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Old 06-18-2016, 11:05 AM   #1
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diesel vs gas

What are the pros and cons of diesel motor homes over gas motor homes?
We are first time buyers and want an affordable and reliable ride.
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:22 AM   #2
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Wow! You're going to have to be a lot more specific about what class, length and vintage moho you're looking at buying.

Class B or B+, Class C or Class A. If you're talking class A, try to give a ballpark on length; are you thinking new or old, XL396, Landyacht (fibreglass) or Classic aluminum.

What you're interested in will dictate what type of engines were available and then we could better help you determine which one, gas or diesel would be better. Engines have changed a lot over the years and not all to the better.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:25 AM   #3
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Cost of purchase and cost of maintenance. If you intend to really put some miles on the rig and keep it for many years diesel is the way to go.

Now that said if this is your first MoHo do not but new, especially not a diesel. You will never get what you end up wanting and needing with your first purchase so why take the hit.

Diesels tend to be used in larger truck chassis where everything is of a higher grade, front end, brakes, frame, and tires. While that all adds to the cost the premium cost of a diesel engine is significant.
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:26 PM   #4
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This exact topic is covered many times over in intricate detail. Recommend searching the forum.
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:58 PM   #5
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Diesel is now ten cents a gallon cheaper than regular gas here. Something to think about.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:41 PM   #6
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Lots of miles, then go diesel..
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:49 PM   #7
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I rented a class A 20 some footer that was only a couple years old about 11 years ago to take my parents on an Alaskan tour for their 50th anniversary. I knew nothing about them so betting I got the turkey of the fleet. Couldn't even tell what brand it was. It did have a Triton V10 that overheated and vapor locked on every pass.

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It roared like a lion, drank like a sailor on Liberty, had the power of a locomotive (HO scale at best). One of those with the wheels tucked way in like a trolley car. It waddled down the road like a duck. With all those negatives we had the time of our lives and still talk about the trip. Spent 3 weeks and saw every part of Alaska accessible by the allowed paved roads and a whole bunch on dirt roads that we weren't allowed on. I had flown up there for years an pretty much knew where we wanted to go.

Bottom line was we fell in love with motorhomes and knew exactly what we didn't want. Did a lot of research and rented a really nice 30 foot diesel pusher. Thought, man, if we had one of these in Alaska we'd still be cruising. That lead to the 360 Classic diesel pusher fetish.
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:14 PM   #8
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Yeah....Once you go diesel, you never go back..........

Heck of a son, you are Dave.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:06 PM   #9
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Hi, all gas stations sell gas; Some sell diesel.
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:08 PM   #10
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I don't think affordable and reliable work together in motorhomes. That's one of the reasons we stick with a travel trailer. Gas or diesel work well towing one.
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:12 PM   #11
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I've had both, that's why I now tow a 25 ft AS with a diesel truck!
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:08 AM   #12
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I can go nearly 800 miles on 60 gallons of diesel. Never had a problem finding diesel. Finding a pump that you can get at has always been more of a challenge with either gas or diesel, truck and trailer or Moho.

I go the the big truck stations. They turn more fuel and usually have better parking.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:18 AM   #13
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My reasoning for not particularly liking motor homes is well documented on the forums, but I'll give you a quick take on the benefits and drawbacks of diesel vs gas.
Diesel is more reliable, as long as it is used regularly. Don't park it in a field 11.5 months of the year, and expect it to do much of anything but cost money. If you are going to use it, diesel is more efficient and more powerful, as well as more reliable than a gas engine. Diesel costs more to maintain, an oil change can cost upwards of $400, depending on model. I just had an oil change and all new filters on a 2006 diesel pusher with a Cummins, the cost was $640, including state inspection. A diesel motor home will also have a generator that usually does not use the same fuel as the engine. It will either be LP, like the Airstream Intersate, or have a separate gas tank. Very few have a diesel generator. That adds to the complexity, as well as cost of maintenance. If used regularly, the extra cost can be amortized over the time spent using it, so it doesn't hurt as badly. Longer time between services helps, too.
Gas tends to be significantly less expensive to purchase and for regular maintenance, though the maintenance is more frequent. An oil change on a gas engine motor home is usually less than $50, and is not nearly as messy as a diesel, plus there is less used oil to dispose of. You can reasonably DIY this, and save a few more bucks. Gas usually does not have as much torque as a diesel engine, so it will tend to struggle more going up hills, as well as at traffic lights. Mileage is a lot less per gallon than a comparable diesel. Parts for a gas engine are generally a lot less expensive than for a diesel, but you will probably have to buy more of them. More stuff on a gas engine is more DIY-able than for a diesel, which in many cases requires special tools and experience. Most gas-powered motor homes will have a gas generator, so there is less complexity of systems, and fewer sources of trouble.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:10 AM   #14
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I don't know how to insert quotes and then highlight my replies, so my replies are inbetween your original quoted lines. I added a smilie to begin your quoted lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Diesel is more reliable, as long as it is used regularly. Don't park it in a field 11.5 months of the year, and expect it to do much of anything but cost money.

Untrue; although with the advent of low sulphur diesel fuels, some of the lubriciously has been taken out of diesel, a good fuel conditioner can replace it; thusly diesel doesn't break down and turn into varnish like gas; it also coats the cylinder walls with a fine film, keeping rust at bay. I've known diesel engines that have sat for over 20+ years being started with little or no work, save a new battery. Gas on the other hand hates to be left not used and NEEDS a fuel stabilizer, even then it will eventually start to varnish and gum things up.

Diesel costs more to maintain, an oil change can cost upwards of $400, depending on model.

Yes this can be true but the oil change for my Isuzu diesel runs less than $100 and can be easily done by DYI's.

A diesel motor home will also have a generator that usually does not use the same fuel as the engine. It will either be LP, like the Airstream Intersate, or have a separate gas tank. Very few have a diesel generator. That adds to the complexity, as well as cost of maintenance.

True to an extent, depending on model. Mine has a LP generator and since I have LP powering my fridge, stove and furnaces, having one more device doesn't add that much complexity. Also LP generators are the simplest and easiest to maintain as the fuel used is not liquid and doesn't go bad.

Gas tends to be significantly less expensive to purchase

I know you meant the initial purchase price, however for most of history diesel is less expensive. The only time diesel is more is when oil prices come down, gas prices will react immediately, where as diesel pricing is done quarterly.

Most gas-powered motor homes will have a gas generator, so there is less complexity of systems, and fewer sources of trouble.

Except for the big problem of gas moho's......fuel fires. With the advent of Ethanol fuels it is very corrosive and will decay older fuel lines leading to fuel engine fires. You could spray my running diesel engine with diesel and it wouldn't ignite.
Cheers
Tony
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