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Old 02-01-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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Do DP's really need to be driven?

My husband & I are considering RV options, in anticipation of entering into the FT RVer lifestyle. In evaluating the merits of a DP vs. a 5er, it seems that one consideration relates to time parked between trips.

A common assertion is that DP's need to be driven on a regular basis in order to avoid mechanical problems. In fact, this is frequently used as an argument in favor of the 5er.

So, I am writing to ask: is the above assertion correct? If so, how often and for how long?

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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Great question!

Suscribing to see the results.

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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If you're anticipating being full-timers, I assume you plan on making at least a few trips during the year. That will be fine for your DP. It would not be good for it to sit for years at a time without being moved, but no more so than for any other vehicle. Using it every month or two, or every few months will be fine.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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I worry about the same thing so I just start it every month or so in the off season, also run the generator, I think you need to at least start anything periodically.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
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I wouldn't consider this a criteria for deciding between the two. There are way more important considerations.

We were sitting in a Country Coach DP at a dealership. In comes a woman w/spouse in tow. She sets down & says, "what do you thing of these motorhomes? The other day we pulled into a rest stop (with our 5th wheel), and my husband got out & started the process of setting up; it takes him about 30 minutes to level up, get the slides out & get everything working. Up pulls this motorhome- they pushed a few buttons, never got out of their coach, and within 5 minutes she had ice in her glass. I'm going to get me one of these motorhomes." She had her priorities.

Diesel pushers do need to have their systems exercised, like any vehicle. the worst time-in-one-position problem I believe is flat spots on tires. However that's also a problem for 5'ers or any gas moho. Other systems get used (maybe not gen, so you would need to run that occasionally, which isn't a big deal if you are there all the time) as adjunct to living in the unit. However you slice it, you will have maintenance, both general & preventative. Big question is how much are you willing to invest for convenience & lifestyle. DPs require a bigger sweaty wad of money tied up & depreciating than 5'ers, 5'ers may have more interior room (potentially, depending on size you are willing to drag vs size you are willing to drive).
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:53 PM   #6
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To answer your question directly, I too think that driving a DP several times per year would be sufficient and I would NOT just start the engine and let it idle monthly as this isn't recommended by most diesel engine manufacturers.

Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
I wouldn't consider this a criteria for deciding between the two. There are way more important considerations..
I agree with Mike on this. DW and I LOVE the floorplans available in fivers but just can't see ourselves having to use a huge tow vehicle as our every day auto while we're set up. Also, there's nothing like seeing the country through that big old windshield while sitting up as high as truckers.


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Old 02-01-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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One other consideration is the ride quality. Towing a 5th wheel can be a constant rough ride. The springing on a tow truck is harsh. Contrast the ride in a DP. The heavy frame, air bag springs, plus the weight of the coach provides a smooth red carpet ride. The big windshield is open for viewing the road and the country. Just think it is the best. Better than a high end car.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:39 PM   #8
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Just like any engine it needs to be run to lubricate it.I was told it does more harm than good just starting, it needs to be brought up to running temp to get the moisture out.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:55 PM   #9
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Yes absolutely you need to let it run till up to temp. as for flat spots on tire i leavel with the jacks just high enough so no flat spots, but i'm lucky in that its right outside my house so if jacks loose a little height over time i can extend them a little when i start it. Everyone does what they thinks best, i was told by someone who has alot of deisel equipment to park is with a full tank of fuel and start it periodically and like previously stated bring it up to temperature.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:03 PM   #10
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Just running the engine while parked will NOT get the engine up to temperature and will do more harm than just letting it set with fresh oil and proper fuel conditioner.

We do not want a motorhome for full time because if you have a chassis/engine problem, the whole house goes to the shop. Additionally, you can get your Dodge, Ford or Chevy truck worked on at any dealer and do not have to find a shop for that particular chassis or a truck shop.

I do not have to maintain an additional drive line for a vehicle to drive while we are parked.

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Old 02-01-2012, 06:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tha_Rooster View Post
Just like any engine it needs to be run to lubricate it.I was told it does more harm than good just starting, it needs to be brought up to running temp to get the moisture out.
However, just running it in place is worse than not starting it at all. According to Cummins you have to drive the rig for 30 min at highway speeds to warm it up. This also "rotates" the tires and keeps the seals lubed. Do I do it? No, mine sits for months at a time, sometimes with the front wheels completely off the ground for the entire time.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:35 PM   #12
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DP are made to work so the more you use them the better it is for the Engine...I drove big rigs for 22 years and had over a 1,000,000.00 miles on engines with out anything other then normal maintenance. So take those long trips and enjoy.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:05 PM   #13
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We move ours around once a month and sometimes drive for several days then set up for another month or so. We also run the genset every month with a load. Service it once a year.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:16 PM   #14
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I have a DP and I am parked for the winter. I plan on traveling all spring and summer and hopefully there on. But as i am parked in one spot for now I put diesel additive in the fuel and i plan on changing fuilds, I already changed my antifreeze. I never start and idle my engine. If I am going to start it I will drive it at least 30 miles. As for flat spots, im not sure? I am also getting set of new tires so i supposed i haven't thought about that.

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