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Old 09-17-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
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DP vs Engine up front

I found what may be a good deal on a diesel Fleetwood Bounder. It is not a DP. What are the other advantages and disadvandages of the engine up front opposed to the engine in the rear besides engine noise? Would resale be more advantages for a DP? The Fleetwood Bounder is selling for 70K with low miles. Needs new tires.

FrankM
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:12 AM   #2
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Hello Frank!

I think you have to look more at the chassis, floor plan and such. I am assuming you are talking about a FRont End Diesel (FRED). FREDs are more like gassers in general design but will sometimes add a few extras. FREDs generally won't have the HP of DPs but because they have lower GVWRs they can be quite capable of getting you around big hills.

It would, IMHO, be better to compare a FRED to a gasser. The reasons being mostly related to similar chassis design. DPs take it to a whole new level with air brakes, air suspension, heavier GVWRs and much more.

I have a friend that has a Tiffin FRED and loves it. Compared to our Winnebago gasser, his MH is much quieter up front. He did take some time to upgrade insulation in the dog house area that helped.

Driving a front engine MH (gas or diesel) compared to a DP will be a bit different because of a few issues. The DP will weigh more and not be pushed around as much. DPs don't normally have as long an overhang in the back. You sit over or just behind the front wheels in most front engine MHs while you set in front of the front wheels in a DP. The wheel base of a DP will be longer than a comparable gasser for better handling. Of course there are several other areas where they differ but this gives you an idea of why DPs and front engine MHs differ.

We transitioned form a 39' gasser to a 43' DSDP because we decided to sell the house and go full time. We liked our gasser for what it was best at doing but it wouldn't do what we wanted it to do as full timers. HOWEVER...there are many full timers that use gassers so that was OUR choice because of what we wanted to carry.

Hope that helps.

EDIT...BTW, resale is important but not everything. If you get a good price going in, then it is all relative. I don't have anything to back my feeling but if I were to go back to a front engine MH, I would concentrate on a FRED. As to the MH you are looking at, I hope some Bounder folks chip in. You might also visit the Fleetwood forums and get some opinions from them if you haven't done that already. They can give you some specific suggestions.

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:15 AM   #3
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Other advantages of a DP is heat as well as the noise. It may or may not be easier to work on depending on the configuration. Other than that its just a matter of getting what you want out of the layout. If you don't mind the hump between the front seats the heat and noise you can be just as happy with a puller.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankM View Post
I found what may be a good deal on a diesel Fleetwood Bounder. It is not a DP. What are the other advantages and disadvandages of the engine up front opposed to the engine in the rear besides engine noise? Would resale be more advantages for a DP? The Fleetwood Bounder is selling for 70K with low miles. Needs new tires.

FrankM
I didn't think Fleetwood used the FCCC "FRED" chassis (Cummins diesel), so I am asking what year/chassis/engine this Bounder has.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
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And some of advantages

The FRED Bounders have the door behind the passinger seat! Having the door, the only door, always obstructed by the seat is a PITA. Especially with my two furry greeters who have to be reminded that 'I' have to get to the door first or it will never open.

Slobber tube. You don't have to worry about fouling your CAC & radiator.

As far as the noise goes it can be an advantage if your co-pilot is anything like mine.

What year and model is it?
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:44 AM   #6
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I don't think I would ever want a front diesel. I talked to a guy on a CG last year that had a new one, and he was very unhappy. He said it is VERY loud up front! JMHO
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:52 AM   #7
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I don't think I would ever want a front diesel. I talked to a guy on a CG last year that had a new one, and he was very unhappy. He said it is VERY loud up front! JMHO
I can say from experience any front engine model could get very loud. Last summer when the twin cooling fans of my workhorse fired up...sounded like a jet engine. LOL Clearly, I wasn't very happy with that noise but the floor plan was more than adequate for what we used it for.

