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Old 01-28-2016, 10:19 PM   #15
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^^^ Great information. We both really like the Itascas. Thank you!
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:34 AM   #16
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You can't just thrown a blanket over all RVs with a Cat or Cummins engine and call them the same, even for the same model year or manufacturer. Most of the manufacturer's provided lots of options for engines.

I've seen most 330 hp Cat's listed as having 860 ft lbs of torque, but I've seen some listed higher. The Cummins ISC's run from 300 to 350 hp and torque from 850 to 1050.

I looked at a 2005 Horizon that was in immaculate condition and came with a 400 hp Cummins, which is unusual in my experience. Most seem to be 350 or 330 hp.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:46 AM   #17
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I didn't know about the Vectra. Read the PDF and it seems like a pretty solid coach.


2004 Winnebago VECTRA 36 GD, Mesa AZ - - RVtrader.com


Why did they get away from the engine brake and go to an exhaust brake. Isn't the engine brake a better system? My education continues...........
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:56 AM   #18
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^^^ Great information. We both really like the Itascas. Thank you!
I totally agree with " Fire Up " . Our 06 Meridian with the Cat 350 performed very well all the way through mountains around Yellowstone .
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:18 AM   #19
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Not sure what years, But my 05 on Freightliner Xc has 50 degree steering, that means I can turn around in a Cal- de-sac, now they went to 55 degree steering, but I don't know what year.
As far a shorter coach, the only tight spot in my 36'er is the bathroom.
Oh, I know someone with that Cummings 5 speed in a 08 Damon, He just runs at higher rpm's. He's not impressed.
Now, I don't have it, but some people don't like that basement air, and others love it, guess its like anything else, if it works, its great, when it doesn't, "I hate it".
Good luck and happy hunting
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:26 AM   #20
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I didn't know about the Vectra. Read the PDF and it seems like a pretty solid coach.


2004 Winnebago VECTRA 36 GD, Mesa AZ - - RVtrader.com


Why did they get away from the engine brake and go to an exhaust brake. Isn't the engine brake a better system? My education continues...........
B Dubya,
First off, I don't know how much you know and/or, understand about either of the two "Auxiliary" braking systems. Just in case you're a bit fuzzy, here's a short explanation in the difference between the two.

An "Engine Brake" or, "Compression Brake" or, "Jake Brake" is, basically all the same thing. The term "Jake" came from the only party interested in purchasing the compression brake from its original designers. And that company was Jacobs Chuck Mfg. Yep, it's the same company that's been manufacturing the chucks on drill presses and hand drills for decades. But, the company has expanded since it took over the compression brake system.

Anyway, the compression brake is an internal engine process by which, the compression built up, is not used as power, it's used as a brake, when conditions are met. It's a bit more technical than that but, that's the ultra-simple basics.

An "Exhaust brake" is merely a big, butterfly valve, inserted into the exhaust of an engine. If and when needed, and, certain conditions are met, the valve is closed and, your exhaust, is basically compressed behind that valve, therefore not being allowed to freely exit the tailpipe. And, when that happens, it slows up the engine and, therefore also slows down the coach. 'Nough said about those two.

Right off the bat, a compression/Jake/Engine brake, can only be installed in certain sized engines. And that includes all brands, CAT, Cummins, Detroit etc. The smaller engines do not and cannot accommodate the mechanisms needed to operate such a system. So, on those, as in the smaller Cummins and CATs, you will find an Exhaust brake.

An exhaust brake can be, a very helpful braking system, if used correctly. We have one on our '04 Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT. And, due to the proper use of that auxiliary braking system, we have right at 64,000 miles on this coach with, approximately 80% brake lining left. So, as you can see, it (the exhaust brake) can surely extend service life of service brakes. And, not only that but, it keeps your service brakes from heating up so much, in certain applications.

Hope this clears some of the mud up for you.
Scott
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:36 AM   #21
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Thanx Scott. I understood the exhaust brake (Jake) but not the engine brake. So if I'm to pass Exhaust Braking 1A, one is internal, one is external, and both work on the same philosophy. I can assume the butterfly in the exhaust system would have fewer parts and engineering, therefore less expensive, and that's why the change for manufacturers. Did I pass?
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:57 AM   #22
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Just to add to the discussion on engine vs exhaust brakes. The term Jake brake is not a good one to use, since there are both engine Jake Brakes and exhaust Jake Brakes. Just use "exhaust brake" or "engine brake".

