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Old 11-14-2015, 08:18 AM   #1
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Annual Costs

I am in the market for a new Allegro Bus 45OP. I currently am full time in a 5th wheel. My 5th wheel has very little annual maintainance, just the oil and filter on the generator and the anode rod in the water heater. What besides the oil and filter on the diesel motor and the oil and filter on the generator will I expect to have to do annually on a Bus? What can I expect it to cost for my annual maintenance? I have heard somewhere around $600 for the oil and filter change, but what other costs will I expect? I know that the tires will last about 5 to 7 years so I am excluding this item. Thanks in advance for al your input.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:19 AM   #2
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Annual Costs

I am in the market for a new Class A diesel pusher. I currently am full time in a 5th wheel. My 5th wheel has very little annual maintainance, just the oil and filter on the generator and the anode rod in the water heater. What besides the oil and filter on the diesel motor and the oil and filter on the generator will I expect to have to do annually on a Bus? What can I expect it to cost for my annual maintenance? I have heard somewhere around $600 for the oil and filter change, but what other costs will I expect? I know that the tires will last about 5 to 7 years so I am excluding this item. Thanks in advance for al your input.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:29 AM   #3
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You are probably close to the annual cost for the standard maintenance but what will be surprising is the unexpected break downs. The nicer older or newer the RV usually means the more complicated. Some examples of what I had to deal with

Transmission ECU $3500
Water Heater $600
EMS circuit board $500
CAC rebuild $1650
Radiator $5500 (most of this was covered under insurance but still a failure)
AC Motor $120 (new AC unit is +$1000 installed)

Long term items
New Batteries ~$700
Transmission Service $600 ($250 if you do it yourself)

Having a nice RV isn't for the faint of heart or lite in pocket book
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:41 AM   #4
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there are many routine maint items on a diesel pusher in RV service that only get done every 2, 3 or 5 yrs. So ignoring them doesn't give you the true annual cost.
In addition to the engine & gen oil & filter, you have a large air filter that may need replaced in 3,4,5 yrs depending on where you drive and how much you drive.
You have a compressed air sys that has a filter on the drier that will need replaced in 2,3,4 yrs depending on where you drive, how much you drive and how often you use the lanyard to release moisture in that filter.
On a DP the right type, amount & condition of the coolant is critical. Some mfgs require an additive (SCA) mixed with the coolant to maintain the right chemical balance. Some engines have a builtin coolant filter that needs replaced ocassionally.
Your engine brake has some moving parts that need a bit of lubrication every year to keep it from freezing up.
Your transmission has filters & fluid that need checking & replacement every so many years, depending on use & type of fluid & filter used.
You also have about a dozen chassis grease zirks that require annual lubrication, varies by mfg.
You have the typical drive train & gear box lubrications to check on.
Your wheels have bearings and brakes that may eventually need service.
You have a few belts & hoses that always seem to break at the worst time; many of us carry spares.
etc
The avg costs vary greatly depending on the age of the rig, the use of the rig and whether you self perform the services or pay $100/hr mechanic to change every filter; and whether you do all the preventative maint or wait for things to break before servicing.
I self perform all my routine services and your $600 per yr cost is close to my overall avg, but some years are double that, and will be higher if you use a shop to do all the work.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TXTiger View Post
I am in the market for a new Allegro Bus 45OP. I currently am full time in a 5th wheel. My 5th wheel has very little annual maintainance, just the oil and filter on the generator and the anode rod in the water heater. What besides the oil and filter on the diesel motor and the oil and filter on the generator will I expect to have to do annually on a Bus? What can I expect it to cost for my annual maintenance? I have heard somewhere around $600 for the oil and filter change, but what other costs will I expect? I know that the tires will last about 5 to 7 years so I am excluding this item. Thanks in advance for al your input.

Here is a fairly generic list of maintenance points on a DP:

Complete base line service for Cummins diesel motorhome:

Engine: filters to be Fleetguard
1. Oil/filter
2. Fuel filters (2)
3. Coolant filter if equipped and test/ adjust SCA level if standard coolant. Change coolant @ 5 years. Add extender at 3 years if OAT type coolant.
4. Air filter if over 3 years old. Inspect plumbing between filter and turbo inlet for evidence of dust. Inspect CAC plumbing.
5. Inspect hoses & belts.

Transmission: filters to be Allison high capacity.
1. Change filters @ 36 months & top up.
2. Change fluid @ 48 months or test sample.
Always use TES295 fluid as approved by Allison.

Chassis:
1. Complete lube including lifting front axle from ends to unload king pins.
2. Including 3 zerks on steering column and one zerk on steering box.
3. Change Hydraulic filter & top up.
4. Change air dryer cartridge @ 2-3 years.
5. Grease front wheel bearings 3-5 years or change to oil hubs & inspect.
6. Change differential gear oil @ 3-5 years.
7. Inspect brake surfaces.
8. Inspect oil level tag axle hubs.
9. Inspect both chassis & house batteries. Make sure all connections are clean & tight. If flooded lead acid, check & top up with distilled water monthly.

Generator:
1. Oil/ filter
2. Fuel filter
3. Air filter
4. Perform valve lash, belt/ hose replacement and generator unit service before 2000 hours. Replace thermostat and coolant @ that time.

AquaHot:
1. Replace fuel filter
2. Replace burner nozzle
3. Exercise tempering valve.
4. Inspect coolant level at top of AquaHot unit and at expansion tank.

Inspect and clean all battery terminals.





