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Old 06-01-2015, 10:29 AM   #1
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Thor Challenger Question

In the May 2015 MOTORHOME magazine article discussing the feature difference between a gasser vs. diesel, the writer states MH in the 38 foot range would strain a bit with a fully loaded MH. I've never read that anywhere before and was wondering how true that was. This could be a major game changer for the market I'm shopping in.
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Old 06-02-2015, 01:07 AM   #2
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I submit that the Author was off-base to describe a Ford F53 (the only gas Class A Chassis currently available) as "straining a bit" for a 38' RV. Every RV builder is using the chassis for their RV's up to and including the 39 footers.

That includes, TMC, Newmar, Fleetwood, Forest River, Winnie...etc.

That chassis has 6 GVWR's and 9 wheelbases, offering 320HP in the 6.8L V10, and coming in 2016, will have the 6speed TorqShift transmission currently used in the Super Duty truck line:
2016 Ford Stripped Chassis F-53 Motorhome | See All The Stripped Chassis F-53 Motorhome Highlights | Ford.com

These chassis' have a GCWR of 30,000lb and haul these Class A's around with little problem.

In fairness, it should be understood that driving these RV's is not like driving a Diesel Pusher with a 9- plus liter engine. The engine WILL rev up to over 4,000RPM to climb steep hills. They will roll down the freeway at normal speeds like 70-75, but will turn over 1,500RPM. These points are normal and the engines are designed to do it.

Best luck
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:40 AM   #3
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Just because several manufacturers are offering it does not mean it's not "straining a little". At the end of the day, it comes down to horsepower, weight, and chassis design. The primary drawback is that the increased weight and drag that comes with a larger size requires the engine to work nearer its peak output more of the time. On a gas engine like the Ford V10, that means higher RPMs to get more horsepower. It also means the leaf spring suspension is carrying a heavier load, so its needs to stiffened up for it. At some point it makes better sense to use a low-reving diesel engine, air suspension, and a chassis designed from the ground up to handle weights well upwards of 35k lbs. Many DPs easily handle GVWRs of 45k or more. Could you build a gas-engine chassis to do that? Sure, but that's not where the F53 shines. It is designed to provide a range of GVWRs, with the sweet spot around 20k-22k. It can go lower and also higher, but higher is "stretching it" near its design limits. Not overloaded yet, but working hard to do the job.

So, there is nothing wrong with a 38-39 foot gas rig, but you would probably like that same rig on a diesel pusher chassis much better. Quieter, for one thing, and smoother riding, and likely with a bit better fuel economy as well.
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