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Old 01-06-2017, 08:37 PM   #29
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
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I had a 400HP ISL in a 36' DP and it was a rocket. I now have a 450HP ISL in a 40' DP and on some hills I cry. If I were to buy a 45' coach, I would be looking for a 600HP ISX or DD.

I got the impression from your post that you were asking about both ride and horsepower. If you buy a coach with 600 horsepower, you should also be getting a better ride because it will be bolted to a higher end coach. Another factor......it will have a 4000 Allison versus a 3000 Allison.
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:46 AM   #30
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You are correct in that I am evaluating the entire ride experience. I'm planning on ten years of driving this coach so I want to get it right. "Crying when we hit the hills" for a full summer of driving in the Rockies would make us regret buying smaller engine.
Merging is a big thing too as we are in the D.C. area so traffic is a mess and I95 is simply crazy.
I've never had an accident in 43 years of driving so I will not be driving dangerously. I do know that neither of us want the "U-haul experience" of driving up mountains in an underpowered vehicle.

I haven't seen any body say they regretted paying the extra money for the coach with the bigger engine.

Of course what I'd like is a 2 day mountain test drive as then we could experience the delta first hand. While that can't happen, the sharing of insight on this forum is invaluable!

Continued thanks to all for your two cents. I'm zeroing in on a full dollars worth of free advice!!
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:42 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by BattleWagon View Post
You are correct in that I am evaluating the entire ride experience. I'm planning on ten years of driving this coach so I want to get it right. "Crying when we hit the hills" for a full summer of driving in the Rockies would make us regret buying smaller engine.
Merging is a big thing too as we are in the D.C. area so traffic is a mess and I95 is simply crazy.
I've never had an accident in 43 years of driving so I will not be driving dangerously. I do know that neither of us want the "U-haul experience" of driving up mountains in an underpowered vehicle.

I haven't seen any body say they regretted paying the extra money for the coach with the bigger engine.

Of course what I'd like is a 2 day mountain test drive as then we could experience the delta first hand. While that can't happen, the sharing of insight on this forum is invaluable!

Continued thanks to all for your two cents. I'm zeroing in on a full dollars worth of free advice!!
As said many times, about 10HP per foot, is considered more than adequate for most coaches, so anything above that, is gonna be better. On the used market and I'm always looking, I've not seen over 400HP in a 40ft coach, but I imagine they're out there in the new or newer models.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:46 AM   #32
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Among a number of planned mountain trips on our bucket list, we plan to spend 4 months exploring the mountains from New Mexico up to Montana.

*** Couple of things here -- YOU WILL NEED MORE TIME --- Unless you just want to drive through these Beautiful Mountains and Passes. So IMHO you should be able to SEE and Drive through these areas with any sized engine you want -- just take your time and SEE - Touch - HIKE - Be IN, all these beautiful areas, DON't just drive by them.

Will the bigger engines, such as Cummins 600hp, deliver a markedly better driving experience than its 450hp cousin on such a trip?

*** NO. The biggest problem you should have is trying to drive SLOW enough to see the areas you are in.

If I would be glad on every driving day that the "big guy" was pushing me up the hill, then I am inclined to buy a slightly used, "big engine" coach.

*** We are all different, but IMHO the Mission is to SEE not drive by these areas .......So what is the real Point.....

If not, I might go for a new MH with the more modest power plant.

Unless you are in need of a particular Coach I would look long and hard to find a Floor Plan FIRST then find the Coach.

Background: My wife and I have decided we want a 45' Class A Diesel to be the centerpiece of our retirement plan.

*** I commend you on the choice to go Big - but this being your first venture onto the Irv2 web, you might really want to try a few out first, as, Where and When and How you RV is critical to the equation - you might spend a little more time in Picking out your TOAD, as that is likely what you will be driving most of the time. (Ex. my Coach has 60,000 miles on it and my Toad has 300,000 miles on it - and that's just the last one)

We are both natural born explorers, love driving and never let any grass grow under our feet.

*** If you are out on the trails, taking a hike, very little grass will grow under your feet! Again I bring up the fact that you will sleep in the Coach - Drive in the Toad and Explore in your Boots. So Buy a really good sets of Boots ($$$) - Get a really comfortable and versatile Toad - and find a Coach that is really Fun/Comfy/Practical to Sleep in.

We eagerly look forward to feasting on the beauty of our country and developing friendships with the good folks of the RV community along the way.

