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Old 10-14-2013, 09:19 PM   #1
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Movin on up

Recently traded in my 35' gas Winnebago MH and now have a 38' diesel Fleetwood Bounder Turbo Diesel. The toad I have just didn't work with the gas coach. What are some of the things to be aware of with a diesel as compared to a gas coach? I know the fuel expense is higher but the power is much better.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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Your annual maintenance spending will quadruple. Anything that breaks with the engine or chassis will cost substantially more than the gas coach. Tires are much more expensive due to the higher load rating requirement. Also your insurance will be more due to the higher valuation of the diesel coach.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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Had a 2000 39z Bounder diesel. I moved from a gas Tropical. Do the maintenance on the Air system. I repeat do the maintenance. I did have some minor over heating issue which finally was diagnosed as a cracked thermostat. I loved the the rig. I am not sure what year you have. My AC units were great. The rear AC in the bedroom was always colder then the front unit. I changed my fluids and lubed myself. I had some problems with the basement doors always not centered. There is a tab that kept breaking. I am not sure if they fixed that problem. Had my windshield pop out the top twice. Finally they epoxied it in and that seem to fix the problem.all and all I was thrilled with my rig. I sold it when I divorced but the memories live on. Enjoy the ride. It's a nice entry diesel. I had an ISB 275. Be careful on long climbs up 6% grades. Down shift to maintain RPMs.

-Brian
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #4
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Do your annual maintenance items. Maintenance on a diesel is more expensive.......Well maybe not. The correct answer is: it depends. Preventative maintenance, oil, lube & filters should cost about $300 to $400 for a diesel. Last year my annual was $325 at freightliner. A gas coach runs about $125 to $150. The service intervals vary and that's where the "it depends" comes in. Oil, lube & filters for Freightliner are 15,000 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first. Gas is usually 5,000 miles or 1 year whichever comes first. So if you're putting 10K on your gas coach per year you're probably close to breakeven. Non-preventive maintenance on a diesel is going to be quite a bit more expensive than gas.

While your fuel cost per gallon will increase; your fuel cost per mile may decrease. When I made the switch I was getting about 7 miles per gallon on my gas coach. I now get about 10 MPG on my 38ft DP. A 30% improvement. My break even point on fuel is $2.80 per gallon on gas when diesel is $4.00 per gallon. Right now in GA diesel is about $3.90 and gas is about $3.15 so my cost vs gas is favorable.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowrv39 View Post
Had a 2000 39z Bounder diesel. I moved from a gas Tropical. Do the maintenance on the Air system. I repeat do the maintenance. I did have some minor over heating issue which finally was diagnosed as a cracked thermostat. I loved the the rig. I am not sure what year you have. My AC units were great. The rear AC in the bedroom was always colder then the front unit. I changed my fluids and lubed myself. I had some problems with the basement doors always not centered. There is a tab that kept breaking. I am not sure if they fixed that problem. Had my windshield pop out the top twice. Finally they epoxied it in and that seem to fix the problem.all and all I was thrilled with my rig. I sold it when I divorced but the memories live on. Enjoy the ride. It's a nice entry diesel. I had an ISB 275. Be careful on long climbs up 6% grades. Down shift to maintain RPMs. -Brian
Thanks for the info. I had a 2005 Winnebago gasser and this new to me is a 2007 Bounder 38N Turbo Diesel. The upgrade is Awesome. I know that that the maintenance is more costly but I think it's longer between service. You mention the maintenance on the Air System, what is involved in that? I do have some mechanical skills so that doesn't bother me.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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What to be aware of??? Ummm! A bigger Wallet! Congrats on your purchase and hope you enjoy all you!r travels. Be Safe
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:29 AM   #7
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The air system should be moisture free. Drain your tanks to remove the moisture. There should be some pull chains on the passenger side behind the wheels. Pull them and the air will e released from the air tanks. At that time I had a Bounder 39z. Lots can change n terms of location but all diesels motor homes have the same set up. LAstly there is an air dryer which has a filter. I think the name of it is Hadley <I just can't remember> but that filter and gasket should be changed as per the maintenance interval. Why? Because I was almost stranded on the side of the rode when I was on my way to deliver my coach for routine maintenance. While waiting the tech came out and showed me the cartridge and it blew apart. In New Mexico while heading east I lost all air. I had to bypass the air dryer because again it failed. Turns out I had a major air leak before and they did not clean out the lines correctly. Once the problem was resolved the system was fine. You will have a great time driving the diesel. Also check you pressure in your tire when your tires are cold. And before I forget. When you load your RV for a trip or when you have it setup and loaded you should have your rig weighed and adjust your tire pressure accordingly if needed. Someone else should comment on this also. This is just prior experience that I had with my former rig. Happy trails.

-Brian
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:28 AM   #8
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Good information and testing process before departing on your next trip.

Takes about 5 minutes to test your air system.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:28 PM   #9
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Dean read my mind. Excellent advise that should be used before moving the coach out on any trip, regardless of length!
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