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Old 05-06-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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Considering a DP what was your first experiences

We've been 30' Class C folks for 15 years. We are having the "life after work" discussion and started giving some throught about upgrading to an A. As we studied floorplans, etc. we came to the conclusion there could be more value out there in the right 4 -5 year old, 25k - 30k miles, higher end 36' DP. Now I'm tring to wrap my head around lift pumps, air suspension, multiple filters of every kind, air brakes, Allison 6 speed transmissions, 16 qt oil chnages (vs 6!, I do my own)....wow. I plan on pulling eng / trans fluid samples for Blackstone Labs analysis on any unit we're serious about. If dealer balks I'm moving on, too many units out there. I also have used an idependent rv repair shop I feel good about and they will survey a unit for $250. I'm asking anyone who moved from gas to DP, either A or C, and wants to share their experiences. What "surprised" you, good and bad, drivability, service cost, etc. Planing on 10 - 15 k miles a year.

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Old 05-06-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
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After 12 years of driving a class A gasser we went to a DP about 2 years ago. Still have a big grin on my face because of the better ride, power, breaking, carrying and towing capicity, and more. Granted I went from a 7 quart to a 19 quart enging but beings it is changed once a year, big deal. The idea of learning about the "diesel stuff" was a little intimidating at first that quickly subsided. Never know that the future holds but at this point I don't intend to go back to a gasser. Good luck on whatever you decide to do.

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Old 05-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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DP negative from a 40 foot owner. It won't fit in lots of parks I enjoyed visiting. It is harder to get in and out of fuel stations. I has a lot more bells and whistles which can be confusing and expensive to fix. You either must be handy with a check book or tools.Oil changes are expensive. Fuel filters are expensive. Tires are very expensive. Driving one can be intimidating and might require a higher level license. Parking it next to my house is impossible. My class C's and A's both fit there so storage fees can be an issue.

We went from a gas A 30 footer to the 40 footer diesel.

Why we love the 40 foot diesel. Great mileage for a vehicle is 40K lbs towing a vehicle. It hauls 100 gallons of fuel so finding a fuel stop is not critical. It hauls 100 gallons of water so boondocking can last longer. It has a 8KW diesel generator that is far quieter than anything run on gas by 1/2. The generator burns very little fuel. Even full tilt running two airconditioners it burns .5 gallons an hour. Storage space is incredible inside and out. Visibility driving down the road is fantastic because my butt is 6 feet off the ground. It handles like a dream and going downhill the exhaust brake helps me keep my feet off the pedal. The engine is in the rear and the noise level is so low I can't hear it when the AC is running. It has a large bank of batteries and solar panels so boondocking is great. Oh yeah, storage storage storage again,. Oil changes have a higher miles between change so they are not really that much more expensive. A couple of $30 fuel filters a are a reasonable price to pay for good and safe engine performance,. Diesel engines are not worked hard when considering how they are run. The kitchen and dual door refrigerator are awesome. The built in washer/dryer are very convenient. The bedroom which is seperate is huge and very quiet. The insulation is thick. The tile floors are beautiful. The 37 inch tv is huge. The in motion satellite is nice. The fireplace is cool. The shower is plenty big. The holding tanks are large. The four slides give us as much floor living space as small apartment and much nicer,.
The onboard computer monitors battery power, energy consumption, and will start the generator if batteries get low or the temperature gets low. Seven of us went to Disneyland and didn't feel like we were tripping over each other. Until bed time of course.

So the diesel pusher will be our retirement home and have fewer regrets than positives. We love it.
Myron & Deborah
08 HR Endeavor 40 SKQ
2012 Ford Edge Limited FWD 3.5L
Aluminator tow bar, Demco base plate
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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I use to have a class a gas and I sold and got a DP and I must say its not cheaper but it's not that much more in maintenance and if can change your oil in the gas engine then you can do the diesel it's the same just a biger filter and more oil, now the repairs can be more expensive but I would recommend to get a extended warranty for the DP if you get one. Now as far the Rv difference you can compare the ride power confer moist just a total animal and you have to deal with the front engine noise heat, it's over all much better in my opinion. Joe
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:28 PM   #5
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Went from 94 Winni 38 Adventure to 98 Dutch Star 38 ft 300 hp ...best move ever made better handling and ride plus down hills much safer.... It was bought used when 6 years old and about 25,000 miles and other than an alternator it ran well for 50,000 miles, 5 years, and trip to Alaska...a great coach...Hope that helps
I didn't survive cancer to die of stress
2009 DADP "4331" Alaska trip site and more
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
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One thing we like is not having to struggle getting past the doghouse to get out of the pilot and co-pilot seats. You may be younger and spryer, but this was one of the pluses for us.

1999 National Tradewinds 7371
Spokane Valley WA
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:59 PM   #7
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HI there, we went from a 34ft 5er with a v-10 gas truck to to a 37ft DP. Tires and maintenence like other's have said were the biggest surprise for me, you are looking at $2500 dollars to replace tires(without a tag axle) so make sure the tires are good, also if you are looking at an older unit consider changing your trans fluid from dexron 3 to transynd it has an initial cost of about $600.00 but might save you in the long run as it has a minimum 5 year life.To put it into perspective I would say the diesel has cost me double what my v-10 f350 costs me to maintain, however I am also following chassis fluid and filter changes changes to the tee, as it is a bigger investment! We have had ours for 2 years now and I have learned most of the systems and do most of the maintenence myself, this has saved me hundreds(not thousands) I used to worry about all of the systems but so far they have been solid ie leveling jacks, air bags,satelite, generator and sensors for everything, but after driving and using it those anxieties have gone away, I always remember they are machines and they are built to do what they are made for as long as they are cared for. I love mine and would never go back to anything else, the quality,space and drivability are awesome. I also second the warranty suggestion it is "piece of mind", as well as a good roadside plan like coach net or AAA.so just in case you need help it is cheaper and at your fingertips.
2000 National Tropical
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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You get what you pay for...the DP is more expensive...but worth it.
2014 American Eagle 45T
DD 500
Pulling a Honda CRV
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:43 AM   #9
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We moved from a 2004 Tioga Class "C" to a 1999 National Pusher back in 2007. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. No dog house, a real living area, you can hear a conversation when driving, the kitchen is serviceable, a real bathroom, stabilizing jacks, much better appliances, two A/C units, way easier to drive, the list goes on a on, but most of all enough room.
Were part timers so the increase in maintenance costs really isn't all that much and the increase in fuel costs are offset for the most part by a increase in mileage. BTW I love going 600+ miles between fill-ups.
You would think going back five years in age would have been a step down, but we got longer life, and better quality in the bargain. It's just a leap of faith to cough up the money when trading down.
We do have to choose our sites more carefully now due to the size, but that really didn't sneak up on us.
BTW The Tioga was a real nice class "C", I wouldn't knock it to anyone wanting a class "C".
1999 Tradewinds 7372 Cat 3126
Albuquerque, NM
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:55 AM   #10
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Personally, I was surprised that the depreciation on the DP continued rapidly after year 7. It remained at about $9,000 per year vs that of the previous owner at about $16,000 per year. Our 17 year old rig is still very presentable, operates reliably fine, and has most of the features of newer rigs. But its market value is very low.

Additionally, after 10 yrs of experience with only having owned one wheel driven RV, I would not own one if I could not do 80% of the maintenance and repairs myself.

The costs would be too great when added to that depreciation dollar to remain in my entertainment budget.

1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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