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Old 07-20-2010, 04:00 PM   #15
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I'm a do it yourself type. After reading this post I'm never going to get a DP. My lowly F53 chassis is about as complicated as a pickup to fix once you get over the size difference in parts. While in Alaska last year I remember complaining about the $65 I had to pay for the air filter.

What I don't get is this. If the DP drivetrain is so robust why are the intervals for maintenance so short?

I might think about a gas pusher but never diesel. The numbers bother me. I think it bothers the owners of DP's as well from what I see in the cost cutting ideas.

It's like watching my buddy take his Ferrari in for an oil change or worse yet a valve adjustment. I'm glad (very) it's not me.
I can certainly understand that point of view. I've never owned a gas coach but from the experience I've gained over the past 3 years with my diesel I've come to the conclusion that it's very hard to justify owning a diesel based upon cost alone. I think gas would win the "objective" arguments time and again.

Having said that.... I'll never own anything BUT a diesel. Go figure... the best reason to own one is because you WANT one...
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:04 PM   #16
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"Having said that.... I'll never own anything BUT a diesel. Go figure... the best reason to own one is because you WANT one... "


I agree with that reasoning.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:20 PM   #17
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LOL! You diesel owners, you!

I'm really glad everyone has chimed in with all sorts of experience, advice and general know-how. I really value all of it! Having no idea how much this is vs. that, I now have a good starting point for the routine maintenance end.

And, in all the research I'm doing, I'm finding BOTH diesels and gassers that i really like! Always love new (who doesn't!), but also seen a ton of nice used rigs. A lot of this will depend on "right-place-right-coach-right-time" too. Sometimes you just fall into a great deal.

I have plenty of time to look, and that's the fun part! Hopefully by this time next year, I'll be posting in the new rig showoff section!
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by WOODYDEL View Post
I'm a do it yourself type. After reading this post I'm never going to get a DP. My lowly F53 chassis is about as complicated as a pickup to fix once you get over the size difference in parts. While in Alaska last year I remember complaining about the $65 I had to pay for the air filter.

What I don't get is this. If the DP drivetrain is so robust why are the intervals for maintenance so short?

I might think about a gas pusher but never diesel. The numbers bother me. I think it bothers the owners of DP's as well from what I see in the cost cutting ideas.

It's like watching my buddy take his Ferrari in for an oil change or worse yet a valve adjustment. I'm glad (very) it's not me.

Don't let my post discourage you. I personally tend to go overboard, but my coach was a significant "investment" -- I can't see the logic in NOT (over)maintaining it. Again, not all of those items need to be done annually.

Based on discussions with other owners and manufacturers regarding what THEY see from customers, a good number don't adhere strictly to the maintenance schedule. For example, very few change the gear lube in the cooling fan gearbox (if applicable) - most just top off the hub oil - some go years and years without ever changing the diff fluid, if they ever do - and there's a good number that follow trucker schedules (miles only) in terms of other maintenance. Their rigs seem to be just fine, but I'm not going to chance it personally. There's enough problems with RVs without contributing to them myself.

As for the intervals being so "short." Again, some follow mileage-only schedules and for an OTR truck that sees tens of thousands of miles per year, that's fine. For an RV that spends a good portion of its time parked in varying climate conditions, there's issues of moisture, corrosion, etc... which is why: 1. Most (if not all) manufacturers recommend driving the rig once a month or so to keep things lubricated and in order. 2. Performing maintenance based on mileage AND time.

Some just do a fluid analysis and perform maintenance that way. Allison actually states you can modify maintenance intervals by performing an analysis. There's certainly nothing wrong with that and it can obviously be more cost-effective than "wasting good oil" - but I'm just the type that doesn't feel comfortable with that. A bit of a blow to the checkbook, but I like the peace of mind.

If you have the opportunity to drive both - I don't think you'll worry too much about cost of maintenance... pre-purchase anyway.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:53 AM   #19
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I was in exactly the same place you are until this year. I spent two and a half years debating this exact issue. For the majority of that time I thought the DP was the only way to go, but then a veteran rver that has owned both, pointed out the cost differential of maintenance between the two, which got me thinking about considering gas models. The box on top of the chassis is not that much different. We toured the Winnebago factory where ours was built and the construction of the motorhome itself is the same quality whether it is going on a diesel chassis or gas. Also, when we are 8 to 10 years away from retirement and won't be traveling in our rig more than 3 to 5 k a year. We also discovered that you can get a newer, nicer motorhome in a gas model for the same amount of money than you can in a diesel. I have driven both and I will admit that the air ride of a DP is smoother than mine, but mine is cheaper and easier to maintain, but for me it was a logical decision to go with the gas and one I don't regret. Also, the rig we bought (2004 Adventurer) was one of those "right place- right time" deals we couldn't walk away from. One owner, bought brand new, used 4 seasons, husband died, wife needed to move on kind of coaches that we got for way less than low, low book! Also less than 50% of new!
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:19 AM   #20
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Thanks! My main takeaway from all this is that the diesel IS of course more for maintenance, but (for our budget) it's not crazy-more like I was imagining. In other words, I don't have to rule it out completely in my searching just based on the higher upkeep costs alone. For our price range, we're looking at used on that one; new(er) on a gas rig.

