Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-20-2014, 09:15 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
DraginRat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 113
Just how reliable are these things???

We've been full timing for about 10 years now, but just recently moved up to a diesel pusher (2002 Holiday Rambler Imperial-ISL370).

Had a Jayco TT, a Carri-lite 5th wheel, and even a 1990 Holiday Rambler on a P-30 chassis. As you may well know, none of those even come close to the complexity or cost of our new unit.

It came with a number of issues, but all of them the result of bad maintenance, no maintenance, or just plain stupid.

But, while searching iRV2 and other on-line sources for information on my known issues, I have come across a lot of posts about things that might go wrong, things that are known problems, the high cost of operating and maintaining and repairing these things.

Like I said, we are full timers, and plan on putting many miles on this coach. Should I be worried every time I crank it up, pull a grade, or just park it for a week or so?

While we do expect to have periodic maintenance costs, and the occasional repair bill, we certainly do not have deep pockets, and don't know what we will do if this things starts to fall apart on us.

Hopefully, I am just being overly worried, and things will go just fine. But, what are your experiences with the cost of owning and operating a DP motor home.

Ken Gasbarri
__________________

__________________
DraginRat is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-20-2014, 09:36 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
jplante4's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Nor'easters Club
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cape Cod Mass
Posts: 316
Yeah, you're probably just suffering from internet issue syndrome. When you read these forums (and I read 4 every day), it seems like DPs are broken down on the side of the road everywhere you go.

As with anything mechanical, it all pivots on the maintenance you can get done on a regular basis, and where that Mx is performed. CAT/Cummins shop for the drive train and chassis lube, RV repair shop for appliances etc. Somewhere in the docs you got with the coach is a maintenance schedule. Having this stuff done at some interval will minimize the issues but not prevent the occasional breakdown.

I do things a little differently. I do/have done an annual inspection like they do on airplanes. The entire coach is gone over every year and worn parts are replaced or repaired. Fluid and filter changes in the motor, every other year I do a cooling system flush, every third a tranny flush. We only do about 6000 miles a year.

Things need to be run on a regular basis whilst on the road. Run the genset with a load for a few hours a week. Run the furnace once in a while to burn off moisture and blow the cobwebs out of the ducts. Run the A/C through a cycle (compressor kicks on, temps comes down, thermostat kicks off) once a week. Washer/dryer, vacuum, anything with a motor should be exercised.

I can't over-emphasize the importance of lubrication. Have a can of CRC and high temp lubricant in your tool box and whenever you're looking for something to tinker with, start lubing. Locks, dump valves, pac brake, hinges. I do a good lube before winter storage and again when I pull it into the driveway in March.
__________________

__________________
Jerry & Jeanne
1996 Safari Sahara 35' - White Tiger
Cape Cod
jplante4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Steve Ownby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cosby, Tn
Posts: 6,396
Ken,

My wife & I have lived full time in a coach that is a close relative of your Imperial for 8 years now. It has been an extremely reliable home/vehicle over those years. I suspect that once you catch up with the faults of the PO you will be fine. Here is a fairly comprehensive listing of maintenance point on your coach. It looks a bit overwhelming at first but some items are on a pretty extended schedule. Pay particular attention to servicing the transmission. Many owners neglect this so a PO who was prone to neglect may not have serviced it at all.

Complete base line service for Cummins diesel motorhome:

Engine: filters to be Fleetguard
1. Oil/filter
2. Fuel filters (2)
3. Coolant filter if equipped and test/ adjust SCA level if standard coolant. Change coolant @ 5 years. Add extender at 3 years if OAT type coolant.
4. Air filter if over 3 years old. Inspect plumbing between filter and turbo inlet for evidence of dust. Inspect CAC plumbing.
5. Inspect hoses & belts.

Transmission: filters to be Allison high capacity.
1. Change filters @ 36 months & top up.
2. Change fluid @ 48 months or test sample.
Always use TES295 fluid as approved by Allison.

Chassis:
1. Complete lube including lifting front axle from ends to unload king pins.
2. Including 3 zerks on steering column and one zerk on steering box.
3. Change Hydraulic filter & top up.
4. Change air dryer cartridge @ 2-3 years.
5. Grease front wheel bearings 3-5 years or change to oil hubs & inspect.
6. Change differential gear oil @ 3-5 years.
7. Inspect brake surfaces.
8. Inspect oil level tag axle hubs.
9. Inspect both chassis & house batteries. Make sure all connections are clean & tight. If flooded lead acid, check & top up with distilled water monthly.

