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Old 09-15-2019, 08:31 AM   #1
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Why are there so few diesel Class C RV's

We are thinking of buying an RV, most likely a Class C in the 30-32 foot range. Why don't manufactures build these units on a platform that allows for a diesel motor? The 24 foot units with a diesel motor are too small for us and it seems that Nexus is the only manufacturer that has a C Class line with a diesel motor but they seem almost overwhelming in size. The V 10 is a gas hog and is right on the edge of what is needed in the way or power and torque... put aside it seems to be lucky to get 7-8 MPG.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:39 AM   #2
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Take a look at Super Cs. Lots of them are equipped with diesels. The real reason is there are two chassis manufacturers for Class C - Ford and Mercedes. Ford does not offer the van chassis (used on Class C motorhomes) with a diesel engine option, therefore, no diesel engines in Ford chassis Class Cs. Super Cs are built on Ford, Chrysler, and Freightliner truck chassis which are usually diesel powered.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:33 PM   #3
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Part of it is cost...the gas engine is less expensive than a diesel. Maintenance on the V10 is inexpensive and can be performed almost anywhere that will do an oil change. The Ford V10 has plenty of power and while loud, perfectly capable of climbing mountains. I am 90% of the time in areas where there aren't many grades, so there is no advantage for me to go diesel. Gas has been running 2.50. Diesel appears to be in the $3.25-$3.75 range.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:58 PM   #4
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Cost is the reason. The diesel adds $10k to the cost and Class Cs are generally priced below gas Class A RVs.

Super Cs are diesel Class Cs and generally cost between gas Class As and diesel pusher Class As.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:13 PM   #5
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I believe that another reason that few diesel Class C motorhomes are made is that diesel engines make a lot of noise, so putting them in the rear of a motorhome gets it away from the driver and passengers.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:33 PM   #6
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Add the price of a diesel generator on top of the diesel engine and you would be way up on additional cost.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:35 PM   #7
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Super C's are mostly the diesels. Diesel adds a lot to the base price.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:56 PM   #8
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We do fine without one

We had the Diesel Pusher MH and it pulled mountains, but the weight made it slow and it was expensive to maintain. Our Class C has pulled mountains out west this past year without a hiccup. We honestly did not feel we needed anything stronger. And we don't miss searching for diesel stations or the higher maintenance costs.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:58 PM   #9
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We moved from a diesel MDT to a gas MH and never looked back. Very happy, don;t seem to have any power problems that are noticable. Maintenance is so much less and mechanics easier to find.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:53 PM   #10
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We have the Ford V10 gas in our 2017 Aspect 30J...we get 8 to 9 mpg, on average. We live in northern AZ and making the climb out of Phoenix has never been a problem. She makes the grades without even a hiccup. My brother in law has a Class A diesel and he tells me 5 mpg is the norm for him. Of course he's 43' long instead of our 32' length.

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Old 09-22-2019, 07:58 PM   #11
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We do the same climb with our gasser, 36', and have no problems. Our gasser avgs7.5 mpg.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:07 PM   #12
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In the year and a half that we’ve owned our class C Mercedes diesel we’ve put about 12,000 miles on her and average about 16.5 mpg. Maintenance costs so far are just under $200 which includes an oil service that we did at 10,000 miles instead of the recommended 20,000. Diesel fuel prices are running $2.70 to $2.90 which costs about $17.00 per 100 miles. Combined with the reliability and longevity of the Mercedes I don’t think you can find a better alternative for cost effective RV travel
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:21 AM   #13
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The Ford V10 is virtually "bullet proof" The Mercedes Diesel engine in the Sprinter has inherent problems which usually doesn't happen until it not long out of warranty.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:03 PM   #14
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Ret.LEO-The Mercedes diesel has a long history of reliability. What inherent problems are you referring to?
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Ret.LEO-The Mercedes diesel has a long history of reliability. What inherent problems are you referring to?
A lot of harmonic balancer problems in the past.
DEF heater failure along with other engine exhaust issues
check engine light

Then figure in the price of a Mercedes Shop charging a shop rate that rivals what your Doctor or Attorney would charge.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:06 AM   #16
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What could really turn things in a HUGE way is if the new Ford 7.3 gas engine proves out. 430 HP and 475 ft lbs of torque with promised better fuel mileage. Of course they're probably two years out before being put in Class C's. But maybe we'll have a better idea on their dependability and performance after being used first in Super Duty pickups.
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:22 PM   #17
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This is the ongoing, never-ending, diesel vs gasoline engine story. I prefer to deal with the issues of the Sprinter to enjoy the quiet of the ride. The gasser Aspect drove me nuts with the noise. See, it is personal choice. I have never used a Mercedes shop, this View or the first '06. Instead I use a certified diesel shop that has all the test equipment for Sprinter. Yes, it still costs more than a gasser. On the Aspect I did all the maintenance. On the old View I did it all. On the new View I pay the shop to change the fuel filter and yes, ridiculous, but it is time consuming placed in the valley of the V6, gotta remove a bunch of stuff to get to it.


The Ford van with diesel is being used by CoachHouse for a new model B unit which looks pretty darned good but...small inside. Why so few diesel models? Well, the Sprinter has dominated the small C market for a long time for those looking for reliability and quiet engine in that size rig. Yes, the new emissions requirements for DEF and DPF have introduced new issues in diesels, possibly more so than in gasoline engines but they all suffer from sensor issues now.


One common issue with Sprinter rigs is the wheel sensors but so far I've never had the issue. I'm happy to deal with the Sprinter and the fuel economy offsets the cost of maintenance vs the Ford gasser IMHO. The pleasure of the ride is the real determination however subjective that may be.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:18 PM   #18
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I agree with Kayak73. Before we decided we rented a V10 class C and hated the noise and the poor fuel economy. Then we test drove the Via. What a dream next to the V10. Low engine noise plus a super design that provides comfort and space in a small footprint. I was a boat owner for over 20 years and owning both gas and diesel, diesel wins. I found that if a diesel engine is rated at 200 horsepower, it has 200 horsepower. If a gas engine is rated at 200 horsepower it probably has 150 horsepower. Our Via gets 15 miles per gallon without the toad and 13 MPG with the toad. The V10 without a toad got around 8 MPG as I remember and it was a 24 foot class C. Anyway, we're happy and that's all that matters. If you like your V10 that's great. Enjoy life...
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:29 PM   #19
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Gas or diesel? Quiet, quality drive & fuel economy win out.

Nothing beats the Mercedes Sprinter for a quiet quality drive, 7 1/2 ft width for narrow roads and cities, & great fuel economy...and with its 9ft slide ours is big enough for four month stays in the Baja. For environmental and pocketbook reasons we should be pushing for better mpg rigs.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:04 PM   #20
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Ford ceased putting a diesel in the E350/450 chassis when the 6.0L diesel went away, the horrible 6.4 and the pretty darn good 6.7 just won't fit. Chevy/GMC did install the Duramax in the Savannah/Express chassis for several years, but it wasn't a good seller and they quit installing it several years ago.

Essentially there are no diesels in C class MH's because the chassis manufacturers don't make chassis' with diesels. That leaves the Sprinter chassis, and the Transit chassis, plus the Super C models built on Ford F series chassis' and on Ram chassis'

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