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Deanie8

Class C performance in the mountains

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How does a class C motorhome towing a Honda CRV perform in the Rocky Mountains?

I am considering the 2019 or 2020 Forester 3011ds with the Ford E450.

I’m concerned with the elevation and mountain passes.

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It will get you to the top, but you will not be first.  The V-10 is meant to rev up to get power.  So gear down and let it roar.  Fuel economy while in the mountains and towing could be around 4 or 5 MPG.

 

Ken

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If you can't afford a new Super C, then consider a  used one.  Diesel is your friend in Mountains and desert.  Renegade makes some nice once.

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Thanks for your advice. We’re going to change our focus to the super C.  Years ago, we towed our 5th wheel with an F350 diesel dually. It easily cruised through those mountain passes.

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Wife and I have a Class with the Ford V10.  As others have said, it will get you there but it will not set any land speed records or win a fuel economy award in those mountains.  We also do not tow the vehicle when going through the mountains or on the hot days.  We are considering upgrading to a super C or Fiver.  

Best regards,

Richard "Doc"

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Deanie8, you need to evaluate the amount of use the RV will receive.  A diesel is more expensive to maintain and more expensive to repair.  If you will be full time and travel a fair amount, the diesel may be justified.  But if it will be used on weekend and vacation trips, you may be better served with a gasoline powered unit.  

We have had several gas powered motorhomes, both class A and class C and they served us well.  The ones that we hear complaining the most about the gasoline powered motorhomes are they ones that insist on running down the road at 75 or 80 mph.  They were not intended to be run like that and the the gas mileage will really be bad.  The gas units are intended to be driven at 65 to 70 mph.  You will find most of them will suffer badly on fuel usage over 65 mph.

We have a heavy 40 ft, 3 axle 5th wheel and tow it with a diesel truck.  You could not tow this trailer with a gasser truck.  Well you could, but it would be a bad experience.  We may get off the road full time and I will be looking at gasser motorhomes for part time  use.

Just evaluate the amount of use you will be giving the motorhome.

Ken

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Ken, your evaluation is correct...unless, like the OP, you'll be driving mostly in the Rocky Mountains!

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On 6/13/2020 at 1:36 PM, Deanie8 said:

How does a class C motorhome towing a Honda CRV perform in the Rocky Mountains?

I am considering the 2019 or 2020 Forester 3011ds with the Ford E450.

I’m concerned with the elevation and mountain passes.

Welcome to the forum. I will bet You will have very little problem with a E450 based RV. I had a much older class C (mid 80s) with a ford V-8 and it was geared for the job and never had a problem. My only complaint was I wished it was/ had more gears as it was geared to low and got terrible mileage. The new V-10 engins now have more gears and get better mileage. Yes they will reve hi going up hills but it is ok. You can't over rev it. 

Bill

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Thanks for your additional information. We also considered disconnecting the toad on mountain passes. We have an Outlaw, a Class C toy hauler. Our first trip into the mountains was without a toad and we managed 45 mph on a steep grade, not too bad.
If we get the Forester, we’ll just line up with the 18-wheelers and the gas RVs in the slow climbing lane. The Outlaw was fun, loved the deck, but we carried no toys. The Forester has the exact floor plan we’re looking for.

 

 

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Love floorplan?  Remember, happy wife, happy life!  That's all you need.  Just sit back and enjoy life in the slow lane! :lol:

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18 hours ago, manholt said:

Love floorplan?  Remember, happy wife, happy life!  That's all you need.  Just sit back and enjoy life in the slow lane! :lol:

My wife grew up in the Boston area.  She is Irish and Italian.  She served in the Marine Corps for many years as a warehouseman.  My saying is slightly different due to all that: "Happy wife, SAFE life."

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Our class C gasser would run up over mountains quite impressively. Back then we didn’t tow a car but I did have an inclosed trailer behind us often times which had NO aerodynamics. 

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Yea Joe but "your" mountains are really very different than the ones in my part of the country. Just sayin point of reference very different. Out here we do not see many small C types pulling toads. When they are they are usually slower going up hill.

 

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43 minutes ago, RSBILLEDWARDS said:

Out here we do not see many small C types pulling toads. When they are they are usually slower going up hill.

