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Old 06-25-2010, 09:00 PM   #1
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New MH

Hi All,

I am just about to buy my first MH (very excited!). After years of rv shows and sales lots I know I want a 34' Journey DL. Several dealers told me to stay at or above 300 hp or the mh would be under powered. OK; so here is my question. Does everyone out there agree with the dealers or are they just trying to sell more expensive mhs?
I found a beautiful mh at a price I could afford but its a 275hp. Where does this become a problem and how badly?
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:01 AM   #2
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Welcome winniewanabe..

Quote:
Originally Posted by winniewanabe View Post
Hi All,

I am just about to buy my first MH (very excited!). After years of rv shows and sales lots I know I want a 34' Journey DL. Several dealers told me to stay at or above 300 hp or the mh would be under powered. OK; so here is my question. Does everyone out there agree with the dealers or are they just trying to sell more expensive mhs?
I found a beautiful mh at a price I could afford but its a 275hp. Where does this become a problem and how badly?
We have a 454cid in ours and from what I read it has less than 200hp. We do experience some issues going up some steep hills, but for the most part we are not underwhelmed... I am looking at Banks's solution for increasing the power from [email protected] 3300RPM to ~233hp @ 4000RPM. In fact I was going to post something here to see if anybody had any experience good or bad about this move. In any event, given yours is a couple of feet longer than our 32, it may be worth considering a more powerful rig especially if you are going to tow something behind. We just started towing our Civic Hybrid so I would not say we have enough travel under our belt on HP/Towing at this point.

Oh- let me offer this little tid-bit of experience on this topic.. Given our HP, we towed our Civic for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and we drove almost 5 miles from our house and did not realize that the emergency brake was on How stupid was that?? Anyway I guess the measly 177HP cant be all bad..

Again - welcome!
Dan
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:52 AM   #3
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We were in the same boat you guys are in now--spent two plus years researching, thought that the DP was the only way to go until a friend asked "why do you want a diesel"? When he pointed out how much more expensive they are to work on then the gasser beside the extra initial purchase price, I began to consider gas models. To make a very long story short, we decided to buy a 2004 Adventurer. Winnebeago is top notch in quality and a very solid company. The engine is a very smooth 8.1 with 340 hp and has plenty of power as far as I'm concerned. As far as the 5.9, 275 horse diesel, they are bulletproof and have a lot of longevity (the one main advantage of diesel) and should have enough power if you're not towing something huge. I drive a 35ft straight truck every day with a tuned down 5.9 with 205 hp, and I can hold 75 mph on the flat with a load. medium hills will slow me to 60 and bigger hills to 45, but remember, that's hauling a lot of weight!
I would say if you like the Journey, if it's in your price range and you feel like it's a good deal, buy it. You certainly could do a lot worse!! I drove a '01 32 ft Journey before we bought ours and really liked it but it wasn't in the best of shape and was priced $12,000 more than the Adventurer.
Rod
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:34 AM   #4
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We purchased a gas coach as well and for the same reasons monarchman53 stated above. We felt we got a lot more for our money with the gas coach, I could do most of the maintenance my self, and what I couldn't do my son-in-law could do (he's a mechanic). It also helped when he told me if I bought gas I'd have a mechanic, if I bought diesel I'd be on my own! Having said that, we are not full-timers, and most of our trips are within 200 miles of home. When we fully retire and start venturing across country, we will probably move to a DP...

Now, more on topic... Realize that a diesel produces way more torque than a gas engine, so your 275 HP engine is probably producing around 500 ft lbs of torque where our 340 HP gasser is only producing about 360 ft lbs of torque, and the diesel produces that torque at a much lower RPM. What does this mean? The DP will have more grunt getting you moving and holding speed on ascending hills! When it comes to moving heavy loads, torque is normally more important than HP. As for the dealer's comments, just keep in mind that with more HP comes more torque, so so if you plan on loading it to the gills and towing a heavy toad, they are correct!
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:35 AM   #5
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Our first diesel was an Itasca Horizon 34' with a Cummins 275 (back when the Horizon was the entry level diesel in the Itasca line). We had no problems pulling hills or much of anything else. The engine is excellent, with plenty of power and easy to manage. We did our own service..chassis lubes, oil/filters, fuel filters, transmission fluids/filters and probably saved a bunch of money in the process. We put about 30,000 miles on the coach before we upgraded to our current coach. The biggest problem with maintenance is how to handle (collect) the quantity of liquids when changing oil/transmission fluids. There is considerably more there than with a normal truck/car engine.

