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Old 11-01-2019, 09:23 AM   #1
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Gas vs Diesel Class A

My wife and I currently have a 2001 Adventurer. It's our first. We are trying to decide on updating it or looking for a newer one. I would like to get some input on pros and cons of going diesel pusher or staying with gas. The engine we have is the Ford V-10 and it's been great and I see that they are still being used. The diesel appeals to us but not sure of the cons. Look forward to hearing thoughts from this thread.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:10 PM   #2
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Location: Spring Branch, TX
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There are endless debates on this topic. Check for most of them.

Gas motorhomes are cheaper to purchase and cheaper to maintain but ride like a dump truck.

Diesel motorhomes can cost much more to purchase and much more for routine maintenance. Engine related breakdowns can cost HUGE amounts of money.

Many say that once you are parked there is no difference. It's driving that sets the two apart. With DPs being quieter and smoother riding even on bad roads due to the air suspension. Gas MH are noisy, rough riding beasts that can leave you fully drained after a day of driving.

I've read a number of similar forum threads on this subject and lots of folks say if you are going to drive less per year that Gas is the way to go. And many that fulltime would only suggest a DP.

It's a never ending debate and one that comes down to budget. If we all had a vast supply of cash I think most everyone would chose the DP. But realistic circumstances make a Gas MH a wise choice from a budget standpoint.

We have a 2017 Gas MH. We absolutely hate the way it rides especially on the ever increasing bad roads. The engine and noise is not an issue at all. We love the way it "lives" and to get the exact same interior in a DP would have cost us an additional $60,000. The price would have kept us from buying at all. But we bought new. Certainly buying used would lessen that cost differential.

If you decide on Gas, look for a Mid-2016 or newer. Mid-2016 Ford F53 chassis were changed from a 5-spd transmission to a 6-spd. I've had both and the 6-speed is worlds better than the 5-speed. If looking at a 2016 look at the PRNDL on the steering column. If it's PND321 it's a 5-spd if it's PND421 it's a 6-speed.
2017 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2016 Lincoln MKX Toad
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I'll check out that website.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:55 PM   #4
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If you are considering new gas, you also may want to look or wait to see if you can get the new chassis from Ford (not that anyone really wants to be the 1st year guinea pig but the new engine (v8) will be paired to an 8-speed, I believe. Maybe they'll get better mileage and ride a bit more quiet but I think that remains to be seen.
Thom Boles
2010 Winnebago Vista 32K with a 2013 Mini Cooper S Roadster toad.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ThomB View Post
If you are considering new gas, you also may want to look or wait to see if you can get the new chassis from Ford (not that anyone really wants to be the 1st year guinea pig but the new engine (v8) will be paired to an 8-speed, I believe. Maybe they'll get better mileage and ride a bit more quiet but I think that remains to be seen.
The info I've seen says it will have a V-8 with a bit more horse power and slightly more torque and be matted to a 10-speed automatic.

I've "heard" that it will be released to manufacturers in Jan, 2020 and I've also heard that Newmar is slated to be the first manufacture to receive any. Which probably means none available until late 2020 as a 2021 model.

Here's what's been said:

Personally, I'd love to try one when they first come out.
2017 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2016 Lincoln MKX Toad
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:06 AM   #6
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I have had two gas MH and now into a Diesel. My gas ones were an 1996 Fleetwood Southwind. I had good experience with it no problems as far as traveling etc. My last Gas was a 30 footer with V10, it was easy to maintain the power was very good as for hills and such. We wanted a little more room for longer trips and came across this 07 Meridian 36SE diesel. There is a large learning curve to owning a diesel. In fact I just learned something new yesterday about draining the air tanks. The ride is great although my wife says that while the coach is moving its harder to walk around that with the gas. My MH has a cat c7 350 which is great but I think with the size of coach its about at its limit. With all said I am glade that I went to diesel.
07 Meridian 36G
Roadmaster tow dolly
Great Wife!! & Max the Frisbee chasing dog.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:31 PM   #7
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I also have a 2001 Adventurer and its a 35U on the Ford F53 Chassis. Boy do I wish any of the 10 ton dump trucks I have driven over the years drove anywhere close to as nice as my Adventurer. Load it correctly the way you will travel with it, weigh it and adjust the load if needed, inflate the tires to match the load and then have it aligned with it loaded for travel. Most folks with ride issues on the F53 have them loaded back heavy and with the tires over inflated for the load their actually carrying.

