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Old 11-29-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
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How many miles on your Cummins diesel?

I have been under the assumption that MH diesel engines typically go 500,000 miles. Yesterday I was talking to a guy who managed a trucking company all his adult life, and he says that the Cummins diesel typically only lasts about 250,000 to maybe 300,000 miles, whereas the Cat diesel will last a lot longer. What has been your experience on this?
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:40 AM   #2
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How many miles on your Cummins diesel?

J&A,

I have the CAT C12 in my coach, and several in my OTR fleet.
The coach has few miles, 60K, but we did recently do an in frame rebuild on one of the fleet CAT C12. It had 483000 mile on it, and there was very little wear on the internal components. It was still running pretty good but was starting to use a bit more oil. Other than that, I think we could have run it another 200K miles before it really needed much work.
So, as I can't really speak to the Cummins maybe this can be a point of reference for CATs.

Luck,
Bob
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:31 AM   #3
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I think the first question I would have is how many people actually have 250,000 miles on their coaches. OTR drivers do because they drive at least 8 hours a day almost every day of the year. If it is a determining factor in which coach you buy is that really the issue how long before it has to be rebuilt. I personally look at the floor plan and my wife looks at the appearance of any coach we looked at. Both engines have a long history of being used in Coaches with a lot of trouble free miles.
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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Thought I would do a little looking and found this site, thought you all might be interested in it, lol.
Cummins High Mileage

Look at the members, the highest I see is over 2 MILLION miles!!!
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
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I know that CAT will give you a hat if you can show them you have a million miles on one of their engines. I used to think that I could qualify before my 150th birthday, but we aren't putting as many miles on these days, so it might take me until my 160th!

I think the issue of engine lifetime is rather irrelevant for RVers; well-maintained engines made by either CAT or Cummins will last a lot longer than we will.
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:50 PM   #6
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Yes Cats last longer, but cost more and you need a Cat tech working on Cat motors. They are VERY technical. One thing to consider is, many more generic mechanics will work on a Cmmins than will work on a Cat.
How you drive and what you are trying to pull, or push have a lot to do with how long any motor will last.
Preventive maintenance and some good old common sense can add up to dollars and cents.
If you have the opportunity to get to know an owner operator truck driver, you will discover that most owner operators take care of their equipment far better than the average company truck driver.
Oil samples are a good way to get the inside scoop on what is going on inside the motor. Oil samples are fairly inexpensive, and can give you a great deal of information about the motor. Have the results reviewed by a tech that can help explain them to you. This being said, mileage on a diesel is not the only factor for doing major over hauls.
Dyno tunes are also a very good source of information. If the power and compression is still available, and the motor preforms well, with only minimal oil usage and no significant issues identified in the oil sample, keep on truckin.
My guess is that we have more than enough torque and horse power in most of these RVs and if regular preventative maintenance is done, these motors should last longer than the average. I will give the average Cat
350-400K and the Cummins a 300-350K Personally I like Cat motors, but I have little bad to say about Cummins when everything is considered.
One large factor to consider about diesels is that each gallon of fuel is almost like a light oil being flushed through the motor in combustion. Along with the demands put on the motor manufacturers by trucking companies has brought on technology and development of good motors that last a long time. Remember when a truck is out of service the cash flow on a very large investment stops.
When all is said and done, I believe if you flip a coin, you will probably end up with just as good a decision as to which motor will benefit you more.
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docj View Post
I know that CAT will give you a hat if you can show them you have a million miles on one of their engines. I used to think that I could qualify before my 150th birthday, but we aren't putting as many miles on these days, so it might take me until my 160th!

I think the issue of engine lifetime is rather irrelevant for RVers; well-maintained engines made by either CAT or Cummins will last a lot longer than we will.
so true.

My 1994 5.9L 6BT had 107K when I bought it, has 120K now. Barely broken in is how I feel about it.
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:55 PM   #8
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About 80000
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkiewicz View Post
Yes Cats last longer, but cost more and you need a Cat tech working on Cat motors. They are VERY technical. One thing to consider is, many more generic mechanics will work on a Cmmins than will work on a Cat.
How you drive and what you are trying to pull, or push have a lot to do with how long any motor will last.
Preventive maintenance and some good old common sense can add up to dollars and cents.
If you have the opportunity to get to know an owner operator truck driver, you will discover that most owner operators take care of their equipment far better than the average company truck driver.
Oil samples are a good way to get the inside scoop on what is going on inside the motor. Oil samples are fairly inexpensive, and can give you a great deal of information about the motor. Have the results reviewed by a tech that can help explain them to you. This being said, mileage on a diesel is not the only factor for doing major over hauls.
Dyno tunes are also a very good source of information. If the power and compression is still available, and the motor preforms well, with only minimal oil usage and no significant issues identified in the oil sample, keep on truckin.
My guess is that we have more than enough torque and horse power in most of these RVs and if regular preventative maintenance is done, these motors should last longer than the average. I will give the average Cat
350-400K and the Cummins a 300-350K Personally I like Cat motors, but I have little bad to say about Cummins when everything is considered.
One large factor to consider about diesels is that each gallon of fuel is almost like a light oil being flushed through the motor in combustion. Along with the demands put on the motor manufacturers by trucking companies has brought on technology and development of good motors that last a long time. Remember when a truck is out of service the cash flow on a very large investment stops.
When all is said and done, I believe if you flip a coin, you will probably end up with just as good a decision as to which motor will benefit you more.
Seems funny to me but I have 30 years of Detroit experience but would rather work on Cat than Cummins. Being Detroit factory trained I find Cat easier than Cumin's. I wonder why?
My 2003 Dodge 5.9 has 400000 and still running strong.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
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Very valuable input here from a mechanic of 30 years. I believe that he has probably maintained the vehicle and done PMS on a regular basis. I would appreciate anybody who has accomplished high mileage to share here how they accomplished such a worthy deed.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greystroke View Post
About 80000
Is that between Oil Changes or Overhauls?

With Decent annual service, running this engine in your RV, you will No longer be eligible for a Driver Licence before this engine wears out.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkiewicz View Post
Very valuable input here from a mechanic of 30 years. I believe that he has probably maintained the vehicle and done PMS on a regular basis. I would appreciate anybody who has accomplished high mileage to share here how they accomplished such a worthy deed.
All I have ever done is regular oil changes and good injector cleaners add every 5 tanks of fuel. Also keep an eye on your induction system. All hoses tight etc. Other than that nothing special. I also believe in keeping the temp up and using the proper cool down methods. Dodge or as they now say RAM has excellent engine management information in the drivers handbook.
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I have been under the assumption that MH diesel engines typically go 500,000 miles. Yesterday I was talking to a guy who managed a trucking company all his adult life, and he says that the Cummins diesel typically only lasts about 250,000 to maybe 300,000 miles, whereas the Cat diesel will last a lot longer. What has been your experience on this?
My DP has 147,000

1994 MA 8.3 Cummins 300HP
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:25 PM   #14
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1999 Dutch Star DP 300 Cummins 147,000 miles and going strong !!!
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