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FixerCQI 11-17-2014 12:35 PM

To diesel or not to diesel?
 
It's going to sound like a dumb question, but, why would I want a diesel (pusher). I understand that there is way more torque (engine braking) for running down hill in the mountains. If I don't go through the mountains much, should I pay another $30-40,000. I understand that motor up front is louder, I know that diesel is going to work longer and harder than any gas, but, looking at the average 3 year old MoHo for sale I see an average Kms of say 25,000. I would think that is almost a reason not to use a diesel. (too few Kms. especially with the DEF fluid {short lifespan} and the yearly cost of lube) I think that a DP might be easier to resell, but I'm not sure of that. I don't know if you loose more depreciation on a diesel or a gas. Any comment would be welcomed from people who have used either or both.

Steve Ownby 11-17-2014 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FixerCQI (Post 2314128)
It's going to sound like a dumb question, but, why would I want a diesel (pusher). I understand that there is way more torque (engine braking) for running down hill in the mountains. If I don't go through the mountains much, should I pay another $30-40,000. I understand that motor up front is louder, I know that diesel is going to work longer and harder than any gas, but, looking at the average 3 year old MoHo for sale I see an average Kms of say 25,000. I would think that is almost a reason not to use a diesel. (too few Kms. especially with the DEF fluid {short lifespan} and the yearly cost of lube) I think that a DP might be easier to resell, but I'm not sure of that. I don't know if you loose more depreciation on a diesel or a gas. Any comment would be welcomed from people who have used either or both.


The real question is; how big does a motorhome need to be to fulfill your needs. If your needs are served by a coach under 38' and weighing less than 24,000 pounds then gas power is a realistic possibility. If the coach of your dreams is a minimum of 40' and weighs 30,000 plus pounds then you have no choice but diesel.


Steve Ownby
Full time since '07

UncleBilly 11-17-2014 01:17 PM

You buy a great used DP for $40k, it's what I'm looking at. I'm most likely going too buy an old Beaver RV.

georgetown350 11-17-2014 02:02 PM

On the flats the gas engine will do fine and u wont feel like u are overworking the engine. My situation is going from a 2006 georgetown gas to the 2008 hr diesel vacationer. These two coaches are very close in size and weight which I think is quite rare as most move from a gasser to a much larger and heavier diesel coach. Our diesel coach does not have airbags or air brakes. My observations of the differences ......

1 the Georgetown engine screamed up the mountains. Kept dropping gears on slight inclines and just revved to high for my comfort. Decending the mountains was a little scary with the braking. It had the towhaul mode which helped but once again the rpms screamed. I rarely used the cruise control in the mountains because it would keep me in the low screaming gears. Our diesel climbs the hills with ease does not rev high and the exhaust brake gives a safe smooth decline down. Much better fuel mileage ( they both have the same sized tank). Nice and quiet up front and the diesel generator is far superior. Had to change the oil every 5000 on the gasser and 15000 on the diesel so although the diesel oil change is a bit more expensive, I go much longer between changes.

TexasTom 11-17-2014 02:06 PM

Used a diesel in the past so understand the size/comfort differences. For me the decision was based on miles. We are not going to put over 3,000 miles/year on our coach and we are only going to use it 10-12 times/year for relatively short trips over the next 4-5 years. And a 38' coach was plenty for our needs. So we decided gas was fine.

If we go bigger we will go diesel.

barrys 11-17-2014 02:23 PM

Don't make the mistake of assuming 15,000 mile oil change will save $. Every diesel requires oil change at 15,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. Thus unless you drive far more than most of us you will probably be servicing at about the same 12 month interval as with a gas engine. 5 Gallons of oil, plus two fuel filters, plus hydraulic filter, will run you much more than the simple oil change on your gasser.

I moved from a 36 ft Southwind gasser (Workhorse 8.1 ltr) to 35 ft Holiday Rambler Neptune DP. I now have 68,000 miles on the DP after 6 years. Yes it is quieter on hills, in fact it is quieter at all times. It is not faster, though, and accelerates much slower. Maintenance is much more expensive even though I do all my own servicing. On the other hand even the 4 bag air suspension is infinitely more comfortable than any leaf / coil spring set up. Everything about the rig is simply heavier duty. All in all my wife and I are quite happy to have decided to go with the DP.

