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Gas vs Diesel


tilliepeoples

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I was looking through Craigslist considering updating my 32 ft Winnebago and much to my surprise there are 3 Fleetwood Bounders.

91 80000 miles on Ford chassis ,94 40000 miles on Chevy chassis and a 92 Oshkosh chassis with 80000 miles.

All within a $1000 of each other.Both gas are 34J and the diesel is a M-35J

I am wondering how much difference is the diesel as far as maintenance and cost per mile to operate.

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Generally the diesel engine is more fuel efficient that a gas engine.

 

I would not hesitate to get the diesel chassis.

 

Agreed.. with the caveat that you plan to keep it for awhile and put on some goodly amount of miles. Ie., 4-5k miles a year for a handful of years before you change it out and you probably will end up spending more on the diesel. If you're packin a toad then it might still be worth it for the additional torque, but even then, towing a modestly sized toad wouldn't be a big issue with most gas rigs either. Although.. you will likely be paying quite a bit more in fuel costs.

 

If the cost is within $1000.. I would still prefer the diesel, but it would depend on the overall condition of the rig. I wouldn't "settle" for a mediocre diesel over a nearly pristine gasser... 'unless' I'm going to be doing a lap around the country ever year. KWIM?

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The only reason I am considering giving up my 90 is gas mileage ,that 3 speed trany can do a number on the gas tank at 70 MPH.

As it stands now I am only looking at 4 to 5K miles a year ,although that could easily change if I'm not putting all my funds in the gas tank..

I never considered a toad but a small trailer or lift for my 1000LB motorcycle is a distinct possibility and everything I have read is that the frame on a gas MH will not hold a lift but the diesel will..

From the info I have now I know each has it's distinct advantages .

Thanks for the fast reply's

Bill

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Just keep in mind that IF you put a lift on the rear, the added weight to the rear axle WILL be significant. In addition to the weight of the bike you will be "unloading" the front axle, shifting the weight to the rear. There are formula out there to calculate the added weight.

The coach in my signature has a 20,000 pound rated rear axle and, as loaded for a winter in the south, I have about 19,500 on it. If I put my street glide on the rear (920 pounds) AND the carrier, I calculate i will add nearly 1700 pounds to the rear axle. I don't have the rear axle capacity to carry it with a lift.

 

regardless, I would go with a diesel any day.

 

Lenp

USN Retired
2002 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom

2012 F150 4x4

2018 Lincoln MKX

2019 HD Ultra Limited

 

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As it stands now I am only looking at 4 to 5K miles a year ,although that could easily change if I'm not putting all my funds in the gas tank..

I never considered a toad but a small trailer or lift for my 1000LB motorcycle is a distinct possibility and everything I have read is that the frame on a gas MH will not hold a lift but the diesel will..

 

I probably should have qualified my remarks by saying that I was 'speaking' strictly from an economic standpoint. Even though it might cost a little more to run in the short term, a diesel would always by my first choice with a class A.

 

I can't speak about the frame differences with the rigs you mentioned. I would imagine it would be more vehicle specific as I know some mfg's use the same basic frame for gas or diesel and others do not. I would only add to be very cautious when considering a lift. As Lenp mentioned.. it needs to be very carefully considered and actual weight allowances, axles, and frame strength need to be taken into account. The lever forces can be tremendous even with fairly "manageable" weight additions. I know a lot of folks that do it.. I also know a lot of folks that have had 'extremely' spendy frame repairs and run through tires like mad dogs due to uneven wear when doing so. I personally don't think it's worth the risk when a small trailer would be much better suited to the task.. but that's a personal choice.

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100% Diesel. altho the repair for diesel eng is more, you can go many 1000's of miles before you would need any.

Using abstract numbers, $2. gal for gas an $2.25 for diesel. 100 gallon tank.

4-7 mpg /gas 6-10 mpg for diesel. = 400-700 miles per tank compared to 600 - 1000 per tank, cost / savings = diesel wins.

