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Old 03-23-2015, 07:45 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Peralko View Post
Curious to see the claim a Jake brake is 40% effective. My Cat engine sheet tells me it has 350 hp driving, and braking hp is 320--a bit more than 40%!
Yours may be an exception to my figures. Was not aware of any jake setup that strong. good for you. What cat? 3176B? Those worked well in the marquis when I ran a beaver factory store. Customer preference software allowed the jake to work on cruise control. Customers loved it. Up and down hills with out touching either pedal on the floor. 8.25mpg at 37.000 pounds GCW.

only had to install a 2,4 or 6 cylinder panel to adjust the jake.

Foretravel opted for the Allison x-tarder starting in 1989 and continues to this day.

I have driven a dual installation on a m11 unicoach and the retarder is capable of much stronger force.

In my coach coming down a 13% grade in colorado(monarch pass) at 37,000 pounds at 55mph I never used the top two positions out of six settings.

Will your engine brake hold your coach back without use of the service brakes on any grade?

Older Foretravels Oshkosh chassis had smaller drum brakes so when the Unihome was built mr Fore opted for meritor air disk brakes and an x-tarder.

Can heat the trans up a bit. Jake does not of course.

The x-tarder is quiet. Mine works on cruise control and the brake lights come on in use. How is your affinity wired?

The only other cosch as well made or better as the Foretravel then is your country coach in my opinion.

Scraped off a few steps on our allures and intrigues back then and had to build sound boxes around the side mounted diesel gens in those models but loved the quality.

Thanks for the cat info. The early 90's marquis I sold with the 325 hp 3176's jakes were not that strong as your 95. Glad they made improvements
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:55 AM   #72
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A few questions:




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Originally Posted by Caflashbob View Post

aluminum lower compartment doors conduct cold readily into any basement. tankage freezes. most won't go into winter. that's different from can't.


Ours has aluminum compartment door skins, plus insulation and routinely sees zero and below temps. The basement is always 45 plus degrees. Can you explain?


as coaches get older any frame coach has a bundle of hoses and tubes that are tightly bundled inside one side of the frame.

non accessible.


I have full access to all my wire harness, plus fully labeled wires.




paint get hot and delaminates the skins. how to fix them? loose mount them to start with. ugh. known as hung walls. all the older highlines were painted light colors if at all and universally had vacuum bonded walls with fiberglass skins. less heat gain. less gen run time. quieter camping.


How can a non-laminated wall delaminate? A hung wall has just the outer skin "hung" on to the wall studs.
All the Prevost and Newells I've seen had the shell, then spray foamed insulation. No vacuum bonded walls.

Our first coach had laminated walls, no thank you. Our present coach, with hung walls, is quieter and warmer/cooler then the old one ever could be. Temperature is always around 72 inside no matter what the outside temp is. Plus I no longer hear everything going on outside. Most of the time we can't even hear the rain.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:35 AM   #73
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Newmar plagued with defects come on

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I'm six months from retirement and haven't bought our coach yet. My wife and I have been researching for 5 years.
The top coach to avoid in my mind is Thor. They may sell the most units but's it's at the cost of quality. I really don't think they even have a quality assurance program when you hear of the defects that go out the door.
I believe the best coaches made are Tiffin and Foretravel. I once thought Newmar but lately I have heard that they too are plagued with defects which Newmar is very slow to rectify.
I recently traded in a 2011 Thor Avanti that had nothing but problems would not recommend anything from Thor. We were recently in Quartzsite and we noticed after a couple of trips back to the same dealer that an individual who purchased a new Thor palazzo was back on her third trip to get items fixed. There is no quality control in there production throw it togeather and push it out the door. We traded for a new Newmar 3436 and it has had 0 issues since purchasing. The dealer service dept. even mentioned they love selling Newmars as they rarely have issues that need to be addressed. I have called Newmar tech support on some questions and was able to talk to a tech within minutes and have my questions answered. When researching I did narrow it down to the Tiffin Phaeton and the Newmar I purchased.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:57 PM   #74
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Yes, my Cat is a 3176b. On a really step hill I may have to add a little service brake in addition to the Jake. I have had some problems with the Jake though--it some times does not work right, so I've had to use more service brakes. Once on the west side of Death Valley, I had to manually downshift to first to get enough braking, but it worked fine. The brake lights do not come on when we apply the Jake--later coaches had that added. We like Foretravels too, but we like the Country Coach floorplans better, and Foretravel added heated flooring only in recent years--Country Coach has had them since 2002, and for me, a heated floor will be a must have in our next coach. A big bonus for Foretravel is the proximity to our place in San Antonio, and they did good work when we had coach in for service there.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:41 AM   #75
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Two years ago the CAT dealer in Bakersfield adjusted my valves and said that our engine brake would work much better and it did. Since the adjustment only hills over 6% require any service brake or to manually put the transmission in a lower gear. Last week we went down the Ocotillo grade going east on I-8. I just put on the engine brake at level 3 and tapped the service brakes once about a mile into the grade.

