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Old 06-15-2017, 06:36 AM   #15
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I'm not trying to talk you pout of anything, but we went through this same process starting last fall (looking for a DP) We ultimately switched back to a gasser on the F53 chassis.

I'd say with the exception of the rare random failure that couldn't be prevented through normal maintenance scheduling, a Ford F53 should easily run 250k miles. One nice thing about this chassis, if you buy a 1999, your getting a 2006, same engine, tranny, drive train. A well proven, no nasty history chassis.


When we started looking last fall, we were looking specifically at DPs, Not for the chassis durability, but for the high end quality associated with coaches built on a diesel chassis.

We switched our search criteria after several months of search. Here are some of our observations that drove our search..

Near the bottom end of the market, a similar DP is about 10k - 20k more than the same coach on a gas chassis.

I can find high end build quality in a gasser, by looking for very specific models. i,.e. Allegro Bay, Southwind)

Maintenance / parts are significantly more expensive on DP chassis than gasser. I was following a recent thread on someone who had to buy a radiator for their DP, Estimates ran $1500 - $4000 and could take several weeks.. I can walk into almost any auto parts store and walk out with a radiator for the F53, cost $150.

Gasser parts are common and easily attainable.

DP will perform better at high elevations and in mountainous country.

The ride comfort in a DP will be better than a gasser

As the length (and weight) start getting up past the high 30's and 40's, the DP does much better, and will often be the only choice.

The number one reason we changed our search was this:

I'm a knob on diesel chassis. I know nothing about the chassis systems and would need to learn and re-tool. I consider myself an expert on the F53, and I own all the necessary tools and fell at home when crawling around under the chassis..

When I started looking at what needs to be done as far as maintenance and upkeep, Then throw in that I'll only drive it 10k miles a year, I couldn't justify the decision to buy a DP when I could get an exact same coach on an F53 for a lot less.

DPs excell at durability, I'm sure a well maintained DP will run 750k miles. If I were driving 50k miles a year, , I might be able to justify owning one. U

One final word that others have mentioned.

1) When buying an old MH, I'm buying an old house and an old truck. I need to know how to evaluate and fix.

2) When a good deal comes across, I must be ready to jump, without hesitation.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:29 AM   #16
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I agree you will be more likely to get a better deal on a gas in that price range. At 30K, you wont find many >2000 ISL based RVs that wont need LOTS of repairs. Most will be ISCs and low HP ones at that.
Used gas will be much better selections.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:29 AM   #17
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Just my opinion here.
If the budget was only $30,000, I would lean towards a gasser.
A DP would provide a much nicer ride and build but if something does go wrong it does cost more to fix.
The gasser would at least get you in the rv world and at some point maybe you'll decide you want something different.
Most people's first rv is not their last rv.
Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:13 AM   #18
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I concur also that for $30k, I'd be in a gas unit for sure. Note that this come from someone who has sworn to never buy another gas motorhome. Though that would change quickly if I was on a $30k budget.

Ford has pretty much mastered the chassis, for both 'C' and 'A' units. 50k miles is nothing, and I would not worry about taking one to 110k miles or more. Plus, when the old parts degenerate, they're much cheaper to replace than those on Diesel engines.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:35 PM   #19
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A friend of mine just replaced his Ford V-10 in his motorhome. After looking and looking he found one. Only 1 company in the US was rebuilding his particular motor. They had only 1 in stock, $6,000 plus the installation. His motor had 50,000 on the clock. He had just spent over $3,000 to replace a busted head 2,000 miles ago. The head was only available through Ford and that was hard to come by. After 3 months of down time he now has his MH up and going again.

We purchased our MH and a toad for $31,000. It had 68,000 on the odometer. It has been a great experience soo far.

Happy Motoring
Don & Susan
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:26 PM   #20
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There are some great deals out there for a DP for your budgeted price. Don't be swayed by the gasser vs diesel crew, get what you want and dont waiver. There are plenty of good reasons to buy a DP vs a gasser. Do your homework.
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