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Annual Diesel maintenance cost

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Hi All,

I'm curious about what the annual maintenance costs of a diesel pusher have been for some of you owners. I know it varies a lot, but Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Between $250 and $1500 depending upon what all came due at annual maintenance. Big $$ are when transmission and differential come do at the same time, along with coolant change, etc. But that isn't usual.

 

Also, don't forget that you need to plan for batteries every few years and tires every 7 yrs or so - which will be about the same cost for a gasser as a diesel.

 

Barb

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My normal maintenance (oil, filters and lubrication) are in the neighborhood of $300-$400. The more involved things like air dryer, transmission, coolant flush, etc. will add significantly when they are due. This year I am going to be well over $5000 due to having some major front end work, torsion bar and shocks replaced but this is certainly not routine stuff. I think if you budget $500 to $1000 a year for routine stuff you going to be fine. Just remember there are bigger things that will come along like tires.

 

Lenp

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11 years of 12 years fulltiming, with 114,000 miles. our maintenance records from RVer's Notebook = $22,431.34, or $2039.18 per year. Amount includes, tires, shocks, general service, engine injector cup replacement, several air cleaners, a muffler and 3 windshield replacement deductibles of $500 each.

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Thanks for the feedback, that helps.

Would you agree generally speaking a diesel may be more expensive for routine maintenance and potential repairs than a gas RV?

What is the downside of getting an older Diesel say 10-15 years old with 50k-70k miles on it if it has been properly maintained? Tough to finance, worn out interior, etc, but aren't the engines, trannies etc, built for 200,000 miles and more? I could see getting one and spending 5--7k on interior improvements.

Thanks

Edited by jacks

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200K miles on a diesel engine is just braking it in. We have a 14 yr old DP with 150K+ miles, she runs along just fine. Interior could use some upgrading, but she's comfortable and we're use to her.

 

DPs usually have one maintenance stop per year, gassers can have more depending upon miles driven. Air bags + exhaust brake = priceless. B)

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Would you agree generally speaking a diesel may be more expensive for routine maintenance and potential repairs than a gas RV?

With our gas powered motorhome the maintenance cost for the entire RV averaged just over $2000/year for years 8 through year 12 but if you consider only maintenance on chassis and power trail then the average falls to roughly $700/year. I did my own oil changes and lubrication, but not much else on the power train.

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I do all the maintenance myself that I can on my MH.

In the 173 months or 14 years 4 months I have owned it from my spreadsheet the below cost is per month.

 

Service Chassis Only $23.44 includes all fluids & filters for engine, transmission, rear end, front bearings, air brake system, grease for drive line and chassis.

Repair & Replace Parts & Labor Chassis $34.73 2 alternator's, 8 batteries, headlights, level jack's motor, etc.

Repair & Replace Parts & Labor Coach $74.84 includes 2 AC's, new couch, water heater etc.

Tires $34.19 last set of G670's replaced after 10 years 4 months

 

Above is $167.20 a month or $2,006.40 a year.

 

Non of that include add on's that have been $115 a month. Like window awnings, Datastorm Internet dish 5K(I just took off and put in trash bin last week after 12 years), Trav'ler 2K, tire monitors, Macerator pump, cell phone booster, WiFiRanger, Banks Power Pack 3K, VMSpc, sewer/water hoses, 120V dog bones & extensions, many TV's added and replaced over the years, DirecTV receivers, sleep number bed, stand alone Ice maker, 2 Desktops, 3 laptops, iPad, 1.5 cu ft freezer, tow bars, base plates and many other things.

 

OH!! Above doesn't include this winter's change of engine oil & filter plus fluids, generator oil & filter, fluid change in level jacks tank and air dryer filters change due. :(

 

Above also does not include the $$$$'s deprecation of the MH over the years, registration fees, and insurance paid.

 

As you can see, maintenance of a DP is just a small part of owning one. :)

Did I say I love Full Time in my DP? :lol:

Edited by Biker56

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One of the best ways to get a feel for ongoing operational expenses, is to adopt a current owner for a year.

 

In the SKP's spirit of helping each other. I volunteer to let anyone pay for the maintenance of our coach for 2017.

 

It's what we all do for each other, that makes SKP's unique.

 

Please note. This is a first come first served offer, and limited time remaining.

 

Best to all,

Smitty

 

(Good post Biker56!)

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Smitty,

I agree that it would be a great learning experience for me to adopt an SKP member and their expenses for the upcoming year.

Could you remind me again of the month and year you posed in the Playboy magazine again so I can look you up? I probably have you mixed up with someone else. :P

Thanks!

Edited by jacks

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Remember a cartoonist "Smitty" from those days (Hard to see his work, as I was 'averting my eyes' from other visual stimuli, and it was easy to miss his cartoons! But, for artistic reasons, I tried...).

 

Me posing? Sure, and the Cubs will win a world series someday...

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Thanks for the feedback, that helps.

Would you agree generally speaking a diesel may be more expensive for routine maintenance and potential repairs than a gas RV?

What is the downside of getting an older Diesel say 10-15 years old with 50k-70k miles on it if it has been properly maintained? Tough to finance, worn out interior, etc, but aren't the engines, trannies etc, built for 200,000 miles and more? I could see getting one and spending 5--7k on interior improvements.

Thanks

Routine maintenance has been thoroughly addressed.

