Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-07-2015, 04:59 PM   #1
Senior Member
Rocky68D's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Anacortes, Wa
Posts: 221
Question for DP Owners

Since we now have more time for RVing, much of it in the mountains, Iíve been considering the purchase of a 5-8 year old DP. But after following a number of forums here and reading many tales of woe and even expensive rebuilds, Iím wondering if I really want to get rid of my super simple and reliable gasser.

Are we only hearing from the unlucky minority while thousands of folks who have few or no problems with their DPs are happily motoring along and have nothing of issue to post here?

I don't mind routine maintenance expenses but I want to have a reasonable degree of reliability and faith in the rig.


2006 American Eagle 40L, Cat C9
2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (Last of the LJ's)
Rocky68D is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-07-2015, 05:07 PM   #2
Senior Member
dennis45's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 4,699
Depends on what you're looking for but typically, a DP is the highest operating cost of all. The trade off is size and handling if you choose the right coach but make no mistake, they are not cheap to operate.

Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
dennis45 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 05:25 PM   #3
Senior Member
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Western WI
Posts: 688
Stuff happens to all rigs, DP's are just more expensive to fix some things.

We went with a 2001, so far so good with minor stuff. But the difference in towing my toad around is like going from the Wright Brothers to the USS Enterprise.
2001 Itasca Horizon 36LD Cat
Retired Air Force, One lovely Angel, 2 Cats and three birds.
the_vfox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 05:25 PM   #4
Master of Disaster
SteveLevin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 1,195
The big annoyance I had was being able to troubleshoot the hydraulic pump for the side radiator, which just took a lot of time since it wasn't a complete failure. But I've had just as big and annoying issues finding niggling driveline issues in my Subaru, so it's really anything mechanical these days, I think.

For us it was comfort as much as anything else. We can be pounding up an 8% grade and holding a normal conversation, which we couldn't do with our gas coach. And my wife likes that we can drop the coach before leveling it.

All that said, maybe one of the UFO Winnebagos might be a compromise for you? I think they eventually worked the various bugs out...

The Green Machine -- 2000 Mountain High Coachworks Summit (Spartan chassis / Cummins ISC)
...and F-Troop: Fearghus, Fiona, and Frankie (Cairn Terriers)
SteveLevin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 05:34 PM   #5
Senior Member
jacwjames's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 3,607
Yes, maintenance on a DP is higher then a gasser. Maintenance though is the key to preventing premature failure of components. I do most of my own maintenance, oil changes, lube, filters, etc.

If you plan on putting on a lot of miles then the DP may be a good choice as the recommended service interval is usually 15K miles or 1 year. This may offset some of the maintenance costs since it usually cost me ~$200 for oil and filter change including the fuel filters and coolant filter. With proper care a DP can go +250K miles. I have 101K on mine and it's still running strong.

Depending on the DP you choose the fit & finish will be better then a gasser although some manufacturers are stepping up to the plate making a higher quality of product.

Good Luck on your choice.
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
jacwjames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 05:35 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2013
Location: San antonio, TX
Posts: 571
We have lost two rear inner tires at different times which could happen to any coach if you put cheaper tires on--we now run Michelins. We have been stranded twice--once with a burst hydraulic hose, and the other time a fuse to the engine computer--took Caterpillar a while to find it. No issues with the engine at all with 164k miles on it. Just had transmission serviced with Transynd--about a $1000 cost, but good for 5 years. Two years ago I had the engine coolant lines replaced and chassis overhauled, but that was after 19 years. Many of the house systems are the same as a gasser, although you usually have bigger inverters, bigger diesels have Jake brakes or retarders which are very efficient compared to engine braking on a gasser. Once you test drive a quality diesel, I think you,ll find it's well worth the extra cost.
USAF Retired
2000 Prevost Marathon H3-45
Towing 2006 Nissan Maxima
Peralko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 05:37 PM   #7
Senior Member
Rocky68D's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Anacortes, Wa
Posts: 221
The main reasons for considering the upgrade are the increased power (torque) for dragging our 4000 lbs. Jeep over mountain passes at something more than 40 mph, better handling and a cushier ride.

I've spent a small fortune on improving the ride and handling of our Suncruiser and it paid off. But it still ain't no DP!

