What's in a name? Diesel or Gas?

Hi all,

I've been reading for awhile and am really glad I found this site. Seems like quite a bit of excellent info here and much more still to be read...Right now though, I need a bit of guidance - sorry in advance for the long post...My wife and I are looking to purchase a Class C in the 20-25 foot range. We are probably looking at new, but at this point we haven't settled on any one RV or even any particular model / style at this point. We're going to try and see a few more in person over the next week or two to help narrow down our search...While I expect it will mostly be used by the two of us, we also have two teenage boys (18, 16) that will likely join us - especially the younger since the older one goes off to college next month...

I'd really appreciate it if someone could assist us in sorting out who makes what and if there is any high end / low end to the naming convention...Right now, it seems we like the Four Winds models the best, but I've been very confused by the names...We looked at one location and liked a Four Winds 23U and the Four Winds Siesta 23S (although I think we really need the cab over bunk if we have both boys)...In looking online for other Four Winds models, I noticed the Four Winds Freedom Elite 21C and 23S (which had the cab over bed)...

The big problem is that I don't seen anything about "Freedom Elite" or the floor plan for the 21C on their web site and that has me totally confused as to whether or not they're made by the same manufacturer or are no longer being made (though they're all 2011 models)...Can anyone provide a bit of history / guidance? Any thoughts or knowledge of any of these models and the quality? Any other manufacturers we should compare with?

As near as I can tell, the diesels will last longer and give better MPG...of course, they're more expensive...any thoughts opinions on which way to go assuming the price doesn't matter (and of course, it does!)? Our plan at this point is mostly weekend camping and using it for travel to some of college son's baseball games. We are also hoping to do a big cross country round trip once we have an empty nest, so we hope to be using it for many years to come...doubt we'll tow anything right now, but will probably pull a small SUV or pickup at some point in the future...

Thanx in advance!



Senior Member
Re: What's in a name? Diesel or Gas?

Hi Tom and welcome to the RVUSA Forum. I can't really give you a good answer on the difference in quality between one manufacturer and another. I have had one travel trailer (Prowler by Fleetwood) that was low end and cheaply made, but suitable for a young GI and family. I now have a Forest River Sunseeker motorhome, which some will tell you is a cheaply made, low end model, but I haven't had too many problems that weren't of my own making. As a general rule, you get what you pay for - but even Rolls Royce turns out a lemon every now and then.

As for the difference between gas a diesel, you are right, diesels cost more up front and right now, diesel fuel is more expensive than gas. Diesels supposedly last longer than gas engines, but unless you are going to put a lot of miles on your rig, it shouldn't matter. If you are just going to be using it for weekends and travel to the occasional baseball game, I would save money and go with a gas engine.

Hopefully some of the other forum members will see your post and offer their opinions. Welcome to the wonderful world of RVing and post back to let us know how things go. :) :) :)
Re: What's in a name? Diesel or Gas?

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the info...We are still in the early stages, but have learned quite a bit here and through manufacturer sites, etc. I found another post on here that said the Freedom Elite line was basically made for Camping World...don't know if that makes them better or worse, but at least I have a better understanding of the naming thing. I think we've pretty well come to the same conclusion on gas vs. diesel...while we may be putting some serious miles on it down the road, I don't think there is a real need to go for the diesel at this point...

The good news is we have time to decide what's right for us and we have several more places and models to look at and they do seem to be sorting out as we move forward...

Thanx again for the info - would still love to hear input from others and I plan on keeping everyone posted...and likely asking many more questions!

RE: What's in a name? Diesel or Gas?

As an update, we're still searching for the "right" choice...At this point I'm thinking it is more about the fewest negatives vs. the most positives...There are several RVs we like - and based on quite a bit of online and in person looking, mostly centered around the sprinter chassis. Seems it is all boiling down to the layout...

A couple of quick questions to those who may have seen more than we have...The Winnebago Via and the Itasca Reyo being the subject...

Has anyone actually seen any of these layouts with the Studio Loft bed? We are considering that as a potential extra bed in the event we have 5 / 6 with us instead of 2, 3, or 4 which are much more likely...Just wondering if it is really a viable bed solution for 1 or 2...

How do you feel these "Class A" homes compare to the View / Navion in terms of layouts, drivability and storage?

Thanx all!

Re: What's in a name? Diesel or Gas?

we've been shopping for a new RV as well and wonder some of the same things as you. we're conerned about what is mechanically the best overall choice between diesel and gas and after that, which manufacturer has the best quality motorhome?
I started this topic quite awhile ago. We ended up purchasing a Thor ACE 29.2 and took delivery in November of 2011. It has done well for us over the years - mostly now we are using it for long weekend trips to visit the boys in college. We normally have three adults (Mom-in-Law along with my wife and I) and two Shelty sized dogs with us. I tried driving a Class C and a Class A and felt much more comfortable driving the Class A. The size and layout have worked well for us, but we are looking towards the future (6 months to 3 years) and starting the process again to see if we want to keep the ACE or move towards a diesel pusher as I get closer to retirement where we will want to do more long term travel.

So, here is a twist on my original question for anyone who is willing to assist: What are the positives and negatives of a DP vs. a gas Class A? Any recommendation on DP brands that won't break the bank?

Now that I've got a few miles under my belt I hope to be more of a contributor too!

C Nash

Senior Member
A diesel is made to run, so if you plan on lot of miles diesel. Diesel will also generally drive and ride better. Better MPG but diesel cost evens it out IMO. If going over 36 ft i would go diesel. Having said that a gas burner will run for many thousand miles if properly cared for. maintiance is cheaper on gas IMO. Diesel generally has more carrying capacity and will tow more. May be easier to find repair for gas burner on road if needed. I have the V10 Ford with 54K and no problems at all with engine ordrive train. Average 8 MPG but seldom drive over 55. never had the need for extra diesel power. Diesel coach will cost 15K plus over gas. JMO