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Old 11-13-2015, 08:50 PM   #1
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Why not a Gas Pusher Chassis

I had a thought tonight. Why has none of the chassis manufacturers have a gas pusher out on the market for class a motorhomes. This type of chassis could be used in the bus market as well. It would be quieter in the passenger compartment and with the air ride suspension it could handle as good as a DP.

I believe it won't take much for Ford as an example to make one. They have a flat rail chassis the F-53 with the front gas engine. How much engineering would it take to mount the engine in the rear, use the existing 6 speed transmission, and axle.

The current gas engines do not need anywhere near the maintenance or access as the older engines of the past. They have fuel injection now so the gas odor and fume buildup problem is eliminated. As an option replace the hydraulic brakes with air brakes and replace the springs with air bags. Replace the hydraulic power steering with electronic steering. The throttle would also be electronic.

The motorhome manufacturers already make units for rear motors. They could keep a lower cost and maintain their profit margin as they do now using lower cost material and appliances for the gas units. The high profit and higher margin units would still have to be diesel to handle the heavier weights and lengths of the larger units.

Like I said it was just a thought, what are yours on this subject. I would love to hear from a few manufacturers on this subject also.

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Old 11-13-2015, 09:03 PM   #2
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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.

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Old 11-13-2015, 09:11 PM   #3
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Workhorse UFO; gas pusher chassis; in production for about 3 years, don't know if the overall problems of Workhorse took the effort down or if low sales took them out of production.
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:31 PM   #4
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That must be a new Fed reg. I drove a gas school bus in the mid 80's and early 90's. There are still a few of them being used. The district went to diesel starting in the late 90's and it was at a considerable increase in money. They probably gave them a lot of time to convert all buses to diesel.

Since when is a MH considered more than a 12 passenger vehicle?? I know of no MH designed to safely carry much more than 4 or six let alone 12.

Some recent wrecks we've seen on these forums have all been diesel and they burned. Maybe diesel won't explode but it will sure burn along with the plastic and most of the other stuff not to mention the propane which does explode.

There have to be other reasons why no gas pushers. I would have to think the heat issue and dissipation of the heat would be a big consideration. I don't really know which engine creates more heat but I'm thinking the gas would. If that's the case then all heat would have to be dissipated using mostly fans. I know diesels use fans but if the gas engine creates more heat that complicates things.

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Old 11-13-2015, 09:38 PM   #5
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Back when diesel emission requirements were being instituted, Winnebago did offer a gas pusher. They didn't sell very many because the performance characteristics and fuel mileage weren't near what people wanted. I don't know who made their chassis, but I bet you can find it if you googled it.
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:42 PM   #6
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I saw a gas pusher about three years ago. It was, I believe, made by a company called Rocky Mountain RV. (now out of business)
It really was underpowered and I believe it sucked gasoline almost as much as the air intake sucked air. It was a 40' with two slides so very heavy.
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:49 PM   #7
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Back in the old days, there were a couple of companies that built rear gassers. Problem was adequate cooling
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:49 PM   #8
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My coach model was also available as a gas pusher.
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Old 11-14-2015, 03:06 AM   #9
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Gas pushers have been done successfully. They were reputed to be underpowered, but economical and reliable.

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Old 11-14-2015, 03:52 AM   #10
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There have been a few Class A gas pushers, but for various reasons they were not successful and they went out of production.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by monroesilk View Post
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.

There are an awful lot of 15 passenger gas vans in this neck of the woods....and the place I work uses gas powered shuttle buses based on the ford e450 chassis. They hold 22...
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:20 AM   #12
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Ford V10: 362 HP, 457 ft-lbs
Cummings ISB: 350 HP, 750 ft-lbs
The V10 is one of the biggest gas engines available (right now) for trucks. The ISB is one of the smallest diesel engines for trucks.
I don't think the price difference would be enough to overcome consumer expectations of a pusher.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:50 AM   #13
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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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Old 11-15-2015, 07:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bobder41 View Post
I had a thought tonight. Why has none of the chassis manufacturers have a gas pusher out on the market for class a motorhomes.......
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.

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