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Old 04-07-2014, 04:19 PM   #1
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Banks Power Ultimate RV Power System - any experience?

Hi everyone! I'm still really new at all this, but the eventual plan is to go full-time with my husband and 5 year old son (and 3 cats and our dog) for a year or so. The coach we fell in love with is an "entry level" diesel pusher - the 2014 Fleetwood Excursion 35B to be exact. After many years of dreaming and looking, this model's floorplan just felt like "home" as soon as we walked in.

Anyway, it's a bit low on engine power (300hp and 660 torque), so even though the tow hitch is rated for 10K lbs, it won't safely tow 10K with a loaded coach. We are thinking about a covered trailer to be used to tow a tiny car (probably Chevy Spark) and to work as an office for my husband when we are parked for a few weeks at a time. This means probably about 5500K lbs to tow, minimum (the Spark is 2400, unloaded, and I'm thinking a 16' aluminum trailer with desk areas of some sort, AC and electrical, etc, will be a minimum of 3000 lbs after all additions/customizations). All in all, we'd be right at the GCWR after all is said and done (if not a tad bit over).

So...the salesman mentioned the Banks Ultimate RV Power System to help with the tow power. Do any of you have experience with this product (or products like it)? Do they work as advertised? Would it help with the tow power? Here's the link to the system: Banks Power | 07-09 Cummins - 6.7L Class-A>>PowerPack® System
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:21 PM   #2
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Also, before anyone replies that towing a TOAD would be easier (you're right, it would), an enclosed trailer that doubls as an office is pretty important to this whole plan - between the animals and the kid, my husband would never be able to get anything done, work-wise, inside the actual coach - ha!
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:19 AM   #3
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I've never heard of anybody that has installed a Banks product that didn't perform as advertised. I installed a full Power Pack last year on my B5.9 and it certainly woke it up. Do a search on this site for "Banks" and you won't run into many complaints. Gale puts out well engineered products.

Banks also puts out bloody expensive products, and installation can easily end up costing as much or more than the kit itself. Get bids and factor installation in while weighing options. Also make sure you have an authorized dealer do the installation. Banks will happily work with you to find somebody in your area.

BTW, Banks is advertising "sales" right now on many of their products, at least that is what the many, many emails I have received from them lately claim :-)
Its not the destination, its the journey
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:12 PM   #4
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5500000 lbs. WOW
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:55 PM   #5
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You may want to look for another MH instead of the Excursion for the following reasons:

The transmission is an Allison 2100, limited to a GCWR of 30,000. The Excursion has a 26,000 GVWR, thus a 4,000 tow capacity, regardless of hitch capacity of 10,000. The Banks system you linked to is only good for up to '09 ISB engines, not an '14. What would a Banks system do the warranty on a new MH?

Will you be able to keep your trailer at your campsite?? Most likely not. How would your DH run his office without power?

Your 5yo son will grow up fast. Will he want to sleep on the couch (needs to be made up/taken down each day) when he is a teen?

If it were me, I would look for a "larger" DP MH with a bunk system. One that comes to mind is the Winnebago Forza 38R. It has a unique bunk/table layout and then you could tow your car without a trailer. Another option is a gas toy hauler MH on a 24K or 26K chassis. Often times the toy hauler part has drop down beds (bunk or queen). The rest of the area could be used as an office. Newmar has the Canyon Star.

Fran, Mary & Zoey (silver Cocker)
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:38 PM   #6
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Coach gross weight is 26K and you'll need every pound of it for full timing with 3 people and animals. The combined weight allowable for coach & toad is 30K.. That's 4K for everything behind the MH rear bumper. So much for a 10K hitch!
As to Banks, the "dealers" in Austin have either turned in their dealership or declined to work on our system. Sent the part back to Banks and sure enough it was bad. They had no spares - couldn't repair the computer and weren't getting any new ones. That's known as a non-operational orphan. A few months after removal of the $4000. system we found a leaky exhaust manifold which Cummins attributed to heat (the Banks computer allowed 1350 deg. the Cummins allows 1250). That $1400 manifold repair would have paid for an annual gas bill!
The Fleetwood site floorplan indicates there may be a problem with getting thru the kitchen with the front slide in. Can't really tell but it appears the dining table will be near or touching the kitchen cabinet. Have you put both slides in and then checked accessability of anything you might need on the road (or a WalMart lot)?
Also note increased torque (forget HP) of only 103 FP for this system. Our MH weighs less than it's 32000 gross and with 1050 FP of torque it is VERY marginal.
PS - we started this before seeing above entry so there is overlap...
Hal & Ginny Miller '04 Beaver Santiam PRT40
'04 Saturn Vue - US Gear Brake - Blue Ox tow
3"girls" (2 Irish Setters - 1 Retriever) - RIP Annie & Emily (12/26/2017)
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