diesel or gas engine?

vieja_gwDecember 22, 2005

If buying a motor home, which would be the best engine to buy ... diesel or gasoline as far as efficiency, mileage,longevity, upkeep, etc.?

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gary__

Diesel would be better for that application in every way. jmo

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 10:43PM
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RooseveltL

Not even a debate - if your concern is longevity and efficiency - the only choice is diesel (if available)

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 10:57PM
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earthworm

I have read that Diesel fuel contains about 20% more energy than gasoline. On top of this, the combustion process is,IMO, more efficient. Starting is, of course, a bit more difficult; but Volkswagen and Mercedes have handled this well..Something is seriously wrong in that GM and Ford have yet to develop their own "light duty" Diesel .. At least GM tried...

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 9:02AM
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steve_o

Something is seriously wrong in that GM and Ford have yet to develop their own "light duty" Diesel .. At least GM tried...

Huh? GM has its Duramax and Ford has its Powerstroke. Both are popular, both are well-built engines. In fact, the Duramax is even a bit more refined than the PowerStroke. Whether they developed them in-house or decided to buy someone else's is immaterial.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 9:48AM
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kalining

Yes a diesel is nice but up here diesel is still $ 1.04 a
LT. that is about $4.72 a gal. if you can find it. and gas is $0.86 or about $3.90 a gal. What they forget to tell
you is when a diesel breaks down it breaks down BIG TIME
MONEY. You don't find too many diesle parts at Canadian Tire or NAPA. One tank of contaminated fuel and may God have mercy on your soul. Normally this stuff never happends but it's something you may want to think about.
As far as efficiency, mileage, and longevity you can't
beat a diesle if you keep the fuel and oil clean, and i mean " CLEAN " . Upkeep and repairs though , could wipe out your savings in one day if you have a bad break down
and not on warranty. I have a 6.2 that needs a short block repair kit. $3000.00 canadian my cost. The block core is
worth $1500.00. I can buy a drop in gas 302 for $3000.00
and turn the key and have it run. The diesel parts do not
include injectors or glow plugs. The injector pump is $1800.00 for a rebuild. That is usually the first part to go. Don't let me scare you. If you get a good one it will
last for 300,000 miles easy. I have one that has 450,000
km. on it. Smokes a little when cold but runs well. Remember a diesel isn't driven like a gas engine, diesels
don't like to be cold. If you know you will only park for about 5 mins. or less you don't shut them off. Train locomotives are never shut off unless in the shop or parked
for storage.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 11:27PM
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earthworm

Steve, I am referring to "light duty" automobile Diesels(Mercedes,VW,Fiat,BMW,Saab,Renault,Honda,Toyota, many others, not the big truck engines, which I would consider as being "medium duty"..

The natural price of Diesel fuel should be a bit less than 87 octane gasoline as less refining is necessary, at least it used to be that way..
I have yet to see a rational explanation as to the high price of Diesel..

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 7:49AM
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gary__

Odds are far greater of having problems with a gas engine than a diesel. Injectors for my gas engine dodge durango for example are $128 each at the dealer. That ain't cheep either.

If one's shopping for a motor home, the price of the fuel better not be an issue. Otherwise, one shouldn't be shopping for a motor home.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 2:33PM
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steve_o

Steve, I am referring to "light duty" automobile Diesels(Mercedes,VW,Fiat,BMW,Saab,Renault,Honda,Toyota, many others, not the big truck engines, which I would consider as being "medium duty"..

I see. I suspect that, if we ever see diesels in Ford and GM cars, that they will be provided by subsidiaries which already have demonstrated some diesel-manufacturing skills, like Isuzu (who makes the Duramax already), Fiat, and Volvo, and not by Ford and GM themselves.

The natural price of Diesel fuel should be a bit less than 87 octane gasoline as less refining is necessary, at least it used to be that way..
I have yet to see a rational explanation as to the high price of Diesel..

I've seen plenty of explanations. Diesel typically costs more at this time of year because there is a fair amount of competition for it in the form of home heating oil, Jet-A, and ships and locomotives, which burn more of it when it gets colder.

In seven years of owning a diesel, however, I don't think I've ever seen diesel cost more than regular unleaded gasoline for such a prolonged period. I still like my personal conspiracy theory, but I also think part of the problem is that most diesel users can pass the costs along to someone else (heating-oil customers, companies purchasing delivery services, passengers, etc.). Those of us who foot our own bills for diesel are a fairly small group and won't/don't count nearly as much as those who have to pay for gasoline.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 2:35PM
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RooseveltL

FYI.... Ford & GM produce a high-number of diesel engines for all lines in Europe. It wouldn't be rocket science to build them here when the environmentals stop protecting profits at the Big Three.

It is my opinion the lobbyist make it appear diesel is extremely dirty (despite the gas mileage savings) vs. telling car owners they can run their engine for 400,000 miles without a problem at 50 mpg.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 2:31PM
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carcrazy520

by: earthworm (My Page) Something is seriously wrong in that GM and Ford have yet to develop their own "light duty" Diesel .. At least GM tried...

Uhhhh, They do. Powerstroke (FORD)/ Duramax (GM)
Do the Homework

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 6:29PM
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steve_o

It is my opinion the lobbyist make it appear diesel is extremely dirty (despite the gas mileage savings) vs. telling car owners they can run their engine for 400,000 miles without a problem at 50 mpg.

To be fair, not everyone running a diesel is going to get 50 mpg. Not even those of us with compact VWs are always getting that kind of mileage.

