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Old 06-22-2013, 02:46 PM   #1
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diesel pusher vs diesel puller

Looking at upgrading from a 5th wheel to a Class A motorhome and have come across 2 units one is a puller and on is a pusher. " The Salesman " said that the puller is easier towork on but I somehow perferthe pusher. This not to be a slugfest, just looking for honest infrmation, PLEASE.
Thanx.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:23 PM   #2
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Who made the chassis? Many FRED (FRont Engine Diesel) are built on a truck chassis and suspension. Usually a DP is built on a custom frame with air suspension. Engine in the back is much quieter to those up front. Not sure about the easier access, I lift my bed and the whole engine is accessible. Often in the front you have a dog house and a hood, with the windshield and dashboard going across the engine. No long drive shaft in the pusher, Rear radiator requires attention to clean dust and dirt from occasionally.

Drive both of them on the highway and on streets, decide if the noise and suspension is better in one or the other.

Oh, and don't believe the salesman about anything.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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The puller would eliminate the racdiator/cac problem with most rear readiator pushers. I would be concerned with the engine noise up front and the location of the generator (under the bed in back) on a puller. Suggest you test drive for the noise of the engine in front vs the rear. Never drove a puller but just my thoughts! If all else is equal between the two coaches then place a high priority on the floor plan that fits your liking.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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The puller would eliminate the racdiator/cac problem with most rear readiator pushers. I would be concerned with the engine noise up front and the location of the generator (under the bed in back) on a puller. Suggest you test drive for the noise of the engine in front vs the rear. Never drove a puller but just my thoughts! If all else is equal between the two coaches then place a high priority on the floor plan that fits your liking.
What "radiator/CAC problem"?
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
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When comparing be aware if the pusher has air suspension and brakes whereas the FRED may not. Ride and handling will likely be much differing due to these if differing.

I had a FRED - the Chevrolet P30 chassis / GM V8 diesel. Was much the same as the gasser version, only diesel. Worked well, and provided much better fuel mileage.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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I've had both, bought a brand new 2011 Serrano (FRED) with the Maxxforce 7 diesel and now the Phaeton (DP). The Serrano was not that loud while driving down the road, of course the DP is quieter. The biggest difference for me was in he suspension/ride with there just being NO comparison.....the DP clearly was superior. The Maxxforce in the FRED to me was severely underpowered. The Phaeton with the 380hp/1050 torque is great.

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Old 06-22-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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As far as service is concerned, there are a great many more DPs than FREDs.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
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As others have hinted, I would suggest one to take this question to the next level, beyond simply front vs. rear engine for a fair comparison. It should be apparent pretty quickly at that point. Look at suspension types, brake type, and load capacities for starters?

And I agree on the point regarding salesmen. There's a good one here and there, but they're a rare breed.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:23 AM   #9
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There are likely more buyers for DP pushers than pullers. The sales guy might get a bigger commission if he sells the puller?
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:10 PM   #10
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You will get much more coach with the DP.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:14 PM   #11
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I have had both. The problem with a puller is the long drive shaft. It takes up lot's of room in the storage compartments. Also the noise is allot more.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:18 PM   #12
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After 2 puller gassers, I now have a diesel pusher, it's a side radiator, and I can't think of any maintenance item except air filter, that isn't easier on the D.P.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHg View Post
I've had both, bought a brand new 2011 Serrano (FRED) with the Maxxforce 7 diesel and now the Phaeton (DP). The Serrano was not that loud while driving down the road, of course the DP is quieter. The biggest difference for me was in he suspension/ride with there just being NO comparison.....the DP clearly was superior. The Maxxforce in the FRED to me was severely underpowered. The Phaeton with the 380hp/1050 torque is great.

Hhg
I will disagree...a bit.
My Serrano has 11.2 hp per 1000 lbs of coach (20K GVW and 230 hp) and 620 fp torque. It would be equivalent to a 40K GVW coach with 460 and 1240 (respectively).

I bought it new and we have been F/T in it for 14 months, and gloriously so. It is less than 1/3 the noise of my 2 gasers, and normal speach is all that we need at cruise speed.

I started out at 9.5 mpg toading my Wrangler, and crested 6% grades at 37 mph.

It is now 11.5 avg with 12.3 in the flats and 47 mph on same grades.

Hey, it is gaining power and torque as it gets broken-in, and has a ways to yet improve as it only has 20K on it.

It does not have air ride but is acceptable and much improved from my previous gassers. To get air ride and DP in the same layout was a mere $70K more.

Some chassis have control/sway issues, both front and rear engine. This rig is a joyful 2-fingered driver. Nope, no mods or fixes required. Just front end alignment with a working load.

There are more DPs simply because few Freds were made. The Serrano line faded due to WH not building any more W-20/22D chassis.

To the OP: it took my 3 years to find the rig that fit my lifestyle and would fit my cargo and still be under GVW.
There is one out there for you!

Dave
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:05 PM   #14
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Something else to consider is the heat from the engine blowing back from a front engine and the extra exhaust piping needed. My first motorhome was a gasser front engine and the floor and the dog house was always very warm almost hot to my feet while driving especially when climbing hills and mountians. Just something that bugged me.
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