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Gas Vs. Diesel

Friday, October 16, 2015

Gas vs. diesel, when it comes to comparing engine choices in an automobile or light truck, is fairly straight forward. However, the same can’t be said about such a difference when we are discussing today’s class “A” motorhomes. The engine type and fuel are only a small part of the differences. They are totally two separate animals, each with their advantages.

The first thing that comes to mind is that the diesel would be far more fuel efficient than a gas model. That is not necessarily true. A 40-foot diesel pusher (DP), complete with air suspension, far outweighs a 40-foot gasoline powered motor home by up to 50 percent. The heavier frame, engine, transmission, air brake system, suspension component package, diesel generator and entirely larger chassis takes additional energy to move. Add to that, in most states and provinces, diesel fuel is priced higher than gasoline.

Diesel pushers generally ride far better than comparable gas powered rigs on the average roads in North America. They also shine when it comes to mountain travel because of their higher engine torque and engine auxiliary braking features.

Rear-end departure angle is greater on a DP. This is due the shorter distance from the rear-most axle center to the tail end of the hitch. The rear axle on a DP must be further back to support the weight of the engine. With gas, the front axle must be further forward to carry the motor.

Gas powered Class A motorhomes are generally less expensive than the DP units, some near $100,000 or so less. The substantially higher cost of a DP is in the engine, larger transmission to handle the high torque, custom heavy-duty chassis, complete air system, DEF system, diesel generator and more. Gas-powered units are also far less costly to maintain for the average low yearly mileage owner.

Clearly, the gas vs. diesel are two different animals. But buyers’ needs differ too. So, what are some of the uses that may better support a gas rig?

•Low yearly mileage. Less than 5,000 miles per year
•Need for shorter, lighter vehicle below those available with current DP models
•Want to avoid possible license upgrades or endorsements
•Not planning on doing a lot of mountain driving
•Want for an economic motorhome that better fits the budget. Can buy new gas possibly for less than used DP

Here are possibly some uses that may support buying a diesel pusher.
•High mileage yearly use—15,000 or more per year
•Want for the largest motorhome models
•Travelling often in mountainous regions
•Possibility of better fuel mileage on some smaller models

Regardless, both gas and diesel have their top-of-the-line models that, once parked, are comparable in luxury and appointments. So really there is no wrong choice, only some advantages of each, depending on one’s intended application.
It is your choice. You will be happy with either.

Mercer, Peter. “Gas Vs. Diesel.” Good Sam Blog. 16 October, 2015. Web. 23 June, 2015. http://blog.goodsam.com/gas-vs-diesel-2

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