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Old 06-26-2012, 03:27 PM   #15
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 1,200
Everyone has the right to their opinion, and I respect everyone's opinion, but I like to work with facts as much as possible. Here is an actual break down of the maintenance costs for our coach (5.9l Cummins 300 hp Diesel) and for our tow
vehicle Saturn Vue with (Honda 3.5l 250 hp V6 gas).

I'm not suggesting these data are true for everyone or that this is the only way to intrepet your costs, but these are our actual costs. It should also be noted that we do all of our own maintenance except where we can not do it ourselves. These procedures aren't that difficult even for our pushing 70 years of age. The data is based on following recommended manufacture intervals. NOTE: The Vue has an automatic oil change reminder and that is what we follow. Also note a gas motorhome will cost a bit more than the Vue because it has a larger crank case capacity. And lastly note we drive our coach 10000-15000 miles a year, so we don't run into a time to change issue. We do have friends that use oil analysis to determine when to change their fluids, so they may change in fewer miles, but their interval is still around 2 years for their engine oil change.

Vue Cummins
Recommended Oil and filter change 4000 15000
$22.00 $70.00
Brand use (WIX filters in all Castrol Rotella T
capacity 5 qts. 17 qts.
Recommended Trans. Fluid change 100000 25000
$250.00 $90.00
capacity unknown 10 qts. filter change
Brand GM done by GM Valvoline

Air Filter 15000 Life Time
$22.00 $175.00
Brand WIX eFE

Comparing both costs based on 50000 miles, and keeping in mind that we do all the maintence ourselves except for the Vue which requires GM to do the transmission fluid and filter change.

Vue 12 oil changes 3 air fliter changes $330.00
No Transmission Changes 0.00
total $330.00

MH 4 oil changes no air filter changes $280.00
1 transmission oil/filter change $90.00
1 air filter $175.00
total $545.00

car is less expensive Difference -$215.00

If you run the numbers out to 100000 miles the data is more dramatic.

Vue 24 oil changes 6 air fliter changes $660.00
1 Transmission oil/filter Change $250.00
total $850.00

MH 7 oil changes no air filter changes $490.00
2 transmission oil/filter changes $180.00
1 airfilter $175.00
total $845.00

MH is less expensive Difference $5.00

A more realstic way to look at the numbers would be to compare the Vue at 100000 miles to the MH at 50000 miles. In that case:

Vue 24 oil changes 6 air fliter changes $660.00
1 Transmission oil/filter change $250.00
total $850.00

MH 4 oil changes no air filter changes $280.00
1 transmission oil/filter change $90.00
1 air filter $175.00
total $545.00

MH is less expensive Difference $315.00

I purposely left out tires and generator costs because we have no way to compare gas generator costs to our diesel generator, and tires typically need to be changed at the same interval whether a gas or diesel motorhome. I'm also not saying these are the only costs, but the tend to be the easiest to ocmpare. there are certainly more costs like chassis lubrication, battery replacement, etc., but in general these should be about the same for both gas and diesel motorhomes.

IMHO there is virtually no difference in the maintenance costs of a gasser vs a diesel:

1. If you do they work yourself.
2. If you drive your coach a reasonable distance every year.
3. Maintenance costs will increase in both units if you don't drvie the coach very

Jim and Lynda, (Sophie, Jake, attack trained killer Shi-Tzus :-))

2003 Fleetwood Expedition 38N 2005 Saturn Vue
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:35 PM   #16
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Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 22,359
Having had both gas and diesel I'll take a diesel everytime. I do my own maintenance on the MH's too. Stuff for a diesel costs more but you do it less often. Pretty much a wash in my book.
Been RV'ing since 1957, didn't get into it because it was cheap I do it because I like it!

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '05 Odyssey
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:09 PM   #17
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Posts: 145
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
JMHO. Avoid the Cummins 5.9, ISB,great engine in a P/U but, not enough torque for the weight of a DP.
The 5.9 ISB in my 97 Discovery is fine. Gross weight is 24,850, towing max is 5,000. I have no problems in the big hills here in the West loaded to near gross most of the time, or 29,850.

Am I the first to the top? No, but not far behind and getting nearly 10 mpg loaded to full gross. Can easily do the 60 mph I want on the freeway with no down-shifting on the rolling hills. Works for me.
97 Discovery 36RS
00 Subaru
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:32 PM   #18
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Glen Ivy, Ca
Posts: 17
Smile Diesel, hands down

Originally Posted by GreaTOne65 View Post
I would like to add my $.02 to this discussion, we have owned 4 motorhomes, starting in '76. We bought our diesel, a '99 Discovery in '03, and if we had bought this one first, we wouldn't have had to own the other 3, this thing is fantastic, for ride, drive and quiet.
Same here. No more white knuckles going down hill. Pulls any hill with load and does not break down. Turned 100,000 miles last month and I do my own maintenance. Really not that hard, just a lot more bottles to open and bigger filters and wrenches. A Beaver, Travel Supreme, Top Model Monoco, etc. used is like buying a used Lexus, it works and goes forever.

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diesel, gas

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