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Old 07-05-2007, 11:53 AM   #1
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I don't want to sound stupid (but I can't help it...)

In shopping for a new coach I can't figure out the specs on the different chassis options. I've read through some of the forums and I don't want to ignite a Ford/Chevy Cummins/Caterpillar debate (again) but I'm confused. Here are the specs as I've found them:

Ford:
Triton V10 22000GVW 5 Spd 362 HP 457 Ft Lbs

Workhorse:
24000GVW Cheverolet 8.1 V8 L Allison 6 Spd 340 HP 455 Ft Lbs

Freightliner:
32000GVW Caterpillar C7 350 HP 860 Ft Lbs Allsion 6 sp

What I don't understand: If the Ford is lighter and has more HP. why is the Workhorse a more expensive option? How can a diesel with less HP handle so much more weight? Is torque the determining factor? These specs are specific to the models I've looked at- Damon Challenger and Tuscany. I read through Freightliner's "Know your chassis" manual, is owning a diesel as complicated as it sounds?

I appreciate all your opinions and advice...
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:53 AM   #2
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I don't want to sound stupid (but I can't help it...)

In shopping for a new coach I can't figure out the specs on the different chassis options. I've read through some of the forums and I don't want to ignite a Ford/Chevy Cummins/Caterpillar debate (again) but I'm confused. Here are the specs as I've found them:

Ford:
Triton V10 22000GVW 5 Spd 362 HP 457 Ft Lbs

Workhorse:
24000GVW Cheverolet 8.1 V8 L Allison 6 Spd 340 HP 455 Ft Lbs

Freightliner:
32000GVW Caterpillar C7 350 HP 860 Ft Lbs Allsion 6 sp

What I don't understand: If the Ford is lighter and has more HP. why is the Workhorse a more expensive option? How can a diesel with less HP handle so much more weight? Is torque the determining factor? These specs are specific to the models I've looked at- Damon Challenger and Tuscany. I read through Freightliner's "Know your chassis" manual, is owning a diesel as complicated as it sounds?

I appreciate all your opinions and advice...
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:52 PM   #3
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Actually this is not a stupid question at all. I'm glad you took the time to ask before you buy. Horsepower and torque are completely different animals in the RV world. In a nut shell, Torque is what gets you moving, and pulls you up hills. Horsepower is what is needed for top speed. Torque is clearly the most important factor in RV'ing. Diesels make much more Torque than most gas motors. Diesels as a rule will get better gas milage and the longevity is better. The maintenance on a diesel is not complicated, just different. The required maintenance is less often, and simpler to perform in most cases.

The trade off is diesel costs more to purchase. The up side is because of the heavier chassis in a diesel, the weight carrying capacity is a lot better. The gas motorhomers will chime in im sure, so you will have plenty of opinions to choose from. In the end the only opinion that matters is yours.

Buyers remorse really sucks, so take your time, do your homework, and make the best choice you can. Good luck with your decision!!

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Old 07-05-2007, 02:35 PM   #4
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What do you mean by Ford is lighter than WH? If you are referring to the GVWR, that is it's load capacity
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:57 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by adj:
What do you mean by Ford is lighter than WH? If you are referring to the GVWR, that is it's load capacity </div></BLOCKQUOTE>adj, In reality the Ford Chassis is lighter than the Workhorse W24 "because" Workhorse puts more metal into its frame rails.

The strogest house is only as weak as its foundation.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:14 PM   #6
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You are kind of mixing apples and oranges with your examples, but the question is a good one.

The Ford 22,000 lb chassis can carry a maximum weight of 22,000 lbs (including the chassis itself).

The Workhorse you mentioned, the W24, can carry 24,000 lbs and has gearing and transmission to do so, plus a stronger frame than the Ford. But Workhorse also makes a 22,000 lb chassis (the W22) which is comparable to the Ford in carrying capacity. The W22 still costs more than the Ford (last I knew, anyway), but not as big a difference as the W24. Both of the Workhorse models have a frame made of stronger steel than the Ford, but you may not feel that is necessary.

Both the Ford and the Workhorse W22 perform about the same, despite the difference in horsepower. That's because neither of them achieve their rated horsepower very often in normal use. A gas engine has to turn very high RPMs to get to its rated horsepower (usually 4000 or so), so most of the time you are running with only about half the horsepower.

