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sdgarfield

How much Horsepower and Torque do I really need

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I'm currently budget shopping for a Class A Pusher, 40 plus feet, tag, and preferable a Spartan. I live in the northeast but will be making regular trips to bay area in California, and Phoenix AZ. We are very comfortable with the coach models that offer 450hp, and although they are nice don't really need the extras that the 600hp models offer. However I don't want to be disappointed climbing the mountains going to California, especially pulling a Mustang in a car trailer. Is there also a mileage advantage with 600hp?

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sdgarfield,

Welcome to the Forum,

Have you looked on RVTrader.com ? There you can specify Price, length, HP and either local or nation wide search. Maybe you can locate something there to suit you need.

Let us know what you find.

Again Welcome,

Herman

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My experience with a high HP coach concerning fuel mileage is the more horses, the more thirsty. My current coach, Cat  C-15 600 HP will get anywhere from 4~6 MPG. Speed is the determining factor. My previous coach had a C-12 505 HP, 7~9 MPG. IMHO the C-12 will give you the best bang for the buck. Problem is, Cat quit making over the road motors around 2007, so if you are interested in a coach with a Cat motor it will have to be an older coach. One positive, the older motor homes are pre emission. Not much difference in pulling mountain passes, they all slow down no matter how big a motor. As far as Cummins, I have no personal experience, maybe someone else will chime in. Hope this helps.

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We previously had a Phaeton with 380 HP, 1050 torque. It pulled a Jeep no problem, was not a rocket up hills but got it done. Our present bus is 450 HP and 1150 torque. It pulls a 4 dr Jeep rubicon that weighs in at about 4750 lbs. it pulls better than the previous Mh but still no rocket on steep inclines. This MH gets between 6.5 and 8.5 mpg depending on terrain. Both engines were Cummins .

Edited by campcop

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I too am an older coach advocate. I have a 1999 Safari Panther powered with a C 12  CAT and 8 air bag suspension. Coach is light by comparison to modern later coaches. It is wonderful and has not seen a mtn it has not liked.  With 425/455 horses and 1200 foot pounds of torque will leave the later heavy coaches up long grades. It will and is currently averaging better than 8 MPG and I live in Colorado and travel between 8 and 10K a year. Coach has 40K+ on the odo. Monaco bought SAfari in the 2001 2002. The ultimately built an upscale tag axle 40 some foot rig that is the only coach I would upgrade to. It is the cats meow! I have made one upgrade already and would get shot if I did it again. Prices on thes coaches are very reasonable. Do not let the age be an obstacle. Mechanical issues are few and far between on cared for coaches so do -plenty of homework ask to see receipts. Buy the best coach you can afford, it will save you money. Suggest you buy 2007/8 and earlier to avoid the emission issues. Ask lots of questions here, the only dumb is the one you did not ask. 

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The only currently made 600 HP+ OTR diesel engine used in production MH's is the Cummins ISX. Cummins no longer produces the 650 HP version for MH's because it  was so problematic. The 600HP version seems to be less troublesome, but you really need to read the truckers forums for the professional driver and O/O opinions.

Of course Detroit Diesel makes the DD16, 600 HP engine, however it is not used by production-line MH  mfgrs.It is used in Prevost, Marathon, Foretravel, ie: high-end custom-built MH's.

The rule of thumb is 1 HP per 100 lbs is the minimum for relaxing driving. No matter the HP,  the mileage killer is speed, after all, you're pushing a 8' X12'' wall down the road.

IMO one of the best engines Cummins built was the ISM engine with a maximum of 500HP.

 

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sdgarfield, welcome to the forum. You said "I live in the northeast but will be making regular trips to bay area in California, and Phoenix AZ." Where in the NE? Just curious as I am in the NE most every year and I think some of the nastiest hills are up in that part of the world I think up in the White Mountain area and around Newry if you get off US-2 they just paved the mountingoat pathess. :o I have done all the "big" pases in the west to. all with a 38ft 300HP coach. I never had a problem getting over any of them. 