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Full time since '07
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
You are probably close to the annual cost for the standard maintenance but what will be surprising is the unexpected break downs. The nicer older or newer the RV usually means the more complicated. Some examples of what I had to deal with

Transmission ECU $3500
Water Heater $600
EMS circuit board $500
CAC rebuild $1650
Radiator $5500 (most of this was covered under insurance but still a failure)
AC Motor $120 (new AC unit is +$1000 installed)

Long term items
New Batteries ~$700
Transmission Service $600 ($250 if you do it yourself)

Having a nice RV isn't for the faint of heart or lite in pocket book
To add to Jims list.
Although you're not buying tires for 7 years, you still have to budget for it. That amount would be approximately $500 to put you at $3500 every 7 years.

Depending on the age of the coach you buy and its maintenance history will determine a lot. Poor yearly maintenance causes things to fail prematurely. My last coach cost me close to $15,000 in one year from things like new tires, brakes and rotors, aqua hot repairs, a/c repairs, hydraulic leveling Jack repairs, electrical diagnostic and repair issues, muffler and exhaust, exhaust brake, plumbing repairs. Not to mention new upgrades like TVs, DVD players, Dash Stereo.

I saw no end to costs.

Mine may have been a lemon but it wasn't a cheap coach. Its likely others will say they haven't had to spend a dime on repairs or maintenance.

I switched to truck and 5th wheel. I'm happier with the simplicity.
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:31 AM   #7
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Unless you buy a coach say around a 2000, along with what the other posters have said which is right on, the largest expense is yearly depreciation. On a newer coach this can be easy 10% per year. Others will chime in on this comment for sure.

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Old 11-14-2015, 12:18 PM   #8
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Besides fuel, I probably spent less than $500 in 2015. That included oil change, oil filter, two fuel filters, coolant filter and a couple of gallons of coolant
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Old 11-14-2015, 12:36 PM   #9
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The MH goes point to point. The MPG on the toad brings the cost close to even.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:42 PM   #10
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My coach is a 2005 that we purchased a year ago. We have changed all the fluids (Oil x 2 as we have driven over 12,000 miles this year) Transmission fluid and filters, air filter, tires (Use the FMCA program to save on Michelin's if you buy Michelins). We also had a water pump failure. We had a bunch of preventative maintenance done while we were in there replacing the water pump (all hoses, serpentine belt, steam clean rad and CAC, thermostats and of course we replaced all the coolant and thoroughly flushed the system). We added a Steer Safe, and also did some interior updates (tile work in the bathroom sink area, mural painted in the commode room (my wife is an artist) and installed some exterior LED lights as well as replacing all the interior lights with LEDs. We also set up for a toad.Finally our refrigerator broke (on the drive home from Wisconsin to the Pacific Northwest) so we had to replace that, as well as both windshield halves, replaced the slide toppers and added an outside TV and upgraded both interior TVs, replaced the rear light clusters and the front headlights, replaced the back up camera, added side cameras and upgraded the monitor, and upgraded the satellite dome to a dish antenna. We also developed some failure in the clear coat on the front upper cap of the MH as well as along the sides above the top rail so we have had that redone. We added vent covers to our 3 Fantastic fans and had the roof seams re-caulked. Total spent so far is approximately $28,000. A lot of this would not be needed but represents upgrades we wanted. My situation is also a bit different as I am the VP of our state's Airstream Club so I wanted to get an Airstream MH, and they are rare and have not been made since 2007. The one we bought was very well maintained (I had full service records from many year before our purchase) but somewhat dated and as we all know "stuff" happens and we wanted some upgraded features. We still have a few things we want to do, such as replacing some of the carpeting (though it is in good shape).
Now...I am a bit of a fanatic and this possibly represents a somewhat higher amount spent than someone else who bought this coach would have spent but I am happy and we love our coach and our all-in price is completely acceptable to us. We are not full timers but we have used the MH at least once each month since we got it and have spent as much as 3 weeks at a time in it. Shortly we will be leaving for a 4 month trip and while something else could happen, I am comfortable that I have done everything I can to get my Coach as ready for travel as I can.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:22 PM   #11
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Wobster can you post a picture or two of the Airstream ? Would love to see it.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TXTiger View Post
I am in the market for a new Allegro Bus 45OP. I currently am full time in a 5th wheel. My 5th wheel has very little annual maintainance, just the oil and filter on the generator and the anode rod in the water heater. What besides the oil and filter on the diesel motor and the oil and filter on the generator will I expect to have to do annually on a Bus? What can I expect it to cost for my annual maintenance? I have heard somewhere around $600 for the oil and filter change, but what other costs will I expect? I know that the tires will last about 5 to 7 years so I am excluding this item. Thanks in advance for al your input.
It is a fact the maintenance costs on a Class A are higher than any other RV. Diesel Pusher is higher than gas.
But, there are trade offs in convienience, travel comfort, easier hook up etc etc. You must decide what works best for your needs and lifestyle.

Personally, I budget 5K per year for maintenance and fuel. Some years I use it all, some I don't. One thing is certain, if you choose to ignore maintenance items, they will come back to haunt you in either cost, convienience, or both.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
It is a fact the maintenance costs on a Class A are higher than any other RV. Diesel Pusher is higher than gas.
But, there are trade offs in convienience, travel comfort, easier hook up etc etc. You must decide what works best for your needs and lifestyle.

Personally, I budget 5K per year for maintenance and fuel. Some years I use it all, some I don't. One thing is certain, if you choose to ignore maintenance items, they will come back to haunt you in either cost, convienience, or both.
I agree. Maintenance is the key to reliability.
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:41 PM   #14
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Wobster can you post a picture or two of the Airstream ? Would love to see it.
Here you go! These predate many of the cosmetic upgrades and the new tires.
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