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Old 05-07-2016, 09:29 AM   #1
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The Truth about Diesel Pushers - WoW some news!

It’s a common belief that the term “Diesel Pusher” is because the diesel engine is in the back of the coach and the diesel pushes the motorhome forward. This is a nice story like "Mary had a little lamb", but like so many stories is simply untrue, a myth if you will.

As near as historians can tell the term “Diesel Pusher” started in Tuscaloosa, Alabama when the city mayor bought a diesel motorhome. On it’s maiden voyage it broke down in the middle of main street Tuscaloosa. A couple locals, graduates from the University of Alabama School of Engineering, walked over to help and were overhead saying, “It broke down, lets Pusher”!

Still other historians insist the term started in Brownsville, Texas when a drug lord purchased a motorhome for nefarious activities. His name quite coincidently was Diesel, hence the name “Diesel Pusher”!

Please don’t ask what historians say about the word “Gasser”? I'd have to direct you to a different forum!

Now that we have “Diesel Pusher” in its proper context, I have a serious question.

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?
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:33 AM   #2
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Probably not! We just hope that never happens to us!
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:48 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:57 AM   #4
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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.
This was exactly my experience with my first motorhome (gasser). After the first trip it was sold (no loss), and DP was purchased.

I didn't have ANY experience with motorhomes prior to the first purchase. Never drove either gas or diesel. Once I drove a DP I was hooked.
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:57 AM   #5
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My Dodge diesel p/u just turned 315,000 miles.
The one before it 215,000 before I traded it in.
I factor in getting many many miles out of a diesel with very little issue.
You will never convince me a gas motor is better in any fashion than a diesel unless it's in a riding lawn mower.
A small riding lawn mower.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:01 AM   #6
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Except in original price and maintiance cost right? I'd also like to know when you drove or were riding in a 2014 or later top of the line gasser? Especially with the new Ford 6 speed tranny?
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:01 AM   #7
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If he is talking 3/4 or 1 ton trucks, then the 13k he mentions is what people generally report if they lose their high pressure fuel pump/system. This is usually due to water contamination, pumping gas or DEF into the fuel tank, and then driving it. There are reports on each of the various big 3 truck forums about the issue, but I suspect it's a very small number of trucks vs how many are on the road.

I for one love my truck and wouldn't pull anything heavy without the diesel. Also, based on where I live I'm climbing a mountain to get out of here just about any direction and the pulling power and exhaust brake are great things to have.

Like anything, take care of it, and it will take care of you.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:16 AM   #8
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Well, unless it's an old GMC, they're all rear drive...
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:43 AM   #9
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Well, unless it's an old GMC, they're all rear drive...
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:25 AM   #10
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I am thinking of going to a MH - Jeep combo but want to keep the MH at close to 30 ft. Wondering why there are no "short" DP MH's or ones with a diesel up front like a gasser?
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:39 AM   #11
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Actually Tiffin did make a FRED or front engine diesel for a few years but stopped manufacturing them. They did reportedly have some loud engine noise in the front. We have some friends who have one of these and they have no problems with it. In fact, they full time in it.

Some other manufacturers may have made some but I am unaware of them.

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Old 05-07-2016, 11:42 AM   #12
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What many people do not take into account is that the entire chassis is different on a DP, not just the engine. Better suspension, better brakes, higher towing capacity and usually higher carrying capacity. The air suspensions ride better and handle better, the fuel, water and waste waste tanks are generaly larger, as are the batteries, generators, etc. The DP coaches come with more and better amenities of all kinds.

As for the engines, the DP engines do cost more to repair an a gas engine, but they break far less often. A DP engine will usually go hundreds of thousands of miles where a gas engine in a big motorhome would usually be shot well before reaching the first hundred thousand. Yes, you could throw in another engine at that point, but you still have an inferior RV in many respects to a DP.
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:44 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 05-07-2016, 12:03 PM   #14
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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.
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