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Old 04-07-2014, 02:43 PM   #1
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Low HP Diesel pushers vs. higher HP DP vs. V10

We have no idea what we want still, but we know that we want to pull my full size SUV, or at least have the option to, it is over 5K pounds. SO I assume the gassers are out of the running if that is important to me.

There are also the entry level price diesels, 300-360 HP. Most of them tow only 5K, a few others 10K. We are light travelers and packers but it appears the 5K ones are out as well.

This leaves the 10K ones but they are a lot of money and we are worried about the high cost and how it will change the money we have for retirement.

We can always rent a car but the idea of having one attached seems beneficial.

We've looked most recently at Forest River Georgetown 352XL, Sportscoach 385ds, 2011 Damon Astoria 40 BQ, some FR Berkshire's in the 340 and the 360hp, some TS, some Entegras, and American Coaches. I know the TS, Entegra, and AC will do just fine I just don't know enough about these things despite all my research.

Is it worth getting the lower HP DP since there isn't a towing benefit?
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:58 PM   #2
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Low VS High Horse Power ? DP VS Gas ? You would be doing yourself justice to rent acouple of times. Pulling a toad period, I think is the way to go. Good Luck and read the replies, this forum is very beneficial.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:07 PM   #3
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Any Diesel motorhome will pull your SUV. Some folks want 500+ hp diesels to travel with. Others are content with a 275 hp knowing they too will get wherever they want to go. You will need to determine what you want for power. Then it is just a matter of staying within towing capacity of the MH and having a tow bar of enough rated capacity.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:13 PM   #4
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Check Fleetwood, Winnebago, Tiffin, Newmar also Thor for towing I would go DP torque is what you need.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:34 PM   #5
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If you truly want to know how big the engine is, get the horsepower AND the torque numbers.

It's easy to find 2 coaches with 400 hp, but one will have 1200 lbs ft and the other has 1550 lbs ft. One has a 9 liter engine, the other is 12 liter.


There are a lot more choices for engines in diesel vs. gas.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:50 PM   #6
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you didn't say new or used. IMHO a used DP is your best choice. The ideal would be 3-7 years old a 400 hp diesel CAT or Cummins although I'm partial to CAT but have never owned a Cummins. prior to 2007 has the advantage of no DET which degrades performance or so I am told. As to brand I think the best for the money in the 2005-2007 range is Monaco.and can be bought for $75,000 to $120,000 As my sig shows I have a 2007 Beaver with a 400 hp CAT 4 slides lots of storage and could not be happier.

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Old 04-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #7
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In a heavy vehicle horsepower is nice to have but torque is a must have.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:12 PM   #8
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An ISC motor will pull anything you want to pull. An ISL will pull anything you want to pull up a mountain at 50+mph. An ISB will pull it, but will the coach chassis handle the stress?
You won't regret getting a large motor as long as you are happy with the rest of the coach.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ie2special View Post
We have no idea what we want still, but we know that we want to pull my full size SUV, or at least have the option to, it is over 5K pounds. SO I assume the gassers are out of the running if that is important to me. There are also the entry level price diesels, 300-360 HP. Most of them tow only 5K, a few others 10K. We are light travelers and packers but it appears the 5K ones are out as well. This leaves the 10K ones but they are a lot of money and we are worried about the high cost and how it will change the money we have for retirement. We can always rent a car but the idea of having one attached seems beneficial. We've looked most recently at Forest River Georgetown 352XL, Sportscoach 385ds, 2011 Damon Astoria 40 BQ, some FR Berkshire's in the 340 and the 360hp, some TS, some Entegras, and American Coaches. I know the TS, Entegra, and AC will do just fine I just don't know enough about these things despite all my research. Is it worth getting the lower HP DP since there isn't a towing benefit?
If you want to tow your SUV, which is not an unreasonable expectation, then limit your search to coaches with a 10k difference between GVWR and GCWR. As far as necessary hp, take the GVWR + the weight of your SUV and divide that sum by 100. That is the hp you need to have adequate performance. Extra is gravy.

I agree with those who said, look for a well cared for higher end DP 5-7 years of age.

Happy hunting.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:40 PM   #10
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Hi ie2special,
These are some numbers you can make a comparison. My coach:
1. Cummins ISC 330 HP 950 ft lbs of torque
2. Coach real street weight for travel a bit over 31K
3. Toad is a GMC ENVOY XUV at 5.3K real street weight
4. The coach will go all day long at highway speeds on flat or slight inclines.
5. The mountains (Smokies or Rockies) requires patience.
6. If momentum is kept, I can climb the grades at 45 MPH.
7. If momentum is lost, I'm in the truck lane at whatever speed the slowest truck is going. I will not be able to regain the lost momentum.
8. The only problem I've had with engine temp is in the desert, in the summer and a long climb. Like eastbound out of Laughlin, NV in the middle of the desert summer.

The coach specs, receiver and tow bar are all rated at 10K for towing.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #11
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I have a 34 foot Thor Palazzo with a cummins 300 hp and I think 660 TQ, pull's my VW jetta just fine in mountains or on the flats , I get 11 mph towing.
GVWR 26,000
GCWR 30,000
plenty of power for this weight with extra to spare with Great mpg's
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruelens View Post
Any Diesel motorhome will pull your SUV. Some folks want 500+ hp diesels to travel with. Others are content with a 275 hp knowing they too will get wherever they want to go. You will need to determine what you want for power. Then it is just a matter of staying within towing capacity of the MH and having a tow bar of enough rated capacity.
I would not recommend the above strategy regarding any DP will pull your toad, which you state is over 5K lbs. A lot of lower HP/Torque DP's are limited to 5K towing capacity. Look for one which has a 10K towing capacity.

This means that the difference between GCVWR and GVWR must be equal or greater than 10,000 lbs., or at least the fully laden weight of your toad.

On the smaller DP side, consider the CAT C7 engine equipped coaches. Most of them are rated to tow 10,000 lbs. This engine generates 350 HP and 860 lb-ft of torque.

If looking at the Cummins-equipped coaches, look at the ISC and larger engines.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:11 PM   #13
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It is strictly personal preference, as you see by reading responses. I know a couple that full-timed for 10 years with a V10 Ford engine in their class A, towing a Honda CRV. They always seemed to be happy with their rig.
OTOH, if you want to keep up with the Greyhound bus's, get the largest diesel engine you can afford.
As you see our MH in my signature, tows our Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with complete satisfaction. I don't try to be first up any grade, but don't need to use the truck lane either_unless someone breaks my momentum.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:09 AM   #14
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Generally hitches you will be seeing on class A's are rated either for 5000# or 10,000#. Since your toad is over 5000#, look at the hitch rating first. You'll have to go with a hitch rated for 10,000#. I don't think they make anything in between. On GVRW & GCVWR, that's a different story. Most of what I have seen have a difference of either 5000#, 7000#, or 10,000#. I would think you would be safe with 7000#. Another factor will be how much your coach really weighs when going down the road. If your coach has a GVWR of 29,000# and a GCVWR of 34,000 (diff. of 5000#), but your loaded coach only weighs 27,000# loaded and rolling, that gives you 7000# for the toad, assuming the hitch is rated accordingly. You can get by like that fine. You just have to be mindful that you don't keep adding weight to the coach or toad.
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