeeze... here we go again........
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:26 AM   #6
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WELCOME to Our Campfire!!!!
2)The gas vs Diesel subject is well represented on this Forum..
4)Identify YOUR Wants. NEEDS and HOW You will Utilize the Equipment.
5)These are My personal Observations when shopping for ANY configuration of RV/// Just Worth what you have payed for it..
6) Happy hunting!

1st.. View the "tag" lines at the bottom of the responding posters..
To give you an Idea of where they are coming from and the equipment they have.

Keep in mind..
You Do Not Know......What You Do Not Know..

Your 1st coach is simply a learning tool..
When You tour/view "In Person" any perspective coach..
View it First with all slides retracted, then shuck your shoes and do a dry run in the shower, sit on the throne (AND Close the door!), lay on the bed,study the galley(enough counter room/pantry space/pots & pans storage?) Do You have access to all these with slide retracted???
If the coach is fully usable without the slides extended, then give it a second look.
(Think wally-docking,rest areas,truckstops...any where that you cannot/do not have room for the slides to be extended)

BUY USED! & buy one with everything you "think" you want and will need..
IF the perspective coach seems a bit small but still "DO-Able" .......REMEMBER!!!
What seemed small... becomes unbearably TINY after being Coop'd up" for a week or more due to weather...
(AKA.....Cabin Fever)
A coach that is "Too Big" lasts for a week or two..One "Too Small" lasts forever.

And.... You WILL make mistakes and have booboo's We all have.....
Within a year or less, you will discover..about the RV

What you love about the RV...
What you can kinda-sorta tolerate with the RV..
And what you absolutely hate about that !@#$%^%$#@! RV.
Then you can go get what you should have gotten in the first place..
Happy Hunting

Every day you "put off" just one LESS day you have remaining to enjoy being RETIRED !!!
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Old 02-20-2021, 05:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 77Travco View Post
Aw jeeze... here we go again........

I appreciate your nice welcome. Hope you have a nice day!
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GolfingRVer View Post
I appreciate your nice welcome. Hope you have a nice day!
Pay those comments no mind. Some people get upset that the question they asked a decade or more ago is now not cool for you to ask.

Forums die when they get unfriendly
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:22 PM   #9
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Also consider where you will go for emergency service if you aren't in a city that has a MB dealer or motorhome service dept. Easier to get service on a Ford, GM or RAM since class C are based on their common truck platforms.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by GolfingRVer View Post
I appreciate your nice welcome. Hope you have a nice day!
I didn't realize this was originally posted in the new members section as a welcome thread. I found it in the new posts area. My apologies.
There is a search tool on this forum that will let you find threads on any subject that you choose to research. Some people get pretty worked up over the gasser vs diesel debate and threads can quickly spin out of control, hence my comment. Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:52 AM   #11
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I feel a diesel is best utilized in a diesel pusher or other large class "A" as well as what is referred to as a Super-C which is a serious truck chassis. A diesel in the small size class "C" has been highly debated.

If considering a Sprinter diesel or a Transit diesel, I feel they will pay for them self if you plan on driving a whole lot, for example chasing a major league team around the country. But for most class-C owners, a diesel will not provide a good return for your investment.

There are a few specific drawbacks to a diesel in the Sprinter and Transit chassis.

1) They are typically equipped with a propane generator. Propane is a precious camper's commodity. Your fridge, stove, furnace, and water heater rely on propane. Burning it also for the generator is counter-productive.

2) Unlike the huge diesels, the Sprinter and Transit cannot be idled for extended periods. A Ford or Chevy gasoline engine can. If for any reason you cannot run your generator, the main chassis gasoline engine can idle for hours on end providing dash heat and dash air conditioning as well as charge your house batteries, a safe and reliable backup energy source.

3) A gasoline E350/E450 and 3500/4500 has huge 55 gallon fuel tanks that the generator utilizes. You save your precious propane and you have access to three quarters of your fuel in that huge gas tank.

4) Maintenance on a Sprinter diesel is strict and costs are terribly high. I am not certain of the Transit.

5) Specifically concerning the Sprinter, if you like to travel to remote parts of our country where there are no Sprinter repair facilities around, you are simply out of luck when something goes wrong. You have to pay massive towing costs and loose trip time. Typical repair centers don't want to touch a Sprinter, nor does Mercedes want them to. Warrantees are voided if not handled properly.
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:58 PM   #12
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Not specifically addressing gas versus diesel engines in Class C motorhomes .... but regarding the issue of propane generators in diesel engine motorhomes ... there is a relatively easy way around the "precious propane capacity" limitation.

Here's the inexpensive way to achieve long propane generator run-times from Class C motorhomes with their common (quite small) size propane tanks: You might want to consider having an adapter added to your motorhome's propane tank so that you can easily hook a regular 5 gal. propane tank into your RV's system for extra capacity.

The adapter and a short piece of hose for it are not expensive and they often come in kits, together. I recommend having a technician install the adapter - unless you know your way around propane plumbing. Just carry along enough 5 gal. "BBQ type" propane tanks to get you through while drycamping with your generator. When camped, the 5 gal. propane tank just sits on the ground next to where your RV's propane tank is mounted ... with a hose running from the 5 gal. tank to where the adapter is installed on your RV's propane system.

A built-in generator quiet enough, and with large enough fuel capacity - can be a precious thing to have in a Class C for anytime, anywhere, any-weather camping during both planned-for ... and unexpected ... circumstances.

I haven't yet - but "should" - add this adapter to our Itasca Class C for another reason (my Onan generator is fueled from the 55 gal. main gas tank): Even though our built-in propane tank is a 18 gallons, I'd still like the capability for emergency propane supply backup. We carry along a 5 gal. propane tank anyway for our propane firepit, so it makes sense to have this propane also available as backup for the coach's main propane supply.
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Old 02-23-2021, 04:01 PM   #13
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Having had a Sprinter diesel class C, I can tell you the maintenance cost is much higher than on my class A gas MH. The biggest caveat, to me, is service support, on the road. MBS is real specific about who is “authorized” to work on the Sprinter and who can’t. Not every Mercedes dealer can, or will work on a Sprinter. If you travel, and leave the metropolitan areas, chances of someone around who can repair a breakdown are slim to none, regardless if they are a diesel service center or not. A gas v10 - pretty much anyone can work on them at Ford dealerships, but always best to check ahead on touted. Picture yourself in West Yellowstone, Mt and you have a mechanical issue - who you gonna call?
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:43 PM   #14
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A friend of mine ordered a Sprinter-based Class C but then backed out of the deal ( losing deposit money ) when his research found that Mercedes would void the warranty on the Sprinter engine if bio-Diesel had been used . Some states , like Illinois , use biodiesel extensively at the pumps.
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