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Old 09-22-2021, 06:29 PM   #1
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Gas Motorhome Towing Jeep in Hot Weather In Mountains

Hello,

The wife and I are at a crossroads. We plan on upgrading our gas class c to either a gas class A towing a jeep wrangler, or getting a diesel truck and toyhauler with toys. I think we'd prefer the gas class A option, but one big concern keeps us from moving forward: towing a 4 door jeep wrangler in hot weather (think 100-120 degrees) going up mountains.

As we live in vegas, we often like to leave the city during the worst of the heat and head up to the mountains with the RV. That seems to be precisely the worst possible time, as we've experienced the class c motorhome engine overheating a few times, the dash AC dying majority of the ride, and the generator going out as well (possibly due to the excessive heat), which cuts out our coach AC. Makes for a hot ride. Because of this it's pushed us towards what we consider a more reliable ride, which is the diesel truck.

I've scoured the forums and see both alot of people saying they have no problems towing a 4-5000lb wrangler up mountain passes with a gas class A, as well as people mentioning over-heating is common and having to do tricks like turning off the AC, turning up the heat, down shifting, unhooking the toad, taking 20 min breaks on the ascent to let the engine cool down. I'm trying to get a sense if these are all common issues that just come with the territory of the hot mountainous southwest, or if our current motorhome is just not functioning correctly and we can expect a better experience with a different gas MH.

So people who have towed with a gas motorhome, pulling something heavy like a wrangler, going up hills/mountains in hot summer weather, what are your real life experiences?

Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:53 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome to the forum!

There is a lot of smart people on here always ready to help!

We have had 2 different class A gas units a 2016 Bounder and now drive a 2019 Southwind that is just 15" short of 40FT. We always tow a 4-door lifted Wrangler out of Phoenix up the hill to Flagstaff every June and return home in July. I have never stopped or even slowed down. Usually its peddle to the floor all the way no problems. Depending on how steep the grade is, the slowest is around 35-40 mph. I never turn off the dash AC the generator or any thing else to "baby" the coach. We have the V-10 with the 6 speed and its fantastic and quiet when cruising at 70 down the highway. When climbing it rev's high, but if you look at a tachometer on a modern Ford gas, you won't see a redline.... because there isn't one. Its computer controlled and won't allow you to over rev the engine. Some on here will tell you its SO LOUD... from a person that owns one and not just others repeating what they've heard... My wife and I can carry a normal volume conversation when climbing a hill and revving over 4000. Is it whisper quiet like it is on a flat highway...NO. Do you have to shout.... NO. Now, that being said, that's my coach others might use less or cheaper insulation and results could be different.

Any other questions you have just keep 'em coming.

Hope this helps! Good Luck whatever you choose.
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:12 PM   #3
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I can only speak for my experiences here in Texas. I have had a toad behind every gas powered motorhome I have ever owned and have never had one over heat. That is over 30 years of motorhome and toads. I also don't have any extra insulation around the engine and my wife and I carry on normal conversations with ease while under way.
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:52 PM   #4
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Well RusselAM,
Yes, there's lots of variations to this scenario. Just because ONE PERSON says he has no issues with his particular coach towing, doesn't mean it's all roses for every other towing scenario, including both gas AND diesel coaches, in variable circumstances. You can have two identical coaches, length, engine, chassis, everything and, one can act and run, differently than the other one, in a given set of circumstances.

Before the present coach we have now, we had a Bounder 34V with the F-53 chassis and the 275 HP V-10. We'd towed many Jeeps with that coach, all over the western U.S. Did it get hot, in hot weather, yes, the temp rose a bit but, I don't recall it ever overheating and spitting out coolant etc. How one drives while towing, and considers the weight he's got and dragging along, could influence the coach engine and its operational characteristics.

May I ask, when you say you leave Vegas for summertime and migrate to higher altitudes for cooler weather, are you heading north on 15 to say, Cedar City or, are you talking about maybe Mt Charleston? Not that it matters, just wondering. Both of those directions have some serious grades.
Scott
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Well RusselAM,
Yes, there's lots of variations to this scenario. Just because ONE PERSON says he has no issues with his particular coach towing, doesn't mean it's all roses for every other towing scenario, including both gas AND diesel coaches, in variable circumstances. You can have two identical coaches, length, engine, chassis, everything and, one can act and run, differently than the other one, in a given set of circumstances.

