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Old 05-15-2014, 08:27 AM   #1
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Gas and Diesel annual maintenance $ Differences?

We are looking for a new rig. Slowly moving into class A looking and discussions. One thing that the dealer we feel most comfortable at had mentioned was that the diesel will run around $1000 more in annual maintenance, and he was leaning towards diesel in our situation. He seemed to be being honest. He said that maintenance of the air system etc would bring the price up annually. He did however feel that if you could afford the diesel you would be happiest. They have a nice selection of both gad and diesel coaches on the lot.

We are looking at new to 5 year old units, with an anticipated annual mileage of 5000 to 8000 miles.

I feel I understand all the differences between gas and diesel and am not looking to rehash any of those discussions, but would rather focus on what it actually runs yearly to do proper maintenance on a new or late model gas and diesel coaches.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:40 AM   #2
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Your opening another hotly debated can of worms here. This is my take, I've owned both and yes diesels cost more to maintain properly than gas units, but $1,000 a year seems pretty high to me.

#1 Different engines require different parts and prices can vary, on one of my coaches a new oil filter was over $50 (low price on the internet) while on the other the oil filter was $19.
#2 I do all of my own maintenance on a gas coach, draining 7 qts of oil is easy, draining, catching and holding 5+ gallons of oil on my diesel, not so much.
#3 There are maintenance items on diesels that need to be done every 2 years or every 3 years so you need to figure those items in.

Bottom line is that i averaged about $550 a year (over 3 years) in preventative maintenance for my diesels and about $75 a year for my gassers.

Good luck and hopefully all fellow RVers can remain civil no matter how much they lover their diesel or gas choice.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:47 AM   #3
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Maybe I should qualify the "debate" a bit.

What would it run to perform all recommended maintenance annually on a gas or diesel class A using a authorized shop and not doing the maintenance yourself.

Following the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedules....

No cans of worms, no right or wrong answers...in fact I would expect most answers to be remarkably similar if following whats recommended and not doing the work themselves.

this is NOT a debate - just looking to have my ducks in a row, and I don't have the manuals to know....since I haven't bought yet
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:56 AM   #4
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I've had my 40' DP professionally maintained strictly by the service intervals
specified by Freightliner. Engine, transmission, chassis service has
run around 1,000.00 per year for five years. Some years more, and
others less, but this is the average. This includes air dryer service, and
"S" cam lube as well.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:16 AM   #5
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Gas and Diesel annual maintenance $ Differences?

OK Let's put it this way this is an average maintenance schedule for both for three years

For Gasser

Oil and oil filter change every 5K miles
Grease chassis with oil filter change

For DP

Oil and oil filter change yearly
Grease chassis with oil filter change
U Joint and slip joint grease every 5K miles
Replace 2 engine fuel filters yearly
Exhaust brake lubed every six months
Engine coolant tested and corrosion inhibitors added yearly
Air brakes drained monthly
Rear axle differential drained and refilled yearly
Front wheel bearings hubs drained and refilled yearly
Air brake filters replaced on year three
Engine air filter replaced on year three
Coolant drained and replaced year three
When my CAT engine hit 35,000 miles I had to have the valves adjusted.

I'm sure I have forgotten something but that is from my records which coincide with the recommended maintenance for the first three years of ownership.

Even if you paid someone to change the oil and lube the chassis in a gasser I can't imagine that will cost you more than $150 a year vs $550 a year for the diesel and that included me doing some of the maintenance listed above.

NOTE: I should also say that most of the maintenance I had done on my DP's were done at truck repair places like Speedco, which is much more economical than taking it to a RV dealership. If you took it to a RV dealership you probably could hit the $1000 a year in PM cost on the diesel but I think you would be very hard pressed to get over $200 a year with a gasser at the dealership.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:20 AM   #6
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Hi 2wiresdave,
Welcome to iRV2. I have owned both gas and diesel powered coaches. The difference in $s you are looking for is a few hundred $s per year. I do not have my gas power coaches records so I can not be exact. However, please consider moving this concern way down on your list of things to worry about. When looking for a coach consider (in order of importance):
1. Floor plan, amenities and creature comforts.
2. Will the coach carry all your stuff and people. (CCC or NCC depending on brand)
3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? (GCWR minus GVWR) and the receiver weight rating.

Once a coach meets the above mentioned criteria, one can make the decision as complicated as one want to make it. Notice the fuel that powers the coach is not on the list. My current coach is my first diesel. I was dragged kicking and screaming into a diesel powered coach. However, there were no gas powered coaches that met the criteria mentioned above. So for me, the fuel that powers the coach is a moot point. It is what it is.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:32 AM   #7
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+1 what Gary states above.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:43 AM   #8
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I spend about $350 per year for oil change, lube, and genny service at Speedco. Aside from that, it's a crap shoot! I keep my fingers crossed that nothing serious will happen to the diesel engine or transmission!

