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MoparHauler

Which coach is 34-36 ft with 400+ HP ?

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I am moving into towing with a MH from my 2007 Ram 2500 with a 6.7 diesel. I tow a 24 foot, 8000 lb enclosed trailer, usually pretty fast. I need something not over 36 foot but I need more than the normal 300 or 330hp engine. We drive the Grapevine in Calif and the Baker Grade in Nevada so creeping at 45-50mph is to be avoided.

I need to draw on your collective expertise to see which brand / model has that engine to size combo. My head is spinning looking at ads, that many times don't even list the hp.

I know the 1hp per 100 lb rule and that makes sense but we are coming from a different direction than most RV'rs. We haul butt to the destination, hang out for 10 hours then haul butt back as opposed to not having a rush getting there with the goal of staying at the destination for a week. So while we enjoy the comforts of an RV there, the drive is of equal importance.

Budget is under $45,000 for about 1998 to 2007 range model with at least a living room slide out.

And I promise not to be a disappearing first timer, lol. I may have just got here but I will be here for awhile. Thanks in advance.

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A Renegade ya that will tow but I am not in the $200,000 range :(

 

And "pretty fast" is 85 on the I-15 to Vegas. Need the tongue weight and tire pressures just right and its straight as an arrow.

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https://www.rvt.com/Mci-MCI-F3500-2001-Cullman-AL-ID9104399-UX175156 This is a 35 foot bus conversion to look at. They are great conversion buses, you can call, most have 400+ HP Detroits, and hardly anything can keep up. I know because I drive an MCI conversion, much older than this one.

Edited by kaypsmith

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1 hour ago, MoparHauler said:

A Renegade ya that will tow but I am not in the $200,000 range :(

 

And "pretty fast" is 85 on the I-15 to Vegas. Need the tongue weight and tire pressures just right and its straight as an arrow.

Nothing commercially available in an RV is designed or safe to go 85 mph.

Even if you could get tires rated for those speeds, there is no way the brakes and other components would be safe. Add to that the trailer you're wanting to pull, and all I ask is that you give us all good warning when you hit the road so we can drive somewhere else.

Sorry to be so harsh, but I just don't see how this is a good idea.

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1 hour ago, MoparHauler said:

A Renegade ya that will tow but I am not in the $200,000 range :(

 

And "pretty fast" is 85 on the I-15 to Vegas. Need the tongue weight and tire pressures just right and its straight as an arrow.

Keep in mind, truck tires are speed rated at 75 MPH, now factor in the temperatures reached in that area of the U.S. and you quickly realize your stated goal may become and end of life event.

I agree, a Renegade will do the job.

Edited by RayIN

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Well good idea or not it is what he wants to hunt for. My take cover Beaver and Safari and they will not have the HP in a short coach that you are lookin for. Few of the early manufactureres put big power in the early coaches. So that leaves you with Beaver and Safari as choices because in the 40-42 footers they used some C12 425 and 505 power plants. Now Safari is out because the brakes hydraulic over hydraulic are really not great, barely adequate. Beaver, well I have not owned one but they at least utilized S cam air brakes and air over hydraulic, the latter less desirable. You are still dealing with speeds and tires that for that mass sailing down the freeway and should something happen well going to be  a mess no matter how you slice it. Yes In I have one of the early safari Panthers at 425 HP.   Yes it will pull a loaded 8,000 pound trailer fine using a Trailer Toad (trailertoad.com) and the only way I would haul it particularly at speed. Now if your trailer has the typical WHOA magnetic shoe brakes, not a chance would I roll that fast. I upgraded the brakes on my 24 foot Featherlite enclosed to Dexter 4 puck big  12 or 14 inch disc brakes tied to the coaches system electronically with a pressure pump in the trailer. It is stout enough to stop the coach on it's own. but not quickly. It will help stop the whole rig faster than standard trailer brakes by quite a bit.  These are not the floating hat automotive type.  I might add that these coaches weight wise are very favorable and on the light side compared to later rigs. Your price point, well big engine coaches bring more money than 7.2 ltr CATs, 5.9 or 8.2 ltr Cummins coaches. and 45 is a little light though I have seen some early Panthers with issues close. The Monaco Panther with the 505 ins a dream tag axled machine around 75k if you can find one and 40+ feet. 

