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 2/6/2004 5:06 PM
 
 Modified By johnchurn  on 1/18/2013 10:41:40 AM

When we left Cheyenne,Wy after Frontier Days and were headed to Yellow Stone thru Cody, Wy. We were new with the diesel and the first big pass we came upon, we just pressed the throttle and expected it to start climbing. We bogged down to 500 rpm's and I had to take over with manual shifting. It was tuff getting going again. It did the same thing the next big grade. Something must be wrong. When we finally got to Jackson Hole, I talked to some experienced diesel drivers and they expained that since the RV came from Florida, flatlands, and it had no training in the mountains, meaning the allison transmission, it would just take a while for it to learn it's new environment. We maually shifted for maybe 15 grades, the first one being the Teton Pass out of Jackson Hole and when we finally tried the throttle down method the old baby dropped down 3 gears and actually acted like it knew what it was doing. It's been a driving dream ever since.
This little story was for the new diesel drivers who may experience the same conditions when driving in the mountains for the first time. Believe me the salesman won't even mention it.
This was some of our first out west mountain scenery. We had lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains but they didn't look anything like these.


Big Bad John & Runaround Sue


Big Bad John & Runaround Sue & Paris *Hammock,Florida* *97 Dutch Star Diesel* *76 VW Bay Window Bus* *91 Classic Harley Davidson* *1949 Ford Lead Sled* *2012 HD LSV
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 2/6/2004 5:08 PM
 
 Modified By johnchurn  on 1/18/2013 10:42:21 AM

These peaks were beautiful.
Big Bad John & Runaround Sue


Big Bad John & Runaround Sue & Paris *Hammock,Florida* *97 Dutch Star Diesel* *76 VW Bay Window Bus* *91 Classic Harley Davidson* *1949 Ford Lead Sled* *2012 HD LSV
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 2/6/2004 5:10 PM
 
 Modified By johnchurn  on 1/18/2013 10:43:50 AM

We always took the time to stop and just gawk at the scenery. It was so new to us.
Big Bad John & Runaround Sue


Big Bad John & Runaround Sue & Paris *Hammock,Florida* *97 Dutch Star Diesel* *76 VW Bay Window Bus* *91 Classic Harley Davidson* *1949 Ford Lead Sled* *2012 HD LSV
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 2/6/2004 5:12 PM
 
 Modified By johnchurn  on 1/18/2013 10:52:05 AM

We took a lot of pictures of the scenery with the rig in it so we could remember the journey in case we never made it back again.
Big Bad John & Runaround Sue


Big Bad John & Runaround Sue & Paris *Hammock,Florida* *97 Dutch Star Diesel* *76 VW Bay Window Bus* *91 Classic Harley Davidson* *1949 Ford Lead Sled* *2012 HD LSV
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 2/7/2004 4:01 AM
 
Hi BBJ&RaS,
Gorgeous pictures. I like your new coach! We wish we were there.
When we went through the Ozarks we had problems getting up the steep hills. I can’t imagine what we will experience going in your direction.
I know when I went through the Ozarks pulling my full size Jeep; we dropped down into the mid 40’s at times. Our transmission did do some better on the way back. It’s hard to understand how a transmission can go through a learning process.
I ‘m just not used to dropping down and running in the slow lane while going up steep grades. My old coach was smaller and I think the weight to hp ratio was better. Going through the same areas I was always able to keep up with the traffic.
My thought is that the manufactures try to keep costs down and adding more performance to the drive train would run up the cost without increasing sales.
I went as far as contacting Gale Banks Engineering to see what after market products are available to upgrade the hp and torque. They sure have an impressive presentation. They say they can upgrade my 330 (950 lb-ft.) Cummins to a 435 (1200 lb-ft.). The cost of the kit is around $2900, if you put it on yourself. Their kit includes an electronic monitor and gauges that keep your engine from getting too hot.
http://www.bankspower.com/motorhome.cfm
The problem I might run into is the warranty. Banks Engineering assures me that the manufacturer of the engine and transmission can’t void the warranty due to any after market product. Unless it is the cause of damage to the engine or trans. That’s the catch. You could end up in the middle of two companies blaiming each other for the problem.
Now Cummins said they could upgrade the 330 to a 350 which would increase the ft lbs about a 100. Cummins said it would be a mark noticeable difference. The cost of this upgrade would be around 1,200 bucks.
Have you heard anything about these upgrades?
I think I will try running through the mountains again before I make a decision.
Have fun .. “life is a one tripper”
Ben and Kathy
HR/Jeep Toad
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 2/7/2004 9:17 PM
 
 Modified By johnchurn  on 1/18/2013 10:46:48 AM

BKS,
In my opinion, save your money. There isn't a grade out there that can't be handled by your 330 horse diesel at a reasonable speed.
The secret is, starting off at the right speed and rpm. The old saying is, don't go up any faster than you want to go down ( safely ). The key is hitting the grade in the right gear at the right rpm.
We had a 300 Cummins with a 6 speed allison loaded at 26,000 lbs including the Harley and pulled a 68 bug. For medium hills we would pull at 45 and go down the same. For steep grades we would pull at 35 and go down the same. At 45 we ran 4th gear at 2100 rpm's going up and 1800 to 2200 going down with the exhaust brake. At 35 we would run 3rd gear at 2100 rpm's and the same 1800 to 2200 going down. Only on the steep grades did we have to pump the air brakes every now and then to keep the rpm's at a reasonable level.
People may laugh when they look at the above speeds and say I've done um a lot faster than that, and I will say that they have been lucky not to experience tire failure or some unexplained equipment failure and to have to try and stop all that equipment safely.
Too much power is like 4 wheel drive on ice. You still have to stop it.
Just my experience and opinion.

Big Bad John & Runaround Sue


Big Bad John & Runaround Sue & Paris *Hammock,Florida* *97 Dutch Star Diesel* *76 VW Bay Window Bus* *91 Classic Harley Davidson* *1949 Ford Lead Sled* *2012 HD LSV
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 2/8/2004 6:16 AM
 
Hi BBJ&RaRS,
You are the first person who gave me reason to leave well enough alone. Your theory makes a lot of sense. I guess I’m just not very trusting of motorhome manufacturers. Engine to weight etc.
Your experience in the mountains is appreciated.
Keep posting pictures. Don’t worry about how jealous it makes us. We will be stuck at home base until April.
Thanks, Ben
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 1/7/2010 12:16 PM
 
 Modified By johnchurn  on 1/18/2013 10:52:39 AM

This was our first time on the big mountains and it was so different and beautiful.


Big Bad John & Runaround Sue & Paris *Hammock,Florida* *97 Dutch Star Diesel* *76 VW Bay Window Bus* *91 Classic Harley Davidson* *1949 Ford Lead Sled* *2012 HD LSV
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 1/18/2013 10:48 AM
 


Big Bad John & Runaround Sue & Paris *Hammock,Florida* *97 Dutch Star Diesel* *76 VW Bay Window Bus* *91 Classic Harley Davidson* *1949 Ford Lead Sled* *2012 HD LSV
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