I'd really like to have a Newmar. A Kountry Star to be exact.
2006 American Eagle 40L, Cat C9
2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (Last of the LJ's)
Rocky68D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 05:40 PM   #8
Senior Member
CarlAda's Avatar
Country Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Medford, OR
Posts: 253
Send a message via Skype™ to CarlAda
There's no doubt that it isn't cheap to operate and maintain a DP, or any rig for that matter, and it is something you should know before jumping in feet first. If you based you opinion on this subject solely on the tales of woe you hear on the internet, you'd likely steer clear. However, you must understand that it's far easier to complain, talk about what isn't working, discuss unexpected woes and tragedies than it is to start a thread about how great your coach is running or how you thingamajig worked exactly how it is supposed to work. Like news, a building that isn't burning is rather boring. This isn't to say that failures don't happen, they do. But for every blown engine, there are many more out there doing what they're supposed to be doing -- moving you happily along the road.
2007 Country Coach Intrigue Ovation II 42' being pushed by a 2007 Cadillac CTS (4 down)
CarlAda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 07:02 PM   #9
Senior Member
Papa_Jim's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Manitoba,Canada
Posts: 2,502
You're probably going to get a thousand different answers to your questions and thoughts.

The opinions from each person will of course be based on how their coach will be used.

We just drove 530 miles today through Montana. We held the speed at about 70 MPH all day. Winds varied from 20 MPH to 40 MPH with 50 MPH side wind gusts. A couple of hours of today's trip was in a snow storm, much of the day was in heavy rain. It was not an idyllic scenic leisure drive in the park kind of day. We ran a few 6% - 7% grades, managed to hold highway speed on most of them except for two climbs that actually pulled us down to 40 MPH. The diesel engine had a real work out today, and reminded me of that fact when I filled the tank tonight. The day's fuel mileage rang in at 6 MPG. By comparison, on a normal calm sunny day, I can expect the mileage to be about 8 MPG.

Having said that. From my perspective sitting in the driver's seat, it was an easy day. My wife rather enjoyed the day's trip, offering the opinion that only once or twice did it feel like we were possibly going a little fast for conditions, for which I profusely apologized. The time passed quickly as I listened to some movies that my wife was watching on her computer. The first thing I knew, we had arrived at our destination and it was time for a nice steak supper.

Life is good.

Jim & Kate
2016 Creekside 23RKS, 2014 Ram 1500 Eco Diesel
1995 Monaco Dynasty 36', 2005 Honda Pilot
Canada, eh?
Papa_Jim is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 07:20 PM   #10
Senior Member
FIRE UP's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 4,077
Basically Sir,
Are we only hearing from the unlucky minority while thousands of folks who have few or no problems with their DPs are happily motoring along and have nothing of issue to post here?

In all reality, you answered your own question with that statement. What many folks on these forums don't really realize is, the amount of folks, participating in ANY RV forum, is so infinitely small, in comparison to the actual amount of real world RVers out there. People join these forums for various reasons.
But, the reporting of issues, for any particular coach or, engine or, trans or, whatever, is from a very limited amount of folks. That's not to say that there's not "grand" problems out there with engines/transmissions/suspensions/certain brand coaches/tires, and a zillion other items that make up these rolling Kleenex boxes.

But, let's take the engine in question. Your model and series. I'm not really familiar with them other than, based on what I've read HERE, there appears to be some sort of issue with that series of Cummins.

But, of ALL OF THEM THAT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED, just how many of them have had this CRACKING issue? I don't have a clue. It's like saying that ALL Caterpillar C-7 engines are bad, because SOME of them have had issues with the HEUI fuel pump on them. There's a few zillion miles on a few hundred thousand C-7s out there that have had no issues with that pump what so ever.

And so goes it with many other components on RVs. Now, as for you making a choice to "move up" to a diesel pusher, well Sir, you've been around for a while and most likely realize that you'd be purchasing a more expensive unit than what you presently have. Does that mean that you've getting a totally PERFECT coach, just because it's a diesel pusher? Heck no.

Everything out there is man made and, man made stuff can break. Some will break earlier and some, later. There's lots of reasons people make the choice to move to a D/P after using a Gasser for a while.

1. Different and, normally, a better ride.
2. Stronger chassis with normally larger tires and wheels which also provide for a better ride and more carrying capability.
3. Large and or, stronger Diesel engines which, provide for more torque and power, at much lower RPMs
4. Quieter ride and cabin area due to the engine being in the rear.
5. More towing capability and higher hitch rating
6. Generally more load carrying capability (usually more storage but, not always)

A question would be, "Can you purchase a D/P that would be trouble free and, reliable for many years to come"? Sure you can. How often does that happen, one might ask? Well, like I stated in the beginning of this answer, we only hear from the folks that belong to these forums, not the rest of the masses out there. So, we really don't know just how many are "trouble free" and or, ultra-reliable.

Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, is a very nice coach. We've owned it now for 4 years. I've had to repair a few things on it since we purchased it. Some things, A REAL PAIN IN THE A$$! But, we've had three other motor homes. All were gassers. Two Class Cs and, one A. I had to fix stuff on those too.

Some guys recommend walking away from a D/P that maybe say is, 10 years old or so, but has really low miles. As in, say, 5K to 10K miles. I say bull-s... Why walk away from a nice coach, simply because someone has not attempted to drive the wheels off of it? If it runs good, no oil, water, trans, or other leaks, and it rides nice in otherwise is in outstanding shape, I'd jump on it.

