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Old 11-03-2009, 05:58 PM   #1
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Making the Move from Gas to Diesel

We absolutely love our 2008 Voyage 32H. Great floor plan and performance. It was perfect for weekends, vacations and our first few months of fulltiming. Now the time has come for us to step up with the big boys. We're shopping for our first diesel pusher. We're ready to have that engine 40 feet behind us, ride on air and have a little more room.

It'll be a Winnie, of course. We're looking at the Journey and Tour mostly, and the Itasca equivalents. Time will tell which we end up choosing.

While we feel very confident about evaluating floor plans and storage, when we take one look at that cockpit with all the switches and dials we are quite intimidated. This is a new ballgame.

Here's my question: What advice do you have for making the move from a Class A gasser to a 40 ft. DP? What do we watch for? How do we learn?

Many thanks!
Mary
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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If you do not already have a Toad, or Tow Bar, you might consider making a package deal with as many of the options you are going to need included. The area you intend to travel to, and park at, will help determine how big your unit should be. The systems on your present coach should be similar to what a DP has. They may be a little bigger or more powerful but the primary function will be the same. This place is a great resource. Just do a search on all the equipment you are thinking about and the use and reliability should be obvious. I am not a full timer so I can not help with those needs. Good luck and try to ask more specific questions.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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I've had both in my 10+ years of fulltiming, and my advice is, the sooner you switch, the better. Don't let all of those gauges and switches intimidate, it's just more to play with. You'll get the hang of it quickly, and never regret the switch.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:52 PM   #4
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We also made the switch from gas to diesel and love the DP....ride, power, braking (exhaust brake) the quiet and handling are far superior to the gasser we had.

Be prepared though to spend more on maintenance. Everything costs more on a diesel coach....if you can do most of the PM yourself, you will save money, of course. In addition to oil changes (gallons instead of quarts) you will have more expensive (and larger) filters, air dryer kits, etc. It is certainly not a show-stopper but something you will need to consider.

Frankly, at this point in our RV experience, if I had to give up my DP, I'd give up RVing.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:44 PM   #5
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We made the conversion from gas to diesel early in 2008 and have zero regrets. We also went from no slides to space,space, space!!!! We went from a 2-door to a 4-door refrigerator and a microwave oven to a microwave/convection oven. DW is in happy land!!!! Wish we had gotten a king size bed, instead of a queen, but.... Yes, don't let all the switches and gauges intimidate you. I had them all down in just a few weeks. Don't believe the "sticker" quote on fuel mileage. I guarantee that it will be less and probably not much different from the gas mileage on your current MH. With the price of gas and diesel being about the same here, expect about the same fuel costs. As can be read in a number of other threads about fuel economy, it depends more on how and where one drives and not on the fuel type.

For fulltimers, the more living and storage space, the better. Max out on space, if possible. Leveling jacks are a must. We did not have leveling jacks on our gas MH, so being able to level automatically or just by pushing a button is worth its weight in gold, especially in rainy or snowy weather! In my opinion, a built in GPS Navigation system will be obsolete before you know it. I pulled the installed one out of my MH recently and replaced it with a stickup Garmin GPS system (any good brand would do). In 3-5 years I will just replace that one with the latest version at that time.

Finally, expect many more $s for maintenance and upkeep, but diesels go a lot further between oil and filter changes. If you are a techy like me, then you will enjoy learning about the new engineering toy. If it is on a Freightliner chassis, then take the opportunity to take the Freightliner chassis class in Gaffney, SC.

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris and Natasha View Post
We absolutely love our 2008 Voyage 32H. Great floor plan and performance. It was perfect for weekends, vacations and our first few months of fulltiming. Now the time has come for us to step up with the big boys. We're shopping for our first diesel pusher. We're ready to have that engine 40 feet behind us, ride on air and have a little more room.

It'll be a Winnie, of course. We're looking at the Journey and Tour mostly, and the Itasca equivalents. Time will tell which we end up choosing.

While we feel very confident about evaluating floor plans and storage, when we take one look at that cockpit with all the switches and dials we are quite intimidated. This is a new ballgame.

Here's my question: What advice do you have for making the move from a Class A gasser to a 40 ft. DP? What do we watch for? How do we learn?

Many thanks!
Mary
We went from a gas to Diesel and I wish I could have started with a diesel. My advice is simple and fun, keep looking at them until you walk into one and don't want to leave. Then set down and take it in and go through everything (my wife is good at that).A couple of things my wife wanted was a kitchen with some counter space and a closet for our hamper, (not for me I looked at the bays, drivers seat, electric panels, engine, wet bay, and very important to me, a slide out battery tray to make servicing and replacing the batteries easy and a slide out tray in the large bay. The end result we got everything we wanted and couldn't be happier.

Good luck in your search...It is fun!!
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:30 AM   #7
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The only thing I will add is this, as all stated above is great advice. We bought a new gas MH in 2005 and have wished every day since that we would have bought a diesel then. That said, we have enjoyed our MH very much. However ,we will indeed buy a diesel at retirement in a few short years.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #8
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We would echo the praise for the Diesel. We have fulltimed in our Tour 40 for almost 2 years now and it has worked great. We love the power, smooth ride and living space. You will quickly get used to using the truck lanes for Diesel fuel and we find the Tour is very nimble given the tight wheel cut for steering. Go for it!
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:53 AM   #9
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I went from a popup to a 36' diesel. Biggest thing that intemidated me was size and size does matter. My 350 Cat pusher is a lovely doll. A little slow at times in the mountains but for the joy of being pushed rather than pulled, the power, oh my...what a feeling. I got a few extras and yep they fit perfectly in my life style. I put approximateky 20 K each year on mine and have never had an issue with the engine. I let Carter Cat of Chesapeake take care of the baby in the rear and they have only screwed up once. Twisted the valve cover gasket so she dropped a little oil on the next trip and did cause a mess with the toad. But they did take care of it and put me on a wear metal program. A piece of mind type thing. It cost about $10 each oil change but is a good idea. They dash panel didn't come up one cold morning while in Vermont but after pulling every fuse and putting them back, I could find and finding nothing wrong. Went back in and everything started back up. Maybe a little corrosion on the fuse pins??Happened a couple of more times but fixed after the in and out fuse thingy. Anyway...get the diesel...enjoy the power, feel and all the other good LONG LASTING (300 K miles +) miles in the coach. The sooner the better.....and.....have a great day in America the beautiful.
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:36 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement! We really appreciate it!

Since my original post, we've started negotiating on a 2009 Tour 40TD. (And that was before we read rv rick's response!) We've loved that floor plan since it came out and it goes away in 2010.

Anything we should be on the look out for with this particular coach, or at this stage of the game?

Thanks again for your responses. We're getting excited, though trying not to!

Mary
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:46 PM   #11
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Make sure you know the actual weight, four corners, of the vehicle. And, how much payload you will be able to carry.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:32 PM   #12
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I think you will love the Tour! We have weighed ours loaded with full fuel, water, and fulltiming (so it is loaded up). We were still about 1,500 pounds of carrying capacity left -- very happy about that!

Our Tour has also been very reliable and fun to travel in. Great coach!
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:01 PM   #13
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You will not regret the up-grade. Make sure you have sufficient weight capabilities for all you treasures and your toad. Most of Floorplan, Floorplan, Floorplan! After all you will spend a whole bunch of time in it. Don't be afraid to look at other brands for the floorplan that suits your needs the best.

Spike
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