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Old 01-31-2019, 07:09 PM   #1
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First Time Motorhome Buyers Need Some Info/Help

Thank you for taking a look at my questions: Though we have been RVing for 23 years, we have always done TT & 5th wheels. We are getting older and so are moving towards a MH. We are not retired and are still working and the miles we put on a MH would be about 30k per year. We are looking at a 1997 Magna with a Detroit diesel series 40 (330hp) - 6 speed Allison transmission - Gillig chassis. From the research my husband has done the engine is a DT466. We had a medium duty International with the same engine (1996) and we were getting 6-7 mpg. When we asked the owner what kind of mileage he was getting, his response: "Depends on running generator or not. But not sure never checked if you want a motorhome one knows they use fuel. Sorry cant answer." Also, one gentleman I spoke to that buys and resells CC said the Series 40 - Stay away from. He recommended the 8.3 Cummins.

So what are my questions:
1) Does anyone have any experience with the Series 40/Detroit Engine?
2) Does anyone know the mpg on this engine?
3) What kind of fuel mileage are you getting? And with what, (Year & Model)?
4) Any recommendations?

Thank you for your time!
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:32 PM   #2
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Not sure about the 40 but 60 Series is a great engine. Wish we had it in our CC.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:12 PM   #3
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I think part of the problem you will run into is that some people hate Detroit Diesel engines in general due to experiences with certain specific engine designs, so it is hard to get an unbiased opinion
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:38 PM   #4
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The series 40 is made by Navstar for Detroit diesel. Parts are not always easy to come by. Have a friend who has one in his 1998 CC Magna, turbo needed replacing, it is made by Perkins and had to be shipped from England and was pricey. The Cummins 8.3 is a all round better choice with parts available any where.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:30 PM   #5
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OP said:

"We are not retired and are still working and the miles we put on a MH would be about 30k per year."

Did you mean 3,000 miles?
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:41 AM   #6
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sorry duplicate post. I'll add a pic



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Old 02-01-2019, 06:46 AM   #7
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Ok I'll bite
The Gillig chassis is a real bus chassis.
The Allison 3060 is almost bullet proof.
Now to the red headed step child the Series 40
After four years with mine the only thing needed/done to the engine is oil changes. Pulling my old 2001 2dr wrangler we constantly get 9mpg.
I just switched to a 2015 wrangler 4door but don't have any mpg data towing that yet.
Their are a bunch of these engines around found in fire trucks to rvs it would not be a concern to me as you can tell. At this age it would be about the condition of the coach. I also purchased mine without a single service record.
This engine is also wet sleeved and can be overhauled in frame and rebuild kits are inexpensive.
They also refer to this engine as "The Legend"
I found all my maintaince stuff at my local International dealer
They refer it as a 530
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:58 AM   #8
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Mike is the owner I first though of when I read the OP's post! And hope he know the answer to this question.

Are not some of the Gillig Bus Chassis coaches with BF Goodrich's Velvet Ride? And I believe I recall reading that locating replacement components for the BF Goodrich's Velvet Ride rubber (or rubber like) components was becoming difficult(?). Not all Gillig chassis in CC's have the BF Goodrich Velvet Ride, so it would be specific Gillig chassis related, not all of them. And the Gillig chassis has a good reputation under some of the later higher end CC Concept and Magna models. (Don't recall if Intrigue had a Gillig chassis or not(?).

Me? I'd rather have a DD 60 series over a 40 series. (60 Series is one of my favorite engines.).

All that being said, if the coach you're looking at is in well cared for with good documentation - and more important, it meets your needs - DD 40 and if it has Velvet Ride, would not keep me from considering it... For sure, the CC's of that era were well designed and built!

Best of luck to you on your hunt,
Smitty
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:29 AM   #9
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Ooh I would love to have a series 60
I don't have velvet ride didn't know they used it.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
OP said:

"We are not retired and are still working and the miles we put on a MH would be about 30k per year."

Did you mean 3,000 miles?
Arch has a pair of good eyes . Notice the OP's id is USA Traveler; imagine he/she/they are working while on the go 30k miles isn't out of boundary.

(OP has not returned yet)
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike brez View Post
Ooh I would love to have a series 60
I don't have velvet ride didn't know they used it.
Thanks Mike!!

Not sure of the years that Gillig had the Velvet Ride, but I thought I remembered
that some of the 36' Concept's were on the Gillig(?) and Magna's too(?).

Here is one link that talks about Velvet Ride...

Safari "Velvet Ride" vs. air ride suspension?

I just ran into a gent here at Lost Dutchman State Park with an 04 Intrigue Sweet Sensation. I noticed the exhaust was on the passenger side, with usually means something is 'purring' inside the back end (CAT!). Asked if it was a C13, and he said nope - it's the C12 with 505HP... I tell you, M11/ISM, C12, DD-60's, C13 - none of those engines would ever be rejected by me!

I do like our CAPS era ISL, but do feel it is at times, working a bit harder then I'd like... And like the larger displacement Braking Horsepower of the bigger
blocks! But zero complaints on MPG...

Best to you, and all,
Smitty
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crop Duster View Post
Not sure about the 40 but 60 Series is a great engine. Wish we had it in our CC.
Thank you, Crop Duster! Maybe someday you will!
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I think part of the problem you will run into is that some people hate Detroit Diesel engines in general due to experiences with certain specific engine designs, so it is hard to get an unbiased opinion
Isaac-1 - Thank your for the heads up!
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
OP said:

"We are not retired and are still working and the miles we put on a MH would be about 30k per year."

Did you mean 3,000 miles?
Arch Hoagland, No, I meant 30k. It might drop a bit with a TOAD. Like i said, we are not retired. I think when we retire we will move into a home without wheels! :-)
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