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Old 09-03-2015, 08:50 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Diesel Question

We are considering a larger MH an I was told that in the last few years the diesel motors have had problems. He didn't specify which MH had them. So has anybody out there has any problems.
Also what are the advantage or disadvantage of a double rear axle.
Thanks
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:05 AM   #2
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We have a 2006 40' Safari Cheetah with 350 HP C7 Cat engine and a 6 speed Allison, single axle. Love it. The 06 doesn't use Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) because it has no catalitic converter to clean, I think buying before the DEF requirement is a good idea. We bought it last year with 15000 miles on it and have put 7000 more since then. Those coaches with tag axles seem to be larger than 40 feet, maybe 45. Bigger does get in the way sometimes, like getting into smaller state parks. But we could not be happier with ours. Ours has air ride and 22.5" wheels, which really smooths the ride.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:14 AM   #3
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To me, it depends on your travel. Fulltime, weekends, snowbirds. Mountains or flat land.
The only thing I have against DP's. Is the high cost of maintenance.
Oil changes, filters, etc.
See Sig.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:55 AM   #4
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I have had practically all campers in my lifetime and this MH is by far the most expensive to maintain. Preventive maintenance is a must and if you try to skip you will end up stranded.

When you pick out the MH you want search this forum for info on the engine so you know what your getting into. All of the engines require care and maintenance.

That said the diesel MH has advantages such as Air Suspension and Air brakes. I can stop at rest area and never have to get out.

As far as tag axles I think it might keep down the sway while driving.. If I upgrade I might try one.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops90gt View Post
We are considering a larger MH an I was told that in the last few years the diesel motors have had problems. He didn't specify which MH had them. So has anybody out there has any problems.
Also what are the advantage or disadvantage of a double rear axle.
Thanks
Pops,
A miniscule amount of what you're saying IS true. I say miniscule because, just like any phase of automobile evolution, there's always "issues" with new generation stuff. The manufacturers (of the engines and transmissions anyways) do their best to eek out the "Bugs" in newer, more up-to-date requirements in smog technologies.

Starting in and around '07, "Big brother" really started pushing for tighter emissions on diesel engine exhaust. The did so before that year too but, not as pushy. A diesel is a fairy simple engine design. And, based on its simplicity, it was not very smog compliant for decades.

In the old days, as in oh, around the early '90s and earlier, you'd see black plumes of smoke from Diesel trucks on long grades and, even around town some. Well, the EPA and other agencies, decided to clamp down on that stuff. So, step forward to the 2000 and newer engines.

As things progressed in better and cleaner engines, so did the operational problems.

Ok, enough blabbing. Suffice to say that, at least in the '07 and newer engines, you'll get a much cleaner, nicer, more quiet operating diesel. And, the "Issues" that plagued the early versions, have all but disappeared. The engineers have worked out all the bugs. You will see and hear the terms DEF and DPF. The first is Diesel Exhaust Fluid and the second is, Diesel Particulate Filter.

This link does a pretty good job of explaining what those terms are and, how they effect later engines.


http://jeremybaldwinfleetmanagement....he-difference/

Some folks (mostly guys) shy away from the newer ('07 and later) coaches due to the fact that, that's when they basically started the more stringent regs. Well, there's some valid reasons for that. For one, some of the compartment space was lost due to the need for space needed for some of that exhaust treatment systems.

But, to shy away from an otherwise very nice motor home with a floor plan that would suit you just perfectly, just because it is a later model with smog improvement equipment on it, can maybe a step backwards in progress. Especially when any and all of the "issues" the earlier model engines had, like stated, are pretty much a thing of the past. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Pops,
A miniscule amount of what you're saying IS true. I say miniscule because, just like any phase of automobile evolution, there's always "issues" with new generation stuff. The manufacturers (of the engines and transmissions anyways) do their best to eek out the "Bugs" in newer, more up-to-date requirements in smog technologies.

Starting in and around '07, "Big brother" really started pushing for tighter emissions on diesel engine exhaust. The did so before that year too but, not as pushy. A diesel is a fairy simple engine design. And, based on its simplicity, it was not very smog compliant for decades.

In the old days, as in oh, around the early '90s and earlier, you'd see black plumes of smoke from Diesel trucks on long grades and, even around town some. Well, the EPA and other agencies, decided to clamp down on that stuff. So, step forward to the 2000 and newer engines.

As things progressed in better and cleaner engines, so did the operational problems.

Ok, enough blabbing. Suffice to say that, at least in the '07 and newer engines, you'll get a much cleaner, nicer, more quiet operating diesel. And, the "Issues" that plagued the early versions, have all but disappeared. The engineers have worked out all the bugs. You will see and hear the terms DEF and DPF. The first is Diesel Exhaust Fluid and the second is, Diesel Particulate Filter.

This link does a pretty good job of explaining what those terms are and, how they effect later engines.


http://jeremybaldwinfleetmanagement....he-difference/

Some folks (mostly guys) shy away from the newer ('07 and later) coaches due to the fact that, that's when they basically started the more stringent regs. Well, there's some valid reasons for that. For one, some of the compartment space was lost due to the need for space needed for some of that exhaust treatment systems.

But, to shy away from an otherwise very nice motor home with a floor plan that would suit you just perfectly, just because it is a later model with smog improvement equipment on it, can maybe a step backwards in progress. Especially when any and all of the "issues" the earlier model engines had, like stated, are pretty much a thing of the past. Good luck.
Scott

Thoughtful and well stated post.


