At 36,663 miles, The diesel RV like a car needs certain regular maintenance items. every 15,000 miles or once per year, whichever comes first, you perform some basic maintenance. Our Holiday Rambler Ambassador is a 2006 Diesel pusher, is about seven years old now. As you can see, from the odometer, we are on the yearly oil change plan, as we never drive enough miles to encroach on diesel oil change mileage interval. When you change the oil, you need to change the diesel engine oil filters (If you have the diesel ISL Cummings 330 of the 2005 -2007 year you can only use the LF909 fuel filter, if you expect your warranty to remain in tact. Don’t believe me check the owners manual), the primary and secondary fuel filter must be changed as well. This is the absolute minimum work you do. There are more task that need to be performed at this time, all the fittings need to be greased, the air filters checked, and the generator oil needs replaced as well. Now taking you rig in for an oil change is not fun. Tried it at Camping World once, and did not enjoy driving in their garage. Tried it at Walmart once, and they did not know any thing about RV’s, though they advertise the service. Don’t take your diesel pusher to Walmart. We have not used Speedco, but hear good things about them. They are the least expensive method I know of, but they have yet to have our filter. The next best thing would be to change it our self, but most places in the world prohibit that, and if you could change it, there is 24 quarts of engine oil. What do you do with it? not every city has free recycling of oil.
We called Jim Faulkner out out of Yuma Arizona, We could not have been happier, he brought his truck and replaced our oil in the diesel engine, the diesel generator, our fuel filters and greased the rig. The cost for all that was $420.00. (This is expensive, but compared to pulling a trailer with a diesel truck, you will find the cost is comparable., at least we did. When we were pulling with out truck, we had our oil changed on the engine for $100, every three months, and every 6 months a new fuel filter installed at $100 a shot. This was $600.00 a year, it just did not hit us all at once.)
Jim also changed the transmission fluid and filters. We have an Allison Transmission, this transmission has two fluid options, the first is normal transmission fluid. The cost of that is $350 with filters. The second option is Transyd brand fluid that Allison recommends, and so do I. The Transyd was $450, but last for three years. You do the math, you will likely do what I did and have Jim put in the latter.
So my total bill with sales tax was $939.00 for this years maintenance. For that, Jim did the diesel engine oil, the diesel Genset an Onan 8000W, The Oil and fuel filters for the ISL330, the Allison Transmission with the Transyd fluid, greased the zerks, showed me how to properly check the fluids, and repaired my temperature sensor wire for the transmission. It had not worked since I bought the rig. He said the wire was hanging there covered in grease. He cleaned it up and reattached the wire.
Jim is Based in Yuma, Arizona, but drives out to Quartsite, Palm Springs area, and Temecula, Ca on a regular basis. He prefers to take cash, instead of credit, that is why this whole service he did, is about $100 cheaper than his nearest competitors, and for a fee he will install any brand or type of filter for you, some of the others I called were not cooperative, they wanted to install cheap off the shelf products. Call Jim Fulkerton (505)269-1133. He only has a cell phone and may not answer because he is under someones rig somewhere – Leave a message. From now on though we will make a real effort to save our service needs for Jim.
Now what does a Gas RV cost.
We had to do our oil changes every three months in the gas rig as well. Camping world was $90 on average, the Generator was $90. every 6 months. Fuel filters were about $50 a year. Transmission was $500 every three years.
Cost Comparison (Gas RV, Diesel Pusher, Diesel Pickup)
- Yearly cost for our 8 Liter Gas RV: $760 – engine, generator, fuel filters, transmission spread over three years .
- Yearly Cost for our Diesel ISL330: $600 – engine, generator, fuel filters, transmission spread over three years . (Until I did the math I thought diesel cost more as I did all at once.)
- Diesel Pickup with my TT 6l 07′ 2500 : $650 Our cost was $560 for oil and fuel filters, and $250 every three years on the transmission.
The Diesel Pusher though hurts more when you get it service, as you do one service a year, not four, so your cost comes all at once.