Generator:
1. Oil/ filter
2. Fuel filter
3. Air filter
4. Perform valve lash, belt/ hose replacement and generator unit service before 2000 hours. Replace thermostat and coolant @ that time.

AquaHot:
1. Replace fuel filter
2. Replace burner nozzle
3. Exercise tempering valve.
4. Inspect coolant level at top of AquaHot unit and at expansion tank.

Inspect and clean all battery terminals.





Steve Ownby
Full time since '07
__________________
Steve Ownby
Full time since 2007
2003 Monaco Signature
Steve Ownby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 09:47 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Cat320's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
American Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4,749
One thing to keep in mind about these forums. We post questions and problems. We do not post about how we just had a month long 3,000 mile trip and all went fine.
__________________
2014 American Eagle 45T
DD 500
Pulling a Honda CRV
Cat320 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 09:55 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Old Scout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,932
Steve O. has covered the specifics here but in general, it is mostly about risk management and cost avoidance. All MHs are subject to break downs due to system/part failures or normal wear and tear. DPs are often contructed with long-haul trucking components, so reliability is increased but so is cost if something does break. Whether gasser or DP, labor charges often exceed parts cost for many repairs. The more you can do yourself, the more costs you can avoid. Periodic and long-term maintenance schedules will also help. Newer Vs olders rigs doesnt always mean fewer problems, or lower cost. Extended warranties can provide peace of mind but require upfront outlays. So determine your risk tolorance, off-set costs with DIY where you can and indemnify [insurance] if you must. Safe travels!
__________________
Old Scout
2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas
Old Scout is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 10:01 AM   #6
Member
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 63
Does this unit have the problem with the trailing arms and/or the radiator ?
__________________
2007 Winnebago Voyage F35L Ford F53
2014 Honda CRV
1SG Retired US Army
OLD1SGT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 10:04 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Steve Ownby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cosby, Tn
Posts: 6,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by OLD1SGT View Post
Does this unit have the problem with the trailing arms?

The only trailing arms issue I'm aware of is certain years of the old Monaco Coach entry level chassis. The OP is on a Spartan chassis.


Steve Ownby
Full time since '07
__________________
Steve Ownby
Full time since 2007
2003 Monaco Signature
Steve Ownby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 10:29 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Pigman1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,939
I can appreciate your concern with the rig, but I think perhaps you are loooking for problems where they might not exist. The two keys to using and enjoying your RV are periodic maintenance and just using the RV. As far as maintenance is concerned, many times just bringing the unit somewhere and telling someone to do a xx,000 check is not enough. Unfortunately there are too many people and businesses out there that are only interested in taking your money and not in doing the job right. THeir attitude is-- once you're out of sight they'll never see you again and you won't want to come back. Although I have found my share of these guys, and that's the reason I do most all my own service, you don't have to go that far. Knowing what has to be done and WATCHING them do it is just as good. Asking probing questions of the tech, and knowing that this or that needs to be checked is in some cases just as good. Yes, that does mean you need to be knowledgeable of what's in the books and checklists, but it also means you need to be crawling around in and under the unit to see what's seeping, loose, missing screws and parts, or just what's going on. A good service shop that lets you watch, talk to the techs and explains things EXACTLY is worth it's weight in gold and is worth coming back to time and again.

The second part of that mix is using the RV. As complex as these things are, it seems that they actually fail from wearing parts out through use very seldom. More likely they fail through non-use. We've run a 2005 Diesel Bounder and a 2008 Allegro Bus more than 75,000 miles in 3 and 4 years respectively, and when we traded them they were in great shape. Carpets were clean, wood was refinished where it got dinged, ALL systems worked as well or better than when new and I'm sure the dealers who took them were happy as a clam to take them as a trade in. The more you use these systems the better they work. Not only that, you see the impending small indicators that are giving you a hint of bigger repairs down the road if left unattended.

We now have 33,000 miles on the new Bus and are looking to put an additional 7,000 or so on it in our upcoming snowbird trip and then an additional 11,000 on it for an Alaskan trip this summer. These things were made to be used and you need to use them to know how they work and to keep systems exercised and working properly.