Now that Freightliner (or a similar Spartan, Roadmaster or whatever) with the Cat or Cummins diesel can really put out that huge torque and the full horsepower down in the range where you can use it all of the time, typically around 2000 RPMs. It is also equipped with 6 speed Allison truck transmission, much heavier duty than the light truck transmissions in the Ford and Workhorse (yes, even though the Workhorse has an Allison 6 speed too). And that chassis can carry 32,000 lbs rather than the 22-24,000 lbs of the Ford and Chevy and can also tow around 10,000 lbs vs 4-5000 lbs for the Ford and Chevy. So yes, it costs a great deal more but you get more as well.

Whether the extra cost of the diesel is worth it is for you to decide. I can tell you that you will love the performance of the big diesel chassis, but the gas chassis won't disappoint you either. We are talking good vs better, not poor vs OK.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:39 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RV Roamer:
You are kind of mixing apples and oranges with your examples, but the question is a good one.

The Ford 22,000 lb chassis can carry a maximum weight of 22,000 lbs (including the chassis itself).

The Workhorse you mentioned, the W24, can carry 24,000 lbs and has gearing and transmission to do so, plus a stronger frame than the Ford. But Workhorse also makes a 22,000 lb chassis (the W22) which is comparable to the Ford in carrying capacity. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ford is bring out a 24,000 and 26,000 pound F53 gas chassis shortly.

But, the Workhorse will still have the preferred 6 speed Allison.

-Tom
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:58 PM   #8
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Thanks for your replies so far- I feel less stupid now. The weights I listed are what is listed for the GVWR of each chassis- the 2 gas chassis can carry about the same amount of cargo give or take. So in effect the Ford is somewhat lighter than the Workhorse. The diesel can carry more still (plus tow 10K). I'm looking forward to more debate...
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:08 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I'm looking forward to more debate... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
There is really nothing to debate. The Freightliner 32,000 lb GVWR chassis can carry more than the Workhorse W24 24,000 lb chassis and the W24 can carry more than the Ford 22,000 pounder. Freightliner makes lighter duty chassis (e.g. the 26,000 lb FRED), Workhorse makes both lighter and heavier chassis than the W24 and Ford soon will have heavier models as well.

You need to consider the weight of the coach you want to buy and how much CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) you want to have left after the coach body is in place.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:56 PM   #10
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It's a matter of cost. If you can afford it go for the diesel. You'll be a much happy camper. But, don't just buy any diesel either. MOST... of us who own motorhomes would more than likely have a diesel if we could afford it. Now keep in mind there are cheaper low to middle class diesels that cost about the same as some of the high-end gas moho's. And when I say MOST... of us I mean if we could afford a good middle to higher end diesel we'd probably have one.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:46 PM   #11
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I'm grateful for everyone's input. The diesel I'm considering at this point is the Damon Tuscany- at around 180 grand it would be a stretch, but I may go for it. Having never even driven a diesel before, the differences scare me. I read through Freightliner's manual and most maintanence sounds like it beyond me to. Not that I was a whiz with my gas coach either...
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:31 AM   #12
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TCayer,

Go test drive all the coaches. When you are driving the diesel you will notice there is no noise. The air ride suspension will make you think why would I ever consider a gas on springs.

Now, you can probably tell I am a diesel driver, but forget new. You can go down 3-5 years, get a high end pusher, have a lot more coach and never wear it out.

As for maintance, you still have to change the oil. There is just more of it. Air filter, well it is just bigger, and so on.

Happy shopping,
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:45 PM   #13
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Some coach manufacturers are now building coaches on the Workhorse UFO a rear engine gas pusher chassis should you feel more comfortable with a gas powered coach.

Good luck with your choice, Jim
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:59 PM   #14
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Back in April I spent almost $1000 on routine maintenance for my 3 year old diesel. And that does not include an oil change (done previously) or transmission oil change (not due for another 2 years). There are lots expensive filters and things like air driers, plus I was due for a coolant change.

I do a lot of my own maintenance and repair work and could have done a portion of what I paid for, but wanted the Freightliner factory folks to go over this new/used rig from stem to stern.
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