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Old 10-27-2016, 03:04 PM   #1
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Diesel Pushers vs. Front End Diesel...thoughts?

New to RV world and wondering if owning a F.R.E.D. is a bad decision apart from the noise level in the front end. Do you think it has as much power as a Diesel Pusher or no? Is it easer to do self maintenance on vs. a pusher? Thank you for your help!
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:21 PM   #2
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A diesel pusher chassis is usually much more robust with air suspension. All the noise is behind you. In a front end diesel, what chassis is the RV built on? suspension? Those would be important factors I'd want to inspect. As to ease of self maintenance, it would depend on the coach builder. Some front engine RV's are worse than my DP for engine access. The dashboard, windshield, etc. could be every bit as restrictive as being under a bed in back.
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:30 PM   #3
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just my thought..you will still have more noise than pusher but not like gas...you will not have as much power if you are comparing same weights. but most fred's are much lighter so go by torque and hp per pound for that. and maintenance is a matter of what has to be done and if side or rear cooling on pusher..and lthen there is all the items that come with pushers, its not just diesel in rear or front.. and will cost more but have to make decisions.. i know many say pushers are much more to maintain that Gasser or fred... i dont think like that, and its comes down to what one says or another as to what you think needs maintaining or fixing and by you or shop.....both are good choices and i am not always sold on just floor plan, floor plan...heck i as well as most can adjust ...i was born is '50's not 10's. and realize that what is or was good for onether, can be good for others and vice versa...like Obama, i had a guy on home builders assoc, team that said people dont know what is good for them so we have to tell them and thats why we are here
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:35 PM   #4
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Thank you all for your words of wisdom. That makes a lot of sense and ultimately, we have been leaning toward a DP. Trying to be diligent on all facets of a used MH purchase as we don't want to look back too much and think "why didn't we look at that option, MH manufacturer, etc.."
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Old 10-27-2016, 04:15 PM   #5
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Also remember that FRED's have a very long drive shaft system that takes up valuable space and still may have engine access issues like DP's.

Engine access for maint work was one of my prime factors in buying what I have now.

Still, Freightliner shops and other shops will up charge you on the hourly rate, pretty much every time.

Last work I had done had a $25 an hour up charge attached from Cleveland Freightliner...
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Old 10-27-2016, 04:21 PM   #6
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Jimmytigg, welcome to the forum 1st. Second the weight of a large diesel just makes sense to be in the rear as a counterweight. A large engine over two steer tires is a bad idea.
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Old 10-27-2016, 04:22 PM   #7
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Puller will be easier to notice an engine fire.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:39 PM   #8
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When we were considering diesel we narrowed it down to:
1) It had to be a DP
2) It had to have a side radiator
3) It had to be a Cummins and preferably at least a 400ISL

But as you can see we ended up with a bath & a half 36' gas, very comfortable working on it, maintaining it and just plain love it and saved a ton of money. It works for what we're doing and our future plans.
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:32 PM   #9
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Jimmytigg, welcome to the forum 1st. Second the weight of a large diesel just makes sense to be in the rear as a counterweight. A large engine over two steer tires is a bad idea.
Yeah, a large vehicle with a diesel engine in front over the steer tires is a bad idea. Sure glad no one ever built such a vehicle.

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Old 10-27-2016, 09:41 PM   #10
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Diesel Pushers vs. Front End Diesel...thoughts?

I had a FRed and loved it. About 10hp per 1000 lbs like most other diesel rigs. 10.5+ mpg overall.
1/3 the noise of a gas on a pull, very quiet on cruise!
Now F/T with a pusher, but no regrets with either.
And maintenance was easy for me on the FRed.
Some will chime in with uppity pitches for pushers, having never owned a FRed, but the light and agile FReds have their own nitch in RVdom. Don't let anyone snark you out of a wise decision.
Your choice!
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Yeah, a large vehicle with a diesel engine in front over the steer tires is a bad idea. Sure glad no one ever built such a vehicle.

Now this is funny. . . . .

Love our DP. With the side radiator, basic engine maintenance is quite easy. Much easier than the gasser I had prior.
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:04 PM   #12
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Puller will be easier to notice an engine fire.
I'm sorry I had to chuckle at your post, sounds like experience talking.

JimmyTigg, these are all very good points folks bring up. I am a huge fan of DPs as I have owned 2. Diesels make more noise and you may think you will not know if something goes wrong, FREDs you will hear if something is not right. DPs are very quiet and I almost cooked a motor because I did not realize that I had lost a serpentine belt let go when climbing steep grades. The high temp buzzer went off, and that's when I payed more attention to my gauges. A side radiator is much easier to work on and access belts and hoses when repairs are needed. It is a fact that diesel parts and maintenance costs are more. Diesel fuel is close to gasoline prices (at least in Arizona) but in the past Diesel has been almost 2X more than gasoline. You also should consider that not all fuel stations carry diesel. I wish you the best in your RV shopping, and hope you find what suits you best.
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:25 PM   #13
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Yeah, a large vehicle with a diesel engine in front over the steer tires is a bad idea. Sure glad no one ever built such a vehicle.

Just spit my coffee all over my lap...
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Old 10-28-2016, 06:52 AM   #14
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The DP and Fred's have both pros and cons. We selected the DP for the under storage and ease of drivetrain maintenance. I do all my servicing and maintenance myself. We narrowed it down to Spartan side radiator with Cummins power. We live in Canada and wanted a unit that had heated basements that would keep the coach floor warm; which the DP provided.
The floor plans on the Fred's did provide some tempting layouts that the regular DP would not have. We decided to stay away from a Fred due to our experience when we used to rent a C class gas units. The noise and heat from the engine was annoying.
It all boils down to choice, money $$ and keeping your wife happy.
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