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freestoneangler

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OK, first 5th wheels, yup a fiver for sure...no doubt about it. Even bought a Dodge 2500 CTD for that eventual acquisition (although it also hauls our current truck camper). Nope, a Class A would be much better for traveling with the dog and allows DW to get up and move around; keeping the back from getting aggravated. And a diesel pusher, yup a DP for sure...no doubt about it. Now, we've just seen a couple of Class A gassers that looked really, really nice for the $$$ (we're trying to stay <$50K).

 

Some have said to enjoy the search...it's all just part of the RV journey. Maybe, but my wife and I are starting to wonder when the merry-go-round stops :D. So I've read lots of threads about the pluses and minuses of diesel vs. gas. For those that have traveled a similar path, either as an initial purchase or subsequent purchases, what was the critical few factors that made you decide on a gas coach?

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The layout, functionality and features of the RV. The power plant was of very secondary importance and price per gallon is not a determining factor.... it will always change. What you can't change is the comfort, convenience, and overall fit to your needs. one big criteria for us (we looked for about 3 years) for a full time RV life was it had to feel like home every time we walked into it.

 

When we found it, the RV was located halfway across the US but the overall extra bother that added was not significant. We got what we really needed and after 11 years it still feels like home when we walk in.

 

We have had Motorhomes and yes, if one has kids, and will move often, it is definitely more convenient than a trailer of any sort.

 

But for FT we pull with a Volvo semi tractor and the condo on it lets us get up and move around as needed, lie down on the bunk and if desired, sleep. Ride comfort is way better than any class pickup and though we only try to move about <250 miles per day, a long day of 9 hours is comfortably doable with no white knuckles or stiff back or butt. Fuel mileage is about equal to the F350 diesel dually we originally pulled it with but the stopping and control aspects made it an inescapable solution. Additionally, it can be used as a motorhome for multi day jaunts away from the 5th wheel when desired. With our Smart car loaded on the back, we have a cheap run around vehicle when we get setup in a location.

 

But this is all just us...

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a Class A would be much better for traveling with the dog and allows DW to get up and move around;

 

I know a lot of people say that's why they like a motorhome. However, I cannot imagine anything more dangerous! What happens to your wife when she's up and around and you have to slam on the brakes in an emergency stop? Or someone crosses the line and hits you? Or you have a front tire blow? Or any number of other scenarios where the person (and free-roaming pet) goes flying? If you care about your wife (and your dog), both should be secured when the motorhome is in motion! JMHO.

 

We, too, have a motorhome and I do NOT get up and move around when it's in motion. If I need to go to the bathroom, or get up for any reason, we stop somewhere.

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We didn't even look at DP's because they were out of our budget. The oil changes alone cost a fortune. The upkeep items all seem more expensive and major breakdowns (if they happen) or engine problems much more costly. Because DH has experience working on gas engines and can do many repairs himself, that made us also lean towards a gas coach.

 

The one we purchased used as a higher quality coach with many optional features and we liked the floorplan and colors. After 4 years fulltiming, we are still happy with our choice.

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It's such a personal choice Freestoneangler, as we have found when discussing why one person opts for one over another. Total mixed bag of the whys and wherefores out there. Like you we felt like we were on a merry go round when seriously thinking of changing out about a year ago give or take, intending to go full-time but with further research realizing that we are more your extended timer types. I like having my foot still on the property ladder one way or another.

 

For us we started with a fifth wheel over 15 years ago, which was great as hubby could use the truck for work, albeit too much truck for work. Within 3 years we changed out to a gas MH, which we still have. At the time with the exchange rate, I reasoned I could buy an awful lot of gasoline for the extra $100K price difference for same age etc etc. Love that we can access everything we need on board and not have to get out at any point should we need to move on for safety reasons, and when we arrive and it's raining, just sit pressing buttons etc. Of course hubby would love a DP today, especially the pulling power etc, but weighing up the pros and cons, listening to many about the cost of servicing and maintaining a DP over a gasser, and bearing in mind for us the depreciation this one has occurred, plus new engine a year ago last Easter ($7,000), we decided to spruce up the old girl throughout 2014, install newer TVs, Residential Fridge, Solar system.

