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Old 05-21-2019, 09:24 AM   #1
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Diesel Newbie

I'm posting this thread in the General Discussions to get as much feedback as I can on the operation of a diesel class A.

I've previously posted that my DW and I are leaving the gas rig group as of this coming Thursday when we pick up our 2014 Sportcoach DP.

What are some pointers I/we should be mindful of as we get acclimated to ride and comfort talked about in all of the threads positioning Gas vs. Diesel? I know over the years I have certainly joined various discussions coming from the gas point of view. But, now the shoe is on the other foot and I'm looking for as much advance tips on the operation of all things diesel.

As always, Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:24 PM   #2
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Diesel input

I am in love with my Diesel so the best advice from me is to top off DEF every 1100 miles. Have researched this enough to give this advise. Other than that oil change every 10k or once a year. If you have a Sprinter chassis. Then be aware of the A and B maintenance schedule.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:27 PM   #3
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I love my deleted diesel 3500 SRW Silverado.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:38 PM   #4
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I can't speak to a class A, but we upgraded our TV and TT a year ago and went to a diesel.

There is an additional investment, but we do cross country trips. The lugging performance of the diesel and Allison transmission is very impressive compared to our previous set up with a gasser and smaller TT.

I guess it's all relative to what your load is, but when not towing, it just rolls and rarely downshifts across the mountains.

We keep our vehicles for 8 to 10 years, and am very happy with our decision.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:51 PM   #5
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Love diesels and have a Sprinter Class C as well as personal vehicles. Some precautions though as Mercedes does have stringent oil and other requirements you need to be aware of if you have a Sprinter. Keep the DEF topped off at home but on trips over 1,000 miles bring your own 2.5 gallon container. Whatever might be best for you as you can purchase on the road but might be higher priced. The benefits and cons between diesel versus gas I won't go into as this has been addressed endlessly. You either love a diesel and know why or you don't and accept the other. Either way personal choice.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:08 PM   #6
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I have a 40' Class A with a Cummins 360 hp DP. I've had diesel pickups and have had my current DP for over a year. Last week, I went to the Camp Freightliner for a two-day course on diesels. I thought I knew a lot, but was humbled by what I didn't know. As a minimum, read the maintenance/operators manual cover to cover. Still, there are new things you'll need to learn about such as: Use of engine braking, transmission do's and don'ts, use of the transmission mode switch if equipped, fuel filter, oil filter and water separator, use of DEF, engine instrumentation, rpm & torque ranges (very different from gas), particulate recirculation and regeneration and use of air brakes (another big difference) and air bags. If it sounds like a lot, it is. Damage to a diesel engine can be costly. But, if you keep up with maintenance requirements, your engine can easily last over 300,000 miles! All that aside, welcome to a whole new world. You'll really be delighted about the difference from a gasser. Happy camping.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:33 PM   #7
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Get the ari in and the air out.
Watch your temperature gauges. Sometimes it is worth it to pull over and idle for awhile and cool off in the mountains. Let your engine idle before you shut down after working it hard.
I like synthetic oil for diesels. Some additives help in cold weather and plugging them in is a good idea below about 15 degrees F.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrisjc View Post
Keep the DEF topped off at home but on trips over 1,000 miles bring your own 2.5 gallon container. Whatever might be best for you as you can purchase on the road but might be higher priced.

Filling the DEF tank at truck stops is the easiest and cheapest way to fill your DEF tank on the road, it's also going to be the freshest DEF. Bringing a 2.5 gallon jug for an emergency isn't a bad idea, but buying DEF in jugs as part of normal filling is quite a bit more expensive and more of a pain than pulling into a diesel island and pumping DEF right into your tank.


The OP's DEF tank capacity is likely 10-15 gallons, if they refill at 25% then that's 3-5 jugs, which is slower and more of a pain to fill than via DEF pump, plus a lot of plastic waste/recycling that could be avoided, and it's more expensive.


