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Mountains With A Georgetown XL/ Ford V10

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As an alternative to the more expensive diesel Super C, My wife really likes the Georgetown XL, but I'm concerned about the gas V10 and towing up steep hills. Can anyone speak on their experiences?

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You are not going to "fly" up any steep grade in a coach. We had a Four Winds Hurricane with the V10 engine. It was adequate for towing our Jeep Liberty through the Texas Hill Country and central New Mexico but we never had it in really steep mountains. While we enjoyed that coach, we needed more storage space for full time and the power and ride of the air suspension of the diesel pusher is great. Note that you will have a 5,000 pound hitch so you will need to consider the weight of what you want to tow - our diesel pusher has a 10,000 pound hitch.

Have you considered a used diesel pusher? Many of us have bought used coaches with no regrets. You can get a lot of coach for what you would pay for a new gas coach. Check out RV Trader - choose your selection criteria of price range, distance from your location, year range, brand, etc.

As you are looking at fulltiming in your coach, you need to be sure you have adequate storage - do you need full length clothes hanging?, storage for large items underneath - grill, patio rug, etc.

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We traveled west to Colorado for years with a 34' 460 Ford powered Class A. Big four wheel disc brakes and my experience in 18 wheelers made me confident that I would not hurt both of us, but there were times when I found myself wishing for a Jake Brake or an exhaust brake. Try Slumgullion Pass in Colorado headed down to Lake City. It can be a heart stopper. And if you want to get adventurous from Florida an auxiallry brake normally available on a diesel rig is a real comfort. If you are going to stay east of the Mississippi River you will probably be OK, but there are some roads in Tennessee, WV, Virginia , and PA where you might wish for some help.

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We have owned a 2001 southwind 36 ft towing a jeep TJ for the last 12 years and we live in California. We are currently in VA, and we have towed all over the country.

We have a Banks system on the V10 as well as a gear vendors over/under drive.

You won't pass the diesels, but it's the best you can do with the setup and it's certainly been adequate for us.

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On a gas rig, I would invest in the Banks system and have 3 times! It didn't help my mph all that much, but it did improve my speed up the long, long hills of AZ, CA and OR. Also kept my engine cooler in the desert sun!

Carl

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On a gas rig, I would invest in the Banks system and have 3 times! It didn't help my mph all that much, but it did improve my speed up the long, long hills of AZ, CA and OR. Also kept my engine cooler in the desert sun!

Carl

Agreed, it had more power, I found it was worse on fuel...mostly my fault, it ran so good I found my foot in it more often. But when I was behaving it was no better on MPG. I installed trans temp gauge, oil temp gauge and Diff temp gauges on the A Pillar and my transmission ran at 150 degrees from 190 before the banks trans command was installed and it shifted much better. later on I replaced the pan with an extra deep sump aluminum pan with cooling fins, I dropped another 10 degrees with that and gained a few more quarts. I changed the pan to help keep the ford transmission case square, under heavy load they were known to flex causing internal leakage at the valve body gaskets inside, which would result in internal failure, the solid pan helped to hold it square.

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As an alternative to the more expensive diesel Super C, My wife really likes the Georgetown XL, but I'm concerned about the gas V10 and towing up steep hills. Can anyone speak on their experiences?

Get a couple of sets of ear plugs, that V10 will take you up the hill, but it will be screaming.

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Get a couple of sets of ear plugs, that V10 will take you up the hill, but it will be screaming.

That's what worries me...how long do gas engines live when treated that way? I've destroyed some motorcycle engines like that.

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While I am a big "diesel fan", even at high RPM, the V10 is a good engine and will go over 100k miles easily with normal maintenance.

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My understanding is that the v10 and F53 are very durable, that the engine properly maintained goes closer to 200k.

I do know the mechanics at the rv rental center where I worked were fans.

I believe the units we put up for sale was more a function of their being entry level units that went through about 10 years of usage

in one year. The interior was completely falling apart, but the chassis was in great shape.

However, I think the gas chassis was designed for certain performance criteria, which did not include a smooth ride, and I believe it is

left up to owners to make any upgrades they want for safety and handling improvements...commonly discussed.

If I was planning on shorter, rather than longer mileage trips, I would seriously consider a Tiffin or Newmar Class A gas, and budget $2,000 to $5,000 for the common upgrades done by a shop.

Since the wife and I plan on longer trips we are more focused on a used dp, or used 5th and New hd dually truck.

One of the issues that may finally push me one direction or another is the benefits of towing a jeep and my belief that

the ride gap between dp and gas, despite the F53 aftermarket upgrades, is still too wide...that leads me to a used dp.

All the extended warranty nspections I have done have been of dp units, so I've experienced some pretty good rides, especially with the old Country Coaches.

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I have a Georgetown 378 and would buy the same again, We had a fifth wheel before this coach that we pulled with a F350 diesel. I was willing to give up some hill climbing ability when we went to gas. I have been pleasantly surprised by the power of the V10. As to the noise it if you are willing to turn off the cruise when approaching larger hills and let the speed drop 5 or 10 MH the noise will not be bad.

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That's what worries me...how long do gas engines live when treated that way? I've destroyed some motorcycle engines like that.

The V10 is designed to be a high revving engine. You can't over rev it as it is rev limiter protected it is set at 5500 rpm stock. it is plenty safe to run it that high. some guys will tow on steep hills in the 4500 rpm range for long periods of time. You really can't hurt these engines at sustained high rpms as long as you don't bypass the stock limiter you will be fine. I would run a good synthetic oil to maximize protection.

Some people like the 5star tuner to help with the transmission shift points.

