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Old 05-11-2019, 04:01 PM   #1
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Question on DP vs. gas

Hi all! We have a 2015 Tiffin 32SA that we really enjoy but are considering going to a DP. We have found a 2013 Holiday RamblerAmbassador DP (by Monaco) with only 14K miles that is in absolutely immaculate condition, (better then my 2015 and I am picky). The owner kept it well maintained, only used it twice a year or so for short trips. Is low mileage like that a problem for DP as it was not driven a whole lot. Am told they ran it regularly. Love our Tiffin, and don't want to make a "mistake" in going the DP route.

Drove this for the 1st time (never drove a DP before). Can anyone give advice as to how long it takes to get used to those air brakes vs. gasser brakes? This year did not require DEF, is that a concern?

Really appreciate any expert advice!
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:08 PM   #2
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Tigard, Oregon, my ex lives there.

First off, it's new to you so the learning curve is just that, a curve and the more you drive it more comfortable you'll be. I seriously doubt that the low mileage is a problem but Diesel engines require a lot of service and for the most part because they hold so much oil, most change oil and filter annually. You have a fuel filter and hopefully a water separator and these need replacing at least every 2 years along with the air brake system "dryer" The transmission (Allison) also requires filter replacement about every 3 years and a complete oil drain as per the owners manual. Not sure about your year of coach.

Service is expensive but in my opinion having a diesel is well worth it just because the engine is in the back and you don't have to listen to it while driving. Personally I do all of my own service so the cost is just for parts. If this is something you're not capable of or don't want to do, I'd suggest you contact some service centers and have them break down the cost of the maintenance services I mentioned above.

Not having DEF is an advantage in that you don't have to spend money for that product. If you're a tree hugger then having DEF may be something you'd want to think about before you make the purchase.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by julie pratt View Post

Drove this for the 1st time (never drove a DP before). Can anyone give advice as to how long it takes to get used to those air brakes vs. gasser brakes? This year did not require DEF, is that a concern?
As I recall that was built during the period that Navistar owned Monaco and was selling diesels that supposedly didn't need DEF to meet EPA specs. However, I think Navistar paid some hefty fines because those engines didn't meet the standards.

That shouldn't have any impact on someone owning one of those MH's but what would bother me was that Navistar went out of the MH business because it was a disaster for them. The one Navistar Monaco coach I had personal experience with was a total piece of garbage.JMO
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:24 PM   #4
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As I recall that was built during the period that Navistar owned Monaco and was selling diesels that supposedly didn't need DEF to meet EPA specs. However, I think Navistar paid some hefty fines because those engines didn't meet the standards.

That shouldn't have any impact on someone owning one of those MH's but what would bother me was that Navistar went out of the MH business because it was a disaster for them. The one Navistar Monaco coach I had personal experience with was a total piece of garbage.JMO
TO the OP: DOCJ has brought up a legitimate concern. You need to determine which chassis and what engine is under this MH. IF it has the Navistar engine, I would suggest you visit: Navistar MaxxForce Engine Forum - iRV2 Forums and do some research on the engine from owners that have them.


Regarding the move from a short gasser to a DP, I doubt you will have too much trouble with that. MANY of us have made that move. As much as I loved my Workhorse gassers, moving to a DP was like going from a buckboard wagon to a limo. If you can afford a DP and its maintainence costs, you'll LOVE the ride.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by julie pratt View Post
Hi all! We have a 2015 Tiffin 32SA that we really enjoy but are considering going to a DP. We have found a 2013 Holiday RamblerAmbassador DP (by Monaco) with only 14K miles that is in absolutely immaculate condition, (better then my 2015 and I am picky). The owner kept it well maintained, only used it twice a year or so for short trips. Is low mileage like that a problem for DP as it was not driven a whole lot. Am told they ran it regularly. Love our Tiffin, and don't want to make a "mistake" in going the DP route.

Drove this for the 1st time (never drove a DP before). Can anyone give advice as to how long it takes to get used to those air brakes vs. gasser brakes? This year did not require DEF, is that a concern?

Really appreciate any expert advice!
Why would you even consider leaving the Tiffin family. Have you had any issues with it ?
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:22 PM   #6
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Allison transmission fluids and filters do not need changing every 3 years if you have TES-295 fluid and the new high capacity filters. Engine oil changes can be extended by doing oil analysis.
Air brakes take very little time to adjust to. I did a test drive before ordering our 2000 Dutch Star and by the time it was over I was doing OK. Present rig is all wheel disk and three stage engine brake and I had to adjust to it too but no problem.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:37 AM   #7
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Allison transmission fluids and filters do not need changing every 3 years if you have TES-295 fluid and the new high capacity filters.
With all due respect, Allison still recommends both fluid and filter changes on a time basis, in addition to miles driven and hours run. Admittedly, most RVers will never come close to the mileage interval but each of us has to decide for himself how long he wishes to stretch the time interval recommendation.

Attached is a screenshot from the Allison website showing the recommendations for my 4000 series transmission with a usage of ~8,000 miles a year which is similar to what we do. Note the 3 year filter change recommendation and the 4 year fluid change interval.

I've decided, for myself, that I can afford to do filter changes on a 3-4 year interval, but have decided to stretch the fluid change interval to 6-8 years. I also utilize fluid analysis, but that doesn't provide a good look at the condition of the filters. IMHO changing the filters is relatively inexpensive insurance!!
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