I've talked to a few people this summer who own newer gas units, and they are thrilled with them (and the ride), which is good to hear. All have been casual/vacation users, which is what we are now and will continue to be into the future. Interestingly enough, the people I've talked to are driving their rigs stock (no added steer safe, track bars, etc.). Nobody felt the ride was such that they had to make it "better". Good to know. Also good to know is that there are aftermarket options to help with the ride if need be. Also good to know.

I've already ridden in the diesel - and I get what you all have been telling me. It's super nice!

Next step is for me to actually ride in a gas rig. This is harder to do since many of the local dealers don't want to take you out in one unless "you're really serious about buying". I am, but not until next year or so. I guess if they took everyone out for a test drive who asked, they'd rack up some mileage and gas expenses, and the smaller guys just can't handle the overhead - especially in this economy. When I narrow down on the ones I'm serious about, I'll push for the ride. Right now I'm on the fence between a few of them, and still looking...

I'm also looking forward to the Hershey show so I can see for myself some of the new gas units that we're looking at as well.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
I've talked to a few people this summer who own newer gas units, and they are thrilled with them (and the ride), which is good to hear. All have been casual/vacation users, which is what we are now and will continue to be into the future. Interestingly enough, the people I've talked to are driving their rigs stock (no added steer safe, track bars, etc.). Nobody felt the ride was such that they had to make it "better". Good to know. Also good to know is that there are aftermarket options to help with the ride if need be. Also good to know.
Go6car, regarding the ride of a gasser, I'd suggest just adding about $4000 to your cost analysis to cover all those chassis enhancements, that others say they don't need. If you search this site for shocks, sway and trac bars and steering wheel death grip, you'll find lots of discussion by folks who had to spend that $ on the enhancements to make their gas chassis enjoyable to drive, less exhausting and more importantly, safe to drive. (my most precious things travel with me.)

Still won't get you to that great air ride of a DP but in my opinion a better solution.

For how we've come to use our coach over the last 3+ years, I'm still glad about buying the winnie on a W-24 chassis.

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Old 11-08-2010, 04:20 PM   #22
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I have never owned a gasser but when I travel in the mountains, I am sure glad to have that air-brake system to help me slow the coach. I am not aware that any gas coach has a system like it. The suspension system also is a lot beefier than any gas coach. I feel a lot safer piloting a DP vs. any gas coach.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #23
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I have never owned a gasser but when I travel in the mountains, I am sure glad to have that air-brake system to help me slow the coach. I am not aware that any gas coach has a system like it. The suspension system also is a lot beefier than any gas coach. I feel a lot safer piloting a DP vs. any gas coach.
I've never owned a gasser either... and for the same reasons you purchased a diesel. However, because of that, I think it's really hard to compare the two. At the end of the day it's really comparing apples and oranges because of the vast difference in cost. Just my humble opinion.

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Old 11-08-2010, 09:49 PM   #24
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... I am sure glad to have that air-brake system to help me slow the coach. I am not aware that any gas coach has a system like it.
We've got a gas coach & it has an engine braking system. It does really well keeping the coach slowed going down a grade without riding the brakes. Like Rick said, it's apples to oranges, but the engine braking works fine for our coach.

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:23 PM   #25
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I have my annual service done at the Freightliner Service Center in Gaffney, SC. It usually runs in the $700 - $800 range including one year when year when I had the radiator cleaned ($170) and last year when I had the valves adjusted ($250). I don't have a clue on a gas rig.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:58 PM   #26
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Annual service for our Bounder runs in the $250 range & takes about 3 hours. That's oil, lube, filter, as well as a 50 point inspection that includes: checking tires, belts, hoses, all fluids, drive shaft, joints, gear cases, tie rods, steering, pumps, shocks, exhaust system, batteries, lights, signals, gauges, instruments, mirrors, hitch, heater, a/c, wipers, fire extinguishers.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:10 AM   #27
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i own a gasser and wanted a diesel bad mainly for the ride.. But it wasn't in the cards at the time. But now after owning a gasser i am very pleased with it. Yes i know its not a diesel with all the features they have chassis wise and as far as maintenance a gasser will always be less and cheaper to fix ..... i have talked to many diesel owners and many tell me if they had to do it over they would get a gasser since most don't travel full time ....
Thats just my 2 cents worth but there is nothing like the sound of that diesel chugging along and maybe one day i will own one if its in the cards.
whatever you choose be thankfull you have it and most of all
ENJOY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:31 AM   #28
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Big difference is Weight, Weight, and Weight.

Gas can haul 28,000 lbs and Diesels double that plus some.
so if you need to haul a lot the -Diesel is what you need.

The construction on the upper end gas box, is the same as the typical DP pusher.

Brakes, AIR is bigger but you have double the weight to stop!!!

Ride - Air is better.

I choose what fit my needs and the floorplan that DW liked.

Maintaince cost is 1/3 as much and easier if you are a DIYer

Got love America ,you can still chose.
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