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Old 09-15-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
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will my engine make the trip?

I am planing a trip from cincinatti to mt rushmore, yellow stone, redwood forest, grand canyon , vegas, pomona ca. then back to cincinatti. Towing a trailer with a full sized station wagon on it. the motor home is a 1999 bounder 36 s with chevy 454 18k miles seems to run great. am i asking too much of this engine to make this trip?
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
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That 454 is a real work horse but you will be asking a lot of it. You will be visiting a lot of gas stations. I would be more concerned with the transmission especially in the west. Have a qualified shop go through it. Go easy in the mountains, slow down and gear down to prevent 'hunting' which leads to overheating.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:00 PM   #3
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Assuming you are not the only licensed driver; drive the wagon through the "tough areas". Also, I would check if your MH is rated for that kind of a GCVW, station wagon plus a drive on trailer. If not a problem could put you in a legal jam.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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Let's do the math . . .

Full size station wagon is at least 4500 lbs.
Double-axle car trailer big enough to haul a full size wagon is about 2000 lbs.
Total weight is 6500 lbs.

Check the hitch rating on your coach. On our older gassers it is at most 5000 lbs and possibly only 3500 lbs. due to wimpy frame extensions that most coachmakers add on, so just bolting on a bigger hitch changes nothing.

Sorry, but regardless of what the drivetrain might handle, your tow capacity comes up woefully short.

You have a wonderful trip planned but you need to find a smaller toad vehicle that can go on a dolly or be flat towed.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank calver View Post
I am planing a trip from cincinatti to mt rushmore, yellow stone, redwood forest, grand canyon , vegas, pomona ca. then back to cincinatti. Towing a trailer with a full sized station wagon on it. the motor home is a 1999 bounder 36 s with chevy 454 18k miles seems to run great. am i asking too much of this engine to make this trip?
You will be alright on the flats. Going into and out of mountain ranges will be slow to say the least. Make darn sure you have brakes on your trailer or I can guarantee you will burn up your coach brakes on the downhill.

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Old 09-16-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-B View Post
Let's do the math . . .

Full size station wagon is at least 4500 lbs.
Double-axle car trailer big enough to haul a full size wagon is about 2000 lbs.
Total weight is 6500 lbs.

Check the hitch rating on your coach. On our older gassers it is at most 5000 lbs and possibly only 3500 lbs. due to wimpy frame extensions that most coachmakers add on, so just bolting on a bigger hitch changes nothing.

Sorry, but regardless of what the drivetrain might handle, your tow capacity comes up woefully short.



You have a wonderful trip planned but you need to find a smaller toad vehicle that can go on a dolly or be flat towed.
+1 NOT A GOOD IDEA! If you try it PLEASE be careful.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:57 PM   #7
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You are way underpowered for the WAY overweight trailer package you are planning to take on the trip.

The very first thing I would do is to find a lighter package to tow behind your gasser.

Remember that your rig does NOT have any braking assistance from exhaust brake and engine brake systems found on diesel rigs.

Right now you are an accident waiting to happen.

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Old 09-16-2013, 04:05 PM   #8
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Remember that your rig does NOT have any braking assistance from exhaust brake and engine brake systems found on diesel rigs.



Dr4Film ----- Richard[/QUOTE]

Actually we do have quite a bit of braking from the engine compression and by down shifting but I for sure would still NOT trust this situation. There is NO way his hitch is rated to tow that weight alone with any other people and supplies he has aboard.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:21 PM   #9
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The amount of money that you save on fuel by not towing will allow you to rent a car at your destinations. I have a 454 with a TH400 engine/ Trans combo and my GCVW is 14,000lbs. That means that with my 12,000 loaded motorhome I can tow 2,000lbs. When I travel without a towed I average 8.5-9mpg; when I bring our 2,300lb. towed it drops to 5-6mpg. That is a 33% increase in fuel cost. You could potentially save a couple thousand dollars NOT towing. Your motorhome will be more reliable over the duration of the trip and you can simple rent a car at some of your destinations to get around.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:49 PM   #10
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Like others have said, you WILL be over loaded and going through mountains.....I wouldn't.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
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seems to run great. am i asking too much of this engine to make this trip?
Based on what I left above in the quote, I am assuming you have not owned this MH all that long.

If that is correct there is a major bomb under the hood of some of the earlier big block Chevy rigs. The fan shroud is known to collapse due to working out of the side fasteners and or the bottom joint of the shroud halves failing and sucking in under heavy load. This occurs with the engine fan running continual under heavy load (MOUNTAINS) and high RPM (second or third gear). My neighbor bought a 2000 Allegro with less than 25K miles and lost his shroud, fan, radiator, hoses and belts. He was laid up just outside Yosemite for a week and came away $6000 poorer, this was his first trip.

I'm sure others are better versed on this issue (I'm a Ford guy) and will chime in with better facts and details. Get it checked out, that old, with low miles, may never have been worked hard.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
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In addition to the other advice, absolutely get a supplementary transmission cooler and temperature gauge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank calver View Post
I am planing a trip from cincinatti to mt rushmore, yellow stone, redwood forest, grand canyon , vegas, pomona ca. then back to cincinatti. Towing a trailer with a full sized station wagon on it. the motor home is a 1999 bounder 36 s with chevy 454 18k miles seems to run great. am i asking too much of this engine to make this trip?
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:41 PM   #13
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In addition to the other advice, absolutely get a supplementary transmission cooler and temperature gauge.
He is WAY over his motorhomes tow capacity! How is he going to stop that extra weight effectively?
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:46 PM   #14
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Poor guy has not responded, hope he don't think he is being flamed. Just concerned advice and all with best intentions.
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