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Old 09-03-2015, 02:02 PM   #7
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Fire Up has provided very good info, I could not have said it better. In short get the MH that works for you at your price point.
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:04 PM   #8
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You asked about tag axles also: tags are usually found on motorhomes longer than 40' while single axles are 40' or less. (There are a few exceptions out there)

advantage: tag axle coaches are more stable in crosswinds and the axles together can handle more weight, looks cool.

disadvantage: two additional tires to buy and maintain, less basement storage, the tag has to be correctly adjusted so that it doesn't throw too much weight onto the front axle.
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:18 PM   #9
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Fire Up...excellent advice.

We have a DEF engine and even after 10K miles, I can still run my finger around the inside of the exhaust pipe and it will come out clean....no soot what so ever. The engine is quieter than my older Safari CAT C7, starts faster, runs smoother and gets just as good if not better mpg. DEF is available almost every where, including Walmart, and uses very little.

As for the tag axle (double axle that you call it), does indeed provide for a much smoother and more stable ride than a single axle. Tags have been around a long time and many of the older (less than 40') coaches used them. Country Coach used them on (I think) most of their 40 - 45 foot coaches as did Monaco and all their siblings. The tag also provides a much higher CCC rating, but slightly less storage space. New Freightliner tag axle motor homes will have the steerable tag which reduces the turning circle by 17%....that's really handy.

The downside to a tag axle is the slightly less basement storage space and two extra tires to purchase.

Since I've owned both a pre DEF and non-tag axle coaches and those with DEF and tag axle, I can highly recommend the DEF and tag designed motor homes. They are definitely a step in the right direction.

Ron
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:46 PM   #10
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Funny, I know the manager of the local Cummins shop and he is currently looking for used coach and is looking for ~2006-7 model pre DEF type. He commented to me that the restrictions and regulations change so fast that the engine manufacturers really don't have a chance to "Get it Right" before it changes again.

I dealt with strict regulations in the mining industry, we were held to a low Diesel Particulate Matter "DPM" for underground. The only way to get there was to install Diesel Particulate Filters. In 2007 & 2008 I was the maintenance manager for the operations and probably spent +$1M on upgrading the exhaust systems of the equipment in order to comply. The equipment that was run hard so that particulate filter would regenerate and the systems worked well. Performance was downloaded on a weekly basis along with the status of the particulate filter. If a piece of equipment didn't get hot enough the filter would be removed and put in a large oven that reached very hot temps to burn the soot out, along with compressed air to purge it.

I guess if I were looking for a new to me coach I would look for one without the DEF requirements and the need for regeneration. I don't think a motorhome is run hard enough, long enough to do a good job at keeping the systems working. Time will tell though.
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:21 PM   #11
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I would rather have a DEF coach than one built just a few months earlier without it. Better fuel economy is the main reason. But compared to one using an engine 3+ years earlier, the mpg is probably about the same. The emissions stuff caused a loss of fuel economy, and a side benefit of the DEF technology is that you get that back. You will also buy fewer replacement exhaust pipe tips, if that counts for anything.

Tag axles are there for the weight. In my opinion, most of the rest is hype. And yes, I've owned a tag axle coach before.

See this thread for some additional discussion:
Tag Vs Single axle
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:44 PM   #12
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I prefer the much more technologically advanced, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient DEF engines to the older, dirtier, less fuel-efficient non-DEF engines.

Cheers!
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:28 PM   #13
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Fire Up,

Read and saved your link. Good job!
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Pops,
A miniscule amount of what you're saying IS true. I say miniscule because, just like any phase of automobile evolution, there's always "issues" with new generation stuff. The manufacturers (of the engines and transmissions anyways) do their best to eek out the "Bugs" in newer, more up-to-date requirements in smog technologies.

Starting in and around '07, "Big brother" really started pushing for tighter emissions on diesel engine exhaust. The did so before that year too but, not as pushy. A diesel is a fairy simple engine design. And, based on its simplicity, it was not very smog compliant for decades.

In the old days, as in oh, around the early '90s and earlier, you'd see black plumes of smoke from Diesel trucks on long grades and, even around town some. Well, the EPA and other agencies, decided to clamp down on that stuff. So, step forward to the 2000 and newer engines.

As things progressed in better and cleaner engines, so did the operational problems.

Ok, enough blabbing. Suffice to say that, at least in the '07 and newer engines, you'll get a much cleaner, nicer, more quiet operating diesel. And, the "Issues" that plagued the early versions, have all but disappeared. The engineers have worked out all the bugs. You will see and hear the terms DEF and DPF. The first is Diesel Exhaust Fluid and the second is, Diesel Particulate Filter.

This link does a pretty good job of explaining what those terms are and, how they effect later engines.


Diesel Engine DPF & DEF- The Difference | Jeremy Baldwin Fleet Management

Some folks (mostly guys) shy away from the newer ('07 and later) coaches due to the fact that, that's when they basically started the more stringent regs. Well, there's some valid reasons for that. For one, some of the compartment space was lost due to the need for space needed for some of that exhaust treatment systems.

But, to shy away from an otherwise very nice motor home with a floor plan that would suit you just perfectly, just because it is a later model with smog improvement equipment on it, can maybe a step backwards in progress. Especially when any and all of the "issues" the earlier model engines had, like stated, are pretty much a thing of the past. Good luck.
Scott
Nice accurate response Scott. I'm very partial to diesels for trucks and RV's. I feel they are more dependable and give better fuel millage. Oil changes cost more but you don't change it as often as with a gas so it's minimal at best.
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