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Old 12-26-2008, 02:06 PM   #1
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We are thinking of a used DP or a Fred. Mostly for it's pulling power.I have been told that a pusher needs to be run once a month.I store my Rv in a barn where I can not get it out to do this in the winter.Also I drive a new 05 VW diesel and the maintenance cost are unreal.Are the DP cost unreasonable other than oil changes?I need to pull a trailer with a race car in it, weighting 6000 pounds or so.Can a Ford or Chev. 35 foot Rv do this?I am not looking for a money pit.The Fleetwood Excursion or Discovery has got my fancy.In a gasser I prefer a Ford.Do all DP's have air ride?I know the Fred does not.
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:06 PM   #2
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We are thinking of a used DP or a Fred. Mostly for it's pulling power.I have been told that a pusher needs to be run once a month.I store my Rv in a barn where I can not get it out to do this in the winter.Also I drive a new 05 VW diesel and the maintenance cost are unreal.Are the DP cost unreasonable other than oil changes?I need to pull a trailer with a race car in it, weighting 6000 pounds or so.Can a Ford or Chev. 35 foot Rv do this?I am not looking for a money pit.The Fleetwood Excursion or Discovery has got my fancy.In a gasser I prefer a Ford.Do all DP's have air ride?I know the Fred does not.
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:53 PM   #3
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Hi tqracn,
Pulling a 6K lb trailer will limit what you can consider. For every coach that catches your eye, the first thing I would do is check the hitch specs and the total GVWR and NCC.

Back to your questions about diesel costs. My coach takes no maintenance except for the annual oil, fliters and chassis grease. When someting breaks, on a diesel, it is usually big $s to fix. However, because the diesels are supose to be heavey duty, one should not have anything but normal maintenance for 50K + miles. As far as having to run the diesel once a month, I think not. There are many opinions on the, that's mine and I sticking to it. Do the annual maintenance before you put the coach to "sleep" for the winter. Take good care of the batteries and fuel and you should be fine.

The only difficulty I see with the gas chassis is the ability to haul the weight mentioned in your OP. Whenever one runs a mechanical piece of equipment near or at its' maximum spec you can count on considerably more wear and tear the you might expect. As best I know, all DPs have air ride suspension.
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:04 PM   #4
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tqracn, you are right on... VW priced themself out of my market..... had 23 VW's in my life, but the 2002 TDI is the last one... will be towed south, when we fulltime...and snowbird.
MOST DP have Airbrakes and Air suspension!!!
I just got my airticket for the Newmar 2007 Kountry Star 3910.
RVgreetings from a snowedunder (nearly 3 ft) Vancouver area
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:37 PM   #5
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I had 10 Vw's and this 05 Passant 2 litre Tdi has a oil pump chain that along with the T belt HAS to be changed every 100k to the tune of $3000.
This has soured me on Diesels forever.However,
What about a Fred.It seems that being up front, might be the best of both worlds.Has it got the stuff to pull the 6k trailer?
The Tiffin 35 foot Allegro Bay with the Fred is the only option I would look at.
By the way , those hills in North Van must be a thrill to drive on?
Stay safe.
Dan
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:44 PM   #6
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I tried the Fred out at Oconnor's. It was gutless and noisy even though it probably had the best made coach (slightly heavier) on it - Triple E Commander. Comparing it to my gas model (8.1). It dosn't have air ride or brakesand the retarder was usless.
I would think of a DP for the slight cost increase as there will be many additional features and a increased load capacity.
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:23 PM   #7
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You might want to take a look at Allegro RED Tiffin's new entry level DP. It should have tow capacity you are looking for.
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:38 PM   #8
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I love FRED's, since I grew up with front engine Diesels......., but they can't beat a DP.