Bill

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I limit my revs to 4000 RPM. Easy to do with the gear vendors. I shift manually at 4K to the "split" gear. The engine stays in the power band between 3200-4000 rpm.

In hilly terrain it holds cruise in 3rd over. In mountainous terrain shift manually. On flat terrain cruise in OD.

Why most people "scream" up a hill is because if you let the engine shift into the higher gear you have dropped below the power band and it falls off, then it kicks back in to the lower gear where it has to be held to make the hill.

My wife and I hold normal level conversations in our V10 equipped southwind 35R.

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The newer V10s produce 362 HP @ 4750 rpm and 457 Pounds Foot torque @ 3250 rpm. You can see that peak HP doesn't come until you are running pretty high RPM but it is made for it.

Bill

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Quality oil and filter.... it will take it. I ran Mobil 1 Synthetic (5W30) with a Motorcraft filter in mine. I have personally seen these with over 300,000 miles on them in construction vehicles that tow, and I can tell you they have a much harder life than in an RV.

I had one company set a transmission on fire from beating on one so hard, (pulling a full size Case backhoe with an F550) it shoot fire out of the transmission dipstick tube onto the engine, I replaced the transmission, engine and transmission wiring harnesses, coolers, radiator etc, still running today...

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As a side note, there are lots of comments about the V10 at anywhere from 4000 to 5500 RPM. That's one reason the DP is more relaxing to drive. Two years ago we crossed the Continental Divide in a Cummins 400 ISL, it was a quiet and pleasant experience. Ear plugs were not required, we sat back and enjoyed the scenery. In a big gasser, it will not be pleasant and it will not be quiet...BTDT.

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I think we get carried away with hyping how "wonderful" a diesel pusher is. Not everyone needs or wants one. I drove gas coaches and never worried about getting up hills or that it made more noise when it down shifted. I had a class C with a 460 and headers that was a little loud so I added some sound insulation. It never stopped me from going any place I wanted.

There are a lot of people who are still working, cant justify the cost of buying or maintain a diesel if they can only use it a limited amount of time during the year.

The Ford V10 is a exultant motor.The newer V10s produce 362 HP @ 4750 rpm and 457 Pounds Foot torque @ 3250 rpm. now that is a far cry from the 225 HP from my old 460. Even if they are loud climbing a hill 98% of your time will be at normal cruse RPM Depending on final gearing about 2000 RPM =65MPH

Bill

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Bill. Your right. Because we now own diesel, we forget about the years of gas. :o

When I stop and reflect on my RV past, I start remembering the really good times I had in 22' to 32' class "A"'s! With the exception of one coach, they all had rear baths and bunk beds! The lower for sleeping, upper was storage. Bath was large! My engines was 440 or 454 aspirated. We did most of our cooking outside and had none of the modern day "stuff"! Nobody had a toad until the early 1980's... :blink::P We spent a lot more time outside, inside was reserved for rainy days and reading a good book or playing games...my first built in TV was on a 87' Barth. :(:)

Carl

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Same here, we really enjoyed our old gasser coach, yea it was a little loud pulling large hills, it did it like a champ and I will admit I ran up some pretty big mountains with the V10 at the posted speed limit with the cruise set crossing the country both times. The "noise" you only really notice it when your pushing it hard and you get use to it, I was just sitting here trying to recall if there was ever a time where it was horrible, cant remember. If I hadn't stumbled onto this DP and the good deal it was we would have most likely bought a new Gasser Class A. The most annoying noise I created, the K&N open air filter had a drone sound like an old 4 Barrel carburetor on a muscle car at certain RPM's, in a class C it was right there and while it sounded like it meant business it did get annoying at times, but again....that was my fault, not the chassis.

I never had any mechanical problems with that coaches powertrain, I replaced the spark plugs, coil boots and all fluids at 55,000 (when we bought it just for a baseline), water pump and fuel pump at 75,000 miles just to be safe and all coolant hoses, at that time and it was 12 years old, seemed like a good time to do so. We traded it in at 97,000 miles and 16 yrs old just routine maintenance, very very easy on my wallet.It still ran like it was new, never used any oil.

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I've got to tell you that my wife and I always wonder what the noise issue we always hear about regarding the V10 is. We simply have normal conversations. Maybe some coaches are different. I'm sure the DP is quieter simply based on engine placement, but our RV is completely acceptable to us. We travel just below 55 mph which is the speed limit while towing in CA.

We have traveled between 65-70 in higher posted states.

If you are somewhere on our scheduled return route from VA I invite you to drive my RV.

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One other thing, those who say they can climb any hill with out slowing in their diesel are....I am trying to think of a nice way to say it....I can't, lying or never been in the mountains. Some also think there are no big hills/mountains in the east are just driving I-95.

Driving a diesel is just the same as a gas coach. When you hit a hill that you can't accelerate on drop down to a gear that you can accelerate and keep your engine in the upper part of the power band. Yes this means you may have to slow your road speed. That is why you have a transmission that you can select what gear you are in. That is why they gave you a tack to monitor your engine rpm.

Just saying.

Bill

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One other thing, those who say they can climb any hill with out slowing in their diesel are....I am trying to think of a nice way to say it....I can't, lying or never been in the mountains. Some also think there are no big hills/mountains in the east are just driving I-95.

Driving a diesel is just the same as a gas coach. When you hit a hill that you can't accelerate on drop down to a gear that you can accelerate and keep your engine in the upper part of the power band. Yes this means you may have to slow your road speed. That is why you have a transmission that you can select what gear you are in. That is why they gave you a tack to monitor your engine rpm.

Just saying.

Bill

Bill, agreed! lighter coach, smaller power plant, heavier coach, larger power plant......its a wash.

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