 

We'll likely keep her until we run her in the ground, as I'm not overly cosmetic on new everything and I love, love the floorpan layout especially counter space in kitchen and closets. Hubby would truly buy an Entegra or Allegro given half the chance, and he likes newer shiny stuff, but for now we're familiar with her little idiosyncrasies, find her generally easy to service, fix and maintain, and we are not-mechanically minded whatsoever.

That's what has worked for us for now FWIW.

 

Helen.

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(we're trying to stay <$50K).

The dilemma that you have run into is one that occurs all too often in forums for advice. For one reason or another, most of us tend to believe that everyone should make the same choices that we have because we like what we have. As much as I appreciate the enthusiasm of most RV owners, I also think that we cause a lot of people problems that are much like yours with our insistence that our way is best. I believe that the budget has to be the key in all RV choices because I have watched more than one person leave the RV lifestyle or the full-time one because they were unable to afford the expenses related to whatever RV choice they made. To the best of my knowledge, there is no type of RV manufactured that has not been used by someone for extended travel or fulltime living. As well intentioned as we may be, it is important that you not allow that enthusiasm of ours to push you into an RV choice that either doesn't fit your budget or your preferences.

 

Choosing your RV is a balancing act for any of us who have limited funds available or have budgetary limits to live within. You may not be able to get what some folks consider to be suitable for RV living, but very likely most of those setting the highest and most expensive standards also live in stick houses that you & I could not afford and likely would not want. There are really very few things that are absolute in the choice of an RV and while you may not see a great deal about the more humble RV choices, there are out there and there are just as many of those as there are of the more costly RVs. My suggestion is that you first consider only RV choices which will fit into your budget limits and ignore all of the others. Within those purchase price limits, ask yourselves if you can live in each RV and enjoy traveling in it. I can tell you from personal experience that if you are really determined to live the RV life, you do not need the biggest, fanciest, or most impressive of RVs unless that is your standard. It is important that you choose something that fits your budget ahead of anything else. We did so and you can also.

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My 2 cents worth!!

 

So many folks stress the 'what RV' question before they decide what type of camping they want to do. My suggestion is to first decide the type of camping/travel you want to do. The answer to that question may well eliminate one or two choices. No point buying the 'dream DP' only to find it limits you with destinations and budget. Carefully consider your preferences and then match the rv to your needs.

 

We had a 40ft DP but wanted to camp in remote regions among mother natures beauty. That was a mistake on our part. Next time we will go small so we can have big options.

 

regards

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This applies to any type of RV:

 

1. Affordable

2. Livable

3. Everything else

 

If it puts you in a budget bind you'll resent it every time you open your wallet and it will color everything else.

 

If it is not pleasant to live in you'll be unhappy every day, might even be miserable depending on how bad it is.

 

If it a a gas unit or a small diesel with a bit less power and a bit bumpier ride you'll only be unhappy for a few minutes at a time when there is a hill or bad section of road and once you are parked and have a beer open in your comfy chair it won't matter that much.

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I know a lot of people say that's why they like a motorhome. However, I cannot imagine anything more dangerous! What happens to your wife when she's up and around and you have to slam on the brakes in an emergency stop? Or someone crosses the line and hits you? Or you have a front tire blow? Or any number of other scenarios where the person (and free-roaming pet) goes flying? If you care about your wife (and your dog), both should be secured when the motorhome is in motion! JMHO.

 

We, too, have a motorhome and I do NOT get up and move around when it's in motion. If I need to go to the bathroom, or get up for any reason, we stop somewhere.

