Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: Diesel vs Gas
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 > Diesel vs Gas

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jarbra15

Elephant Butte, Nm U.S.A

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Posted: 08/10/20 08:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm thinking of buying a Class A motorhome and I am debating gas vs diesel. Just wondering the pros and cons. Mileage differences? Cost of maintenance? Advantages of one over another? Thanks for your input in advance.


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MountainAir05

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Posted: 08/10/20 09:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you going to keep it and use it long term then Diesel. Tag axle if diesel for the ride you will get. A lot more weight for the diesel and tires are a lot more to some point.

DrewE

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Posted: 08/10/20 09:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In terms of the engine type itself taken in isolation, there isn't a vast difference overall. A diesel engine will get somewhat better mileage per gallon, in no small part because diesel fuel has a greater energy density (and, not coincidentally, density in the ordinary sense of mass per unit volume).

However, for class A motorhomes, there are many other differences that also almost always come along with the engine type, even though they are not inherently related. Gas motorhomes are practically always front engine units, usually built on the Ford F-53 chassis, with a leaf spring suspension. Diesel class A motorhomes are practically always rear engine pusher designs, usually with air suspension, and often larger and heavier and more upscale than gas models. The rear engine makes for a quieter cockpit area when on the road, and the air suspension a smoother ride. The lack of the engine in front can also make for a roomier or more open cockpit area, depending on the specific design. On the other hand, some gas motorhomes have a large storage compartment in the back that cannot exist with a rear engine.

Maintenance costs are probably a little higher for the diesel units, often because they're bigger and heavier and may have more complex systems. Larger tires, for example, are significantly expensive than smaller ones. The diesel engines typically have longer scheduled maintenance intervals, but when required the maintenance tends to be more costly, so the expenses end up being more "lumpy" over time.





jdc1

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Posted: 08/10/20 10:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Think of the initial outlay first. Diesel motorhomes will cost significantly more from the get-go. But, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

thelazyl

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Posted: 08/10/20 10:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are good comments on this thread. We went with a pusher 4 years ago in large part because we are older and wanted a more pleasant drive -- quieter, smoother. Our 38' rig also drives a lot easier (more stable) than the gassers I tested. We don't measure mileage - I figure if we did that then perhaps RVing isn't for us. We have a pro do our maintenance - $350 for oil/filters each year. We did the tranny for $400 which is less frequent. We did our 90k service for $900 last spring. We use a mechanic that specializes in diesel trucks. I hope this helps and good luck.

RobWNY

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Posted: 08/10/20 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There's also the performance issue. If traveling in the West or through mountains, a diesel will always out perform a gas engine. Depending on the size of the motorhome, getting in and out of gas stations could be an issue too with a gas engine. With a diesel, you fuel up where the big trucks do and avoid that problem. Yes you pay more up front for the unit but you get more when you sell it too. Lots to think about!


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valhalla360

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Posted: 08/10/20 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are comparing apples to apples, it's one thing.

The issue is it's rarely apples to apples.

The big diesel pushers compared to front engine gas MH's are usually wildly different beasts.


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way2roll

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Posted: 08/10/20 12:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of variables here. You can get high end gas and low end DP's so it's hard to answer your question. What's your budget? A budget of say $100k will get you a fairly new Gas MH and a 10+ year old diesel one. What are you going to be doing? Full time and if so, long stays and infrequent travel days then I would go with gas. Long drives and shorts stays go with a DP, because while some DP's have better interior finish and amenities, it's not that dramatic. Depending on your budget, you may find that parked they feel identical. Production brands are built on the same assembly line as gas ones. The largest difference is ride. A rear diesel with an air ride will ride and feel much better than a gasser - but parked that advantage becomes irrelevant. If they cost the same it would be a no brainer and gassers would cease to exist. But the same year, length and floorplan, and quality the prices are very far apart. We owned 2 gas MH's before our FW and despite each being new when we bought them, the F53 wore me out driving it. Lots of noise, road feedback and felt like I was beat up after a 4 hour drive. Couldn't find a DP I liked in our budget so went with a truck and FW.


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Bruce Brown

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Posted: 08/10/20 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just go drive one of each - you'll know. [emoticon]


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Roger in VERMONT

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Posted: 08/10/20 05:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In my opinion it is much easier to drive a diesel pusher that a gas MH. A pusher is also quieter. The engine never seems to strain like a gas engine. The ride is much better. I always seem to have a lot of power.


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