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On 9/1/2020 at 4:21 PM, MoparHauler said:

I am moving into towing with a MH from my 2007 Ram 2500 with a 6.7 diesel. I tow a 24 foot, 8000 lb enclosed trailer, usually pretty fast. I need something not over 36 foot but I need more than the normal 300 or 330hp engine. We drive the Grapevine in Calif and the Baker Grade in Nevada so creeping at 45-50mph is to be avoided.

I need to draw on your collective expertise to see which brand / model has that engine to size combo. My head is spinning looking at ads, that many times don't even list the hp.

I know the 1hp per 100 lb rule and that makes sense but we are coming from a different direction than most RV'rs. We haul butt to the destination, hang out for 10 hours then haul butt back as opposed to not having a rush getting there with the goal of staying at the destination for a week. So while we enjoy the comforts of an RV there, the drive is of equal importance.

Budget is under $45,000 for about 1998 to 2007 range model with at least a living room slide out.

And I promise not to be a disappearing first timer, lol. I may have just got here but I will be here for awhile. Thanks in advance.

You best bet would be an ALPINE COACH they were the sports car of diesel pushers.  The were made in Yakima, WA and they had their own propitiatory designed chassis.  I believe the smallest coach was 34' and it had a 400 hp engine.

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13 hours ago, MoparHauler said:

A Renegade ya that will tow but I am not in the $200,000 range :(

 

And "pretty fast" is 85 on the I-15 to Vegas. Need the tongue weight and tire pressures just right and its straight as an arrow.

You are moving from a pickup towing the enclosed trailer to a MH towing it. You really haven't talked about your background doing stuff like this, so I'm wondering if you have ever driven a motor home, especially at the speeds you are talking about. Big difference between a pickup and a motor home, with or without a trailer.

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Ok good thoughts and some specifics.

And I see we got a bit side tracked when Richard asked "How Fast". That really wasn't the mph I intended for a motor home rig though. So guess everyone can put in their 2 cents but as we all know, 2 cents isn't worth a crap anymore. And I have driven MH's and tow-rigs across the country for 55 years now and all has worked out fine. Like in every endeavor - experience, good equipment and lots of preparation does the trick.

Good info from RSBillEdwards. I know the norm for 40's and the like are in the 500hp area. I have not really been able to find curb weights of any rigs just GVRW's. A 40 foot just seems to be a bunch heavier than a 36. Can't find data to do an actual weight to hp comparison.

Itasca Meridian and Winnie Journey has 350hp Cat C7's in 34 and 36 ft. The 350 can be upgraded without equipment changes to 380hp. That seems like it would be a great ratio to the dry weight of a 36 ft.

And a conversion bus is interesting but at 25,000lb dry weight, 500hp gets used up fast, right.

I noticed the late 1990's coaches with 450hp when I stumbled across a Foretravel. That is when I realized not every coach had a 300hp 3126.  Not many had slides then though so the interior is really restricted for space. Just spoiled these days but you kinda got to have a living room slide.

I figured there must be a dealer "cheat sheet" that lists brand, feet, chassis, engine, and horsepower. Then comparing would be easy.

Any such data sheets ?

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So we are clear my main concern is hill pulling power. The Baker Grade to Las Vegas is 19 miles long and there are plenty of vehicles creeping along with their tongue out. The Grapevine on I-5 is a 6% grade up for 5 1/2 miles. Also very tough. Tucking in behind a loaded 40 ft semi and crawling does not make me feel too safe.

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I can not speak to the Alpine except to say a friend had one and loved it but never towed with it anything larger than a small car. I on the other hand get what you are trying to do, been there. I started out with a 2001  3126B CAT 330 hp. It took awhile but discovered the SMC Panther 425 12 425, in the Beavers 455. Do not know curb weight but GVW 31,000 pounds. Its pulling power crazy good. Yes I have pulled the Featherlite a good many miles fully loaded  your kina weight, with both coaches. The C 12 was the choice of the over the roaders in the day toteing 80,000 thousand pounds. I got lucky and found this coach with 12K on the odo 6 years ago and have not had a single mechanical issue in spite of the warnings from some folks here about it having sat most of its life. The Grapevine, a Panther or like equipped Beaver, or Alpine would put a smile on your face. Do not consider the SMC Velvet Ride rigs for this application.