The biggest problem on maney of these places/passes is the traffic. You may have the HP to fly over them  but if traffic is doing 30 you might as well just enjoy the scenery. The outhe big thing most who are concerned about  not being able to fly over the top is you need to slow down for the decent on the outher side. Several of the passes out west require trucks to slow to 30 before starting down. So where is the benefit of flying over the top at 65-70+ then you have to jump on the breaks and engine brake to slow down for the descent?

Bottom line I don't know of a diesel coach that won't go anywhere you want to go.

Bill

 

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I'm not sure how many 40 foot motorhomes with a tag axle. 

Like Herman said, go to RV Trader and put in your specs and see what falls out.

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3 hours ago, RSBILLEDWARDS said:

I too am an older coach advocate. I have a 1999 Safari Panther powered with a C 12  CAT and 8 air bag suspension. Coach is light by comparison to modern later coaches. It is wonderful and has not seen a mtn it has not liked.  With 425/455 horses and 1200 foot pounds of torque will leave the later heavy coaches up long grades. It will and is currently averaging better than 8 MPG and I live in Colorado and travel between 8 and 10K a year. Coach has 40K+ on the odo.

I have a 2000 Beaver Patriot Thunder which is a brother to your Panther.  I feel the same way about ours; it's a lot of fun to drive.  Sure, you don't need all that power, but I like to drive performance cars; there's no reason not to have a "high performance motorhome!"  We bought ours with 55k miles and now have >120k.

Edited by docj

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1 hour ago, elkhartjim said:

I'm not sure how many 40 foot motorhomes with a tag axle. 

Like Herman said, go to RV Trader and put in your specs and see what falls out.

When I was looking I did see a couple of 40' Foretravels with tags.

This should be the perfect coach for the OP.

https://www.motorhomesoftexas.com/Pre-owned-Inventory-2007-Foretravel-Motorhome-Nimbus-40-340-Nimbus-9252076?ref=list

I am wondering what a Cat 425/455 horses and 1200 foot pounds of torque is? Is that the different power levels it came in? My curent Cummins is 450 HP and 1550 Foot Pounds of torque. 

Bill

 

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14 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

I am wondering what a Cat 425/455 horses and 1200 foot pounds of torque is? Is that the different power levels it came in? My curent Cummins is 450 HP and 1550 Foot Pounds of torque. 

My C-12 has 425 HP and 1550 ft-lbs of torque.

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IMHO, most manufacturers making 40 + foot MHs will have engines that will pull what ever we wish to tow.  Under 40 or so, some manufacturers will slip in the small 6.7L ISB which, at times, is a bit light on power.

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A good rule of thumb for enough hp is total weight divided by 100.  example, 45,000 ibs  / 100 = 450 hp  and will put out about 1,300 ft pounds of torque .  It will slow down on mountain climb but will give the best mpg for the weight.  

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Per Doc he may be right on the torque for our C 12 which also came as 455 horses and he is absolutely correct about how easy it is to drive with the excess power  . The C 12 we have could be reprogrammed to 455 max. The next step is to the 505 horse and last iteration before moving up to the not quite as successful or trouble free C13 and 15 units. The Foretravel mentioned is a very nice coach as well. Purportedly one of the nicest driving rigs on the road. A  lot of attention was placed on the mechanicals ahead of the bling  I don't know the GVW on the Patriot but the Panther is 31,000n Giddy up Go...

Edited by RSBILLEDWARDS

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In regards to Cummins.  The  ISM gave you the most torque to HP ratio.  I have the new ISX 600 and it puts out 2,050 torque, 6.8 mpg.  The new ISX 605 gives 1,950 torque. 

RayIN.  The Marathon is a Prevost conversion, just like Liberty and several others!  Most Prevost's today, run the Volvo engine (Volvo owns Prevost & Prevost is made in Canada). Newell is Oklahoma and Foretravel is Texas!  

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8 hours ago, RSBILLEDWARDS said:

I don't know the GVW on the Patriot but the Panther is 31,000n Giddy up Go...

We're at ~34,000 lbs; close enough to yours to have roughly the same performance.  I rarely use the truck lane going up hills; it's just too slow! 😄

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