Making the Right Decision or being Wishy washy – Gasser vs. Diesel, New vs. Used

Are we making the right decision?

We visited La Mesa RV in Davis, California and got all excited with the smell of new RVs.  You know that smell, don’t you?  The exciting smell of money and fresh carpet, along with thoughts of life on the road again. We could taste being on the road!


Fleetwood Excursion 35 ft. DP

We first looked at a new 2013 Fleetwood Excursion 35 foot DP.  This is a slightly longer RV than the Wynns of Gone With the Wynns Blog have.   But we didn’t like the general layout and felt that the overall workmanship of the unit was not really what we were searching for, but buying new is appealing and the year-end model is close to our budget.

We have focused on used diesel pushers for the past few months, and the sales rep at La Mesa  asked how set were we on DPs and not Gassers.  As a matter of fact, I am disappointed in the lack of used smaller diesel pushers that we could actually touch and feel.  So his question came at an opportune time.

I told him that I am frustrated at not finding a used rig locally to look at that we are interested in over the past few months.  He pointed out the advantages of buying a new RV over a used unit.  And he was quick to point out the extra maintenance costs of buying used.  That is something I worry about as well, the fear of buying a used motorhome  that was close to falling apart and spending our retirement years on the side of the road and not on the road.  We then checked out the Winnebago Adventurer Gasser RV.

Winnebago Adventurer
Winnebago Adventurer

The quality difference of this high-end Gasser is noticed immediately.  The fit and finish were better than the low-end Fleetwood DP, had a king bed and nice galley.  We then checked out the Winnebago Sightseer and REALLY liked the U-shaped couch and TV arrangement.

I think if we were ready, the check would have been written.  Fortunately we didn’t have a check book, and fortunately I spent some time looking at the storage arrangement on the Gassers because the next day at work I was thinking about our vacation and retirement plans.  We are planning on taking full size bikes for both of us, and most likely a single 2 person kayak or two single person kayaks.  Add a couple of nice outdoor lounge chairs and a few key kitchen appliances along with our fairly light-weight exercise equipment and I was having problems picturing how those larger items are to be stowed away on the Gasser.  Diesel pushers generally have better storage compartments for these types of items.

We then spent some time going back through rv-trader and eBay web sites looking at some beautiful Country Coach and Winnebago Journey DPs that have a ton more storage.  Yes, they are not new and we will have to have a larger annual maintenance budget but they still seem to fit our planned mobile lifestyle better.

Seriously consider different solutions before making your final decision as this is an excellent exercise to verify what type of motorhome to meets your needs.  Buying new has significant advantages over used, and in our case that would mean sacrificing quality and/or space.  This showed me how important it is to have a good understanding of the activities and lifestyle you want when you vacation or full-time in an RV.  We could have ended up with a great RV that does not meet our needs.  See our earlier posts on New vs Used,  and the Different Types of Class A RV engines.

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