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Old 04-10-2014, 11:34 AM   #1
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How much are you working on your DP?

I have heard over and over about the amount of maintenance that is required on the DP. Can someone quantify that for me? Hubby and I will be weekenders for at least a year (if we buy now) and don't want to be ready to head out for the weekend and have issues every time.

Thoughts??
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:48 AM   #2
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We have our oil changed and filters checked when we are in the Cummins shop for our annual DMV inspection. Other than that, we really haven't had anything appreciable for maintenance. Just normal stuff with no real major issues over 17,000 miles. Our rig is in storage for six months of the year, but we just go to the storage place, plug it in, start it up and off we go. We find that our diesel is a lot less of a hassle than our gas rigs were.

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Old 04-10-2014, 12:03 PM   #3
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We take long trips every summer putting on 6,000 to 10,000 miles. I change the oil, lube and filter before winter storage, that's it. Fuel filter every other oil change or 15,000 miles. A DP is good for 15,000 miles between changes or once a year. A gasser is 3,000 miles with a quarter of the oil, so it averages out about the same. Both take a fuel additive if stored for a long period of time. A DP to prevent algae, a gasser to prevent varnish.

I do my own maintenance so the cost is only for materials. Oil at Walmart, filters from the best price online.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:39 PM   #4
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I have heard over and over about the amount of maintenance that is required on the DP. Can someone quantify that for me? Hubby and I will be weekenders for at least a year (if we buy now) and don't want to be ready to head out for the weekend and have issues every time. Thoughts??
Here is Speedco's standard price list. Most motorhomes are either medium or heavy duty service. The gearbox referred to is not an Allison auto. They will not do those. Most locations will also have Fleetguard filters. They will do generator service at most locations.

This does not include the air dryer service which is 2-3 year schedule depending on the system. Allison service which is 3-4 years or by fluid testing. Coolant drain/flush/fill which depends on which coolant. There are other items like wheel bearings, rear end lube which are service points on gas units also.

http://www.speedco.com/ea0e724f2f_si...eetJAn2014.pdf
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:57 PM   #5
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So far it doesn't seem like you all have the issues people keep referring to. Many of my questioning posts end with someone telling me to be prepared to work on them a lot.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:07 PM   #6
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In almost all cases if you keep up on the proper maintenance and check things and
not wait until they go south you will not have problems.
However if you choose to put things off and get every last mile you can out of things
that is when you start working non stop on them.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:09 PM   #7
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We are definitely not the type to ignore maintenance, especially on something that expensive!

I just worry about heading out for the weekend and the thing being broken down.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:17 PM   #8
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I worked way more on gas rigs than diesels.
A rule of thumb is if you take care of a diesel it will take care of you, abuse it
and it will set fire to your wallet.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:17 PM   #9
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So far it doesn't seem like you all have the issues people keep referring to. Many of my questioning posts end with someone telling me to be prepared to work on them a lot.
We have lived full time in our 11 year old coach for 7 years now and it has about 100k miles. The coach had about 40k miles and was 3 years old when we purchased. We moved in about 9 months later. The first two years we owned our coach, we had all PM service at the dealership where we purchased. Over that time, I became familiar with the requirements and I have done all required PM since then. I have been very fortunate and I don't want to call down the hand of fate, but my diesel chassis has not had a failure during that time. I've had a few small house type issues that I have been able to deal with but nothing expensive or time consuming. Those, of course, would apply to any RV, not just DP.

Many times the posts on these forums are folks looking for answers to a problem. It gives the impression that everyone has problems all the time.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:31 PM   #10
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We are weekender campers also the big difference is they both get the oil changed yearly no matter how few miles you drive but instead of say 6-8 quarts mine holds 34. Either one has maintance if done you will lots of enjoyment.
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:59 PM   #11
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I have heard over and over about the amount of maintenance that is required on the DP. Can someone quantify that for me? Hubby and I will be weekenders for at least a year (if we buy now) and don't want to be ready to head out for the weekend and have issues every time.

Thoughts??
ie2special
I've owned my coach for 13 years and driven it 105k miles.
Over those years/miles I've spent the most time repairing things that break or fail to work.
However I've spent far more $$ on required/scheduled maintenance.

In my experience, one can/will prevent major problems/breakdowns by religiously following the scheduled maintenance requirements.
BUT, I have found that there is no way, (other than parking and not using the coach), to prevent the many irritating problems, (both minor and major), that constantly crop up.

Weekend trips have a seldom been a problem but keeping everything working properly during long distant, months long, travels is has been difficult.
Imagine how well a house, (it's furnace, air conditioner, WH, electrical and plumbing systems, furnishings, appliances and other contents), would hold up if was subject to a minor earthquake for hours a day!

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Old 04-10-2014, 04:18 PM   #12
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On our 03 Phaeton it was change the oil, filters and lube once a year for eight years. One alternator replaced under warranty. That's it. On our 2011, we had a accelerator warranty for the year we had it. Then we bought our Bus. Had a loose alternator wire and did some suspension work that was at my request. Wasn't necessary, but I wanted it done and Tiffin did it at no charge. The increased maintenance cost referred to, is usually the annual servicing. More oil and a little more time.
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:26 PM   #13
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As someone has already said, it's not the "D" in DP that will cause you the problems. Engine/transmission problems are certainly in the minority. But a DP of any age is one complex beast. Probably the most common problem is electrical (not electronic)--something just quits working, or no longer works as it should. And of those problems, a great many of them are due to connection issues, most commonly ground connections that have failed or become intermittent. Those problems intensify with age--vibrate that huge beast with common road conditions and connections just fail...the older it is, the more often they fail.

A good bit of that can be prevented by systematically going through your coach, renewing connections. Pull apart all plugs and spray with contact cleaner (or my favorite--WD-40) and re-connect. Remove all fuses and do the same. Seek out every ground connection you can find and renew it. It has been my experience that an older coach can drive you nuts with one minor electrical problem after another...UNTIL you decide to devote almost an entire weekend to "preventing problems that have not occurred yet". That takes a special kind of person, and few folks will do it.

I had a 1993 Monaco Dynasty that had one minor electrical problem after another. When it finally struck me that 95% of them were connection problems, I devoted one entire weekend, and went over that coach from one end to the other, including behind the dash. My case is probably unusual, but I never again had one single "gremlin". I had a fuel cut-off solenoid burn out, and a headlight switch give up the ghost, but that was it.

If you buy a DP, carry spare fuel filters, a spare fan belt, and heavy battery cables that you can use as jumpers to bring your genny into service should you develop serious alternator/DC charging issues, and need to continue your trip.

In summary, YES, there is usually a good deal more maintenance in a DP compared to a much smaller, less complicated Class C, for instance. But few of the problems have anything to do with being a diesel.

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Eastern NC
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:59 PM   #14
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Prior to my present 13 years in this DP, I had 10 years in a 31ft gas GeorgieBoy class A. Routine maintenance on the Dp is comparable but slightly more expensive. I have done the maintenance on both myself. With both, the routine "house" failures apply equally. (house water pump, broken water line fittings, roof air conditioner capacitor, Carbon monoxide detector, etc) can occur on any trip but are usually repaired at the time or when back home. Overall reliability so far would go to the DP. One trip in the gas engine was interrupted, turned around, by the Ford 460 blowing the manifolds. One side was repaired on the road, $$$, and the other I replaced at home. Both rigs eventually required replacement of the refrigerators at 10-11 years.

DP is quieter, better ride, better mileage, and better appointed. If you have the choice, it is probably the better one.

As others have posted, staying on top of the routine maintenance is the key to either chassis...
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