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Old 08-24-2015, 09:08 PM   #1
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Side draft vs. rear radiator

I always thought my next pusher would be a side draft radiator. (Less fan noise, engine access) I'm now starting to look at some upper middle to higher end coaches and noticing some are using the rear radiator set up. It always seemed to me the side draft set up was superior to the rear radiator. Am I missing something? Does the rear radiator offer an advantage I'm unaware of, or are the manufacturers trying to save a buck? I still like the idea of a side draft, but their are some really nice coaches out there with rear radiators.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:11 PM   #2
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The rear radiator configuration costs less to manufacture.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:19 PM   #3
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It would seem to me that there is no advantage to having a rear radiator.
But then I haven't had a rear radiator before.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:21 PM   #4
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I'm not sure if it's true or not, but a salesman told me that side radiators use about 45 more horsepower than rear radiators due to the belt configuration. I don't know if it was bs or not, as I have never done any work on these types of engines.

I am sure there is someone on this board to tell us if that is true or not.

If it is true, that could be the advantage to the rear radiators?
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:27 PM   #5
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Only a few side radiator units use a belt to drive them. Most are hydraulically driven although some FL units come with a belt drive.
Never had a rear radiator unit and I don't plan on having one now. Just much easier to change belts if needed on a side radiator.
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:17 PM   #6
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Which high end coaches are you refering too that have rear rads?
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
Which high end coaches are you refering too that have rear rads?
I bet it's Monaco. Just a guess.

Brian
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:39 PM   #8
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Nope.

All the higher end Monaco's have side radiators.
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:14 AM   #9
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Side radiators can be larger than rear so they can provide more cooling. Coaches with the larger motors typically have the side units for the cooling capacity.
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:47 AM   #10
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3 Very important things with side rads. 1 easier to work on.2 easier to work on.3 easier to work on
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:14 AM   #11
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3 Very important things with side rads. 1 easier to work on.2 easier to work on.3 easier to work on
Unless they need to access the top end for a rebuild. Then they still have to take out the floor in the bedroom or rear bath. In our case I think they charged something like $4,000 extra as they also had to disassemble the bed and put it all back together without scratching it up too badly.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McRod View Post
I'm not sure if it's true or not, but a salesman told me that side radiators use about 45 more horsepower than rear radiators due to the belt configuration. I don't know if it was bs or not, as I have never done any work on these types of engines.
I am sure there is someone on this board to tell us if that is true or not.
If it is true, that could be the advantage to the rear radiators?
JMHO:
Salesman was trying to sell a rear rad coach, .
ANY rad fan , belt driven , thermo hub controlled , electronic hub controlled , hydraulic driven; requires HP to drive it . The faster the fan has to turn to move the air required to cool the engine the more HP required.
Graphs I have from Cat show 22 hp. difference; 38 to60 HP , required to drive the rear rad fan on a C-7 equipped coach compared to a hydraulic driven on C-13, ( larger engine , larger coach , larger cooling system) with a side rad set up BUT, make no mention of the size or pitch of the fan it's self so I would imagine that if someone were to have access to data that compared the actual requirements of a side rad vs a rear rad on two identical coaches ,( engine and weight )The HP difference, requirement would be much less.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
Nope.

All the higher end Monaco's have side radiators.
DiMartini RV has a 2010 Dynasty 42 SKQ with rear radiator for sale on their website. Not sure where the Dynasty fits in on the pecking order.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:27 AM   #14
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Unless you're a mechanic the difference should be completely transparent to you. Are you going to change your own oil, filters etc? If you throw a belt on the road, are you going to change it or have it done?

Its the same argument as if you should carry a spare tire or depend on roadside tire service. Or gas vs diesel for that matter. I would imagine that picking a side radiator simply because you can see and access the machinery in the back of your coach might matter once or twice during the time you own it.

All that being said:

I picked Diesel over Gas
I carry an unmounted spare
And if I ever upgrade from my Excursion it will be to something with a side radiator.
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