Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-14-2009, 08:05 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 172
8.1 GM Workhorse in a 38' Class A

Not getting into brand or model names and numbers, but how does the 8.1 GM motor matched up to the Allison transmission work over all. Is there enought power to get up to speed and hold it there? Any grunt remaining for passing on the road? Any problems that have appeared across the board. Has this proven to be a dependable powertrain? Coach weight is around 18.5K with a GVW of 22K total combined rating of 24K.
Thank you for your imput.

JVJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-14-2009, 08:23 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Gary RVRoamer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Silver Springs, FL. USA
Posts: 18,633
The 8.1L is a fine engine and has plenty of "grunt". Matched to the right gearing (transmission and axle) it will move 22-24k lbs quite nicely. Like any gas engine, it does not generate a lot of horsepower and torque at lower rpms, so you have to be willing to let it rev on steep grades - or just be prepared to go a little slower than the diesels. In a 24k chassis, the 8.1L is usually paired with an Allison 2000 or 2350MH transmission, with six speeds.

Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
Gary RVRoamer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 08:57 AM   #3
Senior Member
Doug Sage's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Originally from near Portland, OR
Posts: 699
I have a 24K GVW Class A motorhome and tow a 3,500 pound vehicle behind it all the time. We are full timers and have driven coast to coast and North to South. We have been in the Rockies several times as well. The motor does surprisingly well. You have to be patient on some of the steeper hills. Some of the lightly loaded trucks will pass us but we can pass the heavily loaded ones. I would not hesitate to get the 8.1 again. The Allison transmission has been rock solid. The only problem that I have had with the motor is that the spark plugs and wires burned in the back which is more a function of the air flow caused by the coach manufacturer than by Workhorse. We had Workhorse add the air ducts on both sides of the motor (as well as replace the plugs and all plug wires) and no further problems.
Doug Sage
Full timers roaming the good old US of A
2007 Itasca Suncruiser 38J
2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Doug Sage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 10:33 AM   #4
Senior Member
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Savage, MD
Posts: 233
Workhorse & Allison

Love 'em! We are slightly over 24K lbs. and have had no problem on some high steep mountain passes in NM & Colorado.

Passing, even at 70 mph (which I do NOT drive) is just fine. Quick & smart.

We find our best mileage is at 60 mph. Lower than that, and will be shifting down to 4th and higher than that, about ever 5 mph kills the mileage about .6 mpg.
Bill N8HDW & Nancy N8HDV
2005 Sea Breeze 8341 on W-22 Chassis
2008 Saturn Vue I-4
Blue Ribbon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 11:47 AM   #5
Senior Member
Cousin Ed's Avatar
Entegra Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Posts: 975
We have about 65,000 miles on this MN. Our toad weighs 4200 lb. We are in the middle of our 6th cross counrty trip in it. I'd love another 600 ft/lb of torque, but we don't have it and everything works well. It has climbed every mountain (lots) I point it at. We always run right at 26,000 lbs. I don't pass too many other vehicles and drive about 60 - 62 mph getting an average of 6.8mpg.
Jeanie, Ed & Slade the GSD
Cape Cod, MA
2017 Entegra Aspire RBQ & Sierra Crew
Cousin Ed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 12:11 PM   #6
Senior Member
dajudge's Avatar
Tiffin Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 645
I have only had my allegro bay since april, but we recently completed a 4800 mile round trip to new brunswick and nova scotia and had no problems with getting up to speed and keeping it there. (we travel 62-63 mph to get better mileage. ) i say to those who travel 70 and over, go ahead and take a chance, i will see you down the road in a little while. We tow a jeep grand cherokee and got about 8 mpg average.
dajudge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 02:30 PM   #7
Senior Member
RovinOn's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 669
I have an 05 Southwind 37C with the 8.1 and Allison team,,, Love it!
Just got back from Virginia this past weekend and averaged about 8.5 mpg doing 60 mph.
Going down that long lonesome highway,Bound for the mountains and the plains
Michael Parks / Then Came Bronson - 1969
RovinOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 02:57 PM   #8
iRV2 Marketing
DriVer's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Coastal Campers
Carolina Campers
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Conway, SC
Posts: 23,345
Blog Entries: 70
Originally Posted by JVJ View Post
  • 8.1 GM motor matched up to the Allison transmission work over all.
  • Coach weight is around 18.5K with a GVW of 22K total combined rating of 24K.
If the GVW is 22K pounds the combined weight rating is 26K pounds. The 8.1L engine and Allison six speed transmission work very well together and are properly matched. All Allison transmissions installed on Workhorse Chassis since 2006 are 6 speeds regardless of weight rating.