While there is a price differential between the diesel and the gas models, the boxes themselves aren't that different. The main difference is the weight/quality of the chassis. The heavier duty diesel chassis makes a real difference in the ride and durability of the unit.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:57 AM   #6
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My last pusher had a 300HP Cummins. It was fine towing a car pretty much anywhere with the exception of going through the mountains of NC. I would consider that engine a touch under powered personally. But that is only my opinion.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:06 AM   #7
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I believe you have MORE horse power than 177.....
My 83 (454) was rated at 235 ponies and I forget the torque.

Jim
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:22 AM   #8
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If you are looking at diesel; the acceptable horsepower range is one horse per every thousand pounds. You would need to take into account the total weight of coach and toad. So 300HP would be about right for 30K 350HP for 35K. This seems to work fine for the newer coaches. I really do believe that the older ones ran better and had more power before the government stepped in to make them cleaner.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:06 AM   #9
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Several members of our WIT chapter bought 34Y coaches within the last two years. Beautiful coach, love the layout, especially the opposing slides.

My 36 has a 350 Cat and a bit of tweaking it does the job just fine.

Stick with the the [email protected] weight and you will be good. Does that size Cummins require DEF? Also look at the difference in ft#s of torque.

My last coach was a gasser but once I made the move "to the dark side" I will never go back.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:14 AM   #10
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We have an 02 Journey 32T with a 275 HP Cummings. We tow a loaded XL-7 so our combined weight is around 25,000 lbs. We live in the west so mountains climbing is a frequent occurance. Would we like more power? Yes, but we have never found a mountain we couldn't climb. As of now we have 134,000 of basically trouble free miles.

In my opinion don't let 25 HP stop you from getting the coach "you love".

Charlie Tuit
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:19 PM   #11
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thanks all

Thanks so much for all the input, it really helped. I am a numbers guy so I love the 1hp/1000lbs formula That and having owners say the 275hp motor works fine has made me a believer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbstein View Post
Our first diesel was an Itasca Horizon 34' with a Cummins 275 (back when the Horizon was the entry level diesel in the Itasca line). We had no problems pulling hills or much of anything else. The engine is excellent, with plenty of power and easy to manage. We did our own service..chassis lubes, oil/filters, fuel filters, transmission fluids/filters and probably saved a bunch of money in the process. We put about 30,000 miles on the coach before we upgraded to our current coach. The biggest problem with maintenance is how to handle (collect) the quantity of liquids when changing oil/transmission fluids. There is considerably more there than with a normal truck/car engine.

While there is a price differential between the diesel and the gas models, the boxes themselves aren't that different. The main difference is the weight/quality of the chassis. The heavier duty diesel chassis makes a real difference in the ride and durability of the unit.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:21 PM   #12
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I will echo everyone's comments about the Cummins 275 being a sufficient engine. We drove one for four years, towed both a 2,500 lb vehicle, then a 4,500 lb vehicle. Never had any problems. Is not a rocket when you press the accelerator and will not win races up hills, but is dependable and will get you where you need to go. Ours was in a 99 34ft Adventurer.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:29 PM   #13
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Ummm, Sorry to pop a few ideas here but the formula is 1 pony (horse) per 100 pounds NOT 1000......

With a 20,000 load that means 200 horses not 20 horses.....Personally I would prefer 1 horse per 60 pounds of weight..

Jim
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waitn2Retire View Post
We have a 454cid in ours and from what I read it has less than 200hp. We do experience some issues going up some steep hills, but for the most part we are not underwhelmed... I am looking at Banks's solution for increasing the power from [email protected] 3300RPM to ~233hp @ 4000RPM. In fact I was going to post something here to see if anybody had any experience good or bad about this move.

Dan
Not to hijack the thread but...
what is the 454 HP at 2000 rpm? (where 90% of real world driving is done)

OP:
HP issues aside... the noise associated with a front mounted engine while driving and a rear mounted generator when camped really have to be weighed in the buy decision.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:43 PM   #15
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Winnewannabe...........1st let me welcome you to this great site. You have a lot of good info in your reply's. Most important, buy what YOU & YOURS want because you have to be satisfied, no one else. Sounds like you have done your homework, and trust me, you will be able to go where you want. Cruising is best @ 60-65 mph, less struggle on the engine, and you will get there just as quick as the rest. On our last trip back from Myrtle Beach, I had big Alpha SEE YA later DP pass us going up a long bridge, I waved as he went by. He passed us three more time before Georgia, so don't worry, you will be fine. Happy Trails and Travel Safe.
David G.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimElliott View Post
Ummm, Sorry to pop a few ideas here but the formula is 1 pony (horse) per 100 pounds NOT 1000......

With a 20,000 load that means 200 horses not 20 horses.....Personally I would prefer 1 horse per 60 pounds of weight..

Jim
OOPS!! Never claimed to be a math wizard. I think he got the idea though.
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