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Old 08-30-2005, 06:16 AM   #1
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I have a Fleetwood Montara 24 foot 6 inches class C with a Ford 460 engine.

I tow a 1986 Chevy Nova with an all terrain Falcon, Remco Lube pump and US Gear Unified Braking System.

When I go up steep grades I sometimes end up just crawling along at 5 mph. I do not yet have a transmission temperature gauge installed and do not want to damage the trans.

When going up steep grades the engine makes a lot of noise. I do not 'punch it' so it never gets out of low gear. I don't even know if the engine and trans could speed up enough on steep grades to get to third gear?

The curb weight on this MH is around 9000 pounds and the combined weight limit is 15,500 pounds. The Nova is light; probably 2300 pounds.
I do not think I am overweight, but should weigh in to find out.

David/zetron
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Old 08-30-2005, 06:16 AM   #2
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I have a Fleetwood Montara 24 foot 6 inches class C with a Ford 460 engine.

I tow a 1986 Chevy Nova with an all terrain Falcon, Remco Lube pump and US Gear Unified Braking System.

When I go up steep grades I sometimes end up just crawling along at 5 mph. I do not yet have a transmission temperature gauge installed and do not want to damage the trans.

When going up steep grades the engine makes a lot of noise. I do not 'punch it' so it never gets out of low gear. I don't even know if the engine and trans could speed up enough on steep grades to get to third gear?

The curb weight on this MH is around 9000 pounds and the combined weight limit is 15,500 pounds. The Nova is light; probably 2300 pounds.
I do not think I am overweight, but should weigh in to find out.

David/zetron
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Old 08-30-2005, 07:52 AM   #3
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My procedure for steep inclines is to disconnect the tow vehicle and the CW
drives it up, over, and down the other side.

If I feel the engine is getting too hot, I turn off air conditioning and turn on the heater full blast to bleed off engine heat. It gets a little hot inside but better than cooking the engine/tranny.
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Old 08-30-2005, 08:02 AM   #4
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Like Donavon states, try going up the incline w/o the toad -- -see what that does.

Also could your 1996 motorhome just be "tired"? - - or like Lucy in the movie "The Long, Long, Trailer", have you been adding 'rocks' to your motorhome over the years? Check the weight of the RV at a Flying J - type scale to be sure.

Also you don't mention if the inclines are on the East Coast, where altitude would not generally be a problem; or in the Rockies where altitude could be a problem to a gas rig.

Going 5 MPH sure makes you a sitting duck on a highway --- do be careful.

don
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Old 08-30-2005, 01:22 PM   #5
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When I have driven the MH without the Toad I can easily go 15 mph or faster, not much anyway.

The MH has only 48,000 miles on it. I do not think it is tired. As far as weight goes it sits real high without any water in the rwo freshwater tanks in back. I do have a lot of things inside however.

The engine temp gauge doesn't go but a tiny bit pass the middle of the gauge, which is where it is normally. It never gets anywhere near the red area. When I get the trans temp gauge installed I can 'punch it' and see what heppens. All the noise bothers me, from the engine in low gear like that; makes me think the thing is going to blow or something. But it is the same sound you hear from every heavily laden truck as it takes off in low gear.

I have not had any problems going that slow (5 mph) on these Arizona highways. I have not encountered a car coming from behind that didn't have plenty of room to slow down.

I travel alone at present, except for my dog, Dominique. It would not be impossible to take the car off and leave it at the bottom of a steep mountain and then take the bike or the electric scooter down and bring the car up. Still I think if nobody hits me the 5MPH climb is OK.

David/zetron
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:45 PM   #6
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You say that the curb weight is only 9,000# but is that the weight that is listed somewhere, or have you actually weighed the RV to see what the true weight as it sits is? I would be very surprised if you do not find that it is much more than you think,

The Ford 460 has been powering class A RVs for years that weigh a good deal more than what your total weight is, so even if you are heavier than what you think you are, to only make 5 mph on a major highway seems far too slow. Unless you have a very high ratio rear end you should be able to pull most grades on major highways at much higher speed than that. So the other question that I have is, what kind of grades are you speaking of? Are these grades that are found on the interstate highway system, the US routes, or are they the state and county roads found in the mountains? In order to give any real help we do need more information.
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Old 08-31-2005, 04:39 PM   #7
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Kirk: 9627 pounds unloaded weight, 15,500 max total combined weight.

The grades I am talking about are on county roads near Bagdad, Arizona, 6 % grades.

I had rodent infestation in the engine compartment last summer and they ate through some of the wires going to the fuel injectors. It was pointed out that if my rig doesn't go up 6 % grades at 45 mph while towing my car with normal pedal push I might need a tune up. I thought they had taken care of the injector wires last year? As I remember it acted like it had no power then too.

So it is back to the mechanic. I bet it still needs some work on those wires and a tuneup too.

David/zetron
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Old 10-04-2005, 05:10 PM   #8
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The engine noise could be caused by the clutch fan kicking as your water temp goes up, they do get very noisey.
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Old 10-09-2005, 06:10 PM   #9
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If you are not doing this, you should take it out of overdrive as you approach these grades and make sure the rpm are up. If they are not and you wait for it to shift down later you no doubt will go up the hill slower.
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:54 PM   #10
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Hey zetron:
Lets think about this a moment.
You have smaller type motor home with a big (460 cubic inch) Ford
gas engine with fuel injection (which means the engine is controlled by a computer) that means there is nothing to tune up. The spark plugs last for 75 thousand miles or more. The fuel injection has no adjustments the timing is controlled by the computer.......There is no tune-up!!!! I live on the west coast and am used to the big hills like the grapevine and the long grades out of palm springs on 10 and so forth. If you are bogged down to 5 to 15 miles an hour. you need to take your rig into a Ford dealer and see if there is something wrong with the computer or the fuel filter or the air filter or ........You have no power!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-22-2005, 08:17 AM   #11
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Thanks to everyone, I now know to be sure the overdrive button is off and I am in first or second gear. There was a vacuum hose eaten through by rodents, it was repaired; the fuel filter was clogged up, it was replaced and I put in a new K&N air filter. The computer was checked and is OK.

The MH with the car in tow seems to take small hills OK now. I have not had a chance to test it on steep grades yet.

The mechanic who worked on the MH also suggested a Tachometer.

This Fleetwood Montara class C 24 foot 6 inch MH was probably made for weekend warrior use. It is suppose to sleep 6 people, there is not that much storage room and it has the big 460 engine. Then there is the 9650 pound curb weight and the 15500 pound totally loaded weight. Also, I bought it back in Indiana where even shallow hills are hard to find.

But so what, instead of people weight it has TOY weight and instead of weekend warriors it has a fulltimer and his dog.

I plan to have a straight through "street legal" muffler put on to replace the stock muffler. I do not think I will go with the COMPUTER CHIP upgrade that you can add on.

David zetron
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