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Old 06-11-2012, 06:14 AM   #15
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The pros and cons of diesel

The pros of diesel are plentiful. The fuel not only provides power but acts as a lubricant. A diesel engine last a great deal longer and provides more power especially when climbing hills. Your diesel offers more torque than most gas engines and will allow for greater distances between maintenance in most cases. There are so many pros I could go at length. As to the cons I will touch on the most common and the biggest reasons people aren't getting diesel engines.

1) As of 2007 the government required that diesel fuel contain less sulfur. The end result was that the engine produced less emissions but the down side is that there was a loss of fuel economy.

2) as a result of number 1 the price of diesel went from the cheapest fuel (cheaper than regular) to the most expensive (average .10 cents more than premium.)

3) Diesel engines produce a great deal of compression which means they need more oil and not just any oil but expensive oil. If you take your engine to get the oil changed it can easily go over 100.00 for an oil change. My 2010 F-250 takes 24 quarts of Rotella oil or I void my warranty.

4) repairs are costly and in many cases more time consuming for diesel engines.

5) On an RV if you get a diesel engine you will also have a diesel generator which means you have 2 diesel engines on your coach.

6) If you live in one of the colder climates you will have to have at least 1 if not 2 block heaters. That means you will plug your engine in to the wall socket. This isn't to charge the minimum of 2 batteries dedicated to starting your engine but to keep it warm enough to start. You also will have to pay attention to the glow plugs indicator on your dashboard. Turn your key to the on position but not to start it. You will see (in most cases) a yellow light that indicates that the glow plugs are heating up your cylinders. Once this light goes out you can start your engine.

I am not trying to discourage you from getting perhaps the most reliable engine on the road. In fact I am in the process of getting my wife a new car next week that has a diesel engine in it. I just like people to know what they are getting before they jump in.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn

What???

Kathryn
He cooks his own bio-diesel. Price should come to about $1.50-$2 (?) per gallon.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:47 AM   #17
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I agree with GaryKD and Sliskest1.
On Davinger #3, special oil being diesel engine oil, Ford probably speced Ford oil for the engine not Rotella, as long as it is diesel engine oil you are good (my father and I both use Rotella). The diesel generator generally handles loads better than gasoline units and if you have a Aqua hot or similar unit you burn diesel fuel instead of propane for inside heat.
I went from a v-10 SRW 350 to a diesel DRW 350 and my mpg increased (the trailer stayed the same, overall I pay less per mile, not including payment differences). Keep in mind the diesel units are generally heavier because they can/have to be but the CCC is generally higher also.
If mine ever brakes.... it better be under warranty. They have to pull the cab to work on the engine.
All that said, I also think if you can wait until after Alaska, I would. That trip is known to be hard on units. My father, partially his fault (he was driving the speed limit) busted 2 air bags.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:00 PM   #18
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Diesel fuel stinks! Truck stops that sell diesel fuel have fuel spills on the driveways. You stop to fuel you will get fuel on your shoes. Now all your friends think you stink!
If you stink and you run inside the MH to hide you will track in stinky fuel, now your MH stinks, therefore Diesel pushers all stink as they all need to visit truck stops. Moral of the story is to not buy a diesel Pusher!
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:29 PM   #19
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A diesel will run on used cooking oil but I believe you need a special system to handle it. You probably will smell fried food.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:45 PM   #20
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Hey Larry & Rita........

Sorry we didn't get to meet you at the M&G last month. I could have bent your ear for awhile. My current rig is the first diesel I have ever owned in 50+ years of driving. The learning curve was a bit above zero for the engine and air brakes. From the driver's seat you really don't know what kind of engine you have except for the lower redline and the lack of noise. The brakes feel different than hydraulic, but I got used to them quickly.

Yes, oil changes cost more. My baby takes 16 quarts, so oil and filter costs me 60 bucks once a year or 15K miles, and can be done in about 1/2 hour. You never have to shell out for spark plugs or any other ignition-related parts.

Yes, an engine or transmission failure is big bucks, but a V-10 Ford gasser with HD transmission is well into 4 figures also.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:46 PM   #21
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I used to own semi trucks and now own a diesel pusher. One item I feel is important is to carry extra fuel filters, and know how to change them. Bad fuel is as close as your next fuel stop. Nothing worse than sitting along side the road or being towed for something as simple as a fuel filter.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #22
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The main thing is letting them warm up. Diesels like to run, so turning them off and on when you make quick stops isn't recommended. One thing you have to know: they can be pricey to fix (getting for a new radiator in some models for example, might make you cry), and not everyone can work on them. With a Ford V10, at the end of the day, it's still a truck more or less. A Cat diesel on the other hand would make most small garages shake their heads. Diesel owners sometimes down play this, but it is the deciding factor for many.