We really love the DP and keep hoping that our luck will hold out!
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:56 AM   #9
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DP, I agree with the other post, $350.00 yearly. Their are certain milage criteria that must be met for chassis requirements as well. This will exceed the $350.00 yearly price. Fortunately, not that often. If your handy you'll save a lot. I have a truck service due most of my work, they are also a Spartan service shop and their prices are somewhat less than say a Cummins Care center. FWIW, if putting 8000 miles a year or more you really need the DP. Your happy hour will be much happier!
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi 2wiresdave,
Welcome to iRV2. I have owned both gas and diesel powered coaches. The difference in $s you are looking for is a few hundred $s per year. I do not have my gas power coaches records so I can not be exact. However, please consider moving this concern way down on your list of things to worry about. When looking for a coach consider (in order of importance):
1. Floor plan, amenities and creature comforts.
2. Will the coach carry all your stuff and people. (CCC or NCC depending on brand)
3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? (GCWR minus GVWR) and the receiver weight rating.

Once a coach meets the above mentioned criteria, one can make the decision as complicated as one want to make it. Notice the fuel that powers the coach is not on the list. My current coach is my first diesel. I was dragged kicking and screaming into a diesel powered coach. However, there were no gas powered coaches that met the criteria mentioned above. So for me, the fuel that powers the coach is a moot point. It is what it is.
Well said.

If you average mileage is 7500 and you get 7.5MPG with gas or diesel then the cost is $3620 gas or $3880 diesel. Based on the price at my COOP. Fuel alone will dwarf the cost of scheduled maintenance, not to mention insurance and mortgage. While you should want to know the order of magnitude of cost maintenance. It should not be the driver. Scheduled maintenance costs will be a very small part of the total cost of ownership with either gas or diesel. IMHO
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:06 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone! The cost is not the driver, but I can have all needs met going with a gas coach as far as floor plan, cargo capacity and towing capacity along with GCVWR.

The small differences in price for the maintenance and fuel are considerations but very small. The overall cost of the coach if buying new is obviously a bigger up front difference between the two. The Tiffin Allegro Open Road gas has two of the best floor plans for us, and we really liked the price.

I am hesitant to buy a used DP simply because the value of being serviced by the selling dealer, along with all the new warranties etc, along with simply finding a decent coach that checks out feels overwhelming.We are not retired and just figuring out what you want besides searching for it is all consuming I did drive a new DP and understand very clearly how much more "nice" it is to drive.

This is obviously a major debate, and there seems to be people vocal on both sides of the coin.

Thanks again, this is a great forum!
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:54 PM   #12
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Yeah, the last thread on this very question (Last week I think) didn't go so well. Most people agree that the cost of ownership is higher on a DP but that there are real advantages that one gets for that cost. What we usually disagree about is how substantial the difference in cost of ownership is.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wiresdave View Post
Thanks everyone! The cost is not the driver, but I can have all needs met going with a gas coach as far as floor plan, cargo capacity and towing capacity along with GCVWR.

The small differences in price for the maintenance and fuel are considerations but very small. The overall cost of the coach if buying new is obviously a bigger up front difference between the two. The Tiffin Allegro Open Road gas has two of the best floor plans for us, and we really liked the price.

I am hesitant to buy a used DP simply because the value of being serviced by the selling dealer, along with all the new warranties etc, along with simply finding a decent coach that checks out feels overwhelming.We are not retired and just figuring out what you want besides searching for it is all consuming I did drive a new DP and understand very clearly how much more "nice" it is to drive.

This is obviously a major debate, and there seems to be people vocal on both sides of the coin.

Thanks again, this is a great forum!
OK, this could get contentious. Let me say I have no first hand experience and do not own a Tiffin product.

That said, based on what I have heard, Tiffin has great support but you will need to use the hell out of it to get your new coach working right. Many people literally drive to their plant to get their coaches to the point they SHOULD have been new.

Don't think buying a new Tiffin guarantees you a better user experience over the first couple of seasons. I was camping with a guy 2 weeks ago (I am in CA) and he was having to make the "pilgrimage". That is brutal.


OK, just my 0.02.

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Old 05-15-2014, 08:02 PM   #14
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It sounds like a lot of folks make the "pilgrimage" because they want to. I asked this exact question on the Tiffin group and got a pretty straightforward answer. Most dealers should be able to perform any repairs needed from I understand.

Anyone care to comment on that?

What gas coaches are having few problems, or are known for high quality and high satisfaction. We are new to this, so I really don't know. We did look at some Thor Aces the other day...they seemed quite bit lower in materials quality and fit and finish to me.
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