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Old 08-19-2015, 09:26 AM   #1
Thor Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: IL
Posts: 77
Newbie questions

Hello Everyone. Thanks in advance for any help on some big questions we have.

My wife and I are in the heavy research phase, looking to buy a MH within 6 months, ideally under 35' to give us max flexibility in terms of being inside the National Parks out west. We live in Illinois (its not our fault the state is so screwed up!) so all of the trips will be longish drives and we'll likely want to tow. Our goal is primarily vacationing with our 9 year old, with the occasional niece or two thrown in on shorter trips.

I think we understand the upsides and downsides of the diesel/gas debate after more than a little research and talking to my mechanic who's shop does both diesel & gas, trucks & autos. I trust his experience and judgment but would also like yours.

Questions for you:
Please let us know your experience with a gas V10 and a toad, going up the hills in Colorado, for example. We are looking at the Thor Miramar 33.5, to give you a sense of the size. We did a Class C 31' rental as a test run this summer and I can't imagine pulling anything with that after doing I-70 near Denver.

Diesel's all have the benefit of the extra torque due to the forced induction and from all the comments, no problems with the hills. What is your experience with the durability of newer diesel's and all the emission controls?

Related, in round numbers the diesel / gas premium seems to be about $50K from internet prices on new, comparably sized rigs. I know that's a combination of the engine and the chassis differences. From your experience, is it worth it? Why?

From my wife: she likes the idea of the oven for a couple of reasons, but its not a deal breaker. Do the Convection micro's work well? Do they assume you have shore power or are running the generator? Seems the answer is yes, I doubt we have enough coach batter power for that and big fridge.

Hardest questions: more than a few of the Class A's in this size seem to have relatively little capacity for towing, based on the CGWR and the CVWR. Are the manufacturer's engineering to a number because once you get over 26,000 lbs some states require different drivers licenses? Or it is simple reality and we have to really watch the weight of both vehicles? Specifically, if I want to tow a 4500 lbs SUV, but the GVWR is 22,000 and the GCWR is 26,000, can I tow if I manage the weight down so I'm under the GVWR and don't exceed the GCWR?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-19-2015, 09:54 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
Posts: 15,635

I'll throw this in , as I have an appointment in a few mins. and don't have time to go over all your questions , but I will re-post when I have more time .
If you are looking at a gas chassis over 30 foot with a GVWR of only 22K you will not find enough CCC ( Cargo Carrying Capacity) to play with your loading to bring your tow weight up to your SUV. You need to look for coaches on a 24K or 26K chassis.

99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:19 AM   #3
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Location: Layton, Utah
Posts: 1,523
We rented alot of RVs before we bought (stole) a 2006 40' DP. (I can't buy new, money is too important to me.) We both HATED the V-10 fourspeed, that beast upshifted and downshifted all freaking day, roaring and screaming right between me and my lovely. OH HELL NO!!! ANd with all the shifting, I doubt the tranny will last. Obviously, loved the DP we rented, and yes, it's worth it, TO US. The engine is in the back, so the front remains quiet, weight is not as big an issue so they insulate it better, and it pulls the hills so good. Diesel fuel is even cheaper right now, may not be tomorrow. Our CAT goes 10,000 miles between oil changes, and can go further, but I can easily see 10k incriments on the odometer. Class C's were alot cheaper than A's, so a gas C was more desireable than a gas A, but the DP was still the best value FOR US.

Why would you tow a 4500 suv? If you're doing this alot, get an older jeep toad. If you're doing it a few time a year, rent a dolly from uhaul and a front wheel drive el cheapo from Avis. You can even rent a dolly from a fellow rv'er whose not using it right now.
2006 Monaco Safari Cheetah 40PMT
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:26 AM   #4
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Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 3,920
I'm not sure anything will run up I-70 to the Eisenhower tunnel at full speed?

I have a 30ft Mirada with the 305hp V10, V10s produced after about 2005 put out 360hp.

We run I-70 a couple times a year towing a Honda Civic. In order to keep it from constantly up/down shifting, I manually put the tranny in 2nd and then cruise up the mountain doing 35 mph. The engine will wind up to about 4k rpm, not a problem, plenty of gas pedal still left. Its easy on the drivetrain and easy on my nerves.

I think eastbound through the Eisenhower tunnel is worst then westbound, but they both require the same climbing strategy; Turn on the four way flashers, downshift to 2nd, set the cruise control to 35, and enjoy the scenery.
1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:04 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mountain West
Posts: 1,065
Hi JD11,

The gas versus diesel "discussion" is always so much fun!!!

I sure don't want to put words in your mouth but your questions sort of sound like you can get the same rig with either gas or diesel. You can't. A DP is about so much more than what kind of fuel you put in it or how fast it will go up the hills. A DP is very simply a much more substantial coach. You can safely put more in it, haul more with it, tow more more with it and it is built to handle that.

I do not make any attempt to keep up with all the current offerings but, last I looked, there was no such thing as "comparably sized rigs". Sure, the total length may be comparable but it is still apples to oranges.

I have a convection oven and I hate it. Yes, shore power or generator is required for baking (greater than 30 minutes). I am a boondocker/dry camper and having to run the generator to bake something just plain stinks. I can use the microwave off the inverter/batteries for short periods though. I would much prefer a gas over for my type of use. That said, one can do a great many things with a gas BBQ (outside) and dutch oven.

For fun, read this.
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
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