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Old 12-13-2018, 09:13 AM   #1
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Major Breakdowns on a DP

I have read more than a few posts about major breakdowns of DP powertrain. We all know those parts are expensive, however I am a little confused as to why a power train that is designed to go a half a million miles seems to implode on so many people at 40,000 miles. I suspect we are only hearing of the few with bad luck so I am asking for those with DP to tell us what power train issues you have or have NOT had with your units. I know a lot of people have this same question.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:44 AM   #2
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I have owned a 96, 99, '03, '11, and our current '13 DP. Not one of them had a powertrain problem. All of them were trouble free with just annual lube, oil and filter changes. In 22 years of DP ownership, I had one compressor and one alternator fail. IMHO any failure of the DP drivetrain under 200,000 miles with proper care is rare. There have been certain large Cummins engines with valve failures, but they are a very small percentage of DP engines in motorhomes.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:44 AM   #3
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Mine was an air drier/controls that failed which meant the suspension wouldn't stay up and brakes would lock. Required towing, low-boy trailer, to FL shop for repair. Several other trips with no issues including to AK, a 4 month trip.

As far as what you have read here or other forums, no one writes in to say they had a trip and nothing broke.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:53 AM   #4
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This video explains it - basically the rubber parts (seals, hoses, and such wear out with age (not mileage).

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Old 12-13-2018, 10:04 AM   #5
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Have had three DP's, one with a 300 CAT 3126, one with a Cummins ISC 350 and now one with an ISX 650.
Only had the 3126 for two years so no troubles. Had the ISC for 13 years, one starter and one alternator. No other problems even after I installed a Banks kit and it's new turbo housing.
The ISX is another story altogether. You can go to the Cummins engine forum here and read for a day or two. So far I'm out close to $25,000 and will schedule another $25 - 30,000 rebuild in January. Only 4,000 miles and less than three yeaes since the last one. Cummins can't tell me if the new valves were used so I'll get it rebuilt before it happens again on the road someplace.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:18 AM   #6
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Tough question to answer. First of all, those "million mile engines" refer to the time between a major engine rebuild, i.e. pistons and crankshaft and such. There is no claim that injectors or pumps or turbos last indefinitely and they each have a typical lifespan that is shorter than the base engine block & innards. Second, commercial fleet uses that get that kind of life also provide extensive maintenance, often preventive style based on predictive analysis. Third, some (many?) RVers neglect routine maintenance or ignore time-based recommendations because their mileage is so low. Fourth, vehicles that sit still a lot are vulnerable to contaminated fuel and oil, dried out seals and rubber parts, reduced lubrication and similar problems unrelated to mileage.


Last, a $10,000 repair is cause for shock to an RVer, whereas it is an expected cost of business to a truck fleet. If you read truck fleet media or blogs, you will see discussions of failures there as well, but usually focused on what to do about them and how to prevent rather than a lot of OMG!
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blang311 View Post
I have read more than a few posts about major breakdowns of DP powertrain. We all know those parts are expensive, however I am a little confused as to why a powertrain that is designed to go a half a million miles seems to implode on so many people at 40,000 miles. I suspect we are only hearing of the few with bad luck so I am asking for those with DP to tell us what powertrain issues you have or have NOT had with your units. I know a lot of people have this same question.
Well Sir,
You kind-a answered your own question. You have read more than a "FEW" posts... First off, in the RV world, as in lets say just the U.S., how many are members of this forum or, even other RV forums? Not a clue. But, I'd bet almost my house that, its a very, very small percentage of the folks that have an RV lifestyle out there.

Second, a "Few" posts on drive train issues, even by the ones that are members, represents a very minute amount of folks who drive diesels. If you think that there's some substantiation to this, you ought to cruise on over to one of the Jeep forums, especially the JK forum and read just some of those. If one was even thinking about buying a Jeep JK, and didn't know anything about them, and was pointed to those forums, you'd think every JK on the planet is totally ridden and plagued with problems.

Again, of all the Jeep JKs on the planet, just how many are having real issues, vs the total amount of them on the road? And the same can be said for diesel RVs. If one could actually tally ALL the diesel pushers on the road and then, tally any and all that have had major drive train issues, I'd say it's very, very small.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:51 AM   #8
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Will have owned our DP 11 years as of next month. 47K and 10 years old when purchased. 100K now and will be 21 years old as of next March.


C8.3 turbo-charged 325 HP Mechanical Cummins engine married to the Allison 3060 six speed transmission.


No drivetrain issues.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:07 AM   #9
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Over the last 15 years I have had 3 Motorhomes, the last 2 were diesels, a 2003 5.9 Cummins and a 2012 Maxxforce 10. I put about 40,000 miles on each of the diesels and only had a electric fuel pump go out on the Maxxforce. The fuel pump cost me $400 and I replaced it myself in less than an hour. I have had bigger expenses with some of my cars so whatever you have read is not a fair assessment.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:09 AM   #10
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No mechanical issues at all in three years of travel
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:33 PM   #11
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Have a 2008 Cummins 8.8l ISL, with 59,000 miles on it. Put about 13,000 miles on the motorhome last year. Have had two issues.
1) The water pump went out.
2) EGR cooler was replaced.
The ISL EGR cooler is a known problem. Usually goes out 45,000-55,000 miles. Cummins replaces with an ISX cooler and an adapter kit.

Other than those two issues, drivetrain has been good.
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blang311 View Post
I have read more than a few posts about major breakdowns of DP powertrain. We all know those parts are expensive, however I am a little confused as to why a power train that is designed to go a half a million miles seems to implode on so many people at 40,000 miles. I suspect we are only hearing of the few with bad luck so I am asking for those with DP to tell us what power train issues you have or have NOT had with your units. I know a lot of people have this same question.
This question comes up every week or so. Here's the result of a search for "expensive DP repairs" on iRV2.

https://www.google.com/search?q=expe...earch=irv2.com

It's really a crap shoot, but the odds are stacked in the owners favor because the great majority of people who own a DP never have an expensive engine or transmission repair. I'm sure that is little consolation to those who have though.
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AE Wanderer View Post
Have a 2008 Cummins 8.8l ISL, with 59,000 miles on it. Put about 13,000 miles on the motorhome last year. Have had two issues.
1) The water pump went out.
2) EGR cooler was replaced.
The ISL EGR cooler is a known problem. Usually goes out 45,000-55,000 miles. Cummins replaces with an ISX cooler and an adapter kit.

Other than those two issues, drivetrain has been good.
3fbftt
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:03 PM   #14
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I've had one DP out of 9 motorhomes. I never had a problem with the frequency of DP break downs, my own or the ones I've heard about. It is the average cost of DP break downs that made a forever gas motorhomer out of me.
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