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Old 07-03-2011, 05:33 AM   #1
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Cat vs. Cummins

I have a deposit on a 04 Tiffin Phaeton. I was led to believe it had 330 Cummins, but now find out it's a 330 Cat. After reading postings here I'm spooked. Is the Cat a "deal breaker". Would you folks buy a Cat powered RV again?
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:01 AM   #2
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I'm partial to Cummins, but if I liked everything else about the MH, it would not be a deal breaker.

There's a lot of Cats on the road serving their owners quite well.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:55 AM   #3
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I would prefer a CAT and I have owned both. The systems are a little simpler and the cylinders are not wet which means that the coolant chemistry is not near as critical. On ours we had to keep the engine RPM up on a steep climb to maintain the temperatures which was not a big deal.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:33 PM   #4
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You haven't mentioned length or weight. so I'll throw out MHO. In nov 2010 I bought a 99, 38' DSDP with a Cat. 32,000 GCVW, and we use 97% of it.." 300hp advertized but 330hp on the valve cover??" anyhow , with 14 years Dodge Cummins under my belt, I would have prefered Cummins power in the coach. But in the months and miles 6000 since, I can't fault the Cat. in any way. Good , reliable power and mileage. If the floor plan fits ,road test the coach, if the power and handling are to your liking, go for it.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:23 PM   #5
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The only thing I see is the cat has less torque than the Cummins and less dealers out there to fix it. I ran a Cat in my Peterbuilt for over a million miles and it was great. Love that sound....
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:35 PM   #6
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Wink

I read somewhere--"If it's not a Cat, it's a dog". Actually, I think it is more like chocolate vs. vanilla, Ford vs. Chevrolet, etc.

Best plan is to go with the motor home that your dear wife likes best.

Enjoy.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:43 PM   #7
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I'd prefer more torque than the 860 the CAT has but drive it and see if it fits you and your DW like the interior!
Our 2000 DSDP w/CAT 300/860 was about equal to a 2000 DSDP w/Cummins 330/950 towing a 3,500# toad. Not enough for me, but then neither was a Cummins ISC 350/1050 so I added a Banks kit to it.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:51 PM   #8
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No experience in diesel powered motorhomes, but a lot of background with mineing equipment. Bigger equipment, Cat engines ran 22,000 to 25,000 hours. Cummins were only good for 13,000 to 15,000 hours. That's across loaders and haul trucks, sized simularly. That said, your motorhome will be falling apart in either case before an engine gives up due to old age.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by targaboat View Post
I would prefer a CAT and I have owned both. The systems are a little simpler and the cylinders are not wet which means that the coolant chemistry is not near as critical. On ours we had to keep the engine RPM up on a steep climb to maintain the temperatures which was not a big deal.
The Caterpillar parent bore enignes are not immune to cylinder wall pitting. They should have the same robust coolant formulations required for Cummins C, ISC, ISL. You do not want to find out that paying a little more for a well formulated coolant was a cost savings when you find out how much it costs to have the engines rebuilt plus the cylinders bored and repaired with sleeves to correct a pitted block. CAT parent bore engines do pit. Use any coolant that meets ASTM D6210. Other than that, there a lot of happy Cat owners same as Cummins. There are some unhappy Cat owners as there are also unhappy Cummins owners. The best CAT engine service is at a Caterpillar dealer. They only work on CAT. A CAT TEPS dealer (Kenworth, Peterbilt, others) work on CAT engines but also others so their mechanics may have less experience. Same for Cummins engine repair.

With the high cost of diesel engine repair, spend the money on a better coolant with SCA than later to spend even more money for engine repairs that could have been prevented by the use of diesel coolant with SCA.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyringo View Post
I have a deposit on a 04 Tiffin Phaeton. I was led to believe it had 330 Cummins, but now find out it's a 330 Cat. After reading postings here I'm spooked. Is the Cat a "deal breaker". Would you folks buy a Cat powered RV again?
I have owned a Tiffin Phaeton ('04) since new and have zero complaints with the Cat engine. My unit is 40 feet and I tow a GMC Acadia which exceeds 5000 lbs. I have been in almost every state in the union with it and I can't think of a mountain range that I've missed. My fuel mileage averages 7 MPG plus and almost every city has either a Cat dealer or a Freightliner dealer if not both, either one will service your engine for you.

Good luck.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:31 AM   #11
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Thanks to you all for responding. I do feel a little better now. The Phaeton is a 2004 model 40RH. It is presently at a Tiffin dealer for an inspection. If it passes the inspection I am having them check the wheel alignment. The coach has 21000 miles on it and has very recent Michelin tires. Is there anything else I should have them inspect?
Thanks again for taking the time.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:49 AM   #12
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My Experiance. We traveled many miles. With both. We now have the baby cat in our present MH. (330 HP) While pulling A covered trailer, or the TV, It would pull with a 400 hp. Other brand. And we just got back from A 3000 Mile trip; The Diesel put in the tank Verses the mileage driven Equals better then 10 Miles per gallon; The coach has Over 70,000. Miles on the clock With a scale weight of around 34,000 lbs, We are happy. Also I set the tack at 2200, When climbing a Grade; It's happy and so am I.
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