International MaxxForce Engine doesn’t need liquid Urea

***Update 01/2013***
As many of you know International has removed their engines from Motorhomes and other large trucks and they are replacing them temporarily with Cummins Engines. The CEO of Navistar took a major gamble to try and produce an engine that beat 2010 Diesel emissions without making the customer take the additional step of adding urea…..well that CEO is now gone and Navistar is facing recovery from one of their worst years in history. There is a fabulous article on Forbes Magazine which you can read here:
Please don’t misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with the engines other than the fact they cannot comply with the 2010 EPA diesel emissions. So it’s back to the drawing board for Navistar and International, I’m guessing you might see Urea in their next generation engines.

Original Post:
The wool is possibly being pulled over your head! Don’t be fooled by a dishonest salesman. All new diesel engines must meet 2010 emissions regulations. What does this mean for the buyer?

If you have an International MaxxForce engine (like the engine in the Monaco Vesta) these regulations are worry free. You may notice an automatic ‘regeneration’ light that intermittantly lights up, but other than that you’re golden. They call it ‘Advanced EGR’, in leiman’s terms there is a filter that captures the particulates from the exhaust, then the particulates are burned off using the heat from the exhaust, therefor the exhaust leaving the tailpipe is ‘clean’.

If you DON’T have a MaxxForce engine BEWARE. You must add liquid Urea to your engine (a separate tank from your fuel tank). If you don’t add this chemical your RV engine will be damaged, and your exhaust is not burning clean. Urea is expensive, adds extra weight, takes away space from your storage bins, is effected by extreme temeratures, and basically its just cat pee! YUCK. Know the details BEFORE you purchase your new RV. We’ve heard from so many RV’ers who have purchased their RV from the dealership, only to find out this information when they go for thier pick-up and new RV education. It is a slick move from dealerships and salesman to try and hide this information from the buyer.

I’m not an engine person, shoot I barely know the Horsepower of my coach, but what I do know is these actions are not right. Make sure you educate yourself before you sign those papers on that new coach. Visit this website for a grassroots campaign to educate buyers on this exact issue. If you feel compelled sign the petition, we sure did.

Happy Travels!

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (5)

  • Reese

    I concur that the Urea thing is no big deal compared to value added. I just have a BMW X-5 but given the power, tons of torque and very quick, luxury and all this at an average mpg of 24.7 I think the mild inconvenience is well worth it. On a trip from Monterey to Tahoe we averaged 32 MPG loaded down with gear and 5 people.

  • FYI, you have two types of regeneration. First international owns the patent on their regeneration technology and is also one of the sources of the debacle with the Ford Super Duty problems that cost Ford Motor Company hundreds of millions. This caused them to move to a Urea based system. Passive regeneration is transparent and will happen when you travel down the road at highway speeds. You see the regeneration only when passive regeneration can’t keep up with the soot. Active regeneration injects fuel into the exhaust to super heat the particles and burns up the excess soot. Active regeneration is a MGP killer and why most other manufactures use urea. Urea and the lack of active regeneration is why the current crop of Ford Super Duty diesel trucks get over 20mpgs. Just an FYI on Urea vs Regeneration. Generally Urea needs to be filled once every 5-15k miles or top off at each oil change.

    • Bob Jaissle

      Curtis, You seem to know a lot about this subject so…
      Its now August 2016 and I looking at buying a used 2011 RV with a V8 diesel MaxxForce engine. Am I going to have a “problem” (meeting emission standards, having to remember to add “urea”, going broke doing so, suffering lousy fuel mileage, etc., etc., etc.)? Today, what’s the best combination I can look for a “passive” system that uses “urea”?

  • Reiner

    We have a 2011 Solera (Forest River) that actually uses Urea (MB V6 Diesel Engine). We had to fill the UREA tank the first time after 8000 miles (5 gallons) at a total cost of $50.

    The cost of Urea is hardly a factor any more. The coach consistenly gets between 13-16mpg. If I factor the Urea part it it doesn’t change the cost of ownership at all.

    The only thing is that you have another tank that needs to be refilled once in a while.



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