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Old 04-29-2016, 08:20 AM   #1
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Is your motorhome more noisy than a trip to Boise?

I was watching a video last evening about a guy looking for a class A motorhome. He wasn’t sure if he wanted a gas or diesel and the intent of the video was to follow him along in his search.

The first coach the salesman took him into was a 2008 Newmar Mountain Aire, which I think most would agree is a very good coach. You need to know at this point that the video was shot in 2016 so it's a used coach that is 8 years old.

This is the first motorhome he ever drove and his first questions to the salesman when the drive was over was, “are all motorhomes so noisy”? One noise was a kitchen drawer that kept opening and closing. They knew that because it was open when they finished the drive. The others he had no idea what they were or where they were coming from, they were just there!

I remember a video I saw with the Wynn’s in a Fleetwood Bounder. It was making all kinds of racket and they took it back to Fleetwood and the dashboard was loose. I was thinking to myself, “the dashboard was loose, this was a brand new coach and the dashboard is loose”? Fleetwood fixed it and the coach was much quieter!

With the above information as the backdrop, are motorhomes inherently noisy? But the bigger question is, can you identify the noise and fix it so it stops making noise? And for the most part can you fix it yourself, like keeping a drawer from opening etc? Or are they many times so egregious you have to take the coach to a pro to fix, like the dashboard issue?

I know some who could put a pound of nails in a dryer and a gaggle of nuts & bolts in a blender and they could drive down the road and not be bothered a bit. And I know others if there is the slightest noise it would send them to the moon! I like to think I’m a bit more noise tolerant but if given the choice I’d go with the moon family and would guess that most would!

What say you; can you keep the noise in your coach to a tolerable limit? You may ask “what is a tolerable limit”? And I would answer that question this way. If you have a guest in your coach and have to apologize for the noise, or a guest asks “what's that noise”? That would be beyond a tolerable limits!

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Old 04-29-2016, 09:02 AM   #2
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We have a diesel pusher and can have conversations at normal levels while driving which is not the case in a front engine gasser. When parked, however, a heavy rain can be deafening which is the case in any RV.

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Old 04-29-2016, 09:08 AM   #3
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I have a front engine gasser, no problem with normal level conversations unless I am climbing a steep hill pulling a car trying to maintain 55 mph which doesn't happen.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by FreedomDream View Post
We have a diesel pusher and can have conversations at normal levels while driving which is not the case in a front engine gasser. When parked, however, a heavy rain can be deafening which is the case in any RV.
Then you had some serious issues with your coach if you could not converse in a normal tone. I did not even have this issue with my 1997 Adventurer.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:18 AM   #5
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Gas powered front engine on shocks and springs is the normal configuration for that chassis.
Diesel powered rear engine on shocks and air springs (commonly called air bags) is the normal configuration for that chassis.
If you have owned, or driven, both you will know the rear engine diesel is quieter.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:19 AM   #6
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I've never driven another big MH, so I don't really have anything to compare with, but we're very happy with the driving comfort and quietness of our Windsor! Sure, if you hit a pothole things are gonna rattle a bit, but from what I hear that's pretty normal unless you're driving a Prevost or Newell.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:21 AM   #7
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Heck, the only noise in my gasser Mountain Aire that I find intolerable is when the dryer gets unbalanced and that was the same way in the s&b.

Having a normal conversation was never a problem.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:26 AM   #8
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My coach is now 18 model years old , yes there are noises when driving down the highway. Normal conversation is possible, and my DW has no problem reading her book while we travel, AND, can hear ; unsecured ; items fall off her bed side table 35' behind her.