PeaceOwl 11-17-2014 02:25 PM

Having to make the same decision this week, and purchasing a diesel, I can say the ride is so smooth and quiet it exceeds our comparing, and we haven't once in the last 4 days thought we should have bought a gas rv. We go over some steep passes quite often, so the screaming would get old at 4000 rpm vs 2000. I guess that is why the diesels sell.

The smooth ride is so much better and after driving both, spending 3 months trying them all out we feel we made the right decision, although we actually would have loved the shorter size of a gasser. Comfort meant a lot to us as we are not young. Take your time and think it through.

HicksRA 11-17-2014 02:48 PM

You should also consider that yes, the diesel is much more expensive when you buy, but you'll get most of it back when you sell because your coach will still be worth a lot more than a gasser. Plus, you'll get to enjoy all the advantages of diesel while you own it.

George Schweikle 11-17-2014 03:54 PM

Steve has offered one of the best analysis I have seen on the gas vs. Diesel motorhome debate. The topic has been around for a long time, is sometimes entertaining, and I can't resist adding my comments.

I don't think there are any current motorhomes where the exact same model is available in a gas or diesel, so the most significant point is that it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. In today's market, you are really talking about two different products. The happy diesel pusher owners who say there is nothing like their coaches are correct, but what some are really inferring is that they have moved to a larger, more expensive, product with additional features and construction, and others should do the same thing (note, I said some, not all, but the refrain from these people does get a little old).

In reality, there is nothing wrong with a gas motorhome, just like there is nothing wrong with a diesel pusher. As Steve says, it depends on what suits one's individual needs.:whistling:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Ownby (Post 2314165)
The real question is; how big does a motorhome need to be to fulfill your needs. If your needs are served by a coach under 38' and weighing less than 24,000 pounds then gas power is a realistic possibility. If the coach of your dreams is a minimum of 40' and weighs 30,000 plus pounds then you have no choice but diesel.


Steve Ownby
Full time since '07


Uncle Dave 11-17-2014 04:18 PM

Setting aside the power trains and each's inherent plusses and minuses for a moment, one must also consider the vast differences in the gensets between the two.

All current gasoline RV gensets are ancient air cooled designs, where almost every diesel genset is water cooled. (I think the smallest onan 3K diesel is air cooled.)

Ive had air cooled Onan and Generac gensets shut down under load in high heat many times - always when you most want the AC.

The fuel consumption between the gas and diesel genset under load is vastly different about a quart an hour on the diesel vs. about a gallon an hour or a bit on the gas unit running 2 AC' units.

I always seem to be the "tap" for a hot campsite and this differentiation creates a wide gap between the two in comparing the amount of time I can boondock while keeping the rig powered up, as well as effects how far I go on a tank of fuel between stops in the heat.

Lifespan before rebuild tilts in the diesels favor by an order of magnitude.


UD

FixerCQI 11-18-2014 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UncleBilly (Post 2314175)
You buy a great used DP for $40k, it's what I'm looking at. I'm most likely going too buy an old Beaver RV.

I think we need a newer one for fear that an older unit would need many repairs. I'm past the stage where I don't mind repairing. I just want to drive for 4-5 years without, or with the least of, the headaches. But having said that, I can see an older Beaver being a reliable vehicle.

FixerCQI 11-18-2014 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasTom (Post 2314230)
Used a diesel in the past so understand the size/comfort differences. For me the decision was based on miles. We are not going to put over 3,000 miles/year on our coach and we are only going to use it 10-12 times/year for relatively short trips over the next 4-5 years. And a 38' coach was plenty for our needs. So we decided gas was fine.

If we go bigger we will go diesel.

I find myself in your exact circumstance.