If you travel a lot, diesel is the clear choice. I have plenty of friends and family that when with a d.pusher because they'll go 500,000 no problem.....but most regretted it, because none of them put that kind of mileage. After factoring the added purchase cost, maintenance cost, and fuel cost, it just wasn't worth it. After all, not many actually go 500k+. Most 10yr old RVs you see have like 50-70k. Diesel fuel is more expensive in many areas, and pushers usually get about 10mpg, just like their gas counterparts.

And a full service on a diesel can run up to almost $3k (flushes, oil change, belts, hoses etc). On a gas...well, I don't think any service can even cost half of that.


food for thought

I love diesels, but for practical reasons, I prefer gas.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:57 PM   #23
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I used to own semi trucks and now own a diesel pusher. One item I feel is important is to carry extra fuel filters, and know how to change them. Bad fuel is as close as your next fuel stop. Nothing worse than sitting along side the road or being towed for something as simple as a fuel filter.
Good suggestion, since you are going to change it eventually anyway. Extra drive belt on board for the same reason.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:00 PM   #24
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If you travel a lot, diesel is the clear choice. I have plenty of friends and family that when with a d.pusher because they'll go 500,000 no problem.....but most regretted it, because none of them put that kind of mileage. After factoring the added purchase cost, maintenance cost, and fuel cost, it just wasn't worth it..
DPs hold their value a lot better, so you can regain some or all of the extra cost when you sell.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:01 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Luckiest Dre
Diesel fuel stinks! Truck stops that sell diesel fuel have fuel spills on the driveways. You stop to fuel you will get fuel on your shoes. Now all your friends think you stink!
If you stink and you run inside the MH to hide you will track in stinky fuel, now your MH stinks, therefore Diesel pushers all stink as they all need to visit truck stops. Moral of the story is to not buy a diesel Pusher!
How true, how true, but along the lines of current commercials... You pump gasoline it does not shut off as it should, you get gasoline all over yourself, concerned that gasoline is a carcinogen you run into the trailer and remove the gasoline covered clothing, and take a shower. Because you need hot water your propane water heater starts, you wake up in a ditch because your coach was full of gasoline fumes..... don't end up in the ditch... buy diesel.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:41 AM   #26
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My DW and I are going to Alaska next summer so we are planning on trading up to a diesel from our current gas RV.
I know there are special things I should know about care and maint. also things about starting and stopping.
The dealer seemed to be void of any details and kind of left me on my own and I would hate to get half way north and have any suprises.
HELP!!

Larry and Rita

I will try to stay on point and just answer your question:

-Start the engine and after oil pressure is established do a fast idle (1200 rpms) until the air suspension purges.

-No full throttle until the engine coolant temperature reaches 150 degrees (F).

-Let the engine idle for 3 minutes before shutdown to allow the turbo to cool and therefore prevent coking of the engine oil.

-Calibrate your slack adjusters on a regular basis. This involves full brake engagement with the parking brake off for 30 seconds and repeated 4-5 times. Your DP will have automatic slack adjusters but they still need to be calibrated regularly.

-Don't sweat the maintenance as you can use Speedco for your annual PM's and they will likely have a location on your way. Fresh oil, lubed chassis, fresh filters, serviced genny, coolant analysis, oil analysis,rear differential, front axle check and tire inspection in less than an hour and for a very reasonable price.

-If you are passing through any mountains...downshift the Allison and keep your RPM's up and monitor your coolant temps going up the hill. They will rise but should be manageable.

Going down the hill keep the tranny in a lower gear and use your engine or exhaust brake. Stub your brakes (hard engagement then release) if you need to slow her down and do not ride the brakes down the mountain.

That is about it. My DP is my first MH and first diesel vehicle with air brakes and the above is just what I would have wanted to know before the first trip.

Enjoy!

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Old 06-12-2012, 08:08 AM   #27
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I went to a diesel from a gasser 5 years ago. The first thing we noticed was that the cabin was quiet. The second thing was the power. Learning curve no big deal. Get a pilot gas card and you can fuel at pilot or Flying J. Flying J has RV islands but Pilot is more consistent (both owned by Pilot). Oil changes are $400 or so but the comfort and capabilities are worth much more.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:18 AM   #28
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Diesel fuel stinks! Truck stops that sell diesel fuel have fuel spills on the driveways. You stop to fuel you will get fuel on your shoes. Now all your friends think you stink!
If you stink and you run inside the MH to hide you will track in stinky fuel, now your MH stinks, therefore Diesel pushers all stink as they all need to visit truck stops. Moral of the story is to not buy a diesel Pusher!
I'm not sure where you've bought fuel, but we try to only use the major truck stop chains because it helps to ensure fresh fuel and I've never experienced the problems you describe. Sure, the diesel nozzle can have an oil film on it, but most customers know to use a pair of gloves when pumping. As for stepping in puddles of diesel fuel or anything like that, I've not experienced that. Many truck stops have a "you spill it, you clean it policy."
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