Just my take, towing a trailer of size and load indicated is touchy, particularly if you were involved in an accident, likely or not and in the wonderful state of California,  problematic. Having that load sitting on the rear of any coach suspension, tongue weight, is something of considerable concern hence the Trailer Toad and additional braking afforded by the Dexter brakes. should be a great concern. Lastly glad you are not the youngster I pictured at the beginning of this thread and have some experience. 

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Thanks Bill. I take it that RS is initials in front of Bill Edwards ? Always interesting trying to figure out people's handles.

Yes the SMC stuff. That 425hp was pushing a 40-42 coach though. There was Beaver, SMC then all bought by Monaco until they disappeared in 2009. Who can keep track lol.

Towing does need a good amount of tongue weight and that was a concern I had that you too mentioned. They have a 2000 engine hanging on the frame but with long overhangs the rig can try to lift the trailer. I have heard of cracked frames as a result. Just looked up the Trailer Toad deal and that is cool. Would solve the momentary overload issue. But they are $3400. Cheaper than the repairs though I guess.

Yep I have been around for abit, still have some tread on the tires left though.

And Ray you are right on the Apline. Most all are 40's but I saw a 34 ft with 400hp. It was a 2006. Looked good until I saw it was $90,000. :( Just noticed the 40's have 400hp too.

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As a foot note. The Cummins ISM engine in the 300-400 HP range had more toque than most engines today...I have a 600 hp & 2050 ft, lbs.  The ISX 605 has 1,850 and my 40' WB Tour with a ISM 400 came in at 1,750!  

I don't see, where your going to find a 34'/36' coach with over 400 HP for your budget...that is road ready!

34' or 36' or 40' or 45' is the length of the chassis, not the coach!

Herman, 10-4 !

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MoPar Hauler, trust me the TT is wonderful for you and the coach, money well spent. It is a direct extension of the hitch with real full sized wheels and tires. The RS comes from Porsche and my shop Restoration Services. It was a play on the performance cars Porsche built and still does. Restoration Services, well the name tells you nothing and opened many doors commercially for a guy with many interests. Glad you checked it out. Smart guy... 

Yes Carl budget needs a boost to acquire the shorty Alpine...nice coaches.  Mopar, on the Alpine the real money was spent under the coach, suspension and drive train as opposed to the bling inside and are great riding and driving coaches, perhaps as good as it gets. It is a gearheads dream!i

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I just re read this thread and it makes an interesting if somewhat unrealistic premis. It is a nice fantasy that you will have a coach that will fly over any hill just put it in "D" and go. I have driven all the places you speak about with a little 5.9 Cummins in a 38ft coach. Never had a problem getting over any of them.  Just drove the Raton pass on I-25 at the south Colorado line and was down to about 25 mph  in my current coach. Not because it won't pull but the outher reality called "traffic and construction zones" near the top it narrows to one lane. You can't go faster than conditions allow. Speaking of which anyone who thinks it is "cool" to drive faster than the speed rating on their tires is STUPID.

Have fun with your fantasy.

Bill

 

 

 

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Well Mr. Bill, not all of us want the 25 MPH if 45 is a sane speed. Add that trailer he wants to tow and it might have been 15. At our age it make little difference how fast  or how long it takes to get there. I do not have a clue on this during your youthful years but during mine time was very valuable and I made the most of it being self employed . But for him in his fifties and still working and the pace California rolls it does make a difference. Who are we to judge another's lifestyle. As long as he is not steppin on my toes he can do as he can afford and assume all the risk he wishes.  You add in what is not relevant by adding construction zones, who said anything about flyin thru them. Some common sense applies to wishing one had a big power plant and taking advantage of its strengths. Just sayin and thinking out loud.  If I described how speed ratings on American built tires was determined you would really cringe. On the other hand if I could describe how the rest of the world does it you would Grin! There in lies a big variable. Not all round rubber donuts are the same. Never the less on some points you are absolutely spot on. Have a great weekend. Sorry you did not call when you went thru Denver! 