5 jugs (12.5 gallons) of Supertech DEF is around $40. 12.5 gallons at my local DEF pump is just shy of $35. $5 isn't much, but over time it does add up and basically every 7th fill is free compared to buying the jugs.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:32 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. Yeah, the first thing the sales manager told me was to keep a jug of DEF in the rig at all times, you don't want to run low out in the middle of nowhere.

Vince and Charlette, my salesman mentioned the Freightliner Camp. It's in So. Carolina right? Some of the things you mention in your post is what initially deterred me from thinking diesel. It is a bit overwhelming. Can you PM me with any info you have the camp? I have an appointment with the local Cummins shop to upgrade my 6.7L from 300HP and 660# of torque to 360HP and 800# torque when we get back from our maiden trip this coming weekend.

Do you drive with the engine brake always on, or, do you just use it on descending hills etc.?

Confused by "how to use the transmission", what do I need to know here before I head out Friday morning.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:04 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sherman12 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Yeah, the first thing the sales manager told me was to keep a jug of DEF in the rig at all times, you don't want to run low out in the middle of nowhere.

Vince and Charlette, my salesman mentioned the Freightliner Camp. It's in So. Carolina right? Some of the things you mention in your post is what initially deterred me from thinking diesel. It is a bit overwhelming. Can you PM me with any info you have the camp? I have an appointment with the local Cummins shop to upgrade my 6.7L from 300HP and 660# of torque to 360HP and 800# torque when we get back from our maiden trip this coming weekend.

Do you drive with the engine brake always on, or, do you just use it on descending hills etc.?

Confused by "how to use the transmission", what do I need to know here before I head out Friday morning.
My engine brake is always on unless it is slick or raining.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:20 AM   #11
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After heavy towing don't shut the engine down immeaditely. Let it idle for a minute to allow the exhaust gas temp come down a bit first...Your turbo will appreciate it..
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:25 AM   #12
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Thanks Houstonstroker!
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherman12 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Yeah, the first thing the sales manager told me was to keep a jug of DEF in the rig at all times, you don't want to run low out in the middle of nowhere.

Vince and Charlette, my salesman mentioned the Freightliner Camp. It's in So. Carolina right? Some of the things you mention in your post is what initially deterred me from thinking diesel. It is a bit overwhelming. Can you PM me with any info you have the camp? I have an appointment with the local Cummins shop to upgrade my 6.7L from 300HP and 660# of torque to 360HP and 800# torque when we get back from our maiden trip this coming weekend.

Do you drive with the engine brake always on, or, do you just use it on descending hills etc.?

Confused by "how to use the transmission", what do I need to know here before I head out Friday morning.
For everyone's info. Camp Freightliner is a two-day event costing $245 plus a token additional amount for your copilot. It only covers the chassis, all its systems such as brakes, air bags, etc. and Cummins engines, but not the coach. It's in Gaffney, SC. Classes are filled way in advance, i.e. at least 6 months unless there is a cancellation. Here's their site for signup.
https://www.fcccrv.com/owners/camp-freightliner/
I'm sorry for making my original post a little scary with too much detail. Essentially, get in turn on the key after the light goes out, let off the brakes and drive away. The rest of the things you will learn with time and from this forum. Doing the maintenance on time is important. Some of the other things are just techniques. On the transmission, the user's manual says not to shift from drive to reverse or the other way without first going to neutral. Regarding the engine brake, as someone already said, some keep it on all the time. I surely keep it on the entire time I'm in mountains or even smaller hills. DEF is cheapest in the truck side of fuel stops. As a rule of thumb, you can go 100 miles on 1 gallon of DEF.
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:55 AM   #14
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Vincee and Charlette, excellent! Thank you. Nice clarification on the use of the transmission. A simple concept that would seem to be easily overlooked without you pointing out the "neutral" step, which is the same for a standard gas engine always shifting past neutral to get to forward or reverse.
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