But, anyways, anytime you purchase an "up-scale" model of something, especially if it's used, you take your chances, without a doubt. Everyone hopes they make a good decision and choice. Sometimes we goof up and get a lemon.

2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
FIRE UP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 07:59 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ & Plover, WI
Posts: 968
Our last four coaches have been DP. All of them were bought new. Because they were new, we have not had any major problems in the last 16 years. We had a 2003 Phaeton for 8 years and just changed the oil once a year. To my knowledge, the new owner is doing the same. Find one that has a good up to date maintenance record and if you like the floor plan buy it and enjoy.

To your original statement, there is nothing wrong with going over the mountains at 40 mph or even 30 mph. If your gasser is paid for and you like it, why not just keep it and enjoy the ride. On the other hand, if purchasing a DP will not change the lifestyle you want, go for it. If you should come up behind me on I-70 west of Denver, I will be going about 38 mph with our 450 Cummins pushing our 51,000#'s up the grade. Wave when you pass me.
2013 43 QGP Allegro Bus
26' Enclosed trailer for toys
Crasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2015, 05:24 AM   #12
Senior Member
Ramets's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Conway, SC
Posts: 2,353
I would start by asking if your present coach is paid for or not. If it is, and it gets you from point A to point B more comfortably because of the mods you've made....then I'd keep it. You say you have more time to travel now, so what's your hurry? What's wrong with 40mph over mtn. passes. When I've traveled through the rockies in our DP I was at 40mph more than once. Better to have a coach you know, than one that could become a money pit.
2000 Dutch Star Pusher
2009 Saturn Vue Towed
Full timed for 6yrs.
Ramets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2015, 06:46 AM   #13
Senior Member
KarenS144's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Paoli, IN
Posts: 1,070
We moved from a 29' gasser to a 35' DP last summer and have yet to take a "long" trip in our new to us DP but we made 2 month plus trips in our gasser. One to CO, UT and a 2nd to WY & MT. We did not set any speed records climbing those big rocks called the Rockies and fortunately, didn't set any going down either! We tow a Jeep Wrangler. Our '11 G'town got the job done and we really enjoyed camping in it. What we did not enjoy was the ride, noise, handling and heat.

Perhaps we should have done more research on a higher quality gasser but we jumped on the '11 Ventana and have been extremely happy with all it offers including the improved ride.

We generally traveled between 62-65 and that did not change with the DP. We've not had a chance to tackle big mountains other than the Cumberland Mountains on I-75 which we had no issues with. We weren't looking to set a new land speed record and I suppose could have gone up a lot faster if we wanted to. We enjoy cruising along at a speed which allows us to take in the view and aren't concerned with who & what passes us. We smile and wave as they go by!

Drive a DP if you can and see for yourself the difference. You may decide that your gasser is everything you need or it may ruin you for life and nothing but a DP will do. Be prepared.
Karen & Gary
Glamping is not for the faint of heart!
with furkids Gypsy & Cody &
traveling in a 2011 Ventana 3433!
KarenS144 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2015, 10:12 AM   #14
Senior Member/RVM #90
MSHappyCampers's Avatar

Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 19,307
When we retired and decided to get a MH instead of the 5er we had pulled for 12 years, we too were faced with the decision, DP or gasser. We made the decision based on the following factors:

1. Compared to a DP, the gasser engine's expected life span is very short. I would be very reluctant to purchase a gasser with anywhere around 100K miles, whereas that's nothing for a diesel that can easily go 500K if properly serviced!

2. For the reason above, if I buy a new gasser and put 100K miles on it, I would not expect to get much on sale or trade should I decide to get rid of it. A DP with 100K still has a good resale value.

3. I can't speak from experience, but from what I read on the forums, it seems there is no comparison in the comfort and driving of a gasser and DP. I barely hear the Cummins diesel engine 40' behind me while traveling at highway speeds. The DW and I can carry on a normal conversation or listen to the radio without raising our voices. Somehow I don't think it would be that way with a gas engine under our feet.

4. At the time we bought our 2002 Windsor in 2012, they were selling in the $70K range. It had 84K miles on it. We have probably spent another $15K making changes for comfort and safety. I expect it to outlive us!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question for Macerator Toilet Owners spinn Newmar Owner's Forum 10 11-16-2014 06:57 PM
OutdoorsRV - Potential Owners Forum IdahoBob Travel Trailer Discussion 2 07-06-2014 08:01 AM
Question for owners of bath and a half Jim_L Newmar Owner's Forum 31 03-01-2014 11:27 AM
Question about Owners Forum Kro1957 Forum 101 | Announcements | Member Concerns 1 02-02-2014 06:29 PM
Question for Tour/Ellipse Owners rtv Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 5 01-26-2014 08:24 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:55 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.