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Ok Wild Bill seems this engine question has turned in to how to drive your tow rig. Making a grade "without a problem" to me means you were able to do the posted speed the whole way over. If you had to slow due to not enough power then that is the issue I am addressing. RS Bill was right on the money. Not everyone will drive like you or me. If I see a guy driving along eating a sandwich with his dog in the other seat and he is doing 56 in the slow lane just loving life, then more power to him. And when I pass him I move over a lane if possible, never fly up behind and pressure, never cut in too close. That is just common courtesy. If I drove 56 my head would explode but if that guy broke I would stop to help him in a second.

As far as speed, I said initially that "good equipment and lots of preparation does the trick". I always run Michelin and the 22.5 truck tire will go 75. Common sense too tells us that at 76 is does not fly into pieces and leave the rim. Tire pressure is everything. The correct profile on the tire (round) will not have a "pouch" that flexes 500 times a mile and creates heat that. That will blow a tire. You can get your 40 ft with all the tanks full and a bunch of people etc and even a tire at listed PSI can get a pouch due to load. So that tire is worry-some even at 56.

Lets look at "safety" a little. We have all seen the kids driving the Hondas in and out that have seen Fast and Furious too many times. Or the guy swerving around yelling at the 5 kids in the back seat without seat belts. I am not going to allow these drivers to come up on me at a high rate of speed and I have to bet my rig, everything in it and my well bring on these idiots paying attention. Cause that at some point that will be a loosing bet. Besides being an engineer, I am a martial artist and a racer. I will not allow other people to be in a position to determine my fate. So Wild B sitting and waiting to get hammered in the *** is what I consider STUPID.

So back to the HP question, Ray you are onto something with the Alpine. They did a 34ft FD and a FDDS that had a 400hp 8.9L Cummings around 2003-2004. JD Power estimates a 34ft at $47,000. Seen a couple and they are double that but Like RS says they are really nice coaches.

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So, let's say you find a rig that can power your trailer up the grade at posted speed. Let's even assume that it's possible to do so safely.

How are you planning to control your speed coming down the other side with a decades old rig running drum brakes all around?

In the 2020 Freightliner I have been driving for work, with disc brakes all around and more power than needed, even with an empty trailer there have been many times it's just not safe to drive the posted limit. Going down the other side, even more so.

You say you won't let others determine your fate while driving. Please don't be one of those people who say that and then do the exact same thing for others. We all share the same roads and rely on each other for our safety.

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5 hours ago, RSBILLEDWARDS said:

Sorry you did not call when you went thru Denver! 

Didn't make it that far north.

5 hours ago, RSBILLEDWARDS said:

Well Mr. Bill, not all of us want the 25 MPH if 45 is a sane speed. Add that trailer he wants to tow and it might have been 15

Please go re read what I said.

2 hours ago, MoparHauler said:

As far as speed, I said initially that "good equipment and lots of preparation does the trick". I always run Michelin and the 22.5 truck tire will go 75. Common sense too tells us that at 76 is does not fly into pieces and leave the rim. Tire pressure is everything. The correct profile on the tire (round) will not have a "pouch" that flexes 500 times a mile and creates heat that. That will blow a tire. You can get your 40 ft with all the tanks full and a bunch of people etc and even a tire at listed PSI can get a pouch due to load. So that tire is worry-some even at 56.

So, realey Mr. "Besides being an engineer, I am a martial artist and a racer" perhaps you should go read "Tireman's" blog and post and you won't be making comments like this. Most people even racers understand heat is bad for tires. Running 85 on the roads around LAs Vegas in the heat above the speed rating is a recipe for trouble. 

2 hours ago, richard5933 said:

So, let's say you find a rig that can power your trailer up the grade at posted speed. Let's even assume that it's possible to do so safely.

How are you planning to control your speed coming down the other side with a decades old rig running drum brakes all around?

Richard, I have to agree with you.  Mr. "Besides being an engineer, I am a martial artist and a racer" may get to find out what runaway ramps are for. I think it is going to be a sad sad day for Mr. "Besides being an engineer, I am a martial artist and a racer" when he finds this mystical rig that is supposed to fly up any hill and it isn't any better/faster than yours or Carl's or my rig.  Now I do know where to get a engine that will do it but that takes DEEP pockets.:P

Bill

 

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