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Old 05-07-2016, 05:33 PM   #15
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Cost of a catastrophic failure is something I factored in before my purchase, but I also factored in how likely a catastrophic failure would happen in a DP vs. Gasser. With proper maintenance, there really is no comparison.

Regular maintenance is in fact more expensive on a diesel but far less frequent - a fact that also helps balance the scales.

MRUSA14 said it perfectly that the engine is only the beginning of the story; there are many other contributing factors as to why someone would choose a diesel over gas. The list MRUSA14 cited is long and comprehensive, but one of the most important factors that almost never gets mentioned is resale value... it's not hard to guess why the scales tip dramatically in favor of diesels.

This is not in any way an attempt to convince anyone that diesels are "better" than gassers - they're often not, as Highway 4x4 clearly demonstrated. But gasser-buyers typically ignore many of the benefits of diesels, concentrating solely on upfront costs and maintenance when those are just parts of a very long equation that often gets evaluated incorrectly or incompletely.

Again, Highway 4x4 stated the argument perfectly in that if you're not going to use a diesel to its full potential then it probably doesn't make any sense to buy one. In contrast, for someone like me who revels in the luxury of a large DP and plans on RV'ing well past the 100,000-mile mark, it would be almost foolish to cross my fingers on a gasser. Two very different buyers; two very different solutions to the same problem: Which RV?

I'm convinced that diesels - partnered with their higher-capacity chassis and suspensions - are superior machines to their gasser counterparts, but that doesn't necessarily equate to superior application. A super-computer is infinitely superior in every conceivable way to a pocket calculator, but it would be stupid to buy a super-computer just to balance your checkbook. A computer with less processing power than modern-day toasters landed men on the moon... multiple times, no less. A gas-powered RV has the same potential for enjoyable, trouble-free RV'ing under the right conditions.

Buy the rig that's right for you and for the way you plan to travel. Just make sure you do all the math before making a decision this expensive.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:19 PM   #16
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Isn't that the one that utilizes an Oldsmobile engine/transmission, and is front wheel drive??
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:30 PM   #17
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I was having new tires put on my SUV yesterday and a guy was talking about a diesel truck he had and that he’d never own another one. When asked why, he said something or other happened to it and it cost $13,000.00 to fix it. He said if the same thing happened to his gas engine he could have replaced the whole darn thing for half of that.

I know from posts on this and other forums something going wrong on a DP can be very expensive. Do folks factor that in when thinking about diesel vs gasser?
Nope, but it sure should have with this one! He got off cheap compared to what it cost us and I know of another ISX (luckily not ours) that cost over $60,000 to get it running just a few weeks after they bought it. That was just the engine repair costs.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:30 PM   #18
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Isn't that the one that utilizes an Oldsmobile engine/transmission, and is front wheel drive??
Right you are.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:51 PM   #19
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In my experience I have never factored in a $13,000.00 unforeseen and unpredictable expense. As owner of many diesel trucks and machines I stand by my good experience of proper and routine servicing of equipment. No one can predict a catastrophic failure of any machine but I can run down the road knowing I have done all I can to take care of my machine.

As far as diesel goes, I am not a gas fan in trucks or heavy vehicles. They (diesel) may cost more to maintain if you can't do it your self but.... I can't stand when hitting a hill and a gas motor is lugging down, downshifting, screaming, upshifting and lugging then downshifting, screaming only to upshift to lugging and..... I have never seen a gas motor for sale in a heavy truck and it's for a reason. I am very biased yes, that's why be bought a DP. Truck suspension, truck brakes, truck etc. I have an 87 international dump that has 420,000 miles on original engine (cummins big cam 3). I am biased.
I had a Big Cam 3 in a log truck that made it to over 800,000 and that was extreme conditions as well. Good old engines! The point is you will never see a gasser hit that.
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:05 AM   #20
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An old joke about Ram pick up diesels is that, it's a 500K mile engine wrapped in a 200K truck. I wonder if the same applies to MH's?
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:03 AM   #21
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I had a Big Cam 3 in a log truck that made it to over 800,000 and that was extreme conditions as well. Good old engines! The point is you will never see a gasser hit that.
There's a Volvo car (gas) out there with over 3 million miles on it.

