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Old 05-08-2015, 12:23 PM   #1
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Maintenance costs


I've been reading that yearly DP maintenance costs are much higher than gassers. If the house is roughly the same, what is the difference? They both have oil, coolant, tires, need grease, etc. Is the interval shorter on a DP? Or is there that much more to it? I'm still trying to choose my rig as well.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:54 PM   #2
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One big reason is that it takes a whole lot more oil and coolant for the Cummins diesel than the Ford motor - a whole lot more as in 23 quarts of oil, 31 pints of gear oil for rear axle, 5 gallons of transynd for the transmission (cost me $240). Diesels also have other major things like a huge air cleaner that costs around $95 for the part and $105 for labor to replace, a coalescing filter costing about $110, an oil filter and two fuel filters that cost around $109 and an expensive engine belt. Service intervals are about the same, first year diesel services are 6 months, then 12, 24 etc. When I had my gasser MH, service was a whole lot simpler and I could do most of it myself. Not so with the diesel - I can't handle that much in fluids and disposal so I have to pay to have the service done now.
Mel (Melanie) and Harry
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:01 PM   #3
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Having operated AND maintained a diesel for the last 6-1/2 years, I would also like to know about the excessive cost to maintain a diesel vs a gas powered vehicle. Diesel liquids are measured in gallons rather than quarts but there are no spark plugs nor much HEI distribution systems. Diesels will cost a lot more for "major" maintenance but how often will that be on a 500,000+ mile engine. Know any gassers with 500,000 mile estimated life?
Yes it will cost slightly more but if you want to complain, buy a single engine retract gear aircraft
Hal & Ginny Miller '04 Beaver Santiam PRT40
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:28 PM   #4
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What Mel said!
Joe & Annette
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:45 PM   #5
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Yep an age old debate. If you use our search feature you'll find a great deal of discussion and detail on the topic.

Service periods are generally longer on a DP than a gasser but everything about them is "bigger" so the cost is higher.

Personally, I've never believed that deciding between gas and diesel can be done with a calculator. Fancy footwork is required to make a case that a DP is "cheaper". I continue to believe that the best reason to buy a DP is because you really, really WANT one.

Best of luck

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:01 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone - and Rick- YES - I REALLY REALLY want one. Just making sure the $$ will be there. I didn't realize that the volume of fluids was THAT much higher. I had a D pickup (now my son's with almost 300K) and now a diesel Jetta and the costs weren't much higher there.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:30 PM   #7
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My costs over the past year on my 15 year old Holiday Rambler, Cummins/Allison unit.
2 cases of Delo engine/gennie oil at Sams Club:... $90.00
1 Cummins oil filter......................................... $10.00
1 gennie oil filter............................................ ..$14.00
Test kit for coolant in gennie and Cummins...........$20.00 (both within spec)
New front shocks............................................ ..$250.00
Repair dash a/c unit..........................................$550 .00
Repair air horn.............................................. ...$250.00
New slide topper and housing.............................$650.00
Wax and detail, polish Alcoas, no deep buffing.......$400.00
Deductible for half of new windshield...................$500.00
The diesel part is the cheapest aspect of motorhoming in my case. A catastrophic engine or tranny failure would skew the numbers, but that's always a given. Several of these items are non recurring but were deferred by the 75 year old original owner.
My wife would never let me go back to a gasser. The ride, quitness, smoothness initial build schedule are palpable every time we leave the curb.
Kieth and Ellen 1998 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 34 wds.
Usually towing our Manx dune buggy along
Enjoying sunny spots in So Cal and the Southwest.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kiethco View Post
My wife would never let me go back to a gasser. The ride, quitness, smoothness initial build schedule are palpable every time we leave the curb.
LOL. We sold our 40DP so haven't been on the road for three years now and I don't really miss the traveling but I sure do miss driving that baby.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:49 PM   #9
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Yes, lots more oil in a DP; but at 15,000 mi change vs. 5,000 on a gasser...... And yes, it will cost a bit more overall, but as mentioned, lots more miles to go. And that diesel humming 40' back sure beats the screaming V10 under your elbow as you climb a pass. We went diesel, I will do all my own basic maintenance; have started already; really same as a gasser as far as skillset.
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:20 AM   #10
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I had my car serviced at Jiffy Lube this week. Oil change 5 qts, air filter, check air in tires, etc. I paid 83 bucks. This car is serviced 2-3 times per year.

I had my DP serviced at Speedco a month or so ago. 25 qts of oil, oil filter, 2 fuel filters, greased the chassis, checked the differential lube, checked the lube in the front hubs, checked the coolant SCA level, and a few other things that I can't recall off the top of my head. Cost was 213 bucks. My DP is serviced like this annually.

All things considered, the cost of annual service on my DP is very reasonable.
2021 DSDP 4326 Freightliner
2005 KSDP 3910 Spartan
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:09 AM   #11
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Mileage is the point Breaker...... most folks do not put 500,000 miles on there coach. We have had motorhomes for over 35 years and have not put 500,000 on ALL of them combined. Polled the diesel owners here this weekend. Looking at coaches around 9-12 years old and most folks only have 40 - 60k miles on them.

My thoughts...... if in my lifetime, I would make 4 separate trips from the East Coast to West coast traveling at 15k miles each trip, I would be well under the 500,000 mile rule.

My pick is Mel.
CC..... Happy Rving!!
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:17 AM   #12
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Basically it all comes down to you are paying for the ride with a DP.
Chuck in SW FL
Digital 2021 Cornerstone "B"
A "Digital" 2019 Cornerstone "B" Traded
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:13 AM   #13
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I think there is way too much emphasis put on the difference in operating cost between a diesel and gas MH. They are in two different classes. If one is going to say how much more a diesel cost to maintain, then put in an offsetting value for the extra load carrying capacity, the quieter and smoother ride, the extra performance, increased towing capacity etc. etc. etc. When I add everything up, the offsetting value far out weighs any increased cost. So at least for us, it's cheaper to run our DP that any gasser would be. Besides, with a gas MH, I would have to make two trips just to get all my toys there.
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