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Old 09-19-2011, 05:30 PM   #1
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Low miles on a diesel

Been looking at DPs on ebay and notice most diesels for sale that are 4 to 8 years old have less then 20,000 miles on them. I was told by more then one diesel repair shop that is bad for a diesel. Average use should be 15,000 or more each year. So to all the DP owners whats up.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:48 PM   #2
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Cost of ownership issues. Unless you are retired most people use theMH for short trips weekend trips and may have a longer trip with family. Unless you commute with MH daily or a full timer, very unusual to put that many miles on the unit.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
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My parents have a 03' pusher with 40k. They (retired) do maybe 10 local extended weekend trips during the warmer weather here in Ohio and winter in South Texas....
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:31 PM   #4
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Iunderstand some or most put few miles on a diesel. My question is that bad for a diesel. We do about 5,000 miles per year and have passed on a diesel because of the low miles. It looks like most with diesel do less then that. Is there a lot more maintenance and repair with low miles.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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Most rv's sit more than they are driven unless it was owned by a full timer, would be my guess. There is not more maintenance because of low miles because you are going to do it at least yearly anyway. There is no question DP are more expensive to buy and maintain. Diesels do need to be run, I go on a lot of short trips since we still work and have very low milage.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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Most maintenace requirements are for a certain mileage...that we normally don't get, or annually, which ever comes first. So the maint is the same. The driving is so much easier and more pleasant in a diesel than a gasser, to me it's worth the cost of the diesel over a gasser.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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I still work full time and put on average 8 to 10 thousand miles a year. We go somewhere almost every weekend and take a 2 week long trip every year. I like the diesel for the power and they have a lot heavier chassis so they drive like dream.That's my story and I'm stick'en to it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:19 PM   #8
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Thank You! Driven DPs Are A Better Deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikron View Post
Been looking at DPs on ebay and notice most diesels for sale that are 4 to 8 years old have less then 20,000 miles on them. I was told by more then one diesel repair shop that is bad for a diesel. Average use should be 15,000 or more each year. So to all the DP owners whats up.
We saw the light, bought our 2005 in January with 84,000 miles on it. It has performed like a gem, and we've driven 6,000 problem-free miles already!

But, emotion not logic rules in the marketplace. Dealers tell me our rig is worth much less, because of the mileage. Never mind that the NADA guide says mileage doesn't enter into the appraised value of DPs (my private opinion is that documented steady use should raise, not lower, the sale price).

Unless they have no integrity, they'll also sing the same song when it comes time to sell

Buyers, you can use the effect of mileage to your advantage: buy regularly-used rigs at lower prices and enjoy better performance!
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:40 AM   #9
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mikron,

I would think that your 5,000 mile annual usage would be fine for a diesel. Heck that's a little over 400 miles per month average. If you want a DP, I say go for it. If you can get a good deal, go with your gut feel. Life is to short to have any regrets.

When we purchased our new to us 2004 coach the end of January this year. It had 28,000+ miles on the odometer. We have added about 8,000 miles to it in seven and a
half months. It is a wonderful coach. The ride and the handling are awesome. We get 8.5 mpg pulling a 4,200 lb toad and running the generator for the a/c.

Before I retired, I didn't put 15,000 miles on the car I drove back and forth to work every day.
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:56 AM   #10
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To actually answer your question, I would be "leary" of a several year old MH with less than 20K miles. Did it sit for years with no use? How was it maintained? Were the annual (not mileage) maintenance requirements met?
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H. Miller View Post
To actually answer your question, I would be "leary" of a several year old MH with less than 20K miles. Did it sit for years with no use? How was it maintained? Were the annual (not mileage) maintenance requirements met?
in complete agreement. I bought a 05 fleetwood expedition 38N. It had 22000 miles on it. It soon became obvious that the maintenance had not been perfomed as it should have been. we (includes my son) put 16000 miles on it. On our first trip, had fuel filter problems with the inline fuel filter clogged up with grit and old fuel problems. After the fuel filter issues the engine and transmission performed flawlessly.

on my first and only long trip to Michigan, had slideout issues in Oklahoma, a/c issues the entire trip, electrical issues until we traded it.

almost all of the issues were from neglect of maintenance. No matter what you buy, be it a DP, gasser or even a 5er they are complex with many systems which must all be maintained. Running a vacumn, dusting and wiping down is cleaniness and housekeeping, it is not maintenance.

I traded the 05 for a 09 Damon Astoria with very low miles and even with a 09 model year found some issues from neglect of the coach systems but I have all of them corrected now and I am fairly happy with the coach, it should give me years of dependable service.

The point is, there is more to a MH than the engine and transmission, no matter what you buy.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:00 AM   #12
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Ask for maintenance records if you find a low mileage DP that you like. Ours was five years old and only had 35K on it. For the first year we bought an extended service plan, even though expensive for the peace of mind. Never used it for any engine related problems but still nice to know it was there. We also have road side assistance, just in case.

One of the fears of low mileage is that starting but not running a diesel up to operating temps can create moisture inside the engine that will shorten its life. Not always easy to do if you just need to move it a few feet. A tech at Cummins said if you could not take it for a drive to idle it until it reached operating temp but they don't get warm easily just sitting. Another is that as stated some maintenance items are mileage or annual. An example is oil change. 10K miles or one year. At twenty something quarts and $30 filter makes it hard to justify when you only put a few thousand on it but the year is up. Ours has had two oil changes in the last 6K miles.

When we first purchased ours it was also our first diesel of any kind. Made me nervous never owning one and not knowing much about them. Turned out they operate very much like your gas powered MH. The exceptions are loads more power, better ride and the noise is behind you.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:48 AM   #13
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Probably only run twice a year, south in the fall, north in the spring. We see that frequently here in the Great White North.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:59 AM   #14
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I think the answer would depend on the home location, ie, where it is parked when not in use. If it is located in the Eastern part of the country where high humidity and extremely high temperatures variations exist, then it "could" be a problem. But, that is a problem with any internal combustion engine, diesel or gasoline. Take this for what it is worth, IMO most of the negatives opinions, about this subject, expressed on these forums are BS. I mean no disrespect to anyone. Personal experiences may have some merit but without substantial background information, it would be suspect.

Annual oil changes, without substantial milage, is not required, IMO. Operator manuals, supplied by MH manufactures, are filled with CYA stuff. The same thing applies to engine manufacturers, to some degree. They are all based on use in extreme conditions. I winter in Yuma AZ and the MH sits for 5 months. I don't start it every month to bring it up to operating temperature. I have operated this way for years and I defy anyone to find any detrimental affects. I would think the best procedure would be to have your engine oil analyzed chemically. A $25 analysis is far cheaper than an unnecessary $200 oil change. It is my understanding that trucking company's use this procedure and can extend oil changes to one or two hundred thousand miles. One last comment, diesel powered farm equipment are often used only about three months and them sit idle for nine months and last for many years. I'm sure the owner does not run the equipment every month.

If your MH is not subjected to extreme temperature variations, while parked, then use common sense.

Jim E
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