Granted it's in a GT car not a heavy truck or motorhome.

Otherwise, yeah. Diesel engines are incredibly simple and rugged. I've never seen a glow plug pop out of a cylinder head on it's own in a diesel.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:18 AM   #22
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An old joke about Ram pick up diesels is that, it's a 500K mile engine wrapped in a 200K truck. I wonder if the same applies to MH's?
I think it depends on the manufacturer. My rig is 14yrs old and still looks good inside and out. I've seen plenty of other DPs even older that looked great.

On the other hand, we were primarily looking for a gas coach originally and we simply couldn't find one we were comfortable with. Their all had issues, either with interiors that weren't holding up, exteriors (and interiors) that weren't holding up, or a bevy of mechanical issues that sellers were trying to sweep under the rug.

Granted some of those mechanical issues could have been from a lack of maintenance. Others were simply parts getting worn out.

For the most part I think that gassers should hold up just fine for most RVers, especially considering how few miles most people put on their RVs compared to their regular cars. Granted if you are putting the miles on the coach, the gasser will need more maintenance, and it will have mechanical items wear out at a faster rate.

If you plan on keeping it long term, or really using it a lot I think a diesel will hold up better. Most of them are made to be lived in, after all.
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Old 05-08-2016, 02:24 AM   #23
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Nope, but it sure should have with this one! He got off cheap compared to what it cost us and I know of another ISX (luckily not ours) that cost over $60,000 to get it running just a few weeks after they bought it. That was just the engine repair costs.
Did they at least get a kiss with that???
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Old 05-08-2016, 03:08 AM   #24
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The up front cost of the DP is the stopper for me and don't want one >32 ft. I'll never put 100K miles on a MH. At 64 now and another 10-15 years will be about it with an RV for me.
If you look around you will see that the entire coach of a DP is far better quality than a gasser. Flame suit is on, due to differing opinions of gasser owners.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:01 AM   #25
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I talked to a guy last year in Nebraska, and he had a brand new winne DP, so I stopped and ask him where he was from and such, he was from SD, and was coming from Alaska headed to New York, he was a full timer and traded his old DP at 80,000, he said the engine was great, but the house was falling down around him, it was a winne also, and made four trips to Alaska, at least that is what he told me,
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:20 AM   #26
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Diesels are much less forgiving when it comes to fuel and air filtration. Poor fuel quality or poor filtration will cost you fuel pumps and injectors. Poor air filtration will "dust" an engine and cost you either a new engine or a major overhaul. Just as point of reference, a new crate Durmax diesel engine can be had for about $7900. Though this engine should see 300K or more miles before needed rebuilding, if the owner has been lax in maintenance they will be rewarded by much shorter engine life or significant repair costs.

I have one small note to add to this about the Duramax and any engine out there. Yes a crate engine does cost that much and here is how I know why... We have an 05 Kodiak 4 door 4wd that pulls our horse trailer. Last year, not this past, we took it to our usual place to service and get inspected (I usually service it but don't inspect) before our trip to fla. Trip went fine but the next time we fired up the truck for a show and it made a horrible knocking noise. Yep, long story short, shop either didn't drain oil or filled it twice. When it was drained it was 10 quarts overfull. Oil got aerated on trip down and didn't provide proper lubrication and we spun a main bearing. As it was our usual truck shop I never checked their work or the oil before the trip. So always pull your dipstick and check your fluids no matter who or where rig was serviced.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:45 AM   #27
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Ah, yes. The ever-lasting gas vs. Diesel debate. I almost always read these posts; for the entertainment value, and to see if there is anything new in the pro & con arguments . In addition to some people's claim that their choice is the only correct one for everyone, there are some well thought out comments in this and other posts about each side of the topic , but I didn't see anything new here...
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:51 AM   #28
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Hey George, we were counting on you for the wisdom and clear thinking!
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