We bought our MH(see sig) April '13. We bought a 3yr extended service contract at the same time, for the reasons concerning you. We never had a claim on the chassis, but the contract cost was recouped in repairs to the "house" portion of our MH.

If you choose this route, be sure to include the gaskets and seals rider, otherwise, if an engine/transmission/differential seal fails and causes severe damage, repairs are not covered.

Our MH had been parked in a barn for 6 years until we bought it, prompting us to buy the ESC. At purchase, it had 23,xxx miles.

Edited by RayIN

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RayIN,

What "house" items did the ESW cover that you had work done on?

Thanks for the info!

I can't remember many of them. All tank valves were leaking, black tank cracked and leaking into a compartment, step cover not working-X3, basement A/C not working properly, keyless entry system replaced, etc. In all the Camping World ESP covered everything over the $50 deductible during the 3 yr contract. All in all, I recouped the cost of the contract-including the deductibles the first 3 yrs of owning this MH which had sat in a barn for 6 yrs. A wise investment in our case.

A CW service writer advised me to "save up" my repairs because the $50 deductible was for each visit to the shop, not for each item.

An exclusionary contract is best because it lists what is NOT covered, everything else is covered; an inclusionary contract states what IS covered, leaving you to guess what is NOT covered.

Edited by RayIN

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Hi All,

I'm curious about what the annual maintenance costs of a diesel pusher have been for some of you owners. I know it varies a lot, but Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks

Well as you can see you get a wide range of answers. The biggest thing is how much can you do? How much do you need to take it to a shop for? Yes a diesel is more expensive but not nearly as much as some claim. I have 2 fuel filters and a dryer on the air brake system extra over a gas unit.

Bill

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10 hours ago, RVnewbieshopper said:

Can anyone speak to the up and downside of buying up to a 15 yo DP with 30,000-50,000 miles? Also what about one this age but less than 30,000 miles?

First of all, welcome to the Escapee forums! We are here to help so do not hesitate to join in any forum or subject. While it might have been better to have started a new topic with your question, I'll do my best to address it and hopfully others will join in with ideas as well. 

The main downside to buying anything used is the lack of any warranty and the risk of buying someone else's problems. But there are ways to mitigate those risks. The first thing to do is to get the RV professionally inspected before you spend any money on it. If you do an internet search you will find businesses that do prepurchase inspections and there may be some near the RV that you are considering. If there are none in your area, contact a mobile RV repair tech and see if he will come to the RV and go through it for you. If the mobile tech checks it out you may also want to have a good diesel mechanic check it for you. Doing this will greatly lessen the risk that you are taking. Another thing to consider if buying used is the purchase of an "extended warranty" which is really health insurance for the RV to help in paying for any needed repairs. While none of these options are inexpensive, even used diesel motorhomes are very big financial purchases and the risk of loss is lessend if you use them. 

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I am going to scare you here.  We once had a $15000 repair bill on our diesel pusher, mostly from replacing our turbo, but also included the air compressor and some brake work.  Are you ready for that kind of surprise expense?  Is it going to ruin your enjoyment of RVing worrying about such an expense?  We bought our diesel pusher new, but had our sights on one that was over $100K more and realized we were being foolish.

I have met multiple people who spent everything they had on their RV and they worry all the time about a big repair, camping costs, maintenance costs, fuel costs, etc.  There are also many happy RVers in gas motorhomes, older diesels, etc., who bought within their means.

 

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1 hour ago, Bill Joyce said:

There are also many happy RVers in gas motorhomes, older diesels, etc., who bought within their means.

Absolutely.  The under $10,000 RVs (usually WAY under) I've owned over the last 40 years have been comfortable and took me to the same places as those $100,000+ motorhomes.

Now that I'm retired, my current rig is a used truck and 29 ft. pull trailer that looks good and cost less than Bill Joyce's repair bill.

Will they break down at some point?  Sure, but so will any other RV.  In the meantime I'm enjoying the life.

I could purchase a new motorhome if I wanted to, but what I save by not making payments each month covers a good portion of my travel costs while leaving my nest egg intact.

Edited by Lou Schneider

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Bill, you got off cheap. We spent just over $25,000 for an in-frame engine overhaul a few years ago. Yes, these over-the-road diesels are million-mile engines - for over-the-road use. Those drivers put 200,000 miles on in a year, so a million miles is only 5-6 years. Our Foretravel is 26 years old and still doesn't have 200,000 miles on it.

Low miles means that the vehicle has spent a lot of time just sitting. Seals, gaskets, etc. often dry out when the engine isn't running. Fixing those leaks can get expensive, and it certainly will be frustrating.

As for the argument of gas vs diesel, each has advantages and disadvantages. That's why there are all sorts of choices available. Each of us has to look at our own situation and try to buy what will best suit our needs, wants, and finances. We've met people who full-time in a 45-year-old van conversion (and are very happy with their choice) and people who have a 45' 4-slide MH that tows a huge trailer for all of their toys. They are happy campers, too. Neither one fits us, so we have something different, and we're also happy campers.

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19 hours ago, RVnewbieshopper said:

Can anyone speak to the up and downside of buying up to a 15 yo DP with 30,000-50,000 miles? Also what about one this age but less than 30,000 miles?

I'll just give my opinion on the question you asked.  A 15 year old DP that only averages 2,000 to 2,500 miles a year has probably done a lot of sitting.  If I was looking at two identical 15 year old DPs for sale and one had 30k and one had 80k I would consider the one with 80k first.

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