But you make a valid point about people not looking at the entire picture. Sure, it's great that the exhaust from a current gasoline engine is almost cleaner than what's fed into the engine, but that comes at a price of fuel efficiency and ultimate longevity of the engine. There's a reason why most of Europe, which values their environment at least as much (if not more, lately) as we do, goes for diesel. The increased mileage of diesel means fewer gallons of fuel are needed to move the same number of miles; that also means fewer tanks of fuel to be moved to stations, etc. Diesels also are much more efficient at idle, and diesel fuel is simpler to produce than gasoline. Everything has an environmental cost; the question is who pays for the bulk of it. Many environmentalists who are all show and no go don't seem to want to see the entire picture. A shame.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 8:59AM
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steve_o

carcrazy520, I made exactly the same point an earlier post. earthworm responded by saying he did not define the Powerstroke and Duramax as "light-duty" diesels. I don't particularly agree with his assessment, but since the diesels that GM, Ford, and others put into their commercial models (dump trucks, etc.) don't always hit 6+ liters -- the size of the Powerstroke and Duramax -- I can't really contest it, either.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 9:04AM
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carcrazy520

Steve_O
I'm with you on this. Earthworm obviously doesn't know much about the various drive train packages available. If he went to the Manufacturers sites, he would see that his statements are incorrect. He said that he was referring to "light duty", then what does he consider a 3/4 ton 2 wheel drive pick-up truck to be ? I have a 2005 3/4 ton with the Powerstroke and it is considered light duty. It just cracks me up to see how some guys will type in some made up info like they know it all. Oh well I guess there's one in every bunch. I still love the site though.
Have a good new years

Brad

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 12:12PM
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earthworm

A man must agree with Steve - and it is not right that Europe is at least ten years ahead of us...
Still no American designed and manufactured Diesel engine to compete against VW, no Diesel for a Chevrolet CAR or a Ford CAR..

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 12:39PM
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Dimwit

Back on track:

It's all about what you're driving and what you're doing with it. Is this a C class? Will you be towing with it? How much driving will you do? A lot of hiway?

Anything larger than a C class and there's no option; it'll be diesel. Anyone trying to sell you a gasser is a crook.

With a C, it's all about the torque baby. A gasser with the equivalent torque is a mother of an engine. Large and thirsty. It's why Ford has that V10 Triton engine. Expect single digit mileage figures. Diesel makes more sense but there's the WAF. Noisy and smelly mile after mile might not cut it.

Your best bet? Before purchasing, rent the model you're looking at. Drive it on the hiways with the wife, use it for a while. Hell, even just sleep in it overnite in your driveway. These things are expensive and you can get a great feel for them by doing this. You'll find out pretty quick whether a diesel and that particular model fits your lifestyle.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 8:49PM
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earthworm

Best possible response and answer from Dimwit.
To add, if VW can "tame" the Diesel for automobile use, when why can't we ??
And what is WAF ??
http://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/hd.html
This on "light duty" whatever that means..

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 2:33PM
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Dimwit

Wife Acceptance Factor. If, after every reasoned argument for your choice, she doesn't like it, it's a bad choice.

VW is in it for the long haul and is probably the best of all the manufacturers for LD diesels in the world. Everyone is entering their space. That said, everyone is waiting for the new diesel for 2007. Once that hits you'll find them gearing up. Probably buying eurospec engines at first but if the market takes off, there will be domestic small displacement diesels made.

A LD diesel is one that isn't expected to do anything but move the vehicle. No hauling or towing, pushing or shoving.

A 2.0L four cylinder is LD but a 5.9L Cummins, not. Generally, non LD is noisier, smellier and generally less hi tech than the LD diesels. That's changing fast though as the tech percolates down. Fast Glow plugs, common rail, superior electronic injectors, EGR and PCV modules have hit most of the new engines. The big rigs are next.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 10:07PM
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gary__

**Wife Acceptance Factor. If, after every reasoned argument for your choice, she doesn't like it, it's a bad choice.**

A lesson I learned the hard way.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 10:19PM
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kathy_

We had a motor home. Unless you are touring with a band or on the go every day of the year, I would buy a big diesel truck and a nice trailer. Our 250 diesel gets 18 mpg not pulling, our gas motorhome got 8 mpg and we unloaded it when gas was 99 cents a gallon. I guarantee it is easier and cheaper to repair that truck that it was the motorhome plus you can use the truck daily. The trailer is a pain to pull but at least you can unhook it and go to town once in a while. We got a ticket on a beach town parking lot once because the motorhome was over 21' long.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 5:18AM
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beaglebuddy

Ah the old gas deisel debate ! I shall jump in, Firstly, there are some RV forums on the web that dissect this argument pretty good. I have a 1 ton utility bed gmc w/ the 8.1L gas currently and have had deisel work trucks before. The big thing people don't look at is that while deisels can give you some phenomenal mpg, this is unloaded. Load the truck down and/or drive faster than 70mph and that deisel mpg drops more dramatically than a gas. My 8.1L gas pickuper got about 12mpg then I added another 5000 lbs and I'm down to around 10 mpg. Guys I know that have deisel work trucks got up to 20 mpg empty but when they added the utility bed, pipe racks and all the parts they are down to maybe 14mpg. Everyone wants a deisel and the dealers won't discount, nobody wanted the big gas and I got a really good deal. Deisel engine in a pickup is at least $5000.00 more plus the dealers won't deal. The way I figger you have to drive at least 100k miles to break even, but I always get rid of my trucks just before 100k. Used to be that co's w/ large fleets of trucks bought deisels because there was less maintenance, just replace oil and fuel filters but it's the same way w/ gas now, most don't need anything until 100k. I say you are either a gas man or a deisel man, just don't try to say that deisel's make more sense economically. You need to do the math, also consider more stopping for fuel w/ a gas, so check the tank size. Also deisel is not as readily available as gas, when I had a deisel I had to make sure to keep it filled because the stations that carried deisel closed down after 10 p.m. Shouldn't be a problem touring out on the interstate however.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 1:58PM
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