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Author Topic: Buying a 2005 Diesel Pusher vs FRED  (Read 343 times)

KandT

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Buying a 2005 Diesel Pusher vs FRED
« on: September 30, 2017, 08:03:40 PM »
For the price people want for a 2008 FRED, I can get a 2005 Pusher.  I have to admit I am anxious about the air brakes and all the systems like power steering which I assume works quite differently than a FRED.

Are my fears founded??  If I buy a 2005 that was well maintained can I expect to get good life out of it without middle of the country breakdowns????  Will all the rubber pieces (Air Suspension) need replaced quickly?  These are the reasons I was leaning toward a FRED but boy they sure do want top dollar for those things and their GVWR seems to stop at 26K.  Can I expect several years out of a pusher with say 50K on it before needing hoses and brake lines.  I guess it is a new challenge and one I don't understand.  Hate to get into something that isn't a blessing!

Any comments from owner of either would be greatly appreciated!

There is also the PIA of having to get a class B license in Pennsylvania which means I have to get it back to my house (I guess by magic) and then find someone with a license to take me to the DMV.  When I stopped in the DMV even the lady said you really "should" have someone with a license with you if you just have a permit.  Fine for locals but I may buy this a thousand miles away.

I appreciate the advice of the forum!
2005 Winnebago Vectra
American Car Dolly
2009 Accord Toad
It's not a problem.  It's a project!

Larry N.

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  • Westminster, CO
Re: Buying a 2005 Diesel Pusher vs FRED
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2017, 08:44:21 PM »
The DP will probably be a bit more expensive on maintenance, but will be quieter up front.

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If I buy a 2005 that was well maintained can I expect to get good life out of it without middle of the country breakdowns????  Will all the rubber pieces (Air Suspension) need replaced quickly?

I wouldn't expect that if it passed a prepurchase inspection that you'd have to replace parts right away. Of course the environment it was in and the care it got before you saw it will play a part in that, but I wouldn't think twice about it from that perspective.

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I have to admit I am anxious about the air brakes and all the systems like power steering which I assume works quite differently than a FRED.

I wouldn't think that the power steering would be much different, but yes, the air brakes do work differently from the hydraulic brakes -- here is a link to a good explanation of how air brakes work. BTW, Westinghouse invented air brakes for trains in the late 19th century.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Buying a 2005 Diesel Pusher vs FRED
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 11:30:54 AM »
It's true the FRED and DP are night & day different. For practical purposes, a FRED is a 26,000 lb gas chassis with a diesel engine substituted. You question implies that you believe you want the extra features and capabilities that are nearly always part of a DP, both chassis and coach. Your fear seems to be future maintenance & repair costs.

The DP does have some more complex systems but they are also very robust. I would not at all assume that a 10-12 year old DP was worn out or likely to need repair, but there are a lot of expensive items involved so the risk of high dollar repairs is higher.  That makes the pre-buy evaluation more critical.  The good news is that most any heavy truck shop can repair a DP chassis problem - the major components are all truck-standard pieces. Further, truck shops are near always less expensive and more timely than RV dealer shops.

Routine maintenance will also cost more, e.g. more oil, several large filters, an air dryer for the brake & suspension air system, etc.

If I were buying a 12 year old DP, I would set aside about $2000 to bring its maintenance 100% up to date.  Engine oil and tranny fluid tests, all new filters, oil and coolant change, air dryer cartridge, and a check for air leaks. Genset as well as chassis too, since the coach probably has a larger diesel generator that is water cooled. Figure that into the price of the used rig.

Doing the same with a gas chassis or even a FRED is probably more like a $600 price tag.  Either one can be substantially less if you can do some of it yourself.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 11:37:35 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

TonyDtorch

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Re: Buying a 2005 Diesel Pusher vs FRED
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 12:07:21 PM »
Buy a motorhome with the best "home" part  ....not the best motor.

Both engines/chassis will get you safely to the campground.

ekorte1975

  • Posts: 2
Re: Buying a 2005 Diesel Pusher vs FRED
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 11:56:30 AM »
We bought a 2006 pusher in May 2017 that only had 34,000 miles on it. Worked well for several outings and shakedown trips but then on a longer haul it lost power. A week in the truck shop had replaced fuel filter, pressure regulator, high efficiency fuel pump and lift pump only to find on an RV forum (very helpful resource) that Freightliner had put an inline pre fuel filter above the rear axle that neither Freightliner nor Cummins seemed to recall. Ended up being a simple fix...after nearly rebuilding the entire fuel delivery system. Diesel is a very dirty fuel and the worst possible thing for a pusher is to leave it sit. I was warned of this and had every intention of putting on miles but prior to our ownership it had obviously sat. Other than that it has run fantastic and I couldn't be happier with it. Once you get them up to snuff you should have a long lasting rig!
06' Cross Country 38' 370 DS
17' Jeep Wrangler Sport 4-DR

 

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