As best as I can simply describe, an exhaust brake is like a butterfly valve in the exhaust that causes significant exhaust backpressure when applied, which gives an engine resistance and ability to hold back the MH. An engine brake, or better described as compression brake, is built into the design of the engine. It uses compression to provide the resistance; the end result for either engine or exhaust brake is extra resistance force to help slow down (or maintain speed on downhill). You can't add engine compression brake to an engine that does not have it designed into it. You can add exhaust brake to almost any engine. An exhaust brake has some required maintenance, with the moving parts out side the engine. An engine brake does not really have any maintenance, it is inside the engine and uses the engine's hydraulic oil pressure to actuate.

Hope that helps. I would not rule out one MH vs another based on Cat vs Cummins, both are generally good engines. Bigger size is more important than hp rating.
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:01 PM   #23
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Thanks for the brake info! Never owning a DP always wondered how they work! My gas bounder I think had a trans brake, not a clue how that worked but it did help a few years back out west in the Rockies. It was a Allison I think 2100 trans and obviously workhorse engine/chassis.

What do the semi's use that make all that noise?
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Old 01-29-2016, 02:18 PM   #24
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"What do the semi's use that make all that noise?"

They use a compression ((engine) brake and some have two or three different settings. The compression is built up in the cylinder of the engine and makes a lot more noise. The signs you see in places forbidding the use of compression brakes refer to the engine brake not the exhaust brake!
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Old 01-29-2016, 03:58 PM   #25
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I didn't know about the Vectra. Read the PDF and it seems like a pretty solid coach.


2004 Winnebago VECTRA 36 GD, Mesa AZ - - RVtrader.com


Why did they get away from the engine brake and go to an exhaust brake. Isn't the engine brake a better system? My education continues...........
I have a brother with a 2005 Vectra with the Cummins ISL 400HP/ Allison 3000MH, side radiator, and IFS. He has owned it since new and overall I would say it continues to be an excellent coach.

Mike
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:01 PM   #26
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Thanx pasdad, hehehehe, but I got some stuff to sell first with the semi-ignant questions. This is why I'm starting early. 34 footer is ideal. I'd rather have a 36 but there might be issues. I have a tight left turn, right turn, sweeping left, turn around and back in. I live on a couple acres up in the foothills and I have it down to a science with the 33.5 Vacationer. A 38, 39, 40+ is out of the equation. That's why I'm continuing to do research. Everything I've read suggests the Freightliner chassis is the one I want (80% of current DPs). The airbags deflated allows me to back in under the roof of the barn-attached covered parking area. 12' height is absolutely the max height I can do. And according to the Misses, we aren't moving anytime soon!!!
You will be amazed at how tight a DP chassis can maneuver. Now about the height. If you try to drive a rig with the airbags deflated you can and most likely will damage the Ujoints on the driveshaft.
I'm at 40' and I turn my rig around in my backyard and I'm on a 1\3rd of an acre by doing a hammerhead maneuver and it's fenced off at the property lines. It's tight but with a 56 degree wheel cut it is easy. I have people look at my backyard and can't believe I can do it. I went from a 34' gas coach to the one I have now. It just takes planning and a good spotter.
As far as chassis go I am a Spartan fan because it has Independent front Suspension which makes for a smooth stable ride and very easy to drive.
Well that's my .02 worth. Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:34 PM   #27
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Gees Snipe.......nothing like throwing a clog in the cog! I was told (by someone I thought knew what they were talking about) that I could lower the bags on a Freightliner Chassis so I could lower the height enuff to back in under my 12' parking area. He said not the other chassis (I assume Spartan) but OK on a Freightliner. Maybe I should call them and get it from the horses mouth!
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:46 PM   #28
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Lowering airbags to gain clearance is a common happening. There can be some adverse consequences IF one is not careful. On some coaches it is possible to dump all of the air and have the coach resting on the tires. That's fine when parked, but not so good when moving. Dumping the air so that there is only an inch clearance between the tires and the coach while going very slowly can work.

The trick is whether your air system allows you to do this. I can dump my air so that I'm down on the tires, but as soon as I put the coach in gear it immediately goes to travel height.
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