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Old 12-01-2014, 09:09 PM   #1
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More weight - better driving - questions

We just purchased a new Excursion 33D - the smallest diesel we have ever owned. After about 1,000 miles we are sorely disappointed in the handling and ride comfort.

I started thinking that our larger coaches weighed 6,000 to more than 10,000 pounds over this coach and wondered if more weight would help.

Because we often cross high mountain ranges we have tried to travel with as empty tanks as possible...mistake?

So today I had to take it in for some warranty and I filled the water and diesel tanks and I swore it rode and tracked much..MUCH better.

Anyone else noticed this - will running with full tanks really reduce the fuel economy.

Thanks for your thoughts

Rik & Konnie
Milo the Travel Kat
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:07 PM   #2
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Rik, I drive my MH with the water tank full, and usually don't let the gas tank get below a half tank. Ours has a NCC of over 5000 lbs so I don't worry about how much weight I carry. I find that mine drives alot smoother, and much better ride with more weight. I still get about 8 mpg as an average and have gotten as high as 10mpg, so I don't think the weight affects the gas mileage as much as speed does.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:35 PM   #3
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My previous MH was about the same size as yours and I had the same problem. I ran with full water and fuel and it rode so much better and I never really noticed any difference in fuel mileage between empty and full. I don't think that an extra 500 lbs is going to make that much difference to a Diesel engine. My driving comfort would supersede a tenth of a gallon better fuel mileage.


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Old 12-01-2014, 10:38 PM   #4
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Our MH also handles and drives better with full fresh water and fuel tanks. I've always try to drive off the top half of the fuel tank regardless of what I am driving. If I do let it get below 1/2 I notice it in the steering.
As to mileage, if we were focused on mileage we would have stayed with my dually and 5er. I've seen our MH mileage vary from 5 to 11.5 depending on wind, speed, elevation, temperature, terrain, stop N go, hours at 62MPH without varying speed, etc.; so I haven't a clue what mileage difference full vs empty tanks make.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:51 PM   #5
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More weight - better driving - questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by RikR View Post
........So today.....I filled the water and diesel tanks and I swore it rode and tracked much..MUCH better.

Anyone else noticed this - will running with full tanks really reduce the fuel economy......

There are two different factors here, the power train and the suspension.

All other things being equal, carrying more weight in the tanks will decrease your mileage. But as Mike and Cha posted, your speed is also a big factor, and may have a greater influence than weight.

As a separate item, your suspension will feel better and ride more smoothly with more weight on it- up to a point. Any vehicle will-- car, bus, truck. They are optimized at a certain percentage of max load (I don't remember the figure). Even aircraft handle and fly more smoothly with weight on than they do empty.

So yes, I would be sure to put some weight on to improve the ride. You won't be impacting the fuel enough to worry about.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:04 PM   #6
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I also think the way our water tank is positioned it balances the frame a little better and adds weight to the center of the MH. The funny thing is I probably empty my sewage tanks more than I should, which lessens the weight, but I don't notice a difference in the ride as they probably aren't located in a position that affects the balance enough.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:10 PM   #7
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Our coach rides and handles noticeably better with lots of water and fuel on board. Logic and physics say there must be a fuel consumption impact, but I can't say it's evident to any notable degree.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:30 PM   #8
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Our ride is also better with Full Tanks!
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:46 AM   #9
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A full or an empty tank won't slosh, so does a partially filled tank promote handling issues?
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:19 AM   #10
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Our 2012 Fleetwood Providence on XC chassis has had a shimmy since new. Had front end checked, tires balanced and rotated, etc. even drove to Gafney and they couldn't figure it out but said probably due to tires. Sent me to local Goodyear who were adamant that it was steer tires and sold me new ones. No improvement. Front end shake and shimmy mainly between 55-65.

Has anyone tried centramatic balances? Am at my wits end with the terrible ride.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:28 AM   #11
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My suggestion is get it aligned and also add a Safe T Plus or something like that. I did both on my Excursion, and it helped. Alignment helped the most - mine was brand new, but it was toeing in.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:43 AM   #12
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To OP'
What are your tire pressures??????

Many dealers have been known to inflate to max on the tires maybe 110.
Your coach should not need rock hard tires.

Get it weighed and adjust tire pressure. I suspect you might find about 90 lbs around will improve your handling issues.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:17 AM   #13
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I would bite the big one and make an appointment with a high end suspension service like Hendersons, rather than plug and play trying to solve your issue. Of course, this might mean a long trip, but their evaluation is free of charge last time I heard, and is comprehensive in nature. I'm not a big advocate of plug and play on suspensions, but obviously some rvers have had a lot of success with plug and play.

As I understand it, the ride should be less satisfying from a downsizing point of view. I have spent a lot of time torn between low and high 30's diesels as part of my buying process, and it is my understanding that the ride gets better as the length gets longer and the weight, as a result, gets heavier.

But (for 2015) the gas ride in a Winn 33 and the diesel ride in a Winn 34 were the same to me, just quieter in the diesel.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RikR View Post
We just purchased a new Excursion 33D - the smallest diesel we have ever owned. After about 1,000 miles we are sorely disappointed in the handling and ride comfort.

I started thinking that our larger coaches weighed 6,000 to more than 10,000 pounds over this coach and wondered if more weight would help.

Because we often cross high mountain ranges we have tried to travel with as empty tanks as possible...mistake?

So today I had to take it in for some warranty and I filled the water and diesel tanks and I swore it rode and tracked much..MUCH better.

Anyone else noticed this - will running with full tanks really reduce the fuel economy.

Thanks for your thoughts

Rik & Konnie
Milo the Travel Kat

I test drove a new Excursion 33D and the ride and noise was terrible. Besides the poor ride it sounded like it was about to fall apart. I don't believe full tanks could 'fix' the one I drove!

Thankfully I found a fantastic ride and better value elsewhere.
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