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Old 11-21-2015, 11:31 AM   #1
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new MH's using I4/5 diesel engines?

Hello All,
I'm looking into buying a diesel powered MH on a limited budget. I have seen 2 or 3 new rigs using engines other than the MBS V-6. Has anyone tried out one of these yet? Should I even consider the I5 engined RV's from before 2011? Or just get a V-6 powered gasser? Please share any info or experience you have.

TIA
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Old 11-21-2015, 11:44 AM   #2
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FWIW If you are on a limited budget take a good look at buying diesel as an economy move. You will pay significantly more for the diesel. Maintenance will be higher. The cost of repairs if incurred will be higher. One can buy a lot of gasoline for the difference. If I was on a tight budget a diesel would not be my choice. YMMV.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:36 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply. I noticed that the new diesel coaches have MSRP considerably less than MBS rigs. So I may have to wait a few mos. for more input from owners of the new diesel RV's. I've read lots of rave about the RAM/Promaster vans being used on the Trends and Revs sold in the last 2 yrs. Does anyone have any good/bad comment for them?
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Old 11-21-2015, 04:05 PM   #4
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I saw a Ram Promaster box van today, and this got me thinking about their front wheel drive and loss of traction. The wonderful old GM Motorhomes were also front wheel drive and, way back when, I was involved in pushing two of these; one that had no traction on packed snow, and the other on wet grass. Just something to consider...

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... I've read lots of rave about the RAM/Promaster vans being used on the Trends and Revs sold in the last 2 yrs. Does anyone have any good/bad comment for them?
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Old 11-21-2015, 04:16 PM   #5
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Smile

So it's the opposite of cars? I thought FWD cars had better tractions than rear drives. I just have to remember that if I drive a FWD RV just to keep off snow and wet grass Cheers.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:32 PM   #6
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We were in the market for a diesel van at work. We tested the Sprinter and weren't impressed with the acceleration when empty so loading it full of tools and parts wasn't going to be good.
I drove the Promaster and it's a really nice van except for the "clutch-less manual" transmission. It pauses between gears, just like when you shift a manual. However, you don't know when the shift is coming so the momentary loss of forward drive makes your body lean forward in the seat, then back again as it grabs the next gear. 1st and 2nd were really quick shifts so this forward and backward motion happens twice every time you take off.
I hated it.
I drove the Ford Transit and it has a much better shifting transmission. It also had slightly better side visibility.
I have had nothing but bad experiences with Ford and have always had Chevys. It pained me greatly to purchase a Ford and I'm still nervous of it's long term reliability. However, of the 3 diesel vans it was the best.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:16 PM   #7
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Well, Transit based RV's will arrive at dealers soon. As w/ the Promasters, they have been used for MH's outside of the US for a few yrs. now. I guess fuel efficiency is a trade off for acceleration. I've read many praises of the Sprinter based RV's from their past and present owners. Just have not heard the same from Ducato/PM RV owners.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:47 AM   #8
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FWIW just keep in mind that there is a strong bias in the "I paid $30,000 extra so it has to be better" factor. They are if fuel economy is your only criteria. Other than that not so much.
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:24 AM   #9
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So it's the opposite of cars? I thought FWD cars had better tractions than rear drives. I just have to remember that if I drive a FWD RV just to keep off snow and wet grass Cheers.
The issue is that in a loaded MH, a big portion of the weight is on the rear wheels. So the fronts are relatively unloaded, and will slip easily. I don't have any real world experience with one, but it's the same thing (just opposite ends) on my RWD diesel pickup. All of the weight is up front due to the heavy drivetrain. The drive wheels slip on wet grass, not to mention snow and ice.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:28 AM   #10
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The issue is that in a loaded MH, a big portion of the weight is on the rear wheels. So the fronts are relatively unloaded, and will slip easily. I don't have any real world experience with one, but it's the same thing (just opposite ends) on my RWD diesel pickup. All of the weight is up front due to the heavy drivetrain. The drive wheels slip on wet grass, not to mention snow and ice.
Considering that most of the weight is the engine and transmission moving to a front drive MH would put most of the weight on the front not the rear. It will also create major issues if you want to tow anything.
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:00 AM   #11
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I respectfully disagree. While you are correct that a front wheel drive car has all of the drive train weight over the front wheels, a Motorhome has significantly more structure behind - that's why even some of the sprinter based MH's have dual rear wheels to carry the additional rear weight. A further example is that even larger class A front engine motorhomes have significant rear overhang. This is to cantilever more weight to the rear wheels so as to not overload the front suspension. Extreme examples are some of the really long class C's. These still have the weight capacity limitation of the Ford van front suspension, so have to balance the remainder over the dual wheel back axle with extreme rear overhang. I'm not bashing long class C motorhomes, just stating what I believe to be obvious.

Back to my original comment regarding Travato based front wheel drive motorhomes; just like the many front drive GM motorhomes produced way back when, this type chassis will be satisfactory for almost all situations - except when on limited traction surfaces.

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Considering that most of the weight is the engine and transmission moving to a front drive MH would put most of the weight on the front not the rear....
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