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Old 11-15-2015, 08:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by edgray View Post
Workhorse introduced their rear gas pusher (R26, aka UFO) chassis in 2006 and made several hundred of them ( something less than 1,000 ) thru the 2009 model year when the GM 8.1L motor became unavailable. 5 different coach builders offered at least one model built on the UFO. WBGO probably used "most" of them. The engine was mounted low in the rails to allow a totally flat floor from front to rear, and could not be heard from the driver's seat. Many "old timers" claimed it would not work due to overheating, but that proved to NOT be an issue.

IMO, it is the best handling gasser chassis ever built due to its unique suspension system, which included a "torque box" between the rails which was welded to the rear axle housing. The front springs are single parabolic leaf, with coil springs in the rear. The hydraulic brakes were quite powerful, and no air brakes or air suspension was ever offered on the UFO.

Use the search feature in the Workhorse chassis forum here on iRV2 to see many threads about the UFO.
FINALLY, an true an accurate response to the Original Post!
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:13 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by stik View Post
FINALLY, an true an accurate response to the Original Post!
Thanks for your kind words. I try to keep the facts straight here.

Let's not forget to also give some kudos to "SKIP426" who replied earlier about the UFO.
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:29 AM   #17
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Check out the thread "RV Fire and the RV that just needed some love".

The diesel pusher has been repowered with gasoline.

Very interesting thread.
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Old 11-15-2015, 02:50 PM   #18
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I have been following the RV that had a fire and was converted to a gas coach.
IMO with the new 6 speed and the Ford V-10 with the lower RPM range it could easily be converted and used as a rear engine pusher. The newer diesels are just as big and run just as hot as a gas engine with the new emissions they are required to meet.

Lets face it there are a lot of front engine F-53 chassis out there that are successful and if the public realizes that it is a gas engine unit and not a diesel in the back it would sell.

I was looking at my 2015 Itasca 37F when I got this idea, please understand I am no engineer nor do I have Winnebago's expertise.
To accommodate a 38' rear gas engine f-53 type chassis, the engine would be moved to the back and lowered a few inches.
A rear radiator would be needed with an oil cooler for engine and transmission.
Power steering and hydraulic brakes could be converted to electric steering and air brakes.
The suspension could be changed to air if necessary or use modified spring system.
Move the generator to the front between the frame rails and the fresh water to the front behind it over the rails.
Relocate the furnace to the right rear of the coach a install a duct to blow the heat down the frame rails to like it does now from the rear.

I know I'm making this sound simpler than it is in reality. But the Itasca SOLIE 38r is a similar floor plan with a rear diesel. The trick is to keep the weight down to what it is now on the 37F.

I hope a few of the manufacturers give their opinion or people that would be interested in buying one if they were produced.
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Old 11-15-2015, 03:33 PM   #19
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Foretravel made a gas pusher as well.
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Old 11-15-2015, 04:48 PM   #20
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There was also a small (26' or so) gas pusher a few years ago, called the Vixen. I think it had a BMW 6-cylinder engine mounted transversely. The layout gave a flat floor all the way through and had plenty of headroom in a relatively low-roof body.
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Old 11-15-2015, 05:57 PM   #21
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Winnebago produced a beautiful gas powered rear pusher back in the late 80s called a Spectrum. They were plagued by cooling problems and I think overheating which may have caused fires. They used a Ford 460ci gas engine. Winnebago ended up buying them all back. Some were later rebuilt and sold with Diesel engines by a another company. Some were even swapped to V10 gas engines (much easier} Very low center of gravity, 32' long with central AC in the basement I think. They looked very similar in style to the Classic GMC Motorhome which was Front Engine Front wheel drive. If you google them there may be some Spectrums around.
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They must have missed one when they were buying them back.

An Excellent 32 Foot 1989 Winnebago Spectrum 2000 Class A Coach!
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:24 PM   #22
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They must have missed one when they were buying them back.

An Excellent 32 Foot 1989 Winnebago Spectrum 2000 Class A Coach!
YEA! A new 1989 RV with 98,000 miles in it...weird.

Were you thinking they bought them back and buried them in a landfill?
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:04 PM   #23
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Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards require all vehicles capable of carrying more than 12 passengers and ALL school buses be diesel powered. Gas has a tendency to explode, diesel will just burn. So the bus market is out.
I would like to see a link to that regulation.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:55 AM   #24
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What I have never understood is why they never put the newer more fuel efficient small diesels such as the baby cummins into the gas chassis. Workhorse would have had a beast with a 5.0L cummins in that chassis or even a Duramax connected to the allison.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:08 AM   #25
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What I have never understood is why they never put the newer more fuel efficient small diesels such as the baby cummins into the gas chassis. Workhorse would have had a beast with a 5.0L cummins in that chassis or even a Duramax connected to the allison.

I can only guess that it costs too much to get the product to market for the anticipated profits. Ford could easily do the same with the Powerstroke in the F53 chassis. It seems obvious, so the math must not favor it. Mercedes seems to have done very well with the Sprinter-based diesel units. I'm hoping to see the new Ford Transit-based units equipped with the new 5-cylinder Powerstroke. It could really put some pressure on Mercedes and maybe drive the prices down a bit.



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Old 11-19-2015, 12:03 PM   #26
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Rear Gas

I had wondered about the Buyback as well.
They evidently wanted their reputation cleared, but many were bought in fact a whole industry developed in replacing the Gas engine. I don't know how many were done but the rebuiders later changed over to the V10 Ford. I saw them in Forest City IA in '89-'90 and was very impressed.
I suppose that in that time period the powers that be were going thru a transition from Family (Hanson) ownership and many things changed.
The Motorhome Industry went to larger and larger non Aerodynamic vehicles so the design goals were changed at Winnebago. When I owned my Itasca 32' Windcruiser the 37' was their Top of the line small by Todays standard. Storage was minimal due to the curved sidewalls, low height and narrow width.
Spectrum was a Great Looking MH and still is.
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Old 11-19-2015, 12:39 PM   #27
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Winnebago did make a rear gas class A around 2008 - 2009 for a couple of years. Look for a Destination 37G or 39W or the Itasca Latitude 37G or 39W. The current Destination is a 5th wheel so a search could be confusing.
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Old 11-19-2015, 12:47 PM   #28
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BMW Vixen

Quote:
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There was also a small (26' or so) gas pusher a few years ago, called the Vixen. I think it had a BMW 6-cylinder engine mounted transversely. The layout gave a flat floor all the way through and had plenty of headroom in a relatively low-roof body.
Almost all the Vixens were diesels. Only one model had the gas engine.
Three models of Vixens were created:
  • 376 TD: (turbo diesel) motorhomes with lift-top
  • 172 SE: fixed high-top motorhomes with a GM V6 gas engine and a four speed automatic trans-axle
  • 39 Limos: Fixed-top BMW diesel engine with 5 speed manual trans-axle
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