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Old 01-15-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
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Getting more confused

Seemed like we were getting closer to a decision and now I'm getting more confused.

Is it true that it's hard to find a good place to get a diesel motor home serviced? I've read a few posts where people are lamenting the difficulty of keeping a diesel motor home up and running.

There just aren't many well-priced diesel motor homes up here in Alberta...think we may have to revamp our plans and come down to the States to buy one.

Or...back to the beginning...maybe we should just settle for gas.

I'm whining...off to watch tv and take my mind off this eternal internal debate.

Thanks for any insights.


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Old 01-15-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
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Here's my advice, for what it's worth. Simply go and look at as many as you can in your price range. Find a FLOORPLAN that seems comfortable and workable for you and your needs. IMO, the powertrain/chassis is secondary to how the coach "lives." Most powertrains are reliable in newer motorhomes. Find a coach that you can afford and that you love. (It's very much like shopping for a home...it's gotta "feel" right.)

Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
.......2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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Old 01-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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Hello Barbra, I live in Edmonton, we are on our 2nd DP, service for the driveline has been easy to come by in Alberta. There are many good shops such as Cummins and Waterous. What I won't have done in Canada is any other MH work. The shops here just don't get the customer and our passion to gets repairs done right the first time. Each trip o a local service center always has a return trip.

We bought our 2nd coach off a ad on rvonline.com the owner was in Ontario, simple transaction and all went well. I however, would be comfortable buying one in the US and importing it.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:30 PM   #4
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Any good truck shop (Freightliner, Cummins, CAT, Kenworth, etc.) will be familiar with the needs of your diesel chassis and should be able to maintain it for you. The challenge is to find one of these shops who WANT to work on a motorhome. Many do not, due to things like having the engine under the bed, having to gain access to the engine from the inside, etc. My personal experience is that many truck shops will do the work for you, but their rates may be higher to work on a motorhome vs. an OTR truck.

Many RV shops also have the capability to work on, and in fact, specialize, in diesel motorhome maintenance.
'07 Winnebago Journey 34H - CAT C7, Koni's, MCU's, SS Bell Crank, Safe-T-Plus
'07 HHR Toad, SMI AFO, Blue OX
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:36 PM   #5
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Motor home service is a consideration. Many locations do not have people who will work on them and sometimes you have to be resourceful. Once a neighbor helped me. As for a gas vs a diesel, in the states it does not seem there is a difference. I bought a gas unit thinking the auto dealers would do service on them. As it turned out it was harder to get a large gas unit serviced locally. The physical difficulty in getting access to the components are major challenges which must be over come with many service people.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
Here's my advice, for what it's worth. Simply go and look at as many as you can in your price range. Find a FLOORPLAN that seems comfortable and workable for you and your needs. IMO, the powertrain/chassis is secondary to how the coach "lives." Most powertrains are reliable in newer motorhomes. Find a coach that you can afford and that you love. (It's very much like shopping for a home...it's gotta "feel" right.)
X2, you will be spending much more time "Living" in the coach, than driving. If you ask owners why they went from one unit to another, it's going to be "It feels better".

Fred and Bonnie
2005 Dolphin LX 6375
Abby, Ruffles & Scarlett, "The Cats"
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:54 PM   #7
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First define you usage!

Are you going to be a snowbird and just go North or South and then sit for long periods? Or are you going to be on the road most of the time?

For Snowbirding a gas coach might be better for you and less costly to boot. If on the road most of the time then a DP might be better. We planned or extensive travel so got a DP but so far we haven't been able to quit and go.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:05 AM   #8
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If you start looking in the states, then start looking here.....Rook

Used RVs, Motorhomes for Sale, and Consigned sales - PPL Motor Homes
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:15 AM   #9
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For mechanical service it helps to check the following website:

RV Service Review

Since cleanliness is an issue for repairs on a MH, and much of the engine has to be reached from inside you need to be proactive.

1. Buy some of the plastic carpet saver rolls available at most big home stores like Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Put down the plastic before you get to the service center.

2. Get some big sheets of cardboard to lay down around the bed, or closet panels that give access to the engine. I use sheets big enough to fold up against the walls for a foot or two. This way the lower walls are protected from the mechanics boots.

3. Think about getting some disposable "booties" from a medical supply store for the mechanics to put on when entering the coach. Some service shops use them all the time and some mechanics will not be happy with them. You just have to size up the situation and make your own decision.

4. Buy a couple of cheap rag-type floor mats to put at the entrance to the coach.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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I drove past a Motor home sales lot in Quartzite this morning that had alternating U.S. and Canadian National flags displayed, and a sign stating something like "Canadian financing available."

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Old 01-16-2012, 11:43 AM   #11
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I've had both a gasser and a diesel, the gasser 11 years old, the deisel 3.

Newer is better. My dp is 3 years old and as perfect as any machine could be. The gasser, at 11, had stuff wearing out that needed to be fixed.

All motorhome owners need to be "Do It Yourselfers" or have wallets that they need a wheelbarrow to carry. Only nonDIY boat owners need a larger supply of available cash.

Diesels are better because they are quieter and smoother and ride better.

Gassers are better because they do not cost as much to own or run.

As always, just MHO.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:33 PM   #12
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Is it true that it's hard to find a good place to get a diesel motor home serviced?

Quite the opposite, with a DP you have the entire Speedco network available to you for engine, generator and chassis service.

Also, there are plenty of Diesel Truck Service Centers that are quite happy to service your diesel.

Today, while leaving Treasure Coast RV in Fort Pierce, I stopped at CrossRoads Truck/RV Lube & Repair Center. Got my chassis thoroughly lubed for $31. In and out in 20 minutes.

While at CrossRoads I learned they will be happy to perform the Allison transmission service and replace my air filter when it is due in addition to normal oil and filter changes.

If you get a side radiator DP, the techs do not have to enter your coach in order to perform these services.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

1998 American Eagle 40EVS
Cummins C8.3 325HP
Allison 3060 Transmission
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:26 PM   #13
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I have a rule... if its over 34ft, NO GAS... I don't care if you're going north or south twice a year, a DP is WAY COOLER wherever you are... You haven't "Arrived" until you hear the sound of the airbrakes discharging on YOUR OWN MH... Come on, we're all big kids who love that sound... it means power, it means prestige, it means YOUVE MADE IT!!
Of course i'm being a little silly, but for the most part, I'd have to agree with everyone on here... Get what you like for the inside if you're going to live in it, and if you're going to cruise across the country, get a DP... I know i would!!
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #14
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PPL Motorhomes

Just a note on PPL Motorhomes in Houston. We live here and have been there a number of times. The good news is that they have a lot of RVs to choose from. The not so good news is that they are all on consignment unless they took one on trade in for a customer. Either way they do not do much if anything to the unit until you buy it or pay for an inspection. Even if you buy, they will charge you to fix most anything on it.

It seems that most people who consign there just drive it in and drop it off. The cosmetics are usually rough. The mechanicals might be ok but you really need to get them checked out before purchasing. They are not like a RV dealer who also sells used units. They are a business designed to sell (promote, advertise) someone else's RV.

If you want a fixer-upper, then this might be the perfect place. They do not sell cheap like an individual might because they make less commission if they do and the seller would not be too happy either.

This is not to say I would not consider them but be cautious. Also, do not buy without seeing first hand unless you are willing to deal with the unknowns.

The most expensive units might be the best condition, but I did not look in most of those as they were too $$ for my needs and wants.


John & Deanie, Corky and Benji (best buddies)
2001 National Marlin 390 DP
"Try to live up to your dog's opinion of you."
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