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Old 01-30-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
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Winnebago Owners Club
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Location: Grass Valley, Ca.
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Cool Motorhome maintenance question

Hello all, For the past 5 years we have pulled a 30' travel trailer with a Ford F250 SD. I have very few mainenance issues with the trailer and the truck. We have some friends who have a 40' Monaco class A diesel and they are constantly having maintenance issues. I just spoke to a person who makes regular cross country trips in a 30' gasser and says there is always something going wrong. A third party tells me the same story. We are thinking of moving up to a 36' (my RV garage is 39') pre-owned class A diesel. Part of our plan is to make the purchase from DeMartinis Rv here in Grass Valley, have a pre-buy inspection done by a local diesel repair shop , inspecting the drive train and engine. I am pulling a very nice Coachman 300TBS with a very nice diesel truck and have had almost no problems at all. We are traveling down the same roads with the same pot holes and bumps as do the motorhomes and we have had very few maintenance issues. I feel that a pre-owned Class A pusher with 25,000 + miles would be a good bet, as most issues would have been worked out, and with a thorough pre-buy inspection, along with checking maintenance records & recall issues that we would be on fairly stable ground. We love the idea of motorhoming across the US and I find it impossible to believe that a motorhome would be any more of a maintenance hog than my current trailer and truck. Am I wrong?

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Old 01-30-2013, 07:31 PM   #2
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I dont know about constantly having stuff done.
oil changes are there with a truck as they are with a pusher, pusher tends to get longer mileage intervals,

screws pop loose just like in the huge fiver we had.
appliances don't care what they are in, they all still break...some more than others

roof still needs attention from time to time to check for issues
i am a stickler for keeping things right so my checklist pretty much didnt change
except now the running gear is attached instead being able to drive it away

hindsight........ well it is what it is
we found a super deal and it worked out for us

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Enjoying the 2008 Damon Tuscany 4056, no your eyes are fine, there are 6 slides
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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Just my opinion but I would think that the combined maintenance you exerience with your current RV rig would be perhaps a little less than a class A diesel rig.
Why? The class A is just more complex and in all one package. Having said that we are pleased with our rig. We use it at least monthly and IMHO the monthly use helps in keeping problems small ones and manageable. When you do buy, buy a high quality rig.
'02 Ultimate Advantage 40J Spartan MM - Cummins ISC
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:59 PM   #4
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What specific does he say is going wrong. As said before things break, come loose, move, and need repair. As for the engine and drivetrain, if you don't do regular maintenance it will break. You say you have had little to no problems with your truck or 5er. Do you do your own maintenance? I bet you baby yours like no one else could. Which you will do in a DP. We just spent over a year trying to find a newer MH. I was amazed at how nice my 87 Allegro was compared to MH 8 to 10 years newer. I told more than one sales person that their newer and higher priced rigs couldn't hold a candle to mine. Which I sold to my friend because he couldn't find anything as nice in his price range.

If you want a DP and are set to have it inspected and any work done on it then do it and don't let others convince you of anything different. At that point you know how the maintenance is and will keep it up. Thats what I did with my Allegro and what I have spent 3 weeks doing to my current rig. I have the front brakes drums to do and a seam seal on the roof. Everything else is done of scheduled and all under $500. And I know its done right.

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Old 01-30-2013, 09:06 PM   #5
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Anytime you have a big rig with more technology than a moon landing that gets shook regularly with 5.5 Richter Scale bumps, there may be more issues. Maybe.
But, you deal with it.
And ahhhh, the glory of all the good fun, aye?
Dave and Nola, RVM1
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:59 PM   #6
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:14 PM   #7
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Having had a great diesel truck and fiver and now owning a Diesel Pusher i would say yes the DP is more costly to maintain. The electronics are more complex and you have an air brake system to maintain, tires are more expensive and on and on.
If you look at it over a long term I think it will come closer to evening out as the DP if maintained will last longer and hold it's value better.
Another big factor is how much you will use it. If you don't use it regularly then I think a truck and fiver are the best bet.
As for traveling in my opinion the DP has the fiver beat hands down.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by slickest1 View Post
Having had a great diesel truck and fiver and now owning a Diesel Pusher i would say yes the DP is more costly to maintain. The electronics are more complex and you have an air brake system to maintain, tires are more expensive and on and on.
If you look at it over a long term I think it will come closer to evening out as the DP if maintained will last longer and hold it's value better.
Another big factor is how much you will use it. If you don't use it regularly then I think a truck and fiver are the best bet.
As for traveling in my opinion the DP has the fiver beat hands down.
Besides changing the air dryer canister ever few years and greasing the "S" cam what other maintenance is there on a air brake system? A hydraulic brake system should have the fluid flushed and changed every two - three years if you follow the manual (most don't). That gets expensive if you pay to have it done. I do my own MH maintenance so it's relatively cheap.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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Owned a 5 'r for years and now am on my 2nd diesel pusher. Pusher costs me more!
I like the pusher more! Both have their pluses. First thing I did when I purchased all of them was to find something on them that needed more of my money. THe last one was "NEW".
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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I do agree, the more complex a system the more that can go wrong and thus the more that will go wrong cause Mrs. Murphy says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Two thoughts.. I full time in a gasser, Maintenance is divided into two parts.. Stuff I do and Stuff I pay for.> The only "SURPRISE" issues to date have been

1: Axle gasket failed Minor job but I don't have the knowledge to do it (or rather did not have) plug it turned out to need a tool I don't have.

2: Air Conditioner.. Bad workmanship I fear (Carrier Air V) I have 2 of 'em fixed the other one (Re-did what they messed up) so that one won't fail. No wonder Carrier is not in the RV AC business any more..

3: Somethign nibbled a few wires

4: The Serp belt .... Half, yes Half if it went by by on me.> Took me a good hour lying on my back to get what broke untangled and out of the way, Took the shop 30 minutes to slap a new one on (Hey, not only do they know what they are doing they have a better work envoirment (Pit) thus can easily reach what I can not)

Mostly it's loose screws and things like that.. Routine stuff Replace the odd light switch, (or bulb) a TV or two, All routine stuff, nothing fancy.

Home is where I park it!
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maintenance, motorhome

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