*** Between this forum and RV.net Forum you will learn and meet lot's of good folks - but if you get out of the Coach and Talk, Introduce yourselves to your Neighbors as you travel you should have a really good time. (Never hurts to have a bottle of Wine or a Good Beer in the frig for breaking the Ice)

We are based out of Virginia and plan to be on the road 9 months a year.

*** Good Idea - it's just too crowded to RV in the Summer

I anticipate driving quite a few more miles than average.

*** As you will learn - most of those miles will be in the Toad - IMHO, a 4X4 and extremely comfortable Toad will be more important than the 600 HP Coach.
My story - is I have always had some sort of "Camper with a motor" but when we (me) decided to get an RV we did it after we really knew what we Liked. I was a contractor with Dump Trucks and Tractor Trailers - we pulled, up to, 150,000 #'s with less than 301 HP we always could keep up with traffic and be safe.

So when I had My Coach built, they had to take the 600hp motor OUT - Had it built on a 400hp Spartan Chassis - I have never regretted it - I have driven my Coach in all those big Mountains out West, along with Most of the small Hills back East, so my limited experience is mostly in the Mountains or on the Roads between (Live in Maryland and have Granddaughters in Colorado) so I know that Road well.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is;

1. Get the Right Floor Plan

2. Get the Right TOAD.

3. Get a really good pair of BOOT's.

The size of the engine in the Coach will have little to do with how you feel after a long day out on the Trails. (Good Mattress over the engine will Help)

Best of Luck, hope this is of some help,


...............
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:54 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by BattleWagon View Post
Among a number of planned mountain trips on our bucket list, we plan to spend 4 months exploring the mountains from New Mexico up to Montana. Will the bigger engines, such as Cummins 600hp, deliver a markedly better driving experience than its 450hp cousin on such a trip?

If I would be glad on every driving day that the "big guy" was pushing me up the hill, then I am inclined to buy a slightly used, "big engine" coach. If not, I might go for a new MH with the more modest powerplant.

Background: My wife and I have decided we want a 45' Class A Diesel to be the centerpiece of our retirement plan. We are both natural born explorers, love driving and never let any grass grow under our feet. We eagerly look forward to feasting on the beauty of our country and developing friendships with the good folks of the RV community along the way. We are based out of Virginia and plan to be on the road 9 months a year. I anticipate driving quite a few more miles than average.
Planning is fun.........with you travel plans and the 45' Coach..........why would you not want the big ISX engine?
When you look at all the Coachs/manufacture's with the big engine's/transmissions.............your wallet will guide you in your dissension , I would suspect
Good luck in your search.............and have fun doing it!
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:58 AM   #34
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Big engine

Another vote for the big engine!! We've had C7 Cat 330, ISL450 and ISX600. The ISX simply makes the driving day easier. We run 72 mph if traffic and weather conditions permit, and as such we spend a lot of time passing the trucks that are limited to 65mph, the bigger motor allows us to get around the truckers faster everywhere which we consider a safety issue as most of the time they are on the phone or texting and we would rather get around them.The OP mentioned mountain driving, but the extra power is useful in a lot of places, Arizona, Missouri, and Kentucky just to name three are all states that have plenty of steep grades where the extra power will come in handy. It's not a matter of getting up the grade 6 minutes earlier, it's about having more flexibility as you drive all day long. Don't get to excited about all of that extra power in Colorado, on I-70 the fast lane runs 75-80 MPH+ and the slow lane runs as slow as the slowest vehicle in it, even with the 600 you'll be hard pressed to get much of an open spot in the fast lane with the heavy amount of traffic on that road, best just to sit back and enjoy the scenery!! Go to Montana if you want to have a chance at an open run at the passes.

Good luck with your search
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:04 AM   #35
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I have a 450 ISL in my current coach, I've put 50K on it in the last three years.

The 450ISL and the 600ISX get the same mileage. Lower RPM's in the 600 to make the same speed while still staying in the torque curve account for that. Really the math doesn't pencil out...very small amount of fuel cost difference even if it got slightly less mileage, and the cost of the 600 over the 450 in a given coach will be in the $100K range. Bottom line iss this: if you want it, it will cost more than you will ever make up in resale, mileage, or anything else except fun and ease of driving.

My next coach (soon) will be a 600ISX. Tired of right lane driving and it's worth it to me.