I think it is more about learning to drive a big rig. It isn't like driving a sports car. I was slower in my 38ft Diesel pusher, many times it wouldn't hold the speed limit. My speed limit was 65 but the slowdown was 80% due to traffic and not the hill. I never found a hill I couldn't get over and I have been over nearly every major pass in the west. Well ok in the Lower 48.

 

54 minutes ago, RSBILLEDWARDS said:

Yea Joe but "your" mountains are really very different than the ones in my part of the country. Just sayin point of reference very different.

Ok I have to know what I have been missing. What do you think is so amazing about your hills.:D

Bill

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10 hours ago, RSBILLEDWARDS said:

Yea Joe but "your" mountains are really very different than the ones in my part of the country. Just sayin point of reference very different. Out here we do not see many small C types pulling toads. When they are they are usually slower going up hill.

 

Bill, I ran them out west on many occasions with the old coach and a few times through the Allegheny mountains here from a dead stop, with toad on some back roads. On an interstate they will have momentum, I would usually loose that after a 2 mile pull. 

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WBill. Independence Pass, Wolf Pass, Lizard Pass and I-70 East bound are a few that come to mind. :blink:

RSBILL, Joe has made the run a few times. I do think he's happier now, than in his "C"!  

I still think a Super "C" is a better choice!

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2 hours ago, manholt said:

WBill. Independence Pass, Wolf Pass, Lizard Pass and I-70 East bound are a few that come to mind. :blink:

When I was doing it I didn't know  I needed to keep a record. :o When you talk about bad hills to get over they are in the East. They were built before there was any guidelines for interstate roads even before any interstate roads. If  you stay on the interstates you are pretty safe but if you get on some of the state and county roads you can have some big surprises.  

Bill

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Carl,   Yes I know he is...he is a really smart guy, gets the details quickly. . Super C perhaps hauling a big loaded trailer. My set up with a "Trailer Toad"  works pretty well as it takes the weight load opposed to the back of the coach. 

MR. Bill that is my point "HILLS" east of Denver. The one Carl missed was Schlumberger down by Lake City, Colorado, it is a doosey either direction. A few years back we were East, out in NY. I am familiar with the narrow not standard back roads as compared to today. I did have some surprises but nothing like west of Denver. I am not a freeway traveler and prefer the secondary roads and all that they bring. I suppose it is a matter of perspective  but very few passes in the East measure up to 10,000 feet plus and 7 or 8 %  climb or descent.

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11 minutes ago, RSBILLEDWARDS said:

but very few passes in the East measure up to 10,000 feet plus and 7 or 8 %  climb or descent.

It is ok if you want to feel like macho man because you have been over a 10,000 foot pass. Just remember you didn't start at sea level and yes I have been over them to. 

Bill

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From 1976 to 1990, my wife and I, spent most summers on the Cape & since she was from Lebanon, NH, we did a lot of off the beaten path travel in our 24' - 34' coaches, other than the 24',  we had a toad in rear & 2 Honda 80cc in front on a custom built rack.  We did get in a bind once,  in NH, a RR underpass, that was over a foot lower than the coach!  90% of the hills where a lot of curves, short and steep!  Same with Vermont.  We was not crazy, so we took the toad on the Appalachia Trail and Blue Mountains. If I'm in a time constraint, I use the Interstate, otherwise US Hwy's or secondary roads!  I figure if a OTR or Box truck can go, then I can also. Natchez Trace is another favorite road.

RSBILL, your right about Lake City and along with the Million Dollar Hwy!  Going to Estes Park is no walk in the woods either! 

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I think we lost the OP Saturday and after reading this again, I can well understand why!

FIVE.  It's not the wrong Forum, just half of it is in the wrong part of the correct Forum!

My Bad, Sorry!  Wish we could move the last 18 hours to General Discussion.

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On 6/15/2020 at 9:23 AM, TXiceman said:

 

The ones that we hear complaining the most about the gasoline powered motorhomes are they ones that insist on running down the road at 75 or 80 mph.  They were not intended to be run like that and the the gas mileage will really be bad.  The gas units are intended to be driven at 65 to 70 mph.  You will find most of them will suffer badly on fuel usage over 65 mph

I don't complain about gas mileage. Pedal to the metal and then some.

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