A couple of weeks ago, we touched on what type of floor plan you should consider when purchasing a Class A motor home based on you and your family’s needs. Now, we’ll take a look at the key differences between Class A gas motor homes and Diesel Pushers and how those differences should affect your purchasing decision. The one thing we can pretty much guarantee regardless of which type of Class A you go for is that you’ll have a blast using it and you’ll be the envy of all of those “stationary” vacationers in your neighborhood! Suckers.
The most common debate between the two types of motor homes, initially, is that of diesel fuel versus regular gas. These days, with gas prices the way they are, many RVers may be inclined to look first at purchasing a gasser because of the drastically cheaper price of regular gas. In New Jersey, the average price of a gallon of diesel gas is about $.60 higher than regular gas. However, though at a glance regular gas is a more economically friendly choice, diesel fuel is far more efficient. We’re talking about 30% more efficient. So while it may hurt your pocket (slightly) less when at the pump filling up your gasser, your MPG on a Diesel Pusher will most likely be much better (of course, depending on how much your Diesel Pusher weighs, its length, if you’re towing a car/boat, etc.).
**One quick note on the diesel fuel vs. regular gas conversation; diesel fuel can freeze or gel at temperatures ranging from 18 degrees Fahrenheit to -10 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the grade of the fuel. However, adding an anti-gel agent to your gas tank can decrease freezing temperatures to around -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re the type that prefers to go on long trips (particularly those through hilly/mountainous parts of the country), a Diesel Pusher may be a better fit for you. There are multiple reasons as to why this is the case. For starters, diesel engines have a lot more torque and accelerate much more quickly which will help to climb hills more easily. This is especially true if you happen to be towing a heavy car or boat along with you. Another reason why Diesel Pushers are better equipped for longer road trips is the durability and reliability of diesel engines. A diesel engine can withstand a lot more abuse than that of their regular gas counterparts and have the ability to run for up to 500,000 miles if properly maintained. With that being said, diesel engines are also a lot more expensive to repair, but in most cases, will require less maintenance than gassers.
Traveling regularly with a large family may require you to look into purchasing a larger motor home, which is typically the case with Diesel Pushers. As we mentioned previously, diesel engines have a lot more torque, so they are usually designed to be longer and heavier by the manufacturers. In many cases, these designs will allow for more storage space as well (bonus!). Another design feature that Diesel Pusher owners enjoy is the placement of the engine in the rear of the coach which helps to reduce the noise level of the engine as well as the smell of gas inside the coach. Along with larger floor plans, Diesel Pushers are usually more luxurious as well…which leads to increased price, of course. On average, the MSRP on 2014 Class A Gas motor homes is about $100,000 less than Diesel Pushers. Many manufacturers of luxury motor homes opt to include their best features in the diesel coaches and attach a larger price tag as a result.
Like most things in life, the answer to the question, “Which is better, Diesel Pushers or regular gas motor homes?” the answer is, “It depends”. It depends on your budget, where you live, where you plan on traveling, how much you plan on traveling, how many people will be traveling with you, and about a thousand other questions. If you’re going to be taking 2 or 3 short trips a year on relatively flat terrain, a gas coach may be the right move. Why drop the extra cash for features that you’re most likely not going to be taking advantage of? Conversely, if you’re a true road warrior (or a full timer) who wants to spend as much time as possible touring the country, then a Diesel Pusher is probably going to be a good choice. Either way, life is better when you’re on the road…
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