FixerCQI 11-18-2014 09:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by barrys (Post 2314247)
Don't make the mistake of assuming 15,000 mile oil change will save $. Every diesel requires oil change at 15,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. Thus unless you drive far more than most of us you will probably be servicing at about the same 12 month interval as with a gas engine. 5 Gallons of oil, plus two fuel filters, plus hydraulic filter, will run you much more than the simple oil change on your gasser.

I moved from a 36 ft Southwind gasser (Workhorse 8.1 ltr) to 35 ft Holiday Rambler Neptune DP. I now have 68,000 miles on the DP after 6 years. Yes it is quieter on hills, in fact it is quieter at all times. It is not faster, though, and accelerates much slower. Maintenance is much more expensive even though I do all my own servicing. On the other hand even the 4 bag air suspension is infinitely more comfortable than any leaf / coil spring set up. Everything about the rig is simply heavier duty. All in all my wife and I are quite happy to have decided to go with the DP.

The air suspension must be a worthy contention, and I am glad you informed me about the general build being more heavy duty. I suspected that, but have not seen it in writing.

FixerCQI 11-18-2014 10:13 AM

I would like to thank everyone for their input thus far, lots of relevant material to ponder. Seems the more you learn, the more difficult the decision, but probably the more accurate too.
To Uncle Dave; The generator thing is big for me. I did not realize the gas gens were air cooled. The fuel consumption is a large bone of contention too.

bullheadbum 11-18-2014 10:31 AM

My Beaver has a propane 6.6 generac air cooled generator. Running 1air conditioner, the residential refrigerator and an oxygen concentrator. We used about 1 gallon of propane every 3-4 hours this last summer. Did not have trouble overheating but did have the rotor on the generator come apart and was $1600. to get new electrical end installed. ( that is a whole different long story.) I am happy with my lp generator.

Triker56 11-18-2014 10:43 AM

Quote:

The air suspension must be a worthy contention, and I am glad you informed me about the general build being more heavy duty. I suspected that, but have not seen it in writing.
You will find that info in the chassis label.
Compare the GAWR, GVWR and the GCWR on a same length Gas or DP

A lot of the DP come with a Inverter/Charger that a gas may only have a converter.
Both banks of batteries may be charging while plugged into shore power on a DP and not on a gaser.
A lot of DP house may have premium accessory's a gas may not have.

The price difference isn't all in the motor/chassis difference.

Look for the MH that your other half likes the floor plan, length, number slide outs etc.
Then get it no matter what engine/chassis it has.

I bought mine after looking for 2 years for the floor plan I wanted.
It happen to be on a DP chassis. I increased to 1' longer and one slide out from previous 19 year old gas MH. I Full timed in for 3 years.

12 years later of Full time in it I'm still happy with my choice.

LJSteinmetz 11-18-2014 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FixerCQI (Post 2315405)
...Seems the more you learn, the more difficult the decision, but probably the more accurate too.

I research things to death...sometimes to the point of getting so tired of it I lose interest (won't happen for an RV though because we have planned on full-timing for more than a decade now). But, as you say, the more you know the more difficult the decision can become. Makes me wonder how we ever researched things before the internet. I do remember spending a lot of time perusing magazines at bookstores looking for reviews on whatever we were interested in at the time.

Because of all of our research we are having a difficult time deciding between a DP (Newmar, used Newell/Foretravel/Country Coach) or a 45' New Horizons or Continental 5er pulled by a Volvo 780.

My wife and I have a running joke (or question we ask each other). Everyday when I get home from work we'll ask each other, "Motorhome...5th wheel...or Pole Barn"? In other words, which way is the wind blowing today? The pole barn reference is related to our ongoing discussion on whether to buy some property and build a pole barn for the RV/workshop with attached living quarters. If we did this, we would part-time instead of full-time. Our constant research is what has us asking the question everyday because there is no real 100% answer that has presented itself to us yet nor do I expect one to materialize.

Uncle Dave 11-18-2014 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FixerCQI (Post 2315405)
I would like to thank everyone for their input thus far, lots of relevant material to ponder. Seems the more you learn, the more difficult the decision, but probably the more accurate too.
To Uncle Dave; The generator thing is big for me. I did not realize the gas gens were air cooled. The fuel consumption is a large bone of contention too.