Before the present coach we have now, we had a Bounder 34V with the F-53 chassis and the 275 HP V-10. We'd towed many Jeeps with that coach, all over the western U.S. Did it get hot, in hot weather, yes, the temp rose a bit but, I don't recall it ever overheating and spitting out coolant etc. How one drives while towing, and considers the weight he's got and dragging along, could influence the coach engine and its operational characteristics.

May I ask, when you say you leave Vegas for summertime and migrate to higher altitudes for cooler weather, are you heading north on 15 to say, Cedar City or, are you talking about maybe Mt Charleston? Not that it matters, just wondering. Both of those directions have some serious grades.
Scott
Hey Scott. Yes that’s exactly where we go most of the time, up the 15 to Cedar city and Dixie forest area. Sometimes we head northwest up the 95 towards Reno where we’ve encountered the worst overheating.

You said you experienced some rising engine temps before. Do you also employ on a regular basis some of the tricks to cooling down the engine as well, like turning off ac, taking breaks on steep grades, etc?
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by AZ RV'r View Post
Hello and welcome to the forum!

There is a lot of smart people on here always ready to help!

We have had 2 different class A gas units a 2016 Bounder and now drive a 2019 Southwind that is just 15" short of 40FT. We always tow a 4-door lifted Wrangler out of Phoenix up the hill to Flagstaff every June and return home in July. I have never stopped or even slowed down. Usually its peddle to the floor all the way no problems. Depending on how steep the grade is, the slowest is around 35-40 mph. I never turn off the dash AC the generator or any thing else to "baby" the coach. We have the V-10 with the 6 speed and its fantastic and quiet when cruising at 70 down the highway. When climbing it rev's high, but if you look at a tachometer on a modern Ford gas, you won't see a redline.... because there isn't one. Its computer controlled and won't allow you to over rev the engine. Some on here will tell you its SO LOUD... from a person that owns one and not just others repeating what they've heard... My wife and I can carry a normal volume conversation when climbing a hill and revving over 4000. Is it whisper quiet like it is on a flat highway...NO. Do you have to shout.... NO. Now, that being said, that's my coach others might use less or cheaper insulation and results could be different.

Any other questions you have just keep 'em coming.

Hope this helps! Good Luck whatever you choose.
Well that is encouraging. I’m starting to suspect then that our class c might have some issues. The engine has 160k miles on it. Not sure if engines get weaker over time.

Unfortunately I’m not mechanically inclined, nor are we retired yet, hence why I sort of feel as maybe we should just go the truck and 5th wheel route. I feel having to take a MH into the rv dealer to diagnose these issues will cost a small fortune, where as getting a truck looked at seems infinitely cheaper and more straight forward.
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for the response. That is a real testament to gas engine capability.
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussellAM View Post
Hello,

The wife and I are at a crossroads. We plan on upgrading our gas class c to either a gas class A towing a jeep wrangler, or getting a diesel truck and toyhauler with toys. I think we'd prefer the gas class A option, but one big concern keeps us from moving forward: towing a 4 door jeep wrangler in hot weather (think 100-120 degrees) going up mountains.

As we live in vegas, we often like to leave the city during the worst of the heat and head up to the mountains with the RV. That seems to be precisely the worst possible time, as we've experienced the class c motorhome engine overheating a few times, the dash AC dying majority of the ride, and the generator going out as well (possibly due to the excessive heat), which cuts out our coach AC. Makes for a hot ride. Because of this it's pushed us towards what we consider a more reliable ride, which is the diesel truck.

I've scoured the forums and see both alot of people saying they have no problems towing a 4-5000lb wrangler up mountain passes with a gas class A, as well as people mentioning over-heating is common and having to do tricks like turning off the AC, turning up the heat, down shifting, unhooking the toad, taking 20 min breaks on the ascent to let the engine cool down. I'm trying to get a sense if these are all common issues that just come with the territory of the hot mountainous southwest, or if our current motorhome is just not functioning correctly and we can expect a better experience with a different gas MH.