 

We try to limit when the passenger gets out of his/her seat but sometimes it's simply necessary and there's no place convenient to stop. Yes, bad things could happen, but they can happen anytime and statistics says that they're no more likely to happen when someone is out of their seat. So we simply just do it. Sometimes one has to balance risk and reward and IMHO this is one where the rewards exceed the risks. One can't always live one's life to avoid all possible risks.

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This applies to any type of RV:

 

1. Affordable

2. Livable

3. Everything else

 

If it puts you in a budget bind you'll resent it every time you open your wallet and it will color everything else.

 

If it is not pleasant to live in you'll be unhappy every day, might even be miserable depending on how bad it is.

 

If it a a gas unit or a small diesel with a bit less power and a bit bumpier ride you'll only be unhappy for a few minutes at a time when there is a hill or bad section of road and once you are parked and have a beer open in your comfy chair it won't matter that much.

+1

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We try to limit when the passenger gets out of his/her seat but sometimes it's simply necessary and there's no place convenient to stop. Yes, bad things could happen, but they can happen anytime and statistics says that they're no more likely to happen when someone is out of their seat. So we simply just do it. Sometimes one has to balance risk and reward and IMHO this is one where the rewards exceed the risks. One can't always live one's life to avoid all possible risks.

 

Couldn't agree more.

 

Barb

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We ended up with a 40 ft DP but were actually looking for a 36 ft just couldnt find one in the same condition as this one. I would have bought a gas model just as easily as a diesel. I like that the gassers are less costly to maintain. I do my own maintenance and repairs though so that helps a lot.

However one factor that I had to consider was the mileage on a gas engine. Gas engines simply dont last as long as a diesel. The 75k miles on my diesel meant that it was nicely broken in, as a matter of fact the ISL engine gets better at 100k miles. The gas engines generally last about 100k miles and then you are looking at a new engine. So if you can find a low mileage gas MH with a floorplan you like....go for it.

 

The ride and stopping power as well as the engine brake are very nice to have on a long trip with DP but I see so many gas motorhomes on the road and at the end of the day when we are parked and set up and having a cold one....who cares? We are all having fun.

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OK, first 5th wheels, yup a fiver for sure...no doubt about it. Even bought a Dodge 2500 CTD for that eventual acquisition (although it also hauls our current truck camper). Nope, a Class A would be much better for traveling with the dog and allows DW to get up and move around; keeping the back from getting aggravated. And a diesel pusher, yup a DP for sure...no doubt about it. Now, we've just seen a couple of Class A gassers that looked really, really nice for the $$$ (we're trying to stay <$50K).

 

Some have said to enjoy the search...it's all just part of the RV journey. Maybe, but my wife and I are starting to wonder when the merry-go-round stops :D. So I've read lots of threads about the pluses and minuses of diesel vs. gas. For those that have traveled a similar path, either as an initial purchase or subsequent purchases, what was the critical few factors that made you decide on a gas coach?

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However one factor that I had to consider was the mileage on a gas engine. Gas engines simply dont last as long as a diesel. The 75k miles on my diesel meant that it was nicely broken in, as a matter of fact the ISL engine gets better at 100k miles. The gas engines generally last about 100k miles and then you are looking at a new engine. So if you can find a low mileage gas MH with a floorplan you like....go for it.

 

I have been told by someone who I trust that the Vortec (GM) and V10 (Ford) gas engines are 250K engines. Plus, if they do need to be replaced or need a new block, they are much, much cheaper and probably easier to get changed. I am very happy with my ISL, but the 8.1 liter Vortec in my previous gas motorhome worked quite well.

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Thank you everyone for the awesome input... this forum is really great for us newbies. Looks like mpg, hill climb power and cockpit noise are the main cons for gas. Years ago we had a 1990 Class C Tioga with a 360 motor. I do recall it was a bit noisy, but we were young and resilient of such things.

