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Old 05-16-2013, 12:10 PM   #71
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Quote:
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I don't think you guys are looking at the same coach. Regarding the link above, I could be wrong, but the coach in that pic appears to be a gasser, regardless of what the add says. That's not a leather sofa as they're claiming either....

AND, there's no slide - making that coach overpriced from where I'm sitting.
Also interesting is the roof mount AC units. My 96 Endeavor LE has both AC uinits in the basement, which was one of the selling points (for me), fewer roof penetrations.

Mike, I guess I should chime in here as I just went through your scenario 18 months ago - find a good DP for $30K max. We did find one, finally, after shopping for months. We ended up buying from a private party, dealer mark-ups were just to steep to find the quality we wanted in our price range. We ended up with a 1996 HR Endeavor LE 36' for $30k exactly.

Some observations.

I'm sure you know this by now but any cummins in 1996 and before will be mechanical, no computers to take care of temps, mixtures, etc. The good news is these are simple, realiable engines that will run darn near forever. The downside is you have to drive them. EGT's are the enemy of dielsel engines and you have to constantly watch your egt's. So at the least you will want to install a pyrometer if there is not one installed already. A good pyro will set you back a couple of hundred bucks. The 230hp cummins is underpowered imho, especially with a heavy toad, which you have. Fortunately there are ways to increase both power and torque, the Banks kit probably being the most popular with RV'ers. That will be another $1200-$1800 depending on which Banks kit you go with. You can also dink around with fuel plates and spring tensions, etc, which is way cheaper but may increase egt's. Of course if you end with an cummins ISB or newer you should have adequate power and the computer will take care of much of the driving. I'm not sure where the break points are for CAT engines, Al can help you there.

From your pic it looks like your a pretty fair sized guy. So am I, 6'3" 220+, so the shower was a big deal to me. The Endeavor had about the nicest and roomiest shower we saw in any coach, and that included much newer models. Make sure you step in the shower and close the door when checking out coaches, and kind of go through the motions. Nothing like a good shower to start the day off right.

Slides. We have the single super slide in the living room/kitchen. I can't imagine living without at least this one slide. And after living with our coach for a while now, I think a bedroom slide will be a must for our next purchase. We don't full time yet but just the week long trips here and there have convinced me that a little bigger bedroom and a bit more closet space would be a *very* nice thing to have.

Radiators. To me, any day I have to wrench because something's broke, it's a bad day. In the overall scheme of things if it takes a few minutes longer because the radiator is in the way it don't much matter. I'm going to be dirty, and PO'd, and frustrated anyhow. OTOH the floorplan I live with every minute of every day. The engine compartment I deal with rarely. If I found a floorplan I liked I wouldn't let the side/back rad thingy get in the way.

I'm way long already, sorry. We paid $30k and I put on new shocks, new steer tires and installed a pyro. I also bought a full Banks kit which goes on in a couple of weeks (I hope). I would not be afraid to drive this rig to Alaska and back tomorrow. I added a pic of ours, I know you can find a nice coach as well, you just have to be patient, which it sounds like you are.

cheers...
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:35 PM   #72
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Ok I have searched the forum and google cant really find a guide as to tell what year Cat or cummins engines might be what model motorhome.

Most MH adds will say Cat or Cummins and even have a HP but I would like to ID the specific model so I can research the engine.

Tomorrow looking at a 1996 HR advertised to have a 275 HP Cummins
Monday a 2000 HR advertised with a 300HP Cat.

Anyone know what model engines these would be? Or know a place with a reference list?

I have decided not to let Cat or Cummins be deal breaker if we like the coach

Same with side to rear cooled.

Sight unseen am leaning towards the newer HR coach

Mike
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:41 PM   #73
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ardbark thanks for the great info.

As a pilot I'm very familiar with EGTs. In a plane we an adjust the mixtures according to them.
Not sure how you drive based on them and have not seen a mixture knob on an RV yet.

What model engine is in your coach?

Thanks
Mike
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:06 PM   #74
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ardbark thanks for the great info.

