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Old 05-30-2015, 08:17 PM   #15
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gas or diesel

I have had both, Fleetwood bounder with big ford v8, ford tranny, no slides, HR Ambassador 36 single slide, ISB cummins and Allison 1000 and our final coach Monaco Dynasty 40plus, tag axel ISL cummins and 3000 Allison.

The Bounder, 34J first coach, adequate power for weight, by current standards terrifying to drive, 16 inch tires at their limit, hard on fuel, V8 screaming like hell going up hills at any speed, had all of the amenities same quality and equipment as my holiday rambler diesel, pulled the car okay. Gas 5500 genny, marginal performance

HR Ambassador 36 PBS, like night and day, handling far superior to Bounder, ride far superior, power to weight much better, noise in the back priceless, better on fuel by a mile, equipped similar to Bounder, interior quality slightly better. All in all great coach for the money. towed car with ease but maxed out.. 7500 Onan QD, awsome

Monaco Dynasty Chancellor, 40 two slide tag axle, much more power, much better ride, superior tag axle handling, fuel milage not as good as HR but better than gas Bounder, quality, in another league, far superior to HR, aqua hot, Onan QD genny, genny slide, huge inverter big fridges, real tile, all real wood, huge towing capacity and ability with ISL, obviously larger in side, it is a great feeling and stress free drive when you have the confidence in your machine and can put on 1000's of miles without worrying and that's where we are at.

Then HR cost me twice what I paid for Bounder, and the Dynasty cost me 2 times what I paid for the HR or 4 times the cost of the Bounder. Worth every penny. changed tranny fluid yearly.



More to you question, the Bounder was the same as any large pick up, gas oil filters, frequent oil changes like 3 a year, The HR was same as any dodge pick up with cummins other than tranny spin on filter and one time synthetic oil change. but one change a year The Monaco, once a year 100.00 filters, 75 bucks in oil, one time synthetic change over for tranny and long life filters,


Generator service is a wash, aquahot ever two years if you have it, needs fuel nozzle and clean depending on use, brakes, DP will not need them, chassis grease is a wash, air dryer maintence every few years, dryer filter, same with hydraulics. Air filters, every year in gassers, every 5 in DP, a wash,


there ya have my experience FWIW



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Old 05-30-2015, 08:29 PM   #16
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All very good comments thus far. as for Cat vs Cummins, IMHO, they are equally as good but Cat chose to exit the highway market and thus Cummins is the most common ENGINE. My only priority would be a Side Radiator vs Rear Rad. Every thing you touch on the rear rad models is more difficult and thus costs more, IMHO. This is one of the reasons a lot of truck shops shy away from DP's in general.
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:30 PM   #17
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After having own three gas Class C MH's and two Class A DP MH's, even with the extra cost I will stick with the Class A, DP's. Yes they tend to cost a little more to maintain then the Class C's but one sure gets a lot more MH. Since I have done a fair amount of work on Cummins engine, that is what I wanted in our MH. Everyone has their favorite engine types, but they all have weak spots and will have issues if they are not maintained. As far as the coach maintenance goes, they all take a beating and need to be watched/worked on all of the time. Part of the 'trick' is to learn to do as much maintenance yourself as possible.
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:31 PM   #18
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Comparing the ride and comfort of the Class A DP is night to day versus the Class C.

I bought the Class C new the Class A used but the MSRP price was about 5 times as much.

As you say, worth every penny.
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:36 PM   #19
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Everybody just compares routine oil changes done at home. I took my Cat in for an oil change, that included all filters for both engine and generator, including the intake air filter.... that trip was $1000 +++

You are never going to have that with a gasser. I now drive a Newmar gasser 34' yes the difference in the ride is discernible, but not bad at all.

Bottom line, call Cat or Cumins and ask them the price of one injector.... like $1500.

Then with those engines, you need your valves adjusted every so often.. that is almost $2000 for full service of all belts and other adjustments. The reason is that gas mechanics work for $30 per hour.. Diesel mechanics get $100/hour, and they are very hard to find.

The final comment is that both the Gas and the Diesel are the same inside when parked. If you are a rock star and putting 40K miles a year on your rig, then it is a no brainer.... go diesel.

If you are the average user that travels for fun an may go 15K miles max, then go gas. Unless you need a 40' coach... then a gas chassis cannot handle it. The savings from diesel will not begin to match the rate of depreciation of the unit. Old diesels are cheap.
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
I think you've been misled about Cat-power service or expense. Both Freightliner and Spartan have used Cat engines in the past, so their shops all service them. As do nearly all independent diesel service shops. Further, few repairs are going to be strictly engine (basically the block, pistons & fuel injection). The cooling, fuel delivery, exhaust, alternator, a/c compressor, etc. all come from the chassis builder, not the engine company.