Get as many books as you can on your rig and start developing your own maintenance checklists. Many things are already in the books on what should be done when, but don't be afraid to modify them. If your books say to lube the brake cams on the brakes every year and you find them just fine each time you do it, let it go to 18 months and then check. Same for adding things like lubing the hinges on the basement compartments. How many people do these and when? My books don't call for it anywhere but I do it every year, along with the door lock and latch mechanisms and the entry door. Add to your checklist and do it your self or get someone else to do it. Pull the covers to your air conditioning units to check for chafing wires, leaves and pine needles and general condition. Put it on your checklist. How many people check the grease buildup in their vent fans or lube the the mechanism and hinges on the vent covers? Again, add to the checklist and determine your own interval. Finally, consider getting a fluid analysis on your engine oil, antifreeze, trans fluid, power steering fluid, and perhaps jack fluid. These things can foretell of problems well before they become huge.

Finally, when you have these things being done and done right, you will save yourself the worry of the what if and really get to enjoy your rig and travels.
__________________
Pigman
2013 Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QGP
2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 Toad
Pigman1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 11:11 AM   #9
Cat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 534
They are all hand built, so you can get good and not so good and really bad. My MH has been used once a minimum of once a month since we bought it new and the last 4 years full time. I perform the maintenance and stay on top of all the recommended maintenance. We have had a HEUI pump failure, both front wheels bearing seals started leaking, 3 water heaters tanks--tanks cracked at weld,one ac fan motor, engine fan bearing fail, weather pro awning control fail, weather pro awning motor failure, every 4 months remove and clean the water heater mixing valve, very poor operation of Norcold 1200, every cabinet spring hinge has worn out, Shurflow ceiling vent fan 3 times,Slendide washer dryer main control failed. There's more but thats not my point---- just be prepared,do your maintenance and do regular top to bottom inspections. And keep you fingers crossed. And enjoy having all stuff with you when you travel.
__________________
Cat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 11:54 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 141
If you own a DP, you must be, to some degree, a do-it-yourselfer, otherwise it will be in some sort of repair shop frequently.

I like to equate them to buying a US built car back in the 70's & 80's, when you buy it new, it comes defects and little things are constantly needing repair, adjustment etc.

But, if you like a challenge, there are always some sort of problem to solve.
Maybe it will help fight dementia :-)?
__________________
bobguigley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 05:25 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Old Scout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,932
"If you own a DP..." so does this mean if you own a gasser instead, you will never have any issues--think not! Fact is, if you own a motor home, you will need some DIY skills, or you will need a big, sweaty, wad of cash. Think the same could be said if you own a "stick-built" house. Just sit back and enjoy the ride--only a blessed few of us will ever have the chance to enjoy the RV experience!!!!!
__________________
Old Scout
2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas
Old Scout is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 05:40 PM   #12
Senior Member


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Satsop WA
Posts: 1,212
Just offering my opinion here. This not a bash of anyone's post or thread and is not intended to hurt anyone's feelings.
I am as far from dyi as there is. It cost me more to do the work myself.
Having said that we have enjoyed our coach, a dp, without 1: me working on it, or 2: spending wads of cash to keep it operational.
__________________
2007 Alpine Limited SE
TMan59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 07:16 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
alpha99's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,035
Just how reliable are these things???

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMan59 View Post
Just offering my opinion here. This not a bash of anyone's post or thread and is not intended to hurt anyone's feelings.
I am as far from dyi as there is. It cost me more to do the work myself.
Having said that we have enjoyed our coach, a dp, without 1: me working on it, or 2: spending wads of cash to keep it operational.

+1

...
__________________
alpha99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 07:17 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
alpha99's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,035
Just how reliable are these things???

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha99 View Post
+1

Guess I've been lucky, or just got a good one. At 22,000 miles now on my 2011 DP and only had regular maintenance (oil changes, greased at Freightliner and Cummins), and a slide awning replaced that ripped out in a 95 mph storm in Kansas.

Everything, including the Norcold, works perfectly and has for the two years I've owned it.

.....
__________________

__________________
alpha99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Things I learned from our first trip in the class C DallasOregon Class C Motorhome Discussions 16 11-14-2014 09:37 AM
Man the things that happen when you leave.. beenthere Class A Motorhome Discussions 9 10-24-2014 10:17 AM
NY to FL. Things to do along the way pattypom Navigation, Routes & Roads 3 10-21-2014 09:12 PM
Things to do and see in Idaho & Montana Stargazer66 Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 28 03-21-2014 04:45 PM
Places to stay, things to do Natchez,Ms Catcoach Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 11 03-19-2014 08:04 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.