As a pilot I'm very familiar with EGTs. In a plane we an adjust the mixtures according to them.
Not sure how you drive based on them and have not seen a mixture knob on an RV yet.

What model engine is in your coach?

Thanks
Mike
Hehe, mixture knob, that's funny. No, we don't re-mix on the fly (no pun intended), computers do that for you now. But the computers didn't show up until late late 1996 and 1997. Anything older than that likely has a pure mechanical engine (think sixties muscle cars). The cool thing about the older mechanicals is they are bullet-proof beasts that run forever. You don't have to worry about going DOA because of of a finicky component on a PC card burried somewhere. They also take very well to modifications and can easily and cheaply (relatively speaking) be tuned up to deliver far more HP and (more importantly) more torque (what you're really after) than stock.

That said, you have to pay more attention when driving the mechanicals. On newer engines, the computer monitors egt's, mixture, rpm, etc and won't let you hurt the engine. It will lean or fatten the mixture, downshift, whatever it takes to keep you below the dreaded 1350 degree egt, the official temp you are never suppose to exceed for more than a few seconds. The straight mechanicals will gladly destroy themselves if you insist on keeping your foot in them, you can run them as hot as you want for as long as you want, until they blow up - which they will - if you beat them hard enough. Hence the need for at least a pyrometer on the older engines.

I have the venerable cummins 5.9 12v 230 hp in my rig, bolted onto an Allison MD3060. Possibly one of the greatest engines, and eng/trans combos ever designed by man. It was the last pure mechanical engine cummins built, in 1997 they went to the ISB, their first widely released computer controlled engine. IMHO the 5.9 is just too small for a 30,000 lb coach. Don't get me wrong, it's a great engine and if you're patient it will take you where ever you want to go - eventually, but I would recommend at least the 8.3 version if you're looking at mechanicals. Actually, I would recommend buying at least a 97 model to get to the ISB if you can find one in a coach you like. In retrospec I wish I would have bought one year newer, swapping out a chip for a bit more power is a lot easier than tearing the top of the engine apart.

But I don't have a chip, so I'm installing a Banks kit on mine, which will add 90+ hp and over 200 lbs of torque without effecting my egt's, at least that what everybody who runs the Banks systems tells me. With the extra 90/200 I will have plenty of power, running the best of both worlds; no finicky computer with all it's sensors and gadgets, and a bullet proof, super simple engine/trans combo.

cheers...
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:17 PM   #75
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Again very useful. Just what I'm looking for.

In your HO realizing you own a cummins do you think I would be better with a 2000 300hp CAT or 1097 275 HP Cummins.
The 2000 coach is one owner HR loaded mad beautiful

Mike
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:28 PM   #76
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The 275HP Cummins should be a C8.3 mechanical engine (8.3L). These are great engines and will last the life of the motor home.

The 300HP Cat should be a 3126B (7.2L). This is the predecessor to the Cat C7. These can be good engines, but some have had issues. You can read more in the Power Train section of this forum.

I don't know of a single source for motorhomes engine types, especially early models.

After you have spent some time looking a various coaches and driving them, you will get a good idea of the engines you prefer. A suggestion is to ask the displacement and torque rating of the engine. Some sales people will scratch their heads when you ask this, but the experienced ones will understand. In the case of the two engines above, you will see the Cummins has a lower HP than the Cat. However, the Cummins is probably rated at 850 Ft Lbs and the Cat is 800 Ft Lbs. Horsepower is just a derived number using measured torque and RPM applied to a mathematical formula. An engine can generate less torque, but at a higher RPM and have the same HP rating.
Now the big question. How much torque does a motorhome need? The answer is, that depends. Do you live in the southwest where there are large grades on the highway and 100 degree days? Do you live in the cool northeast with relatively flat highways and cool temperatures? Do you plan on towing a car or trailer? You should consider these variables before your purchase to avoid the expensive search for more power afterward.
Best of luck!
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:02 PM   #77
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Again very useful. Just what I'm looking for.