JMHO: Anyone who thinks, any coach, is going to be as quiet as a mini-van on the highway is sadly mistaken.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:30 AM   #9
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I read the OP's question as noise OTHER than the engine - meaning rattles and what-not.
Engine noise aside, mine is very quiet going down the road, which the sales person pointed out during the test drive.
"Listen to those cabinets" he said.
"I don't hear anything" says I.
"That's my point"

As regards to engine noise, mine is only loud when the cooling fans are running, which pretty much means anything below 45mph. Once I cross 45mph and start pushing enough air through the grill it gets much quieter. No, it's not as quiet as a rear-engine anything, but I can carry on a conversation with my wife with no issue.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WyoFree View Post
But the bigger question is, can you identify the noise and fix it so it stops making noise? And for the most part can you fix it yourself, like keeping a drawer from opening etc? Or are they many times so egregious you have to take the coach to a pro to fix, like the dashboard issue?
As you've noted, you'll get lots of opinions. My Dutch Star is nearly silent compared to my old Pace Arrow. Rain was mentioned, can barely hear it raining when in the Dutch Star, could barely stand it in the PA.

To your question, if you are reasonably handy, you can fix most noises and rattles yourself. Often it is a puzzle to find and then takes a couple of attempts to fix but it is doable. Here is a little post I did awhile ago about a rattle in my dash - it no longer makes any noise! Creaking Noise - JdFinley.com

I am only guessing but imagine the people that complain the loudest about cost of ownership are the folks that take their coach to a shop for every rattle and open drawer.
JD & Buddy (the ferocious feline) - Full timer out west
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:43 AM   #11
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Not all Gas Class A's are built to the same level of quality (including noise suppression), and not all Diesel Class A's are either. So you will mostly get responses here that are specific to the brand and model RV that each of us has had direct experience with. That being said, I think that most would agree that Diesel Pushers, with an engine more than 30' behind the driver, is going to be quieter than a Gas Class A with the engine only a few feet away. There are also "FREDs" out there, which stands for Front End Diesel, and I've never been in one so can't comment on how they compare to Gassers or DP's, but suspect them to be somewhere in the middle.

My direct experience:
2013 Coachman Mirada 35BH Gasser--could hardly carry a conversation with my wife in the passenger seat, and if the drive was more than a short one, she would retreat to the bedroom to avoid the noise. Noise while driving was my number 1 complaint with this RV, and I sold it before it's first birthday.

2013 Fleetwood Discovery 40G Diesel Pusher--quiet, but not silent. Wind and tire noise is more than a luxury car, but less than my Jeep Wrangler when I had"mud" tires on it. Can easily carry on conversations and ride comfortably up front for 10 hours. Can hear things like silverware banging around in the drawer, and the occasional squeak here and there. Can hear the generator when it's started, but it's a low hum. The nosiest thing in this RV is the dash AC unit. Even with that running though, conversations are easy without raising voices.
2013 Fleetwood Discovery 40G, Cummins ISL,Freightliner Chassis, Allison 3000.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:52 AM   #12
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My gas coach would only be somewhat noisier than my daily driver if I removed the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and the 1000 pounds or so of stuff we think we might need for a basic weekend get away. Throw in a sometimes less than acceptable road surface and sure it can sound like a wooden roller coaster with the cars loaded of bowling balls.

The kitchen is probably where most of my noise originates. Dishes, pots and pans, silverware and such. Wind noise would be next. The dog house and floor have been sound and heat proofed so unless the RPM's are over 4000 I can hardly hear the engine. The occasional window rattle is the one I'll think about pulling over sometimes to fix.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:59 AM   #13
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Noises other than engine and road noise are generally things that are rubbing or bumping together. Rattles. Many of them are things like glass bottles on the selves clicking together, silverware rattling.

Before we travel we place shelf liner between plates and pots and pans and around cups and glasses, we throw a pillow on the microwave turntable. In other words we try to reduce the number of items that rattle together.

We try to drive on the "smooth" part of the road, driving on the edge of the wheelpath where there are less potholes and kickouts. If traffic allows will change lanes to avoid patches that have deteriorated or were not well done during repair.

Unfortunately we still have to drive to get to the next stop. Some roads are in such poor shape they do not deserve to be called roads. At that time you have to expect some noise.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:03 AM   #14
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We have a 96 Bounder . Normal conversation is not a problem at all unless pulling a steep grade . We have no rattles at all unless bit s big bump or something . This is with headers and a free flowing muffler .
There are times when I have to ask my wife to repeat herself , but that's because she sometimes turns her head the other way when talking , but that's not just in the motorhome .

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