Lots of guys get so hung up on the drivetrain part of the package that they miss this part.

The air cooled onan 7000 is the go to package for bigger Gas RV's. It can drink up to 1.2 GPH when loaded.

One problem is that if you store your Moho half the year- modern gas goes bad quick - you MUST excersize a gas genset unless you completely run it out of fuel every time, or it likely wont start when you go to use it.

If I had to buy another gas RV I'd buy a rebuilt Honda EV6010 genset which was a water cooled 6K unit in a tiny package. Lasts longer runs quieter, smoother and cooler.

I sold the propane 6300 unit in my 36 class A beaver and upgraded to an 8K diesel - for my purposes the single best upgrade I ever did.


Propane works for some guys but not me- sharing my gen fuel with the heater, cooking (I tap off for a BBQ), and potentially the fridge- those gensets really drink when loaded with 2 ac's running - About 1.7 GPH.Even with 40 gallons of propane I had very little staying power at camp with propane for energy production.

But some guys swear by it and if you always go to places with it (campsites) you can get by on it as a fuel.

With the diesel genset my "staying power" at a busy energy hungry camp is tremendous and I can power the attendant trailers for days on end for very little money during long outings as Im leaning on a set of benefits that become synergistically greater than the sum of the parts.

When you ad up the net effect all these pieces-

- a far larger fuel tank than I had with propane, or gas, I can hit the dunes with 90 gallons of diesel onboard, and I set my pick up to 90%.
- 2-4X the economy
- quieter running, longer life(up to 20K hours) , waay longer maintenance intervals.

The genset itself becomes a major piece of the use case.

Plus anyone can run to almost any gas station with a 5er and come back with a few gallons. Much harder to do with propane.

Good luck in your hunt for the RV that's right for you.

As you might have guessed already there is no such thing as the perfect RV - just what works best for you.

UD

Technobody 11-20-2014 07:39 PM

Like a few others here, I have been researching RV's for about 7 years now. We looked at travel trailers, fivers, Class B+ Class C and then the A's.
My original thought after deciding on Class A was to find the floor plan that we liked and met the requirements of our wish list. We had narrowed our search to the new Jayco Precept. I actually wrote to Jayco for further information on a number of items we couldn't find on-line. What really turned our heads was when Jayco informed us that the Precept was not warranted for full time use.
As I drive a diesel bus for work, I decided to turn to the mechanics who work on both gas and diesel. To them it was a no brainer. For full time use diesel and diesel only. They even took it a step further and gave me pointers as to what to look for in a diesel engine.
It's been a long and arduous journey trying to find the best all round choice for a soon to be retired full time RVers. So now the search begins to find the ideal Class A diesel pusher with no less than 3 slides (2 opposing), side radiator, Cummins, min 340 HP no older than 2006, with fiberglass roof.
Our plan is to depart from Ottawa Nov 1 2015 and start heading south with out home with 6 wheels.

FixerCQI 11-21-2014 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Triker56 (Post 2315443)
You will find that info in the chassis label.
Compare the GAWR, GVWR and the GCWR on a same length Gas or DP

A lot of the DP come with a Inverter/Charger that a gas may only have a converter.
Both banks of batteries may be charging while plugged into shore power on a DP and not on a gaser.
A lot of DP house may have premium accessory's a gas may not have.

The price difference isn't all in the motor/chassis difference.

Look for the MH that your other half likes the floor plan, length, number slide outs etc.
Then get it no matter what engine/chassis it has.

I bought mine after looking for 2 years for the floor plan I wanted.
It happen to be on a DP chassis. I increased to 1' longer and one slide out from previous 19 year old gas MH. I Full timed in for 3 years.

12 years later of Full time in it I'm still happy with my choice.