In your HO realizing you own a cummins do you think I would be better with a 2000 300hp CAT or 1097 275 HP Cummins.
The 2000 coach is one owner HR loaded mad beautiful

Mike
There are folks on this list a WHOLE lot smarter than me when it comes to the different makes, models and sizes of engines. I'm sure someone will chime in with the whole history of RV application engines :-)

For my money both Cummins and CAT are quality, big name engine makers. Both build real diesels, made for real work and both have decades and decades of experience doing it. I wouldn't be afraid of either. Vito mentioned some historical issues with the 7.2, and he's right. There have been some. But a lot of engines have a snafu or two associated with them. The 5.9 12v for instance has an issue with a dowel pin located behind the timing cover that has been known to back out and can, and has, taken out the whole bottom end if it falls the wrong direction. The late 90's Ford V10 had issues with spark plugs blowing out. These are still great engines. Cummins are probably more popular in RV's so there will be more service locations and parts may be slightly easier to find and CATs may be a bit more expensive to service, but both are well known entities.

Really, the power train is important and sometimes it breaks and yes you will have to regularily service it, (once a year?) but frankly you spend 99.9999% of your time topside. The floorplan, ammenities, livability, basement space, bath, front entry vs mid-ship, drivability, these are all things you live with every day, Does it already have an inverter? Does it have adequate freshwater capacity? Is the dump station easy to get to and intuitive? I'd focus more on the quality of life questions and try not to overthink the powertrain. Check it out for sure, but maybe not make it a dealbreaker on a coach you (and more importantly your significant other :-) love everything else about.

Modern DPs have all been engineered well enough to get you down the road safely, but I've seen some floorplans that I and the wife just couildn't live in, which is what you want to do - live in it.

cheers...
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:07 PM   #78
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Now the big question. How much torque does a motorhome need? The answer is, that depends.
Ha! I thought the answer to how much torque does a moterhome need was always; As much as you can possibly get without blowing your transmission
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:30 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
The 275HP Cummins should be a C8.3 mechanical engine (8.3L). These are great engines and will last the life of the motor home.

The 300HP Cat should be a 3126B (7.2L). This is the predecessor to the Cat C7. These can be good engines, but some have had issues. You can read more in the Power Train section of this forum.

I don't know of a single source for motorhomes engine types, especially early models.

After you have spent some time looking a various coaches and driving them, you will get a good idea of the engines you prefer. A suggestion is to ask the displacement and torque rating of the engine. Some sales people will scratch their heads when you ask this, but the experienced ones will understand. In the case of the two engines above, you will see the Cummins has a lower HP than the Cat. However, the Cummins is probably rated at 850 Ft Lbs and the Cat is 800 Ft Lbs. Horsepower is just a derived number using measured torque and RPM applied to a mathematical formula. An engine can generate less torque, but at a higher RPM and have the same HP rating.
Now the big question. How much torque does a motorhome need? The answer is, that depends. Do you live in the southwest where there are large grades on the highway and 100 degree days? Do you live in the cool northeast with relatively flat highways and cool temperatures? Do you plan on towing a car or trailer? You should consider these variables before your purchase to avoid the expensive search for more power afterward.
Best of luck!
Thanks for the info... More of just what I'm looking for.
I'm an admitted diesel newbie, however what you don't know about me is I'm very familiar with HP/TQ, so thanks for providing some TQ numbers for me, something to look at that I can reference more usefully.
I have been training Techs how to calibrate/tune EFI gas engines on dynos for 15 years.

We will be flat towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
We will be driving in the mountains.
We will be driving in the heat and cold.

We currently live in Las Vegas Nevada. We are buying the motorhome to move into full time.
I'm not retiring but instead taking my family to work with me. Driving job to job, all over the USA.
I'm guessing I will be putting more miles on our couch than most full timers.
Estimating 20-30k miles a year.
Most of the full timers tell me things like due this once or twice a year, like a yearly service. I'm guessing I will be doing several a year.


Basically I'm leaning toward the 2000 HR with the Cat engine at this point, one owner, heavily loaded with options/upgrades and 3 years newer.
However saving final decision until I see them both in person. Also have a couple more we may look at.

