Newbie-Family of 5 and buying our first RV-a few questions too!

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Feb 27, 2013
Hi all! So glad to find a great forum!
We are a family of almost 5 (our newest is  due very shortly!). My husband is getting transferred several states away so we decided to go ahead and finally buy an RV to travel in as well as stay in till we get the flavor of or our new home area and find a house. We've been considering doing something like this for over a year and are so excited that it's  finally happening!

We've researched and researched. We'd like to buy a class A. The thing we're on the fence about is gas vs diesel. Now I know this is a VERY loaded topic in general so I'm going to ask what the opinion might be for our particular situation and need. For our budget (under $25k) we are finding more comfortable looking rigs in gassers (i.e.-newer with slides and possibly washer/dryer-I cloth diaper). However we have also found 2 different 1993 diesel Bounders local to us in excellent shape. I understand that the 93 diesel Bounder is considered underpowered at 190 hp. We don't plan to do many cross country trips at this time-more up and down the West coast or a week here or there with the kiddos as well as planning to spend this summer in it while we find a stick and brick home. We have an '05 Ford Explorer to pull. We've never owned an rv previously-though most of our family have trailers or 5th wheels.

In our shoes what would you say is the way to go? What would the minimum engine size be for a gas puller in this situation?

Thanks so much for any opinions and I look forward to getting to know this forum better!
Gas or Diesel ? WOW ! I have a diesel 350 SL Dynamax with a 350hp Cat and a 6 speed allison trans. Diesels are not cheap when something breaks BUT they are built to run for a long time as long as you take care of them. No matter what you get you need to drive it first and that means up and down mountains . Both of you need to be able to drive it incase one of you get sick. The class A Bounder RV with 190 hp it doesn't sound like it's powered very well. If you buy a RV from a private sale they should have all the maintenance records if not stay away from the sale. In my opinion if you are taking care of something you always keep good records of oil changes , brakes and anything that you have done to improve the RV etc. You also need to remember that 190hp is moving the RV your family and all the stuff you want to take with you.
Good luck Bob
We have an article in our library regarding gas vs diesel.  You might want to read it.  You can find it here  There are several articles in the library regarding purchasing a motor home, either used or new.  You might want to look at those as well.

From your message, it sounds like you are thinking of towing the bronco, if so, you need to be sure it is towable.  Also even though you think you will not be climbing any grades going up and down the West coast, there are quite a few of them, some pretty steep.  IMO, the 190 HP will not be enough to do what you need, that's pretty low. 

What ever you decide be sure and check out the dates of the tires.  Anything over 6 years old needs to be replaced, even though the tires/tread looks good.

Keep doing your research, it will pay off in the end.

I think gas vs diesel is the least of your concerns. You need space for your family and need to choose a floor plan that works for you and is affordable on your budget. To get a diesel under $25k, you are going to give up a lot in terms of age and size (slideouts & length).

As for power, the rule of thumb is 1 hp per 100 lbs of loaded weight. That really should include the weight of the towed car as well as coach, people and gear. That ratio will get you adequate performance only - most people would like at least a bit more.  You also need a 5 or 6 speed transmission to apply that power optimally - older coaches with 4 speed trannys tend to be irritating because they lack the gearing to apply the available power across a variety of road conditions.

I also think a gas coach is a better choice for occasional use. That's based on lower initial cost and lower annual maintenance and not whether one is "better" than the other.
We have owned six motorhomes over the past 35 years, the first four gas and the last two (post retirement) diesels. Every one of our gas motorhomes would end up in storage for several months a year while the full and extended timing we do now keep the diesels on the road year round.

I strongly support what Gary said about gas for occasional use. You will also enjoy the room of slides with a family of 5.

Have fun!
Welcome ;D We camp with 8 in our rig the most important thing should be floorplan. You will need space to move about and be comfortable in it. Picture being trapped inside on a rainy day and what you would be doing. DW added make sure stove is NOT by seating where little hands can touch it. Also LOTS of storage for clothes and STUFF. Read some of the articles about washers in RV's not sure if its going to be an asset doing diapers. ::)

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Latest member
Top Bottom