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Old 02-20-2019, 09:04 PM   #1
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Rear vs Side radiator

I have searched on the title above, but cannot find the thread. Is it really that important to have a side radiator? What about you guys/gals that bought a rear radiator DP? What have you had to do to alleviate whatever the problem was? We are in the market for a DP, though we cannot afford new, and have never rented, driven or slept in one. We are both retired and downsizing/selling all to live in a RV full time. Some may say we are crazy, but this is what we have decided to do. I have driven much of our country, but my wife never has. We want to go see before we canít if there is an age for that. I am 67 and my wife is five years younger at 39. Some reasons for side as opposed to rear radiating are appreciated, as well as choices for DP brands/models in the $80-125k range. The only must have for us at this time is side/blinker cameras to alleviate those blind spots when turning or backing. It is a tall order, I know, but thanks in advance for your help, experience, and time. Frank
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:16 PM   #2
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Both will work fine. I have owner four diesels with a rear radiator and had zero problems with either one of them. I currently have a side radiator and it is fine too. As a general rule, most coaches 350 hp and a few 400 hp will have a rear radiator. My son had a 450 hp coach that was a rear model. Side radiators can be larger to cool the higher HP engines. The more important thing to consider is the floor plan. The rear models make it harder to work on the engine, but it can be done. IMHO, the placement of the radiator is the last thing to be concerned about.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:18 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!!


Here are previous threads about your inquiry.






https://www.google.com/search?q=%22r...=11&gws_rd=ssl
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fs4189 View Post
I have searched on the title above, but cannot find the thread. Is it really that important to have a side radiator? What about you guys/gals that bought a rear radiator DP? What have you had to do to alleviate whatever the problem was? We are in the market for a DP, though we cannot afford new, and have never rented, driven or slept in one. We are both retired and downsizing/selling all to live in a RV full time. Some may say we are crazy, but this is what we have decided to do. I have driven much of our country, but my wife never has. We want to go see before we canít if there is an age for that. I am 67 and my wife is five years younger at 39. Some reasons for side as opposed to rear radiating are appreciated, as well as choices for DP brands/models in the $80-125k range. The only must have for us at this time is side/blinker cameras to alleviate those blind spots when turning or backing. It is a tall order, I know, but thanks in advance for your help, experience, and time. Frank
Just a suggestion..Check out what each responder to your query(s),(including yours truly), lists as their RV..

Then google their RV. to see where they are coming from to base their opinions..


Personally I prefer a big engine with a side radiator, air ride & air brakes in a top drawer brand..
As this will be your starter RV..


Keep in mind..
Your 1st coach is a learning tool..
When You tour/view "In Person" any perspective coach..
View it First with all slides retracted,
If the coach is fully usable without the slides extended, then give it a second look.
(Think wally-docking,rest areas,truckstops...any where that you cannot/do not have room for the slides to be extended)

BUY USED! & buy one with everything you "think" you want and will need..
IF the perspective coach seems a bit small but still "DO-Able" .......REMEMBER!!!
What seemed small... becomes unbearably TINY after being Coop'd up" for a week or more due to weather...
(AKA.....Cabin Fever)
And.... You WILL make mistakes and have booboo's We all have.....(sometimes more than twice..)
Within a year or two you will discover..about the RV

What you love about the RV...
What you can kinda-sorta tolerate with the RV..
And what you absolutely hate about that !@#$%^%$#@! RV.
Then you can go get what you should have gotten in the first place..
Happy Hunting

Remember!!!!
Every day you "put off" retiring...is just one LESS day you have remaining to enjoy being RETIRED !!!
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:43 PM   #5
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Lots of reasons that a side radiator(SR) is a more efficient/better design!
1st, the SR chassis are on the more expensive coaches for a reason!
2nd, motor access is much greater!
3rd, SR coaches pull fresh air into the motor compartment, RR coaches push the hot motor compartment air out thru the radiator/CAC!
4th, RR's get dirty/clogged much quicker causing overheating and should be removed/cleaned once a year!
5th, RR's have direct drive fans, robbing HP/MPG, SR's have HYD/Electric fans that don't take engine HP to run! (most, not all)
6th, repairs on RR coaches take longer=more shop hours=increased costs!

I'm sure that I will get flamed for my opinions, but hey, SR was on my (must have list), along with a diesel generator, and I looked till I found just the coach I wanted! And my old "96" has color rear and side cameras already installed by the PO! Along with wood floors, 3 Viezo's, updated stereo and surround system, newer Dometic S/S fridge, ETC!

