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Old 11-22-2015, 03:00 PM   #1
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Newmar Ventana LE 340HP engine

We currently have a 5 wheel and are considering moving into a class A motorhome. Specifically we are looking at a 2015 Newmar Ventana LE 3636. This unit has a 340 HP 700 ftlb torque Cummins engine. After test driving the unit, I was concerned it might be underpowered. My only point of reference is pulling my 34-foot fifth wheel with my 2500 chevy diesel truck. My truck seems to have much more power pulling my trailer than the Ventana LE has. We plan on going though the mountains occasionally and do not what to end up going up a 5% - 6% grade maxed out at 35 mph and starting to overheat. Should we move up and look at the Ventana (40 feet w/ tag axel) with a larger engine and 400 HP with 1250 ft-lb torque. Thanks in advance for you help.

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Old 11-22-2015, 10:38 PM   #2
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We've driven our 340 powered coach for roughly 18,000 miles in the last 18 months, from Oregon to SC and a trip last spring/summer to AK. The coach certainly isn't the fastest on the road, but it gets us there, and usually getting between 9 and 10 mpg. We tow a CRV everywhere we go behind our 38' running around 33,000 lbs. Yes, it will slow up on the hills but I'm still passing the 18 wheelers usually. There's the old saying that nothing beats cubic inches and that is pretty much true, be it cars or motorhomes. If your budget allows the upgrade then the larger engines would likely be your better choice since you have already voiced your concern. To some of us the 340 does just fine and gets decent mileage. My next coach will likely have more hp but that's because it will be a tag coach and 42' give or take. Good luck in your search.

Ron in NW Oregon
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:27 PM   #3
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Hello! I also have the 340HP and I live in Arizona, most of my trips are up hill on the I-17 to the I-40 in Flagstaff, I have to climb over 8,000 feet as mentioned it's not the fastest but it will go up a 6% grade pulling a Toyota Camry at 45 MPH. If you are concern look at the 2016 Newmar LE it now comes with the 360HP and a towing capacity of 10,000 instead of the 5,000 with the 340 HP. Good luck in your adventure!
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:45 AM   #4
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I hear what you are saying, we have a Dodge with 350 hp, 6.7L engine and I could pull our 10,000 lb 5th wheel at whatever speed we felt like driving. A motor home weighing 25-30% more than the combined weight of the truck and 5th wheel with much greater wind resistance would probably feel under-powered to us.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:15 PM   #5
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The real performance difference between the Ventana LE and the Ventana is not the so much the engine HP but the transmission. The LE comes with the Allison model 2500 tranny while the Ventana has the larger 3000 model.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:31 PM   #6
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Even that 400 Hp in a 40 foot coach isn't a rocket going up hill loaded. I have a 340 and it does just fine in the hills if you'll learn to down shift when necessary. I also have a Duramax and when pulling a heavy trailer there is no comparison, but the pick-up and trailer are still lighter and far less wind resistance. That Vantanna LE 3636 would have been my first choice but they were hard to find when we were ready to purchase.
Good luck with whatever you choose.
2015, HR Ambassador 38DBT / 2006 Jeep TJ Towd
340 Cummins / Freightliner Chassis
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:23 PM   #7
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We have the same engine/trans combo as the Ventana LE, we have no issues with the power. We tow a 4 door Jeep Wrangler as well. Just finished a trip earlier this year through New Mexico and the San Juan Mountains in SW Colorado, no issues pulling the hills and passes with the jeep in tow. As mentioned, we were not the fastest up the hills but we were certainly not the slowest either! No overheating issues on the engine or trans even on the steepest grades.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:59 PM   #8
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location ,location,
if you live in Florida and spend most of your time there vs living in Colorado and spending most of your time climbing 10,000 ft passes also depends how fast you want to get there . that 35 mph only last a short time and is kind of nice to view the scenery
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Old 11-24-2015, 03:49 PM   #9
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It is a frame of mind. We have the a 2015 Ventana 3636 (360HP, Allison 3000). It isn't fast up 6% grades...but it will get you there. We drove through the the Canadian Rockies, and the Cascades. The coach did great. My mindset going in was that "this is not a muscle car...it's a house on wheels."

The 340HP will do just great in the mountains (if you share my mindset). Just be aware of the towing limitations with the Allison 2500).

Hope that you enjoy your 3636. Travel safely.

2015 Newmar Ventana 3636, Cummins ISB
2014 JKU Wrangler, SMI AF1, Blue Ox Baseplate and Tow Bar
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:59 PM   #10
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We have a 350 hp Cat engine and the coach weighs about 26000 lbs. It is not a speed demon but it is steady and gets us up the hills just fine. I pass the trucks but I am under speed limit. I travel a lot over mountains with long steady pulls. I am more than fine with the performance I get but each person has to decide what they want I pull a toad and am getting close to 8 mpg.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by HavingABlast View Post
Just be aware of the towing limitations with the Allison 2500).
That would be my concern too. You would still be faster up the hills than loaded trucks.

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