2000 Itasca Horizon DP (Got Total During Irma). 

Vice President of Charlotte County Defenders LE MC

http://charlotte.defenderslemc.com/

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Basing a choice of motorhome only on the kind of fuel it will use is in my view a poor way to approach the problem. Depending upon what Winnebago you have now, the interior quality and fit/finish of the Bounder interior is probably going to be a step down. Have you considered at all the GVWR of each of the choices? The 91 Ford will be running a 460 and probably has only 16K gross unless it has a tag axle. The 94 Chevy will be a 427 also rated at 16K unless it has a tag. There is a good chance that the 92 Oshkosh will be considerably higher rated but it is probably running the old 275 hp diesel but if the price is the same it might not be a diesel but rather the Ford 460 which Oshkosh was using in some chassis at that time. If it is a diesel, then I'd also take a close look as it would probably be better for the same price, but condition is everything in any RV that is 20+ years old.

 

NADA lists the 92 Bounder, 35J Oshkosh as $10,300 as average retail and the gas 91 Ford 34J as $10,300 and the 94 Chevy 34J also at $10,300 which would imply that all have the same value, but to me it just makes the NADA internet information very questionable. If it were me, I'd check with the largest library around to see if you can find a copy of the paper version of their book as those give more information and are usually significantly different from the free internet info. On the surface it would appear that the Oshkosh should be the best value but it is impossible to know for sure without more information.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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The only reason I am considering giving up my 90 is gas mileage ,that 3 speed trany can do a number on the gas tank at 70 MPH.

As it stands now I am only looking at 4 to 5K miles a year ,although that could easily change if I'm not putting all my funds in the gas tank..

I never considered a toad but a small trailer or lift for my 1000LB motorcycle is a distinct possibility and everything I have read is that the frame on a gas MH will not hold a lift but the diesel will..

From the info I have now I know each has it's distinct advantages .

Thanks for the fast reply's

Bill

If you are mainly concerned about mileage, the difference between gas and diesel for 5k miles a year is only in the $1-2,000 yearly savings at best. Funds for the fuel expense are minor compared to the cost to upgrade and maintain a RV for such low miles being driven. If gas mileage is your biggest concern, slow that rig down. Also, I would go with the small trailer for the motorcycle instead of a lift if cost is a concern?

Greg

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We have had both. An item often little spoken of is how quiet the diesel (dp) is during use. When traveling, the cab area is much much quieter than a gas rig. Also using the front mount gen often found in a Diesel Pusher makes evening much more enjoyable should you have to leave the gen running during sleep (rest areas, truckstops, next to a highway or railroad tracks & more). We love our DP but condition is always one of the most important considerations.

 

rocmoc n AZ/Fld/Baja

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Condition is a higher priority than type of fuel ,but cost per mile is the only reason for giving up my Winnebago that I bought the last week in July last year. .

putting $400 in the gas tank on a little over a 1000 mile trip took some of the fun out of driving it.Although I used it almost every weekend after that I stayed much closer to home .

I did a lot of research on a lift and found the longer wheelbase allows for hanging more weight off the back and since my backing skills need improvement I was trying to avoid pulling a trailer.

It was while doing research on the 91 that I ran across the other 2 which on the surface appear to be better deals so I decided to ask some questions of the people who drive them most,.

Thanks

Bill

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Thanks for the replys.

A quieter ride is a big plus ,especially after hearing that 454 3speed tranny howl at 70 MPH

Saving $2000 a year would mean upgrading from county parks to private parks.

I do not figure initial cost into a vacation ,rather trip by trip enjoyment .Initial cost is a concern ,but to a point not a deal breaker.

I have contacted all three owners and asked some of the questions that have been brought up hear and am awaiting their responces

Thanks

Bill

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Condition is a higher priority than type of fuel ,but cost per mile is the only reason for giving up my Winnebago that I bought the last week in July last year. .

putting $400 in the gas tank on a little over a 1000 mile trip took some of the fun out of driving it.

I think that you would have a tough time justifying any change based upon fuel consumption, especially to the year choices that you are looking at. You don't say what chassis or year you have now, but gas chassis were pretty much in the 6 mpg range into the late 90's and since that have improved somewhat but even with a new one you probably won't see much more than 8/9 mpg and the diesel you are looking at may get 8 mpg, but I'd be pretty surprised to see much more than that. Fuel prices are down for the moment so you should be traveling now while it is as I doubt that it will stay that way for too long. I think that you will be hard pressed to justify any change based upon better fuel mileage.

 

Just to help with advice, what mileage are you getting now, and how much do you feel would justify a change?

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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At present I have a 1990 32ft Winnebago Chieftain .The 454 with a 3 speed transmission is wound up tight at 70MPH..

