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Old 08-15-2010, 02:26 PM   #1
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1990s RVs that utilized the Cummins 5.9 diesel

Hello and sorry if this topic has been covered before!

I'm a newbie and a Class A wannabe.

I'm also partial to the Cummins 5.9 liter diesel engine, since that is the motor that is in my pick up truck (I'm already familiar the engine, so I wanted my motor home to have that engine also). I've decided I'm going to buy a 90's class A motorhome, so my question is:

What are some examples of class A motorhomes from the '90s that utilized the Cummins 5.9 liter diesel?

This will give me a starting point.

I'm already aware of the Itasca Suncruiser, but I was hoping for something a little shorter tha 34 feet!

Thanks for any input! J.Stewart
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:31 PM   #2
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I had a 94 Allegro bay that had a cummins 5.9
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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1996 Monaco 32 footer with a 230+HP 5.9B(mechanical) at 23-25,000 lbs does a fine job for me.
With a Monaco 34 footer- I've seen 8.3L in them-- Much more power- arrrrg!
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:53 PM   #4
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I believe the Fleetwood Bounder had the 5.9.
Adios, Dirk - '84 Real Lite Truck Camper, '86 Wilderness Cimarron TT, previously 4 years as a fulltimer in a '07 DSDP

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Old 08-18-2010, 08:15 PM   #5
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1998 HR Endeavor 38' has the Cummins 5.9L

Great Engine when paired with the Allison MD3060 tranny.
GrandpaLarry and my MUCH younger wife Mary
1998 Holiday Rambler Endeavor DP
Usually towing a horse trailer.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:39 PM   #6
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Cummins 5.9

I have a 1999 Winnebago 34V Pusher with the Turbo Charged 5.9. Haven't had it very long but the on few trips we've made it's proven itself to be sufficient for our needs. We only tow a flat trailer with MC's and we are flatlanders. I've done all the maintenance myself so far with with little to no difficulty. The biggest problem I have is tracing down and learning all the systems onboard. This site has been invaluable to me as a resource.
"The other" George & Barbara, and the 3 Amigo's
Winnebago Adventurer 34V DP
Edenton, N.C.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:56 AM   #7
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OK Great, This is fun. So I have the following by your suggestions plus a couple more that I've caught on to by internet research:

Itasc Suncruiser
Itasca Sunflyer
Holiday Rambler Endeavor
Fleetwood bounder
Monaco (Dynasty?)
Winnebago Vectra
Winnebago Adventurer

Question: Concerning the Cummins 275HP 300HP and 330HP: Are these 5.9liter engines? I believe the 5.9L engine that I am familiar with is a 190HP. Many of the motor home advertisements only mention the HP rating of the engine, but they don't mention the displacement. This is causing confusion for me. If I could become familiar with the various incarnations of the 5.9 liter engine, that would help me in my search.

It looks like the shortest RV I can get with a 5.9 liter Cummins is a 34 footer. I was hoping for something a little smaller. Is anyone aware of a smaller Class A RV with the 5.9 liter cummins?

I've concluded that the RV dealers are WAYYYY too expensive for me when it comes to used machines. I'll probably buy from an owner and furthermore, I will probably buy a "mechanics special" - a machine that is not currently in operational condition and needs engine work in order to get it running.

I've stumbled upon a '95 Itasca Suncrusier 34RQ Pusher with a burnt engine (overheated and melted a piston) and the six speed Allison and no slide outs. Appears to be in good shape otherwise. The seller wants $7K. The towing bill to my place would be in excess of $1000. I'm having crazy thoughts of buying this machine and then hunting down an older Dodge diesel pick up that has been wrecked and doing an engine swap (I believe the early '90s Dodge pick ups have an identical engine but I could be mistaken). I would do all the work myself. Assuming I can score a used motor for $2K, that would make the total price tag somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 (for a diesel pusher, this is not a bad price tag in my opinion and I would enjoy the additional benefit of being intimately familiar with my machine when I got done with the project). Anyone with thoughts on this crazy idea? I'm a weekend mechanic and love working on tractors and cars, but I've never pulled an engine/tranny combo out of a motorhome, and it could turn out to be more of a job than I can handle. Sounds like a job that would require a solid concrete slab work surface and a huge rolling hydraulic engine jack with an attached engine cradle.

Has anyone ever pulled a diesel engine out of a mid '90s Itasca Suncruiser?
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:23 AM   #8
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I have a 2001 Bounder, Freightliner with Cummins 5.9 275hp. Love it
Chuck Berry
2001 Fleetwood Bounder 37K
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:57 PM   #9
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I have seen a 32' Airstream with the 5.9/230hp and a 6 speed Allison; I think it was a 1994-6 in age.

There are also Rockwoods that are 32' (I am not sure what output and trans were in those).

One thing to keep in mind with some of the setups you've mentioned is that they may well have LP generators. If you don't use the generator a lot, that may not be a big thing. If you do think you'll use it a lot (for example, the other day, driving from Fernley NV to Wendover, UT via US50 and US93 I ran the generator for 12 hours to keep the coach cool and then ran it more while parked just outside the Bonneville Salt Flats), then LP may not be the way to go.

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:36 AM   #10
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I had a 1999 Winnebago Chieftain with 275 Cummins 5.9 ISB engine and 6 speed allison transmission. The diesel Chieftain was only made 2 years and was a top of the line Winnebago.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:44 PM   #11
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I gots a 32' Monaco with a 230+ HP 5.9B
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:50 PM   #12
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Gulfstream had a 32 Foot Model with that Mechanical 5.9 B Engine in1992 They sell for 5~7 Grand depending on condition.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:35 PM   #13
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You asked if it was a "crazy" idea for you to attempt to pull the large motor/transmission in a MH and re-power it... IMHO, it would be crazy only if you were not willing to proceed CAUTIOUSLY, thoughtfully, armed with all the information you can gather, and continuously willing to seek advice from others who may have gone before you. You have already answered your own question.

But just to be sure...
The fact that you are obviously mechanically inclined, have tools, a workspace and a reasonable plan of attack are important elements. But what will put you over the top is the fact that you are obviously "invested" in this undertaking. You are enthusiastic about getting started and seeing it through is palpable in the way you wrote about it. I predict sucess with an attitude like that.

The process itself will be a series of challenges which you will deal with one at a time, at your own pace, and with a lot of resources from this venue.

Bottom line: GO FOR IT! ...And start a thread with pictures and regular updates so that we can live vicariously through your trials and errors ... and celebrate your ultimate success.

All the best,
Jim and Fran in Central Florida
1989 Country Coach Sedona Mark V
Turbocharged Detroit Diesel 8.2L "Fuel Pincher"
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:39 PM   #14
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I agree, the Cummins 5.9 is a great motor. Don't disregard the Cummins 8.3 motor. It is essentially the same engine, just built larger. Very reliable, good horsepower, decent fuel consumption. If you understand how to work on the 5.9 engine, you also understand how to work on the 8.3 engine.

Both engines are easy to increase horsepower. My 8.3 left the factory @ 300 HP. It has had a Banks Stinger kit added, which is a different fuel plate on the injection pump, a larger turbo with a turbo boost fooler, and power is supposedly about 375HP.

Many say that for good power, you need 1 HP per 100 LB of coach weight.

If you're looking for coaches without slides from the early to mid '90s, you should be able to find one in beautiful condition.
2016 Creekside 23RKS
2012 Ram 2500 Laramie 4X4 Cummins 6.7L
Canada, eh?
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