I still love the TDI. Yes, You are right on...
for my 2002 TDI, the chain job cost us ONLY $800
canuck Dollars....incl. waterpump. Yes - every 100,000 they are looking for a NEW chain.
3,000 US $ sounds like a RIP-Off!!!?
I'm out of warranty (over 165,000 km), so a good aftermarket SHOP
(VW / AUDI) gets my busines.... The young man got his papers in Germany at a VW shop.
First we get all the snow and now it will go up to the lower 40's and lots of rain...
Can't wait to be a SNOWBIRD or Texas / NM Cowboy again.
I still think a DP is worth the money. Maintenance interval is longer...
and you have a smooth ride to the track, and will win lots of races!!!!!?

slip sliding greetings from the Great White North
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:20 PM   #9
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The 2 litre TDI has the oil pump running off the crankshaft with a chain.The old TDI's did not.They are failing as early as 150 k .At 220k all highway miles ,I had a noise the dealer had never hear before.After changing all the fan belt tensioner and guides , along with the altenator clutch pully they did the T belt and found the oil pump tensioner laying broken in the pan. They now are recomending the oil chain along with a T belt.It was $3000 canuck bucks not US.
I checked the Tiffin Network site and did not see any info on the "Red" DP.
I wonder if it got it's name from Red the tour guide at the factory?
I drove a Fred last summer and was not really in a position to see if it had a lot of power, as the salesman was there.
I have a buddy with a Allegro Bus and he has had alot of Freightline issues, like overheating an oil change with on 16 quarts of oil rather than 25 ,and air conditioner pully failure.Plus the dealer in Savanana Georga moved it out of the shop with the slide out and damaged the slide.When it was at another dealer in NY the $6000 special TV got stolen.They would not cover it.There was no signs of forced entry.He had left it at the dealer and rented a car to go home to Canada.
These stories do not leave me with a warm and fussy feeling towards Freightliner.To be fair , this buddy has the worst luck I have ever heard of.
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:50 PM   #10
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If I were you I would look for a good used DP with a 10,000 lb hitch and a 10,000 lb tow rating. Many motorhomes only have a 5000 lb rated hitch so you need to stay away from those.

Bob

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by tqracn:
We are thinking of a used DP or a Fred. Mostly for it's pulling power.I have been told that a pusher needs to be run once a month.I store my Rv in a barn where I can not get it out to do this in the winter.Also I drive a new 05 VW diesel and the maintenance cost are unreal.Are the DP cost unreasonable other than oil changes?I need to pull a trailer with a race car in it, weighting 6000 pounds or so.Can a Ford or Chev. 35 foot Rv do this?I am not looking for a money pit.The Fleetwood Excursion or Discovery has got my fancy.In a gasser I prefer a Ford.Do all DP's have air ride?I know the Fred does not. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:51 AM   #11
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Not all DP's have air ride or air brakes. This will need to be investigated on any entry level DP you might consider. The maintenance on the diesel will not be any higher (if the engine and drive traine have been properly maintained) than on a gas coach and over the long haul is probably less.
Good luck and keep us posted. Good luck at the races.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:48 AM   #12
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I just read infomation on another forum regarding DP maintenence. It looked to me like the numbers ranged from $2,500 to $4,000 per year.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:59 AM   #13
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Although, I do my own maintenance, I think if I paid someone else to maintain the drive train for $2500 a year is steep. To maintain the whole coach might run this but you would have to do it on a gas coach too.
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Old 12-27-2008, 05:01 AM   #14
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After we bought our DP, we learned first hand why maintenance costs can be so high. Because I was worried about the volume of old coolant on an anti-freeze change, I took our RV to a shop that advertised lower labor rates. Indeed, they charged $85 per hour versus Freightliner Oasis $110 per hour. The bill for the anti-freeze change was $500 with parts listed as 2 gallons of coolant @ $20 each. Using the labor rate charge, that meant that they claimed almost 5 hours labor to do that change. I had a similar bill for the front wheel bearings when all they actually did was drain and replace the oil. When you start adding engine oil changes (@$250), genset maintenance (@$250), and some of the items that have to be done every 24 months or 24K miles, you can see how easily costs can mount up even without repairs. By contrast, I did the coolant change myself this year, including the use of distilled water (they didn't), 5 gallons of coolant as should have been done on our 10 gallon system, all new hoses, I had $250 and 4 hours of my time in the result. I also used a flush to clean the system which required more thorough rinsing. I cannot imagine what their costs might have been for the work that I did. I will admit that it was challenging dealing with the 30 gallons of old coolant that I collected (from the initial and then 2 dump and fill cycles). I have the satisfaction of knowing that the job I did was correct versus the "professional" approach that I had paid for.

I do all my own maintenance now. In looking at the actual costs, it runs around $1,000 average per year, including everything.
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