So people who have towed with a gas motorhome, pulling something heavy like a wrangler, going up hills/mountains in hot summer weather, what are your real life experiences?

Thanks!
Hmmm.... Sounds like your class C may have cooling issues. Also, keep in mind that the class C and class A V10's are different.
We pull an F-150 with our 2017 Bounder and the tranny temp has never gone over about 206... maybe it hit 208 once. The engine temp also normally runs in the 202 - 208 range. Those temps are pretty much the same whether pulling a toad or running solo. I'm talking 100 degree Texas heat in the hill country but no mountains.
I have a ScanGauge2 plugged into my OBD2 port. It has all kinds of things that you can monitor when going down the road.
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 77Travco View Post
Hmmm.... Sounds like your class C may have cooling issues. Also, keep in mind that the class C and class A V10's are different.
We pull an F-150 with our 2017 Bounder and the tranny temp has never gone over about 206... maybe it hit 208 once. The engine temp also normally runs in the 202 - 208 range. Those temps are pretty much the same whether pulling a toad or running solo. I'm talking 100 degree Texas heat in the hill country but no mountains.
I have a ScanGauge2 plugged into my OBD2 port. It has all kinds of things that you can monitor when going down the road.
I've pulled the Needles grade westbound out of Needles, CA with the setup in my signature many times and never saw any significant temp changes. It don't get much hotter than Needles.

Glenn

I seem to have quoted the wrong entry??
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Glenn and Kathy View Post
I seem to have quoted the wrong entry??
Yea, I think you were reading post #8 and meant to quote RussellAM
You can still edit your post within the hour. You can quote them and then abandon that quote after copying it, then edit and paste into your post at #9. Then edit the other quote out.
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:48 AM   #11
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We tow a 2dr Wrangler in the summer, up east coast mountains (Smokies) with our 2016 32 ft F53 6 spd. We pass trucks on the hills, have not noticed a heat issue with the engine. The engine will climb to 4K rpm’s and more and it is loud. Unless AZRV’r has added sound insulation to the doghouse, I call BS on the normal conversation level comment. ;-))
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:52 AM   #12
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Have a W22 8.1 Ltr gasser. We pull a wranlger Unlimited ( 4 door ). No heating problems so far pulling mountains in Colorado in the summer.
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Old 09-23-2021, 12:26 PM   #13
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Got a Chevy

I'm a little different then most of you. I have a 2007 Winnebago Class C (32') with a 6.0L V8 @ 305hp and 4L80 Transmission (4sp OD). I tow a 1999 Jeep Wrangler. It tows it well and when I hit steep grades, yes, the temp climbs a bit from the normal temp 200 to about 210. I down shift keep the RPM's enough to get it up the grade but without having the pedal to metal. More pedal means more heat. Just recently I hit 100,000 miles and decided to do some upgrading. Replaced the water pump and thermostat to a high flow model, replaced the Viscous fan clutch and fan with new ones. Replaced the serpentine belt, all the radiator hoses and heater hoses. And did a back flush of the entire cooling system. This has been a worthwhile upgrade. I can honestly say there is very little temp increase on hills and if it does rise it quickly cools and returns to normal temps fast. But old vs new it has really never overheated on any grades and the AC is never shut off. If you're worried about overheating have the cooling system checked and you can also upgrade to a much larger radiator and reservoir. Good Luck and Happy Trails.
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Old 09-23-2021, 04:17 PM   #14
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What make and model class c? And what eng? There is so much you can do to help with over heating.. yes if you don't want to do it.. than a good shop can.. a new 80,000.00 truck and 90,000 5er will do it.. sure.. but really.. you can have upgrade the following.. Hugh performance .radiator, trans and eng oil cooler, performance water pump and larger better fan, lower thermostat and good eng tune up and a.c. tune up and still be lower than yearly interest rate on new truck..
Choice is up to you.. and you could learn to do it all.. with just basic hand tools and save a lot.. if eng and trans still run well .. you be surprised.. what you can do to stop over heating
With all the great members here.. we can guide you step by step.. and with everyone's opinion... you can get what you have humming.. the help here is great
It all up to you..
As always good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
You just got to ask...
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