Amen, happy wife, happy life! :flowers: I did not know about the inverter/charger vs converter only thing either, or about the possible lack of ability to charge house and chassis batts together.:facepalm:

FixerCQI 11-21-2014 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technobody (Post 2318714)
Like a few others here, I have been researching RV's for about 7 years now. We looked at travel trailers, fivers, Class B+ Class C and then the A's.
My original thought after deciding on Class A was to find the floor plan that we liked and met the requirements of our wish list. We had narrowed our search to the new Jayco Precept. I actually wrote to Jayco for further information on a number of items we couldn't find on-line. What really turned our heads was when Jayco informed us that the Precept was not warranted for full time use.
As I drive a diesel bus for work, I decided to turn to the mechanics who work on both gas and diesel. To them it was a no brainer. For full time use diesel and diesel only. They even took it a step further and gave me pointers as to what to look for in a diesel engine.
It's been a long and arduous journey trying to find the best all round choice for a soon to be retired full time RVers. So now the search begins to find the ideal Class A diesel pusher with no less than 3 slides (2 opposing), side radiator, Cummins, min 340 HP no older than 2006, with fiberglass roof.
Our plan is to depart from Ottawa Nov 1 2015 and start heading south with out home with 6 wheels.

We think alike.

Something like this? 2006 Monaco Windsor bought new in 2007 - immaculate 40ft | RVs, motorhomes | Peterborough | Kijiji

Technobody 11-21-2014 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FixerCQI (Post 2319118)

Exactly Wow that's perfect in all ways!!

JesseJ1826 11-22-2014 01:30 PM

Another consideration is your driver's licence. Most diesel pushers are over the weight limit for a G licence in Ontario. As well most will have air brakes which is another licence hassle.

FixerCQI 11-23-2014 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JesseJ1826 (Post 2320815)
Another consideration is your driver's licence. Most diesel pushers are over the weight limit for a G licence in Ontario. As well most will have air brakes which is another licence hassle.

Very good point. I figure about a $1000.00 to go through the courses, and it is not very convenient to find a place to get the course. Might be worth it for full timers, but...
If I may ask, have you found a good place near Oshawa to store your MoHo over winter?

FixerCQI 11-23-2014 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technobody (Post 2320116)
Exactly Wow that's perfect in all ways!!

Did you reply, or are you not quit ready yet. I replied for more info, but got no answer.

Technobody 11-23-2014 08:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JesseJ1826 (Post 2320815)
Another consideration is your driver's licence. Most diesel pushers are over the weight limit for a G licence in Ontario. As well most will have air brakes which is another licence hassle.

Well that's not an issue for me as I have a BZ license. I didn't reply as I'm not ready to purchase until July/August

Technobody 11-23-2014 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FixerCQI (Post 2321570)
Very good point. I figure about a $1000.00 to go through the courses, and it is not very convenient to find a place to get the course. Might be worth it for full timers, but...
If I may ask, have you found a good place near Oshawa to store your MoHo over winter?

It will cost you more than $1,000 to get a commercial license. The Air Brake or Z endorsement is usually $450.00 at a community college or through a truck driving school. You will need a class C license.

JesseJ1826 11-23-2014 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technobody (Post 2321627)
It will cost you more than $1,000 to get a commercial license. The Air Brake or Z endorsement is usually $450.00 at a community college or through a truck driving school. You will need a class C license.

Actually in Ontario for a motorhome over 11,000 KG (24,250 lbs.) you only need a D licence, with air brakes DZ. Check out the following -
RV Information for Drivers - terms used

mikee409 11-23-2014 12:55 PM

Just a thought, I bought used in June. While looking at the NADA price guide it stated " if Diesel powered, mileage is not a factor in value. If gas powered add X amount of deprecation for miles. Yeah, when they break they cost but there's nothing like Diesel power so I just suck it up and move on. Oh Yeah, the air ride suspension smoothhhhhhhhhhhhh...... Mike

FixerCQI 11-23-2014 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JesseJ1826 (Post 2321883)
Actually in Ontario for a motorhome over 11,000 KG (24,250 lbs.) you only need a D licence, with air brakes DZ. Check out the following -
RV Information for Drivers - terms used

Yeah, that's the certification I was referring to, DZ. https://www.driverlink.com/Services/S...Read&rowID=459


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