Reasons Why Diesel Motor Homes Are Best to Own
There are substantial differences between Diesel Pusher Motor Homes and those that run on gasoline. There is also a great deal of controversy between owners as to which type of coach is better to own.
Since my husband and I have owned several models of both types of motor homes during our more than 50 years as RVers, I feel qualified to advise you about this issue.
- The truth is that how good any motor home is depends on its quality, construction and care. You can buy any unit that is top of the line, and it will serve you well.
- However, if it has been misused or is a "lemon" coming out of the factory, they type of fuel it uses, its price or it's basic amenities won't matter.
So, when discussing the benefits (or lack thereof) of gas and diesel coaches, you need to make sure you are not comparing apples to oranges.
For purposes of this article, this is how we will proceed.
We'll stick to the facts, rather than buying into the hype, so that you will have a clear picture of why I feel diesel motor homes are the best to own.
It is important to note that all manufacturers produce various "levels" of motor homes. Thus some are lower quality than others. To even the playing field, let's discuss mid level coaches.
The average new Diesel Pusher costs about one third more than a similar level of gas motor home. For this reason, many buyers purchase gasoline run motor homes.
However, there are a number of amenities they cannot have if they do this, and some of them make a big difference financially in the long run.
For example, a well maintained pusher will hold its value much better than a similar gas model, and it will also last longer.
What good does it do to save on the price of a new coach if you have to replace it sooner and lose more money on your trade?
Furthermore, you can reap all of the benefits of a diesel and pay much less if you purchase one that was previously owned and well-maintained. When you do this, you'll be buying a vehicle that is sturdier and more durable that can last as long as you want to own it!
In 2002 we purchased a 1996 Safari Serengetti (new price, $164,600) for $71,000 (out the door price including $12,500 for our trade in motor home) and drove it all over the country for four years until illness forced us to sell it fast at a reduced price of $45,000. We just saw the same coach for sale recently (ten years later) for $30,000. It's now 20 years old!
Our 1999 Holiday Rambler gas engine coach, which we bought in 2012 for $19,500 out the door with no trade in, sold new for $82 500.. Today the NADA value is around $15,000. It's only 16 years old.
Had we not had that emergency, we'd still be driving the Safari and could have saved a bundle!
Due to the way they are constructed they are constructed, Diesel Motor Homes have certain amenities that gas engine coaches do not
These are not after market items that you can add later because there is no way to integrate them into a gasoline run unit.
Two good examples of this are Pak Brakes and Inverters.
Pak Brakes are important to have in a travel unit if you plan to visit mountainous areas, such as those found in the Northwestern United States.
They are a safety feature that uses the weight of the coach’s engine to slow the coach rather than the brakes when you are driving down steep hills.
They not only save wear and tear on your braking system, they can and do save lives.
Inverters can only be used in Diesel Motor Homes and are a wonderful amenity to have on board because they
- can save wear and tear on your generator,
- save the cost of fuel to run a generator and
- add a great deal of comfort during travel and living.
Inverters get their energy from a running engine, a generator or a solar panel and can produce enough electricity to run a microwave, small heater or heating pad.
Thus, if you are driving along, you can plug a heating pad into an inverter outlet in your coach and enjoy the comfort of vibration and/or heat either to keep warm or to soothe an aching back without having to turn the generator on.
Conversely, you can run a fan to help circulate your dash air and stay cooler if your coach gets too hot.
As I noted earlier, Diesel coaches are sturdier than gasoline models. They have to be in order to hold their huge engines securely.
As a result, the support system is stronger and the walls are thicker which makes them safer and more durable.
Other Diesel Motor Home Benefits
Aside from the items I have mentioned above, there are a number of other benefits for people who decide to purchase pushers.
- Because their engines are located in the rear of the motor home, travelers are cooler and engine noise is minimized. This makes conversation much easier.
- Hitching rates are twice that of gas coaches (5000 pounds vs 10,000).
- Diesel pumps fill faster, so less time is spent in truck stops.
- Also, there’s no doghouse between the front captain’s chairs, which makes getting into and out of them much easier. This also creates more space for swiveling the seating which makes the living area more home like.
- Driving them is much less stressful because they are more powerful and their heavier weight makes them more stable on the highway.
- Because they are constructed with heavier materials, amenities such as washer/dryer combos and granite counters are less likely to overload their chassis.
- There is more storage space under the coach.
- Their engines and generators last much longer than those that run on gasoline. Some engines have been known to easily run beyond 500,000 miles, while gas engines have a top limit about 100,000.
- They get better mileage, too, and this helps to make up for the higher cost of fuel. The average Diesel gets about 10, but I have had coaches that get up to 14. A lot depends on driving speed and road conditions. Gas engines get between 6 and 8.
My husband and I have owned both types of motor homes during our 50 years as RV enthusiasts.
Although there are things we like about gas engines, we have learned that there is nothing like the security and comfort of owning a diesel pusher.
They ride better, drive better and provide more safety and security.
These are important issues when you are on the road, and should not be taken lightly.
If you can afford to purchase a good used Diesel Motor Home, you’d be wise to do so. In the long run, it will cost you less, last longer and be more enjoyable to own.