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Old 08-20-2016, 10:43 AM   #15
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Although you have a smaller diesel it is a proven work horse. Most of the 5th wheels with diesel dodge are the 5.9(the older models) and DO the job nicely. Read the manual and run at the best cooling RPM, this might be a bit out of the highest torque range, on the climb. Be pro active, you will soon learn your RV and shift manually before the RPM' s drop. Plan your pass' s in the cool of the morning IF possible. On the down hill again get to a comfortable speed as you start the down hill, again pro active, if the exhaust brake DOESN't quite hold the desired speed stab brake the service brake 10-15 MPH, this allows the brakes to stay cool or go down one gear after braking to the desired speed. Don't worry about the motor, it will not allow itself to be hurt, it will up shift if the RPM gets too high. As others have said you might be slow but you will get there and your not the first on the route, it's an I route. One last thing look at the radiator for a need to clean. HAVE a good trip,enjoy!

LEN
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:17 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Golf612 View Post
I don't know for sure, it's a new coach to me. I had a 32 ft Jayco with a V-10 Class C for a couple of years. I'm new to RVing, never even stepped into one before I bought the Jayco. Just decided that we were tired of Ohio winters and couldn't find apartments or condos in Florida that would accept pets at a reasonable cost. Only got rid of the Jayco because it was uncomfortable for three months at a time, plus the better half and I wanted to do some traveling/sightseeing now that we have retired.
I strongly recommend you read the information Busskipper linked to. A Class C is basically a van with an extended chassis, it drives like a suburban grocery getter. A diesel Class A has air brakes, an exhaust brake, air suspension, and a variety of other differences. While we Ohio drivers don't need an air brake certification, many states and Canada do think the differences are great enough to require education.

A diesel engine has no back pressure when you lift your foot from the pedal like gas engines. To slow the rig on a downgrade requires other actions. Even downshifting does nothing going downhill, UNLESS you use the exhaust brake.
Learn how to use it and when to leave it on.

The air system has the noisy alarms, so you know to wait until pressure is up. Compressed air not only provides power braking, they are the only connection to braking action. With hydraulic brakes, if the power boost goes out you can still apply greater pressure to the pedal and stop the vehicle. Air brakes don't provide that back up. If you lose air pressure, the parking brake is applied, that's it. Use the brakes for stopping, use the exhaust brake for slowing. Using the brakes for slowing will quickly generate heat with such a heavy vehicle and your brakes will fade to nothing.

Going up a grade, the least important gauge is the speedometer. Most important is the temperature gauge and the tachometer. When the temperature starts to climb, (a clue the engine is working harder) it's best to manually downshift. Raising the RPMs gets the engine back into a better speed range for torque and horsepower. It also increases the water pump and fan speed, cooling more efficiently.

The air suspension, when working properly, is a no brainer. Valves add or delete air to keep the air springs at the proper height. Going around a long curve, air will actually be added to the low side to reduce lean. The only time you need pay attention is when something is wrong. Driving with the air springs inflated incorrectly can put stress on the short driveshaft between the transmission and differential, perhaps causing damage to U-joints or bearings. Do read and learn how to manually purge the air tanks of excessive water, a problem in our humid Ohio summer months.

Enjoy your new ride, it will provide many happy miles, and going through Colorado, great sights! (I'll be heading that way in a little over a week.)
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