We have thought about upgrading to a newer coach but the new ones are taller, heavier, take more expensive tires, have no spare and don't have a great alternative to the 35U floor plan so we have decided to stay put and keep the 35U going for as long as possible.

If you like the coach and it runs then leave it be for a while and use it to gain more experience and then decide if you want to invest more into a newer coach or a diesel or simply find you like it so much that you just want to make a small investment in sprucing it up a bit.

Too many find out that after they are on the hook for the payment of the diesel coach they can't afford to maintain and use it especially if they have a breakdown out of warranty. The F53 for example has a pretty reliable I Beam front axle while many diesels have independent front suspension that as it wears can cost thousands to get back to spec. Maintenance will be higher on the diesel too all around so a lot may also depend on how much disposable income you have and how long you are willing to invest it into a coach.
Neil V
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:04 PM   #8
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We bought a used dp 3 years ago after driving gas class A's for 25 years. 2003 Journey, $41,000.
Best thing we ever did! And there is a lot of difference once you're parked also. It rides so solid, handles wonderful, and when parked it's like a rock.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:41 AM   #9
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We have had two gas motor coaches and over a year ago upgraded to a DP. However we would have been content to stay in gas but the "nicer" features were available in the diesel models and so we went diesel. That said, the ride is much quieter now with the engine in the rear. We like that!
Bruce and Denise; 2016 Itasca Meridian 40R.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:58 PM   #10
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My comments on another thread

Our gas is fine for us. I do all first line maintenance.
No banks power or other power mods...stock
We are not full time and never want to be.
Last trip was to east coast. 8000 miles, 75 days
We plan 200-225 mi/day. Drive 62 MPH and estimate
50 MPH for trip planning.

Thoughts on gas.

Cheaper up front and maintenance cost
No learning curve, been around gas rigs all my life
Drives well w/o suspension mods.
Pulls CRV & Frontier fine, don't need to pull F-250 pick up
Quiet enough to talk normal. (did mods, see below)
Goes down Rocky Mts. with out drama or pucker factor. Brakes fine.
Going up Rockies I'm not in a hurry. Run at ~ 4K RPM, use gears.
Handles rolling hills fine. Just drop out of OD. 62 MPH at 3K RPM.
One TV (removed BR one), One bathroom. DW/I watch same program
and manage to wait in line for potty. Gosh what inconvenience.
We don't entertain large groups so no need for 16'X30' living room.
No wash/dry. OK...laundry can be a nuisance but most trips ~ 2 wks
Light...Mine 22K. We go off pavement when boon docking hunting/fishing
taking the MH on back roads (single lane dirt). I believe it has better clearances than a DP

MH is parked in back yard and is my hobby. TPMS and Scan gage.
35 ft. with 2 slides is big enough for us.
Going up hills I will drop gears manually and set cruise at 4K RPM. Down shift as necessary and take manual control of throttle when necessary. Down hills was taught in CDL training to use "stab braking". Brake hard to 10-15 MPH below safe speed then release brake. When approaching safe speed repeat hard braking.
Added noise blocking insulation to inside of dog house cover, added as much as safely possible in engine compartment, added in dash where I could and installed 185 degree thermostat. (keeps big fan from coming on as often)

I do understand the appeal of DP if you only stay on pavement or improved gravel roads or full time. Super ride and quiet just not for us.
03 Workhorse 22K Winnebago Adventurer 35U
2012 Honda CRV and 2001 Nissan Frontier
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class a, diesel, gas

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