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Old 09-21-2013, 06:24 PM   #1
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Good V10 driving habits

We just got our Damon Daybreak, 2008, V10 F53 (I believe) and I would like to straight away develop good driving and maintenance habits. I am pretty good at general vehicle maintenance and have driven a class C MH with a V10 but want to hear what you all have to add. We live in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento so no matter which way we go short of driving up and down I-5, we will be driving up or down the hills or mountains of eastern central California or the coast. I know the V10 seems to like higher RPMs at least when pulling hills but I'm looking for your experience to help me develop some good habits with starting, warmup, shifting, uphill, downhill, passing and general stuff. The goal is a long lasting, trouble free, safe and fun RVing experience. TIA, John
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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Congrats on your new motorhome. You will soon realize what a great job Ford has done with that motor and there is really nothing to do other than drive it like any gas motor. Start it, put it in gear, go. You may find the tow/haul feature really handy in the mountains, especially down hill as it works something like an exhaust brake, only using the transmission gears to slow you down instead. The V-10 is one great motor but I think you will find the 5 speed tranny equally impressive. You are right about the high revving, but that's what its designed to do. Personally, just sounds like power to me.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:48 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the Motorhome. I just came back from a 4000 mile trip. The V10 did great and I had no problems. I did learn a few driving "tricks" that helped me. I was traveling in the western states so I was in the hills and mountains. I used the tow/haul sometimes on the hills. I found that the cruise control works well as a brake helper going down the steep hills/passes. I was on some 8% downgrades and setting the cruise helped save the brakes. I didn't use the cruise very much going up. I found the shift point would kick in to soon for my liking and the engine would really rev up. I just used my foot to give a little more gas and except for the steepest grades I was able to maintain an acceptable speed without maxing out the engine. When possible I used a downhill grade to to gain a little speed before I started up the next hill. I keep my speed at around 60 when pulling my towed.
As far as the maintenance it really just like any other gas engine. I probably change my oil too often but I think it's cheap insurance compared to an engine overhaul. I also use synthetic oil. I keep a close eye on the air filter especially when I have traveled in some dusty areas. Got into two sandstorms while I was out. If you are parked for a length of time keep an eye on you batteries. I have a battery maintainer on mine but you still want to check your water in the batteries. I live in a warm climate but I still drain/blowout the lines before any freezing weather comes, if we get any.

Safe travels and enjoy your Motorhome,

Jim
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:43 AM   #4
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You may want to add 5 star tuning or a banks system. I had a banks on my first V10 and it worked great. On my new coach I added the 5 start tuning. Cost more reasonable and it works well. On hilly terrain you have to manage te throttle yourself and use the Tox/Haul function. I did use cruise going downhill but not up. Hope this helps, seems like most of us have had the same experience.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:24 PM   #5
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My first V-10 was in my 2002 F-250 tow vehicle. I changed the oil every 3,000-3,500 miles. When I traded in this year to our present class A the F-250 had 205,000 miles on it. The motor and trans were still going strong, having never been touched with major maintenance. It was the body which went but I guess we can all say that as we get older. I expect to get the same life span out of the V-10 in the class A following the recommended routine maintenance for filters, oil changes, etc. plus reasonable driving habits with the gas pedal and the tow/haul mode.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:23 PM   #6
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Great comments, I don't want to break the thread or change it but i'd like more details about using the Tow Haul mode. I've been reading more comments about this but not sure the exact use when not towing, if used at all when not towing. It seems to be useful even when you're not towing, is that correct?
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:48 PM   #7
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Yes, the tow/haul mode is good without towing. I've used it going down hwy. 58 from Tehachapi as well as down the Grapevine on interstate 5 to Gorman. I'm not in a big hurry so I just go slow uphill and find a spot where the trans. wants to stay in one gear with the engine not revving above 3200 (makes too much noise). Has been very dependable so far even though it's just an '08 with 11,000 mi. on it. I use the recommended 5-20 wt. oil (but not synthetic). I've never gotten better than 9 mpg anywhere but that doesn't bother me. I'd have to say I'm a happy camper with it ('08 Winney Sightseer 35-J). I do the oil and filter changes myself once a year...everything on the chassis seems easy to get to. Enjoy your Damon...you live in a great area that has some fun camping spots.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:00 PM   #8
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The tow/haul mode is very useful when not towing. Living where you posted, it is almost mandatory to learn to use it. As I crest the grade, I ease off on the gas to slow down initially to give me more room for the speed to build downhill while I push the button to turn on the tow/haul system. Monitor the speedometer and tachometer, when the speed builds to the point I deem safe for me, I lightly touch the brakes until I feel the trans downshift. Monitor again, if speed becomes excessive, lightly touch the brakes again until another downshift. Keep repeating process until the bottom of the grade is reached. Three points to remember, the harder you hit the brakes, the more it downshifts. Over revs are possible. Turn off at the bottom of the grade to prevent over revs if you have to do a quick stop. Don't worry about any traffic behind you on the grade, safety of the people and care of the rig is what is important. If you have a suitable, less traveled highway in your area, do some practicing to see how things feel.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:54 PM   #9
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Great information and thanks for the reply.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Judge View Post
The tow/haul mode is very useful when not towing. Living where you posted, it is almost mandatory to learn to use it. As I crest the grade, I ease off on the gas to slow down initially to give me more room for the speed to build downhill while I push the button to turn on the tow/haul system. Monitor the speedometer and tachometer, when the speed builds to the point I deem safe for me, I lightly touch the brakes until I feel the trans downshift. Monitor again, if speed becomes excessive, lightly touch the brakes again until another downshift. Keep repeating process until the bottom of the grade is reached. Three points to remember, the harder you hit the brakes, the more it downshifts. Over revs are possible. Turn off at the bottom of the grade to prevent over revs if you have to do a quick stop. Don't worry about any traffic behind you on the grade, safety of the people and care of the rig is what is important. If you have a suitable, less traveled highway in your area, do some practicing to see how things feel.
No. Its impossible to over rev the motor using tow haul mode. Period.

I don't know where you got this information, but its completely and utterly wrong. Yes, tow haul will turn 4000+ rpm to maintain speed. No, it will not over rev the motor.

Call Ford if you wish to verify, but their information will be the same as mine.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:09 PM   #11
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So what is the red line rpm's on the V-10? Can't tell by looking at the tach, although mine is the older 310 hp engine. 4400 is the max I have had mine at downhill in 2nd before I stabbed the brakes.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:18 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies, this is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I have used the tow/haul on my class c mostly going uphill but look forward to getting some miles on the new MH soon. I think within the next couple weeks, we will head out for a trip up the northern Cali coast and into Oregon for a few weeks. I will get some mountain experience coming down I-5 over Mt Ashland and into Redding for sure.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:33 AM   #13
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On my 98, which was the first year Winnebago put a V 10 in their "A" body, I was told there was an RPM limiter built into the sysyem that would not let you to over rev. Was never in a position to see if it actually worked. Was also told if it overheated two cylinders would stop firing until the temp returned to normal. Thought it was a great engine and only serious problem was water injestion into the air cleaner in heavy rain.

Good luck and enjoy the ride.

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Old 09-24-2013, 05:38 AM   #14
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So what is the red line rpm's on the V-10? Can't tell by looking at the tach, although mine is the older 310 hp engine. 4400 is the max I have had mine at downhill in 2nd before I stabbed the brakes.
According to Furd, the "redline" is 5200 rpm by the computer. The real redline where valves and pistons have unholy relations is probably a fair bit north of that, but that's speculation on my own part.
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