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Old 09-20-2013, 03:39 PM   #1
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Newmar Ventana, Power & Towing

On my quest for my first diesel pusher, I want to get it right the first time. I've found a few that have peaked my interest. My concern is if what I am looking at will have sufficient power to handle the task. Whatever I buy will have an enclosed trailer behind it weighing about 8500 lbs.

I have found two Ventanas that I'm interested in. One is a 2006 Ventana 3933 Freightliner/Cat C7 330hp, . I've also seen the the C7 can be chipped to make about 400hp and 1000 ft/lbs of torque. I'm not sure I need the chip. This coach has a GVWR of 31,000 lbs, (we will probably be more like 29,000 loaded for travel), and a GCVWR of 41,000 lbs. So that puts me at about 37,500 lbs total with the trailer.

The other is a 2010, (maybe a 2009 that's listed wrong) Ventana 3942 with a Spartan / Cummins ISB 350 hp and 860 ft/lbs of torque. I've not seen a chip or programmer for this engine except for pickup trucks. This coach has a GVWR of 32,000 lbs, (we will probably be more like 30,000 loaded for travel), and a GCVWR of 42,000 lbs. So that puts me at about 38,500 lbs total with the trailer.

What I am familiar with is my current rig, Chevy 3500, Duramax chipped to about 400 hp and 850 ft/lbs. GCVW is 18,000 lbs. Now I know the DP won't be the same at all, but what I'm use to has lots of power and nothing slows it down except sharp turns.

I guess what I'm after here is, will either coach mentioned above be on average or better with most DP's out there, or am I looking at something that is going to be underpowered and leave me wanting more.

I'm open to suggestions, bunkhouse or not. Trying to stay $100,000 to $150,000.

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Old 09-20-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
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Well you certainly are not going to get a DP where the only thing to slow it down is a curve. Problem with chipping a DP is the radiator and cooling. The 300 hp and 350 hp motors are basically the same with different tuning and radiators capable of dissipating the extra heat. How about a rig like a used beaver with a cat 525 and NO chipping.

It's probably going to leave you underpowered wanting more.

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Old 09-20-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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If I can find a coach with that kind of power that's in my price range and fairly modern, I'm interested. I looked at a Newmar Essex with a 525 but it is about $25000 over my max and we really didn't like the layout. It also seemed to have a lot of wear on the furniture for the year.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:11 PM   #4
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Look on ebay. there is a 2005 allegro bus from a rv sales in texas. The highest bid they had did not match their reserve. The unit is a 40 foot quad slides. I have a 38 foot 2005 allegro bus with two slides so the units are going to be very comparable for towing they are set up to tow 10,000 pounds. I have a 4800 pound SUV I tow and I only know it is there because I monitor it in the rear view camera. The unit I am talking about has 20,000 miles on it and looked very clean in the pictures. I am guessing that it will sell within the price range you are talking about. Tiffin makes a good quality product. The bus has a cummins ISL engine that is 400 horsepower and if my memory is correct about 1200 foot pounds of torque.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:12 AM   #5
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I truly love my 2010 Ventana 3961 with the 350 hp Cummins but I believe for what you are looking for it will be under powered. I keep it between 55 and 60 and don't mind being passed (being retired and in no hurry). But I don't think it will give you the power you seem to want. On another note, however, be sure you like the floor plan of whatever you get (you mentioned you didn't like one that you saw). Once you get to where you're going you have to live in it, so be sure to get that right as well.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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Sound like your current rig 400HP , 18,000 Lbs, is on the road at 45 lbs per 1 HP. Most MHs are in the area of 100 lbs per 1 HP. That's where I'm running.
JMHO. I consider anything over 110 lbs per, underpowered.
Old drag racing adage " Speed costs ; how fast do you want to go "
MPG. on a high HP rig will be 2>3 mpg. less than those in the 350 HP range, the big power will only get you where your going a few minutes faster on any given trip, is it worth the $$$.
Find a rig that has the floor plan you like , make sure it has the CCC& TTC, your after; many quad slide MH's have poor CCC numbers, unless equipped with a tag axle. Look for power in the 90>100lbs of GCWR per HP. Then remember , it's not a slot car, relax and drive.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses. I'm not so much worried about flat land speed as I am maintaining decent speed in the Appalachians. I don't mind dropping back 10 mph or so, but I don't want to be crawling up a 5000' mountain.

As for the Tiffin on eBay, I'll have a look. Right now, I'm still learning. I'm looking local right now and an in no hurry. My purchase plans are for late this year or before spring of '14. The later it gets, the further away from home I'll look.

As for mpg, if I get 8, I'll be satisfied. That's what I get now. Anything better is just a bonus.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:03 PM   #8
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You may be best off trying to get at least the Cummins ISL 8.9 motor.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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I'm thinking that 8 mpg with the rig and trailer you envision may be a fantasy.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:57 PM   #10
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My Travel Supreme is 42' w/ tag axle, 400 ISL Cummins........I pull an enclosed trailer weighing 9400# fully loaded. I can set the cruise at 75 or whatever I want and it'll do it all day long, went to Denver over Raton pass it topped at 50 mph - BUT! It will never see 8 mpg, more like 6 - 6.5. Might make 7 or more if I slowed down. The Jake brake on the big block Cummins is more than enough reason to go for the larger engine. Side radiator is a big plus too, never seen over 204* on the longest incline. I would not recommend chipping mainly because of cooling capacity but also the Allison trans probably wouldn't like it. That's my .02............ JB
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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We have had a CAT C7 and 2 ISL motors all pulling around 5000# before our current coach (600 hp) and have done a lot of running in the Rocky Mountains. You sound like power is important to you and especially on hills. I agree with the other posters who suggested a ISM or Cat C9 ( both around 525hp) with the heavy trailer you're going to be pulling you will not be happy with the performance of a C7 or ISL on hilly terrain ( unless you get a really short and light coach). Buy all the power you can afford and if a couple of miles per gallon are a deal breaker for you then you have the wrong hobby.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #12
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I have a 02 Newmar Dutchstar 3852 with a 330 cat and get 7.4 for past 72,000 without a toad. My weight is about 27,000lbs. I drive to NC mountains from Augusta Ga on a monthly basis. Going up the garde on I 26 fron Tryon to Henderson it will drop back to about 40 mph. I love my coach, But I wish I would have bought a tag with a 500 hp cummins or cat. My Star drives well and we love the floor plan but I do find myself wanting more power. What I have been told and read is that the tag will be more stable and smoother especially on two lane roads. The single rear axle will get lively on bumpy two lane roads. DW says its like a fair ride in the bedroom unless I really slow down. Best of Luck!
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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At the end of the day I like my 11+ mpg. Yes we go up long grades S L O W L Y, but that is only about 2% of our travel. Most of the time we are in campgrounds or the coach is in storage. deSanford PS we love our floor plan with the FULL WALL SLIDE.

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newmar, power, towing, vent

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