For your budget, you can find just the coach that will hit all your must haves!
The most important thing is find a well loved coach, that the PO was very proud of, and has maintenance records! Enjoy the hunt!
Coaches that were on my radar were, in no particular order, Country Coach, Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Newmar, Foretravel, Tiffin, Newell,!

Rail!
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:51 PM   #6
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Side radiator: Better access to engine. Takes up a compartment (or 2) on the side that could be used for other systems. Doesn't get as dirty and is easier to clean. (See first sentence). Don't forget about the Charge Air Cooler which sits right next to it, so also on the side. In fact when you THINK your looking at the back of the radiator you're looking at the rear of the CAC.

Rear radiator: A royal PITA to get to ANYTHING on the engine. I do my own maintenance, it makes it a lot harder. If you maintain your coach with a checkbook you don't care. Gets dirtier (as does the CAC), see the checkbook. More efficient use of space. Side compartments on mine where side radiator would be now contain batteries and inverter/shore power.

The rear radiator brings the whole engine/transmission combination forward a little which makes for a long overhand behind the axle and a very short drive shaft and some engineering challenges when there's a tag axle. Also makes for a longer raised floor back there. Which has to be incorporated into the floor plan.

Sooo, bottom line: If you do your own maintenance you may want to think about it. If not.... worry about other choices.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:13 PM   #7
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In reality, they both work well. I owned a rear radiator coach with a 400 ISL and never had a cooling issue. You won't find lightweight less horsepower coaches with side radiators....just not needed. The larger coaches with large engines can't be sufficiently cooled by a rear radiator, consequently, the need for the side radiator.

As a guy that does his own repairs and servicing, the side radiator is much easier, but I never found anything really impossible to repair on my rear radiator.

Regarding the mirror/side cameras. I could care less about mine and know many others who are not a huge fan. Here's why...Ö..when you use your turn signal, the rear camera switches to the side. The camera will tell you there is an object there, but not much more. It especially won't tell you when it's safe to merge into the right lane because you can't determine distance from the vehicle you're passing. When the rear camera is on, you can see that you've passed the slower vehicle and it's safe to come over. I turn my signal on momentarily to let someone know I'm coming over and then turn it off to use my rear camera for the actual lane change.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:53 AM   #8
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I really appreciate the time everyone took answering my question of side vs rear radiator. It is great to be a part of such a responsive and knowledgeable group. Thank you - Frank
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:25 AM   #9
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IMHO, the major disadvantage to a side radiator is the loss of the side compartment, as well as the necessity of a secondary drive for your cooling fan. The advantage is the access to the rear of the engine. I feel the advantage FAR outweighs the disadvantage. I found MY ideal coach, and it had a rear radiator, the ONLY thing I didn't get that I wanted. Side entry was far more important TO ME than the radiator. Life is about compromise.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:21 AM   #10
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Most of the time the side vs rear is decided by the coach Engine needs , larger Engines need the increased cooling capacity a side radiator provides. In the older coaches the rear radiator was more of a problem because the slobber tube (crankcase vent) dumped oily gasses down that coated the rear radiator/ CAC sandwich, causing dirt to cake the surface. Newer Engines dont dump those oily gases so less problems.
I've had both side and Rear. The rear increases access difficulties and shop time to Repair belts and other items on the Front (facing Rear) of the Engine. The side Increases the complexity and cost to repair ( I have the 7grand badge) the hydraulic fan system and larger radiator
Most rigs are entirely capable with the Radiators they come with. Pick the coach that pushes the most other buttons first. Of course there is the 'cool' factor that the big engine and side bus radiator gives Probably a bigger factor than most will admit.
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Old 02-23-2019, 07:01 AM   #11
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There are as many advantages and disadvantages on rear and side radiators. Side have little access to the side of the engine. Go look. Rear has less access to the rear. Rear are cheaper to built and repair. Side look cleaner and may run cleaner. Side must have a complex system to drive the fan. Rear runs directly off the crank shaft pulley. You got to clean both yearly.
Inside layout and price is far more important.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:39 AM   #12
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While we're here, which way does the air flow in your groovy side radiator? Out to in or in to out? I'd assume out to in, but I live across the tracks in RearRadiatorsville.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:44 AM   #13
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Side radiators are outside air sucked in toward the engine.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiesta48 View Post
You got to clean both yearly.
Depending on miles..... 12K for me.... I clean them every 3000 miles or so, to stay ahead of that game. I can tell you it's a PITA on the rear if you do it by the book.
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