With a 4 speed overdrive I could get from 10 to as much as 20 percent better at 70 MPH .This amounts to maybe $50 saving every 1000 miles.

This amounts to steak instead of burgers or a KOA instead of a county park.,or in my granddaughters case a few extra bundles of fire wood .

I could never justify paying more than twice what I paid for my 90 last summer just for gas mileage ,but on a trip by trip basis it sounds very comforting.

I can make myself believe it's a good deal if I put the cost of 6 new tires (noticed cracks when I put it away in the fall) and having the cab air fixed into the equation.

Bill

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Ok. I have a little more info on all three and am beginning to question my wisdom.

I'll drop some of what I found out here and see if anyone else is skeptical.All are right around $10000.

The 91 has always been used to pull either trailer or an SUV .Knowing that engines from the 90"s were not built for 200000 miles like they are today I have to wonder how strong that engine is today

Otherwise claims everything works.

The 94 is at a car dealership .Claims certified mechanics went over drivetrain and all checks out .No info on coach except original owners say everything works.

The 92 diesel needs generator worked on (intermittent problems) cab air not working ,jacks don't work ,and a few cosmetic issues.Oh yes I almost forgot,it has the 190 horse 5.9L turbo with auto trans.

Any takers .Leave them sit or drive one home .

I am in no real hurry to replace the 90 but I felt these were interesting

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A lot of us subscribe to 2-2-2 way of traveling. 200 miles per day, in the park by 2:00 pm, stay at least 2 days. While we once in a while do 2-3 days straight it is never more than 250/day. We don't have to worry about finding a place to park, we are set up before the others hit the park (and can watch them instead of us being watched) and can enjoy our evening. And staying 2 days gives us a chance to see a little of the area and often we will decide to lengthen that to a week.

 

Now we do have a diesel, and the sweet spot is around 62 for her. However, when in a lot of states we run at around 58 do to limits for trucks and vehicles pulling a trailer or car. Our rig has 140K and gets 8.75 mpg (averaged over 10 years) pulling a car.

 

Barb

Barb & Dave O'Keeffe
2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2018 Ford C-Max HYBRID
Blog: http://www.barbanddave.net
SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834

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We have had both. An item often little spoken of is how quiet the diesel (dp) is during use. When traveling, the cab area is much much quieter than a gas rig. Also using the front mount gen often found in a Diesel Pusher makes evening much more enjoyable should you have to leave the gen running during sleep (rest areas, truckstops, next to a highway or railroad tracks & more). We love our DP but condition is always one of the most important considerations.

 

rocmoc n AZ/Fld/Baja

 

This is a great point to consider in the decision. Having owned a Tioga Class C some years ago, I recall how darn loud it was. Also, in summer, lots of engine heat in the cab area made it tough for the AC to keep up. Even the newer units I've driven are pretty loud. This, in addition to the service life/longevity, the stump pulling power for towing a car over the hills, and much better braking capability was the reason I finally decided it will be a DP. I am a bit of a noise adverse person (hey, everyone has at least one quirk... right?), and the DP's are much quieter on the road.

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To us RVing is about less stress. Driving at 70mph rather than 60mph doesn't help the stress levels or the budget. And just because something will do 70mph and the posted limit is 70mph still doesn't mean you have to do 70mph. Slow down and enjoy the ride. It's all about the journey not the destination!!

 

regards

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My wife and I spend a lot more time living in our coach than we do driving it even when moving daily, so the floorplan and "liveability" is our first consideration when looking at newer coaches. We have had both a DP and three gassers, and while the DP was quieter driving and handled a bit better, we found we really didn't like the layout. It did teach us a lot about what we wanted in the next coach though, and so far the best overall fits happen to have been gassers in the length we wanted.

Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F-53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/brake system

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Thank you all

You've given me a lot of info to think about..

I'm still drifting toward the diesel ,but it does have a couple condition problems ( cab air and levelers don't work.) and based on the conversation I had with the owner last night it will probably be gone before I can look at it.

The 94 seems to be in the best condition and all around the best value.

I also may just keep the 90 for awhile and work on changing my driving style some.This doesn't mean I have to slow down ,just plan ahead smarter.

As I mentioned before ,the only reason for considering a change is the 3 speed transmission and planning routes to avoid the super slab would probably do wonders for that.

Thanks again

Bill

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