DriVer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 05:03 PM   #9
Junior Member
dixon.mld's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 10
We have a 37 foot dolphin on the W-24 with CRV toad. Never had a power issue. In fact no issues at all. Do have the ultra power upgrade. Very solid performance. We mainly travel the mountains of the West but have been across the country twice. For the money you can't go wrong.
dixon.mld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 09:08 PM   #10
Senior Member
wa8yxm's Avatar
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 23,922
My coach is 37'7" which is close enough to 38 for me to comment.

Plenty of Oomph, When I was on a slight grade (Uphill) and got stopped by an idiot parking his sports car under a semi trailer... at 70 MPH (his last mistake in this life) which resulted in a closed road,, Instead of cutting through the median I considered where i was sitting, With Television, Kitchen, "Facilities" and such, and decided to be calm... When the road re-opened I was passing semi's pulling out of there... Dang thing performs almost as well as the car it towes. (the car is a 3.1L 4000lb Mini Van)
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2009, 11:50 AM   #11
Senior Member
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 480
I have a 2004 Winnie Adventurer 37b which measures 37'12" (yes you read that right) according to Winnie's own lit. I just got back from a Bakersfield to Vancouver rouund trip. Had plenty of steep hills involved. I had stopped at Brazels in Centralia Washington for an annoying noise and they dyno'ed my rig and I got some more horsepower and torque. I already had the UltraPower upgrade, but it needed some tweaking. The 8.1 performed wonderfully after that and I had plenty of power for my almost 22,000 lbs plus 2500 lb tow. You can go uphill quite smartly if you want to sacrifice the gas mileage, but it pulls nicely in the lower range and gets better mileage doing it. This is the closest thing to a diesel that you will find.
Joe & Sherri
2004 Winnebago Adventurer 37B
JWatkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 01:36 PM   #12
Senior Member
offshore's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Lakeside RV Park, Livingston LA
Posts: 816
We have a 38' and love it, handles very well on the road.
offshore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 02:17 PM   #13
Senior Member
George Z's Avatar

Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,080
36 ft Coachmen Epic w/ 8.1 no power problem w or w/o toad
Kathy & George Zimm
Mickleton, NJ
2006 Coachman Epic & 2013 Chevy Equinox Toad
George Z is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2009, 05:32 PM   #14
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 64
Have an Allegro Bay 37DB with the 8.1 Workhorse and Allison transmission. The 8.1 has adequate power and the transmission is excellent. The Workhorse chassis handling is inferior to my previous Ford chassis. I believe if I were to do this again, I'd go with Ford.

wazone3 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Workhorse To Show New 22,000 lb. GVWR Version At The Tampa Supershow. DriVer RV Industry Press 5 01-05-2008 03:31 AM
Workhorse Partners with General Motors On More Class C Chassis - Debuts DMAX Power DriVer RV Industry Press 1 12-01-2005 05:24 AM
W25.5 & Workhorse Products Hit RV Show with More Capacity, Power and Performance DriVer RV Industry Press 1 12-01-2005 05:00 AM
GVW Holdings to Sell Workhorse and Uptime Parts to International DriVer RV Industry Press 4 07-22-2005 08:43 PM
Towing a MDX with Workhorse 8.1 liter? TriumphDriver Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 6 07-18-2005 02:45 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.