 

Considering the cost advantage of gas vs. diesel, cost of DEF for newer diesels and higher cost of oil and gas filter changes for diesel, I'm thinking the extra 2-3 mpg are probably a wash over the long haul? If that's the case, then it really gets down to hill climb power and noise. We will be flat towing a 2006 CRV/AWD, and from what I'm hearing, the Class A's in the 33-36' length with the Workhorse and Ford chassis handle this well. So, if we can put up with watching the DP's wave as they fly past up the hills, that's not a huge factor.

 

That leaves noise as the last factor but we've not had the opportunity to test the difference between gas and DP on a hill climb. I would think that unlike our 1990 Tioga, improvements have been made to both engine/transmission noise and heat insulation -- particularly on newer coaches (say post 2005)? Does anyone have some experience with both?

 

Thanks,

Bill & Jennie

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Gassers put the engine a couple of feet away from you, while DP's place the engine nearly the length of the coach away from you, ignoring the few FRED's (FRont Engine Diesel) around. The noise difference is considerable and understandable. If you compare a front engine diesel rig to a similar sized gasser, the noise levels are much closer.

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We don't have "experience" with both because we just bought our first - but I truly sympathize with what you are going through, as we just went through it. :)

 

I will say that I think they ALL work, but also they ALL will require serious compromises.

 

So it's not a "which is best", but rather "which compromises are more (or less) painful?"

 

We plan to live in ours full-time, no sticks 'n bricks. We went in a ton of RVs, all types and sizes, "tried them on", went through the motions of day-to-day living. "Ok, lay on the bed, get up in the morning, throw on a robe (hangs where?), use the loo, make coffee, clean the coffeemaker, sit down (where?), fire up the computer (where?)". Etc. Then went to each cupboard and storage space and said "what goes here?".

 

Result? For us, an older 40' diesel pusher. Which does NOT mean that this is THE Best Solution. We just couldn't seem to fit all our daily stuff and activities into something smaller - and we tried. But believe me, we know we are compromising. We have to pay for this giant thing, feed it fuel, take care of all its complicated systems, deal with trying to shepherd it through tight spaces, and forego a LOT of places we would like to take it where we just won't fit. We did draw the line at 40' max due to restrictions in certain states - and that too was a compromise because some features we wanted are more commonly found in 42-45' coaches.

 

So I guess my suggestion is, do those two things. Try and walk through and imagine your entire day inside the RV, and how and where you will do everything. Where do you go? Do you fit? And then do the same with your stuff. Where does it go? Does it fit? Within that, get the smallest unit possible. There seems to be a truism that the more you can give up and be happy, the more flexibility you have in choosing an RV.

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We've had both a DP and a gaser. Both have their pros and cons. Don't sweat the DPs going passed you up the hills. You'll see more.

 

At the end of the day, literally, figure out how much time you will be camping v driving. Is all the DP v Gas debate 'really' an issue if the floor plan and camp site is what you want.

 

regards

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So now after all these comments I imagine you are as hopelessly lost as ever....

No, actually I think it's helping. In some ways, it's probably good that we go through this exercise as it makes us smarter about the many aspects of purchasing and using an RV. Today we looked at a couple of units and I noted a minor difference in the driver seat length on two National's, one with the Ford and one with the Workhorse. At 6'2", having a seat that can be adjusted far enough back to extend my right leg is a factor. The Ford seemed to have a bit more room.

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Update. Looked at 3 more gas class A's today. Two with the Ford and one with the WH. None allowed me to push the seat far enough back to extend my right leg to a natural, comfortable position. I'm trying not to be over picky, but I've driven small cars on long hauls that limit leg extension... gets tiring. The seats in two coaches had plenty of rearward adjustment, but not with the slide in... that's a new ahh-haa :o. One, a Fleetwood Southwind, was a little better, but still a bit tight. So, just for grins, I said to my wife, let's just see how this situation is in that DP over there... wow, what a difference!

 

So, still lost but definitely getting some important, subtle features worked out. Our plan is to look at a good variety of gas coaches and see if this issue is consistent... could very well be a limitation of the Ford and Workhorse chassis?

 

Any tall, long legged owners out there run into this?

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