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Old 08-19-2014, 07:30 PM   #1
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Smile Manual transmission & stick shift

Whatever happen to manual transmission aka stick shift? When I was growing up, that was very popular. The advantages are:

Better gas economy
Less failure compared to an automatic, virtually no periodic maintenance.
We can push start a car, not so with auto-transmission.
Donít need to remove the drive-line when towing,
Use the lower gear for uphill & down hill (especially for down-hill breaking)
Oh yes, It was fun to go thru gears; impress the girls while shifting through four gears at break neck speed, that was cool.

Now, It seems me with all those advantages, it should be an available option for motorhome. However, I have never sawn that as an option on any motorhome. Anyone cares to chime in?

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Old 08-19-2014, 07:54 PM   #2
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They are still being sold you just need to look for them. Ram trucks offer a manual transmission with their Cummins equipped trucks, don't know about the gas trucks. VW offers them in their cars and so do other foreign manufactures. Must VW Golfs and a lot of the diesel equipped cars are sold with the manual transmission or the DSG which is a hybrid automatic transmission, no torque converter and you can roll thru the gears just like a manual. You can even get a paddle shifter on some of them.

Jim W.

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Old 08-19-2014, 08:09 PM   #3
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When I was in my late teens....long ago......A bunch of us guys remodeled an old Coach, equipped with a International Red Diamond 450 cu. in. 6 cyl gas engine, into a RV. Think it was around a 1949 coach. Not sure of the chassis manufacturer. It had a 5 spd manual transmission and was a gas pusher. Talk about walkin' around the cab trying to find a gear. Double clutchin' and trying to keep momentum was a real task! Made it all the way to Daytona for the races and back to WI with all 8 of us aboard. Not sure whatever happened to it....I moved to MN and lost track of the owner.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:20 AM   #4
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What happened, Well CAFE mostey (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) turns out most people get better MPG with a sulsh box than a gear box. (Automatic as opposed to stick)

Add to that they no longer teach manual shift (Which I learned when I was still in single digits age wise) and automatics dominate.

My wife could not drive a stick,,, We had a parole violator outside our post when I was a police dispatcher who could not drive a stick.

If I purchase a new car it will likely be a stick cause most car theives... You guessed it, do not know how to drive a stick.

Me... See "Since single digits"
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:13 AM   #5
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The automatics got so much better that there remained few advantages for a stick. Not fuel economy, and not maintenance & repairs either. And for most everyone, the automatic is far more convenient.

And even young men prefer to have their arm around the girl rather than impressing her with his shifting technique. I suspect the girl likes that better too!
Gary Brinck
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:22 AM   #6
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If you love to shift, drive a quadraplex transmission. I'll continue shifting my 6-speed with my thumb
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:28 AM   #7
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I've got a five speed stick shift on my Wrangler toad (it's a Jeep thang!).

Most times I like it, especially on the back mountain dirt roads. But when I'm stuck in stop and go traffic having to constantly work the clutch? Still, I wouldn't trade it, plus my DW can drive it, so it's a keeper!

But as to a stick in my motorhome? No way, Jose!!
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
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Automatic transmissions have come a long way since the; 61 Buick with Dyna- Flow; Nicknamed , Dyna-Flush.
Now very little fuel economy advantage, stick over automatic.
This post , takes me back 40+ years to the fun evenings , teaching the DW to drive , a stick shift , because her father gave her a car with one , that she couldn't drive. What was she learning on? Some may be able to guess from my user name.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:55 AM   #9
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Stick shifts are available in about all brands, usually in the base models. Bought a 2013 KIA Soul 6 speed stick as a toad, wife and I like it so much we hardly drive either of our other two vehicles.
2008 Bounder 38P F53 24/30K V10, 2013 Kia Soul Basic 6 speed manual, Ready Brake Elite tow system (previous equipment 1996 Pace Arrow Vision w/Acme Dolly)
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dan Wong View Post
Whatever happen to manual transmission aka stick shift? When I was growing up, that was very popular. Anyone cares to chime in?
Dan Wong
"Standard transmissions" are still available from most auto makers.
However, most drivers today NEED automatics because it is difficult to shift while texting, setting up a GPS, putting on eye-shadow, eating/drinking and GIVING SOMEONE "THE FINGER".
'96 Safari
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:20 AM   #11
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OP wants us to chime in on possible motorhomes with stick shifts. I suspect he knows what is presumed to be the reason for the move to automatics. I would guess, that the answer to his question would be that except for custom built, or renovated buses, (yes, you can find older ones with sticks), the only off the lot rigs would be the old Toyota based units, and perhaps something built in/for foreign use.
Neil, Lin, and our furry companions, Ashby and Cody. 06 National Surf Side.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:41 AM   #12
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Back in the homeland (UK) and most of Europe, Auto is the exception rather than the rule.

If you take your driving test in an automatic, you are only licensed for auto. If you later want to drive a manual (stick) you have to retake the test in a manual.

With gas being so much more expensive, economy rules. The gap may be closing but a manual is still more economical (if driven properly).

My last trip to England, I hired a Vauxhall Insignia Turbo-Diesel. Similar to a Malibu. Had a 2-liter diesel with a 6-speed manual transmission. It got over 50mpg Still cost $150 for a tank of diesel

BTW: it took me a couple of days before I realized it was 6-speed... That's when I started to hit 50MPG
Chris, Jo & Dell (Siberian Husky - 110lb of fur and muscle)
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:26 PM   #13
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Actually glad to see then go the way of the gravity fed carburetors. DW was terrible with a stick shift. My mechanic finally told me that all the clutch trouble I was having with a 4x4 Ranger pickup was the way the wife drove it. For my use, after a back injury years ago, I had the '65 Mustang I owned at the time converted to a true C4 Auto, Never more quoth the raven....
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:37 PM   #14
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I think it is because under load, they are smarter on when to downshift than the average driver. I worked I the auto industry for many years, and that has always been the number one reason. I know, there are many out there who know and are faster shifting than an auto, so I'm not pointing the fickle finger of fate at you. Have fun with this, but in the long run, you will find it to be true......

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