I cannot say if a transmission brake is better or not, but I would say that if it was your goal to not use the service brake at all going down grades it would be easy to do with the 3 stage engine brake. You just put the transmission in 3rd. If you have to go lower than that it might not be a good road for a big class A to be on.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:58 AM   #76
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B Bob, I have it from the highest authority (Brett Wolfe) that a transmission retarder is more powerful than a Jake brake, and you can always take Brett's words to the bank. Nevertheless, when my Jake is working right, I have never felt the need for added braking except for the occasional application of the service brakes.
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:51 PM   #77
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country coach 2006-2008 best --honorable mention--holiday rambler --monaco--beaver--newmar--dont buy anything manufactured after 2008--quality went downhill and most coaches went to cheap--stay away from fleetwood,winnebego,thor,goergetown-
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:09 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Peralko View Post
B Bob, I have it from the highest authority (Brett Wolfe) that a transmission retarder is more powerful than a Jake brake, and you can always take Brett's words to the bank. Nevertheless, when my Jake is working right, I have never felt the need for added braking except for the occasional application of the service brakes.

I'm sure Brett is correct as he is a very knowledgeable guy. Most coach builders don't offer the transmission retarder. Foretravel is the only one I know that has used them fairly extensively for a number of years. Like most everything, there is no free lunch. The biggest caveat on long down grades is watching transmission fluid temps.


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Old 03-25-2015, 09:37 AM   #79
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I am not attempting to assign the "best" label to an engine brake - transmission retarder question. I do not have personal experience with the transmission retarder and therefore don't know if it is better or not. But what I am saying is that the engine brake that we have works well to control speed down hill. My one complaint with mine is that I have to be careful to keep the revs on the CAT below the 2100 red line and that means less than 60 mph in 4th.

My antique 1975 GMC motorhome was much easier to use down hill. The big Toronado motor in second was almost always as much slow down on downgrades as you needed. Our GMC had all around disk brakes and was easy to use down grades. It went uphill pretty good too.

I believe Blue Bird Wanderlodges also put transmission retarders into many of their later coaches.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:10 AM   #80
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retarder

coming down monarch pass in Colorado using my Allison xtarder it was on the fourth position out of 5 or 6. 13% grade.

yes it does warm up the trans oil.

my old pre slide 97 foretravel 40' u320 as far as I know has the most storage inside and underneath of any rv made.

plus a m11 engine and air disk brakes to go with the trans retarder.

I could fit a jake to the m11 if I wanted to reduce the trans heating from the retarder but even long grades do not seriously heat the trans.

I use the meritor air disks on the same grades just to exercise them and they never fade. both together are amazingly strong. almost like a car.

strong words I know on the storage but no tag axle, no slide outs is the key.

a 45 foot might be close on storage but I doubt it. each slide removes 18" from the interior storage and the new coaches have reduced the cabinet depths and quantity of the cabinets to make the interior look bigger.

the slide outs take away storage underneath the coach from the mechanisms and raise the coach height making it more top heavy.

yes I understand more space. the dear wife has to agree to buy a coach.

bigger, prettier sells better.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:16 AM   #81
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retarder

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I'm sure Brett is correct as he is a very knowledgeable guy. Most coach builders don't offer the transmission retarder. Foretravel is the only one I know that has used them fairly extensively for a number of years. Like most everything, there is no free lunch. The biggest caveat on long down grades is watching transmission fluid temps.


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one of my favorite coaches was a 1990 Monaco signature with a n14 444 hp giant cummins.

10% grade the jake would slow the coach easily. nothing like a 855 cu in motor to slow you down.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:43 AM   #82
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one of my favorite coaches was a 1990 Monaco signature with a n14 444 hp giant cummins.

10% grade the jake would slow the coach easily. nothing like a 855 cu in motor to slow you down.

Yea, that's the size of the ISX15 that's Cummins current heavy hauler. As we use to say when we were young, "there's no substitute for cubic inches".


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Old 03-25-2015, 11:03 PM   #83
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As a potential purchaser, Thank You for this thread!
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:11 PM   #84
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Mr D.
Of course I'm sorry you have such a bad start on your Magna. My hope is your issues will not be extremely costly. Your coach is a fine piece of equipment and a quality build. Best wishes on the ISX and see you on the road.
$29,000 to fix the ISX with Cummins picking up only $10,000 of it for an admitted design flaw in the 650 HP ones. New head and valves have been produced and will be used in the rebuild of ours. Called our broker and will close out an IRA to pay for it. Not totally happy with Cummins right now but the Magna is a beautiful piece of work. Next is new tires and batteries for another $10,000 or so, but that will have to wait a while!
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