My DP with a 370 hp ISL Cummins and Allison 3000 tranny gets an oil change every year and a new fuel filter too. That's 7 gallons of oil, a $35 oil filter and a $30 fuel filter. The air dryer gets a new cartridge every 3 years, but it's $125 if I do it myself and double that for a shop. The engine air filter gets changed about every 3 years and that's another $125 or so (not all diesel air filters are that expensive, though). I've never changed my tranny fluid, but I get it tested every year since it was 6 years old. That runs $30/year. The tranny filters get changed every three years too, about $170 at a shop. The engine coolant lasts about 5 years and may need some coolant additives in between.

Some of these things would pertain to a gas engine too, but generally are less expensive.

Thanks Gary and all. Those maintenance costs are no problem and expected and seam reasonable. The horror stories outside of that is worrisome to say the least.
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:14 PM   #21
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tmw188,

"Hey Fire Up thank you for the great breakdown and explanations of the braking option differences. Seems like the exhaust brakes could be hard on the engines...? What about failures with those or repairs. As for as the Cat's go I'm with the understanding there aren't as many shops that will work on them and the Cat shops are extremely expensive? I am aware of the Cummins issues too to some degree and w/o looking back at old posts not sure which ones to stay away from either. That is why this process scares me a little. Okay maybe more than a little. That is why I am on here. "

You're most certainly welcome. As you've read here, there's lots of choices. The reasons for choice are numerous. As to your question on exhaust brake failures, well, I know quite a few boys with D/P units that have exhaust brakes and, as of yet, none have quit or broke. There is a tad bit of maintenance on them every now and then but, it's minimal. And, do they cause issues with or, are they hard on an engine that's equipped with them?

I've never heard of any issues with either make of engine, that was caused by the use of an exhaust brake. As for the CAT service centers, well, that's a misnomer too. The only thing about CAT that USED to be an issue was the fact that, they dropped out of the "over the road" engines a while back due to the fact that they didn't want to take on the issues of the smog requirements. There's lots more to that story but, that's the jist of it.

But, as I understand it, they're mosying back into the road market. I've seen on here, ads showing brand new dump trucks and more, equipped the newest and latest CAT engines. I cannot speak for Cummins parts and, as of yet, I've not really had to purchase too many CAT parts for our engine other than a serpentine belt, and a water pump belt. That's why I CAN attest to the durability and, dependability of CATs.

Working for SDFD for 30 years, we utilized all makes of engines over time. We eventually settled on the Detroit series 60 as the main power plant for years. But, we did have quite a few CATs and Cummins. They all served us pretty well.

I think, in all reality, you should take some time and go take a few rides in some Diesels and, some gassers and, then see and feel for yourself how they ride, how loud or, not loud they are, how they handle, how they stop (including the exhaust brake action). Look closely at interior cabinetry, fit and finish, exterior compartments, access to batteries, access to engines, and more.

If you have to, jot all that stuff down so you'll have a refferance for helping you with a decision later. There's a lot to consider in the purchase of motor home. Many find the type of engine, especially diesels, in the earlier years when both were available, down on the list of priorities. Floor plans, length, colors, and more was on the list of higher priorities.

So, good luck and happy RVing.
Scott
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
All very good comments thus far. as for Cat vs Cummins, IMHO, they are equally as good but Cat chose to exit the highway market and thus Cummins is the most common ENGINE. My only priority would be a Side Radiator vs Rear Rad. Every thing you touch on the rear rad models is more difficult and thus costs more, IMHO. This is one of the reasons a lot of truck shops shy away from DP's in general.

Yep on the side radiator if you can find one for sale. Sure that makes since all around. They don't want to enter your coach and get it dirty working on it and have to hear about it.
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:50 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=FIRE UP;2580302]tmw188,

"Hey Fire Up thank you for the great breakdown and explanations of the braking option differences.........................."

You're most certainly welcome. As you've read here, there's lots of choices. The reasons for choice are numerous. As to your question on exhaust brake failures, well, I know quite a few boys with D/P units that have exhaust brakes and, as of yet, none have quit or broke. ...................

Hello Scott,

One other braking option available besides exhaust & engine braking systems is a transmission retarder by Allison, I have this type of braking system on my Class A DP and love it. I do not know nor claim the transmission Retarder is better than other systems I just mention as another DP brake option. The transmission retarder is standard on a Foretravel Travel Ride Chassis Coaches since 1997 and I assume an option on Allison equipped coaches if the coach manufacturer offered.

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Old 05-31-2015, 12:59 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=Bondman01;2580354]
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
tmw188,

"Hey Fire Up thank you for the great breakdown and explanations of the braking option differences.........................."

You're most certainly welcome. As you've read here, there's lots of choices. The reasons for choice are numerous. As to your question on exhaust brake failures, well, I know quite a few boys with D/P units that have exhaust brakes and, as of yet, none have quit or broke. ...................

Hello Scott,

One other braking option available besides exhaust & engine braking systems is a transmission retarder by Allison, I have this type of braking system on my Class A DP and love it. I do not know nor claim the transmission Retarder is better than other systems I just mention as another DP brake option. The transmission retarder is standard on a Foretravel Travel Ride Chassis Coaches since 1997 and I assume an option on Allison equipped coaches if the coach manufacturer offered.

