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Yearly Maintenance


SWharton

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NO!!

On a DP you will need to do rear end & front hub fluid changes and On gasers & some DP front bearing.

Do need packing by the maintenance book.

 

And most RV chassis/drive lines need greased every 6K miles. So that could be more then once a year.

Most new cars have no grease zerts.

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I'd start by changing all fluids if the coach is used. From there go by the chassis owner's manual suggested service intervals. If you don't have one, most chassis builders have them available by internet or to order by mail. I am also a believer in oil analysis on a regular basis. With our coach we used Blackstone Labs and were very happy with the records that they keep, with each report comparing all previous reports and showing any trends. They also suggest adjustments to frequency of oil changes and such based upon those reports. It is also a good idea to keep a close watch on the condition of hoses and belts on any engine and replace when wear shows, rather than waiting for failure.

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I'm getting ready to retire and go fulltime and one of the main concerns is maintenance of a DP since I'll be on a fixed income and I don't want to drain my cash reserves with large repair bills. Initial condition of a used DP is critical as well as ongoing maintenance. My death scenario is having to replace injectors, engines or transmissions. Is there a reasonable way to predict those problems prior to purchase? I'd rather have a DP but a gasser seems less risk, what do you think?

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Coming from the 5th wheel world I have a question on yearly maintenance for a MH.

Do I need to pack/grease the bearings on a regular schedule?

Anything else besides the usually "car" maintenance?

Thanks

Most full size diesel pusher class A have oil bath type front bearings, where you add 80/90 weight gear oil to the reservoir if its low. It depends on the chassis builder, I imagine some may have packed bearings, but most of the truck chassis builders use oil bath bearings on the front.

Besides the typical "car" maint items like fluids & filters & lube fittings; a diesel pusher has an air system used for brakes & suspension which requires some minor maint. The air sys includes a dryer to remove excess moisture from the pressurized air, that dryer has a filter that needs replaced every few years. It also has a lanyard that they recommend you pull every 6 months or so to release the moisture from the sys.

The other sys that's slightly different maint wise on a diesel is the cooling sys. For a diesel its critical that the coolant not only be at the proper level, but the chemical makeup of it is critical to maintain. Each engine mfg has slightly different coolant requirements, some require using a test strip every so often to check that the chemical components of the coolant are still within the allowable range, if not you must add a quantity of mfg spec'd SCA (supplemental coolant additive).

 

"My death scenario is having to replace injectors, engines or transmissions. Is there a reasonable way to predict those problems prior to purchase? I'd rather have a DP but a gasser seems less risk, what do you think?"

 

In my opinion you're more likely to have major engine/transmission troubles with a used gasser than a DP; but any engine can go bad. The heavy duty truck engines and tranny's used in DP are made to go a couple million miles with proper maint; the typical gasser engine lifespan is more in the 200,000 range. When buying used the prior maint, prior issues and misuse are critical to forecasting future troubles. a lab test of the coolant & oil would be a usefull tool, but any engine can blow at any time under the right/wrong conditions. Just look at all the blown Nascar engines, where they spend millions on design, testing and maintenance.

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I'm getting ready to retire and go fulltime and one of the main concerns is maintenance of a DP since I'll be on a fixed income and I don't want to drain my cash reserves with large repair bills. Initial condition of a used DP is critical as well as ongoing maintenance. My death scenario is having to replace injectors, engines or transmissions. Is there a reasonable way to predict those problems prior to purchase? I'd rather have a DP but a gasser seems less risk, what do you think?

A great deal of this would depend upon your budget. If shopping on a limited budget the gas chassis will cost far less to purchase, starting with around a 40% differential on new rigs and although it varies for used it will still be quite significant. Should you need an engine or transmission, those in a gas rig will cost about half or less what one does in a diesel, but the diesels usually run longer, if properly maintained. Because of a limited budget, we chose to buy a new gas chassis motorhome and kept it for 14 years, almost 12 of those as fulltimers and so knew all of the maintenance history and had no major repairs and the most expensive one was caused by an invasion of rats in the chassis electrical system, which could happen to any chassis.

 

I really don't think that you can base degree of risk on what fuel an RV burns. If shopping for a used one, the condition of everything is the #1 issue. The very best RV can be destroyed in a pretty short period if it is abused and neglected. No question that major repairs cost more on a diesel, but the best approach is to try and avoid them in any motorhome as they are always expensive. If you buy something relatively new, you can greatly mitigate the costs of future repairs if you shop carefully and buy an extended warranty for it.

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