Well, picked up my RV (Breakdown part 1) yesterday at 1pm. New head, new piston, valves, and associated work. They even fixed the sticking throttle for free. Engine sounded great. Drove 10 miles and returned to the shop to dump and refill radiator. Paid the $5734 bill and headed off. Shop owner beat his original estimate by $230...Northern Arizona Diesel.
Headed north on US89 and got around 10 miles when the engine died on a long hill. Since the brakes and the parking brake require the engine to be running, and I travel alone, it was harrowing to coast back downhill over a mile to an area where it was just barely moving and I could drop the jacks to prevent rolling backwards. The emergency braking system in my case on this rig is an electric motor that operates the master cylinder...but I was worried about exhausting the battery. Jumped out and chocked the thing and called the shop.
The owner came out 30 minutes later and wrenched the crank shaft...frozen solid. Engine seized up. Has to go back to the shop, but no driving it there this time.
So, I call Coach-Net and give all the particulars of where I am, 28 miles south of Grey Mountain, one block from a cross street, on US-89 North of Flagstaff, exactly 10 miles, etc.
Coach-Net then sends the truck 8 miles the wrong way. Just as that happened, my phone ran out of minutes. Two hours later, I flag down someone and borrow their phone, give CN all the particulars AGAIN! When the truck gets there he tells me that he'd talked to 3 people and only the last one gave him the correct info. A little disappointed with CN.
So, he hooks up and just when he's starting to lift, his hydraulic system gives up. Two hours later he gives up and limps back to his shop to get another truck. He gets back at 8:30pm and off we go back to the NAD shop. I park on the street overnight and ponder my luck.
Today, I have another question for you all...when should I give up on this beast? So far, $22,000 in repairs (mostly) and optional equipment or improvements. It's a 1994 with 160,000 miles. Most everything works, but it's worn of course. New paint job.
You want reliable or inexpensive?
If you have the time to periodically fix/repair deal with inevitable breakdowns of an older rig(general statement I know cuz they all break! Lol) to avoid the cost of a new rig which still has many of the current old rig expenses you have then perhaps worth keeping it.
Add up total cost of your rig to date, divide by number of months you have it...gives one a good idea of whether or not they have a good "financial deal rig".
I am still dumb enough to believe that newer and more expensive is better! Laughable I know!
But with the little time away I get off of work now I know I, like the other poster, would likely cut my losses and look for something more reliable.
If I was retired and breakdowns meant simply another day to do nothing...well, I'd save my money and keep fixing up the old beast until buying a new one would be cheaper than fixing up the old one, or until my dw said she wants a new rig! Lol
'08 Newmar Kountry Star 3916, 400ISL Cummins
'05 Cedar Creek Silverback 33lbhts
'11 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
'07.5 LMM 2500HD Duramax Crew 8'
Blue Ox, BB, PP TPMS, BB Buggy, Ranger EV
If you read the forum long enough, you will find that even new coaches break down. You will also find that diesel engines break down at least as often as gas engines.
If and when you get the coach repaired, you will have something with your own history of repairs. Buying another coach is a crapshoot, new or used. I would get it repaired, which sounds like it will be on the shop's dime, and then see how things go. If it appears that the engine is fixed, just chalk it all up to bad luck and go out and enjoy the coach.
I just 'officially' retired so now, along with my retirement benefits, at least I have a reliable income. So, I'm kind of thinking of fixing it, finding a place to settle for two years to build my reserves back up.
But, my plan had been to sell this thing this year and get a newer rig with slides. I would like more space merely for comfort.
Thanks for the ideas so far. Keep them coming! They really help.
If you can afford it, trade her in and get a newer unit. She's only getting older and with no slides less desirable. There are a lot of young people that would love a motorhome to camp in. Maybe get a used with slides and add an extended warranty on for at least a year to check things out.
Whatever happened to getting 500,000 miles on these engines? It is/was barely broke in at 160,000 miles!!
You can get a lot of miles out of a diesel. It just takes some MONEY to do it. The alternative is to drop down in size to something which a gas engine can handle. So for the majority, diesel and the cost to maintain/repair is something they need to get use to or trade in frequently. Either way, it is an expensive ride!