Tony
Hey Tony,
I'm certainly no expert on all this. I've just been around for a while and do have quite a bit of experience with both kinds of auxiliary braking systems that I mentioned. Now, as for the one you spoke of, the Transmission Retarder, yep, we had only a few of those on some of our earlier fire trucks, when I was hired, way back in '80. As I recall, the service techs at our repair facility were not very thrilled with them, way back then.

It seems they have(had) tendency to make those transmissions run hot when they're used. At least that's what I recall. And that's why we changed to 3-stage Jake Brakes on all fire trucks after that. I've not had the pleasure of driving a motorhome with one so, I cannot really comment on how well it might work and or, if they have any detrimental effects on the trans in short or, long term. If it works well for you, then that's all that counts.

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Old 05-31-2015, 07:01 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Everybody just compares routine oil changes done at home. I took my Cat in for an oil change, that included all filters for both engine and generator, including the intake air filter.... that trip was $1000 +++

You are never going to have that with a gasser. I now drive a Newmar gasser 34' yes the difference in the ride is discernible, but not bad at all.

Bottom line, call Cat or Cumins and ask them the price of one injector.... like $1500.

Then with those engines, you need your valves adjusted every so often.. that is almost $2000 for full service of all belts and other adjustments. The reason is that gas mechanics work for $30 per hour.. Diesel mechanics get $100/hour, and they are very hard to find.

The final comment is that both the Gas and the Diesel are the same inside when parked. If you are a rock star and putting 40K miles a year on your rig, then it is a no brainer.... go diesel.

If you are the average user that travels for fun an may go 15K miles max, then go gas. Unless you need a 40' coach... then a gas chassis cannot handle it. The savings from diesel will not begin to match the rate of depreciation of the unit. Old diesels are cheap.
the local car and truck quick change charges me 50 bucks to back in and dump oil from engine and genny, I do put new oil in, they will change oil filters for me and dispose, not quite what you are talking about. Fuel filters are a 5 minute job literally. If you paid $1000 for an oil change with an air filter on engine and genny, I am sorry to say you got hosed, plain and simple.

The difference in ride between your Newmar Gasser and a Newmar Diesel is not discernible? Have you driven a Newmar DP? they are like nite and day.

$1500.00 injector, are you insane, where do you shop?

By the time my cummins needs valve lash adjusted most gas engines will be expired or in need of a rebuild so setting valve lash is a breeze. $100,00 for diesel mechanic and $30.00 for gas mechanic and diesel guys are hard to find, what do you expect the millions of trucks on the highway do? second, $30.00 an hour gas mechanic isn't touching my Kia,

Last your gasser does not compare to top of the line Diesel Newmar, never will either there are hugh differences between top of line gas and diesel coaches and that will never change.

[ moderator edit ]

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Old 05-31-2015, 07:35 AM   #26
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Operating Costs

We are fulltime. 3 years going on many years.
A DP was our final choice for all of the right reasons, and no regrets. But we spent some coins by floundering.
I suggest that compromising on the RV with the benefits that makes this lifestyle so very precious, comfortable and rewarding is either "once n dun" or "we ain't dun yet".
The expense "comes out in the wash".
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:50 AM   #27
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Moxy, you are right... Here is a re manufactured CAT injector for $400... Caterpillar Fuel Injector C7 plus core, 10R4761R, DSS Pro Diesel

But that does not include labor too... so it will push $1000 at a Freightliner service center.

You are also right, I did not have a top of the line diesel pusher. All I had was an Itasca 36G. Definitely entry level trash.

The $1000 bill was also at a Freightliner service center and included all filters for both Cat and Onan generator with oil change. It also included the BIG air filter that probably did not need to be changed, but was showing yellow on the indicator.

I may have gotten hosed, but did not want Shade Tree Joe working on my coach. Driving a gasser you have a lot more choices.

But, if money was no object I would take a DP. I am just trying to counter act the diesel snobbery that seems to be present all over IRV2.

For someone with a family and still working, you don't have enough time to justify a diesel. Unless money is no object. My Newmar gasser is very very impressive. There is no bow wave sway when trucks pass. I find it no different than sway on my Itasca. On Itasca when up on air, the coach does flop a bit left to right .... my gasser on springs is much more stable.. your mileage may vary...

My slide lady talks, just like yours...

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Old 05-31-2015, 09:58 AM   #28
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Reminds me of when we towed our 5th wheel. I was determined to use a diesel 3/4 ton but ended up with a V10 gas pickup. My wife wanted no part of a pre 2008 noisy, stinky diesel truck. We could barely hear each other talk. Served us well for 5 years only requiring 2 oil changes a year(nothing more). My friend bought the Diesel pickup. His costs have been much higher and he complains constantly about the cost of fuel as it has been much higher in our area. I have no idea where these people get this notion that modern gassers are noisy. At idle it cannot be heard and the only time I do hear it is climbing steep grades.
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