HOWEVER...there are ways to make a serious improvement in both noise and heat. Yes...DPs will always be quieter but at what cost to the part timer who mostly travels on weekends and maybe 2-4 week road trips? In the end it is a balancing act. Those with a lot of reserve cash can certainly choose to spend it as they wish. More frugal folks might want the MH experience without putting out the big bucks.

As to the guy you met in the CG...I hate to sound harsh but...did he do his homework? Did he test drive it? I can attest that some of the things I didn't like about my Winnebago were because I FAILED to do my homework and/or didn't understand some key concepts. Of course, experience is the biggest teacher of all.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:56 AM   #8
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Smile

It is advertized as a 2007 Fleetwood Bounder w/454 work horse power train. It does not state the make of the engine. I was going to drive down to view it but they are detailing it. The advertizement did not have a whole lot of information. There was some conflicting information that it may be a gas engine. I am new to Class A RV's. The IRV2 has been a God-sent....

All you guys out there are great.

Thanks to everyone that has helped.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:08 AM   #9
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This is a critical question. I believe the FRED chassis had a Cummins 5.9 Diesel, and this may have sufficient power and later, quieter, engine (the early Cummins 5.9 diesels were really noisy). If the Bounder in the original post was built in the late 80's or early 90's, it is likely a GM Diesel on a front engine P-series chassis. The engine would be a non-turbo 6.2 liter, very under powered and, in my opinion, not a good choice. For 1995, this engine became the 6.5 turbo diesel. These approximated gas engine performance, but were very sensitive to overheating. Further, the injection pump was so bad that GM had to warranty it for 110,000 miles. We bought a new 1995 Safari TREK with the 6.5 turbo diesel, and drove it for 137,000 miles. However, it took a lot of money to achieve this engine longevity. The later GM diesel is the Duramax, but this was never available in a front engine class A chassis; only the Kodiac truck-based "Super C" chassis.

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Originally Posted by Muddypaws View Post
...What year and model is it?
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankM View Post
It is advertized as a 2007 Fleetwood Bounder w/454 work horse power train. It does not state the make of the engine. I was going to drive down to view it but they are detailing it. The advertizement did not have a whole lot of information. There was some conflicting information that it may be a gas engine. I am new to Class A RV's. The IRV2 has been a God-sent....

All you guys out there are great.

Thanks to everyone that has helped.
A 454 is a Chevy large block gas engine. Be carefull on some online dealer ads, I find they are often lazy with their "cut and paste" from other adds and often misrepresent inventory.

NOW is the time to determine your needs so by all means go check that rig out. People LOVE their Bounders, so they must be good ;-) The tips above are right on. The easiest way to determine if a front engine GAS or DIESEL is for you is to drive one. At some point accelerate hard to simulate hills and such. Then drive a DP and determine what you prefer and can afford. I have talked to a few people that didn't test drive enough before the purchase and regretted later.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankM View Post
It is advertized as a 2007 Fleetwood Bounder w/454 work horse power train. It does not state the make of the engine. I was going to drive down to view it but they are detailing it. The advertizement did not have a whole lot of information. There was some conflicting information that it may be a gas engine. I am new to Class A RV's. The IRV2 has been a God-sent....

All you guys out there are great.

Thanks to everyone that has helped.
Be VERY careful, because inaccurate info is a sure sign the seller is either incompetent or a scammer. WORKHORSE has not had a 454 engine since the 2001 model year. The excuse for why you can't come see it is another red flag. I would be looking "elsewhere"......have you checked the iRV2.com classifieds?
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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Thank you. I may pass on this RV after I double check with the dealer. I will have to drive 350 mi to test drive the RV. I will be new to motor homes and I don't want to get stung on my first one.

FrankM
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:35 PM   #13
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Frank,
Go rent one would be my advice. IMHO the only real way to know your needs is to try before you buy.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:19 PM   #14
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I'd get the one where you could see more of the engine which will most likely be the the one that you can access the filters Water pump and fan drive belt, fan, radiator,........ easily.
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