If you are considering the 600, and if you drive in the west, do not hesitate to go 600, IMO.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:55 AM   #36
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Doubt you'll find many 45' coach's with a ISL if you do don't even bother. Many current 42' & 43' coach's are a bit heavy for an ISL in my opinion. I would want at least 500 HP and more importantly 1500 torque for any 45' coach.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:02 AM   #37
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Had a 450ISL for two years. Have a 600ISX now. OP ask about driving experience. For me, I really enjoy the heavier chassis that comes with the larger engine. It is just a smoother ride and handling. As to hills, 7% grade for a mile to 1.5 miles, 450ISL (with 1650 ft lbs torque) would drop down to 30-35mph. 600ISX never really below 50-55mph (with 1950 ft lbs torque). To me, hands down, if I can afford the larger engine and heavier chassis, take it.

In terms of driving, my best comparison is comfort in driving when you need to get there. 500-600 miles with the 450 was a long day. When I had to do it, I have taken the 600ISX up to 850 miles in a day. Tired, yes, but no way I can do 800 with the 450. To be able to do that, the engine and chassis MUST be heavy enough and powerful enough to travel down the road at 75 mph all day long (and of course, you have to have the roads that allow you to do that), with 6-7% grades not slowing you down too much.

Naturally, there are going to be some that will say to the above, "...never have to get there..." to move that many miles, but remember, I said when I had to. FWIW, if you have a coach that can do that, well, that coach is going to be a much better drive when you only do 400-450 miles a day. All,JMHO
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:18 AM   #38
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You probably also have to consider two things: Weight to HP/Torque ratio, and the 'speed' you wish to be able to travel up mountains.

Our coach is just at 26,000 lbs loaded, and has a Cummins 300hp with Allison 2100 6spd transmission. We've never had a problem going up, or down, any mountain ranges in the US and Canada, even with our toad, 4 bikes, and 4 passengers. At an average overall 11.4mpg for 50,000+miles, I personally don't really care how 'fast' we ascend the mountains. I actually would RATHER other folks pass us, than visa versa.

but, some DO care that they should be able to 'zoom' over the mountains - in that case, 600hp should be what you're shooting for, no matter the size or weight or length of your rig.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:22 AM   #39
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If you can, go for a test ride in two MHs with different engines to see the difference, even on a level load.

A few years ago I was looking at a 36-38ft Kountry Strar with a 260HP Cummins. I took it for a test drive near the speed limit and floored the pedal as if I wanted to pass a slower vehicle - not much happened! Eventually it crept up a couple of mile per hour more. The dealer confirmed that it would get me from A to B, but only at a steady pace. (I had a gasser at the time and wanted somewhat similar performance when passing)

The dealer and I stayed $2000K apart on that MH, I just couldn't pay what he wanted with that HP.

A year or so later I purchased my current rig from the same dealer. With 350 HP in a 41 1/2 ft rig I can easily pass on level roads and can maintain a decent speed and most times even pass trucks etc going up-hill. I have to watch my speed as I can easily do 70MPH (not uphill) without noticing it (not supposed to tow my Edge over 65MPH).

Would I like 400HP, yep and when I see some with 600HP I drool! But do I need them for what I have and tow - not at all.

Chris
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:58 AM   #40
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I'll just say I've had both 450 and 600 and if I were buying a new mh today it would have the 600 as my present one has.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:30 PM   #41
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As usual, those with small motors defend on how well they work!!! I've got a 450 ISL in a 37K coach pulling another 5K. Does it climb grades, sure, so does a moped. I won't buy another coach at this weight unless they at least bump the engine to the small ISX. Tiffen is already doing it. The Allegro Bus, typically powered by an ISL is now being offered with an ISX.

People seem to think that just because they're willing to climb a grade at 30mph behind a garbage truck, everyone else is. Another issue is that many east coast people don't see the grades that the west coast RVers see several times in one trip.

Lastly, those little engines don't offer the braking power of the larger engines (exhaust brake versus engine brake). My 400ISL in a lightweight DP, (31K) was a rocket, but was a nightmare to manage on down hills with an exhaust brake.

Any before any of you even say it, going down a major grade at 35 mph is dangerous. Modern semis can now negotiate those down hill grades at 55-65 mph without issue. So some coach doing 35mph is a danger on the road.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:32 PM   #42
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We traveled the western mountains every summer during our full-timing years. We had a baby 370 and had absolutely no issues for our 40' motorhome.
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