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Old 08-29-2015, 10:05 AM   #1
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Wondering

We live in Florida and are 1st time RV buyers. I'm looking at Class A (27-35ft)gas motorhomes and was wondering how the gas motorhomes handle in the mountains especially down hill? Anyone with opinion will help. Cannot afford the diesal pushers.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:18 AM   #2
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I live in the southwest. Nothing but mountains, and I haven't had one problem going up or down them yet. I do use the tow feature to control my speed without having to ride the breaks constantly.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:21 AM   #3
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We have the Canyon Star 3610 which is on the Ford F53 gas chassis, and is one of the larger Newmar MH's on a gas chassis. It handles great and has plenty of power to climb and descend major grades. It tracks well, has a smooth ride and does not get pushed around by the wind or big rig trucks. We live in California so to get just about anywhere we are climbing grades just to get out of town as well as our favorite place to go is the Sierras, which many of the passes are at the 7000-8000 foot elevation. We get up the grades with no problem, and have kept pace or even passed Diesel pushers climbing the same grades. Using the Towhaul mode on the down hills controls your speed by using the engine, and you only need to use the brakes minimally.


Our same MH floor plan in the Diesel(Ventanna) was about $100,000 more in price, and ours has the same amenities and quality build. The price wasn't the ultimate deciding factor for us as much as I can do all my own maintenance on the Gas chassis and it is much less money to maintain. The gas chassis will get you everywhere the diesel will and once you are parked in a CG the most important thing will be the floor plan that works best for your needs. Make sure you do your research and look at all the brands, and remember at the starting price point spending a few thousand dollars more will get you a MH that you love, rather than one that is just ok and you soon outgrow. Spending a little more on the front end will save you a lot of money down the road.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:26 AM   #4
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I have no problems with the mountains ( down hill) I have a 2015 winnebago 27N . ( Gas ) Towing a Fiat 500 .Have been in the mountain in WV and north western Georgia. This being my first class A can't compare to anything but a TT.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:56 AM   #5
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We have the Canyon Star 3610 which is on the Ford F53 gas chassis, and is one of the larger Newmar MH's on a gas chassis. It handles great and has plenty of power to climb and descend major grades. It tracks well, has a smooth ride and does not get pushed around by the wind or big rig trucks. We live in California so to get just about anywhere we are climbing grades just to get out of town as well as our favorite place to go is the Sierras, which many of the passes are at the 7000-8000 foot elevation. We get up the grades with no problem, and have kept pace or even passed Diesel pushers climbing the same grades. Using the Towhaul mode on the down hills controls your speed by using the engine, and you only need to use the brakes minimally.


Our same MH floor plan in the Diesel(Ventanna) was about $100,000 more in price, and ours has the same amenities and quality build. The price wasn't the ultimate deciding factor for us as much as I can do all my own maintenance on the Gas chassis and it is much less money to maintain. The gas chassis will get you everywhere the diesel will and once you are parked in a CG the most important thing will be the floor plan that works best for your needs. Make sure you do your research and look at all the brands, and remember at the starting price point spending a few thousand dollars more will get you a MH that you love, rather than one that is just ok and you soon outgrow. Spending a little more on the front end will save you a lot of money down the road.
Mike said it all very well. Educate yourself. You will see the F-53 chassis anywhere in the US 50 states you want to travel. That should be a clue not to be concerned about the ability to travel
Enjoy the education and then join us on the road for the time of your lives.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:08 PM   #6
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Drive a gasser (37'7") myself and had not problem in the hills.. Unit has an ALLISON transmission (World's best tranny says Allision on it, Mine is not the very best, but .. Well it was at the time) Only time I have any issues is when I am on a very very very long downgrde I have to apply brakes every mile or so to slow down.. Tranny and engine do a great job.. Have had no issues that I can lay on hills.. Only had one hill I had a problem getting up (Dropped 4,000 pounds plus of towed and went over that hill no problem. walked back down and drive towed up (not as easy) re-hooked and on we drove)
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:13 PM   #7
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We've been over Washington Pass (5200 ft elevation) several times in our 32' F53 '02 Georgetown using WA SR-20. It's a stiff climb westbound out of Winthrop, but the rig handled it well. It held a steady 37 mph in 3rd gear all the way up, never showed any signs of overheating and got the same mileage at 5000' as it did at sea level. Snoqualmie Pass (3200') on I-90 and Stevens Pass (4400') on US-2 were easier, except for the narrowness of US-2, with a 500' drop-off to the river on the passenger's side in some spots going eastbound. Scary for DW!

I doubt a 35-footer would be much different on stiff grades, particularly with the later 6-speed transmission.

As a matter of interest, where do you find mountains? IMO, anything that doesn't have a tree-line with bare rock above it and maybe a permanent snow-cap doesn't qualify.
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:29 PM   #8
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FYI I got some words of wisdom from an "old timer" when I was driving a 454 Chev gas chassis. He informed me that if the engine ever stalled on a hill to makes sure to get stopped on the first press of the brake pedal because with the hydro-boost system they have for the power brakes that there would only be one chance at stopping with the power assist. After the first pedal press with a stalled engine you have no power brakes and might as well drag your feet like the Flintstones to stop.
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:33 PM   #9
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Toad Mode? Does that mean out of over drive?
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:46 PM   #10
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Toad Mode? Does that mean out of over drive?
Tow haul mode, most likely out of over drive since it is for towing, descending and climbing. Over drive is not engaged until running on flat land and at highway speeds.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bucsfan116 View Post
We live in Florida and are 1st time RV buyers. I'm looking at Class A (27-35ft)gas motorhomes and was wondering how the gas motorhomes handle in the mountains especially down hill? Anyone with opinion will help. Cannot afford the diesal pushers.
Howdy and welcome. We recently returned from a 3-week trip through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and points west, with our Jeep Wrangler in tow. We crossed the Continental Divide no less than a dozen times, and drove I-70 through the 11,150' Eisenhower Tunnel and Vail Summit at 10,600'. We kept up with the flow of traffic (in the slow lane ) with no problem at all. A gas RV can take you anyplace a diesel can.
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:00 AM   #12
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I live in the southwest. Nothing but mountains, and I haven't had one problem going up or down them yet. I do use the tow feature to control my speed without having to ride the breaks constantly.
What is the "tow" feature?
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:01 AM   #13
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Tow haul mode, most likely out of over drive since it is for towing, descending and climbing. Over drive is not engaged until running on flat land and at highway speeds.
What is the "tow haul mode" and does only new RV have it?
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:36 AM   #14
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What is the "tow haul mode" and does only new RV have it?
It is a button on the end of the shift lever that when pushed it will engage the transmission to a different mode. This mode makes the shifting pattern different and it will not allow it to upshift if going down a hill but rather keep it in the lower gear creating an engine brake. It also changes the way it will upshift carrying gears for a longer distance to compensate for the load you are towing. I do not know when this feature first came out but perhaps it is not available on older models.
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