Thanks for the great info,
Mike
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:27 AM   #80
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I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the year. 3 years newer is still 14 years old? At this age it's ALL about condition - very similar to a plane?

I refuse to step into these engine discussions. From what I've seen they degenerate quickly.

I'll say my 97 is on a 96 Chassis. It's an electronic engine, the first year for those I believe, and it's a 3126. The engine, from my research, has a very good reputation. Regarding engine service/parts, if there was no nearby Cat dealer, I'd doubt I'd have much trouble locating a Freightliner dealor?

NOBODY stocks many parts any more. They're distributed through regional warehouses on an "on demand" basis, and generally available the next day?

No power lust here either. To me it's a question of will the available power (rate it any way you like) keep me and mine safe without causing inconvenience to others on the road behind me. The 275 Cat has done just fine to date. It has yet to embarass me for lack of power - under any conditions. From the mountains in the West to the winds on the plains, all the while with a 3500lb toad behind it.

Regarding service intervals? Most of us do that once a year, demanded by usage or time. The usage you're talking about might require you to service it twice?

I would not hesitate to buy another. -Al
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:08 AM   #81
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Thanks Al,

I really appreciate your input.
The main reason I'm currently leaning toward the 2000 at the moment is the floor plan/features/options/one owner. But still going off of pictures.

When we view the 97 today and the 2000 Monday who knows how it will go... Might be looking at a couple more even.

I will post how it goes.

Mike
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:18 AM   #82
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I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the year. 3 years newer is still 14 years old? At this age it's ALL about condition - very similar to a plane?

I refuse to step into these engine discussions. From what I've seen they degenerate quickly.

I'll say my 97 is on a 96 Chassis. It's an electronic engine, the first year for those I believe, and it's a 3126. The engine, from my research, has a very good reputation. Regarding engine service/parts, if there was no nearby Cat dealer, I'd doubt I'd have much trouble locating a Freightliner dealor?

NOBODY stocks many parts any more. They're distributed through regional warehouses on an "on demand" basis, and generally available the next day?

No power lust here either. To me it's a question of will the available power (rate it any way you like) keep me and mine safe without causing inconvenience to others on the road behind me. The 275 Cat has done just fine to date. It has yet to embarass me for lack of power - under any conditions. From the mountains in the West to the winds on the plains, all the while with a 3500lb toad behind it.

Regarding service intervals? Most of us do that once a year, demanded by usage or time. The usage you're talking about might require you to service it twice?

I would not hesitate to buy another. -Al
Agree with Al ... we have very similar Endeavors (different floorplan and his is prettier). Mine is like the one you are considering. I don't think it was mentioned but (from your Endeavor picture), you will need awnings on the bedroom windows (hot back there). Check the floor in the corners on driver compartment and passenger compartment ... the rubber side window seals, if original, are leakers. 2 hours each and a roll of Butyl Tape will fix the windows. Everything else is what you would expect if you were buying a 15 year old home ... plumbing fixtures, reefer, A/C, etc. will all be approaching "end of life". These are single super-slide and the "pole" will be iffy due to step and furniture location (you'll see when you walk in). The upside is that the floorplan is VERY livable with the slide retracted. Clear path front to back and all drawers, doors, kitchen, and reefer are accessible without extending the slide.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:56 AM   #83
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Our experience with Cat engines in two boats are that parts are more expensive and mechanics are less available for the Cats versus Cummins. After floor plan I would try for a 8.3 liter Cummins. Mechanical preferred, for simplicity. But even Computer controlled would be a choice as well before I went Cat.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:49 AM   #84
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We have the 3126B engine in our coach. It has around 85,ooo miles now and runs great. It's getting around 10 mpg towing our Honda Element under calm, flat and pushes us through the mountains here in the west with no problems. We have a Freightliner shop here in town and anything I've needed is available in a couple of days if not in stock. Not bad support for a 15 year old engine. It is very owner serviceable, a big plus in my book. I don't think you can go wrong with either engine.
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