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Old 11-28-2014, 10:04 PM   #1
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Radiator

I am in the process of buying a Motorhome diesel and was wondering what is best. Is a side radiator better than a rear radiator or doesn't it matter since the new diesel regulations?
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Old 11-28-2014, 10:21 PM   #2
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Both have + and - I would be more concerned on floor plan than where they put the radiator.
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Old 11-28-2014, 10:35 PM   #3
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I've had a rear radiator and now have the side radiator, it was aways a PITA to work on things with the rear radiator. oil changes, belts, had to rebuild the alternator, access was from under the bed, now with the side radiator I can reach those things from the rear doors. That being said, find the coach that fits you (and your DW likes) and go for it! I would prefer the side radiator but not a deal breaker.
Also as a side note, the side radiator coaches usually are more expensive and have a few more options.
Good hunting!
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Old 11-28-2014, 11:38 PM   #4
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I did not even know the side radiator was an option before I bought my rear mounted coach. Had I known I would have at least tried to find a side mounted that met my criteria. Much easier to work on. Having said that I am happy with my purchase so not a deal breaker. Floor plan, coach condition and price should be the focus.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:33 AM   #5
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I own a side radiator and know that from a maintenance perspective it is better. Engine is accessible from the rear for belts and general service. If you read enough posts on IRV2 you will see a number of examples of this. Also, numerous posts on RV overheating issues related to dirty radiator, which from what I read is literally impossible to easily clean. There are also posts of rear radiators getting holes from debris/rocks being thrown up into them.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:42 AM   #6
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Side or rear make sure it's not aluminum
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdfugere View Post
I am in the process of buying a Motorhome diesel and was wondering what is best. Is a side radiator better than a rear radiator or doesn't it matter since the new diesel regulations?
Here is some reading for you in your spare time on the side vs rear radiator's https://www.google.com/search?q=side...y=0&gws_rd=ssl

The first and foremost like Don stated in post #2, is the floor plan, this is the most important part of the planning to buy.........if you have done this already......and are investigating chassis options.....your side radiators will come in your higher end Coach's........and the cost of them with side radiators will be reflected in the price tag.......I love my side radiator and would not own/buy a rear radiator chassis. When I open the rear cover on my engine compartment.......the engine is right there. Easy to work on, especially the maintenance items like the belts, coolant tank, oil fill, and just easy to work on when things need attention.
Others prefer rear radiators though..........That is why they make both.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:08 AM   #8
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Side radiator for me, as I do my own maint.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:21 AM   #9
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Rear rad. gets way dirtier way faster. The slober tube blows oil residue from the crankcase and the rear rad sucks it up and adds dirt. The outer edges of the fan shroud area get packed and reduce cooling. Don't ask me how I know. :-(
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Old 11-29-2014, 02:44 PM   #10
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I am not sure if you are talking about a new or a used MH. From a period of approximately 2004-2006 There is an issue with Freightliner Chassis with the Cummins ISL engine overheating. Basically when all is said and done the problem is too small a side mount radiator. Frieghtliner had a couple of Band Aid fixes which did not really address the too small radiator problem. Also they only did the fix if you complained most of the units have not been modified. I have one of those models. I do not have a problem until I get somewhere like Arizona, Nevada etc. High Mountains and hot in the summer. Gearing down to keep motor Revs up is the way it is for diesels going up big mountanis. My ISL engine has more than enough power to pull the mountins without gearing down. I actually have to gear down to 3rd and 4th gear with a top speed of 40 miles an hour sometimes just to keep the engine revs up to maxiumum to keep from overheating. You might want to be aware of the problem and if you buy something in that age group check to see if there is a problem. There are a lot of posts on IRV about this issue.
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Old 11-29-2014, 02:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
From a period of approximately 2004-2006 There is an issue with Freightliner Chassis with the Cummins ISL engine overheating.
I suspect that may have depended on the chassis configuration chosen by the RV maker. I have a 2004 Freightliner side rad and it never even comes close to overheating. Much of the time the coolant fan isn't even running at max.
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Old 11-29-2014, 03:02 PM   #12
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Probably the main difference is in ease of access to the engine with a side radiator.

I think you will find that the larger coaches, with larger engines (ISL & up) will have a side rad and the lesser ones using an ISC or ISB will have a rear rad. I've seen coaches with the ISL engine configured both ways (though most are sides), but the bigger ISX or ISM are always configured with a side rad, while the smaller ISC and ISB are always rear rad. Perhaps for cost reasons - the side rad is more expensive and thus fitted primarily on higher line coaches.

The dirty "slobber tube" problem in previous years has pretty much been done away with since the new EPA regs require closed crankcase ventilation systems. I don't think you will find a "slobber tube" on any 2007 or later diesel, and even the 2004-2006 years had substantially reduced the problem.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
I suspect that may have depended on the chassis configuration chosen by the RV maker. I have a 2004 Freightliner side rad and it never even comes close to overheating. Much of the time the coolant fan isn't even running at max.

you are absolutely correct. Some manufacturers have larger radiators in their coaches than others. I did not tell the OP they all have them I just said to make sure any coach he considered did not fall into that category. There are a lot of posts on this forum discussing the problem. I know that Tiffin Allegro Bus is one of the MH that has the problem. Also where do you drive your MH. I had my MH for several months driving around in the hills of Arkansas never noticed the problem until I went to California in August the problem showed up pretty fast going up the mountains after I crossed the desert.
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