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Old 03-26-2013, 12:24 AM   #1
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Future Diesel Owner

My current MH is gas but my longer term goal is to move up to a diesel pusher. My one concern is that I have never had any real experience with diesel engines or jake brakes. Part of that is drivers ed. and doesn't worry me but are there any suggestions that people might have with regards to learning more about general maintenance and troubleshooting of diesel engines? I read a lot here about oil testing and injectors and and how the maintenance requirements are higher for a diesel. Where is a young man to start?
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:02 AM   #2
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I don't think the maintenance requirements on a diesel are higher than a gas unit, more expensive though.
Oil/filter change on a diesel is every 15,000 to 20,000 miles or once a year.
Fluid in a Allison may never need to be changed although the filters might need it.
Coolant change or adding anything will depend on what fluid is in it.
No need to change brake fluid if air brakes (most have them) although you will need a new air dryer every 2 to 4 years.
Batteries will last a long time, ours went almost 10 years, but the dual starting batteries (1000 CCA each) were around $150 each. The house batteries (four of them) were about $120 each.
Tires are bigger and more expensive but only needed after 8 - 10 years.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:11 AM   #3
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Question if it was me

qualifying; farm boy-D tractors, 20 plus yrs truck driver-D trucks, 26 yr business owner-more diesel trucks.
need to know what motor and year, how many miles on it, repair and maintenance records. some what depending on the mileage you really need to know if the previous owner maintained it properly at the right intervals. remember, for the cost of approx 2-300$ you can have the motor and motor compartment detailed clean before putting it up for sale.
if it was me and it probably will be before to long, i would be doing this. make conditions prior to sale of, oil analysis and a going over with a D- truck mechanic from the breed of the motor. cat mechanic-cummins mechanic, etc. the reason i say truck mechanic is they see so many motors with a lot of miles on them in a very short time frame compared to a motor home.
if or when bought i would drop every fluid in it and replace with brand name filters and good oil, rotella-t being a good one. then start you own log.
good luck
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirpurrcival View Post
My current MH is gas but my longer term goal is to move up to a diesel pusher. My one concern is that I have never had any real experience with diesel engines or jake brakes. Part of that is drivers ed. and doesn't worry me but are there any suggestions that people might have with regards to learning more about general maintenance and troubleshooting of diesel engines? I read a lot here about oil testing and injectors and and how the maintenance requirements are higher for a diesel. Where is a young man to start?
Morning Sir. The misses and I are in the same boat. I've never owned a DP (or any RV for that matter) so we're diving into this head first. I drove plenty of big toys when I was in the Marines so that part doesn't bother me, it's her that's going to get a "crash course" in driving one. We know what we want and are asking alot of questions and taking alot of notes from the good people here on the forums. Everyone so far has been great. I know each person has their own opinion of things in here but it's nice to get differing views and experiences from the people that live this stuff. I hope when you do get yours you post some great pics and get many safe miles and alot of great smiles from it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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I have previously owned 7 Gas MH and this is our first diesel coach and like you both I wanted to know more than the average joe and enough to be dangerous.
For sure there are many more things to be knowlegeable about on a diesel. Air brakes,air suspension systems, fuel system filters, water separators, jake brakes, etc.etc.
If you are mechanically inclined to do some yourself , great, But if not you need to be at least aware of what, when and how your diesel coach and chassis needs to be mainatained. Just as importantly to know what to look for when purchasing.
Freightliner offers a terrific two day school on their chassis. I would suspect others do also. As for driving I have found if anything the diesel is much easier to handle for alot of reasons.
Good luck and never be affraid to ask questions. This board offers a bazillion years of information.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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Here is a link to get some back ground into a diesel chassis and what will be required.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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I agree with Don. Spend the two days and attend Camp Freightliner.
Camp Freightliner
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:47 PM   #8
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Owning a diesel pusher isn't really that different than a gas unit. The maintenece is more money but the intervals are less if you are putting alot of miles on it. There are some that will tell you you need to oil sample every oil change and do test strips on the coolant regularly. My opinion get a good diesel shop to apraise the engine and drive train on your coach of choice and after getting it, like said above drop all fluids and start anew and you should be problem free as long as you maintain your fuel filters and air filter and change oil as required. Most diesel pushers don,t do enough miles to worry about oil sampling or at least until they have gone a couple hundred thousand miles. Relax and enjoy the ride you will like it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:03 PM   #9
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Thanks Everybody for all the great responses and helpful advice. Sure is nice to be part of forums like this where knowledge abounds as much as the generosity.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:33 PM   #10
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I bought my first diesel a few years ago and I looked hard, about two years but found the diesel I wanted. It was a Ford and I then joined alldata and thedieselstop and read everything I could. What was once a confusing maze has become clear and I now do routine maintainence myself.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:00 PM   #11
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Sir, I would suggest a diesel of a type known as ISB, that's the cumins moniker. This is NOT a wet cylinder engine, so you don't have to worry about cavatition or SCA's in the coolant.

These engines also are physically smaller, don't require the huge amounts of oil, mine only requires 12 to 14 quarts of oil, as compaired to 40 for the large diesels. Mine also gets 10.5 to 12+ miles per gallon, while pushing a 36 foot expedition and pulling a full size Ram 1500 Crew Cab.

I am not the first to the top of the hill, but I go a long ways before having to stop for Fuel

The newer 6.7L ISB's are rated up to I believe 350hp, mine is 270 boosted to 300, and I love it. I just had the oil changed yesterday at Pro-Tech Diesel service in Scott City Mo, for 164.00 including filters

I don't think I will ever get rid of her. I have owned a Pace Arrow, workhorse chassis, got 7.5 to 9 gas. Owned a Mirada coachman V-10 got 7.5 to 9 gas. Owned a tioga 26 foot Class c got 7.5 to nothing it was a v-10, I am really happy with my 5.9L diesel.

Here's a link to a place you can look around.

Diesel Motorhomes for Sale - PPL Motor Homes

I know you are way up there in Canada, but you might take a trip to Houston

Hope this helps
Happy trails
Jim
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:32 AM   #12
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Believe me, I look at PPL often and thanks for the info!
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:53 AM   #13
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I have owned two DPs. One had the Cummins ISC 8.3 and the newer one has a Cat 330 hp 3126E. Both of these units held 20-22 quarts of oil. For some reason the oil filter for the Cummins was around $55 and the filter for the Cat was $7.50.

I did the last oil change and lube myself. The cost was $126 with oil and filters from my local NAPA. I also performed the maintenance on the Onan generator. Cost was around $15. Have fun!

Ron Patterson
2003 Discovery 330 hp Cat
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