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Old 10-18-2020, 09:13 PM   #1
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Unhappy First RV. Need more torque

With 4 kids under 5 Years old, the floor plan was the most important. Second weíre the amenities and unfortunately third was the motor/transmission. Having never driven an RV before but reading a ton of blogs, it seemed fitting to buy the 380 horse with 1150 hp Cummins. All of the research has been done online since I have never driven any RV, nor seen a discovery in person. Salesman got me pretty good over the phone and out of state. I told him I would be towing a heavy SUV inside a trailer weighing close to the 10,000 pound limit. He told me I wouldnít feel it. WellÖ I feel it way too much. Itís hard reaching 65 mph and if I get lucky enough to do so, I better hope for not even the slightest of inclines.

Is the $3000 upgrade from Cummins worth it or do I already need to trade in? Iím sure this topic has come up over 100 times and Iíve read plenty about it. Basically wondering if I will (feel) the difference or not when Towing pretty much 10,000 pounds.
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:18 PM   #2
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My motorhome has 650hp and 1950 ft lbs. I'd certainly feel 10,000#'s even though mine is rated to tow 15,000#'s
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:54 PM   #3
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if you have the Allison 3000 series, you are probably limited to 1250 foot pounds of torque. If you have 1150 f/lbs now only 100 difference. If you can go to 450 hp as well, you might notice a little difference, but a 10000 lb toad will tax any motorhome.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:13 PM   #4
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I have a 1998 Country Coach with 330HP Cummins and tow a 9800# Hauler. Iím not going to lie hills are 25 to 35 MPH going over donner and the Siskiyous. However if your saying on flat land your having trouble getting to 65 something is wrong. I can, however donít go 80 MPH. Just three weeks ago I was on 80 headed to wells Nevada and was passing some trucks and for a very brief amount of time hit 90 MPH. NOT RECOMMENDED. However it can be done with 330 HP and a very loaded coach (we full time with kids). I would perhaps have the coach checked out at a Cummins shop to see if itís running top notch.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the prompt input. Is it normal or popular to just rent a car when I arrive to our destination ? We are traveling once a month for fun. 5-7 days at a time. It (seems) that with the fuel savings of not towing plus the wear and tear that I may end up spending the same amount of money per trip but with less headache. Iíve read that for example, enterprise will drop off the rental at the park and pick back up.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:11 PM   #6
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We have done it both ways, but most times we tow our car just for convenience. We currently have 525hp and 1650 ft lbs and it tows a 3,000-5,000 pound car most anywhere without much slowing on the mountains. I could never go back to a smaller engine.

I assume you have a Cummins ISL? When your engine warranty expires the upgrade cost will decrease.

You could consider flat towing. That would reduce the weight by about 4,000 pounds.

When I shop for a motor home I shop engine/transmission first and then floorplan. But, I'm the exception. Most only shop floorplan and budget.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:34 PM   #7
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Before you decide it's time to trade up, you know you will lose money, look for something lighter that you can tow 4 wheels down. You will save weight on the trailer and pick a light vehicle to tow. Having you own car has a lot of advantages. You may not always be near a rental car service. For me there is comfort that should I break down on the road I can disconnect the toad and proceed. This happened to me this past summer. My MH wound up in the shop for emergency repairs and I was able to travel home with my toad. A rental would have cost a lot as I was 700 miles away.
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Old 10-19-2020, 04:04 AM   #8
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I have to ask, why not buy something lighter to flat tow, you could cut your towing weight in half by flat towing something like a Ford Flex, and still get 6-7 passenger seating (curb weight around 4,600 pounds).
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:50 AM   #9
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I’m at 10,000 lbs towing and yes I know it’s there ,even with the big cat.
You’ll loose tens of thousands trading, perhaps 20 grand .... so unless you have $ to burn put that out of your mind.
I doubt the engine fix will make a lot of difference , some sure , and you are limited. I don’t think you’ll be happy
Loose the trailer and the heavy car and buy a car ( used if you want to save some bucks ) large enough for the family but that can be towed 4 down. You’ll loose 5000 lbs and is more economical.
It concerns me you say it has trouble on the flat getting to 65 , it certainly isn’t like driving a car , but it shouldn’t struggle. Have it checked out but are your expectations a little optimistic? That motorhone can pull it but not without some acceleration and speed in hills trade off. Those tractor trailers can pull loads also .... but they aren’t going up hills very fast, the motor home is no different !
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I have to ask, why not buy something lighter to flat tow, you could cut your towing weight in half by flat towing something like a Ford Flex, and still get 6-7 passenger seating (curb weight around 4,600 pounds).
This exactly what I would do. When we first started my wife's daily driver was a 2007 Honda Pilot. Being we could not afford to buy anything else after the purchase of the RV I just bought a tow bar and installed a tow plate on the Honda along with a light kit. I knew that in a few years I would buy the wife something newer. Earlier this year we did just that. Now the Honda is my daily driver and when go on trips we still use the Honda. If a rock chips the paint or something happens to it then it's not like it's a new car. Finding a clean, older model Honda Pilot with under 150K miles cheap should not be a big deal. I have seen many of them under 5K. You could really find any older car that towable 4 down for that matter. Way easier towing 4 down than with a heavy trailer.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
We have done it both ways, but most times we tow our car just for convenience. We currently have 525hp and 1650 ft lbs and it tows a 3,000-5,000 pound car most anywhere without much slowing on the mountains. I could never go back to a smaller engine.

I assume you have a Cummins ISL? When your engine warranty expires the upgrade cost will decrease.

You could consider flat towing. That would reduce the weight by about 4,000 pounds.

When I shop for a motor home I shop engine/transmission first and then floorplan. But, I'm the exception. Most only shop floorplan and budget.
Yes itís the ISL. I called Cummings with the transmission number and their engine number and they are going to figure out how much itís going to cost to get me more horsepower and torque. Of course it is limited but at a cost of roughly $3000 I can keep the factory warranty. Iím supposed to find out Friday. Has anyone ever heard of the PDI programmer? A lot of hype behind it from the sellers but I havenít heard of anyoneís actual usage
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:07 AM   #12
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I’ve tried fitting for car seats and a smaller vehicle including an explore with a third row and it barely gives us room to put our hands inside the buckle seatbelt’s LOL yet alone trying to put any type of cargo in the car for the trip. Big family small kids. Tough situation
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:12 AM   #13
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Definitely don’t like to waste money but I just paid $110,000 for this Escalade for my wife as the family vehicle and I would hate to accumulate miles on it as we thought roughly 2500 miles a month. I’m not even sure if it is capable of being towed on all 4, I’d have to ask. between the RV and the Escalade purchase in the past 30 days I don’t think I’ll get approved for a lesser expensive used car to tow. Might be worth a shot though. My neighbor is wanting to sell his sons 2015 suburban four-wheel-drive with a small lift on it and 130,000 miles. It’s rather Filthy on the inside and can’t see my family inside it with the foul smell even after a detail but that’s been on my mind this week
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:29 PM   #14
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Take a look at a used Ford Flex, it might the amount of space might surprise you, most are 7 seat with 2nd and 3rd row bench seating, though it you only need 6 seats check out one with 2nd row captains seats, makes access to the 3rd row much easier, particularly if it has 2nd row captains seats, without the optional middle table. (easy to remove). My wife had a 2015 Flex Limited edition with all the bells and whistles, until a teenager in a Yukon ran a red light at a blind intersection broadsided us on our way home from our anniversary dinner a couple of years ago.
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